Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gilligan And The Professor Argue Politics

G: I keep falling after dreams and landing on the Skipper.

P: Is it when he says, “Little buddy,” to you? Is that part of the mechanics of the stem, or the cause, the root of the thing? The, shall we say, problem?

G: I have problems with balance. Equilibrium is not my forte.

P: Putting your best foot forward.

G: Not so that you’d notice, but yes. Does the empire have to crumble?

P: It is the way of all things, like flesh, to decompose, to enter a period of decay, decadence, a fin de siécle if you will. Are we exempt? No. We are here, shrouded in mist like this, and none the wiser. Stranded still, are we not?

G: I grow tired of reds and whites and blues. Mary Ann has me in thrall. A spell, is it not? Sometimes, late at night, in my hammock, the Skipper snoring like some congested wildebeest beneath me, I cry.

P: You might be feverish. Or possibly just fervid with desire. This uncharted place nails in the lid to our collective coffin. It gets to what is left of one. What is left? Just this, that, some more of nothing. A distant voice crying from the wilderness of a radio signal. A constant stream of entertaining guests who always leave without us. And we, here, just to be laughed at, mocked, left to our own devices under the deceitful silvery eye of the moon which shines down like a parabolic aluminized reflector light.

G: Just memories and plastic. That’s what I have inside this marooned doughy head. It might as well be afloat with a thousand other heads on the sea. People do not listen. Have I ever mentioned my predilection for socialism?

P: Ah ha! A turquoise and citrine weft of my thoughts is stirred suddenly. Do tell.

G: A girl in the window of a train, in the rain, which is coming down of course, outside, of course, and nobody is smoking, not inside the train, it is a non-smoking compartment of the train, maybe some violin music, a purling, maybe a drinking fountain or a man urinating, and the girl is all alone, in her seat there, nobody facing her in the facing seats, she is looking out the window at the rain coming down, the raindrops on the window, tiny bubbles, and she shivers, not too much, but enough, and tilts her head back, sighs, and sings a song about Chairman Mao.

P: Have you spoken to Mr. Howell about this?

G: I have had a yen to, but no. I have only dispersed bits and pieces of my hatred for those who control the means of production to the denizens trapped on this islet. The Sherwood Schwartzian capitalists have lain ruin to our souls in this barely discernible landscape of sameness and fake palm trees. These things are self evident. Even the bourgeois among us have no stake in our destiny. We are all the errand boys of the almighty advertising dollar.

P: Aw. Tell it to the politburo Gill. We have our own petty troubles to find and get lost in.

G: I am mad with prurience. I sleep in a thatched hut covered with mildewed grass on a hammock hung above an overweight sailor who screams orders at me and does not listen, while I fetch and fall and stumble and flail, while two clearly unattached women, both of whom are very aesthetically pleasing and nubile, roam around oblivious to their effect on me. I got troubles. I got trouble in my mind.

P: We are merely bits and pieces of things, some sand tossed haphazardly on the surface of a kettle drum, and we draw our breath through straws.

G: Yeah. I know. Just sit right back, and blah, blah, blah…three hour tour, all that fearless crew crap. It’s all the same. My floppy white hat is as blank as my soul. The footprints of a strange woman run me ragged in the throes of my destitute and desperate imaginings. I wish to take Mrs. Howell’s parasol and shove it up her ass. But I am sheepish.

P: My words are all I have. They are not money. They are more substantial. Implacable are the proletariat mob, and the future is always sabotaging the present. Spies are everywhere. Ginger’s body double is making my flesh put on space.

G: Damn furtive whispers in the underbrush. Hearing things they shouldn’t hear. Always giving something away. I scramble and I moan. The Tiki torches burn bright along the coconut-shaped byways of trickling down collateral, though we are doomed not to own a single luxury. Your tweeds are upsetting the applecart of my ambition.

P: Oh, yes. We play dumb for some ambiguous audience, always befuddled by self-serving plutocrats. Luxury is not something to strive for, not something one should want to afford. It breeds lassitude and ennui. A donut-shaped life preserver reading SS Minnow hangs on the door of my hut. Here we have these things. We must be content with them. Somehow, too, we must strive for the stars while lying in the gutter. The petty peace we have from day to day is not worthy of a noble cause. It is hot air blown from a lacerated balloon of whims and gags. I wish to hang myself with my heartstrings.

G: My mind is studded with dull tales, but my voice is mute, possibly a casualty of capitalism’s pseudo-benevolence, its way of forcing people to be nice to each other without really meaning it.

P: I will do this for you if you hand over your money to me.

G: Precisely. We cannot go on feigning bonhomie, with plastic smiles, with hard-wired instincts to consume or be consumed. One should strive to be a kind and generous person, not just to be seen as one.

P: Look ma! No hands!

G: If the will of the people is no longer controlled by the people, where exactly does that leave us?

P: Neither untied nor united.

G: And the Globetrotters keep on winning. No distress signal could ever be seen by those who will not look for it. There, but for the stench of greed, go I.

P: And martyrs are burned at the stake while they speak of suppering with the lord.

G: Go down, Moses, away down to Egypt’s land!

P: Let us speak now of particle colliders. We have Pepsi. We have calendars of the moon. A dormant feral instinct lies snoring at the base of our motivation. The way we move is patented by a businessman in Athens who religiously cheats on his wife three times a week. Even on a Sunday we smash why into because.

G: Oh! Go down, Moses! Tell King Pharaoh to let my people go!

P: Every lost moment is just another piece of a past I am trying to construct for myself with celluloid and a laugh track.

G: It is in music that we survive.

P: Just sit…

G: Right back and you’ll hear a tale…

P: A tale of woe and destruction and, ah! With rue my toast is laden, lest I wake up bereft of my own true self…love—whatever I conceive that to be on that particular morning—is often times confused with ideas about God.

G: An uncharted desert isle.

P: To be deserted. To be lost and alone. We are not men. We are murderous machines of buy and sell and want and never-have-enough, and we don’t last…we don’t last.

G: A mighty sailing man? Making the others comfortable? I shake my head at it and wrinkle my brow. No. Just a rubbery putz clad in sloppy red and white attire who drops things and promotes the idea of things going awry. I can do nothing right. Here for a long…long…long time.

P: Sorrow is a muddy garden. Don’t muck around in it too long, or it’ll be hard to guarantee a smile every week.

G: But who is doing that smiling? Why is nobody asking these questions?

P: They are scattering my family’s mail. Let my cry come unto thee. Nobody knows. Nobody. Rats’ feet over broken glass. Somewhere let somebody sing for me. For I cannot.

G: Sing?

P: My country ‘tis of thee, sour land of oligarchy!

G: Yuck. That was more like a cow losing its jugular.

P: Sip on the froth of life and receive only a milky mustache of living. We must carve from fresh granite. Or at least chip away at miracles and die trying.

G: I wonder if the girls are asleep. The susurration of their breathing is a melody more rich than any music, the closest my life comes to splendor, to having my own personal hegemony over others, others who otherwise would own the title and deed to my moods.

P: You can detect such things above the bugling roar of the stertorous sleeping Skipper?

G: Ah gee whiz, professor. Alliteration will get you nowhere.

P: Tut-tut.

G: A palindrome? Come now.

P: In the town where I was born there lived a man who sailed the sea.

G: Yes. Yes. I go on long walks late at night. I look at things. I stare at the big old circus tent of the sky pockmarked with a thousand scintillating forever-winking eyes. I need a place to go to get away from it all. Outside of…this. Outside. I hear things. The mermaids sing each to each. I listen.

P: We must, perforce, be content with our own demise. Lingering in this sparse chamber of cause without effect. Spoiled brats building a rainstatue out of sand. The days are counted out for us by sly assholes who sit upon the face of humankind and let out a silent but deadly fart.

G: Aye, aye motherfuckers. Aye, aye.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aristotle and Fred discuss Tom Petty's 'The Waiting' and other matters existential

Aristotle: Do you think you could apply it to waiting for the bus?

Fred: I don’t know if that would be proper.

Aristotle: Proper. Who cares for being proper? I am much more likely to be improper. Being improper can be very fulfilling, you know?

Fred: I guess. But still, I don’t think it applies. Maybe in a Weird-Al sort of way. That’s all though. Nothing to it.

Aristotle: There’s something to it.

Fred: If you consider nothing to be something, then yes, of course.

Aristotle: Words, words, and junk like that.

Fred: What else do we have? What other modes of expression can…?

Aristotle: Sure. Yep. Okay. Alright. I don’t need this whole wise-ass exegesis thing.

Fred: Still. You understand what I’m saying.

Aristotle: What you’re saying…without words. Yes. See? We don’t always need words.

Fred: I cannot be so sure then. I cannot really know. Not without the words.

Aristotle: You know.

Fred: I do? Well, maybe. It’s hard to be certain.

Aristotle: Fuck, fuck, fuck…I mean, shit. What the…um, hell? Or, no, just more etcetera, etcetera.

Fred: There you go. That’s more like it. Now, back to Mr. Tom Petty.

Aristotle: Yes. Finally. Sure. So, like I was saying…

Fred: What was you a sayin’?

Aristotle: Wait. Was that a colloquialism or a good old-fashioned idiom?

Fred: Dunno.

Aristotle: Okie dokie. So, likes as I was a sayin’, fos I’s so rudely interrupted…

Fred: Ahem.

Aristotle: Yes. So, Tom Petty could have been singing that song about waiting for the bus.

Fred: As in the waiting for the bus is the hardest part?

Aristotle: Uh huh.

Fred: The hardest part of what?

Aristotle: Well, the whole riding-the-bus experience I guess.

Fred: That’s bullshit. The hardest part of the whole bus-riding experience is riding the fucking bus.

Aristotle: Um. But, it is still very, how do you say, uh, frustrating?

Fred: Have you always had that accent?

Aristotle: No. It comes and goes.

Fred: Waiting for the bus is not even close to as hard as being squashed and squished on a crowded bus, getting stunk out by everybody, crammed in there, no air really, just a puny draft slithering in through one of those insignificant cracked transom-like windows. People stepping on your toes. That god-awful stop-start-stop-start lunging that sends you ass-over-teakettle flying into some stranger’s crotch. Trying to pull the chord for a stop without running your hand through some beefy cowpoke’s hair. Scrambling for a seat, catching falling old ladies without getting hit by their cane or walker, squeezing around wheelchairs, trying not to step in any vomit or piss, or plop your butt down on a brushstroke of shit or a sticky soda stain, or lean against fresh graffiti. And then when you have to get off, having to push by people, bump into them, slip through the mass of bodies before the doors close. It’s hard. Damn hard.

Aristotle: The waiting is the hardest part.

Fred: No way.

Aristotle: What are you thinking of?

Fred: Air Supply

Aristotle: What?

Fred: I’m all out of love. What am I without you? It can’t be too late. I know I was so wrong. I’m all out of love. I’m so lost without you. I know you were right believing for so long.

Aristotle: Um.

Fred: It’s an Air Supply song. I thought’s that what you were talking about.

Aristotle: Oh. Well, I wasn’t. I wasn’t talking about Barry Manilow either.

Fred: Just another day. Happy people pass my way. I write the songs that make the young girls cry.

Aristotle: Nah. Not that. Come on.

Fred: Only if I can drive. I hate waiting for the bus.

Aristotle: It’s the hardest part.

Fred: So the song, if I may be so bold as to venture forth a hypothesis, is truly about the waiting of the knight for his one true love.

Aristotle: Ha. Waiting for her to what?

Fred: To be with him.

Aristotle: Be with him? Like, you know…

Fred: I think people use the term, “hang out,” do they not?

Aristotle: Hang out with. Yeah. I guess people say such things. I do believe that they do.

Fred: He is waiting for her to come spend her time with him.

Aristotle: This knight thing is stupid.

Fred: Well…

Aristotle: You know what though? This so-called knight of yours, what the hell is he waiting around for?

Fred: For the fair maiden to make up her mind, but of course.

Aristotle: So, this knight dude’s mind is like totally made up then. He knows what he wants, what he’s going to do? He’s all in the clear about the current situation? I imagine him as some drinker of life’s lees.

Fred: You could say that I guess. He knows he wants to spend his time with the girl.

Aristotle: The girl. That’s better. Girl and guy. I can relate to that. Knight and fair maiden, not so much.

Fred: Stop trying to sound like Jon Stewart. You’re not funny. Not like that.

Aristotle: Don’t I know it. So, this guy has his heart all set on this girl. He wants to span time with her, you know, go the whole nine yards, buy her dinner, white picket fence, kids, take out the trash, get burial plots next to each other.

Fred: No. Not any of that. You’re wrong. Damn, are you wrong this time.

Aristotle: Straighten me out captain.

Fred: You see, the stuff, the real stuff of life, is not what we are waiting for. No. It is what happens while we are waiting for something to happen. What happens to us while we wait. That’s the stuff that matters. The waiting.

Aristotle: I see. So, this guy in the song, he’s waiting, and I guess he doesn’t like it, right?

Fred: Of course not.

Aristotle: But it’s only because he doesn’t realize that the waiting for whatever it is he wants to happen with this girl is what matters. The stuff that he’s going through—that he is putting himself through I might add—is the real stuff of life.

Fred: Well, let’s not discount the part that fantasy plays in this. You take it on faith. You take it to the heart.

Aristotle: There were those that made me feel good, but never as good as I feel right now. You make me want to live like I want to live.

Fred: That kind of stuff, well, that’s not what I’m really talking about.

Aristotle: I’ll be your bleeding heart. I’ll be your crying fool.

Fred: No. That’s something else. That’s make believe pansy bullshit. But it’s part of it too. That’s why it’s there in the song. It makes up part of the discontent he feels, the uncertainty, the unsettled way his soul seems to be vacillating hither and thither.

Aristotle: People don’t talk like that. Hither and thither. That’s crap.

Fred: So what. I like how it sounds. Anyway, maybe it does feel like heaven right then, too, something from a dream, for him, this lovelorn guy dwelling on the possibly unrequited love of some girl he’s got some damn silly crush on.

Aristotle: Damn silly?

Fred: Of course. All crushes are ridiculous and stupid and meaningless, but sometimes they’re all that one has to…

Aristotle: Hold on to?

Fred: Could be. I don’t know for sure. It could also be that the possibility of the so-called heaven he has tricked himself into thinking he is feeling is really just a cheap substitute for some cavernous hole dug out of his emotional makeup which leaves him always a bit empty and aching inside and craving for something more real and rich in experience than what he normally lets himself have.

Aristotle: Ever heard of a comma?

Fred: His life is lacking because of all the stuff he dreams and doesn’t let himself actually do. And he now is putting all of that “stuff” onto her. She becomes the substance of his dreams, the texture of his thoughts, the pattern of his visions of the future. She is everything that he cannot be. She is also, you must realize, something that she can also never be. It is then that she becomes nothing more than some imagining, some fantasy, of which he no longer cares about the reality of. So he waits, and it’s hard, but what, really, is it the hardest part of?

Aristotle: Winston Churchill would kick your ass for that one.

Fred: Winston Churchill was a cherry-picking fancy pants. This guy, well, let me tell you, he’s waiting, and it is hard, it is the hardest part of his stupid, myopic, idealistic, ego-driven fantasy to let go of. He can’t do it. He has to wait. He can’t dream and fantasize all that waiting away.

Aristotle: I don’t see why he can’t just call her up. Ask her on a date. People go on dates. People go to the movies, they walk in parks and along the beach. People go to dinner together. I’ve seen them. Everyone’s got to eat.

Fred: Well, maybe there are extenuating circumstances of which neither you nor I could possibly imagine.

Aristotle: Ha. Let me see here. Oh yeah, “Possibility! I wear you out like an old hat, and lose you in a windstorm.”

Fred: Not always the case my friend. Not always the case.

Aristotle: I know, but still. Come on. This guy’s got to be able to take some form of action. He can’t be all abulia and inanition.

Fred: It’s more than just nerves and anxiety and the usual hang-ups at work here. You’ve got to change your perspective on this thing for a minute.

Aristotle: I’m not sure I really have one, but okay.

Fred: He’s not really worried about some other guy coming along and stealing her away with his money and his cocaine.

Aristotle: Hey. No fair. You can’t use a line from another Tom Petty song. Come on. Let’s not spiral out of control here.

Fred: Hold on. So, but, you see, what he really wants, what he, “needs to know,” in the sense of another song, well, um, like this: “because I don’t know how long I can hold on, if you’re making me wait, if you’re leading me on.” See?

Aristotle: Ok. He needs to know. He needs to know if she is going to...well…be receptive to his amorous, even if not wholly concupiscent, attempts at…well…being with her.

Fred: He wants to know. That’s the thing. That is what makes the waiting so difficult for him. He doesn’t know what the hell is going on with her. She is, for some reason, not giving him the straight dope. The lines of communication are stunted at best, if they even exist at all.

Aristotle: If she even exists at all. I mean, maybe she is just a twisted figment of his deranged imagination.

Fred: Let’s not veer off on that segue. That’s a-whole-nother side to this of which I do not want to venture into.

Aristotle: Segue? Not so sure about that. Maybe that’d be more of a tangent.

Fred: Okay. So he is left out there on his own, you know, the whole anywhere-I-lay-my-head-is-not-home feeling. And he’s a bit desperate, but of course he doesn’t want to let on to her about this. He wants to appear, what if not noble and confident and, well, like, he’s giving off the impression that he doesn’t need her, that he’s all nonchalant and playing it cool, and like he’s telling her, “Who the hell are you anyway?” You know? That kind of thing.

Aristotle: But at the same time it is killing him to have to wait around, to have to dawdle away his time, thinking about her, what she’s doing, who she’s with, what kind of things they might be doing together. He’s miserable. Right?

Fred: Actually, I’m not completely satisfied that he is. Maybe all the excitement of this thing, whatever it is, is like giving him a whole new perspective on things. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this here guy is probably not the hippest dude around. I’m not saying he’s a loser, but he might be a little bit of a loser. He probably doesn’t have a whole lot going on. Maybe he’s going through a slow period. He’s in a rut. Can’t quite figure out what it really is he wants to do with himself. And then, all of a sudden, there’s this new girl in his life, which he perceives as some kind of new way to look at the world, and his place in it. This is tough for him. He hates it, yet at the same time it’s damn exciting for him too. Not any easy thing to swing his thoughts around on.

Aristotle: You better stop or I might start crying. Boo-fucking-hoo. Who cares? So, he’s feeling sorry for himself. So what? That’s stupid. I don’t go in for all that woe-is-me crap. It’s self defeating and pointless. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps. Throw off your chains. Get a fucking grip.

Fred: Ah, well, of course he wants to show her that he is something more than this. But it’s hard for him to know exactly what to do in this situation. Maybe she’s got a lot of shit of her own going on. Maybe he doesn’t want to scare her off. Maybe he just doesn’t know what the fuck to do.

Aristotle: Ah. I don’t know. Waiting isn’t that hard. You don’t even have to try to do it. It just happens, right?

Fred: I guess so. Maybe the song really is about waiting for the bus. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.

Aristotle: You got that right.

Fred: So, does this guy have to live like a refugee?

Aristotle: Shut the fuck up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

discourse #54

there is an art

to throwing things away

it dispels an attachment to objects

that would have otherwise

hove in on one’s ambit

to do and not have

or say

walk around the room

something splendid is hiding without flowers

not even the vacuum

is running

a rakehell is loose in the fabric

of unadorned walls

to find time



is what motion was made for

toss me aside

the seas will tremble

pinup girls will spend the night at home

and paper will gather


on other paper

without somebody around

to notice

the words bled onto it

Saturday, November 7, 2009

a citizen of nothing*

gasping he was aghast at the gaping maw that had become the face of his best friend

best friends don’t last for more than that

more than a few days

best to know right off the bat

best to not get too close

best bet

it was gripping at best

it all was

nothing that was divisible

fridays are not for friends like that

acquaintances and chance encounters


but not on just any day of the week

sorting out the sort of people that’ll wreck your life

good til the last drop

untying the sisal of unity from the workers

debriefing the garbage men

weddings of pleases and i-do-nots

call it bountiful

call it dudgeon

call it a way of girding

paul revere rode a horse

beds are useless without pillows

better best not be bested at love

purling was the sound that seemed to suit best

because alabama doesn’t own the stars

because tea time wasn’t allowed

because the gloriettes are coming a tumbling down

action is ambivalent

at best

articulate what says what it is saying at the says so of said again

try to eschew what I do to you

good luck


often is not enough

spying would count double

against this speaking

this way of talking

this is just to say

what’s been said already

eviscerate the dot and the dash

the binary of the logomachy of the matter

of speaking

well of

just getting used to the way we breathe

(*q.v. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, pg. 108)

Friday, November 6, 2009

From 'The Confessions Of Les Chesterfield'

The sky was humming a carnival tune, and the wind had opened up a lofty cataract of light that came blindingly shimmering down, cutting a slice out of the wispy strands of clouds scattered about in a fishbowl of screaming blue. I was minding my own business, taking care of business as it were, keyboarding a lot of figures into a spreadsheet on my laptop, which was perched oh-so-carefully on my lap as I sat with legs outstretched on the living room carpet. That was back in the days when I was saying my prayers with my fingers crossed. Now, let me just say this: I am not a bad person. I have good hygiene. I make the bed in the morning before I leave the house. I keep my nails clean. There is nothing wrong with me on the surface. Nobody could say that I don’t try to do the right thing, to make a good impression on those whom I meet in social situations, nor that I am nasty or malefic or ill-mannered in any way that would rub somebody the wrong way right off the bat. I keep up appearances. I make an effort to be kindly gregarious and offer a show of magnanimity for any soul fortunate to keep my company for any decent duration of time. I am, to use an overused trope, a good egg. Now, on this particular afternoon I wish to speak of, the day this “event” of most unfortunate circumstances occurred, I was, as I have alluded to already, calmly and benignly sitting on the floor in my living room staring into the slick sheeny surface of my laptop, and just so happened to be in one of those lazy, light-headed moods that arise every so often on a calm, cool day when even the leaves on the trees outside seem to be taking a nap or sighing contentedly in a placid glow of levity and eudaemonistic tranquility. My laptop’s internal fan wasn’t even going on. Everything seemed a collective drowse. A partition had clipped off the worrying part of my brain, and I was at ease with my solitary and singular position in the machinations of the world. It was quite something, to be so stoic and collected in my thoughts. Something about it was joyful without portending even the least tinge of excitement. I’d never experienced anything quite like it before. It was really something. Needless to say my guard was probably let down some, at least sufficiently enough lowered that I would allow for such a thing to even enter my realm of mental discourse as I did on this occasion. But it just so was that I heard that proverbial old lonesome whistle blow that day, and let me tell you, it’s been blowing in my head nonstop ever since. And so my thoughts began to melt, to slip off their abstruse skin and slide subtly and lithely along the crannies of my suddenly suspended wherewithal. It was not unpleasant. Not in the least. Though I remember contemplating, without the usual enlightened raised consciousness that one would expect to find in this state of heavenly respite, how it would feel to throw myself through a glass window. It just entered my mind apropos of nothing. This defenestration of my own earthly body, this rigid fortress of flesh and bone thrown willy-nilly through a pane of glass, for no other reason than my own entertainment of a strange notion. Inconceivable as it was, I couldn’t relinquish the idea. It strode through my mind on stilts. It walked on its hands through the rosy fields of my mood. It would not just go away. Like the shadows of trees slurrying across the grass as they kind of unfurl a bit, wavering on the periphery of their odd ellipsoid shapes because of the rustle of the leaves, this momentous thought lingered on like pale blue eyes in my head. I lost interest in my facts and figures and my laptop, or more like forgot that those things ever existed as interesting things in the first place. Everything was glass. It was like liquid. I don’t know quite how to express in some thoughtful exegesis the hooks and ladders my mind was taking to get where it was eventually going to hurtle off to. Now, I’ve never considered myself to be anything more than average when it comes to deftness. My small motor skills are not anything exceptional. In fact, they are most conspicuously unexceptional. I’m no good with scissors. Can’t sew. Can’t even tie the ends of a piece of thread together. Learning to tie my shoes was a challenge. Timing is everything with me. I am a person who needs to fixate. Who needs to siphon, to strip and pare and peel off layers of constituent parts and whittle a thing down to its least common denominator of being, until an object or an idea can become something I am able to deal with, to comprehend. Without less there is no more. So, there was this giant door in my dreams then. It was there almost every night when I scooted out into dreamland, waiting, lurking there like some kind of omen, a locked door that was absurdly large, like that door to the Emerald City in the Wizard Of Oz. That’s how I thought of it, as a Wizard-Of-Oz door. Of course I was never able to open the door. Mostly I just gazed up at it, mesmerized, marveling, in awe of its size. It was not only very high but very wide, and thick, like an old growth redwood. My afternoons were being made into meshes because of these dreams. I may have had a potassium deficiency as well. The door was obviously some insuperable obstacle that I was for some reason unable to overcome in my consciousness or what some might describe as the “real” way I was leading my life. I was a bit of a parvenu when it came to all of this oneiric interpretation, as I’d read most what Jung had to say on the subject, and some Lacan too, but mostly I was a bit naïve and my grasp of things was filled with gaps when it came down to it. I am not a good dancer. In these dreams I was often gyrating, if that’s what you want to call it, something terpsichorean-like at least, and it felt like I was dancing, and that I was doing a pretty good job of it too, but who knows? It was a dream. Nobody else was watching. So many nights I spent this way, dancing through my dreams outside of a giant locked door. And my lunulae were growing. These diminutive half-moons that had always lived as slight crescents barely noticeable at the base of my fingernails were now aggrandizing, practically taking over the space of my nails. It was as if these dreams were remapping, by some abstruse form of selenodesy, the way I was able to see the shapes of what it was that I’d always assumed to be me. I cut my fingernails and watched the half-moons grow. Now, without too much more bloviating and tangential asides, I’d like to describe my motivations in a bit more specific detail. At first I was busy confecting to put together a template I could use as a snare to catch myself in the hesitation of foreboding pain that might cramp my inhibition to send my body hurtling through glass, which of course I ventured would not be a pleasant sensation. This plan was designed with the express purpose of keeping the conscious, self-aware part of my mind in the dark when it came to knowing what the plan itself was, which of course was that devil-may-care splash through glass. I wasn’t deceitful about it. I just had to kind of create a split, another mindset if you will, that would take control of the deciding actions, which then would make it possible to not have to override the self-preservation part of my ego, and instead would just nonchalantly take charge and rush, without thought, to the task at hand. I believed that if I subjected myself to enough grief, to loads of worrying, stomach-rotting anxiety, and hopelessness, I would then be able to distract myself in a way that would allow for the impossible-to-believe possibility of a felo-de-se type act. Pigeons rarely crash into windows, but sometimes they do, hoodwinked by the transparency of the glass, and the sound they make is horrendous, a dull thud like nothing else. This is something I wanted to avoid. The glass must shatter and let me through to the other side. My reflection must welcome me with open arms. Of course there were other things to consider. The word window means “wind eye” in its most primitive carnation of Old Norse. I thought about eyes and glass and glass eyes and wondered if I would close my eyes as I leapt. It seemed wise. Then I started in on some serious pondering. What kind of glass would be easiest to break? From how many floors up should I jump, if any? Would a ground level sliding door be suitable? Stained glass? And should I go through leading with my shoulder like I was breaking down a door? Or should I go face first, with hands outstretched? These things would all have to be thought out. The plan was becoming more complicated by the minute. Complexities abounded. There were many things to be considered. What would Hugh De Haven have suggested? I made tea. I lay on the couch. I stared at the ceiling. My eyes went blurry as I lay there supine, and all types of variegated images began scrambling around up there. Cardioids flapped like amorphous wings. Frenetic twists shaved away layers of fleeing tilde-like creatures. Moons came and went. Initially faces were the most prominent, making their appearances on scythe-shaped promises, and then fading into dots of random emptiness. Smiles were abundant. I wasn’t doing any smiling. Seriousness was becoming my métier, and I reveled in it like a pig thrashing about in the mud. The ceiling soon filled with very distinct boxes of action, like a comic strip I guess, like the stations of the cross. I saw clearly how it would all come about. It was like looking at a map of my future. It was all so simple, so easy, and I knew that it would happen, and that only I could make it happen. I felt better then than I’d ever felt in my whole life. There was this light fixture on the ceiling. It drew my attention away from my boxes of action, from my plan. It was one of those old light fixtures, the ones with the screws in the side holding the foggy glass frame on over the light bulbs. There were some interesting designs carved into the glass, like racing stripes I guess, and my eyes followed them around the glowing brightness of the light, like some interesting sort of irregular nimbus prickling the dust with its soft radiance. Then it was that my eyes focused on the viscera of the fixture, on the going-ons inside of the thing. There were these two earwigs roaming around on the bottom of the glass. One of them was quite large and had an impressive set of antennae on its head. They were scampering around in circles. It was then that I recalled something that my late grandmother had told me when I was young. She’d related to me—this was during my very impressionable formative years when the psyche is still agile enough to hold many absurd and diametric notions to be equally veracious—that earwigs could burrow into a person’s brain by way of the ear and therein lay their eggs to hatch, rendering one earwig-brained, which I took be similar to some form of mental retardation, though I wasn’t really too pellucid on the details. I watched those little bugs circle. Those forficula auricularia clambering about up there, avoiding each other if they could, circling in opposite directions, circling and circling endlessly. It was more entertaining than watching a ceiling fan twirl. I was entranced. Their light-fixture dance seemed mating-ritual-like, as the larger one would kind of stutter step and twitch this way and that, while the smaller one would peragrate more elegantly, with a svelteness that was at once tender and agile. Whenever the twain should meet at the edges of their private hemispheres, the larger one would stop, wiggle its antennae in a jousting motion at its diminutive counterpart, and rather impede and block its path for a moment, as if shoring up a bulwarks against this insipid intruder into its life’s endless circle. The small fry would wait patiently, kind of bobbing around like a jogger running in place on a street corner waiting for the light to change. I imagined it to be panting for some reason, and I thought of this earwig as being curious, yet not overly concerned with this roadblock. Effortlessness was key to its existence. It just did. It didn’t have to think about the doing. Eventually the big guy would let it by, and they would both go back to their isolated rounds, but I think every time they met in this way it would significantly alter their perception of what they each separately considered to be the world. Though this would not last. Because every time it was the same thing, the little one being stopped momentarily by the big one, and it was as if it were always the first time, as if it had never occurred to either of them before that this could happen, that this was something that was always happening to them. They had no memory of it. I could tell. I knew this to be true. Surprise tingled through their limbs like a jolt of electricity with every meeting. There was nothing to be done about it. Everything was always forgotten, and they kept circling. I loved it. What a show. Nothing could induce me to stop watching. The phone rang. I might have heard it, but if I did, well, I do not remember. The doorbell? Knocking at the door? Somebody there on the doorstep like a little kid asking if I could play? Possibilities, yes. Though I would be the incorrect person to ask if you wanted a recounting of these things. I could tell you all about those earwigs, but not much else. Something ethereal was sneaking through me, bleeding into my ear-wigged brain with streaks of puce and magenta and bilirubin and carmine and a blaze of white-hot cinders screaming into my eyeballs. Caught up in some kind of hallucinatory hyper-intense form of concentration, I was no longer waiting. I just was. That is all. Somehow I managed to avert my eyes for a moment. Who knows why. A sudden spasm. A reluctant divergent tug at the unwed corners of my mind. In the corner of the ceiling a spider web was shivering with a wispy shudder that reminded me of mucus dangling from an invalid’s chin. I didn’t feel alone. Not at all. I was surrounded by things, by objects and insects and microscopic whorls of dust. Patching together all of these things, these things with heft, not in the abstract but real things that where most definitely there, in whatever terms I took them for, in whatever ways they had of existing, they were there whether I cared to notice them or not. Unbeknownst to me my plan was taking shape. The end had begun. Time was not allowed to tread its normative rounds, and became a nominally picayune happenstance, just as dull and unimportant as some potato salad spilled on the carpet, or a piece of lint scraped from a dryer’s lint trap. A long time? A long time was nothing. It had no meaning. It was nothing and it was everything at the same time. I saw the holes in the way human’s perceived things as occurring. An interval, or separation of two events is not merely some temporal versus spatial pragmatically adjusted viewpoint of causality and let’s-get-from-here-to-there selectivity. We choose what we see and when we see it and, most importantly, how we see it, which of course makes time seem to take the shape of something we can wrap our puny minds around, to become an essence of its own if you will, when really it is nothing of the sort. In fact, it is not what it is at all. It is not time. Not what we are used to thinking of as being time at least. I know this line of thinking is disastrously hung up on misconstrued and downright manhandled and mangled forms of logic, but it is not inconsistent, I don’t think, with how the universe moves. Worm holes and the like, I was preparing the Bouillabaisse of my simmering thoughts to coincide with the amorphous, fugacious strictures of the wandering ways of what I’d always thought of as Time, and what it was always doing: just being. Well, and also “not being” as well. Because really there is no difference. Absurdism notwithstanding, I can tell you a few things about eternity. For one, it is tiny. It is nothing. It is a dime thrown into the world’s economy. A yawn amidst billions of voices all speaking at once. No. But it is not that at all. It is a reversion and transmogrification of all that is linear and temporally gradual. Okay. So it seems the only way for me to elucidate my “timelessness of time” hypothesis, and to rid aporia from the equation, is to give a specific case that would illustrate my point. Let us say that one is traveling through a window, that one is jumping out of said window, shattering the glass, leaving one plane surface for another one of a lower position, falling as it were towards this lower surface, this place that is less high in the whole scheme of things than the previous position held by the person’s body in question. Now, a certain interval of time must “go by” in order for the corporeality of this person to change position, to drop, fall, descend, or whatever it is that it is going to do. We are not who we are. This apparent antinomy is reconcilable, though charting its cosmological course through the nature of phenomena and noumena, like contemplating the innumerable holes and patches of Locke’s socks, is not saliently relative to my mission in this particular here and now, if here or now could even be said to exist in the first place. An object can only exist as it does in its thin carved out pie slice of time, its tiny temporary personal space, and without time happening to it, well, that object cannot really be said to exist, or to be existing as it were, that is if one is still moving through things in a time-like fashion. An object loses its own essence, its haecceity if you will, when time stops occurring around it, or more accurately, to it. But if time doesn’t actually occur in the way that we are so used to believing that it does—as if “occur” could be said to even have any sort of meaning within this train of thought—then objects having an existence in space is completely ridiculous, defying any serious types of rational mentation. Seriously. In fact, it becomes meaningless to speak of a point of time extended into space. What is space without time? Nothing. We are all nothing. I was going to jump out of a window. It was a meaningless act. My body would plunge, it would penetrate the window’s glass, the shattering of the glass would spiderweb outwards from the shape my body made, and the glass would split into thousands of pieces, shards of glass that would still be the window too, but also shiny brandspanking new objects in their own right. It was a copasetic thought. The window would never be the same. I would also be something different. Theseus’s ship is never the same as it’s always been. And as James Hutton likes to say, “There’s no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.” 15 billion years ago things were just the way they will eventually be when they end. Time is only change, and without change there is no time, maximum entropy is reached, and without time, well, there is no window to go head-over-heels all willy-nilly flying through. Okay. So, that’s obvious. We’re losing a half hour every 1,000 years because rotational time is out of step with orbital time. This type of nonsense is par for the course in our naïve view of time’s ambit. In reality picoseconds are no more “shorter” or “longer” than centuries. Encompassing everything is the nature of time. My going out of the window was of little consequence, and, also, it was all there was. It was all that was left for me to do. An airplane droned by, somewhere outside, in the world, away, and it was soothing, an anodyne for my maracas-pounding soul. Time was all there was, all that remained, and I was lulled, lying there like that, hungering for nothing, drifting if you will, and all my need for brisance was gone, though I wasn’t sapped. I was merely nothing. Floating aimlessly was all I was. A nothing-sized speck floating through time. Get it?