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 Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines

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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Sun May 02, 2010 2:50 pm

You are in a can of Sardines. No, seriously, believe it; feel it; make it fill you up; own it. You are canned; your thoughts are canned; your being is canned. You think through slogans, hum commercial tunes, eat regulated food, take FDA-approved Advil to quell headaches caused by being swallowed, engulfed, consumed by the populace of urban life all around you.

Seriously. Imagine you are in a can of Sardines. Close your eyes; that is always the first step – to imagination and to getting a vaccine as a child, to sleeping and to tasting something gourmet, to getting candy popped into your mouth and to receiving a good, long kiss. You close your eyes before going up in front of all those people. You close your eyes to pray for much-needed patience. You close your eyes to think hard. You will die, and someone will close your eyes for you.

Now, imagine a white background – that is not hard, imagine a background and call it white. Take a second to ponder why white, the all-encompassing mass of colours, is considered here the symbol for a blank slate. Is white the same as blank? Now you are free to create. Produce a can, like all your memories of cans, and yet unlike any of them – yours, your creation. Put a label on the can, then make the label read “sardines” in scrawled, writhing writing, and eventually you will be ready to delve into it.

But you are already inside, really; even though you are really not. You are wondering how your brain can just do that, conjure up images, make you absolutely believe crazy dreams even while reading random rants. But you can do that inside a can of sardines, you see. You can always imagine.

You are slopping around in a brown juice, glistening scales all around you: mere masses in the darkness. You can smell it now; it captures your attention, colonizing your nose, marshalling your sense. It is so strong you cannot breathe, that stink of fresh sardines.
Why? When you look around on the bus, when they bustle around you in the shopping mall, basking in the stormy rain or wet and glistening under a humid sun, you can think of them as sardines, all broiling in the same juice as you, all packed too tightly for comfort, bumping into one another. They always stare. They always have too little air to breathe. They are always busy, to no avail. They seem to serve a higher purpose, but you never figure out what it is. And you are one of them. And all you can do is hope that some day you will be served up on a dish somewhere, because, otherwise, your past life in a can of sardines will have been for nothing.

For now, you slosh around, partially in your own juices – where did you think all that stuff you exhaled and excreted went? Nowhere to go in a can of sardines. And you observe, and you learn, and sometimes you laugh. They are caricatures: the snobby sardine, the stubby sardine, the sweet sardine, the sneaky sardine. Swimming, sliding, sensing, saying; simply spewing senseless…something. Somewhere. Somehow. And being someone, you are one of them. Savour it.

So, you are not much. Just in a can, with no way of knowing if there are others like you. And you have a label to you: “Sardines” – don’t fight it, that is your label and nothing more. And look around, do the other sardines care? About you? About life? About anything besides sardine juice?

You think it’s all gone, the culture, the tradition, society. Helping out someone is a rare occurrence in the urban sardine world – everyone is busy swimming around in circles of the sardine can’s circumference, clambering over one another to get nowhere. Everyone seems looking out for the ultimate sardine, to be the shiniest, with the best scales, no one cares about escaping out of the sealed metal can. Dante and Homer are merely the newsprint on which some random train passenger will lay out his bread and knife, leaving his hands free to eat the sardine sandwich. Now you are being melodramatic. Sheesh! All you’re doing is imagining a can of sardines.

Where the smell is nauseating, where you are sloshed around, where there is no room, no food, no challenge, no imagination. You want to escape, to jump out, to be caught again, not in a net now; to have been pierced by a sharp fisherman’s hook and cooked, just so you would not have landed inside a small, stifling sardine can… You look around;
iSn’t it somehow so stifling out there?

But don’t worry: you are not out there, you are in a can of sardines. And you’ve never been in a can of sardines before. Look around, explore, isn’t it neat?
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Sun May 02, 2010 2:58 pm

For fear of being reprimanded about... well, IT, I posted it.

Reason I posted: everyone else seems to be contributing to the stream-of-consciousness/confessionalist fad, and I thought I should throw something up, too.

It's weird. At least, I hope it is <.< It's meant to be.

It's not exactly complete. The third-last paragraph will probably depart before the final version, and more reflections will be inserted to make the transition to the ending more smooth.

The reason it got all whiny towards the end is because I actualyl hate the smell of sardines and find it suffocating, and I got so deep into the story that the smell felt a little too real, and I got nauseated, and I decided to wrap it up somehow before gettign sick. So I'm really not too happy with the ending. But I stand by the rest of the piece. ^_^

Thoughts? Criticisms? Feedback?
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Sun May 02, 2010 9:57 pm

Okay. So. Let me just say that for some strange reason, I started reading this and it released a torrential outpouring of cathartic thought, which resulted in, two hours later, an e.e. short story that has still yet to be finished. I would like to thank you. =]

It is very wierd. ;] I think I'm going to have to go over it a couple of times.

Reading this, your style is really really distinct. Now that I've read a number of your works. You're so articulate it's ridiculous. I love the detail in your descriptions. I also like the philosophical tone in which you narrate things. Not sure if that's intentional, but it definitely suits you and is very distinct in your writing.
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Sun May 02, 2010 10:23 pm

Woohoo!!!!!

You will SO post, right? PLEEEEASE?!

Yeah, the philosophical tone is intentional. It's a feel-good thing for me: at some times I laugh at it and mock it, at other times it's serious and I'm almost convinced by it.

I meant to evoke some creative downpour of thought somewhere.. I'm glad it worked.

Care to cite which phrases were most efective & comment on the end? I know I'm demanding a lot. I'm just sooo HAPPY you liked it!


Last edited by Owle Gray on Mon May 03, 2010 1:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Sun May 02, 2010 10:48 pm

"a torrential outpouring of cathartic thought"

The latest of my fav sayings of yours. ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 11:43 am

You think through slogans, hum commercial tunes, eat regulated food, take FDA-approved Advil to quell headaches caused by being swallowed, engulfed, consumed by the populace of urban life all around you.

You will die, and someone will close your eyes for you.

You can smell it now; it captures your attention, colonizing your nose, marshalling your sense. It is so strong you cannot breathe, that stink of fresh sardines.

Why? When you look around on the bus, when they bustle around you in the shopping mall, basking in the stormy rain or wet and glistening under a humid sun, you can think of them as sardines, all broiling in the same juice as you, all packed too tightly for comfort, bumping into one another. They always stare. They always have too little air to breathe. They are always busy, to no avail. They seem to serve a higher purpose, but you never figure out what it is. And you are one of them. And all you can do is hope that some day you will be served up on a dish somewhere, because, otherwise, your past life in a can of sardines will have been for nothing.

And you observe, and you learn, and sometimes you laugh. They are caricatures: the snobby sardine, the stubby sardine, the sweet sardine, the sneaky sardine. Swimming, sliding, sensing, saying; simply spewing senseless…something. Somewhere. Somehow. And being someone, you are one of them. Savour it.

You think it’s all gone, the culture, the tradition, society. Helping out someone is a rare occurrence in the urban sardine world – everyone is busy swimming around in circles of the sardine can’s circumference, clambering over one another to get nowhere. Everyone seems looking out for the ultimate sardine, to be the shiniest, with the best scales, no one cares about escaping out of the sealed metal can. Dante and Homer are merely the newsprint on which some random train passenger will lay out his bread and knife, leaving his hands free to eat the sardine sandwich. Now you are being melodramatic.
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 11:44 am

Those were my favourite bits. Very Happy

It's a riveting social commentary. XD I bow down to your brilliance. =]

Oh? So you have a list of these favourite sayings?
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 11:45 am

Also. Idk if I will post. I might send it to you though. If you really want to read it.
The piece is e.e. length currently and also very personal and has yet to be finished. Razz
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 3:38 pm

Ending?

Answering in reverse order:

bounce I want to read it! bounce I want to read it! bounce

*Please don't fall off your chair after being mesmerized by the bouncy thingies. *

I have a list of things. <.< But it's secret >.> And in my head. So that no one will retrieve it Razz Colonizing and commeting are on it, as well as: "a torrential outpouring of cathartic thought", carves slowly across her face like honey, plethora...of blindingly bright and brilliant ideas and *drumroll please* covabulary.

YAY! You were drawn to most of the things I put in there. The only one that wasn't noted was:...make you absolutely believe crazy dreams even while reading random rants. abcde...rrr. I was giggling so maliciously while writing it, I actually turned over my computer chair. ...and also "No, seriously, believe it; feel it; make it fill you up; own it." That preceded the slogan comment, and it is the types of phrases one often hears, so that in a way, the slogan thing was a self-criticism. Razz

Yes, the "colonizing" was an articulate allusion to a very famous work... I mean... Razz Well it's famous in this forum. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 4:24 pm

=] Colonizing makes me think of Historrrryyyyy. But anyway, the colonizing thing wasn't totally original. I heard it from somwhere and then sort of adapted it.

Well, I sent it to you. XD KEEP IT A SECRET. Katie is the only one to have read it. So. You're becoming one of the privileged few.

Heh. Covabulary. >.>

And also, those bouncy thingies didn't show up until I had already finished reading your post. Razz

So you're one of those writers who purposely put in literary features to mess with reader's minds! Hmmm. That blew my thesis out of the water like a torpedo.
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 4:25 pm

Also. I finished the E.E. Very Happy Should be sitting in your inbox, if you haven't checked yet.
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 6:11 pm

Blowing theses?

I'm not usually one to purposefully mess with readers' minds; I'm not that cruel. I also find it comes across better when it is unintentional. But the colonizing, closing of eyes, abcde-rrr, and the slogans were intentional... and by intentional I mean I realize it's there on the page, and one of my voices goes, "Hey, that's cool," and giggles. It's those moments of a story that make me have favourites. The slogan thing was particularly, because as I was writing that sentence, I was just saying things, and then I realized that I was using slogans. And then, when I wrote the FDA-advil sentence, I realized that pointing out the cliches cannot be done without itself being a cliche >.>.

I think this can serve as a testament to how ineffective purposefully putting things in really is - you see it, but others tend not to. It ruins the mood if you think, "muahahaha, I shall employ a carefully chosen literary device in this strategic position"

I'll go read stuff not. LOL I'm privileged.


Last edited by Owle Gray on Mon May 03, 2010 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : If I am privileged, I should learn how to spell.)
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 6:41 pm

LOL you spelled priviledged wrong.

Also, ok. I understand. XD I do that too.
And don't you hate it when that happens! The cliche thing, that is.
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 6:46 pm

Not really. It's kind of cool. The whole "you are traped in a net of your own language" feeling.

Ooops. Embarassed
Just absent-minded, I guess. I'm working on a short piece about today (the rain this morning), and my mind's elsewhere.


Last edited by Owle Gray on Mon May 03, 2010 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 6:50 pm

/\ my incorrect spelling of 'privilged' suggest a hetherto unprivileged nature of my being ^_^

We're all trapped. In a simulacrum. Of words. It's an entangling net. Let's make some ripples.

hee-hee
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 6:59 pm

Did you get the pdf version I just sent you?
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 7:00 pm

Simulacrum always makes me think of the Matrix.
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 7:16 pm

EVERYTHING should make you think of the Matrix. And what if anything you think IS the Matrix? Shocked

The Matrix has you now. Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 7:17 pm

I'll go check Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 7:30 pm

No. Stop making me think. Brain hurts.
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 7:34 pm

=]
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 7:35 pm

Still devil-face happy are you?
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 10:37 pm

Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Imagine You are in a Can of Sardines   Mon May 03, 2010 10:37 pm

You asked for that one Wink
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