shiori_makiba: name and butterfly (inoue tsubasa)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba
Thank you everyone for your feedback on “Metamorphosis.” I really appreciate it.

Poem: Practical Things
By shiori_makiba / Ashley Weyer
Sequel to “Metamorphosis”

“The Practical Things”

Having wings was taking some getting used to.
'Which,' Tsubasa reminded herself, 'is to be expected.'
You can't just stick a new body part on someone
and expect everything to be smooth sailing.

It was amazing how much huge wings,
even ones as light as hers,
could affect one's balance.

She had stopped counting
how many times she had ended up on her rear
since the medical staff had allowed her to leave the bed.
It was better for her ego.

The wings took up a lot of space
even when they were folded together and tucked down.
She get through doorways with a little more maneuvering.
But for the most part, tight spaces were out.

The wings were tougher than real butterfly wings
and healed better.
But they could still get ripped if they caught on something.
Torn wings hurt.

The wings also moved. A lot.
Some of the movements were small.
Just tiny little twitches that no one else seemed to notice.
Some of the movements were big.
Particularly if someone or something startled her.

She thought about asking one of the biology students
about the reasons why.
They knew more about butterflies than she did.
But the other victims sometimes flinched
when they saw the wings.
And some of the families had been hostile.
So she stayed away.

Facet was nice.
And he didn't flinch at the wings.
So Tsubasa did her best
not to flinch at his eyes.
Fair was fair.

Sitting had its own share of problems.
Particularly with Western furniture.
So far they had discovered two options.
Seiza on a cushion or stools.

It was just two more items on her mental shopping list,
after clothes and before transportation.

Tsubasa was going to have to
replace or alter all of her shirts.
Even the ones that were backless
were still designed to go over one's head.

The gown she was wearing now was fine for the hospital
but not for outside.
Paper-like material and Louisiana weather did not mix.

Priya suggested saris
and offered to bring over some of hers for Tsubasa to try.
Ynez offered to do alterations
that could done with her existing clothing.
It was good to have friends.

Transportation was a different kettle of fish.
She couldn't sit in a seat and buckle up which eliminated most vehicles.
She supposed that she could ride in the back of a pick-up,
but the police usually frowned on that.
And she'd be dependent on someone else
for a ride all the time. No thank you.

Maybe she could fly.
Butterflies might not be speediest of fliers
but some of them went on pretty long journeys.
If she could fly, she'd just need to practice
and give herself enough travel time.
'It'd be pretty cool to be able to fly everywhere,' Tsubasa thought.

But this WAS Louisiana.
Sometimes it rained. Sometimes it rained a lot.
Which was at least one good reason for having a Plan B
for getting around.

Tsubasa focused on the practical things, the physical things,
because those were easier. Much easier than
the tangled mess of feelings, hopes, and fears about
what had happened and what might happen in the future.
She's start unwinding that tangle another day.
A day when her calm didn't feel as delicate as cotton candy.

She still had moments where
she forgot the wings were there.
Then they would move,
or catch on something,
or cause her fall down,
and then she'd remember.

It made the learning process frustrating.
But as the proverb says,
fall down seven times, get up eight.

NOTES:
Seiza is the Japanese term for one of the traditional formal ways of sitting.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiza)

EDIT: corrected typo.
EDIT: And another one.

LOVE this

Date: 2015-10-21 04:25 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
A bicycle would help with transportation needs. If she can tolerate the wind, an electric motor modification is slower than a moped but much better than walking and does not expend the energy of cycling.

Re: LOVE this

Date: 2015-10-26 07:50 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> That is one of the suggestions. And has the advantage of not going too fast. I worry that too much speed and the wings, even tucked down as far they go, wouldn't mix. <<

Too much speed would get uncomfortable. I think she'd be okay on a bike because she is a person not a butterfly, but probably wouldn't enjoy a motorcycle, and the back of a truck might not be fun.

>> She still need a poncho or something for when it rains. <<

Best option would be a gizmotronic or super-gizmotronic rain repeller. People make them, just not cheap. She could trade, or SPOON has a fund for adaptive equipment.

>> Or take the bus since you can sometimes stand in those. <<

That's a great idea. Any public transportation has to have disability access, which is to say, a space to park a wheelchair with grab bars around the area. All she'd have to do is stand in there, and hang onto the bars like ordinary people do when standing in a bus or subway. That would minimize the chance of people bumping into her or grabbing her, because they're supposed to stay out of the accessibility space. Similarly, she would qualify for the transport services run for people with disabilities, since her wings make regular travel difficult or impossible -- but the same accommodations for wheelchairs should work pretty well for her standing.

Hmm, haywagons or horseback riding might work. It would take a lot of training with the horse, because the wings could be scary, but there are people breeding police horses for ECPD -- which is to say, extremely intelligent light cavalry mounts.

Re: LOVE this

Date: 2015-10-26 07:43 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Bicycle, rollerblades, skateboard, buzzboard (a motorized skateboard) or similar devices would all have potential. She'd have to relearn due to her altered balance, but once she learns how to use her wings it should be terrific.

Date: 2015-10-21 12:26 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
I think there's an extranious word here:
She thought about asking one of the biology students
about the reasons the why

I like the way you've written this, and how it shows Tsubasa coping. [and now I'm thinking of ways my character Theodora might encounter Seiza, because that would be a good adaptation.]
Edited Date: 2015-10-21 12:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Thanks

Date: 2015-10-21 01:04 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Theodora is a [maybe] angel, she has her doubts. Her wingspan is roughly 20ft [did the calculations on lift ratios and so on, and then chucked it into the bin because, fiction.] So, yeah, they would drag a bit on the floor. But since her's are more classical bird wings, they fold in half. She'd still need something to sit on though... but it could work as a pose.

I suspect she'd feel that anything is better than being squished. It's like sitting with your arms folded back behind you.

Re: Thanks

Date: 2015-10-26 07:50 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
LOL yes, that is exactly what it feels like.

Yay!

Date: 2015-10-26 07:42 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I am happy to see more of this. Also, your icon is awesome.

>> Having wings was taking some getting used to.
'Which,' Tsubasa reminded herself, 'is to be expected.'
You can't just stick a new body part on someone
and expect everything to be smooth sailing. <<

I love this because it is so different than the usual fantasy situation where people can use new parts fluently from the beginning. Life rarely works that way.

>>It was amazing how much huge wings,
even ones as light as hers,
could affect one's balance.<<

Yeah, she'd be backheavy, like wearing a pack. You have to learn to lean forward to compensate.

>>Facet was nice.
And he didn't flinch at the wings.
So Tsubasa did her best
not to flinch at his eyes.
Fair was fair.<<

:D I am glad that the insect-related people are getting to know each other. Happily Facet's first protegee is much the same, freaked out but trying hard to overcome it. Fighting instincts is very difficult, even when you know they're overreacting.

It helps that they'll share a strong resonance with each other, which allows their superpowers to synch up in different ways.

Of course, Facet must be feeling totally overloaded by now. He's gone from being kind of a loner due to his appearance, to being the center of attention literally overnight. Not just one new protegee, but several, all of them variously traumatized by their experiences.

>> Sitting had its own share of problems.
Particularly with Western furniture.
So far they had discovered two options.
Seiza on a cushion or stools. <<

If she can sit seiza with wings that big, then they must be more mobile than butterfly wings, or more foldable, otherwise they'd be all over the floor. Makes sense as a superpower though.

>>Tsubasa was going to have to
replace or alter all of her shirts.
Even the ones that were backless
were still designed to go over one's head.<<

I thought of another option: halters.
String tie top.
Cloth tie top.
Some halter dresses have a step-in design either with a back zipper from the waist down or just stretchy material.

Other soups with wings have probably explored various clothing options, which Tsubasa can investigate over time to see what suits her. An advantage is that T-America has vrip, which is similar to velcro but much finer and softer, it feels more like a line of corduroy. So it's perfectly comfortable to seal clothes with. Snaps, buttons, ties, vrip, etc. -- she just needs some way of opening and closing her tops. Depending on style she might need help getting dressed.

>>Transportation was a different kettle of fish.
She couldn't sit in a seat and buckle up which eliminated most vehicles.
She supposed that she could ride in the back of a pick-up,
but the police usually frowned on that.
And she'd be dependent on someone else
for a ride all the time. No thank you.<<

The seat belt would constitute an undue burden for her, so she could get a permit to go without, although T-America is nowhere near as fussy about obligatory safety laws that affect only the user. That doesn't make it safe though. Options would include making a reversed seat and harness, riding in the back of a truck, or riding upright which some vans and RVs could accommodate. For the long term, a modified vehicle with a front rest and custom harness would probably be the best idea if she insists on driving herself.

Re: Yay!

Date: 2015-10-27 09:39 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> At current point, they were touching the floor but she saw that as preferable to the regular chairs. Plus still exploring options and control of her wings. If they are more foldable, she hasn't figured out how to get them to do that yet. Or how long she can keep them like that. Still, she will likely save seiza only for places where she is certain the floor is kept clean enough that she doesn't mind sitting on it and her wings touching it. <<

That makes sense. *ponder* I doubt they would be as foldable as beetle wings, but they might be somewhat more flexible than butterfly wings, which are pretty rigid and brittle. Some insects, like bees and dragonflies, have wings that are a little flexible, especially at the tips and edges.

>>Not so much insists but she wants options. Depending on other people for all your transportation can be pain in the rear.<<

Options are good. One excellent possibility would be using a bike for local trips and getting a ride from someone else for long ones. Or hook up with teleporters, they're expensive in cash or on hire, but some of them will hop their friends around for free or casual favors.

Worth considering is which things she finds most vital. SPOON has a good fund for adaptive equipment, but she'll probably still have to make some thoughtful choices. A car? Or a bike, and some home remodeling? That sort of thing.

>> RE: Clothing
Probably will need help getting dressed. <<

Especially at first. *ponder* But if these types of independence are important to her, call an occupational therapist. They won't be used to wings, but they have training out the wazoo for "figure out how to do the thing with the client's abilities."

>> And some with bathing since washing your own back can be tricky without wings. <<

Sponge on a rod, like for people with limited range of motion. But she may be stuck with sponge-bathing in general, which would really suck. Bathing is completely unfeasible with wings like that; showering is barely better. Her wings are durable enough to withstand a light sprinkle but not anything strong enough to clean, and the soap would be a serious problem. Hmm. Steam shower? Sauna and strigil? There are various gizmos that make bodies clean, not sure how those would interact with wings.

At least hair has an easy solution, you just go to a salon and they wash it in a sink. Figuring out how to bend over a sink with the wings might be tricky, but could be managed somehow.

>> Tsubasa is still exploring options, what works, what doesn't work, and adjusting to what she can and cannot do anymore. Understanding that she needs help getting dressed is different from accepting that fact. <<

*chuckle* What she needs is some friends in theatre, SCA, or locally a Mardi Gras krewe to usher her into their way of life. They don't have much of a nudity taboo left. They all strip off together and help each other into their costumes. It gets to be very normal.

So normal, you can forget you're in a different crowd ... one time we were in the side corridors, not even backstage, at a performance hall and one of the guys trotted out wearing socks and underwear. I just smiled and waved. I think he was terrified we'd make a scene. Didn't know he was looking at two rennies and two not-so-ex hippies. Aw sweetie, we've seen it. :D

>>Of course, Facet must be feeling totally overloaded by now.
>
That's why he is also on her card-making list. A 'thank you for being supportive and nice even when you felt like be anything but' card.<<

I think that would help him feel better.

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