Friday, October 02, 2009


Dante's goggles narrow the world to two circles of visual input. No peripheral vision at all. No idea how he keeps from being surprised by everything. His calm demeanor doesn't match the hyper-focus the goggles induce.

I don't know what it's like for him. I know he doesn't hear possibilities, but I get that from my mother. So I know there's something Dante has. Some way of interacting—of knowing—more than humans do. More than even most of my people do. It has to do with why Dante's people exist.

Maybe the goggles are part of that. Maybe he needs to keep things narrowed down. Hyper-focused. Maybe it all gets overwhelming when he can see full field of vision.

From what I've seen, as he usually sees, he doesn't appear to be having a problem. Carrying on. Smiling like an idiot. Happy to play leader.

Good thing my hearing's fine. At least we'll get warning if residents come close. Dante will have to serve as our lookout for the guardians.

"How much further?" Maria asks.

Her voice is hushed, but still the first noisemaker blaring a Happy Something at a surprise party. Announcing we're here. Getting the party started.

We don't answer. I don’t know what to say. Doubt Dante does, either. It's that not having a real plan. Too hard to create one when so many factors are silent. I don't like feeling deaf. Like I can hear all the songs but the one that could actually help.

I haven't forgotten about the pancake. Someone still wishes me ill. Vanishing into the dream fields will throw them off my scent for a while, but I doubt it will be a long enough while. My song keeps remixing. Warning of unpredictability.

"We've been walking forever," Maria adds.

Forever. Like she can grasp what that means. Like any of you can. Even people like me or people like Dante have trouble comprehending something like forever.

What I can understand is time works oddly in Vancouver. Because of all the chronographs. They keep a rigid hold. Creating hours and days and weeks and months. Words to me. Actual measurements to those who dwell here.

As we cross the empty street, our footsteps against the pavement, I realize it may not even be Thursday according to the chronographs and calendars. Thursday to us. Not Thursday to those around us. This the problem: Arbitrary definitions of time only work if everyone agrees to use the same ones.

"Where is everyone?" Maria finally asks.

"Asleep?" Dante suggests.

Songs of power stir. Roll over. Resume their muted reveries. He's right, of course, we've managed to arrive in the middle of a Vancouver Maybe-Maybe-Not-Thursday night.

Great for keeping us unnoticed by residents. Really great for ensuring the guardians do notice.

Unbothered by this, Dante tries to continue the conversation with Maria. He says something mundane and benign. Not about the weather. There is no weather here. Unless he’s talking about the lack of weather.

He had better not be talking about the lack of weather. Maria is uncertain about him already. Discussing something so stupid is not going to win her over.

I am seventy-two percent certain I know what’s going on. I’ve seen this happen before. Not to Dante. But I can recognize it anyway. He's got two powers mingling in him like I do. Like Val does. With us, there's a dominant aspect. Fortune for me. Valor for Val. Sometimes our recessive power gets agitated. Almost like it becomes temporarily dominant. Makes us act slightly out of character until things rebalance.

Oh sure, you think he's acting this way because he likes Maria. Duh. Obvious. That's why I wasn’t going to mention it.

He does like her. But there's more to this than that. Infatuation makes Dante shy. Confident optimism is caused by something else.

1 comment:

KT said...

I am intrigued! Thursday is the best day.