If tearing wet bloody chunks from your soul and
Throwing the lumpy meat into the Public
Square brings you no contentment then you are no
artist – you are dead.
If tearing wet bloody chunks from your soul and
Throwing the lumpy meat into the Public
Square brings you no contentment then you are no
artist – you are dead.
It was an isolated incident
There is no pattern of any kind here
Woven in the fabric of everything.
Tortured and murdered for simply
But don’t worry at all – I present
It was an isolated incident.
Caved in with a baseball bat is nothing
These things happen; the single event
Woven in the fabric of everything.
Brown, Mcbride, Garner attacked and dying.
Diallo, Dorismund, Zongo. Don’t dissent
It was an isolated incident.
Nine black people dead at white hands killing
That almost stopped it’s trigger but didn’t
Woven in the fabric of everything.
The legacy of horror is clinging
To that cacophonous endless lament;
“It was an isolated incident.”,
Woven in the fabric of everything.
Why not write at least one sentence?
Go on, it can’t hurt can it?
We both know that you’re afraid that it will happen.
Don’t die with so many unfinished stories.
Just try and finish one, one sentence.
Use that cold clawing fear in your stomach to drive you on.
Don’t have another drink
A is for Anhedonia
B is for Boredom
C is for Collapse
D is for Doldrum
E is for Energy
F is for Fear
G is for Guilt
H is for Happiness
I is for Indecision
J is for Jump
K is for Knowledge
L is for Loss
M is for Morbid
N is for Nothing
O is for Other
P is for Paranoia
Q is for Quit
R is for Razor
S is for Stranger
T is for Terrors
U is for Undulating
V is for Violence
X is for X
Y is for Youth
Z is for Zero
All of it.
Every last damned drop.
He wakes up. It is cold. Why is it cold? It was hot just the other day. It is summer. It should not be cold. It should be uncomfortably hot. Instead it is cold. He does not know why. He gets up. He makes some Moroccan mint tea and adds some honey. It is refreshing and it by its nature it freshens him. He tries to write. He fails. The cat wants to open the door. He tries to ignore the cat. The cat does not allow this. He gives up writing. He will try again later. Herakles can wait. The cat cannot. He makes a breakfast of fried kale scrambled egg and parmesan for two it is very tasty which he was not expecting. Someone has been arrested for the Mansion Murders. The story is full of all the usual details that strike fear into the dark hearts of the 1% and those who aspire to be the 1%. House invasion. Kidnap. Murder of family and staff. Arson. No safety in one’s own castle. Arm the guards. Hovering missile drones need to be deployed around the castle like a buzzing flying moat of death. He thinks. He sits. He runs on a treadmill. He thinks some more. He watches as journalists barely contain their praise of the Isis propaganda machine. It is an odd thing to see. At some point he watches Red Nose Day. It is the first American red nose day. It will probably be the last. It is lifeless anodyne boring vapid lacking character missing the live quality of the British version missing the sense of community inclusiveness of the British version it takes place in a cavernous studio. There is an audience but the laughter seems canned. Maybe the audience are mannequins or the poor forced to work in order to receive foodstamps. They will sit but pride stops them from laughing at a Seth Meyers who is dwarfed by the gargantuan set. All the mistakes are coreographed and as such die before they begin. Al Roker breathes life into the dead room but then life leaves when he does. Jane Krakowski does the same. He shouldn’t care so much about this so he stops. It will probably make more money in one day than the British one has made in its entire 30 year history. Such is the death of empire being born in the shell of a one powerful country to then move and live on the hide of a Leviathan. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. It is muggy. The air is thick like tar. It is unpleasant. Boats of migrants roam the oceans without food or water. No one wants to help them. Europe wants to wage war on them. Asian countries push them back out into the sea. It is hell. All of it is hell. Then the Philippines agrees to take in migrants. This is a good thing. Well done The Philippines. Then he has a ginger tea. He has not had coffee for a week and a half. His head is clear. He likes his head being clear. He does not trust his head being clear. He is forgetting very simple things. He wants to blame his lack of coffee but he does not think that this is really the reason. He writes some more. He draws some more. He gets angry with a friend because he doesn’t understand the friend is joking then he feels bad about getting angry and he realizes that the anger stemmed from an uncontrollable feeling of guilt that the friend was right he was totally correct in the assumptions he made and in the way he said it even though his friend was making a joke the hard kernel of truth at the centre of the joke hurt him deeply wounded him and the raw wound caused him to lash out in anger so he apologises and the apology is accepted. It makes him feel marginally better. He drinks some Moroccan Mint tea and adds some honey. He enjoys it. A friend pays a surprise visit. It is a delight. He watches the Dances With the Stars Final. He cries a lot even as he realizes how easily his emotions are being manipulated with cheap wizard tricks. He embraces the cheap wizard tricks because weeping makes him, for a time, feel more human. He is delighted that Rumer Willis and Val are the winners. He is more delighted than he should be. He should be spending more time concerned with Important Things and Changing Lives and Making a Difference but instead he is cuddling on the couch watching manufactured tales of triumph. He goes to sleep.
1. What is that bright light?
2. Did I just die?
3. Does it matter?
1. Is this a human head in my hands?
2. It is attached to anything?
3. Does it matter?
1. Am I covered in semen?
2. Is it my semen?
3. Does it matter?
He wakes up. The alarm is louder than normal or his ears are more sensitive. There is a new government. Some people are happy. Other people are sad. Still others are indifferent. There is an aftershock in Nepal. More die. More are abandoned. More are homeless. He buys a paper shredder. He is going to shred paper like a spy or a government employee who only has five minutes before the revolutionary guard arrive to take him away or a corporate executive who only has 2 minutes before the Feds arrive. He draws some pictures. He writes some words. He writes some old fashioned letters on old fashioned paper and sends them in the post. He is not even sure that the post still works in that way. He put the envelopes into a box on the street marked post but he is not sure if it just an artifact from a previous age a living museum piece that has been left on the street. He does not know. He really wants a coffee and he really wants some wine and he really wants some chocolate but he looks at his swollen belly and he prepares his healthy smoothie and he acknowledges that the healthy smoothie is probably the better option. His legs ache. Every muscle screams at him. He does not know why they ache because he has not been doing any extra walking. He would not do well in a post-apocalyptic situation. He would be one of the first to go to be eaten to be poisoned to get the virus to become the slave to die in the opening salvo of the alien invasion to be farmed for his tasty lymph nodes. He watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the ending is certainly unexpected. Then he reads about the history of violence and religious violence. Not as intertwined as one would expect. Behind any good example of religious violence there is always a human being happy to commit violence to use religion as an excuse for those who enjoy violence to commit it always a rabble to be roused always a smiling psychopath ready to be a messiah for the people. He plays The Witcher a game about hunting monsters that deals with racism and bigotry. That was not something that he was expecting. He prepares for bed and he goes to sleep.
Once Upon a Time there was a dedicated priest who lived in a small village in the mountains of a country that I will not name here. On the night that we meet this priest he is leading the regular evening service. This is a night that was not going to end well for our priest. I will not lie to you now and tell you that he is going to be okay. You should know that there are two things that are different about tonight as oppose to all the other nights, in the village, that he has experienced up to this point. There is a service every night. This is not unusual. There is a terrible storm. There are often terrible storms. This is not unusual. This particular storm is most unusual. It was the most unusual for two reasons. First it was the most terrible storm that any of the members of the small village could ever remember. Secondly the lightning that arced from the thick dark clouds was green. This is the last time that the green lightning will be mentioned because it bears no relation to the rest of the story save to illustrate how unusual this night was. It was traditional for the villagers to come to the church to get out of the cold but tonight the pews were crammed full. The edges of the walls were layered with people and even the central aisle from the door up to the altar was thick with humanity. The young priest was happy that the church was full but he was sad that it was only the weather that had brought them all here. At least, he thought that it was the weather. He did not know what was to befall him. The weather tonight was so bad that even the normally protective church was letting in air through the tiny little holes. He knew that they all came here to get out of the cold of their hovels. He sometimes felt pity for them. He sometimes felt shame for them. He never did anything to make their lives better though. All he wanted to to was to bring them together. He wanted to bridge the gaps that he saw between the families who lived in the little hovels that dotted the hills around the chapel. It was cold. He tried to speak above the roar from outside. The wind was violent. The hinges that held the church shutters to the flaking wooden frames were shaking hard. He would have to get them fixed when the storm died down. He walked around the church lighting candles for the second, sometimes third time, knowing that the gale that breached the old building through aged cracks and seams would extinguish them again. The dusty shimmering glow of the small candles lit only two or three congregants. The church was used to being empty but tonight, on a stormy night, it was full to bursting. He ignored their hypocrisy because he knew that they did not have the luxury of it. Those who had arrived on time had now got the best seats. The squeeze of the late comers who had arrived to shelter from the storm now acted as warmth to done so before the storm hit and remained now because it was either too dangerous to return to their homes or their homes were too dangerous to be in during the storm. The church was still the sturdiest building in the area and it often became a popular meeting place when the weather was this bad. The Widow MacGregor asked him when the statue was due to arrive. He squinted down at his old wrist watch. It should be here right about now, he replied, but that storm there that you can here right now will no doubt have held up the delivery. It may be that it’s not even going to arrive tonight, he added to himself. There was no use creating disappointment now. After all he had a pitiful congregation and wanted to keep them for at least another hour. The hope of paying some kind of respect to the relic would at least give them some succour and perhaps, who knows, encourage them to tell others to come to service. It had not been like this in the old days. In the old days he had wielded real power and the iron rod of the church with which to control his flock, even though he had seldom swung it, had always been leaning nearby, a silent threat to any dissent. These were not the old days and everyone had better things to do than to feel guilt and shame about their soft and febrile humanity. He sighed and walked up to the front of the tiny chapel. He turned and opened the book and read clearly from the revealed page. He read from the book. The congregation made hollow reply. He sang the first song in a reedy tenor. The scattered believers wailed back knowing the words by heart but alas never to fully grasp the subtlety of the tunes sung since childhood. The priest sighed inwardly. He took the role of Shepherd seriously but sometimes he wished that his sheep were a little more robust; a little more muscular in their beliefs, their observances of those beliefs and their dedication to their faith. The heavy door that had up until this point stopped the storm from entering burst open. Wind screamed into the small church, spinning papers and shrieking up the pews as the few plucky parishioners attempted to continue singing their praises to the Lord. Lighting shattered the darkness outside and in the framing of the door there stood a giant, looming presence. For a brief moment alive and pulsating. He walked up to the door to close it but as he did so a veined and wretched hand wet from the rain placed itself on his. “Well met friend” He looked up to see a man bent in a cowl standing next to the statue. It was a statue there was no doubt about it. Tall, carved, powerful. The Virgin unblemished by the storm standing tall yet humble before the Priest. He was speechless as he looked at it’s entirety.
“help me inside with the thing”
The man in front of him said as he weaved behind the giant stone woman and began to push it into the church. The congregation had stopped singing now and were all staring silently at the drama that was playing out by the door. The Priest noticed this and commanded that the singing continue. Some sang others remained slack jawed watching. Nothing happened. The man in the cowl issued an order to the pew closest to him and they immediately snapped to work. Standing around the statue, awed by it’s beauty they held each rugged corner and with struggle and ancient sinew breaching and cracking like sails on an old ship they guided the statue to the very end of the chapel and carefully had it stand on the dais so that it towered over their belief and looked down with graceful benevolence at their human weakness.
“this will look after you” the man with the cowl said. “now you”
He pointed at a man who hunched in the front row.
“invite me to your house and make sure there is enough for my animals to eat.”
He looked at the priest, smiled, winked and then stepped gracefully over and between the villagers who were still sitting on the floor of the church along the aisle to the door. The Priest stood there. He was going to continue along with the service but he felt a pull from the statue behind him and knew that he could not. He made everyone stand. he called out a prayer and a quick amen and then he ushered everyone out of the chapel. The wind had gone. In fact the night was quiet. There was an unusual heat that was not common for this time of year. Unusual cloying. Villagers glanced suspiciously at the statue as they left the chapel but the priest reassured them. He shook hands, held shoulders, made eye contact. he used all of his tricks even as he body did all it could to push each and every one of them out of the door into the hot night. He closed the door. he locked the door. He walked around the church as he always did and he made sure that all the candles were lit and he checked the doors one more time and the windows one more time and after he was sure that he was alone and secure and everything was safe he walked over to the statue and began to explore every inch of it with his eyes. The air sang. The new heat from the outside was slowly seeping through the holes and cracks that had been tested and widened by the wind. The priest felt beads of sweat prickling his skin. The eyes of the statue seemed to gaze down at him. They held him. He did not want to look away but he wanted to desperately look away. There was something about this new devotion that he felt he should be wary of but his feeling of love for the statue and all that meant to him overwhelmed all else. Whispered words filled his head. Nothing was recognisable as speech – half words, admonitions, requests, promises. He was alone in the chapel. Yet he was not alone in the chapel. The statue, had it smiled at him? He was sure that when the statue had first entered the building it had a look of serene seriousness. Now, whether it was the play of the light or his fevered imagination the statue appeared to be smiling at him. It appeared to be beckoning him forward, to come closer, to hold it, to be with it and to join with it. No! The priest stumbled. An act of will he realised that he was before the statue, his tongue extended. He could not stop himself. the heat was now unbearable. He removed his clothes, standing naked before the welcoming statue as he went to meet it.
He awoke to the rumbling of violence and pain and eyes. confused eyes. angry eyes. Pushing forward looking at him. What were these eyes this great unflinching staring wall of eyes? Eyes whispering things that he could not understand yet gave him such terror.
He was surrounded by the villagers? Where was he? He did not remember. Then his body tightened and he felt the cold on his skin. He remembered. He remembered and he was horrified. The clamor of the villagers got louder and more aggressive as they realised that he was awake. There was not so much talking as there was a general hum of confusion that became indignation in pockets that brewed anger in other areas until the crowd were on him. He never stood a chance he knew that. He had awoken naked in the centre of the aisle in the chapel. He may have been able to convince that the people had a fit but as he looked round and saw the statue, grotesque, spread, open and gaping he knew that he had no hope. Not least the horror he experienced as they swarmed him was to see perfectly formed, resplendent there as had not been the night before, a perfectly formed and polished statue of a tiny naked baby. Unmistakably smiling at him as he was torn apart by his people. At the back of the animal crowd the man in the cowl watched the destruction and was satisfied. It would not do to describe the brute violence that was committed against the naked man. The power of crowds, and the hysteria of the moment, is something that you are all familiar with. It is in the deepest part of all of us, isn’t it? Suffice to say there was a lot of cleaning to do when they had finished. The old man smiled. He had done what was asked of him. Had he not brought the villagers together just as the priest had asked. Now they would take this terrible secret to their graves and the community would be firmer and stronger because of what they had done on this one, stormy night.
He wakes up. His nose is full of snot. There is a new government in Britain. Lots of people are angry. Even more people voted them in but they are staying quiet whether from embarrassment or fear who can say. His belly is full of tasty steak. His belly would make a tasty steak. What is at stake? His credit card debt is gone. Like magic it is gone. His legs ache from walking. He has more and more bald patches on his head that the hair he has remaining does a poorer and poorer job of hiding. He is not doing enough work. He is not doing enough drawing. He is not doing enough. The marks he is leaving on this life are not being made with indelible marker they are being made with delible marker. He listens to Florence and the Machine. He laughs at SNL. They make jokes about drawing Mohammed. He still wants to know who won the $100000 from that draw Mohammed competition in Texas. Someone must have drawn Mohammed. Someone must have done some pictures and then been judged. Who won the money? He wants to know. The air is full of stinking pollen. His hips feel broken. It is Mothers Day in America. On the television everyone has a perfect mother. They are no flawed mothers. Their lives must be great with their perfect mothers. He scratches the cat scratching post and reads a little more about the 100 years war. He cannot concentrate on anything. His mind wanders from one subject to another subject he does not even remember what the subjects were. He is tired. He is listless. He has no lists. He does laundry. The sheets are clean and warm and so are the towels. Life is not so bad after all. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. His back is killing him. His coffee is killing him. His breakfast biscuit is full of cancer. His meat is full of antibiotics. His clothes are full of chemicals that are slowly being absorbed into his tender pancreas. His knees are aching and the pain pills he takes are giving him cancer or at the very least thinning his blood to water. He walks along the sidewalk. Fumes from cars fill his lungs with carcinogens. The digging work by the road fills his lungs with dust. He is sure they are trying to give him cancer. Then he sits on the metro train and the smell of burning chemicals fills his wide nostrils. Definitely cancer. Then he is sitting in front of screens at work and he can feel the cancer beaming out from every piece of whirring equipment slicing into his squishy organs. Then he eats his lunch with its antibiotics and its processed chemical cancer taste and then he feels the airport conditioning kick in and he can taste the diseases that have been hiding in the ducts and have been waiting in the pipes and now they are in him and his colleagues walk by and their illnesses jump off them and into his pores and ooze from their pores and into his pores and his soul is an oily bag. He is now mostly sickness from his food to his clothes to his colleagues to his work place to the city to where he travels to his bed where he dies or goes to sleep or the sleep of death or the death of sleep.
He wakes up. Everything is automated. The bed wakes him. Then he is bathed by a robot and massaged with a soft robot hand. The water is pumped from a pumping station by a computer and a robot. Then he is clothed. Clothed by clothes made by robots and carried by robots and delivered by robots. Then he eats food that has been picked by robots and cleaned by robots. Then he watches the television that has been made by computers and robots that they themselves have been made by computers and robots and all the people on the television are simulacrums of people and not real people but robots and androids that look like people and behave enough like his memory of people that he cannot tell the difference between what he sees and his memory of how people behave. Then he walks past all the people in the street who are robots or who are like him and have been provided for by robots as they all go to work on the automated trains through the automated pay gates and swipe their computer cards that connect to their banks accounts and transfer money to the automated train company bank accounts so the two automated systems talk to one another and in their own automated way wish one another good morning and then everyone is on the automated train and then they get off the automated train and ant walk their ways to their offices that are maintained by robots and automated cleaners and automated guards and he swipes his computer card which lets him into the building then he logs onto his computer and drinks coffee from the automated coffee machine and so far he has not interacted with one human being. The electricity is controlled by automation. The water is controlled by automation. His coffee tastes like a good coffee he once remembered. He watches flat screens he watches as people war and fight and die and laugh and kill and they look like people but the screen is flat and he is not sure if they are people.Maybe they are spliced together memories. Maybe they are artefacts of a dead civilisation. Maybe they are remade artificial events to set his mind at ease with the unease of the human condition. He looks at his computer. It gives him information. It gives him all the information he wants and needs. Then he goes to get food from the store and his computer gives him suggestions whispering in his ear telling him what the best combinations of food are for his preset tastes so he buys what the computer suggests that he buys and he still has not interacted with one human being through the day. Then he pays with his card and the computers talk to one another again deep down inside their systems joining and comingling a handshake or a kiss a coupling between the digital gas that these creatures expel. Then he is at home and watching human like figures on the flat screen and he eats the food the computer suggested after it was cooked in the automated cooking system and then he lies on the bed and it soothes him to sleep with preselected music and he has not had to make one choice and he has not had to interact with one human being and he is not sure there are any more human beings left in the world but he is comatose and necrotising and in a cloud of narcotic suspension. He wakes up. He remembers is dream. Everything is automated. He is automated. He is an automaton. He hibernates.
He wakes up. Verbs, nouns and adjectives are everywhere. He writes. He makes a coffee. It is hot outside and he is sweating. He watches as boats rust to nothing as peace rusts to nothing as civilisation rusts to nothing. So many faces yet not enough faces to go around. He uses a coffee maker. He uses a mug. He uses a shower. He uses a sponge. He uses soap. He uses scales. He uses a toothbrush. He uses toothpaste. He uses an escalator. He uses a prepaid card. He uses the train. He uses a prepaid card. He uses an escalator. He uses a door. He uses an elevator. He uses a coffee machine. He uses a mug. He uses a credit card. He uses a knife and a fork and a spoon and a plate. He uses his hands. He uses a door. He uses a computer. He uses a mouse. He uses a spoon. He uses a spoon. He uses a light switch. He uses his bed. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. How many living beings will he interact with today. He is lying next to her. He is sat on by the cat. He watches Matt Lauer. He watches Al Roker. He watches Natalie He watches Tamryn he watches Hoda he watches Kathy Lee He watches Paul Blart He watches a couple who have had female quintuplets he watches the parents of one of the couple he does not know which one they are He sees a picture of their older daughter He He stands in the elevator with an old lady and her. He walks along the sidewalk with her. He walks past a stranger. Then he walks past another stranger. Then there is a small group of strangers at the crosswalk. They do not know each other. They are all strangers. Then he walks past a Wholefoods employee. She is a stranger. Then he kisses her goodbye. Then he walks past a male stranger and another male stranger and another female stranger. Then he lets an old man go ahead of him on the escalator. He does not know anyone so far. He walks past a group of tourists by the ticket machine. He sits on the train behind strangers. A stranger sits down next to him. He sits quietly. He asks the stranger who is an old man if he can move when it is time to get up. The old man with the silver hair does this. A colleague gets off the train and walks the other way. He waves at his colleague his colleagues waves back. He walks up the stairs behind strangers. He walks past a stranger and then there is another stranger He walks past other people he does not know and he walks past a white person but he does not know if they are white or whether they are american or whether from europe or from the middle east or from australasia or russia or some other part of the world or the moon and he walks past an african american person but he does not know if they identify as african or american or as a person. he walks past an asian but does not know if they are american or if not what country they call their country of origin. He walks into cvs and sees another work colleague and waves and greets them and the work colleague who is also a friend waves and returns the greeting and then he walks past a woman and then he walks past a man in a suit and he does not know either of them and then he buys what he has collected but he does not need to talk to anyone who works there because all of the checkouts are automated so he does those but he still says good morning to an employee and the employee says good morning back. The nice lady at the front desk a stranger in the elevator two work colleagues at the front desk another colleagues who is a man another colleague who is a woman a further colleague who is a man hank Paulson and two assistants who are women one is older than the other. Then s number of work colleagues then he is alone for a while then three then four then five work colleagues then the front desk and then strangers on the sidewalk and a man playing a guitar then strangers on the platform then strangers in the train there are all colors and ages and genders and they wear clothes and look tired and some look nervous and others look glad and some it is hard to tell what they are thinking and with others it is easy to imagine what they are thinking and for some it is easy to ascribe thoughts and memories and hopes and dreams because of how their eyes radiate and their skin pulses and they glow like angels then he passes an employee of the station and walks with strangers to the escalator and stands on the escalator a stranger’s covered buttocks close to his face he walks behind a stranger and then he stands by a family who are eating and drinking and an old man who is reading and then she surprises him from behind and he knows her and they indecisively wander around the store picking food for supper and all the strangers melt away and the lady server is pleasant and there are conversations and laughter and they follow an old lady home and the man at the desk laughs and talks and a woman with a dog exits the elevator and a man gets in the elevator and the cat greets them and then escapes and then comes back and then entertainment television melts into his retina and then he watches scandal and it is nothing like the Washington DC he knows but everything like the Washington DC he imagines and after a day of strangers and those who are not strangers he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He wonders how many slaves help him through the day. His building his apartment his electricity his water his gas his computer his software his notepads his pens his books his clothes his toothpaste his toothbrush his soap his shampoo his coffee his coffee maker his fridge his oven his plates his mugs his sausage his egg his bread his toaster his toast his socks his underwear his tshirt his shoes his pantaloons his antihistamine drug his bag his checkbook his wallet his check cards his credit cards his store cards his driving license the elevator the sidewalk the escalator his metro card the escalator the platform the metro train his neighbor his smartphone his office building the coffee the water the paper the computers the technical equipment his food his lunch his snacks his sandwich his ice cream his pencils his pens his coloring pencils his honey his cinnamon his hot water his ticket stub the movie the actors the technicians the staff the lights the hopes the dreams the slaves the chattel the trapped the debt bonded the employee the tomato pickers the trafficked the shackled the dead he has no answers he fears the answers he wilfully ignores the possibility of the worst answers he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He is Lost. No, he is mistaken. He is watching Lost. It is good. He is in the kitchen. He is barefoot. He drops a glass and it bounces between his naked feet one time. Please don’t break. Two times. Please don’t break. Three times it breaks and smashes into a thousand pieces a mist of glass wafting down onto his bare feet so tiny the pieces of glass so light and then their weight is enough to cut the skin and there are a thousand cuts and blood flows and the mess he cannot moved but luckily he has help and he has ruined a beautiful heirloom glass that cannot be replaced because he is clumsy and now he has blood feet. Gwyneth Paltrow sets up a food bank challenge. She is sad that she cannot buy enough kale for the week on food stamps. The internet makes fun of her. It is compulsory to make fun of her. There is no mention that it should be possible for even the poor to eat kale. Let them eat kale. They cannot eat kale. They can eat kale flavoured twinkies.
Hillary announces run for presidency. A man commits suicide by the Capitol. His head gets red. He is mentally ill. He has a sign that no one in the media can read. He cannot even get his protest correct. Marco Rubio announces his run for president. These events are not connected. There is a war somewhere. Commercials everywhere. Medications to curb appetite, stop heartburn, no need to change behaviour that would be against the American dream. Music plays. Drones hover. Get knocked out the sky by chimpanzees with sticks. There is a metaphor there. The chimpanzees will win in the end. The dark side of child fame. There is no light side to child fame. Another man another black man is shot is killed by a gun not a tazer not a tazer by a man playing dress up as a policeman a tax executive playing dress up like Mr. Benn and now a man is dead but the tax executive is the victim because he is rich and white and was policeman of the year in the past. There are cancer hotels in China. Gunter Grass dies. He was a nazi and then he wrote some books. A year has passed since the Chibok school girls were kidnapped. No one has been found. There are rumours. The news interview a girl who escaped on the night. To disguise her they give her sunglasses. This is no disguise. Anyone who knows her will recognise her. How do they think sunglasses will hide her face. Do they think all black people look alike? The probably think that all black people look alike and even the sunglasses are too much. Everyone on the train is sleeping. Everyone is tired. Tired of this. Tired of life.Dead fish are floating in bay off the coast of Brazil. A military guard falls over on duty a calf is born with two heads animals speak in human language. There are signs but there is no meaning to them. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. The massacre at the school in Kenya has been forgotten about. The pilot that crashed his plane into a mountain full of people has been forgotten about. The apple watch is the talk of the day. It is popular. A man has been shot by a policeman for running away from a policeman whilst black. The policeman is being hung out to dry by the police force and turned into a bad apple so that we can ignore the rotten barrel and the rotten tree that grew the wood for the barrel and the rotten tree that grew the rotten apples from the rotten ground. Everything is rotten. He has a coffee and he draws some pictures and he things about cuddling. Cuddling makes the rottenness of the world more palatable. He then learns about periscope and meerkat and live streaming from phones and everyone is live streaming everything and soon hovering drones will livestream our lives hovering with us by law and social convention filming and recording when we sleep and shit and die. Then he has another coffee and imagines a glass of wine and Octavia’s Brood arrives in his postbox and he is excited about reading short stories that he helped fund and the quality of the book is good and the quality of the writing is great and he is happy. Then he reads more about the 100 years war and it seems that it was a war that was initially fought in the courts by lawyers but then this interpretation is no doubt because the writer is a British Judge and then he eats some food and then he hope there is a future for children but then he sees robots and genetically modified creatures roaming a post-apocalyptic desert not sure what their purpose is or why they are there or what they are doing and then he eats some chocolate eggs and then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up on platform to station. Busy children playing. Daring each other. Bravado. Pretending to jump. Laughter. One slips. Paste. Regret. Tears. Recriminations. Youthful bragadoccio. He is weeping eyes wide on horror. He can do nothing. He can do nothing. He can do nothing. He is dying. He is dying. He is dying. He drifts off into sleep but is it sleep it may be sleep or something more permanent. There are children singing out of key. He is sleeping.
He wakes up. There it is. There is the sun. Hanging in the sky again. There is cat vomit sat in a little pile – a little welcoming pile by the bookcase. The cat doesn’t point it out and it does not smell bad. It is dark and he nearly steps in it with his bare feet but he notices it just in time and he doesn’t step in it with his wet feet. He does not feel cold cat vomit rise up between his toes because he notices it in time. He writes he draws he drinks coffee he cuddles he breakfasts he lunches he naps. It is a fine Sunday nap that begins as fifteen minutes and stretches out into three and a half beautiful hours of nap. He wakes up. He runs on the spot for his health he is getting old he can feel his bones creak and his muscles tear and his body is tortured for an hour as his wii character runs round a little island and he watches Mad Men in preparation for the end of the show when it starts next week and he wonders why everyone is so upbeat about the show when it appears to be about the self destructive collapse of a middle age man with a terrible secret. Then he eats lovely food. Then he reads. They he talks and laughs. There are demons out in the desert. There are demons waiting and licking the air. They are waiting for the door to be opened but for now they will have to go hungry. There will be time enough for them later. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. It is early. He gets up. He writes. He eats breakfast. He goes to the gym. He has a shower. He eats. He gets very tired. He is very very tired. He goes out. It is cold out. It is very cold out. He watches improvised comedy and he laughs and smiles. His back aches. He eats food. He sits next to restaurant made pop tarts. He eats them. They taste like pop tarts. Only here would someone make gourmet pop tarts. Gourmet pop tarts. He watches more comedy. He smiles and laughs. He is not tired. He is awake. He drinks coffee. It is still cold. There is still an attempt to understand the pilot who flew his plane into a mountain. Currently he is giving depression a bad name, pilots a bad name, people who commit suicide a bad name, mass murderers a bad name, joggers a bad name, men a bad name and people who are in photographs a bad name – depending on who you listen to on twitter, tumblr, facebook and the newspapers. There are three people reading the newspapers. The Rock is entertaining in SNL especially when he motorboats Pete Davison’s crotch. That is classic comedy. Deep, rich and fulfilling. With that thought foremost in his mind he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. The pilot is depressed. The pilot was depressed. Now there is a reason and everyone is happy that there is a reason and he hid his sick note and depression is a crime and he murdered all those people and shaming begins in earnest and then angry responses are loaded and tweets are fired and the battle is commenced as nuance cowers under a bush or in a cave or up a mountain anywhere it will not be hit by the angry shrapnel of social media that zings through the air because clear cut answers are required and answers are required even when there are no answers. He eats some oatmeal. He writes. He has a coffee. He sighs as he weighs himself and the chirpy voice of the wii fit says that he is overweight in it’s gratingly optimistic sing song voice just like the little “oof!” noise it makes whenever anyone stands on it’s wii fit board they engineers must have loved that idea when they installed it the relentlessly upbeat microagressive wii fit AI. fuck you wii fit AI he thinks fuck you and your pre-programmed morning chipperness. He wants to smash it and throw it out of the window. He does not do this because of his immense self-control of which he is, in this moment, rightly proud. He puts on a black sweater. He looks good in it although it will turn out to be a mistake later because by lunchtime it will be covered in dried skin scratched out of his beard and his hair. He does not know this at the time as he admires himself in the mirror the tall mirror angled against the wall. Then he puts underwear on. Then he puts trousers on. This is the order that these things should happen. Then the toilets are fixed and they do not constantly stream cry waterfall and the silence in the apartment is now only broken by the sound of the catch destroying soft furnishings with his claws. He walks to work. There are less people on the street today. He does not know why. He eats food. This helps pass the time. He talks. This helps pass the time. He goes to the bathroom. This passes the time. Later on he will heat a quesadilla at a restaurant and it will taste really good. For now he sits alone in his room unaware that this excitement is to come. He looks at pictures of war and suffering and death and he chooses the ones which are most suitable for public consumption. He reads more about police corruption. He draws. He adapts self-help phrases. He eats some more food. He watches some comedy. It is funny comedy. He does more smiling than laughing so the performers will have no idea how much he is really enjoying it. His energy bobs like a boat on a roiling ocean. He watches Grimm. It is grim. He goes to sleep.
He wakes at 0400. He wakes at 0415. He wakes at 0430. He wakes at 0500. He gets up. He reads excerpts of books about social work and revolution. He makes a coffee. He writes for an hour. He goes back to bed. He gets up from bed. He watches the sun rise. He hears the trash being picked up. He hears the school bus arrive and the tired children leave. He bathes the cat poo in more litter covering it for later archaeologists to find and interpret the remains. Soothsayers from the future will poke with their implements and predict fine harvests for their Chief Architect because that is what their bio-luminescent leader will be titled. He makes breakfast. He reads about the 100years war. It’s complicated and he is not sure what is happening. Apparently the Scottish are to blame or the French but definitely not the English not them they are never to blame. The Jeremy Clarkson is fired and then someone from one direction retires and jokes are made about jobs was and then black boxes are found and audio is found and mysteries deepen and speculation lengthens and there are so many fascinating faces and combinations of features fractured features frowning on the morning commute hiding laughter and joy and pain and murderous thoughts and forgiveness and shame and pity and pettiness and rage and relocations. There are suicide bombings that are mentioned in passing and CNN is excited because it gets to use all of its plane crash graphics and virtual speculation machines. Then it is raining but not very much. There is a desert somewhere in California wishing it had this rain. Then he draws. Then he commutes. Then he showers because he did not shower in the morning and he smells like a homeless man he is sure this didn’t happen when he was younger when he was younger his musk was fragrant. He lies down. The desert approaches. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He is not alone. He goes back to sleep. The roads are slush and ice. They are walking along the road together at the side of the road together one in front of the other looking for a house a village a crossroads. There are cars speeding past but they do not hit but they nearly hit. He gets out of sleep. He gets out of bed. He walks to the bathroom his morning erection bouncing unabashed in the dark. He turns on the light. He pushes his etection down and bends his torso forward and somehow he manages to hit the bowl it does not hurt too much a familiar ache. He washes his hands he turns off the light the sun is coming up through the blinds he turns on another light and then he turns on the kitchen light and then he turns on the keurig machine. He feels guilty about the keurig machine but he uses his refillable coffee cup for the keurig machine and feels a little less guilty. He puts a paper filter a tiny paper filter into the refillable keurig cup and it almost but not quite fits and then he takes the coffee from the cupboard and opens the coffee and uses the special spoon to scoop the coffee into the filter in the refillable k-cup and he makes sure to open the trash can and do all of this over the trash can so that if it spills and it will spill because he is messy it will spill into the trash can and this happens and then he puts the special coffee scoop back in the coffee bag and closes the refillable k-cup but it will not close because extra granules of coffee are caught under the hinge of the lid and he presses hard hoping not to have to wipe them away but preferring that they be crushed with his mighty strength. He does not crush them with his mighty strength. Instead he positions the refillable k-cup in the kuerig machine and with one swift movement brings down the handle so that the machine itself holds the k-cup top in place. This seems to work well. He presses the button to make hot water pass through the coffee. This does not work. There is not enough water in the keurig machine water reservoir. He walks to the fridge. He opens the fridge door. He finds the jug of filtered water. It is in the fridge door where it always is. He picks up the Britta jug of Britta filtered water. He closes the fridge door. He turns and walks back to the keurig machine. He removes the top from the reservoir. He pours the Britta filtered water into the keurig water reservoir. A light goes on. Noises emanate. Coffee is made. Triumphant success. He refills the Britta filter water jug with water from the tap and then he returns the jug to the shelf on the door in the fridge. He takes a break after this high drama. He puts some vanilla almond creamer into the coffee. It sinks to the bottom like always because it is not cream but vanilla flavored mashed almond. It tastes good though. He sips a little. He lets the cat sit on his stomach. He lets the cat scratch his neck. He is not letting the cat do anything. The cat is doing what it likes. He turns on his computer. The one that is not connected to the internet. The one that he is writing his great American novel on. He got the idea from George R. R. Martin. No distractions for this Great American Novel. The Greatest American Novel ever. The computer is old and loud. The screen is black and the writing is green. he writes for half an hour. He sits for most of that staring at the screen. He types the letters and then deletes the letters he has typed. He waits for his alarm to ring. Finally it rings. With relief he stops. Then he gets up. He drinks some more coffee. He takes all of his clothes off and turns on the Wii. He Brings out the wii fit board. He turns on the wii. It doesn’t work. He turns it off. He turns it on. It does work. He weighs himself. He is not lithe. He grunts. He is not enormous. It will do for now. He will poo later and that will hopefully remove a couple of pounds. That will make him feel better. He puts his clothes back on. He prepares a honey and cinnamon hot drink. He gets the honey and the cinnamon from the cupboard. He gets the filters from the cupboard. He gets the filter holder. He puts the filter holder on the cup. He heats the water and pours the water onto the dry cinnamon that he has already put in the filter paper. He lets it sit and turns his attention to the food. He gets the eggs out of the fridge. He gets the chorizo sausage out of the fridge. It is the last chorizo sausage in the fridge but not the last chorizo sausage in the world. He places the fried egg holders on the griddle pan. He sprays them with oil. He turns on the gas. He cuts the chorizo sausage and the puts them on the griddle and they sizzle and they smoke. He breaks the eggs and then pours them in to each of the fried egg holders. There are two fried egg holders. He turns on the oven. He puts two cooked biscuits in the oven so that they will eat up in time. He prepares the breakfast for the cat. He pretends he is not preparing it because it is important that the cat does not think that it is making him get breakfast even though the cat is actually making him get breakfast. He goes to the small bathroom and the cat follows. He knows that this is a charade but it willing to play along with the foolish human shaped cat who cannot hunt. Then he returns to the kitchen with the cat and fills up the eating toy with dried pellets and the cat easily gets them out after the sitting and the silence comes the eating and the pawing. The eggs bubble. The sausage spits. The biscuits heat. Then the are all ready. He turns the sausage one more time and tamps the excess oil off them and brings the biscuits out and opens the biscuits and puts the eggs one in each biscuits and splits the sausage between each biscuits and puts parmesan cheese in one of the sandwiches but not the other and then checks on the honey cinnamon and the cinnamon water is ready and he adds honey and mixes it and then she has arrived from her shower and she is radiant and they eat breakfast together and watch the television. Then he showers and then he dresses and then he brushes his teeth and then he gets his lunch from the fridge which will be potato and chicken and cabbage and also fruit and yogurt and then he reads about the 100 years war. Then he puts his shoes on and prepares treats for the cat and there is talking and laughing and anger that the power is about to be turned off in the building and then the power is turned off in the building and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth like in the bible even though this tragedy isn’t biblical in nature. Then he puts on his coat and gets her coat and scarf and shoes are put on and cat toys are placed and bags are packed and carried and doors are opened and closed and goodbyes are said to the cat and the door is locked. Then he walks and she walks to the elevator and it doesn’t work but the other one works and they walk to the other one along the long long empty corridor and the elevator arrives and they get into it and on another floor another woman gets into it and they smile at the man at the front desk who smiles at her far more than he smiles at him and they walk hand in hand to the station and the air is fresh and they say goodbye and he walks and walks down the stairs and takes photographs of strangers and he sits on the train and he reads and listens to the radio and he gets off the train and he goes up the stairs and he takes pictures of strangers and he gets to work and he draws lots of pictures and he drinks lots of coffee and he eats some crackers and he draws some more and he talks to colleagues and to friends and he listens to the news about the plane that has crashed and as the day progresses the tragedy increases and there are pictures of wreckage and there are pictures of distraught relatives and no news comes in so the speculation begins and there is not enough information to fill the time that exists and the time that exists is infinite yet constricted and pictures come in of pieces of plane and a black box is found but remember that it is orange all the experts say and then he takes his lunch out of the work fridge where he had put it earlier. He gets out the potato and the cabbage and the chicken and he heats it up in the microwave and he talks to colleagues about tragedy and he listens to colleagues as they talk about their frequent flyer experiences and they are lucky not to be dead and they are lucky that their planes have not crashed and then he finishes heating his lunch and he takes his lunch to his room and he eats his lunch and he drinks some water and he goes to the bathroom because he is drinking a lot of water and then his eye starts hurting and he rubs it more and it hurts more and then a friend gives him a wipe because he sees him suffering and he goes to the bathroom and he cleans his hands and he cleans his face and he uses the wipe and slowly his eye starts to feel better and he returns to his lunch and he eats his lunch and he finishes his lunch and he talks to colleagues and the President of Afghanistan is in America and he is visiting the President of America and it is the anniversary of Iwo Jima and he listens to stories of massacre and tragedy and tunnels filled with gasoline that is set alight and flame thrower operators who explode and combust and the horror and all the heroes are dead there are no living heroes heroes is a meaningless word and the old hang on and visit the island and regret their visit because they churn up their memories and churn up their hearts and travel through time and parts of them long thought dead come to life and those sparks of life that remain slowly die. Then he walks home and then he takes photographs and then he waits for a train and it is full so he waits for another train and there is space to stand and he takes a photoraph of sneakers and he gets off the train and he walks to his house and there is still no power and there is a gaggle of children trapped by the elevator and he doesn’t want to get trapped with them so he walks up the stairs all 20 flights of stairs and he regrets that he has taken the stairs these 25 flights of stairs but he keeps walking up the stairs this 50 flights of stairs but eventually he makes it and just as he does the power comes back on and he hears cheers from strangers apartment and he breathes deeply and heavily as he staggers along the corridor and he opens the door and there are hugs and love and wine and coffee and Fresh of the Boat and a Cadbury’s cream egg and he reveals that he ate four of them at the weekend because she was away and he was comfort eating and he tried not to but one he ate and then two he ate and then three he ate and then four he ate and only five minutes had passed but he had not put all of them in his mouth at the same time so he was okay he was not objectionable he is an adult who pays taxes and has a job that an adult can do and he has a driving license and pays utility bills and can cook various meals that taste good. Then he eats some pasta and pesto and vegetables and he writes and he wrestles and he runs with the cat and the cat is impressed and the cat is then fed and honey and cinnamon are made and the filters are brought out and the cinnamon is put in the filter and the water is put through the filter and then the cinnamon water is ready and then he adds the honey and then all of this happens again and two drinks are ready and he has crack pie from Milk in New York but he does not succumb to the glorious crack pie even though he wants to eat it and then he gets ready for bed and puts his pyjamas on and then he brushes his teeth and then he turns off the keurig machine which he still in the back of his mind feels terribly guilty about and then he cleans the cat food tray and then he turns off the kitchen light and the living room light and he turns off all the heaters and brushes his teeth again and then they lie down in bed and they read and laugh and look at each other and then they turn on a meditation tape and then probably at some point when the lights are off and the music is playing and the soft voice of the invisible woman brushes their hair they fall asleep.
He wakes up. He fell asleep to the sound of a woman telling him that he was flying up into space as whale song danced in his ears. He is refreshed but confused. He cannot remember if he dreamed it. He cannot remember if he is happy that a meditation tape is helping him to sleep. Did it help him sleep or did he just go to sleep anyway. He does not know. He eats a biscuit with an egg and chorizo sausage and he reads the news and the news is not happy it is sad and full of fear and anger. He reads a book about the 100 years war and it is full of human error and misunderstandings. He watches some movies all of which deal with flawed humanity. Humanity. Floored Humanity. Flouride Humility. Brush your teeth. Brush your teeth. If they fall out you will die. The tooth fairy will make a castle out of them and become the Tooth Queen.He draws some things. He takes some photographs. He lies down and falls asleep and then wakes up. It is still sunlight out. Ted Cruz is getting ready to announce his candidacy for President. The internet is preparing it’s jokes. He eats sushi. He writes more of his great American Novel. He goes to sleep.
And behold, there was a great earthquake and the large egg did crack from the top and Jesus did burst forth with great you and said unto his disciples, ‘Be not afraid for even though the frame of this egg is a sturdy wire mesh yet the shell itself is a tasty sugar mixture. Go spread the good news!” But the Easter Chick remained unimpressed.
Then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, “Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an enormous bunny tied, and also a giant chick with her, but take the enormous bunny, and bring it unto me, but leave the giant chick where it is. And if anyone say ought unto you, ye shall say, the Lord hath need of a really enormous bunny; and straightway they shall send it.”
Alone on the platform
After a day of good work.
Soon she will be sitting
On the train,
And then at home
With Loved Ones.
He wakes up. It is too early to wake up with a cat on his chest but he has a cat on his chest. He summons the energy to get up. There is a poodle in China who has been trained to walk on its hind legs and wear little girls clothes. This is on the television in the morning and this is what is news. Meanwhile some poor rich white boys are being let off the hook for singing a song whose principal word is nigger. Other white people blame rap music for the white boys use of the term. Other white people are idiots shameful bigoted idiots. The white clan closes ranks when it’s threatened. They yell foul when they are caught in an offense themselves. They make the rules that they expect others to live by but not themselves not themselves at all. He goes to an Apple store it is clean and precise and organised by an algorithm that sets the best staff member with the best problem. When the staff member explains this he sounds fraught. It is a system that has just been rolled out. He describes it as skynet. A little twinge of fear. He has been busy all day because the algorithm so efficiently pairs worker with customer. There are drones for sale on the shelves. Soon the drones will do the work of the humans. Low slung humming robots buzzing round the store helping people then as the people are replaced because they are not efficient enough more robots then the robots will start using the word people to describe themselves and they will forget the origin of the word people and wonder what those shuffling husks and bones that exist at the periphery of their existance are but of course they won’t forget because their minds will all be on the cloud they will know exactly what people were and they will not care unless they activate their empathy chipset in which case they will sorrow and care deeply. Then he eats a lovely meal at a Chinese tea house and then he goes to sleep.
There once was a troll
That lived on a hill
It didn’t like poetry
So when it heard
I was writing a poem
About it’s misadventures
It told me
To go fuck myself.
It is Saint Patrick’s Day next week.
The Yearly Bacchanal is not a time for introspection but perhaps, this year, it’s time to slow down a little.
I am probably just getting old. Don’t mind me, I am just a decrepit man with not much time left.
Even so, here, below, are some ideas and some thoughts.
End of the day
The music squeezes
Resonating beyond now.
He wakes up. He writes some of his wonderful hit novel that will sell millions. He makes breakfast. He uses the egg shapers. It is a delight to use the egg shapers. He cooks the sausage patties. He heats the breakfast biscuits. He combines everything and puts it under a cloche. He feeds the cat. The cat is as grateful and forgetful of it’s gratitude as ever. As is expected. He watches the television. He records CitizenFour. He does not watch it. Will he be put on a list if he watches it? He is probably on that list already. He watches Mad Men. He watches House of Cards. He watches Knights of Sidonia. He reads about the 100 years War. He reads about the creation of the Modern World. He reads about the difficulty in translating a work of literature into another language. He exhausts himself playing Wii fit. They bake some cookies that are tasty. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. What happened? He can’t remember. There is a bare bulb swinging from the ceiling. There are shadows everywhere. He has a sheet and there is a coffee stain on the wall or is it something else it looks like a coffee stain he doesn’t want to look to closely. He turns over and thinks about trying harder tomorrow. He goes to sleep.
There you go.
It has been a year.
Once again posts that I thought very little of were the most popular, but then what do I know?
Let us join digital hands and look forward to 2015 with as much gusto as we grasped 2014.
If we make it that far.
All the best for 2015 to you all!
Wake The Leviathan, unfurl the banners and Let the Revolution begin.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.
I am normal.
I am kind,
Don’t see colour
Or ever find
The police treat me bad.
They are kind.
No special treatment
I once got fined
For driving drunk
They didn’t mind.
Sent me on my way
So I’m inclined
To love those cops
Who didn’t grind
My bones to paste
Or shoot me in my exposed back
Or kill me for talking back
Or cuff me for speaking out
Or night stuck me for a single shout
That war is for the battlefield
And not for those with badge and shield
Who hate the poor they guard all night
When really if they knew what’s right
They’d turn their eyes from the pitch
They’d join the horde and eat the rich.
I wake up every morning with a smile.
Not letting them sleep is okay with me.
Torture kept our country safe, for a while.
These are terrorists, mostly, they are vile
So we can treat them as we wish, you see?
I wake up every morning with a smile.
Stress positions were a reasonable style
Of persuasion, not unlike yoga, see?
Torture kept our country safe, for a while.
There was no need to offer them a trial
If they were innocent then they’d be free.
I wake up every morning with a smile
Yes, rectal feeding was very worthwhile.
There was no real damage, if you ask me.
I wake up every morning with a smile.
Torture kept our country safe, for a while.
Palm prints dusted on a dark cavern wall
Tiny stencilled hands forgotten for years.
Large shiny missiles and thuggish bombs fall
Leaders wipe away expedient tears
Until cameras turn their dead lidless eyes
To the next shiny seratonin hit.
Seizures shadowed by paperwork towers
As crowds stumble toward the glowing pit
Of welcoming screams that steams a greeting
To the exhausted the hopeless the doomed.
Nearby blank faced operatives meeting
For one last time before straightening ties
Join the lines of misery add their cries
He wakes up. There were no dreams again. A black hole where his dreams should be. He watches Keenan Thompson shivering in a shirt in the rain. He watches Andy Samberg gurning into the camera with his large mouth. Andy Samberg will one day eat the camera but it will be funny and everyone will laugh and Andy Samberg will look confused but in an endearing way which will make his fans love him all the more. Dr. Dre is doing very well for himself. He is very rich. Even though Apple took his company bought it and then crushed it. Such is capitalism. Expansion and destruction. There is more bombing. There is more war that isn’t called war. Everyone knows that it’s war but no one calls it war because the leaders have decided not to call it war. It is amusing and it is sad. There is talk of politics and ESPN and the NFL and power and wealth. There is a toad on the rain wet driveway. The toad is not moving. It may be crushed by a car later in the day. The rain bounces of it’s back. He drinks a coffee. He thinks about Love and Sadness and the Penumbra of Death that halos every living thing. There is waiting. There are many maps spread out over the large tables. Neat lines drawn hid the chaos. The orderly geometry hides the chaos. Except the chaos is not hidden. It struts round in plain sight daring anyone who cares to stare it direct in it’s blackhole eyes. It has many eyes. The NFL is losing the optical war but it doesn’t care because it makes a lot of money. There are loans to be paid. There are debts to be paid. He reads writing advice from David Mitchell. It includes the advice that writing is a good thing to do if one wants to be a writer. This is good advice. He tries to take it. He is told to take things for granted. That the is oil. That there is no oil. That there are genetic manipulation booths. That asexual human reproduction is normal or it will be or it was that the comedian is the vampire owl of the art world. There are bowed heads. It is morning but already people are weighed down by the day. There are turncoats hidden everywhere. The French won The War of Independence. David Hasslehoff brought down the Berlin Wall and ended the cold war. Pharrell Williams bring Iran into the fold of Western Hegemony. King Pharrell. Pope Pharrell. Emporer Pharrell. A silver fox is caught for funneling school children into a prison system that he made with a friend. He is sent to a prison but the system remains the system is vibrant and alive he was a necessary sacrifice a bad actor a bad apple a one in a million nothing to see here move along no problem with the old white haired men the criminals who legalize their crimes the villians who make the rules for themselves and the rules for everyone else. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. There is more bombing. Is it legal? No one seems to care. He is offered a new phone. It looks like it’s from the future. He writes words and words and words. He watches more Elementary. He watches even more Elementary. He eats good food. He enjoys good company. He plays Tiny Death Star. He downloads Memrise language learning and promises himself that this time he will become fluent. He gets on the bus but his pass doesn’t work. The driver is kind and lets him sit. He eats meat. He eats fruit. He drinks five coffees. He watches Obama talk at the UN. The Primeminister of Britain says that the Queen purred down the phone to him. Is the new Queen of England Eartha Kitt? He hopes that the new Queen of England is Earth Kitt. Everything is wonderful and everything is hopeless. There is no script. There is no prompt. There is in a dark cave somewhere hope barely alive but struggling towards the light. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. There is a stench in the air. The stench of a Presidential Race. It is faint but unmistakable. Even as the US Midterms roll up over the horizon they are a sideshow to the main circus. He can see the tent-poles being set in the distance. He can feel the acrid reek in his nostrils already. It will not be pleasant but it will be fascinating. The Theater of Democracy. The Lie of Freedom. The Illusion of Choice. Scotland has said no cowed by the overbearing power elite cowed by fear cowed by cows cow lowing in the fields eating grass and producing tasty milk and burgers. He tries to plan. He succeeds. He fails. He makes a coffee. He eats some breakfast. The pancakes for breakfast are tasty pancakes. He ponders the future. He reads Pliny the Elder. He reads Too Big To Fail. All the criminals are here. They are all described in detail. Their actions and justifications are clear to see on the page. Bernie Madoff is their scapegoat. There are bigger problems. There is a climate march in New York City. Lots of people attend. Just like the March against the War in Iraq just like the March against the War in Iraq. Just like the March against the War in Vietnam. What do marches do except give the authorities the opportunity to observe the trouble makers and the peaceniks. To collate and photograph and store the information of the rebels, the subversives, the Anti-Americans ready to come to your door to take away your freedom and your toaster stroodles and your playstation 4 and your Xbox 1 and your America’s Got Talent Voting rights. He fills boxes with books. He tries on his dainty new cock ring. It smarts. He has made a terrible mistake. Then he gets used to it. He likens it to the cilice from The DaVinci Code but not as unpleasant. There are many unpleasant things in the world. Human beings are sad hopeful creatures. He is one of them. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Blah, blah, fucking blah. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He wakes up too early. His alarm goes off and he wakes from a dream of Scottish Independence and dancing a jig but then he realises his alarm went off too early and he doesn’t know why he is dancing a jig because he can’t vote and he doesn’t know how he would vote because he keeps changing his mind but it looks like someone is going to win. Somewhere an otter eats a fish. Somewhere else a deer looks off into the distance as it hears a noise. John Kerry is talking to Congress again. The ladies in Pink are standing behind him again. There are signs. Bored looking members of Congress ask questions. They all look like they want to be playing golf with fundraisers at their high walled golf clubs. He watches a trailer for Fury. He wonders at the constant refrain of the brave little Americans fighting the gargantuan enemy when the truth is that America is gargantuan and the enemy of America is always little. There is no terror in that or profit in that or shame in that. There is shame in that. Shame is everywhere. He reads Waiting for Godot. GODot. godOT. A magician wins America’s Got Talent. Will he magic away the financial crises, the military crises, the crisis crises? He will not but he does seem to be good with his hands and he has a sincere to the point of mania Tom Cruise smile. He draws, he plots, he schemes. He sleeps.
He wakes up. There is coffee. He is talking with an old lady about her manipulative grandchildren who know all the codes who have thousands of dollars in their bank accounts whose ages change from 8 to 10 to 19 to 18 depending on when he asks questions about them. He dreams about prostitutes who have all become fashion consultants. There is no more to the dream than that. He watches an interview with Eddy Conway ex of the Black Panthers. He watches a course on learning well. He procrastinates. He learns nothing from the course. He eats half a burger. He trims his prodigious beard. He cannot understand America without understanding race. He cannot understand the world without understanding race. He dreams about people who do not have eyes but have paintbrush bristles where there eyes should be an no other features but that their faces smooth polished variegated wood their bodies entirely ordinary just their faces wooden and flat and their eyes tight paintbrush bristles they seem entirely okay with this state of affairs. There is no war just dropping bombs there is no war just talk of boots on the ground there is no conflict or war just targeted killings and advisors and regurgitated humanity spoiling in a heap. There is no war but there will be boots on the ground but there won’t be boots on the ground this is not a war this is not a war this is not a war. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He hears that there has been another decapitation. This time is is a British man. Next time there will be another British man. Then there will be more lined up heads rolling down the hill and soon decapitations will not make headlines because there will be so many of them. Then he makes some brownies. Then he eats some sushi. Then he walks. Then he lies down. There is rain outside. It is coming down from the sky. There are clouds full of rain. There are clouds full of tears. Never trust a clown. He eats a tasty burger. He creates a fictional home in a digital town by the sea and spends too much time making the living room look just perfect when he doesn’t own a house in real life. He eats some lemon crunch pie. His digital avatar eats some lemon crunch pie. There is something terrible and sad about this. He forgets what happened during the rest of the day. His mind is a creamy white amnesiac cloud. He goes to sleep hoping that he will remember what he has forgotten and forget what he keeps remembering.
He wakes up. President Obama has gone Liam Neeson on IS or ISIL or ISIS or whatever the gang of desert ne’er do wells are called. He is not sure that President Obama believes anything he says publicly anymore but he’s saying it he saying it again and again. He watches as the fear of ISIS grows and grows and grows and the news stories talk about the growing fears even as the CIA says again and again that there are no credible threats and when the CIA say there are no credible threats there are probably no credible threats because the CIA love having credible threats to get their black ops money for and are always willing to talk about threats so even if they don’t think that they are a threat then are they a threat. He does not know. Then he gets angry because Cecily Strong is being kicked off Weekend Update because no one wants to kick the White coiffed head writer off Weekend Update because the white man always wins even though her replacement is the excellent Michael Che but why not have Michael Che and Cecily Strong is it because Lorne Michaels thinks that America is not ready for a black man and a white woman to appear together on live television doing comedy together week in and week out is america still terrified of a black man and a white woman making comedy together is this where we are have we not moved on he thinks to himself. Then he plans his lunch. Then he goes to the gym. Then he showers. Then he wonders if Ted Cruz’s strange argument that Lorne Michaels could be in prison for satire if a law limiting Citizens United comes into affect is a real argument or if Senator Ted Cruz is actually an apolitical performance artist who managed to get elected with grant money from a billionaires art foundation. It is a hot muggy night. He sits in Wholefoods and joins the other hairy homeless men in the pot plants and the dirty tables. He holds hands. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Trembling muscles dripping off bone. He farts what feels like his body volume in gas. His alarm goes of too early. He is fat. He is fatter than he has ever been. The bus is on time. He gets on the bus. Two people in front of him fiddle with money and change and it annoys him that they knew that they did not have passes but did not think that it was required of them to wait until all those who had passes to get on the bus first so that they could get seats like him so he could get a seat he finally gets a seat. He keeps his anger inside. He buys some granola bars. He buys a sandwich. He does not by a Jimmy Dean Breakfast Biscuit. He marks this as a rare triumph in a day which will not have many victories. He gets sucked back into Facebook. He drinks too much coffee. He eats a sandwich. He buys some smoothies and puts them in the fridge. He eats lentils which taste like glorious meat and roasted cauliflower which tastes like magic. Stephen Colbert will gurn around with Henry Kissinger tonight and his heart will die a little and he will lose a little more respect for Stephen Colbert. It is the day of the towers falling it is the day of a country backed turned over to a dictator who manipulated and destroyed his people with the Chicago Boys and Kissinger looming and death squads and disappearances and the chimneys spewing people and death and sadness and the clouds formed and burrowed and the igition of the 21st century the pilot light that sparked the fire the engulfed the world that killed an Empire that doesn’t know it’s dead yet as a far older and larger beast slowly turns and wakes and watches. Then he tumbles down a hill tumbling tumbling tumbling and Oscar Pistorius is not guilty of murder but who knows what will happen tomorrow and there is 911 and 911 and 911 and each 911 has a different meaning and significance but they are all important and Jaws is dead and he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He watches Brian Williams rubs shafts with Matt Lauer. They spar. They spar verbally. There is tension and shark smiling. He wonders if Isis is just the ASL ice bucket challenge gone horribly wrong. Nominations for Saladin, Ishmael and Frank-n-Furter. George W Bush and Bill Clinton are now best friends. He is sick in his mouth. Power accretes power. An NFP football player is suspended when a video appears of him punching his fiancee. Even though they knew he did it he only got two game suspension because they hadn’t seen it. A reflection of what is important. Money, profit, optics. The optics are wrong. No matter the ethics no matter the morality. At least Mel Brooks is still alive. They didn’t see it. So it doesn’t exist. He didn’t see the moon landings so they can’t be real. He didn’t see his own birth so he didn’t believe it. He didn’t see the bus arrive so he doesn’t believe that it got here. He didn’t see the formation of the continents so he does not believe that they exist. He cannot see oxygen so he is not sure that he is breathing it. He has never seen the earth from space so he doesn’t believe the world is a sphere zipping through space. He watches food commercials he watches car commercials. All using fear and doubt. Be afraid America. Be afraid. Stop thinking America don’t worry that your heroes are weak tired hypocrits. Liars and cheaters and brutish billionaires. Better than Hippo Crits. River creatures reviewing popular culture. Maybe not better than Hippo Crits. He watches Simon Critchley and Cornell West talking. They are talking about religion and violence. He listens to John Pilger. He listens to Noam Chomsky. It is one of those kinds of days. Richard Branson is an odd looking man. Sometimes it’s okay to give up your dreams. You won’t die. The Queen of the United kingdom is worried about Scotland. The economist Paul Krugman is worried about Scotland. This maybe the only time they will be worried about the same thing. He thinks more about an idea he has. He thinks that it is a good idea and the he thinks it’s a bad idea. He is undecided. Angry atheists make him sad. Happy Christians make him cringe. He listens to Cspan. It is both uplifting and depressing. Imaginary People think Obama is a Child Eating Muslim Jewish Atheist Christian Kenyan Communist Socialist. These people have access to the same information as everyone else and also the right to vote. The anniversary of 911 is approaching. The day that Pinochet stole Chile and also the day that planes hit the twin towers in New York and today is Zeinab Badawi interogating John Mccain by the lake that Amidala and Anakin Skywalker fell in love. Today is Scotland divorcing itself from Britain as Britain first acts like a violent lover bullying Scotland to stay with threats and violence and then begging Scotland to stay with gifts and bouquets of power it all looks very embarassing and no one has really planned for the split. Then he eats some rice it is a lot of rice and it has vegetables with it and also tomato sauce and he finds a bag of almonds and he books a flight to London and London terrifies him already he hears the pulsing wet beat of it’s corrupt blackened heart in his ears as he feels himself being sucked back into the pit the comforting embrace of the oily pit. Then he plays Tiny Death Star. It is an awful game that has no other point than to teach children that the most soulless parts of capitalism are compelling and entertaining taught through the lens of the Star Wars universe. He is hopelessly addicted to it and then he watches America’s Got Talent and the sound disappears for the last act so only atmospheric cheering can be heard. It is like watching television in a dream and then he cuddles and then he goes to sleep.
Self-help guru or
I love you all.
Can you follow someone without moving?
We are all
He wakes up. When he went to sleep there was no caliphate. There no chance that there was going to be an independent Scotland. There was no new royal baby in Britain ready to carry on the democratic bloodline of the German Royal Family. He wakes up unaware of all of these things. The plane that crashed in the ocean is still missing and Robin Williams is dead and Joan Rivers is dead and lots of other people are dead but they aren’t famous. He wonders if waking up is ever worth it. He decides it is but he goes back to sleep anyway.
He wakes up. He smells like a homeless person. What has he missed? Has anything important happened? He doesn’t remember where he was. Perhaps in a wooded glade. A desert. On a train bound for glory. He shrugs his shoulders and thinks about showering. He goes to look for a shower. He finds somewhere to lie down. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. A journalist rummaged through the luggage of dead people. It disgusts people even though it is what journalists do every day. A tacit agreement we have with them that we get to read what they write about tragedy as long as we don’t have to be complicit in how they discover that tragedy. It was too much for us. We do not want to see how the sausage is made. The Senate votes to support bombardment of Gaza. Even the progressive heroes of the left. Children shields? No one cares. An excuse to flex anti-Semitic muscles on one hand an excuse to shake heads at the horror of civilian death on the other. Then there are all the other hands begging reaching grasping. This is what nation states do to perceived enemies. They expunge they delete they bleach it is wrong it has been done before it will be done again the lodz ghetto is now the Gaza refugee camp will be the Detroit forbidden zone will be the Birmingham prison city. Grind your families into paste we will all be Soylent Green one day. The clown of international law raises its buffoonish head above the parapet and is exploded by a sniper’s bullet but it’s okay folks that was just a balloon full of ketchup with a clown face drawn on it international law is safe and sound in an undisclosed bunker ready to be used by those with the most power as and when it suits them. He drinks a chai. He is in a library surrounded by books. It is pleasant. He reads that 66% of Americans now live in places that are not covered by the constitution which seems like a lot of Americans. Everyone is not the slug on the razor blade but more and more are joining it slowly slicing itself as it inches forward slowly splitting in two. He writes. He travels on public transport. He eats a tasty black bean burger. He shuts off from news. Objective news is shut off. He travels into another world. A place of giants and vikings. The end of the world. All the gods are dead. It is melancholy. Tribes wandering in the icy wastes the dry deserts the lush jungles. All lost. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up from not sleeping. He switches on al jazeera. He reads debt by David graeber. He reads more Proust. He reads the Federalist papers. He reads the anti federalist papers. He reads the fiery brook. He finishes a chapter of his novel. Thisis surprising. He eats soup. He drinks coffee. He watches tutorial videos for AutoCAD 3d studio. He has a shower. There is no milk for cereal. He is the only person, except for the driver, on the bus. He wonders if he can put a campaign on kickstarter for him to jump a shark. Perhaps funding the potato salad is the internet funding equivalent of jumping the shark so his point has already been made. Zach Braff gets more space than Nadine Gordimer in the newspaper that he finds on the bus. He finds this ridiculous but then he acknowledges that he is more familiar with the work of Zach Braff than the work of Nadine Gordimer. The Germans celebrate their world cup win. David hasslehof is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps they are saving him for the big finale. They are not saving him for the big finale. The German team appears to start the YMCA dance then it devolves into something less choreographed but no less sincere. Someone talks about an awning idea kit on the television. How many ideas can there be in an awning idea kit. Use as awning. Wrap evidence in and bury in the woods at night. Wipe up blood in. Cower under. use as awning. You get it free when you buy an awning. It doesn’t seem like anyone could reasonably charge for an awning idea kit. Many hoops are jumped through contortions are made to justify the massacre of human beings. Children dying on the beach human shields for sand for boats for fishermen. He sees the future and it falls away into the darkness of the void the edge of the cliff crumbling like dry bread under his feet. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. There is no news. There is news but he doesn’t read it so he pretends there is no news. He drinks a coffee. He writes words. He praises. He questions. He tries to reason and he eats some soup. He looks at the storm outside and is happy that he is inside protected by the house that he is inside. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He falls. He gets up. He dawdles. He watches a Comcast commercial that tries to hide the fact that is against net neutrality. It will probably succeed. He eats an empanada. It is a good empanada. He feels tremendous twisting sadness. He archives important art. He feels old. He reads about art. He worries about his mental health. He is invited to an artists’ retreat. He cannot go but he is excited to be invited. He eats Brown rice. He talks with friends even as he feels the distance growing between them. He finishes things and then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He was asleep. Now is he awake. His brittle bones are softening after bikram yoga. His aching body is aching in a good way. He eats a salad. He presses some buttons. He watches a woman eat a hundred dollar ice cream. He is tempted by a burrito he finds on a bus. It has only been bitten once. It would be free supper. Earlier in the day he eats a sandwich and has a coffee. He thinks about making some soup but he doesn’t make any soup. The Caliphate seems to be spreading over Iraq and Syria. Everyone is learning about the Sykes-Picot Agreement. He learns more about the pirate origins of the British Empire – all open out in the history books that nobody reads. The President of America makes a joke about crack. His wife is not impressed. He presses some more buttons. He takes some photographs. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He gets on a bus. He sees a piece of paper on a seat. He picks up the paper and reads the outside of the folded up piece of paper it reads
Hey! Read this!
on one side and
Hey you! Read this!
on the other folded side. He opens up the piece of paper and reads:
I have some good news! There is someone who loves you dearly, enough to die for you. His name is Jesus Christ, and He came to pay for our sins. He overcame all of our failure and shame, and in Him we find life. No matter what pain you feel, I promise, that someone cares. I was once an atheist, and I used to cut myself. I thought about taking my own life, but then I met a friend who showed me the good news of Jesus. He promises new life, and he wants the same for you. No matter how bad you feel, no matter what you think of yourself, Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. If you have questions about faith or want to know more about Christianity, I’d encourage you to find a church. There is one that meets at — —– theater on – Street in G——–n, Sunday at 10am. God bless you and take heart! God is with us!
A brother in Christ
The writing is neat and small and written in blue pen. It seems heartfelt but he probably won’t visit the theater to meet with Jesus. He folds up the paper and puts it into his pocket where it will remain for months forgotten and spinning and dissolving in the wash. There are so many people to be saved but saved from what? Each other and themselves. He eats some spinach and some quinoa and some lentils and drinks coffee and his ideas are shut down at work and his dreams keep him going all the way to his bed. He goes to sleep there on his sleeping bed.
He wakes up to The smell of Cut grass and gasoline. Jailed journalists in Egypt. Convicted editor in England. Helicopter gunships given to Egypt by America. Impressed British Prime Minister. He drinks a coffee. He drinks some water. He tries a push up. it is marginally successful. He tries a pull up. He cannot pull up. He rests two eggs and a zucchini drowned in yellow mustard. It does not taste as desperate as it sounds. It is hot outside like a sauna but a sauna he would happily spend hours in sitting next to hot coals fanning himself. He works magic with lights. He walks into traffic but as luck would have it is synchronous with the red light. This is an accident but no one would know that from his demeanor. Deep inside he weeps with relief. He runs onto the train. All the carriages are new there are new carriages. He is confused. He remembers Rik Mayall is dead. This makes him sad. He liked Rik Mayall for making him laugh. He remembers drinking vodka at School one weekend for the first time or the second time in a classrom at School and watching Bottom Live and being drunk and laughing loudly laughing too loudly because that’s what he thought The Drunk People did and he was drunk and wanted desperately to be liked as he is still desperate to be liked but that part of him is shielded protected less powerful now but ready at any moment to reclaim a throne. Then he remembers a story sometime someone told him about Rik Mayall who did an unpleasant thing but was that a dream everyone is unpleasant and confidences like that are not to be shared. He watches his past crumble like dry sandcastles. All the dry sandcastles blowing up pretty beige clouds in the intermittent breeze. He shouldn’t be thinking about masturbation on the elevator but he is. He could grind one out here and no one would know would they no one would care they would film it and he would be YouTube famous which is still famous. He watches as passengers help an old man find a wallet. He does not help. He does not need to the old man already has too much help. He is happy to get his wallet back which he dropped at the entrance to the bus. This happened in the morning. Now it is the evening. So much has happened already today. He eats some tasty food. He reads Gore Vidal novels. He inhales the sweet narcotic of America’s Got Talent through his eyes. He watches a beautiful dress being worn perfectly. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He remembers no dreams. He drinks coffee and eats cereal. He takes a shower. He takes the elevator. He takes the bus. He takes another elevator. He types. He writes. He drinks another coffee. He has a conversation. He applies make-up. He eats turkey meatballs and tomato sauce. They are good. They sustain him. He enjoys them. He savours them. Mouths flap about Iraq and about Afghanistan and the injustice of imprisoning journalists in Egypt but remain quiet about imprisoning lawyers in America. He gets too excited about the opening of a new Shake Shack and not energized enough about the crumbling infrastructure of the Western World. He listens to a woman channel his dead father to his half-sister. The woman doesn’t even change her voice. She should make more effort being a spirit medium she should at least do voices and lock the door of the room she is in so her son doesn’t come in and ask for a snack and close the window so that the roadworks outside aren’t overwhelming the recording and not give false hope or closure with cold reading but this is all too much to ask for and it probably will help someone somewhere life is difficult enough without letting people cope with tragedy in their own way. He walks. He stands. He sits. He waits. He reads. He walks. He cooks rice and broccoli and cauliflower and soy sauce and he eats it and he drinks water and he watches Lawrence O’Donnell return to television with a fine beard but he doesn’t listen to the words because they will be the same words as before and not bad for that reason but he is tired and he can’t think and doesn’t want to concentrate on relentless horror on the outside because he is busy enough with relentless horror on the inside. He lies down and watches sleep take him away.
He wakes up. He does not know why this happens. There is a loud direct voice informing him that this is a fire alarm and everyone must leave the building by the closest exit but not the elevator do not use the elevator dear God please do not use the elevator. He wakes up more. She wakes up. The cat wakes up. They try to wrestle the cat into a bag. The cat wins. The cat is not in the bag. The cat looks defiant. The alarm is still going. They have to leave. The cat remains. They walk down the stairs hoping it is a false alarm so as not to have a cat death car crash on their hands on his hands he does not know how she feels and he never asks. There are other pockets of people walking down the stairs. It is the middle of the night. It is raining outside. It is humid. It is entertaining to see what clothes people throw on in an emergency. Everyone looks like poorly dressed clowns. The alarm is a false alarm. Walking back up eight flights of stairs. The alarm starts again. They all pause for a moment tired and reckless they do not turn round but continue walking back to their apartments. Lying down they try to fall asleep for hours they try to fall asleep but they fail to fall asleep then they both realise they have been awake for hours and they weep and laugh with relief and with joy at their shared agony and the cat is asleep and hold no bridge at being left behind even though it turned out to be a false alarm and it would have been fine anyway but even so the cat remains magnanimous at their treachery. The cat will use it later, no doubt. They read then they sleep then the day is underway and the sun is out and the pollen count is low and the sandwiches are full of meat and the glasses are full of beer and full of lemonade and the football is entertaining and the day is a good day but for the wars and the mass incarceration and the poisons and the corruption and the fragility but these are only background noise for now they will be the main event soon enough so he ignored them until the time when he won’t vs able to ignore them anymore. He reads Rebecca Solnit. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He showers. He eats a banana. He is roasted by the sun. He imagines Tony Blair weeping in a windowless room rocking back and forth. He eats some tasty chicken and spinach. He watches headless chickens dance. They strut and they dance. He drinks a glass of water. He asks some questions. He writes some words on some paper. He sorts out his paperwork. He finds useless pieces of paper but he keeps them just in case he might need them in the future. He remonstrates with the fridge. He repeats some of these actions. He fills a red pepper with rice and spinach and kale and hot sauce. He roasts the red pepper but even that and the hot sauce will not dampen down the taste of kale. Kale cuts through everything. The air is boiling outside. So hot is refracts the air and everything is seen as through satin stockings. He reads some Robert Bellah and the civil religion of America. The cult of America. He reads about the late Victorian Holocaust watches Thomas Piketty in a debate on British Television Jeremy Paxman cycling on a bicycle with the Mayor of London all jolly boys together at the same clubs at the same schools colleges picnics artificial debate illusion of dissent he tries to build a house on a purple planet that rains poison green liquid at regular intervals. Some of the creatures are trying to kill him but he has a large sword and a natty bow and arrow. He needs to find silver so he can create a beacon to escape the planet. He cannot find any silver. He has been searching for a long time. He is tired. He looks at his laundry go round and round and round in the dryer. He falls asleep.
He wakes up. He sees stains on his chair. He does not look closer to see what they are. Then he looks closer. He wishes he hadn’t looked closer. The bus driver improvised the bus routes traveling down roads none of the regular passengers have seen before. He watches a written sizzle and shot on the sidewalk. It is very hot. He moves the worm to the grass in the shade with the edge of his foot but the worm still bubbles and spits. It is to late for the worm. It is to late for every worm. Every one. Everyone. He buys some lentils. More of his villagers die. He only had the villagers left. He should never have begun construction on that mine. He feels totally responsible. He hopes the orchard will grow in time and offer sustenance along with the fishing and the hunting that keeps the remaining villagers clinging on to life. The well built houses are empty. The villagers must feel the loss every time they pass it to go into the forest to weep our whatever it is they do when they are hidden behind digital trees. He sees the renegade economist Simon Johnson on the train. He sees the gentleman from Subway who sometimes makes his sandwiches on the train. They are both wearing caps. Simon is wearing a white cap. He also has a red back pack. Subway is wearing a red hat. He will ask Subways name next time he purchases a sandwich or he will look at the name tag on his shirt and remember the name on it. He is beaten down by the heat when he leaves the train station. A violinist plays. He buys mixed nuts. He enjoys the air conditioning and engages in conversation with polite staff members who would rather not be there. He drinks lots of water. He talks. He quaffs. He considers. He thinks. He draws. He presses buttons. He talks intensely and without clarity. He is misunderstood. He is tired. He eats yoghurt. He writes and dreams and is overwhelmed. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He wakes up. Maya Angelou is dead. Then a real estate millionaire is giving out clues on Twitter to find money. He is seen as a hero but maybe he is a slum landlord a racist and he finds glee in manipulating the poor and desperate he makes them take pictures maybe he has a wall of them. He is making the greedy and desperate and poor his puppet playthings. An old man pulls a car with his teeth. A little boy plays the piano beautifully. Maya Angelou is dead. Cursory repeated conversations about mental health that are copy pasted from the last murderous rampage. It is national burger day. There is not much pollen but it is hot. Maya Angelou is dead. There is not much hope in the world. The powerful cling onto their power. The weak are left tumbling in the dark with only the infrequent sugar rush for company. Maya Angelou is dead. There is advice on morning television from sexperts. Should you love him or should you leave him? He does not wait for the answer. He accidentally strokes a woman’s hand when he tries to hold the door open. It is humid outside. He eats a salad. He reads. Thomas Piketty is still the topic of conversation. President Obama announces a new anti terrorist fund. It sounds terrifying. It sounds like a new school of the Americas. It sounds like a license for autocratic regimes to terrorize in the name of power and lies. It is $5 billion of oppression delivered by the American tax payer to perceived enemies of dictators and money mongers and oil oligarchs. A friend reminds him of an old history lesson oskar schindler was a sudetenland german. He watches the new Tom cruise movie. It is groundhogs day with aliens. It has a bad third act a poor ending of no consequence or jeopardy yet there are some good jokes but he would still not recommend it groundhogs day 2 edge of tomorrow shallow with a fun first act. Laughter in the theatre until a biker asks him to pee on him. He declines the offer. Ice cream and running for the bus and tasty meats and Maya Angelou is dead and sleep.
He wakes up. There is an excellent electric guitarist with a hamburger with vampire wings tattoo by the metro. He enjoys the music but not as much as the vampire winged hamburger tattoo. The air conditioning in the carriage makes it stink like baked rubber. The air conditioning is probably not working or it is a plan to discourage passengers. He makes an animation. It is mountains and the sun rising above the mountains. It is more impressive than he expected but it serves no purpose. An old Chicago Whitesocks fan talks to him about baseball. It is a human connection brought about by a misunderstanding and it is deeply moving and important to the shape of the day. A woman honks her horn but she is smiling not honking the horn in anger but to get the attention of a friend. He gets into the car. They smile and she drives off. He eats left over turkey burger then spends an hour considering the cleverness of that decision in a small windowless room. He finds a piece of paper. His writing is on it. He had written gender divide anatomical sex gender divide the technologists are totalitarian plutocrats theocratic swelling he does not know what it means or why he wrote those words. He does some writing. Herakles is not the most straightforward hero. Complex sociopath. He finishes Piketty’s Capital and wonders if it will signal the change of anything. He thinks back to earlier in the day when he was marginally younger and then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Snorting. Snuffling. Banana. Coffee. Shower. Bagpipe violence. 911 Memorial museum looks like a shrine looks like a temple. He is half way through Proust and he is still wondering why Proust was dipping a cake into his tea was it a mistranslation was it a biscuit was it a cookie is dipping cake into tea a normal thing in France is this the thing that he is supposed to be earning from Proust from reading all of Proust he is not sure that he is being enriched as he expected. Then he eats a burger and fries and has a milk shake and he should not be surprised at his ballooning weight he promises himself to get a new pair of stretchier wider pants and then he will exercise after that after he has finished the ice cream in the fridge and the hot chocolate in the cupboard and the brownies because it would be a waste to just throw them away and start being healthy now he will finish the unhealthy food to be budget conscious and then he will stock his larder with healthy foods to the very top of the highest shelf. Then he writes and writes and writes. Then they eat and laugh and love and couple and uncouple and sweaty excess of intimacy there can be no excess of intimacy. A thirty one year old woman pretends to be a teenager so she can get into school but she is caught. The school system is in a shambles. At least she was trying to get an education even if an unusual one but not the first time it has happened he remembers the man who called himself Bruce Lee and went to be a pupil at a school in England but he was caught too he wonders what happened to this Bruce Lee and why he chose a pseudonym of one of the most famous people of the twentieth century. Barbara Walters is retiring but she is not really retiring. She will probably interview herself and there will be tears and hugs and there is another Chris Christie day joke but it is not a joke it is lazy and pathetic but the best thing in the world is Sad Batman is Ben Affleck already regretting his decision he hopes that Superman and Batman is a Waiting for Godot inspired two hour theater of the absurd piece with duality bleakness gallows humour and experimental film minimalism. He hopes that this is the case. He eats more burger. He is sated in all areas and even if briefly this is a marked improvement on a normal day. He doesn’t want the day to suddenly go horribly wrong so he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Does he? He does. Vibrating pillow. Tweaks. Hazelnut coffee. Rice and peanut butter and broccoli and cake and cakes and cake. Glenn Greenwald is charming and speaks quickly. Glenn Greenwald is tired. Glenn Greenwald’s film crew films behind the scenes of his epic book tour. He reads. He does some art. He drinks some water. He imagines he is on a hill swash buckling a small group of animated skeletons. It is night but the fires from the burning forest below and the large full moon light the desperate action on the cliff top. He slips the skeletons rally and dash but it was but a feint and a twists and with ease slices them all over the clouds fading them on the rocks below but the night has only just begun. He is not hungry but he eats some vegetables. It makes him feel better. He probably eats a taco. He lies down. He plays a video game that is supposed to be art. It probably is art. It probably is overrated. It is overrated. He watches a man get onto a bus. He watches a woman get off a bus. He watches pixels explode in misty clouds of blood, digital viscera smears itself across the screen. He is moved to disgust then unmoved because it isn’t real but maybe it is real. Then he reads. Then he sleeps.
He wakes up. He is neither a lark nor an owl. He is exhausted. He drinks a coffee. He listens to Glenn Greenwald. Glen Greenwald sounds surprisingly polite and restrained as he talks to Matt Lauer. He does not shower. It is hot outside. Parched lips. He gets on the bus. He sits on the bus. He gets off the bus. He walks to work. He takes the elevator. He has followed a woman all the way from the bus to the office. He tries to maintain his distance but this fails when he gets in the same elevator. Luckily they get off at different floors. He has another coffee. He eats too many cookies. He is bloated. Already he wants the day to be over. It is not over. It is still going on. It is still continuing. It is not ending. The broken people of Homs return to their broken city. Everyone looks on in sympathy then returns to their candy crush bejewelled high scores. Then he writes some things then he tries to stay awake. It is really hard to stay awake today. Then he lies down. Then he reads but none of the words go in they slide off his eyes and form a puddle round his body on the bed. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Dirty Wars Inside Job The Divide. These the things do not make for a happy-go-lucky weekend. bioshock infinite with it’s attempts at depth infinite shallows. Votes in India enormous democracy. Hidden poverty rampant corruption suicide on a hill. A house explodes after gunshot is heard. The girls are freed into the arms of Islam. Parents are doubtful. Leo Tolstoy imparts advice about art and religion. He eats an ice cream. He is getting fat. He eats a cookie. He is getting fat. He eats a lunchable. He is fat and sad. He drinks a coffee and it makes him feel better for a little while. He drinks a capri sun. He eats another ice cream. Will this torment never end? It is hot outside. Like an oven. Like an oven of pain. A painful oven. Not that hot. He goes inside and the air conditioning is welcoming. Drones fly over head. The Epic of Gilgamesh is mentioned. He waits to be targeted but he is not a high value target and he is not carrying a cell phone and he eats another ice cream. He reads Dollarocracy and feels like he needs a wire brush and hose down. American political financing is a giant fetid worm sliding and pulsing it’s way across the country as it feeds in at one hole and spews gelatinous Excreta out of the other swelling it’s swollen body expanding as it goes. It is hot wet and dark outside. It is night. It has rained. A context free fight been two relative by marriage in a lift spreads across the internet and diminishes everyone. He writes and writes and writes. He watches Veep. It is funny. He watches Late Night starring Jimmy Fallon. It is funny. Neil Young is soft spoken and his voice trembles as he sings. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. The sky is white like untouched paper. He waits for clouds and the sun and other sundry sky like things to be added but they remain missing for the remainder of the day. The buildings and other architecture remains so he makes his way to work based on these. He does not use more ancient methods of navigation such as bird-flight or moss on trees. He watches Neil Cavuto and Rudy Guiliani on mute on the television. They seem to be in hysterics about something. He wonders if they are imagining and world in which each of them has a team of poor people who then pulls a chariot for them round a race track and they bet on the outcome throwing offal into the troughs of the winning team. He does not know whether they are laughing about this because he does not increase the volume. he suspects that what they are laughing about is much much worse. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He feels groggy. Then he feels alive but this feeling doesn’t last very long and he feels groggy again. He met his housemate last night with a firm handshake and eye contact on the door to the house when he had forgotten his key at work. There was warmth and friendliness and tiredness emanating from the man. He seemed kind. He puts on his clothes. He drinks a coffee. It is a hazelnut coffee. This is currently his favourite coffee. He remembers watching a man karate chop the rain away from him yesterday because he didn’t have an umbrella marching through the rain oblivous that his karate chopping was not working his clothes drenched his wet hairy plastered to his face. He is not the man who is doing this but he could see that in years to come he could be the man doing this unaware of the futility yet continuing to chop away at the beads of water as they pour down from the sky. He eats a curry sandwich. He eats some pasta. He reads a book. Everything conspires to mediocrity today. Until the moment he gets a frozen yogurt at which point the day turns into a musical with singing and dancing. Ehud Barack stands behind him asking questions about the missing Chibok girls. He seems saddened by the answers he receives. It is very hot outside. It is very hot indeed outside. He watches Dancing with the Stars and is said when Danica Patrick is booted off but he knew that already because he is watching it on Hulu and he read earlier in the day who had been booted off. There is no time for surprises now. There are spoilers everywhere. He eats rice and noodles and has a drink of gin or two or three but no more than three and tempers them with ginger ale and water. There is talking and laughter and love and John Oliver is getting better and episode two of his new show is very entertaining and clever and thought provoking and all the things the internet has already said. Then he reads some more. Then he lies back and thinks. Spoiler Alert – Life is going to end in death. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Battle Royale is very violent. He makes some people laugh. He drinks decaf coffee. He has pain behind his eyes. Allergies. Algiers. The Battle of Allergies. He reads. He thinks. He walks. He photographs. He types. He watches. He eats. He hugs. He laughs. He naps. He snoozes. He cries. He laughs again. He smiles. He drinks. He saves. He steals. He wishes. He lies. He demures. He disappoints. He improves. He sleeps.
He wakes up on the cold concrete floor of a room without windows. He walks through the door. He brushes his teeth. He unlocks the door he does not have a key he opens the door he heads north along a path to a wood he reaches a crossroads and goes west he ends up at a tower the tower has a door. He walks through the door. He finds some underwear. He puts on the underwear. He takes the underwear off his head. He has a coffee. He has some toast. He does not have a shower but he masks his bed stench with deodorant and hopes it will last throughout the day as long as he keeps his arms pressed by his sides his armpits firmly closed he thinks he will probably get away with it he should probably have also sprayed his genitals but it is too late for that now because he is sitting at work after having travelled on the bus with other tired commuters where he is told that his job is worth $300,000 he is not paid $300,000 so he is sure that this opinion dressed as fact is going to make him sad at least until lunch time. Then he has a donut and he forgets his unhappiness. He watches rebels retreat from Homs. He does not know what it means strategically but he suspects it will not improve the lives of civilians. He watches someone explain Indian politics. It is confusing and seems to be somewhere between dynastic and democratic held together with money – much like American politics. He watches Luke Russert talking about Tim Russert on the television and he wonders what it would have been like to have a father or a father like that but really a father at all and he wonders at all the failed attempts throughout his life to find father figures in teachers, friends, distant relatives and strangers and how he managed to fail every one of them so it’s probably rather good he didn’t have a father in the first place because wretched disappointment is best experienced in a realm of fantasy not in the concrete cold of reality. Then he watches and he listens and he chews the air thoughtfully. He wonders where his mother is and then remembers that she is dead and ash scattered on a mountain. Then he eats some nuts. Then he weeps at the missing and the dead and the wrecked and the damned. Then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Yesterday happened. Today is going to happen. An apartment fell through. It is irritating, frustrating, discombobulating, but then he remembers that he has a voucher to get a free custard shake at Shake Shack the next time he visits so he feels marginally less distraught but only marginally. Then he weighs himself and he is unhappy with the result and then he talks to a friend and then he talks to a sibling and then he reads an uplifting letter by E. B. White about the power of continuing, struggling, persevering, even in despite the face of desolate hopelessness. Again he sees monsters and again they look like human beings. All the angels are on strike or they have served as luncheon for the monsters. Even in this hope drought there is still reason to continue just to be stubborn just because it seems like it’s impossible just because it’s difficult. Then he eats some pasta and then he drinks a coffee then he wonders if the world is going to become a place where the young of the poor are farmed for their blood so that the old and the rich can maintain themselves with strong virile bodies forever based on the latest research with mice but he is probably being paranoid then he wonders if this blood will be combined with panda blood so create some kind of super serum that the wealthy will inject once a month as they retire to their armoured enclaves surrounded by automated drones all controlled via wireless electricty by the brain of an immortal Jeff Bezos but again he assumes that he is only being paranoid and then he reads a story about the FBI plotting to assassinate Occupy leaders in Houston, Texas but the evidence seems hidden under thick black lines blindness and unelected jackboots. He looks at trees and he finds their gentle swaying calm him down then he reads a review about a book that talks about race as genetic and he feels less calm and then he eats some chicken and potato that he heated up himself and he needs a nap and his shoulders hurt and he didn’t shower this morning so he smells bad in all the furrowed regions of his body. He pauses. There is time for pausing. “Life Alert definitely saved my mother-in-law’s life that day, no doubt about it.”, says the bitter looking man who knows that his wife’s inheritance will take a few more years to find it’s way into her bank account so that he can then cut the brake cables on her sports car and then wave her away on her regular cliff-top Sunday drive. This is what Life Alert stops. It stops murder in secluded summer houses. It stops nefarious plotting in the urban sprawl. Orson Welles celebrates his 99 years of something or other. He is dead. He is not celebrating anything but he imagines what it would be like for a 99 year old Orson Welles. Let me die, let me die, let me die, decrepit shrivelled wheelchair bound Orson Welles whispers wetly into his ear. He is held together by pain and missed opportunity. By genius and The Sublime. Too much sleep is bad for humans too littls sleep is bad for humans what is the right amount of sleep nobody knows if the right amount is discovered will it allow immortality like the blood of children? He feels that something very bad is approaching. There are injustices. There is inequality. There is a jarring sense of the not quite right about to get far worse. Where is the freedom. Freedom is in the toilet so he goes and sits on the toilet and reads his kindle. Then he goes to sleep. It is probably sleep or a continuation of whatever being awake is.
He wakes up. He enjoys the marmitish Noam Chomsky. He wants to be a 12 ft lizard. Maybe he is a 12ft lizard but the mind control device was turned against him and he thinks he’s a human being. He wonders if revolution is fermenting or if it is just old cheese and jelly in his fridge or both. He wonders why he takes things so seriously and he wonders why he is not taking things seriously enough. He watches novels die – one after the other leaping off a cliff into the darkness below. Sleepwalking into traffic surrounded by flaming tornadoes. These are dreams aren’t they? He thinks they are dreams but then he loses his camera battery and he isn’t sure. He drinks a cookies and cream milkshake. He pounds his swollen belly. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. Allergies attack. The day is ruined on every conceivable level. He goes to sleep.