my bus route

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My bus route is so nice

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rip me, 2016

cause of death: this poor boy who-deserved-so-much-better’s tragic backstory

You know, three weeks ago (one week after Araceli disappeared) i told my mom “She’s dead. Probably since she went missing”. And she said “You don’t know that. She could have run away with that boy”

Except I knew. Because they never “run away”. Never. But there’s always that question, accusation?. “But she had a habit of disappearing for several days” they said.

There’s never talk about that knee jerk fear my mom and i get every time either of us is late. The sadness i feel when i see the posters, her parents and friends praying for her. The involuntary fear defeat (realization of what had happened. Againwhen i saw the news vans in my usual bus route to college.

‘Isn’t sad that “no hope” is the only thing you’re capable of feeling at this point?’ i thought to myself when i spoke those words to my mother. I used to think they could come home after all. That maybe their loved ones would see them safe and sound once more.

Not anymore. 

Not until they (they know who they are) do more for the women that are not here anymore. The ones that saw others go missing before. The ones that are still here. The ones to come.

They keep doing nothing but be “deeply sadden for their families”.

How am i supposed to feel then? That the only thing they have to say about this (this being a femicide a day in april alone) is “there’s nothing to be done”.

Day 11 - When Things Don’t Go According to Plan (Don’t Worry, It’s a Good Thing!)

You know those days where you plan a plan, and plan to stick to the plan because you have stuff to do, and need an excellent plan of attack to get it done in a short space of time?

(Also, how many times can I get the word ‘plan’ into one sentence?)

Yeah, that’s how today was supposed to go. After yesterday’s excellent trip I got my butt into gear and booked the first leg of my Stray bus route (Paihia, Cape Reinga and back) leaving tomorrow, with the intention of spending the rest of the day leisurely washing my clothes and repacking my rucksack in preparation. 

As you might be able to tell from the title, that’s not quite how today went.

I get to the laundry room, overstuffed bag in hand, and who should I find chilling on the sofa? (Note to self - when I get my own house in the future, invest in a sofa for the utility room!) Jess from Day 7 - you might remember when we last saw her, running down Queen Street with me singing songs at the top of our lungs! Ah, memories…

Turns out she’s just as lovely sober as she is mildly tipsy, and we while away our laundry time by chatting and trying Vegemite on toast (although how I made it this far into my New Zealand journey without tasting Vegemite is beyond me! Sorry to any Marmite nay-sayers reading this, but I’m very much on the ‘Love It’ train and vegemite is pretty much the same thing, just more salty and less liquid-y). 

During our chatting we come to the general consensus that we both need new clothes - being a serial mis-judger of weather I of course expected Auckland to be hotter than it actually is, and therefore had packed ONE JUMPER to last me the ENTIRE YEAR - and so once our clothes were as clean and dry as hostel equipment was going to let them be we headed down to Cotton On.

Lesson 11 - Hostel washing machines and tumble dryers are like doing a group project with the class nerd… you can pretty much guarantee that only one of them is going to do the job properly!

Now at this point I wasn’t too worried about deviating from the Plan, as it was still pretty early in the day and I was convinced that packing shouldn’t take too long. Plus I was really enjoying spending time with Jess. 

I still wasn’t too worried when we decided to head to the Sunshine Bar on Level 6 of the hostel for a cheeky early afternoon drink.

And by the time we were several drinks and a share platter of wedges in (note to all, if you ever find yourself in Sunshine Bar in Auckland, order the wedges with cheese, bacon and dips, they are incredible) I was too buzzed to care. In fact, by that point we were too interested in trying to track down a piercing parlour that would still be open at 6pm on a Sunday in order to get our noses pierced!

What’s the strangest thing you and your friends have ever decided to do/get done when drunk?

Luckily for us no where was open, so we settled for grabbing a bottle of wine and testing out our excellent singing and guitar playing skills on some new friends we made that evening, including Jess’s roommate Louise, a lovely girl called Yara, and a very understanding guy who Jess was supposed to be going out with that evening (see, my plans weren’t the only ones that deviated!)

And yes, there is video footage…

In fact, such an excellent time was had by all (apart from maybe the people in the rooms next to us) that we decided 1am would be a great time to go to bed (aka when the people in the rooms next to us decided it was past time we went to bed… sorry!) The worry only then decided to descend when I found that my key card wouldn’t let me back into my room. Thank goodness my roommates didn’t seem too angry at me banging on the door to be let in, but as an act of contrition I decided that packing my bags could be left until tomorrow, so as to not disturb them any more.

Let’s see how well that plan goes, shall we?





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anecdote #1 In the 90’s a truck full of tropical Quaker Parrots was en route to the Bronx Zoo. As the story goes, it took a nose dive on Hutchinson River Pkwy and released it’s captives into the New York air. Nobody expected the little green babies to survive, but they battled the harsh winter and flocks of them still live in the stadium pole lights of the Bronx today.

anecdote #2 There’s a sign off the side of the John F. Kennedy bridge that I’d pass on my bus route from the city back to Throgs Neck. I always found it rather eerie. Those neon red letters up against the evening sky with its unwanted yet prime advertising space. somethin spooky.

Made this little project in six evenings for a class.

Okay so I saw a gif set of Usagi seeing everyone going about their normal lives in the R episode and being so happy they’re doing okay

and I was thinking- what if the other Senshi’s memories had stayed lost and Usagi had to go it on her own for a very long time.

Like, Usagi is SO INSISTENT on these girls being able to live normal lives. She is TERRIFIED of the thought of seeing them die again. So she would do her utmost to keep going on her own. 

I think Usagi would make an effort to keep a distance from them at first, not even wanting to interact with them as a civilian because she’s afraid of triggering the memories and also it’s too hard (and occasionally painful) for her to keep track of what they no longer remember- but she wouldn’t be able to help herself with Ami after a while. Ami, all alone and friendless, only ever studying, all the other kids constantly gossiping about her. The pain shows on Ami’s face. Usagi wouldn’t be able to take it, so she’d just sit beside Ami at lunch one day and rekindle the friendship. She’d be messing up and constantly referencing memories Ami doesn’t have any more and freaking out, but Ami would put that down to her being silly.

Mako, it’s possible it would be the same for Usagi- she wouldn’t be able to handle Mako being on her own. I think she’d be able to hold out longer than with Ami, because Mako seems so tough and able to take it, but eventually she wouldn’t be able to stand Mako eating her cute lunch all by herself and she’d drag Ami over and they’d talk to her. It’s also possible Mako might end up saving Usagi from bullies, a ball coming in her direction, a car, whatever, and that would be their opening.

Rei would be a harder re-connection because they don’t go to the same school, but I can see Usagi having to go to the shrine for some reason. Or maybe Ami says “hey wanna check out this hot girl on my bus route” and Usagi’s like “HELL YEAH” and SHIT IT’S REI, AMI DOESN’T REMEMBER HER. (It can be canon in the 90’s anime too!)  It will be really hard for Usagi to be friends with a Rei that doesn’t remember her. She’ll want to slip into their bickering and forget that Rei doesn’t remember how close they are.

 On the other hand, Rei might adjust quicker to Usagi now that she’s slightly more mature and Usagi will understand how Rei works from the beginning rather than it being bumpy, so maybe that will balance out. 

This will also be a Usagi constantly on the brink of exhaustion (we’ll get to that) so that will intrigue Rei, the fact that this girl is working herself to death over something- if there’s anything Rei admires, it’s work ethic. And maybe some protective instincts (that she doesn’t understand why she has) will be awakened by that and make her want to be with Usagi more.

Usagi runs into Minako at the arcade. Minako’s weirdly drawn to the Sailor V game, so she comes over when Usagi’s playing it and gives her tips (aka tells her loudly how she’s doing it wrong) and Usagi can’t bring herself to brush Minako off, so they end up striking up a comradery.

Now I’m going to take this to DRAMALAND, because I want to-

But meanwhile, Usagi’s facing all the new threats on her own. That isn’t the greatest setup for Usagi, who functions best in a team environment, but she’d be determined. Every day seeing her friends able to be normal, intact, safe, would strengthen her resolve not to involve them. Every night when she dreams of their deaths again would strengthen it. She’d be determined to get stronger, to fight alone, for their sake.

But there’s another complication here- Usagi’s psychological issues/trauma from what happened mean her powers aren’t working great either. Like it did in early R, her tiara might stop working. And this time, she doesn’t have her friends to motivate her to do a power-up.

Presumably Moonlight Knight would be there to help too, but let’s face it, as her only back up he’s not gonna be much help- literally he’s a figment of Mamoru’s imagination, he might end up vanishing early on if captured or something and Usagi’s on her own.

However, I think Usagi would still be able to get through that, with something else to motivate her- the VOTW, Moonlight Knight, Luna, or Artemis being threatened- and her powers would kick back in. But it’s not going to be enough to level her up, and especially not permanently- she’s in too much despair without having her friend’s fighting with her. Usagi fights best when she has people with her, when she has the feeling of people having her back, when she has the motivation of friends she needs to help and protect- Usagi gets her strength from her friends. Without them, she’s not doing well.

Her powers will basically come and go, fading out until she’s on the brink of death or someone is threatened really badly and then kicking back in again. Which means Usagi’s going to only barely survive every fight and she’s going to be in bad shape afterwards.

She’ll be coming the school with really noticable (and sometimes serious) injuries that she’ll excuse as a result of her clumsiness. There’s no way her friends won’t notice of course, there’s no way the girls won’t notice she’s struggling. But for this one thing in her life alone, Usagi will keep her mouth shut. Usagi will deflect, Usagi will lie as best Usagi can (badly) and Usagi will put on a cheerful face so hard, she’ll smile at all costs, do everything so as not to make them worry. But they will worry. 

Mako will worry as sees Usagi stumbling on her walk to school with a sprained ankle. She’ll insist on piggybacking Usagi to school and despair as Usagi answers her interrogation with obvious lies. She’ll stick by Usagi’s side every second, be cooking her things constantly, applying all the first aid she can- trying so hard to protect and heal her, but she can’t protect her from whatever she’s doing to herself.

Ami will worry when she sees Usagi sleeping through lunch- LUNCH of all things!-and fret at Usagi’s strained laugh when she’s woken up, fret as Usagi eats her food with a lot less enthusiasm than she used to. Ami will find herself practically doing Usagi’s homework, something she’d never do in any other circumstances, but it’s all she can do to help Usagi here. 

Rei will get increasingly angrier at each new injury, each sign Usagi is struggling, each pathetic lie Usagi tells. She’ll be screaming at Usagi for much deeper reasons than she usually does, she’ll be on the verge of tears, for the first time in her life, Rei will be frustrated at someone for refusing to ask for help, for trying to deal with things on her own (Rei will not see the irony.) 

Minako will not be direct about it, unlike Rei, She’ll try to trick Usagi into telling. She’ll be constantly trying to unravel Usagi, get her to spill. Surprise attacks, all the time, and she’s flabbergasted Usagi can stubbornly evade them. This girl can’t outmaneuver a tortoise about most things, but she’s outmaneuvering Minako on this?

Luna and Artemis are BEGGING, PLEADING, for her to let them awaken the others again. But Usagi is so stubborn about this. She even tells Luna she’ll never forgive her if she does. Usagi throws back all the things Luna ever nagged her about in her face. “You said I needed to take responsibility. You said I needed to figure out how to make it on my own. Well, I’m doing it”. Luna is beside herself. Luna never wanted Usagi to take responsibility for things like this.

  But Usagi won’t give in, she would never willingly have her friends go back to this life, especially now that it’s become nothing but pain and horror to her.  She comforts herself with the thought of how proud of her they’d be, especially Rei. She comforts herself with seeing the peace on their faces.

Provided Luna doesn’t crack first (and let’s say she doesn’t) (if she does, Usagi was totally bluffing about not forgiving her, obviously, like Usagi could ever not forgive someone), it would all come to an end when the girls decide together they’re going to follow Usagi until they find out what’s going on with her, stick to her like glue- she tries to lose them, but can’t. 

Whether they see her transform or not, they see Sailor Moon fighting, they see Sailor Moon fall to the ground, exhausted, injured, near death, and they rush in and protect her as civilians, attacking the monster. Partial memories unlock in their heads. Luna comes and unlocks everything. The girls finish the monster, they take Usagi home, they feed her and hug her and give her first aid, and they tell her they’re proud but also tell her NEVER DO IT AGAIN. They’re going to be there for her whether she likes it or not, it’s their destiny, and she has to accept it.

Fun story times

So pretty much there’s this big old story about a huge asshole which I have been meaning to tell for a while. I wanted to tell it properly, and here it is. It’s long, so don’t read it if you don’t want to waste a tonne of time hearing my rants, but I think it’s finally time for me to speak up, and I’m kind of glad I chose to do this.

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