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Twenty-Fourth Sitting

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhhhh! Hmmmmmmmmmmm...

Let me elaborate...

In my strategy to lick this book (draw your own sicko images, punsters; I shall have NONE of it.), I have even, no it can surely not be, TAKEN actual NOTES on some things that have happened, because my memory is totally overwhelmed and the story is getting gooood, I tell you, worthy of a master story-teller but incumbent upon Das Animal, licking Das Buch with broad Michelangelo-and-His-Circus-Of-Blood-like strokes, pouring out the saliva of his life and leaving only scars. So I am here in this lordly computer center making noises of various sorts to vent my... whatever the appropriate emotion to feel at this point is. I am determined, and will make sure that I stay determined by denying myself the pleasure of eating the wonderful bagel that the foresightful She granted me before going off to make porcelain masterpieces until I have put at length to page what I put at brief into my NOTES: I have here a list of possible events that have actually happened but which I may only possibly relate, at least in any recognizable manner. Some of them happened yesterday, like that huge, highly symbolic deal with the DOGS (I am making She mouth vasser, ja? (referring in this case to You as She just to give you a pronoun now that You are dead. You will know whether "She" refers to "You" or "She" by the context, i.e. I will explain it at the time.)). But many of them are less recent -- episodes I feel compelled to relate in order to further characterize my characters, for instance by demonstrating exactly how touchy-feely and undoubtedly implicitly sexual the little doggies are. Because these things happened some time ago, I am much less excited about them and will probably describe them in a monotone, though you may not notice.

for instance I can tell you about the walk that she I and he took after that kitty death sentence scene I had come by in the first place to draw her out into the night while I was in one of those indescribable spinning moods that Ive been describing she had gotten to the point where she felt she couldnt do things like that without asking him along so she did and he came so we walked around in the beautiful night each male having a private conversation with her that was muttered so the other could not hear the high points came first when we discussed trees and second when we looked through a closed shop window at big nasty power tools knives vacuum cleaners and other instruments of destruction and household utility what he was fantasizing I can only guess at what I was fantasizing I can only guess at with slightly greater accuracy

Geez (with its new non-J spelling; show that you care about our earth by supporting non-J initiatives in your community and practicing them on your own), that was annoying. It did get one of those damn anecdotes out of the way though. The point is that I was not a mysterious stranger at Their pad but a reluctant hang-about; there was a big push in the later days to give Her life some coherence by being in the same room with him -- occasionally even the same conversation. Since I couldn't do this with the compulsive honesty and directness that is the only way I could deal with anyone on a real level, such situations left me usually feeling like the aforementioned bug pre-reincarnation. After a while, though, in such situations, an equilibrium must be reached -- at least that's the way I work -- a balance was struck of the same shaky but serenely indescribable sort that characterized my feelings about the whole situation; I became fairly comfortable through a certain self-deception. This self-deception is not actually lying to oneself, as in saying "He's really just a figment of my imagination that will go away shortly," but the kind of situation that obtains when one holds the concept "2+2" explicitly in mind but refrains from holding the concept "4." It's not that one convinces oneself that 2+2=5 or anything; one simply doesn't think about the sum at all. "2+2" is surely a fine and wondrous thing to hold by itself, yes, like one's love for another, and the loved one's possession of a full support group, and Her fervent dedication to Her own commitments. All these things are wonderful, so what's to get huffy about? Merely be yourself and make as many ambivalent and obscure references to the weirdness of the situation as possible before someone sets you on fire. This behavior of Mine, of His, this very polite and underhanded passive aggression, I shall refer to as growling.

Through a careful program of growling, one human being can relate to another: "I understand that you are a full-fledged person with a whole inner world. Because of this I can't help from at least partially understanding you, sympathizing with you, and wishing you well. Despite this, get the hell away from her or I will rip your jugular out with my teeth dammit."

After all this, do I even need to talk about the DOGS, to symbolize through their behavior the messy debacle that every one of us could slide into in a moment, if only human sensibility were a lot less complicated, and even so... Do we need the DOGS to teach us the lessons that Las Vegas could not? Well, no, but they're very cool...

...I need to approach this topic very slowly and carefully, because I don't want to get sued. You see, there are quite a few dog characters here, so were I to create imaginary names for all of them I would just get confused. So the dogs you'll hear about here are real: if you come to the appropriate part of Fairbanks and/or Chicago and call their names, they will come running to see if you are food. Watch out, and please do not encourage any of these dogs to run in the street or hurt me, for I will make every attempt to speak only the truth about them and present them as the honest and noble smelly beasts that they are.

The most important dog in the world is the one I own. Her name is Merc, which is short for Mercury, because she is very quick, and we have a thing in our family about naming dogs after Greek or Roman deities. Merc is a fox terrier, which means she is very sleek, cute & cuddly, fiercely independent, quick as lightning, and likes to kill things. Not people, no, but I recall a certain occasion where she happily bounded around leaving about twenty-five baby bunnies slaughtered in her wake. This didn't always apply to other dogs; she used to be very curious about them, and playful when she got the chance to jump all over them. Because of other dogs (and children, which aren't that different), our backyard looks like Alcatraz, with a wooden fence as formidable as is legally allowed where I live, reinforced by chicken wire, various planks of wood, some other kind of wire mesh, extending the height and width of the fence up, down, and in by almost a foot. The gates are basically useless, having four latches each and large boards blocking their undersides. Nonetheless, upon seeing another dog anywhere near, Merc usually managed to vault over, under, or through these barriers for a rendezvous.

We felt very sorry for our dog, what with her incessant lonely whining, so we bought another dog, a larger black one, and named her Ares, as in the god of war. Ares was a very friendly and wonderful dog, but we had to take her back after Mercury repeatedly tried to transform her into a neckless carcass. A human would approach, pet Ares, Mercury would become jealous and jump at Ares's neck, a huge frantic dogfight would ensue during which the human would grab Merc's back legs and lift them many feet off the ground trying to disengage her jaws from Ares's flesh, this would eventually succeed, Ares would slink off and hide in the bathtub, and time would begin preparing for a repeat performance.

So the wussy god of war went back, and (Laurie Partridge willing) found a new and better home. Increasingly since then, all other dogs have been labeled Mercury's enemies, fit only for death. Despite this little fault of hers, we love her very much. Though not of the consistently overly-affectionate variety, she is always there to pet and hug, as long as she's kept on a leash. So naturally when it came time for me to attempt some kind of art-object gift for my beloved, one thought I had was to somehow share this reliable source of affection with her. The dog lived at my parents' house, and She lived five hours away where I went to school, so some sort of portability transformation needed to occur... The old carpets were hauled out, the image was transcribed, and I bloody sewed her a stuffed-animal replication of the beast -- slightly smaller, and mostly two-dimensional (having two legs not four), but otherwise a surprisingly good representation. This was after the car ride with Him (I think) and before the cat-walk of death. She was charmed; He was mortified. Grrrrowl. When the object's head started to sag, She accused Him of twisting it repeatedly whenever She wasn't around. Grrrowlette. Before the summer was over, She and I had many overly-cute photos of each other holding the beast, I had included a mention of it in the second full song I wrote to her ("Hold this my token in place of me; let it be broken, you shall be free..." thus giving her a symbolic way out... very nice of me, I think), and it was whisked away to her home (i.e. her parent's home) to live with the other stuffed animals of her youth. So much for my intended symbolism.

Not too long after that She and the dog actually got to meet in person, for as a warm-up for the drive to Alaska that I was still trying to go on with her, she visited my (parents') home for a couple of days (We asked him along, but he couldn't get of work. Awwww.). I must say that the two of them got along splendidly -- a wonderful example of how two people (or the functional equivalent) who meet through the one they both feel affectionately towards can get along in peace and harmony, with lots of licking and tummy rubs. Women... I just don't understand `em.

All right, dammit, I'd better just have it out with this feminism issue. For the record, of course I believe in equal rights and righting the wrongs that our society has performed in subjugating women, giving them little chance to develop a sense of self, making them feel that they have to operate by different and exceptional standards, whether this be in approximating our preconceived notions of beauty or being merely the witnesses and recipients to the oh-so-wonderful white male culture. I have had these issues explained to me for many many hours and understand them as well as I am able. But that still doesn't remove my basic libido-driven sensibilities. In certain moods, when certain unfulfilled needs set me towards the Damaged, male and female are just different entities... I told you this: I am Self, She is Other, the one who holds the power over me and thus is inevitably the object of both worship and a little resentment, and He is irrelevant... or rival, or the rest of the God concept (which would make much more sense if we were still polytheists, but I don't want to get into that right now).

So, being an American male, I still have lots of obnoxious hang-ups about what it is to be male. I've actually done much better than most in shedding these, of getting in touch with my feminine side... I recall one appreciative female telling me that many of my emotional reactions and behaviors in relationships were closer to those of women than of the jerk males she knew. This is sensitivity, and it's good. I also recall a not-so-appreciative female saying I was a wimp. This is sensitivity, and it's bad. What-ever. So I'm still touchy on this, and at least 35% of the songs I write come from the immature but cool angry-young-man perspective.

What's the relevance? I'm merely trying to explain that I don't have any idea why and to what extent men and women differ in the ways in which they compete for affection, and if I do at any point cast women in a weird light due to their bitch-goddess role in the male perspective, it's just because I'm a DOG. And now, as I have written a lot today, I will eat my bagel-treat.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]