Friday, January 1, 2010


“A new decade.”

“I suppose.”

“No resolutions, I take it?”

“People don’t change. Not really.”

“We’ve changed.”

“Not at the core. What changes over the years is awareness. We become more aware of our patterns, our flaws, our relationship dynamics. But fundamentally? I’m the same person I was at twenty. I just know too much now.”

“Isn’t that pretty fatalistic? Like we’re just computers recycling the same basic program. Ghosts in our machines.”

“We’re human enough to recognize that, at a certain point in life, we are largely powerless. Again, that terrible awareness. Of being boxed in. But our wants will remain our wants. Our compulsions laugh at all that mighty understanding.”

“Funny. My compulsions are all telling me to kiss you.”


“Bleakness just so happens to be an aphrodisiac for me."

“You’re pretty messed up.”

“I’m aware.”


“No, what I’m actually doing is demonstrating free will. My free will wants to kiss you.”

“Does that line work on all the guys?”

“Pretty much.”

“But a midnight kiss is clichéd, expected. You’re just following someone else’s—”


“What for?”

“You’ve got lipstick right—”


“Mm hmm.”

“It was worth it.”

“I’m glad.”

“Sorry if I bummed you out before. I can be a morose drunk.”

“You’re not drunk.”

“Even worse.”



“I love you.”


“It’s my destiny.”

“Heady word . . . destiny.”

“Same thing you were talking about earlier. Just wrapped in a prettier package. But I’ll own these thoughts and feelings. I can’t escape them, yet they can’t be taken from me, either. I’m free to hold them. It’s like Goethe said. ‘If I love you, what business is it of yours?’”


“For instance. This conversation. It’s all in my mind.”


“That kiss you wiped away? It never really happened.”

“No. It didn’t.”

“But in some sense, it did. Electrons brushed electrons. They relayed a story. I heard it. I felt it.”

“Those ghosts . . .”

“Chained to their machines . . . ”

“Will haunt.”

“And play.”

“My brain is starting to hurt.”

“Drink some more.”

“That’s the smartest thing you haven’t really said all night.”


“I was wrong. You have changed. This is, hands down, the most depressing fantasy ever.”

“It’s not a fantasy.”


“It’s a conversation.”


“Happy New Year, darling.”



I've written a "New" story for
the last 3 years now.  Here are
the 2008 and 2009 versions.


David Cranmer said...

"Ghosts in our machines" is an unforgettable line.

catvibe said...

I remember your last year's one. It was yummy. But this one, I love the most. It's the kind of conversation I adore, and I love the kiss! I love it when kisses happen that way, right in the middle of a sentence.

Happy New Year Sarah! I'm looking forward to another year of your 'magic pen' as Aniket so aptly said once in a comment long ago. Truer words ne'er spaked. Hugs@

Nevine Sultan said...

How well you do dialogue, Sarah. And how real this conversation is, and how "imagined", too. And I do like the part about free will - always a conversation starter, or maybe even a fire starter. A very fine way to begin a new year of writing, this was.

I've enjoyed everything I've ever read from you. Your writing makes me stop and think and ask, and that's the kind of writing I enjoy most. So I hope for more from you this year, and I know it will be coming. I wish you a very Happy New Year, Sarah!


Karen said...

I love the internal life portrayed here, as real as if it were acted upon. Relationships, dialogue, and magic with language - your strengths that I eagerly await. This will be your year, Sarah -- Plum Blossoms and the new book and recognition for the talent you certainly are.

Happiest, Happy New Year!

Megs - Scattered Bits said...

I like this a lot. It's funny and smart and says a whole lot with a whole little and makes me wonder about who thinks about these things and who these characters are. I just love it.

You have such a way with words.

S. Susan Deborah said...

The dialogues remind me of how I talk to myself.

Joy always, Sarah.

Susan Deborah

the walking man said...

Their new year started much like mine, a dream. I slept through it though and have no memory of it, I own that lack of memory and will forever not be haunted by it.

Be Well Sarah and thanks for the fine read this morning.

Charles Gramlich said...

It's a good tradition. A new story for new year's. good one.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Oh, I sure do remember last years New. :)

Do I need to say again how much I love dialogue and even more when its in a romantic piece and that too when a certain Sarah Hina writes it. :P

I saw 'Ghost in the shell' only yesterday. Have you seen it? It shares a lot of the philosophy here.

And I'm sad that you'll grow out to become a super celebrity author this year and forget all us mere mortals. :(

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Oh many blessings be upon you dear, Sarah. What a fine "New" story! Fantasy or Conversation - it is magical! Happy 2010!! ;)))

Sarah Hina said...

David, thank you, but it's not mine! :)

Cat, I enjoyed the only-dialogue challenge of this one.

Thanks for the 'magic pen' comment! You guys are all very bad for my ego (but I love it, of course). ;)

Nevine, I'm very happy to have discovered your writing in the last couple months. Your passion and ideas are inspiring, so I deeply appreciate your compliment here. :)

Karen, you are too, too kind! :)

I hope it will be a wonderful new year for all. I am so glad to have found you, and your beautiful poems, within the past year, Karen. Your support means much to me.

Megs, I truly appreciate that. I wanted to leave much of their history in the darkness, so I'm glad that was successful for you. :)

Susan, I'm glad I'm not the only one, then! Joy to you as well. :)

Walking Man, I still struggle with the notion of what we can choose to be or do. For me, thoughts and emotions are like twin strands of DNA.

Thank you, my friend.

Charles, it didn't start out that way, but I'm glad I've persevered.

Aniket, I knew this one couldn't live up to last year's! ;) But I wanted a different, more subdued feel to this. I haven't seen 'Ghost in the Shell.'

You have my word that I will never forget any of you. I'm not going anywhere!! Ever. :)

Kaye, happy 2010 to you, too! I eagerly anticipate all of the beautiful poems to come. :)

Vesper said...

Sarah, every time I reread "New" I find new meanings in it... I love it, and your exquisite way with dialogue, and all the things it makes me see think and feel.

A very Happy New Year, Sarah!
I'm looking forward to plums blosomming...

Sarah Hina said...

Vesper, thank you for the sweet words. I wasn't terribly pleased with this piece, but I'm happy you found something worth plumbing. :)

And a very happy new year to you, too!