September 03, 2013

That Girl Ruby

"So this is it?" he asked, somewhat stiffly, "third time, and no cigar?"

Venus shook her head. Her gorgeous hair flowed easily over her shoulders, as if it was enjoying this moment.

He nodded shortly. He had always hoped this wouldn't happen. It was familiar, unfortunately. The desolation of sudden, unfortunate denial.

It'd happened before, of course. It was a time loop. He couldn't escape it, apparently.

Venus had cruelly seduced him with utterly innocent loveliness without remorse or understanding. She was blind to my struggle, but of course she had her own. Poor mortals such as our hero queried for her hand day after day, day and night, spring, summer, winter, and fall. Her sad struggle is not included here, but will be told another time.

Venus. Naturally it wasn't her real name; naturally she wouldn't permit him that deep. He couldn't think of any better way to describe her, though. He didn't know how to be more in love than he was with her. Over and over and over and over. Each time felt simultaneously as much real and infinitely more real than the time before.

He was stuck.

Our hero's name shall be Swishkin. He had had his heart broken too many times to remember his own name, so his heart's pieces, over and over, time and time again, tried to regain identity, meaning, fullness.

They did not.

The shards of his heart cut carelessly through his calloused feet, but they would not bleed, of course; they were too tired.

The smell of death crept upon Swishkin.

Let me describe it to you. I have smelt death, I believe, and this is what it was like; death smelt of dirt, and the dryness of dust; death smelt of blood, and the wetness of mud too; death smelt of the earth and its dirtiest dirt. Death made my tongue feel arid, like a long, long drought.

Swishkin died.
It was not the third time.


The sun was shining, and things were pretty good. There was snow on the ground, but it was slowly sinking into the ground, like that rock that makes a pothole but then up and leaves, like it's nothing.

Swishkin, who was back then known as Jack, had school to do. As anyone with a brain in their head would do, he had taken said school outside and parked it directly under a tree of unrealistic gorgeosity. Things were bright. And by bright, I mean it looked like the world had painted itself rather absurdly brightly. I guess perhaps I could just say the world took a really big dose of LSD and had minutes to live, but I'm not positive that's the effect LSD would even have on the world if intravenously fed to a human, let alone ingested by our dear Blue Dot.

Things had gone south, recently, but Jack was rapidly forgetting it. There was no reason to dwell on a past never bought or paid for, never taken or claimed. He had a future, real and true to see to. And most important in that future, naturally, was a figure, of course, whose visage and, in fact, entire appearance, simply made the world tone things down a bit for sheer awe. Or at least that's how Jack saw it.

Said figure wore a knee-length dress with slightly pinkish overall color. Jack hadn't risked staring at said dress long enough, or advanced near enough to know the exact pattern on it. He suspected there were pink birds involved, and perhaps fiendishly gorgeous hearts, as well. She fit the dress well. Her hair was blonde, because Jack couldn't find anything wrong with blonde hair. Or maybe Jack couldn't find anything wrong with blonde hair because she wore it upon her scalp.

Her name was fabulously, absolutely, undeniably important. It was Emma. Or Julia. Or maybe Joy, or Grace, or Fiona, or maybe it was Jasmine. Perhaps not.

No. Her name was none of those, but Jack had a hard time remembering it. He couldn't understand why, and it made him grow very sweaty, as he couldn't possibly address her without knowing her name. He'd been introduced at least twice, so he was socially contracted to remember her name, or have his head removed using a chainsaw.

Ruby. Her name was Ruby.

"Ruby!" He exclaimed half accidentally. He uttered it without half the thought it obviously required, for he made a right troll of a perfectly good name.

Ruby looked his way, and he instantly felt his internal organs melt like chocolate on the surface of the sun. It was at least as messy, to be honest. Jack couldn't figure out how to breathe anymore because his lungs were simply somewhere else.

"What's up, Jack?" Ruby said with such ridiculous ease.

It was as if her tongue had been doing this talking thing for more than ten seconds.
This was more than could be said of Jack's tongue at this point, as his only response was to gulp. Somehow, his organs seemed to be organized enough for that much.

Ruby giggled slightly, because she could.

It struck Jack that Ruby was better at giggling than anyone he'd ever met, and he wasn't just saying that because he was head over heels in love with her.

It also struck him that Ruby had been somewhat curiously smiling at him for what seemed like the last half decade. One should be shot for so wasting this fabulous thing's time.

Jack reassembled his vocal cords, and managed to get some operation out of his speech center, resulting in the following pitiful sentence: "I like your dress."

He thought about that sentence for a millisecond afterward, and felt very conflicted about it; on the one hand, it was true. He loved that dress. It looked great on her, and he wasn't really ashamed to say it. However, he'd almost never said anything like that to any girl ever before in his entire life.

It felt big and incredibly, terribly frightening.

"Oh, thanks," she said, smiling. She turned on her heel and disappeared into the fabulous brightness of the campus, denying it all its glory in lieu of hers.

Jack slumped like a rag doll and sat there, blind, deaf, and dumb for a good minute or two before regaining full consciousness and comprehension.

Jack would then have been as easily seduced by the most beautiful woman in the world as by a cockroach. That is to say, his heart was no longer in his hands, so he couldn't possibly use it for anything but Ruby. He lived and breathed at her will, he wilted or floundered, drowned or swum, flew or plummeted as she demanded. He could not but love her as she set his heart's bearing.

He was undulated by the unnecessity of any other affection.