The Physical World
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How many guys have you fucked?

"More than I'd like to admit."

And women?

"There's not a number that would be satisfactory to either of us."

What do you think is the cap to your life expectancy?

"Shut up."

Isn't it a beautiful day in the favela at least?

"…could have fooled me."

No?

"No."

As long as I've been around, we've shared much of the same cameraderie. It's a dynamic that I respect, though Graça has different views of the situation than I do. No offense.

"Sure."

Can't blame her; I'm insufferable. We always did come off as left-and-right-brained and right-brained. Even now, she's trying not to talk to me. At least I'm not special; I watch through her eyes as she avoids the faces of strangers. It's too bad, because I always like feeling vital.

"You're not."

But it's a whisper, to avoid others wondering who the crazy is that's talking to herself. Can you cross the street already? Pollution is bad enough. Please try to avoid accidentally bumping into people. We don't need the attention. Move, you crazy bitch.

We navigate busy sidewalks and back streets, looking each and every way for anyone who might be after us. Finally, we arrive at Tristão's house. He's sitting outside. What a sight for sore eyes. Red baggy eyes. Shaggy hair. Slumping onto the door. That weak smile. As good of a friend as he is, he has a ridiculous unhealthy schedule. Why, it's almost like he —

"Didn't get any sleep last night, huh?"

"Same answer as usual, girl." He stands up and holds his fist out for a fistbump. Bump goes the fists, and a connection is born anew. It was way too long since we got to jam; a whole four months. Pounding the drums is more than just a way to soothe the nerves; it's the vibrations sent up one's spine, the arms shaking as the sticks are raised, repeating the process all over… it's the closest to fucking one can get. Less of a mess, too.

"You really need to sleep, though. Regular 48-hour all-nighters are just gonna make you worse at making music. Promise me you'll sleep the moment I leave."

"I don't see the big deal though, it's not like —"

"Not like it'll make any difference, when we haven't played in so long, shithead?" Bonk goes the palm, right on the head. "Please tell me you practiced once between then and now."

"Well…" He drifts off, pretending to not know the answer. His sly smile gave it away. Every time. Our eyes twitch a bit. "Hey, hey! In my defense, I had no power for a whole month. That's why I wasn't able to contact you or anyone else."

"Fucker." Tristão's divine punishment is a solid minute of noogieing, perhaps the worst possible one for him. His soft head can't handle a sustained attack from our worker-like hands and knuckles for too long. "Asshole. At least you're fine, and not some shitty imposter." We sit down by him and relax for a few minutes. The silence is nice.

After ten minutes of quietly watching the smoggy clouds drift by, Tristão speaks. "I still have your drums in the guest room. I've been cleaning them; I know how particular you are with your stuff getting dirty." We smile no, grin. Tell him thank you at least, or do you prefer not to ruin that real-world image of yours? Nothing? …nothing? Okay. "The only downside is that the toms are a bit detuned, and the snare got scratched. I could only do so much maintenance on my own time."

"Eh, it's fine. So long as we're not St. Angering it up, it'll sound fine."

"Oh come on, that album wasn't that bad. Neither were the snares."

"That's because you're not a drummer."

"You think Lulu is their best anyway! You don't get to talk." Punch him for that! She punches him. Yesss.

"Let's go play, you fag."

"Only if you take initiative again this time, dyke." We share a laugh. It was good to be back in good company.


The sounds of percussion blare through the house as we warm up and blast our way through every inch of the kit. The air feels vibrant; there's a sort of thickness that each drum creates unique to the way it is hit. The drumstick bounces up, and each time you are in that moment, you are engaged in a battle with the walls of sound. Either you win and are able to continue producing a rhythm that others can use in order to keep track of the music being produced… or you fuck up and people get pissed.

As for Tristão playing the bass? Eh, it's probably just as simple as plucking some strings.

"God, this rules. It sounds fine to me. How's it on your end?" He can't hear me with those earmuffs on, but he can read my lips. He gives a thumbs up. That's how we spend the next hour; noodling and getting used to being in-sync with one another. It just feels right again; we've never been able to click with anyone else ever since we started playing instruments. Sometimes, she thinks it's part of God's plan that Tristão came into our lives. In those times, I tell her to stop talking nonsense; since when has Christianity ever worked out in our favor?

"Dude, I love playing fills and blast beats and 7/8 funk rhythms, but I'm done warming up. Let's try playing one of our old songs and see if it still has that touch."

Tristão groans. "Ugh, but most of that stuff is shit." It's hard to tell if he's being genuine or not.

"Then the ones from earlier this year."

"Which one? You have to pick." What song would any of us even remember how to play?

"'Justificação', then. No singing in that one." We nod to each other, and the sticks go

1 2 3 4

Blast off. The room starts to shake, unable to contain the distorted bass crackling through a broken DIY amplifier and drums that roared like Hell itself. God's gift to us all.

Ten seconds in and the first key change happens, sounding more like rumbling beasts than music. Punks could dance to this.

Twenty seconds in, and a tiny crack forms in the wall behind us. A humid energy pulsates from it. Punks could only dare.

Twenty-five seconds in, Tristão rapidly shifts the key upwards, the sound becomes triumphant, and (



goodpostskitty: Tanaka, you still haven't told me how it actually works.

goodpostskitty: Tanaka, you still haven't told me how it actually works.

KiraQueen: Right, right. I don't totally know how it works, but i'm guessing based on conjecture and enough incidental… incidents. I don't have access to actual information.

KiraQueen: My sample size is you, Tristao, Thom, Yukyu, No-Name, and around… a hundred and some people across various concerts.

goodpostskitty: …?

goodpostskitty: …?

KiraQueen: You know, Back when Aussie was still a thing we were involved in.

goodpostskitty: Oh, yeah.

goodpostskitty: Oh, yeah.

KiraQueen: Everyone has a bit of anomalous energy lurking in their soul. They have potential to use it, but because most people's energy is way too weak, or they're unaware it exists at all, they can't really use it. Especially when it comes to music. You can, like…

KiraQueen: Feel the vibrations of the music and it rubs you in a way you can't describe, like you're in a daze. Or you swear the room turned some kind of different color when a certain part came on, but maybe not. Like weed or taking the lightest amount of shrooms possible without fucking up your brain.

goodpostskitty: I don't do drugs, but okay. Go on.

goodpostskitty: I don't do drugs, but okay. Go on.

KiraQueen: We can use that stuff (the music and its/our energy, not drugs) more easily because we know how to tap into it, even if only at a base level of usability. So when we write music, it just naturally flows out of us. And when we perform it, everyone around us will feel it. That's the intended effect if you're doing anart, you know?

KiraQueen: So you want your audience to feel like they're pulsating. You write the music and perform it in a certain way so that your energy gets carried along the soundwaves to them. It leaves your body and enters theirs. So now they pulsate, and the music makes them shake a certain way, and they're on another level of reality, where you want them to be.

KiraQueen: Like, Thom can animate stuff in ways he's not aware of that does some neat shit to people's minds. I almost wanna tell him, but he doesn't need to be involved in that life.

goodpostskitty: Sure. I get it I think. Tell your fiance I said hello.

goodpostskitty: Sure. I get it I think. Tell your fiance I said hello.

KiraQueen: I would, but he's in Japan with Yukyu. Tell Tristao he's gay as fuck.



) Oh, we're back, and our bodies have already begun to soar, vegetation growing out of the cracks as we move in-sync. Grass become vines become moving plants. The TV in the room over starts to turn to a static-y mush. Flowers bloom on the ceiling light.

And then the amplifier bursts.

We collapse.

"Fuck!"


"Don't worry, we still need to practice. We can't be in top form if we don't practice." He gives a thumbs up to us. I smirk, and she sighs, lightly punching him in the shoulder.

"Yeah, yeah. Can you at least text me when you finish building a new amp?"

"It'll take a couple weeks, but I can. You can crash on my couch if you want." He relaxes, leaning back in his computer chair. "Your dad doesn't know where I live I think. I won't make you pay rent." It was considerate of him, but we really couldn't afford to stay there if we —

"Yeah. That'd be nice. Thank you." She rushes over to hug him and starts to tear — You dumb bitch, our dad is gonna kill us if he finds out where we've been staying. "It's fine, it's fine," she mutters. Whatever. I can't argue with her like this.

"Just be careful about the practice room. I think the plants are sentient. I'll go make some coffee."

"And then you'll sleep, right?"

"…fuck. Yeah, I will." He pats our head and gets up to go to the kitchen. Whatever. At least here, it's home.

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