"Brandon and Finn" Archive Project Database

unknown date alt1 sketch
unknown date alt2 sketch
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unknown date alt "paw" sketch
unknown date alt4 sketch


01-15-19 alt1

Hey Finn. Don't forget you were going to get some jam. I prefer blackberry, but I'm sure we can share whatever you find. Sent 2:52 pm

02-12-19 alt

I like this shirt. I like its stretch, its hug around the shoulders. Too much, though. I like shirts like this too much. It folds and never unfolds. It pulls and eats itself thin. I'm sorry, shirt. Pajamas for you.

02-05-19 alt

Oh no I know.

02-03-19 alt

Clock is broken in the living room.

01-27-19 alt

How did my shoes get so dirty?

01-02-19 alt

I don't sleep through the night anymore. I wander. I don't know where. Brandon doesn't know I leave. Brandon doesn't know much about me. No one is here. It's dark. I hear the birds, the wind in the trees, the lull of the moving earth. Will I always be alone? Will I stay hidden in the dirt?

01-15-19 alt2

Hey Brandon. I did get blackberry jam. I did eat the entire jar. I'm sorry. I will wash out the jar and we can reuse it for whatever you want. Or we can try making a jam. At the least, it's my turn to go shopping next. Sent 3:15 pm

02-15-19 alt

I slide around in the kitchen in socks. I hear a thud. I see my foot touching the cabinet. I guess I hit my toe? I kick the cabinet. Nothing. I must need coffee.

03-13-19 alt

The floor. The walls. Everything shakes. Nothing stays still. Only tighter. Only clockwise. I can see it.

05-01-19 alt

momen t [sic] folded in onto itself now i am here next who knows? time for bed just have to get there Does Finn hear the scratching at the walls? I write because I cannot wake him up. I cannot wake him up because I write.

unknown date alt0

Sapling: forgive my hands. Canopy: hear my voice. Moss: guide my path. The sandy shoreline recedes to shallow ponds. The depths of the distant ocean mirror the yearning reach of the trees. The dirt path turns to grassy field. The yawning cave leads through the steep mountains. The valleys unfold to the vibrant desert sand. All are the wildlands, not separate places but one place, never parts of a whole. The lost animals wander the wildlands. But in the darkness of night, a lost animal travels unnoticed or mistaken for any other beast. We forget our home stretches over all we know. Help us to find each other.

08-01-19 alt

This is what we agree on: Everything is sturdy. We finish up our dinner. I'm on another room. I can't get to Finn when the floor starts second-guessing. The lock rattles and the wood of the door and the hinges. Nothing can open. The smell of old, rotting food. The smell of moss. The room shifts, not a dance but a rattle, back and forth. The deep hum of a distant airplace now so close, now beneath the floor. A sticky branch pulled free of collapsing soil. The walls bend and crease. My closet behind me pops out of its track. Finn thinks the windows break up. I don't see that, and they look okay later. But if he says so. I can't open the door. I knock and swing. The wood cracks apart or my knuckles do. I hold on to anything, nothing, so I stay on my feet. Finn's body thwumps onto the floor. The room falls and falls into itself and doesn't eat us.

08-25-19 newspaper article

Box Elder Branch​ Shoppers rescued from heat exhaustion spell BOX ELDER — The [redacted] County Fire Department responded to multiple emergency calls near the Third Street Market yesterday evening. Multiple witnesses at the market described sensations [redacted] [redacted] slight dizziness, dehydration, and fatigue. Sherrif [redacted] and Box Elder Public Library life and science librarian [redacted] encourage all residents to avoid this dangerous condition by resting immediately in a cool, shaded place if they notice these symptoms. Rehydrating with water and/or electrolytes is also recommended. [Handwritten note on back: I didn't see this shopping with Tyler yesterday?]

08-23-19 alt

Here is what I remember tonight. Finn, Tyler and I make s'mores. That's what people do in summer, right? Except not when it's this hot out. And dry. The stove clicks on. The stories begin. I put a marshmallow on a skewer and lets it toast. Tyler asks about the bandages on my hands. I have a tiny cactus, no more than four inches tall in its pot. One of my favorite kinds of plants. All over the place here. It grows itself. Tyler pauses. "They do need some water to grow, right?" I guess they do. I don't remember that all the time. But it keeps going. I check up on it, and I get poked. Tyler suggests that Sam cound help with that. It's Finn's turn. "Do you believe what he says about a flood?" He starts to toast a marshmallow. Tyler tries to swallow his lips before he gives in. "I don't know. I can't tell what he really knows or doesn't know about whatever our apartment does. Can I get a s'more?" You hear the man, Finn. Finn wiggles his head at me. "I know what I hear." A minute later, Tyler's mouth is full of marshmallow and chocolate. He takes another bite and the graham cracker breaks. Hot sugar covers his shirt. No worries, Tyler. I have a bunch of clean shirts you can borrow. "Why do that much?" Finn steps between us. "I'll do laundry tomorrow." Tyler scowls. "It's fine. I'll just ignore it." Finn glances towards me. My hand is already making contact with my forehead. Tyler cleans himself up with his right arm. He starts to move his left and stops. I chuckle. Tyler turns at me. "You could help me." I always could. "You never quite do what I expect." Sorry, Pygmalion. [Note: sculptor from Greek mythology] It's almost time for bed. We have a friend.

08-22-19 alt

I make a fish sandwich.

unknown date alt2

Whisker walks below the trees, each step as gentle and careful as the last. Above all, Whisker is smart. They spend their days hunting and their nights hidden away. When a bigger animal follows their stomach into Whisker’s path, Whisker collapses to the mud, still able to attack an unexpecting invader at any opportunity. Their bushy tail is a sign of their presence. Smart but vulnerable, safe but careless, Whisker can solve any problem as long as everyone stays on the trail.

08-21-19 alt

I can't sleep. I'm so tired but I can't sleep.

08-20-19 alt2

First aid kit Contents: Hand sanitizer (1 fl oz/29.57 mL) Antibiotic ointment (0.5 oz/14 g) Wound gauze (12"/30.48 cm) Elastic adhesive (24"/60.96 cm) Blunt-tip scissors (1, 12.7 cm) Electrode pad (1, 1"/2.54 cm) "For Tyler's shoulder. I can remind you how to clean the wound if you forget. Don't try whatever you did yesterday. Long-term refills are available by request. -B."

08-20-19 alt*

I would go for a walk alone this morning, but Tyler wants to come along. Or at least he wants to not sit alone in his room. He would go anyways. Fine. He can tail after me. Tyler suggests the library by the bridge, a half-mile north of the apartment. He had a plan for that, but Sam wasn’t ready. Fine. A restaurant nearby for lunch, too. I wish I knew Sam wanted a book. No one else is up this early for the library, except the intern. The intern knows a lot about the local public works. About my age. Smiling. Approachable. Tyler takes a deep breath and strides forwards, ready to check out a book. Then he hides in the nearby shelves for twenty minutes. The intern asks if I need anything. Looking for something about the bridge north of here. He knows. The bridge is a monument to the local lumber industry. Later downstream, a small water turbine powers some of the public buildings. The intern asks if I’m new here. No, but I still don’t know much about this town. I can see the lumbering bridge. No one here for a worn monument, just like the apartment. The stagnant river shimmers more green than blue and reeks of fish. I can’t stay out here long. Tyler asks about fishing on the river. Local fishermen drop nets below the bridge in spring. The town council recognizes the harm of this fishing on the local wildlife. But I bet everyone’s hungry for an easy lunch. Fishing is a community activity. The intern perks up when he talks about it. And the small, green-specked fish are invasive, anyway. When rows of sunfish rush downstream and fill the river, I don’t think a fisherman needs more luck than an open net. The intern shines at the guesses. He even recommends a book. He’s too close to me. I shake my head. I’m just looking. Or I mumble a thanks. Or I check the map on the wall. I kick a rock down to the water. A thin geyser splashes back up towards me — the surface fractures in every direction. Nothing gets back to the bridge except a stronger odor. I glance over to the far side of the bridge and stay where I am. Trees rise up into the sky, even from this far away. No sign of people here. Just me. And Tyler. I’m tired. I don’t see anything else. But Tyler’s making some good steps. Almost lunchtime. We cross the bridge.

unknown date alt1

Tooth searches below where most animals dare to go. They move quickly and other animals see them from far away. Tooth is often alone or at the front of a group, with little concern for those behind. They can turn quickly from one direction to the next but always go forwards. Tooth moves with purpose and hunts to maintain their habitat, sometimes brutal but always necessary, at least to them. But Tooth might only feel safe in empty water because hunting against other beasts might mean hunting alone.

08-14-19 alt

Tyler walks into my apartment. Well, I think it's mine. It's not like I left. Finn isn't around, either. So it's not like I keep track or anything. Toast and jam for lunch. Nothing better. Tyler doesn't want any. Or he says so. My key works in the door. Tyler's doesn't. But there's no tree here. Guess it's not mine, then. I ask Tyler. I'm not in the right apartment, am I? He ignores me, looks for the door and the walls, which are still there. They don't move. He doesn't move. I move back through and get everyone back home. Tree in the corner. Much better. Key works still. Tyler's home. So am I. Toast and jam.

08-06-19 alt

Of course, I know myself.

08-05-19 alt

I like sitting in the moonlight. Nothing bad happens then. I don't sleep much. I'll have to do something in a few hours when it's light out. I'm ready for anything, I guess.

08-02-19 alt

A far-away knocking, getting closer. I know what's coming. I'm in the bedroom, ready to hide. Brandon knows this part better. Brandon leans his back against the door. He holds his hand up to me with open fingers. He curls his fingers in as he mouths the words: Five Four Three Two One A knock on the door. We're starting. A man younger than us shows up with a key in his trembling hand.

08-26-19 alt

Finn knows my clumsiness. I'm loud. I move with the door frames. I collide with empty tables. I collapse couch cushions. I'm alive anyway. Sorry if I don't talk about anyone else's appearance, but everyone's body does what we need from them. That's all. I'm used to apologizing for my body, so strange to me so often. It's never a bad body but never quite what I expect and never as far as I pretend. I'm big. I know. That's not what worries me. Tyler gets close. I... I don't move away. He walks right through me. I'm dizzy. He's not in front of me anymore? Where is he? I'm here. Tyler is behind me, out of the kitchen. Nothing hurts as much as I expect. No collision.

06-24-19 alt

Sorry Finn. That loud bang was me. I hit my hip on the counter again. I'll stay quiet. Go back to sleep. Sent 2:02 AM

06-26-19 alt

Finn knows my clumsiness. I'm loud. I move with the door frames. I collide with empty tables. I collapse couch cushions. I'm alive anyway. Sorry if I don't talk about anyone else's appearance, but everyone's body does what we need from them. That's all. I'm used to apologizing for my body, so strange to me so often. It's never a bad body but never quite what I expect and never as far as I pretend. I'm big. I know. That's not what worries me. Tyler gets close. I... I don't move away. He walks right through me. I'm dizzy. He's not in front of me anymore? Where is he? I'm here. Tyler is behind me, out of the kitchen. Nothing hurts as much as I expect. No collision.

unknown date alt3

Paw explores the mountains and forests in a wide range, switching paths when a tree blocks the way. They are curious, learning about whatever comes by. They can hunt for birds that fly low, fish that break the water’s surface into waiting jaws or anything else that gets close. Thick fur keeps them safe in the dark. Thick fur keeps them soft and warm in the night. Thick fur is comfortable. Any animal may come near in Paw’s embrace. But when Paw is asleep, any animal may come near and take whatever they wish. Anything to fill a visitor’s stomach. Anything to fill Paw’s hug.

04-17-19 alt

No one is signed up for the apartment service project this morning. Finn and I go just so someone is there. We cut out the old bougainvillea. Chew through the rotting trelisses. I hold them steady and upright. Finn cuts the base so it stays together. Let them fall onto a tarp. Watch the caterpillars scatter. Wrap the old wood pieces up and drag them to the trash. Admire the petals. Deal with the thorns. Say nothing else about the thorns. The rest of the plant is too damaged for another season. Fill the holes. We make new trelisses. Cut the wood pieces to size. Screw them together. Dig new holes to match the new size trelisses. Paint the wood. Plant new vines. Bring the caterpillars back. The two of us are done before the morning gets too warm.

08-28-19 alt

Box Elder Branch August 28, 2019 Fifth Street Market Addresses Security The Fifth Street Market has implemented new protective measures for its in-store staff. The changes include plastic shields at checkout belts and new self-checkout registers. Manager [redacted] suggested that the change is due to "concerns about the well-being of our staff and the community." One staff member, who has asked to remain anonymous, described feelings of "extreme stress and helplessness" around customers. We will continue to update this story as it develops.

07-16-19 alt

Wildlife Safety Bulletin July 16, 2019 ​----- Page 1 Possible Bear Sighting Near Sapdales Middle School Attention Box Elder residents: Teachers at Sapdales Middle School have reported possible bear sightings near campus. The comments come from potential near encounters from students starting last Thursday, July 11th. Multiple students from different grades describe seeing a large bear over twelve feet tall close to the playground. Due to the delay in verification from school administation, the bear does not appear to be an immediate safety concern. Please remain vigilant, especially because this is much earlier than the expected start bear season on August 9th. We ask all Box Elder residents to maintain about 100 feet away from large animals, especially if they are close to a residential area. Principal [redacted] asks the Wildlife Safety Department to note that the school's upcoming game night will be rescheduled. The Wildlife Office will update this bulletin if there are any updates.

07-16-19 alt2

Wildlife Safety Bulletin July 16, 2019 ​----- Page 3 Sapdales Middle School Programming Board presents: Put together a puzzle! This activiy is a take-home version of an activity from our recently postponed game night. We hope it will be fun for the whole family. (ages 10+) You will need: -the included box of puzzle pieces (50 ct) -a table Instructions: 1. Open the box and spill all the pieces out onto the table. 2. Match pieces based on size, shape, color and pattern. Ask for help from your parent or guardian if you get stuck! 3. Most importantly, have fun! [handwritten note: can be done solo]

07-22-19 alt2

Brandon and I walk through each other. In front—behind—through. Me, through him? Or him, through me?

05-14-19 alt

Let me remember this, Brandon. I'm out, wandering. So is this college student. He's looking for something exciting to do before the semester starts and he's stuck back home. I'm not sure where he is from that this place isn't stuck, but I don't ask. I suggest the mountain twenty miles or so outside town. He agrees with me, but changes hus mind. He talks about something else. "Have you seen that sinkhole by the water tower? I wonder what it could mean. But I shouldn't worry about something like that. Water doesn't go anywhere. I mean, I get water from the sink and all whenever I need it. Those holes come from salt and limestone, right? Maybe they're good for a drink after all. Too bad it's on the opposite end of town from the tavern. I could go for some tacos. And a drink of some sort." Brandon asks why I'm back here. I don't know I'm back here yet. I wonder that the student's point is. "I can turn on the air conditoning if it's too hot out." You aren't making sense. "Sinkholes don't make sense. They just collapse and wash away whatever they can. And I don't have time for your bad mood." He turns away and walks. I grab his shoulder. But they don't come out of nowhere. He turns back to me, forward again. "Oh hi. Was I talking to you?" Sinkholes. His eyes go wide. "Air conditioning. Thanks. I'll find that mountain, I guess. See you later, maybe?" Maybe. And he's gone. Brandon says I can't help myself. I know. [Note: Staff has tried to identify the "college student" Finn mentions but were unsuccessful."

08-03-19 alt

I tell Finn. As I speak, I hear the neighbor through the walls. "Can we just not worry about this?" Oh. I hope they come to us sooner than later. "We can wait." He sits down. "The tree is still growing." Give it soil whenever it asks. "I can do that."

04-25-19 alt

Where am I? Why am I here? Why am I on the couch?

03-17-19 alt

I write so I can remember. I don't remember anything from today. Not what I eat. Not when I see Brandon. Not the moving tree branches. Nothing. Does my door usually wobble on its own? The door feels like iron and I can touch it fine. But nothing stays put. Or it doesn't stay in the same place at once. I try opening the door. It moves out of place. I cannot reach it. I yell. Brandon is gone again. I wonder, often, if I have lived too long. If on the other side of the moment I am in there is a blank expanse I can't fill, if I am truly, disastrouly unfit. For life, I mean. I understand the work is never done. I worry the expanse will never fill. No one will come. There is no place for me. An artifact. A sign of already finished. A tree that will eat every wall. Nothing will stay put after all.

05-01-19 alt2

[Note: this file is corrupted and we cannot read it. We thank Oliver again for his work on the collection. This file is in email format, and we did not receive a corrupted email from this address.] From: [Brandon's email address] To: Box Elder Public Library Staff Subject: community history question Hello [boss]. I'm a regular patron of the library. I visited this morning and just wanted to say that I had a wonderful experience. I know you really like feedback, and I hope that doesn't change. I had a bit of nausea, and the librarian (forgive me, I don't remember his name) directed me to the bathroom. He made sure no one noticed us. He checked on me later, which was so thoughtful of him. He was a little pale when I left but I felt so much better. I still have that bookmark he gave me. I can't quite tell what it's supposed to look like. A leaf of some sort, with stripes? I guess that's the real question I'm asking. And just saying thanks. Sincerely, Brandon [last name] [Note: I guess I'm here, too. Back when we were open, I gave out bookmarks all the time. I was never sure anyone liked them. Just a cheap plastic strip. More like a feather than a leaf.]

04-31-19 alt [sic]

Okay. [Note: This handwritten note is impossible to verify. The date listed on the note does not exist.

06-02-19 alt

I'm hungry. Our fridge is empty. Brandon is out getting groceries. I can't leave. I'll have to ration out some ramen or something.

unknown date alt?

I write this sentence.

06-30-19 alt

Hey Finn, when there's a spooky noise outside at this time of night, maybe don't go looking for what it is. Maybe just stay put. I know how you are, but come on. You're supposed to be the clever one.

01-19-19 alt

The party next door is over, or at least the music is. Please check on them. If you don't find anyone, just come home, Brandon. Thanks. Sent 1:45 AM

05-10-19 alt

I remember the conversation with Finn from before dinner. "Bless you." I tell Finn I haven't sneezed yet. Nothing even tickles my nose. "Oh. Sorry." He looks like there's something he can't quite recognize. Then I sneeze. "I get so confused." About sneezing? "Not just sneezing. The fridge light is out." You're confused that the fridge light is out? "No. You just want a snack." My stomach rumbles. I open the fridge. The light is out.

unknown date alt4

Shell takes their home with them when they leave. They walk slowly through the wildlands, unnoticed by most. Other animals mistake them for a rock or a piece of the land. Shell doesn’t mind. When a hungry beast comes by, Shell finds the water and floats away. Shell knows to stay safe. But Shell hides their head from any stray footstep. If a passerby does not leave on their own, Shell cannot hide forever and cannot step forward without revealing themselves.

09-01-19 alt

I can't see. I can't find Finn. I can't move. I hear the footsteps. He can't find me. Guess we both lose.


08-04-18 alt

Paper. Can I tell you? I have no friends. I live alone. Brandon says he will move in a few weeks from now. But no one is here.