My Locus Amoenus

Sanctuary

This is in response to the Daily Post’s Word Prompt for Sanctuary.

I haven’t been around much, I know. I apologize for this, sophisticators. Things have changed in two year’s time. I have much to say and not enough pairs of ears, or rather eyes in this case. Anyway, this post is to be dedicated to the daily prompt.

So you’ve probably heard about the Locus Amoenus, right? It’s Latin for ‘pleasant place’. In fact, it’s rather more of a landscape. Now, we all know how much I love the trees and nature (a lot), so with that in mind it does become my sanctuary, but in reality I do believe my Locus Amoenus is within me…or rather in my mind.

And sometimes when I don’t follow my own thoughts, I often hear chimes in the back of my mind…as if coinciding with the strains of an angel’s harp. A nocturne plays and I find myself swayed over the borderlines of reality, a vast inception that exists deep within my imagination.

I am untouchable there. You should be too.

 

 

 

 

A Superhuman Appraisal.

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This is in response to the Daily Prompt “Daring Do”.

I do think of myself as a superhero and just flying high, and doing all these crazy flips.

Gabby Douglas everyone, the Olympic athlete. Except I’m not a gymnast and it isn’t my day job to flip around with a real purpose. Sometimes I wonder just what the hell I was thinking when I decided to stick to books….

My save story:

So, there was a car, there was a girl and a backpack, I pulled the girl out of the way, went back for her backpack. I was young, so really the only version of this story to still exist in my head is the overly romanticized version where the car was fast like a train and, very unrealistically, wouldn’t stop for my friend who was skipping on the street.

That part didn’t matter though. You see sophisticators, when you save your best friend from an imminent accident, you become sort of great. You have this air of superhuman appeal. People notice you at school, talk about you on the school bus. Hell, even my (fourth grade) teacher heard about the story and asked me if it were true.

Of course it was true…save for the fact that her life was in actual danger. Too young to care, I told her yes and the class clapped for me. Since then, I was known as the mediator on the playground. Kids would come to me with their issues and ask for advice in return. And I’d help them like the good Samaritan I was.

I’m actually quite surprised looking back at it now that some good came from that. I helped a lot of kids with my new reputation, and it last all the way up until high school.

A Sophisticate…A Superhuman….

Nope, too corny.

Daring Do

The Day of All Days.

Peugeot Onxy, my love.

Peugeot Onxy, my love.

My goodness, the question of all questions has been asked. What would you do on your day off? Well, if it was truly a day off, I’ve a solid answer for it.

Sparkles.

I hate sparkles. The entirety of my dislike revolves around the notion that I hate sequins and feel that they are the tackiest thing a girl could put on. They are an abomination.

But back to the concept of still or sparkling. A still day would still shimmer with sparkles, for if it does not it’s not a true day off. That being said, in this relative sense, I’d need my day to sparkle.

Go figure, as if A Sophisticate would ever not be doing something. Viktor claims it’s a sickness. That I don’t know how to not think of things to do.

But when the world’s quite literally at her fingertips, then what’s a girl to do?

The day would begin with visiting a new spot. Anywhere in the world. France, Romania, England. The second would be making a friend in that new spot. I feel it a necessary tradition when visiting a new spot, as the memory would grow fonder in my mind.

Next: the ballet.

Afterwards, a classical concert. Did you know that I’ve only ever been to one classical concert in my life? I scarcely remember it at all as well, because I was too little.

Then I believe I’d attend a car show. I absolutely adore luxury vehicles. The one of choice right now is the new F-type Coupe.

Also, my favourite concept car is the Peugeot Onyx. Heather says I’m odd for daydreaming about cars. I always get distracted in the middle of a conversation because a sleek Maserati would slip by and I just gape, slack-jawed at it until she snaps her fingers and asks me what I’m looking at. It’s much comparable to a dog with a bone.

Anyway, back to the day of all days: reality.

If I had none of these things at my disposal (which, honestly, I don’t), I’d spend my day off in a decent bookstore and build a fort with my favourite books and climb inside and read Shakespeare aloud in different, animated voices.

Why, you dare ask?

It’s my day off. Don’t judge me.

Sparkling or Still

Bob the Barista.

Who is this man?

Who is this man?

There are certain people in my life that upon meeting I just think “You are something special.”. In some cases it’s attraction on a romantic level, but in most cases, it’s just plain interest. It can happen with anyone to be honest. I have it with people on the street that I only glance at for the briefest of moments. But this moment induces some sort of alertness in me, and I end up wondering about that person. I don’t wonder about a lot of people. I know people want to believe I do, but I don’t. I’d rather not think about you unless you choose to share whatever’s going on with your life to me properly. Otherwise…I tend to live in my mind by my own accord.

Bob the Barista is just plain interest. Bob the Barista has worked at the same Starbucks since what feels like forever now (perhaps longer than five years). I’m interested in him. Perhaps it’s because he’s acquired a hipster beard since before it became trendy or perhaps it’s because he’s worked there long enough to finally catch my eye. Either way, Bob exists in my mind and I’m not sure why.

Bob the Barista is a poet. Bob also has a real name, but I don’t care to know it. Once I nickname people it’s really hard for them to break out of that namesake. I number people too, but maybe that will come up another time. Bob is an art student. Bob has a girlfriend who sports a short bob, coincidentally. Bob is in his late-twenties and knows how I like my name spelt. Aside from that, Bob really knows nothing about me.

Or so I think. He’s almost always there for mine and Heather’s Starbucks dates and is always seen in the background wiping down tables or helping other customers. He can be compared to a extra in a sitcom. Just there for the movements in the background. But it wouldn’t exactly surprise me if he knew details about me because of it. We’re loud enough, and we visit often. At the very least Bob knows my name.

I wonder about Bob. I’m not so sure what poets do exactly. I figure they sit on windowsills and stare out into the rain with a pad and pen I suppose. Yeah, that seems…poetic. I know the rain puts me in one of those moods. Heather says I’m not allowed to strike up a conversation with him because she thinks “it’s wierd”. I don’t think she realizes how hard that is to refrain from that exactly, especially considering what I know about him. I just want to be able to walk into my favourite Starbucks and say “Hey Bob, what’s up?” And he’ll reply with something fitting and ask me if I want my usual.

I think every customer deserves that bond with their favourite barista.

Maybe then I’d use his real name. It’s hard to say. What gets me about this the most is that Bob doesn’t realize that there’s an interest in Bob. He probably just goes about his life attending poetry slams with his soccer mom girlfriend.

So here’s to the Starbucks barista who doesn’t realize he exists–Bob the Barista.

Who is Bob the Barista? And what kind of life does he live exactly?

Oil and Vinegar

Oil and water make nothing beautiful when put together. So, let’s make some salad dressing instead. Also water tends to be flat, unless infused with some berries or cucumbers or something of the sort, making it relatively unfitting for my life. There are no flat people in my life. I don’t keep bad company. One thing I pride myself on is knowing when to close doors.

You might’ve read If I stay by Gayle Forman. If not there’s a movie out now based on the book that is also worth while. In it the main character categorizes people quite smartly. There are two types of people in the world. People who drink real coffee and people who drink the sugary latte drinks. Heather is among the latter, and I’m the first.

So perhaps oil and vinegar don’t even fit.

She’s the person in my life who’s most unlike me. We argue over everything. She’s a cat person, I’m a dog person. She watches what she refers to as “TLC crap”(AKA reality television) and I watch shows based off history. She listens to pop music on the radio, I prefer the more obscure bands. Point is, we have a difference of opinion on basically everything.

She’s not a sophisticate, however.

So then how exactly are we friends? Gracie has this way of describing when two people can be around each other as “operating on the same wavelength”. I suppose that’s what we do. She knows me better than I know myself most times. We grew up with each other and both agree that modern art is a hoax.

Every week we set time apart to have what we call a “Starbucks Date”. Basically we just go get coffee, but to us it’s so much more. A breath of fresh air after a long week. She orders a sugary drink (I think she’s moved on to some raspberry refresher. Her staple is usually a chai tea latte), and I grab a tall Pike with nothing in it. We sit down at our spot and hours pass until we decide a long drive through the trees is a good way to end the hangout. Since she goes to school closer to where I used to live, she still lives with her parents in my old town. That means I only see her when I’m visiting on the weekends. Or unless I pull one of our ‘secret sleepovers’ which is what I’m doing tomorrow. Basically I come home and just hang around her place, not even letting my parents know I’m in town. It’s a good way to unwind and I do it every so often to recharge.

See what I mean when I say my life is something like a book? There are characters in my life. Events. Relationships. That’s one of the reasons I began A Sophisticate. Just seemed…odd that I had this story right in front of me and no one else could access it.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Oil, Meet Water

The Man in the Bookstore

This post is about the man in the bookstore.

It’s no secret that I love books. Lately, I’ve strayed from my usual reads to go back and explore what made me fall in love with reading. So I went to the first book that really made a change in me. I understood it in comic books for little boys, but I didn’t quite think I could ever capture the concept of…well, superheros. Batman to be more precise.

Somehow in my high school days I’d picked up a copy of the book Batman Begins by Dennis O’Neill. It is indeed the novelization of the movie. But I hadn’t seen the movie at the time either, and everything I knew about Batman (basically that he acquired a butler with a fanciful name and a sleek ride) was from cartoons that I’d flipped through as a little girl. Anyway, the book struck me for the simple reason that Bruce Wayne was human. And that he was selfless, for the most part.

It made me wonder. I do love it when things make me wonder. People usually don’t. Concepts and history do. I hold the story dear to me for that reason.

Anyway, a few days earlier I made a trip to the bookstore in search for a copy of this novel so that I could have it at my disposal for whenever I wanted to flip through it. That was when a man stopped me as I searched through the aisles.

Truthfully, I didn’t want to be bothered. Once I have an idea of what I want, I don’t appreciate interruptions.

I have this concept of a knight. Every girl does, in her own way. Mine’s because the knight is a reoccurring motif in my life, but that’s for another time.

Either way, I wasn’t the slightest bit fazed by him. He clearly didn’t carry any honour. He tried chatting me up, and in the beginning I allowed him to speak, thinking he’d wander off in a moment. He didn’t. He began to tell me about his impressive life, eyes growing wide when he explained he had a top-dollar job in the downtown core and a stable career ahead of him. As if to impress me. I couldn’t help but think this creep was going wife-shopping in a bookstore.

It irks me that people believe in marriage. Not that their love isn’t real. But rather that I don’t think I could love the same man for the rest of my life.

He scared me, but also annoyed me a little with his pompous tales.

So what did I do?

Naturally, I concocted a story about how horrible my life was. About how I wasn’t studying anything that was bound to get me a career and that I held no job title.

I watched the light slowly fade from his eyes. From interest to disgust. Now he felt about me the way I felt about him. He still asked for my number. Overkill, he was. I didn’t give him the right one. In truth though, I’d do the same. I’m not dazzled by a good status and five-year plans. What I really admire is people who aren’t bound by society’s constricts. And people who deviate from the norm.

He made me realize that about myself even more.

Honour, that’s not something you learn about in school.

And I still never found that copy….

It think that’s what irks me the most about this occurrence.

A Thousand Paper Cranes

I have paper cranes dangling from a string in my bedroom on a backdrop of fairy lights and an alice blue sky. It’s stagnant. The decorum in my place is again consistent with something right out of a novel. In fact, my whole life seems to be set in course that way.

I once read a book that moved me. It was called A Thousand Paper Cranes. I don’t care to read it again or search up the author’s name. It broke me, that’s why. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, I don’t prefer to dwell in the past like that. Anyway, it was about this little girl who had leukaemia and a best friend who prayed for her survival. It went something along the lines of this: the best friend knew about a tactic to cure her. A thousand paper cranes makes a wish. So, with this knowledge he gathered a thousand paper cranes and brought them to her hospital bed.

One wish.

She still died.

It’s an inherent tale about hope, but rather paradoxical in nature as it seemingly takes away all that ‘hope’. Anyway, I told Amelia about this book around the first time we met. She internalized these words in a way I never imagined. Her whole life is set around achieving goals, you see. So naturally, when she would achieve something, she made a paper crane. At one point her whole floor was littered with them and she’d tell me about her scholarly achievements in college and about how she would give one of them to someone she deemed worthy.

Knowing this, I knew I was going to receive one. And I did. In the mail. But I didn’t predict what happened next. We have this book, sort of a scrapbook of our friendship. It’s called The Legendary Book. People aren’t supposed to see it. It’s contents are filled with knowledge beyond our friendship. Thoughts, photos, sketches, journals. Mind you, she lives a country away now so we are forced to send it back and forth via mail, as if we live don’t exist in the digital age at all.

Time came and went. She stopped talking about the cranes. We stopped e-mailing. All means of communication at this point were shut down.

I had a birthday.

Two days after my birthday I received a large package in the mail and ripped it open to find The Legendary Book. I opened it up to find a plethora of paper cranes taped to the pages in varying shapes and sizes. Happy birthday, it read, make a wish.

I’m not sure about you, but I quite do believe in fate. I’m a rational person. And by that logic, and because she exists, I believe it to be true. It was fate that I met this wondrous girl and that she was able to understand me like none other. I only hope that the rest of the world find their Amelia, and are able to keep with her unlike me. Perhaps one day I’ll find a man to match her. I’d marry that man.

What are your thoughts on fate? Friendship across borders? I’d like to hear that I’m not the only one damning society (and the market) for a friend’s move. Comment below.