Realms of Annihilation

I wonder when's a good time to talk about the decomposing cat, in the rain, on the grass, its skin the colour of the pasta we overcooked, extremely visible from the covered picnic bench ten feet away, on which we ate all our dinners for two weeks, while on the empty campsite around it we worked, with shovels and sacks, and occasionally argued about who should pick it up, and nobody picked it up.

I wonder when's a good time to talk about the gruesome 1978 cover of Renata Adler's Speedboat, with its blurred brown humanoid staring at a frozen grey boatless sea, beneath a John Updike quote that's been trowelled on under the author's name in a nervous font that has something up with its A's, but I couldn't tell you what, and Updike always comes attached in my mind to the most unpleasant book title anywhere, ever, which is Rabbit, Run, which I tried to read once, but something about the sound of the title's syllables and the big pompous comma, like a fingernail in the eye, made me stop. And all the bits of this cover's text seem very slightly too close together, and very slightly off-centre, and this ocean of hogwash rested in my hand the whole time I was reading the book, which was very good, and I nearly removed it, the cover, but kept thinking then what?

If I put it in the bin, someone else might see it. If I bury it, a child could accidentally or on purpose dig some of it up. The proper thing to do is to feed it to a massive snake.
I just left it. But now it's over, I really think something should've been done.

If Poss

The Chemist, at the till, asked if I had everything I needed for Christmas.
Not really, er, are there some medicines on special offer? A selection box? Has something good become legal again?
She said tut tut, and stepped aside to reveal behind her some low shelves filled with mainly perfumes and hot water bottles. I said oh. She talked me through the range.
Maybe you have a girlfriend.
Who's cold, or stinks.
A hot water bottle can make a surprising gift.
And I could fill it with boiling perfume and really make a name for myself.
Just think about it, doesn't have to be today.
When she handed me my prescribed medicine, she said here's the prescription for [my full name], like that might not be me. She hasn't done that before. She just wanted to have fun in a hat and I was smugly walloping it away. I did want a gift, but not one from the seasonal shelf.
Maybe if there was a tiny tree, with benzodiazepines for baubles, and you could eat the whole thing like a shish kebab.
You'd need a prescription for that.
I'll be back in a month or so.

Turns Out It's People

If everyone in this cafe right now formed a band, we'd be called Loudmouth Donny and The Cosmic Douchebags. It's unfair, but accurate. Like this pen would be named The Clicky Bulbous Struggler, at the South-West Pen Afficionados' annual pen-naming convention and hog roast, to which I've never been invited. There's a stupefying mismatch between its shape and its purpose, like someone's stuck a nib to a balloon and said well boss we've made it user-friendly for people who don't want to use it too much, the fuck else you want? And using it solely to make complaints about it was what qualified me to become a member of The Douchebags, Donny-less and non-cosmic until four minutes ago, when a young spam-cannon wrapped in a woollen rainbow walked in, enunciating into his phone and dragging our futures behind him, and instantly we realised our purpose. We haven't, strictly-speaking, practised, or met, yet, but we've definitely been brought together.

Examples Quite Excessive

Johnny Cash sang about Christmas. A History of Bombing described innovations in missile stability. I sat everywhere in a succession of childish chairs, trying to concentrate on the bombing, but anywhere I went the CD started skipping, although I didn't think people used CDs anymore, and none of the other customers anywhere seemed irked, so I never asked the staff what was up with their music, or the customers when they planned to begin to be irked, Johnny isn't half going on about this pudding of his, do you not think? In case they said it's not a CD, it's not Johnny Cash, it's not even music, you're in the hospital, your head's come off.
A History of Bombing finished, and I burped and started on Martha Gellhorn's History of Aftermaths, which isn't what it's called. The music dissolved into something small and nervous, and Martha went round talking to people and looking at stuff.


Notes: Recipient again attended interview to assess suitability to perform functions already contractually obliged to perform. Recipient approached interview with surplus of I's in mouth ready to deploy after surplus of we's deployed at other interview led to impression of insufficient individual worth. Interview performance an improvement. Again a wait and while waiting performing functions contractually obliged to perform but not deemed capable of performing. Again the assessment unsuitable. One part of second interview feedback lamenting lack of banging-on re: teamwork. Probable cause: surplus of I's taken on after previous interview feedback highlighted we-surplus and I-dearth. News this time received Thursday afternoon, reaction of recipient being immediate exit of building. Friday morning recipient booked appointment at doctor's for following Thursday and again performed functions contractually obliged to perform but twice now deemed incapable of performing. Weekend: rollercoaster. Monday morning recipient attempted to perform functions contractually obliged to perform but stopped after thirty-five minutes, exited building and went to library. At library recipient attempted to read books of familiar, soothing, perspective-enhancing nature, Tropic of Capricorn, but found library didn't stock such books or if it did they would not be due back for many terrifying weeks. Recipient went to coffee place with achievable crossword and drank coffee and didn't achieve half of crossword, finding during the non-achievement that the silent recital of the alphabet when, for example, thinking of what a half-filled word's final letter could be, didn't go like the silent recital of the alphabet usually does, sometimes skipping from f to t, sometimes just stopping, and sometimes changing into thoughts of what seemed at the time like life-enhancing physical violence. Recipient left coffee and coffee shop and crossword and went home to wait until time for doctor, the new dissonance-cocoon varying in severity but never falling away. Doctor had recipient give a first-person account of the above, and offered recipient some information and some people to talk to, and a six-month course of anti-depressants. Recipient declined and was surprised by offer of anti-depressants, and accepted information and people to talk to. Doctor forbade for two weeks recipient's performing of functions contractually obliged to perform.