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He raises the cup to his mouth
The twilight zone on the TV
A slurping sound of drinking
She carefully touches her face
There will be soup for dinner.
Words spill from the TV screen
I would rather live in the dark than not live at all
The evening light is fading, this buildings fading, it’s used up.
The picture is moving in black and white, dancing across the screen
I found a game a while ago called Hatoful boyfriend: the player is a girl at an all bird high school where she is the only human, it’s sort of a dating game and you choose to do and say different things and that decided who you end up with. At the end of the game you give the bird you like beans. There are fourteen possible different endings to the game. During the game you uncover mysteries that are going on at the school and with each ending you learn new things about various characters and sometimes meet new characters which would have been otherwise missed all together. It’s listed as a visual novel and an indie game, I’m playing it on my computer through steam.
The game no actual moving graphics it’s all made up of still frames and text, there is music but no voice overs. As a game I did really enjoy it the first time, the second time fun still but then it’s slightly repetitive, but I did still desperately want find out all the possible endings, plot twists and secrets. I have spent about 8 hours playing in two days and have almost finished the whole game, I have found myself compelled to finish it as soon as I can, but at the same time is so bizarre I have had to take breaks, I do find myself thinking about it during the breaks still.
*I’m about to talk about the plot next, if you are planning to play it there are spoilers*
The game seems pretty innocent to begin with, weird as anything, but just a high school game. It gets really dark pretty quickly. You find out that the school doctor is performing experiments on the students and cutting them up and he sent us a bird earlier in the game to eat for Christmas that he later tells us was another student. There are other plot lines which are slightly creepy but not like that: there is a student that turns out to be a ghost trapped in the room where he killed himself.
One plot line is just very bizarre there is a bird obsessed by pudding, he starts lots of fights over it and in the end he is a pudding god and accents to haven: he tells us there is a little bit of pudding in all of us. The game has lot a of little word plays in it, they say everybirdie not everybody and anybirdie. There are some pigeons that try and mug you at one point and they are called punkeons. These sort of add to the generally bizarre feeling of the game.
There is a cafe that you have the option of working in and at the end of your career there it gives you a map of where the cafe actually is in japan! It even has a website: birdcafe.jp I thought that this was a really interesting element to the game, it gives it a link to real life.
*I’m about to talk about the ending, so even more spoilers than before here*
After completing all the character endings you get to play a really long, and I mean about 2/3 hour long ending. it explains all the other in the game. you go through abandoned buildings and birds die. the story is pretty complicated, the doctor is actually trying to do the right thing and fulfil the wish one of the pigeons made as a child (can a pigeon ever be a child?) that humans and pigeons would never fight but the way he was going to achieve this was to kill all the humans with a strain of bird flu which doesn’t effect birds only humans. to complicate things the strain of bird flu can only be caught by a bird with a very weak immune system so he has been systematically weakening the pigeon who made the wishes immune system to implant it in him! He manages to implant it in him by force down in an abandoned tunnel but then the doctor is shot and the infected bird stays in the tunnel as quarantine until an antidote might be found. The character that you perviously played at was murdered and her brain put in a scarecrow.
Then after all this there is an epilog, everyone is getting along despite everything that happened, then it suggests they find a cure to all the things the doctor has done in complete this pigeons wish and that now they might all live happily!
I don’t think I can ever look at pigeons or maybe any bird in the same way again.
Wool gathering isn’t that an image, my mind just runs with the idea. Patti Smith has written a book called wool gathering but I haven’t read it, I almost don’t want to ruin my ideas of the content by actually reading it.
When I picture wool gathering I imagine picking the wool off of the wire fences, gathering the wool the sheep have left behind. It could take hours to get much wool and you might have to walk a long way around the fields to get anything. I think the idea is sort of poetic.
When I was a child I used to go out and collect wool like this, I want to go out wool gathering like this again. I have moved since then and don’t know where I could find fields with sheep in them. I really feel I don’t know the area much at all and I feel like I need to get to know it desperately.
I think wool gathered in this way has more feeling to it, and I don’t think that’s just in my head: when it’s gathered in little tiny pieces and put together they are all different tones and textures so the pieces made from it do have more to them.
I’m going to read the book at some point I am, but the image of someone in a warm coat and scarf picking wool off fences in the late autumn. The grass crunching slightly icy underfoot, holding a cloth bag that’s slowly filling up with small pieces of lost wool. It’s the idea of a quiet contemplative time, time to think, it’s not an activity that needs to be done: there are so many more efficient ways to collect wool. This wool could be left ignored and lost but someone is taking the time to collect it all up, it gives it importance.
This is a book I made out of scraps that I had lying around. The prints on the brown paper were done with potato stamps, the photo of the cards was cut from a magazine. The polaroid was done by squeezing think chemicals out by hand (the battery on the pack of film had gone).
Noodles are one of my favourite things. I’ve eaten lots of different noodles from lots of different place, I’ve tried lots of different packets of instant noodles and even cooked my own versions of a noodle bowl.
My favourite instant noodles come in a red packet with writing in some sort of Asian characters ( I think it’s Japanese but I don’t want to say and be wrong ) they are bold and black and they are in the style that is made to look like they have been painted on with a brush. There is a very small boy that is running along the bottom of the packet, he can’t be older than a toddler, with blonde hair and a blue nappy: he’s running with a bowl of noodles. I like the sesame flavour but they come in others too, they don’t taste of sesame more like soy sauce.
There is a really high end version of a pot noodle made by Itsu which is my absolute favourite but it’s much more expensive so not something I have had more than a few times as one of the attractive things about instant noodles is how cheap they are. This one is special though: it comes with soft udon noodles, extra vegetable and paste instead of powder. It comes with it’s own pink spoon which has small fork prongs at the end of it. It has seaweed, tofu and spring onions in it and a slightly tomato flavour to the soups which seems less traditional to me.
There is one other brand that I like to buy regularly, indome noodles: the vegetable flavour is the best. They come in a pale green and white packet with red and yellow writing. These ones come with powdered seasoning and chilli, the sachet has two compartments which need to be opened separately one is for the seasoning and one for the chilli.
An oddly bound book which can be read either way around. It’s made from large sheets of sketches, folded and torn into pages.
I want to write letters to everyone I know, I feel like I have a lot to say but I don’t know what any of it is, I’ve felt strangely social the last few days too, I’ve been being friendly to people in shops and in the streets. It’s not that I’m not friendly normally just a bit absent and avoiding conversation.
I wrote a letter to my grandma, I found a pair of clip on earrings in a vintage shop and I wanted to send them to her and writing a letter to go with them seemed like a nice idea. I drew a sleeping face with flowers growing out of their dreams at the bottom of it. The earrings are small black and round with a flat back, they are made of seed bead. I wonder if my grandma will have owned a pair like them before, they might have sold them when she was young, I just don’t know with vintage things. I hope she likes them, even if she doesn’t she will know I was thinking of her.
I got a hand written letter in the post today as well, it’s from a friend I haven’t seem for four or five years now, it’s unopened on my desk, I can’t wait to read it but I want to sit down properly and read it quietly with a coffee and I have friends staying at the moment. Hand written letters are so personal that I want to open it alone.
I had a cup of coffee at nine this morning and can’t sleep now even though it’s almost eleven. I love coffee but i have no tolerance for caffeine at all now after having hardly had any for over a year. I’ve been thinking about people who have time to sit alone in coffee shops; I think it’s a beautiful thing to make time for. I feel like there is an element of judgement that surrounds people who do nothing for any amount of time, but I think nothing is a really important thing.