Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Adam-Troy Castro

There are some writers who writes well and sell a lot, there are some writers who writes ok and still sell a lot, then there are writers who writes damn well and should sell a zillion copy of their books.

That writer is Adam-Troy Castro.

He's damn good and his Of A Sweet Slow Dance.. moved me.. It was not just a short story and that's it, the story moved me, I was in the story, I was the lead character, I felt his love, pain, anger and hatred. The feelings were so real that it's scary. I never liked war stories, I never really understood all the technical terms and such, but his story was different, it grasped my heart and wrenched it out of me.

I have never been so touched by a story.. ever..

This story is about utopia and the price one pays to stay in utopia. For 9 days in heaven, you will spend one day in hell, one full day of pain and misery, of lost and hatred. For 9 days of pure bliss, you suffer one day of living hell, it's about keeping people grounded, it's paying a price for something you cherish.

Hell is like such..

There is no hope with seven. I know this even as I drag myself toward her from the place where I lie broken. I know this even as she struggles to drive her tormentors away with furious kicks. But these bys are too experienced with such things. They take her by the ankles, lift her off the ground, and bear her squirming and struggling form across the ravaged pavement to a clear place in the rubble, where they pin her to the ground, each taking a limb. They must struggle to keep her motionless. The soldier with the darkest eyes unslings his rifle, weighs it in his arms, and smashes its butt across her jaw. The bottom half of her face crumples like shattered pottery.

There is nothing I can do but continue to crawl toward her, toward them.

Caralys coughs out a bubble of fresh blood. Fragments of teeth, driven from her mouth, cling to what's left of her chin. She shrieks and convulses and tries to kick. Her legs remain held. The same soldier who just smashed her face now sees that his job is not yet done. He raises his rifle above his head and drive the stock, hard, into her belly. She wheezes and chokes. She tries to curl up into a ball of helpless misery, seeking escape within herself. But the soldiers won't even permit that. Another blow, this one to her forehead, takes what little fight is lift. Her eyes turned to blackened smears. Her nose blows pink bubbles which burst and dribble down her cheeks in rivulets. She murmurs an animal noise. The soldier responsible for making her manageable makes a joke in a language I don't know, which can't possibly be funny, but still make the others laugh. They rip off her filthy dress and spread her legs further apart. The leader steps away, props his rifle against a fragment of wall, and returns, dropping his pants. As he gives his swollen penis a lascivious little waggle, I observe something wrong with it, something I can see from a distance; it looks green, diseased, half-rotted. But he descends, forcing himself into her, cursing her with every thrust, his cruel animal grunts matched by her own bubbling exhalations, less gasps of pain or protests at her violation than the involuntary noise made as her diaphragm is compressed again and again and again. It doesn't last long, but by the time he pulls out, shakes himself off, and pulls his pants back up, the glimpse I catch of her face is enough to confirm that she's no longer here.

That is living hell. This passages scares the shit of me and reminds me of Irreversible.

So would I trade a day in hell for 9 days in heaven? I would say yes, for life in heaven is being alive, it's not as simple as breathing, it's about acknowledging life, it's about breathing and living life. It's the simplest thing to do, yet the hardest to achieve.

Utopia is a place where I can be myself, without pretenses.

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