My goal in life is to try to practice being present on a daily basis. I think, as people, our consciousness is spread out. We analyse the past, we worry about the future, and it’s all fueled by fear and pain and all these negative things. Even when it’s good it’s not going to be good in a minute. Then you’re chasing it again. It’s all rooted in time and I think my big ambition is to really practice the ability to quiet my brain a little and just learn how to enjoy the moment.
The key to love, my father told me, was to never love someone more than they love you. So when, after dating for five months, Christopher Moore was the first to say “I Love You”, I thought I had hit the “Love Jackpot”. I say this because, prior to him saying it at that very moment, I had never given thought to the possibility that I could love him in return. Standing in front of my apartment building, nervous and excited, facing him and his smile, I questioned whether love was the word to describe what I was feeling. High school love, after all, is quite trivial with it’s ins and outs. Nevertheless after weighing the theoretical pros and cons of love, I decided that I was in love, at least in some respects. He was handsome, smart, sweet, and I enjoyed his company. This is what I believed love boiled down to; four factors. Honesty, clearly, was something I overlooked. About a year and 7 months into our blissful love affair, after graduation had passed and we had spent the summer taking all the cliché couple pictures, Chris decided that he “just couldn’t go on lying to me anymore. “Jenine” he told me “this guilt is eating me alive!”. I imagine there wasn’t much of him left, as it had been “eating away at him” for 6 months. This is when I learned that there is no “key” to love; no guide, no tips, no 101 course, because love is lived and learned; never taught. Try as you may, to forgo the pain of love, you’ll find joy in knowing that it’s survive-able and moreover, sometimes the good outweighs the bad. No, Chris wasn’t the love of my life, but he gave life to my ability to love.
“Never” my father said “let love override your faculty of reason.” Easier said, than done. My next love was Jeremy Bishop. Before you ask, of course there were others between Chris and Jeremy. But this is a story about love; not “almost loves”,“semi loves”, and “could’ve beens”. Jeremy’s love was the worst kind of love. The kind that doesn’t have a reason to exist but somehow it does and you’re glad. Its sole purpose is to debilitate your mind, forcing you to follow only your emotions. While Jeremy was dreamy, I learned that the man of your dreams can sometimes be the root of your nightmares.
I met Jeremy my junior year at _________ University. It was a Sunday and I had been studying in the library for an anthropology midterm and decided that I would take a break. Putting my highlighter down & flexing my hand I stood up & headed towards the bathroom. As I walked through the stacks, passing my hand across the rows of books I’d never read, my friend Denise spotted me and waved me over. Walking swiftly I made my way to the table she was stationed it & gathered that she had been studying all day as all. Splayed papers, open textbooks, two highlighters, & her laptop with several window open screamed “cram session” to me. After having sat & talked for some time about school & it’s “scammagry”, I noticed that someone had taken a seat at the end of the table. You know those typical movies where two people look up at the same time & smile coyly at one another? Well that’s what happened with us…….minus the smiling. When Jeremy & I caught eyes it was more of an inquisitive stare down. I relented because who really stares at a stranger for lengths at a time? Apparently Jeremy does because every time I looked up he was looking at me or perhaps through me. Whatever the case was I asked Denise if she could “Excuse me for one second?” as I got up from my seat and sauntered over to Jeremy, running my fingernails along the wooden table that both separated and joined us.
He was brown skinned but it was a rich brown that I often found myself lost in. He had brown hair that was cut low to avoid maintenance & also to spite his mother who so much loved it longer. His eyes were almost black they were so dark, yet you never asked someone to hit the lights when staring into them. He had a slight dimple on the right side of face that only presented itself in the presence of his mother, its creator.
“I know you or something?” I said, to which he looked up & responded “No you don’t. But since you’re already here, I’m Jeremy. Nice to meet you….” he said moving his hand in that circular waiting motion “this is usually the part where you tell me your name”. He was sarcastic & forthcoming and I liked it. “This is usually the part when I’d say Jenine. My name is Jenine. Though I’m not sure it’s nice to meet you.” “Well Jenine, do you have HIST 256 on Mondays & Thursdays? I think that’s where I’ve seen you before.” “Well Jeremy, had I known you were a stalker I would’ve stayed at the other end of the table” “A stalker Jenine? Really? I think you’re mistaking my keen eye for details.” “I stand corrected then. I just had no idea I was noticeable to your "keen eye”, I said, making air quotes. He leaned in & said, “Maybe Jenine, just maybe there’s a lot of things you don’t know. I’d be happy to fill you in though. If you were ever free.” “Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me, Jeremy, that you’re asking me out.” “It seems that way, because it is that way. But enough with this, would you be interested in going out?” “I’ll contemplate it.”
A week later Jeremy picked me up in his beat up silver 2010 Toyota Corolla. Got out & offered to close the door for me not because he was a gentleman but because I literally couldn’t close it myself. He told me he wanted to show me his favorite place in all of Brooklyn. We drove for about 15 mins and parked in DUMBO; my favorite place. As we walked to the pier he barraged me with every menial question from favorite color to top five movies. I stopped his questioning because I realized I knew nothing about him. “What about you?” I said. “Tell me something I don’t know about you.” “I’m a Taurus. Now back to you.” “Your sign. You gave me the third degree and in return you tell me your astrological sign??” “I’m really not that interesting. I kind of just go with the flow nothing special really.” “I could say the same about myself but you don’t see me spewing monotonous facts about myself” “That’s just it though. You’re very interesting. I see you twice a week & you never look the same to me. Always a different hairstyle, new lipstick, different outfit. You keep me guessing & well…I like that.” “Different outfit…Did you expect me to have the same clothes on like a cartoon character?”
Jeremy took my clothes off the way he took down my walls; slowly & intently. I never felt exposed or vulnerable. It was easy with him & who doesn’t like easy? The first time we had sex he kissed every scar and stretch mark on my body while he whispered beautiful and for the first time I believed it. This is when I knew I loved him; this is when I knew he loved me. We fell into a routine & inevitably, that’s how we fell apart. We saw each other four-five times a week in between work, school & our respective friends. I’d meet him after work or he’d meet me after class, we’d get some food or I’d cook, we’d talk, then go back to his dorm room or my house & somewhere in between there we’d fuck once or twice & that would be that. Talk, Eat, Fuck, Repeat. This, I should inform you, was the foundation for our dismantling. Jeremy grew tired of our monotony, I suppose, & because of that he started talking to a female customer who had “just so happened” to frequent his job. In talking they “just so happened” to find they had “so much in common” & somehow Jeremy’s dick “just so happened” to be in her mouth when I walked into his dorm room to get the spare phone charger I left there just in case. “Oh Mahh Gahhhh” is what Celeste said with his dick slighty tucked to the left side of her mouth because it wouldn’t have been polite to pull it out all together; though I’m sure there was no God she could ever call her own. Startled yet surprisingly indifferent I found my charger in the first drawer of his night stand now decoratively arrayed with ripped condom wrappers and I closed the door behind me.
Walking out of the apartment I didn’t feel anything but when I reached the stairs it hit me and when Jeremy came running out of his room, pulling his boxers up I looked up at him from the top stair I was sitting on & hit him right in the groin. “Shit! Ahh! Damn, J! Come on!” he winced . “Come on?? Excuse me?!? You’re such a fucking dickhead. Like what the fuck?” “I know. I know. I’m sorry babe. You gotta believe me! I swear it’ll never happen again.” & that’s what I wanted to believe after all; that this was just a bump along our road; that we could get through this because we could get through anything. So when Jeremy crouched down in front of me, put his hand under my chin, looked me right in the eye and told me he was “so sorry”, that he “really loved me”, that he was “mad stupid for doing that” I believed him & gave us another chance because I wasn’t ready to admit failure.
Celeste Soto was the average full figured broad who just “couldn’t help” falling for other women’s boyfriends, husbands, fiancés, you name it. Walking back into his room, I found her putting her left shoe on with one hand on his desk for balance. “You gotta believe mama” she said “I didn’t know he even had a girl. You feel me? I wouldn’t have done anything with him. Thas crazy disrespectful. My bad.” as she adjusted her bra strap and pulled her hair into a messy bun. Turning slighty towards Jeremy, I looked at him as if to say “really?!? THIS was the best you could do??” and he lowered his head, and stared at this one spot on the carpet that he could never get out. Not only had Jeremy cheated but he chose the lowest of women to do it with. “First of all, I’m not one of your friends so I don’t know why you’re calling me "mama” & no I don’t “feel” you nor do I intend to. Get your shit and get out!“ When she was gone I searched the apartment for remnants of her presence, prior to that days visit. An earring, a hair tie, maybe a lip balm. I found nothing or maybe I wasn’t really looking.
For eight months straight Jeremy was on his BEST behavior. He’d let me know where he was at all times as to ensure that he wasn’t out cheating; send pictures as proof on some occasions. I have to admit, though I was secure in his whereabouts, I was also sure that this was not how healthy relationships works. Nevertheless I looked forward to each notification because afterall "once a cheater……"you know the rest. One night I went over to his place to cook dinner, partially to ensure he wouldn’t be feeding Celeste or any other girl his penis but also because this is what I missed most about us. I had become so preoccupied with deciding whether or not I could trust him that I wasn’t concerned with trying to make us seem normal. After dinner we were in his bed tearing at each other’s clothes & after switching positions five times he looked down at me & said "I can’t do this”. Looking back at him I said “it’s cool I wasn’t feeling it either honestly”. “Not this” he said falling to my side, facing the ceiling “I mean like this….us”. Somehow though I knew that was what he had meant. This ball of something akin to both fear & anger welled up in my throat & grew until finally all I could say was “oh”. One tear fell from my eye & couldn’t allow myself to shed another. “This whole time” he said getting up from the bed “I wasn’t with you because I wanted to be. I was with you because I didn’t want to let you down.” He was pacing back & front at the foot of the bed, lifting his hands to his head then retracting them, looking over at me occasionally for assurance of my understanding. So he continued "I couldn’t let your last image of me be somebody who betrayed you. I had to prove you wrong & that’s selfish. I’m sorry. I don’t want to be in a relationship I’m not fully committed to. It isn’t fair to either of us J & you can hate me but I’d rather you hate me for being honest.” “Is this a joke? Please tell me you’re kidding right now” I said, half laughing half crying. “Let me get this straight” I said, sitting upright in his bed, pulling my shirt over my head “You cheated…..You lied…..YOU fucked up….You begged for another chance!…and my stupid ass gave you one. I’m just so lost right now.” This is when I realized I never should have sat on those steps & cried. I should’ve ran out of that building like it was on fire because guys like him will always burn you.
Some nights I could still hear his footsteps pacing the floor & I’d wonder when in the hell it would be over. When I’d stop crying; when I’d realize I was better off without him. But there’s this moment & I know it sounds cliche but you just wake up & you feel different you feel like you can begin again. One morning I woke up and knew Jeremy would never have a hold on me the way he did before, but more importantly I didn’t want him to.
The thing about baggage is that you never realize how much of it you carry around. In fact you assume that more often than not you don’t carry any at all because you’re “over it” or you’ve “moved on”. You’ll find yourself compromising because you just want someone to call at night; that wants only you. “Trust me.” my mother said “There will be others and don’t think that you have to look for them or that you have to settle.” My mother had a way with words. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing but the fact remains that when she said those words to me I wished she had kept her opinion to herself. I would never settle…..or at least I didn’t think I would.
I knew I didn’t love Benjamin the first time he came inside me & I wished I had never come to his apartment, let alone into his room splayed with dirty laundry that he was “gonna get to”. More importantly I knew I couldn’t love Benjamin, not the way I wanted to at least, when he told me I’m just like my mother. This sounds stupid I know, but let me explain.
After a week of working overtime, my best friend Selene dragged me out of my apartment for a night of bar hopping. Upon walking into our third stop, Benjamin grabbed my hand & told me I was pretty. That was it. There was no drawn out conversation, no playing hard to get, it was very low stakes. I gave him my number & before I got to the next bar he had called & asked when he could see me again. “Tomorrow” I said.
The next evening Benjamin showed up at my apartment with no plan other than to show up. We decided to see a movie.
The movie we saw doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that we went to the movies. What matters is that after we left the movies, Benjamin grabbed both my hands & kissed me. When he stopped & I looked up at him he said “You taste like stale popcorn”. I thought “what the fuck?” & then he reminded me that we shared a popcorn. Our entirely relationship was like this; constant reminders of things I should have been aware of.
Ben was different from Jeremy because he never lied to me. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a good thing though. His honesty was one that I had to grow accustomed to. We had been dating for about two months, when I called him asking if he wanted to get dinner later & he simply replied “no”. No explanation, no rain check, no apology; he just hung up. Later he’d text me & say that we should get breakfast instead the next day because he liked being the first person I talked to in the morning. He never hid anything from me. Girls would text him, telling him how much they “missed him” how much “fun” they used to have & he’d show me his phone while laughing & ask what I thought he should say in his reply. It was almost inconceivable, how much he included me in his decisions when it came to other women. Co-workers would invite him out to dinner & drinks after work, over to their apartments, concerts & he would ask me, not if he could go (because he was going to do what he wanted regardless) or if I wanted to come with, but how I’d feel if he went it with them. We’d be waiting for our heart rates to drop back to normal after sex; our skin still dewy and tingling and he’d say “the last time was better” or “you faked it, but that’s cool” as he got up and ambled to the bathroom & I’d wonder if he had to be so honest with me all the time.
I woke up one day to him sitting at my kitchen table in just some sweatpants, signing a card. Next to him there was a huge bouquet of sunflowers. I walked over to him, fixing my bed hair into a bed bun & when I sat down he was startled. “I didn’t think you’d be up this early” he said & I looked over at the clock on microwave. “It’s after 11……does that even count as early?” I said. He looked up at me, then at the clock, then back at me & shrugged “I guess not”. I asked “Who’s the card for?” & as he sealed it, he handed to me & said “Happy Anniversary Sweetness” with no inflection. My face dropped to the floor, along with the card. “An anniversary?” I thought “have we really been dating a year? Maybe it’s like a six month anniversary? But that’s not even an anniversary!” After a few mental “Fuck!!”’s, I pulled myself together, awkwardly smiled as I picked up the card & opened it. It had been a year since I moved into my own place. In the card he wrote about how happy he was for me; that he knew how big of a deal it was for me to live on my own & he wanted me to know that it was just as important to him. I cried out of relief. He thought I was overwhelmed by his thoughtfulness, primarily because as I closed the card, hugged him, wiped my tears and sniffled into his neck, I whispered “Thank you. This means a lot.”. One year of independence; something I should have been aware of.
The first time he told me he loved me, I opened my mouth to respond & he placed his index finger on my parted lips. “Stop” he said. “Not everything I say deserves or should be met with a response Jenine. I love you. That’s it.” I of course flew into defense. “So I can’t say it back? I can’t love you in return? What kind of bullshit is that Ben? You can’t just say something like that & expect me not to say anything back.” “I never said you can’t say anything back. But think about it baby, I said I love you & your first instinct was to respond. You didn’t even really take the moment in. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t want you to love me back because I love you. I want you to love me because you actually love me.” I felt little, like a child, like I had been put in my place, handled, dealt with, but I wouldn’t let him know. “You’re such an asshole sometimes” I said “but that Benjamin, for your information, is why I love you. Because you’re only an asshole sometimes”.
There are two important things I remember from when I broke up with Ben:
1. It was raining.
2. He told me I should’ve ended us a long time ago.
I came back to the apartment from the gym. As I shook my umbrella walking through the door, Ben sauntered by in his usual attire, house sweats and no shirt, saying “You must love mopping.” in a condescending tone. I happily returned the tone saying “Definitely. I just love it! Can’t get enough.” as I rolled my eyes and the umbrella up, fastening it shut. I walked over to the kitchen & checked the fridge. All that was left was this chicken Parmesan “thing” I had attempted to make three days earlier & it looked like a big pile of mush at that point. I chucked it & decided that take out sounded good. I had a taste for some pad thai so the choice was easy. Picking up my phone & dialing the number I thought it might be a good idea to ask Ben what he wanted but I figured he’d eat whatever I ordered him. So I made the call, ordered Chicken Pad Thai and another peanut sauce dish with shrimp, and hung up. As soon as my phone had ended the call, Benjamin started an argument. “Why would you order food without asking me what I wanted?” he asked me walking out of the bedroom and I replied “I ordered food for us both. No need to say thank you”. He walked towards the window to look out but really it was all dramatics because our window looks directly at the alley behind our building that holds nothing but two dumpsters and a few forgotten cats. “Why would I say thank you to you for doing something I never asked you to do?” he said with his back turned to me “Sometimes” he scoffed, almost laughing, as he looked at the rain collect in the window sill. “Sometimes I don’t get you. Like after all this time you still do shit that irritates me and I wonder why the fuck I still want to lay next to you at night or wake up with you in the morning.” I was sitting on the sofa, absentmindedly playing with the tag on this pillow I bought two years before when he & I had just started dating. He told me the pattern on it reminded him of us; that the lines never intersected. They just changed direction. “Nobody is holding you here Ben. You can leave anytime you’d like.” I said as I picked up the remote & turned on the television.
Thirty-five minutes later I was annoyed that the food hadn’t arrived but also because Ben never left the window. He just stayed there staring at the rain while it sheeted down the window screen and when thunder roared he’d just sigh. “What could be taking this food so long? The place isn’t even that far.” I complained. “It’s the rain Jenine. Everything slows when it rains. People, cars, buses, trains, bikes, they all slow.” He paused “You also might want to factor in the idea that a bunch of people order take out on a night like this.” I answered back “I knew that!……why are you always telling me things as if I don’t know them? As if I’m not aware? It’s just annoying. You’re annoying.” Ben walked away from the window & towards the kitchen counter. He planted his two hands palm down on the counter, hoisted himself up to sit on it, looked at me & said “Maybe it’s not me that annoys you Jenine. Maybe you can’t admit that I’m ever fucking right! I can’t ever make a point without you saying “I knew that!”. If you knew it Jenine…..then why would you say half the shit you say or do half the shit you do.“ I paused the lifetime movie I had been somehow become invested in and pressed a metaphorical "play” on the scene that was unfolding in our living room. “I don’t know Ben. Maybe you’re right” I replied as I sat up, crossed my legs and interlaced my fingers over my knee. “Maybe I can’t handle the fact that you make valid points. Or perhaps it’s the fact that you can’t ever let me be wrong without making me look like a complete ass. You’re always so philosophical. "Oh thee "all knowing Ben!” Ohh he who knows more than anyone!“ I mocked. "It’s insulting. For someone who is just so wise you damn sure don’t know how to do your own fucking laundry, or wash a dish, or aim your penis directly into the bowl when you pee. Stop with the bullshit. We both have our faults.” My phone rang. The food was downstairs.
I threw on my worn out flip flops and shuffled down the 3 flights of stairs. Walking back into the apartment with food in hand, I saw that Ben had returned to the window. He walked over to the kitchen counter where I was standing, taking the food out of the brown paper bag & said “You said your ordered me food.” “I just ordered two things off the menu. I figured we’d just share.” I reasoned. “Right I get that but I don’t like peanuts. You know that. Don’t you? I’ve told you this. I’m sure I have as we’ve been together give or take I don’t know 2 & half years!” “Dammit! I whispered to myself. "I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking & I was hungry & I’m…..sorry. I’m just sorry.” “It’s fine” he said. “I should’ve just picked something up on the way home. It isn’t the first time you’ve done something like this. You’re like your mother in that way.” “Like my mother? All of this over some take out? Listen, good luck with dinner.” I said as I grabbed a plastic fork at the bottom of the bag & headed back to the sofa. “Yeah, like your mother.” he continued, following me. “You’re always complaining that she never listens to you; that you have to remind her of things you’ve already told her. Yet, here you are never listening to me. It’s not even about the apology. It’s that I just don’t think you’re really sorry at all.” he retorted. “Fair enough.” I said, putting my food down on the coffee table. “You wanna know what I’m really sorry about Ben? Huh? Fine. I’m sorry I moved in with you. I’m sorry I’ve been in this relationship for this long because we’ll never be good enough for one another. You know that right? We’re always going to be like this Ben.” I said, pointing at the pace between with both hands. “It’s never going to be enough that we love each other. There’s gotta be more to love than whatever the fuck we’re doing. I just don’t think this is healthy. I don’t think we’re growing here. Do you?”. “Now that J…that’s the most honest thing you’ve said to me. You’re always saying what you think I want to hear and that’s my problem with you. You never say what the hell you want because you think too much about it. We are growing, it’s just apart from one another.” He sighed, finally saying “Look, I’m tired.” as he walked exhaustedly back towards the bedroom, on an empty stomach & closed the door behind him. I couldn’t figure out if he meant he was tired of us, of the arguing, of never really getting back to how we were or if he was honestly tired.
I slept on the sofa & I use the term “slept” very lightly. What I really did was stare at the ceiling, trying to figure out if this was really it for Ben & I. If that was our last real conversation; if that even counted as a conversation. I planned out what I’d say in the morning after we’d both had time to think & reflect. I’d tell him I was sorry about going off & that it’s not that I don’t want to try to make it work but that I don’t even think trying is worth an actual try. I thought about it & felt like the whole relationship was a perpetual “try”. We’d just kept getting up, dusting each other off, & holding hands until we’d fall again thinking it didn’t matter because we’d fallen together. How many times do you have to fall before you realize that perhaps it isn’t the ground that’s tripping you up? That it might just be you. Do you have to scrape your knees a few times or fall flat on your face? How do you know when you’ve had enough?
I laid there falling in & out of sleep. I had this weird dream that I was baking a cake. I kept checking on it. Ben was there but he didn’t really say much. Finally I took it out of the oven & it was burnt around the edges. He shuffled over to the stovetop & looked at the cake with a somber face. “I told you it was done 10 minutes ago. You should’ve taken it out.” he said & I just stared at him blankly because he was right. I turned the pan over and the cake popped out. I let it cool, frosted it and cut a piece. Jeremy hunched over the counter top and watched me put the cake on a plate with confusion. “You’re just going to eat a burnt cake?” he questioned me. I had just taken my first bite and was going in for a second when I looked up at him and said “It still tastes good so what’s the difference?”. “The difference, Jenine, is that you know the whole cake doesn’t taste good. Only certain parts do. Why don’t you just throw it out and make another one?” he said walking over to the cake, lifting the plate up at different points and angles to get a good look at it. It was as though he was wondering how the frosting did anything but make the cake look even sadder. I licked the last bit of frosting off my fork and said “Because, burnt or not burnt, I still love cake.”
I woke up to a sliver of sunlight shining through the living room across the floor & stopping right at the front door. I sat up & checked the time. It was 7:06. I decided I’d go to the bedroom and get some real rest. I stood up & stumbled towards the bedroom. As soon as I reached the door, Ben was coming out of the room. He was dressed & had 2 bags with him not including the backpack he’d never leave the house without. All of the things I had planned on saying were forgotten. I could barely see straight, let alone gather the words I wanted to say. He looked at me then said “Sorry. Can I just get by?”. “Sure!” I blurted out as I moved to the left, almost jumping. He walked towards the front door & I asked “Umm can at least ask where you’re going?”. He stopped moving and turned, telling me “I thought about what you said J. About us not being enough for one another. I guess I just always thought it would work itself out. But I see what you mean. I don’t know the exact moment when you came to that conclusion, or maybe you decided it, but you should’ve ended us then instead of now. So I’m leaving. I guess I’ll pick up the rest of my stuff over the next couple of weeks.”. That’s it. He was gone. Whatever he had left, the “stuff” he mentioned, was never picked up. They were minuscule items really; a toothbrush, some body wash, a value pack of razors. Things that made you think of him, even though they were all replaceable. It didn’t take long for me to realize that much like the burnt cake, I still loved Ben.
First, I’m going to do a technical summary about the new season 2 poster, listing important details for you to understand, “the psychological analysis”.
Clarification: I am a qualified graphics designer.
The poster has a lot of details that are very important, and there are themes that are present throughout the design: For instance: There is a variation between gradients and lights - The objective: complexity vs minimalist.
Sense8’s Poster has a degraded background which is blue-white-grey and it also has warm and cold lighting. This lighting stands out in specific points, creating luminance & contrast.
Rule of Thirds: The poster is divided exactly in this way:
Here we can see six imaginary lines. These lines show us important details at the crossing points. Our brain sees the poster from left to right and from top to bottom.
First point (left up): Will’s face.
Second point (right down): Capheus’s body.
Third point (left up): Kala’s body.
Fourth point (right down): Building - This point doesn’t seem to matter
Instead, the lines make us to read the poster this way:
Vertical left line: Sun - Will - Titles
Vertical right line: Kalagang - Cities
Horizontal up line: Will (again) - Lito
Horizontal down line: Riley
Also, like I said, we read the poster from left-up to right-down. Like this:
It redirects our mind with the different directions of the character’s faces.
Sun looks towards the opposite side of our view: from right to left. Some asiatic countries read this way.
Wolfgang + Kala: Their direction is the opposite as Sun’s, and they are the only ones who are shown together in the same shot. This could be telling us that they will be going down the same road, like a journey together.
Will + Lito: Both of them are looking towards the front. This could be telling us that they are going to advance a lot when it comes to their individual plots & story lines.
Capheus: He is looking in the same direction as Sun, towards the left. Sincerely, I don’t like this because it looks as though he turns his back on Riley and Nomi. Capheus faces the opposite side, but not like Sun. You can tell that she is looking towards the front, but he is looking down, and he looks worried. I DON’T LIKE THIS.
But if I don’t like Capheus’ position, I hate Nomi’s. It is horrible. First, she doesn’t even fall on an important line. She is looking far right and it seems she is a bit isolated from the rest.
Psychological Sensory (Three blocks):
Orange: Serious and decisive looks towards a certain point represent a goal.
Purple: Lost and serious looks, with an open mouth - something to say perhaps?
Green: You can calm down. Relax - happiness.
Lastly, love in the Cluster:
Pink: They are distant. I don’t know if that’s a good sign or not (they always try to fool us or throw us off). I have the sensation that this is for a particular reason though. Maybe Riley and Will will be separated in a physical way this season. Also, I would like to put an emphasis on Will. He appears bigger, while Riley has more of her body in the poster. All of this equilibrates the couple.
Blue: Togetherness. The opposite to Blueski, who is an important part of the poster. Both are in different places and this separates them. But Kala+Wolfgang are together. Are they trying to telling us that Kalagang is going to be physically together this season? I want to believe that this is true, and my instincts tell me I am right - I’m crazy, sorry.
Other objects in the poster:
The buildings from each country tell us that they are united as a cluster, and that they are all connected through the same line.
“Sobreviviendo. Juntos” or “Survive. Together” is the definition of the season - The trailer says the same kind of message.
In big letters we have “SENSE8”, although it is in the corner of the poster, which grabs less attention - for me, this is an error - It would have been preferable in the upper corner. Until now I haven’t read the date - May 5th - because it is so small. This is a problem.
Lighting: This caught my attention. The poster has a warm stroke across it. Kalagang and Lito+Nomi are highlighted. This light is a way to create unity and bring attention to certain points.
It’s a very different poster if we compare it to the poster from season 1 - The 8 unrecognizable faces - But in this case, they show us the 8 sensates with a different attitude, unity… For me, the characters that are less prominent in the poster are Nomi and Capheus. Lito is in the center and he look like a boss - I like it - But the main point of the poster is Will, he is graphically tagged. Although our hearts say “Oh Kalagang, OMG!”, our brain says: “Why do you look so serious Will?”. There are a lot of conflicting moods coming from all 8 of them. Sun is a big point too - Look at her size - And all of this is in the trailer as well; Will and Sun are the point of attention while Kalagang is shown very little and the others are just there somehow.
For me the poster is beautiful, it’s beautifully composed - there are always some mistakes, especially through the eyes of another (it’s all perspective) - I think that they don’t tell us so much, but at the same time they tell us many things - just like the trailer. They gave us a basic idea of season without leaving us with much more than the obvious.
You felt the cold bursts of winter air escaping from the small crevice from under your window washing all over your bare skin. Scouring for some source of heat, you lazily began to reach for your blanket. As you moved your hand around, you were met with nothing but the thin layer of your flower-printed bed sheet. As another burst of cold air made contact with your bare arm, you rolled over to your side in hopes of finding the blanket, but to your avail, you just couldn’t seem to find it.
Now I have to open my eyes, you silently groaned to yourself.
As you struggled to completely open your eyes, you slowly ran your hand through the hair that was stuck to your face, pushing all of it backward. Your hand trailed down to meet a trail of dried of drool spanning from the edge of your lips to down towards your chin.
Great, you scoffed to yourself. You rubbed off the dried up saliva with the back of your hand, which quickly went to cover a silent yawn that managed to escape your lips. The other hand began rubbing circles around your eyes to wake yourself up. Once you were somewhat conscious and alert, you stood up and walked towards the window to close it. Despite your effort, the window wouldn’t seem to close all the way. Maybe it was because the window needed repair, or maybe it was because you’re just weak.
You mentally made yourself a note to start going to the gym more often.
You retrieved a cloth nearby and haphazardly began to stuff it under the gap from underneath the window to stop the heat from escaping your room. It wasn’t your best work. Could you have found a more efficient way to cover up the gap? Probably. But, it was in the middle of the night and there was only one thing on your mind, and that was to go back to sleep.
You returned to your bed, to resume your search for your blanket. You spread your hand around the mattress, like the blind bat you really are, to find something. You found nothing other than the feeling of the raised patterns from your mattress. You were getting back up to move for the hoodie across the room. You felt your foot get caught in a piece of fabric which caused you to trip and fall onto your side.
Hey, at least you found your blanket.
When you started to bunch it together and drag it back to on top of the bed, you noticed that Chanyeol wasn’t sleeping. He wasn’t even in the room.
He probably went to the washroom, you thought to yourself. But as you turned your head to the side, you saw the washroom door wide open, and the lights off.
Maybe he’s in the kitchen, getting a midnight snack, you snickered at the thought of it. You and Chanyeol had that in common. Believing what you thought about earlier, you returned to bed, wrapping yourself in the blanket, reclaiming the heat that escaped you during the night. After what you assumed to be a while, you were mostly warmed up, except for your fingers and the tips of your toes. No matter what the temperature was, or what time of it was, those parts of your body were always cold. You sighed to yourself and rolled onto your side. You were surprised that Chanyeol hadn’t returned back yet, and you couldn’t sleep without him.
Taking a deep breath, you got up from your bed and slid on your slippers. Quickly, you put on a hoodie lying on a chair nearby. It smelled like a mix of old spice and vanilla scented body spray.
Chanyeol’s not getting this back anytime soon, you said to yourself.
Now you were worried. If he wasn’t in the washroom, and he wasn’t in the kitchen or living room, then where was he? You remembered him putting you to sleep only a few hours ago, and you were sure he fell asleep alongside you. Now you were wide awake.
As you entered the living room, you were met with the similar chilly winter breeze, wafting through the living room. You turned around to search for the source of coldness when you saw a figure from the corners of your eyes.
It was Chanyeol. He was outside on the balcony wearing only a white shirt and grey sweatpants.
“Jagiya…,” you cooed.
Chanyeol quickly whipped his body around to face your visibly confused and worried face. His hand quickly shot up to his face where he brushed off the area around his eyes. You saw a glint of light reflecting off the top of his accentuated cheekbones.
He was crying.
You made your way to him, and wrapped your arms around his lean frame, and leaned the side of your face onto his back.
“Y/N…” Chanyeol trailed off. You heard him whimper and sniff in attempts to control his tears.
Your arms around his waist tightened in an effort to comfort him. You didn’t ask him any questions, nor did he try to explain anything. You could see his hands clenching around the railings hard enough to turn his knuckles white.
“I was dreaming of you,” you whispered. You tried to divert his attention to something that would make him forget what was troubling him so much. You moved from your grip behind his back and placed your clasped your hands on top of his. His hands were freezing. Removing his hands from the railing, you weaved your fingers through his and rubbed soothing patterns to calm him down. His whimpers increased to the point where his eyes held fresh, unshed tears, threatening to fall any second. You wrapped your interlocked hands around yourself to move into a hugging position. You felt Chanyeol succumbing to you and felt him bury his face in the crook of your neck. You felt his tears trail down your neck. You felt your own tears forming.
“Chanyeol, let’s go inside,” you tried croaked out. You placed a soft kiss on the back of his head and gently stepped back. Chanyeol let go your hands to wipe away his tears and looked at you. You saw the softest of smiles forming on his lips, but his eyes were just as pained as you first saw them. You wrapped your hand around his and lead him away into the warmth of your shared apartment.
Once you were inside, you went to close the balcony doors and turned the heater on. You turned around to face Chanyeol. He was curled into a ball in the corner of the couch, shivering from the cold. You hurried to his side and rubbed your hands up and down his arms to warm him up.
“Wait here, I’ll be right back,” you kissed the top of his head. You hurried to the bedroom to bring your blanket. Once you came back, Chanyeol was lying on his back with his head resting on the armrest, his head facing the ceiling. You noticed he was clutching the top of his head, with his eyes scrunched up in pain. He was probably having a headache from crying or from the cold. Or from both.
You placed the blanket over him and turned to fetch some Tylenol and a glass of water from the kitchen. Chanyeol muttered a quiet thank you as he quickly took the pill and drank the water. His voice was a little hoarse from earlier.
What was troubling Chanyeol so much? You quietly worried to yourself.
“Y/N,” Chanyeol’s quiet voice spoke to you, “come, and lie down with me.”
You merely looked at him and offered him a soft smile. You slowly inched your way on top of him and wrapped your arms around his neck. You rested your head on his chest and he pulled the blanket, covering both of your freezing bodies. Chanyeol’s hands found their way around you and pulled your body closer to his. You were his comfort. You were his light in the middle of the darkness. You were his sanity, his hope. His love.
You waited for a while until you lifted your face to look at his. You were going to ask him if he wanted to talk about it, but you were met with his sleeping figure. You took a moment to look at him, really absorb the image that was in front of you. He looked calm, a contrast to when he was outside visibly stressed to the point to tears. There were trails of dried up tears on his face, and you carefully moved your hand out of his grasp and tried to wipe off what you could.
You shifted your body to rest on the side of the sofa and you let your hand rest on the side of Chanyeol’s face. Slowly you caressed his face with your thumb, rubbing soft circles. His skin was so soft. You made a mental note to ask him about his skincare routine in the morning.
You kept your hand there for a while, absorbed in your thoughts when Chanyeol brought you back to reality.
“I love you,” Chanyeol softly whispered. Almost immediately, his face relaxed and he fell asleep.
“I love you too, Chanyeol, “you replied, uncertain if he had heard you. You looked at the clock on the wall opposite of you and saw the time. It was 3:19 am. Luckily, tomorrow (technically today) was a Saturday and Chanyeol didn’t have any schedules to attend to. That gave you two time to sort through what exactly happened tonight.
Soon enough, you felt yourself drifting off to sleep to the soft beating of his heart.
You woke up to the soft rays of sunlight that managed to escape from the gaps in between the blinds. An arm was resting on the side of your body while you were lying on top of him. His long legs were entangled with yours and your head was lying in the crook of his neck. Once you regained your consciousness, you looked to observe your surroundings.
This was not the living room. You were in your bedroom. Chanyeol brought you both from the couch to your bed in the middle of the night. You turned your head to face his. You never realised how long his eyelashes were. A thin layer of perspiration has layered on his forehead and neck. You pulled the sleeve of your hoodie and lightly dabbed to clear his face from it.
Chanyeol started to move. You woke him up.
“Good morning, Y/N,” Chanyeol murmured with his eyes closed. You responded by kissing his nose. Chanyeol smiled, which encouraged you to plant more kisses. You placed one on the tip of his nose again, one of the apples of his cheeks and several kisses on his forehead. This earned you laughs from him, and it made your heart flutter.
“Y/N,” he laughed, “stoop,” he said while opening his eyes. He lifted his finger and rested it on his lips. “I think you missed a spot,” Chanyeol cheekily responded.
You giggled at his response. Chanyeol had resumed to his usual playful self. This made you happy, you were also in a playful mood. You leaned in close and hovered a bit, not moving. One of his eyebrows quirked up with a smirk playing on a corner of his lips.
You press a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth and quickly pull yourself from his grasp.
“Yaahh, y/n you tease,” Chanyeol whined from across the room, “come back and give me a proper kiss.” You giggled even more now, trying to stifle your laughter that was threatening to burst out of you any moment. Chanyeol looked genuinely distressed. You felt bad for him, so you walked to his side of the bed. You sat down, cross legged, near his sleepy figure. Chanyeol immediately moved to rest his head on your lap and grabbed your hand. He was tracing patterns on the back of your palm with his fingers. You could tell he wanted to say something, but he was torn. So you took the jump for him.
“Chanyeol,” you said. You ran your hand through his hair for a while, attempting to soothe him.
“Last night…” you trailed on. His movement on your hands abruptly stopped.
“Do you want to talk about it? You know you can always talk to me, as cliché it sounds. You know I’m always here for you, always have a shoulder available for you, actually I have two shou-, “you were cut off from continuing on rambling.
“Jagi, I know. I know you won’t hesitate to put aside your time for me. To deal with my problems. To hear me voice out my issues, and to find a way to help my problems. I know all of that. But that’s the thing. I – I…” Chanyeol trailed off. His voice started to crack. “Lately, I’ve just been under a giant amount of pressure… and last night…” he sighed. “I just needed some time to sort things out. I thought I could handle this on my own. I – I thought I could push past this a-and move on…” he whispered.
“Chnayeol. What’s exactly bothering you? I know it’s not just the pressure. Last night was a combination of things, wasn’t it?” you questioned him.
Chanyeol didn’t reply. He kept tracing little shapes into your palm. That was an answer itself.
“Jagi…” you whispered.
Chanyeol suddenly got up from your lap. He sat up, facing away from you. “A-am I good enough?” He quietly said. “Am I good enough for you? For the fans? For anyone?” Chanyeol croaked out.
“Chanyeol, please don’t question yourself like that. Please. Your group members love you. Your family loves you. Your fans idolize you.” You told him. Chanyeol, you are my everything. You are my love. I love you. Please don’t forget that.” You pressed a soft kiss on his lips. You felt a tear slid down his cheek. You felt the pain, the doubt, and the worries that were trapped inside of him through this one kiss. You leaned down into the kiss and put a leg of each side of his body to get a better angle. He placed his hands on the small of your back and pulled you into him. He held onto you as if he needed you to survive. You ran your fingers through his hair and gently yanked on a fistful when he decided to bite your lip. You felt his teeth grazing over the area where he had bit. Softly sucking on the area, he moved his hand up to caress the back of your neck. Both of you pulled away, gasping for breath.
Chanyeol leaned his forehead against yours, drawing his eyes to look into yours. His eyes were full of love and adoration for you. Your gaze traveled down to his lips where you noticed they were pink and swollen. You laughed and pressed a gentle kiss on his lips.
Chanyeol pulled you flush against his chest and securely wrapped his arms around your waist to prevent you from moving. Your legs were mixed with his and you found yourself giggling again.
“Have I told you I love you,” you whispered against his neck.
“You don’t have to tell me, I can see it in everything you do,” Chanyeol replied. “I haven’t been cared for like you did for me last night in a while. And it’s refreshing to feel like I’m loved in a time where I can barely find time to love myself,” Chanyeol spoke into my hair.
“Don’t worry, I can love you enough for the both of us until you do.”
prompt: You rescued my cat from a tree, but you also feel out the tree afterwards. I’m so sorry this is all my fault are you okay. You’re still cute though?
excuse the horrible title, but that line is my favourite line i’ve ever written. this is dedicated to @l-nmanuel because it’s our monthiversary!!!
words: 700-something (the shortest thing i’ve ever written)
“That’s my cat!”
You ran through the lobby of your apartment, dodging indignant old ladies, chasing after your cat. Your cat was orange, furry, and fat as hell. You didn’t even know it could run.
Your cat jumped onto a sofa, its claws raking across the guy sitting on the sofa. He yelped, yanking off his headphones and dropping his book. “What the hell?”
“That’s my cat, Koi,” you told him, slightly freaked out. “It ran away, and like, I don’t know what to do.”
He put down his headphones, and with unexpected speed, ran after the cat. You followed him just in time to watch your cat leap onto a branch.
The guy furrowed his brows for a moment, obviously scared of the prospect of climbing a tree. But then he licked his lips, set his jaw and jumped on the tree, hitting his head hard on the bark. He nearly fell backwards.
Your cat reached the very top branch, peacefully resting and gazing at you from up there. You could’ve sworn there was a taunt in your cat’s eyes.
“Dude, I don’t think you can make it. You have to be a sports god or something to make it,” you said to him.
He was beginning to lose his balance. He nearly slipped off the lowest branch, but his tight grip on the branch on top of it saved him. You tried to ignore how his muscles strained under his shirt.
You attempted to say words of encouragement, but because you were slightly distracted by his arms, what came out of your mouth was: “Please don’t die.”
He glanced at you with an exhilarated laugh and pulled himself up, swinging himself onto the top branch, landing right next to your cat. He shot you a victorious look. Gently, he cradled the cat with one arm. His eyes softened as he held at the cat fondly.
“By the way, my name’s Lin, but you can just call me sport god from now on,” he said to you.
You rolled your eyes. He tried to lower himself down the tree with one arm, but his arm shook with exhaustion and he nearly collapsed on the tree.
He looked down at you, biting his lip. “Hold your arms out,” he said. You outstretched your arms. He coaxed Koi into a ball and gently threw her at you. Maybe it was how tired he was, or he was just an idiot, because he messed up the trajectory. Koi hit you right in the face. You felt like you were inhaling a ball of fur.
He attempted to lower himself down the tree again. “Man, you’re really good at handling balls,” you called out. You heard a loud bark of laughter from him as he laughed, shoulders shaking so hard that he lost his grip. Then you heard a loud thud.
He had plummeted into the ground, curled into fetal position, rocking himself back and forth. You ran up to him and rolled him onto his back.
He was silent, and you got worried that he was crying, then you saw a flash of a grin beneath his curtain of hair and you smacked his shoulder.
“Ow, woman!” he yelled, wincing and rubbing his shoulder.
“I’m so sorry, this is all my fault,” you said, trying to feel guilty. “No one asked you to climb the stupid tree anyway.”
He grinned. “Anything for the crazy woman who runs up to me yelling about a cat.”
You watched the lines of his face, his messy long hair and his stubble. Not bad, you decided.
He sat up slowly, feeling his chest to make sure there was no damage. He brushed off the dirt from his pants and tried to look dignified. “Well, since you’ve seen my at my absolute most embarrassing, we should go out for lunch so I can show you just how cool I am when I haven’t just fallen off a tree.”
“You save my cat once and you think that’s worth a date?” you helped him up, grinning.
He ran his hand through his hair and shrugged. “What can I say? I’m already feline the connection.”
You smacked his shoulder again, ignoring his yelp of pain. “Shut up, Lin.”
It’s going to take me another day or two to finish the full guide, so I’m going to start posting these in chapters. I will continue to post one chapter a day, and also post the full guide as one monster post when it’s done. I may refer to future chapters in these, those will be turned into links as chapters become available.
You can follow the tag#Swords for Fics if you want to keep up without following me :) There will be around 12 chapters or more.
My background: Hey there! I’ve been training in the Italian method of sword fighting for about 7 or 8 months now. So I’d say I’m still quite the novice but I’ve learned a lot and I’d like to share some of that with you all! I’ve trained with two handed swords, one handed swords, sword and buckler, dual swords, dagger, spears, quaterstaff, and poleaxe. (Not rapiers though, sorry.) I also have a “writing” background in animation and illustration.
What’s this for?: As I discovered when trying to storyboard a fight a year ago, action scenes are a pain to write when you don’t know your options. There are a ton of great fics out there with great swashbuckling adventure, and you all do an amazing job at bringing out the most important part of any fight: how the characters feel about it. And while that’s often all you need for good story telling, this is for writers who want to spend more time playing in that action.
Terminology?: There’s a lot of terminology in sword fighting that the general audience won’t understand, or may not even share the same names depending on the school of sword fighting. I’ll be using some terminology as I learned it, but will mostly try to describe things in layman’s terms.
THIS WILL COVER MAINLY ONE AND TWO HANDED SWORDS THAT CAN BE USED FOR SLASHING. Though a rapier could be considered a one handed sword, it is used differently and I don’t have sufficient knowledge to go in depth for them.