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The following is a non-fictional account of a conscious stream that took place during my exploration of a water treatment plant.

I was at the office, looking at the wall-sized whiteboard.  Around 200 buildings stared back at me, numbered and color-coded.  I've been to pretty much all of them, but one unfamiliar number stuck out to me.  #41.  What a boring number.  MUD Platte West, that's a Metropolitain Utilities District.  I look up the address and drive.  Just to go see it.  And by the way, this isn't even a slow day for me, this is mostly what I do.

I drive West for 35 minutes, which is forever in Omaha time.  One road, Q St, hills, meadows, an elementary school, more hills.  41 is easy to spot, it's a huge concrete thing in the middle of nowhere.  I take the access road to the guard shack, he smiles, lifts the arm and I'm in.  the tile is obnoxiously clean.  My shoes squeak.  Squeaky shoes and high, echo-y ceilings make for loud walks.

Angela- the day maid- turns the corner.  She's wearing a company shirt and a frown.  When I show up and I don't have any supplies, that means I'm about to tell you that people have caught you napping and it's just a tad irksome, or you're due for an assessment, something like that.  I tell her in my Omaha Public School Spanish that I'm just here to see the building because I've never been past the janitor's closet.  I asked her if she could show me around.  Angela flashes a bright, hospitable smile and says in her best Community College English, "Ok!  Follow me, we do much walking."

She takes me down the only hall and opens the only door and we're in a tall ceilinged, concrete room with a glass walled security/control center in the middle of the space.  Very "secret base" looking.  There are two doors on the outer walls, Angela's leadng me towards one.

I asked her how long she has worked the building, are we bringing her enough supplies, etc.  I ask her if, being from Mexico, she's ever had Pulke- this hallucinogenic brew drink they make in certain villages down there according to an old college History Prof.  I've asked this question to every Hispanic/Latino person I've met and no one seems to know what the hell I'm talking about.  So either A: I know some very sheltered Hispanics or B: My asshole History teacher is playing a lifelong joke on me that I'll never get.  Pulke is probably Spanish for herpes or something.

Angela also has no idea what I'm talking about.  I asked her what herpes is in Spanish and it's not Pulke.  Glimmer of hope.  

Through the door, we're walking on a metal grate supported by god-knows-what over sectioned tanks of churning liquids.  It's a huge, loud room, smelling of hospitals and chlorine.  I stop saying stupid things for a spell and finally look at Angela's ass.  
I imagine her washing dishes in a sunlit mess of a kitchen, while three boys haze each other at the table, all eating store brand pop tarts.  A loose lock of hair hangs over Angela's face and she smiles at something mean one of her sons says to another.  I imagine myself as one of the boys at the table and ask my mom why she never gets chocolate milk.  I realize that what was supposed to be a brief domestic breed sex fantasy had taken a disturbing twist and decide to just appreciate Angela's ass for what it is.

Another realization occurred to me in this room; the building has gotten increasingly darker as I've journeyed within.

We made our way across the grate to a metal door, which Angela pushed open.  A tangle of tanks, rotors, pistons, pipes, and gages boasted a steampunk theme and reminded me of a gothic Wonka's Chocolate Factory- well more gothic I guess.  A spiral staircase takes us up a floor and we take a dark hallway.  We stop at an open door.  A suspended walkway leads away from the door and into the silo-esque room and ends at a podium in the center.  Dark water bubbles and swirls beneath us.  It was like a wetter version of Cerebro in X-Men or more vaguely, like that huge, scary monster tank in Toys.

Angela tells me to go ahead, just for fun, so I walk out to the center and stare down at the water.  Yeah, it was exactly like the monster tank from Toys.  I get a little frustrated at my mind for making these familiarity connections instead of just looking at the unfamiliar as something unique in itself.  "That's an effective way to slowly assassinate your imagination," I tell it.  

So just as an exorcise, I imagine a swordfish with a stubby, round, little nose.  He gets made fun of all the time.  He decides to order himself a prosthetic, but due to a snafu in delivery, he receives a unicycle instead.  He gets really good at it, but needs lungs to practice on land.  Then he would truly shine!  He orders some lungs, but due to yet another snafu, he gets a prosthetic swordnose instead.  He never rides the unicycle again.

That got pretty sad for a mere exorcise in imagination, but I guess results are results.  We keep walking.  We round the corner to a room with metal tables, more pipes, chains and hooks hanging from the ceiling.  I say, "Sheezus, do they torture the water before they purify it?"  It was a stupid thing to say, even as I was saying it, I knew this, but that's just what I do.

"Yeah," Angela says, "Like the Spanish Inquisition."  Angela knocks it out of the park.
Another giant metal door is in our way.  The handle turns, but it's a little sticky so Angela tells me to give it a kick.  I do.  The door flings open.  We're blasted with blinding sunlight and a 73 degree floral breeze.  I felt like I'd just escaped from a weapons manufacturing slave camp or from a bad dream.  My pupils contract and I see we're on the crest of a hill, overlooking the sky.  I don't remember ever seeing the sky so big and so unencumbered by that noisy horizon.  This is a very cliché city kid thing to say, but it's true.  Clouds matched the concrete's gray hues and density.  They ripple and billow.  There's something vaguely apocalyptical about the whole scene, the isolation, overwhelming sky.  I wanted to look for zombies and play Hide and Seek.

Angela leads me around the building and points to another similar building nearby.  The whole district looked like a giant dead robot from this view, all sprawled out, parts scattered.

We talk about our kids and spouses.  She kicks a rock I kicked and talks about grilling.  We reach the building, open the door and I find myself standing in the room we started in with the glass walled control center.  We'd just come through the second door.  I wondered if we were to exit through this door and do the whole tour again backwards, if it would have even happened at all- though I wouldn't dare attempt.
I hold up my hand for a high five.  

Let me address that.  I just felt like we'd been through an ordeal, like we'd just caught glimpses of 100 other little universes.  I was excited, but to hug Angela would've been a bit creeptastic.  A handshake is too insincere and cheesy.  A high-five is still cheesy, but I needed to express my joy appropriately somehow.  When she made contact, Angela held my hand for literally one second.  I saw mushroom clouds in her eyes- but in a happy, knowing sort of way.  

When the stars start falling from the sky, I know exactly where I'm going.  Building #41.  210th and Q.
True story
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-10-10
:iconprideofpanem:
PrideofPanem Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student General Artist
It's a really wonderful piece <3 I'd love to read more like it.
However, small thing I noticed, I'm not sure if you did this on purpose, but at the beginning of the part with the swordfish- you said exorcise, when it would've made more sense to put exercise. If it was deliberate- I'm very sorry.
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Nope, not deliberate, good catch! There are actually grammatical and tense errors throughout. I didn't reread or edit this piece... which is poor strategy haha! And honestly, I'd go through and make it more structured, more clever, better word choice, grammatically sound, but it's a narrative. So I feel like the sloppiness is excusable? Might be justifying laziness too. Also, I try to only put draft 1's up on DA for publishing purposes. Great catch though you're absolutely right! Thanks for reading!
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:iconzickmaster:
zickmaster Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Don't go back over it. You were thinking with the right mind, and it knows what you want to say. To hold yourself back with logic and analysis will make you like... me.

Keep up the good work!
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Solid theory. Thank you.
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:iconxxxxzz:
XxXXzZ Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Really interesting! Seeing ordinary things and ordinary days as something special can be tough sometimes, but you captured that well here. The writing was really smooth too, so it almost felt like I was in your mind or something while all this was happening (in a completely non-creepy way, of course).

Good job, sir!
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Thank you! Yes, right in my mind you go, that's pretty much it. Full of confused tenses and media references. But thank you for commenting on the smoothness, I was concerned that my cognitions, when narrated, would be really bumpy, I'm pleased it went down alright. Thank you again.
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:iconayumi-nemera:
Ayumi-Nemera Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not enough people realize how interesting and entertaining their train of thought could be if they wrote it all down. I love the composition and I really enjoy your sense of humor. You're quirky and you don't think twice about what you say before you say it.

In all, you're a really charming guy hahaha!
Reply
:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Aw thanks! Charming? I'll take it!
I normally think two or three times about what I post because it's typically.. you know, composed as opposed to splattered, but this is surely reaffirming my confidence in my instincts! Thanks again.
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:iconayumi-nemera:
Ayumi-Nemera Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
no problem. :D
Reply
:iconfurby4537568:
furby4537568 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm... Definitely something to fall back onto as an example for when we start doing non-fiction creative. Congratulations! It was a good style too, so it was interesting to see how different people write things :3
Reply
:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Yeesh, I'd hardly think of it as a primary example haha! There are grammatical errors throughout and I switch back and forth between past and present tense... maybe that's excusable in this sort of journalistic narrative? Anyhow, thanks for the style points!
Reply
:iconfurby4537568:
furby4537568 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I just mean with using it as an example (I also make those mistakes a LOT.). Kinda like using it to understand what I'm trying to do? It was still well written from my point of view at least ^^;
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
I hear ya, exemplify away! Thanks again.
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:iconfurby4537568:
furby4537568 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course!
Reply
:icondeliriousmuse:
DeliriousMuse Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Writer
That was fantastic. Love your style.
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks! Just thought I'd throw some actual occurring narrative up on the DA instead of the fictional or poetic stuff. I'm stunned at the response. I didn't have to churn this through the structuring or creative word choice distillers or anything. ... That's right, kids, don't reconsider anything, never reread, and never edit, and you'll do just fine! haha.
Reply
:icondeliriousmuse:
DeliriousMuse Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Writer
LOL Fantastic. I never reread or edit; just write and post hahaha.
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Exaaaactly... actually that's a terrible idea. Stop that. And stop encouraging me!
Reply
:icondeliriousmuse:
DeliriousMuse Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Writer
Heh.
If I say no will I be in trouble?
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Wow. Overwhelming pretty much nails it. Thanks guys! Check out my new books Fairytales For Serious Children Parts I and II on lulu.com.
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:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student General Artist
LOVELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So so so beautiful.
Reply
:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
YOU'RE LOVELY!!!!! THANK- sorry- thank you so much, hope it brought you out of your day for a little bit. Cheers!
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:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Awww.... you're very welcome. :huggle:
Reply
:iconlightsonluna:
LightsOnLuna Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful story!
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Hey, thank you! I think beautiful stories happen to everyone every day, but perspective or inhibition hinders the resplendence. Relish simplicity! Raymond Carver was great at that.
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:iconlightsonluna:
LightsOnLuna Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm terrible with simplicity, I make everything so complex. Even in my writing.
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Stop that. There, see? Simple. Easier said than done I know, but a lot of that- in writing anyway- comes with confidence and a lot of confidence comes with not caring about answering to people, just let the truth of the piece be and if it calls for elaboration, let it occur organically. Again, easier said than done, but it's good to keep it in mind. I try and apply that to life too, just letting the truth be, and let my perspective find the beauty.
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:iconlightsonluna:
LightsOnLuna Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
How do you apply that to novels though? I mean they're so complex. Hard to build an entire world and keep it simple, isn't it? and I tend to prefer novels over short stories
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Professional Writer
Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm sort of discovering the process as I'm writing my first lengthy novel presently. The world- enviro, whatever- should be just like a character in the story. It has a personality, static or dynamic, neutral, dystopian, utopian, etc. And just like I'm developing characters piece by piece, event by event, decision by decision, the world develops this way too. Piece by piece, simply. Then before I know it, I'm glaring up at something rather complex... but it's just a big something made of hundreds of smaller simpler pieces, fitting together organically just so. Yah?

Poe- and others- believe that art should be able to be received in one sitting. Once you intermission from a piece of art, your own world creeps in and disrupts the momentum, "the flow" and rhythm as it were. Others, like you I assume, take more joy in art that's too much, content wise, for a single helping. I see the advantages in both perspectives. I love poetry and I can dive into Game Of Thrones pretty deep too. Just different reception, but equal quality depending, when art's good, it's good.
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:iconnyiana-sama:
Nyiana-sama Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
:la: Congrats on the Daily Deviation!
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Oh, crazy! Thank you so much, it's always an honor. I suppose I'll keep writing.
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:iconnyiana-sama:
Nyiana-sama Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
:huggle: You're welcome!
Reply
:iconjennifermulkerrin:
JenniferMulkerrin Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Photographer
Congrats on the DD!
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Feels good, Jennifer. Feels real good. Thanks and cheers!
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:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Quirky and fun, I enjoyed reading this quite a bit. This piece is a nice change of pace from the "normal" literary DD's of heartache, pain and loss, going to show how good writing can make anything interesting.
Its also nice to know that I am not the only one whos imagination wanders to the odd and fantastic but never so far as to miss a well shaped ass!
Reply
:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Oh I do a phenomenally pathetic pain-and-loss too, don't misjudge haha. Beauty is beauty, man. And sometimes, an ass is beauty, it is what it is.

Thanks for cruising some of my other material too, I'm about to kick in the door to your gallery soon enough. Cheers!
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
You're most welcome.
My wife often tells me that Im a well shaped ass. I dont think she means it as a compliment...
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012   Writer
:+fav: A good true story, too. What an imagination you have- not to mention Angela. It's kinda like Los Angeles. Like many cities and city workers. Like an exploration that leads to a fantastic end. Please, when you can, you might want to correct a typo in the sentence: "[T]he tile is obnoxiously clean." And where a few fragment sentences work really well, too many might overwhelm- just like I wrote my opinions (that's all they are, not anything else - just opinions) for you. Lots of fragments sentences for "stream of consciousness" -I can understand that via your title. If you spell out "...[thirty-five] minutes..." I think the rest of the numbers should stay the same (more opinion from me!) and you've got a more polished story. I like it. [Lead to read this by *crossing-ariel]
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:iconschofield-alan:
Schofield-Alan Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Professional Writer
Thank you! Yes, this was something that... Well here's the thing. I used to journal a lot, but now I can't stand it, so when something journalistic hits me, I wanna just throw it up here or something and call it a story. When I do this, I really just put it into this limbo of never becoming anything committal. This isn't good. haha! But you're absolutely right in all those snags and I really super appreciate your putting some light on them. When I'm not so sleepy I'll correct them and maybe pursue a destination for this little piece.

I've always wanted to go to LA for that reason exactly... someday. Until then, ain't nothing like Omaha.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012   Writer
*are* (not 'a') :icondownarrowplz:
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012   Writer
You're welcome. Stream-of-consciousness writing is a different 'animal,' isn't it?

I'm putting up a very old journal I kept back in late '69 and the early '70s here now.
It's called The True Journal of a Fake Communist and (since I'm older) is fun to read. There a nine short parts up already.
Mainly it's a job of transcribing faded cursive writing to 'e-words' here, but also making footnotes so folks know what's what.

The most fun is seeing what I was like when so very young.
Journals can be exciting after being kept in a safe deposit box and forgotten about for a few decades.
(Personally, I'm glad there's nothing like Omaha, but then again it's not home to me. Best of luck with all you do.)
PS. I'll never go back to L.A. either. Wow, is that city ever crowded with people, traffic and smog - and that was about fifteen years ago!
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