Joaquim Baeta

Co-founder and curator of Scenoptica. Writer, guitarist, filmmaker, photographer. Prone to complex, overly detailed constructions.

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Twenty one thousand six hundred

The room shakes. Curtains flutter. A nurse shuts the windows to block out the noise, a compounding whirr. On the phone, a doctor wearing scrubs urges colleagues to act as the helicopter nears.

I accidentally tore the nail almost off my big toe. Well, it was accidental, all right. The imagery is stomach-churning. Your nail is ripped off your toe and hangs open like a welcoming door, as blood pours from your revealed inner flesh. You don’t want to do that purposefully. And it was almost, all right. Because like that door, the side of my nail was firmly hinged to the wall that would be the side of my toe.

So, I looked down and I saw the open door and I speechlessly shut it. Then I patiently waited for the clerk to ring up my bottle of water and nine packets of chewable vitamin C tablets. She took her time ringing up those nine packets. She counted them. Satu. Dua. Tiga. Empat. Lima. Enam.

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Morosoph’s Odyssey, Part Two

The following was written in situ, during the event or shortly after. In some cases (specifically, parts of the final chapter), there was enough time between the event and my recollection of it that I stray into rambling territory. (My apologies.) All changes are grammatical or completions where I used shorthand. All conversations and observations are made from memory and perception. These are the events of two days in winter, as I lived them.

 PART TWO

 Waiting

The openers arrive and start setting up. Upstairs, the headliners go through various stages of waiting for the show to start. I sit in the corner. There’s not much to say now. After a brief raucous at the hands of the ever-cheerful Dave (Timnick), a calmness settles on the room. Were I more acquainted with it, I might have said this is the sound of professional musicians. As I’m not, I can only presume so. It continues into the

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Morosoph’s Odyssey, Part One

The following was written in situ, during the event or shortly after. In some cases (specifically, parts of the final chapter), there was enough time between the event and my recollection of it that I stray into rambling territory. (My apologies.) All changes are grammatical or completions where I used shorthand. All conversations and observations are made from memory and perception. These are the events of two days in winter, as I lived them.

 PART ONE

The sea swells and bashes into barriers, threatening to flood their wards—and in some cases, succeeding. Gale force winds pour into cities. They whip vast waves of rubbish into a frenzy. Rain not so much falls as it is swept into your face. Transportation services are cancelled, and for those who are lucky, only delayed. Newspapers report of the worst weather in three decades.

Well, it’s England, all right. And this will be Intronaut

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Thank you, Robin Williams

I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing personal logs online, but when I found out about the death of Robin Williams, my grief forced me to write something about it. What you can read in the link above is what I wrote right after I found out, so it is neither eloquent nor particularly poignant, but merely an expulsion of my emotions.

Nevertheless, I feel its ultimate message is important. A consistent reaction to my creative work (particularly the stories, films, or music) is that it is random or nonsensical, even in cases where there is rigid structure underneath the nonsense. There was a time when I saw this reaction as negative, but then I would observe Williams and learn that being true to yourself was more important than the perception of being normal.

My writing style may have mellowed over the past few years, but watching Williams perform has and will continue to inspire me to

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Introduction

I lived in central Europe, once, in a small city that ebbed with time. During the week, it jittered with energy; on Sundays, and particularly Sundays during holiday periods, it was deserted. It came to life as the sun rose, and died once it set. I loved this city, and still miss it.

One night, around 3:00 AM, I walked along the edge of the old town. It was surrounded by a stone wall that over centuries had disintegrated into a circular mound of dirt and vegetation, with only the occasional remnant of its ancient foundation creeping out where asphalt roads dug through it as the village expanded beyond its stone border. Eventually, I stopped when I smelled wood burning in one of the houses. Living at that time in a country famed for the darkness of its primeval forests, I found myself transported to the 12th century. I could see the stars. The night air was cool. The leaves of the trees

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