exercise – building sounds and sights

The construction ongoing outside my window sounds less like muscled men with beer bellies putting together semi-affordable housing in exchange for a regular paycheque (with the side effect of gentrifying a neighbourhood with an undeserved reputation for seediness) and more like the purposeful, spastic actions of a subterranean mammal building a nest of found objects, scratching, digging, scritching with delicate, fibrous materials, assembling a home in the wet of the earth to pass the cold seasons unharmed.

These men in their grey and green bear knives in gloved fists, in place of claws and sharp teeth. Their orange vests, reflective, a sort of camouflage for the job site. Terse conversation, even at meal times – only alarm calls sounded, warnings, the occasional ribald joke that sends a round of laughter skyward.

Logan Bright

exercise: N 2.2

N exercise 2.2

objects from my childhood home

Coke memorabilia (endless)
lamp with a ship’s wheel to turn it on and off
low-hanging ceilings in the basement
huge chest freezer
an L-sectional
a plaque of bronze reading “At this site in 1857 nothing happened”
a “Fuck Iran” button attached to the mesh of a speaker in the dining room
an oval dining room table with insertable leaf
those cubes of translucent material that are stacked in walls and whatnot and they admit light but imperfectly – it’s warped and distorted within the cube and rendered only as abstract shape and line to the eye
a combination TV-VCR in my bedroom, 13″
too many coats in the closet
a carving of a sun and a crescent moon with half-smiling faces
an ancient 7-Up branded thermometer
big-screen rear-projection TV
rectangular mirror over the fireplace (the fireplace didn’t run)
carvings of flat Jamaican faces from my folks’ honeymoon
a framed photo of my parents in front of an old car
litterbox under the basement stairs
a wide-mouthed lamp with a red bulb
a small TV in a cupboard
a used futon
a bowling-ball sized ball of rubber bands

Working on digital projects with friends was a big part of my childhood for a few years. Whether we were constructing websites to share animated GIF materials (mostly frame-by-frame rips from Dragonball Z video games, used as clip-art for people to make their own animations and scenes) or building a parodic RPG or scamming the naive out of their Neopoints, the computer in the basement was the place where it all happened. It was next to the chest freezer mentioned above, and sometimes I would lie back on top of that freezer, staring contemplatively at the ceiling, hashing through ideas while somebody else was at the PC’s helm. I was there when we had our biggest score in our Neopoints scam – in which we constructed a fake but official-looking website promising to generate unlimited Neopoints as long as you gave us your account name and password, first, to which a surprising number of people, in those more innocent days of the Internet, were willing) – by nabbing a player who’d obviously been at it a long time and already had millions of Neopoints. We were elated, and changed the player’s password immediately, forever locking him or her out. Then we went to McDonald’s, a 15 minute walk away, to celebrate. Later, we went through the account and its arcane inventory of magical items and pets we’d never known existed. It was fun for a while to sell these rare items in-game for a single piece of gold, thrilling these other lucky players who received unspeakable deals. Of course, we never found out what happened to the players we scammed, and Neopets, the platform, did catch onto us more than once, but we were resilient, for a time. We had other interests in those days, too, but this was one of them.

Logan Bright