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Look Around, Look Around
Topic Started: Jan 20 2016, 09:45 PM (278 Views)
dmboogie
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A Delicate Machine
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Cass: from Hot Problems))

Cass had felt a creeping emptiness, a fog obscuring the world around them, an absence of sadness or any other emotion to fill their head. Staring blankly at the homework in front of them, idly going through the motions of clicking through their social media while their 'I'll start working in ten minutes" turned to thirty minutes turned to hours, all the while feeling useless and guilty for wasting their time but feeling too numb to do anything about it.

After an eternity, when it finally became too much to bear, Cass forced themself up. Forced themself to grab their sketchbook; relying on pure inertia to keep moving. Forced themself to leave their room and get out of the house, forced a "Going for a walk, be back soon" at their parents; unable to bear the thought of hearing worried voices or feeling concerned gazes crawling across their skin.

The walk was a blur of motion and memory, disassociating from the present and relying on the well-carved path they had trod so many times in the past. The park always brought comfort to Cass whenever they were numb or panicking or otherwise an anxious wreck, the perfect blend of isolation and population. The park benches were scattered randomly about, making it easy to find a secluded place; while at the same time being a popular enough destination that there was almost always someone around to serve as a reminder that Cass existed, that they weren't alone in the world.

Cass began to sketch their surroundings, losing themself in the pure mechanical motions of art. There was no need to worry about a story or design, it was enough to just translate the beauty around them to paper. Slowly, feeling began to flow back into Cass's body, and the void inside them was replaced with a reassuring calm. They closed their eyes. Inhaled. Exhaled. Repeated until they could feel their heart beating, confirming that they were still here, that they had survived another day.

Creation was one hell of a drug. Cass would return to their neglected work with a new vigor once they returned, but for now they would stay in the park and sketch a while, reflecting on how lucky they were to be alive right then.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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dmboogie
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A Delicate Machine
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Shit.

Cass's hand froze mid pencil-stroke, their tentative peace shattered as David called out to them. Cass had imagined themself as if they were miles away and merely staring out a window at the world around them, safe and distant. These thoughts were replaced with a panicked flurry as they tried to remember where they knew David from, which turned into guilt as Cass realized that they had practically no idea who the newcomer was besides a classmate.

They must have talked at some point, Cass couldn't even remember his name but he knew theirs, and not caring enough about someone to remember the most basic of facts about them was one of the worst insults imaginable. Cass knew all too well what it felt like to be thought of as "forgettable" (even if only inside your own head).

Cass mumbled a greeting as David drew closer to their bench, utilizing every ounce of their self control in order to refrain from flinching as he leaned in closer to get a look at their sketchbook. They stared blankly at the art that seemed almost foreign to them as David launched a salvo of generic non-artist compliments. The sketch had been nothing but mechanical motion leaning upon techniques they had practiced hundreds of times. It had taken no thought, no artistic vision, there wasn't an ounce of emotion to be found in it. To Cass, it seemed as sterile as the portraits hung on the walls of cheap hotel rooms.

"Um. Yeah. Thanks." Cass managed. "It's nothing special. I just, uh, do it a lot. Y'know?" Cass wasn't anywhere near willing to get into the "the concept of talent is bullshit, you'd be good at art too if you drew almost every single day for years and years and filled up whole bookshelves of notebooks and wore every pencil you owned down to the nub" argument with a complete stranger.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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dmboogie
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A Delicate Machine
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Whatever happened next, none of it mattered. Everything would slip from Cass's memory across the following days. Presumably, the same thing would happen to David as well.

((Cass: gone to pay tribute to impermanence elsewhere.))
a tribute for the dead and dying

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