for some reason we're talking about scarves.\ni ask HAVE YOU SEEN MY SCARF?\n<<replace "they haven't.">>\ni'll show it to them!\ni go downstairs to get it.\nit's not there.\ni search the house, turn it upside down.\n<<replace "it's not there.">>\ncan you check in your room? i didn't want to go in but i've looked everywhere else and maybe when i was carrying in the shopping and you were carrying in your bags maybe it got mixed in somehow.\n\n[[it's not there.|OKAY I WILL]]\n<<endreplace>>\n<<endreplace>>
you're sitting on a bus, talking with a couple of friends who've come to visit. just met up with them at the bus station on your way back from <<replace "london">>an event in london, where <<replace "you received an award">><<replace "you received a joke award">>you, not being taken seriously enough to be considered for the real awards, received a <<replace "joke award">>joke award named after someone's genitals<<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>>. you grabbed a few bags of shopping before the bus came so you'll be able to feed everyone.\n\nit's really <<replace "warm">>a bit <<replace "too warm">>too warmly heated (this is something they do here in the uk, every time you go inside somewhere in winter you're hit with a blast of hot air and since you were dressed appropriately for the climate outside it's really uncomfortable, you're faced with the choice of sweltering in your clothes or [[taking everything off]] and having to carry it around)<<endreplace>><<endreplace>> on the bus.\n\n<html><img src=""></html>
still walking down the street\n\nit's this busy high street with clothes shops and holland and barrets and stuff. <<replace "ads everywhere">>ads everywhere <<replace "(memetic hazard)">>(sometimes i panic in environments like this, the amount of attempted brainwashing going on is really creepy, but for now it's okay i'm just ignoring it)<<endreplace>><<endreplace>>.\n\nanyway there are <<replace "other people">>some men in suits, <<replace "a couple holding hands">>a couple dressed warmly for the <<replace "winter">>cold northern winter, which i have a hard time dealing with having grown up in a temperate subtropical climate<<endreplace>>: long coat, [[scarf]], gloves<<endreplace>>, a group of teenage girls, <<replace "a homeless guy">>(look away if it makes you uncomfortable)<<endreplace>>, an older woman walking a dog AND HEY SOME OTHER PEOPLE TOO I'M NOT GOING TO LIST THEM ALL ALRIGHT<<endreplace>> walking on this street too.
you're sitting on a different bus, in a different time and place.\n\n<<replace "how much of life is spent moving from one place to another?">>it doesn't matter, it doesn't have to be wasted time, you can <<replace "read a book">>(unless you get travelsick, i didn't used to but i often do now on buses, trains are fine)<<endreplace>>, <<replace "knit something">>(i don't know how to <<replace "knit">>knit - why don't you <<replace "learn?">>learn? - well i guess i could - i'll show you how! just get some wool and needles - [[OKAY I WILL|every time]]<<endreplace>><<endreplace>>)<<endreplace>>, think deeply, look out at the <<replace "view">>ocean<<endreplace>>, <<replace "talk to friends">>you're talking to your friends right now - several of you from school have the same commute to <<replace "university">>university, your lives are heading in different directions, in a few years you'll be living in different countries, but for now every morning you get to have the old gang back together<<endreplace>><<endreplace>>.\n\nmaybe in the future these things will have <<replace "internet connections">>signs saying there's free wifi but a network that does not work<<endreplace>> too!<<endreplace>>
you remove your hat, scarf, gloves and jacket and put them on the set next to you with the shopping bags.\n\n<<replace "look out the window">>you can't see much out the window, it's dark. but you'll know when you're getting close to home because the town before is well lit.<<endreplace>>\n\n<<replace "talk">>you catch up with your friends, one of them is <<replace "getting a job overseas">>getting a job overseas so they'll be living apart for a bit, which is always kind of tough, you hope it ends up working out okay for them<<endreplace>>.<<endreplace>>\n\n[[wait]]\n\n<html><img src=""></html>
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<<replace "she casts it on for me.">>she casts it on for me. i've still not learnt to cast on. it's the only thing i've knitted, just that one scarf, i guess i'll have to learn how if i ever want to make something else.<<endreplace>>\n\nfor the next couple of months, this is what i do on my long bus journeys: i knit. it's relaxing. sometimes i do it in <<replace "lectures too">>lectures, i guess i'm a bit of a spectacle, one time some asian kids spot me through the window of the hall and they all gather round taking photos of the hippie knitting in class, it makes me feel pretty uncomfortable<<endreplace>>.\n\neventually i figure it's <<replace "long enough">>actually it's long enough for two people i got kind of carried away, one day i'll wrap it around my <<replace "girlfriend">>wife<<endreplace>>'s neck as well as mine keeping us both warm<<endreplace>>, work out how to finish it, and there we go. [[scarf|woe]].\n\n<html><img src=""></html>
this is a memorial.\n\nit's made in <<replace "twine">><html><a href="" target="_blank">TWINE</a></html>, which is a really nice simple tool for making <<replace "simple">>not necessarily simple, it's pretty flexible if you want to dig into using javascript, porpentine has some good resources <html><a href="">here</a></html> (i'm using L's "replace" macro),<<endreplace>> interactive stories like this<<endreplace>>.\n\n[[begin|street]]
you're walking down the street.\n\n(i say "you" because interactive fiction is written in the second person by convention, but since this is autobiographical i could equally well say "i")\n\non my way home from a <<replace "concert">>sigur rós <<replace "concert">>concert. seriously amazing, they played <html><a href="" target="_blank">popplagið</a></html> last and just drew out the climax forever and <<replace "wow">>wow. but there was a kind of uncomfortable moment half way through that made me feel a bit <<replace "alienated">>alienated. they started playing a song from their uninspired fourth album and the audience's response was an order of magnitude greater than for anything else in the concert. this really confused me, they'd just played some incredible renditions of some incredible pieces and people <<replace "clapped a bit">>clapped a bit (although personally i'd have preferred silent contemplation to raucous noise after some of them)<<endreplace>> but then they start up on this honestly quite dull one and suddenly the crowd goes wild, it's clear that the majority of people present are way more interested in <<replace "this">>this. i'd kind of had the impression i was in the company of people with similar taste to me but then it became clear that no, we appreciate very different things, i don't understand them at all. i guess it's that this was radiobait, by making shorter and more conventional songs they get more radio play so people have heard them more so they like them more just from recognition. i guess i'm officially a <<replace "hipster">>"hipster". it's like the feeling i get when i walk into a videogame shop, games are a huge part of my life and mean a lot to me but of the selection on display there there's <<replace "very little i connect with at all">>nothing i connect with at all. it makes me wonder how i can possibly hope to make a living from making videogames when i have so little comprehension of why the majority of people appreciate things that i find really <<replace "unpleasant">>oppressive. but hey i've gone off topic a bit, the concert was amazing overall<<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>>.\n\n[[keep walking|people]]
i needed a new scarf pretty soon in that weather. got one in the tartan of my ancestors. i'm wearing it right now. it keeps my neck warm.\n\nBAD END
michael brough
every time i see someone with a colourful scarf it catches my eye.\n\nsometimes i have to look closely, to make sure it's <<replace "not mine"">>of course it's not mine, if it really was then i would know instantly i wouldn't have to look closely at all<<endreplace>>.\n\ni have this <<replace "fantasy">>fantasy that one day i'll just be walking down the street and i'll see it. i walk up to the wearer and i say "hey, that scarf you're wearing - i made it". i tell them its story, how i made it and where i lost it, i tell them about all its <<replace "secret places">>nooks and crannies, the bits near the start where i kept accidentally adding or losing stitches and the knots that hold these together, and then when i learnt to do this on purpose and grew it out to a great width then contracted it back to a narrow strip again, all the different coloured wools, the places i experimented with different stitches, discovering new ways of knitting (later finding out there were names for all of them), the <<replace "grid">>grid (knitting is a lot like pixel-art)<<endreplace>> where i switched between different stitches in a regular pattern for a while, the time i realised it had somehow split into two separate scarves because the alternating rows didn't interlock at all and then i knit them back together leaving a little tube you can fit your finger through, the bit where i got hold of a third needle and started loading stitches onto it to cache them while i knitted other bits and then putting them back on later in the row so everything ended up all twisted and tangled, how i finished it off by looping it around into a möbius band, joining the end up to the middle with a twist<<endreplace>>, and they are delighted to have met the creator of this amazing scarf that they found and maybe they give it back to me, or maybe i'm just happy to know its <<replace "in good hands">>appreciated. my fear is that it's not, that whoever found it could not see its <<replace "beauty">>beauty (as so many people don't understand things that i like and things that i make)<<endreplace>>, and that it's ended up discarded, destroyed, <<replace "unloved">>unloved - i loved that scarf, even though it was just an item of clothing <<replace "it meant a lot to me">>i miss <<replace "it">>it i don't even have a good photo of it<<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>><<endreplace>>.\n\n(it's [[never]] mine.)\n\n<html><img src=""></html>
<html><img src=""></html>\ni've seen a lot of scarves in this style this winter, <<replace "colourful">>not as colourful as <<replace "my scarf">>my scarf, which i [[lost]] a bit over a year ago,<<endreplace>><<endreplace>> lines longitudinally, popular i guess.
bus reaches the stop finally. better take all your stuff.\n\ntake: <<replace "hat ">><<endreplace>><<replace "gloves ">><<endreplace>>scarf <<replace "backpack ">><<endreplace>><<replace "bag of food">><<endreplace>>\n\nokay [[lets go]]\n\n<html><img src=""></html>