Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Antiquity of the Soul

Would you ever know if you went crazy?

I've had this picture sitting around for a couple weeks now, but every time I looked at it I was just drawn into her eyes.  I knew I wanted to cap it, but no story came through.  Today I vowed to either write something for it or just toss it away.  As I looked at her and her expression, I wondered what she was thinking.  She looked so smooth and almost fake... then it hit me.  I was reminded of Jennifer's 'Living Doll' caps where a person's mind is digitally transferred into the computer running a Living Doll.  The mind has no control over the body, or at the most very little control.

Both Jennifer and Smitty (and some other cappers that I can't recall at the moment) have written variations on this, but it got me to thinking... how long could someone stand this?  How long could a man be in the body of a beautiful artificial woman acting out the desires of any man who owned her without completely losing their mind.  And being just a digital representation of themselves... what would losing their mind look like?

So I started writing.  The only things I had i mind was that a man had been transferred into this Living Doll a long time ago, that she had been through many masters, and that she was either losing her mind, or had already lost it.  It wasn't the easiest thing to write mainly because I didn't want it to be the easiest thing to read.  I wanted her thoughts to be almost continuous and constantly bouncing from subject to subject.  So when I started to focus on one bit of the story I would have to purposefully interrupt my own train of thought and go off on some tangent.  About halfway through the writing I was getting into a pattern of writing, mentioning something else, then following that off in a new direction.  The problem with writing like that is that I don't have an normal pausing point to stop and re-read the last few sentences that I'd written.  When I finally did stop to see if what I was writing made any sense at all (and to see if I was giving enough details to follow along), I realized I had forgotten to capitalize several words.

As I was correcting that, it reminded me of the cap T_M had made for me on the Haven.  She made a stream of consciousness cap that was inspired in part by James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake".  It was a great cap, but some parts were difficult to read.  I had made the suggestion that she could possibly do a stream of consciousness with no capitalization or punctuation.  Well if I made that suggestion, why not give it a try myself.  I went ahead and left the punctuation but changed it all to lower case text.  And wow... I really like the effect.  Maybe it's just in my head, but it gives the narration a very flat feeling.  Like she's thinking this with almost no emotion... just thought after thought after thought.  She's not happy, excited, sad, depressed, angry or anything... just thinking her thoughts.

I finished the story in the same way, and actually wrote a bit more than what's in the cap.  I knew I'd have to cut it off at some random place, but that's something else that I did on purpose.  I figured her thoughts at this point in her long life wouldn't really ever have a beginning or ending especially while she's just propped up and waiting for her next master.

At the last moment, I realized I had forgotten to emphasize the one thing that drew me into this photo... her eyes.  So I went searching for the precise wording of the phrase "The eyes are the windows to the soul".  While looking that up (it seems to be quite controversial as to who said that first), I came across Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote that was similar, but eerily fit this caption better.  "The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul."

So I worked that both into the beginning and then into the reveal where I let it be known just how long this nameless person had been trapped in this body.  I actually liked it enough that I went ahead and used it for the name of the cap as well.

When I moved into the design, I wanted the reader to focus in on her eyes and the story, and that's it.  I don't want to get quite or artistic.  So I laid he text out without a text box.  I did add a shadow to it, but only to help let it pop out from the background a bit more.  I gave it a dull pink color and then changed my normal justified paragraph format to a purely left justified format.  I figured the ragged right side of the text would go along with the unorganized theme of her thoughts.

The last thing was to cut off the text.  I added the ellipses at the beginning and the end.  I didn't have to cut off much, but here is the rest of what I wrote (picking right up with the last sentence that's in the cap):


that's gorgeous.  i guess i should be grateful that they put me facing toward the window.  although if it's getting sunny out i'm sure my new master will have me wearing less.  i hope he doen't make me go to the beach nude again  being used by those frat boys while stuck in wait mode was awful.  it's bad enough having to feel my body willingly have sex with my master but at least then i'm programmed to have an orgasm.  sure i don't actually feel an orgasm but at least i can pretend that i do. 

I liked that part, but knew that I wanted it to just cut off...so I let it stay cut.  

I'm actually quite happy with this cap.  I think it gets the point across of the slow horror it would be to be locked into one of these living dolls.  I'm sure it doesn't meet the sexiness of the caps written by Jennifer and Smitty, but to me I think this one may be the squirmiest Living Doll cap.  

I hope you all enjoy it as well!

1 comment:

  1. I didn't expect to see this today, but I'm very glad that I did! I agree, it is one of the squirmiest living doll caps. It captured the passage of time and lost with in your self feeling very, very well!

    The mention of the civil war and other advanced technology's is a nice addition to the universe. It helps build the world some more and even takes the tech to the next logical step. Real A.I. I hadn't thought of that, but once I read that it made her situation and predicament stand out that much more. Being replaced and even just traded out, like a garage sale item or family hand me down really draws out the Feeling of being just an object.

    I like the added text at the end, But I'm glad it wasn't put in. I do think the orgasm they experience is "fake", since it's just a computer. But it's a computer telling her that she had an orgasm, and the human mind can't tell the difference between a real one and the one she was programed to feel. It plays into that feeling of just being along for the ride.

    The picture couldn't be more perfect, so I'm glad you kept it around. She does look like a doll and the eyes really stand out. I'm not sure if you edited anything, but if you did or didn't, it's just as powerful as the text and compliments it wonderfully. Just like the "flat" feeling of the text and her rambling thoughts. You kind of feel like she knows she she should be hurt, but by now is unaware of how to actually do that, so she just runs through her thoughts to pass the time.

    I could go on and on, but it's a really well done living doll cap and I'm proud to have it apart of the universe. ^_^