• 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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Empathetic Things

Author's Note:

What is it like to walk on four hooves again?

Well, rapturous, I do suppose.

That's the kind of word Tavi would say. I'm thinking about her now. I'm thinking about her all the time.

I think about her as I look across the park under the green hiss of noonday. Two ponies stand side by side on a low bridge spanning a babbling brook. The merry gold in their breaths dissipates for the brief time it takes for them to nuzzle. Their smiles are shiny things, and when their voices resume it's almost too blinding for me to stare.

I think about our home the other day when Sweetie Belle was visiting. The blue notes the little filly sang were gorgeous in their own right, but I was positively drowning in violet the whole time. Octavia was on top of the world. I should have realized she liked mentoring so damn much. I suppose, around me, she never really gets much of a chance to do just that. That's not to say that I'm somehow more talented than her, but rather we occupy schools of music that are so far apart from one another that the chasm in between is positively turquoise from the vacuum.

But when Sweetie Belle was around, the air sang with swishing velvet. I'm already concocting ways to bring the filly back, to allow such a beautiful spectrum to adorn our threshhold again. True, I want to see how far the likes of Tavi and I can springboard her talent, but it's more than that... something selfish... almost pathetic.

At times, I find it hard figuring out what makes Tavi happy. She deserves to be joyful so much. She brings mirth and sophistication and purpose to the household.

Oh, and she saved my life. I suppose there's that little nugget as well.

But I'm often finding myself at odds when it comes to making her nearly as cheerful as she makes me. It doesn't help that I can read her at any given time of day. Or perhaps it does help, but the whole experience is torture, for I imagine her being ignorantly blissful of me on her end of the spectrum. Not that she even remotely obsesses over it. She has a great deal more on her plate, after all.

Even lately with so many things falling neatly in order—the royal minstrel jobs, the opportunity for gaining Canterlot acclaim, owning a Celestia-damn cat—I feel as though the house drifts along currents of indigo more than any other color. It wafts out of her room while she sleeps, scratches against the lids of my eyes night after night. I've only observed it so much lately—I think—because my brief injury hasn't allowed me to leave the house.

And now that I'm walking again, and the emerald hills outside Ponyville are whistling in the wind, and a crimson cavalcade of techno tracks roll across my ears, I feel all of my thoughts unwind—especially the most anxious ones. Their colors unfold, weeks-old and faded, the pigments turned to ash along the borders of my mind. I should have done a better job preserving them, molding them, transfiguring them so that they could hold special meaning for others.

But, I've been too preoccupied lately. To an outsider, what I've been through might seem like a vacation. But I can't possibly interpret it that way. Something aches from deep inside, gnawing at me, stabbing at the center of my being far harder than the jagged black spires of the Castle I've been forced to enter time and time again.

I always feel like I'm trying to outrace something—be it the deathly tendrils of imperfection, or the acidic sinkhole of creative ennui. My piles upon piles of completed records don't amount to much against the dark, careening face of this monster, this beast built out of my doubts, desires, and delusions. I can be better. I can be so much better.

And yet, as much as I might push myself, goad myself, hate myself, I am convinced—by means of righteous intuition—that Octavia despises herself more, anguishes over herself more, strives to improve herself more. Though she might label it as severe motivation, I have my own theories, something born out of keen observation... and fermented in the deep pools of her indigo breaths. It's something that I blame her father for—though she rarely will. She approaches the very brink of divine anger, only to fall back on a slippery slope. Meanwhile, I have forged within myself many a serrated thing to say to the stallion if ever we were to meet—even if it would put me in a coma for a month to have it shouted at him, screamed at him, launched at him with a volley worth the weight of all of Octavia's collected tears and sighs over the past seven years.

With a shudder, I nearly trip over myself.

I hate anger. It's redder than blood, and when mixed with magenta it practically nauseates me.

So I find a place to sit down: a bench in the middle of middle itself. I switch my player to a brand new playlist, then flip to the last track. After a brief pause, my head fills with soothing violet and ecstatic blues.

I close my eyes, smiling as I allow myself to drink in the melody, the joy, the spontaneous rapture of what was discovered a few days ago by two mares and an angel. It brought a smile to Rarity's lips and made Sweetie Belle dance for joy. And—if even for a brief moment—the song gave me a window to look in on some of Octavia's most heartfelt dreams. I can only hope the same thing is a door for her, and she will trot on through, taking her life to far more violet pastures.

Even if they're not places where a mare like me could roam... what matters is... Tavi would be there.

I reopen my eyes, and the green world is blurry.


I think the three of us made a masterpiece...

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