Friday, March 23, 2007


Everything is disconnected: no more communication, no more interaction, no more fellowship. Only a sea of blank faces now, all closed, unhappy mouths, averted eyes, and busy ears. A maze of cold, dead towers, monuments to greed, power, and corruption. The grey, cracked concrete of the sidewalks, growing greyer and more cracked with each passing second. Even the sun has been unplugged, the sky now little more than the empty, white screen of a disused light table.

Suddenly, my eyes meet the mirrored lenses of a guard near the entrance of a bank, and I flinch as I see him tense up, his one hand squeezing tighter on the truncheon, his other hand flexing impatiently at his side.

“What’s gone on here?” I ask, striding up to him. “What’s happened to everyone?”

“Move along, sir,” the guard cautions.

“But the people, they’re—”

“Just move along.”

He barely moves, but something in his body language suggests that he’s serious. A certain rigidity. A certain flatness. What is it? The curling and uncurling of his leather-clad fingers. The shiny black of that terrible club. My own distorted reflection in the mirrored lenses of his eyewear. All designed to awe, to intimidate, to threaten.

A cold chill breaches the feeble security of my upturned collar as I turn to walk away, the wind bringing with it a torrent of trash; tattered newspapers, battered coffee cups, ragged advertisements, and the like. Snatching up a soiled page of print, I’m immediately assaulted by headlines of war and upheavals, murders and rapes, discontentment and general tumult, before the wind steals the page from me, ripping it from my trembling hand.

Kick it up three ccs.

The Dark Ages: that’s what we’ll call this. No age of enlightenment, here. Perpetually overcast skies, polluted air, and a near dead population. Killing their bodies with fake foods. Killing their minds with fake knowledge. Killing their souls with—

He’s stable. Heart rate is stable.

Lose myself in the crowd, that’s what I’ll do. Completely lose myself, alone in that lifeless crowd. Would anyone notice if I just disappeared? Would anyone care if I vanished right before their eyes? It’s starting now. Already I can feel it, that familiar sensation. A numbness of the core, a slight tinge behind the eyes, pressure building—

Signs of internal tissue damage?


Good. Brain activity?


Great. Okay to unplug him. Wheel him to PC when ready.

A million points of light exploding around me, before me, and I’m ripped from there with such a light touch, almost peeled away. Stretched. Mind and body. My soul waits for me back home. Waits and surely wonders. Coronas growing ever larger, overpowering my ocular—

Mind shutting down.

Resist it. See if you can resist it.

Entangled, now, in that thin, silvery strand. Follow it. Tug at it. Toy with them a little.

Ha ha.

Toy with them.

Oops, faster now than—

Fading fast. So fast I—

Tell them—

Oh god—

Saturday, March 17, 2007

sich zu besinnen

A series of rooms, some darkened completely, others half lit, all austere and painfully vacant. Grubby linen drapes cover smudged windows, allowing very little light to invade the dilapidated domicile. A thin layer of dust covers the sills, thresholds, and decaying hardwood floors. This is the structure of a mind. A mind just prior to thought. Your mind.

Before thought, there is little more than possibility; unanswered questions, prospects, and potential for an infinite number of courses through an infinite number of rooms. You didn’t build this house, but here you are anyway. You didn’t even choose to inhabit this house, but now you’ve no choice but to wander its well-worn floors. You wake and sleep within its confines, almost comfortable in the cloistered nature of this aging structure. You’re not required to bother yourself with upkeep, as it was designed with decay in mind. All that is required of you is that you exist until you no longer do.

But, you awaken in one room with a question on your lips, knowing that an answer may be just beyond the threshold of one of the doors leading out of the room. Perhaps you choose one door over the other because it boasts a little more light. Maybe a familiar scent carries through from another and you decide to follow it, instead. Or it’s possible you simply go forth on a hunch. Whichever your reason, you will invariably find yourself in another room faced with another choice of exits. This goes on until you are either tired, frustrated, or satisfied that you have pursued the answer to your question as far as you are able at the moment.

There is a process to thought, beginning with a question and leading into a kind of investigative wandering, resulting in a conclusion determined only by the limitations of your cognitivity. All exist within the mouldering framework of a structure you did not build or choose, a structure which itself exists without an entrance or an exit, but which contains an infinite number of each within its crumbling walls.

A synchronized decay exists, which simultaneously solidifies the relationship between you and this structure even while necessitating the continuous desperate, but vain, search for a beginning or an end, an entrance or an exit. Growing increasingly anxious by the visual effects of age on your surroundings, there is this pressing need to escape the dwelling before it falls down. More questions are asked, while the answers are kept just out of reach.

What is also cruelly kept from you, however, is your reflection and the effects of aging you, yourself, have incurred. If you could only see yourself now, within the walls of your subconscious, you would know that there is no need to worry about the impending collapse of your body or mind. No need to worry, because you are all decaying together, and will pass through the gates of oblivion hand in hand.

When the walls at last come down, you will not, even then, be afforded a glimpse of the outside, for as they cease to exist, so will you. A new house will be built by wizened hands and ancient tools upon the primeval foundation of the old, and its next occupant shall have no greater knowledge of his- or herself than you did. In your eternal ignorance, you will not be alone – and this, unfortunately, is as close to a comforting thought as you can ever get.

Friday, March 9, 2007

great insipid sea

You reach for the light, but the switch won’t work. Rather, the switch works, it does switch, but no light comes on, and you’re still in the dark. Beyond fear now, your heart rate plateaued a while back and you’ve settled into something new, something just outside of fear, a little beyond. The feeling is beyond the scope of words, so you don’t bother wasting any trying to describe the indescribable. But one knows the place if one ever gets there.

Your face and arms are still slick with the nauseating ichor encountered in the last room, and as you fumble about in the dark, you can’t shake the feeling that the source of the unusual, foul-smelling mucous can not be far behind. Imagined or real breath on your neck. You scream, you think you scream, and you think, so this is how it ends. Haunted. Hunted.

Suddenly, your hands find another door and you stumble through, nearly falling to the floor in your haste. There’s moonlight now, across this room, and you bolt towards it, frantically fleeing your pursuer. Within seconds, you’re through a door to the outside, and as you turn your head to check behind, your eyes catch an indefinite shape in the dark of the dilapidated house, something following without any regard for the solid of walls or doors, something wholly unnatural.

But you’re out now and running down the street, heart racing faster and faster, mind clearing a little more with each pump. There are those who do not believe in monsters, and you can’t help thinking their ignorance is something to be envied, that their ignorance is their greatest gift, for if they were to truly understand the nature of the universe, their lives would never be the same.

You’re still running as fast as your legs can carry you, and as you run you’re thinking about how you got here, your mind floating back to the early days of your learning and how the string of discovery went: Barthes led to Foucault, which led to Derrida, which led to Žižek, and on and on. It was really a whirlwind of breakthroughs for you then, with each day spent innocently wandering from café to café with pocketfuls of books and very little in your wallet. My, how thing have changed, haven’t they? Now, you run. And run. Onward and upward – or something like that.

You just want to be home, and your mind flits now to an image of your reflection in the bathroom mirror, and you’re asking yourself, who is that person? Each day you look in that mirror and see him. He’s never a man who looks a day older, but a man who does not yet look as old as he will tomorrow. You’ll call it positivism, taking the simple definition and ignoring everything else that’s built up around the word.

Legs gone numb, you’re nearly overcome by a sensation of gliding down the street. For a moment, you’re able to think about where you’re going and where you’ve been. That monster: the new shape of failure. Something to run from. Something to distance yourself from. Failure means that you would wind up back where you started, not a single step ahead, having gained nothing but memories – and you’re not going back to the beginning.

So you run and run. Past the darkened houses on that moonslicked street. Past the snowy park and its disused play equipment. Past the hollow schools, the locked up service station, and the vacant strip mall. This is the new new. You run all the way through one suburb, not even realising when you’ve entered another. Across a seamless quilt of bland and blander, through the great insipid sea, you flee.

There is sleep between the days, just as there is wakefulness between the nights, living and unliving, unliving and living, with such a fine line between that it is entirely impossible to tell which is which. Sleep: you trust yourself to its ebon arms, even while dreaming of ways to do without. Wakefulness: you welcome it like you would an old friend, with open arms and a kind word – but you can’t wait for him to get off your couch.