jason christoper hartley

March 26, 2009

Away From Home

Filed under: Short Stories — Jason Christopher Hartley @ 4:29 am

This was from a project I did for school last year that I never finished and probably never will finish. All my notes and artwork are in storage in New Paltz. Since it’ll probably never get completed, I figured I might as well put it here. It was for a class about graphic literature. The text is lifted from Just Another Soldier. Self-plagiarism is the best.

March 25, 2009

I Am Not Who I Am

Filed under: Short Stories — Jason Christopher Hartley @ 4:20 pm

Mandy had decided she wanted a new body and was going to transfer herself over to the new one immediately. I never got a chance to see the new body, so I didn’t know how to recognize her. Once she had transferred herself, she went out with some friends and had left her old body folded up in an old milk crate. She had discarded her former body and didn’t really care what was done with it. I felt like it should be disposed of properly, so I put it in the cab of Matt’s truck and began driving to the dump. I looked over at her folded-up body and put my hand on her arm. Her skin was smooth, the way I remembered it, but her body was cold. I knew that this body wasn’t her anymore, but it was the only body I knew her to have and it was the only way I knew how to identify with her. I still felt a keen attachment to that body and I wanted it to be her. Even though I knew she wasn’t gone, I missed her intensely. I began to cry.

A synthetic goose pheromone mist sprayer was set up in front of a large oscillating fan on the edge of the parade field. As a formation of geese approached, the sprayer emitted a large cloud of scentless atomized pheromones that blew directly across my body and face and quickly dissipated into the air above the field. The guys leveled their shotguns toward the geese and with great deliberateness fired in turn. They all missed horribly except for one whose shotgun had been loaded with a yellow rubber ball and when fired, the projectile flew through the air so slowly that it hit the bird with a gentle ‘pat’ then merely dropped to the ground leaving the bird unharmed. I muttered, “Oh, that did a whole lot of good!” It was frustrating to watch them do so poorly something I found so easy.

I then looked into the mirror on the wall of the bathroom and realized I didn’t recognize the face I saw. I was relatively certain that this wasn’t my face. As I’ve grown older, my eyebrows have thinned—something that has given me some consternation. Thick, healthy eyebrows are a symbol of strength and a component of attractiveness for men. The face I saw had fuller eyebrows, but the rest of the face was all wrong. This face had a much larger nose. This really upset me. I really liked my nose. This nose was not very attractive. And now that I looked more closely, the eyebrows met in the middle somewhat, a sizeable tuft of hairs sprouting out between them. This was no good. As I surveyed the rest of the face in the mirror, I concluded that it was not a very attractive face. I felt that my usual face was barely attractive enough to get most people to want to interact with me. I wasn’t beautiful, but I could work with the looks I had. But this face? I was so upset. I didn’t like this face at all. It was a struggle enough with the face I had, but now that I had this different face I didn’t know how I’d ever get anyone to love me.