Ishmael A Soledad
Daniel McWhirter was strange. He wasn’t like other guys. He didn’t go out, shoot pool, shoot hoops, watch Netflix, like porn or drink beer. Daniel McWhirter liked to read, real books, paper and ink books, books he could write in and on, dog-ear, spill coffee, read in the toilet, place face down open on the floor and load onto bookshelves until they groaned.
June McLune was normal. She was like her friends. She loved to go out, party, watch FoxTel, have boyfriends, sing karaoke and drink Tequila. June McLune loved movies, romances, big screen epics of tanned toned troubled and talented young men saved from oblivion and themselves by brainy buxom bucolic babes, loved word puzzles and alliteration and bad puns and laughing and sunshine and outside.
Daniel McWhirter was weird. He didn’t like people, he didn’t hate them but they were noisy and gave him headaches and heartaches and doubts and fears and feelings he couldn’t explain. Daniel McWhirter liked cats, cats that sat quietly by themselves once fed, didn’t need walking or explaining or excuses or promises or timetables or entertainment or talk. Daniel McWhirter had a cat, his cat was called Euclid, his cat didn’t call Daniel anything.
June McLune was popular. She loved people, she loved the energy and noise and smell, the way she felt and they felt when she felt, the rutted musty smell of boy sweat and high-pitched laughter of girls. June McLune loved dogs, puppies, sloppy mouthed wet tongued shit machines that jumped or humped your leg and needed you, sad eyes and drooping mouth until the squeaky toy or stick sailed out.
Daniel McWhirter loved to think, think of shapes and objects and planes and dimensions that existed and couldn’t exist all at once, of things of one dimension in six dimensions and animals that lived and didn’t live and didn’t have time. Daniel McWhirter thought so much so hard so well sometimes the things he thought popped into existence.
June McLune didn’t like to think too much, to hurt her head or dwell on things, she liked to talk and sing and stay happy, to keep positive and trim and good and awesome in a world of up and cool and friends and music and happy. June McLune wanted people to like her and be like her to feel the love and happy and awesome and noise and cool.
Daniel McWhirter lived in the apartment on the third floor where noise from the street faded away and the books on the walls shut off his neighbours and the kids across the hall were Muslim and didn’t have TV. Daniel McWhirter didn’t like the girl with the noise and the laughing and the friends and the parties upstairs, didn’t like how she took away the shapes and the objects and the planes from his mind.
June McLune lived in the apartment on the fourth floor where the wind blew in the sounds of the jets through her window and the wafer-thin walls let in the sounds of families and love and happiness and the kids played soccer in the hallway at night until their parents dragged them inside for dinner. June McLune felt sorry for the man downstairs alone and quiet and silent broody not bubbly or social or living the awesome just living with a cat.
Daniel McWhirter was old and grey and wrinkled and crotchety and hated the girl who knocked on the door with the fruit and the dog and the laughing and yabbering gibberish. Daniel McWhirter hated the way she now always lived in the shapes in the space in his head from the books and the planes for the things that existed but didn’t exist.
June McLune was young and slim and eager and smooth and loved everyone and pitied the old man who hid behind his door and peered out his spyhole, didn’t like fruit or dogs or Jay-zee or music. June McLune was stubborn and persistent and was going to make the old man happy and awesome and bubbly even if he didn’t want it.
Daniel McWhirter wasn’t evil or deranged or perverted just scared or shy and introverted and happy by himself with his shapes and mind and peace. Daniel McWhirter wasn’t stupid or careful and between the shapes and planes and objects that weren’t and are and shouldn’t and spheres on Möbius strips in geometric precision on non-Euclidian surfaces in his mind the tesseract and the girl merged and swirled and danced and popped away.
June McLune was smart and brave and assertive and went through the door to the old man’s apartment as it popped open and walked forwards and backwards and into and out of here and there and anywhere at all. June McLune was nowhere and everywhere and everywhen all at once with the sounds and smells and feelings of people and children all over and through and with her.
Daniel McWhirter was strange and happy. He wasn’t like other guys. He stayed at home with his books and cat and shelves and silence and thoughts of objects and complex geometry cutting across and through his mind and space and time escaping out to the streets to the people and city below. Daniel McWhirter liked to read and watch the girl in the tesseract through the city in the people that smiled and danced and sang and partied and forgot to hate and lie and fight and thought it was awesome and cool.
June McLune was normal and happy. She didn’t go out as no out existed it was all in and through and because of her and the singing and love as she danced in her place on the strip in geometric precision in the non-Euclidian space on the surfaces that ran through the tesseract that lived through the world. June McLune wasn’t stupid or silly and knew why and how and if but it didn’t matter anymore.
Ishmael A. Soledad is a pen pusher by day and frustrated author by night. He lives in Brisbane with his long-suffering wife and psychotic cat. His work has appeared in Aphelion, Antipodean SF, Far Cry Magazine, Ibn Qirtaiba, Planet Web Zine, and Quantum Muse. You can find him on Twitter (@Ishmael_Soledad) and on WordPress (https://hawkingradiationblog.wordpress.com/) where all his tales – eventually – end up.