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BY Cobalt

07/01 Direct Link
The cute squeak toy is for the baby. I have an itch behind my knee. The baby, well, the baby won't get the squeak toy, because I am suffering from the heat. The baby, who will suffer along beside me, but not as quietly, will make its own sounds like the squeak toy makes when I squeeze it, jerking it haphazardly in my hand, as I reach down to scratch my itch. The thing is, the funny thing, is that if the baby had an itch behind its knee, it wouldn't be able to do anything about it, except cry.
07/02 Direct Link
I'm in the arcade playing Space Invaders. That famous actor, you know the one, from that young adult soap opera -- he plays a parent -- he's there next to me, playing another one of the old games. I think, I should talk to this guy, but I'm too involved in the game. Then I think, this guy could just buy his own arcade game, why is he in this place? If I hadn't been so absorbed in the video game, so self-absorbed, and who isn't when doing that thing we like to do when we're bored, I could have said something.
07/03 Direct Link
She has a disco ball for a head, and long lush black hair. She has puppets on her hands, and stands behind a puppet theatre that's on the dance floor. There's a puppet show about to happen, but I want nothing to do with it. As I turn to leave the dance floor is so crowded, I can barely move. No puppet show, I'm thinking. This turns into panic. I want to warn everyone that the puppet show is about to happen. No one listens. They are focused on the music and their dancing. Then it will be too late.
07/04 Direct Link
My mouth is bleeding profusely, and I can't stop it. There's a problem with tooth on the left side of my bottom jaw. Strangely, I don't feel any pain. I spit out blood but it wells up all over again. This means I can't get rid of the warm, salty taste, whether I eat or drink anything. Does it only seem like there's so much blood because it mixes with the saliva, or is there a real problem? Because I don't like dentists. If they're so good for us, then why do they cause us so much pain and anxiety?
07/05 Direct Link
In the art exchange, my first attempt had been awful. I'm sitting in the car, trying to come up with something last minute. Lamely, I take a bar of soap and carve it into the shape of a heart. The woman answers the door, and I give her the package. She invites me inside. Like chocolate, the soap has half melted and recongealed. It's a clear glycerine with blue and red glitter swirled inside, and at the center, a tiny plastic baby. She likes it. I don't know how I feel about giving away something that essentially I didn't make.
07/06 Direct Link
The lunar lander was also a fighter plane. It was a good thing too, because it was really needed, to shoot things that needed shooting. Why it was in the house, I didn't know, but she was awfully proud of it. I guess it was considered art, as well as an antique from the "Cold War". When she said she was going to move, I knew there would be problems, and suddenly it was my problem too. The roof would have to be raised, a crane brought in, and the costs would be exhorbinant. I suddenly hated this huge spacecraft.
07/07 Direct Link
There's a rusted spiral poking down out of the clouds and hovering over the street. Police cars are chasing after me, and I'm weaving through a parade of taxis and drunken fools wandering out of bars all along the street. When I come to the spiral, the tip hits against the hood of my car, scrapes against it, and shreds a thin piece of metal up and off. The spiral continues down the center, cuts the windshield in half, slips up and across the roof, plunks down and pierces a hole into the trunk, and snags me in my path.
07/08 Direct Link
It's the kind of waterfall with a secret cave behind the stream of water. Inside the cave is a small diorama, of approximately the same thing: a mountain with a waterfall, and behind the stream of water, a cave. The rock has been made with peanuts, and the water with some sort of painted animal skin, cut into delicate strips. Inside the diorama cave, there are some small plastic penguin figures. Whoever made this diorama put some serious effort into it, but I don't know what the penguins are all about. We're in the middle of Montana, not the Arctic.
07/09 Direct Link
I don't know what the insects, infiltrating the house, mean. The house is a combination psyche, and psychological identity. It is also like an empty slate, where, almost literally, ideas can be brainstormed, events of the day reflected upon, and concepts reviewed prior to their "deletion". The insects though, just like in reality, love to wiggle in through available openings. They can be lost, like centipedes, or avoiding the cold, like spiders. They might just be looking for light, like moths. Or they might have just come in, living inside that pot of grass you bought for your indoor cats.
07/10 Direct Link
I walked up to the corner, and saw my boyfriend crossing the street from the train station.

"You came to meet me," he said, surprised.

"Well, no, I had no idea you were coming back today, let alone now," I told him.

We looked over to an opposite corner, where we saw a local performance artist standing completely still. His performance involved living completely naked, for a month, inside a storefront with a huge windows. Every so often, he would stand still for hours, as though he was a mannequin.

"He's at it again," I motioned toward the naked man.

07/11 Direct Link
The voice is muffled and the person is blurry. The sky is volatile, and if anyone lights a match, it will explode. Someone has invented ice cream ice cubes, but only in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. There's a note by the tray in the freezer. "Why the Neopolitan? What was wrong with the clear flavor?" I don't know who wrote this, but it wasn't me, and it's in my freezer. When I pass over the letters with my fingers, the muffled voice emits from the paper. It's a new technology. When the door is closed, is the light still on?
07/12 Direct Link
I pull the dipstick out of the oil tank. The entire thing is coated with a pale green curdled liquid that looks like cottage cheese. It also looks like a slender stalactite.

"What's happened to the oil in my car?" I ask the guys.

"I've never seen anything like that," one of them says.

"The problem must be bigger than I thought. Can you fix it?"

"Don't know," they say, and laugh, because the situation is so askew.

I turn over the ignition again and again, but the car won't start. Instead the radiator steams. I'm stuck, I'm going nowhere.

07/13 Direct Link
At the ends of the branches, little hands wave, and little fingers grasp at my hair. I swat the branches away from my face, and walk to the car. The handles are missing. I can't get into the car. If I shoved one of the branches down inside the window, it might be able to unlock the door. I remember I have my keys in my pocket -- I was assuming I'd left them in the ignition. I still can't get inside though. If I shoved branches through the cracked open window, maybe they'd get around to pulling on the handle.
07/14 Direct Link
The night I found the old roadrunner charm in my father's jewelry box, I wore it to bed. But I didn't have any dreams about him. Instead I had them last night. My memories are vague, and I am left with impressions of him and I driving around, on highways, with elaborate overpasses and viaducts. I don't recall if the driving was as terrible as it was when we used to go on road trips when he was alive, but everything was jumbled and chaotic. I seem to have inherited his bad driving skills, even though I'm not an alcoholic.
07/15 Direct Link
Glitter litters the bed and floor, and looks like irregular pieces of slate. The stairs to the basement spiral around twice on one floor before descending. The giant pieces of paper begin their journey from the basement, and have to be dragged upstairs, piece by piece, because they are heavy. The scissors are meant to cut metal. The pulp that makes the paper is ground from petrified trees. The glitter made out of this paper, will shear violent cuts into your flesh if dropped onto you. Scratching your irritated skin cuts and abrades it -- you can virtually skin yourself alive!
07/16 Direct Link
The chickens were going to become famous. Actually they already were famous, but only in our small part of Colorado. This tour would make them huge. A woman had been hired to dress them, and already she was complaining about the difficulties, the lazy whore. She shouldn't have taken the damn job, but I couldn't dress them, I had to drive the tour bus! What did I know about driving a tour bus? More than her. I knew about the story of Miami Sound Machine, and what that was, was to be very cautious and not get in any accidents.
07/17 Direct Link
A sand storm came and went, and doors and windows didn't get in the way of the wind. This is what the Dust Bowl must have been like, I think, except without the computers and electronics and things that could be hopelessly damaged, like things suddenly were. Even the vaccuum, the next best solution after the broom, was filled with sand in parts where there shouldn't have been, and I threw it away. After all the throwing away was done, there was more of the house outside than inside. I just laid on the kitchen floor and made sand angels.
07/18 Direct Link
Through the porthole, I see that we're not underwater. We're in a desert, full of seguros and dust storms and tumbleweeds. No one wants to talk about it, because the captain surely knows what he's doing. We're nowhere near Patagonia, and I know this when I see cars drive by that have California license plates on them. "Would you like something to drink?" the waitress asks me. I shake my head, no, and then she forces me to take a basket full of oyster crackers. She holds it out, waits for me to take it, and then quickly walks away.
07/19 Direct Link
"You can have these, or these," she says, pointing to the two cans on the kitchen counter. One can is butter beans, the other can is lima beans. I don't want either. One can is even dented, and damaged, and partially open. The other one, the lima beans, the label is coming off and there's another label underneath. It's as though she's deceiving me, offering me one dry, unpleasant canned food disguising a different, dry, unpleasant canned food.

"What's really in there?" I ask.

"Oh! It's always that way!" she cries, and stomps out of the room, having a tantrum.

07/20 Direct Link
The abrasive, unintelligent fools who live upstairs are yelling and cursing at each other and their kid, again, all day long, as they do every day. I leave the apartment to get some food, and when I come back, I hear them continue to yell and abuse the loud, irritating child, only this time it's three times as loud. As I walk from the living room to the kitchen, I discover that intercoms have been installed, over which the idiots upstairs can broadcast, directly into my apartment, everything they say and do, from every single room of theirs into mine.
07/21 Direct Link
She was a superhero. We all were, those of us who weren't supervillans. She had this strange power to create extensive bony mass around herself, for shielding. She could also launch pieces of this mass like projectiles off of her body. For a week I thought I knew the real her, until I discovered her using her power, to strip down all of the mass, and reveal this thin, svelte woman underneath. She threw molten pieces of flesh and bone at me, and I deflected them with my powers of generating fields of extreme heat, melting anything in my path.
07/22 Direct Link
There were simple steel squares of zig-zagging bars, that could rotate, fold on top of one another, and which stretched out into space. Coming in on these bars, hand over hand, were naked old men, middle-aged men, all the way down to little boys, midgets, and babies, in line according to age. They had to move hand over hand, because none of them had feet. Some of them had no legs at all, but the majority had crudely deformed stumps. How the babies had the upper body strength to pull themselves down to the planet from space, I didn't understand.
07/23 Direct Link
Wigs were forced upon us. We didn’t want to wear them, even the ones with more style than others. I hated the shag style -- hated it! I stomped my feet like an angry child, but it didn’t work. I was ignored, as were the rest of us. “You will wear the wigs and like it,” they said. If we could get to the car, and drive away really fast, we might be able to elude the wig-wearer-makers. When one of us made a run for it, his foot was snagged in the plastic hairs of a wig on the floor.
07/24 Direct Link
I pulled apart the muffin to find it filled with rocks. “This is no good,” I told the woman behind the counter. She stared at me like she was asleep with her eyes open. “I need to return this,” I said. She opened the cash register, and gave me a wad of money. “I don’t want your money, I want another muffin,” I said, unsure of what to do with the muffin in one hand, the money in the other. I turned around to look for support from other customers, and there were storks picking up crumbs from the floor.
07/25 Direct Link
The mouth of the vase opens to accept the plant stems, and closes to hold them in place. It does this by itself. When I accidentally knock the vase off of the shelf, it breaks apart, revealing odd ligaments and musculature inside. The mouth is opening and closing, opening and closing, like a fish out of water, slowly regurgitating the flowers. The thing that makes me angry, is that no one ever told me this vase was alive. And with all my knowledge about vases, which is very little, I always just assumed they were inanimate pottery. I was wrong.
07/26 Direct Link
We’re in the pick-up, but then it becomes a car. A car without doors. And the windshield is smashed, but we keep driving, though it’s hard to see where we’re going. The worst part is that I have to look, to keep looking, out, where there is no longer a door. Any careless move, could land my leg out of the door, and the rest of me, into the street. But there’s litter everywhere, and the last place I want to end up is in the middle of the highway, with cars speeding all around me, in piles of debris.
07/27 Direct Link
I’m taking a photo of an old ghost sign on the side of a building. Partially through composing the image, I notice that there’s more to the sign than age and decay. I study the image, then pick up my ax, and chip away at the mortar, pulling out old bricks, rearranging them, placing them in new places in the wall. When the work is complete, I have rearranged the distorted old graphic, which no longer advertises a mystery product of days past, but a product that has yet to be invented. When created, this product will cure diarrhea forever.
07/28 Direct Link
I had to solo at a big show. A half hour before my ride, I had no idea what I would wear or perform. I wanted to sing karaoke of my favorite 60s easy listening classics, or do a stand-up comedy routine, but hadn’t practiced either. My friend brought me a bag full of muscle relaxants and painkillers he stole from his father. Plus I was trying to organize my porcelain Madonna head collection! My friend made a metaphor about having access to an abandoned floor in the apartment building where I lived, and not taking advantage of the space.
07/29 Direct Link
The Japanese grocery is huge, but almost all of the foods are kept in refrigeration cabinets. I want sushi, but because I’m not very good with the language, I look around to find prepared sushi in one of the refrigerators. I walk all the aisles many times over, before I find the sushi, almost hidden behind other foods, on one little shelf. I can only find cod and halibut sushi, pieces coated in a thick layer of wasabi. Later, I explore the open cookie aisle, where you can bag your own fresh cookies. I am liberal with the fudge biscuits.
07/30 Direct Link
Polygons line the shelves. I can’t decide, there are so many. So many sizes and shapes to choose from. Some are the size of my head. Ones that are too big sit on the floor in the center of the showroom. Broken or damaged ones rest in shopping carts at the back of the store, with a hastily scribbled note taped on the side “Damaged polyhedria, half price, as is”. Another note taped underneath reads “Damaged polyhedria may have more or less sides than appear”. I fondle some of the damaged ones. One of them smells like an over-ripe melon.
07/31 Direct Link
“These shoes will make you invisible, but the drawback is that the shoes will still be visible.”

The shoes were also a size too small for me, and old, clunky dress shoes that looked like they came from a thrift store. I thought I could just wear them like mittens, but the scientist told me I couldn’t do that.

“The sensors are arranged just so,” he said, using the pointer to show me a can of tomato soup. There, on the small label, was a diagram of the shoe schematics. “No socks either, or your feet will overheat the circuits.”