REPORT A PROBLEM
To start the month off on a cheery note:
Now I'm certain to get fired.
I can hear the phone ring and the voice of a boss saying, "Could you come into my office for a minute?"
1. I deleted stuff from the server by accident.
2. I edited too many entries, now the system is desperately trying to keep up.
3. Today was moving day, and I wasn't joining in the comradery.
I've been messing things up, messing up, messing up.
I'm too tired for enthusiasm!
"We've decided to let you go."
"Go? Where am I supposed to go?"
Man goes into a funeral director's, says to the director, "I want to arrange a funeral."
The director leads the man into his office, offers him coffee. Very sympathetically the director says, "When did you want to have the service?"
The director makes a note. "What arrangements would you like?"
"And music. Something smooth and slow. Mournful."
"Music, I understand. How many do you expect to attend?"
"Okay, then. So, music, flowers, and one chair."
"Yes, a chair. For the attendee."
"But ... isn't a casket more appropriate?"
"Hold the door!" cried someone and it was unfortunately my boss.
My boss didn't press a button. My boss was going to the same floor.
"Hello, John, how are you?"
"I'm good," my boss said (even though I hadn't asked).
The elevator rose, lurched violently, and stopped.
"The elevator stopped," said my boss.
I pressed buttons frantically.
My boss pressed a button. "Yes, the elevator has stopped. C-4, I believe."
My boss looked at me. "Now all we can do is wait."
My boss said, "So, which of us shall be the assailant, and which the victim?"
In these the first three paragraphs,
I state my thesis of judgement, with reference to the producer, director, and designer of the production,
Consider the history of the company, and provide a humorous or historical anecdote referring to the company or to the composer (the latter if I want to show off).
In this paragraph, I rate the performance of the lead, be it soprano or tenor.
In this one, I talk about the other lead.
Here I review
The other singers
One by one.
I summarize in this paragraph, repeating what I said in the first three.
YOLANDA'S NOSE (AND WHAT I FOUND THERE)
I told my mother I was going to John Wakaluk's party with Ellen Calder because my sister told my mother that the girl I wanted to be with--Yolanda Mulder--was a crazy witch.
Which was true.
I am making out with Yolanda. We are kissing like crazy. Lacking in erotic options, I kiss her nose. I tongue her nose. My fingers are near her nipple. Then we're interrupted by John's mother.
Next day, I'm teased. "Sucking her nose...."
My erotic ecstacy equals
grounds for ridicule.
Yolanda, I'm glad we're not normal!
I really shouldn't let him sleep with me anymore. I can stand the crazy smasmodic kicking, and I can stand the occasional snoring. I can even stand when he gets up in the middle of the night and sleepwalks, like when he thought we in a small boat. All that I can take. But, now that he's got this, this
condition, why, that's the last straw, now isn't it? I wake up, and I'm always scratching, here, there, and everywhere. Blood suckers. I'm sure I'm losing fur through it all. There's only so much a poor cat can take!
I invented a card game in my sleep last night. It's called "Twenty-two." It's played with a regular deck of fifty-two cards. The object is to hit twenty-two exactly. One card at a time is turned up until twenty-two is hit. Aces can be one or eleven. If a pair comes up, you can discard both if you want. If you hit twenty-two exactly, you win. If you go over, you lose. That's all there is to it. Let's play. I give you a five, then a seven, then another five. Drop the fives? Good move. Ace. Four. You win!
EXERCISE IN STYLE
I was in a restaurant earlier this afternoon and I saw two men standing on the street corner, probably waiting for the light to change. One of the was wearing a checked coat that was in style a generation ago. The other man said, "There's a button missing on your coat," and he pointed. The jacketed man put his finger through the hole and wiggled his fingertip. The light changed, and together they crossed.
A couple hours later, I saw the man in the coat get onto a bus. He sat near the back, on the right.
Things are falling apart all over the place. I understand the Ontario Liberals are heading for a second majority. That's right, a stable government. How can you say things aren't falling apart? It's anarchy, I tell you!
I haven't been fired, and I don't think I'm going to be fired. What the hell's going on? Where'd my childhood go? I know it didn't happen like I thought it did, so how will I ever find out the truth of it all?
I should fix that screen. It makes the place look even more run down than the boarded-up windows. (Hypen!)
Don't you tell me
What to do for I'm free
Me belongs to me!
You belongs to you
Except for three-two
Things I want from you
But don't you dare ask me
I'm better, far better, than thee!
This is mine, my border's mine,
Stay off that line!
Pay your dues to me.
I'm working for people other than me.
You must me
Under my knee!
Pass the brie.
Consider your options carefully.
Don't go off on a spree.
Don't fall from that tree.
Just vote for me.
I think I've discovered one of the main reasons why Krazy Kat is Konsidered postmodern.
Three main Karacters: Kat, Mouse, Pupp.
Kat loves Mouse and interprets the bricks as signs of love. Kat thinks Mouse and Pupp are allatimes playin'.
Mouse hates Kat and throws bricks, and fears inkarceration by Pupp.
Pupp protects Kat, and is obsessed with katching mouse.
Now, what makes this postmodern is that no single interpretation is korrect. Mouse may love Kat, Mouse may hate Kat, Mouse and Pupp may be allatimes playin', Mouse may fear inkarceration, and so on. One cannot decide, given available information.
BILL: If she can satisfy me, she can satisfy the USA. Vote Hillary 2008!
If you liked
A History of Desks!
I am glad I disappoint people. If I satisfied them, they would no doubt wind up angry at me.
I find it entirely appropriate that Al Gore had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I mean, what man can raise a rifle when he's doubled over with laughter?
I saw the propaganda wing of the Mohawk Warriors marching up Spadina today.
If one postpones an event twice, the event itself will last twice as long.
I feel so guilty sometimes, but I've never been able to find the cause. It feel like my innards have been scooped out; my heart, anyway.
Of course, I have a lot to feel guilty about. (Don't expect me to go into it!)
It's got nothing to do with self-confidence, in case you're wondering. This is completely different from that problem. That one has no solution. The solution for my guilt would be, maybe, to become a good person.
But in the meantime, there's this deep ache, this deep hopelessness. Maybe it'll fix itself some day; I doubt that.
We were doing the north side of Gerrard Street and just after I tossed a can in the back I yelled, "Stop!" and Charlie stopped. I had seen something golden in there and I needed to know what it was. I rooted a bit and came up with a golden ring. I looked on the inside and yes it was stamped as gold, 18 karat gold. It was obviously a wedding band, tossed in the garbage. But how had it ended up in the trash? Such a na´ve question, that one: People throw out all sorts of things.
Here comes the time gremlins.
They come in a variety of lengths.
More are a minute long, somewhat fewer are two minutes long, and so on.
There are unconfirmed reports of time gremlins up to ten minutes long.
You're engrossed in your reading. The streetcar rubles on.
Time gremlins attack you.
Some add a minute.
Some subtract one.
Some add two, even three.
By the time you reach your destination you could be off by any number of minutes, though five to ten is most common.
Then you say:
"Why am I five minutes late?"
"Got here really quickly."
"John, we've called you in to have a little talk."
"It has to do with the recycling programme."
"Oh. What about it?"
"Well, it's come to our attention that, that you're just not co-operating."
"What do you mean?"
"You're not putting things in their proper places--"
"You've been seen putting plastics with paper--"
"And styrofoam in with the plastics--"
"And paper in the trash."
"So, c'mon, shape up, get with the program."
"Well, um, in my defence, ah--
"If you want me to fucking sort garbage, then
me to fucking sort garbage!"
Look at this. It a painting by Vincent Van Gogh. What's the title? Ah, Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers. Valued at thirty-nine million dollars. Thirty-nine million dollars? (Kaff-kaff!) That a whole helluva lotta pickles! Man! (Snort!) This cold is too much, can't enjoy Japan.... All that money, for that little bit of canvas and paint. Really. Ah, gotta a horker here in my throat. Thirty-nine mil.
And he didn't get a cent for it, not one red cent! Bloody hell!
It's sitting at the back of my tongue, ready for firing.... Shot, I gotta find the curator, pronto!
EXORCIZES OF STUPIDITY 1
"Hey, I've got a better idea: Let's go to that new Thai noodle polace, then come back here for a DVD.
said he wanted to do something like that."
"Eeew! Our place is so messy! No!"
(Checks movie listings.)
"Well, the only thing worth seeing is
The Draughtsman's Contract,
playing at 7:30 down at Cinematheque."
"Eeew! That's way too early!"
"There's no movies worth seeing."
"Then let's go back to the original plan."
"There was nothing wrong with the original plan."
"Don't be like that."
"Yes, dear. Yes dear."
EXORCIZES OF STUPIDITY 2
So now I'm stuck going along with a third-rate plan, brooding about it, incapable of thinking of important things, like what to write next....
I have to purge this, fuck! pencil busted! Where's a pen....
This is my valve: a chance to exorcize the demons of stupidity.
"I'm more interested in keeping
from killing himself than in impressing him with our apartment."
"We could easily eat after the movie, can't we do that?"
Brooding on the streetcar....
"Hey, lady, get rid of the fucking coffee. This is a streetcar, not your breakfast nook."
We can take anything into a dream, but we can't take anything out. What if it were the other way around? What if objects in dreams easily manifested in this world, but it was impossible to take anything into a dream? (Dreams would be exceptionally chaotic then.) It would be like time going backwards, wouldn't it? The various made-up bits in dreams would come out into the world, and one wouldn't be able to do anything about it. In the end, it would be like the two worlds would reverse. I wonder if I can make anything of this.
My dentist hands me a hand mirror. He's got a small round mirror on a metal stick in my mouth, cold against my tongue. I do what he wants: he wants me to look through the hand mirror through the round mirror at the filling. "There, you see?" I gurgle, "Hyeah."
How am I to tell him I can't understand at all what he's showing me? that I know as much about the Sea of Tranquility as I do about the inside of a mouth?
I can't tell him anything of the sort; not merely because of the metal stick.
In the church there's a woman there all the time.
She's not dressed in black.
She's not old, not Italian.
She has a bundle of thick white candles beside her on the pew.
Every four hours she goes up to the altar.
She plucks up the candle she'd planted four hours earlier, lights a new one from it, plants the new one, blows out the old one.
She takes meal breaks.
Sometimes a little nap.
Sometimes she goes out to buy more candles.
Otherwise she's always there.
I pay her well
To tend the torch I am carrying for you.
"Mail services? Mail? We've got a tragedy about to happen here. Your mailbot is heading this way, down the long hall, and I can see it's gonna hit the new wall. Nobody told you about the new wall? Goddammit, no-one told you about the new wall? Fuck! It's getting closer, beeping and beeping, you've got to do something, you've got to disable it by remote.
What? You can't disable it by remote?
Oh my God it's gonna crash, it's gonna crash! How could you let this happen, you and your mailman friends?? It's, it's ... it's ... it's ... aaaaah!!!
AGAIN! AGAIN! (ME! ME!)
"Oh, Sylvia, why, why? I expect it from the others, but not from you, how can you do such a thing? Last night, you went off with mutual acquaintances, you went off to some restaurant or bar, and you left me behind! Alas o woe is me! No-one needs me, no-one wants me, I'm left, forlorn, abandoned, empty! You don't know how painful it is to be left out of everything, everything, everything!
What have I done?"
"But ... you said you had to work!"
"You knew that well before the evening was planned!"
I'm out on the street, smoking a cigarette. It's too cold and I've too little time to open a book, so I'm walking around the south side of the building, intending to get some coffee (after the cigarette) at Ooh-la-las. THEN there's this guy, cig hanging out his mouth, phone hanging from his ear, stops me physically. He pretty much SNAPS his fingers at me. (Unfortunately) I know what he wants. I give him my lighter. He lights. He doesn't see me. Lit, he hands it back to me, walks off, talking away. Fucking prick! Not even a thanks!
I go down, for Mike and me, to the store which is geographically closest. In it, I say, "Can I get 1-2-3-4 cartons?" The shopkeeper nods, then goes out to his car. I look over the dusty goods he's got for sale, stale bubblegum, metal tools, stupid anal porn. Then he's back, and I give him $30 for each carton, one for me, ot two for me, and one for Mike, or two for Mike. The seller says, "Thanks, brother," and smiles. I put the black bag in my black knapsack.
I know now I'll never see him again.
In five days it will be No-vem-ber, which some-one called the cruel-est month. On ac-count of it be-ing so if-fy as to the wea-ther, I think. But in an-y case, it-'ll be cold, cold and get-ting cold-er, and the thought of go-ing through a-no-ther win-ter hav-ing to go out-side all the time turns me ter-ri-bly off, I must say in no un-cer-tain terms. The word shi-ver and break in the cold-ness sta-cat-to. Do I want to shi-ver as I read some-thing or a-no-ther? Cer-tain-ly not! Now is with-out a doubt the best time to Q, be-fore the pain be-gins.
"Hi! I'm John's throat."
"And I'm John's lungs."
"Sometimes I have to hurt John, I'm afraid."
"And I, in turn, cause John's throat to hurt."
"It's your fault, John's lungs?"
"There's so much crap down here, see? It's hard to fight all the mucus."
"Ah, so then you shove some of the brown stuff back up?"
"I know. But I have to. The oxygen isn't getting to the capillaries. I have to blast it out."
"Then I make John cough. Ugh!"
"Kids, don't take up the habit."
"And now back to the ABC Afterschool Special."
As has been stated by another voice, winter is ycomen in. Windows will have to be closed more often, when it's twelve below zero. Thus, there can be no more of the following:
In the morning I awake. I get a cigarette and go to a small room. I sit there and act. Whilst acting, I read the Review section of the Globe and Mail. I can get through most of it--sometimes even getting to the poker column--while I smoke. The timing is pretty much perfect. I finish acting, then brush and floss and rubbertip my teeth.
-Wow, look at
-Quite a change I see before me!
-But what is it?
-His skin looks so ... healthy!
-It's gotta be makeup!
-He used to look so....
-Yes, both yellow and ashen, if such a thing is possible!
-Yes, that's how he looks!
-I'm feeling this odd urge within....
-Is it the same urge I'm feeling?
-There's somethin' goin' on inside me, just lookin' at 'im!
-He's so cute!
-Maybe this is how he really looks....
-And what we were seeing before was some kind of disguise!
I believe I'm somewhere around nine per cent of the way through this Great Work. (It hasn't even been three years altogether, and I estimate twenty-seven years to complete it. I think I've already repeated myself a couple of times. That's something that's not avoidable, but I think that's an acceptable aspect. Also its grand melange of fact, fiction, semi-fiction, cartoons, poems, dialogues, parodies, letters, confessions, fragments, multi-part bits, varieties, travelogues, straight stories, lists, in-jokes and pure nonsense makes it worth finishing, regardless of the repetition.)
Don't you want me to live long enough to finish it? I do.
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