10/01 Direct Link

— “He looks like shit.”


— “He does. What was he doin’ out in that?”

+ “Mmmrm.”

— “What’s that he’s sayin’?”

“You just drink. Never mind her.”

— “He shouldn’t have been out in it is all, I mean, if he had any sense. You don’t know who he is or where he’s from. He could be anybody.”

+ “M-m-Mathers.”

— “Found his tongue.”

“Is that your name? Mr. Mathers?”

+ “G-g-George Mathers. Lost.”

“I’m Susan Gray. This is Maggie Addams.”

— “Looks like a Yank. You a Yank?”

+ “M-monsters.”

— “Yeah, we got monsters, Yank.”

+ “Me.”
10/02 Direct Link

— “Jesus!”

“OK, I’ll give you a moment to take this in. What we’re seeing here — this is Rio Rancho, within the Albuquerque MSA — is typical. We’re looking north; that’s the Presbyterian Hospital, and we’re in a crowd evacuating these theaters and restaurants. We are at the corner of Southern and Unser boulevards. Now these volumes here, here, and here, this looks like the crowd was flushed out into what we see, uh, transpiring here. It was organized.”

— “Are they intelligent, Jeff? Does this show—”

“It could be pack behavior, some sort of instinctive predation. I see an intelligence.”
10/03 Direct Link
“DAN, this is John Snyder, the writer I was telling you about. John, this is Dan.”

“Mr. Meacham.”

— “Dan’ll do.”


— “Right pleased.”

“Same here.”

— “I been readin’ up on some o’ you writer-types. I never could scratch out much in the way of a composition myself, ‘cept what Miss Abernath’ made us fellers recollect out of the Good Book. I know a fair bit o’ Proverbs out of rote that way, but I never went in for no hosannas.”

“No, me neither.”

— “O’ course, since they thawed me up out of that ice I have had occasion to wonder.”
10/04 Direct Link

— “Not to press the button.”

“That you...”

— “That I wouldn’t press the button.”

“Which button?”

— “The big red button. We agreed I wouldn’t press it.”

“But you...”

— “I pressed it. Sorry.”

“I explained, didn’t I?”

— “Yes.”

“I was clear?”

— “You were. You were very clear. And I knew as soon as I pressed it it was a mistake, and I feel terribly about it. I’m truly very sorry.”

“It’s a whole galaxy out there.”

— “I know.”

“I don’t even know which one.”

— “I know.”


— “I’m so sorry. I can’t tell you.”

“I mean...”

— “My bad.”
10/05 Direct Link
FANGORIA: If you could be remembered for one creation, one thing, what would it be?

ME: Um. My kids? I guess?

FANGORIA: You have two boys, right?

ME: Yes, 11 and 8.

FANGORIA: Are they fans of yours?

ME: Fans?

FANGORIA: Do they follow your work? Are they fans of the genre?

ME: Genre?

FANGORIA: Horror, splatter, monsters...

ME: I... no. They don’t like any of that stuff. What do you mean, my work?

FANGORIA: The meta-fiction. You-as-hero-of-a-B-movie-who-nevertheless-doesn’t-know-it.

ME: What?

FANGORIA: How will you have had met Charlie Kaufman?
10/06 Direct Link

— “Pete Rushford.”

“Pete or Peter?”

— “Peter.”

“Middle name?”

— “Royce.”


— “Yes.”

“Date of birth?”

— “June 9, 1968.”

“Do you know your ponder number?”

— “My what?”

“Ponder number.”

— “I didn’t know I had one.”

“So no.”

— “No.”


— “I’m sorry?”

“What’s your theme?”

— “Again, I didn’t know I was supposed to have one.”

“You don’t know your theme?”

— “I don’t know my theme. Does everybody get a theme?”

“You’re a Provisional. Remember that.”

— “That’s my theme?”

“You have a theme of Provisional. When you get to the next stage you’ll get your permanent theme.”

— “Oh joy.”
10/07 Direct Link

“How’d it go at school today, champ?”

— “Pretty good.”


— “Can I have a snack?”

“Sure. Of course. ... Everything all right?”

— “Yeah.”

“How’d the test go?”

— “Good.”

“How do you think you did?”

— “Good.”

“Was Jeff in today?”

— “Uh huh.”

“Did he give you back your book?”

— “No. He said he would. He’s going to his aunt’s.”

“It’s at his aunt’s house?”

— “No. I don’t know. I’m going out. Bye.”

“Now hold on, kid. What’s up? You sound...”

— “I’m just tired.”


— “Bye.”
10/08 Direct Link

— “Was I?”

“Oh my god, yes. They loved you!”

— “I couldn’t see what I was doing.”

“I know: the bag. But you nailed it!”

— “I thought it was working. I had that feeling.”

“When Jeremy forgot his line and you made it part of the scene by tripping over that ottoman? Oh my god!”

— “That was actually a real trip! I cracked my head on something on the way down.”

“The table.”

— “Yeah, that little marble-topped table.”

“You’re a natural. I want that in every performance.”

— “OK.”

“Can you do it?”

— “I guess.”

“Star of the show!”
10/09 Direct Link
“YOU’RE A DIFFICULT man to locate.”

— “Uh huh.”

“May I sit? ... Thank you. [Motions for hostess.] My name is Chalmers. I’m a friend of the Frenchman. He told me you come here sometimes, what you look like.”

— “The Frenchman.”

“Yes. He told me you help people. People like me. (A whiskey sour, please.)”

— “What else did he say?”

“He said you charge a fortune.”

— “Uh huh.”

“Well, so that’s it. I have need of your services.”

— “The Frenchman.”

“That’s right.”

— “Six-four, two twenty-five, a scar across the face.”

“Left eye, lips, chin, yes.”

— “Frenchman’s dead three years.”

10/10 Direct Link
“YOU DIDN’T go down?”

— “Nah.”

“Why not?”

— “Too much to do up here. I gotta calibrate all these, and anyway my review’s Monday. I just wanted to sit with this.”

“Well, OK, but you need to calibrate too. You need to unwind a little. We don’t get dirtside too often.”

— “I know.”

“You missed a lot of fun. There was a castle. We got to go in, look around, there was a banquet.”

— “Nice.”

“Oh, you would have loved it. Dancing, pretty girls.”

— “I’ll go on the next one.”

“Never know when that’ll be.”

— “Anyone buy it?”

“Yeah. Rodriguez: crystal samurai.”
10/11 Direct Link

— “OK.”

“Get all five fingers in there. Right in the side.”

— “Even the thumb?”

“Yep. Push through. Little deeper.”

— “OK. It’s hot!”

“Yep. OK, now twist ninety degrees. From the wrist.”

— “All at—”

“Fast. Like, woop! You can do it.”

— “But it’s attached. It’s connected.”

“Yeah. That’s OK. You won’t tear it.”

— “I’m not concerned about tearing it; won’t that just, like...”

“It’ll hurt.”

— “It’ll hurt me?”

“Keep your fingers in there. You’ll be OK. It’ll just produce a headache.”

— “Well, why would I want to do that?”

“It’s OK, you can take Advil after.”

— “But...”

10/12 Direct Link

His name was Scatter Feldman and he played a mangy lute.
He went into the jungle and he shot a caribou.
I said, “Where did you bag him?” and he said, "Behind the zoo."
That’s what it’s all about.


Micah, Dinah, Boogeyman, Pete.
These are the people whom you should meet.
Get ‘em in the morning,
Get ‘em in the eve.
Get ‘em on the patio but just don’t tear your sleeve.


Eat a pie,
Drink some wine,
Watch TV ‘cause it’s Hammer Time.
All fall down!
10/13 Direct Link
“LET ME POSIT this.”

— “OK.”

“I need to... agh.”

— “What are you doing?”

“Hang on.”

— “Exercise much?”

“Clearly not. I’ll need help getting up.”

— “OK.”

“Anyway, let me posit this: we are animals. Down here the world is the world of the animal: primal, feral, sensorial, survival-minded.”

— “OK. Up here too, frankly.”

“No. It’s different. Up there you carry the weight of your culture; you have your norms. You fit into a built environment: ergonomic, measured, tested, known, and to a large degree predictive.”

— “Uh huh.”

“Down here I make my own rules. I am fleet. I — my back!”
10/14 Direct Link

— “Yeah?”

“Call me John. I want to sign on with you guys.”

— “You want to what?”

“Sign on. I’m fidgety, you know? Need to shake things up, see the watery part of the world, do something real for a while. I teach, and—”

— “You want to ship on this crew?”


— “Well you gotta go through corporate. I don’t know who the hell you are. You got a résumé? You got experience? We’re about to shove off.”

“Well, I—”

— “Move, you’re blocking the forklift.”

“Sorry, I—”

— “You’re a teacher? Christ, go teach. That’s where the world needs you.”
10/15 Direct Link
“AND THIS ONE? Is this...?”

— “Yep. That’s my Chappie.”


— “All-Around Chap, 2002.”

“It’s beautiful. You have it way in the back, though. You should bring it forward, maybe give it its own shelf.”

— “Nah. It’s fine where it is.”

“I like these.”

— “Thanks.”

“Oh! Look! There’s you and Clinton, Bill Clinton.”

— “Nice guy.”

“He likes your joke, or whatever.”

— “Yeah, it was a story. He’d heard it before. He was being polite.”

“What about these?”

— “We don’t have to keep looking at my, um...”

“No, I’m curious.”

— “Those are Moon rocks. That one’s from Mars.”


— “Silver bullet.”
10/16 Direct Link

— “Here.”

“Sir, we’ve broken through.”

— “Very good.”

“We’re following the protocol.”

— “Of course you are.”

“Do you want to see?”

— “No. I want this to be your dig. The men need to see you in charge.”

“It’s ... it’s intact, sir. It’s as it was.”

— “Ah. Then you have much to catalog.”

“It’s as you predicted.”

— “Scholarship, Turkin. Careful scholarship.”

“Can I get you something? You look...”

— “I’m fine. You have rain moving in from the north. You should secure the entrance.”

— “We have. It’s all in place.”

“Good man.”

— “Don’t you want to see? An intact mall, sir!”
10/17 Direct Link
FRANZEN: You’ve got that look again.

ME: Have I?

FRANZEN: Where to this time? You were saying Laos.

ME: Laos is tied up in State. I was thinking ... you’re gonna laugh.

FRANZEN: Try me.

ME: Orlando.

FRANZEN: Florida?

ME: Don’t laugh.

FRANZEN: I’m not laughing. What’s in Orlando?

ME: I was chatting with Susan, and she said there was one element of her story she was never able to get. There’s a strong Spanish imperialist connection, and I think I have the makings of a springboard.

FRANZEN: So why would I laugh?

ME: I’m gonna do the whole thing naked.
10/18 Direct Link
GROTH: Who were the creators you most admired growing up? I’m guessing Byrne, O’Neil...

SNYDER: Claremont, Romita, yes, that whole crew.

GROTH: Any names you want to make up? Just stick in the list?

SNYDER: Make up? Like...

GROTH: Any names that come to mind. They don’t have to correspond to any...

SNYDER: Like, fabricate them?

GROTH: Yeah.

SNYDER: We could fabricate a whole interview that way.

GROTH: Go for it!

SNYDER: Uh, Mellon, certainly comes to mind. And the team of Hurbrush and Pintonetti.

GROTH: Geniuses.

SNYDER: I met Pintonetti once. Deli in Brooklyn. We fought: it was brutal!
10/19 Direct Link
“I’LL prove it.”

— “Really.”

“Total knowledge.”

— “You’re drunk.”

“Pick any date, any place. Go on.”

— “A billion years B.C., your ass.”

“Be serious.”

— “New York, Dec. 16, 1939.”

“Why that date?”

— “My grandfather’s birthday.”

“Your grandfather Ira?”

— “Uh. How’d you know that?”

“Obstetrician was Charles Emory Pitkin, who died nine years later of cirrhosis of the liver.”

— “Uh...”

“Retail sales in the United States totaled $42,028,818,000 in 1939, or an increase of 28 percent over the 1935 total of $32,791,212,000, the Census Bureau announced that day.”

— “What the fuck?”

“Ira’s mother...”

— “What?”

“Never mind.”

— What?”

“Rather not.”
10/20 Direct Link
+ "INSPECTOR, might I present my sister, Mrs. Roger Murderaxe."

"I am delighted to make your acquaintance, my dear."

— "Inspector, I’ve heard so much about you!"

"Only good things, I trust."

— "Oh, absolutely. Is it true you’ve solved every case you’ve ever undertaken?"

"Well, my career has taken that apparent shape for the moment. Who can say what tomorrow may bring?"

— "You’re so poetic!"

"Yes. I see here that you are in mourning. My condolences."

— "It’s my husband. He... they ruled it accidental. I don’t know what to think."

"You suspect foul play?"

— "You brilliant bastard! All right. I confess."
10/21 Direct Link
“SO NOW you’re a giant robot.”



— “sorry; yep.”

“What are you gonna do?”

— “i thought i’d hike on down the coast, see if i can make it to cape horn.”

“South America?”

— “yep.”

“Why the Cape?”

— “i dunno. southernmost point of the continent: as good a goal as any.”

“That’s not the southernmost point.”

— “sure it is.”

“No: common misconception. You want Águila Islet of the Diego Ramirez Islands.”

— “what?”

“That’s actually the southernmost point.”

— “águila islet? i never heard of it.”

“Well, they’ve never heard of you. Look out for dolphins! Don’t crush any.”

— “what?”

“Have fun!”
10/22 Direct Link
“HOW’D YOU get there?”

— “What am I now?”

“You’re a comic book character. A little-kids thing. Says, uh, Archie.”

— “I’m in an Archie comic?”


— “Which one am I? Am I Archie?”

“He’s the star? With red hair?”

— “Yeah.”

“No. You’re you. Your name is Mr. Bugby. You’re a teacher. Can you see these girls? Whoa, Nellie!"

— “No, all I can see is you, sort of: I can’t turn my head.”

“You’re chastising Jughead. Now he’s at the malt shop with his friends. Now they’re at the beach. Now the girls are surfing.”

— “What about me?”

“You’re still chastising Jughead.”
10/23 Direct Link

— I'm sick of the stares. I know I’m singularly attractive, but enough is enough.

— I should form a foundation, something to do with all my money, but I worry I’ll grow bored with it.

— I taught myself architecture as a hobby, but now I’ve agreed to build a hospital. Can’t I have anything just for me?

— Am I constantly getting awards and prizes because I’m talented, or because others see me constantly getting awards and prizes?

— Building another boat with Dad. But is it possible he’s getting to old to enjoy sailing?
10/24 Direct Link
— made up his mind.

“I’m not going in there. You can if you want to, but...”

Sawyer felt his face grow hot. Damn. He hated getting angry.

“You’re going in there if I have to drag you in,” he said, restraining himself from grabbing Oswald by the arm. “The only way this works is if we both go through. You want to save Kennedy?”

The machine spat and crackled while the two men stared at each other.

Finally Oswald looked down, embarrassed.

“I’m afraid, Tom. That thing stripped me bare last time. It saw me. It...”

“Tough it out, soldier!”
10/25 Direct Link
“STAUNCH, you know Roma.”

— “Len.”

— “Bob.”

“OK, your jump is a case Niner-Bravo, ingress Victoria, British Columbia, July 19, 1871. Next day is Confederation Day, so you’ll have cover of drama. You have two years to reach your target: this man: Dr. William Overmeyer, 65 Central Park West. The Park is still under construction when you insert, and at that time Overmeyer is in Princeton. You must converge on Park West.”

— “What’s the money?”

“Standard. Get him, set him, and forget him. You’re on station two years, one month, 11 days.”

— “What happened to Alpha?”

“Wrong place, wrong time.”
10/26 Direct Link
“ADROIT, yes?”

— “Granted.”

“Clattering, husking, arch. And in the end, daffodil-like.”

— “So? What does that prove?”

“Ah! Ah, exactly! It speaks to proof, don’t you see?”

— “No.”

“This is ... let me try a new tack: Egregious, yes? Pound-foolish?”

— “If you like.”

“No, no; tut tut. Let’s agree on lavender. Lavendid. Is that a word?”

— “Lavendid?”


— “No.”

“Well you have me there. You have me at lavendid. I concede that one. But fervid! Ah! That goes toward it. That speaks volumes. Fervid, good sir!”

— “You reach, Abernathy. You’re a reacher. It’s your fatal flaw.”

“Fatal? Come now.”

* BAM!
10/27 Direct Link
“IT’S A catchment.”

— “A casement?”

“No, a catchment.”

— “A basement?”

“What are you talking about?”

— “A rat’s nest?”


— “A tall tale?”

“That doesn’t even...”

— “Are you at bat? Did it pack flat? Should we act now? Is that a sick cow? Make it take it rake it snake it!”

“You are nuts.”

— “Am I? You’re the one with a catchment in his basement stopped with remnants of his raiments.”


— “Holy Hannah, Sgt. Snorkel; better tighten belt and buckle! Gonna be a box of turtles C.O.D. for “Ms. Musician” Sarah Pirtle.”

“Whatever, dude.”

— “Snibbity snabbity boo; blibbity blabbity you!”
10/28 Direct Link
Dear Tommy Proctor,

I note with interest your letter to the Journal (June 2063) in which you say time travel “is at best a curiosity limited to those themselves limited to perturbations in the quantum foam, and at worst a gross misapplication of intellectual curiosity.” On your Faxus jount a month later you malign myself and my colleagues from the Planck Institutes as “chowderheaded sneals” — and this over A1’s blue streak nope on both legal and pistie grounds.

Well! I urge you to file this letter away for 50 years and review it again in May 2063.


Mandelbaum, Tübingen
10/29 Direct Link
“YOU DON’T WRITE, you don’t call.”

— “I don’t... call you.”

“And with this getup you’re wearing! He prances around in a cape!”

— “I have... transcended.”

“My friends are mortified, even. I lie awake!”

— “I stop galactic... crime.”

“They don’t have satellites in outer space? You can’t call collect? Reverse the charges, Sammy. I don’t have much set aside, but for you I’ll accept, only so I’ll know you’re all right.”

— “There are fires. An empire burns. They... cry out for me.”

“This again.”

— “Please understand.”

“A chiropodist you could’ve been. With benefits!”

— “Mother...”

“Go to your fancy empire, Samuel. Go!”
10/30 Direct Link
Leave the lights off.
It’s Kennedy, sir.
Halloran! The jig’s up, see.
Better make some gains, Jeremy.
I call it a loop clock. Care to see it?

I can’t see.
Which one?
I don’t think so, Falsetto.
But I don’t like it!

I prefer it this way.
Tough talk from a caged ape.
You’ll god-damed choke it down, at these prices!
Atom-powered. You wind it thus.

I’ll go by taste, then.
You ain’t got the gems. And you ain’t got Rosie!
And then what? I ... oh, doctor!

Uh oh.
Oh my.
10/31 Direct Link
“ARE YOU SURE you want to see the rest?”

— “Yes. Is this the last room?”

“I have more in storage, and a few at the cabana, but this is it for the main house.”

— “I want to see them all. I want to know you.”

“This isn’t me, though. This is just what they gave me.”

— “I want to see it all. Tell me all the stories. All your favorites.”

“OK. Um. Well, this was for gallantry in defensive driving.”

— “‘Gallantry.’ I like that. In what way were you gallant?”

“Look. Let me buy you dinner. Let’s make new stories.”