Drifting Down the Inclination to Abnormal

Photographer: Ryan Pouncy

For a good long while WordPress offered up a word of the day, every day–the intent being to inspire blog posts based around a specific word for the day.
Fandango is a blogger who has had the notion to continue the inspiration. I haven’t known of Fandango for too long, but a lot of what goes up on his blog is interesting.

There is no cure for ugly, but you can make yourself into a human optical illusion. Jenna Marbles

Read more at

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/jenna-marbles-quotes

I believe that the usual reasons for wanting to keep out of the way of most things that are abnormal is because being abnormal is more distressing than being what passes for fitting in. What is recognized as abnormal, is, I think, falling short of the mark in an area that comes natural, missing your turn when you are driving somewhere, spending too much money in impulse decisions, unfortunate doctor’s reports. Abnormal can start to appear kind of tragic.

You have to put your energy into getting positive outcomes, whether your abilities are abnormal or not. Fortunate people have comparable skill levels and means of producing a desired outcome; not everybody is fortunate, it goes without saying. When Star Wars actor Mark Hamill was trending on Twitter this evening, I read his bio and two words he says up front are Work hard.

Methods other than Mark’s advice are abnormal.

The Whispering Doll

In response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #26, I wrote a piece of flash fiction this morning inspired by an illustration Fandango blogged. #FFFC

Fandango

Robot servicables, three in number, stood by the entry port to the cultural receiving destination, completing their ask of assisting humans reaching the district. The latest car sailing above the rail beams pulled to a halt and the door was thrown back, revealing the people inside, a woman thirty or thirty-two years in age, and a little girl with her, both dressed for the chill night air. The woman wore quality fleece and held hands with the child, perhaps eight years old, likewise dressed for the temperature in fleece hanging from the shoulders to the knees.

The little girl with her arms cradled a doll, looking like it was crafted from porcelain and dear to the child.

The doll resembled a classical design for a child’s toy, but its mouth, red rose lips, curled into a smile, fitted by its manufacturer with an oval speaker that permitted the doll to speak, a pricey but not uncommon companion, to speak to a child from a family with privilege. The doll had a low-level mind that collected sentiments occurring to the little girl, her perceptions of her surroundings and the denizens nearby. As the girl gazed upon the servicables standing upright on the platform, where the car was letting the two girls go, quiet for at once being in the open air, the sound of a whispered murmur escaped into the night.

The little girl reached forth and gripped the adult’s arm. The doll’s sentience was clear. The porcelain figurine’s lyrical but artificial voice reached the little girl.

“Tell me what you saw, for her sake!”

Author: Fandango

A Rock Musician’s Death

I learned on Facebook the other day that David Berman has died. The record label Drag City discussed it with sadness and admiration. With shock I listened to several of the songs he penned. It is a terrible loss that he is gone.

@dragcityrecords

David Berman, the poet, cartoonist, and singer-songwriter behind Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, has died… “We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.” Berman was 52 years old.

His lyrics inspire. When I had a trusted young friend in the nineties, I gave her my David Berman, Steve Malkmus & Bob Nastanovich Starlite Walker CD, and she was thrilled. It was a point of pride to have some poetry amid more serious business.

With a lot of talent went terrible sadness. Berman eventually publicly discussed his hatred for his father, which is terrible.

The music remains. It is wonderful, indeed. I hope that fans remember Berman with more than just sadness–you can hear on the early fuzzy Arizona Record how triumphant Berman sounds, and it was years and years ago. In every album he made, it sounds like the work of a great and profound musician, cheeky and moving and fascinating.

I wanted to say this because a loss is a part of life. When a friend from high school years ago, at last, died this spring, my parents and I took flowers to her grave, and I thought how easy it is to dismiss life and death, but mourning needs to be reverent, somehow.

It has been hard on Berman’s fans. I’m sure many bid him farewell. It is a burden to say goodbye, but his music will continue to transfix and bewitch and transcend. Goodbye, David Berman.