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Posted on 2005.09.15 at 10:09
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Tie up memories with a ribbon of hair, tie the scroll to the leg of a passenger pigeon, and set them free. The moon is not so far as Andromeda, but the view is better. From here, the greatest storms appear as scientific sketches. Open the seals of the lightweight helmet. As full of strange matter as it is, space still sucks.

Alarm clock. Time for work at the discotheque. The girls dancing in cages of light; skin shimmering, hair floating and spilling; eyes like Cleopatra's or clipart, like the Sphinx's, like anime girls', like Buddha eyes in Katmandu. Alarm clock. I was dreaming. A state of detumescence is the essence of the waking realization that, in fact, there is no job at a discotheque.

Hello, world. Hell, O World. The dawn lays its light across the duvet of city sprawl like the flayed hands of an angel. The mind of the sky is clouded. It's only a moment's thought. The next moment, coffee. The next moment is titled "Preparedness is the Way of Insufficient Insurance", but there is, nevertheless, a job to be done.

There's never a cold day on Venus, planet of love. Blood-red Mars is never warm. The lead melts as the paper browns and curls. These words are for you. These words... they are for you. Ashes in the coffee. Steamed milk. Alarm clock. Snooze over. I was dreaming again. Breath flows warmly over the cool skin of my bared shoulder, and goosebumps follow.

From here, the perfect storm appears in scientific sketches of Spain and Portuguese stories, poetry, lunar hills, vinho tinto in black and white, golden cheese in platinum.
Thought I saw you as I walked the seventy-eight steps from my front door to the car. Stop. You were lurking in the shadows of the car port. Stop. Your smile floated in an atomic haze some indefinite number of nanometers before your face. Stop. It was brighter than anything. Stop. A plague of memories, a murder of crows, a fallen passenger pigeon. Stop. Rook takes bishop, king loses faith. Stop. The queen is offering paeans to the boys at the discotheque. Stop. Alarm clock. Stop.

An hour later I am at work, having rushed there slowly through moderate traffic after oversleeping (courtesy of the snooze button). Unshaven, hair disheveled, eyes bleary, countenance slack and slightly askew, outlook foggy, mood unstable, pulse dogged, blood pressure brick red over scarlet, aperture poorly gauged, shutter speed irregular, consciousness attenuated, conversation muted, head full of polystyrene Krsnas, each bearing a scroll with Hunter S. Thompson's last words on it. This is not at all what I imagined I'd imagine I'd've imagined it to be. Then again, -- it never is.

Sleep deprivation is very much like a Bromaxefed™ hangover. Not having showered or shaved, along with not having brushed one's teeth helps cement the accuracy of the comparison. Co-workers find workstations of at least two terminals' remove... Which is odd, actually, because normally they sit even farther away if they can help it. Or do I mean further?

Today, I decide, does not begin a series of anything. Perhaps it falls somewhere along the line of one. Certainly it falls along the line of at least one. I decide that today does not terminate any series, either. I am still here, and you are... well, you are wherever you are. We are moving around like planets, like comets, like asteroids, like stars, all in a snow-globe of our own experience, looking for God or Something to keep shaking us up, afraid of or yearning for or completely unaware of those Pynchonian healing needles of terror and longing. As I sit at my terminal, filling in fields with data in the form of others' personal information -- or do I mean filling in fields with others' personal information in the form of data? -- or do I mean filling in the form of data with the informational fields of others? -- and are said forms Platonic, or have I assumed too much intimacy? -- I realize that all hours eventually pass, and that the interminable is merely a coded message from the sun, telling me to remember that, as hot as Venus is or as cold as Mars, it, the sun, will one day swallow it all, along with the Messenger of Change and whatever lies between love and war. The sun says, "Make the Moon a spaceship and run!" -- and then laughter like golden bells pealing clearly across the interminable white noise of the radioactive æther resonates in the marrow of my hidden velvet bones, and I know, I know, that the sun fancies its death as the metaphor of dandelions that only the morning glories fully understand.

And I think, Wow, y'all have been so patient with me. And what has it gotten you? -- This? This entry? This bit of work I do? I wonder if, when I do envelope stuffing, I've ever left a visible fingerprint behind and, if I did, did the recipient notice and, if she or he did, did he or she wonder if I cared? Because, well, very often I do really care. I wonder the same thing about stuff like this that I'm writing here. And then I realize that I'm at work and I'll forget that I wanted to write that and no-one will ever know and does that even matter in the end? I'm not being maudlin or morose; this is not mope-ed piece I'm trying to pedal to subscribers across town. And then I remember that I'm at work, and talking-to-yourself at work is looked down upon as plainly disruptive and potentially frightening if not merely unpleasantly unsettling....

After the guards helped me to my car, I drove to Starbucks and bought a double espresso. "Thank you, sir", said the barista. "Call me Ishmael", I said. I left with my drink and stood outside in the bright morning light, the sun like a gold coin nailed to the mast of the heavens, and watched the traffic flow by like the phantom spume of a cultural white whale. Somewhere, far away but not so far, my love lay sleeping, dreaming in her own Atlantide of a Titanic piñata split in twain by the children of Poseidon and Neptune at Venus' month-long birthday party.

Someday, the world's gonna end. But not today, love. Not today. Our ribbons of hair are tied together.

Casino Versus Japan, "Where To? / What For?"

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