The ting of water drops splattering at the bottom of a downspout.
The faint glow of a firefly gliding under a forest canopy.
The chirp of a bird at night.
No more firefly?
The points of light on distant peaks — mobile phone towers, street lamps, headlights pointing this way and that.
Standing in the doorway of a mountain cabin, a screen door barring mosquitoes and moths, stretching sore muscles tightened by hours of holding and turning a steering wheel, by moments in public view of others, anticipating their reluctant smiles, looking for laughter to ease the tension of one’s daily high-wire act…
At 3:35 in the morning, alone in one’s thoughts, is this happiness, time spent rewriting personal history, rewiring social connections at the neuronal level on an electronic slate?
How often does autocorrect redirect one’s thoughts?
If I’m willing to feel the pain of others in my easy life, so can you, when the time is right, when we get too comfortable to see that short-sighted happiness creates historical misery.
I am a caged animal at times, enraged, barred by artifices like social/moral boundaries that make no sense to me yet I, in my inadequacy, maintain for the sake of appearances.
Walking on hot coals for no reason, tiptoeing on eggshells spread across thin ice, wearing a life preserver shaped like a large yellow rubber duck.
This is my universe and I am learning to deal with it, a bull in a china shop one moment, a whisper of wind passing through seven billion social/moral/ethical animals the next.
We truly do not see our fragile place in the universe, trapped as we are by our hypnotic illusions, comfortably deluded.
Will we, as a small percentage of the mass of one planet, wake up in our sleep before we die?
Are you willing to risk your life in order to give a writer good material for a story?
When the plot is the story of our lives, why not?
Can you walk into a crowd with or without FX makeup/prosthetics, fully confident your part will be written well enough to justify your existence amongst seven billion?
Why does the shape (i.e., capitalization) of a letter change the pronunciation of polish to Polish?
Why would you want to have a conversation on a topical subject or a subjective topic?
Why is sarcasm a valid form of serious discussion?
Turning a room full of memories into a doorway opening up the imagination is one way why.
Trapdoor or dormouse trap.
Mousing around or horsing around.
In a hoarse voice riding in a hearse.
…or the other way around?
This is one of the hardest blog entries to write, a passel/gaggle of beer, Unobtanium style, wallowing in my stomach juices, leading the way.
There is, in this moment after watching “seeking a friend for the end of the world,” another moment within a moment, when cold medicine leads the way toward a tunnel vision where honesty meets the highway, the Internet highway (Al Gore not included with the likes of Vincent Cerf or others of cyber-hyper byways), that is, Celtic flutes warning me of moments stepping off the road, where in this silent moment of movie soundtracks I find myself leaning against a notebook PC writing words that’ll haunt me forever and a day afterward.
There is a muse, a dancing muse, by the name of Guinevere, who follows Thrush and Monica and Karen (a/k/a Janeil) along with Sarah/Sara and names that’ve paved a highway, pre-Internet (or post, depending on date of invention of the snippet of an idea of an inventor in someone’s womb), where sounds make no difference except in a language, or a discipline of savings, where neither Mandarin or any other makes any difference when one is focused on making, rather than spending, one’s labour/investment credits in a single species’ definition of survival traits on an indifferent planet in an unsensing solar system in a galaxy of possibilities of fermented improbabilities that Edgar Allan Poe would declare a likely story of insensibilities about lost loves and pickled livers.
There is, if memory serves, also Monasha, Sheree, Stacey and others at a diner in the burgh of Huntsville, Alabama, USA, who serve their customers with kindness without reserve.
Deeper still, there is this moment of silent contemplation, where a niece, Jana, and her deacon-ordained husband, Brian, celebrate the discovery of a gender we assign to newborne babes climbing out of wombs and into the worldwide web of the solar system beset by asteroids, solar flares, and traffic incidents recorded by friends such as Nathan who sees perps in every person who displays abnormal behaviour attributed to personality quirks unassigned to basic training in police procedures on policies approved by popularly-elected politicians.
All written in the fog of war.
Let me set the record straight. I see the repetition of a species in competition with itself, in companies vying for limited government resources, who shall get the post-reductorio oratoria of the fat lady singing the swan song of uncompetitive companies incapable of getting the last brass ring of a merry-go-round and round and round of diminishing returns on the global scale of middle-class sales
menpeople telling you what’s best for your family as government coffers compete with private companies for your undivided attention.
As spinning/talking heads babble on unceasingly — baubles, bangles and beads [you know the melody] — one more time we’ll give you the mondo-rhythm, the hidden beat in the religious upbeat of a Bible/Bhagavad Gita/Islam oldtime religion (ignoring the new religion of Darwinism/global “One World Order” business) — let us divert ourselves one more time from our prime directives and tell it like it is.
A Spanish dancer, a rocket guidance system expert, a missile thrust enthusiast, an Appalachian Trail hiker, a food lover (if not a liver player), a flautist, a Singapore Sling, a duck pond inhabitant, a person of independent means…
The list goes on and on.
We return to the story once again for the very first time, neither handwriting nor typewriting nor electronic interface getting in the way…
The cave stains leaving a mark immemorial…
Silence adds a break in the musical score for emphasis.
PDQ Bach, specifically.
Turning bad dancing into satire for fun’s sake.
In the light of the sun.
On a pretzel bun.
And extra salt.
Wax paper not included.
Rinse and repeat.
If you can follow the words, you’ve arrived here.
If not, avast virus database has been updated.
You are now back at the beginning.
AOL email and Amazon Kindle Singularity subscriptions not included.
Return to your dream, uninterrupted.
Claustrophobia — rational fear of being crowded in with a bunch of St. Nicholas impersonators on a stuck elevator; no escape from the suffocating commercialisation of Christmas.
The words we choose follow in perpetuity, echoes crashing against canceling waves upon waves of grain and wheat and grapes and leaves.
A voice appears to appear in the middle of a laptop computer due to stereo speaker sounds competing for binaural ear stimulation interpretation.
I have no idea about today.
I live 1000 years from now, where sounds from this moment are embedded in layers of archaeological papers and electronic storage.
A historically accurate portrayal of Christa DeCicco vibrates the air from 2009.
Happiness is sitting here, electricity lighting the air, my eyeballs, the wind, the desktop designed for a writing surface height, not a laptop computer keyboard.
Parties celebrate, mourn, serve, destroy.
Punch bowls, cookies, napkins, candy, cups.
Doing what I want, many expenses spared, nodding my head to the music.
Thinking ahead, behind, behead, ahind, letters and characters symbolically assembling thoughts rhythmically.
Composing the next video.
Looking for an artist, an ensemble, to complete the audiovisual puzzle.
13,695 days to go…
Hum, did-ee, dumdum, doo-be, be-too.
Le Blog de Jean-Paul Sartre
Saturday, 11 July, 1959: 2:07 A.M.
I am awake and alone at 2 A.M.
There must be a God. There cannot be a God.
I will start a blog.
Sunday, 12 July, 1959: 9:55 A.M.
An angry crow mocked me this morning. I couldn’t finish my croissant, and fled the café in despair.
The crow descended on the croissant, squawking fiercely. Perhaps this was its plan.
Perhaps there is no plan.
Thursday, 16 July, 1959: 7:45 P.M.
When S. returned this afternoon I asked her where she had been, and she said she had been in the street.
“Perhaps,” I said, “that explains why you look ‘rue’-ful.”
Her blank stare only reinforced for me the futility of existence.
Friday, 17 July, 1959: 12:20 P.M.
When S. came through my study just now I asked her to wait a moment.
“Rueful,” I told her. “Because ‘rue’ is the French word for street.”
“What?” she said.
“From yesterday,” I said.
“Oh,” she said. “Yeah. Right.”
“And you said you had been in the street.”
“I got it,” she said.
“It was a pun,” I said.
“Got it,” she said. “Puns aren’t your thing, are they?”
“They fill me with dread,” I admitted, for it is true.
“I gotta go,” S. said. “Hey, from now on? Maybe not so much for you with the jokes. It’ll be like an hour for lunch, I gotta thaw the poulet.”
Existence is a vessel that can never be filled.
Sunday, 19 July, 1959: 8:15 A.M.
Let others have their so-called “day of rest”! I shall continue to strive, to think, for in work alone is Man’s purpose. This is what the bourgeoisie seem never to grasp. Especially that lout M. Picard from No. 11. Every day is a “day of rest” for that tête de mouton. How I wish he did not have his Citroën up on blocks in the front yard! Appearances are without meaning, but still, it does not look nice.
Wednesday, 22 July, 1959: 10:50 A.M.
This morning over breakfast S. asked me why I looked so glum.
“Because,” I said, “everything that exists is born for no reason, carries on living through weakness, and dies by accident.”
“Jesus,” S. said. “Aren’t you ever off the clock?”
Monday, 27 July, 1959: 4:10 A.M.
Lunch with Merleau-Ponty this afternoon in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. I was disturbed to hear that he has started a photoblog, and skeptical when he told me that although all its images are identical—a lonely kitten staring bleakly into space as rain falls pitilessly from an empty sky—he averages sixteen thousand page views per day. When I asked to see his referrer logs, he muttered evasively about having an appointment with an S.E.O. specialist and scurried away.
So this is hell.
Monday, 3 August, 1959: 11:10 A.M.
I was awakened this morning by the sound of an insistent knocking at my door. It was a man in a brown suit. He seemed to be in a hurry, as if Death itself were pursuing him.
“One always dies too soon—or too late,” I told him. “And yet one’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are—your life, and nothing else.”
“Okay,” he said. “But I’m just the UPS guy.”
“Oh,” I said. “I— Oh.”
“Sign here,” he said.
“I thought you were a harbinger of Death,” I told him.
“I get that a lot,” he said, peering down at the place on the clipboard where I had signed. “Spell your last name?”
“S-A-R-T-R-E,” I said.
“Have a nice day,” he said.
A nice day. How utterly banal.
Tuesday, 4 August, 1959: 3: 30 P.M.
A year ago, in a moment of weakness, I allowed my American literary representative to sell one of my books to a cinema producer for what was described as “a bold exploration of contemporary issues.” Yesterday I received a packet of publicity materials for a film titled “Johnny Sart: PD Squad.” The subtitle, or “tag line,” was “No badge. No gun. No exit.” A series of transatlantic telephone calls followed. Apparently I am unable to have my name removed from this abomination, but I will receive what is called a “co-producer” credit.
Existence is an imperfection.
Thursday, 20 August, 1959: 2:10 P.M.
If Man exists, God cannot exist, because God’s omniscience would reduce Man to an object. And if Man is merely an object, why then must I pay the onerous fees levied on overdue balances by M. Pelletier at the patisserie? At least this was the argument I raised this morning with M. Pelletier. He seemed unconvinced and produced his huge loutish son Gilles from the back, ominously brandishing a large pastry roller. The pastry roller existed, I can tell you that.
Friday, 2 October, 1959: 5:55 A.M.
My sleep continues to be troubled by odd dreams. Last night I dreamt that I was a beetle, clinging to the slick surface of a water-soaked log as it careened down a rain-swollen stream toward a waterfall. A figure appeared on the horizon, and as the log drew closer I could see that it was Camus. He held out a hand and I desperately reached for it with my tiny feeler. Just as the log drew abreast of Camus he suddenly withdrew his hand, swooped it through his hair, and sneered “Too slow,” adding superfluously, “Psych.”
It is my belief that the log symbolizes the precariousness of Existence, while the tiny feeler represents Man’s essential powerlessness. And Camus represents Camus, that fatuous ninny.
Tuesday, 10 November, 1959: 12:05 A.M.
It has been over a month since I have updated my blog. I am seized with an urge to apologize. But to whom, and to what end? If one truly creates for one’s self, why then am I so disturbed to find that my unique visitors have dwindled away practically to nothing, with a bounce rate approaching ninety-five per cent? These twin impulses—toward reckless self-regard and the approbation of others—neatly negate one another. This is the essential paradox of our time.
I will start a podcast.
Some books of my father wait to be catalogued and read, a few based on war and spying.
Is a civilisation a sign of its architecture or the other way around?
When we survey the megalopolises that attract people like moths to a flame, how does the data sort out?
The boxes and cubes,
the donuts and folds,
the windows and doors,
the ceilings and floors.
Their general purposes.
Our general intentions.
We tear down buildings that no longer profit us when the footprint is more valuable for deeper/taller skyscraping monoliths.
A few pyramids and burial mounds remain from the thousands that once existed.
We pour prehistoric plants and animals for roads between cities that grow like slime mold, tendrils stretching for miles and miles.
Roads that fade into history as the oases that feed civilisations die out and sprout dies.
Dies and molds,
Forms and shapes,
Injections and cuts,
Diaphanous and cold.
When two or more generations separate us from war, what will our descendants think about civilisations — their competition for primary cultural status in architecture, for instance?