(continued from 11/20/19)
31 pieces of the auto-sedition quilt
(v – viii)
On the last day of 2019 he told me:
“It was sometime in October of 1940, when Mom was a five-month-old fetus, that she developed the egg that would one day be me. There were nearly 7 million other potential “mes” or “something-like-mes” that might have been formed, and you were there too — not ready yet, but there; but it was me — I was the egg, amongst that flocculence of eggs that was destined for her full moon visitations.
The other half of me wouldn’t spring to life until twenty-two Octobers later, right in the heat of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In that case I was one of 200 million sperm made on that day alone! Think of it, maybe one in the quintillion sperm Dad produced in the seventeen years, or so, by the time he was 29, and thinking doomsday thoughts that October 26th in 1962.
I imagine Dad and Mom standing out on the Malecón at the edge of the sea looking out beyond the harbor that third week in October. They are transfixed by the roiling stratocumulus over the Florida Straits thinking they are standing at ground zero. That egg and that sperm are oscillating wildly, they can barely contain themselves within their cell walls — too much of this enzyme is being subsumed! Too much of that protein is being produced! I once read that sperm counts sky rocket during times of stress or excitement. I imagine that the possibility of annihilation, in that welter of sudden death, rendered that sperm fatalistic — that egg vitriolic. Both somehow malformed. That poor egg. That frazzled sperm.
And now, you see before you the result: this lacking human that is slightly anemic. It was not a good union. You know it. They had no conception at that moment what they would do to each other. What they would do to us. I want to scream at them there: Stop! don’t do it. It’ll only cause heartache and pain.
You see, I’ve always felt I’m falling through, or moving backwards in, life. But in this scab of a world now, no one cares about creation myths anymore, and so I won’t bother you further. I’ll see you next month. Go home now, and mind the guards on the way out. Happy New Year.”
Such is the manner of a new year. Hooray 2020! Harrumph… and fuck off?
Awake in a daze. So much to look forward to at once, then you must deconstruct the tarnation año into 365 pieces, and concern yourself with just this one piece here — today — and on each succeeding day, just that one piece there. One day at a time… sweet Jesus. (Jesus built my hotrod, and he was a strict deconstructionist, but don’t dare call him a nihilist.) The first day of the year is usually colder than most other days. The earnestness is often overdone, the force of resolutions seem reasonable, even in the most overzealous cases.
The pages of the calendar, journal, etc., are barren and full of such wondrous possibility. Despair dissipates a bit, exiled to the peripheries for a while. In most cases you haven’t fucked up yet, you haven’t had enough time to fuck anything up. The emails taper-off a bit; momentarily, the requests for donations have all but disappeared.
But soon they begin again with best wishes for the upcoming struggle. The boulder you burden with seems momentarily lighter, easier to push. Now concentrate. The pitch increases quickly and you don’t want to lose the handle on your rock. The tipping point. And then the cyber-panhandling goes full bore: the museum, the rails-to-trails, people for the ethical treatment of cells in mitosis, save the aging acid freaks, join The Daily Stormer. Everybody wants. It’s back with a bang!
Oh, you’re bound to fuck up.
The Boy, Day Two, 2020:
The highlights of the writin’ and farmin’ workshops was not only the frequent washing of my undercarriage in the restroom, but also the info about staying away from gonorrhea and sexing the farm animals — and most importantly the learning of ploughing techniques as per the ancient boustrophedon; but I actually knew this from my home schoolin’ because it’s the way I learnt to write, you see. That’s why I’se called the daffiest writer in Gramalchukin County. People, they come from miles around, to hear my writin’s. I’ma accomplished is what she says. A near genius writer type that would get published without afterthought from the most learned people there is.
And the undercarriage is in excellent shape, I can tell you that for myself. The gonorrhea is something I don’t know much about. I don’t have any painful squirtin’s or such. And my mind is something fierce, so I can’t really expand upon that too much. But I will expand on what’s called a keynote. The amazin’ purdy writer lady said:
You have a lot of people who aren’t good at writing yet telling you what to change about the way that you’re writing … It’s a lot of mediocrity feeding on itself. So you better be radical, and you better hate everyone. Not that I did personally, but that I had to if I was going to protect the thing in me that I knew I wanted to grow.
I never caught her name, someone said Odessa. But I ain’t so sure.
The author, here:
Allow me to interject for a moment. As the writer I’m fully aware of where the quote originates, and I’m happy to cite it:
— Levy, Ariel. 2018. ‘Ottessa Moshfegh’s Otherworldly Fiction’. The New Yorker. July 9 & 16.
Tedious. I know. It’s probably mis-cited, style-wise that is, I looked it up quickly. I’ve broken a wall of sorts here and while I have your attention, I’d like to point out that the earth is not only warming, but it’s also cracking apart. Did you see that New York Times article in December of 2018 that virtually screamed in 30-something-point type: The Earth’s Shell Has Cracked, and We’re Drifting on the Pieces… enjoy your remaining dry time. We all, all of us — no one gets away — will also be dead shortly. And on we go…