Photo: @krisroller

I lay awake. The ceiling is landscape. Skyscape. A half century of existence. What could possibly go wrong? The President is tinkering with Iran. People are dying. We are protected by a computer screen. Until we realize it is plastic. Until we realize it is not there. No separation. Amerika gets bigger and bigger. It is no longer a country. If it ever was. It is something else.

Information. What is information? The Camaro parked on the street? The yellow sulfur streetlights? Is it a Camaro? What if it is a Mustang? I think it is a Camaro. Yes. Definitely. It is a Chevrolet. Why do I doubt myself? Am I a coward? Does anybody really care about this conversation inside my head? I am not even sure I do. Yes. Uncertainty. Everywhere. I no longer trust myself. Bergson tells us this moment is telescoped through everything we have experienced.

Is memory a peephole?

Are we looking through the wrong end?

Pinpricks of light.

.

I see you. I think. If you are. Are you? You and I keep blinking in and out of existence. What a performance. Being a person. Who says it is hard? Just be. You are what you are. Or not. This is your beating heart. Your inhales. Your exhales. 

Strike a ball.

Watch a ball hit your racket        a yellow blur.

We are waiting for memory to return. It will never return.

I am a creature of the elsewhere.

This place is temporary.

Good enough.

The chainlink fences. The scrub oaks. The dwarf pines. The endless sand and the sea.

What will happen to you? I hardly know. If you do this for money, you are doomed. Nobody reads. Not anymore. If they ever did. People need a text for survival. This is that text. A novel. 

It cannot feel like a novel. Must feel otherwise. Urgent. Emergency purpose. Not a beach book. Or perhaps a paperback at the sea is the most important book of all. Endless miles of beach sand. 

Zoë in her bathing suit. 

Waves.

I linger at the edge of memory. Fog. Mist. Under a gray sky. Every now and again I see something. What? Unsure. Lack of clarity. Opaque. Obscure.

The Volkswagen Beetles of tomorrow are hurtling through hyperspace.

You ever feel like driving a ’74 Volkswagen Super Beetle down to the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile? I feel like that sometimes. Shift into gear. Pop the clutch.

The fallen pine trees are everywhere. The river gurgles. Earth spins. Turns. Orbits. We are passengers aboard this rocky planet. Spaceship earth.

Will they carry this book at The Strand on Broadway? Who the fuck knows? Who the fuck cares?

Are you a writer? Are you a dishwasher? Are you a sock puppet? 

Are you capable?

Can we use this book as a flotation device? Is there any yellow highlighting in this book?

Is this book really a novel? I mean, I am starting to wonder. Where are the actors?

Is this a first edition?

Signed? Get the fuck out.

I am getting hungry for a paragraph. You got anything left? Like a story. Like a fairy tale. Tell me more about the Sump Monster. That dude freaked me out. Did he really wear a brown paper bag over his head? And he just emerged from the sand dunes? Heavy. Really heavy, man. I’m trippin.

It might happen. It might not happen. Whatever is about to happen. What is the probability? What are the odds? I am not a mathematician. I am a novelist. I am a machinist. I am an artist. 

I am a hooligan.

I am a jester.

What information does your body take in? What perceptions? What observations? Sensations?

I am a fool. I get easily fooled by the foolishness.

Newspapers.

TV shows.

Radio.

What is the ultimate reality?

A memoir of Being. I should write a memoir about Being.

Fragments.

Diaries.

Notes.

The echo is uncanny. Orgasms lasting for 13.799 billion years. Spiral galaxies. Supernovae.

I miss you. You know who I miss. Remember what you said?

I forget.

What is left of what we were? We shed our electronic snakeskins. Keep moving. Keep wriggling. I am becoming something else. I have no idea what. Are you what you anticipated? Great expectations. Remember Miss Havisham? She freaked me out. Not sure if I ever recovered.

Amerika is at its best when people invent things. Nikolai Tesla. Charlie Parker. Jack Kerouac.

The government can brute-force the key space on your iPhone.

We are electronic beings.

Quantum beings.

This book is forever. Keeps getting better and better. Can you take any more?

When does a novelist surrender?

Never!

Might have to perform a spellcheck on this puppy. So many words. Ruff ruff! Bark bark!

Cats meow.

Marmots whistle.

I am in the Wilderness. The wilderness of the human imagination. Anything goes. Anything is possible. We are beginners. We are professionals. We are electromagneticbiochemical reactions.

It is so fucking cold in Space.

This apartment is toast. It is my spacemachine. Things I think here are incredible. The vastness of not knowing. Unpredictability. Beginner’s flux. Every now and again I am.

Absolutely!! she texts me. I want to bend her over a green leather sofa. It makes no sense. She is twenty. I am ?. Actually, it makes sense. I want to pull down the back of her panties. See her ripe cunt.

Men write about machines. Women write about people.

Just an observation. 

Might not even be true. 

What do I know?

Is film superior to literature? Probably. What are we doing here? Spooling from spool to spool. Reel to reel. The electronic eel of human consciousness is the Kraken.

Zig imagines the spread of his big right hand on K.’s left buttock. 

We are in Greenpoint. 

Fucking.

Everything is imagined. Even reality. Even real things.

I watch Zoë lick the glans of my penis.

My balls are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. My balls are bigger than grapefruits. 

I am at a distance. 

I get smaller and smaller and smaller.

I want to get arrested. I want to spend time in prison like Václav Havel. I want to write letters to Zoë. Is it too late? I want to be a playwright. I want to be a dissident. I want to be a defector.

Eyeballs the size of grapefruits.

The secret police are watching you.

I write a quick novel. This novel is a quickie. A detective novel. SF novel. A dimestore novel. Pulp fiction. Amazing stories. Hugo Hernsback. Philip K. Dick. Fans call themselves Dickheads.

I have no time for Amerika.

Amerika is all I know.

Thinking about writing a SF novel about a man named Razaqk. Something like Logan’s Run. Razaqk and his girlfriend Giselle running away from the secret police. In a big city in the not-so-distant future. A planet under the threat of giant methane clouds. Earth is becoming a gas giant. We are going to freeze to death. Unless we can escape. Escape pods are only for the elite. Razaqk and Giselle are adjunct lecturers of composition. Pods are not designed for part-time faculty. Nevertheless, Razaqk and Giselle make love like nobody has ever made love in the 13.799 billion years of the Cosmos. They deserve a second chance on a terrestrial planet. We all do.

Are #hashtags making us happier?

We are lying under the duvet cover. I am wearing a flannel shirt and green dungarees.

“I am taking off my pants,” she says.

“Why?” I say.

She laughs. 

Nobody can come. I am just too tired. She is just too tired. We just kept fucking. Doggie-style. Missionary. Nobody comes. Still. It is nice.

I thought you abandoned Civilization. Why are you still here? So much good TV on Netflix.

This paperback will be carried in the backpocket of every University student on the planet.

Unfinished nature of reality. That is what intrigues me. The fragments. The particles.

We are interactions.

I realize I faked it for most of my life. That is upsetting. I thought I was real. It just crept up and slapped me. Such realizations are incredibly sneaky. I sit in a chair for a long time. Run my hand through my hair. Who am I, I keep saying.

Getting colder. When it gets this cold, there is only a single goal: to remain. 

Survive.

Wait for the sun to heat up. If it ever will. Wait for it to expand.

What am I supposed to do? What if I do nothing? Is that okay? Will the Cosmos collapse? Or will I remain? What if I sit here with the engine running? Jotting my thoughts into a notebook. Making believe I am somebody else. Not simply me? Will you go on? Will you continue? Dare you? Are you not afraid? Uncertainty. Unknown. 

You are brave indeed. I envy your position. Where are you, if I may ask? Aha. Just as I thought. No need to elaborate. We understand each other.

I am getting bored watching strangers walk past me. Vehicles accelerate and decelerate. Supposedly, the planet spins and orbits and loops after the sun.

I have no concrete proof. No evidence. For any of this. We could be a film projection in an extraterrestrial theater. Perhaps a planet circling Betelgeuse.

I hear that star is going to blow. Supernova. Wait for it… 

there.

Getting colder. I should restart the engine. I turned it off. To save the planet. Now I feel cold. The vacuum of space presses in on me. Sucks me up. Into a tube. 

Wormholes fascinate me. As they fascinate you. What do you say? Let’s go for a twirl. Let’s go for a swirl.

The Internet is a disaster. Everybody knows it. We are addicted. We are bewildered. Riveted to the machine.

Snow. 

Are things a little better? 

Yes. Little bit. 

Kind of nice.

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome? I do. I definitely do. I do not belong here. Never did.

Anger.

Unable to capture the Kraken in my bare hands.

She is so good at it. What am I good at? I keep trying to be a person. It is so hard in Amerika. At least for me. Are you doing any better? I hope so. Somebody has to represent.

There are so many writers in Amerika.

They are writing memoirs.

Diaries.

Letters.

Fragments.

I want a totality. I want the whole fucking thing. Bring me the Kraken! And if I see Pierre fucking his half-sister in that crazy French flick Pola X one more time… I just don’t know. 

I might watch it again.

Again.

This life is not for everybody. The artist’s life. The machinist’s life. For one thing, it is terribly lonely. I crave solitude. So perhaps I belong here. This void. This abyss. This vast emptiness, nothing holy. There are no road signs. The way is the way. It is a roadless road. A switchback without foresight. A rattler behind every rock. Take a flying leap. Blue azure sky too cold to contemplate.

We live hours away from each other. Our bodies cooling from the heat. You write me such beautiful letters. Paper. Ink.

My hands cup your breasts. I am unpracticed. So much to learn. 

Still.

Talking is difficult. It requires human thought. Feeling. Sometimes I am a machine.

Can you get to the next chapter in a novel without chapters? Probably. There is always something to say. Silence. Echoes of the Cosmos. A star explodes. A tree falls in the forest.

Mountains & rivers.

The Catskills.

I love you.

Six thousand light years away is the Swan Nebula. It was discovered in 1745. It is also called The Omega Nebula. It is also called the Horseshoe Nebula. It is also called the Checkmark Nebula. When will astronomers make up their fucking minds? At any rate, it is in a very milky part of the Milky Way galaxy. In the area of Sagittarius. Birthplace of 800 stars and more. Interstellar matter.

Nobody has written the great tennis novel.

As far as I know.

Jannik Sinner. I am predicting that Jannik Sinner will win a Grand Slam title. Perhaps he already has by the time you read this novel? Spacetime will tell. It will fluctuate. It will warp. It will tell.

Perhaps I should become a tennis journalist?

Is it too late?

It never occurred to me to  skip a  beat a  pulse  a gap  a space. What if entropy kicks in? What then? Are you and me okay? Is Maxwell’s demon spinning some weird shit? Opposite of entropy is negentropy. Perfect example being a star system. 

The Solar System.

Here we go again. Space & drums.

.

o

O

Sometimes a machine is for the sake of a machine. Nothing else. Not watchers. Not Hollywood. Not Netflix. Not Hulu. Just for the sake of writing. Being. Being in the peculiar way that is a novel. Boy do I feel peculiar today. Not of this Earth.

Played some tennis. Supposed to help. Did it? Now I am in a funk. Every machinist gets here. Or maybe only I get here. In my peculiar way. An orbit not sampled elsewhere in the Universe. Every move feels false. Like a miss-hit. Unforced error. 404 error. I am a computer fuckup. I am a human being. I am a robot. I am a machine. I am a defect. I am a defector. Ye$$$. I am a defector. The cash in the register is artificial. Are you sure $$$ equals work? The banks are too big to fail. I keep failing. My dad taught me many lessons about money. I forget them all. Where did he go?

Information is information. Particles of what.

How many tennis balls are on this planet?

Good morning, Amerika! Saturday. Are you ready? Did you pay all your upcoming bills? Are you satisfied with the arrangement? Satisfied with your situation? Satisfied with your station? NFL playoffs today. What else is necessary? A cheerleader. A Budweiser. Go Green Bay. Go Packers!

I am demonic.

I am the antichrist.

I rage like Poseidon.

You’ve got a semi-Western grip. You’re making me fall apart. I thought I understood strangers. I am a stranger myself.

A novel is a provocation. I dare you to read me. I dare you to permit yourself to be bewildered.

There are no more books. 

None. 

Only this one.

You are like a fucking machine. Buttocks engaged.

Amerika is going smoothly. And then I arrive. I am a defector. A defect.

I rub my face between her buttocks. She is from Pittsburgh. She lets out the low moan of a prolonged orgasm. My penis is gaining altitude.

She sits on my vertical cock and gives me something to think about for eightyeightthousand years.

I am a beginner. Little or no experience. I get better.

Nobody wants to marry me. I am a Neanderthal in a flannel shirt. The blank stare of a novelist. I am good for a fuck.

The end of chapter one should be around here somewhere. I just do not know where. This might be one of those Thomas Bernhard novels. Endless eternities.

I am not a regular novelist. So. Expect nothing. 

Expect everything.

She has a semi-Western grip and I am squirting coconut milk before I can put it in her pussy.

What does it mean to be a human being in the Third Millennium? 

What does it mean to be real?

What does it mean to be fake?

What does it mean to be plastic?

Photo: @r3dmax

I am not Zig. I am beyond Zig. I am the radioactive pile of Zig. Fermenting. Becoming something else. A new element. Periodic table, beware! Erasure. Disturbances in the electromagnetic field. What do I do? What do I do, pal? I am sitting in a chair. Supposed to fix screws in a doorframe. Cannot do it. I am machinist. Need to be here. At the machine. Banging away. Not at the hardware store. The hardware store that puts gazillions of dollars into the regime. Gasoline (gazoline? guzzoline? guzzling?) makes the world turn & turn. The Persian Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz. The Gulf of Oman. I pump gas into the Beetle. I slap a right buttock. This is madness. Existence. Civilization. Credit card debt. Student loans. I remember smoking a cigarette with Giselle. We are naked. We just fucked. A window is open. A black plastic ashtray. No idea what is out there. What is coming. We should stay in bed. Amerikans are everywhere. Fighting. Fucking. I study the law. I study the human body. I study the imagination. I study memory. No story. My life is shaped by absence. Pools of time. Riding a bicycle on dirt trails in the pine barrens. Yellow diggers moving the earth. Sheetrock infrastructure. Blacktop driveways. Chainlink fences. Razorwire protecting a forbidden zone of the sumphole. A UFO. An asteroid. Nobody really knows what made the crater. What is certain: the Sump Monster emerges. I keep a German shepherd in the yard. Sleeps in the garage. Barks at danger. He is always barking. The machines hulk. Lathes and Bridgeport milling machines. It is a nightmare of piecework. Burrs of metal. Stainless-steel. Aluminum. Teflon plastics. No future. Earth is not a Super-earth. Earth is simply Earth. There are Super-earths out there. Waiting. We need a fast enough spaceship. A VW Super Beetle. Elon Musk can kiss my ass with his Tesla. Floating out there. Space debris. Space junk. The Tesla Cybertruck I like. I might want to drive it on a rocky planet. A desert wasteland like Tatooine. So long as the windows hold up against projectiles fired by the Sand People. The Druids might salvage my Cybertruck. Put it in that amazing giant machine with caterpillar treads. Sell it to the Skywalkers. I digress. Where am I? Precisely here. Nowhere. Terrifying and beautiful places. If we can stand it. I am getting closer to the end of the beginning. We all are. Are you letting things happen? Is this a liquid document? Is this your life? Are you a computer file? The city is hissing. A steampipe metropolis. It is morning. I am cold. The coldest cold. Interstellar space. Believe in this. Believe! I push a bicycle over a hill. I see the landscape. I am exploring the planet. Everything looks so far away. There are no people. Just a village of red-tiled roofs. Houses made of ancient brick. I am an American. I am made of ideas. I am a Hollywood movie. An episode of a sci-fi TV show. Behold my blaster. Tunic. I am a Sandman. Everywhere somebody is building something. Construction cranes. Never ceases. Never stops. The jackhammer is the music of our time. People call it progress. I guess. Cannot hear a bird sing. Sip coffee in the morning. The apartment is warm. Winter light spills in through a window. No snow. Not anymore. A good idea for a post-apocalyptic novel: The Last Snowboarder. The ice is upon us. Behind us. In front of us. The coldness of interstellar space. Are you happy with this Solar System? It is pretty good, right? Lots of interesting planets. Rocky planets. Gas giants. The rings of Saturn. I need to go food shopping. Trader Joe’s. 

Or someplace like that.

 

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New morning. New day. Are you awake? Clarify the moment. Breathe in. Exhale. Molecules of air. There is no breeze indoors. Only human thoughts. Swirling. Spiraling. Chaos & Disorder.

Anger.

What is it?

Inventions of the mind. Distortions of reality. Turbulence. Entropy. Machine-made mind. Progress. Progress of a novel. Progress towards Nirvana. I am a bodhisattva. I am aroused by the thought of Enlightenment. I pursue the ox. I embark on the Way.

Sukha.

Leave the home behind.

Brisk walker. Keep walking. What do you see? Is it time to shave the head? Yes. It is always time. Are you afraid? Do not be afraid. Ten thousand Buddhas walk with you. 

Infinity of Buddhas.

Sit under the bodhi tree. Are you a dharma seeker? Here in Astoria, Queens is such a thing possible? Of course it is. Of course. How could it be otherwise? You have lain with many lovers. Forget their names. Can you forget? A test for you. I renounce my name. I am nameless. A bowl for rice. A flannel robe. Gnarled stick. I walk. I am the grunge Buddha. Pearl Jam. Nirvana.

Forget these sounds. Listen to Zappa. Captain Beefheart. Forget them, too. Karlheinz Stockhausen. Helmut Lachenmann. Forget! Surrender to the vast emptiness, nothing holy. The number 2222 is a special number. Ask no questions. Words. Numbers are beyond words.

Philip K. Dick has his Exegesis. This is mine. I am exploding. I am a Supernova. I am a Quasar. The brightest luminosity in the Universe. The brightest phenomena in the Cosmos.

I am a dragonfly.

Ephemeral as aether.

K. unsnapped Zig’s fly. She gave him the blowjob of the century. Zig lay there in disbelief & awe. I must forget the person I was. Cannot linger. Sukha. Leave the home. I get a haircut. A buzzcut. I feel aerodynamic. I might hit a first serve at 263 kilometers per hour. I hear water gushing through pipes. I hear cars humming over a motorbridge. A plane prepares to land at LaGuardia airport. Everybody is going somewhere. I am sitting. Mind is electronic fire.

If you scroll through this novel, it reads faster. Tips of our thumbs are fingertips. Easy on the eyeballs. Not too fast! Might start the storytelling pretty soon. Prepare yourself. Are you ready? Something is clearly happening here. Nobody knows what it is. The dog is being wagged.

Control knobs. Oscillations. What does it mean to be a human being? Carbon. Hydrogen. Nitrogen. Oxygen. Phosphorus. Sulfur. CHNOPS. A mnemonic device. A memory machine. In search of a rocky planet. Giant blue hypervelocity stars are defecting from the galaxy. Mind & body drops away. Well yes I am thinking… not thinking.

Protoplanetary discs are forming around young stars. Stardust accretes. Planets are born. I am thinking about this on Earth. The only planet with self-conscious life. As far as we know. What are the odds? What is the probability? What do you think of Fermi’s paradox? Hogwash, right? I mean, it is an intelligent observation. I just prefer to believe otherwise. Call it an instinct.

What if your brain is the greatest Space Telescope ever created?

Can you see?

Can you feel the stars?

Drifting. Drifting through the Cosmos. I am made of stardust. I am made of atoms. What keeps us together? Gravity? A few loose thoughts? This novel?

Earth pulls me back in. Stay here. Fix the leaking pipes under the sink. Read the newspapers about Baghdad Airport in Iraq. The extrajudicial killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. The MQ-9 Reaper drone. Flying machines of death built by General Atomics. We could explore the stars. We could save the planet. 

Even Tucker Carlson is aghast.

What next.

How now.

Another Grateful Dead show?

Ignite a blunt. Eat a cupcake. Sip a coffee. Are you a veteran of the Atari Wars? Joystick in hand. Thumbing a red button.

Amerika is everywhere. Spreading its likeness. Absorbing. Repurposing. Propaganda factories manufacturing a reality. We are hungry ghosts. Eating. Consuming. Desiring. Wanting. Hurts to be a person. Particles colliding. Scattering. Into deep space. Into a void.

The gravity of a novel loosens its grip. We seek pleasure elsewhere. Netflix. A fuck. Roll & get rolled. Gasp. Spit. Palms under a buttock. 

You read Deleuze & Guatarri. 

A Thousand Plateaus.

Anti-Oedipus.

Now, I am alert. Everything is an assemblage. You. Me. The cosmic machine. We are pinball wizards. Spiraling in a tilt-a-whirl. The flappers are flapping. The Roaring 2020s. 

On the edge of what?

It will be clear later.

When things settle. What things? I have no idea. I am the novelist. I know. I know. Uncertainty is my game. Who is on my team? I do not care about the Giants. The Jets. I sort of like the Pittsburgh Steelers. Because of a woman. I know. Not the greatest reason. Or is it? 

Love.

Love is a battlefield.

The winner takes it all.

I am a loser, baby.

So.

The protoplanetary gas disc of this novel is starting to impress me. We are getting bigger. Absorbing the planetesimals. Creating a planet embryo. Giving birth to something new.

We expect.

We are expecting.

Unpredictable.

She is wearing her Steelers jersey. She is on her knees and hands. Looking at me over her right shoulder. Hut-one. Hut-two. Hike! We are making love. We are going at it. Looping and oscillating. Glimpse.

Really. Machine_a novel in progress. Who came up with that title? I did. Pilot of a Volkswagen Beetle. Zigzagging from one exploding star to the next. Planet formation is fascinating. The variability in solar systems is incredible. Hot Jupiters practically kissing the sun. Super Earths in improbable locations. Just like people. Just like you. Just like me. Here we are!

I lope through the day. Dragging my left foot behind me. My cock used to swell to ridiculous proportions. Now it looks like a shriveled worm. I need pills to get a hard-on. 

So it goes, says Mr. Vonnegut.

Are we on the edge of World War III?

Sure feels like it.

Every day.

Every nanosecond.

Does Amerika need a President? Does the planet need an Amerikan President? Feels too dangerous. The Cosmos is a dangerous place. Nightmares are electronic. What is real? What is reality? More or less is left behind. We build our lives out of cosmic dust. We orbit the Sun.

The wobble of a Sun can be observed from great distances. If there is a looker… a Seer. Someone must look. Someone must give a damn. Possess a curiosity. 

Peepholes into Space.

The city is a giant horseshoe crab next to the sea. Its metal retractable shell protects inhabitants from typhoons and sea surges. I operate the machine. I decide when to deploy the shell. It is a great responsibility. I cannot be wrong. Not with 88,888 human lives at stake. Yes. We are a small city. All has become so after the Event.

This could be its own novel.

A novel within a novel.

If I had the temerity. Do I? Hard to say at the moment. Joaquin Phoenix just won a Golden Globe for his performance in The Joker. Is this a performance? Of course it is. Am I tickled from eating oysters? Possibly.

My hand lotion feels & smells like Elmer’s glue.

I love you.

Why are you so distant?

So far away?

Orgasm as prolonged as possible. We lay on our sides. Breathing. Your thigh slung over my hip.

Memory gets in the way of progress. She salts it and gives me a suck. I am nineteen. Blowing sperm into her mouth. I feel her palm spread on my right buttock. I am standing. My jeans bunched up at my ankles. Pretty soon it is her turn. Skirt hiked up. Panty crotch pushed aside. She makes the low guttural groans of orgasm.

A plotted narrative is required.

Let’s move on.

I am here, in the night, under a sky. Everything is out there. Comets and asteroids. Intercontinental ballistic missiles. We are a mistake away from Armageddon. Perhaps closer than that. Everybody just says things. Punching nonsense into pocket machines. Posting as impostors. Pretenders. No human beings left. Ask Norbert Weiner. He wrote a book called The Human Use of Human Beings. Thomas Pynchon alerted me to this little masterpiece. Required reading for all automatons. Robot is a Czech word.

My back hurts. Bulging discs & herniated discs in my thoracic spine. I hope I can fuck again. Everything feels like the Beatles song “Yesterday.” I am here. Right now. Meditating my ass off. My hair is on fire. My nostrils inhale the Cosmos.

Easy tiger. A novel is a marathon. Long-distance love affair. You cannot have an American girlfriend and a European girlfriend. Yes you can. You just have to make sure you do not write about it in a notebook journal. Girlfriends read everything. Especially when you are at the tavern. 

Lightning strikes twice.

Sometimes thrice.

I am an idiot machine. A perfect storm. 

I make noise. A novel is a silent scream. Bursts of laughter. Awkward silences. I see through space and time. Pools of hydrogen gas. Gravity begins its work.

Where is everybody?

Hahaha. 

Fermi. You funny man.

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This decade comes to an end in one hour and six minutes. Thank god. I am exhausted. All that pretending. All that working. All that pretending to work to please other people. A performance. I will tell the truth in the next decade. Nothing but the truth. So help me god. I want answers. I feel determined. This is a new feeling for me. Must be the Zeitgeist. Or something beyond the beyond. Three minutes before the hour. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 10:57pm. Getting there.

The plastic Lego pieces are far too many. Will the kid ever put the machine together? It is a spacetime machine. I hope it gets him where he wants to go. Deserves it. A determined kid. The bigger kid wants to stay up until midnight. Why? He says everybody is doing it. Says it is a tradition. So what? I want to go to sleep. I want to dream. This piece keeps getting longer and longer. Might be a novel. Might be the Kraken.

Can you imagine the dead calm of the Great South Bay? I can. The murky water. The clam boat. Turbulent black clouds over Fire Island. I must flee. East or West? Towers of a metropolis loom on the horizon. A UFO hovers over the Empire State Building. Using the Zeppelin docking port.

This book must show an agitated consciousness. An agitated state of mind. An agitated being. People are interacting. Everywhere. Always. Until there are no people. What then? Who will write the novels? We must prepare the machines. They must be ready.

I need people to say things to me. Talk. You know. Conversation. Dialogue. Monologue. Anything. Anything to get this machine buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz out of my ears. 

I believe in you. Whoever you are. Things keep getting weirder by the hour. I keep looking out the window. Stir of ink black tree branches. Did the Con Edison guy come in the morning to read the meter? Was that him buzzing the buzzer? He sure comes early. Early in the morning. Early in the year. Everybody wants electric. I keep fighting with my wife over how to raise the kids. Is there a right way? Do people get it right? 

Are we on TV? This might be the craziest novel in the history of Amerika. Might not be a novel. Might be. Is. Must be. Ess Muss Sein. K. and I lay naked on a bed in a rented room on the edge of Prague. We are good friends. We fuck like lovers. I almost make her come. Now, the stakes are higher. Everything is on the line. I am a writer. Sentences and words keep piling and piling on. Are we getting anywhere? Should we be getting somewhere? What are your expectations? Do you have any expectations? Do we surrender yet? Nah. I like this. We can go on forever.

Pages and pages and pages of manuscript in electronic form. What does it really mean, if anything? We scroll through each other’s consciousness. Perhaps too quickly. I remember your eyes. Blue eyes. I remember your eyes. Hazel eyes. I remember forgetting everything I ever remembered. And then waking up, surprised & ecstatic: I remember everything!

I remember the law. I remember the way it kicked my ass. Killed my friends. A machinist must keep going. Running on empty. Whatever the cost. Sell all your books. Keep writing. Ink. Spiral notebooks are sanctuaries. The library is a cathedral. The solitude of a coffeeshop. 

Yeah well yeah, I’m tired. Writing a novel is no joke. So why am I laughing? I have no choice. Spontaneous bursts of laughter. Try it, if your System allows it. Of course, it is unpredictable.

Started reading Gaddis. You ever read Gaddis? JR is a weird book. Starting to think I might like it. A machinist needs a friend. A machinist friend. Even from Farmingdale. Or Levittown. Or Patchogue. Language accumulates. Reaches a bursting point. Spit it out. Talk. Speak. Utter.

Ink is cheap. Blood is not.

Yes well yes, now what? Is Pompeo the Secretary of State? Believe so. Supposed to travel to Ukraine. Postponed as I understand. Looks forward to his visit, if it ever happens. Wait & see.

International affairs are my forte. As you can probably imagine. I am a novelist. I know almost everything. Mystery, however, is important. Intrigue. The unknown unknowns. Etcetera. I once served President Václav Havel as an elevator operator. The elevator was malfunctioning. Havel took the stairs. I remember Peter Sellers in the film Being There. I remember the novel.

The exoplanet K2-18b is a sub-Neptune planet to keep your strongest eyeball on. Astronomers detect water vapor and clouds on this small planet orbiting a nearby M3-dwarf star at a distance placing it “firmly” in the habitable zone. The planet is 124 light-years away from earth. Orbiting a sun every 33 days.

A light-year is almost six trillion miles.

Closer to earth is Proxima Centauri-b. At 4.2 light-years away, it is the closest exoplanet to earth. That is just 25 trillion miles away. It orbits a red dwarf star in a triple-star system. What is perhaps even more incredible is that the closest exoplanet orbits a sun in the habitable zone.

Are you following the footsteps of the ox?

There is a Zen chant:

The whole Universe is an ocean
of dazzling light,
And on it dance the waves of
life and death.