Wednesday, June 16, 2010

tongue avoiding cheek


The carriers were getting bored with delivering hammers to the unaware typists. Baseballs would have been better for all involved, but just then it was hammers, and there wasn’t much to be done about it. At least not from the perspective of the carriers. The carriers had to be involved; they’d do about anything to stay involved.

Being a carrier meant being involved. That’s why they became carriers in the first place; they wanted to be involved. Staying involved was of the utmost importance to the carriers. The carriers had thoughts of other careers only when boredom struck, at around 4:30, after all the deliveries had been delivered. The carriers had ideas about other ways to make ends meet. But it wasn’t anything substantial, just flighty notions, just amorous drifting, just balled-up socks in a bottom drawer.

The carriers wore ties, and their knuckles took quite a pounding. If the wind was out pushing them around, well that was something they could handle. The carriers did not shy from wind. Sometimes though they did wonder what the wind would say to them if it had a voice. If the wind could speak would it say, “Carriers! I am the wind! Listen to my conch-shell roar. I will pockmark thee by the tans of thy hides. I wish my breath would stink of beluga caviar. My presence alone will destroy you. Scoreboard!” They had thoughts about these things.

The carriers made haste in their travails. They pounced on lesser-armed breadwinners. They out-foxed source material. There was a picture postcard fluttering in their nightmares; it was of raw ground beef, turtle shells, and a dwarf in a burgundy knee-length dress who is suffering from a blue-ringed octopus bite, all under the metallic glint of a carburetor-silver sky. Carriers had things to do at night. They made pushpin pillows. They dove from piers. They worked on their stew stirring skills. Boredom rarely entered the equation, but when it did, well, there were more serious issues going on then, and things could stay solved only if they let them.

The carrier-hammer situation was something that needed to be dealt with. It needed dealing with badly. Everyone agreed on this. The typists certainly, although very oblivious at all times, would spell-check their daydreams before knocks summoned them to the door. Oh yes. Here it was: another hammer being delivered. It was becoming too usual. The typists were golfing for nails before long, but, of course, they would only be hurt and diminished by this fruitless quest. Felled by the broad strokes of plunder and eye-patch wearing hooligans, there was really nothing more for them to do but continue typing and drink marmalade tea by the bucketful, like rainwater, only with some fluoride added in for their own upkeep.

The carriers felt it was time for a change. Recalcitrance entered the river of their consciousness like a shaving-cream pie. Hardly a minute went past when they didn’t contemplate chancing their whole careers for the dream of an uprising. The carriers stopped showering. A sacrificial, spiteful stink became their solidarity. Sometimes one of them would use forceps to pry open a superglued-shut mailbox. It rarely worked, but when it did, well, that was something special. The hammers kept coming. Droves of hammers. A murder of hammers. Hammers to fill warehouses. More hammers than stars in the sky. They were swimming in hammers, up to their ears in hammers, hammered with hammers: ball-peen hammers, claw hammers, dead blow hammers, lump hammers, framing hammers, upholstery hammers, sledgehammers, dog-head hammers, twist hammers, bush hammers, and even a few rubber mallets. Nobody was quite sure where all the hammers were coming from. But one thing was for certain: they would not stop coming.

Once a carrier asked another superior-by-far carrier, “If a hammer could swim, what would be its favorite stroke? Or would the hammer even swim at all? And why would a hammer want to swim in the first place? Is sinking in the hammer’s nature, or would it strive for the high ideals of the surface?” The question fell upon deaf ears, as the superior-by-far carrier was wearing his honeycomb earplugs, and did not bat an eyelash at anything spoken to him, ever, when he had his ears plugged like that. Silence was his m├ętier. Nothing moved him besides the make-believe music playing in his head.

Trepidation swept in, and change came on, though sabbatic in nature, which made the carriers feel as if they were merely residents shackled to the iron whims of some obfuscated higher power. If they could plant things, if they had plows and scythes and hoes, if they had seeds and acres of fecund land, if the agrarian demands of society would just get some damn balls already and rise, well, then the carriers would be able to do something productive and not have to go about just delivering this endless supply of hammers to these heedless typists. It was something to contemplate. Events were commiserating with untrod routes towards vague goals. The typists grew impatient with the capricious nature of supply and demand. Words were exchanged, though what words and between who remained unclear.

After a short “down time” among all parties, a jubilee time was set upon. The typists took their newfound hammers to the streets. The carriers, who up until this point had concentrated on delivering with a little ordering on the side, now concentrated their efforts on ordering full-time, and the relationship between these two parties, not without a dash of civility, changed. Hammers came to represent status, worth as an individual, rationality and willingness to pragmatically achieve sovereignty that would yield results of any sort. This meant not only opportunity but also danger for any hammer wielding typist, as the very hammer that made them powerful also made them vulnerable. A ravishing monster with an insatiable appetite was being fed with briskets of fear.

The carriers did not know sides; for them there was only one concomitant we. It materialized like Custer’s Last Stand and stamped envelopes in their dreams, as they lay shiftless and panicky in the cantankerous folds of sleep. What would they carry if they could no longer carry hammers? What had they done before? It was difficult to remember. Hammers had become all they knew, and they couldn’t now imagine living without them, though before this Time Of Hammers they had lived well without a single one. Somehow it had not mattered before, but now it was all that mattered. The hammers had come to dominate their lifestyle completely; they could not live without them.

The typists became no longer content with sedentary habits. Lacunae of wild nothings entwined their modus vivendi like cymbal-clashes of bright, like clanking seidels in barrooms, like the diglossic mutters of used-car salesmen committing treacherous acts of mytacism, it was all moving forward with an unprepared rattler-snap of discontent. Nobody cared about the carriers as much as they used to.

God came down to earth and said, “Everybody die!”