Old Writing: Onsen and Bear, 2006
Yeah, this never saw print for obvious reasons. Was going through a deus ex machina phase.
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I turned away from the bear in the onsen, him glowing beatifically as only one ensconced in the perfection of a blank mood can be. What is the word for that? That blankness shot out of just a little too much eye contact like one caught but not bothered, in repose but not loose. I’m looking for something that would describe a spiritual variety of smug. I pressed my tiny towel tighter to the front of my thighs as I made eye contact with a stranger in the middle of his life and I said, “This bear. He is.”
These words solved nothing, nor provoked more than a sharp exhalation from the man, who made the briefest of eye contact before shooting half a look to where my towel did an amateur job of covering my genitals. As a round-eyed, bulge-cocked uninvited barbarian, I accepted my position as an object of knee-jerk fascination.
Once outside the baths, toweled, dressed, and flushed, I sniffed the air and walked the lanes of the town, breathing hazy particles flaked from walls older than me by 30 years but designed to look older by 600.
Seconds later, robots came through and just fucking annihilated everything.