Becoming Less Defined

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For a span of seconds, the man hovering over you is drawn in a disorienting double-image. He’s hyper-real, familiar to a point that is almost grotesque in its intimacy—yet, at the same time, he is completely a stranger. It’s as though you’re looking at something mundane from an unexpected angle; the ordinary made alien.

“Are you hurt?” the mans says, and then immediately, “No, of course you’re hurt, that was a hell of a drop. Okay… okay. You’re standing, so… legs… seem fine…”

There are hands smoothing over your limbs and torso, pressing firm but shaking, and it feels like something long coveted. At first you want to shiver under his touch and it feels like its root is in pleasure, but then there is a deep repulsion working its way out. It drags nebulous concepts with it, an abstract ideal, something about repercussions and moral lapses and forbidden, dangerous things.

The man frowns and hesitantly cups one hand around the back of your neck, and you remember suddenly that it’s Daniel.

In which concussions cause changes and dubious relationships.

Fluff: +

Angst: ++++

Smut: +++

Overall Rating: ++++

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Spanish moss hangs from terraces and latticework in long, delicate fingers, curling thickly in the oppressive and close heat of summer along the southern coast. The cobblestoned streets never go quiet, no matter what hour the night has advanced to, human feet and horses’ hooves and the creaking wheels of the carriages they pull a constant stippling of noise underneath the shouts and revels, the ululating chants from the darkest corners of the Quarter, the shouts of boatmen, pulling in to dock. It is a humid, lazy, beautiful melody the city sings under a fat strawberry moon, and if there are devils in the dark then they at least know how to sing too.

It’s almost enchanting enough – and that is the word, because there are enough mesmers and snake-charmers here to make a man forget his own name – to allow him to overlook the writhing depravity running through the corridors and alleys that connect street to street and street to sky.


New Orleans is the kind of place that can never be described.

There exists a certain air – heavy with spices, fish, and voices, sharp and soft – that is never found elsewhere, never captured perfectly in words. But as I said recently to a friend: is it not the purpose of art to capture that which cannot be caught? Art is the pursuit of perfection, at least, and there is no beaten path to the best of us. We like to think that prose cannot be poetry. That there exists some equator between straightforward sentences and the twisting, unbound fragments of thought.

New Orleans is the kind of place where no such lines exist.

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