Drabble 58 – Sylvisonance

There are some idioms I just can’t quite get a handle on. Since I was a kid, I’ve had a longstanding friendly argument with my grandpa about whether the phrase “have your cake and eat it too,” makes any kind of sense. It doesn’t. It firmly does not. What is the point of a cake if you’re not going to eat it? Apparently, the idiom has undergone some changes since it was first written all the way back in the 1500s, but I maintain that it’s a silly phrase and I want nothing to do with it.

Similarly, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” I get that it’s about not being able to see the big picture, but really, what is a forest without trees? If I can’t see the forest, I’m instead seeing a bunch of trees, which is, in fact, a forest. And even given the meaning, isn’t it important to consider the little details when talking about a larger idea, anyway? Not to say we should quibble away at the whys and hows when there’s action to be taken, but honestly, these idioms seem to cause more confusion than illumination, so what’s the point?

I’m being pedantic here and I recognize that. I’ll own it. But until these idioms are replaced by something that actually makes some kind of sense, I’m going to sit here and grit my teeth and think that maybe if we’d just eat the damn cake and look at the trees things might be a little better.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Continue reading


Drabble 57 – Ambedo

Something interesting I found while looking into this word–another fake word, whatever that means–is that ‘ambedo,’ originally a creation of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, took on a life of its own. The original definition is as follows:

Noun. “a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela.”

Only, as I found when googling the word, people didn’t much like the vuvuzela bit at the end. Sure, vuvuzelas became a symbol of annoyance during the World Cup (I’m not sure why I know this, I’m not a sports person in the slightest), but it seems that people found the reference so annoying that they needed to delete it from the original text and add an extra ‘d.’

Which, like, this is a rant I’ve had about a thousand times before–maybe not here, specifically, but certainly elsewhere, at length, and with great passion. There’s some kind of weird connection between melancholy and intelligence and adulthood. True adults are sad. Truly intelligent people are unhappy. There is no maturity without grimdark.

Eff that. If a vuvuzela breaks you out of the haunting fragility of life, good. We can appreciate how precious everything is, how a single moment can contain an incredible amount of beauty, and we can laugh at a silly joke if we want. It’s amazing, the span of emotions humans are capable of holding. I get the desire to preserve the sanctity of a deep moment, but also, it’s fine to laugh and be silly and remember that not everything has to be deadly serious.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Continue reading


Drabble 56 – Gloaming


The last week has been hard.

There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been expressed elsewhere, more eloquently, by other people. All I can say is what I’ve already said: use every day of your life to fight racism, homophobia, and transphobia. Use whatever power you have to stop the world from being taken over by fear and hatemongers.

Let the people you love know that you love them. Let them know loudly and often that they are appreciated, that you care, that you’re listening, that you’ll do whatever it takes to make a world where they’re safe.

I write because it’s one of the few ways I feel adequate at expressing myself. I write drabbles because they’re small and because I work too much and because I need to remind myself that I can. This one is small too, but I hope it says something anyway.

Continue reading


Drabble 55 – Capnomancy

I was always a pretty good kid. Aside from some precocious misbehavior (escaping from my crib, getting my head stuck in a dresser, replying ‘peep’ to my mother’s warning that she didn’t want to hear another peep out of me, and so on), I mostly spent my time reading, writing, or having misadventures in the back yard. I’m what you might call boring, even now–my vices are candy, buying books, and biting the side of my mouth.

But I come from a family of smokers. I’ve never actually smoked before, in part because nobody has ever offered me a cigarette (I think that goody-two-shoes aura just oozes off of me), and in part because I once got picked on for smelling like cigarette smoke. It’s just not appealing to me, even aesthetically.

The weird thing is that I dream about smoking. I sometimes crave cigarettes when I’m stressed out, despite never actually having smoked. There’s probably some kind of psychological explanation for that, but I don’t yet know what it is.

Smoking is bad for you, yes, but there’s still something intriguing about a character that smokes. Chalk it up to one of my favorite genres being noir (and occult noir at that), but I’m still that goody-two-shoes girl who can’t help but fixate on how interesting smoking is, how a character who’s a smoker is somehow different than the version of themselves that doesn’t smoke.

Sorry, DARE instructors and Truth campaigns.

I’ll be on vacation next week, which means no drabble. So here’s one for this week, only mildly autobiographical.

Continue reading