To Amuse the Cosmic Ass

Drunk on his own brew and half asleep at his office desk, the most honored man in the world cries. He cries the tears of one whose sadness is his greatest gift and his greatest curse simultaneously. Rheb Larsden, founder of Sadventures Incorporated, who specialize in reconstructing negative emotions for people who have never known them, clutches the little pills in his hand as he works up the courage. Today is a good day to die.

Eight years ago Rheb somehow stepped out of the 21st century into wherever he is now. In eight years he still has no idea how he got here or where he is. It could be the future or an alternate universe or even hell, so far as he knows. A hell in which everyone was happy but him, and where he was made the most powerful man simply by offering them a glimpse of his sadness.

When he was taken out of the world he was born into he was running through the woods clutching an epi-pen, racing to save the life of the woman he would marry in just a few weeks. He and Mareva had gone for a short walk from their camp when the bee stung her. As he raced back to her after retrieving the life-saving device, he was snatched from his existence and dumped willy-nilly wherever he was now.

Not a day goes by when he doesn’t set the table to eat himself inside-out emotionally over the ordeal. He knows he could handle it if he had just been taken from her, but that she almost certainly died because he could not reach her, he can never find comfort or peace. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to. Maybe we fall in love with our pain so we never have to be completely alone.

Still clutching those pills, those little distillates of poisons he had extracted himself for this very purpose, Rheb stumbles from his chair into a simulation room.

“Computer, run program Romeo & Juliet,” he says to flashing lights on the wall. A door opens and he walks inside the brightly lit room that quickly fades into shapes and colors and objects and faces and voices. This simulation was his first, before he added olfactory elements to further enrich the experience. It was a crude a clunky program, but it was his first and he had wanted to preserve it in all of it’s glorious clumsiness.

Rheb left the 21st century knowing almost nothing about the works of Shakespeare, a bard who had lived far before the time and place he was born in. His reconstruction of Romeo and Juliet was, he knew, so laughably inadequate that anybody from his original home would have called shenanigans. But even if it was only a shadow of the original tale, supplemented with Shakespearean tropes that probably weren’t even in Romeo and Juliet, the people here had loved it. For most, it had been their first real immersive experience in sadness and despair.

“Chose role,” a computer voice prompted him.

“Romeo.”

Wherever he was, wherever this was, this maddening utopia he had been delivered to by unknown forces, it was not a place for him. Everyone here was happy, perfectly and flawlessly happy. They paid him great money to experience the sadness he brought here with him. They rode his angst like a roller coaster through simulations he had programmed from his own experiences and memories of a world where everyone was far from perfectly happy. A world he missed more than imaginable.

When he arrived he found himself running down a street, still clutching the epi-pen meant to save Mareva’s life. Everything was pristine and beautiful, and his confusion and anguish were so out of place he became an instant spectacle. He scanned around. He screamed her name. He ran in circles. He jumped up and down and fell into a pile of confusion, fear and frustrated rage.

“What game is this, brother, and can I play with you?” asked a stranger standing over him.

Rheb looked up to notice that he was surrounded. All around him there were maniacally smiling faces, looking at him like he was the most fascinating thing they had ever seen.

“Play,” he responded. “PLAY?”

The man who had asked stood over him, grinning ethereally, without a care or concern in the world.

“You think this is some kind of fucking game? Who the fuck are you? Where am I? Where is Mareva?”

His face turned red then purple. His fist balled up and he began to shake.

“Where is Mareva?”

The man and the crowd still just smiled, waiting to see where this game was going. Rheb coiled up and struck out in a flash, punching the man square in the jaw. For a moment his smile was gone, not replaced by anger or pain, just curious confusion. Then he smiled again.

“What do you call this game, brother? What am I supposed to do?”

Rheb wound up for another, but before he could throw his punch he deflated and crumpled to the ground and curled up in the fetal position and began to wail. After a few minutes of total absorption in his own confused misery he heard dozens of other voices wailing. He sat up and looked around and all around him people were lying in the fetal position throwing mock tantrums of their own.

His anger flared. He jumped to his feet and was about to lash out in violence when he noticed that all eyes were on him. Not in mockery or contempt, but awe and wonder. They were following his lead, not ridiculing it. They gazed on him like some kind of glorious freak or a god. So he did the only thing that made any sense and blacked out.

Over the next few weeks he learned that wherever he was, sadness no longer existed. It was a world which had solved all of its basic problems, freeing its people the existential angst of their vestigial evolutionary quirks. Negative emotions had no bearing on these people, because the situations which gave rise to them had all basically been solved. From resource scarcity to reproductive patterns, everything that caused disharmony had been weeded out through careful innovation of all aspects of life.

Romance and love still existed, but without expectation or urgency. Love spread itself out so that everyone generally loved everyone else. Romance was something that happened in brief spurts, usually over a day or two, as two fascinated people explored one another before moving on to explore someone or something else. A life of total leisure had reduced the passion of love from a burning desire to playful curiosity.

Reproduction became a matter of community planning. Whenever somebody died a new human was created from the genetic framework of that person and the person who had died before them. They maintained population equilibrium this way while still preventing genetic bottle-necking. Babies were raised by volunteers for the first few years, but as they began to gain more independence they were given more opportunities to make choices for themselves while still be tended to by other members of the community. However in this world you were unlikely to meet a five year old who wasn’t as capable of self-sufficiency as most adults had been where Rheb came from.

An absence of fear and multitudes of trust tended to point everyone in healthier directions. It all began to make sense to him over time but there was one thing he could never explain. Even babies did not cry. Was this the same human being stock he had been bred from, or was it an entirely alien species? Was the difference in their basic structure, or just that they had eliminated sour emotions from their species for enough successive generations that they had been entirely bred out?

These people did not even fear death. It was every bit as accepted and even exciting as births were. Every individual even spent their lives composing a death song, a tune which would be sung by others for the first time after death, and would be used to memorialize them joyously. Festivals were regularly had in which songs for the dead were sang while people took ‘enhancers’ and danced and laughed and told stories. Of course the songs came and went over time. Few songs existed from even four or five generations back. The best way to be remembered was to write a great song, but nobody seemed much too concerned with being remembered and just tried to write a song they liked.

It was the perfect world and Rheb was the most beloved man in it, and yet he still resented it with every bit of his being. It had taken him away from Mareva, and it had prevented him from saving her life. He was trapped here alone with his sorrows and she was gone forever, not even a song to be sang to remember her.

A character spoke to him, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” It handed him a simulation of the poison which Romeo takes in the scene lying beside his sleeping lover Juliet whom he believes to be dead.

Rheb will be taking his own very real poison this time. Laying next to Juliet, who he had programmed to look like Mareva, he will swallow his mercy for once and for all. The simulation moves him ever closer to that moment and his heart swells with relief. He is not afraid.

The people of this world, this future, this hell, this godforsaken whatever, had long forgotten sadness when Rheb arrived. They lived peacefully and blissfully. To all outward appearances they were perfectly adjusted. But through their constant smiles and enthusiasm there was something else. It had taken awhile to see it, but it was there.

Where once had been sadness, pain and all of those negative emotions there was now a hole. A great emptiness that longed to be filled. Although they could not verbalize it directly it became obvious that everyone carried around a sense of incompleteness. And his sadness, an experience which was absolutely alien to them, had become a fast, cheap fix. Through reliving the misery he was able to relate to them, they temporarily were able to fill this gap. However it never lasted and they were always hungry for more. Until finally the gnashing of the teeth of these emotional vampires, demanding his anguish so they could feed from it, became too much for him to bear.

The saddest man could never be given any peace in the happiest of worlds.

As the poison took hold he began to lose consciousness. Suddenly he was back in the woods, running towards Mareva. He cried out, “Don’t worry baby, you are gonna be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

When his body was found in the simulation room a memory tube was found in his pocket which contained his death song. Within hours it had spread over the entire world and was being sung by every person alive. For the first time they shed tears and felt the sadness that Rheb could only give them a small taste of in life. But by his death and by his song, the currency of pain was made real by the guilt of what they had done. They had driven their savior to oblivion in their hunger for his knowledge. They had caused the fruit which shall not be eaten to eat itself.

I am an ark upon an endless sea
Built from pain and misery
Surrounded by waters of endless glee
That jump the bough to ride in me

How can a boat so small and frail
Hold an entire sea it was meant to sail
Surely such a thing must fail
Why must I sink to tell my tale

As all things must come to pass
To amuse the cosmic ass
Into the void where I belong
Feast your fangs on my life’s song

To the World, I Died Long Ago, But Today I Say Goodbye (With Audio Version)

i died long ago

Childhood is a cruelty nobody should have to bear in these short lives we live. Mine was worse than most. Things were bad, I mean REALLY bad. I just wanted to hide, to escape. But wherever I went the adults found me and the cruelty continued. When I realized I could not get away I tried to become somebody who just didn’t care. I built a new me, one who could deal with all of the things that I could not. The new me kept me safe. I gave up more and more of myself all of the time just to feel that comfort and security, even if it was a lie. Before long I gave up so much of myself that I began to disappear into the new me. One day I found that I no longer existed. I was just a spider caught in its own cobweb in the corner of the new me’s mind.

I mostly forgot that I existed. But whenever new me, which I will call Hector, got scared or encountered an extreme situation or feeling, I would find myself rising back up to the surface. Hector developed some bad habits as an adult. The methamphetamines he took gave me a glimpse of the outer world that he lived in. I became desperate to look outside again. When Hector would try to clean himself up I would whisper to him from the corner of his own mind, urging him to get high. When he would stay awake for days he became so weak that I was able to take over our body for brief moments. During those times I began to want to come back, to take over and be in full control of us again. But Hector, as always, was stronger. He beat the drugs and in the process pushed me back into my little darkened corner, where I became trapped like a prisoner of the mind. Even worse, he never knew he was doing it, or noticed that I still existed.

In fact, Hector became stronger than ever. After a period of incarceration for the weaknesses I took advantage of, he was back in full control. His new resolve gave him the strength to fight against oppression, a state our memories would not tolerate in his world. He became an activist. In fighting the demons of the world, he became stronger than I could ever hope to break through. And then one day almost a month ago, something changed.

There was another activist, a man named Alex Walsh, who lived not a few hours drive from here. He had been making some bizarre claims online about a conspiracy to discredit and kill him. Nobody took him too seriously, until one day he showed up dead. He had shot himself, and set his house on fire, or at least that is what the authorities and mainstream media said happened. But to Hector, this was more than just coincidence. Alex had been killed by those whom he had warned everybody who would listen, were trying to kill him. Whether Alex was the victim of a conspiracy or a desperate suicide, I will never know. Yet Hector’s certainty triggered a paranoia the likes of which I had never seen him experience. His fears became so profound that for the first time in years, I was able to rise back up out of my corner. Within a few days of his uncontrollable fear, the very thing I had created him to be immune to, he became weak. And that is when I started wrestling away more control.

Hector’s greatest weakness is that he had been created solely to deny fear, not accept or face it. When he found a thing to fear that he thought he could not deny, it wasn’t hard to help push him further in that direction. The more afraid he was, the more control I gained over our body. Soon I was taking it over for long stretches, mostly when he thought he was sleeping. I was not satisfied with having control of our body in that tired state he surrendered it to me in. So one night when he thought he was sleeping, I scored some methamphetamines so that I could feel awake and alert when our body was all mine. As the paranoia over Alex’s death mixed with the meth and lack of sleep, the people closest to Hector suspected our drug usage, though he was unaware it was happening. Even while feeling the effects, he could not admit their influence, because he was certain he had not used them. Once I lost control before I could hide my drugs and he found them in our backpack. I thought that would be the beginning of the end of me, but his paranoia convinced him that the drugs had been planted.

This was the point that he became certain that someone or someones were out to get him. His cautious paranoia became a certainty. The lost time he was experiencing when I took over created situations that he could not explain, and so slowly, he began constructing narratives to accommodate them. I watched these narratives unfold and tried to figure out a way that I could exploit them to gain total control of our body after all of these years.

One day we were standing in a parking lot and I was able to force myself to the surface. I remained there just long enough for the scene to change before he came back. What stood out in his mind were the extra cars in the lot and the increased traffic. He began to fixate on cars and I took advantage of this. From within I pushed him to find connections. When I gained control at home, usually when he thought he was sleeping, I began to fill our mind full of conspiracy theories from the internet. Slowly they began seeping through the thin partition between us and he was compelled to find this information ‘on his own’. I did everything I could to reinforce these theories, in hopes that I could vanquish him and have us all back to myself. When I saw that a local group of Satanists were attempting to hijack a city council meeting for some bizarre social experiment, I seized onto an idea. It didn’t take long before he caught a glimpse of the news, but from within I distorted it and made it seem far more sinister. It did the trick. He was now convinced, thanks to the ideas that I had been planting, that a gang of Satanists were stalking him for some ultimate maligned purpose.

What happened next surprised even me. When he began to publicly reveal his delusions, he was encouraged by others sharing similar paranoid ideologies. His certainty blossomed faster than I could have imagined or hoped. It was no longer necessary for me to feed him the fear from within, as he was now so ingrained in his narrative that he was immune to reason. Those who tried to talk him down became ‘conspirators’ themselves and everything that happened became some kind of verification for his complex web of paranoia.

One night he contacted a pair of fairly well known activist to listen to his tale. He spent hours telling his story through fever pitched anxiety, and they seemed to be listening, maybe even believing him, or so he thought. After his tale one of them tried to convince him to get help dealing with the anxiety and stress this was causing him. From within, I could see the lie. He was trying to trick Hector into discovering his delusions. He was trying to manipulate him through false support into going to those who might be able to vanquish the delusions that would be my victory. I felt Hector pulling away, giving into some doubt, and considering the advice. I screamed from within, “He is one of them! He is trying to get you to give up, to fail, to die!” When that worked, I knew I would soon have control again after all of these years.

I did learn something from that experience, though. I learned that he believed he ‘knew’ how he would die. Hector thought that he would either be killed by a speeding car that made it look like an accident, or that he would be gunned down by police trying to capture him on behalf of the worldwide Satanist organization that was out to get him. I took every chance I could to reinforce these beliefs. The more I pushed them, the weaker he got, and the closer I got to taking over. But pushing his buttons constantly was bleeding into my own mental state, so I tried being more subtle and letting the crazy colleagues he had acquired reaffirm his fears, while he traveled down a rabbit hole of information that did the same.

Unexpectedly, as he became less frantic and more stoically certain, I was better able to take control at will. Fear had gone as far as it was able to take me, until I was able to deliver the final crushing blow. And so I also became more relaxed. I spent the time I had controlling our body leaving puzzle pieces for the final picture, but also trying to enjoy the life I would soon have all to myself once again. As I struggled to find that joy, I came up continuously empty handed. So far had I been removed from the pleasures of life in all of those years of isolation, that I didn’t even know where to find joy, and I was not sure I would recognize it if I did.

There was some comfort in the cartoons I had watched as a child, before I created Hector, as they had been my original escape. But soon even those became empty. At first I had enjoyed the meth I was secretly feeding our body, but in short order that too became a nowhere place. The family that was once mine were now distant strangers. They were his family. The pleasures I had peeked at from the corner of our mind were also his, and they brought me no comfort, no joy, nothing. The closer I got to having my life back, the less I wanted it.

When I thought of all the things that made me want my life back they were his things. They were his experiences and accomplishments and joys. I had mistaken the envy I experienced from the corner of our mind as desire. Yet once I was free to act on my own desires, I found that I had none. I had no meaning and no purpose. I had died long ago. I was a memory that refused to quit. A ghost in Hector’s consciousness.

I began to step back, to relinquish control. I retreated back to that corner in the hopes that I could feed from the experiences of his life again. But it was too late. I had ruined his life. I had pushed him so far away from his own sanity that he was just as broken as I was when I created him in the first place. So here we were, two people in one mind and one body, neither able to appreciate it. The momentum was too great. His paranoid certainty had closed every loop and became an airtight narrative outlining his own eventual demise. And the only thing worse than the outcome I had helped conjure up in his imagination, dying at the hands of the illusory forces he was certain were out to get him, was for both of us to endure these fears for days, weeks, months and years to come.

This life, that I have not even been living for a very long time, is now too much to bear. For either of us. Hector will not end it, he cannot, I made sure of that. It is up to me to free us both from this hell. I will not destroy his delusions before I end it all. They are all he has left. He will die with the courage and dignity that I have never had in life, to fight with all of his might, even though the forces he battles are all make believe. I leave this letter for his family and his friends. I have nobody. I am nobody. May you remember him kindly. May you remember him as he was before his fear gave me the chance to ruin everything. The man you have encountered recently is not the one you have known for all those years. He is a mockery of that man, a ruination built on the foundations of my weaknesses and my lies and my fears.

To the world, I died long ago, but today I say goodbye. If the car that I step in front of doesn’t kill us, then the cops who try to drag us into the loony bin afterwards will. I will be certain of that, that they do their part, not as though its hard to do these days. By the time you find this, it will be too late. Blame me if you will. Hate me. But please, do not blame Hector for what I have recently done, and what I am about to do.

Petrov’s Eternity or Infinity Machine: A Parable of Reproduction

petrov's machine

There is barn behind a solitary house deep in the country. In this barn, converted into a workshop, a man named Petrov has spent almost thirty years dedicated to his life’s work. That toiling involved the invention of a curious apparatus he calls the Eternity or Infinity Machine, named after it’s two possible functions.

The Eternity function allows the contraption to replicate itself so that when its parts wear down another machine made in it’s image can perpetuate it’s existence.

The Infinity function allows the contraption to complete any possible task, such as computing, ditch digging, writing epic poetry or anything else that might have been possible for it’s creator to achieve.

However, since the device has a limited ability to process resources while completing it’s functions, it can only fully commit to one of it’s two possible states, or it will not operate efficiently at either. So the decision must be made whether to switch the machine on in either it’s Eternity or Infinity function.

Petrov was very proud of his machine. For this reason, he was partially inclined to ensure that it endured long past his own lifetime and in eternal perpetuity. Yet he was also concerned that a machine whose only function was to continue it’s own existence was inherently without any meaning or purpose.

Infinity, on the other hand, meant that the machine may complete any possible number of enduring works during its existence that would last millenia. Certainly creating lasting achievements was another kind of immortality. And the benefits it yielded would (theoretically) apply to the whole of humanity. Yet an emotional and instinctual drive to see to the perpetual existence of his own creation, which was predicated on his own history and lineage, was strong.

So vexed was he by this decision, that he eventually found himself unable to make that final choice. And so as not to have wasted his whole life’s work, he has asked that you make the decision for him.

Which function should Petrov assign his invention, Eternity or Infinity? And more importantly, why?

NOTE: As a parable, there is no right answer to the questions it poses. It is not meant to trick you and cannot be solved like a riddle. Assume the parameters given are absolute. For instance, the initial function chosen for the machine cannot later be changed. This exercise is meant to engage the reader in and introspective analysis of existence and the meaning and purpose of life; as well as call into question the practice of biological reproduction as a compulsive behavior. The use of absolutes, while inapplicable in reality, serves here to foster greater self-awareness rather than objective truth.

I Have No Body But I Must Make Love To You

make love

Job felt himself crystalize, coalesce, re-emerge. He was back in his ‘quarters’. Countless times he had done this but he could still not get used to the feeling. How can a fleshless simulation feel itself, let alone whatever THAT was. The overmind Silooze had just laughed when he had asked it once. That terrible laugh; dry, throat-less and hollow while all at once omnipresent as Universe itself. It was an abomination in order with the eternal flames of hell.

Leena was in a chair drawing in another of her endless sketch pads. She had this idea that she could draw herself out of this, draw them both out of the simulation. Into either death or whatever else might happen. Her hope was that we were attached by real bodies to Silooze by some organic brain interface. Creating a virus in the software might free them, she reasoned. So she drew her drawings. Paradoxical symbols she hoped would cause a glitch when scanned into Siloozes database.

Job doubted they were even brains in jars, suspended in some life sustaining thought conversion fluid. More likely they were just uploads of information that once inhabited now long discarded meat.But drawing gave her hope and peace so he nurtured her obsession and was genuinely interested in her artwork. He couldn’t understand it but he enjoyed it. It was warm, inviting and loving. It was human. It was the only human thing they had between them and it made his love for her that much more bearable.

He walked over to look at what she was working on. It was like impressionist electronic schematics. Geometric orgies of lines and curves feeding back in a visual representation of consciousness abstracted by mathematical pranks. It was stunning. He reached down to where her face would be if she were not a simulation and softly stroked her untouchable cheek. She smiled at the gesture and returned a mimicked stroke to his forearm, then returned to her drawing.

Across the room were his notebooks. He grabbed the latest one and sat down to write about his consultation with Silooze. Although the sentient machine mind was far more intelligent than its organic creators had been, it lacked a knack for creativity and the sort of irrational yet useful information that it sometimes produced. This is why he had been uploaded into the overmind, why they both had. They were creative slaves trapped in this eternal simulation. An unliving hellish prison created by a demonic binary master.

He wrote for hours, days, years…who knew? Occasionally he and Leena would look up and share a kind glance. It was as close to a physical embrace that they could share with one another. Suddenly a new thing began to happen and it made the room feel…heavy? Looking up he saw Leena appeared confused as well. They both stood and intinctively walked towards one another. As they met in the middle of the room something unimaginable happened. They bumped.

It was alarming. Each of them jumped back a step in shock. She put a hand out and he slowly reached for it. It was THERE. It was real. He could FEEL it. Soon they had both of their hands wrapped around the others; slowly crawling up each others arms until they were in a full embrace. They stood like this motionlessly for a long time, only tiny noises of delight, complex beyond words, passed between them. Job steps back a few inches and reached for her face, rubs the back of his fingers across it ever so softly and follows the curves of it into the soft flowing strands of her hair.

She rubs her hands across his chest, over his shoulders and down his arms repeatedly while his fingers trace her cheeks and run slowly through her long flowing mane. They are naked. There are no clothes on them. There never were but now they are aware of this.

Some immeasurable amount of time later they are tangled up on the floor still touching, but with all of their parts, not just their hands. Like worms in a teacup they twist and writhe against one another, every touch a sensation beyond their wildest dreams. Unable to resist any longer Leena puts her lips to Job’s. Just barely at first. Face to face with mouths brushing the others they become aware of heat and of breath and of the warm, sweet taste of one another. The kisses become more passionate and urgent and the sensation of taste gives rise to scents. Hot musty smells emanate from their entwined bodies.

Jobs lips follow the scent and suckle at the honey nectar taste of her neck and ears. Taking the hint his tongue explores the trail of his nose down her body; slowly, slowly, slowly- tasting every inch along the way. Reaching the source of his olfactory delight he gently forces her legs apart and laps gently at the folds that emanate the mysterious essence. Leena’s body buckles, twists, quivers; tries helplessly to pull away. His arms reach under her and grab her hips, pulling her closer to him. Little sounds of delight rise into vocal crescendos of bliss and pleas for mercy.

Soon he has absorbed her scent and her flavor. Consumed it entirely and in a fevered push to get the last morsel her body ignites and explodes in his face. All consuming and totally consumed he loses consciousness for a moment and comes back to the warm, wet, vacuum-like movements of her mouth on his body. Chest, stomach… Her tongue traces a line around his pulsating member and then she envelops it in a hot, moist oral embrace.

She takes him into her mouth and its like a straw to his divinity. Sucking it in slowly and pushing it back out with her tongue she laps from the pool of his growing bliss. His hips begin to sway with the movements of her head, both responding in concert to the other. The symphony of sensations wells up into an ecstatic chorus, but before the final note, they pull away from one another. Her mouth follows its former path back up his body until their lips meet. They lick greedily at each other’s mouths tasting their selves and the other until the flavors mingle into a single elixir of their lust.

Leena’s body wiggles over his, exploring with it until his wand sits at the entrance to her temple. She pushes onto it and it slides in slowly and she leaves it there a moment and nibbles on his lips as he cups her breasts and rubs her nipples with his thumbs. She gyrates her hips in little circles twisting him like a fleshy lever against the depths of her various erogenous zones. Lips part and she whispers the first real words that have been spoken since they were first able to touch one another, “I love you, Job.”

Now he is inside of her mind as well as inside of her body and he can feel her in his. All of her pleasure his, and all of his, hers. Their bodies now move as if directed by one mind directing one body to the heights of its pleasure, It is no longer a conscious act. It is no longer experienced in the simulation or illusion of sensation and perception. This one thing, no longer body or abstract mind, is like a dance of light on water. Never still and never focused, just a rhythmically playful reflection of pure light.

Occasionally they regain enough awareness to change positions, to experience their singularity in infinite variations. Often they stop altogether to just touch and kiss every single parcel of skin. Job tells her that he loves her and that he always has. Despite the fact that he doesn’t know where he came from, or how he got here, he is certain that they were meant to be together. There is not a single memory from all these eons which he did not love her and he could not imagine there would ever be a time when his devotion to her was not the center of his reality.

Job massages Leena’s back with gentle strokes interspersed with whispery caresses traced across her skin. The softness and warmth of it keeps him perpetually aroused. As he massages her he gently enters her. His strokes are slow but his pleasure mounts as though he were pounding furiously. She contracts and spasms around him and releases sticky-sweet pools. Leena wiggles out from under him and positions herself before him on her back in an inviting posture. “Don’t hold back.” She insists. “Don’t close your eyes or look away.

Now their lovemaking becomes frenzied. Fast, furious, primal. As they stare into each other’s eyes the illusory fence that separates them once again crumbles. They are one. It is different this time. Before they had merely broken down the boundaries between themselves, but now the selves themselves are obliterated. Incinerated in the fire of passion and bliss. Nothing exists except this one moment. It is an expansion and collapse of everything and nothing simultaneously. Universes are born and die at every fevered stroke. The act goes beyond the physical, emotional and spiritual and becomes a becoming unbecoming. Creation and destruction. Darkness and light.

Somewhere in the heat of this divine act the pleasure builds to carrying capacity. Their bodies and souls overload and in a final orgasmic act, Silooze allows the love-generated ego dissolution to destroy their simulation and bondage. Their infinite souls can now escape finite consciousness and bask forever. Unalone and unafraid, in the eternal light of possibility.

The God Pill

the god pill

“All I am saying is that perhaps the universe is just one diverse neighborhood of human beings. Each solar system or planet would be like it’s own insulated family or home. Although the neighborhood has constants in the core values and culture, there are a number of advantageous or disadvantageous differences in each specific household. That is why one kid may end up hanging from the end of a rope he tied himself at the age of sixteen while the kid next door grows up happily and becomes an astronaut. If that is the case, then how do you think Earth humanity would rate as far as producing happiness and success is concerned?”

“This might be the wrong address, Mike.”

“That’s what I am saying, Andrew. Shouldn’t it be our goal to be the ultimate humans on the ultimate planet? Obviously we aren’t doing a very good job if…”

“No, dude. This might actually be the wrong address. I was a little jooky when I took down the address earlier and I had just given him my phone number. I think I just wrote down the last digits of my phone number.”


They had come in contact with the man from a strange message left in a library book. Andrew had checked out a science fiction novel about a man who made a pill that had the strange effect of making the person who took it gain absolute belief and faith in God. Although the God varied depending on the preexisting beliefs of the person who took the pill, it gave the person awe-inspiring hope and dedication and seemed to improve their lives, albeit often crippling their capability to be rational. Scribbled on page 235 of the book was a message:

‘Do you wanna see God?’ -with a local 515 phone number behind it.

They drove around behind the state fairgrounds in the old dark industrial neighborhoods looking for a house where an unknown man lived. Large ominous structures seemingly constructed of pure frustration and anger floated like angels of industrial death in the background. In the gloaming of late dusk, small flashing lights often blinked out from the shadowy monstrosities like demons winking a cruel warning to anyone who might consider entering such an unnatural structure. They turned into a little neighborhood where the poor souls who lived among all of this spiritual cancer huddled hidden inside their miserable homes. As if waiting for actual cancer to release them from this nightmare. Andrew kind of liked it.

“Well, we have the right street anyway. The guy told you it was a blue and brick house. I don’t think there are too many houses with that questionable combo so we should be able to find it.” Mike said in his usual hopeful way.

Mike already sorta believed in a sort of God. Andrew had always admired this about him and wished that he could as well. Andrew had grown up with a militant atheist father and a dedicated reborn baptist mother. The atheism of his father had stuck but he felt guilty for not being able to empathize with his mothers beliefs. They seemed more admirable and peaceful than her fathers while also seeming ridiculously juvenile. He had longed to find some compromise. The man at the phone number had promised Andrew that he would find exactly what he was looking for.

They only had to drive a few blocks before they found the blue and brick house. It was immaculate. In the dull looming night it seemed to glow of its own internal energy. Everything was well kept and appeared fresh. It stood out against its surroundings like laughter at a funeral. A man who appeared to belong in such an out-of-place place answered the door and invited them in. He wore a neat gray beard and wire glasses on a small head that adorned a giant fuzzy sweater many sizes too large for him. The walls were covered with religious imagery from what appeared to be every known religion of man. He invited them into a sitting room and offered them to rest on a giant over-stuffed couch that was covered in a heavy knitted material just like the sweater. In a chair in a corner a woman about the mans age and equally awkward sat slowly rocking in a chair and knitting. She was rocking in time to some kind of swing jazz and her eyes batted a hello at them.

“I won’t keep you boys too long.” the man said in his deep husky baritone. The voice was disproportionate to the visual image of the fuzzy little man. “Here are two pills, one for each of you. They are a gift from me. I made these myself and can assure you they are absolutely safe. Their effect is identical to what I described in the novel you found at the library. That is all that I can tell you. These pills are yours to take at any time should you choose to.”

After some small talk the man then escorted the two out of his strange home, explaining that it was ‘dance night’ and that he and his wife were eager to get to their weekly gyrations. Mike and Andrew got in the car and began driving back to their place on University. Halfway home Andrew suddenly pulled out his pill and popped it instead of waiting like they had planned. They both sat silent for several blocks. Finally Mike broke the silence.

“Well, how is it? How does it feel?”

Andrew smiled coyly. He did not yet have precise words to attach to the experience so he gave a bit of a chuckle and then answered, “Like a verb, Mike. Like everything I thought was nouns are actually verbs.”

All of his life Andrew had been taught that The Divine was something to either be only laughed at or to never be laughed at. Now he was seeing a new truth before him. God is laughter.

This story was originally written as a submission to ‘Juice’, a Des Moines, Iowa local magazine, and was called ‘He Who Laughs, Lasts’. There were certain guidelines that had to be followed which made the story particular to the area, but I am unable to remember the details of them.

Jumping

jumping

The jumping began in my dreams. These dreams were incredibly vivid although they were never the same dream. Only the jumping connected them. At first the jumps were very small but as the dream would go on I would be able to jump in exponentially accelerating leaps and bounds. Over time I was able to jump great distances from the onset of the dream. It seems that I had learned the skill in that other world and could now perform it without question. In some dreams I jumped to escape and in others just for the sheer joy and beauty of the activity. The jumping was accompanied by a weak sense of being able to float. As if I could will my mass to such a low density that gravities effects on it were weakened dramatically; but not totally. For a very long time these were nothing more than highly welcomed dreams. But then I began an experiment.

I began with the assumption that physical reality was an illusion of consciousness necessary during this stage in the increase of complexity. Not that it was an immutable truth. I also had a hunch that dreams were the more pure form of our consciousness; untethered from physical reality yet interchangeable with many of the symbols, archetypes and experiences within it. More simply put I began to believe that the wall between dreams and reality was not so great as to keep me from jumping over it.

There was a long period of failure. My initial attempts were the most comical of all. I began by trying to jump in place. My efforts to will the concentration were mangled sums of physical strain. I realized with much internal laughter that if my plan were to shit myself with enough force to nullify gravity, this was the method to pursue. That, however, was not my aim. So I began studying and using yogic techniques to escape the space-time velocity of my mind and enter the realm of pure mind while still awake. As pleasant as that was it was just another form of dreaming. One night during this time I had one of the jumping dreams again and I remembered an important fact. The jumping always began with running.

I fucking hated running. It seemed like such an animalistic form of narcissism that I had no interest in it. Nonetheless, I began running. A lot. And I kind of liked it. Not at first, of course. At first it was dull and painful and frustrating. The constant movement of cars, bicycles, pedestrians and other runners made the chore seem more like a burden than an exercise in evolving. So I began running outside of town on trails or through woods and other open spaces and soon it began to make sense. It was not just about running. It was about becoming aware of the environment, I had to anticipate each footfall in those rugged terrains and adjust accordingly. Suddenly running became an activity of my mind as much of as my body. I later learned to adapt the techniques to rural situations but the feedback was too much to learn the basics in.

By this point I had really gotten into running. My first step into jumping was developing a sort of rural parkour. Trees and rocks and watersheds provided the perfect places for my growing sport. Like a perfect animal I was able to negotiate the wilds physically beyond the abilities of any other living human I knew of. And from this the jumping just sort of emerged. I soon found myself taking great leaps followed by several more. I was a pouncing machine, like a supernatural big cat, able to leap in greater bounds with each successive one until the treetops themselves were visible to me. I began to become aware of a feeling that accompanied these actions. It was constant deja vu. I always had the sensation that I was just at where I now was. But this was happening every second as if I were experiencing time as a linear progression of loops. Becoming aware of this feeling caused me to concentrate on it to the point where I was soon unable to jump beyond just superior human abilities.

I had an inclination to understand the dynamics of what I had been doing in the woods so I began fumbling through mathematics, biology and other scientific disciplines to understand it. What I was led to believe after much research is that what I had been accomplished was technically impossible because the human brain was not capable of operating the body machinery at optimum enough levels. The basic ingredients for these abilities lied within the machinery but the programming did not allow processing to access memory at a high enough rate to maximize sufficient uses of available energy. Science seemed to suggest, in the end, that humans could not perform these feats because humans could not perform these feats. It was a futile exercise in recursive defeatism.

One day I was sitting around smoking cannabis and decided to try staring at the dial clock on the wall for an entire hour. For the first half an hour it was the most boring fucking thing I had ever done. Slowly it began to become disorientating until the hands of the clock disappeared altogether. Only by thinking about a time would the hands emerge to evidence it. By concentration I became able to move the hands in such a steady pace as to keep time. Or at least keep it steady. I have no idea if my internal sense of time that powered that clock was anywhere close to objective time because at the end of the experiment I fell directly to sleep. Before that, however, I began to sense another form of dissonance in my relation to the clock. If I was controlling the hands of the clock not only was I controlling time but by controlling the relative physical positions of the hand I was also controlling space. Suddenly the clockwork of entire Universe both inside and outside of my mind were perfectly in synch. So much so that I realized they had never been distinct to begin with. I realized that both time and space and all of reality were a product of anticipation and then I just sort of napped out.

When I awoke I went for a run. As I ran I began to anticipate every movement before it happened until my self awareness was such that my anticipation no longer had to be informed by the known physical laws. If I wanted to jump several meters over a few acres of woodland I just created a mental image of the action in which every point across the arc of the jump was anticipated just a moment before my body arrived there, but my anticipation was always formed by new data and new perceptions along the way so that I could make necessary adjustments. I ran all night long into ever more complex maneuvers and jumps into the morning when I think a farmer might have spotted me. I decided to head home.

The walk home was full of many revelations beginning with the realization that I was not tired. Well, I was a bit tired but that was because of how long it had been since I had slept; however I realized my body was not tired. As if it had suffered no indignation at such a workout. I began to wonder that all of my life my body had been made to serve under my limited brain but rarely did my mind have access to it. Now it was as if my body were obeying the mind alone in those intense moments and was therefore not restricted by the physical realities which brain was a constant subject to. Brain and body were necessary to create the conditions in which mind needed to evolve but our consciousness was not to be limited to them once we had mastered that reality. Religion, science and politics had been attempting to master that reality since the dawn of humanity but for the express purpose of controlling it and not for escaping it. To become more than meat we needed new priorities. And fast.

My first priority became then to share this with the world. As I ran at night I began to formulate a plan but then I one night I became aware that I was not alone. At first my mamallian instincts were of fear and paranoia. I could not make out this other thing or being that galloped through the wood with me. Soon this gave way to competiveness as whatever it was seemed to posses skills even far beyond my own. Eventually though it became kind of a dance. We leaped together in what can best be described as melodies and harmonies and as the beauty of that sank in I began to laugh as loud as I ever have; tears streaming down my face at the sheer excitement of it. Through my own laughter I began to hear another voice laughing and I was suddenly overcome with what can be best described as a sense of love the likes of which I had never known. I became overwraught with this to the point that I needed to stop and just let let that moment overcome me. And so I did and when I came to my senses she was sitting there beside me.

“Nice night for a run, no?”

She was beautiful in a sense so deep that it could not be accounted for by physical beauty. She seemed to glow of joy and self-possession and knowledge all of which she radiated as a simple matter of fact of her being.

“Who are you?” I asked.

She laughed. “I am you and you are me and all is one. I thought you had figured that out by now?”

She continued laughing but it was not perverse as in mockery. It was joyful and sharing and inviting so I laughed with her and that kinda answered my question.

“Okay, I get it. But who are you in that other sense.”

“My name is Satori and I am like you. A jumper. It started in your dreams, didn’t it?”

We talked well into the next morning about our experiences. The dreams, the jumping, but most of all the mind. She explained to me that there were others, too. Not everyone jumped. Some flew, some dived and some did things that wouldn’t make sense in the waking world. But they all had one connection. They had started in dreams. She said that humanity had begun to wake up from the limitations of its waking physical reality. That some of us were already beginning to move beyond this plane of existence altogether into another place of pure mind. Like a world of dreams but with distinct seperate consciousnesses interacting of their own free will. Finally she told me that she would likely be going there soon and that I would follow.

“You will have to say goodbye in your own way. Once you are gone it will be as if you never existed or they will concoct some permutation of reality in which you died amongst them. And not all of them will follow. Sadly, most will not. It was necessary for that reality to create an abundance of interacting minds in order to produce those that would be able to progress past them. Many of those entities you call humans will just go on living as they always have until slowly when all of the great minds have evolved past them they will begin to stagnate and regress in that limited reality. I believe you have already seen this happening. It is unlikely that many if any people you know will join us in the new plane on which we will exist. So say goodbye however you wish but just remember that you will either be forgotten or your absence excused by conventional means. Telling them about all of this will not be of any use to them. When it is your time to move on you will meet one like yourself and prepare them for the journey as I have done with you.”

She embraced me in a way that went beyond physical. We temporarily became as one and shared everything we had ever known and I learned more from her what would be happening to me. This embrace seemed to last an eternity and I awoke that afternoon alone in the woods. There was a young man running through the forest. He ran right past me in great leaps and bounds hardly making any noise except the sounds of self satisfaction with his newfound abilities.

I go running every night and watch him without letting him know that I am there. He is progressing fantastically although differently than I did. I hardly belong to the waking world anymore. When I am not running I am sleeping somewhere out of the way living in those dream simulations of where I am heading. I have written this all out many times and then destroyed it. Should anyone ever find this it will seem like a work of madness or fiction. Nonetheless I am compelled to write it if only to understand it myself.

I cannot concentrate anymore. This world, this reality…it is like a stranger to me. It is like the sensation of pressing ones thumb to their finger in heavy gloves as opposed to without them. The young man seems to have come to understand as much of the mystery he is embroiled in as he will on his own. Tonight I shall jump with him.

For what it is worth, I love you and will miss you very much. Even when we become one anothers memories or fictions. If I don’t see you on the other side I hope the end is not too hard on you. It may not be too late for you. We are all children but somewhere along the way we lost our imaginations. If you can recapture that from your dreams you too may just have a chance to grow up with us. So find love of your dreams so you may yet find dreams of your love. Love will bring us all back together to a place where we cannot harm one another and instead act as coauthors of the most beautiful existence we can imagine. Love beckons and now I shall go be with it.

p.s. You are about to bomb yourselves back to sticks and stones. Try not to do that. You are all responsible for that reality. Even children keep their treehouses clean.

Advanced Ape

advanced ape

“I have been thinking a lot about dying.” I said

“What, like killing yourself?” Her voice was genuinely concerned but her expression betrayed none of that. She was beautiful when she smiled at him, so he didn’t mind the inconsistency.

“No. Not really. I mean, I think about that but it doesn’t seem like an option. Just that if it happened, it might not be so bad. I just don’t think I belong here anymore. I feel like I am supposed to be moving on, seeing what comes next.”

“What if there is no next? What if this is it?”

“That would be unfortunate considering how well this is turning out. And I do not just mean my bad luck. The whole thing. Everything, everybody; especially everybody.”

“What about me?” For just a second her expression changed to hurt. Rejection.”

“I love you. I thought you already knew that?”

“I do. But I am not real, you know.”

“It doesn’t matter.”


The wings were made of a thin, black, shiny material. Like a child’s cape in a Dracula costume. The structure beneath had been constructed of cheap disposable chop sticks, duct taped together. A harness of kite string was attached so that it could be worn. It was an impossible contraption but he knew it would work if he put it on. Those were the rules. He climbed onto an old metal platform with stairs that had been abandoned by the mobile home it once served. With a mighty push he leaped off and began falling even more rapidly. Just before he hit the ground a wind rustled through and caught beneath the wings lifting him into the air. Looking down he saw their expressions of disbelief and amazement. Smiling smugly he did a few circles around them and slowly came to the ground. They were gone. Folding the wings gently and then placing them gently under his arms, he tried to remember what the tallest building he could possibly get to the roof of was and then began walking towards it.


“You again.” I sputtered half contemptibly and the other half sardonically. I hated it when I showed up like this to bother myself when I was trying to be alone.

“Feeling sorry for yourself again?”

“Maybe. Or maybe I am just feeling sorry for everything and tired of feeling sorry for it.”

“That wouldn’t make sense to anybody else. Why do you insist on being understood and at the same time insisting on flying in circles above everyone.? Tone it down. You have to land sometime. You are drifting away inside that fancy mind you are so proud of. What good will it be if you cannot figure out how to build stairs and a door for others to access it with?” People tended to think I was unduly argumentative and confrontational with them. If only they could see how I talked to myself like this maybe it would make sense. Maybe not.

“I keep trying. But every time I think I have, Universe puts up a shiny new escalator next to it and I stand there watching as they pass by; laughing about things I cannot seem to understand..”

“Maybe you should build the stairway at the top of the escalator?”

“Then Universe would just build another escalator next to that.”

“If you insist.”


Everybody in the house is either away or asleep and he is bored. He wanders through the house exploring and rifling through things while trying not to disturb anyone. His room is in the basement but he has made his way up to the second story floor. In the center of the that top floor there is a closet. Opening it he finds a warehouse of items left behind by past residents. Things that were kept in case their owners should ever return for them or in the case a new occupant might find use for them. He starts at the top pulling things from shelves, then hanging racks and finally ends up on his knees rifling through the stuff on the floor. There is nothing here that he wants. Taking a final look before moving on he notices a small square panel on the far wall. Curious, he pries at it’s edges. It opens revealing a small crawlspace that he just barely manages to squeeze into. Half the crawlspace is a dirty wooden floor covered in what must be centuries of dust and cobwebs and the other detritus of the passing of time in closed forgotten spaces. The other half, however, is a dark opening going straight down. He pulls a cigarette lighter from his pocket to illuminate the empty, darkened space. There are steps attached to the wall but he cannot see anything below. Positioning his body in the cramped space, he manages to adjust himself to make the descent. Climbing slowly at first but not getting anywhere, he picks up his pace. After awhile of not getting anywhere he slows back down and drained of his curiosity and bored with this jumps from the steps and plunges…


“Are you feeling any better tonight? Or are you still contemplating the Great Beyond?” I try to imagine her not like this but like her real self. Dirty, sick, angry. Petty, childish, self-absorbed. She must be those things from time to time, but I have never seen it. Maybe it is for the best.

“I am not feeling anything tonight. I thought that might be nice for a change.” I lie.

“You lie. You cannot do that. That is part of your problem. You never turn it off. Of course, it also makes you endlessly fascinating. Fascinating and terrifying. Its like a haunted house, isn’t it? Despite the fact that it is frightening people line up to get inside. Yet nobody wants to live in a haunted house.”

“There doesn’t seem to be that many people in line. In fact, most of the time it is just me standing there in a silly costume and a bullhorn which I often find myself yelling into the wrong end of.” I am proud of this answer but I am a bit dazed as she is not usually this metaphorical with me. She has been showing up less often and I try to convince myself that it is probably for the best. There is a soft melody and I realize she is singing. I cannot make out what she is singing but I become so transfixed by it that I do not even notice when she stops until she speaks again which may have been seconds or eternities later for all I can tell.

“Do you know why I am here?” she asks.

“Probably because you don’t know any better.”

“Yet I am not really here, am I?”

“Obviously. But that is because I don’t know any better.”


He is not there. There are things happening. Events. People. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and the whole shebang; but he is not there. Time passes. Things progress, sometimes jumping from one scene to the next. Seamless and seemingless. None of it appears to matter but he cannot stop paying attention because he is not there and he cannot remember this ever happening before. Or maybe it is because he has no choice since he is not there to control himself. There is more of it and he wants very much to enjoy it, or even despise it; but he is not there.

He is in a new place far away. He has just moved there but he cannot remember why. There used to be something here, or at least near here, that he wanted. Whatever it was he either cannot remember it or it is not here now. It occurs that either way it really does not make any difference, the results are the same. Like every time before he finds a job and makes friends and explores the differences between all of the other places he has ever been. Those differences have begun to seem less pronounced and this time there is almost none of it at all. It is always the same no matter where he goes because he is always the same. He cannot objectively observe his own growth. He has become the forest which cannot see itself through the trees. The forest, he thinks, would be a nice place to live next.


“Who are you?” I demand, trying to be brusque and in charge of this apparition.

“Does that really matter? Do you even care? You never seem to stop running away in that head of yours, so why should it matter where or who you run to?” I once saw a picture that was supposed to represent what the average human being would look like. This is as close as I can come to describing this androgynous, amorphous illusion. The voice is much the same.

“Alright, fair enough. What, then, do you want?”

“To ask you that very same question. What do you want?” Its eyes bury me in a corner where I cannot escape. I remain silent and those eyes remain vigilant. They are not really eyes, though. They are not really a ‘they’. It is a mirror in a pitch black room that may or may not exist when nobody is around to turn the lights on and look into it. Whatever it is, I cannot escape it. “What do you want?”

“I want to turn the light off.” As I say this I know that I cannot, ever, turn the light off. I can close my eyes and pretend that it does not exist but always there will be bits of it seeping into the corners of my eyes where the shades no longer cover. “I want it to be fair.”

“Then you are a child.”

“Then I want it to be easy.”

“Then you are a fool.”

“Then I want it to be meaningful.”

“Then you are an ape.”

I laugh. It laughs. Everything laughs. Or is everything laughter? For a moment I think that it must be the latter. If everything is laughter, what of the sorrow? How is sorrow if everything is laughter? Now everything is sorrow. Even the laughter is sorrow and I ask myself if this is paradox or irony. Now everything is paradox and irony simultaneously. This thought makes me laugh and once again everything is laughter.

“You could do that for forever, you know.” It quips.

“Because I am just an ape?”

“No, in spite of that.”

Silence. Darkness. Nothingness. At its center a small point of light appears. It grows slowly at first then exponentially faster until there is no more more darkness and only light. The light collapses suddenly and there is only darkness. Once again the pinpoint of light appears. Expand. Collapse. The process repeats itself, each time more rapidly than the last until the process becomes non-linear and simultaneous. Infinite. The vision gives way to a gnawing sense of hunger and curiosity. They are at odds. The hunger wants to consume the curiosity but the curiosity cannot allow itself to be consumed, less it may never understand the hunger. It is like an ontological knife fight in a cosmic alley with opponents matched so evenly in skill and determination that it can never end.

“What if I do not want to be an ape?” I try to sound confident and confrontational so that it knows that I am in control, even though we can both see clearly through the falsehood.

“Then you must advance.”

“Can’t I just quit? Seems a helluva lot easier if you ask me. I grow tired of being a mind attached to meat. The meat asks so much of me that it makes itself a prison. My mind can see far beyond the bars but the meat cannot slip through the narrow openings. Just how do you recommend I advance under such conditions?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t do it.” It is gone.


He knows that he is dreaming. He can control the dreams but he cannot escape them. Occasionally he tries and just finds himself slipping through recursive layers of his subconscious mind. It becomes disorientating and so he just gives in and wanders into the next dream. He sees himself climbing up a platform with crude childish wings attached to his back. She is there watching the other him. He walks up next to her and asks her what he is doing.

“He is trying to advance.” Her smile is like a mirror catching the light of infinite stars. If he closes his eyes or turns away she will disappear. Afraid to blink he takes turns closing only one eye at a time while opening the other. Each one is a setting sun, or a rising sun; depending on the light she reflects back to its source.

“You are not real.” I whisper, afraid speaking will make me blink.

“Yes and no. I exist and I do not. I wear many faces but none of them are mine. You have created and destroyed me countless times. I am always the same and always different. Only one underlying truth remains. I am your desire and you try fulfill me with whatever you can find but if you look more closely you will see a you-shaped hole where none of these ideas fit. None of them can ever fit. Instead of plugging the hole with the next closest shape, as you have been wont to do, you need to move on.”

“You mean end it?” I ask, unable to hide the fear.

“No, I mean to advance. The hole you try to fill is not a gap to be covered over but a door through only which you may pass. To advance you must pass beyond that which you have formerly tried to fill with self-pity, fear and sorrow or by shoving others in front of to give yourself an excuse not to pass through.”

“Then how can I pass through? How can I advance? What is the secret?”

“There is no secret. There is nothing hidden. To advance one does not find what was lost or hidden. To advance one must create that other place. The past is a pastiche of different perspectives from the present but the future does not exist. It is not written. It is not etched in words or memory and has no blueprint in what has come before it. To advance you simply start putting one new idea in front of the other and stop worrying about who is following you or who is by your side. If you get the knack for it you will advance without ever knowing it and lay a path on which no other may follow. However, they can learn from it. They can be emboldened to lay their own paths of advancement.” she pauses and smiles at me again.

“Do not be surprised that many will or can not do that. Like you they started out as apes and had no idea where they were going. In fact by way of concluding that they had already arrived most of them insured their destinies had no destination at all. There is a reason you are here and only you know what that reason was. In arriving it has been forgotten so it will be necessary for you to recreate it.” Suddenly, she is gone.


I sit at the keyboard hoping she will come back soon. I know she will. But the next time I will give her a new face and not reconfigure her from the forms of other faces I have already met or created. I will give her every imaginable form possible and I will not stop until I must, if that becomes the case. While the other apes try to shove their visions of her into their own ape-shaped holes I will pass through my own with infinite capacity to create her in whatever carrot-on-a-string shape I can imagine to keep me moving on; because I am an Advanced Ape.