Archive for the 'callie' Category

Sep 04 2011

Cleaning up around the bloghouse

While this blog does sometimes feel like all cancer, all the time, I do remind myself that one, I get a lot of good feedback on most of the cancer posts, and some of them seem to be actually touching people’s lives in positive ways (and even a couple of times in life-saving ways, a humbling thought indeed).  Two, everything is connected in our lives; you can’t dissect out one thing to talk about and not have it lead to something else similar or related, especially in the case of cancer, which affects everything else in your life and extends out into other lives that touch yours as well, whether you want it to or not.  And three, it’s obvious I’m making effort to not have this space be all about cancer, even though I plan to keep blogging regularly about it, and how it has and does affect me.  I think writing about it matters to me and to others and makes some kind of difference in the world, even if I won’t always see and know what that diffference might be.

Since I’m also a writer and it is a writer’s blog, I’ll be taking the kind suggestions of a few loved ones and cleaning up around the blog a bit, making some organizational changes for better ease of reading and following the various threads.  Those of you here for the Cancer Chronicles might want an easier way to skip the Weekend Links, for example (though most of those are pretty darn cool).  It’s obviously going to be a slow, convalescent work in progress, hampered by a particularly annoying cat, continued exhaustion to the point of sleeping on the computer, and other such things, up to and including attempts to post up some fiction left lying around collecting some dust.  I’ll be deciding what to keep sending out, what to give away for free here, and what to retire as early pre-cancer works made untouchable through time and trauma. Glad to see most of you plan to stick around, but for now I must change dressings and measure fluids and other such exciting post-surgical shenanigans.

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Jan 26 2011

Opening Moves

Published by under callie

existence (ɪɡˈzɪstəns)
— n
1. the fact or state of existing; being
2. the continuance or maintenance of life; living, esp in adverse circumstances: a struggle for existence ; she has a wretched existence
3. something that exists; a being or entity
4. everything that exists, esp that is living

Word Origin
late 14c., from O.Fr. existence , from L.L. existentem “existent,” prp. of L. existere “stand forth, appear,” and, as a secondary meaning, “exist;” from ex- “forth” + sistere “cause to stand” (see assist).


“Would you like something to drink? Tea, coffee? Are you able to eat or drink here?”

Callie’s visitor rolled her eyes. “We aren’t in Hades, Callie. Apple juice will be fine.”

Callie poured the juice which she found in the fridge into a clear glass with a dark blue rim. She took that to her guest, being careful to set it down within reach but without moving too close. Callie filled a water glass for herself and sat back down across from the visitor.

“Show me.”

The other’s clipped tone cued Callie to what she must be referring. Callie drew out the paper that had led her to Z’Aria from her pocket and placed it on the table between them, smoothing out the folds as she did so. The only sound was the crinkle of paper against wood as they both looked down at the blank page.

“Do you even realize what you did?”

Callie raised an eyebrow. “What I did? What about out there?” She gestured toward outside. “It’s quite sparsely populated these days.”

“That’s not the same.”

“Is it?”

“Empty isn’t dead!”

“Isn’t it? Does that change when the emptiness persists? And who is responsible for filling it?”

“It isn’t that simple.”

“Define ‘existence’.”

“That’s no easier.” The other shook her head. “This is bigger than you understand.”

“Many things are. I wonder whether it’s larger than you understand, as well. Otherwise, why are you here?”

“Because of that, for one!” The other pointed to the paper on the table. “That’s worse than killing someone.”

Callie focused intently on her guest, sensing the first true ingress into the heart of this mess. “Do tell.”

“Why should I? You already guessed or you wouldn’t have done it.”

Callie leaned forward. “I want my life back. I’ll do whatever necessary to protect my existence. Including cleaning up your messes.”

“Oh don’t even try to blame me for Z’Aria.”

“I don’t have to.” Callie smiled. “The evidence is right there, gone from the page.”

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Dec 31 2010

Interlude: Under the Bridge, Earlier

Published by under callie

Z’Aria was where Callie expected her to be, back in her squat under the deserted overpass. She looked up from her reading as she heard Callie’s footsteps on the gravel and debris scattered across the ground.

“Oh, you got the key! I was so happy when someone in Iris’s house said they knew about it.”

Callie held up the key to show her an affirmative.

“You were lost for a long time, I got tired of waiting and walked around looking for someone else to help. I even went by your place to see if you’d gone home somehow and found your letter to me. I wanted to help so much but didn’t know how! I didn’t find anyone for a while but when I walked past Iris’s big house that weird glass bubble was gone. They are so nice there!”

“I’m sure they are.”

“And they said Iris had found a key and that they’d heard about you and could deliver it. And they must have, here you are!”

“Here I am.”

“Did you find anything while you were lost?”

“I think I might have found a solution to all this craziness, and where all the people went. And how to stop it.”

“That’s wonderful! I’m tired of being scared and hungry all the time, it would be good to have things change.”

“Change often isn’t easy or pleasant, even when necessary.”

There was silence for a moment while Callie continued to look steadily at Z’Aria. The girl was a bit slow but she eventually started to put the subtext together. Callie watched the interplay of thoughts and emotions move across the other’s face and waited.

Z’Aria shifted on her seat and looked uncomfortable. “Those stories about the lady in the Box…the kids weren’t just making those up, were they?”

“I never heard those stories. But if I had to guess, I’d say they are more accurate than not.”

“Oh.” Z’Aria appeared a bit sad as she thought about this. “So what happens to me now?”

“I believe you’ll become part of the solution,” Callie replied.

“That part sounds nice at least. Will I be remembered?”

There were at least two answers to that one, and Callie found herself giving the nicer one. “By me, most assuredly. I have a method for never forgetting these moments.”

Z’Aria looked up at the overcast sky, her eyes looking moist at the corners. “I watched the stars all night last night. I would have liked to know why they were so different from back home. What happened to me, why I’m here. Just…why.”

Callie didn’t have a response to give her.

“It wasn’t the story I thought I’d have. At least the end will make some sense.”

That was as good a cue as any. Callie moved forward. This one was gentle and quick.

Afterward, Callie pulled out the paper with the snippet of paragraph that had first led her to Z’Aria. As she’d suspected, the words were already fading as she read. She reached the last word just as it disappeared into the perfect blankness of the page’s whole. A death perhaps more final than any Callie was familiar with.

The sky appeared to grow darker, and tiny vibrations shook the ground for a moment. Callie pushed the paper back into her pocket and hurried toward home. There were a few last things to take care of before her guest showed up, which would be quite soon now that the invitation had been delivered.

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Nov 30 2010

An Expected Guest

Published by under callie

Callie re-entered her place and shut the door. As she locked it, she started the breathing pattern that she knew would slow down her heart rate, which was still quite elevated from her outdoor activities. She closed her eyes and leaned back against the door as she waited for more equilibrium.

When her pulse was back within normal range, she moved to the dressform and added the final few stitches to the sundress she’d made. A careful examination for flaws turned up none, so she removed it from the stand and took it over to the mirror to try on. Not her usual choice for personal wear, but since the muse had struck she presumed she would find some appropriate occasion to take it out and about. She ran her hands over the fabric front and back, tingling with the memories of the evening. It had been quite a while since she’d had such a pleasant time.

She removed the dress with a regretful caress and took it and her discarded outfit back to her closet. She put the used clothes with the other laundry and carefully hung the sundress, gently making room for it on the rack with the other inspired designs. Then she selected a more utilitarian outfit for what she hoped was to come, pants and shirt that fit closely and allowed for maximum freedom of movement. She was not planning to sleep tonight as she did not want to lose her advantage, so she left the bedroom.

In the kitchen, Callie retrieved a bowl that was a dark enough brown to not stain too obviously if her next trick left a mess. She took the colorful feather from where she had clipped it to her hair and placed it in the middle of the bowl, then removed a lighter from one of the drawers and set fire to the feather. She watched it burn to make sure that all of it was reduced to ash, lighting a stubborn piece a second time to finish it.

Callie touched both hands to the ash. She smeared the soot across both hands, ignoring the unpleasant sensations that arose from having her hands dirty. Next she took the metallic feather from her belt and dipped both edges into the ash before replacing it at her waist. She brushed some from her hands across the door handle and mail slot, and finally brought one grimy finger to her mouth to touch it to her tongue. Grimacing, she swallowed several times to clear the taste as she cleaned up the bowl and washed her hands.

She then went to her bathroom and brought out scissors. It took her only about a quarter of an hour to trim her hair short, but another ten minutes to properly clean up the resulting stray hairs that spread everywhere. Callie didn’t want to take the time for a full shower but washed her head and neck clean, towel-drying her hair and taking the damp towel to the laundry so the bathroom could return to its regular pristine state.

Back in the main room, she chose a mindless computer game to keep away boredom without distracting her from monitoring her surroundings. Callie noticed she had to keep reminding herself to return to calm breathing patterns; it wouldn’t do to let her excitement override her reason. With all her senses on high alert, she heard the faint sounds of the door handle moving just as it started to turn. Callie stood at the ready, hitting the hibernate button as she did so to eliminate the computer from her awareness.

She faced a woman who didn’t look much like her at all, which eliminated that worry. The other was dressed in a flowing shirt and pants that matched the colors of the feather Callie had just burned. Her hair was dark brown with hints of auburn, green eyes large and slightly slanted upward at the edges. Her face held a furious expression.

“What have you done?”

Callie smiled.

“Merely ensured we have some nice, uninterrupted time for chatting. Please, come in and sit down.”

Callie indicated the couch, but the guest chose the upholstered red chair next to it instead. Callie moved to lock the door, held up the key to show her guest, and then shoved the key out through the mail slot.

“I know you can get in, but I suspect I’ve managed to arrange it so that you’ll have a harder time getting out again.”

“You know you have. So what now?”

Callie took the matching chair to her guest’s and arranged it so that they were facing each other.

“Now, we talk.”

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Nov 08 2010

A Knock At the Door

Published by under blwio,callie

Patience in waiting was a cultivated skill — one worth nurturing, as otherwise the waiting game could be quite maddening. Callie enjoyed a series of fine meals, work-outs, and mindless media entertainment as she waited for a new development. She spent a portion of each waking cycle reviewing her plans for any desired adjustments, but kept it to a restricted duration so she wouldn’t get too obsessive.

She found the book she had started what seemed like ages ago now, on the end table next to her couch in the sitting room. She decided she was unlikely to get reading interruptions while she waited — and any interruptions at this point would be far more welcome than annoying — so it was an ideal time to finish the book.

She found the inclusion of the “novel within a novel” excerpts to be surprisingly less disruptive than she’d expected. Instead, it was just enough interesting and connected indirectly to the main story to keep the reader going, while not being so engaging that one was disappointed to only get incomplete story pieces. The tension thus created made it all the more satisfying when the novel arc resumed.

The finale was similarly fraught, an uncomfortable completion that didn’t leave the reader feeling like there were major loose ends, yet still left feelings of disquiet, especially in the dream sequence a few pages from the end. All in all a thoroughly satisfying read — as well as rather inspirational, given recent events and likely plans.

Callie placed it back on the bookshelf where it belonged, but didn’t choose another book to follow it. She might change her mind if the wait continued for long enough, but for now she’d go with the tidy optimism of hoping she wouldn’t have time to finish another before more exciting events came her way. She did think that the movie version of the book might be a nice next diversion, however.

She sliced and cored a crisp apple, cubed two ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, and poured herself half a glass of tangy white wine as a snack with her movie. She found the choice of screenwriter a quite interesting contrast to the book’s author. She thought the addition of more actor roles in the movie was done well; she’d suspected Hollywood wouldn’t go for a blockbuster movie with only two actors, but the cut-scenes with the others were at least believable. The lead female certainly deserved her best actress award though she didn’t think the male lead showed nearly the necessary emotional depth for his role. Really, the main disagreement she had artistically with it was the change in the ending — she really felt it diluted the impact of the rest of the story.

As she was rinsing her snack plate in the kitchen afterward, there was a knock at the door.

Callie carefully set the plate down, dried her hands, and moved to the door. She twitched the curtain aside just enough to get a glimpse of her caller. An unexpected event: the person standing on the other side was no one Callie had met or seen before.

A woman, obviously past her first flush of youth but in the indeterminate era before middle-age, stood with easy confidence facing the door. Her features had the exotic cast of mixed cultural heritage, and most standards of beauty would consider her quite lovely. She was well-groomed, wearing a stylish dress suit that looked to Callie’s trained eye to be an original creation, though not a designer’s work she recognized. She held in her hand something Callie did recognize: the letter to Z’Aria that Callie had sent out.

Callie retrieved the kitchen spoon she’d used previously and pushed open the mail slot to better hear.


“We seem to have a mutual acquaintance,” the woman answered.

“So I see. Is there a message?”

“After a fashion. Also, a delivery.”

“Continue.” Callie wedged the spoon into the slot so that it would stay open, while she stood up to look through a corner of the curtains again at the speaker.

“This young lady,” here the woman shook the held paper meaningfully toward the door, as if she assumed she was being watched, “came to us and asked our help. She’d apparently been wandering for some time looking for assistance, as she didn’t really know how to help you in your predicament.”

Here she paused as if waiting for a reply. Callie remained silent. After a few moments, the lady continued.

“After she explained the details and showed us this letter, we realized we could actually give assistance in this situation, strangely enough.”

This time it looked as if she was content to wait out the silence, so Callie spoke. “Not likely the strangest thing I’ve seen lately.”

The woman had a nice smile, very friendly and inviting and natural-feeling. “I preferred to make the errand myself. Z’Aria is a nice young lady but flighty at times, and this seemed rather important.”

She held up her other hand. It held a key. It looked very like the one that fit Callie’s internal deadbolt.

How very interesting.

“This is yours?”

“It may very well be. I would have to try it to be sure.”

The woman wrapped the letter around the key for ease of delivery and pushed it through the mail slot. Callie heard a tiny musical ring as it hit the tile of the entry. She bent down and retrieved the package immediately, unfolding the letter and grasping the key tightly in her fist. She looked out the window again, this time opening the curtain wide enough that the woman could see she was being observed.

“Thank you. May I have your name in case we meet again?”

The woman gave a deadpan look in return. “With some small fortune, I doubt we shall meet again. I wish you good luck in your endeavors, but I must return to focus on mine. We have large plans coming to fruition at last, and I wish to be ready.”

“Indeed. I know how you feel.” Callie retrieved the spoon holding open the mail slot, listening to the clank as it closed. She saw the woman raise her now-empty hand in a half-wave before turning and making her way gracefully down the walk and out of sight.

Callie slid the key into the lock. It fit.

She took it out again and went to prepare for another outdoor adventure.

It was time to go prowling.

2 responses so far

Nov 05 2010

Writing update

As I might have already mentioned, I’m bending my traditional dislike of NaNoWriMo enough this year to participate, after a fashion. Instead of a new project, I’m using it as a goad to spur more writing on the long-overdue-to-be-DONE-already novel. I’m also allowing words on the Callie project or the Amazon short story to count. So far I’ve made wordcount, this week so far by an about equal split between novel writing and Callie stuff (had to go retro-engineer a plot outline of sorts for the Callie entries so far, or I was in danger of missing earlier-laid threads and creating more inconsistencies than I’d like). There will also be a new Callie post, but I’ll put it up Monday, as I’ve found that if I put them up going into the weekend then vastly fewer people read and respond to it. I am hoping this weekend to finally bull through a draft of the short story, which should wrap up my words for the first week nicely. Then there’s no more obstacles between me and noveling the rest of the month away!

How go your creative projects, Fearless Readers?

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Oct 15 2010

A Message Goes Out

Published by under callie

Upon awakening, Callie first reached under her pillow to ensure the metallic feather was still there.  She kept hold of it as she dressed, only securing it once she’d finished.  The more vibrant feather she had clipped at the base of her neck, where it was hidden under her shoulder-length hair.  That solution would only work for a short time, as a haircut was one of the necessary steps in the plan.  She dressed for the day.

She reacted before she consciously noticed the change.  As Callie exited into the main room, she tensed and felt her senses go on danger alert.  A quick scan of what she could see showed one significant alteration:  the door now had a mail slot.  She looked at it long enough to note its proportions and shape, then decided to search the rest of her space.  She didn’t exclude the bedroom simply because she’d been in it; it had long been obvious to her that there were unpredictable elements in this situation, so it mattered more how she reacted to them when they happened.  Thorough investigation had saved her life more than once.

It took several minutes to determine that there were no noticeable changes to the rest of her home that she could find, so it was time to return to the new opening in the door.  She was pleased that its color was just the right shade of gold to compliment the blue velvet curtains over the door’s viewing window.  Random chaos was so much easier to deal with if it came complimentary to the decor.

Callie retrieved a bamboo spoon from the utensil jar on the counter and approached the door.  The mail slot hadn’t changed since she’d sized it earlier.  It was the normal shape for the inside portion of such a device: a rectangular opening with rounded edges, wide enough for a large envelope or several fingers but appearing too narrow to fit an entire hand through.  She bent down and looked in; it seemed to be covered on the outer side by what one presumed to be a metal hinged flap, if the normal construction applied.  When careful visual examination detected no other features, she reached out with the spoon and pushed it into the slot.

Nothing happened other than a small clinking sound congruent with wood hitting metal.  Callie moved the spoon along the length of the opening, then extended it further inward to see if the outer covering moved.

It did.  The opening showed daylight on the other side, though she couldn’t see anything different in the small section of front walk and street that she could see through the gap.  It was a lower and narrower version of the already-familiar view through the door’s window.  She could smell the green of the outdoors as a gentle breeze found its way into the mail.  She had no urge to explore with her hands, but did relax enough to start thinking about other options as she inhaled deeply of the fresh air.

She moved to the kitchen and gave the spoon a quick wash and dry while she pondered.  She instinctively distrusted any change to her environment not under her control, especially one that seemed to benefit her with no forthcoming explanation.  It’s the sort of trap she’d think of creating.  However, she couldn’t deny that an opportunity to get a message out would drastically speed up her plans, and that advantage seemed worth the risk.  Hopefully awareness of the trap’s presence would be enough to signal her before it closed around her.

She mentally drafted the note before she wrote it, as she didn’t want spare copies lying around.  She selected a mottled beige sheet of paper and forest green ink, then glanced over at the nearly completed project on the dressform for any last-minute inspiration.  She wrote in a clean flowing script, and signed it with an embellished “C”.  She selected a matching envelope and wrote the recipient’s name on the outside, sealing it with a swipe of a dampened sponge for moisture.

Callie took another deep breath, bent down, then thrust the envelope through the slot as forcefully as she could, so her hands would spend the least amount of time in contact with it as possible.  The outside flap shut with a muted clang.  Callie stood up and peered through the curtain.  She could just see part of the envelope face up on the front walk if she looked down at an angle.

“For Z’Aria”

Satisfied, she turned toward breakfast, suddenly hungry.

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Oct 05 2010

The Sundress

Published by under callie

orange light-weight linen base

Callie awoke after a dreamless sleep just as determined as the previous evening to take action.  A new project always helped focus her thoughts, and this time was no exception.  After her recent adventures she had some ideas on the nature of her feathered nemesis, but if even half her guesses were correct, this promised to be one of her trickiest endeavors to date.  There was no room for substantial error, so everything had to planned quite carefully.  She began by examining all areas of assumption, looking for anything that could easily trip her up later.

silver thread

She discarded the first couple of obvious approaches, but her third idea was more promising.  Rather a shame to have to choose that, but if she bothered to get sentimentally attached to everyone she met, her career would be much harder. And really, she could have guessed from the first subconscious design choices who the final result would choose.  So, then.  With that decision settled, Callie gave it no further thought, trusting that her plans would present her the ideal opportunity when she needed it.

pleated shiny cotton inserts, canary yellow

Lunch was necessary protein for heavy brain work: several layers of rare roast beef and spicy mustard on rye, with cherry tomatoes arranged on a forest green plate, accompanied by a tannin-rich bitter merlot.  She licked a drop of the mustard off her finger, contemplating that bright accents would thematically enhance the whole of the piece.  As with art, so with life, though she could see a few different options for the latter and spent some time reflecting on approaches for each.

braided orange and silver shoulder straps

There were so many pieces to fit together that Callie had a rare moment or two of doubt.  The penalties for missing something seemed quite high.  She reviewed every inch of the plans, trimming and revising at length until she could find no flaws in the pattern.  She then spent time creating B and C versions with the sure knowledge that she was operating with incomplete information and every good plan allowed for unexpected adaptation.

She wasn’t quite sure if she could find the key again; she suspected it wasn’t in her home this time, as that would make the next steps far too easy.  She planned to do a thorough search after her creative session to confirm her suspicions; someone had to make a mistake at some point, and Callie preferred it not be herself.

one-inch electric purple lace skirt hem

As she added the finishing touches, she realized that the element of the strange permeating this whole business was one factor she couldn’t safely plan around.  Nor could she trust her life to the half-formed theories she’d derived from her recent experiences.  However, it wasn’t her life that was next on the line, if all went well — and something had to change.  Stasis was no longer an option.

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Oct 01 2010

Cancer Chronicles: State of the Writer

Energy and stamina are still coming back online from being almost dead and the subsequent recovery.  For your information, being almost dead is apparently really draining on the body’s resources.  Surgery also.  Combine the two and you’re looking at a minimum of several months of not-optimal functioning — and that’s if you’re healing rapidly!

As you can imagine, any major change in activity or health during this time will slow down recovery even more.  Since surgery, I’ve taken back over house management duties including meal supplying and prep; taken on full-time parenting duties, including two hours a day of chauffeuring; had several weeks of sinus drainage and subsequent nausea; and one or two other things I might discuss elsewhere that are nevertheless similarly physically draining.

Needless to say (but I will), the writing has suffered.  Surprisingly, I was actually managing to sustain regular writing and editing up until this month’s sinus/allergy attack (fuck you, autumn).  The past three weeks I’ve averaged maybe one or two writing sessions a week (mostly blog entries, though the Callie ones definitely count for writing), and tons of reading research (back to the Crime Library and Wikipedia).  This is significantly down from 4-5 sessions a week plus research time, much of that non-blog writing.  Le sigh.

I’m obviously past another level on the path toward pro if I’m whining about ONLY getting 1-2 writing sessions plus research time a week like that’s slacking.  Which, for where my writing is at and needs to be, it IS slacking.  It’s good to remember where I’m at and where I’ve been, how doggedly I kept writing and editing up to a week before surgery, how quickly I was back to it afterward given my health levels (research from the first week out, writing from a month out).  And also remember how much I am daily pushing my body to the limits of what it can do, so that I can extend those limits, and how careful I must be to not over-extend past limits — there’s a very important difference between pushing and pushing over.  And one thing the cancer experience teaches even us incredibly stubborn over-achievers is how to discern the healthy side of that limit line.

I’m mostly past the sinus stuff.  My always awesome and excellent editor Mary Bass (message me if you need contact info for pro editing!) has given me edits for most of the stories I currently have finished (there might be a couple I haven’t dug up to send her yet somewhere).  This weekend I might even get some editing time in on updating a few.  I suspect over the next few months I’ll ramp up and wrap up a few large outstanding projects as well as meet my “stories out circulating” goals.

And then I’ll take a month off to just read.  Read for fun, what a shocking idea!

After that it’ll be time to start the second novel.  Which already has half-a-dozen people eagerly awaiting it.  That’s a nice feeling.

Staying alive is definitely worth the journey, but only if you fill your life with as much love and creativity as you can fit in.

3 responses so far

Sep 30 2010

Interlude: Collections

Published by under callie

It’s a tired stereotype that one is always supposed to have a trophy collection.  I’ve never been all that fond of tradition for tradition’s sake.  Any reasonably aware individual knows that a trophy can never substitute for the real thing.  At best, it is talismanic, a way to evoke the sensations from memory of a cherished event.  At worst, it’s easy pattern recognition for anyone else perusing your shelves — one of the quickest ways to lose your collection entirely.

My mother taught me to sew quite early on.  The sensory delight from the textures, the color variations, the sounds of shears through cloth and the humming rhythm of the machine entranced me.  I made all my own outfits, of course, but I also made connections in what I learned from sewing and design that seemed to apply to the larger world around me in fascinating ways.  Perhaps it’s that way for anyone coming into the first flush of a natural talent, newly trained.

Fashion design was an obvious career choice for me.  By then I’d already figured out another benefit:  I can have my trophies and wear them, too.  Every seam, every stitch, every choice of fabric or pattern or color can synaesthetically recall as minute a remembered moment as I wish.  It’s a secret code with no cypher but my own experiences.

I get a smile every time a stranger approaches me in public with compliments for my latest creation.  My ritual of completion might vary with each project, but the first time I wear a commemorative outfit — if I let it, the rush would be quite overwhelming.  And unlike other collections I’ve heard about, my memories can return full-force with as simple a movement as a caress of a precisely placed pleat.

At the end of my day, outfit carefully hung in its place among my collection, I might grab armfuls of cloth and bury my face in the mass of fabric.  I breathe deeply of the darkness hidden within silk and linen, and sleep peacefully.

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