• Published 26th Jul 2015
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The Things Tavi Says - shortskirtsandexplosions



Let me tell you a few things about my roommate, Octavia. After all, she saved my life.

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Reinventing Things

Author's Note:

She shuffles down the stairs.

She passes me... she almost passes me.

All of a sudden, her hooves scuffle against the tile floor of her apartment's main corridor.

"Whoah..." Capricorn pivots, blinking. "Blessed Celestia. Have you been down there all night?"

Was it night? Is it morning?

I can't tell. I can barely lift my head.

I sit in the middle of this stranger's home, curled up against a wall, hugging myself and shivering.

She stands above me, gawking. Something inside switches, and her breath takes on a sense of urgency. "Good goddess... just... j-just wait right there..."

She gallops off.

I sigh.

At last, she returns with a blanket, draping it over my buckling shoulders.

"There there, now..." She coos, her breath a fuzzy burgundy. "Perhaps somepony overdid it a tad on the Dr. Pony, hmmm?"

I shiver. I gaze forward. No response. What's the point?

"Please. I can detect a creative snag when I see one," she continues to murmur. "And you were doing so well, too. Or so I thought." She exhales through a tired smile. "I suppose it's my own fault for not being with you for the last few sessions, hmmm?"

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

"Mmmmm... such a curious thing, art." She slumps down—uninvited—to my right. With a prolonged exhale, she mutters: "To bring so much beauty and mirth to this world, a select few ponies must force themselves to leap so many miserable hurdles. The irony is practically a masterpiece unto its own. Yes?" She smiles, not expecting a likewise grin in return. "To inspire others, we must allow ourselves to get lost. We mine the black caves of our subconscious in search of a spark to bring color to others." She brushes her bangs back. "How unbelievably damning it must be to have all that darkness replaced with sheer color... and having to disentangle all of the spectral madness just to weave it into a shiny fabric."

I swallow a lump down my throat and hang my heavy head.

"Would you believe me if I've told you that I've been to such depths before?" She tilts her head to the side. "As a matter of fact, I wasn't always 'DJ Capricorn.'"

Slowly, I tilt my head to glance at her.

"That's right." She nods. "I once wore the trite, uninspiring, flashy monicker of 'Eurekacorn.' Heh..." She folds her forelimbs, smiling into the shadows of her apartment. "The name itself is a veritable taunt... suggesting that any day... any moment... I could happily suffer an epiphany of musical genius and wow a crowd. Any crowd. As a matter of fact..." She squints at me. "It was my aspiration to be an Equestria-renown live performer. I wanted to be up on stage, scratching discs, thrilling an audience full of underground ravers. The works."

I blink.

"But, alas, after only one or two lukewarm successes at best, I found myself... mmmmm... floundering to stay afloat. Inspiration simply never came to me. Plus, in all honesty, I've never been all that... skilled at improvisational music performances." Capricorn gulps. "And it's not for lack of trying, mind you. I threw myself at stage after stage, performing pre-shows for countless names and personalities—all of whom were far more talented and competent than myself." A cold shudder. "And, believe me, I do not exagerrate." Her eyes sadly dart my ways. "I was simply abominable at the live scene. And yet, for months... years I fought against the grain, struggling to find my place... to make a name for myself."

She turns to look at me with a tired smile.

"And you know what the funny thing is? All those mind-numbing tours I threw myself on? All of those penniless excursions deep into the underbelly of the Equestrian techno scene? I found that my one and only outlet was to produce ambient trance tracks on the side... music to soothe myself. I found that I was most natural at doing studio material and studio material alone. Granted, it didn't mean a thing to me at the time, because I was so Tartarus-bent on being 'Eurekacorn,' the new smashing DJ of Equestria pop culture. Heh..."

Capricorn rubs her hooves together, gazing across the hall with a quiet breath.

"Well... all of this came to a head one fateful October several years ago. My agent had finally quit on me. He called me 'unsalvageable.' 'Thick-headed.' 'Hopeless.' And, you know what?" She gulps. "Those were exactly all of the terrible things I had been calling myself in my mind for months... when I laid asleep at night... fighting insomnia... and depression." Her jaw clenched. "I contemplated some... truly... truly frightening things in that time period. In fact, one night, I found myself... approaching the edge of the unthinkable. And so..." A cold shudder. "...I shook myself out of the stupor and went for a trot across town instead. I was in Chicacolt at the time, and I happened upon this local venue that was having a last-second special guest performer. Without thinking twice, I stumbled in on this... beautiful... writhing dance scene. It was quite unlike anything I had witnessed before. The sheer creativity... the spectacle. It was everything that I wanted to be... and yet it was indescribably unique."

She looks at me with bright eyes.

"And you know... instead of feeling my dreams crushed even more by the sheer fact that 'Eurekacorn' could never compare to this... this prodigy, I let go of my boundless envy and self-doubt and just... allowed myself to be inspired. That is the point of art, is it not?" She smiles, waving a hoof. "Here was this DJ pouring her heart and soul out through colors and lights and sounds. It was quite obvious to me that she loved every single bit of what she was doing... and that love poured out of her speakers... out of her smile... out of her... trademark shades and electric blue manestyle..."

I blink at her.

"I realized then and there that if I couldn't be myself... then there was no point in being expressive. I had to find what I loved and make that the focus of my work. But to do that, I had to ditch 'Eurekacorn' like a bad habit. I had to reinvent myself. And so..." She shrugs her shoulders, gazing straight ahead. "I went back to my hotel... to my instruments. I dug up all of the ambient, trance works that I had been making on the side to pacify my boiling emotions... and I found a new piece of myself. With a little bit of fine-tuning, I crafted what would eventually become my first studio album: "Fish Bleats." To top it off, I published it under a new name. DJ Capricorn. And I've barely looked back since. All because of one fateful night when I stumbled upon a certain mute DeeJay... and was inspired by her colors... her lights... her blessedly unique voice, expressed in a way that only she... that only you can make tangible, Miss Scratch."

A magenta breath rolls through me. The shivers have stopped. I know this because my shoulder is a steady thing when Capricorn rests her hoof on it.

"Maybe there are times when you do not have the wherewithawal to feel it, Miss Scratch," she says, looking at me intently. "But believe me when I tell you that you are an amazing, talented pony. There is talent in you beyond compare. And what you've done and what you continue to do inspires others." She gulps. Hard. "And it saves lives."

My throat is sore. If I could speak now, it'd be one name, precious, wrapped in angel song.

"I know that you have what it takes to finish this album. Cyan Sings needs it. DJ-P0N3 needs it. But—most of all—this world needs it. Because that's what you're here for, Miss Scratch. To make a masterpiece out of this existence. That's why you're such a good artist. And I know that it's hard. Believe me, I've been there. But I'll be damned if I let it all crash and burn just because the going gets tough. Besides, you're better than that. You're better than anything. There's not a soul in this house that doesn't know it."

She stands up, brow furrowed.

"The hardest part, perhaps, is admitting that you need a change... a reinvention... just like Eurekacorn did." She holds a hoof down towards me. "But if you have faith and allow me to help, then maybe... just maybe we can find this new pony together." She smiles. "And then, someday in the future, she will help countless ponies find themselves... just like a certain DJ helped me."

I look up at her. With a fragile smile, I raise a shaky hoof and clasp her. It's not a very strong grip.

And it doesn't have to be. She lifts me up with no problem whatsoever, and we limp together back to the studio.

"Now... let's smooth out those bumps in the ballads, shall we?"

Yes.

Let's.

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