100 Words-4

“It’s not that I don’t like you.”
“Then what?”
“It’s that I like you.”
“You’re not making sense.”
“I know, I know. But, see, I’m not looking for a relationship right now. And it’s because I like you that I don’t want this.”
“Yeah, yeah.”
“I really mean it. I don’t want to hurt you by not putting my all into it.”
“…”
“You don’t believe me.”
“…”
“What can I say?”
“That you love me?”
“…”
“I figured.”
“I love you.”
“…”
“I do.”
“Yeah, I suppose. So it’s over, right?”
“Yeah. It’s over.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry too.”

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As the tall, lean boy sips at his iced coffee drink, looking out over the food court from his optimal vantage point, he lets out a contented sigh. Few things are as calming to him as people-watching in the mall on a busy afternoon. He peers at the different people through his shaggy black hair. He needs a haircut, but he hasn’t gotten one yet.
He picks up his pen and scrawls a few lines in his striped notebook that he carries around on days like this. A quick glance up, and he writes some more. He is intently focused on what he’s doing that he does not notice the pretty girl who is standing next to him. That is, he doesn’t notice her until she speaks.
“Hey, stranger,” she says.
He looks up, surprised. She looks as though she is around the same age as he is, which is sixteen. Her hair is brownish with streaks of red, though he’s not sure if it’s natural or just highlights. She is dressed in a denim jacket, a cream-colored blouse, and a colorfully striped skirt that’s a few inches above her knee. She’s wearing a pair of leather oxfords and a double-link chain watch on one hand and a metal bracelet on the other. Her brown eyes seem dance with excitement behind the pair of funky square glasses that she’s wearing, and a grin plays at the corner of her lips. The boy recognizes her, because she was eating a sub about twenty minutes ago when he saw her. “Hello,” he says noncommittally.
“I’ve seen you around here lots of times,” she begins, her voice clear and just a little bubbly, but not in the annoying way. “You’re always sitting right here with some drink and that notebook of yours, watching everybody. And since you’re kinda cute in that slightly enigmatic sort of way, and I’ve been ever so curious about finding out who you are, I thought I’d say hi.”
He nods, not sure what to say about the cute comment. “It’s nice to meet you. You can sit down.”
She sets her canvas tote on the table and sits opposite to him, hands on the table. “All right, Mr. Enigma, what exactly do you do here?”
“I like, as you quite accurately deduced, to observe people. To people-watch. So I come here every Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon, buy an overpriced coffee drink, and look at people and imagine what’s going on in their lives. I like writing, so a lot of the characters I create are loosely based on some of the people I see here.”
“Can I look at your notebook?” she asks.
He nods, not remembering that he wrote down something about her. She takes it and starts reading out loud.
“Large middle-aged man who brings the term ‘fuddy-duddy’ to mind, wears a garish Hawaiian shirt with three buttons open, revealing a rather hirsute chest, and is eating a sausage and pepperoni pizza while blatantly staring at two twenty-something women with radiant blonde hair; I say ‘radiant’ in the sense that their hair no doubt has been excessively bleached, permed, and coated with countless different hair products.” Here the girl looks up, a bemused expression on her face, and says, “Do you normally use words like ‘fuddy-duddy’ and ‘garish’ and ‘hirsute’?”
He smirks a little, then says, “Not necessarily.”
She grins and continues to read. “Slender teenage girl, clad in a jacket, blouse, and skirt. Clothes appear to be somewhat expensive; girl might be described as trendy. Eats her sandwich with a well-practiced finesse that seems to be more innate than a habit done to impress; this observation, of course, is but rudimentary and may be completely inaccurate. Combined with her stereotypical uniqueness in fashion, the girl is, in my humble opinion, quite exquisite—three.” Here the girl looks up, her brows furrowed.
The boy has turned redder than a stop sign, and mumbles something under his breath about darned coffee. He snatches his notebook back and refuses to look the girl in the eyes.
“You wrote that about me?” she asks.
“Maybe,” is all he mutters. “Forget it, all right?”
She shakes her head, but says, “But why?”
“Because…” he begins, but seems to have no reason. Instead, he says, “Why are you, little Ms. Popular, hanging around me—who, in case you haven’t realized, is a dork? I mean, I think you’d find hot jocks more interesting than me, right? Isn’t that what your type goes after?” His tone is rough, but he is not angry at the girl—he is furious with himself.
She scowls. “Look, if you think that I’m like some empty-headed girl who’s a plaything and follows the latest trends for the sake of looking cool, then you’re wrong. You don’t know a flipping thing about me, and if you just up and assume who I am, that’s just wrong.”
“Look, I didn’t mean that,” he says, his words spilling out rapidly. “It’s just that…well, you see, it’s just that it’s one thing to observe people from a distance and create your own characters and write a story than it is to actually talk to one of your…your…”
“You think I’m a character of yours?” she asks, not unkindly.
“Well, sort of. I actually wrote something based on your persona last week. And it’s just, I’m not used to people listening to me or actually interacting. Pen and paper is one thing. Flesh and blood…that’s something else. But I’m not even making any sense.”
There’s a short pause. The girl fiddles with her glasses. The boy keeps staring at his notebook. Then, she says, “It’s okay. I sort of get what you mean. Look, I’m sorry for bothering you.”
“No, no,” he says. “I’m sorry for being suck a jerk. You’re a really good person. I’m just a pretentious fool.”
She grins. “Well, just between the two of us—” she folds her hands and leans in closer to him, “I’m quite the hypocrite myself. So it’s all good.” She winks and sits back. “So, what’s the three at the end of that little paragraph about me?”
“Oh, that means it’s the third time I’ve written something about you. That way I can cross-reference my characters and write about them better.”
“So you think that everyone here is just a two-dimensional character, then?”
He pauses for a moment, as though unsure what to say. “Well, I wouldn’t put it so rudely, but to a degree, yes. The people I see here become other people when I write about them. It’s…giving them life, I guess.”
“Is it really?”
“What do you mean?”
She drums her fingers on the table. “Well, here they seem to be alive—they eat, they talk, they live. But then, you observe someone, decide who they’re going to be, and then re-create them…but remove from their essence. It’s like you make them a two-dimensional character. You don’t really know who they are—their struggles, their passions, what makes them tick—and then you put them down on paper and make them something else. But that’s not all about them. They’re so much bigger and realer and…aliver than that, if I can use that word.” Here the trendily-dressed girl pauses, slightly flushed, but still grinning.
The boy sits there, eyebrows raised. “You are impressive,” he says, almost reverentially.
She laughs. “No, I’m just pretentious like you. But I guess what I’m trying to say is this: just be careful. There’s more to me, there’s more to everyone else here than you think. And you want to know something else?”
“What?”
Here, she leans in closer. The boy does the same, as though drawn in by her charisma. They’re so close that their foreheads are almost touching, and he can smell the perfume that she used. It smells fruity, he thinks. Like watermelon. “There’s more to you, my friend, than you think. And I don’t think you’ve discovered that.” She brushes her hand over his for just a second, sending a jolt of electricity through him as she takes her canvas tote and stands up.
The boy stares at her, as though dumbfounded. There’s so much he wants to say to this person that he feels as if he knows, but he can’t get any of it out. Finally, he manages to say, “Wait! What’s your name?”
She turns back to face him, her tote swinging. He looks at her expectantly. Then, she says, “You know what? Call me little Ms. Popular.”

100 Words-3

She drifts with the waves as they carry her wherever they please. It is dark. She opens her eyes and looks straight up. There are no clouds, stars, or moon. Darkness. She closes them again. It is the same as having them opened.
The waves lap against her, cool and fresh. It is not warm or cold. It is just there. It is water, and that is all.
She barely registers anything—the wetness, the darkness, the emptiness. She knows that they are all there, but she is in a void of darkness, drifting along, on and on.
Oblivion.

100 Words-2

Crash, crash.
He looks out over the wide expanse of waves that goes on forever as he stands at the precipice, toes dangling over the edge. He contemplates on universe’s enormity and vastness.
Crash, crash.
It’s all so big; he’s so small. Everything goes on and on. He never mattered. Why, nobody and nothing cares. Even the ocean just does its job and remains indifferent.
Crash, crash.
He takes a deep breath. Now’s not the time to be afraid. He’ll soon just be another permanent addition to the ocean. It’s now or never.
One, two, three.
He jumps.
Crash, crash.

100 Words

As his alarm goes beep-beep, beep-beep, Richard rolls over onto his back and groans. It is 5:45 a.m. Wednesday. He mentally runs through the day: shave, shower, dress, eat, drive, work, break, work, drive, eat, rest, TV, read, sleep. Repeat. Every day. He sits up in bed and hisses as his feet touch the cold floor. Frigid. Another typical part of the day. He should add that to his list. He laughs bitterly. Ten seconds pass. Another ten. He contemplates on giving up on the daily routine. He sighs and gets up, heading to the bathroom.
It’s just another day.

Less than three,
Josh

INFJs

Greetings, people! Today I bring you a post in the (in)famous “Let’s Talk About X” series. We’ve talked about the Internet. We’ve talked about the ocean. We’ve discussed cynicism and thunderstorms and goodness knows what else. Today, we’re going to talk about INFJs. So please, enjoy the ride.

Now, to explain, I am an INFJ, and I decided to look up the webpage that listed some of the traits that INFJs commonly share and share my opinions with the blogosphere. I shall spend a few blog posts dwelling on this subject.
The INFJ is known as “The Protector,” which I find quite interesting as I know three people who are INFJs. One of them is male, and sometimes goes by “The Chivalrous Knight.” He can be quite the protective one, and I believe that the “subtitle” of the INFJ suits him perfectly. I would not call myself a protector. I would rather the term. .watcher. I feel as though it denotes both a sense of observation, but also a sense of guarder or protector, although in a much more passive state than the protector.
Regardless, the following excerpts that I will quote and then discuss come from The Personality Page.

“As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.”

Ah, intuition: my best friend (besides the occasional PopTart, armband, or current favorite song, but that’s beside the point). You see, for me, I see something or someone, and almost instantly decide how I feel about it. I take it all in within a moment or two, as though some innate part of me does all the work, putting me on auto-pilot. And then, I voluntarily decide how I’m going to work and deal with whatever I have to deal with, based on what my “gut” tells me. I can quickly tell whether or not I like or dislike a person, and immediately form a rather preemptory “sketch” of said person. I do not say that my intuition is always right, but it is, as a general rule of thumb, something that I follow.

Now, I’m not here to sit and paint myself in some glorious light, highlighting how tender-hearted and sensitive I am. Because I’m not going to. Leave it to someone else. Am I artistic and creative? To a degree, yes. I most certainly enjoy complexity and hidden meanings, as a faithful reader of the blog may or may not have noticed. I was surprised to find out that the INFJ personality type is the rarest of all; however, once I thought about it, I realized it made sense: as I compared the different qualities that INFJs had, I realized that few of the people I knew were quite like it.

“INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.”

Hmm. Order. While my standards might not be quite as high as a military barracks, I find myself to be fairly ordered. Things must be where they belong; otherwise, I wind up being extremely frustrated. I do not, however, obsess with trying to find out what is the best “system” for getting things done. I am not very systematic. I am very roundabout, due to my somewhat frequent bouts of laziness. But, I frequently re-define my priorities. If something spins out of control, I need to go somewhere quiet, close my eyes, and get everything back into its order or find a new order to get things done. I must decide what is important and what is not, and then act on it.

We’re back to the intuition thing. Now, I say this with as much humility as possible, and I also say this with the risk of sounding horribly pretentious: but when I have a feeling about something, it’s often right. If I think that this person isn’t what he seems to be, and he’s really such and such, chances are, I am correct. I really can’t explain it, as it just. .happens. But I’ll come into contact with someone or a certain situation and get a sudden impression. And over the years, I’ve learned to trust my instincts on a myriad of different circumstances.

I also find the part about having “signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency” to be very true. For the most part, I am neat. When traveling, my suitcase is always the most organized. I stack my books and make sure the corners don’t bend and the pages don’t tear. I straighten the wrinkles out of my bed constantly. But there are certain things that I just fail to stay organized or consistent in. For an example, when I go to put away dinner dishes, I might stack the pots and pans in a rather haphazard manner, but at the same time, I’ll neatly pile up all the dirty dishes that need to be washed, yet not wash them. Don’t ask why.

“INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get ‘feelings’ about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ himself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.”

Uncanny insight? Psychic nature? This I do not know. Feelings? This I do know. I do not believe that I have some great “preternatural instinct” about people and things. As I have said, I follow my intuition, but there is no such thing as something of a psychic nature. Instead, I live and go through my life based largely on my intuition—I hesitate to use the word “feelings,” because it may sound as though I try to follow my emotions, which I do not. As for the part about being complex, I do not believe I am more complex than the next person. While I may spend more time deep in thought than some people may, I am a firm believer in the fact that all people are intricately made and highly complex. Now, about holding back and being protective? Guilty as charged. I am an extremely private person, often saying as little about myself as necessary. I listen, not talk.

“But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.”

As I said that this is not a post to parade all of my (allegedly) wonderful characteristics, I see little need to comment on my (alleged) genuine warmness. However, am I concerned for people’s feelings? Most often, to a degree. I strongly dislike having to tell someone something that will potentially hurt them, so I often end up skirting the issue. I tend to be rather polite and hyper-sensitive to what may or may not hurt someone else’s feelings; however, if something strongly bothers me or sets me off, I will say something. Often, once I get started, I’m not able to easily stop, which is why I tend to say as little that is damaging as possible.

Now, conflict. This is something the website has dead on. I. Bloody. Hate. Conflict. I absolutely loathe it when people cannot get along. It grates on my nerves and annoys me more than someone playing “The Happy Song” at full volume on repeat. And I can’t stand that song. Conflict makes me go beside myself, and often causes me to become anxious, frustrated, and sometimes angry. Combined with stress, and I often wind up with a severe headache.

Now, I shall continue with the rest of the article on INFJs in my next post in the “Let’s Talk About X” series. When that will be, I have no idea. As if I plan these things ahead. Please.

As always, I humbly thank you for taking the time out of your day to read the following post. Much love, cheerio, and all that.

Less than three,
Josh