Photoseries Leading To Multimedia
by Kassie


Like usual lately, last night I woke up from ill-hatched dreams. Woke with the taste of mingled apple juice and graham crackers on my back teeth and wanted to call it ashes, wanted it to fit a clichˇ. But there's something beautiful in reality, and my mouth wasn't full of ashes. All the same, my dreams were of magma and cracked earth, of choking, flesh-tainted smoke.

You never laughed when I told you I dream of dying in Mordor. My sword broken and the hilt biting into my back, familiar voices calling my name in death-groans.

"That's why we leave the method acting to you, Mortal." You smiled, the reassuring, 'it's-all-ok-in-the-daylight' smile my own face has worn many nights after Henry screamed into the dark over marauding dinosaurs or homicidal robots. You offered me the standard human reaction, but with genuine compassion behind it. I let you pat my shoulder, and that first morning after explaining about sleeping in the woods, I acted like it helped.

Last night, in the way of habit, when the garbled, joyous cacophony of orc-song didn't fade as I became fully aware, I got out of bed. I collected my bundle of half-assed camping gear, my sword, and my keys and drove someplace. Random. Like always. I bedded down in the driest spot I could find, and when I drifted off, my dreams were about the cabin my dad built with his own hands when I was a kid.

"Maybe you're part dryad." You said it with that clipped delivery it took me too long to grow accustomed to. "The trees suck out your bad thoughts, mate." When you called me mate, I knew it was a joke, and I almost felt embarrassed for considering your off-handed remark regarding my genealogy for less than a minute. It felt like when I used to tell people I wrote poetry and they would look at me, measure me, then ask me if I was gay. When I was young, such equations stirred my defenses, made me want to pick a fight to prove myself a man.

Memory is all we are, and when you brought back some of mine from the knotted string of my past, I decided I needed to know you better.

This morning, when I showed up on set, dressed, muddied with make-up and real leaves in my hair from the forest floor, you tipped your head. But you were already an Elf, too aloof to solicit after my state of weariness; you wouldn't take the time to see if I slept well, if I dreamt of everyone I know dead and broken at my feet. My last Viggo-oriented thoughts for many hours centered on soothing myself that you meant nothing by that; you being Legolas and not Orlando.

Over lunch, watching you flick grapes off the craft services table at Billy, I wondered if that was Legolas or Orlando larking around, because he both of you are/were young for your respective kinds.

Because you talk too much when you're drunk, I know you dream of silver poppies dropping, sweeping in a half-lit breeze, of voices like reverberating crystal singing lullabies to trees. That we are both now only ever three steps beyond Aragorn and Legolas.

Monday night I saw your car parked on the verge of the same stand of trees I camped in. Instead of towards it, I walked away from your possible position. Still, I wondered what ways you imagined yourself dying, your bow broken and your long, platinum hair spread out on the ground, caked in the mud and streaked with your own blood. But that's my own dream, not yours, unless your dreams are slipping away from you and finding me asleep and receptive. The way your waking self seems to be wrapping around me without my full consent.


Shipshape # 3

You dropped a piece of paper out of your pocket yesterday stumbling home from the pub. Elijah on one side (listing to the point he fingers scraped the pavement) laughed with the abandon of youth so bursting hangovers are only periodic, not assumptive.

Dominic snatched your keys out of your pocket since you couldn't. And the scrap of paper fell out on the ground. The three of you leaned and grasped and sang a little, worked the key in the lock, and tumbled through the door like a barley-scented hyrdra. I only lingered on the step to collect the scrap of paper.

It's a receipt for toilette paper and canned soup from the local grocery.

While Dominic and Elijah see-sawed in friendly argument over the music, and I made my excuses for the evening, you smiled and collapsed on the couch.

The receipt is the upper-left corner of the collage. Around it are leaves from the courtyard of your apartment complex, sand I collected from the floorboard of my car from last weekend, and a negative of you falling over the edge of something high.


Shipshape # 5

You aren't very aware of your environment. Or anyone else's. You left a nearly-empty, individual sized bag of chips on the console of my car.

"Wanna crisp?" You asked. When I took the foil packet you promptly forgot they were ever yours and launched into a dialogue with BillyandElijiahandDominic. Wedging your body into the crevasse between my seat and yours. Bumping me and knocking the gearshift.

I agreed that pine is a sweeter smell than citrus at one point. I don't know why. I have no true opinion on that.

You left the bag of chips when you skipped out of the car, three laughing men trailing behind you, and I was left to find a parking space in the rain. You came to find me when I forgot to come inside. But by then the rain was letting up, and I'd decided to lacquer the remaining chips and place the bag on the right hand edge of the canvas with the ever-crispy pieces of potato arrayed throughout the collage.

You eat chips a lot.


Shipshape # 7

Your words come fast and unchecked, like your motion.

I filter everything, including my pictures, and your complete opposition to me that makes me self-reflective. Like red standing next to green wondering what it would be like to be grass instead of blood. Two complete poles negate their partners, and sometimes I wonder if nullification is what we're all really after.

"I wish I were more like you." You say it, and because you say what you think, I know you mean it. And I wanted to tell you just one thing. One thing that is the summary of all the many things I won't ever tell you because art is my net, and most of me is held tightly between the ropes. I want to say a lot of things I never do.

So, instead I show, try to show you, the you according to me. In the middle of the collage called "Orlando in Toto", the words stand out in black script on white "I wish I could be more like you."

And I mean it.


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