Katie

She loved the red glitter on her eyes. It was so thick and opaque. Looking into the mirror, she had to tippy-toe onto her Dr. Martens to see the details. It gave her a buzz – the satisfaction of seeing colour on her face. Kate patted down her hair, trying to ignore the grays.

There was a lot now. They came in from nowhere. Probably due to stress. Her mom-in-law. Lack of inspiration or something like that. Katie inhaled a deep breath while admiring herself. One more time, she thought. And then, she turned to exit the restroom.

Her dress was red too. Strolling through the children’s department, Katie saw something green. It was fabulous! Hyper-fantastic and surreal. She had to run towards it. A supreme, three-piece, pastel green, polyester suit. It was a suit of dreams.

Flared pants, minuscule vest, oddly-sized plastic buttons, and a blazer. The blazer. The lapels and the boning. That feeling she got when fresh clothes actually existed was drugs. Not street drugs, but visceral happiness-coated candy love.

Lime green market baskets. Apple-scented Jolly Ranchers. That sort of thing. Why in the world would you even need drugs, if you could find clothes like these? She didn’t know. It blew her mind. As she took the leisure suit to the till to pay, she was anxious, but she still smiled.

She opened her Celine wallet, removing the VISA card – personal purchase – she thought. I’m gonna make this work! Smiling and not evaluating an inch of the sales associate’s grin, Katie took the handles of her JC Penney bag and walked out. Into the world.

***The stores that have given me a sense of fashionable purpose growing up were JC Penney, Fairweather, Smart Set, Dalmys, Le Château, Mariposa, Jacobs, Westbeach, Au Coton, Aritzia, Nike, Winners, Eaton’s and Hudson’s Bay. Most have come and gone. Based on this subset, the champions have focused on a specified niche market, continual dedication through brand evolution and reduced pricing.

CONCLUSION

Time changes everything. How do we keep up (trend)? Stay relevant (worth)? Do you remember your favorite stores and brands? Are they still around? Have they become more or less ubiquitous over time? Why are the champions still in ‘power’ and how do you think they got there?

8 – Swimming

The chlorinated water stung her eyes. Daisy continued to grimace, holding her breath and paddling her arms amid graphic stingrays and intermittently exiting, bobbing jellyfish. The clock’s numbers were vibrantly green and for everyone waiting in the pool hall, silence waiting for Daisy to come up again.

That should do it. One red bling and one blue, right? She dove down deep to retrieve the jewels, opened her sight side and slipped each bling around one elbow at a time. She started to feel pressure building up and the water was shifting to purple. She knew, she only had so long to carry herself back to the top.

The audience gasped. Would she make it up in time? Nothing was blinging. The tiny green flags that sporadically twitched began releasing scents of star anise. The animals started to exit. They’ve seen enough of this to know, they had won once again. Even Shady and Slime left carrying newspapers and bamboo fibre mugs filled with nothing.

Daisy was officially up and her yellow-lime, green suit still had a bit of light going off. She carefully pruned her wet hair and felt a bit of black grease on the surface. Her fingers vibrated, making her starved. Is someone going to bring me a ham and cheese biscuit? It didn’t seem like it. It seemed freezing. Off-putting, really. She shook her head in a frenzy.

Down at the discotech, animals mingled with Others and creatures of all kinds. This particular store had been up since 1915, although only known to mankind since 2020. It became an entranceway for exportation. Stuff like new bed reclines or barbecued pork chop muffins. A discotech was not so much for dancing anymore. It was a space for replacing products that required an elevated service.

Daisy only visited once a year. She brought two blings, hoping to exchange them for sweet lemons and grass seed. When she would be able to return home, she would plant both, growing an aromatic space conducive to Each Other showing their faces once again. She missed them. When they left, there were no more sarcastic antics, there was only commenting.

Seventeen clutched her way through the jungly roughage, trying to bring sight back to her millions, in a way so they could both understand. Their relationship was deep, so deep that they barely communicated anymore. Thoughts were transmuted through IT or in sets of threes (the three most dominant voices in Daisy’s mind – Being, Artha and Manipura). It was hard to decipher love during digital warfare. She was right across from him, but they were a thousand years apart. He looked away, confused and horrified.

She sweated once. The mirror sang. They both waited for the reflection of Being; the union of Elevententeen.

Fighting is not complicated, it’s wrong. We should not resort to id. So, where does our ego belong?

Awareness

She positioned her face in the centre of the shot and when I saw it, my heart strings pulled for the very first time in long while. For the very first time in a long while, I felt proud to be alive, healthy and moving in a new direction.

Marketers run campaigns for many incentive reasons. Whether to motivate and encourage or to stimulate an investment, what matters today is that campaigns produce an intrinsic value that over history will impact the course of time.

I know now, I could never be alone. I wish I remembered the elation I felt when I was offered the position. That feeling has gone on retreat and I don’t have the energy to take it back.

It feels like a giant *cinnamon bun, he said. We came out of the theatre and I heard him sniffle. He asked me if I liked it and I answered, it felt sad. Only time will tell, should we just countdown the days? I counted down the days until then.

*Which do you like the sound of better – culmination of effort or cinnamon bun?

LOL!

Start

Hi everyone! This is a story about taking naps. What would you do if you could start your nap over again?

Day by day, she fought to stay awake. At night, facing the wall, she could see her breath come back, stirring her into place. Her gaze could only see an odd, black shadow.

The plague.

Napping feverishly on an ex-boyfriend’s mattress, my breath came to me, rousing my face. There was no odd black shadow, only the installation piece (University of Calgary, Faculty of Art, 2001) I completed about a red cross and red intersecting paint brushes. Over time, the red morphed into a black matte surface, replacing the glowing red symbols with something different…

The sound.

I gasped for air, clutching my heart staring into Kevin’s barren closet. I saw myself as a ‘doctor’, healing the world from every known pain of mankind. In that moment, my heart sung and I cried. I felt adorned, yet I was confused as to how this could have happened. How could this be a reality that I, Chona Fe, changed the world? Healed it, in fact. How could I be the charging force that put everything into place?

The only other time this happened, I was napping, this time at my aunt’s house in one of the empty rooms. (Note: Filipino homes always have empty rooms; they’re probably accommodating ghosts.) All of the 90s furniture, including a stark, reflective black master’s bedroom set, had no meaning or design in that place. That place where I slumbered and was suddenly awoken again. I think I was 13, sitting up abruptly on the right side of the bed, staring at myself. Yelling. Screaming at the top of my lungs.

Stop!

I wasn’t looking at a reflection of ours.

The reflection.

My brother (Alan Abad) and cousins (Ryan and Vanessa Skinner), ran home from the playground in the centre of the crescent (71 Maryvale Cr. N.E., Calgary, AB). They heard me scream. They were horrified to think something horrible had happened. But nothing did. I was alive. I wasn’t attacked or eaten by monsters. Vanessa grabbed my shoulders, shaking vigorously and I blinked slowly three times, “What. The. I…don’t know what just happened, but I think…I died and saw…a different person…in…” I couldn’t even continue. It was that bad.

Scared?

Night

Hi everyone!

It’s weird how important points in life can become permanent as art. I took this photo (Glenbrook Middle School, New Westminster, BC) while on a jog. It captures one interpretation of Simpler & Larger quite accurately. In words, I would describe this photo like the feeling I had as a child with a high fever. It felt like the universe had swallowed me up and I became a planet. So big, my sight became distorted. I would look at my bedroom door and it’s imposition startled me. I tried to comfort myself by huddling underneath the blankets, but they too swallowed me whole. It was and still is, the scariest thing I have ever experienced.

“Life is a never-ending story with no plot, because it has been eaten. The depths of me. When will we forgive what has become of them? When is she thinking too deep that she cannot leave without men? Woe is becoming, not free.” – Chona Fe Canlas

Talk about the things that bother you, even if they seem too weird. This is the first step to creating a partnership.

We deserve to know!