I said, “What about me?”
I heard, “Who are you?”
After being bumped it became hard to realign. I heard a lot of heavy attitude, incessant beat. Contradictions teemed as the crowd grew loosely tight and stronger. The beat, though, beat all comers. Who needs harmony when the only goal becomes busting out? The meager performance I was able to muster in pursuit of my essential figure-8’s, the most basic building block of the multiverse, went drifting. Hips stayed constricted and revolted en masse. Head, too. There went that empty feeling again. Obvious mistakes were not made clearly enough. That’s where so much attitude goes to churn. Then I heard a cross cut saw emanating from the guts of two robots. Keys turned locks. Platinum hammered gold but good. Though standards met by robots are high, I knew more mistakes were going to be made. Soon the works would get all gummed up. At times like this it can get ugly.
I said, “I’d better stretch out before too many pops crackle and snap.”
I heard, “What if the passe 20th century contained the most freedom humans will ever be able to attain?”
I said, “I heard some woodpeckers laughing about that just the other day.”
I heard, “But, still.”
I said, “But you know there’s no beginning and no end.”
I heard, “It’s got to be good if it’s good for business.”
I said, “There you have it.”
I heard, “But, still.”
The independent woodpeckers of the Santa Cruz Mountains, who have earned the respect of HHUMH thee tawny owl for good reason, were thriving. Contradictions? No biggie. They dug the shit out of all the new bugs attracted by all the new warmth in the redwood trees. And they laughed like loons at the unintended consequences of mistakes. If I didn’t know in advance why they were so happy, I might have been concerned they were laughing specifically at me.
“When all your culture is derived from a marketplace what do you get?”
“A cheap suit that won’t fit at a two-for-one sale?”
“Does that branding iron have to hurt so bad?”
“All yours for a limited time only.”
“I maintain that all questions are answered best by another question.”
“Remind me again, who are you?”
“Do we always have to rehearse the same lyrics to the same sad song?”
“What else you got going that’s any good?”
Overlooking the edge of western civilization, the rocky Santa Cruz Mountains provide an excellent backdrop from which to observe the tide of contradictions with relative impunity. Not only loons but coots swim in deep shit on the surface of the lagoon abutting the nearby beach every day. HHUMH thee tawny owl flies out of his way to ignore the sight of ignominious gulls eating trash. Gulls have become the answer to how low can you go? As the interconnected world offers such a great boost to business worldwide, worldwide business undermines the rocky earth of the interconnected world. That leaves that much more dirt free to crumble into dust and drift far enough out of reach to feed into the bottom of the warming sea, where it’s cool.
“Wasn’t that a hit song not long ago?”
“What ya gonna do when the well runs dry?”
“Stay high, stay dry, wipe the blood away with a well used hankie.”
“It’s good enough.”
“Nothing can resist the pull of a black hole.”
“When that time of the month comes when black holes grow deeper and wider, I try to run wild into the sea.”
“How does that work?”
“Not that good.”
“Try loosening the suit.”
“I think it must have shrunk in the hot wash around my neck.”
Though figure 8’s were, are, and will continue without pause to be the most basic building block of the multiverse in which there is no beginning and no end, contradictions, the second most basic building block of the multiverse, remain here to stay. Contradictions don’t take no fucking shit from no stinking nobodies. They complete atomic spins. They bop and they strut. Contradictions shove butt to cheek against tender areas where non-stop collisions put up and shut up. A typical contradiction may be a response of consciousness to a success in which it feels as if unexplained liquid is seeping from your ass, and my ass, and not for the first time.
I said, “It feels tight and it feels loose and it feels as if it could fall off and disappear.”
“Did you try to tidy up all the wavy lines?”
“It’s rolling like a checkerboard puking over the short side of a ship deep at sea.”
“I don’t have to lead to be followed.”
“Step lively on those pointed toes.”
I said, “I don’t think this suit is ever going to fit right.”
“Hold your breath until you count as a statistic.”
“What if the bumps are sewn inside the inner lining of the checkerboard and can’t be removed under penalty of law?”
“It helps if you shrink along with it.”
“I’m the end user. How much more thick skin do I have left on me to be stripped?”
“Try to feel lighter in the morning.”
“What if I get lost in the folds?”
“Wear it anyway. ”
The bumps itched, pained. The bumps spread out, undeterred. If robots took control of the bumps in the same way they had taken control of business and culture and sleeping arrangements, I needed to wake up fast. But then I slept through an earthquake and stayed in bed, still chafed. The bumps rocked my soul with rolling. Until then I thought I’d been spun through all the orbits of the wash cycle. Unless that felt more like roiling. But at every turn, I stayed followed.
I received a premature telephone call before I was certifiably awake that was touted to be good for business. I could see that the vision of my suit had come apart and scattered into sharp pieces on the floor. That led to more bloodletting. The caller assured me business was going to be good for me as well. Pieces don’t fit, no biggie, I heard. Buy another, still cheap. Let the bidding begin.
I demanded, “Who is this?”
To the silence that followed, I added, “I thought so.”
And yet mistakes continued to follow me all day and into the seamless night.