Little indulgences can be forgiven, even if one’s stomach ends in aches. Pampering oneself is not a crime, after all. Each spark is to be stoked into brightness, even if it takes one’s own initiative. Wonders are what fuels them, transforms them into flames.
Wonders, the stuff of dreams. Dreams coming true – well, that is the specialty of artists. To bring the works of the mind to the canvas of the world. Anyone can be an artist, as I like to say. Everyone should.
In some ways, I would call it a crime to not indulge. To deny that which makes us us. A single decision can stand between regret and content.
In a similar way, I would call it a crime not to help the indulgence of others. To douse the flames instead of stoking them. To put a lock on want and gulp the key. It can be monstrous, to be denied.
It is my hope there can one day be fires within all of us.
Art of London
House of Troubles, Part V
by Tuesday Next
Eli was surprised to discover that the high from spending time with a friend that didn’t see him as the Madgod hadn’t worn off by the time he got back to The House of Troubles’ RV, which was parked in a tiny lot near the club. The lot was silent, only the RV and a few other cars standing up from the dark ground. If Eli had to guess, at least two-thirds of his bandmates would be in there, depending on whether Barron had met someone interesting. Either way, he didn’t hear anything as he approached it, so whoever was there was most likely sleeping, which suited him just fine. He had a phone call to make.
Eli leaned up against the side of the RV, staring at his phone. His sister’s contact entry stared back at him, a stupid selfie they’d taken together not long after The House of Troubles’ first show. She had painted a small butterfly on her cheek, a miniature of the face-covering one that had become his trademark. Once someone had asked him why he chose a butterfly motif and whether it fit the ‘Madgod’ image. He’d answered that being the Madgod was all about chaos, and what could be more chaotic than a creature that completely transforms itself? It wasn’t the best answer, but it had been less embarrassing than the truth—his mother had loved butterflies. She had taken her children to a butterfly garden once, and Eli would always remember seeing a massive cloud of the insects, their wings fluttering as they flew around. His butterfly had transformed into a memory of her death after he’d seen it on her killer’s shirt, but maybe now it would transform once again.
Eli took a deep breath, then hit the call button. As the phone began to ring, he realized too late that it was either too late or too early in the morning for her to be awake, but hopefully he could at least leave a voicemail. He leaned harder against the side of the RV, his legs jellylike and held up only by adrenaline until finally, he heard a voice on the other end of the line.
“Hey, Marina, it’s me. Shit, did I wake you up? Sorry. Anyway, I ran into Martin after my show tonight…”
News of Art, Art of News
Et in Arbor Ego – A Walk Through The City of Roses
Arbor, the city of marvels, the city of roses, built on and by and within dreams.
Last year, the Envoy from Arbor had visited our fair London. They appointed an Ambassador to this city of Rosers, and allowed a few to pass through its magnificent streets. Recently, one of our very own Gazette’s reporters had such same privilege; a visit to the city of Arbor.
The currency of Arbor, as it had been revealed, is Attar. Rose powder made of dreams, congealed at one’s eyes at the sight of the city’s marvels. Only those who truly see the wonders of Arbor can gain Attar, and with it, they may proceed to even more astonishing sights.
Foreword, a concern. We at the Gazette would like to express bewilderment, if not outright worry and outrage. It is a law in Arbor that the artists must be kept in cages. Cages! It is a disgrace, surely, a prohibition of art. Arbor is a city of labour, though no wonders as such could be built without the artistic spirit. Indeed, we propose that even the most common of craftsmen can be an artist! Fashion, architecture, even common carpentry are all to be used for art. It is our hope that this will not stand between us and Arbor in further relations. Nonetheless, without further ado.
First, Near Arbor. A place for craft – labourers, merchants. At the gatehouse there is a market. Each stall is filled with amusements and joyous knick-knacks. Our own editor left with a deck of tarot, each card a masterpiece on its own. The inhabitants – the Near Arbori – do not seem to notice these wonders. They do not have enough imagination, enough wonder, so the reasoning goes, to accrue much Attar.
Second, Far Arbor. This is the true place of dreams. Towers in incredulous heights, buildings of impossible architecture, palaces littering the streets and the skies. The inhabitants, the Far Arbori, don gowns with trains that gather crushed petals as they move. The Near Arbori cannot see the wonders of Far Arbor, for they are lacking in Attar. The city is guarded by walls, and surrounded by jungles.
Within Arbor, beyond the Attar, there are rumours of another city. Grander, more beautiful. The envoys do not want to speak of this place.
Such was the experience of ours within the dreams of Arbor. London’s Ambassador has requested entry for citizens of London, at least for visits. Though the opportunity is rare, it exists. Seize it, London, may it reveal itself to you.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose,
Oh, how many times more?
As fools learn.