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John Umland
Not like we have much left to lose, is it?
Thu Aug 10, 2017 17:45

Julian had worn yellow. It was not a loud shade of yellow, he thought – to the extent he was good at telling shades of the same color apart – but that just meant it made more of a contrast with her black-brown hair and sharp blue eyes, which had that stuff around them that made them more prominent in the middle of the mask of other make-up which blurred most of her features into obscurity. The result, paradoxically, of her relatively subdued wardrobe choices was to make her the most striking-looking witch in the room, to John at least. Or was he just fixating on his sister to avoid looking at the taller, slighter, faded-looking witch sitting beside Julian?

I can’t do this – illogical thought. Of course I can. I am physically capable of walking. I think. But I can’t do this. It’s worse for everyone. Mom’s lost weight, is that my fault? Dad’s hair looks like it’s started getting grey, but that could be the light….

He wanted to go over there. He would have given a year of his life to go over there. He would have happily consented to dropping dead in a week if he could have gone over there knowing they would welcome him back. He couldn’t know that, though, and he knew it would be worse for everyone no matter what happened if he even tried, and yet – to go back would be as hard as to go on. He couldn’t take his eyes off them.

I'll never be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand, as if a man were author of himself and knew no other kin. I have shored up these fragments against my ruin. He glanced at the fragments in question, namely a column, a number of tables, and some people. Other people’s families, he supposed. Go, get you home, you fragments. Get out of the way -

Something touched him and he flinched before he realized it was just Sammy. He classed her as a non-threat not because he didn’t think she could be one if she wanted to – he was sure she could – but she was good company, surprisingly enough. Pity he hadn’t known it before this year, really. He chuckled slightly at the allusion to his face looking ‘weirder than usual.’ It was the kind of thing Joanie might have said.

“Yeah, I was just – thinking about the chairs,” he said. “There’s lots of chairs.” This was true, but was more the kind of thing, not exactly untrue, John would say to make someone at home go away by making them think him very strange. He doubted that would work on Sammy, though.

He considered her offer. Sit with her and some women he didn’t know, or go to his own family?

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.

“Sure,” he agreed. Here’s to the next however-many tastes, I suppose.

He waved awkwardly to the women in question when they arrived. “Hello. I’m John,” he said. “Sammy invited me.”

OOC: John quotes from Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’ twice (“I’ll never be…kin” and “Go, get you home, you fragments”) and misquotes from Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’ (‘I have shored up these fragments against my ruin’; the line is properly ‘These fragments I have shored against my ruins.’). Eliot being Eliot, it’s entirely possible – even probable – that the line has nothing whatsoever to do with the reference to ‘Coriolanus’ which precedes it, but given Eliot’s affection for the play, the fact that Rome did find itself, like the Fisher King’s kingdom, in a bit of a bind after the title character left, and the fact I felt really smart when I connected the play and the poem through the ‘fragment’ references, I decided to permit John a really bad nerd joke in one of the lower moments of his life to date. He also borrows lines from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar' and 'Macbeth'.

  • Last minute friendship! [Tag: John]Sammy Meeks, Thu Aug 10 15:46
    Sammy always liked the midsummer events, especially the ones that parents came to. Ethan didn’t care enough to come anymore, but her moms always did, even when Sammy’s participation level was... more
    • Not like we have much left to lose, is it? — John Umland, Thu Aug 10 17:45
      • But so much to gain!The Meeks-Jones family, Fri Aug 11 17:14
        Lauren and Cheryl blinked at one another for a moment. John. They searched their memories in synchronized silence. Had Sammy mentioned a John before? Usually she talked about Kira or Laila or... more
        • Such as new perspectives.John Umland, Sat Aug 12 17:03
          There was something peculiar, John thought, about Sammy’s family – not the obvious, that Lauren was using the word ‘wife’ in a very different sense than John would use the word, something else. It... more
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