Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Circumstantial Plight Of Binary Stars

Sneezy: How many trips to the Laundromat?

Dopey: Don’t know. It’s nothing I want to count, to even think it over at all, at all.

Sneezy: But it’s gaining on you, maybe?

Dopey: Look. I don’t care about it. Leave it alone.

Sneezy: I’m rubbing my feet against something soft. It helps me relax.

Dopey: That’s more like it.

Sneezy: I know. More of that, right?

Dopey: That’s the stuff.

Sneezy: Soft stuff.

Dopey: It’s worth more, and we plan for retirement while thinking these things.

Sneezy: Sure. But wait. What about at the bar that night?

Dopey: That night? Well, you see…

Sneezy: I do.

Dopey: I was trying to talk about The Deer Hunter in a way that’d bring a reconciliation to what happened to me in my own life and it was horrible to try to impart this in a bar also to somebody else there who wasn’t a sharp listener at all really and who didn’t owe me a thing.

Sneezy: But you talked about moving, well….I guess it’s always away, right? When you move it’s always moving away from something, even if it’s moving towards something else. The way you move is right in line with…

Dopey: The way we all move, right?

Sneezy: I’m no good at fact checking. It depletes my frontal lobe of its cleverer treats. Yes. I guess. The way we all move is away.

Dopey: Moving back?

Sneezy: Away also. Away from something, right?

Dopey: Or the bringing of inside things to the outside, or putting outside things back where they once belonged: on the inside.

Sneezy: Jumbling.

Dopey: Whatever difference in the sig or quantity of the thing, it merely amounts to a Hobble Skirt of misunderstanding, the way I look at it.

Sneezy: The way you look at it.

Dopey: Softly.

Sneezy: The way I feel it.

Dopey: A Linus-blanket of the senses. I talk to people, but I rarely listen to anything that I’m saying.

Sneezy: I’m going on strike.

Dopey: I’m retiring.

Sneezy: You? You hardly work as it is.

Dopey: I know. It’ll be an easy transition for me.

Sneezy: But just think. It’s a loophole of taste and tradition. Something lost because something’s always got to be gained. I want to fall awake and stay that way until they invent a new way to manufacture dreams.

Dopey: Don’t get carried away. I’m less of a winner than you might think. Maybe I’m more of a dyer than a liver, too.

Sneezy: Liver? Would that be chopped or diced?

Dopey: Bah blah bah blah bah. There. That works. That’s what I meant.

Sneezy: Perfection is achieved. The smell of a day off on a workday is always different than a weekend scent.

Dopey: A pairing of bland couscous and ground salmon bones.

Sneezy: That reminds me, my refrigerator’s been talking to me.

Dopey: What’s it got to say?

Sneezy: Not much. Mostly just the weather report. It’s not too accurate either.

Dopey: My knee’s pretty good at that. Knows when cold’s coming.

Sneezy: Joints ache. Arthritic. Where the bones are scared to tread no one goes.

Dopey: It’s a jocose result from awkward ministrations. I condemn myself so you won’t.

Sneezy: That’s the kind’a talk that’ll get us all killed, or badly maimed at least.

Dopey: And when your foot, or your shoe I should say, hits the pavement, is it really the pavement down there? Is it really there at all? Is that you putting your foot down there? What’s pavement? Did I mention concrete, tarmac, asphalt, brick, stone? Or Portland cement: flyash, blastfurnace, pozzolan, silica fume? Slag-lime, supersulfated, calcium aluminate? And what about tile? Ceramic, porcelain, glazed limestone, mosaics in rubber and glass, granite, marble. Need I go on?

Sneezy: Please stop.

Dopey: Just trying to help. We’ve got to learn, or stop learning, at some point, that who we are can be, might be, maybe, even if it’s not an of course or a should, could be, possibly, not dictated by what we do. Because really, those feet down there pounding the pavement might not really be there at all. There might not even be a world.

Sneezy: And we under-sleep our way out through it, attempting the “into” part of it but lacking the requisite guts.

Dopey: But am I the only me I’ll ever know?

Sneezy: You the only you? That’s more than enough.

Dopey: This is me biting what’s not a fat lip.

Sneezy: Not yet.

Dopey: Shorely, shorely, it is not so. I think it wise to brave the woe with tortures few and worries no.

Sneezy: What the fuck?

Dopey: Oh, just some slop and creamed mush I picked up in juvie. Nothing to juice carrots about.

Sneezy: Somebody’s doing too many loads of laundry at once these days.

Dopey: I opine more than I pine. Shrug. There. Go ahead. It’s mordant at best, and we’ve smiled without laughing too often already, and I’m cheapest with my time in the present. He who animadverts on the past is lucky to get a chance to weld himself to the future.

Sneezy: I’m gassy.

Dopey: You consume an inordinate amount of polysaccharides. I pity your poor wife, stunk out from under the tight wrap of matrimonial sheets.

Sneezy: She should be so lucky to be downwind from the likes of me.

Dopey: Or the hates of you. Also, getting all worked up about the oddest of things, do you find yourself?

Sneezy: More lost than ever. Laundry comes and laundry goes. Clothes won’t clean themselves. I rely on the spin cycle, the rinse, the tumble dry.

Dopey: Pray for sunshine; get splashed with rain.

Sneezy: And then we get soaked with trying without putting forth any real effort. A patchwork of cindery attempts to futilely stop where no woman has stopped before. It’s uncommon nonsense. Strike blame through it, here and there, and before you know it things’ll just cross themselves out on accident, deliberately.

Dopey: It’s not such a wrong thing to lose when winning’s what’s making a mess of your sense of your own enjoying of whatever’s there to lose for you.

Sneezy: Blah? Or would that be blah blah blah?

Dopey: The only thing left that makes any sense…

Sneezy: Let’s not blow it.

Dopey: Right. Because we dig our own trenches, specially and specifically made for anyone else but us.

Sneezy: Making up our minds to be serious, to be lucky, to pattern our lives after the lives of clouds.

Dopey: That’s good enough for me.

Sneezy: Drones taking lives as the city’s buried in my i.o.u.’s. It’s patterns of this and patterns of more of this. The enemy is never ours. We only know of them through statistics buried in the newspaper’s back pages. Civilians are not real; they’re numbers to be counted and ignored: the price of leading these lazy and self-indulgent lives free of remorse, guilt, or any real empathy for anything outside the safe bubble of our personal sphere.

Dopey: A lot a’ medium-cool air, my fellow.

Sneezy: The All-Thumbs Generation hunches their collective shoulders, yawns, and gives up.

Dopey: An alligator chasing its own tail.

Sneezy: I ride the subway alone, look out the windows at the bacon-colored rust marbling the rails, at the fog-licked hills, the houses lined up in neat rows, the misery of immobile pumpjacks and derricks, endless lines of traffic-snarled cars, big rigs belching exhaust, people singing inside closed windows. There are no movies playing in America. And I’m lonely. No matter what. That’s what I’m left stuck with.

Dopey: Cartesian dualism will get you nowhere. Not in pants like those.

Sneezy: Fast, for a change of pace, pull away, zipperless, double-knit reversible trouser darlings, skin-tight, pegged, button-fly, gone trout fishing.

Dopey: Boy, the cases of The Borings have increased exponentially over the course of all these supper-less bedtimes.

Sneezy: Raise your right hand…

Dopey: No. The left. I swear.

Sneezy: We are awful tacticians when it comes to solemnity.

Dopey: It’s more to the center, the humor we stumble on, or craft out of art cartels. It’s piecework, yes?

Sneezy: Boy o’ woman. I’m low-nosing out of here if the air pressure stays steady.

Dopey: But the Laundromat’s still open for beeswax.

Sneezy: Too hot for coffee.

Dopey: The trips add up, but they don’t. Not really. It’s all the same journey, going nowhere, getting nothing, achieving small gains on emptiness. Rolling that same boulder up the hill, over and over. Clean to dirty. Dirty back to clean. Upkeep. It goes on and on, but it doesn’t go anywhere.

Sneezy: The downside of upkeep. I don’t know. It’s slim. Tiny SOS’s slipping through the cracks, messages we send out hoping somebody somewhere might accidentally read them, might notice, might return something of ourselves back to us.

Dopey: Yes. These throwaway lives that we lead. Nothing stays. Nothing matters.

Sneezy: Wash. Dry. Fold. Wear out. The accumulation of always scattering dust, it’s what makes us who we are. Or, well, more like who we are not.

Dopey: But what about fabric softener?

Sneezy: Don’t use it. It’s pointless. My clothes are soft enough as it is. Maybe I need the grit, some sort of an edge to things, a hardness, a little hunger in my gut to remind me that I’m alive.

Dopey: In the striving for high ideals we get permanent-pressed into ordinary constraints instead of insisting on being dry-cleaned to a crisp, tidy finish.

Sneezy: I’m the sudsy water leaking from the machine’s bottom, pooling on the floor’s tile, soaking shoes, making the world happen to whoever happens to be around.

Dopey: Irons steaming out the wrinkles in the way we were.

Sneezy: It’s a copout. Folding techniques tell their owner’s story all too well. I’m brisk. I flourish a wild hand at times. The sky reminds me of the sound of my own name.

Dopey: Bed sheets and comforters. Towels. Low-heat-only linens. Bath mats. Rain-soaked shoes rattling around in a dryer. Liquid or powder detergent. Choices, things to ponder over. Magazines and newspapers and romance novels. Crossword puzzles. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting in plastic low-backed, bucket-seat chairs. Waiting while the world turns.

Sneezy: Scraps of sunlight painting accordion shadows on the opposite wall from where you sit and wield a pen like a dagger.

Dopey: Back and forth we go, laundry in tow, never ourselves to ever know.

Sneezy: Unliked?

Dopey: Perhaps. As if that were a curse and not a blessing.

Sneezy: Perhaps both, if there really is a difference. Existence proceeding essence.

Dopey: Fuck it. I’m getting a cat.