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ISSUE 17 November 2015

An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world.


You WILL be rewarded a copy of Garde Magazine Anniversary Issue!


An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world. Believing in ideas, thoughts and concepts, Garde Magazine follows the principle of simplicity and honesty.

Founders Cleo Tse Natasha Chan

cleo.tse@gardemagazine.com natasha.chan@gardemagazine.com

Creators George Chaffey

Kiyomi Akachi

Contributors David Madsen

david.madsen@gardemagazine.com

Kalle Ă–stgĂĽrd ODKST

Special thanks Journal Collective

Maria Evrenos

Hikari Shiba


Content Kiyomi Akachi Three-dimensional Design Happiness is key

George Chaffey Textile Design

The colour enthusiast

What is it... Illustration Hikari Shiba

Movie Review David Madsen

Story teller ODKST Kuro Ex Machina - Chapter 5


Kiyomi akachi Three-dimensional design

Happiness is key


P

icture London. Anyone who has been there, lived there or even just read about it can quickly conjure up some basic themes: A stressful big city, expensive and depressing houses, grey and drab weather and crowded with anonymous (at best) or even scary strangers. Through the eyes of Japanese designer, Kiyomi Akachi, however, London is a source of happy inspiration. After a five-year course in Industrial Design at the Sapporo School of the Arts, Kiyomi worked and freelanced for a few years, but eventually left Japan behind to move to the UK. A course in 3D Design brought her to Camberwell College of Arts in London, where she now lives and works.

people enjoy humour, whether it’s in manga, talk shows, or everyday conversations and Kiyomi argues that Japanese might be especially keen to look for humour. “I keep this Japanese ”habit of looking for something fun” in London and maybe it affects my way of design.” Just as you would relate a funny situation to your friends, Kiyomi uses graphic design to show quirky or funny things she spots in London.

“July 8th, 2012, was rainy day and a memorable one for me. I was on a bus and I saw a lady getting on with a baby pram, wearing a Tesco bag on her head. The handles of the Tesco bag were turned inside beautifully, and she seemed a little When talking to Kiyomi, it’s clear bit bashful of herself. Why did she wear a that not even a harsh place like London Tesco bag on her head? To avoid rain, to could bring her down. Happiness quickly not get her curly hair wet or was it just difappears as the main driving force of all her ficult to hold an umbrella with her pram? work – more specifically, to make others How unique! I was completely inspired by feel happy. her style. I remembered and drew her, then designed an original character, Tesco Lady. “I smile and you smile. I enjoy deSince then, I’ve also designed shower caps signing things that people find fun! To use from super market bags and broken umdesign to let people see things in a different brellas for ladies wearing plastic bags.” way or to forget their troubles. Letting the product be a piece of humour,”she said. A year later, another character was born from seeing a black-hooded, kata Finding humour in everyday situana-carrying aspiring ninja (a ninja carrying tions is the origin of several of Kiyomi’s Sainsbury’s shopping bags no less) on a works. Just like everyone else, Japanese sunny day – Hood Ninja.


Kiyomi Akach - fff Some are singing. Some are moving. Some are being together. And others may be… sleeping? ‘fff ’ is an environment that gives visitors a good feeling, inviting them to play with and lie down on a variety of fluffy balls. All of the balls in this display are hand-made from high quality faux fur, the luxurious soft fabric is chosen to make the user smile. Each ball has a unique character which entertains with its actions; some balls produce a musical note, some move as if they are alive, and some stick to each magnetically.


Although she says she loves human beings for their “unique characters, different cultures and thoughts,”Kiyomi’s arguably most eye-catching project is more akin to animals than people. The somehow aptly named project “fff ” is a collection of fluffy, fist-sized fur balls. Although best understood by watching them in video, “fff ” is basically “an environment that gives visitors a good feeling, inviting them to play with and lie down within it.” The flock of grey, white and blue pseudo-creatures come in different varieties – some play soft post-rock-like musical chords when squeezed, some stick together with magnets, and some wiggle around as if alive. The description sums it up nicely: “Some are singing. Some are moving. Some are being together. And others may be… sleeping?” All of the balls in the display are hand-made from high quality faux fur, the luxurious soft fabric chosen to make the user smile. The five years in Sapporo allowed Kiyomi to try her hand at all kinds of design - architecture, environmental design, product design, craft design and visual design – but she realised that what she really enjoyed was the experience of using her products in real life. “I was also happy when my family and friends used my designs. You can touch and feel it because it is real, not fake.” This lead her to focus on product and 3D design.


“‘Real’ is important. The feel of the material is one of the important points in product design and I like to think about how it can make people feel good. Graphic design is good to express humour, though.” “People live in stress and I would like them to feel relaxed. My works are never aggressive because design should be for improving people’s lives. It should not be negative. And “real” is important. Real things beat everything. Real touch, real sound, real gold, real food, real people, real love... Real is the highest quality. We sometimes need a rest from the virtual.” Kiyomi aims to continue exploring and improving her existing works – Tesco Lady sculptures and paintings, a shower-cap-and-broken-umbrella-installation, and size and colour variations of the “fff.” In five years, she hopes to see herself exhibiting her works in galleries and museums, to see everyone’s smile.


geroge chaffey textile design

The colour enthusiast


The most useful lesson I learnt on Foundation was ‘to do you’, i.e. don’t try to do something you aren’t, stick to what you enjoy and work with the skills you have.

I

t is easy to find adjectives to describe George Chaffey – energetic, bright, passionate and vibrant. When you see him, you can imagine what he designs. His personality reflects what he likes and what he does: textile design with colours and patterns. His latest project, Minions Collective, in collaboration with Universal Pictures, entirely shows his signature as the renowned yellow characters fit right down his lane. “Through the project I was able to combine digital work, laser cutting, colours and traditional tailoring - as you can probably guess - all my favourite things!” said George. In his designs are the brightest colours you can see: yellow (of course), blue and green.

too. For Minions Collective, he used screen printing to apply layers of bananas on the garment and formed the depth of Minions’ favourite food while still passing on the cheerful and humorous mood. Textile is… George started his bachelor course not long ago, yet he was named the Young Fashion Designer of the Year in 2014. The label told the world about his talent and love of colours and patterns, in spite of the fact that textile design was not a subject that was born to be with George.

“Textile design was something I didn’t really choose, but rather discovered through exploring different areas of design. When I started my A-levels my interest laid in architecture and gradually as my skills developed and I learnt more Undoubtedly he is a print lover about designing, I became interested in


George Chaffey - Minions Collective The Minions Collective: Yellow is the New Black 134 Foundation Fashion & Textiles students participated in a Minions inspired project set by Universal Pictures. 20 students were then selected to continue working on the project, each producing a garment that was worn for an immersive fashion event hosted at Central Saint Martins. When I think of Minions, it is their love of bananas that always make me laugh and I wanted to use this idea as the basis for my print. I wanted to find a subtle way of incorporating them into my ideas that was fun as this is an integral part of a minion. I initially experimented with hand cut paper samples taking, taking inspiration from the shape of the banana itself, along with carnivals such as those in Rio and Notting Hill. I then focused more on the banana aspect, and went back to my love of geometry and layering, and using laser cut paper, began to experiment by building up different layers and colours. The look of the minions is very distinct and I have used this as inspiration for the colours of my prints. My final print was then translated onto fabric using screen printing, which was then used in conjunction with laser cut acrylic to create the final garment. The combination of a tailored suit paired with the acrylic banana T-shirt plays on the minion‘s mischievous and unexpected nature.


other areas such as interiors and fashion, then in my foundation course I realised that my real love was colours, pattern and print - hence Textiles.” Does it mean that textile design is replaceable to George? “As I mentioned, I loved all areas of design and so deciding on something else would be really difficult! Textile design is perfect for me as it allows me to explore a wide range of areas within the subject as a whole; one project can be fashion based, the next interiors etc. There might be other subjects but it still has to be dealing with patterns and colours.” Working Style George has been earning his skills and techniques along his way of interning in an architecture office on digital printing, which is tremendously useful to him and allows him to design freely since he honestly admitted that he is “not the best drawer or painter.”

“Obviously I still do work ‘the old


George Chaffey - Minions Collective Printing process and Print design samples

fashioned way,’ but I tend to naturally head towards a digital route or at very least a ruler!” said George. He added that another way to improve is to refer back to his old projects for ideas and inspirations of new projects. “A project is never really ‘finished’ - there will always be more you could do to it; samples to further develop, a new route that the ideas might take you down or maybe a different outcome you see for the work. For me a finished project is simply a presentation of my most recently developed and refined samples/outcome.” Looking Forward In his recent learning in school, he has been exploring prints, knit and weave, which are the three streams of textile design. George seems to have his preference on prints as it is what he is used to, yet he is excited to start the adventure. “Whichever pathway I choose, it will then be an amazing opportunity to really go into depth with my chosen technique and explore and develop my skills in that area.” Menswear is also a sub-stream that George would like to explore since he loves being able to wear what he made. Tailored garments with a twist have given him a sense of uniqueness. Most importantly, they are very different from the dominating colours of the market – navy, black and grey. “My dream is to have my own fashion label. I have shown my work at one fashion show and the feeling I got seeing my garments walk was one that I will never forget.” As a textile designer, George said that he would like to apply his design to a range of products. “I would love to one day have a brand similar to House of Hackney that produces amazing prints across a range of items from materials and wall coverings, to fashion and accessories. As long as there is colour involved I will be happy!”


What is it...

Illustration by hikari shiba

Meet Hikari Shiba, the Japanese illustrator that has created her own character – Kyu, the baby seal, that has been travelling to different countries. Garde Magazine asks her how to create an illustration and how and why she persists on developing the same character with various themes.


1

Where does your inspiration come from? Aquariums, streets, people, picture books and animal documentaries. I can’t name them all as I find that my daily life is full of inspiration.

2

How do you decide to keep drawing Kyu while most illustrators don’t create a particular character? Simply because I feel the greatest joy and happiness when I draw Kyu. I’ve been drawing him since I was six years old. Although I’ve always loved to draw Kyu, there was a time when I struggled a lot to establish my own illustration style. I tried various themes and styles. But my senior illustrators encouraged me to follow and draw my passion. In my case, Kyu is my passion. When I realised this, Kyu became my unshakable illustration theme.

then doodle and brainstorm anything that comes to my mind based on the theme b. do research c. do several sketches d. draw one of the sketches properly. Maybe it’s easier to understand if I give you an example - let’s say I draw an illustration of Kyu visiting Argentina. First of all, I do some doodles of Kyu in Argentine-ish clothes, do Argentine-ish musical performance and eat Argentine-ish food. The reason why I say ‘-ish’ is because I don’t do any research at this stage. I think it’s important to keep my imagination fresh and unique. If I do research from the beginning, I think I’ll be influenced too much.

3

What are the processes from nothing to a complete illustration? I normally take the following steps: a. Choose a theme

Hikari Shiba - Shopping


Hikari Shiba - Kyu‘s workd traveling series (South Africa)


Hikari Shiba - Kyu‘s workd traveling series (Argetina)


After doodling my imaginative Argentine Kyu, I do research to make my illustration more real and clear. I gather information of Argentina as much as I can - culture, history, economy and so on. After then I start to sketch many Kyu’s and Argentina things based on my doodles and collected information. Finally, I choose one of the sketches and draw it on watercolour paper as watercolour is my most favourite media.

4

How do you decide whether an illustration is good or bad? If the illustration makes my heart sing and dance, it’s a good one - even if the creator’s intention is unclear to me.

5

Before Kyu, was there any other character you created? Hmm, I can’t think of any. I think no. Kyu came into my life when I was six years old. My parents took me to an aquarium and I fell in love with a fluffy baby seal soft toy. Since then, I’ve been drawing him.

6

Do you plan to create more friends for Kyu? Certainly! At the moment I’ve already created Kyu’s parents and friendly whale shark. I’m adding more. Kyu is very friendly, so he often gets along well with humans too.


Hikari Shiba - Hi


7

What do you care the most about when you are creating an illustration? I always check whether my illustration imparts my clients’ message or me clearly to the audience. Also on a fundamental level, I always care if it can bring out and spread my great joy so that people who see it can also feel the joy.

8

What are the differences between an illustration and fine art? I think this is a very difficult question. I think, illustration explains the creator’s message more clearly than fine art - as the English word ‘illustrate’ means ‘explain’ too. While illustration clearly expresses its main message to its audience, fine art gives audience a space to guess its author’s intention. But of course, sometimes the opposite is true.


Why everyone loves the sound of music and so do you by david madsen

T

here is a good chance that you’ve at least heard of the classic 1965 musical, The Sound of Music, if nothing else because of the titular intro song. The largest box-office success at its time, The Sound of Music continues to this day to be a high watermark not just in terms of musicals but in filmmaking in general.

that would say that a film like The Sound of Music is more of a guilty pleasure, a pretty but pandering piece of schmaltz filled to the brim with historical inaccuracies, a by-thenumbers plotline and shallow characters. Well, I’m here to tell you that this film is more than just something pretty to ogle at. It is that, yes, but to truly understand the appraisal that The Sound of Music in general enjoys, we most climb down our Of course why it is so beloved ivory tower and examine the film firsthand. should be relatively easy to answer. Its folksy atmosphere, catchy tunes, likable For the few uninitiated, The Sound characters and gorgeous vistas makes it a of Music takes place in Austria, more dead-pan masterpiece. But there are those specifically Salzburg before and under the


The Sound of

Music (1965),

20th Century

Fox. Directed by

Robert W ise. G

ablecinema.com


German occupation of said country in the 1930’s. The film is only vaguely interested in this historical keystone, as it acts more as a way to pump up the action in the final act than any sort of surrounding setting for the romance the film is centered on.

Nazis.

That’s a lot of stuff that has to happen before the end credits can finally roll and it happens over nearly three hours. Each act is drawn out with plenty of interpersonal relations, confrontations and new characters Said romance is between the popping up every once in a while. young and jovial apostle Maria (GET IT!?!) and the stern widower and naval This long running-time is officer Georg von Trapp. His particular especially insane when you think what pompous Britishness is so god damn a difficult time most musicals have with British he could only be this British if just keeping the audiences’ attention he was played by all-time great British for one and a half hour. That’s the actor Christopher Plummer, whom he problem with musicals really: When is played by, fittingly. Instead of the the focus is on big, majestic-looking before mentioned Nazi occupation, musical acts there isn’t much time the setting is that of the reclusive von for elaborate character development. Trapp mansion which Maria arrives Of course there is the occasional at as a governess for Georg’s seven musical that does manage to have children. From there, Maria has to some emotional weight – films such woo first the untoward kids, then the as Cabaret and All That Jazz – but harsh, un-humored Georg, and then these play out more as dramas that has a confrontation over von Trapp’s just happens to be about the danceheart with a rather cynical Baroness lifestyle. (never named, would you believe it). After all that there is still the part left The Sound of Music isn’t where evil Nazis do evil Nazi things like the latter category of musicals, such as wanting Georg to do his as it’s beautifully coordinated songdamn job (the nerve, I know) and him and-dance numbers can pop up angrily shaking his fists at said evil without much context, but it isn’t

The Sound of Music (1965), 20th Century Fox. Directed by Robert Wise. Rnh.com


like the former category either, as the characters are rather well rounded and nuanced. Instead the musical numbers both emphasise certain stages of emotion the characters are going through or elaborate on them. Look at the titular “The Sound of Music” for instance. As we watch the camera pan around the gorgeous Austrian vistas from snow-peaked mountain ranges, to deeply embedded rivers and lush valleys we finally land on Maria as she carelessly spins around screaming: “The hills are alive with the sound of music; with songs they have sung for a thousand years; the hills fill my heart with the sound of music…” and so on and so forth. These first few lines and the opening sweep that’s nearly a minute long is especially important. It shows an integral connection between Maria and the environment she is part of. We immediately identify her as a free spirit with a strong will of her own and with a playful mind. Only one minute into the film and we already know the establishing traits of our main character. Now that’s just great storytelling.

But it isn’t just the writing that works; it’s everything that surrounds it as well. The breathtaking vistas, the operatic score, the on-location shootings and genius cinematography and lighting make Maria one with the hills. The film continues like this, even reusing songs in different contexts such as the adorable ‘So long, Farewell’. First used as a lighthearted goodbye song as the von Trapp children leaves a party, it is used in the final act as a heart-wrenching goodbye to the Austrian country, as Maria and the rest of the von Trapp’s try to escape from the Nazi’s clutches. So the songs are more than mere set pieces but none of this would have worked had it not been for the two main performers, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Hot off the heels of her success in the film adaptation of Mary Poppins released the year prior, Andrews especially is a force to be reckoned with both inand outside the musical numbers. It goes without saying that her singing voice is beautiful, unmatched even, but her acting outside of these numbers are equally impressive. It’s the little mannerisms, quirks, smirks

The Sound of Music (1965), 20th Century Fox. Directed by Robert Wise. Thetornadotimes.com


and biting comments she constantly pulls off that manages to entertain and make the character feel real. Plummer is equally brilliant both as the strict commander-in-chief and the soft spoken, sympathetic father figure he eventually becomes as Maria charms her way into his heart. The seven von Trapp children are all funny and charming rather than grating and annoying as is the case with most child actors. They’re used as more than a cute distraction and each has their own distinct personalities and character arcs during the film.

Reich. The film has other similarities to Disney’s fairy tale adaptations especially the lighting. Most of the scenes are done high-key, standard for the musical genre, but a couple of highly emotional scenes have the actors clearly spotlighted, such as when Georg pronounces his love to Maria and she gloves like a supernova. Instead of feeling pandering these references helps the narrative and the characters within this narrative feel instantly relatable not just to the audience of the 60’s but also a modern one.

A final element that I think helped the film gain its mass appeal is the references to old European folklore that were re-popularised during the 50’s and 60’s by Disney’s adaptations of such classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The seven children are a clear reference to the seven dwarfs from Snow White and other than sharing her name with a certain virgin mother, Maria’s arc is more than a little similar to that of Cinderella. Christ, the film even has its own version of boilerplate Disney villains like the evil stepmother, here played by the Baroness and the unmovable evil force, here not a dragon but instead The Third

More than anything, it’s the immediate and earnest innocence of the characters and narrative that ultimately made me fall completely for this one. There is no pretence in The Sound of Music. Its love of life, trust, family, friendship and partnership is genuinely inspiring and rings eternally true. You want to pick that down by calling it schmaltz? Fine, you go right ahead. But I feel sorry for you. And I’ll just keep enjoying it together with everyone else. And now you know why everyone else loves it, and why I know you love it. You’re welcome.


The Sound of Music (1965), 20th Century Fox. Directed by Robert Wise. Thefilmstage.com


Story teller

KURO EX MACHINA by ODKST


CHAPTER 5

DAVID AND DAWN AND THE CREATION OF LIFE AND SICKNESS ”Death is not death.” Joe Bob Fenestre took a sip of his whiskey. “What you think of as ‘death’ is nothing more but the conscious manifestation of the thing you fear the most. But it is not death, it is not the idea of non-existence you fear.”

Dawn shivered.

“No, you are infested with a mind-bug the color of death. But it is as illusory as a dream.” He licked his lips with satisfaction. Dawn observed him for a moment, then said, “Tell me more.” Joe Bob Fenestre shook his head. “Not tonight. You need to go with your brother now.”

She pouted. “Why won’t you tell me more?”

“Because I cannot tell you anything that you don’t already know.”

“I will cry …!”

He ignored her, surveying the darkened pub. The candlelight gave his dark green eyes an amber sheen. “In Russia”, he began, although he seemed not to be talking to Dawn, or to anyone in particular, “there are stories of men, the kind that make it into legend. These men are as tall as trees. They carry


axes over their shoulders. These axes have two blades. In the stories, these weapons are more than just the work of expert blacksmiths. They have their own history, infused with their own secret powers.” Dawn’s blue eyes glittered. They darted back and forth, attentive, searching the old man’s weathered face. “What your brother must learn is to harness these powers. He will learn to handle an axe of this nature.” She turned her eyes down, looking at the wooden table. “He is too clumsy.” Joe Bob Fenestre shook his head again. “It takes time. Him and you, you both need to learn more patience. When you have truly mastered your weapons, you will be unstoppable. And I mean that in the realest sense.” Dawn’s gaze returned to the old man. Her face was indifferent. But a sliver of hope could be seen in the dark blue of her iris. It became apparent that a woman had approached the table. She had made no sound whatsoever, yet there she was now, standing above the two guests. The curly-haired creature observed them silently, her large, round eyes wide open. She did not blink. Joe Bob Fenestre was the first to notice her. He met her gaze, offering the same silence in return. Dawn looked from the strange woman to the old man, and back. The woman’s eyes grew, iris and pupil merging into a single black sphere as her eyes morphed into one; a single, dark, round eye swelling in the middle of her face. She was young and pretty, the magically morphing eye her face’s only imperfection. In the increasing silence of the pub, she stood, almost towering, staring at Mr. Fenestre, who stared back without flinching.


David The sky is a faint purple shade. We are looking at the Sun, a pale white circle, greater than our own. In its very middle, a much smaller dot, some celestial body trapped somewhere along the line between Earth and that looming, angel-white circle. She stands right next to me as we watch the purple world surrounding us. I can tell without looking and without her moving that she seeks my attention, but keep watching that massive, brilliant Sun, locked forever in place, frozen in this place where time doesn’t exist. It only seems natural, in this world, to remain firmly in place yourself, a mirror image of this tranquil, purple reality. You don’t breathe and you don’t take a look around. Sometimes in my sleep it seems as if I have come to a new conclusion, something revelatory that will throw my world up-side-down and insure that everything makes sense again. I get better and better at putting these revelations into words even as I sleep. I recall this as I stand and watch the pale-white Sun and just as I do, She says the same thing she said last time. But I am no longer in the same place. The firm world has already faded. I see a series of images. Some are sharp and appear heavy. Some are lucid and easy to dismiss as a dream, others more convincing. But as soon as they disappear, I forget about them. I see my sister’s slit, moist and almost hairless, as she crouches, pale and unmoving, choking from the tie around her neck. There is a name. I see it spelled out in front of me, but it disappears as soon as I have read it. I wake up. I’m still on the couch. The rain has stopped falling. For a while I remain laying down with my eyes shut. The apartment is quiet. I realize that she’s gone and open my eyes. The TV set is on, with no


sound. I have trouble making sense of the images. What type of show is this? Groaning, I sit up. Rubbing crust out of my eyes, I look around the room. It’s dark and gloomy, impossible to tell if it’s late at night or early in the morning. I hesitate, then call out: “Dawn?” “Yeah.” She shows up almost instantly. The robe is gone. She’s wearing her washed out, purple T-shirt, the one that reaches almost down to her knees. “Keep calm and carry on” can be read in white letters across her torso. I acknowledge her arrival with one look, then slump back onto the couch. So tired. Even after sleeping. I feel her slide down next to me. “You bum”, she says. I sigh. “Why did you have to scare me like that?” She doesn’t answer. I don’t know what she’s doing, and keeping my eyes closed feels too good. After a while, she says: “I was reading while you were out.” “What were you reading?” I ask, not really caring about the answer. “I was reading about Enki.”


“Who’s Enki?” What was that name in my dream? I know I recognized it from somewhere. I can maybe put it into letters. It’s so close. So close to my conscious thoughts. “He was a god in ancient Sumerian mythology.” She sounds excited. “Enki was god of water, of creation and mischief.” I just can’t find it. It’s just out of reach. I give up and listen to my sister. “Enki was one of the greatest gods in Dilmun, the ancient paradise valley. He would bring water into the dried-out rivers, and his wife was Ninhursag. Ninhursag was the Earth. But Enki was also both male and female, created out of everything.” I keep my eyes shut. “’The land of Dilmun is a clean place, the land of Dilmun is a pure place’”, she recites. “Hey! Are you listening to me?” There is a numb pain in my left shoulder. She has punched me. I open my eyes. “What, what? Yes, I’m listening.” “Good.” She continues. I rub my shoulder and take a look around the living room. “Enki made his wife, Ninhursag, pregnant, then she left him.


Ninhursag gave birth to Ninsar, or Lady Greenery. Enki met her, not knowing she was his daughter, and seduced her too.” “I think I saw that in a movie once”, I say, but she shushes me and keeps talking, not missing a beat. “Ninsar then gave birth to Ninkurra, or Lady Fruitfulness. But she, too, was seduced by the clueless Enki. Then, Uttu was born. Uttu means ‘weaver’ or ‘spider’”, my sister says proudly. “She was the weaver of the web of life. Later, Enki also seduced Uttu. So Uttu went to Ninhursag to complain about her husband’s promiscuity.” “Makes sense.” You can tell she is really into her storytelling at this point. She keeps running one hand through her hair, not really including me in her sphere of communication. “Ninhursag took the semen from Uttu’s womb and planted it in the ground. Eight different plants grew where she planted it. Enki found the plants, and his two-faced servant Isimud convinced him to eat them. So he ate every single one of the eight plants, and became pregnant in his jaw, his stomach, his legs and arms, which all grew with massive swellings.” “So how did they sort that out?” “Enki did not have a womb to give birth, so the gods weren’t sure what to do.” She has grown distant, playing with her toes. “They sat in the dust, ambivalent.” I keep looking at her. Wait. Wait.


She doesn’t continue.

“And then what?” I say, finally.

“I can’t remember the rest”, she admits.

We both go quiet, as the pregnant Enki hangs over our couch. Eventually, I get up and head into the kitchen. I turn on the espresso machine and open the cupboard above the sink, reaching for two small, white cups. I can hear Dawn humming in the other room. As the espresso machine fills our cups, I listen to its harsh buzzing and reflect on the day that has passed. I can still feel the pressure in my chest, but it’s fainter than I expected it to be, so soon after what happened. At some point, my therapist had asked me about my sister. I had been reluctant to talk about her, but it still felt good to air some of my experiences. I had always known that both I and my sister did not fall under the spectrum of normality, but she was still more batshit than the lionshare of schizoids. My therapist had been unable to pin a conclusive diagnosis on her just from my description, but agreed that a lot of her behavior was not normal, though this shouldn’t suggest that it was undesirable. I grabbed the two cups and returned to the living room. She had pulled her legs up to her chest and was staring at the silent TV screen. I could make out her panties underneath the purple T-shirt. I quickly looked away. Carefully putting the cups down on the table, I sat down next to her.

To be continued.


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Garde Magazine #17  

Three-dimensional design, textile design, illustration with classic movies review and novel. This is an issue you cant't miss.

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