13 November 2006

Going to the grocery store to buy salty yogurt drink and dates to break the day's fast, a grocery store at the top of a mountain in the middle of the jungle on a Thursday afternoon, nearly impossible to describe precisely as I am in a kind of desert now. A likely place for dates. To go from desert to jungle I will need a lot of water, millennia, and continental shifts. Also, I will need money and time off.

I can imagine an oasis but not with much detail: water, a spring, a wadi and some date trees, an unruly camel who breaks away from a caravan to chase me out of the oasis. I look back and see the camel's neck stretching out. It bites me on the shoulder, leaving a camel-bite shaped blue and purple bruise which is now yellow and brown.

So I'm back in the desert imagining airplanes. One comes but does not land. Instead, women and men dressed in purple robes parachute out of the plan and run towards the oasis. The ill-humored camel at the threshold bites a few and I want to return to the oasis to find them so that we may sit under date palms with our feet in the wadi and compare camel-bite bruises.

It rains and the wadi floods and I paddle down it in a canoe, listening to operas on a waterproof gramophone. On the way to the ocean I pick up several women and men dressed in purple robes. One woman also has a camel bite and we talk about what that's like. The initial shock, how we didn't know camels could run so fast or bite so hard.

Because there are no stars it is night and there is no rain; we've reached the ocean and all the other women and men are gone except for the other woman with the camel bite. We won't make it across the ocean and we don't know where the nearest jungle is. We throw the gramophone overboard and stay close to shore. A reef forms around the gramophone, so we assume we are close to the equator and close to a jungle.

I put my right hand in the water and am stung by a jellyfish. My hand swells to two-and-a-half times its size and I weep and weep. My companion says "hush hush." The water is warm but where is the jungle?

Ea shows up and the water boils. Or maybe Tiamat comes--I'd rather a goddess than a god in this story, but she's usually watery and depersonalized, or else she's a bloated dragon, and anyway, one of her grandchildren stood upon her hinder parts, smashed her head in with a club, cut open her veins, and then had the north wind carry away her blood to secret places. So Tiamat can't come and I don't trust her children, much, except for Ea with his love of beer and penchant for incestuous affairs. Perhaps we should stop telling each other about ourselves.

First time goes and then our sense of it. Landscapes shift but look the same, transient scapes and disappearances. An impossible unduality not in but is, where burial and banishment are a knack for death, entertainment, and storytelling--I kept throwing the beetle away from my bag. Unless we are here for some kind of visionary experience, prefabricated cities will appear. There is no border or gate to guard, no bridge, no leaving to follow the voice of your lover, no never coming home.

First doubt comes and then our sense of it. An inability to bow before kings, the ability to lead armies and argue over how to rank elements of which we are made. An arbitrary request. "Get thee out of it," we might say. We might plead for clemency; wish to avoid being cast anywhere. Speak of me and I will know you are speaking of me, the sense of self before framework. The story is this: We went up then down. Or else we just went.
Look to time alone to be alone
so that we can be
alone and not have to tell
you about it or
withhold information.

If we attract what we're thinking about then we'd have to think clearly: "I'd like to be friends with the tall woman who can stand on her hands."

I now understand why abrupt departures in the midst of conversation are detrimental to conversation.


Surely my mother did not sell Tupperwear.


Your friends are dying. Don't you care?

Thanks for bringing that up, asshole.