Pseudopod 040: Wanting to Want

By Eugie Foster

Read by Tabitha Smith
She was wide-awake, alert to every jangle of hyped-up nerves. Rolling to all fours made the twitches worse, like red-hot pins jabbing her insides. The pain in her neck flared hot as a match–a sharp, ragged sting that begged for scratching. It was the bad spot, the abscess next to her shoulder where it chaffed and rubbed against her shirt. She’d tried shooting up under her tongue to give that area a rest, but it wasn’t the same; the tongue hit too slow. The neck, with the vein so close to the surface, was the best place for the needle, even if the area burned, weeping blood and pus on some days, bringing fever on others.

June 4th, 2007 1:19 am

Okay, here’s my opinion of this story: I didn’t like it. It was well-written and entertaining, you can’t dispute that. But it was just too, too sad. And hopeless. I just didn’t like that. And that’s just my personal preference, because I feel that way about many well-known movies, that many people love, too. I just naturally turn away from tales with no redeeming qualities in them. Now, I don’t just need all my media to be sweetness and light, or anything. On the contrary. But I don’t know, maybe it’s my “American optimism’, or something- I see no value in hearing a story that seems to be depressing for that sake alone, often combined with a heavy-handed message that should be obvious to anyone of average intelligence.

So there’s my two-cents, and I’m giving them because I do so enjoy this podcast. Even the ones that touch my other sensitivity, graphic gore, like ‘Bliss’ (hey, I freely admit that I’m a squeamish wuss; I could never be a doctor). This podcast is the best. Also, I have to say this, even though I feel bad about it: the girl who read the story was horrible. HORRIBLE. Please don’t let her read again, unless she learns how to A LOT better. She, seriously, almost ruined the story before the ending even ruined it for me. The horrible reading, the total lack of evidence of any editing- just awful. My view on the story is surely subjective, but my appraisal of the performance of the reader? There’s no way anyone could not have noticed the inferior quality. Not when we’re so used to such high quality readings! Especially Ben Phillips; I’m so happy when he reads. Thanks for listening.

June 4th, 2007 9:43 am

I loved this story. Sometimes the choices we make in life seal our fates in an ultimate outcome, whether or not salvation is found.

Sad to say happy endings with butterflies are just not always the typical. Reality is just not this way. I thought that this story is definitely the representation of that tragically agonizing part of human life that most tend to ignore and choose not to invest a second thought in.

At times, there is no sign of redemption or indication that a person or character who has fallen into the darkest of depths – can emacipate his/her self.

Pathetic at times and disappointingly tragic, yes, but lessons can be learned from their examples and maybe, others may salvage some sort of redeeming quality throughout all the wreckage.

I thought this story was, horrifically, very true to life and now, one of my favorites.

June 4th, 2007 10:17 am

Thought this story was good, however I have to agree with Kathryn about the reading. I nearly turned off several times during the story, the editing made me cringe and listening to it made me feel like I was walking through treacle.

Hope to hear better takes on stories in the future.

June 4th, 2007 12:52 pm

Yeah this definitely wasn’t Tabitha’s best. She even repeated a few sentences a couple of times and at first I thought I might’ve rewinded the story for a few seconds. I guess she is just better at reading Whedon fanfic :)

Audio Blood
June 6th, 2007 1:02 pm

Kind of a so-so story but a really bad reading. Almost didn’t finish listening

June 6th, 2007 11:25 pm

I’m sorry but I have to agree with the other comments. I made it to the 15:00 mark but I had to turn it off. The quality wasn’t up to par and I was totally disinterested in the story itself. The editing was no-existent with repetition in at least one spot. And the audio quality itself was poor. Was there some noise-reduction going on? I remember hearing Steve Eley and Mike Menega talk about not using it on a recent Podholes. I think this recording exemplifies that point. That and the sound was really hollow; there was no warmth. I’d give the story another listen if it were rerecorded and edited properly.

June 8th, 2007 8:04 am

Bad audio. Bad read. Bad editing. Gave up. Must do better!

June 8th, 2007 12:28 pm

I have to agree with everyone else, the quality of the reading was so poor that I have absolutely no idea what the story was about, it sounded as though she hadn’t bothered to read the story before reading it out.

June 11th, 2007 1:02 pm

This one’s quality was a little bit disappointing, but I want to point out that I do like Ms. Foster’s works, and I hope this episode won’t reflect poorly on her.

Though, from the intro, I doubt this will be a problem. *smile*

June 22nd, 2007 12:39 am

I didn’t listen to this one. The sound quality was so poor, I couldn’t bear to continue to listen. I can’t judge the story, but please make sure you’ve got good sound on these. Pseudopod makes my commute tolerable.

June 23rd, 2007 2:20 am

I honestly hated the reading of this particular story. I am sure this story is really good, but it’s hard to say because of the bad read.

June 23rd, 2007 8:34 am

I will never know how this one ends because I couldn’t suffer the piss-poor reading and shitty audio quality long enough to find out. What the hell were you thinking by releasing this?

February 7th, 2008 2:15 am

Here’s a very late comment that no one will ever read. I loved this story and I really liked the reading. I can’t believe that I’m so out of touch with all of the other commenters. I thought the woman doing the reading really hit the right rhythms. This entire story was so vivid, and the reading was a big part of that. Totally loved it.

March 9th, 2008 12:43 pm

I felt that the reader was good, but had obviously made a few rather serious mistakes that nobody had edited out. I can’t imagine that many people with a great and emotive voice sits down and reads something for a half hour and doesn’t skip a line or trip over their tongue a few times– the key point is to edit it out later so the listener enjoys a great performance.

The reader did a good job of giving life to the narrator. However, the unedited mistakes ultimately broke this listening for me.

March 9th, 2008 12:45 pm

Speaking of editing, here I am suddenly wanting to fix my grammar in the above post. No edit link!

Mari Mitchell
April 13th, 2008 10:16 pm

I too would love an edit link. The trouble with being dyslexic is you tend to see your mistakes after.

I read what ALEX said! HA!

I thought the reading was fine. Not the best but not the worst either.

I thought the ending of the story was a tad incomplete.

Feed the pod Powdered sugar on white chipped china plates.

January 27th, 2009 7:25 pm

eeewwwww… I don’t know what I would do. But well done story, hits close to home.

July 29th, 2009 2:38 am

I can’t hear well enough to fuss about audio quality, though I did notice the skips. I just wanted to note that this story was fabulous. The only thing I didn’t like was the explanation just before the end; I’d have preferred a dark hinting rather than a simple exposition. (I’d already worked out what was going on and was enjoying the delicious ironies of the painter’s new “muse.” If it had been I, I’d have ended the story there.)

But then, I’m weird and have a distinct preference for implications and non-endings in general. Still a marvelous work, overall.

(And I liked the reader’s voice. She did a great Bitty.)