entry_221Listen to each commercial closely and you’ll hear them. There: the rin tinn fuckulation of the ever-fucking bells. You’re not meant to listen to commercials like that, not with your full attention. They’re supposed to wash over you, to leave you with that unique feeling of chipper inadequacy. But sometime after Labor Day the marketeers start slipping in the bells, subtle at first, like global warming. Until, by mid December, they’re all you can hear. Ad agencies believe that December bells in commercial soundtracks are as potent as Barry White music on a third date.

Come on, baby,
Keep shopping it, right on.
You know I got what you need,
At bargain prices…

Seductive, possibly–there’s a time and place for everything. But why do the bells start before jack-o-lanterns have even had a chance to rot into orange sludge on your front deck? It was never like that in the old days, and there’s a hint of desperation to it now. Premature bells is like someone dropping Barry White on you when you’re not even dressed for the date yet, before you’ve plucked the encroaching monobrow or un-boxed the good underwear. No, worse: it’s like an interested party playing Barry White in the background when he calls you up for a first date.
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entry_194Peering over the shoulders of the brothel newsletter’s editors each day, it finally dawned on me that a person’s editing style is a component of their psychological makeup. Based on my observations–field research, if you will–I methodically codified certain basic personality traits by matching my coworkers’ various methods of typo correction to their respective psychological tendencies. Of course only a certain kind of person is drawn to publish a brothel newsletter at all. Through the years there were always those who questioned, right to my face, the legitimacy of a brothel newsletter, but to those people I posed the question: which brothels have you been soliciting? Certainly not one that has to its name three Peabody Awards for Excellence in Cathouse Media. The Receptive Feline is not your father’s brothel, and that’s all I have to say on that matter.

Now, I was speaking specifically about the significance of the manner by which a person goes about correcting typos, as casual a gesture as it is. In fact it’s precisely because so little thought is involved that it’s so illustrative of one’s behavioral model. Insofar as this is the case, there are several distinct personality types worth mentioning.

The first is Annette who, when she notices a typing mistake, simply taps the cursor back to the transposed letters and corrects them. This surgical method of correction belies a confidence of character, but also a certain listlessness of soul. Social conformists, these types have no interest in exploring the circuitous route. Every problem has a single solution. They are moral absolutists, but only out of convenience. They fall down when punished, and do not get up again. They just look up at you from the floor with their resigned cow eyes, as if to say, “I knew it was you.”
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entry_192It is Los Angeles, 1997, and before the gathered crowd I find my attention consumed by a single thought. In my mind the vision is clear: my hand reaching out and touching Steven Spielberg’s head. What troubles me most about the thought is that I’m currently standing just a few feet from the man himself. Clearly this is as close as I might hope to come to touching Spielberg’s head, which makes the temptation–as irrational as it may be–all the more seductive.

The alternative? The knowledge that I once had the opportunity to touch Steven Spielberg’s head, but didn’t. I work for a small technology company, and we’ve affiliated ourselves with Spielberg’s Starbright Foundation to demonstrate how our product can engage sick children as they participate in virtual communities. During the program’s commencement ceremony I find myself, along with the rest of my team, standing in an impromptu receiving line around the dais, and there is Spielberg working his way down the line.

The desire to touch Spielberg’s head is new. In fact, even now the thought is laced with lightning bolt warnings of conscience. “You mustn’t do it,” my mind tells me. “You mustn’t even think it!” Because the thought, I cannot deny, grows more delicious by the second. The very wrongness of it adds zest.

And yet how can something so wrong be so very easy to do? Shouldn’t verboten acts be extraordinarily difficult to accomplish? Otherwise, a simple change in the direction of the winds of impulse may be enough to turn a passing thought into a dark deed. Yet there he is, Spielberg, growing closer with each moment. Now I can see the pores in his nose, he is so close.

The crux of the problem is that people’s heads are restricted zones among strangers, such that even something as innocent as a touch would be viewed as a violation, and socially unredeemable. Meanwhile, here we are about to shake hands.

He’s now standing one person away, and I’m in a state of self-arrest, my enthusiasm momentarily bridled, yet wild still. Perhaps I can release some of the pent up energy by making a sudden confession to him right here. But even my telling him about this would probably not serve to establish any kind of healthy bond between us. “Hi, Steven. Um, I don’t want you to be alarmed, but I was just thinking about touching your head.” Then I would put my hands up in innocence to show him I meant no harm. “I won’t do it though, so don’t worry.”

Oh, there’s no way I could undo that. The time it would take to win his trust wouldn’t even be worth the effort, and he would quickly move on to the next line member, and I would be left forever branded: weirdo.

But I consider the thought anyway: What if I said that, and couldn’t retract it, and was forced to just power through? How would I manage that?

I imagine grabbing Spielberg in a bear hug, and his bodyguards tear toward me from across the stage. “Don’t do it,” I say. “Don’t do it!” And they pause, just long enough, their eyes darting over the dais to better gauge the most effective way to tear my arms from their sockets.

Spielberg, surprisingly docile, says, “You’re not going to do something silly?”

I laugh. “I know this seems rash, or crazy even.” Tactical error–I shouldn’t have used that word. It’s almost impossible to recover once you’ve uttered it, like shrieking, “I’ve got a bomb,” as you sprint through the airport. “Scratch that,” I say. “What I mean to say is that I see what you’re thinking. I mean–no, that sounds crazy too, and it’s not what I meant. I mean I know how this seems to you. So just know that I wouldn’t do this unless I had a plan. I know what I’m doing, and what I must do. I have it all worked out, and by the end of this you’ll realize that I’m harmless, and a friend, really.” I will bring us all the way back around to polite civility if I have to threaten everyone in the auditorium to do it.

Thus is my mind tormented, and I’m horrified by the thoughts I’ve conjured, the inescapable, unrelenting doom of the scenario. So why do I put myself through this? Because I am fascinated–absolutely obsessed–by the thin membrane between those brief moments in time that pass unnoticed and absolute mayhem. It doesn’t take much to go from one to the other, so why is it so difficult to bring order back from chaos? Because chaos is where it’s all headed, baby, that’s why. And, this in mind, it is clear that I should not be in charge of my actions, because that moment-to-moment choice to color within the lines is too great a responsibility.

By the time the director’s eyes finally flick up to mine in greeting–he’s a short guy it turns out–my face is a mask of trauma. Fortunately he takes this for stage fright, touches my arm as he shakes my hand, and leans in. “Don’t worry,” he says, “they’re all thinking of the children.”

I’m quite sure the audience is thinking about the children, but thanks only to the strength of my will.

Saving Face

entry_167There’s blood under my fingernails, and I’m trapped. The meeting with my supervisor, informal and at my desk, was going well until I swiped at an itch on my forehead, which lately has been pulling double-duty as a proving ground for novice mosquitos. As nights progress, anything left exposed is fair game for the winged beasties, and the result is that my upper forehead resembles one of the photographs sent back by the Mars Rover. My supervisor was ticking down the remaining details of the upcoming project, bracketing each item on her printout, when I felt the first trickle on my forehead.

I swipe a second time, and this time there is a thin red streak across the flesh of my index finger. I have been too indelicate, it seems, and now I have a situation on my hands. Quickly, before she looks up again, I swipe my forehead with my middle finger, and when she looks up again I am nodding, concurring with her assessment of project parameters. She looks down again, to my great relief, and I have just enough time to examine the second streak of blood on my middle finger. Horrors: it is just as pronounced, if not more so than the first. Surely my supervisor has noticed my blood-bindi, but I can’t just let it run down between my eyebrows.

I make a third swipe with my thumb, and the wound shows no sign of abatement. So the question occurs to me: should I lick my fingers? What are the prevailing social attitudes toward the digital intermediary method of oral would cleansing? Might such a practice lead to an unfavorable performance evaluation? “Performs work-related duties, and also scab mastication, in an exemplary fashion. General hygiene issues. Recommend garnishing wages to offset sheer gross factor.”

Then again, neither can I wipe my fingers on my shirt. If I had worn red, like the Roman army did, then perhaps, but I failed to plan for wound concealment this morning. In the meantime, I have three wet streaks on my favorite fingers and a swelling crimson bead front and center. I wince at the thought of the humiliation when she next looks up.

But then she offers me an exit. “I think you already addressed this with your last design, yes?”

And before she has a chance to see my glistening plasma beacon, I’ve turned toward my screen to open the file in question. “Let me check, why don’t I?” I’ll face the screen now, and not look away from it until she leaves. If there’s any negative at all it’s that I slapped my hand on the mouse so quickly, forgetting about my bloody fingers. It should be okay though, as long as I don’t remove my hand from the mouse, which should only be a problem if management were to bring the new guy around for introductions. Best not to ponder that nightmarish scenario however. “Yes,” I say, looking closely at the image on my screen. “Looks like this one’s ready to be sent… from what I can tell.”

“Okay,” she says.

Then silence.

I know she’s waiting for me to turn around. She wants a cue. A tip of the hat, I suppose. Something that allows her to leave with grace. I grow wistful at the memory of such luxuries, and frown as blood runs down the bridge of my nose. I must be cold about it. “So I’ll get back to work on the last one,” I say, and click on random things for authenticity.

“Oh. Okay,” she says. She’s disappointed. If only she knew the burden of my secret shame! Out, damned spot! Out, I say!

“Perfect,” I say. “Maybe I’ll see you at lunch?” Still friends.

“Sounds good,” she says. I continue to keep my back to her as, I assume, she curtsies and backs slowly, respectfully away from my desk.

Only when I’m sure she’s gone do I scratch my forehead vigorously, loosing flecks of skin into my keyboard, and drawing blood in torrents. “Or maybe lunch comes early today,” I say to myself as I extend my eight-inch tongue to swab my throbbing forehead.


entry_165Over the course of a few years, my friend and I developed a telephone tradition whereby we would randomly hang up on each other. Actually, it began as any evolutionary development does: with an accident. A terrific storm came through and snatched phone service away, and I found myself talking to static. Nothing remarkable, but I believe the germ of an idea had been planted. About a week later the line was severed again as I was in the middle of a thought. This time there wasn’t a storm cloud to be seen, and the phone was in perfect working order.

Sure, when it first dawned on me what my friend had done I considered taking offense. But I couldn’t deny a welling sense of liberation that far outweighed any thoughts of recrimination. The next time we spoke on the phone, my friend was describing travel plans he’d been developing. He was excited because the junket was to be funded in part by a Costa Rican social exchange program… but I didn’t hear the rest because I hung up on him. There was no enmity involved. My action was not premeditated. I just got up, placed the handset on the cradle, and went outside for an evening walk.

We never brought up these conversation-halting incidents in any formal way, but when are social conventions ever discussed? “Okay, now this is where I take your hand and pump it up and down a few times. Fine, fine, and thus are we bonded, my man.” It would have been bad form. It’s not something we needed to discuss in any case. Our unwritten rules were that either of us could hang up as whim dictated, and all hang-ups were final. No explanations, no call-backs.

Eventually conversations between my friend and me became more efficient. We knew that we might be disconnected at any moment, so it became necessary to get the important information out of the way as soon as possible. This adaptation, in turn, further informed our disconnection behavior, which fed back into adaptation, until we were using the phone more like an intercom. “Lunch tomorrow?” “Sounds good.” “Maybe somewhere up at the-” Click.

The primary result was that we had far more time to conduct other matters of business. The secondary result was that I started hanging up on other people. Like any habit, it’s a difficult thing to constrain by arbitrary rules. Perversion seeks ubiquity. But as I was offending my dwindling base of unenlightened friends, the question became ever more clear to me: why should we be the puppets of social expectation? Like a mating ritual among eunuchs, courtesy seemed borne upon some residual social inertia from a more formal age, at least as it pertains to our interactions with other individuals.

I recognized that, for most, change happens slowly, so I tempered my behavior accordingly. It became a balancing act, but I learned how to play the game without compromising my dignity. Still, the thoughts persisted: courtesy is founded upon a certain set of social expectations, which are further dependent upon a predictable chain of events. But if the chain of events were circumvented might not that obviate the requirement for courtesy? How can we be expected to willingly observe obsolete paradigms? Is that the ironic burden of self-determination?

By illustration: if you were in a restaurant and knew with absolute certainty that your friend had just been run over by a church bus, would you allow your meal to grow cold waiting for them out of mere courtesy, just to keep up appearances? I submit that you would not! You would eat, and you would eat well. Yet this is akin to the stubborn moral dilemma I find myself in almost daily.

I’ve tuned the slats of the blinds on my front window in such a way as to afford me an unobstructed view of my entire block. From the converted dentist chair in my living room I can see trouble before it sees me. I know when people are going to knock on my door well before they commit their knuckles to the task–a knowledge which renders useless every moment between now and that inevitable knock. If that’s not horrifying enough, there is the widely-held expectation that there will be a delay between a knock and the moment one can actually open a door. Opening that door mid-knock would necessitate a cascade of needless posturing: the mock surprise, the mock embarrassment, the mock laughter, and the mock conversation about how quickly I opened that crazy door. By which time I may as well have spent my day licking a small spot on the wall.

That I should do time behind my own door, waiting until it’s time to open it, is hardly a reasonable proposition. Maybe next time I should just keep on waiting indefinitely, gleefully mirroring the person on the front porch, mock-knocking as they knock, and then stomping off like a child when I never answer my door. And really, is it any great loss? I already know pretty much how it’s going to turn out anyway.


entry_161Lord of his demesne, the bookstore proprietor fixes me in his gaze as I fill out the form. More accurately, he watches my hand, scrutinizes its every movement. This is an intense man covered in tattoos, an unlikely combination. You’d think that someone who can take a needle in the eyelid might have a more placid bearing. But then again, maybe his friends did this to him as a prank after one of his late-evening post-binge blackouts.

The pressure is getting to me though. I can feel the onset of spontaneous arthritis, my joints stiffening in response, and I will soon be forced to flail my arm about in a futile attempt to dislodge the pen. Here I am, right on the verge of this, and the tattooed man has no idea. I glance up and see his forehead lined in concentration. He’s staring so intently at my pen hand that he doesn’t notice me watching him. Meanwhile, I’m on the edge of panic. Under his unwavering attention my letters unravel themselves. Lines that are usually straight become jagged with effort, and loops are left open, allowing the air to escape. My tongue emerges from between my teeth as I finally complete my first name.

“There,” I say, unable to conceal my sense of accomplishment. “Almost done now.”

Finally, the next line: Date. What’s the date? I lift my left wrist and read the digits on my watch. 20th of March. And I dutifully write, “Mar-”

“It’s March 21st,” interrupts the proprietor, hurrying me along. But he’s wrong. He’s given me the wrong information, and now he expects me to write it down.

“Oh,” I argue, but he fails to see what I’m driving at. He does not reconsider. He makes no move to correct himself. And as a result my pen hand has frozen in time, somewhere between the 20th and the 21st.

This is the very worst thing that could happen right now. If being self conscious isn’t bad enough, now I must come to terms with the consequences of my decision, whatever it may be. I know to the core of my being that it’s the 20th of the month, but do I risk raising the painted man’s ire by committing my conviction to ink? Would it be rude of me to write the correct day without first giving voice to my intention to do so?

I imagine the scene as he sees the second digit emerge from my whitened knuckles. “What’s that? Is that a two and a… a zero?” he reaches from behind the counter to rotate the form so he can see it. “March 20th. Interesting,” he says, and looks up at me as he takes a pull from his snifter of cognac. “Well you’ve just unleashed the fucking fury, haven’t you?” Then the flash of blades, and red foam, and cold linoleum on my teeth.

How can I be expected to function at all under his unrelenting stare is beyond me. I’ve never responded well under pressure. Back in school I would forget how to walk several times a day at the mere possibility that someone was watching me, judging my gait as I stumbled from class to class. My autopilot lever would flip to manual, and each of my joints became a plaintive voice in the din, “Where do I go now? Am I bending? Am I bending now?” And in my mind’s eye I would see my legs lifting mechanically like a prancing Clydesdale as I consciously kept my extremities from coming unhinged altogether, my very bones rotating in their sinuous webbing like the planks of a Jacob’s Ladder.

The pen now slick, I’ve completed the first digit the same way I did it in preschool, with stop-motion care.

Or maybe my adversary, the proprietor, has told me the incorrect date intentionally just to see my will buckle. “Write ‘coriander’ for the date,” he could just as easily say. “Do it now! C. O. R…” And I would do it, and afterward I would hand over my spine in a long, black coffin-shaped box.

As my pen touches down on paper even I don’t know what I’m going to write next. I realize that it all comes down to what’s important to me. Do I want to be right? Or do I want to fit in? It’s a basic question. Should I, through my actions, seek to enlighten, thereby improving the world? Or should I play along, keeping my righteousness a secret and fostering the grand illusion merely to avoid social distemper? And then what about the moral-

I quickly write “1” before I have a chance to ponder the questions any further. The proprietor snatches the form from me and heads into the back office to retrieve my parcel. So I am a marionette–I am a happy marionette. Or at least relieved, now freed from either decision or consequence. Chooose your battles, right?

And it’s a good thing that I didn’t put up a fight, because when I get home I realize that my watch is twelve hours and five minutes off.

Economy of Movement

entry_127Dear Gloria, your erratic vibrations are draining my very life force. The way you churn your lips as you whisper to yourself is–I assure you–unnecessary, unless it is your conscious desire to amass the impressive volume of foam spittle at the corners of your mouth, which I witness daily. Also, though the industrial cleaning agent you wear for perfume makes your eyes water without abatement, I hope that, each day anew, you’ll reconsider your decision to carry around a blotter kleenex that you nervously crumple, and rumple, and work, and work, and work, and work, until little balls of ruined fluff drop like silken spider eggs from between your palsied fingers. I hope you will not think me cruel for mentioning these things, but I’ve found that the way you obsessively touch anything that comes to your attention–picking it up, putting it down, moving it just slightly, or just touching it… touch… touch…–is stirring up a demon inside me whose intentions I am not yet entirely clear on.

It’s true that I have, lately, found my attentions focusing on the inefficiency with which people go about their daily routines. Let me be clear, Gloria: I refer here to basic movement. My eyes masked only by strategically lowered brows, I watch with smouldering contempt as these creatures exhibit themselves, obliviously inelegant, and ungainly to the point of being a threat to those around them. The frivolous motions they practice–the receptionist’s valley girl head wobble, the doorman’s extraneous facial expressions, the forever-gesticulating sales staff swinging their appendages around like tassels on a rodeo rider–do not act in the service of accomplishing a discrete goal. If dance is like visual poetry, then my days find me beset by some unnameable screed of black vulgarity.

I have honed my own physical processes to such a fine state of economy that I can regulate the very pucker of my follicles in such a way as to allow the wind to pass most efficiently through my hair. I have made the odd compromise, I’ll admit, as it is not yet possible for me to move through solid matter in a predictable way. But even then I have kept my calculations strict, and adjust only as necessary. Several of my familiars have protested when I breeze by them with only molecules to spare, tiny arcs of static electricity crawling across our skin momentarily. But those same people will accrue miles upon directionless miles by the time they reach the end of their lives, and all that time heading nowhere, like derelict sailboats in the unyielding gale.

It takes timing and coordination, to be sure, and great attention to detail. But the alternative, Gloria, is dire. To squirm and convulse yourself into oblivion, eroding joint and joint, is just not dignified. Consider the Portuguese Man-of-War who thinks of nothing more each day than this: Dangle. And ingest. What shall I do today? Dangle. And ingest. You’ll not come across a skittering or giggling or fidgeting Portuguese Man-of-War, because they are content, secure, and planning for something which we may all come to know in due time.

In the meantime, Gloria, I beg you: please be still.


entry_127What is the subtle chemical thing that prevents us from acting on our every whim? What restrictive tincture in the broth of our brains acts as the arbiter of proper conduct? Given the limited time during which we have the physical capacity to realize any notion, why not simply exercise absolute free will, to celebrate the myriad possibilities life has to offer?

These are the thoughts that consume me as I drive safely in my lane, or stand inert in the shower, or as I’m sitting in meetings, or–especially–when people are telling me their secrets. To what extent are these strictures self-imposed? That’s really the crux of the matter. Are we by nature creatures of resigned abstinence? I’ve long pondered this notion of self-control–or call it morality if you insist. And I bring it up only as I wonder: What is the first thing anyone would do without this governing thing?

Imagine for a moment a single redemptive act, a determined, decisive act of will from which there can be no turning back. This act is not meant to be sustainable, for you do not seek order, balance, or stability. This plan is beautiful in its simplicity. Imagine selecting a town at random, and renting a hotel room there, a large room, positively the largest that cash reserves would allow. It is the Presidential Suite, and it is excessive, gratuitous, vulgar. The liquidation of savings necessary to procure this room is of no concern to you. Now, finally, imagine filling that room with as many dogs as could possibly be collected.

After securing the room you head out to the animal shelters, to the pet stores, and you answer every classified ad for dog and puppy adoption that you can get your hands on. You acquire hundreds of dogs–thousands–with a cold righteousness. You are a tireless machine, driving the creatures back to your hotel room, slamming the door behind them, and then you’re off for still more.

When you spot a dog you catch it. You clamber easily over chain link fences into peoples’ yards at night to collect their unsuspecting dogs. You intimidate the dogs into compliance, or use mental tricks to confuse them. You drug the creatures if you need to, but not lethally. You want them alive. You want them alive in that hotel room.

How long would it be before someone noticed? How long could you sustain the lie to keep the curious at bay? How long could you distract the management with the clever use of the “do not disturb” card?

Why do we not swerve into traffic? How is it that we resist? It would take but a slight nudge of the wheel–less energy even than it takes to open a jar of capers. What prevents us from gleefully breaking the things most precious to us? Are we not curious beings? Why do we not smite the elderly with reproachful slaps as they lean in for life-affirming hugs? Surely it’s not retaliation we fear.

Each time you hesitate you lose a piece of yourself.

Instead, do what you need to do. Be not confined by the need to continue a reasonable life after this defining event. Stake your claim to the present, and let each action become a mechanical, inevitable realization of fearsome purpose. Financial concerns, the fear of tainted reputation, a lengthening arrest record, or even about the prospect of serious injury–those distractions must be discarded.

And now, finally, use every resource at your disposal toward this one end: filling a hotel room with dogs until they are stacked to the fucking ceiling.

No Story

With my seasonal cold in full swing, and the fluid in my ears high as a Venetian flood, every turn of my head is met by dry scratchy sounds, and my own voice is hollow and unfamiliar. I mention these things because it puts me in mind of the time I was buried alive.

When people find out that I was abducted when I was 13, and buried alive in a smallish wooden box for 111 days with only an air and feeding tube to sustain me, the first question they ask is, “How did it affect you?” And I tell them, “Not in any interesting way.” I wonder what is it they would like me to say? I’ll grant you that when you’re confined in such a small space with your arms pinned by your sides, and your own breath hot on your nose and shallow in your ear, you discover that your perspective on things is more prone to shifting than you thought possible before. It’s understandable, because your priorities become greatly focused, and everything else you thought about on the outside becomes so much noise. After a time you may even find that it’s hard to imagine keeping all those old concerns in your head at the same time. Even the notion of there being an in-side and an out-side becomes nothing more than a distressing distraction.

Limited as it is, the world inside the box is, finally, understandable. It’s graspable. You might say that it’s perfect in a way, despite presenting a challenge initially to your comfort preferences. My hands were bound at the wrists, so the luxury of being able to scratch an itch quickly became an abstraction. My new ascetic lifestyle presented me with few social options, so I was forced to seek creative solutions with those few resources available to me. When I panicked, for instance, I would gulp cool air from that plastic air tube, and it would whistle in that single hollow note that I hear sometimes still, not very far from where I’m sitting now.

You always hear the story of people who were buried alive, and how the experience affected them in deep and meaningful ways. But to me that story – the story that there is even a story – is nothing but a useless din. And what do you learn from clamor except that relief only comes from blocking your ears of it? No, what’s far more interesting to me is the possibility that someone buried alive might emerge without being affected at all. Is such beyond the realm of possibility? I posit that it is not, and have devoted my entire dirt-floored basement to prove my theory. My living mausoleum can accommodate up to twelve guests at a time – all the better to find those few who emerge without a story. And that, my friends, is the most peaceful story of all.

Notes from the Cell, Pt. II

Dear Diary,

What are things? Or, more specifically, to what extent must something change before it becomes something else, something new, something unique? Persistence of vision gives us the illusion that things are static–all the shrieking in the world won’t magically turn a pair of reinforced tri-hinged handcuffs into an insubstantial cloud of stochastic pixels. That’s what I used to tell my house guests time and time again, ironically. And, now, we can rely on the three walls and iron bars still being there in the morning, unchanged, for the next 15 years (or ten for good behavior).

But change is everywhere. A bone broken is a fracture–but where was the fracture before I heard what you said about me? Are your bones then nothing more than a collection of potential fractures? It makes me think: maybe things can only become other things when we have names for them. Like a fallen tree part becomes a “stick.” Or stony particulate becomes “dirt.” Or you walking around without my fist buried in your face yet are a “target.” Without a unique appellation, an object can never rise above the level of being a piece of something else. It will never be something more. Something greater.

What’s interesting is when things become other things without changing. Sometimes velocity alone is all that’s required to make one thing another thing. A rock is a rock, but hurl it four thousand miles an hour and suddenly it’s a meteor. And myself, when I’m sitting in church, inert, I’m an anonymous part of the crowd. But three minutes later when I’m barrelling through that crowd toward you for looking at my girl the wrong way I become both your worst nightmare and the means by which your future therapist enjoys her new Mercedes. And let us not forget that just about anything–including dentures–can become a blunt weapon, if one has both the creativity and the desire.

We live in a world of apparent solids, but in reality things are, right down to their molecules, in a state of constant flux, their forms malleable, their definitions transient. Opportunities abound to realize new things which have no precedent: The crawlspace behind the shower vent is a gorntu. The cellmate who rats me out is a fyndilliper. And my crushed spirit becomes my… nuchiato blennthining. And perhaps this diary is no longer a diary at all, as it changes anew with each word writ.

Speaking of which, I need cut this entry short as I’ve run out of toilet paper and my finger is just about bled dry.