I’m a force to be reckoned with.  I’m a bright spot in a wasteland.  I’m a star that shines bright in the desert.  I am unsmoteable.

That’s how it begins every day.  I wake up with ideas brimming in my head, bad ideas mostly.  I tell myself that I will not waste this day, it’s very rare that I do honestly.  I understand that this day isn’t a given, it could end right then, it could be my last day.  I philosophize that this day is nothing, just a random point in time, time that’s bendable, time that’s mine to spend, like money.  I love how people automatically think about entitlement when it comes to personal possessions, but not when it’s about their own time.  I’m entitled to my time and this gives me the leisure to plan out my life the way I see fit.  I do not want to be part of a patina of lies.  I’m too much of an old soul to give a damn.

I, I can’t tell you how much I need you, because I do need you.  I don’t need you because of those other things though, I need you because I like you.  People don’t like people very often, and that is the bane of humanity.  The inclement traits evolution never really wiped out.  They don’t seem to wane either, they seem to be getting stronger even.  But what am I supposed to do about it?  Why do I feel like I need to bear the brunt of it?  I’m a good person I suppose, that’s how I know it.

I’m not going to pretend otherwise.  I feel good in my bones, despite the initial wretchedness that tormented my soul for a while.  That wretchedness was part of my senescence, at least the beginning of it.  I didn’t know how to live because I wasn’t raised for it.  I was raised to be like you, and I didn’t like it.  My soul was at loggerheads with my mind and my spirit weakened gradually.  But something happened, like it always does, to untether me from the frigid bonds of normalcy.  I don’t like being normal, normal is a burden, normal isn’t natural.

People are afraid of living because they are afraid of dying.  The endless streams of possibilities and coincidences do not appeal to them because the obverse scares them shitless.  I can only speak for those who aren’t afraid of living, because we’re the people who will never off ourselves when the tides turn and shit gets real.  We’re the people that find joy in the tiniest of things.  We’re the people who smile at beggars and pout at capitalists.  We’re the people that make love like we mean it.  We’re the people that find people objectively intriguing and we’re not afraid to get to know hordes of them.  In short, we’re kind of cool.




How To Cheat On Your Partner Effectively

You want to know right?  You’ve gone over it a few times, you came to the conclusion that your life might be more livable with a bit of spice and excitement.  You acquainted yourself with nihilism and you’ve come to embrace the Absurdist philosophy.  At the same time, you’re not really into your partner at the moment.  You want to feel like you’re in love without really being in love, you want to indulge in the seduction game and get out of it posthaste, you want to have a one-night stand without all the histrionics that would naturally ensue.  Here are 5 tips on how to cheat effectively…and get away with it.

1.Blend your shenanigans with your routine

Don’t go out of your way to make your partner feel special and loved.  Like don’t do it.  That will give it away.  Instead, merge your cheating bouts with your routine.  There’s a thing that’s coming up?  Well don’t go to that thing and plan ahead.  Your partner’s going to visit some relatives over the weekend?  Seize the opportunity, my friend.  Just go with the flow and if it gets kind of complicated, make up excuses that would seem natural.

So you’re horny on a Sunday afternoon but your boring boyfriend is lurking around your house.  What do you do?  You can’t just tell him you’re going shopping, he’s going to want to come along.  After all, it’s a Sunday afternoon.  What you could do instead (and it’s a genius advice), you could act prissy and stir up some shit that would make him not want to talk to you for a while.  ”I’m PMSing, just leave me alone okay.”

No one wants to hang around someone who’s moping.

I mean it would be easier to just break up with your partner but like, you know you can’t.  So follow these golden rules.

2. Use your stupid brain

Okay, this is like the most important advice in this section.  Know why you’re cheating.  Like sit down with a notepad and write it all down.  Aren’t you just wasting your time maneuvering behind their back when you could just dump them?  It depends on the context, of course, let’s say, if you’re married, it’s a pretty dumb move.  You’re putting everything on the line, son.  Married people ought to think it through more than anyone else, because divorce is expensive and married people tend to over-dramatize everything.  In that case, planning is everything.  Just like you plan your chores, your errands, you’ve gotta plan that booty call way ahead of time.  Just like leaving a reminder on the fridge for some boring shit would remind you of said shit, leave a mental note : ”Thursday, 2 p.m, fucking Karen for 3 hours, then need to pick kids up from their recital.”


3. Don’t get caught you idiot

Like, don’t fucking carry their underwear with you or write about how good the sex was on your stupid blog.  If you do that, you’re a grade A moron who oughtn’t be getting laid, lest you would pass on those grade A moron genes to your stupid kid.  Do not get caught.  Plan ahead.  If your partner brings up something out of the blue, feign outrage.  Outrage is literally the easiest thing to act out, all you need to do is gasp like a goldfish and slam a door shut.  That would get your partner thinking, ”Jesus what did I do.  I shouldn’t have done that.”  It’s also known as gaslighting, but you don’t care because you’re an asshole right.

This picture shows that cheating is fun so, don’t get caught.

4. Take a shower after fucking your side whore, you whore

You know how in movies, the first thing that gives it away is the perfume or the cheeky lipstick mark, well like, these movies are very prescient when it comes to the art of cheating.  Most people know what a dick or a pussy smells like, and if you’re going home after sucking dick, you’re most likely gonna bring that smell with you.  And if you’re gonna kiss your husband with that smell hanging all over you, well, you’re the kind of person Hitler would’ve euthanized.  I’m not even kidding.  Take a shower after you’ve done the deed, wash your sins and brush your teeth if you’ve gone down on your lover.

I don’t even know why this is even on the list, but not everyone is a good person I suppose.


5. Use email

Don’t text your side chick every 10 mins or so, if you’re gonna do that, you might as well get a divorce lawyer.  Be smart about cheating, use a disposable email that you would use to set up booty calls, hotel trips, dinners-cum-fuckfests, you name it.  In the end, it’s all about being careful about not being outed as a sex crazed fuckwit.  You have a reputation you know, you are a human being.  In our very conservative society, cheaters are akin to Satan’s stooges.  So be careful about your sinful activities and don’t let your dick tear your family apart.  That’s literally the stupidest thing ever.  Who cries over someone’s dick?

Which is why, you shouldn’t text them all the time.

Very Few Feelings Make It All The Way To Our Mouths

Very few feelings make it all the way to our mouths. Of those that do, few are the ones unstained by our thoughts. Sometimes they don’t even agree with each other. I guess it’s a good thing we have our thoughts to put them in order. Makes talking about them easier. There are some feelings though, that exist in a sort of limbo between thought and experience. Reaching them is a writer’s wet dream. Let alone getting them out. I would have more success with words retched from my intestines after swallowing gallons of ink. I wanted to yank them from the depth of my throat, to pull them out, one by one and assemble them into a nice neat exhibition.

I smiled the way I learned to. Pulling one corner of my lips back across my cheek. People attribute mischief to this smile. I’m just happy they are too busy thinking over it to try to understand the reason behind my smile.
“We will miss you, man!”
Hugs and kisses. Some tears, of course. A joke if possible.  Partings are hard to describe. I like them because of the sadness they emit. Even an outsider would feel the pain we find in leaving our friends. I like the sadness they emit because it makes you conscious of
the moment. Unless you are an inconsiderate prick, when you say goodbye to someone, you hardly think of anything else.

And at that instant, all the nice memories gone in the days arise with the magnitude of an orgasm. And suddenly all you want is go back, forget home and forget your duties, go back and extend your stay, make it last and make it count. Make it so that next time the adventure reaches its epilogue, you move on with the firm confidence of having done everything, of having drained the experience of all its fun.
Life should make you feel like a fat kid in a candy store, gleefully fated to excruciating pain.  I just wanted to be happy some more. Oh well. Duty calls.
“Your passport, sir.”
“Please check if you have any of the listed objects in your luggage.”
“Oh, darn it. I forgot my grenades.”

Sometimes, I wish time would stop. Or that it would slow down a little bit. I don’t want to be old yet. I have so much to do. Never swam with sharks. Never had sex in public. Haven’t done all the hard drugs yet. So many parties to attend and so many people to meet. Cool people. In cool places. And we would get drunk and talk and laugh and fuck and cuddle.
“Hello, sir. What will it be?”
“An espresso, please.”
“Right away. Anything else, sir?”
“Uh, yes. What is the WiFi of the airport please?”
“WiFi and password are on the receipt.”
“Ah, thanks.”

I wonder if there is a way to freeze the mind during moments of utmost elation. Like at the peak of an orgasm or in the midst of laughter. Perhaps by eating a lot of ice cream. Shitting gives pleasure too. There are more nerve endings in your butthole than anywhere else, they say. Anywhere else except the clitoris. I wish I had one. My own personal pleasure button. I would flick it on and off all day. It must feel nice.

I had this book I was reading. I didn’t know what it was about, it was just a book. It felt good to just hold it in my hands and let my eyes glide over the lines. It felt like the process of masturbating. Not the end goal but the process of it – a continuous stream of pleasure pouring over you and washing away all your worries and pains. If only masturbation could resolve real life issues in such a fashion; even priests would masturbate. Not that I think they don’t, they probably do but I wouldn’t if I were them.

Just knowing about the existence of such pleasure is tempting. So is the existence of all pleasures, really. Is it our fault though, that feeling good is so appealing?
My phone rang. I checked it. 1 unread email. I had more than 1 unread email, this one was just a new unread email.

It was a notification from one of the online magazines I was subscribed to. They all specialize in uplifting news – their way of making the world a better place, by just showing the good rather than focusing on the bad. I never opened their notification emails, I just want to receive them. As long as I do, I know something good is happening. Somewhere. And this makes me feel good.

I wish I was bad person, I wouldn’t have to worry about all of this. I would just wake up and do my thing and not worry about the world. I would swear at strangers and litter the streets. Would I be happier though? I imagine not. Being a meanie is just easier, but I don’t think it feels as good. Although feeling good when you’re not a meanie is quite a chore. How do I know that I’m not a meanie, though?

Would this mean that even bad people face similar conundrums and problems as me? Only at a different scale? Probably – I can hardly imagine a human being with no sense of introspection. Although many seem to be devoid of one.

I kept ‘reading’ my book. I was also drinking my coffee. And listening to music. Anything to dispense of the time I had between then and my flight. So I was enjoying it. I do this a lot. It makes me grow old comfortably. Not comfortably old, just ageing comfortably.
Isn’t this the dream of most people, in any case? To get rid of time in the least painful way possible?

Isn’t this even the whole point of retirement? Or vacation? Why lie to ourselves about it? I slack off because, ultimately, that is what everyone wants to do. Sure, to work before ensures more comfort but can I be vilified for finding a way to be comfortable at work?

I once knew a man, though, who did not know how to get rid of his time. So he just worked until he died. He was not happy about it. He wanted to rest but did not know what to do when resting. The idea of doing nothing was so absurd to him, so instead, he just worked. Until he died. I don’t want that.

My coffee was getting cold and with the dissipation of its warmth, so was my comfort fading. The music I was listening to arrived at an end and the disruption of my sensory distractions brought me back to reality. I was sitting in a café waiting for my flight. This made me aware of the lines I was reading, so it stopped being amusing.

I closed the book and lied down on the couch. I sighed. What could I do? I have to keep myself distracted. Although, being distracted from being distracted is distraction enough to me, staying like this will distract me from even that and then I would stop being comfortable. Will I, though? I have never not been distracted from my life, I always looked for it.

When thinking about it, I do not think I ever looked for distraction ever. It has always come to me in various forms. I’m surrounded by distraction. My phone being a major source of it. What would happen if I stopped being distracted? What would happen if we all stopped being distracted? Would we come up with new distractions? Probably. But we won’t

I think we are afraid of it. Between the end of all distractions and the discovery of new ones, there will be a distraction-free period and I think we are afraid of this tiny transitional gap. What would we think about during this gap? What would we tell each other? Perhaps that’s where all the introspection of the world would leak into the
real world. Perhaps we would like it. And refuse any more distractions into our lives. Perhaps keeping us distracted is a ploy to abstain ourselves from introspection. So we can stay distracted? Kinda makes sense considering the amount of money one can make by distracting others. This can’t be healthy to humans as a species.

Should I stop being distracted then? I could, but then what? We seem to be wired to be distracted. I would just think of new ways of being distracted…. as I am doing now? Am I distracted right now? And once again, I became aware of my surroundings. I was alone in a café waiting for my flight.

So, I was distracted, I thought to myself. I finished my coffee and put my book back in my backpack. Went to a smoking area and lit myself a cigarette.
Is this a distraction?

I thought once more about this man I knew once. He did not know how to rest so he just worked until he died. He did not rest. Ever. But he still ate and slept and smoked and shat. Were these his distractions? They sure are pleasurable so perhaps he indulged in pleasure despite not understanding it.

And I thought some more and remembered that he drank heavily. And smoked heavily. And cheated on his wife and beat his kids. So he knew pleasure. Or, at least, knew what it should be. He was not a happy man though. No amount of pleasure made him happy. And he worked a lot too, so no amount of work made him happy either. Now, isn’t this a nightmare of a life? To eat, to drink, to fuck, to sleep, to shit but to feel nothing. So he just distracted himself from that sad reality with work. Until he died.

Distraction should be an illusion, something you do to occupy your free time. Well, for him, distraction was what he did to avoid free time. I don’t want that.
But what about displeasure? Not being happy implies more than just the lack of happiness. Perhaps boredom. Perhaps sadness. I hope sadness, because then the lack of sadness would be, relatively speaking, happiness. Boredom is simply emptiness. And that’s scary.

A girl across the smoking area was checking me out. She was cute and I smiled at her. I finished my cigarette and went to the bathroom. The espresso was asking for permission to vacate my bladder and the pleasure was mine. Literally. Pissing is pleasurable.

I once masturbated by simply firmly caressing my urethra. Some men surgically cut their penis on its length for that very reason. It exposes more nerves for stimulation. Makes pissing and fucking a messy business too. But more pleasure to them. I don’t think I’ll ever do that. It would make my wee wee ugly. Plus they probably expose themselves to all sorts of nasty infections. But still, more pleasure to them, so I guess it’s justified. Or is it?

Modifying your body for pleasure implies some sort of dissatisfaction. And what if you are so used to dissatisfaction that the body modification does not satisfy you either. Out of – I don’t know – some kind of perceived curse of eternal dissatisfaction. I’m satisfied. I consider myself lucky in that measure; bodily features bestowed upon me at birth satisfy me and this leaves me free to be anxious about other things. Ah, we are indeed anxious creatures. If it’s not health, it’s work, if not work, whatever.

Perhaps that’s what makes bad people bad, the lack of anxiety. To swear at strangers and litter the environment does indeed reflect a certain carelessness toward the world. The absence of anxiety about, what are to me, mundane worries surely provides me with the freedom to – HA!  I think I’ll take a break. I decided to go on a walk.
There was a duty-free shop and they were selling all sorts of products. It doesn’t matter what, all products have the same functions-to assault our minds. I thought I might look for the ultimate weapon of mind destruction and indulge in it for a while. I’m taking a break after all. So I asked for a porn magazine.

They didn’t have porn magazines. Also, they probably think I’m a pervert, now. I wish I was a bad person, I would swear at them and I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore. But now, I feel shame. I wanted to reassure them that I’m not a perv by buying a kid’s magazine instead but they might have misinterpreted this as well, so I settled for a home deco magazine. The girl on the cover was pretty and I thought I might look for other eye candies in it. It was full of it.  The worse instances were the ads. I’m so lucky I’m a man.

How is this any better than porn? It was practically the same thing. Except with tips on how to nail tiles in between. Also the women were clothed but it was still fap material.
I leafed through it for a little bit and then lost interest.

So I went to buy a yogurt. I still had the taste of cigarette in my mouth. I bought the yogurt that looked the most unhealthy. The yogurt played me so well. And that damn magazine too. And I thought I was the one in control. After the yogurt, I was bored. Too exhausted to focus my attention on anything. I sat there looking at people walking
by. A lot of pretty women. Perhaps the magazine was really just trying to enact how it is in real. Or perhaps the real was trying to enact how it is in the magazine. If the latter is true, then reality is scary.

It was almost time for me to board my plane. I moved to the gate, sat on a bench and kept on watching. I was still bored.  Too exhausted to focus my attention on anything.  On anything but the time left for my flight. Perhaps, that this is what boredom entails. A consciousness of time for what it is, a resource to be dispensed.

I remembered that man again. Perhaps he knew. And perhaps that is why he worked so hard, all the time. It was in anticipation of what he knew was to come. The End of the time he had. He could not make anything out of it so he distracted himself. With work. He couldn’t rest because it felt like waiting for the End to come.
What did it change in the end? His experience? He sure didn’t like it. So what was it all about, then?
The light turned green and it was time for me to board my plane.
Well, at least I had fun waiting.

Why Dunkirk Is The Best Movie Of 2017

The sea, the land, the air-three vantage points that tell the same story.  Nolan’s Dunkirk is different from his body of work, which has comprised of, among other things- a bungling space drama, a psychological dead-end and a saccharine sci-fi- because it’s not contrived, for lack of a better word.  It’s simple yet majestic, it transcribes the fate of young men in the throes of war and doesn’t try to overstate the urgency.  The thrill is visceral and the visuals are such a treat that they do not really conjure up comparisons with other movies.  It’s sort of like Gravity, a lodestar that shines, as it truly stands out among reams of other war dramas.

The word drama itself doesn’t do it justice because Dunkirk isn’t the kind of movie you’d want to pigeonhole.  Sure it’s a war movie, but so far as war movies go, it’s a totally different breed.  War itself isn’t the theme, survival is.  The human spirit is thrust in the midst of total chaos and emerges victorious and in between scenes of unimaginable horrors, we’re shown glimpses of altruism and camaraderie.  Much like life itself, Dunkirk snakes rhythmically toward a cathartic ending, with moments of trivial goodness balancing out the grotesque.

Dunkirk shows us why dialogue is overrated.  I, for one, abhor verbose soliloquies that ironically tend to remind people that the character is actually acting.  With limited dialogue and scenes replete with mental intensity to compensate, Dunkirk is much like a voyage, a voyage through time, through the lens of young men and hardened men alike, whose struggles, deaths and survivals have shaped the world as we know it today.

#JusticeForBlacky…What Justice?

A thought occurred to me as I was driving along the bustling streets of Rose Hill.  The cops were everywhere, walking around surveying hawkers, looking for some ti dimoun who might have committed a petty infraction, scrutinizing parking areas and handing out tickets willy-nilly.  What a horror show, I thought.  If only they would use their energy to keep our streets actually safe, to protect our children and our citizens from lunatics.  But, insofar as their training is concerned, it just doesn’t allow them the freedom to exercise the powers of their own conscience.  Or maybe, they’ve been advised against it, because let’s face it, police everywhere act as a proxy for the ruling party, not the rule of law.

When Blacky’s tragic story was circulating on Facebook, I couldn’t have been more crestfallen.  There it was, an innocent dog, whose severed limbs and nearly disfigured head commanded attention more than anything on social media, not just for its sheer brutality, but for that grisly juxtaposition; an innocent soul that’s been wounded beyond words.  Unspeakable.  Appalling.  The reactions varied, but almost everyone concurred that the perpetrator ought to face a harsh and swift comeuppance.  That is, a very unlikely fate.  It remains to be seen what change the government will bring about to ensure the safety of our animals, because as of today, the maximum sentencing for brutality against animals is 6 months max.  Yes, you can kill an animal and get out in 6 months.  But if you smoke weed, you’re looking at 5 years.  What a paradise, I must say.

The violence isn’t unusual, especially when it comes to animals.  The evolution of our collective intelligence never really included introspection and empathy, or rather, they might be ill-defined.  Discourse on social justice and progressive ideals is limited, which is why, people do not get to access ideas that might reinforce their belief in humankind.  Stratification exists among the class groups, species, families, religions, you name it.  The word ‘Mauricianisme’ is lobbed around by hypocrites who want to sell this image of a pristine island accessible to all, but they willingly ignore the social issues; the bane of our society.

Nikhil Aumeer, the callous piece of excrement who tortured Blacky and killed Dipsy, is not a rare type of psychopath, especially when we analyze the kind of environment that spawns soulless creatures like himself.  His history of criminal convictions includes attempted murder and yet he remained at large, terrorizing his family and neighbors, in spite of the charges levied against him.  Violence begets violence, and violence is the norm in many parts of this island.  Whether it’s communal violence, domestic violence or drug-fueled violence, it’s rarely tackled because our judicial system is as weak as it could possibly get.  You’d think that it should be the first thing to fix on the government’s agenda, but maybe a society hamstrung by its ills, is more easily wooed.

It goes without saying that progress will not be achieved unless we all stick together, stick to ideals rather than petty tribalism and figure out where we’re headed as a society.  We’re after all a fledgling democracy, our colonial past is still looming behind us and our principles are as jumbled as they could be.  But we must not kid ourselves, justice is a rare treat in this type of paradise and many have their own stories to tell to corroborate this statement.  If mob justice prevails, then maybe we have a chance.  But, mob justice doesn’t bode well for a democracy, a strong judicial does.

So what are our MPs waiting for?

Why Daenerys Targaryen Sucks

When I was reading the books, I would always find myself skipping the Daenerys chapters because they would bore me to death.  I was always on the edge of irksomeness while trying to understand this insipid character’s motives and intentions through her POVs. The fact that she is feted as the most genuine character in the series goes to show how narrow the general consensus is on morality.  Because she is anything but moral, because despite having plot armor, Daenerys rarely ever surprises us.

Her journey is a poignant one indeed, but so is everyone else’s.  To compartmentalize all her obvious flaws and her misguided ambition is tantamount to ignoring Cersei’s general psychopathy and elevating her superior guile. Here are some reasons why Daenerys’s Mary Sue character is anything but nuanced.

1. She fashions herself as a morally superior conqueror despite having no claim to the throne

It seems like everyone has forgotten about the demise of House Targaryen and how Robert Baratheon became the Usurper. In a nutshell, The Dragon Queen’s claim to the throne is pretty weak, no matter how dominant her family line had been in the past. Swayed by her brother Viserys’s exulting accounts of Westeros, she has fixated on the idea that Westeros is hers to rule, even though she has no prior recollection of what life in Westeros is like.

Basically, an overzealous opportunist with no political salvo in Westeros wants to establish herself as the ruler of all these people whose experiences are likely to be foreign to her. Bestowed with dragons and the ability to be fire resistant, the Dragon Queen has lured in faithful sympathizers and coaxed former slaves into joining her service. Feigning to embrace a system of equality, she still wants to rule over them!

At least Cersei is honest about her intentions and her contempt for her subjects.

2. Being a rape-victim isn’t a free pass to power

I mean, it’s really laudable that Daenerys overcame adversity with poise and stolidity but in the end, she was only able to do so through her conniving schemes. Daenerys used her charm and her sexuality to gain full control over Khal Drogo and got him to act as her proxy within the Khalasar. When Khal Drogo doused Viserys with boiling liquid gold, she was unmoved and undeterred. Ironically, the same madness that was manifested in Viserys’s power hungry fantasies, affects her to a certain degree. (Mad Queen confirmed?)

Although vengeance is something everyone aspires to in the series, watching your own brother get murdered in such an inhuman display shouldn’t be disregarded on the grounds that he was mean to her from time to time.

3. Ultimately, they only follow her because they fear her

Daenerys’s slew of conquests began in the East, where she took umbrage at the prevalence of slavery and decided to put an end to it. How she achieved it is quite unnerving to say the least.  In attempting to free the slaves, she burned and destroyed cities, hanged slavers and nobles alike and seized power in a very Bolshevik way. The Breaker of Chains also decided to leave the cities she’d conquered on a whim, disrupting the chain of command which gave way to anarchy.

She’s certainly not a good ruler, she cannot maneuver her way to power like Cersei does and she lacks honor because she has aligned herself with the Dothraki, a swarm of rapists and plunderers. She wields power over her allies because they’ve seen her emerge unscathed from a flame. Without her gimmicks, she loses all the glory.

4. In the books, hearing about her father’s atrocities doesn’t really leave a mark on her

The most obvious reason why she comes across as a sociopathic prodigy is the way she reacts to her father’s purported pyromaniac tendencies. When Barristan Selmy broached the subject, she was aghast at the notion that her father had to be forcibly removed from power. In the later chapters, she exhibits such a disdain for the Usurper that it’s pretty evident she condones her insane father’s deeds.

In the series, we’re finally beginning to see her maniacal shenanigans unravel as the fight for the throne is becoming more contentious. Sentencing Randyll Tarly and his son Dickon to be burned alive by her dragon, is a continuation of the Targaryens’ inclination for abject cruelty. If this doesn’t dissuade the ‘YASS Queen’ crowd from clinging to the belief that she’s the rightful ruler Westerosis deserve, well that explains why people like Mao and Stalin always had a tight following.

An Impetuous Woman

Nancy Jones.  It had been five years since we’d last heard from her.  She was as pretty as she was damaged and we all tried to look out for her.  In vain.  Nancy was the cynosure of all eyes, her auburn hair was always disheveled and her dimples lit her face up every time she smiled.  But she always carried an air of elegance, too mature for someone her age.  She sought them out too, the mature types, so enamored by the nostalgia, a nostalgia that was never hers to savor.  Nancy wanted so badly to be different, to have her own story to tell, to the extent that she would shove all our worries and remarks aside and embark on her own odyssey of life.  On her own terms.

Five years had elapsed since her blood was found strewn across a mobster’s living room.  They didn’t find her body.  It was in August and throughout the rest of that year, the doom hung like an anvil over our heads.  We clung to the vague hope that she was still around because we could feel her undying presence in our hearts.  But that was years ago and nothing came out of our dreams and hopes.  Nancy was forgotten, only remembered in the In Memoriam section of newspapers.  Only kept alive through our memories of her.  Only mentioned when sharing her frivolous anecdotes, her disappearance rarely ever brought up.

When she died, the cops rummaged through all her belongings and all of it ended up in the Evidence Section of the local bureau.  The only things they’d left behind were some of her clothes and possessions that weren’t deemed crucial to the case.  Her parents had all of those items shipped to a local storage facility and just like that, all proof of her existence had vanished.  Then… the digital card saw the light.  I received a call from Miriam, who couldn’t hold her breath, and I only understood half of what she was saying.  We met at a coffee shop.

Miriam and I had last spoken at our high school graduation.  We went our separate ways, although we preserved the bonds of sisterhood that once included Nancy as well.  Miriam and I had vowed to keep her alive in our hearts.  We had been a close-knit circle and it was impossible to get over our shared memories, especially when death was involved.

Miriam looked glum, perched over her smartphone, when I approached her in the bustling coffee shop.  We shared an awkward hug before settling in our seats.  She looked like she was part of a major breakthrough and her excitement was almost infectious.

”So, what is it?  Why wouldn’t you tell me on the phone?”  A young attractive waiter appeared in front of us, eager to take our orders.  Miriam inched closer to me, lowering her voice almost to a whisper, her eyes ablaze with wonder.

”You remember how we were trying to get a hold of Nancy’s shit but no one would give us anything?  I just moved back to my parents’ house and I was going through my high school things when I found this diary that we all used to write into.  Do you remember it?”

”Paeans of Sluts.”  Nancy came up with the name.  Each one of us would get the diary for a week, to write mostly about boys.  While Miriam and I would be supine in the description of our wannabe relationships, Nancy’s entries were replete with the sort of schoolgirl erotica one would expect from the title.

”Yes well, I found a digital card in it, almost by coincidence!  I went through it and it was Nancy’s secret stash of R rated pictures if you will.”

”Jesus Miriam.  She’s dead!  Why are you going through her nudes?”

”They never found her body!  It was her and that old guy she was madly in love with.  The one she met at the hotel.”

”What was his name again?  They had broken up months before her death.”  Miriam was getting visibly upset at the mention of the word ”death.”

”Ray something.  She told us they’d broken up because we were trying to get her to ditch him.  But those pictures I found, they were taken in July, that’s one month before she disappeared.”

”So she was seeing that guy on the sly.  Jesus it’s been 5 years.  We’re 23 now, adults.  She’s gone and I think it’s time to move on.  If the cops couldn’t find a thing, I don’t think two Sloane rangers are going to.”

”Okay but look at those pictures,” she said, almost shoving her smartphone into my face.  The images were vivid, Nancy exuding her famed natural beauty, with Ray by her side.  They looked content, worry-free.  Another picture, cigarette dangling from her plush lips, Ray hugging her from behind.  Absolute bliss.  Another one, Nancy naked in someone’s bed.  Lower belly tattoo, Ray.  Something clicked.

”Miri, when did she get that tattoo?  She never told us about it.”

”That’s the thing, she kept a lot of things from us.  Just look at those pictures.  It’s not the Nancy we would hang around with at the mall.  I mean sure, she was a little precocious.  But in these pictures, she looks like she was married to the guy.  And she looks kind of mature as well, for an 18 year old.”

Almost every image was the two of them, looking blissfully in love.  And yet Nancy had sworn that she had left him prior to starting school.  She had met him on holiday, and she’d been smitten from day one.  He was a tall, stocky man, whose age she would never reveal.  But we could guess he was way older, at least older than 35.  Nancy loved it.  She loved the thrill that he afforded her, she thought everything was cool to a certain degree.  Then, everything moved past that line.  She gained notoriety.

”The last time we spoke, she called at 2 in the morning.  It was 2 days before her disappearance.  She was telling me how excited she was to go shopping with us and how she didn’t want to go to college because she found fulfillment in other things.  She sounded a little tipsy.”

”Yeah you told me that.  When we last spoke, she sounded sad, almost contrite.  I did feel something was eating her up.  Nancy could be such a positive person but she never knew how to face adversity.”  It was an understatement.  Nancy never knew adversity before she met Ray.

”Do you think she enjoyed all the stuff she was doing?  I mean, even now I cannot fathom enjoying those things.”

”You mean like the cocaine, the sex and all that crap?  We knew Nancy since she was like 11.  Of course she enjoyed it, she was born for it.  She wore that lifestyle like a badge of honor.”  Miriam had always lived vicariously through Nancy.  She eulogized this lifestyle while I maintained a safe distance.

”But do you remember that time she was so wasted and she was telling us how Ray would do her…pretty violently?”  Miriam doubled over with laughter.

”Of course!  That’s why she was with him I suppose.”

”Miri, I have to be somewhere, send me those pictures via email.”  I stood up, ready to leave when I caught a glimpse of Miriam’s expression.  While she had remained upbeat throughout our conversation, she suddenly looked dour.

”What is it?”

”I can’t send you the pictures via email for the same reason why I couldn’t really speak on the phone.  About the details.”

”And why is that?”

”Ray gave me that SD card.  He says she’s alive and she will try to reach out.”

”What the fuck?”  Miriam leapt to her feet, shushing me.

”Calm down!  She’s out there and she will come back.  But not before Ray gets this thing done…”