My trunk stretches into the salty water, but this will not quench my thirst. These stone monuments carved by the mother of everything will be all that remains of the great herds that once roamed here. As we go extinct, so does your kind, waiting for our fossils to be discovered in the next great epoch.
“What’s in that bubble floating on the wind, Daddy?”
“It contains the entirety of a life within; everything it was, everything it is, and everything it will become.”
The tick of the clock only moves in one direction from our insignificant perspective but that is not proof of times linearity; spacetime just ‘IS’. Everything has already happened, no beginning, no end, no entrance or exit from the trajectory set upon us. Perhaps by God or chance, I won’t postulate on the how or why beyond accepting that everything is relative.
It seems pointless to fret, if the path our lives will follow has already been settled I’m certain none of us know the outcome and in that sense, the risks we take are real, the love and tears and laughter genuine, and the direction we choose to go remains ours to determine.
Content Warning: Contains violence and coarse language.
Just Another Day
I was the reasonable one, Dave thought sitting in the lot. The one who ensured contracts were in order and deadlines were met. I quit the tennis club, cycling, stopped seeing friends, giving everything to the job and this company. Peter, my old boss knew I was the glue that held it together before he retired but the new punk was blind. Always with the chide remarks about my gray hair and bathroom breaks. Always nitpicking my work, complaining about how formal I wrote or whining to colleagues about me returning from lunch a couple minutes late. Of course, never to my face or ever once acknowledging that I arrived early and stayed late, other than to suggest that if I wasn’t such a dinosaur I wouldn’t need to be here.
Then there is Bob. How many times do I have to complain about his hygiene? The guy hadn’t seen the inside of a shower in months and the stains on the same pair of pants he’d worn for weeks could have passed as a god-damned biohazard. To compound the matter, Sally was compensating by wearing a bottle of perfume every fucking day and twat-boss was on her case, not the real problem! We all have to work in this shithole, but it was hard when the haze of rose-scented Bobshit was permeating your brain! Something had to change!
Sally observed Dave as he exits his car. It wasn’t like him to be late. He was talking to himself as he fretted, appearing agitated as he paced back and forth several times before opening the trunk. She continued to watch as he donned a heavy-looking vest she’d never seen before. He fumbled about in the trunk and with his belt for several minutes, but she couldn’t make out what he was doing.
His intention becoming clearer as he pulled the mask from atop his grey-fringed dome and headed towards the side door. Gasping, her hand instinctually shot to her mouth when she could make out what he was carrying. Realizing a reckoning of sorts was upon them she ducked into the washroom and locked the door. She was careful not to move or even breathe too loudly as she waited for the commotion outside the door to stop.
My first computer was the Commodore 64 (C-64) built and sold by Commodore Business Machines. It was the successor to the Commodore Vic-20 and the Commodore PET that I used in the computer science lab at my High School. I remember having to punch cards to write our first program on the PET. A ball that dropped from left, bounced three or four times before rolling off the right side of the screen. Once that was done we got to program using the keyboard although most of us just snuck in copies of the adventure word game Miser. I also had a friend who owned a Vic-20 and based on his experience I convinced my parents that I needed one of these new and improved 8-bit machines for Christmas.
I remember the big breakthrough in graphics that the Commodore 64 brought to the computing arena. The term used to describe the programming marvel was sprites. Essentially it was the first time that objects, characters, etc could move past each other fluidly in a computer video game. before the C-64 it was one character against a static background only. I know what a stunning breakthrough for the time considering the open 3D worlds we play in today.
For all that computing power all I ever did was play an Olympic Sports game and Tank Battle. Tank Battle was literally two tanks on opposing hills with randomly generated terrain between them and a wind strength and direction indicator across the top of the screen Each player took turns setting the angle of the turret pitch and the firing strength in an effort to blow your opponent’s tank up first.
Every now and then someone tries to resurrect these things and I am sure they stoke some sort of nostalgia in the people who buy them. My friend who I mentioned earlier who owned the Vic-20, C-64 and the last of the Commodores, the Amiga now seeks these antiques out and restores them as his hobby. Me, I just write flash fiction on WordPress using a modern computer or smartphone!
I read an interesting article about those meddlesome Ukrainians spoiling Putin’s plans for world domination. It was titled ‘Ukrainians anger Putin by learning to shoot down Russian missiles and drones.’
Mr. Putin, do you know what angers Ukrainians?
You and your military invading their sovereign lands, bombing and burning their cities and towns to the ground, levelling entire communities, pillaging agriculture stores and destroying countless families by murdering their loved ones and burying them in mass unmarked graves like livestock.
If your drones and missiles are so precious maybe you should keep them out of Ukraine. Better yet, set a playdate with your generals and the oligarchy. You can play with all your toys together at a big Kremlin milieu. If Ukraine and the rest of the world get lucky it will turn out to be one explosive party!
Barely aware of the universe swirling around me. I am seized in the glow of such exquisitely simple beauty. Forever fixed to her coordinates, attuned to the pull of every movement. Entangled across time and in this space where everything else that ever existed falls away. Strawberry strands set against radiant bands of light, broken only by a wrinkle in the fabric of a warm smile. Every moment catalogued in the dark matter recesses of my mind. Always twenty-seven to the right and six steps behind. Never closer and still light years away.
In the night she waits for me. Playing on hazy celluloid loops projected on the horizons behind my shuttered eyes. Her vibrations bristle against the imaginary strings raised along the surface of my skin. There is no escape from the sickly sweet atmosphere that consumes us. Our bodies pulled by gravity, crashing against each other until we lay shattered in a heap.
Still, I wake alone. Our wavelengths continually overlapping as our lives run parallel to each other. I remain six steps behind, hoping that on a premonition you glance back and notice me but like the particle-wave duality of the sub-atomic, our worlds will never touch.
My dream of a life together with you has faded and I realize my love for you is unrequited. I knew the only thing left to dowas blink from existence.