Character Sketch: from times before. #MercuryRetrograde

©1999-2016 Ka Malana

This one I could see myself revising, or considering an expanded story, developing it, adding details, connecting up loose ends, etc. At the very least, it’s nice for me to meet this character again. I remember being able to picture all of this very well when it was shown to me in my mind’s eye 17 years ago. What do you think?

By the age of six Lucas Walker was wearing his mother’s lipstick, dressing in her nylons, and playing in her high heels. As soon as Lucas heard his mother saying “goodbye” to the babysitter, Mrs. Milton, and the hallway smelled of freesia, Lucas was waiting to play with the bright colors in his mother’s dresser drawer.  And immediately after the old wooden front door closed, Mrs. Milton, the seventy-six year old, would resume her usual babysitting position on the rocking chair, with her knitting tools and drift into a heavy snore.

Lucas waited upstairs around the corner, next to his mother’s doorway.  After the door creaked shut, he would start rummaging though his mother’s drawers in near darkness, pulling out strings of old Mardi gras beads, watching the green in them glisten from the hallway night-light. Then he would flop around in her high-heels, dragging his ankles, and humming songs like a honeybee. After enough time had passed, little Lucas would figure that the old woman had fallen asleep, and he would put on his mother’s records, turn on the vanity light, and apply lipstick around his lips while puckering into the mirror.

Then, when Lucas was about fourteen years old, he would dress up, paint up his face, and sing and dance around while his friends toppled over in fits of laughter.  He usually did this right after school, and invited his friends over when his mother was still at work.  At school, everyone loved Lucas.  Wherever he was present, there was radiant charisma.  Especially after one of his school musical productions, when his charm was the most indispensable.  Friends and activity gathered around him, showering him with praise, as Lucas was cast as the main character of almost all productions.  His smile inexhaustibly stretched across his warm, reddened face and his eyes twinkled like something ethereal had touched him, while he breathed heavily, winded from the rush of the crowd and the performance.  He never seemed to recognize all the admiration of his peers, but no one ever minded.  His eyes were always clear and wet, glistening like gems, reflecting.  His dark, curled lashes haloed around his light eyes, as he looked at the people gathering around him, and looked high into the sky, beckoning something beyond.

Three years later, Lucas was in a club in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, playing pool with a couple of his friends and singing tunes.  He was halfway drunk but smiling modestly. A woman walked towards him from out of the shadows. She had come from behind the bar and had two glasses in her hand. She walked up to Lucas and didn’t say anything but extended the glass out to him, her fingers filled with rings.  She never took her eyes off of him, but just watched him take a sip.  Then she started, “Do you have an agent?”

“What, ” said Lucas.

“I mean, you just look as though you’d be making movies, and I have a boss that wants to know if you have an agent.”

“Nno, I’ve never had an agent–you think… I mean, you think I… look like I could be making films?”

“Yes, ” she said.

The woman introduced herself as Sandra and gave Lucas her business card.


Lucas Walker stared into the vanity mirror in his studio apartment.  His eyes were grey and swollen as he touched his face with his hand.  What he saw in the mirror was a fifty-five year old man, wrinkles gaining the best of him.  He envisioned the light from his mother’s vanity, in her room, brighter and better. He also envisioned his friend’s faces. He didn’t realize it then, but they really loved him.  Not like the people that rushed towards him whenever they recognized him on the streets, crowding his space and demanding his voice for their own advertisements.

Lucas had made one film in his life.  One that made him millions.  For two years afterward, his face was all over the newsstands.  Articles upon articles were written about Lucas Walker, “The Most Loved.” The epithet was branded upon him by his fans and followers: those that idolized and emulated him. This was a cage for him, this intense but short-lived popularity. So, there was within him a gradual change.

As he sat in front of the mirror and reminisced, he smiled and smiled. His grins becoming more profound as he traveled back in him through his history, recounting his joy that was so simple and satisfying. Little wrinkles formed at the corners of his eye lids while he smiled, until he realized, that he longed for it back, all the real things that existed: the friendship, the simple laughter, and people around him accepting him for who he was, loving him, and laughing with him.  His lids lowered slightly more, until his eyes became slits.  Then squinting, the rest of his face fell back to its former position, accepting of age. He smiled once more into the mirror, sighed, and switched off the light of the vanity.


Jungle-Like District: A Short Story

Preliminary Stuff

©1999-2016 Ka Malana

Originally written in 1999, and now transcribed and published by Ka Malana from its original form, created for an assignment dated due on February 3, 1999, written by then undergraduate college student, Ka Malana. Copy made: August 25, 2016

The story:

On Hawkslanding, deep within the jungle-like district of the largest city in the world, Gregory Orson is tied to the edge of his desk, hanging to the top of a 40 foot building, singing ludicrous prayers. He has, for fourteen years, been infatuated with Mr. Schwartzpitzer’s secretary. Mr. Schwartzspitzer is his boss, owning a large toy industry. Since Mr. Schwartzspitzer is the executive of the company, he requires many servants. Gregory would every day, when he would fetch Mr. Schwartzspitzer’s coffee, place little love notes cleverly atop of Ms. Dowery’s desk. Ms. Dowery read them every day during her Earl Grey tea break. Sometimes she spilled her tea, and sometimes she didn’t, while reading them. Inside of the notes he always included a small letter of the alphabet which would eventually spell words, revealing a secret sentence, that would identify her admirer as Gregory.  Gregory continued this notion, until Mr. Schwartzspitzer, aggravated by Gregory’s apparent distraction and not properly attending to his job, was fired. At the end of a long year, Gregory tied himself to the desk, on the 40th story, to end his life.

However, on the day that Gregory decided to take his life, he heard Ms. Dowery singing.

Gregory was unfamiliar with the tune at first, and then remembered that the first day Ms. Dowery started working for Mr. Schwartzpitzer, she sang that very song; Gregory Orson saw Susan Dowery’s big blue eyes for the first time when she sang this song.

It all began after Gregory’s fifth day of work. He was on his way to the photocopier with a loose stack of papers in his hands and his ears chimed in on the most beautiful sound. He felt for that moment that he was in an enchanted forest, deep within the jungle, gazing upon a Scarlet Ibis that somehow found itself far from its home. Ms. Dowery was wearing a vibrant pink dress-coat. She had long slender legs and held her head posed with serenity. The best part was that Gregory could see her, but she couldn’t see him. He stared at her stricken with wonder. To him, it was obvious that this unique and rare species of beauty did not belong in a toy factory, and she must have mistakenly misplaced herself.

Gregory went into the photocopying room.

One day, finally, Susan caught his stare. She was a bit startled because she hadn’t realized that anyone was watching her. She also noticed Gregory’s glowing eyes. This sort of frightened her so she looked back down at her work. Then, feeling as though she was being rude, she looked up and introduced herself. Gregory responded shyly with a, “hello,” set his stack down, and walked quickly out of the room. From this day forward, he always avoided being in the same room with her alone.

Then, one day, ten months after he had been working for Mr. Schwartspitzer, Gregory noticed an odd document placed on Ms. Dowery’s desk.  It was a document concerning Mr. and Mrs. Schwartzspitzer. To Gregory, it wasn’t the fact that the document itself was odd, but the fact that he saw Ms. Dowery staring at it the way she did. She read the document like it was her own. Surely, Gregory thought that Ms. Dowery wasn’t the type to be invading in one’s personal property!

Gregory also recalled seeing Ms. Dowery and Mr. Schwartzspitzer speaking once in a room by themselves, when Gregory walked in, Mr. Schwartzspitzer and Ms. Dowery seemed to be standing very close to each other in awkward silence. Gregory also began to notice that Mr. Schwartzspitzer grew more and more hasty with him. All of these observations were made by Gregory, but he never really took the time to consider their meaning.

In one day it would be Gregory’s 14th year anniversary at the toy factory. Mr. Schwartzspitzer breezed past Gregory and asked him to come into his office later, but that he had to speak with Ms. Dowery first. Walking quietly over to Mr. Schwartzspiters’s office, and listening through the door, Gregory heard the familiar voices of his boss and Ms. Dowery speaking. Incidentally, the voices were familiar sounding, but he noticed that they had changed tone. Ms. Dowery’s began to be even more sing-song like than usual, and Mr. Schwartzspiter’s  voice had softened. Suddenly it occurred to Gregory that Mr. Schwartzspitzer and Ms. Dowery were married! and Mr. Schwarzspitzer had only hired her, because she needed to get out of the house more! She hadn’t any previous experience nor training. Mr. Schwartzpitzer had Ms. Dowery use her maiden name to keep the employees from knowing.

Gregory became so lost in thought that he barely realized that the conversation between his boss and his boss’s wife had concluded. He was just about to leave and walk to the photocopying room, when Mr. Schwartzspitzer and Ms. Dowery walked out of the office. They saw Gregory immediately. Mr. Schwartzpitzer looked down at Gregory and wrenched up his face, while Ms. Dowery dropped her face into a frown.

“Gregory Orson, would you please step into my office now, ” was Mr. Schwartzspitzer’s immediate request. Gregory stepped into the office and gazed around at all the leather furniture. The room smelled like Ms. Dowery’s perfume. Mr. Schwartzspiter told Gregory that he has been preoccupied and that he just wasn’t completing his tasks, and that he was in fact being “let go” from the corporation. As Gregory exited, he heard Ms. Dowery singing her song. This time he didn’t look at her at all.

That evening Gregory felt that his life was over. He tied himself to the 40th floor of the building, to a desk, so that he could hang out of the window, because the building had no ledge.


There is no winning hand

Each day
I look down at my hands
and make sure
I’ve emptied them.

Otherwise, they can’t be
filled, and sometimes
I get thirsty, and need to
make a cup.

For wisdom.

Maybe tonight we can
just not talk, but
just sit beside each
other, silently rooting
for one another.

Silently saying, “Go, go, you can
do it.” Your hands are open,
and you are ready to
and all the Universe will
silently flood in,

no one will know it, but it’s
already happened.

Perseid, Meteor Shower, Verklempt

Dear friends, visitors, new followers, random clickers:

Thank you to those who read, ‘liked,’ and/or  commented on my “ice-breaking” (for me) post about telling stories and having good ones to tell but not yet knowing how, when, or exactly what to convey. Being thankful for photos and travel, having a funny brain, etc.

Editing and creating can be brow-sweating work, even if just thinking about it! Luckily, I’ve been at it for awhile (in life) and don’t over-expect too much from myself! Hopefully, you expect “just enough” from me, and so we can all be happy together! At the moment, I’m going with the flow, apparently if I don’t post for about 10 days or so I go all verklempt (plus I can only be at-most a very, very partly, part-time blogger due to my current commitments, and I really need to do this regularish blogging for me, or else:

What really probably made me all emotional was the Meteor shower that we caught some action on. It was either August 5or6 that we watched it at Starfest–the absolutely most coolest show on Earth. Every time is different. I said enough. As far as Perseid’s go… it wasn’t even the peak period. So, if you haven’t already tuned in: Get out there! For anyone who cannot get outside or who doesn’t want to, but somehow can manage to view it from a digital gadget, check out this live-stream.

There’s a new play out called Meteor Shower. We hope to see it next month for our date. It debuted on my birthday: August 7th. Steve Martin wrote it, and Jenna Fischer, from The Office is acting in it.

Too funny!

I still plan on posting the old college story that is unrelated to anything. So, if you are interested: Stay Tuned.  Next week I will be away on Silent Retreat with Gangaji, so I have to get it all out now…Then, I have to really “get it out there” because my business is growing, I’m trying to get my book out, and I’m enrolled in 8 classes for next term, so I’m a busy gal! Looking forward to a slightly less busy mind; and at the moment, enjoying it all anyways, so whatevs. I’ll survive. Only the “real me” can survive! Well, I will promise to keep my meditation practice as best I can.

Roman Holiday – Italian Subway Graffiti

I probably shouldn’t be admitting this on my blog, but I’m not a very good storyteller. I want to just show up and say, “It was magical- THE END,” and then quietly sit down, without a whole lot of rigamarole, so that I can go onto my next adventure. That being said, the other issue with telling the tale, is that… it’ll get re-framed as less awesome than it really was. My words and my pictures cannot do justice to my experiences. Maybe that will change, but today it is the same. The actual experience is the best, and well… that’s really all I can say. Enough excuses and disclaimers (but I needed to be a little bit real about my awkwardness and include them)!  Commencing with the rest…

The title of my post: “Roman Holiday” was inspired by Trini over at Pathways to Spirit, a few months ago she posted about this movie, and we’d just returned from Rome, so I wanted to extend the fun and watched this fun movie with Audrey Hepburn. At first, I was going to title, “Rome was like Home.” Really, maybe I’ll just start with the title last, next time.

Usually words just flow. 

Let’s start with some subway scene photos. Very real. Oh, and an Italian snack machine, because for all adventures, snacks play a role.


Next up…. a short story written in college, entirely unrelated to anything…