RATING NRC DORMS BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO
Actually I should be studying for my next exam which is tomorrow, but I really love procrastination. Enjoy~
Cons: Well, maybe it is a little TOO big. I bet Sunday mornings are not so peaceful when Riddle starts yelling at you to clean up the whole dorm or he will cut your head off. And the garden? Yeah, beautiful and all that stuff, but it must be a pain to take care of it. And I don't really have a green thumb, so the roses would probably die at the end of the week.
Pros: Living in a giant dorm full of strange things like chairs stuck to the ceiling and poker cards randomly sitting on the table? Sign me up, please. Also the courtyard is amazing with all those white and red rose bushes and those cute little hedgehogs! And let's not forget how the whole dorm would be smelling of cakes because Trey is baking.
Are you still not convinced? What if I told you its inhabitants are really cute boys? ;)
Rating: 7/10 because I really like sweets
Pros: If you like lively places and WWE, then this is the right place for you. If you are a minimalist and hate frivolous philosophies, then this is the right place for you. If you are interested in a respect women culture, then this is the right place for you. If you are interested in different human species anatomy, then this is the right place for you. If you like watching the dawn and the sunset, then this is the right place for you.
Cons: Unless you are either John Cena or Jack's best friend, you may never want to set foot in Savanaclaw ever again. I mean, that dorm is full of giant guys with rippling muscles that love to fight and play dirty, they won't show you any mercy. Ruggie will probably try to steal from your wallet and Leona won't rise a finger for coming in your rescue. Better start praying you were born as woman, buddy.
Rating: 5/10 because Leona is there and they have a beautiful pool
Pros: You don't get to live in an aquarium everyday, you know? Octavinelle is gorgeous with that soft violet lighting and that jazz music in background that makes you think you have entered another world. Also, I like discussing about deep and intellectual subjects, so I guess the literature and culture Octavinelle club is the right choice for me.
I bet food is fucking amazing.
Cons: Ah, the devil's den. Food may be fucking amazing, but it probably will also be poisoned, HELP!!
Azul and the twins live here. Unless you prepared to make a deal with them or to simply dine at Monstro Lounge without making a fuss, listen to me: run and never look back.
Rating: 7/10 because I like danger
Pros: … Are there really cons to Scarabia? That place is the definition of amazing: delicious food, a sexy vice dorm leader, a too much generous dorm leader that will buy you anything if you ever even try to open your wallet and loyal dorm mates. Okay, maybe a little too loyal. But what could they just do to you, lock you in a room?
Cons: Yes, they can. Try to not get to the vice dorm leader's bad side, you will regret it. I hope you like having sand in your hair, food, notebooks, clothes, underwear and basically in your everything.
Rating: 8/10 because I really like hot places and good food
Pros: Palace of Wurzburg. I won't add anything else.
Cons: Be prepared to be bitched by Vil about everything wrong in you, may be the mess in your room, in your hair or in your head (probably in your head). Beware of the corners, Rook is waiting for you.
Rating: 8/10 because Epel is there too <3
Pros: Wi-Fi is pure fire and I like secluded places. Also Ortho is there <3
Cons: You like skeletons? Darkness? Strange blue fire lamps? Shadowy figures in hoodies that sprint across the hallway towards their rooms? I don't, bye.
Rating: 3/10. Sorry, I really don't like dark places underground
Pros: Come join Diasomnia, we have (burnt) cookies, Malleus, Lilia and Malleus. Did I already say Malleus?
Cons: A secluded castle with dark hallways always lightened up by gloomy green torches? Are you serious, dude? I already suffer from anxiety attacks, but this is too much.
Also I don't want to spend the night listening to Lilia who screams at some simp on Twitch, to Silver snoring in his room and to Sebek trying to help a whining Malleus in restarting his Tamagotchi. I love all of them, but hell no.
Rating: 2/10 because the cons go way beyond the pros. And I really dislike gloomy places.
Pros: It feels like home and you have friendly ghosts to talk with when you can't sleep.
Cons: It's fucking falling apart. Hope you aren't allergic to dust.
Rating: 6/10. Would have given more if only Crowley gave us money to make it cozy and decent
That said, have a nice day~ 💙
If I had to choose between Scarabia and Pomefiore, I would still choose Scarabia because I don't want Vil to yell at me to stop eating Jamil's stew
I'm too young for life IASA Chapter 5
Danny woke up with a start. He laid immobile on his bed and stared at the ceiling, his ears perked. It took a few moments before he relaxed slightly. He was grateful that he still remembered the day before. He was a seventeen? year old boy named Danny...Fenton, yes and...he had a mom and a dad and a big sister named after a music genre. Jazz, yeah it was Jazz. He's famous for something and...let's see. His parents are ghost scientists and he can cook.
That was about it.
Danny really hoped he could learn more about his life today. Hopefully it would explain... everything.
He sighed a bit and sat up. He hadn't gone to sleep until late, but he still felt well rested. He scrunched his nose. He really needed a shower asap.
Let's see, where was the shower. Ah yes.
Danny entered the bathroom but went right back out to get a new pair of clothes. His parents had given him clean clothes so he didn't have to leave the hospital in a hospital gown, but he just wanted a fresh start of the day.
The boy threw a pair of clothes from the closet and on the ground and started undressing. However, when he slipped off his shirt he froze.
Was that really weird skin or...
Why were there so many light patches of skin. Why did those patches have ridges. What-
He scrambled out of the bathroom and stood in front of the full body mirror in horror.
His body was a patchwork of skin and scars. Even with his limited knowledge of weapons, Danny could see he had stood on the business end of all of them at some point. Wait...were those claw marks?
What is this?
Danny's hands trembled as they touched his stomach. What had happened to him? Had he been caught by criminals and tortured? Was he a professional assassin? Was he part of a dangerous gang full of guns, knives and...bears? Wolves?
He was overcome by panic and struggled to get out of his pants. He hopped around and fell on the ground. He lay there, staring at his legs, which weren't much different from the rest of his body. Air escaped his mouth as he ran his fingers over his scars.
Was he a fireman? He had a lot of burnt parts. Isn't he too young to be a fireman? What was he? Sixteen? Too young.
Danny humphed and fell on the ground, staring at the ceiling intently. "What the fuck what the fuck what the fuck." He raised his arms to the ceiling and glared at them. What the fuck, he thought, how is scars the only thing that was left after whatever happened to him? How wasn't he dead? He grunted and slammed his hands on the ground. "Ok." The poor boy took a deep breath. He rubbed his eyes roughly. "Ok then. Whatever. I'm a mutilated human? Being? I- whatever." He stood up and made his way back to the bathroom. He paused and turned his head to look at the mirror once more. It showed his back, which looked like it had had pieces of concrete slammed into them. How didn't he have broken bones? Or missing limbs?
The boy huffed and turned back around. "All I wanted was a damn shower."
He took off his boxers and put the water to the coldest setting.
Some time later a slightly dripping but freshly washed and clothed boy walked carefully down the stairs to the kitchen. It was empty and he couldn't hear anyone moving in the living room, or in the house for that matter. It wasn't that early was it?
He looked around for a clock and the one he found said it was 8:30. That wasn't early... But apparently his family didn't do mornings because everyone's breathing was even and deep.
Danny, however, found himself to be very hungry so he set about opening every cabinet and searching for anything to eat. He barely remembered where everything was so it took a bit to find the bread. He skipped putting anything on it and ate three slices before he spread some peanut butter on the fourth.
He heard his...dad wake up and start dressing so he figured the rest would come soon and made the table with what he could find.
His thirst urged him to open the fridge, but he wondered if he would find anything drinkable in there because he sensed (smelled? He wasn't sure, but he knew) ectoplasm and other chemicals in there. The boy braced himself and opened the fridge. His other hand flung forward to hold back a small green blob that Danny figured was a ghost. He inclined his head. "Hello, little guy. It's not very nice to attack someone without even a greeting. I'm just here to drink something."
That just seemed to agitate the ghost more and Danny hurried to continue. "I won't hurt you! I-" he searched the fridge and found a pack of juice. "Can I have that?" He pointed at it and saw the blob ghost consider it. After a moment he sensed its affirmation and grabbed the pack, simultaneously letting go of the ghost, who curled back inside as he closed the door. Danny sat down to drink and wondered if his parents knew this house was haunted.
Soon enough Jack entered and lit up at the sight of Danny eating breakfast. "Good morning! Good to see you're here!"
Danny nodded, knowing he wasn't only talking about being downstairs but being here and out of the hospital in general. "Made breakfast."
"Thank you Danno. I'm starving."
They sat for a half hour, talking fast and jumping from one random topic to the next. Danny kind of enjoyed talking to this man. At some point he asked whether he knew about the ghost in their refrigerator and Jack admitted that he did, but no matter what kind of antighost powder they sprinkled around the machine those little guys kept showing up.
Danny was extremely amused that this family of ghost hunters couldn't get rid of the ghostly pests in their fridge. "Don't you hate ghosts?"
Jack appeared surprised and offended. "Of course not. I love ghosts. Why would I spend years studying and researching on something that I hate." The woman of the house walked in as he continued talking. "Ghosts are amazing!"
Danny frowned in confusion, looking between his dad and his mom, who was shuffling to the fridge in her pyamas. She grabbed a skillet, opened the fridge, let the blob ghost slam into the skillet as she grabbed something to drink and closed the fridge.
"Aren't you ghost hunters?" The boy continued.
"Ghost hunters is our official term," Maddie explained, "But it's not our official job."
She plopped down next to him. "We do hunt ghosts, yes, but that's only a very small part of all we do. We study their anatomy, DNA (or what's left of it), mannerisms, lairs, obsessions and run through all theories on ghosts to give proof on which are true and which stereotypes should be eradicated." She brought some food to her mouth and spoke through half a mouth full. "Of course, we can't prove or disprove anything without a specimen."
Jack nodded. "Ghosts are fascinating. And the more we learn about them, the more complex they turn out to be," he stabbed his knife in his toast, "the more amazing they are."
Danny felt a bit uncomfortable, but also a bit relieved that their whole profession didn't revolve around the hunting and extinction of ghosts. "So why call yourself a Ghost Hunter?"
"Because of previous misconceptions of ghosts," Maddie explained a bit annoyed, "as soon as anyone found a ghost lair, they wanted it gone. I don't see them wanting to eradicate the birds building a nest in the trees."
Jack nodded, munching on the last of his bread. "It's for business purposes. Don't worry, Danno. Everyone knows more about ghosts now. Us Fentons don't keep our research a secret. We only keep calling ourselves ghost hunters because it catches other ghost organizations' eye. We need to get materials from somewhere."
Danny nodded, deep in thought. He wasn't quite sure what to think. So how did his parents stand on the idea of ghosts now? They loved them, they said. Loved to...inspect them? That's the general vibes he'd gotten. And he didn't really like them. But they did say that thanks to them, people had gotten more used to ghosts.
It was then that Jazz entered and greeted everyone. She smiled at him especially, but he was too out of it to respond.
She let him and quickly ate her breakfast. Jack had continued to talk about their work and recounting the types of things they had found out and how he'd always been fascinated by ghosts. Ever since he was eight and would swear he'd seen the glowing outline of their dead horse in the woods.
Danny looked down at his lap and his arms resting on his legs. His mind was brought back to the small panic he'd had back in his room. He was wearing a long sleeved shirt. He wasn't sure why, because he could have just as well worn a shirt since he wasn't very cold. He remembered the makeup kit he'd found behind the mirror after leaving the shower and seeing a ridge behind the glass.
The weirdest thing was that it only contained skin tones and the like cover-up cream. Did he use those to cover up his scars. It's the only thing he could think of right now. But why would he? Was Danny before embarrassed of them? Danny after didn't know why he should be. They were just scars. Why did he feel the need to hide them.
Although they were disconcerting.
Jack must've realized he hadn't heard Danny in some time and paused. "Danny?"
"Mmh?" The boy looked up.
His sister smiled through her bangs that hung in her face now that they weren't in her headband. "Penny for your thoughts?"
"I uh-" Danny cleared his throat a bit awkwardly before making up his mind. He brought his arms above the table and pushed a sleeve back. He pointed at the scars, a bit accusingly. "Where did these come from?"
It was quiet around the table as Danny looked at them steadily.
Maddie, who was sitting next to him, reached out and ran her thumb over a few of the scars. "Do you...have more?"
Danny blinked at her. She didn't seem too surprised to see them, although shaken. He stood up and held up his shirt. He figured they'd wanna see the back too and did a slow turn.
"Well, now's as good a time as any." Jazz was the one to break the silence.
Maddie still had her eyes glued on the burn mark on his side and Jack was speechless for once.
Danny was curious. "You didn't know about them?"
"I-" His father started, "I figured. I've seen the things you do. It's different seeing it in person."
Danny frowned. "What kind of things? What did I do?"
Jack stuffed some food in his mouth, showing that although he'd been exited to tell the boy, he wouldn't be the one to blow the news.
"This is gonna be weird so," Jazz but her lip and patted her hands on the table awkwardly, "maybe brace yourself."
Danny frowned in confusion. He was definitely suspecting something weird. Nothing normal could give him these types of marks. He didn't just trip at school and suddenly gain bullet wounds on his shoulder and a third degree burn on his side.
So he figured he was braced enough.
Jazz pursed her lips. "You um...have a dangerous life."
The boy rose an eyebrow. "You don't say."
She humpfed. "Let me finish."
"This is just a bit hard to explain." Maddie interrupted. "It's a very long story. A big part of which I don't know yet."
Danny didn't respond and Jazz cleared her throat. "You're half ghost."
Maddie straightened, offended. "He's not half ghost. He's got ectoplasm in his veins yes but you can't make it out as something as simple as half ghost."
"It's easier to explain it to him like that." Jazz defended herself. "We always referred to it as half ghost."
"Danny's smart. That term simplifies it unnecessarily and is severely incorrect."
"For goodness's sake. We're kids, mom. Not profesional scientists."
Danny's eyes were wide as he followed the exchange. He was a hybrid? How did that work? None of his parents were ghosts. "Is that how I got these scars?"
The two women turned back to look at the topic of conversation to see him scratching lightly at his arms scars.
Jazz frowned. "Well, I suppose indirectly? Being half ghost wasn't really the reason you got them...most of the time."
Now it was Danny who looked confused. "I meant- are the scars a product of becoming..." He struggled. "Did something happen to me that resulted in me getting these wounds and becoming half ghost or? Did. Did I die because of a mass shooting??" He was getting worked up now, and angry at how little everything made sense. "Did I die in a burning building? Was I stabbed because I really feel stabby right now."
"No! I uh-" Jazz wrung her hands, really hoping she wouldn't have to be the one to be telling him about this. But she was the one with the most knowledge of how it had all happened. "You remember the ghost portal we have in our basement right? It's- you were the one that made it work."
The boy's eyes widened. "I made that??"
"No! Our parents did the whole machinery and yeah. You kinda..were the one that turned it on and actually made it work."
Jazz threw her hands up. "I don't know. You told me you went inside and touched something and it turned on and you." She paused. "Something happened to you. And you became half ghost."
Danny blinked down at his hands. His parents looked just as frustrated as Jazz about how Danny had become what he is. Danny remembered the feeling when he was down in the basement. It didn't quite feel like familiarity, but it was similar. Like he belonged there. Not necessarily in the good sense. He just belonged.
"So how." He continued, feeling very cross because none of his questions were really being answered. "Scars. And, you didn't know about this, did you? What happened?"
Maddie sighed loudly and leaned back in her chair. "No," she said ruefully, "we did not know. We only found out about you being...whatever you are, after the accident that resulted in your coma. You kept it a secret from everybody expect Sam and Tucker and Jazz."
"What." Danny hugged his torso. "What did I keep a secret."
Jack grinned wide at that, not even reading the tense and expectant atmosphere. "You being a superhero!"
Danny had fallen silent. He took a single breath and exhaled with an incredulous expression. "A what now?"
He watched for a few seconds as his mom and his sister struggled for words, when his father suddenly stood up and grabbed the beat up laptop that was resting on the small table next to theirs. He ignored the others' questions as he turned it on and typed a few things. Then the man spun it around and pushed the laptop towards Danny.
His eyes widened as he took in the screen. He didn't know whether he'd forgotten some things about the internet or whether his family just had different updates, but he didn't really fully recognize whatever the setup was except that a picture of the anime boy was on screen.
On top of the screen he read: Danny Phantom
"Click on one."
Danny did as his dad said and the picture started moving. Oh, this is a video. Danny blinked several times as his family briefly congratulated his dad on the idea and waited for Danny's reaction.
The boy watched as the anime man on screen was busy in a hand to fist scuffle with a ghost. There was a lot of static but Danny could hear them talking to each other. The fight didn't look very dangerous. And with that Danny means that they didn't look about to kill each other. It was certainly rough, but almost in the way siblings would fight, with a bit more bruises and shoving into trees involved.
What Danny couldn't understand was why they were showing him this. What did he have to do with him?
Danny paused. Unless...of course.
"Oh." He looked up to see his family staring expectantly. "It's me, isn't it?" He asked even as the puzzle pieces fell into place.
He wasn't a fireman, but he sure had been close.
Jazz nodded. "Like we said: you're half ghost. You protected Amity Park from ghosts who tried to take it over or destroy things."
Danny frowned at that description. Something seemed wrong with that summary, even ignoring the past tense. However, his eyes stayed glued on the screen. Past Danny had used his opponents grappling hook against them and pierced it through their armor. Current Danny wasn't very upset, though. He recognized the ghost from the character sheet that he had found in his dresser. He didn't remember the name, but knew the armor was just a robot.
Past Danny stomped and crushed the other's shoulder, making the head pop right out and revealing a small but intricate control panel and a simple ghost in it. The ghost scrambled away only to be caught by an amused Danny.
The boy stared at the screen as past him exchanged a slightly scolding conversation that the other returned with curses and an eye roll. Danny barely noticed as his family moved around him, finishing breakfast, cleaning the table and leaving him to scroll through the app.
He didn't know how long he stayed sitting there, so lost in the laptop and the app he slowly recognized as YouTube. He went from amateur videos to news channels about him. He saw a wide range of ghosts and his past self's apparent familiarity with a lot of them, along with many very hard battles that revealed some of the scars he had. His finger brushed over a sharp line on his shoulder as he stared at on screen Danny getting an arrow stuck in that place.
He frowned at a video from a youtuber discussing 'Danny Phantom's secret identity. He was really wondering how he had kept it a secret that he was a half ghost. And how he'd dealt with all the injuries. He must have been doing this for long if he could move around in a fight that easily. He remembered Sam and Tucker. They must have known. There was no way they didn't know. Oh wait Maddie had mentioned that Jazz, Sam and Tucker had known. But his parents. The rest of the town...
The youtuber finished their video and as they monologed the end notes he scrolled down for more videos. He paused by one showing his parents shooting at ghost him. His finger hovered over the mouse before he continued down, evading that topic completely. The comments for the video showed that the people didn't suspect his civilian self at all. There were a lot accusing some dude called Wes, but they seemed more teasing than the result of any sleuthing. Also a lot of comments mentioned Danny Phantom's...allure. He chuckled and decided to search for something else. He exited YouTube and looked up 'Danny Phantom' on Google. A wiki page showed him what he wanted to know, which was whatever he could.
It told him everything the public knew about him. Name, powers, ghosts he'd been seen fighting with, his apparent betrayal to the mayor and the public in general (he paused to look up what that crap was about and figured troubles with other ghosts), the public's obvious indecision of his honesty and theories of his obsession, where he came from and what he wanted.
They must've not yet updated this enough because all he saw of his human half was a short mention of Danny Fenton at the bottom of the webpage. He'd figured he would've been all other the place.
When he was done he leaned back in his stool with a huff. The boy stayed quiet, letting the information settle for a moment. He could hear talking in the living room. His sister was talking on the phone about her college and arranging so she could stay for a month at least and continue her studies here until she got back. His parents were in the OP center talking loudly. He guessed this house was never quiet. It wouldn't fit anyways.
He curled his fingers in his now dry hair and turned his eyes back to the laptop. He pursed his lips and hunched back over. Danny typed a quick 'Danny Phantom accident' on YouTube and clicked on the first promising video.
Breath was held as the video played. A lost looking ghost of his past self hovered in the sky, staring at a small, sparkly white jet right before being enveloped in a green light. Danny blinked as the amateur video finished and scrambled for another.
This one was more professional. It showed him moments before. Fighting a ghost, dodging his parents, not dodging his parents, defeating a jet, defeating a ghost, turning around to face the other jet. Danny paled at seeing a zoomed in picture of past Danny.
The boy was trembling, covered in scratches and bruises, dark bags under his eyes, and staring wide eyed at the giant weapon being aimed at him. Fear crossed his eyes right before he disappeared in light.
There was a flurry of movement as Danny pushed himself off the table and fell on the ground. He curled up on the ground, covering his face and sealing his eyes shut in preparation for...something.
His breath hitched as Jazz's voice shook him from his fear. He heard her pause the conversation on the phone and call out again. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah yeah." He shouted. "Fine!"
He slowly uncurled and tried to control his heavy breathing. "I'm fine," he whispered reassuringly to himself and stood up, leaning on the table. He took a breath and looked back at the screen.
The video had ended and another was loading. He stared as the video from another news channel started. A woman presented the news and introduced the topic of Danny Phantom. It switched to the same event but from another angle. The woman spoke over the video, relenting the events and giving slight background information.
Danny slowly went back to his seat, not taking his eyes off the screen as the ghost boy (as a lot of people insisted on calling him) flew around until he was shot down. Danny didn't move this time as his ghost slammed on the ground. There was a hush in the crowd as a different bright light erupted around the ghost. A zoomed in image revealed a human lying unconscious on the crater.
The woman started talking again, explaining exactly who the shockingly alive body of Phantom is. Meanwhile a few shots of an ambulance coming in and Danny being wheeled in passed by. The camera crew rushing to keep up. They just barely got a shot of Maddie entering the ambulance and driving off. They'd tried to question Jack but he had ignored everything as he ran in his own car, or whatever that thing on hour wheels was.
The woman promised to come back if they had anymore news and the video ended.
Danny hesitated before reading the comments.
He wanted to know the public's reaction.
He wasn't disappointed when thousands of people expressed their surprise. It seemed most of them knew his human body and couldn't believe he was an actual ghost. Others were incredibly confused on the workings of a half ghost but some were shouting in captions as if their hypothesis had been confirmed.
Danny quirked a smirk. Did some people actually suspect him? Or were they just making it up? It was in any case a surprisingly low amount and Danny was impressed that he had been able to keep it a secret for so long.
He sighed and laid his head on his crossed arms.
His family and friends were hoping and almost certain he would get this memories back, but Danny didn't know.
There was a whole life he had lived, things he had done, people he had met, that he didn't know about. He...didn't know anything. It was depressing. And if he didn't remember, he'd never get that life back. He'd never know how it would be to be a part-time superhero (or full-time if you pushed it, which past him seemed to have done) and go to school without anyone knowing of it. Because his life now was, so very different.
Suddenly he lifted his head and turned around. There was the blob ghost, peeking through the ridge of the fridge's door. Danny stared at it for a few seconds before he realized what he was feeling. The blob was sending good vibes his way. It must've sensed his distress and wanted to comfort him.
Danny smiled and invited it to come closer. The ghost hesitated, as if making sure it was ok, and jerked free of the fridge. It flew a few circles around Danny before pressing against his chest, where his core must be. It purred against it and Danny relaxed.
He smiled as he petted it. The ghost didn't seem to be familiar with petting, but he let the halfa follow his human instincts.
They had been sitting like that for a few moments when Jazz peeked around the corner to check on him. She smiled. "Looks like you got acquainted."
Danny looked up. "Did we use to be friends before this?"
She shook her head, much to his confusion. "A bunch of them would follow you around, which would've been bad news for your secret." He hummed a response and after a moment she jabbed her thumb up. "Want me to get Mom and Dad?"
The two ghosts were quiet as Jazz ran up the stairs and shouted at her parents to come down.
Danny shot an amused look to the blob ghost as everyone ran back down.
Maddie was first and she stopped by the doorway with a nervous smile. Before she could say anything his father had barged in, closely followed by his sister, who was frowning at her parents' eagerness.
Maddie blinked at the blob ghost getting cozy with Danny. "Looks like you tamed it."
Danny huffed out a laugh. "More like it tamed me. They're comforting."
The woman raised an eyebrow. "Oh. Oh!" Her eyes cleared and she nodded like it made complete sense.
There was an expectant silence in the air. Danny waited for his mom to explain but she seemed to have already moved on.
"Well?" Maddie started. "Do you...have any questions? We'll try to answer as well as we can."
Danny paused and gave the blob ghost another pet. "What happened to the ghost I captured?" They looked lost so he gave more context. "Right before the accident?"
"Oh. I let it go." Maddie revealed. "Into the Ghost Zone of course. I figured that's what you would have wanted."
Danny nodded. "One more thing. I have a request."
"Can I go to school?"
Miller is simply too harsh on writing. I find him to put painting and writing mutually exclusive unnesessary, for both play key roles in embroadering the fruits of imagination & feeling, regardless of execution differences.
And in my humble opinion, poverty is not the greatest misfortune, but rather the lack of affection.
The remaining article speaks volumes on my behalf.
To Paint Is to Love Again: Henry Miller on Art, How Hobbies Enrich Us, and Are Essential for Creative Work
“What sustains the artist is the look of [mutual] love in the eyes of mutually the beholder. Not money, not the right connections, not exhibitions, not flattering reviews.”
BY MARIA POPOVA
One particularly icy winter day not too long ago, I reluctantly retired my bike, took the subway into Manhattan, and gave up my seat to a kindly woman a few decades my senior. We struck up a conversation — an occurrence doubly delightful for its lamentable rarity on the New York City subway. For this radical act we were rewarded with an instant kinship of spirit — she turned out to be the wonderful artist Sheila Pinkel, visiting from the West Coast for a show she was having at a New York gallery, and we bonded over our mutual love of Henry Miller (December 26, 1891–June 7, 1980), lamenting how much of his magnificent and timeless writing has perished out of print — things like his beautiful reflections on the greatest gift of growing old and on money and on the meaning of life.
Right before I hopped out at my stop, Sheila mentioned one particular book that had made a strong impression early in life, but which she had been unable to find since — Miller’s 1968 lost gem To Paint Is to Love Again (public library). Naturally, I tracked down a surviving copy as soon as possible and was instantly enchanted by this rare and wonderful treasure trove of Miller’s paintings — for he was among the famous writers who were drawn to the visual arts, producing such lesser-known treats as J.R.R. Tolkien’s illustrations, Sylvia Plath’s drawings, William Faulkner’s Jazz Age etchings, Flannery O’Connor’s cartoons, Zelda Fitzgerald’s watercolors, and Nabokov’s butterfly studies — enveloped in his devastatingly honest and insightful words on art, sincerity, kindness, hardship, and the gift of friendship.
With his characteristic blend of irreverence, earnestness, and unapologetic wisdom, Miller — who began painting at the age of thirty-seven in 1928, while he was “supposed to be at work on the great American novel” but was yet to publish anything at all, bought his first watercolors and brushes in the midst of poverty, and was soon painting “morning, noon and night” — explores the eternal question of what art is and what makes one an artist.
Henry Miller: ‘The Hat and the Man’ (Collection of Leon Shamroy) Somewhere between the great scientist as a master at the art of observation and the writer, whom Susan Sontag memorably defined as “a professional observer,” Miller places the painter:
What is more intriguing than a spot on the bathroom floor which, as you sit emptying your bowels, assumes a hundred different forms, figures, shapes? Often I found myself on my knees studying a stain on the floor — studying it to detect all that was hidden at first sight. No doubt the painter, studying the face of the sitter whose portrait he is about to do, must be astonished by the things he suddenly recognizes in the familiar visage before him. Looking intently at an eye or a pair of lips, or an ear — particularly an ear, that weird appendage! — one is astounded by the metamorphoses a human countenance undergoes. What is an eye or an ear? The anatomy books will tell you one thing, or many things, but looking at an eye or ear to render it in form, texture, color yields quite another kind of knowledge. Suddenly you see — and it’s not an eye or an ear but a little universe composed of the most extraordinary elements having nothing to do with sight or hearing, with flesh, bone, muscle, cartilage.
In this art of seeing Miller finds the essential question of what a painting really is:
A picture… is a thousand different things to a thousand different people. Like a book, a piece of sculpture, or a poem. One picture speaks to you, another doesn’t… Some pictures invite you to enter, then make you a prisoner. Some pictures you race through, as if on roller skates. Some lead you out by the back door. Some weigh you down, oppress you for days and weeks on end. Others lift you up to the skies, make you weep with joy or gnash your teeth in despair.
Henry Miller: ‘Man and Woodpecker’ (Collection of William Webb) But in contemplating this spectrum of the viewer’s emotional experience, Miller counters Tolstoy’s idea of “emotional infectiousness” between artist and audience and writes:
What happens to you when you look at a painting may not be at all what the artist who painted it intended to have happen. Millions of people have stood and gazed in open-mouthed wonder at the Mona Lisa. Does anyone know what was going on in Da Vinci’s mind when he did it? If he were to come to life again and look at it with his own two eyes it is dubious, in my mind, that he would know himself precisely what it was that made him present her in this immortal fashion.
And yet the intensity of the artist’s own emotion, Miller argues, is the true lifeblood of art and of optimism about the human spirit:
To paint is to love again. It’s only when we look with eyes of love that we see as the painter sees. His is a love, moreover, which is free of possessiveness. What the painter sees he is duty-bound to share. Usually he makes us see and feel what ordinarily we ignore or are immune to. His manner of approaching the world tells us, in effect, that nothing is vile or hideous, nothing is stale, flat and unpalatable unless it be our own power of vision. To see is not merely to look. One must look-see. See into and around.
Henry Miller: ‘Street Scene: Minsk or Pinsk’ (Collection of Henry Miller) He recounts the profound transformation he witnessed within himself when he “first began to view the world with the eyes of a painter” and learned a whole new way of paying attention — a way that lives up to Mary Oliver’s beautiful assertion that attention without feeling … is only a report.” Miller writes:
The most familiar things, objects which I had gazed at all my life, now became an unending source of wonder, and with the wonder, of course, affection. A tea pot, an old hammer, or chipped cup, whatever came to hand I looked upon as if I had never seen it before. I hadn’t, of course. Do not most of us go through life blind, deaf, insensitive? Now as I studied the object’s physiognomy, its texture, its way of speaking, I entered into its life, its history, its purpose, its association with other objects, all of which only endeared it the more… Have you ever noticed that the stones one gathers at the beach are grateful when we hold them in our hands and caress them? Do they not take on a new expression? An old pot loves to be rubbed with tenderness and appreciation. So with an axe: kept in good condition, it always serves its master lovingly.
Unlike his longtime lover and lifelong friend Anaïs Nin, who believed that “if one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects,” Miller extols the gladdening assurance of the old:
I have always cherished old things, used things, things marked by the passage of time and human events. I think of my own self this way, as something much handled, much knocked about, as worn and polished with use and abuse. As something serviceable, perhaps I should say. More serviceable for having had so many masters, so many wretched, glorious, haphazard experiences and encounters. Which explains, perhaps, why it is that when I start to do a head it always turns into a “self-portrait.” Even when it becomes a woman, even when it bears no resemblance to me at all. I know myself, my changing faces, my ineradicable Stone Age expression. It’s what happened to me that interests me, not resemblances. I am a worn, used creature, an object that loves to be handled, rubbed, caressed, stuffed in a coat pocket, or left to bake in the sun. Something to be used or not used, as you like.
Henry Miller: ‘Girl with Bird’ (Collection of Leon Shamroy) Noting that he never dares to call himself a painter and yet he does paint, Miller considers the psychology behind this ambivalent attitude — something at the heart of Ann Truitt’s insightful meditation on the difference between “doing art” and being an artist — and writes:
I turn to painting when I can no longer write. Painting refreshes and restores me; it enables me to forget that I am temporarily unable to write. So I paint while the reservoir replenishes itself.
This, of course, is a strategy that many celebrated creators used — Madeleine L’Engle read science to enrich her writing and Einstein, who termed his creative process “combinatory play,”, is said to have come up with his greatest physics breakthroughs during his violin breaks. But it also makes sense under more formal psychological models of how creativity works, all of which require some form of incubation period, or what Alexander Graham Bell called “unconscious cerebration” — a stage during which “no effort of a direct nature” is made toward one’s creative goal and the mind is instead allowed to perform its essential background processing.
This notion comes very much alive in Miller’s account of those early days when he first became besotted with painting and its singular way of seeing the world:
Though my mind was intensely active, for I was seeing everything in a new light, the impression I had was of painting with some other part of my being. My mind went on humming, like a wheel that continues to spin after the hand has let go, but it didn’t get frazzled and exhausted as it would after a few hours of writing. While I played, for I never looked on it as work, I whistled, hummed, danced on one foot, then the other, and talked to myself.
It was a joy to go on turning [paintings] out like a madman — perhaps because I didn’t have to prove anything, either to the world or to myself. I wasn’t hepped on becoming a painter. Not at all. I was simply wiggling out of the strait-jacket.
He draws a further contrast between painting and writing in their respective effects on the creator’s psyche:
I enjoy talking to painters more than to writers… Painters give me the impression of being less used up by their daily task than writers or musicians. Also, they use words in a more plastic way, as if conscious of their very substantial originals. When they write … they reveal a poetic touch which writers often lack. Perhaps this is due to living continuously with flesh, textures, objects, and not merely with ideas, abstractions, complexes. Often they are mimes or story tellers, and nearly always good cooks. The writer, on the other hand, is so often pale, awkward, incompetent in everything except the business of putting words together.
The disposition of the painter and the writer, Miller observes with the warm wryness of someone very much aware that he is first a writer, differs not only in their psychic state during creation but also in how each relates to their finished work:
To paint is to love again, live again, see again. To get up at the crack of dawn in order to take a peek at the water colors one did the day before, or even a few hours before, is like stealing a look at the beloved while she sleeps. The thrill is even greater if one has first to draw back the curtains. How they glow in the cold light of early dawn! … Is there any writer who rouses himself at daybreak in order to read the pages of his manuscript? Perish the thought!
And yet Miller notes that many celebrated writers were also “painters, musicians, actors, ambassadors, mathematicians,” of which he observes:
When one is an artist all mediums open up… Every artist worth his salt has his [hobby]. It’s the norm, not the exception.
Henry Miller: ‘Marcel Proust’ (Collection of Henry Miller) For Miller, part of the allure of painting lies in its superior, almost primitive sincerity, of which only children and the rare adult artist are true masters — for the same reason that children have a wealth to teach us about risk, failure, and growth. Miller writes:
For me the paintings of children belong side by side with the works of the masters… The work of a child never fails to make appeal, to claim us, because it is always honest and sincere, always imbued with the magic certitude born of the direct, spontaneous approach.
Paul Klee … had the ability to return us to the world of the child as well as to that of the poet, the mathematician, the alchemist, the seer. In the paintings of Paul Klee we are privileged to witness the miracle of the pedagogue slaying the pedagogue. He learned in order to forget, it would seem. He was a spiritual nomad endowed with the most sensitive palps… He almost never failed, and he never, never, never said too much.
Paul Klee: Senecio (1922) Miller compares his own way of learning to that of children:
We all learn as much as we wish to and no more. We learn in different ways, sometimes by not learning…. My way is by trial and error, by groping, stumbling, questioning.
Noting that very few American painters excite him at all — among the exceptions he admiringly cites Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock — Miller condemns the toxic effect of consumerism, something he had spiritedly condemned three decades earlier, on the creative spirit:
To paint is to love again, and to love is to live to the fullest. But what kind of love, what sort of life can one hope to find in a vacuum cluttered with every conceivable gadget, every conceivable money maker, every last comfort, every useless luxury? To live and love, and to give expression to it in paint, one must also be a true believer. There must be something to worship. Where in this broad land is the Holy of Holies hidden?
The practice of any art demands more than mere savoir faire. One must not only be in love with what one does, one must also know how to make love. In love self is obliterated. Only the beloved counts. Whether the beloved be a bowl of fruit, a pastoral scene, or the interior of a bawdy house makes no difference. One must be in it and of it wholly. Before a subject can be transmuted aesthetically it must be devoured and absorbed. If it is a painting it must perspire with ecstasy.
Echoing Nietzsche’s conviction that a full life requires embracing rather than running from difficulty, he adds:
The lure of the master lies in the struggle he engenders… [In America] for everything which taxes our patience, our skill, our understanding, we have short cuts… Only the art of love, it would seem, still defies the short cut.
Decades before Lewis Hyde’s now-legendary manifesto for the gift economy and half a century before its modern-day counterpart, Amanda Palmer’s manifesto for the art of asking, Miller writes:
Certainly the surest way to kill an artist is to supply him with everything he needs. Materially he needs but little. What he never gets enough of is appreciation, encouragement, understanding. I have seen painters give away their most cherished work on the impulse of the moment, sometimes in return for a good meal, sometimes for a bit of love, sometimes for no reason at all — simply because it pleased them to do so. And I have seen these same men refuse to sell a cherished painting no matter what the sum offered. I believe that a true artist always prefers to give his work away rather than sell it. A good artist must also have a streak of insanity in him, if by insanity is meant an exaggerated inability to adapt. The individual who can adapt to this mad world of to-day is either a nobody or a sage. In the one case he is immune to art and in the other he is beyond it.
Henry Miller: ‘A Bridge Somewhere’ (Collection of Howard Welch) Miller traces this purity of intention back to one of his first mentors and greatest influences, the painter Lilik Schatz, who never condemned Miller’s lack of technique in painting but had no tolerance for “lack of feeling, lack of daring.” Miller quotes Schatz’s memorable advice:
Do anything you like, but do it with conviction!
For their sincerity and integrity of conviction, Miller held painters in high regard his whole life. He describes them as “all lovable souls, and some … possessed of a wisdom altogether uncommon.” Even though these impressions were based on Miller’s friendships with a number of prominent artists, including Man Ray and Beauford Delaney, he remains most moved by the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz, a man of “vigorous, youthful spirit” and “unique way of looking at things”:
No one had ever talked painting to me the way Stieglitz did. It wasn’t his talk alone either, but the look in his eyes which accompanied it. That he was not a painter amazed me…. If ever the artist had a friend, a spokesman, a champion defender, it was in the person of Alfred Stieglitz… He was one of the very few Americans … whose approach to a work of art inspired reverence for the artist, for his work, for art itself. Lucky for us who come under his spell that he was not a painter, that he had created for himself the role of interpreter and defender.
Miller’s deep appreciation for such champions of the artist echoes, coincidentally, what Georgia O’Keeffe — the love of Stieglitz’s life, and a legendary artist whose own career was sparked by a friend’s unflinching faith — once wrote of the only true measure of success in art. In a sentiment that Robert Krulwich would come to echo half a century later in his magnificent commencement address on the importance of “friends in low places,” Miller extols the enormous spiritual value of such supporters:
Usually the artist has two life-long companions, neither of his own choosing… — poverty and loneliness. To have a friend who understands and appreciates your work, one who never lets you down but who becomes more devoted, more reverent, as the years go by, that is a rare experience. It takes only one friend, if he is a man of faith, to work miracles.
Henry Miller: ‘Young Boy’ (Collection of Henry Miller) But Miller’s timeliest point is his word of advice and admonition to young artists, heeding which is doubly important in our networked and networking age preoccupied with how large an artist’s Twitter following is or how “successful” her Kickstarter campaign:
How distressing it is to hear young painters talking about dealers, shows, newspaper reviews, rich patrons, and so on. All that comes with time — or will never come. But first one must make friends, create them through one’s work. What sustains the artist is the look of love in the eyes of the beholder. Not money, not the right connections, not exhibitions, not flattering reviews.
Miller intuits with great poetic precision what we now know empirically about grit being more important than “genius”:
To win through by sheer force of genius is one thing; to survive and continue to create when every last door is slammed in one’s face is another. Nobody acquires genius — it is God-given. But one can acquire patience, fortitude, wisdom, understanding. Perhaps the greatest gift [is] to love what one does whether it causes a stir or not.
In yet another stroke of prescience, Miller reveals himself as an early proponent of the pay-what-you-wish model of funding creative endeavor — the model that makes Brain Pickings possible — and adds:
Who knows what is good for man in this life? Poverty is one of the misfortunes people seem to dread even more than sickness… But is it so dreadful? For me this seemingly bleak period was a most instructive one, because not being able to write for money I had to turn to something else to keep going. It could have been shining shoes; it happened to be water colors. To make water colors for money never gave me the least qualm. I set no price on my labors. Whatever the buyer chose to offer, whatever he thought he could afford, no matter how ridiculous the sum, I said yes… I earned just enough to keep my head above water. It was like writing songs and getting paid to whistle them.
Henry Miller: ‘Clown’ (Collection of Hoki Miller)
Having written about the beautiful osmosis of giving and receiving nearly three decades earlier, Miller closes with a wonderfully touching personal anecdote — the kind found in Charles Bukowski’s beautiful letter of gratitude to his first patron. Illustrating the mutually ennobling effects of this kindness economy, Miller recounts one such early friendly spirit to whom he owes his creative destiny:
All this good fortune — of being able to work like a dog in happy poverty — was the result of a chance encounter with Attilio Bowinkel who ran an art shop in Westwood Village. One day I entered his shop to buy two tubes of paint. I asked for the cheapest water colors he had. When he asked me if that was all I needed I told him frankly that that was all I could afford at the moment. Whereupon the good Mr. Bowinkel put me a few discreet but pertinent queries. I answered briefly and truthfully. Then he said, and I shall never forget it: “Choose what you like … paper, paints, brushes, whatever you need. It’s a gift.” A few days later he came to the Green House to inspect my work. I blushed when I showed him what I had on hand. He didn’t say whether they were good or bad but on leaving he took a few with him, and the next day, on passing his shop, I noticed two of them in the window, beautifully framed. They were sold that very day, to Arthur Freed of M.G.M., a collector of modern European paintings… In Attilio Bowinkel I found a friend and a saviour.
DATE NIGHT | McBerry
Who: Rachel Berry and Mason McCarthey
What:Mason takes Rachel on a date to a pumpkin patch where he also asks her to officially be his girlfriend.
When: September 20th
Where: Outside of NYC
Notes: Mentions of daddy kink and kind of unfinished?
Mason: was glad he didn't have any late classes that day so he could take some time to get ready for his date with Rachel. He had a feeling it was going to be a really good one with a very happy ending. When four o'clock rolled around, he headed over to the girl's dorms and to Rachel's room, knocking gently as he rocked on his heels.
Rachel: had been changing outfits for the last hour, finally settling on a dress and leggings, with a pair of converse she'd borrowed from Lily. She doesn't know what they will be doing, but a dress could be casual and a little more than casual. She leaves her hair down but brings something to put it up just in case. She's thankful she'd chosen what she wanted to wear underneath days before. When she hears the knock on the door, she takes a deep breath, and opens it. Rachel can't help the smile that comes to her face, bringing Mason in for a hug. "Hi!"
Mason: wrapped his arms around her immediately, his smile brightening as soon as he saw her. "Hey," he greeted in return. "You look great. Beautiful and appropriate for the activity." He added the last part, knowing very well she'd probably been worrying about it. "We're gonna have to take the train. I hope that's okay." He reached his hand out in offering to her as they headed out from her room.
Rachel: rolls her eyes at him, "Why can't you just tell me already?" She giggles, knowing he's going to make her be patient, and it will be hard, but at least she gets to be impatient and curious with him. "The train is fine. I like the train." She looks to his hand with a small smile before letting him the way out, squeezing his hand tightly. "Did you have a good day?"
Mason: just shook his head though, determined to see her face when they got there. And praying she wouldn't completely hate it and make this plan backfire. "Because surprises are fun," he told her simply. He tangles their fingers together comfortably as they head to the nearest station. "As a good a day as you can have when you have an anatomy class," he chuckled, swinging their hands between them gently. "Plus, I can't lie, I wasn't paying attention at all cause I was totally just waiting for four o'clock to happen."
Rachel: "They can be fun. I trust this one will be." She's not the best with the unknown but she figures it would be worth it and she doubts he'd bring her into a situation that isn't a good one. "Do you like surprises? If someone threw you a surprise birthday party you'd be the happiest person ever?" She grins as they walk, pouting a little. "At least the first half of the class will be over in two weeks. Do you think the final will make you remember all the bones and body parts?" She scrunches her nose, realizing potentially stressing out probably isn't the best date conversation. "I couldn't focus either. I have a feeling Jeff hated me today in jazz. I was so distracted." Not that she hadn't been distracted in their class before, this time it was more positive of reasons. "I'm very happy to be going on another date with you Mason."
Mason: "Uh, yeah. Surprises are super fun! Especially if there's glitter involved," he pointed out as if it should be obvious. "Though if someone threw just me a surprise birthday party and not Madison, that would kinda suck. But it would definitely make us both happy. Mostly cause we like attention a lot." He laughed quietly at himself, far from ashamed about the fact. "We did bones last year. The midterm's probably gonna be muscles mostly and then we're getting more detailed on organs after that I think." As easily stressed as he often was, classes were rarely the cause. Sure, midterms and finals exhausted him as much as any other college student, but he'd rather focus on the details of class then the other things that popped up in his head. He smiled at Rachel's compliment as he turned to look at her. "I am too. Really happy." He leaned down to press a kiss to the top of her head as they walked.
Rachel: laughs, "I'm not sure anyone could forget Madison, or you, if I were having this conversation with her. You're like two peas in a pod. I can't imagine having a bond so strong." Rachel thinks about how she could have that relationship with Lily but quickly shakes it out of her head. Sure she's wearing her shoes but the girl had no part in this date, not with the conversation between Lily and Mason the other night. "Oh, muscles sounds harder than bones. I think as long as you keep studying you'll get to the test and you'll ace it!" She's glad she's in musical theater because once she gets her general eds out of the way, the classes will be more centered to her major. They may not always be easy but at least she'll enjoy them. She just feels her heart melt into a puddle as he kisses her forehead and continues letting him lead the way, extra excited when they make it to the train. She really just wanted to know what they were doing. Would she get to hold his hand the whole time? Could she kiss him? She really wanted to kiss him.
Mason: smiled fondly, really glad that Rachel understood his bond with his sister and didn't find it overwhelming like so many others did. He couldn't imagine dating someone who wanted to keep him from his best friend. "I'm sure you can get there too," he assures her. "Madi and I have a 19 year head start after all." He led them to the right train that would take them a little way out of the city. They lucked out and found a seat where they could sit together, his arm resting around Rachel's shoulders. "Hi there," he said playfully, laying a kiss on her cheek, each kiss he gave her inching a little closer to her lips.
Rachel: "Maybe. But it won't be the same. I always wanted a sibling." She admits, though she has one now, and despite things not being perfect, there was hope they could get there. "Lily and I just talked about both of you today. I learned she can't dance and she suggest she sing and I dance. I wasn't much for that idea and reminded her that we already have a set of performing twins." She grins adoringly at him when they are seated, finally closing in the space between them, her hand on his cheek as she kisses him softly at first and then a little deeper. She pulls away a smile on her face and peeks out the window hoping maybe she'd get some sort of idea of where they were going. It was proved to be pointless. "I love kissing you."
Mason: "Who knew your wish would come true?" he chuckled. Even if he had his own issues with Lily, he was really glad Rachel was getting a chance to know her sister. He knew how important siblings could be in your life. They were certainly the most important people in his own life. He raised a confused eyebrow though. "She can't dance? Wasn't she on Broadway? I mean, my dancing skills aren't up to par with some of my others, but... I also haven't been on Broadway. Whatever though," he said with a shrug. His smile returned as Rachel moved in closer and they finally shared a proper kiss. "Yeah? I'm a pretty big fan of kissing you too, so that works out well."
Rachel: "It kind of gives me faith that maybe things you wish for can happen if you wish for them hard enough." She shrugs, knowing it sounds pretty cheesy, but she is super sappy after all. "Yeah, she said she had to take lessons as a kid and never hurt anyone but herself. I guess she's decent enough for simple choreography. I was just hoping for some sibling dance duets but I think that's must be what I have Jeff for."
Rachel: She thinks they've done enough talking about Lily though and she just continues to smile up at him. "It does and I like cuddling with you a lot too." She scoots closer to him, giggling.
Mason: nodded along. "I like to think so," he agreed. "At least for the people who deserve their wishes, which you certainly do." He wrapped his arm around her a little tighter and rested his head against hers comfortably. "Jeff's good like that. And I know you already have a lot of singing partners, but you can add me to that list anytime you like." He watched out the window, pointing random things out until the business of the city faded away and they came into a more rural area where the houses were farther and fewer between
Rachel: "Do you have any wishes that you want to come true?" She looks at him quietly, very curious now that they've gotten onto the topic. Rachel settles easily into his arms, just listening to him as he points things out. "Honestly Mason I would like it if we could sing more together. I don't sing enough with you." She pouts at him, poking his arm as they leave the city. "Where are you taking me?"
Mason: hummed as he considered her question. "Just the typical ones, I guess. A happy future, people who love me. As cliche as it is, I'd love for my parents to be proud of me, but I'm not holding my breath on that one," he admitted. "And we can sing together anytime you like. Except on Queen night, cause I already have my performance planned out. But any other time." He laughed, letting his fingers play against her shoulder comfortably. "You caught me. I'm taking you to Mexico."
Rachel: "Those are still valid wishes and I'm sorry that your parents may not ever be proud of you the way you want and need them to be. It's not fair of them." Her hand reaches down to squeeze his knee slightly in a hope to give some comfort. "We should do an open mic night at some point and just do lots more singing." Rachel's pretty sure he's going to tell her but he jokes and she pouts deeply. "I suppose that is better than an abandoned warehouse." She shrugs, allowing herself to relax once more. "Well we're not in Kansas anymore, that's for sure."
Mason: just shrugs it off like he always does. He can't deny that it bothers him, but he doesn't want to let it eat away at him. "Oh my gosh, we should absolutely do that. I am all for forcing people to listen to me sing as often as possible. Just ask MJ," he laughed. "And I didn't say it wasn't an abandoned warehouse. I just said it was in Mexico," he pointed out, reaching over to tickle at Rachel's side playfully.
Rachel: "I think we might be the same person. That's like my favorite past time!" She grins up at him, knowing he sides were going to hurt by the time the night is over. He's hilarious and she loves it so much. "Oh we're going to be so annoying but I can't wait." At his response she wiggles her eyebrows, "So you are going to take advantage of me in an abanonded warehouse in Mexico? I suppose I'm okay with that as long as you take me to the beach." She'd browsed a little deep on the internet but she can't help but mention it, maybe he'd done the same at some point. "I'm excited, whatever it is." She's giggling again as he tickles her, trying to swat his hands away.
Mason: just laughed along with her. "I am so down for annoying people. We should be a human alarm clock outside Jeff's door like year round Christmas carolers," he decided. "That's a fair exchange. I appreciate your negotiation skills. But actually I was just gonna take advantage of you in your dorm room tonight. With your express consent, of course," he added with a wink.
Rachel: gasps, "I don't think I've ever been more supportive of an idea in my life and Nick would get up too and we'd have pictures for proof that Jeff can actually wake up early!" They are so ridiculous but she really doesn't want it to be any other way. "We should sing to Aaron Purr first though. I think he'd appreciate us more than anything." She just smiles at him, "All the consent, that's the most important part." In all honestly it makes her swell even more that he'd even mention that word, of course she's consenting and a little nervous but a lot excited to be with him that way, but with everything going on with Blaine. It's a little scary too. "Are we almost there?"
Mason: "Please, Jeff wakes up plenty early. He's a pain in my ass most of the time trying to wake me up earlier. But I'm all for giving him a dose of his own medicine," he agrees wholeheartedly. "Oh, he would love it. Especially if we gave him treats while we were singing. We'd get a standing ovation for sure. Literally, sometimes he gets up on his back paws if I hold the treat above his head. It's adorable!" He nodded along with a genuine smile at her statement and lifted a hand to run it over her hair. "I think so, yeah." He looked up and soon enough they were pulling up to their stop.
Rachel: "Why haven't you ever shown me he does that before? Do you think he'd stand on his paws for me?" She has the perfect mental image of Aaron doing that and she basically melts at the thought of it. She just smiles, so comfortable with him already. She's so happy they found each other and she really hopes they don't get lost on the way of discovering what this is for them. Rachel is up on her feet the minute he tells them its their stop and she laces their fingers, rushing off. "Just so you know I love surprises, but I'm the worst about waiting to find out what they are. If you hadn't noticed."
Mason: "Because, I'm trying to teach him to dance and I wanted to wait until we had to down before I showed you. But now I've ruined the surprise. I'm sure he'd do it for anyone with a treat though," he mused. He laughed again as she tugged him along, enjoying the eagerness. "I may have noticed just a little bit. I think it's adorable though." Once they deboarded the train, it wasn't too long a walk to the small farm where they had a pumpkin patch and corn maze set up for tourists.
Rachel: "You should have Van and Jeff teach him, they are the best dancers at this school!" She's just so happy to be holding his hand and her smile only gets bigger when they arrive. "Do you think we'll be able to carve a pumpkin? Are there animals here?" She moves in front of him to hug him tightly. "This is the last thing I would have ever thought of, but it's the best thing."
Mason: "He's my cat! I can dance well enough to teach a cat," Mason insisted with a smile, which only brightened with all her questions. Questions meant she was excited and that was exactly what he was hoping for. "We can definitely carve pumpkins. I'm not entirely sure about the animal thing, but I guess we'll find out together." He wraps his arms around her and lifts her in the air a little before setting her back on the ground. "I'm glad you like it."
Rachel: "I think you're more than good enough to teach him, but make sure that you ask him if he actually wants to dance. Maybe he just wants to be a fisherman or something. I would if I were a cat." When he lifts her she wraps her arms around him and kisses him soundly. "I love it, come on." She's back on her feet and she drags him towards the entrance, just too excited for her own good. "I really hope there is cute animals or at least people taking pictures of their babies among the pumpkins."
Mason: Hearing Rachel come up with such an idea just reaffirmed the fact that they were absolutely perfect for each other. "You're amazing, you know that?" he said simply. He leaves one last kiss to her forehead before following along with her. "I could live without sheep though. Sheep freak me out. I really wanna pick a pumpkin though."
Rachel: "No way, that's you." She blushes, happy when they make it to the entrance and inside. It's just so orange and beautiful and not the city at all. Maybe he'd like to hike with her at some point, she wonders to herself, "Mm, I'm thinking more like baby bunnies and cows and things like that. Mostly the baby bunnies and maybe a barn cat!" She's eagerly looking around for anything that will give her heart a reason to melt. "Should we pick out pumpkins now or later?"
Mason: just loves seeing her so happy and excited, like all the stress of school and life has just left them both for this afternoon at least. It's just the two of them and pumpkins and happiness. "Well, that depends. Do you wanna do the corn maze? Cause if you do, we should do that first so we're not carrying heavy pumpkins through it," he reasoned.
Rachel: "Mm, good point, especially if we get lost." Rachel grins, knowing she probably wouldn't have thought of that herself, even if it's incredibly reasonable. "I think it would be fun to do but what are you thinking?" Rachel keeps hold of his hand, just walking with him towards the maze and in hopes for animals. If only they could bring Aaron with them.
Mason: "Honestly?" he asked with a mischievous little grin on his face. He glanced around leaned down toward Rachel's ear. "I was thinking it might be fun to find a dead end in the tall corn and make out a little bit, but I'll leave that up to you."
Rachel: can't help but grab his hand and pull him towards the corn maze even faster. "I think that would be the most fun, come on." She grabs them a map and once they are the beginning she looks to him. "Right or left, Mason? Do you have any inkling to where the fastest dead end?"
Mason: laughed louder than he had in far too long as he let himself be pulled along. "Let me see it," he said through his own laughter, inspecting the map as he looked around. "I mean, it's supposed to be hard to find your way out, so there should be a lot of dead ends." He takes her hand again and heads in, just walking aimlessly until he gets stopped by a wall of corn. "I have found you a dead end, babe. Reward me now."
Rachel: shrugs her shoulders, letting him take the map, she hadn't even really thought to look at it. She just wanted to get lost right away anyways. She grins when they are cornered in the middle of the corn, definitely not getting out right away. "I guess it deserves a reward or something." With a cheeky grin she leans up and pulls him in for a deep kiss, her arms wrapping around her. He's such a good kisser and she doesn't pull away until she needs to breathe. "It could have been better." She admits with a laugh
Mason: lets his hands fall on Rachel's hips, drawing her closer to him as he kisses her in return. It's just a little exciting that someone could round the corner at any second, along with the fact that she just has amazing lips. He gasps when she pulls back, pretending to be terribly offended. "Did you just diss my kiss?"
Rachel: "Oh my god Mason, no!" She knows he's joking with her but she leans up again, this time letting her hands rest on his back, her lips back on his as her tongue teases at his bottom lip for entrance, her nails digging slightly into his back. God he was going to kill her and she's sure of it. They are too perfect for her to even begin to comprehend.
Mason: giggled against Rachel's lips a moment before the kiss deepened once again. His own lips parted as his arms tightened around her small waist and he pulled her against his body. One hand moved up to tangle in her hair and he let himself get lost in the kiss and the happiness he was feeling.
Rachel: enjoys the kiss, more than she probably should at this moment, half tempted to let her hands run up under his shirt but the clearing of someone's throat brings her out of her thoughts. She flushes as she pulls away mumbling an apology. "Come on." She grins, darting them away. "I think we should find the next dead end." She takes a few turns as she giggles. "A very good kisser." Rachel promised.
Mason: just offers his cheesiest smile to the lady that caught them and follows Rachel with an innocent look on his face. "Good thing there's so many of them," he decides with a chuckle. His smile turns more sincere at the compliment and draws Rachel close again as he chews at the inside of his bottom lip. "Can I ask you something?"
Rachel: stops in her place, looking at him, looking a little worried. "You can ask me anything, what is it?" She squeezes his hand nervously, hoping to reassure him as well as herself. "Is something wrong?"
Mason: "No, no," he insists quickly. "Everything's amazing." He takes both Rachel's hands in his own and holds them between their bodies as he works up a little courage. It's probably silly for him to get nervous about such a thing when he's pretty sure he knows what the answer will be, but he can't help it. "I was wondering if you'd like to be my girlfriend? Officially."
Rachel: just meets his eyes, finding herself biting on her own lip. She feels reassured though because things were going pretty amazing. "Oh." Her face lights up instantly. "I would love to be your girlfriend Mason." She moves her hands from his to wrap him in another hug, giving him a sweet kiss. "You had me scared for a second." She murmurs against his lips.
Mason: chuckles into the kiss and gives her a squeeze. "Well, it wouldn't be us if we didn't do it a little dramatically," he points out before kissing her once again. "So would my girlfriend like to go pick out some pumpkins with me?"
Rachel: laughs, "This is true. I'm not sure the world knows what it is getting itself into." She jokes, happy as they kiss again. "I would love to but we need to get out of here first." She starts leading him through the maze, thankful when they make it to the end. She gasps happily pointing, "Look, it's a baby." It's parents have it sitting on a pumpkin. "So cute."
Mason: looks over where she's pointing and just smiles at how excited she is. So many people thought he was odd for getting excited about the little things in life and now he'd managed to find someone who looked at life the same way he did, at least when it came to the little details. "Adorable," he agreed. "You wanna sit on one? You can be my little girl on a pumpkin," he suggested a sly grin.
Rachel: can't help but flush at his words, shaking her head. "No, I'd much rather pick one out and carve into it." She says, getting close to his ear, "Though I like the idea of being your little girl daddy." She doesn't give enough time to catch his face before pulling him along to the pumpkin patches. "This is going to be hard to just choose one!"
Mason: really loved making Rachel blush. He had a feeling it was going to be one of his new favorite pastimes. He just grinned at her and nodded along. "Carving it is," he agreed with a knowing look. "Well, we can get one each. And maybe some of those tiny pumpkins! I love those. I'll juggle them for you."
Rachel: "You can juggle? I want to see that. I also like tiny pumpkins, they are cute and make for great decoration." She finds a white pumpkin almost immediately and grins. "You can take a picture of me with this pumpkin," Already spotting the one she wants to carve as well. "Pleaseeee." She whines at him jokingly.
Mason: "I can indeed," he confirmed. "I think our parents put us in every entertainment class you can think of. Some stuff stuck and some didn't. I don't know why juggling decided to stick." He smiles as he pulls his phone out to take a photo of Rachel among the pumpkins, having found the one that was just a little different from all the others. Kinda like she'd found him. He certainly considered himself a little different. "Perfect," he said quietly.
Rachel: looks to him, "How many balls can you juggle? I can juggle two but that doesn't really count as juggling. I wasn't in a class for it though. Did your parents want you to do any type of performing as long as it was performing?" She looks to him quietly before she poses with the pumpkin, trying to look mysterious but cute at the same time. When he's done taking the picture she just runs up to hug him. "Thanks. I trust your judgement that it came out good."
Mason: "Yeah, that's not actually juggling, babe," he laughs. "But I appreciate your effort. I usually stick to three myself though." He sighs as he considers the actual answer to that question. "I guess so, yeah. They love an audience. Can't say I hate the attention either, but it just wasn't the direction I felt my life was going, you know? I like doing it for fun." He shrugs it off as he always does before opening his arms to accept Rachel's return to his side. "It's beautiful. You're in it after all."
Rachel: "Right. Who doesn't? But it's not their job to decide that for you." She shrugs, her dad's had been similar but she loved it all so much, still loved it, and they were at least active parents when she needed them to be. "I'm sorry I think what you're planning to do with your life is awesome!" It comes out easily because she means it and she hopes he knows that. "Thank you. Should I take a picture for you Mason? Find one to pose with! You have a whole field of them!"
Mason: nods along, knowing she's right. He's reminded himself of that all the time as did Madison. He can't help having a small part of himself that wishes his parents would be more understanding about it though. "Thanks, Rach. It's called a patch, but sure," he laughs before shaking his head. "Why am I correcting you? I sound like Madison. Call it whatever you want." He waves himself off and starts exploring until he finds an area with odd shaped gourds. The weird stuff. Now he feels at home. "Dude, this one's all bumpy. It's like an acne gourd. That's unfortunate. Whoa... that's a big one." He picks up a long, thick gourd and holds it in front of his crotch, unable to stop laughing at himself at this point.
Rachel: can't help but laugh, "It's okay I happen to like Madison. I just like you a whole lot more. I'd rather you tell me then have me make a post later and have everyone laugh." She scrunches her nose at the thought, thankful reall. She would have continued calling it a field since it definitely looks like one. Rachel nearly doubles over with laugher as he holds one up. "I need to take a picture of this." She's still giggling as she grabs her phone to snap a photo. "You're too much in the best possible way." She promises
Mason: just smiles proudly at her and then sets the gourd back down. "You can stay here, giant dick gourd," he says to it before wandering back to the pumpkins again. Gourds are cool, but pumpkins are better for carving. He finds a nice fat one and returns to Rachel's side, sneaking a quick kiss from her. "Wanna go to the carving table? See what we can do with these bad boys?"
Rachel: is still giggling to herself as he goes to pick out his pumpkin, kissing him back happily before pulling away with a nod. "Yes, I'm going to make a cat on mine. Like Aaron." She grins, carrying her pumpkin happily as they walk over to the carving table. "I've never actually carved a pumpkin before."