Author Archives: M. A. Melby

About M. A. Melby

Writer, physics instructor, feminist, arguer, atheist; Block Bot admin, Transadvocate contributor; she, cis; opinions my own

I suck at NaNoWriMo

Here is my short story – I mean NOVEL in it’s entirety – unedited.

****

Sex stories

“So, apparently, they have this little appendage between their legs that they use to insert sperm into the bodies of females.”

The crowd audibly groaned in disgusted. The normally noisy nighttime social sanctuary was abnormally quiet as the crowd listened intently to every word. One of the patrons ran out of the sanctuary, presumably to vomit.

“Inside?” a brave soul asked.

“Yes! When she took my clothes off she was surprised not to find it. She got mad and accused me of being a female. I was so confused. I guess the males of her species are tall like we are? So, she just assumed I was male. I told her I wasn’t female either. She just got mad.”

“How did you even get in that situation?”

“Honestly, the whole thing was a blur. I didn’t even understand she wanted me to put sperm inside her. That never entered my mind, obviously. She just seemed interested in seeing my body and kept rubbing me and stuff.”

“Is it true that they are warm?”

“Yes. That’s why I liked it. She was warm. Oh! Now I remember. We were all sleeping in the camp and I ended up sleeping very close to her because she was warm and she thought I wanted to do that thing they do. You know – sex without death.”

Everyone became very quiet. There was a question on everyone’s mind, but they didn’t want to ask. It was too loaded. It would ruin everyone’s fun.

“So, did you meet the old woman?” an elder, sitting in the back, asked. Judgement spit from his lips. “I heard that you met the old woman.”

My old friend

When I first started out from the village, I was excited. I had never been outside of it. Most people hadn’t. We all heard stories since we were young about adventurers leaving for far-off lands only to dry-up in the sun or become a mammal’s lunch.

I was different. I did not cling to my life the way other old-ones did. To be quite honest, I wanted to die. I never thought I’d be an old-one. I thought I would have died long ago. Don’t tell anyone. It’s our secret.

There was also a legend of a woman who didn’t want to die – a woman that did not die. Depending on who you ask either she simply refused to go to the spawning grounds to give her life for her children or she did and she simply, by some fluke of nature, survived. Nobody knows for sure.

I wanted to meet her. I wanted to kill her.

I traveled light. I had a bow and arrow to hunt. I stayed by the river. I brought my slug, Goldie, with me to watch over me at night if it got too cold. Slugs can stay active at much lower temperatures than us Bogs can.

I followed the river. I didn’t want to dry up. What a horrible way to die. I wanted to die giving life. Dying to become a desiccated corps is my only fear. You doubt me? You humans are so full of fear. I don’t know how you manage.

The land became different. The wet areas were no longer part of a marsh. The river and the land were now extremely distinct. Where the land stopped and the river began was a definite line. The water was void and empty. It was so clear! I could see the fish near the bottom. The bottom was sand, just like the ocean. It was so dry on land that I needed to submerge myself in water regularly for my skin not to itch. If I was outside of water for too long, it was hard to breath. My gills just stopped working. I do breathe air, but my body needs to be damp.

Eventually, I came to a valley where the river stretched out into a lake. The banks were full of tall grass, moss, and pitcher plants. The ground was soft. It felt wonderful.

Then, I saw her house. The old woman’s house was a cobble of reeds made into a dome. It looked like a house of an old-one. I suspected she took the same route as I did. She must have. It was the only route she could take to become as old as she did, to become the abomination she was.

I felt a thin line of pressure at my throat. It was a blade. “Have you come to kill me?” I heard her whisper into my ear. “You’ve come a long way for nothing.”

I gasped. I realized that she was going to kill me. She was going to kill me. I was so happy. I anticipated the knife going into my throat and severing my spine. My body would fall dead in the fertile lands of this swamp and I would be eaten. My death would give life.

I waited and waited. She did nothing. She didn’t strike. Why? Why?

After what seemed like an eternity, I couldn’t contain my anticipation. “Please.” I begged despite myself.

She took the knife away and spun me around to look me in the face. I fell to my knees. “Please.”

I did not look her in the eye. I did not want to see an old woman. What a horror she must have been. She rejected what I desired with all my being. She rejected her womanhood. She cared for her life. She acted like an old-one. Disgusting.

“An old-one who wants to die?” She looked at me with pity. “My god.”

“You should be dead!” I screamed at her. “Why aren’t you dead? How could you?” I finally looked up to see her. She was as I always imagined her to be. She was shorter than me, but taller and bigger than a male. Her color was dull and grey like a woman, but her fins and skin were worn like an old-one. She was a bit paler. She was a bit larger. She was an old woman.

“Die.” I leapt onto her. She fell. I don’t even know what I did. I don’t. I was in a blind rage. I was going to kill her and find the highest rock I could and stake her body out in the sun. Somehow in our struggle, she put her hand on the side of my face. I was screaming, “I will rip your head off. Die. Die. Die.”

It took me a long time to realize, over the sound of my own voice, what she was saying to me. “My child. My child. It will be okay. I’m so sorry.”

I felt her arms around me. She was holding me close. “There. There. It will be alright. Shhh…”

“How could you?” I sobbed. “How could you?”

“The same reason you were willing to throw away your life, old one.” She answered me.

Mammals

“Did you kill her?” The elder barked.

“Of course I did. She was begging me not to.”

The social sanctuary erupted in laughter. The tension was alleviated.

“Tell us more about the warm-blooded people!” Someone yelled. “How do they lay their eggs?”

“They don’t lay eggs. They only have one young at a time and get this, it grows inside the female.”

“What? Then how does she survive?”

“The baby gets really big and then she pushes it through a hole between her legs. Sometimes this does kill her, but most of the time she survives. Then she feeds the child with liquid that comes from bags on her chest.”

“You are making this shit up,” another patron claimed, laughing. “No way.”

“What about their old-ones? What are they like? Are they short and fat!” The room erupted in laughter again.

“They aren’t tall and thin either. They don’t have old-ones.”

“What?”

“They don’t have old-ones.”

“Who takes care of the young?”

“Since neither the male or female die to give life to their children, they take care of the young. Yes. The males and females take care of the young. The males are usually taller and stronger, but not always. The females are usually the ones who do most of the work taking care of the children.”

The room was full of blank stares.

“That’s why that warm woman was so confused that I didn’t have an appendage between my legs. She had no idea that old-ones even existed.”

Someone dropped their mug.

“And get this – the women often live longer than the men.”

Leaving home

So, I stayed with the old woman for a while. She may not have looked like an old-one, but she took care of me. She was the first one I was ever honest with. I don’t think you understand what would happen to me if one of my people knew what you know about me. The old woman and I, we spit in the face of everything our people believe. Our lives are inherently sacrilegious. You must not speak of this to anyone.

The old woman took care of me. She took care of me like I was a girl or a boy. Eventually, my disgust faded, but sometimes when I looked at her I still wanted to kill her. She was a reminder of how broken I was, how wrong we both were and how much I hated what I was.

I had to go. If I did not leave I would end up following through on my promises.

You humans. Your most sacred relationship is between mother and child. You likely think my relationship with the old woman is a beautiful thing. To us, it is as repulsive as any deviant human behavior you can think of. I’d be hacked to pieces and set on fire. At times, I thought that is what I deserved. It was what we both deserved.

I found out that she had refused. She didn’t swim into the lake of life. Her fear of death was too strong. She just wanted to take care of people. She wanted to be like me – like I’m supposed to be. She refused. Her eggs were simply reabsorbed into her body. The very thought of her body committing such genocide still shakes me to my core.

So, I left.

I thought I would never see her again. Of course, I did. You know that.

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Need to do this thing.

I have not done anything art wise in so long. I need to. Sometimes art is as much for the artist as the audience. I need to make that art.

My mood disturbances have gotten bad enough that I will be finally receiving some professional help with that. I may be taking medication soon.

I do not foresee this making me less likely to create again. The idea that mood disorders make for better art is a lie. The romanticized notion of a tortured artist pouring their angst into their work is a compelling story. It is a much less compelling reality which, for me, involves barely being able to hold my head above water and keep my relationships healthy, much less be productive.

Art can however help us work through, if only I can get to a place where being productive is even possible.

Wish me luck.


Synthpop Fans are Dead

The Synthpop scene has long been dominated by white men.  While other genres of music have witnessed an increasing participation of women, Synthpop has never freed itself from the confines of maleness. Synthpop often “borrows” from non-Western music, yet people of color are nowhere to be seen rendering this facade of multiculturalism nothing more than appropriation.

One redeeming quality of Synthpop is that it is really really gay.

Come at me bro.


Banned from M.A.N. [Vintage]

Look what I found from myspace?

SubjectBanned from M.A.N.DateCreated12/25/2005 6:21:00 PMPostedDate12/25/2005 6:19:00 PMBody

This is most likely a prank. I've been around conservative religion
enough to understand the M.O. enough to realize this is not the M.O.
of a religious based concerned parents organization. The
infrastructure already exists for such groups to organize on various
extremely well-moderated sites.

The yahoogroup does not even have restricted access. The messages are
not moderated. That doesn't make any sense. Most religious BBS are
highly restricted, because open debate is not encouraged. The idea is
to create such an oppressive social atmosphere that an individual's
actions become dictated by a sense of obligation and the human need
for acceptance and belonging. They may be well-meaning and not have
that in mind, but it is the end result.

There are enough people that really hate religious groups that wish to
disrupt their activities that they are able to justify these restrictions.

If this were a real group, they would have started a grass-roots
organization physically going from church to church spreading their
message with very little danger of a different opinion being
expressed. They would most likely start a petition of some sort and
express their concern to local officials who have the power to close
venues on technicalities, make ordinances that discourage shows, and
enforce various "decency laws". Since, in many cities, the church has
the votes and the $$...it will happen.

However, real anti-noise and anti-freedom of expression groups conduct
their activities completely behind our backs. They have just as much
desire to speak with a Power Electronics artists as an abortion
doctor. There would be no debate, instead we would just show up to a
gig and find out the venue had been shut down (which has happened to me!).

There are a few venues left because the academic art community still
has some sway. There are a few actual anarchist venues as well, but
they generally go under. My basement is generally off limits due to
"noise ordinances" (which I can understand). I do think one of the
reasons that noise is associated with extremist groups in some places
is that we have mutual enemies that wish to silence us; not because we
have a shared agenda.

The "right" already has completley demonized the ACLU. Every once in
a while this struggle does come to a head and lawyers get involved.
Now, all the sudden everyone who understands the ideals of civil
liberty is "promoting" child rape and murder. Once the struggle goes
public, the smear compaign begins. Then, artists and musicians who
have unpopular ideas or who explore disturbing subjects do not have a
venue and fear fines, the loss of employment, or even jail time.

Don't think it isn't happening. If there is any conspiracy it is the
conspiracy to silence dissenting opinion. The "right" does not want
the truth to come out because they know that it will threaten their
power. Any fact that does not support their agenda is labled "liberal
bias" or part of some conspiracy against them. Unknown to the average
person, they pay charletons who spread inflamatory "information" about
neo-paganism, abortion, homosexuality, evolution, etc. or trumped-up
first hand accounts about how "God has blessed us" for giving money or
labor to the church in order to keep the money and free labor coming.
I've seen it happen.

Not all churchs indulge in such non-sense, but even the most well
meaning ones get wrapped up in it. They don't want to purge it or
reveal it, because they are embarrassed by it. When you are seriously
convinced that the eternal resting place of souls are on the line, of
what use is the truth about an evangelical preacher to stretches the
truth a little bit or an "awareness speaker" who talks about the
horrors of being in a Wiccan Cult that never existed, or the
former-homosexual who is "much happier" after the electro-shock treatment?

I live this bullshit. This yahoogroup is not it. This is an open
debate, this is not a serious group of parents backed by a powerful
religious organization who wants to silence us. Those organizations
already exist and they are out there right now getting books banned
from your public schools and trying their best to promote "intelligent
design" and selling thousands of their books full of half-truths that
demonize liberal thought and inclusiveness ala "The War on Christmas".

I would absolutely LOVE to have people involved in those organizations
here on this forum or at a noise show or in my living room having an
intelligent conversation. However, it is not going to happen because
they don't do their own dirty work and they do NOT inform themselves
from any other source other than the church. If they did, they would
not be on the path that has been created for them; they would lose
their faith built on sand and become a bitter experimental musician.

End rant.

sinmantyx


Emotional attachment to your art?

This was the question posed by Emily Rose.

That is a strange question for me because most of my art is digital.  It doesn’t exist as an object, so the idea that I would be protecting it from harm or holding onto it for dear life doesn’t make sense.  However, I find myself treating my art (whether it is a poem, a composition, or even a blog post) like a summer fling.  I become obsessed with it for a short time – reading it or listening to it over and over again and making small edits.  Then I leave it alone – pretty tired of it, really – and move on to someone/something else.  By the time I’m done with it, it is wasted on me.  However, with the really good ones, I’ll go back and visit and have a cup of coffee with it months or years later.  I’ll remember why I liked it in the first place, or wonder what on gods green earth I was thinking.


Writing as a character

So, I made a character for a role-playing game the other day and decided to make a poet.  So, I wrote a poem as that character.

I know quite a few artists of various kinds have done this (not necessarily in the context of a role-playing game, but you know what I mean).

It is very freeing.  No stress at all.  No worry about how it will be perceived. 

I recommend it.


Physical creativity and my mood

So, we’re getting over winter.  I live pretty North for a reasonable human being – not anything extreme – but winters are actually winters here.  I’ve been having pretty intense moodiness that I have decided is partially due to stress and partially due to long nights and cold weather.

These are times that I want to do something expressive, something physical, something interesting – but I’m just too busy to do it.  Also, some of the ideas I have are just not practical.

I mean – I have time right after the kids go to bed, but I also can’t be too loud, and half the time I have stuff to write-up or grade.

I am looking forward to acting in a movie this summer, however – a psychological thriller – that is being written and produced by old friends of mine.

So, I have an essay in a book coming out in September and an acting gig in late May.  I suppose I should release an album at some point! – but some of my ideas right now can only be performed.  I need to find the art community here – the one that doesn’t have $125 dinners.  It’s weird to me that I know more people in this town literally governing and bank-rolling the mainstream traditional “music community” than I do who do what I do.  The closest to that would be some dup-step DJ’s in a town an hour drive from here!  The local composer is literally on vacation this year.

My oh my.