Day 4 and a Slumber Citizen Excerpt

Day 4 = 1,619
Total so far = 6, 478

I’ve added many pages to my novella/novelette in progress, Slumber Citizens. I’ve also written some poetry, handwritten dozens of pages of ideas, etc. This through stacks of papers to grade (still stacked to a degree) therefore grading, teaching, prepping, eating, (among many other essential things), and today feeling miserable as I don’t feel well (but who’s complaining.) No one’s making me do this crazy thing, of writing at least 1600/day. So far, I’ve maintained by goal, although I know it’s only day 4. However, it’s already feeling like routine, and it helped that I already made sure to write something every day, even if 1 line. Writing 5 or more pages a day feels like quite a feat, but I also love hand writing, so that it feels therapeutic. Here is an excerpt from Slumber Citizens that I came up with today:

Slumber Citizen 1 approaches her friend with a locket in her hand. “Take a look at this antique locket – it doesn’t have a chain, and the loop has been broken off, but it’s beautiful, isn’t it?” The locket is golden colored, oval shaped, with an array of vines flowering outward from the center. Behind the vines, a paper background is visible as if something has been placed inside. She clicks the locket open and inlaid on both sides of the locket are two tiny pictures, one of a baby and the other a little girl with crooked pigtails. “I can’t tell if this is the same child, can you?” Citizen 3 peers closely at the two little photos, which have been glued in. As with most babies, you can’t tell whether this is a boy or girl. The baby is neither smiling nor crying, its tongue slightly sticking out. It appears to have rosacea on its cheeks. The little girl on the opposite side doesn’t. Her ivory skin is completely smooth. That doesn’t tell me anything, Citizen 3 thinks to herself, because most babies outgrow these kinds of skin conditions. The little girl’s eyes are wide and she is neither smiling nor laughing, though it looks she’s attempting a grin. “It’s probably the same kid,” she answers, handing the locket back to her friend. Citizen 1 looks again, and it occurs to her that there is no way of telling for sure whether these two people on display in this locket are the same person. Maybe they are related, brother and sister, or sister and sister. She tends toward thinking they are the same person, as most people look completely different than the way they did as a baby. “I was a fat baby,” she says aloud. “You’d never guess looking at me now.” Citizen 3 considers this remark and thinks back to her own baby pictures. “I was just an average baby, like I am now.” They both giggle as Citizen 1 walks back toward the lockets, still holding the locket close to her face and staring at the photos. The tiny heads remind her of Borges’ head. Today she is her core self, even though it’s the weekend. And a shadow of Borges lingers in that inner, ruminative self. The young Borges looked quite different from the old one. For one thing, the young one’s hair was darker and fuller, and the eyes wider and darker. The eyes of the older Borges seem to have shrunk, but with a more steady gaze. Still, the young Borges and the old Borges contained the same core person, and the same body though appearing different at different times. They both carried all in one. Bumpy red cheeks on baby girl, smooth ivory skin on big girl. I was a fat baby. Look at me now. If these two people can be the same person, so can I. Borges knew. He knew. He was a slumber citizen.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tyrone
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 13:58:18

    I like this excerpt a lot. It made me think I was reading something from Orwell’s 1984 that was cross-polinated with Borges. Good work!


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