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Near Life Experience
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Date:2006-10-17 09:59
Subject:All Paths Lead to X: let sleeping moths lie
Security:Public

The house seemed smaller to you somehow. You had always remembered it as a great behemoth that loomed over the yard. Now it stood before you, crippled; an oblique giant collapsing under its own weight like an old man; a moldy backdrop of late evening sky crested its pointed rooftops; pillars, once white, now mottled with age. In its day it was but one of the tens and dozens of similar looking rowhouses cresting the abutting ravine in broad precision strokes of architectural force. One part of the suburban drain-swirl of carefully manicured lots and council-planning.

You walk around back where, as a child, you used to bury bottle caps and fat brown earthworms and occasionally baby robins that had fallen from their nests high amongst the weaving zigzag of maple and ash. Carefully, you make your way around the broken bits of glass, sidestepping the crumbling infrastructure; prying the door ajar.

Where once you would sit in the sun and outline the shapes of animals with coloured chalk, now crabgrass flourished. A glance down reveals the partially skeletonized remains of a cat.

The Corridor. You push past the door frame where, in your youth, your mother would diligently mark how much you'd grown that past year - never notching the wood as with a knife, but defacing it in a much gentler way – etching soft grey lines onto the now yellowing panel with pencil. You struggle to find something on that pitted frame - a name, a date. Anything. But her elegant (or was it stern?) schoolteacher's script had long since worn away.

You make your way inside. The faint rustle of pigeon wings, spooked into activity by your intrusion, flap ineffectually somewhere outside.

The Kitchen. In your mind you could still hear the familiar click of the gas oven where the cookies were burnt...and the hum of the refrigerator that creaked on its hinges whenever it was opened.

Gone were the display towels that would drape over opposite ends of the oven door like a pair of wounded lovers. Gone was the ornamental bowl of glass fruit - icy, ripened spheres of nectarine, pomegranate and grape impregnating the warmth of a terra cotta bowl (which she would, almost on cue, proudly inform you she haggled her way into picking up for next to nothing during a trip to Mexico) - that decorated the kitchen counter. Gone were the octagonal mason jars, each filled with carefully packed rows of coloured lentils. Set to line the windowsill in gentle earth tones forever. Never to be opened.

Everything, everywhere, Look but do not touch.

A pointless showcase. A perverse 7th grade science fair diorama - How far will a balloon-powered car travel at different incline heights? "For Display Purposes Only". Look, but don't look too closely; don't notice the cracks in the cornice, cleverly veiled behind thick layers of sealant. Mother explained it all to you once (when you were not as young but just as malleable). You were eleven. One afternoon she ushered you into her bedroom, guiding you not by means of any direct gestures or words but with a sort of bodiless elastic pressure. Which suited you just fine, really, because you loved being in your mother's room. It had an elegant femininity to it. True, it was a bedroom like any other, and not entirely unlike your own, but at the same time... At the same time it was so transparently different from your own Child's Bedroom - where the only decoration came in the shape of glossy photos torn from magazines (covering the eggshell white of your bedroom walls; held in place with weak blue poster gum so as not to peel the paint) - a young girl's pictorial of horses gradually being replaced by photos of rock bands - and a diminishing collection of stuffed animals, as you struggled to leave your childish ways behind you. Your mother's bedroom, much like your mother (as you would only later come to understand), had the sad beauty of a shopworn cake.

Mother's Bedroom. Toying briefly with ideas of buoyancy, you jackknifed onto the cottony bedspread; your slender, girlish hips bouncing against the large and springy mattress. With incurved toes you fumblingly got them beneath the quilt, between quilt and sheet, you laughed, got them right this time, and curled up tightly in the warmth of your mother's enormous comforter which, no matter how often it was washed, always came out smelling faintly of her perfume. With elbows thrown back against the pillow and resting on either side of your head like wings, you were a sleeping moth. You let your eyes dance around the room as she composed herself in her dressing mirror. You watched as the hairbrush came into contact with her dark hair in precision strokes. You were captivated by the shape of her. The way her soft and feminine curves filled out the lacey bodice of her nightgown. (Why is it that when you are a child you desperately long to be an adult, and once you are an adult the process suddenly dematerializes, becomes reversed, and you yearn with sweet-toothed ambition to become a child once more?) In the corner, a perfectly functional, perfectly hideous bronze floor lamp. Its thick and corrugated shade the colour of curdled milk festooned with pearl-grey bird droppings. Lumpy garnets and offensive yellow topaz encrusted the asymmetrical interspaces along its length. Despite a year or so of your scowling disapproval, it seemed to have grown to a great height, like an enormous weed, from the sandy depths of carpet.

You remember, her soft brown eyes seemed clouded and distant when you noticed her reflection again – this time directed at you. She paused briefly from brushing her hair. "The one thing you must understand," she said, as she carefully set the gilt hairbrush onto the vanity, "is that we have never been a family. We are only five people living in the same house, who just happen to be related by blood." She tilted her chin towards the window, her movements delicate and bird-like. Only now did you notice the soft yellow bruises highlighting the apples of her cheeks. Only now did you see the dark circles cupping her eyes.

How is it that you missed them before?

To the concern of all others, you were, of course, a normal, functioning family unit. But to the chilling testimonial of your mother (and your own, years later, when you were older and your soft spine had calcified), you were the window dressings of a dead man.

The Study. And where there were no signs (other than a lack of umbilical cords) to show that this was once part of the orphanage you once knew, you heard your father closeted up in his study – the leathery smell of his briefcase and cigar smoke seemingly infused in the walls themselves. Your Father, famous for his "children should be seen and not heard" philosophy of child rearing. Famous too, for his quick hand and quicker temper. Your small skull still bore the scars to prove it.

But despite all this, in spite of all this, you remained undeterred. With malleable wills and soft skulls, you grabbed your sister's hand and together crept out from under the watchful eye of your guardians - out into the garden where you chased each other through the tea roses and prairie asters who laughed and danced with you under the moonlight. Many a summer's night burned into dawn with you creeping back into your bed with chlorophyll-stained knees and dirtied fingernails. Purposeful fumbling beneath your mattress for your flashlight and your book to curl up with under the covers. And there you remained, cocooned in a sort of down-filled silence, until your tiny yawns came too quickly to be stilled, and your eyelids, too heavy.

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Date:2003-12-15 22:58
Subject:
Security:Public

i don't even have the words.

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Date:2003-12-10 22:54
Subject:drowning by numbers pt.3
Security:Public

last night i woke myself up midway between a laugh and a sob. a dim, white, amorphous blob dancing against the back of my throat. it was strangely wonderful.

that's where i woke up the first time. i fell asleep again though, shortly after toying with the last bit of it tangled up at the base of my chest. uncoiling, it made for my trachea where, stopped by inferior forces, it remained in wait, hoevering in the black depths. Readying itself for another leap.

{D is for dreams}

late afternoon. i was making my way across some unknown suburb (one of those familiar WASPs-Only, upper middle-class, cookie-cutter paradises). the bedrock (brought in from a quarry by the truckload by mexican immigrants (safely) two states away) was laid out neatly in a skein of intricate pathways that ran parallel to and encircled topiaries shaped like giant swans and. fuck. bunny rabbits. all manner of creatures never intended to be reproduced botanically.

stolid fountains that seemed also to fall based on the town council's ordinance. bending the laws of physics so that Leeward didn't exist and even the wind gusts could not persuade them from emptying their contents outside of their marbeled 3-foot basins. no matter direction, or force. reflected in the basins, an achromatic copy of the same.


{view from a second story window}

beneath cream-coloured cornices. out of sight. barefooted. ghosted in a thin white nightgown (nightgowns. jesus. i haven't worn a nightgown since i was thirteen), tightly hugging the houses' pale exteriors. blindly navigating. fingertips against stucco. reading architecture like braille. the grass, moist from the finest spray of water bold enough to defy Bylaw 127.4. (b). dampened the soles of my feet as i darted between giraffe and peltated aztec sun. with dirty feet, i traced the walkway down to where it emptied into a lake bed some distance below.

crossing one of the open-windows. radio static. i tried calling out to my sister, S., but she was too busy palm-trapping waterbugs. tadpoles. her head bobbed up briefly. long enough to dispatch a bright grin my way (at that age, children cannot be said to smile in any settled way. the smile is not so much localized as it is diffused throughout the whole frame). too far away, i thought, as i slipped into the lake from the opposite bank, reluctantly. obligingly. an ice cream cone on a hot city street. seeping into the black asphalt pores. a thousand hungry mouths wanting to swallow. me. i remember not wanting to let go of the concrete precipice (note to self: so it was more like a swimming pool than a pond, was it?). my toes gripping it almost desperately. then. a sharp intake of breath; knees folded tightly to my chest. soft skin plunged into dark. i remember trying to acclimate myself to the shock of being submerged. it was all ice and calm at first, the numbing womb of water cradling my sheltered body a few feet beneath the surface. then fire. a few panicked gulps and up i came, bobbing, sputtering, lungs screaming for air; hands flailing around desperately for the concrete lip that meant Safety (which i then proceeded to cling to in a tight, white-knuckled grip). or.. did i even break the surface tension? did i calm myself? bring my knees up to surface level? clutching the land-water threshold with one hand, while easing onto my back. scraping my right kneecap against the wall.

dreams of drowning, half-remembered.

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Date:2003-01-14 11:40
Subject:amoebas leave no fossils
Security:Public



DELETED

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Date:2003-01-09 12:50
Subject:Goodbye! Oolong!!
Security:Public

Not certain whether many of you had been following the habits of a peculiar japanese man with a penchant for keeping a photo-diary of his prodigious little friend, Oolong, the pancake rabbit, but I thought I might pass along a head's up that our little pal Oolong has passed away.

You can find a brief photo-epitaph of Oolong's Last Day on his website here. (Don't forget to read the image tags!)

8 years is a rather long time for a bunny to live. From the dedication that went into chronicling this neat little e-zine of Oolong's Zany Adventures, I think it's safe to say, his owner loved him very much.

RIP little guy.

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Date:2003-01-03 12:40
Subject:Attention K-Mart Shoppers
Security:Public


NEWSFLASH...... NEWSFLASH...... NEWSFLASH...... NEWSFLASH...... I have nothing interesting to say...

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Date:2002-12-23 20:37
Subject:Guns of Brixton
Security:Public

In their later years, The Clash, perhaps, became pretty much every post-punker's whipping boys for their relapse into punk rock iconography - for becoming peons of a major label.

But man, what a kick in the pants it must have been, to have been around to appreciate them in their hayday. Droves of card-carrying rebel-rockers stomping their boots; applauding infectious hooklines as they rallied against inertia.

I can only imagine.

As for everything else, it's like the guy said..

"Fuck the fiddley bits".
Joe Strummer (1952-2002)

RIP

http://www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/23/obit.strummer/index.html

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Date:2002-11-21 00:26
Subject:ever just have one of those days?
Security:Public

i need a hug please
>BAD COMMAND OR FILE NAME
please? :[
>DUPLICATE FILE NAME OR FILE NOT FOUND
but..
>INVALID FILE NAME
>GENERAL SYSTEMS FAILURE
>Sympathy.sys FILE CORRUPT
>Reassurance.sys FILE CORRUPT
>Reality.sys FILE CORRUPT
>REBOOT EXISTENCE? Y/N_

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Date:2002-11-05 10:41
Subject:parcelled seeds
Security:Public

"Good morning," said the little prince.
"Good morning," said the flower.

"Where are the people?" the little prince inquired politely.

The flower had one day seen a caravan passing.

"People? there are six or seven of them, I believe, in existence. I caught sight of them years ago. But you never know where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, which hampers them a good deal."

"Goodbye," said the little prince.

"Goodbye," said the flower.

'The Little Prince' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Date:2002-11-04 10:40
Subject:judas holes
Security:Public
Mood:found and lost

Ah well, you see, he got up out of his too-tight
chair, with his too-tight skin and walked off into the
wood. I knew he was longing to ruck the appearance of
things aside as he had drawn the curtain from the
surface of the morning. Night had taken him no
further; he dreamed no lead-shot sky; no ripened tales
to relate - he came to no conclusions.
He had to pass through the appearance of things as one
would pass through an open-ended mirror. He was to be
justified, i think. Someone or other came in just
before he left with a tray of poached eggs, salt,
toast, butter. He ransacked the eggs like two soft and
shallow purses; the toast he left as untouched brittle
sheets - too thin to be two-dimensional; he had
unscrewed the salt cellar and poured dry savoury
powder over a clean plate. I imagined him peering into
the sides of every crystal as if it were window glass,
stained with the juice of some exotic animal. A
crystallography text-book lay open on the carpet:
paged ripped and scattered in a fit of anger. I was wrong
- he ate nothing. His every action was governed by a search;
this search; his search; but everything seemed too shallow.
The one fine, deep person he knew refused him because
he could see no deeper - he knew his own shallowness
(it tormented him). I hated the role of priest, but he
fascinated me with his handicap. If i had been a
doctor i could have sent him back to childhood to pick
up threads lost, but i am too self-absorbed and
unstable (this for him was depth) and i sufficed.
Occasionally, he would smile at me with a full-fed
mouth and say that he had got into my blood.
The world seemed filmed with skin. People drooped
palely in his company, but this was a reflection of
the discomfort they caused him - the cause.
But, like a vampire, he must have stepped out of his
time to become like some delicate animal whose grace
is combustion, for he has gone. There is no trace. He
must have broken his skin, become a pebble, or
faster-flowing like a stream. He is out of our time
for, wherever he is, he has begun to draw his things
after him, leaving only the faintest of impressions -
an impetuous attitude; a habit of unpeeling and
peering at the parcelled seeds of a flower; a line
sketch on glass; a gesture near a mirror.

R.

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Date:2002-10-28 17:49
Subject:Zero Hour (Or, How to Disappear Completely)
Security:Public

He is coughing up blood on the wall of the barracks. The wet, squelching sound of his lungs making me wince. I watch, through the small, half-shuttered windows of my eyelids as I stumble out of a dream - how he wipes at his mouth with shaking hand, pressing the other against the wall - trying to let go, then clutching at it again hastily. Too unsteady on his feet; too dizzy at the thought of taking a full breath. Ribs must hurt like he's breathing shards of glass, I think, as I stare at him in the dim light filtering in through the small grime-covered window in the far wall. But even with no-one there to see him as he stands there, half hunched over in the dark, chest curling protectively around his belly, his face maintains the same expression as always: cold, cloudy, aloof.

I lay back in my cot, careful not to draw attention to myself. He'll only stare right past me anyways, I remind myself. Never really looks at anyone, that guy, more - through them. It's unnerving as hell. Makes a lot of folks uneasy. Like they suddenly cease to exist whenever he's around. Not being around - Hell, I'm used to it now I guess. Been trying to disappear for years.

Resigning myself to being awake, I fold my arms behind my head and stare at the ceiling. Or rather, what passes for the ceiling. Meters and meters of leaky, rusted pipes crossing over and interlocking with one another. Pinging off each other and shooting off in all directions like a fucking pinball machine. A fucked up dope dream animation of increasingly smaller and smaller rectangles. I always thought if you stared at it long enough, you'd lose it. Like that guy in D-Wing.

It can only be only so entertaining, laying there, day after day, where the only way to break up the monotony of sleeping, pissing, eating and waiting, is by jerking off at the ceiling.

Frank. That was his name. He came from from somewhere in California. Napa, I think. It was hard to imagine this gruff, impassionate stiff with his rough gaze and his tough, leathered skin - skin where the dirt looked Ground-In - as once wearing crisp, oxford collar dress shirts; whisps of sun-bleached hair blowing into his eyes. Spending summers drag racing with his buddys from the varsity football team in his father's new Jag. In fact, it was next to impossible trying to imagine Frank as a kid at all. The rules of normal human gestation just didn't apply to a guy like that. He was born an old man.

So how the fuck did a college-educated kid from The Valley manage to get stuck in here?
Trapped in an twelve-by-eight room with, for all the conversation it sparked, a corpse for a bunkmate.

I guess we'd never know, seeing as how Frank wasn't exactly taken to divulging any more than was absolutely required of him. Asking him about his past would be like..trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Every once in a while though, you'd hear something through the grapevine - from a guy who knew a guy who used to go to school with him, or whatever. That was how I came to know his name.

Here in The Hole, that's what we called it, life seems to overlook you. The monotony of it all forms a crust on your brain and spirit nothing seems able to break up and dissolve. As the weeks and the months pass you by, you simply lose the ability and desire to make decisions for yourself anymore. Until the hive of inactivity upstairs, the empty buzzing inside your brain, finally breaks you. Asking "the screws" without a trace of shame, for example, if you had permission to go take a piss. Where's the pride in that? There were countless nights when I'd lay awake, listening to the sounds of grown men, men who had crawled through the trenches on their bellies - spilling blood in the name of their country, crying themselves to sleep.

I rolled over onto my side and stared at the wall, looking on through the peripheral scope of my vision as Frank wiped the blood from his lips with the back of his hand, mechanically procuring a cigarette from his pocket. Closing my eyes, I listened to the sound of a match igniting as it was dragged across the sole of his boot. A sharp scent of sulfur invaded the cell.

My thoughts pooled around me. Eventually, that's all you have left. Half-forgotten memories - fractured moments of a life you used to have before the rot and the stink and the sickness and depravity of it all set in. Sometimes I'd sit there and think back, back to before it all began. When I was still just a kid myself, going to high school back in Orange County. I remember. I was dating Andrea Jenkins. Cliche as it may sound, she was so completely different from any of the other girls I'd ever met. She had just transfered over from a school in Wyoming when her father relocated for work. I remember the wild, dark nest of hair that framed her face and tumbled down around her shoulders in stubborn waves. She was so intense in everything she did. I loved how the crisp, dark green of her irises, like the colour of wet leaves, would brighten whenever they would fix on something; irradiating mischief and shared secrets. Whenever she looked at me, I felt as though my whole body were on the verge of caving in on itself. But she'd just cock her head at me and flash me That Grin. Whenever Andrea smiled, she smiled with her whole body. She had a way about her that made me feel as though every fucked up thing in the world didn't matter anymore.

I still carried her picture around in my pocket. I remember the day we took it as though it were yesterday. We were skipping class to hang out at the mall. She'd worn this pleated tartan skirt that showed off a fair bit of her thighs whenever she'd bend down. She had on these torn black stockings underneath and boots neatly laced up to mid-calf. Her faded black t-shirt read, "The Queen is Dead". She had a kind of magnetism that drove guys wild, but she never really seemed to notice them. She'd just bowl them over with that big brain of hers. She had all these Thoughts - about "society", about "political activism", about "global reform"... She would just cunningly bilk them into a state of babbling idiocy in their attempts to try to impress her.
That was just Andrea. That was my girl.

I remember how she stuffed her hand into mine and strode off with me. How we lurched around the old folks, listlessly strolling past shop windows - dead on the inside already, and the Breeders, who struggled to manoever their strollers around display racks as they drove in steady warnings to the older children - Not-to-Touch-Anything - fishing through their purses, all the while, for store coupons and tissues. I remember that distinct feeling of being alive as we stole glances at each other, grinning wildly as we weaved through them.

That was the day she dragged me into one of those one-dollar photo booths. You know the ones I mean, the ones where you have five minutes or whatever to position yourself for these three passport-sized photos that get spat out the other end from a shiney passport photo-sized coinslot. Decisively, she stuffed me in the booth, plugged in four quarters and jumped into my lap. Fifteen minutes later, we were still squirreled away behind the curtain, kissing each other and just making out.

I loved how she would sort of half-squint her eyes at me, giving me her token look of cocky disapproval at something silly I'd done - like squirm and dig my heels in a bit at the thought of having my picture taken. Sometimes, I don't know if she ever knew, but I'd kick up a bit of a stink over something I was otherwise completely ambivolent about - just to see her face light up. Watching the animated way the corners of her eyes, outlined in heavy black eye-liner, would suddenly crease up - crinkling into tiny fans as she playfully scowled at me with that slightly crooked mouth; it made me feel alive.

That was before I joined This Man's Army. Before I enlisted in The Corps and wound up in this fucked up humanity circus. That was back when there was still life in me. In any of us.

We were an army of usless robots. Programmed to do, whatever it was They told us to do.
Programmed to die for them. And any way you looked at it, that was exactly what we were doing. This place sucked the life right out of you. The Hole. This inhuman place made human monsters of us.

The Robot Frank flicked his cigarette against the wall, causing it to hiss and scatter over the cement floor in a shower of sparks.

A lonely shot echoed from one of the rooms down the corridor.
Frank hardly raised an eyebrow as he moved to stub out the remainder of his cigarette.
Gunpowder.
The scent of death.

Man down.


post script: colour me inspired by This Guy - who tore off my mask and thrust me into the light.

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Date:2002-10-13 12:50
Subject:In other news
Security:Public

I woke up this morning, after a pretty solid (for once) 8 hours of sleep - punctuated, however, at NINE AM (on a weekend - for fuck's sake people!) by the sounds of that idiot couple caterwalling upstairs who, i swear to god, must take turns rolling each other around in fucking SHOPPING TROLLIES across the floorboards while wearing STILLETOES. Ugh.

can't recall any dreams i might have had however. Not that i could if i WANTED TO (pauses here to glare, once again, pointedly through the ceiling). Although yesterday's (dream) unfolded rather interestingly, if not rather curiously.

unfortunately, at this stage, only a few choice moments from it spring to mind (aside: ever have one of those moments where you wake up from a dream with it still so fresh in your mind, so tantalizingly vivid and surreal that you feel you'd rather just stay home from work/obligation and hole yourself up in your bedroom just have the occasion to commit it to memory for later dissection/marvel? Well, this was one of those.).

Well, as the saying goes, "here goes nothing".

I remember a part where i was walking through these streets, still slick with rain - cigarette butts and bits of shredded paper and wet leaves all vying to pool around the hungry mouths of gutters. I was walking with C. *somewhere* when we stopped at an intersection to let the traffic pass. I recall looking across the pavement - washed in its steady stream of cars and deliciously bathed in a background noise of half-heard shouts from car windows, tin-y laughter mixed with sirens and horns and the sounds of gravel being kicked up from spinning tires.

I happened across a man, an acrobat of a kind (i could only imagine), balancing precariously on a high tensile wire which sprung up from the the dirt at the base of a small rolling hill - just kittycorner to our sentry. Funny thing was, and this is where it hit me, that aside from the ant-like swarming of a handful of individuals around its base, we (that is to say, C. and i) appeared to be the only two people around. A little "odd'', considering the hub of activity flowing all around us. Still waiting for the lights to change, i let my gaze follow his barely visible trajectory ever upwards. I discovered, much to my amazement, that here, only a matter of a few dozen meters above me, was an entire network of people, (officious businessmen weilding briefcases and copies of The Times tucked neatly under their arms; well-dressed women striding off importantly; children; mothers toting little brown lunch bags while protectively clutching the tiny hands of their brood, who in turn, were themselves either dressed smartly in their school uniforms or tucked away in a self-satisfied manner, grunting contentedly from within their prams) happy little pedestrians filling the monochromatic sky with bursts of furious colour, decisively skipping from path to path like cable cars.

Coming down from my marvel, i turned to C. to comment on what i had just born witness to, only to find her streaking through the traffic to hop into M's car (which happened to be one of those at a standstill, waiting for the lights to change). No sooner had i gotten over my surprise and managed to shake my windpipes out of their stupified daze, then they were off at the lights.

I'd missed them.

Now standing alone, brow creased with hard furrows of confusion and indecisiveness, i pondered what to do next. Looking down at my feet (hoping an answer would come to me?), i realised, to my surprise, that i hadn't any shoes on. My feet were dirty; the fine grains of industry dusting my toes and gathering in the tiny grooves of my skin. Now, i remember standing there for some time, hoping for some sort of 'divine intervention' (i couldn't accurately guess as to how long i might have been standing there for - you know how it is, how time seems to go during dreams - a minute can seem to drag on for an hour, and comparatively, entire years can somersault past you in the blink of an eye. Toddler-to-Adult in 2.4 nanoseconds). Anyways, through some Miracle of Dymanic Time Displacement, i was (rudely) shaken from my stupor by the sound of a carhorn hurling it's mechanical expletives at me from the roadside. Lo and behold, it was Them. Only they were in a different car. It was a dirty white Chevy Blazer (i only remember the model because it was the car my father "got with me in mind" when i was learning to drive. though, ours was black (of course) heh.) Somehow, i managed to dodge the heavy traffic and greatfully pile myself into the back of the cab. C. was behind the wheel (a point of interest i remark upon for the simple fact that She.Doesn't.Drive.).

Now this is where my memory becomes somewhat sketchy. I can only vaguely recall a few 'scenes' after this.

I remember going with C + M to M's grandmother's place. A tiny, grey-haired, wrinkle of a woman who lived in an pretty little birdcage of a house, decorated in that homey, Oh-So-Twee way you would expect. The home of an 80 year old widow who *lived* for plying her grandchildren with comfort foods and warm stories. A woman who always seemed to have an interminable supply of hand-squeezed lemonade and freshly baked cookies at the ready. A sweet, but somewhat senile, old woman with a scatty recollet and a penchant for fluctuating between memory and reality - interacting confusingly with her generations of dependants (eg. folding a crisp two dollar bill into the palm of her 23 year old grandson with which to "go and buy some sweets"). I remember her delicately manoevering the three of us into The Tea Room (which had a bed??) while she fluttered back into the kitchen to fetch us "something to nibble on". We proceeded to make ourselves comfortable - C. and M. piling into a pair of overstuffed armchairs and myself, onto the plush floral duvet, tucked around the bed like a giant sheet of giftwrap.

Moments later it seemed, she returned with a tray, laden with buiscits still hot from the oven, and a pitcher of lemonade for The Kids..and for herself, a paper bag filled with..popcorn?? (not just *any* popcorn mind you, it was a bag of Orville Reddenbacker's Theatre Style Extra Butter Microwave Popcorn(TM)) It dangled, like an injured mouse, from between her fingertips, as she precariously set down the tray before us. She proceeded to (what i can only describe as) 'drape herself' along the edge of an ornately-carved rosewood vanity and sort of 'glide' across its border towards us. As she haltingly approached the end of the vanity, the aromatic contents of her package came wafting out , coating the room in the distinctive scent of melted butter. But it came in moments.

C., M. and i looked up simultaneously and caught each others' puzzled gazes of amusement. We silently exchanged secretive grins over the pungent cloud of O. Reddenbacker. Tension subsided. And then, to the amazement of all, grand mama deposited herself, in one gracefully precisioned minuet, ONTO the bed and, in fact, right onto ME.

The last thing i remember, is the distinct feeling of surprise i was overwhelmed with, at her juxtaposing her frail little limbs against mine; curling up against me like some strange little cat to a bowl of warm milk,. Contentedly popping a few kernels of popcorn into her mouth.

It was a strange dream after all.

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Date:2002-06-03 17:25
Subject:Someone stab my brain for me please, I think i missed a spot.
Security:Public

..and to top things off, i had a protracted (and i use this word VERY specifically, though based on the ensuing conversation it might be more apt to say the conversation moved more or less along the lines of being "compacted" or "extracted") vis-a-vis with the vapid, window-licking IDIOTS at the Visa switchboard.

ME: "Hi. Yea. I've just committed the first payment on the balance owing on my account..."

THEM: [breathing]

ME: "Uhh.. So anyways, I was wondering if it's been processed and if and when I'll be getting a receipt."

THEM: "Your account number."

ME: "Oh right. It's 0121-12852."

THEM: "You'll have to go slower than that."

ME: "Oh sorry. 0121128.."

THEM: (I swear) 022-.."

ME: [gritting teeth] "Heh. No.."

THEM: "I'm sorry," (i swear somebody *Up There* was laughing) "I'm afraid you'll have to repeat the number ..and Go Slower."

ME: (focusing my quickly glazing-over sights on..eraser leavings, the thickness of the lead in my pencil (is it REALLY 0.7mm? Hmm. III wonder.), how many threads ARE there in the wall dividers around my cubicle?,and painfully scrutinizing the 'decorative wainscoting' around the office..ANYTHING to keep me from spitting out some scathing rebuke about how such a world renouned financial institution could be so misdirected as to garner the employment of such PASTE-SNIFFING MORONS WITH ALL THE MENTAL AQCUITY OF A FUCKING CARROT to work customer service)
[breathe]
"0...1...2...D A S H..."

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Date:2002-03-11 12:47
Subject:Brother, can you spare a..limb?
Security:Public

</a>


"Yikes" is about the best i can muster right now..
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</a>

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Date:2002-02-17 17:20
Subject:Billy Graham baptisms
Security:Public

vespertine fragments trapped in a liquid erosion of self-mauling and creationist thought catels.

how is it that despite everything slowly changing or evolving or permutating or what have you, it still some how manages to stay precisely the same?

what's that all about anyways?

huh?

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Date:2002-02-13 19:59
Subject:Hello Operator. ..Hello? Operator, are you there??
Security:Public
Mood:no cure for one-note Sambas


</a>


Okay, this REALLY made my day
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Date:2002-01-09 15:43
Subject:Weekend Weather Update
Security:Public










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Date:2002-01-09 15:27
Subject:What's in a name?
Security:Public
Mood:deja vu

Dear God:

The following analysis describes a few qualities of your first name. There are many additional factors (legal name, nicknames, family surname, combined names, previous names, and business signature) that contribute to your entire personality - and your entire life.


God
_______________________________________________________________

Your name God gives you a strong sense of responsibility in business and material affairs, and the practicality and determination to make a success of anything you undertake. Your ability to organize and direct the efforts of others enables you to excel in any managerial position because you have the ability to grasp the concept of a goal complete with an understanding of the steps to be taken. This name has allowed you to develop depth and breadth of mind. You are able to retain facts, to grasp new information to your existing store of knowledge. You never seem to be out of your depth of understanding. For these reasons others who may not have the same quickness of mind classify you as a "know it all" and, although you may be highly respected, this characteristic is unlikely to endear you to your associates. You have a very responsible nature, are capable and mature, and are willing to assume a position as a pillar of the community. You are quite healthy, but possible trouble areas are found in the generative organs.

_______

i have the nagging suspicion someone wittier than i has done this before.

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Date:2002-01-09 01:05
Subject:Crossroads
Security:Public
Mood:dorky

I don't care what you say, there's no WAY Ralph Macchio plays guitar better than Steve Vai.

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Date:2001-12-30 07:05
Subject:just add water
Security:Public

Basically, I don't get it why people get off on being pretty and nothing else. All I need in life is two pairs of pants, a train ticket, a pack of cigarettes, and lots of interesting, and kind hearted people.

i try to base my life on that.
plus or minus a pair of boots.
elbows balancing precariously over two shattered knees. methodically working my way through a pack of cigarettes. or stuffed into a florid subway seat with my cheek pasted against the glass. describing passing landmarks in a series of motion blurs. reverently adhering myself to the facial expressions other passengers. making up stories. bi-lines. captions. obits.

re-inventing the universe between transit stations.

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