dp upi lmpe qgT TIY ee siubf ri nw? giw si qiesa--
forgot how to talk for a second, sorry. ahem. okay, go. no, wait, one more irrelevant and maybe not entirely ENglish thing to say: i was reading something the other day and you may have seen it, I don't know, but it's about how scientists found amino acids in the heart of a supernovae that make it smell like raspberries and rum? and taste like it, too. that kept popping up in my head, i think, no i don't know why, while i was reading this. well, no, probably i do know why: because like that strange and almost, i don't know, unholy fact, this accordioned story made me look at things differently, and sort of peeled open regulus, peeled open hogwarts and even the way that we use language...this sounded like a song or poem and some parts I had to read out loud. Of course this also smacks of your characteristic intelligence and sardonic sense of humor, and i can imagine you smiling ironically writing this, particularly the first paragraph. that whole paragraph is like an ironic smile.
GUBBY. first of all. the idea of the lion star as a part of a constellation. something i've always thought was interesting that you touched on here, so, so well, is that constellations are completely human. there's nothing about a constellation that exists beyond our ability to see them. stars aren't actually connected. but we're so driven by the patterns we see in things, and regulus is so driven by those patterns, by his self-identification with the lion in a snake den, and he accepts his role as one star in a constellation, so he's never his own man. UHASKJDHLKASDJHFLASDKF this story. it's a bit of a trip because, wow, here is a flower and a star having a face-off in front of a lake--but also, you've made everything make perfect sense inside of this world. I got a distinct feeling from this, too, like I felt like I was in a dark place with stars around, and I think I felt like I was really in this seething, boiling body of desire and derision, and this glowing, pulsing narration is punctuated by little comments which have feelers and pull in all the paragraphs around them TO EAT THEM, because yes, that's what is happening--the little comments command the paragraphs, as you have made regulus--one star in a constellation--command the other stars.
And at the same time I'm deriving some understanding of Regulus from this idea of his name...there's this sparse, absolutely stunning line: "They havenít even seen the star; they wouldnít know where to look." And it makes me keep rethinking things, so I encounter each statement, each section of this piece in a rolling state of mind, starting at Regulus as one star and then, Regulus is a star and then no, he's a mass with gravity and a heart, and a sharp brain that sometimes hurts him, and such a lovely sense of ironic humor, and so he keeps putting himself in another dimension so that he's one star in a constellation...
And this line: There is still a heart inside him, whether he is a lion or a serpent. ALL THE FEELS, GUBBY, ALL OF THEM. Regulus has this special self-awareness which, at the same time, is also a strange kind of blindness. He's made up his mind about who he is, which is the realest self: because nobody is born into anything, everyone is always choosing to continue the loop or to break it, and a choice is a choice. But at the same time, this same self-awareness is making him blind to certain things, like what is outside of himself, or, I guess, what possibilities haven't converged with him, yet.
He likes the threshold, the division, the point of divergence. He needs it to be there. There are shades of grey in every story, in his especially, but there is still a spectrum. I can't--there's nothing I could say to make that look more beautiful than it is. So I'm just going to point out that I love this line.
And how can I begin to address your concern for characterization? if the length of the one-shot, in this case length extremely earned, and wholly deserved, is not enough to convince you that you have managed to tap into the spirit and turmoil of a character and made him into a glassy, restless, touched-by-starlight blessed-and-cursed human. You've made him a star and we're going to watch him die and love and want and need until millennia, and centuries after he already has. You've made me see his death, at eighteen, all over again but also, not really, because I'm looking at it for the first time because now I know who Regulus is.
You've said twice in this story that it's just another one, and maybe it is, and maybe all stories are amazing, and philosophical mash-ups of austerity and fever, but also, maybe they're not, and maybe some stars are really the brightest in their constellations and aren't just compared to the others on empty grounds. Maybe some are the brightest, do you know what I mean?
Even if you don't, I'm right. You don't have to be wrong, but I'm right. And I'm Lily. So doubly so.
I can't end this in any semblance of a proper way, or any way at all. So here is the end. I'm still a little bit--no, a large bit--in awe.