A rude missile fired through the skull, and sooner or later there will be no
way out. A history of violent, irrational behavior is not an excuse for
irrational, violent behavior. We can treat this with psychotropic pharmaceuticals,
but you may not like the side effects, or the side affects.
– A mountain moving up to the stars, a mountain moving into position. It is the
right thing to do. It is the tactical thing to do. Unlock the door and let
these things move into place
– It is not a statement. It is not an accusation. It is a question. Can I say
someth… Can I say something? Just let m… if you’ll let me… You… All right, all right… Are you listen…
are you listening to me? Please… Okay, then. Okay. We’ll try again later.
– Stabilize critical elements. Satirize the non-responsive. Ignore all previous
history and never step into the same river twice. Sanitize the paperwork. Keep
watching the stairs.
Leo – Usually
10 microns is only a small distance to cross. Your journey, however, will take
much longer than expected. Zeno may have been right, after all: it is better to
be the tortoise than the famous, vainglorious warrior.
I hear the dogs barking three states over. You have heard them too. I know that
you have. But they are not there. They are not barking. I know this and you
know this, but we hear them, don’t we?
You go out and then you come back. Where you go you go. You will return. Take
earwax, and fingernail clippings, locks of hair and navel lint, and skin
scrapings. Travel light. The only other necessary thing is a flashlight.
– A confession can be misleading. An apology may be a defense. Watch for
candles and caution tape. Take headache powder.
– Cemetery crosses are no protection. Better a good guard dog. Bite the
bullet instead of firing them. Trust no one, trust everyone. It doesn’t matter.
– I can neither prove nor disprove, neither confirm nor deny. I cannot embrace
and I cannot refrain from embracing. But you still have the choice.
– There may be intelligent life in the universe, but you haven’t seen much of
Prop pistols and desiccated dog corpses: this is all I can reveal without a
notarized signature on an official Consent to be Informed form.
I heard it long before I saw it – which is strange, the laws
of physics being what they are. The disaster, the bad star. We heard its thrum
in the night before we ever saw its strange, amber-colored light. No one has
yet offered up a plausible explanation for why its sound waves traveled faster
than light. Is it wrinkled space, tesseracted four dimensional shapes, rapidly spinning
magnetic fields? Binary forces acting on unstable pulsars? Random deviations
from the galactic mean?
The applications of perfectly coiled wires, will convert the
earth into an enormous brain, a thinking computer of vast knowledge, into rhythmic
particles dancing in synchronicity with the universe. We have communication at
a distance. We have television and telephony, telekinesis and telepathy. Whether
we are face to face or at a thousand miles, from across the vastness of space
or the house next door.
It was February and I was in bed next to my wife, reading a
heavy book of modern Russian literature; she was sleeping. Snoring. When she
got loud I’d nudge her with my foot until she rolled over and began to breathe
easier. Our teenage children were sleeping in rooms across the hall. They didn’t
seem to notice either their mother’s snoring or the howling wind outside, or the
I could hear the wind. Winter’s here are always cold and windy, and I knew that
in the morning I’d be shoveling drifts of snow from the door and the driveway,
but, for now, I was warm, in bed comfortably reading of Viktor and Lyudmila.
A disheveled, distracted man walks alongside the concrete
sidewalk, not noticing the puddles or the garbage piled up at the curb. It is
dark, but he walks without looking where is going, and without stumbling over
the potholes and cracks in the pavement. His hair is uncombed, his shirt
untucked. One shoe is untied. He smokes
a cigarette, takes the final drag, and exhales. The smoke drifts upward,
causing the neon-lights above him to shimmer momentarily as it passes. The
glowing ember of his cigarette goes out as it reaches the filter, but he does
not notice this for several blocks. When he finally realizes that his cigarette
is out, he snatches it from between his lips and flicks it away.
This is indeterminate, geometrical property of a demonic
binding ritual. And these are the hallucinations of pubescent girls. Every day
is danger, and every Night even more so. These streets are filled with vermin
and vice, the alleys with strangers and an electromechanical device.
Only gradually did I begin to notice the vibrations in the
air – the vibrations behind the sound of the wind and beyond the occasional
noise from the nearby interstate highway. It was an electrical sound, constant
and warm, steady. I closed the book over my right index finger to keep my
place, looked up towards the window – as if I could see through the drawn
curtain into the darkness beyond, as if I could, by concentration and focus,
see the very sound itself, growing in the air. There was a sizzle and two short
spats just before the lamp on the bedside table went out; the bulb exploded. My
wife sat up. “What was that?”
He pats his rumpled coat pockets, searching for the pack of
smokes he had on him earlier, but before he finds it, he realizes that it’s not
the cigarettes he can’t find: he himself is lost. He does not recognize this neighborhood
or this street. Demeter Street? Where the hell is that? Where am I? He looks up
and down the block at the shops and stores dimly illuminated by the flickering
street lamp. Olsons’ Television Repair. Dominico Star! (whatever that is…) Ye
Olde Wig Shoppe. A Deflated Doll’R store… None of this is familiar to him. Only
one car is parked on the street – a broken down foreign car, one of those
Korean jobs that were popular 10-15 years ago. Brown. A broken-down, ugly old,
brown car, propped up on cinder blocks, its tires stolen, and stripped of
The man jumps, his heart thuds to a halt, as a voice speaks to him from
somewhere the darkness. “Back again? What? Old man…” A woman’s voice, husky.
Die Hand die Verletzt – “the hand that wounds” is in the
card catalogue along with: The History of
Witches and Stitches in American Kitchens. Call up the devil; study the Occult
influence of distant stars on our children. Something is here, but I don’t know
what it is. I could not say, even if I wanted to. I am bound to silence.
The Disaster is coming, the bad star, with falling fish and
bald men in chanting robes, the choirs of the damned singing the song of that blasted,
distant star. It may already be too late for us; we are too far gone. The stars
are falling. The star is fallen. Babylon the Great is fallen and we have fallen
into the void with her.
“Who are you? Where am I?”
“Every night with you, what? Every night with the questions: Where am I? Who
are you? What? What?” She laughs, and it sounds like corn stalks in the wind. “You
got any more of them smokes, old dad? What?”