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Fourteenth Sitting

I have, of course, chickened out at the prospect of relating my personal experiences directly, as I am not [Should you still have the power to insert, insert some popular author that tells about his/her experiences a lot, especially in the form of whimsical childhood anecdotes; I fear any choice of mine will be lost on most people, and besides, they are all interchangeable. In the future, however, I will refer to this reference of your choice as "Shaggy."], but I will discuss some topics that directly relate to my recent experience; I hope this may convince you that I kind of know what I'm talking about maybe, if and when you need be convinced of this, like if you were going to use me as source literature for a paper entitled "My Butt." (yes, the quota is fulfilled. Future Butt references will be replaced by Partridge Family references).

Now it may be hard for me to be properly cheery in discussing these thingies because I am a gloomy gus. This is `cause (get ready to quote me) truth is what screws you over, whether by chance or definition I'm not sure.

But why, Markie (You have grown familiar enough with me what with this newfound intimacy to construct annoying and degrading diminutives. Stop it, Lil' Cute Reading Person, or you will bake. Like a bean.), why be so pissily negative in an annoying and reductionist way? What dread tragedy has occurred to make you sing so blue?

I will not tell you that straight off, as I am trying to adopt the covert game-playing not-telling habits many of you seem to have and I am trying to learn so as to fit in because all the kids laugh at me when I just come out and say that while, yes, I do find them all very attractive, I just can't take it any farther what with my existential angst and all. Instead I will raise me a topic: Recall how I said that this book, being technically free (from the standpoint of creation) from any proper standards of judgment, is much like a person, to get to know, to try to understand, to manipulate and steal from? The implication there was that you would still find it in your heart to keep reading, to engage this person of a book who really asks nothing from you other than a place on your coffee table and $19.95 or so (author's overprice estimation, 7/28/93). But of course you have always had the option (or at least have been made to think you have the option) of flushing the damn thing page by page after use as a harsh 1-ply lavatory aid. So it is the same with people, but the people will cry more.

The communion and communication between peoples, the thing that makes the pain go away, only proceeds smoothly if we pretend certain things, like that the listener would not stop the speaker short during some run-on sentence, put on some Grateful Dead, and begin to make flatulence noises with all the armpits present. This would put the speaker ill at ease and signal that the topic (or form) of such a run-on is not all that acceptable to the listener. This creates a rift, which kills the false sense of intimacy, makes folks go back to calling each other by their last names, and causes noise pollution (the Grateful Dead does, that is; yes tee hee it's sort of an actual frigging joke, okay? Just deal, will you, and stop your twitching).

Now since 90% of all communication is non-verbal anyway (so quoth the Raven (<--This is proper footnote form. Remember.)), this "communication" idea encompasses most of our dealings with each other insofar as they are actually with each other and not with our own drunken psychoses. Now most people We don't give a damn about; yes yes you and I may hold some abstract moral principles, and have a general feeling of welfare for all creation, and feel an icky sympathy for those that we see up close, but the fact is, we can't help but deal with most people on an instrumental level: they are useful to us only insofar as they serve our purposes as tollbooth operator or investment counselor or guru. When someone becomes your friend, this loosens a bit, but to varying degrees; if your friend acts like a total jerk even one day, they he's not much of a friend to you, is he? He has failed = he is ousted. Now in an actual "Relationship," as they say, the purposefulness is supposed to disappear; if yo' hinny loves ya then it doesn't matter if you lose all your money or become a quadriplegic or go on a game show -- you will still be loved... theoretically... maybe.

It should be obvious where this is leading... Though in a "relation-ship" the expectation is that love and hence compassion and hence givin' slack for becoming a useless pud should increase, that's not how it works, or really, when you think about it wearing certain hats, how it should logically work. After all, the "real-ationship" employs more "use" of another human being than anything else, for emotional, physical, financial, extra-special, actuarial, culinary, gustatory, extra-terrestrial, and fightin'-the-forces-of-evil support, and when the mate becomes a slug, stuck in an emotional quagmire with only his own skin to use as valuable chewing gum, then the mate of that mate must either be cruel or screwed, `cause, as I said, if you hang around the damaged, you become the damaged.

Now I'm very familiar with this situation because I have been in all positions of it: the damaged gettin' crueled to, the mate of the damaged both cruelin' to and not cruelin' to that damaged, the guy trying to seduce the mate of the damaged because she's obviously not happy and will dump him sooner or later anyway...

So the most recent time around, I `spect, during the last chapter, in fact, I was and am in the last of these positions, which is an interesting place to be, especially if you want to try on the cap of the righteous villain and act suave. It is especially weird if you've been on the other side and are now trying to justify the act by which your own head was stepped upon in the distant past. There is a problem here, and I think it just might be worthy of my attention, as I obviously have time to kill. The problem is what to do with the damaged so as to get them out of the way and keep them from damaging others. Leaving them alone to die or eventually remarkably recover with only a few visible open wounds seems undesirable. Staying by them every minute to become polluted while all the opportunities of the world go by also seems out. My initial hypothesis for a solution is: escape the boundaries of space and time. Also, eat paper. These and other solutions will be developed by our team of experts if I can invent them ("them" referring to both the solutions and the experts, as well as to "them").

Oh my holy crunchy living Jesus Christ! I've just been struck by an idea so astounding that it would knock the socks off the Big Giant Sock Puppet Brahmin, revealing the hand of God itself. I thought of a structure for the whole damn book! I will cut to the chase and explain my situation. The mate of the damaged, my almost ideal conception true love wonder-creature, will in twenty days leave the continental US, which is where I hang out, to the far-northern tip of creation, there to spend at least one year doing God knows what with Arctic fishes and silk-screens and polar weavings and things. Now the damaged is not following her at this point, but he may later. We all doubt this will ever happen, because he is damaged and too skinny for Northern climes. So if he doesn't make it up there by some arbitrary date before Christmas (the present date is listed in this very chapter; find it), his term as boyfriend expires. Now by the genius of frequent flyer plans and family association, I have a ticket to yonder destination just waiting for me whenever I see fit to use it. This book, I pledge here and now, will conclude with an account of the outcome of this future expedition of glory, and so will sprinkle lots of classical romantic plot elements and plaintive musings before that, giving some direction and a new cast to an otherwise fairly meandering script. Of course, whatever the outcome of this sub-soap-opera adventure, it will of course prove, demonstrate, and naturally conclude the substantial core of paraphilosophic dogma building up to it. So, jeez, we got a plot here, and a time frame, which may be very long and thus chunky in page-length, and we'll have actual character development, as I may, say, lose a limb between now and then. Plus I will have plenty of time to find a publisher and maybe can get one to pay my expenses in living up there, it being research and all.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]