Monday, June 24, 2013


Looking out overhead you can make out the outline of the dilapidated rail-car. Using the “zoom” function you can fixate with daunting clarity upon a scraggly fellow in a cloak of aluminum foil, growling oaths and bent at the knee, shitting and pissing, shitting and pissing. This is the Intruder. Zoom in a little further and the book is in full view. You nod. “That must be the book,” you all whisper in approximated unison, each finishing a microbeat after the other, like a hooched up round of “Row Your Boat.” The Intruder’s hands are enormous and covered in boils, soiled with waste and blood, and excreting polychromatic pus. You wait for the Intruder to reveal his next move, to unknowingly signal you to action. When you get in very close your view is wholly awash in the onyx-colored purge, which seemed never to cease. At least one of you is comforted by this, in some strange way, though this fleeting sentiment is of course never to be introduced into the focused discourse of the group. Some of you are tickled by ennui and scratch at the cold ground, unearthing text messages, missed calls, hollow voicemails speaking nothing, caverns into which the whole of spoken language were desperately but fruitlessly beckoned for all eternity. Others smoked cigarettes, inhaling deeply and slipping the wisps of exhaust into their t-shirts in bashful installments, evading both the alarmed gaze of the olfactorily keen Intruder as well as the admonishments of other members of the group in light of the former possibility. Finally the expulsion of waste ceased suddenly.
The Intruder took his time in exiting the scene. “If only we could just boot up Amazon out here and get a preview--I’m dying for a taste!” one of you joked. Nobody laughed. To get to the book would have been the pinnacle of your collective achievement and the magnum opus of humanity’s ventures. Unfortunately this never happened. In the immediate distance the Intruder began to chuckle, stopping intermittently to choke and spit, and sometimes weep? You weren’t totally sure. He wasn’t facing you but you could hear his gurgles and cackles as they burrowed into the mean, mounting wind. Some of you relaxed and leaned into the wind, a deceptively welcome relief from the turgid heat. “I’m just loving this breeze / Who could have a pina colata [sic],” one of you tweeted into some purplish moss with a rusted nail. His long shadow warbled like a television dipped in nuclear waste, and eventually crept up, casting all of you under its blanket of darkness. “Ahhhhh,” you gasped in harmony. The book was a lost cause. Its words were rendered meaningless as its context was rapidly dissolved. “We can’t find anything! What were we before that we needed something to find?” a couple of you shouted. The Intruder had gotten inside, and squeezed out the contents like a determined sandwich maker forced into frugality. The next scene is where things really start to “heat up” in terms of phantom significance within a complex network of arbitrary signifiers. This is where you lose the book. This is where your ironic dollar-bill bookmark is the only thing left on your shivering, naked body. This where you lose your place. Nothing but empty pages, blowing around like ash in the dilapidated rail-car. Is this what you came here for? Do you remember when you first left the house?

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