You are on page 1of 173

Positive, Curious, and Cold Images

Timothy Ballan
2009

Contents
Acknowledgements............................................................................4
Disclaimer..........................................................................................5
I. Cold Images
Replaced Moments.............................................................................7
Cold Images.....................................................................................24
Grisworld.........................................................................................31
Closing Images.................................................................................37
Unreplaced Moments.......................................................................47
II. Curious Images
Unnatural Images.............................................................................54
Curious Exchanges...........................................................................59
Foreign Images...............................................................................126
Unlikely Encounters.......................................................................131
III. Positive Images
Somewhere in Space, Somewhere in Time....................................156
Shimmering Fluorescent Pools......................................................158

The Old Storyteller.........................................................................160


Positive Images..............................................................................165
The Island in the Swamp................................................................171
About the Author............................................................................173

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank Adam Kukulka for help proofreading this
book.

Disclaimer
I refuse to use quotation marks in such a way that envelopes any commas
or periods not suggested by the quoted material. For example, quoting a
child saying the words "I don't want to go now", I did not put the comma
within the quotation marks, as the comma is not suggested by the child's
words. On the other hand, I will end this next sentence in a different way.
As someone once said, "Use your head, not your rule book."
With a similar emphasis on clarity over convention, I also follow
dashes with commas at times. Even if preceded by a dashas I will now
demonstrate, I retain commas that retain usefulness. Beyond just
punctuation, though, I'd hope abundant clarity pervades my writing, from
word order, to sentence structure, to overall presentation of ideas.

Cold Images

Replaced Moments
A bodiless entity leisurely swoops through outer space, crossing
immense distances in effortless leaps and swinging loops, but it sees
no planets, stars, or galaxies that would be familiar to inhabitants of
Earth. After a few minutes, over a period only two seconds long,
and with the loud scratchiness of a video tape suddenly rewound,
the entity views its entire journey backward, a journey that spanned
near-countless years even while traveling at marvelous speeds.
These two seconds end with an abrupt take to a blackness that
lingers for several seconds before we peer through the eyes of this
entity at what was the onset of its journey.
*
We are in the warm kitchen of a middle-class American household.
A little boy, who appears intensely sobered and reluctant to speak,
with eyes often fixed downward, sits eating cereal while his mother
distractedly organizes items on the kitchen counter while facing
away from the boy. There is some predictable talk between a
kindergartener on his way to school and his mother. However, after
a fairly long pause, the child says, "I'm a very bad boy, Mommy".
"Why honey? You're not a bad boy," sounding distracted.
After another fairly long pause, he says, "Mommy". His mother
turns her head toward him. Continuing, he says, "I'm sorry," deeply
seriously and deliberately, raising his eyes.
Now noticing her son's grave seriousness, his mother stops her
hands from organizing dishes by the sink and cupboards (which face
toward the fairly busy street in front of their house). Putting the
dishes down, she says, "Honey, oh, honeywhat makes you say
that?", as she hurries to sit by him.
The child seems intensely ashamed and hesitantly states, "Last
7

night."
"What about last night?" Receiving no answer, "Last night you
slept in our room, remember? You didn't do anything bad..."
Noting no change in her son's contrite positioning, "Timmy, you
slept like an angel. You didn't do anything, honey. It must've been a
bad dream." After a while, "Did you have a bad dream, Timmy?"
"No." After a little pause, "It wasn't a dream."
"Honey. What do you think happened?"
"...I'm sorry, Mommy," once again deeply sincere and deliberate,
raising his eyes as before.
"What is it, honey?"
Taking a long time to begin, "MommyI hit you! I didn't even
mean to. It was my handmy hand hit you and I felt angry like I
meant to but I didn't mean to! I don't know what happened! I'm
crazy, Mommy! I'm crazy!" He ends up buried in his mother's
shirt, hugging her and crying.
Intensely concerned, "TimmyTimmy, Timmyyou didn't hit me!
It's okay. It was just a bad, bad dream. It's okay, honey. You're not
crazy, you're not crazy"
Timmy joltingly backs away from his mother but then slowly walks
toward the door, to the left of the sink and cupboards. Still facing
her, looking terrified, "Nono, nono... I'm crazy, Mommy,
because it wasn't a dream..."
His mother slowly approaches him and, once near enough to him,
moves to embrace him, but he immediately bolts to push past the
unlatched storm door. The entity's perspective follows Timmy on
8

his way out onto the street as, after a moment stunned, his mother
screams out to him, horrified, "Timmy!... Timmy! You didn't hit
me!"
Continuing at a panicked and determined speed, Timmy is now
nearing the middle of the street, where we soon hear the screeching
of tires as the perspective takes to Timmy's shocked pose. At the
sound of a screaming child, the perspective takes to his mother
sitting up forcefully in bed and with a sharp gasp. The perspective
widens to show her husband awakening, but much more peacefully.
"What is it honey?", he says, half-dazedly.
Still catching her breath, his wife quickly shifts her body over to
face the window on her side, the right side of the bed, sounding and
looking relieved when she sees an empty road below. Horror once
again overcomes her features, though, as she bolts for the bedroom
door, though she is held back by her husband who is more awake by
now.
"Woah, woah, woah, honeywhat's the matter?"
Intensely preoccupied but slowly brought to a clear mind, "Is
Timmy... okay?..."
"Yes... He's right... there." The husband turns her around to show
Timmy sleeping soundly on a cot to the left of the door, opposite
their bed. The husband leads his wife to sit on the bed in order to
catch her breath.
Beginning to laugh, "That was really silly of me... I just had the
most horrible dream," but ending with no laugh and appearing
resistant to further discussing the dream.
"Well...", motioning for her to tell about the dream.
9

"No... It was nothing", shaking her head and speaking more


adamantly.
"Didn't quite seem like nothing to me." Climbing back into bed,
"But if you'd rather not talk about it, I'll respect that... so I can go
back to sleep."
While much calmer, his wife still seems preoccupied, her glance
focused through the window onto the street below.
Probably noticing his wife's persisting unease, but apparently
genuinely motivated to speak otherwise, the husband sits back up
and excitedly. His wife turns around and listens as he talks, visibly
cheered. "Well, actually, if you're not going to tell your dream, I
think you should hear one of my dreams... It was incredible! It was
an amazing experience! This time I wasn't just flying over the
ocean; I was flying through space! It was great... There was this
feeling of being lost in space... but not like the TV showit felt as
if I was experiencing the inexperiencable... flying for eternity
throughout the universe, not knowing where I was going... Come to
think of it, the TV show seems to rather trivialize the idea of
actually being lost in space... it's actually quite a romantic concept...
And, you know, Grace, it seems that just because something is a
movie or TV show, even if it isn't filmed as cartoonishly as Lost in
Space was, people tend to think of sci-fi concepts as something
impractical and worth nothing but entertainment for computer
geeks."
Through her laughter, "NoI mean it. It annoys me. Any premise
for any sci-fi film or show is possible on some level... And people
should open their minds and embrace the imagination behind these
films and shows. Imagination has power. It gives the world such a
sense of freedom and limitlessness... even if imagination leads
somewhere scarythat's when you can feel most alive."
10

The entity's perspective began to close in on the husband throughout


his talking, but before this, his wife was shown to have formed into
a comfortable position, with a warm smile on her face, glad to have
her mind taken from her dream. After he's finished talking, the
perspective soon takes to a close zoom on a fuzzy and nearly
colorless television screen, focusing on the moving lips of a man
being interviewed, who has a shadowed face and distorted voice.
*
The man is responding to a prompt. Fear is in his words, discussing
a subject that evidently deeply bothers, perplexes, and chills him, "I
was in the middle of the woods, a day's hike away from society. I
had special permission to camp there from the statethere were no
other people around. It was night. I had set up my tent and was
sleeping in itsoundly. Until I was woken upby children's
voices. What would children be doing in the middle of these woods
at night? I still can't imaginebut I have to believe they were there.
I have to... I've never hallucinated before or after then, that I know
of, and there was no reason for me to then. ...But they weren't just
talking quiet and hushed as you might expect. No. They were
screamingscreaming with joy and laughter, as if skipping through
a park on a sunny day. This wasn't an area to be doing so. It's bear
countrythat's what I was afraid of most before thishaving to
face a bear... But there were so many childrenso many of their
voices... Why would they have been so happy? How? No one
believes me... I don't believe that they were ghosts; I could see their
well-formed shadows and hear their sturdy stepsmaybe thirty
children... I even believe in ghosts, but there was nothing to
convince me that these were ghosts. My only explanation is that
there was somehow an overlapping of two different times or
places... I don't know. I can't explain it more than that."
He speaks deeply sincerely throughout, and, at times, sounds deeply
moved and impassioned. By the end of his words, the perspective
has slowly widened to frame the television set, which soon breaks
11

into uncomfortably loud snowy static. After a few more seconds,


the perspective takes to an angle where the television set (which is
on a square metal wheeled stand) can still be seen. We can now also
see many students sitting at desks, though, and a man standing next
to the television who appears to be the teacher.
This high school classroom is filled with seemingly fairly intelligent
students, though most appear neither serious nor focused. Many
seem at least somewhat affected by the film, though.
"Jonwould you get the lights?"
The perspective does not move from its position, but we see the
lights go back on. The perspective's angle then shifts slightly to
show a girl sleeping next to Jon, who has returned to his seat. Those
around her snicker and wake her up, but the teacher doesn't notice.
The perspective then takes to a new angle and freely shifts around
after that.
The teacher is very charismatic but also exhibits an intensely
business-like demeanor in his words and actions. He says, "This is
a very interesting example of how our culture defines 'possibility'
and what's 'just crazy'. ...What do you people think?"
The students, in general, sound unmoved by and fairly apathetic
toward this prompt. One student responds saying, "Spooky...".
Another says, "It reminds me of The Blair Witch Project...". Others
respond laughing and commenting, one saying, "That's a classic... a
classic formula for emoting fear! I swear it's a classic, genious
horror film... SorryI just get excited over that movie..."
Teacher: "C'mon, guys... Think... Do you believe that there could
be an overlapping of two different times or places? Maybe there
was a park in the place where this guy had a tent two hundred years
before. And, maybe two hundred years before, the area was more of
12

a field and there were no bears there, and there were a bunch of kids
playing around for some reason. Maybe time was playing out some
sort of 'repercussion' of some instance from the past... Or, times or
places sort of 'combined' somehow for the moment... And/or,
maybe these were ghosts... ...Or, is he just 'crazy'?"
"I don't believe in all that 'hypothetical' stuff..."
"Yeah", etc.
"But, maybe these things are possible...
another student says.

Who really knows?",

"Yeah, but it's unlikely."


Teacher: "Why is it 'unlikely'... How do we define possibility? I
mean, what constitutes possibility versus outlandishness?"
Some student replies, "I think possibility is constrained by what's
predictable... what's expected."
Teacher: "But, how do we know that we aren't missing important
information here, or that we aren't at least partially wrong in our
assumptions about what's predictable, what's expected?"
The student responds, "Well..."
Teacher: "...Think of how far science has come, to prove the
existence of things thought 'unlikely' relatively recently in the
pastthat the internet is possible, that we are made of atoms, and
that we are the same atoms as the stars. And think about all the
things we may never prove...
"Okay, I'm going to hand out a poem.
It's called
'Jabberwocky'."
(He says "Jabberwocky" in an affected,
13

purposefully silly way.)


"Hopefully some of you will see a
connection with what we're talking about here."
As papers are handed around, students display smiles and knowing
quiet laughter upon apparently recognizing parts of the poem. Some
hum songs from Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Others talk, their
words on the subject of the poem's popularity and its associations.
The girl who fell asleep raises her hand. Her name is Lisa. The
forlornness in her face and in her mannerisms is mirrored by her
dress and unkemptness.
"Yes, Lisa?"
"Umm... I think there's a misprint..."
"Where?..."
Laughingly and a little sarcastically, "Well, it says, 'tumtum tum'! I
think it's supposed to be 'tumtum tree'..."
Chuckling, the teacher responds, "That's clever, adding in another
nonsense word..."
Students around are laughing. One says, "Hey everyone! Lisa's got
a sense of humor after all!"
Lisa looks genuinely perplexed and ends up saying, "Okay, joke's
over... Shouldn't it be 'tree'?"
More seriously, the teacher says, "That's enough Lisa. She brings
up an interesting point, thoughhowever, not what our focus
should be right now. Carroll used a pun by taking 'tum' which is a
noun and morphing it into a nonsense adjective based on the noun...
Kind of like saying 'deskdesk desk', pretending 'deskdesk' is a word.
14

He's kind of poking fun at the English language's re-use of many


words for both adjectives and nouns, and homophones in general...
Okay... Who wants to read it?"
A student interjects, "I will", as the teacher nods for them to begin
reading, but Lisa interrupts. Rolling her eyes, visibly annoyed, Lisa
says, "Real funny. Make me think I'm in another reality... I get the
joke..."
Students around laugh a little at her but also seem generally
increasingly annoyed.
Teacher: "Lisathat's enough... Go ahead Bridgette."
The student reads:
"''Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
'Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought
So rested he by the Tumtum tum,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
15

One two! One two! And through and through


The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.'"
There is laughter and side-commenting throughout the poem
reading, as has been common throughout what we have seen of this
class. By now, though, nearing the end of the class period, some
students have actually already begun preparing to leave, and some
even since the middle of the poem reading. The teacher says, after
pausing for a bit, but in a hurried voice, "Impressions?" He
continues the rest of the lesson rushedly.
"Well... it doesn't really make sense..."
Teacher: "Oh but it does. That just takes a little analysis and
thinking... We'll talk about interpretation of it another time. But,
let's talk about connecting the impressions we get to 'possibility' and
'craziness'. You're right, Calvin. It doesn't seem to make sense.
Why is that?"
Another student, "Well, it's not using normal words...
wrote this sounds like they're crazy."

Whoever

Teacher: "But, like I said, this poem actually does make sense upon
close reading. It isn't just 'possibly' coherent, it is certifiably so."
16

"So, it's like walking by that person in the video who might not
actually be crazy, but assuming he's crazy"
Teacher: Excitedly and somewhat surprisedly, "Good! Yet we don't
usually think toor don't have the time or energy toquestion our
assumptions, do we?..." Seeing more and more students preparing
their things to leave, hurrying more, "...This is what I wanted to end
on: In poetryand life, things may appear wacky or dismissible,
but they may be actually sensible... But don't question too much, or
you just might go crazy! Okaywe're just about out of time. See
you guys next week; just make sure you've got your homework
downit's on the board."
Some students have left even before the teacher finishes. But Lisa
has remained silent and visibly angered since she last spoke. Finally
collecting her things, she leaves the classroom in barely-suppressed
rage.
The perspective now takes to black for a moment before it shows
the inside of the main entrance to Lisa's house. We see the closed
front door of an apparently lower-income family. There is enough
room so that there's no need to zoom out as Lisa comes through the
door, but the perspective moves around freely after this.
From another room, her mother calls apathetically and ritualistically,
"How was your day?"
Sounding deeply angry but accommodatingly polite, "Everyone's
against me".
The mother sounds neither concerned nor sympathetic. "Ahh... The
old teenage blues... Go take a nap or something."
"...Thanks again for your great parenting skills," sounding
17

unaffected as she climbs the stairs to her room.


Nearly unmoved, "Shut the fuck up, Lisa. Just keep it to yourself."
The perspective takes to black for a moment and then to Lisa and
her mother eating dinner.
After a long cold silence, the mother says, "Why don't you say
something?"
"...Why do we even eat together?"
More such bickering follows, interspersed with cold silence. After a
long pause, though, the mother feigns sweetness in a clearly
sarcastically-offered comment: "Well, at least we don't have to look
at the bare tums anymore. Don't you just love spring?"
The daughter looks shocked and deeply, deeply angered, but doesn't
scream. "Momdid you talk to Mr. Borwig recently?"
Uninterestedly, "I never talk to any of your teachers. Why would
I?"
Lisa's eyes widen as she seems to grow in anger until she spills into
a rage, screaming, "Why does everyone think it's funny to fucking
mess with me! Why all today all of a sudden! ...You!", pointing
loathingly and accusingly at her mother, her rage sputtering into
utter disgust. She tremblingly walks out the front door it, slamming
it behind her. The mother looks a little shocked. The perspective
stays focused on the mother and the surrounding room where they
ate, not moving as Lisa leaves. After the slam is heard, the
perspective remains still for a few seconds before taking to black,
immediately fading up to the next scene.
*
An apparently wealthy large family is eating dinner, with at least
18

three generations represented at the table. They have a long but


sincerely pleasant and loving conversation. In Bangladeshi accents,
they discuss subjects such as how the "tums are beginning to bud"
and how beautiful spring is. After a while, they say how tired most
of them are from such a "long day".
As they all begin to disperse, the perspective takes to the sixtysomething grandfather reading in bed with his wife. The maroon
and golden bedroom is arranged with several tall and intricatelydecorated shelves housing thousands of trinkets and mementos of
possibly high monetary value. They talk about how "that was a nice
meal" and speak other pleasantries. The wife says, "I can't wait to
see how many more buds will be on the tums tomorrow."
Kiddingly, "I'm sure they're all planning on giving you a pleasant
surprise. I'm sure they're all busy planning the number of new buds
right now, darling."
"Oh, stop it! ...Maybe they really are.
Maybe tums really do have feelings..."

How would you know?

"That's right... How would I know for sure? Well, they don't
scream when I axe at them, for one... but maybe they're mute..."
They laugh and continue their good-natured bantering before kissing
"goodnight" after the wife gets in bed and the lights are turned off.
They laugh and sigh a little as they snuggle in but soon fall into the
silence of sleep. After a while, there is a take to black, immediately
fading up to the same room the next morning. They are still asleep
though both seem to be smiling. They look deeply comfortable.
From the light shining through the trees outside their broad window,
we see a reflection of unmistakably autumn-colored mostly red
leaves throughout the room, but mainly on their bed. We cannot see
this broad window, but we can see through a small window on the
19

same wall as their bed's headboard that the trees' leaves are near the
peak of their change of color.
Still smiling, the husband wakes up first as we see him glance out
the window and then comfortably "re-snuggle" in and hug his wife.
He whispers, "The tums are even more beautiful than yesterday,
Deary." The wife, also still smiling, awakes, turning her eyes to the
window, but then slowly freezes, realizing a state of horrified shock.
She stares out the window for nearly half a minute, then looks off
for another long while, apparently thinking panickedly. She looks
back outside and, after a little more time of thinking, says, seriously
and breathing heavily, "Earltake me to the hospital."
After having slowly zoomed in from showing her whole face, the
perspective ends up focusing on one of her eyes, which is not
looking directly ahead. After a few seconds, there is a take to a
similarly intense looking eye, positioned and looking as if it could
be the same eye as the woman's. The take is nearly unnoticeable.
*
After a few seconds, the extremely agitated-looking eye turns to
face forward, retaining its intensity. After a little while, the owner
of the eye begins to speak. Throughout his speech, the perspective
very slowly zooms out from his eye to reveal where he is. He is a
rather young man, probably in his twenties, fairly attractive. He
does not look or seem overly "insane", just incredibly confused and
sincerely bothered and moved, but not rushedly or maniacally; he
seems to be in a mood of residual but quieting fear from some
disturbing incident.
"Have you ever gone on a picnic with a group of people, and then
you go off on a walk with your two best friendsthey've been best
friends with you all your lifeand you close your eyes as you all
rest on a hill, lied down, relaxed, and then you open your eyes, and
they never existed. 'They weren't there' everyone saysbut they'd
always been there, and then they just were... gone. I told them to
20

keep track of the path that we took because they knew that I have a
bad sense of direction, and we were going through the woods... I
only closed my eyes for a few seconds, so I was surprised that they
could've gotten away so fast. I thought it was a joke at first, that it
was mean but still just a joke. After a while I thought they must've
gotten lost because it started getting scary for me to be aloneon a
big hill on the edge of a big and dead empty clearing in the middle
of deep woods. Why would they leave me there all by myself? I
tried to find my way back, but I got lost in the woods. I then
thought maybe they were taken captive while they were hiding from
me or when they got lostlike I wasand that I might stumble into
their captor who might kill me. But, no. When I finally got home, I
was called by one of the guys who was part of the picnic organizers.
He was worried about me. He said he was worried for me being off
on my own. 'But I wasn't on my own the whole time' I said. He
was confused. He thought I was high when I mentioned my two
best friends. This really bothered me. I called the cops... and they
said there were no records for my two best friends ever being born...
"It's like a glitch in the system, but it's nothing like The Matrix
nothing like a movie... It's a sign of something greater... I don't
think I'm crazy. Everything else in my life is normal, and was
normal until they disappeared and never existed. Before this,
everyone knew themeveryone talked to them... and about them
it wasn't just me. But now everyone says 'they never were'..."
Clenchingly, "I tell youit's a 'glitch in the system'a sign of
something greater..."
Seeming to shift focus for a bit, "I can't imagine that this has only
happened to me. This type of glitch could be happening all the
time. It happens to one person and everyone thinks they're crazy. If
it happens to a group of people, it's mass hysteria. What if it
happens and people don't remember before the glitch... That means
that glitches could be happening constantly...
21

"Imagine a man is hosting a cocktail party. He turns from a


conversation to sip a drink and suddenly he is sipping a drink in the
same room, but now the room is empty. He doesn't notice. He only
remembers a chain of events leading him to where he is now, and all
the others at the party only remember chains of events leading them
to where they are now.
"Imagine going to bed and waking up a different person. You wake
up with no memories of your prior self, only memories of being this
new person. Everyone else only remembers you as this new person
too. Who knows! Sure, it all seems crazy, but who says this
couldn't constantly be happening? How would people know?
Someone or something on a different level who could see it all
happening might say it was normal... and logical... and expected
somehow... What if I found this level... Maybe someday I'll see
from this level somehow..." He repeatedly whispers "somehow"
until again finding his train of thought.
"But it was just one little glitch in my life: the difference between
two people existing and then nottwo different possibilities of
what I thought life was... But, they shouldn't switchthere should
only be one reality, and it shouldn't change, and possibilities of
different versions of reality should only be in the mindlike they
used to be... It seems like common senselike a law of physics for
how I thought life worked, but now I know. Now I know, though.
Things are not so clear and predictable. Glitches in the system
disprove all that... Now I know..." With violently clenched features,
"Now I know: my experience is a sign of something greatera
greater life system beyond what I can know or explain... One
without any glitches... It's a sign of something greater... Maybe..."
By now the perspective has zoomed out so that we see where the
speaker is sittingon the floor of a padded cell.
"Would you shut up over there?! Cut your shit! I'm trying to go to
22

sleep over here! You're a fucking crackpotadmit it!"


The perspective has not changedit continues to zoom out slowly.
We see the man on the floor then seemingly "pick up where he left
off", but now quietly mouthing to himself.
A perspective swinging through outer space is now faintly
overlapped with the current picture. Slowly, the perspective of the
padded cell fades out while this perspective that is dashing through
unknown planets and stars comes into full clear view. This new
perspective eventually fades to black, but only after several minutes.

23

Cold Images
We continue to hear a woman weeping as complete darkness slowly
shifts into some dim light, revealing images of relatively nearby
brown and red planets, stars, and asteroids. Some asteroids and one
planet appear possibly even less than a mile away, compared to the
edge of a brown-grey moon's cave from which we peer, and from
which we hear the weeping woman further in. Darkness slowly
reclaims our vision until light returns to illuminate black spiders
along thick watery webs stretched across a steep but small flowery
and bush-covered hill in front of a small old light blue cottage.
A few yards beyond the other side of the rain-pattered dirt road lie
heavy aged doors built into another small hill. They open to invite
us into an indoor pool area where tens of young students are being
taught to swim. The pool itself is about two hundred by fifty feet
long and wide, and maybe one hundred feet deep. A small, shylooking boy is directed to dive in and not come up until he touches
the bottom with his hand. We follow him through the increasingly
greenish water, until his pace slows behind ours. We peer through a
drain before he nears the bottom.
Passing through the drain, we are approaching the bottom of a dark
ocean, where we can see in the distance below us a halfdecomposed whale, with parts of its skeleton showing. While
continuing to descend, we pass over it on our way to a far darker
trench a small ways away. Soon, we only see black again, until we
arrive in a place far deeper than the ocean.
We enter a large ballroom in a seventeenth century castle-like
mansion. From the high ceiling hang ornate chandeliers just above
the height of rounded windows at the room's edges overlooking a
surrounding balcony and the nearby ocean's edge. One area of the
room's edges contains no windows, however, just the pipes of an
24

organ played all the while by an old lady in flowing purple who
stares into a mirror just below the organ pipes. Several nuns veiled
in black stand silently in front of the organ and behind a woman in
flowing white who appears to be giving birth. Several nuns in white
are by her side, comforting her and attending to fluids spilling over
the grey marble floor and down through a drain in the center of the
ballroom.
We focus in on this drain that soon appears to be that of an old
bathtub in a house whose walls are thin and rotting. Through a hole
in the bathroom wall we see a child playing with his dirtied toys,
surrounded by filth, trash, garbage, and a variety of broken things.
On one still-standing table we see milk solidified in glasses,
seafoam green and bright blue fur on salmon, a yogurty substance
lined with black-brown film upon peaches, and fuzzy blue-green,
slimy orange-yellow-white, and dark crusty purples upon old
chicken fried rice mixed with tiny crawling white worms.
From beyond the kitchen we see some spark growing, quickly
consuming the old wall in its way and catching onto the floor. Some
of the child's toys near the fire begin to melt, as he crawls toward
them, crying and screaming "No!". Soon all around is ablaze, part
of a thickening screen of burning white. After a short while, the
burning white becomes that of the sun.
We look back toward the ground that, though still puddled with
pools from yesterday's heavy rain, allowed a small house to level
into ash and grime except for most of a fireplace, some charred
planks jutting out from the ground, and a few scattered mostly
melted metal objects here and there. All directly outside of this
small area remains unscathed, however. Nearby grass remains
withered between soil corroded by a saltish substance seeping from
under lichen-, moss-, and sluggy-brown fungus-covered rocks
beneath a barely-recognizable molded and rotted, insect-infested
barkless tree trunk.
25

From across the puddled dirt road, our eye is caught by a wildhaired rustic-looking old lady in the distance seemingly running
away from us, holding a large fishing net solely composed of wood
and twine. She runs behind densely growing pines that tower above
the watery swamp where she was apparently fishing, as we notice
countless white birds perched in and swirling around the trees.
Behind us, on the other side of the burned house, to its left, we find
that the sun is near setting. We stare beyond a field dotted with
power lines and rolls of hay as the light fades quickly, exiting with a
tiny glint of purple and peach glowing beneath small, round wispy
clouds departing far into distant plains, all beneath the first and lone
star of night.
After a momentary shift to black, we are presented with an area lit
similarly to where we just were, but it is now morning, and peach
and purple shine with blood oranges and pinks upon a collapsed
shed. Its rusted roof bends to expose junk from broken lamps to
moldy disintegrating magazines, and its sides of rotting wooden
planks are lined with year-old fallen branches.
We follow an oil- and garbage-filled creek behind the shed until it
empties into a pond beside an ugly mess of an abandoned
construction site that looks like a long-forgotten disaster area. What
was once just starting to be built has become nearly unrecognizably
rusted, molded, or also fallen, and wooden planks, machinery, and
rods are strewn about as if a tornado had rampaged through the area.
The pond leaks into a swampy backyard nearby. Beyond some trees
behind a near-dilapidated once white-painted small home, small
streams form down a mossy hill, flowing over small amphibious
creatures from newts and lizards to small alligators. We peer under
the moss into a recently-dug hole to see other creatures, from large
pink larvae with claw-like legs, to long caterpillars hairless but for
26

their heads, to snails with long and flowing antennae.


The ground suddenly collapses into an underground air pocket
apparently a cesspool, but filled with decades-old forgotten toys and
some child's old school papers. We notice small snakes slithering
through the toys and papers and increasing in number and size
toward one corner piled with layers of thick, slick, and shiny black
snakes.
We only see black as we approach them, but a door soon bursts open
into an underground warehouse, as black gunk and slime leaks out
into it from behind us. No walls or ceiling can be seen, just the
effect of probable fluorescent lights above a thick misty fog. The
area before us looks like a dumping ground, but with streams
flowing through it.
A lady can be heard humming some sorrowful wordless tune,
heavily breathily, but very emotionally and purely. We look for the
source of the voice until we see a canoe led by a black-haired
woman come from around a bend. We follow her as the streams
become wider and more prominent, and the trash become merely
islands. We jump onto one of the islands where we see a child's toys
maybe even a decade older from the toys we saw in the cesspool
earlier. Slightly buried within the toys is a clear plastic trunk
probably filled with the early school paperwork of the toys' owner.
Though it appears sealed air-tightly, there is an orangey, wet-looking
foam spreading in spongey claw-like shapes especially toward the
dark purplish bottom.
The lady in the canoe has waited next to us, and while continuing to
hum. We ride with her again until we soon come to land at a shore
which, through now lighter fog, we can see to be that of the same
pond where the old lady was fishing before. And, we see her again,
just several yards away, rushing away from us again. Leaving the
canoe, we follow her to a field behind the tall pines where an
27

unstained wooden small airplane is already prepared to take flight,


as she jumps into it and flies toward some very tall church steeple in
the distance. We turn to head back toward the pond but first notice a
man's dead naked body hung high in a dead tree, a natural color
rope knotted tightly around his neck.
We walk around the pond to find a crushed aged skeleton of a dove
next to pieces of a turtle shell scattered amidst pearly gelatinous
eggs and, hidden within some tall grass nearby, a dead and rotted
beaver exposing its yet-unrotted purplish red-brown teeth. We pick
up a nearby small branch to stir the thick, green water and watch as
a bubbling slime droops from the branch as we lift it out of the
water. As we attempt to inspect this slime by holding the branch up
to the hidden sun, something from the pond suddenly grabs our left
leg. We are nearly pulled into the pond by a slick, strong, and
clawed yet small green human-like hand, but we finally break loose
from its grip as we watch the hand slowly retreat back underwater.
To the left of the pond and back toward where the old lady ascended
in her plane, a rather wide but shallow rocky stream extends hidden
by tall grass and small trees. After deciding to walk along it, we
soon notice dead and rotting human bodies mixed in with all sorts of
garbage that would usually be found in a dump. Along with
increasingly thick upward-bending branches of surrounding dead
and bare coniferous trees, this refuse only multiplies before the
stream ends, by collecting into a deep and black muddy pool. As we
peer down into the pool, we choose to descend into it.
After swimming through yards of dark and muddy water, we soon
arise from the drain in the deep swimming pool where we began,
finding both the skeleton of the shy boy nearby and green to white
growths all around the bottom, sides, and surface of the pool now a
much darker green. Exiting this area through the still-open large
doors built into a hill, instead of the dirt road and blue cottage, we
find that we are in a sandy desert but at the bottom of a deep hole
28

seemingly created by an enormous bomb. There are no signs of life


in the sand until we reach the top of this mile-deep hole, where we
see the nearby world only covered in thick cobwebssometimes
draping across things, but always covering every inch of every
surface. Spiders of all sortssizes, colors, textures, shapesroam
freely throughout their new expansive home that can be seen to
already have trapped an array of humans and other animals, only
some of which appear still living.
Even through a window into an old house, we can see a man sitting
in an overfilling hot bathtub desperately combing spiders and webs
from his hair and body. Across the street a middle-aged woman is
peeking through a stained glass window of an old church with a
tired face of despair, turning around to weep. Yet, seemingly struck
with a thought, she reclaims her composure, though shakingly, to
ascend some rickety stairs past a door in a rounded part of a nearby
wall.
We sneak to enter the church and follow her up a splintery and
uneven spiral staircase for several floors. The first few floors are
just filled with old church paraphernalia, from hymnals to music
stands, podiums, and brooms, though the paraphernalia appears
older and more forgotten as we ascend. The walls and windows also
appear to increasingly age as we go up, to a point where the walls
are crumbling and the windows are not just cracking but absent,
allowing a cold wind to blow freely through tattered rags of ancient
curtains and dry out not long-dead prehistoric-looking fish of
various sizes and textures scattered over the floor. The next level
up, human skeletons hang from the walls, while the floor of the next
level is covered with not long-dead humans and various other
animals lying upon layers of further-decayed bodies that lie upon
layers of skeletons. On the next higher level, there are no signs of
death, just a multitude of human faces carved deeply and roundly
into the wooden planks of walls exposed from plaster long-fallen
and -disintegrated.
The faces express emotions from neutral
29

boredom to great pain, terror, and monstrously furious but gleeful


aggression.
The top floor is filled with cobweb-covered antiques so numerous
that we can barely find the footing to walk around items from
phonographs, to buffet tables, to picture frames. Beyond the myriad
of antiques we can see an old woman draped in flowing purple
sitting with her back toward us at a centuries-old organ, looking into
a mirror just below its pipes. To the right side of the organ, there is
space enough for a small wooden airplane to sit beside a glassless
window that is far wider than tall, where the woman we have
followed is standing, peering out.
As the woman we have followed anxiously eyes the ground far
below the window, the old woman at the organ positions her arm as
if to invite the woman through it, while turning toward us, her face
veiled in purple and, upon her lap, the bloody, rotted carcass of an
infant whose dead mother in flowing blood-stained white we soon
notice, nailed to a wall to our far left.

30

Grisworld
A child beseeches his mother, "What if I died today?"
To the sonorous but non-melodic howl of some low indigenous flute
accompanied by an electrical drone, I can still see, slowly turning
toward me, a tall man well-dressed in mostly whitefrom a suit to
fedora and glovesbut with half of a sewn-together bloody leather
mask covering half of a grotesquely malformed, burnt, lacerated,
and rotting face exposing muscle and bone. I can now more fully
see his oddly neutral expression, but less clearly, as my sight
becomes gradually flooded with translucent semi-iridescent
seemingly electrical flashing spots that heavily obscure my vision of
both him and, now overlapping him, an enormous orange sun
overcoming an expansive horizon of countless rows of grapes
covering an area that resembles an African savannah.
A man with bloodshot eyes rushes to a bathroom mirror and angrily
shouts to himself, "Where is the blood!?" His anger dissipates as
the words leave his mouth, and he slowly begins to walk away.
A few rounded haystacks lay upon a grassy knoll surrounded by an
old stone wall mostly covered in thorny plants of red berries and
red-tinted small and round leaves. In the distance sway tall grass,
bushy trees, and some dead and bare trees.
"My friend Jeff stays over every weekend and sleeps in my room.
Over the past few months, I've noticed that he will predictably get
up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and stay in there
for about a half hour. He isn't using the bathroom, though, but just
standing stilly and silently in there, and with the lights off. I asked
his family about it and they were astonished. They told me he never
does anything like this in their home where he lives. They said he
hardly ever gets up in the middle of the night and has no history of
31

sleepwalking. I'm so frightened to approach him about this."


Chasing a cow deep into the woods at night, shouting, "Come back!
Come back!" until you can see neither it nor your way back.
Beyond the grassy knoll dotted with haystacks descends a slowly
setting sun above a rising mist where a ghost will soon appear.
Driving down a familiar but dark country road at the point furthest
from any town, a young man notices out to his right the bright glow
of a lantern carried by an old woman wearing a white nightgown
and draping cap.
A seven-year-old girl sits in a bathtub just filled by her babysitter
Melissa. As Melissa turns to exit the bathroom, the girl catches
Melissa's eye with an over-sweet smile. "Melissa! Have you met
Rahannukah? She is my friend and she lives in the bathtub. But,
Melissa, Rahannukah hates it when you smile..." Melissa slowly
backs out of the bathroom into a darkened hallway only lit from
under the now closed bathroom door.
A girl enters her first-floor bathroom on a grey and misty morning to
witness a nearly seven-foot figure draped in a hooded black cloak
covering any surface of skin, motionlessly staring into the window.
Through a grey and cloudy dusk falling over semi-deep woods,
about two dozen college-aged young adults gather from all different
directions over the span of several minutes. They gather around a
small pond stopped by a beaver dam with a brook to its left, marshy
grass directly surrounding it. Upon arriving, each person begins to
cry as if on cue, but without any cue. They initiate neither eye
contact nor any contact toward each other.
An old hotel worker fills a large swimming pool around the corner
from a hallway leading to a mall's grocery store. Through the hose
32

sprays gallons of thick blood.


As excited horses lie tied and clamped down to the ground in the
haystack-dotted field under newly darkened skies, some glowing
orbs approach them from different distances, glowing balls under
tattered and rippling cloth, like shriveled corn stalks of varying
heights.
Within a high-ceilinged mausoleum of mossy cemented stones,
under strangely orangish lighting, all the covers of shelved
limestone sarcophagi lie dropped and broken, exposing skeletons, to
rotting bodies, to newly dead bodies of people of all ages.
A girl swims gaspingly through the pool filled with blood to enter an
abandoned grocery store pristinely white except for swarms of flies
upon food, from the deli's meats to the produce section's vegetables,
all left to rot.
Late at night, two friends drive for an hour down unfamiliar
winding, sometimes intersecting, dirt roads until they notice an old
white truck following behind them. Upon reaching a dead end, the
truck blocks the road back, repeatedly revving its engine.
Having given up on finding your cow, you just want to find a way
out until you run into a petting zoo at the edge of an unrecognized
road, where all the animalsfrom alpacas, to llamas, to oxen,
horses, bucks, donkeys, and cowslie skinned and beheaded.
The old hotel worker checks on the blood-filled swimming pool
after a month to find it starting to cake over and speckle with dark
clumps of rot.
Continuing to drive down his familiar but darkened road, though it
has begun to rain, the young man notices, again to his right,
someone deep in the woods squirming while hanging from a noose.
33

At the distant end of a field at the very end of dusk, the girl again
finds her tall hooded dark figure. He stands motionlessly as before,
until he begins to rushedly charge toward her.
Heading south, passing through a desert ghost town as the sun is just
rising, the young man notices to his right several worn horse
carcasses propped up on wooden poles. Beyond this area lie chains
of fields extending far from and along both sides of the road.
Scattered among these fields hang propped-up scarecrows that are
very possibly dead burnt human bodies, hats covering charred and
disfigured faces. After a few more minutes of driving, the young
man begins to notice people approaching the sides of the road from
all directions, wearing the skulls of goats and antelopes, and
carrying large bones as clubs.
The old hotel worker checks the blood-filled swimming pool after
another month to find most of it drying or dried.
A man dreams of hearing from the hall outside his room a crazedsounding screaming woman clacking the floor with the sounds of
bones for her feet. The man dreaming looks into the hall still
hearing this but seeing nothing in either direction, before being
awoken by banging on the outside of his window, a mostly
decomposed woman pleading to be let in, as if being chased.
Beautiful apparent female models of different races, heights, shapes,
and hair color all lie dead in cages within their own rectangular tube
filled with water, of hundreds of tubes of all different heights spread
throughout an enormous warehouse. One apparently living woman
awakes with a strong jerk, her eyes fire blue but quickly fading. She
screams violently as her eyes continue to fade, only to hear a loudly
echoing female-sounding robotic voice projected from a large
speaker within one of the cages: "Two seconds of your life remain."
34

A tall dark-haired woman slumping sick in a highchair with vomit


and blood dried all around her mouth looks like a dead overgrown
child. Her aged mother approaches with one of several nearby
turkey basters filled with blood saying, "Open up, sweetie", though
the sick woman dazedly stares with an already opened mouth.
Turning away, she speaks with the voice of a deeply disabled
person, "But I don't want anymore". "Open up!" Several months
later, the woman slumps in the same highchair but much fatter and
more bloated. She vomits forth a large amount of blood but with
very little bodily movement.
Down a lost country road and beyond a gravel parking lot filled with
years of green- and wheat-colored weeds, a simple few-story
rectangular building from the mid-1900's with a nearly caved-in
roof has kept little of its original seafoam-green paint or black
Tudor-style boards of wood. Through its doorless entryway and
beneath the heavy yellow-green smog and dust filling the place,
drips to pools of blood lie scattered here and there, from faint
decades-old stains to yet-undried liquid. Massive cobwebs housing
two-inch to two-foot spiders cover the walls, ceilings, and mostly
collapsed or collapsing pine wood bunk beds with industrializedlooking once off-white sheets under the bodies of several hundred
corpses as well as the subtly groaning living, bodies each differing
in their degree of nearness to or from death. While this place
appears forgotten, none of the living look starved, just suffering,
dying from rashes, to blisters, to lacerations embedded with fungus,
cobwebs, flies, and worms. None of them appear able to move,
though they will slightly twitch occasionally.
The old hotel keeper returns to his pool after a year to find that the
blood has somehow mostly evaporated, except for an uneven very
slight to few-inch coating, and a multitude of flies.
I see in slow motion as a character in flowing black turns to the
audience of a darkened ornate theatre to reveal a holeless white
35

porcelain eye mask only for it to be dropped and broken just as any
remaining light is lost.
From the top floor of an unoccupied mall late at night, a woman
leaves her crying child strapped into his stroller near the mall's
indoor balcony, as she bends head-first over the glass and metal
railing to fall six floors into a fountain soon bubbling with parts of
her brain and a deepening red.

36

Closing Images
Though I can only see pitch blackness, I hear rushing winds outside
my window on a small airplane, mixed with the pattering of summer
rain on old pavement, mixed with the conversational though
unintelligible voices of those besides me on this plane. I hear the
crackling of the plane's old speakers and, over the intercom, a man's
low raspy voice.
"Dark skies ahead, dark skies ahead."
*
Out of this blackness I begin to notice a middle-aged woman beside
me weeping and slowly sauntering through a misty summer
afternoon light rain on a country road. I turn to my left and begin to
leave her side as I float beside her, then behind her, then high over
her. I notice now that the landscape below me is mostly flat, and
that the woman is walking to the right of what is either a wide river
or a long lake. I look up toward the sky to see an intensely orange
sun whose color is affecting none of the grey-blue sky around it. I
continue to focus on the sun over the weeping woman whose cry I
can longer hear. I do begin to hear some mellifluously melodious
dramatic weeping of some woman, though, a cry uttered as if a
performance. The voice seems to be coming from the sun, and,
across this distance, it echoes as if over a vast ocean inexplicably
carrying and amplifying its sound. I hear now two women similarly
singingly weeping, and then three more, and then I begin to hear
men's voices with sweeping crescendos and diminuendos in volume
and intensity but with fluidity and sweetness. The number of voices
increases, and exponentially, until I can no longer identify how
many voices are added at once, though I can identify that each voice
is unique and performed with its own nuance and intensity; this is
not merely a few recordings multiplied. The adding of voices seems
to coincide with the adding of clouds that begin to slowly then
quickly rush past the sun and multiply enough to gradually block
37

out its light, from orange to dark orange, to dark grey with some
orange glow, until there is only blackness once again. At this point,
which has only been less than a minute, the weeping is deafening
and ringing in choruses of echoes not only of the original sound of
each voice, but of echoes of echoes and for each of the likely
thousands of voices. I hear a singular pound of a gigantic and
intensely deep and deeply-resonating drum, and this silences all of
the voices, though fading echoes still remain.
*
As the echoes finally dissipate after about another minute, I hear the
nearby giggles and snickering of two children, but only faintly
compared with an organ's loud drone that also nearly covers the
faded vocalizations of a rehearsing choir several yards beyond the
sound of papers and curtains seemingly rustled by the organ's strong
vibrations. I now sense that I am crawling in a lightless and
moderately narrow rounded tunnel behind a cathedral organ
following two girls as they whisper and rejoice in escaping an
elementary-school-aged children's youth group meeting across the
hall from this Gothic, echoing sanctuary. I hear the activity in the
sanctuary less and less as we continue to crawl forward. After
moments of near complete darkness, I gradually begin to make out a
bluish outline to the crumbling walls as an open room is neared, just
a few more dozen yards of crawling ahead. This light and the girls'
laughter grow exponentially until they are finally able to hop into a
stance in the room now clearly just a sudden widening and
heightening of a tunnel that only continues monotonously ahead.
What light there is seeps through a small hole seemingly drilled
through the ceiling, lighting our steps less and less past the hole and
until there is access to neither light nor sound from outside of the
tunnel. The girls continue to whisper and giggle, but less and less as
we go on. Eventually there comes a corner to turn, where the girls'
whispering and giggling halts completely with two panicked gasps
before shocked silence. About a minute's worth of walking down
the tunnel as it continues uncurled ahead, there stands the vague but
certain outline of a motionlessly posed man wearing a long beard,
38

long hair, and a trailing robe. I hear their hysterically terrified and
helpless screams as complete darkness returns once again.
*
Their screams become more distant and overwhelmed by the sounds
of rushing cars on a secondary highway in some tree-filled suburb
dotted with chain restaurants and different stores selling things as
different as bicycles, gravel, and cell phones. I only see the area
above this highway fully after some length of slow transitioning
from blackness; but it is still a dark night. I float parallel above the
road yet slowly descend onto its eastward side as a car catches up
with me and I land in its passenger seat. The driver is a wellgroomed, proper business man in a supple moderately dark-grey suit
with a neatly-ironed white shirt and iridescent-blue tie. He is
driving carefully but his mind is clearly distant and drained.
As we round a bend, out of the corner of my eye I catch the large
outline of an "alien"-shaped balloon figure about a half a mile in the
distance, neon green, probably forty feet tall, swaying in the gentle
wind, its fingers dangling in all directions and slowly spinning as
they wave passersby. The driver next to me reacts to this outline
with a look of surprise, but he quickly fades back into a glazed and
drained posture of eyes and body as he probably realizes as I do that
this must be some prop at a car dealership celebrating a sale. As we
pass the "alien", I can see in the rearview mirror that it has swiveled
as if by a sturdy wire tied between it and the car. I turn around and
observe that any wind has seemingly died down as now neither the
alien nor its fingers continue to sway randomly. The alien's fingers
seem to come to stillness not gradually, however, but as if moved by
the creature that the balloon portrays. The driver notices none of
these motions, however.
A few miles ahead, as trees become more numerous and variegated
and as the road's winds more closely match the curves of the natural
landscape, to the left, a potentially newly-constructedwellcemented and unweatheredstone wall seems randomly placed. As
39

I quizzically stare, I notice that the wall extends for some length and
that, further down, people are lined up sitting on this wall that would
be a rather high fall. They are lined up all the way into the distance,
maybe numbering even a hundred. As the car nears these people, it
can be seen that they are each staring fixedly in front of them,
motionless both in body and in eyes. Each person also appears at
least nearly identicalin both posture and even physical
appearanceand they each look very much like the driver, who
seems to acknowledge this resemblance in a look of surprise
strikingly more emotive than his prior reaction to the balloon. As I
squint further in this night now unlit by lamps of stores and
restaurants, I see that each of these people is also dressed in the
makeup of a frowning clown, with only dark red and chalk-white
paint and red curly wigs. Otherwise, they look exactly like the
driver. He decidedly speeds up, rushing past these clowns who do
not change position even in his passing them. I turn around,
however, and notice that the last one we have passed by is slowly
turning his head. Though it is dark, it appears that, unlike the other
clowns, this one has no eyes, just empty sockets.
The driver has not slowed his car, even as the road becomes windier,
hillier, and more narrow. It seems that we are no longer on a
secondary highway. Yet after some patches of naturally-grown trees
and unlandscaped roadsides, we reach a seemingly highly populated
residential area. With a look of some relief, the driver dramatically
lessens his speed and begins breathing more slowly, though more
audibly, and his face once again loses its animation, almost settling
back into an appearance of dissociationbut for barely perceptible
small twitches pulling at the corners of his eyes and mouth.
The houses all are newly-built and identical, as if large exactly
square plastic dollhouses simply placed on newly leveled woods.
They extend far beyond the edges of the road, however, into subdevelopments that wind back into woods currently-unleveled yet
marked with orange signs displaying numeric codes underneath the
40

large letters "D.E.P. APPROVED". Suddenly the twitches around


the crevices of his face grow more noticeable and his face sinks
from distant into some sort of anxious despair as I face in front of
me and see a child standing fixedly in the middle of the road firmly
pointing at the car a few houses' length ahead. The driver does not
slow down and only turns the car to swerve around the child as his
breathing once again quickens and yet remains heavy. Upon more
closely inspecting the child as we approach her side, we see that she
has flowing brown hair and eyes that would normally belong to an
old woman, sunken in and glowing opaquely green-white in the
light of the car's beams. She does not change position as we pass
her.
From the left side of the road in front of one of the only houses lit
with a porch lightevidently one of the only houses currently
owned, another girl dressed just as the other, in her red gown with
white dots and a wide and long blue bow around her waist, points
toward the car just as firmly and stilly as the other girl. She seems
to be the other girl's twin, her eyes, hair, and face exactly the same
as the other's.
And now I see yet another girl, identical in dress, features, and
position, on the right a few yards aheadfrozen with her right arm
and index finger sturdily pointed toward us. As the car illuminates
further down the road, we see more and more girls along the sides of
the road, all identical in features, position, and dress. The driver
speeds up for a few seconds until, with a tensed gasp, he is forced to
come to a violent stop at the dead-end of the cul-de-sac
development that leads into a dense forest. As the car lights stay
fixed on the thickly-grown trees, shrubs, and saplings and swarms of
summer gnats, moths, and other flying insects in the humid air, the
driver barely moves but for intensely trembling features. His
contorted and wildly twitching face soon smooths out and droops
into its original state, however, as his eyes slowly regain a glaze of
disinterest. He appears once again drained, distant, and yet now
41

somehow empty as it becomes clear that, out from the woods,


children as numerous as the trees and plants are approaching.
*
The buzzing of the insects in these summer woods has
instantaneously become the panicked breathing of yet another man
maniacally darting through seemingly nearby woods. My vision
floats above him and between the thorny vegetation brushed out of
his way that is catching on his already torn grey shorts and
somewhat bloodied ripped white tank top drenched in a sweat that
covers his convulsively yet purposely flailing body. I see some
blueish glowing orbs throughout the woods far in the distance, the
size of tall men encapsulated in iridescent and blue tube-like
unmoving flames. They seem to appear and disappear, however,
and at quickening intervals while seemingly reappearing closer and
closer to the man. Though he continues to change his course in
response to these orbs, I can now see that the orbs are dispersed in
every direction surrounding us.
As if tripping over a hidden electric current, the running man falls
electrified and shaking in violent wobbles as I look a few feet
beyond him and see an inordinately tall man, at least ten feet tall,
draped in some Native American garb, some sort of tanned leather
covered with long feathers gleaming white in the silvery moonlight.
The running man lies beaten and soaked in glistening blood as he
begins convulsing to a point where he begins shifting along the
ground closer and closer to a steep downgrade to his left. As the
pace and intensity of his ferocious jerkings strengthen, he is pushed
further and further toward what I now clearly see is not just a hill
but the edge of a rocky ravine whose jagged walls continuously
increase in steepness toward its bottom. I cannot see his fall, but I
hear his tortured gasps and cries and collisions and scrapes. My
perspective floats not to his body but onward to where the walls of
the ravine are shorter, less steep, and further apart a few hundred
yards toward a dirt road at the edge of these thick woods.
*
42

I drift toward the dirt road and notice that it is dotted with branches
seemingly fallen after some storm or storms possibly months
passedweedy grasses have grown to lean over some of them. I
stay fixed at the road's edge where I can see on its other side a small
field with gardens and crops over which the sun is slowly rising.
The sky is tinted green toward the horizon with slight strokes of
neon pink. Most of the sky is still dark, but it is quickly lightening.
As I stare into the sun, it illuminates the ground several feet beneath
me where I now notice, slowly flowing from the direction of the
ravine, a thick and glistening stream of dark red paint collecting in
the center of the road. About a quarter mile away in the direction
which I am faced, toward the field green with cabbages, corn, and
grasses of different heights, I see a car approaching, driven
cautiously and slowly. It is a maroon boxy compact car possibly
twenty years old driven by a thin young man either in his early
twenties or late teens. While he approaches, I turn my head toward
the small white ranch-style somewhat dilapidated house to my right
which I did not attend to before, lying on the edge of the field of
crops and gardens but only a few yards from the road. Toward the
right edge of the house's small yardthat is filled with rusted tires,
wheels, and parts of various automobile machinery, I notice a
large bear-like animal turned toward an old rusted and low barbedwire fence overgrown by thickets that are creeping up from the edge
of a small brook twisting out from a forest behind the field.
I turn back to the young man driving the car and can now see that he
is looking only a few feet in front of him as he drives to avoid fallen
branches of different sizes every few dozen yards. Out of the corner
of my right eye I see what must be the large animal slowly moving
away from the fence and moving between all the old equipment
filling the house's yard. As I turn back toward the house, it becomes
clear that this is not an animal but a large yet only moderately tall
man dressed in a bear suit and a leather pig mask with sewn-on
tusks and ram horns. And I can now see that he is holding a yetunlit red candle that he is waving as if to catch the attention of the
43

young driver whom he may have been waiting for. As I hear the
splash of the young man's tires through the thick red paint slowly
flowing from the forest behind me, I turn and see him staring at the
man with a candle in confusion and fear and no longer steering
along the center of the road. Veering into the edge of the forest, he
only notices the need to sharply steer back onto the road a moment
before he crunches his front bumper into a tree. At the sound of the
slight crunch, the man in the yard drops his candle and picks up an
axe hidden amongst all the other metal covering the yard. Noticing
the man's axe, the young driver rushes to back onto the road again,
but his wheels spin in the dirt of the road and forest that has mixed
with the paint carried on his wheels from a few yards back. In this
amount of time, the man in the fur suit has been able to make his
first explosive swing at the young man's window while the young
man unbuckles, grabs the backs of the two front seats to lunge
himself into the rear of the car interior, and thrusts his body as low
to the floor as he can between maps, bottles of soda, papers, and
notebooks. But the man with the axe simply lifts the handle of the
unlocked door, hurls himself into the car interior, and begins
chopping at the young man's body. With each collision of axe and
body, instead of cries or crunches, I hear bursts of electric buzzing
that become louder with each chop and in between a drone baseline
buzz increasing in volume with each intermittent burst. Slowly all
sounds around me are swallowed by the electric buzzing, though the
scene of the young man's car is still at hand and continuously further
illuminated by the rising sun with brighter yellows that melt through
the dissipating pinks and greens.
*
This scene slowly fades out as another scene slowly fades in, a view
of a small room lined with stones and cement for its walls, ceiling,
and floor, with the electric buzzing continuing from the last scene.
Lit only by the outside sun filtered through two small burrows in the
back walleach burrow covered with six vertically-positioned iron
bars, half the space in this dusty room is occupied by two six-foot
tall and wide eyeballs exactly reminiscent of the young driver's
44

hazel eyes. With each burst of continually loudening electric


buzzing, the six-foot eyes are illuminated with a slightly blue
quivering electric current as they joltingly squirt some few liters of
blood from underneath them. Blood begins flooding this small
room until the six-foot eyes are only half exposed.
*
In an instant, this scene evaporates at the pounding of the drum
which silenced the choir of weeping in the sun. Though still
overwhelming, at a lesser volume than before, the drum continues at
even intervals, accompanying a march rhythm perpetuated by
hundreds of whooping horns, small aboriginal tribal drums, rushing
rattles, and clanging bells. The collection resembles the sound of
some alien and ancient sacrificial ceremony. I am flying above an
ocean and see a high grassy cliff from which a constant stream of
bodies of female and male adults and children are leaping and being
hurled to waves and rocks far below. Beyond the edge of the cliff I
see less and less green, but, scattered throughout the limbs and
branches of each of the few bare small and curling trees I do see are
hanging intact bodies, parts of bodies, organs, parts of organs, intact
skeletons, bones, and parts of bones. I see barns and houses on fire,
the slaughtered livestock of horses, sheep, and goats, crashed cars,
and, as my flying accelerates and elevates, I see in the distance a
city bombed to the ground in the midst of a hole possibly a hundred
miles wide. Surrounding this crumbled, smoldering city of fumes
and refuse, I see an immense cloud filling the deep fiery-red
horizon. This cloud only grows as it collects dark smoke and slowly
swirling brown and grey ash from below, and it deepens the black of
the sky above it.
As I tilt down from the sky and slow near the city, in a drainage area
surrounded by the ramp of a large interstate covered in fallen
electrical wires, telephone poles, and highway lights, I see some sort
of snail as large as an average city building, and, a mile beyond that,
a bundle of hollow metal tubes as round and long as skyscrapers, as
if fallen from a gargantuan truck the size of a city itself. But, a mile
45

beyond this, a church is still standing, yet with a front door broken
in half and fallen off the hinges.
*
I pass through the doorway into this small alabaster church, and I
see cages bordering either side of the sanctuary walls that are lined
with dark blue, green, and red stained-glass windows decorated with
asymmetrical shapes. The cages are filled with female and male
children and adults screaming and crying, writhing in pain of torture
from the whips, clubs, claws, and snarls of animated human
skeletons, half-decomposed bodies, and one-horned creatures
having red scaly skin and the contorted faces of demons. My
perspective moves toward the center of the white-painted woodenfloor aisle cloaked with a long red, silky carpet. As I look up further
in front of me, I see a gilded ornate altar draped with cloth of the
same material as the red carpet on which rests a worn but gilded and
ornate bible. Beyond the altar is a black velvet curtain roped to the
ceiling, hiding the rest of the sanctuary. In front of this curtain, I see
a large and heavily muscular red-scaled two-horned man with the
face of a demon snarling and grinning while slowly lifting into view
from below his waist a crying infant wrapped in a long and narrow
white cloth. The demon lifts the infant higher to the point where it
is above its head, the demon's enormous, bulging, and tapered red
arms extended as far as possible. As the wild ceremonial music has
crescendoed to a point of torturously deafening and violent ferocity,
he lets out a much louder snarl coinciding with the last pounding of
the drum now loud enough not only to silence choirs of weeping but
also the sun. I see and hear nothing except the echoes of the
demon's last snarl. Amidst these echoes that continuously fade as
they seem to ripple in all directions around me, I hear a small boy
whisper.
"There was more bad in the world than good."

46

Unreplaced Moments
Rushing through the woods at an accelerating pace, knowing the sun
will soon set but knowing you may be lost, your mouth dries as your
stomach weakens and nearly all your muscles shake. But, you see a
lighted opening in the distance while your hopes soar and you
gently chastise yourself for doubting your navigating abilities.
Upon clearing enough branches and brushy limbs out of your way,
your lips begin to tremble and your eyes lose focus as you don't yet
believe what you are seeing: tall, yellow grass surrounded on all
sides by tall thick pines. Your mouth redries, your stomach
resickens, and your muscles reshake as you are nearly overwhelmed
with dizziness. The pungent smell of decaying weeds and grass and
untamed wildness overcomes you, but you suddenly hold stiller than
you thought you could at the sound of a low growl coming from the
woods to the right. An upright grizzly bear sniffing the air walks
closely past you as you forcefully cover your face, his frothing
mouth stained and dripping with blood. As he disappears into the
dark woods ahead of you to your left, you slowly turn at a pace that
exponentially quickens with your heart, breathing, tears, and
trembling. After about a mile of panicked running, you come to a
rocky semi-clearing where you find two bear cubs and a large adult
torn and mangled, their innards and blood spread throughout the
open area.
In the heavy rain I am in a different forest, trying to keep from
slipping on the increasingly muddying path down an increasingly
steep incline. I can see less and less in front of me and slip several
times before I confront the reality that I need to wait this out. But I
am cold and coughing and I have hurt myself from scrapes and falls.
I crouch in a convenient hut-like opening under a large fir and I rock
myself to steady my mind and rushing pulse. I turn slightly at a
small sound I think nothing of until I scrape my face on large antlers
positioned directly next to me. I rush to back up, but this large elk
47

follows me and until I slip backwards down a nearby slope I didn't


see. It is a vertical drop dug probably one hundred feet deep though
only twenty feet wide and long. I am holding onto a root jutting out
about ten feet down and violently shake as I attempt to ease my way
back up. There are no rocks or other roots to step on, so I can only
cling to the soaking dirt and after tremendous pauses of frantic
planning. I look beneath me and can't see a bottom, just the
growing rain mingling with a growing amount of water rushing
from the edge of the hole just above me. I have made little progress
up from the root I initially grabbed when I begin to slip. The rain
and rushing budding waterfall are only increasing, and the root
which I am now only loosely clinging to begins to break within the
hole's wall of soil. I see leaves, plants, and twigs start to fall from
the edge of the hole which is moving further and further away from
me as I am pushed further and further down the hole, though I cling
to the loosening mud to slow my descent. Soon, I see branches,
then limbs, then trees start to come from above, and I am slowly
crushed and drowned.
Beyond the low lighting of a small fire, we see the shadow of a tall
figure approaching us from further within this abandoned warehouse
that we have come to from the icy dark streets. Our younger brother
wakes up with a scream, his eyes still glazed, still dreaming, but
screaming with hysteric panting and convulsive shakes, his eyes
darting randomly as he screams, "The tall shadow raped! They
came and killed!"
*
From a dark and dank hallway, we enter a small room with
splintered wooden boards for the floor, ceiling, and walls, the
ceiling slanted toward two windows to the left that only overlook
other parts of the large, castle-like building that the room is a part
ofonly stone can be seen on the outside. Only the moon is
lighting this dusty room of about twenty old beds filled with
completely still and quiet sleeping girls, all seemingly overly thin,
unwashed, and generally disheveled. In the left corner of the room
48

near the door through which we peer, a round-featured older lady


whose appearance starkly contrasts theirs, dressed in nineteenth
century proper attire, sits also fallen asleep, but in a rocking chair
with crocheting needles and yarn on her lap. Suddenly, one of the
girlsthe smallest, with short black hairopens her eyes wide
enough for us to assume she had just heard the screech of something
like a ghost. She sits up with a jerk, screaming with a voice
potentially either under-used or never before used. She steadily
eyes and points toward the lady in the rocking chair who only then
opens her own eyes. All the girls wake and begin making noises of
the highest intensities and volumes allowed by their differing levels
of apparent malnutrition or disability. The small girl with black
hair, silent, with a face stern and eyes narrowed and focused, slowly
makes her way to the lady in the rocking chair who sits seemingly
paralyzed with fear. The girl whips her arm up to her mouth to bite
her wrist hard enough for blood to spill on the floor, but only
enough to form a small but clear impression of the face of Jesus.
The older woman, whose mouth is now covered by the hands of
another girl behind her, tries her best to scream as the girl with black
hair stomps out the face with her bare foot. At this point, all of the
girls seem to have been granted some magical strength, some girls
even jumping ferociously on their beds, all except one blonde-haired
taller girl who has seemingly been dead for days. The girl with
black hair runs to this dead girl as one of the others pulls open a
large door in the floor a few feet to the left of the older lady's now
violently oscillating rocking chair. The girl with black hair kisses
the dead girl, picks her up, and carries her into the area underneath
the floor, as another carefully holds up then closes the floor door
behind them. All the other girls have become wild enough for some
to violently pull the older woman's hair, hit her, and pull at her feet,
all while the woman tries more and more desperately to scream
through the hands of the girl behind her whose grip may now be
nearly suffocating. As the light from a lantern down the hall
approaches, a man who seems to be a guard enters the edge of the
room with a look of deep horror. Before he can retract his steps, one
49

of the girls grabs his lantern while another takes the blankets from
their bed to throw over the older woman. The lantern is broken over
the woman's head as she is lit on fire. Losing her paralysis, she runs
into the guard as they are both slowly consumed in flames to the
accompaniment of echoing deranged howls.
*
Into some darkened bedroom, a middle-aged woman enters to kiss
and cryingly whisper to an unresponsive elderly man. Turning her
head toward the ceiling, she takes a nearby pillow and smothers the
man, all while he remains unresponsive.
*
We see a woman laughingly conversing with a very large and
muscular socially-confident and -adept gay man, through smoke
from across the main room at a heavily-patronized old-fashioned
upscale urban bar.
Her face several years older, she is walking through shallow, narrow
concrete hallways with polished walls appearing to be composed of
separate large stone blocks. After several corners, the hallway shifts
to become more spacious and of white plaster. Thick brown
windows appear on either side at this point, appearing at even
intervals aside similarly windowed metallic doors. The woman
stops at the eleventh door on the right side of the hallway. She
enters the open door only after a length of stilly deliberating in silent
calm. The room is well-lit, even from just the pure white sky past
the room's large window.
She only approaches a short distance past the entry before being
joltingly struck at his skeletal and bruised appearance. She begins
to quiver slightly, her eyes momentarily still, but unfocused. Her
face then quickly softens and contorts, her eyes swelling. She
slowly approaches all the while, appearing in basic cognitive
composure, and enough to attempt restraining her body's tumult. He
was expecting her and smiles only as much as he can, with his eyes,
and with obvious great effort. She kneels by him as they say
50

nothing. She touches his hair and face with gentleness, still shaking
slightly. She only daintily lays her right hand on the edge of his bed
to keep minimal balance of her posture, strugglingly maintaining her
bent position with her legs and back. The man's faint shifting of
facial positioning begins to stop only after several minutes, as he
seems to let himself fall into a sleep. As the time progresses further
and further past his waking, the woman appears more and more still,
but unfocused.
She is startled slightly by the knock of a doctor who came from the
room at the start of the white hall, where there are monitors of the
machines connected to the tubes attached to the man's body. As the
woman quickly regains her composure while focusing her eyes
toward the doctor, she also begins to intensely stiffen listening to the
doctor's few even-toned speeches, her eyes slowly drifting into a
fixed limp positioning. The doctor and woman stay in their current
postures for the rest of the last minutes of Fred's last hour. Michelle
is stayed in her contorted, exact position, the doctor only generally
still.
*
I have traveled days and come only here,
to this cave filled with ice.
Yet at least it overlooks some grassy field
where some berries may grow.
But it is far
and I am weary.
So as I leave the cave
and approach a hill of snow,
I let myself sink,
and as I suffocate,
I dream of beauty,
that life is worthwhile.
Despite the destruction of modern civilization,
an emerging power of a tribal people
51

discover the frozen body of a forgotten young man


for whom they let live again in their mourning,
though his life impacted all of theirs already.

52

Curious Images

53

Unnatural Images
To the electronically manipulated and amplified sounds of water
sloshing up and down in a bottle of water, we awake from a dream
but can still see the fading, flickering image of a man in the desert
running up a distant hill of sand, his four-foot raggedy black top hat
flopping a bit as he moves jerkingly, rigidly in his tight oldfashioned black suit.
Gradually, the sound of the water fades while overlapping with the
gradually loudening tune of a harp somehow perfectly matching the
sounds of the water in time and timbre. The water becomes the
subtle sloshing of a toilet beneath us as we see through the crack in
our stall a middle-aged woman playing a large harp beyond this
1930's-fashioned bathroom's window. She is wearing a faded grey
and pink nightgown that gently blows with the wind of the currently
greyed sky.
As we stand upright on the large black and white tiled floor to
emerge from our black-painted stall, we notice about a dozen living
and dead moths of bluish to greenish pastels positioned along the
intricately carved moderately darkly stained walls, on one of the
relatively ornate sinks, and on one of the urinals opposite the
propped-open door where we exit, but not before a moth that flies
over our heads in front of us.
We notice directly ahead an ornately carved widely spiraling
staircase coated with bright red carpeting. While the moth proceeds
in that direction, we are startled by the energetic humming of a late
adolescent boy hiding under a large leather jacket while lying on a
bench to our left. He stretches his arm out slowly before peering out
smilingly, seemingly ready to get up. Something seems to cause
him to slow his singing, energy, and movements rather suddenly,
though, as he recoils into his jacket and initial silence.
54

As we continue to stare at his covered body, we are distracted by a


long-haired calico cat midway up the staircase that has begun to
meow in a loud and distraught, confused manner, apparently
prompted by our moth fluttering in its face. The cat eats the moth,
but then continues her sorrowful cry, even as we pass her, going
seemingly unnoticed.
As we climb further up, the stairs begin to wind more narrowly and
appear more worn, and as the lighting dims; by the time we reach
the top, the lighting is barely perceptible and the carpeting has
completely worn out. Directly ahead of us, a propped-open door
reveals a smoke-filled billiard from the 1830's, built with dark wood
and painted olive green. No one is at the bar, pool table, or card
table; all of the patrons, well-dressed men with long black
mustaches and beards, are all silently smoking pipes while sitting
atop very tall benches that line the walls; these benches would
require climbing to reach, as their relatively compact seats are about
five feet from the benches' base.
There suddenly appears to be some movement from under the pool
table, where a red-haired, freckled girl in pig tails and wearing a
blue and white checkered dress suddenly emerges to jump out the
window in front of us, into a hot air balloon anchored to the side of
the building. We jump in the light-toned basket with her as she
quickly unhooks the basket from the window. As we look around
us, however, we see no balloononly small green whoopee
cushions lining the rim of the small basket. Both of us desperately
squeeze the cushions over and over, as if to pump them with air,
while the basket falls furiously to the ground that appears to be at
least a mile below. We are soon hurled out of the basket onto rocks,
but we survive because the now bloodied and crushed girl has
broken our fall.
Although shocked, we begin to walk away from the girl. We soon
55

notice the basket floating now, though, as the whoopee cushions


have somehow filled extremely tightly with air. We decide to get in
to ride it wherever it driftsapparently off what is just an island,
toward a main land.
We fly over another nearby but very small island nearly covered in a
slowly-shifting fog that moves in accompaniment with the start of
some light rain. Its grassy land is mostly occupied by a small
lighthouse and very aged small fenced-in graveyard, but a small
portion separated off by a sandy shallow stream underneath a
newly-built small wooden bridge remains bare.
The next land mass over is a peninsula of main land, where, near its
tip, we jump from the basket into a rose garden in the small fencedin yard of a small wind-worn brown cottage. We peer in through a
window to see two older ladies in a kitchen, one seated at a small
table, apparently waiting for the other to bring some soup over from
a stovetop. The seated lady suddenly forcefully vomits out onto the
tablevomit also flowing to the floorseveral live baby squids,
live baby mice, large cubes of chopped cooked carrots, big and
small dead and living black spiders, small pumpkins, and various
organs, all in a steaming chicken broth. The other lady rushes over
to wave the steam from the vomit nearer to her face, exclaiming in
jubilation, "Mmmmm!"
As no one is attending to the stovetop, star-shaped noodles start
bubbling over from a heated pot, spilling all over the floor, filling
the cottage, drowning the screaming old ladies who seem to have
forgotten about their cottage's doors. The stars seep out beneath the
doors and break through the windows as we quickly move back
from the cottage. They soon multiply enough to knock us back into
the ocean, though, and now even the ocean fills with stars that rise
far above us.
We push through the growing amount of star noodles as they carry
56

us further inland and hurl us through the misty sky until we fall
through the opened sunroof of a noodle-free car driving through
windy and wooded roads. Soon after we settle in, at a sharp bend in
the road in an area thickly wooded enough to block out most of the
sun, we notice a black, shiny, stick-like yet flexible monkey-ish and
deer-ish creature quickly squiggle and shift across the road. The
driver doesn't seem to notice and we continue safely around the
bend to face a more sparsely treed area around the corner.
Ahead to our left, we see seven black buffalo running through a
marshy field filled with purple flowers. While typifying the basic
movements of running, they advance as if in slow motion; the car is
moving much faster than they.
The driver pulls off to the right to get a closer look. Even though
we are nearly jogging to follow him across the gravel road, we do
not cover enough distance to reach the buffalo, as, by the time we
reach the middle of the field, they have disappeared into the dark
woods off to the right, even at their slow pace. We peer into the
woods, but it is too dark and thick to proceed.
Our driver instead heads for the more penetrable woods of curly
pine treeswith thin foliage mostly around their topsdirectly
behind the field, further away from the road. We follow close
behind him while also darting the soggiest pockets of the marshy
purple field. Upon reaching the edge of the woods, however, we
notice that there is even less dry ground to walk on in there. Around
tree trunks and all sorts of grasses and cabbage-like plants, several
sometimes deep streams and vernal pools flow to a lake just beyond
these small woods. A bit to our left, though, we see and decide to
follow a cleared path built on top of the water.
Upon reaching the lake, for some reason, we decide to swim
through it. We choose to land at the closest shore of the other side's
grassy expansive area. After a bit of trying and waiting to dry, we
57

notice a bit in the distance to our right a small area where the ground
is filled with bananas, seeming like a desert oasis. We also see a
thin black cat wearing a clear glass jewel-dotted yellow cloth collar
winding aimlessly through these bananas that line the ground in
piles, fallen from bushes and trees above.
Much further in the distance, we begin to hear a man screaming,
running from our right to our left. He kicks up dust in a straight line
while flailing his arms and legs as if shooing invisible flying
creatures. We notice, as he comes within earshot, that he is
screaming, "Get away from me! Get away from me!" Although, it
is clear that he has neither seen us nor the cat, the only life evident
within the miles we can see in all directions.
All the contours and colors within our vision suddenly shift into
random, angular shapes of iridescent blues, reds, and greens. As
these rearrange and somehow swirl, we notice in between moments
an outline to a low hilly area where its horizon is filled with mist
before a light blue strip of a subtle sunset. We hear the heavy
breathy sound of a wide-rimmed and thick bamboo flute pouring
through all the air around us. We again wake up on the toilet of our
original bathroom where, just outside, our nightgowned lady friend
is playing a thick bass shakuhachi to accompany the setting sun.

58

Curious Exchanges
I. Barbara
Barbara [1:48 AM]: HI
Barbara [1:48 AM]: you dead?
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: ...possibly
Barbara [1:48 AM]: you have finals? of course you do. I'm writing
a 10-15 page paper right now
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: nope no finals at my school :D
Barbara [1:48 AM]: you're joking
Barbara [1:49 AM]: when do you get home? or will you be going to
sturbridge?
Schaffner32 [1:50 AM]: may 7th and will help family move for a
couple weeks
Barbara [1:50 AM]: wow you get home really early
Barbara [1:50 AM]: right after my BIRTHDAY
Barbara [1:51 AM]: can you send me something goofy for my
birthday, like a homemade card or something?
Barbara [1:51 AM]: that would make me laugh a ton I think
Schaffner32 [1:52 AM]: the movers will do big stuff in later June
when I'll be gone for a while
Barbara [1:52 AM]: my b'day may 5. remember we had my
'surprise party' at lido's. haha so fun
Barbara [1:52 AM]: ah yes
Schaffner32 [1:52 AM]: hehe
Schaffner32 [1:52 AM]: hehe... hehe.
Barbara [1:52 AM]: lol I really lol-ed, but you didn't
Barbara [1:52 AM]: prob not
Barbara [1:52 AM]: you have lots o work?
Schaffner32 [1:53 AM]: it's dwindling but yes
Schaffner32 [1:53 AM]: last day of classes today
Barbara [1:54 AM]: wow!
Barbara [1:54 AM]: that's so great
59

Barbara [1:54 AM]: dwindling good word


Barbara [1:54 AM]: I"m like just starting it all
Barbara [1:54 AM]: all the craziness
Schaffner32 [1:55 AM]: happy good for you but not cuz sad and
angry
Barbara [1:55 AM]: LOL
Barbara [1:55 AM]: why sad angyr?
Barbara [1:55 AM]: I want to be yoru friend forever
Schaffner32 [1:56 AM]: I'd prefer that you just die
Barbara [1:56 AM]: LOL!!
Barbara [1:56 AM]: I will one day
Schaffner32 [1:56 AM]: :D
Barbara [1:56 AM]: so will you
Barbara [1:56 AM]: hey- who do you think will die first?
Schaffner32 [1:56 AM]: never....
Barbara [1:56 AM]: wow, interesting idea
Schaffner32 [1:56 AM]: me
Barbara [1:56 AM]: whoever dies first...
Barbara [1:56 AM]: lol why you
Barbara [1:56 AM]: has to do soemthing
Schaffner32 [1:56 AM]: men live shorterly
Barbara [1:56 AM]: LOL good work. know
Barbara [1:56 AM]: did you liek godot?
Schaffner32 [1:57 AM]: yessum. and I always have felt that I
might die like in my 20's probably
Barbara [1:57 AM]: I don't think so
Barbara [1:57 AM]: I hope not
Barbara [1:57 AM]: I would really miss you
Schaffner32 [1:57 AM]: just kill yourself to dull the pain, then
Schaffner32 [1:59 AM]: everything is always changing and stress is
the sense of unexpected and overwhelming change
Schaffner32 [2:00 AM]: I'm going to come back from the dead and
eat you anyway, so don't worry. ;)
Schaffner32 [2:00 AM]: I meant: ":)", not ";)"
Barbara [2:08 AM]: Tim. you make me giggle. and I appreciate
60

your insight, espeically everything is always changing and stress is


the sense of unexpected and overwhelming change
[...]
Barbara [2:19 AM]: gg work on paper
Barbara [2:19 AM]: I have a giant chick candle
Barbara [2:19 AM]: you'd like it
Barbara [2:19 AM]: $10 target. but I got as a prize at chi alpha
Easter dinner
Schaffner32 [2:19 AM]: oohkay :\ (Antonia). ooh! I love chicken
candles!! :)
Barbara [2:19 AM]: ANTONIA
Barbara [2:19 AM]: goobi
Barbara [2:19 AM]: :)
Schaffner32 [2:20 AM]: okilly
Barbara [2:20 AM]: bibi
Barbara [2:20 AM]: talk to you soon hope
Schaffner32 [2:20 AM]: might die. bye
Barbara [2:20 AM]: ok bye
Barbara signed off at 2:20 AM
*
Hello! It is or was and is always a day for that was in what were a
remembrance of birth!
Happy day that was on December 14, I think that I am I don't
remember when in an exactly. You are the bird that is with dark hair
who flew up and on floor 10 but now is ski. I remember a tooth and
an ear and a foot. Have a remembrance that is yours of a day that
you are and will be and should for best be happy.
Tim
*
You're welcome for the card.
He emailed you again asking you "how about the next weekend
then" when you said you were busy this weekend? Uh oh... This
61

might be an awkward situation indeed. like following sentence:


"will be gone next weekend and
busy next and maybe next and maybe forever"
maybe he's being friendly but maybe not but I mean flirty over
"unfriendly"
"ball was fun." what kind of ball game was it? I know what you
mean, of course, though. You had a ball and you liked it. Was it
interesting or just all as expected but still good and expected as is
but was and then is is not always what is or is that will or would be
or could something that be not very interesting but still interesting
in its good.
billy
*
Barbara [12:20 PM]: grumbles online
Barbara [12:20 PM]: tha'ts mark
Barbara [12:21 PM]: wonder if he'll IM
Schaffner32 [12:21 PM]: thru up; writing professor to say sick;
can't talk; sick
Barbara [12:21 PM]: school cancelled for you today?
Barbara [12:21 PM]: ok sorry
Barbara [12:21 PM]: what wrong? diarrhea?
Schaffner32 [12:21 PM]: no; why?
Barbara [12:21 PM]: oh threw up?
Barbara [12:21 PM]: I threw up last monday
Schaffner32 [12:21 PM]: know
Barbara [12:21 PM]: snow here
Barbara [12:21 PM]: DC can't handle snow. love
Schaffner32 [12:21 PM]: that's why cancelled? dint snow much
here...
Barbara [12:22 PM]: yeah but just italian
Barbara [12:22 PM]: still ave human body at 1:15
Schaffner32 [12:22 PM]: gud
62

Barbara [12:22 PM]: hope you feel betteR?


Barbara [12:22 PM]: did you throw up in broom or on yourself?
Schaffner32 [12:24 PM]: in a trash can... don't want talk bout it.
sleep now, child.
Schaffner32 [12:24 PM]: me sleep mean
Schaffner32 [12:24 PM]: I
Barbara [12:24 PM]: ok
Barbara [12:24 PM]: ok hope you feel better
Barbara [12:24 PM]: bi
Schaffner32 [12:24 PM]: bi
Barbara [12:24 PM]: trash can like in english
Barbara [12:24 PM]: bi
Barbara [12:24 PM]: feel better soon hope
*
Barbara: fun
Barbara: still there?
Schaffner32: no
Barbara: floor mtg? bi ellen?
Barbara: o
Barbara: LOL fr
Barbara: of course iet's fr
Barbara: mark emailed me he wants to get together this weekend I
su ggested next weekend
Barbara: can I call you?
Barbara: or mtg?
Schaffner32: didn't go to flr mtg cuz person from church is online-I already left one time and he doesn't talk much so I want to talk to
him and not make him think I don't want to talk to him.....call me
later you beligerent wally-daver.
Barbara: lol
Barbara: o
Barbara: k
Barbara: hate you
Schaffner32: I know.
Barbara: wish you were dead but not
63

Schaffner32: Good.
Barbara: I don't
Barbara: don't wish you were dead
Barbara: althoguh I'm sure heaven's fun and great
Schaffner32: Ok. You should.
Barbara: no
Barbara: did you enjoy extra hour sleep?
Schaffner32: I slept much. I slept 24 hours from Fri to Sat because
I didn't sleep a few days this week, but made up for during week but
then didn't from Thu to Fri.
**
II. Mel
Schaffner32: hillo
Schaffner32: how is your head?
Mel: its ok-thank you-and yours?
Schaffner32: fine....Do you remember coming into my room last
night?
Mel: yes- im sorry- idont drink much and i had something to drink
Schaffner32: that's ok. how was your day?
Mel: odd
Schaffner32: I woke up a little while ago. I have sleep problems.
why odd?
Mel: i had those in hs-i slept like 14 hours a week for monthsummmm- well i dont know about charles and i
Mel: he is a nice boy
Mel: but
Mel: i need a nice man
Mel: haha
Mel: no
Mel: i kid
Mel: i think wed make good friends
Schaffner32: good friends or more?
Mel: i dont know- i had a boyfriend for a year-thats all ive ever
had- i dont know much about dating or relationships
64

Schaffner32: i know nothing about dating or relationships with


people I'm more attracted to....I've dated one girl and "gone out
with" one (in 7th grade--holding hands down the hall, etc.)
Mel: yes- i had a boyfriend senior year-we didnt really "date"- so
Mel: ...
Mel: we need a class on this tim
Mel: hehe
Mel: dating 101?
Mel: do you want to fix your sleeping?
Schaffner32: yes...I will but maybe never
Mel: when i couldnt sleep it was pure torture sometimes
Mel: your mind is awake
Schaffner32: I never have trouble sleeping. I just never sleep on a
good schedule and I find it easy to sleep for 24 hours or more at a
time. It's scary.
Mel: true- most people cant sleep that long
Schaffner32: yes......I think I'm depressed.....I think I could be not
depressed but I'm just in a rut...lots of stuff I'd like to finish (plays,
music,etc...) and other things
Mel: im sure oull snap out of it - its just a matter of when and how
events fall
Schaffner32: yes. things will not always be the same and always
and ever and in this and the same world like equivaletn in constancy
in math in and like it and unchanging and yes.
Mel: so true sososo true
Mel: i have slept 30mins
Schaffner32: all day?
Mel: and i am wide awake
Schaffner32: I mean since last night
Mel: yes
Schaffner32: I'm proud of you.
Mel: mmmmhhmmm danka y de nada
Schaffner32: I don't know what that means! I'm not a bloody
whore, you know!
Mel: oh- thats not what the cafeteria ladies say- winkywink
65

Mel: !!!
Schaffner32: Are you Russian?
Mel: nope
Schaffner32: Is that Russian? yes?
Mel: do i look like a spy!?!!?- its german then spanish
Schaffner32: wow. Good job.
Mel: hehehehe
Mel: when i type hehe
Mel: i mean it in an evil cackle way
Mel: like a dirty old man
Schaffner32: I love dirty old men.
Mel: you dont get that on computer lingo
Mel: ME TOO
Schaffner32: Great!
Mel: thats why im catholic
Schaffner32: I'm so jealous.....
Mel: hehehehe- too bad im not a boy though.sigh
Schaffner32: You can be. You know you can....
Mel: its so true
Mel: i have this funny song
Schaffner32: It's ok.
Schaffner32: Sing.
Mel: called my vagina
Mel: about a boy
Mel: who is made a girl
Mel: and my fav line is
Mel: now i show all my friends my new designer cut!
Mel: heheheheh haha
Schaffner32: That's precious.
Schaffner32: awww.
Mel: hehe-do you enjoy those kinds of songs?
Schaffner32: I just threw up.
Schaffner32: I like throwing up, though.
Mel: are you ok!?!!!?!?!
Mel: im concerned
66

Schaffner32: No I don't like throwing up, don't worry. I just don't


like that song very much. I'm not crying though.
Mel: im taking this girl to cvs-do you want me to buy you
something?
Schaffner32: halls.
Schaffner32: If you don't, I'll throw up.
Mel: flavor?
Schaffner32: I'll give you money. I don't care. It's hard to
swallow...
Mel: hehe
Mel: silly billy
Mel: WHAT FRIGGIN FLAVORRRRRRRRRRRR
Schaffner32: I'm sorry. Uh, uh--uh, uh....I don't know! I'm so
sorry...
Mel: THATS IT
Mel: NEVERMIND
Mel: IVE Had it with you
Mel: now clifford be a good boy and eat your cereal
Mel: hehe
Schaffner32: ok. But I don't have any cereal, ma'am.
Mel: hehe
Mel: what flavor halls would you like then?
Mel: a suprise?
Schaffner32: cereal. no, yes. a surprise would be fantastic!
Mel: ok
Mel: for you sugar- anyting!
Mel: how many packs?
Mel: one two mil?
Schaffner32: two may suffice. you don't have to. I'll give you
money--or cheese, but I don't have any cheese.
Mel: hehe
Mel: no
Mel: you can pay with your life
Schaffner32: I know.
Mel: teehee- youll be my slave
67

Schaffner32: Ok.
Mel: you can feed my roommate- she is SO DEMANDING!
Mel: you have to pet her and wash her too
Mel: take her for walks
Schaffner32: Is she ugly?
Schaffner32: I hope not.
Mel: nope
Mel: she has a little whip though
Mel: she bought it
Schaffner32: Good. Then, I'll have sex with her then eat her. I
don't like whips.
Mel: for her dominatrix costume
Schaffner32: Who's D. Omina Trix?
Mel: CVS- ill bring you the goods soon
Schaffner32: You betta, baba.
Mel is away at 7:04 PM
*
movie tonight me tinks is bueno-me come get you-i need to buy
crickets-possibly chopping?-jenga and the like-nanana
love always
spawn of evil
*
Poop is schedule for me and have to clean attic and finish school
applications and such, so I think it would be better if we went to
movie at school. Vacation did go by and it stopped soon or and will
you see. Um I am here and now and then and you and me.
Maybe we can see Big Fish first weekend (next weekend) and we
can ride the bus and maybe die. You say? How good?
Breath,
Anen?
**
III. Sheep and Nervous Vomiting
68

hate you just like hte sheep I frolicked with yesterday but I loved
them but not their poop (feces) all over the ground
*
Did they really frolick? You should show me pictures of them doing
that. (But not pooping)
*
Barbara [10:24 AM]: just threw up
Barbara [10:24 AM]: momentous morning
Schaffner32 [10:24 AM]: good/why/describe
Barbara [10:24 AM]: dunno
Barbara [10:25 AM]: might be b/c nervous
Barbara [10:25 AM]: cause had diarrhea too
Barbara [10:25 AM]: (nervous about Jake)
Barbara [10:25 AM]: but. i've never thrown up from nervousness,
so maybe not\
Barbara [10:25 AM]: gonna go sleep now. bibeastie
Schaffner32 [10:25 AM]: Did you save it? You could leave it by
his door to show him.
Barbara [10:25 AM]: LOL!!!!
Barbara [10:25 AM]: thanks for making laugh
Schaffner32 [10:25 AM]: so that he knows you care about him.
Barbara [10:25 AM]: that is so sick
Barbara [10:25 AM]: LOL!!!
Barbara [10:26 AM]: LOL!!!
Barbara [10:26 AM]: I love it. bye
Schaffner32 [10:26 AM]: I mean in a bag. Ok, bi
Barbara [10:26 AM]: just realized had sound on and K trying to
sleep bye
Barbara [10:26 AM]: LOL ew bye
Barbara [10:26 AM]: lol very funny though
Barbara [10:26 AM]: the note could say;
Barbara [10:26 AM]: "just a little something to let you know I care"
Barbara [10:26 AM]: LOL!
Schaffner32 [10:26 AM]: I didn't think it was a bad idea really.
69

Barbara [10:26 AM]: gonna sleep now. bibeeeeastie


Schaffner32 [10:26 AM]: biibiibii
Barbara [10:26 AM]: bi
Barbara signed off at 10:26 AM
*
Barbara: I want to talk to him
Schaffner32: Don't.
Barbara: Nervous. I'm probbly overanalyzing
Schaffner32: Don't overanalyze or I'll throw up on you.
Barbara: But I dont know how to act around him... I dont know if
I like him...
Schaffner32: Just be natural... Dont force anything.
Barbara: Its hard... I dont know how to do that. What should I
do?
Schaffner32: Force it.
*
Barbara: I really don't know what to do now that it's out in the open
about Robert (code name for Jake)
Schaffner32: kay. good.
Barbara: huh
Schaffner32: It's good that you don't know what to do.
Schaffner32: It's a sign of wisdom.
Barbara: what!?
Barbara: lol
1:30AM
Schaffner32: I don't know what else to say. You need to live and
learn,
Schaffner32: baba.
Barbara: baba
Barbara: black sheep
Schaffner32: No, bayb', like how Ricko Iglesis says in Hero... like
how he
says it
Barbara: LOL!!!
Barbara: baeeebi
70

Schaffner32: exacutelly.
Schaffner32: ricko iglesias. hhaa it's something else
Barbara: enrique
Schaffner32: enrico, I think. I wanted to mix Ricki Martin and him
in half. I
like how that sentence doesn't make sense and I sort of
planned it after I realized it after hearing it in my head.
Schaffner32: right, enrique
Schaffner32: I typed enrico before you typed enrique . ha--ha.
Barbara: LOL
Barbara: you didn't really laugh did you? lia
Schaffner32: (didn't really laugh--I didn't)
Barbara: liar lair pants on fire
Barbara: of course you didn't
Schaffner32: I started typing that I didn't before you accused me,
actually.
Schaffner32: :0
Barbara: you hardly ever do smileyus
Schaffner32: I'm not really smiling either.
Barbara: lol course not
Barbara: relaly lol
Schaffner32: I only laugh when someone dies.
Barbara: !! lol
Schaffner32: I actually laughed as I typed that, though...
Barbara: LOL good'
Barbara: laughing too
Schaffner32: oops clicked out. what'd you just say?
Barbara: just 'laughing too'
Schaffner32: can you send a copy of the whole im in an email thus
far?
Barbara: yeah
Barbara: why
Barbara: for movie?
Schaffner32: yes
Schaffner32: FOR REAL
71

(not saying in excited voice)


Schaffner32: usually use im conversations for the same film.... I
call it
"funny film" (for now.. it's my shorthand code name since
don't yet have title)
Barbara: LOL
Barbara: send now or later?
Barbara: won't write who said what, you'll have to cipher for self
Barbara: what made this convo funny
Schaffner32: yeah...
Schaffner32: send now.
Barbara: ok
Barbara: do ou see pic of you
Barbara: buddy icon
Schaffner32: I'll have to look through it
Schaffner32: Says "no idon"
Barbara: o
Barbara: it actually says that over "no icon"
1:40AM
Barbara: it's a lie
Schaffner32: I know. I lied.
Schaffner32: I always lie
1:45AM
Schaffner32: bye
Schaffner32: abrupt\
Barbara: no school tom?
Schaffner32: send me email first... no school, tom. you can play
with huck
and duck and luck and truck and suck and buck and chuck
and gluck and juck and kuck and kucka/kaka and muck and
nuck and puck and tuck and wuck and zuck
Barbara [1:46 AM]: oh almost forogt
Barbara [1:46 AM]: thanksk remind
Barbara [1:47 AM]: sent
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: good. never come back. tomorrow is gone
72

Barbara [1:48 AM]: bibi


Barbara [1:48 AM]: pronounced bibby
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: gigigig gigi! bi! It's a bibi!
Barbara [1:48 AM]: GIG
Barbara [1:48 AM]: GIG
Barbara [1:48 AM]: GIGI
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: bibigibigibigibi BIG!
Barbara [1:48 AM]: kepet meaning to type gigi
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: bigi fry
Schaffner32 [1:49 AM]: kepet sounds like "kepetch", how I used to
say "ketchup"....
Barbara [1:49 AM]: lol
Barbara [1:49 AM]: when baby bib/
Schaffner32 [1:50 AM]: big bi beastie... It's a big bisexual beast
performing in the musical, Gigi (there actually is one, in case you
didn't know)
Barbara [1:50 AM]: LOL!!!!
Barbara [1:50 AM]: BIB now
Barbara signed off at 1:50 AM
**
IV. Winter Break 2003
Mel [1:48 AM]: oh my
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: qor
Mel [1:48 AM]: sister is very upset
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: I mwNR QOE
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: OH SOW
Schaffner32 [1:49 AM]: OH DEdear... I didn't have my fingers in
home position...
Schaffner32 [1:49 AM]: why she upset?
Mel [1:49 AM]: she lost all her stuff
Mel [1:49 AM]: her computer
Mel [1:49 AM]: cds
Mel [1:49 AM]: clothes
Schaffner32 [1:49 AM]: I'm sure they'll find it!
73

Mel [1:49 AM]: i hope so


Mel [1:50 AM]: she did bring back guitars
Mel [1:50 AM]: i got a guitar from her
Mel [1:50 AM]: it rocks
Mel [1:50 AM]: its a classical
Schaffner32 [1:50 AM]: a girl at my church had her luggage lost
too... she went to rome. She looks like an antelope; her face. It's
very disgruntled and horrid to think about; she's not very ugly,
though.
Mel [1:50 AM]: haha
Schaffner32 [1:50 AM]: did you tell me this?
Mel [1:51 AM]: my sister resembles fivel the mouse
Schaffner32 [1:51 AM]: I know someone just got a guitar from
some country... you must've already told me; is she short?
Mel [1:51 AM]: end apparently
Mel [1:51 AM]: yeah- i told you- shes not so short- i think its her
face that looks mousey
Schaffner32 [1:52 AM]: you don't look like a mouse; maybe a
mouse-deer
Schaffner32 [1:52 AM]: I'm a distorted squirrel
Mel [1:52 AM]: my friend told me i looked like a doe
Schaffner32 [1:52 AM]: Are you sure of your birthparents?
Mel [1:52 AM]: and she has pictures of me- we call them deer in
the headlights
Mel [1:53 AM]: maybe my real dad isabig deer
Schaffner32 [1:53 AM]: I suppose.
Schaffner32 [1:53 AM]: Were you drunk in those pictures?
*
Barbara [3:18 PM]: water
Schaffner32 [3:18 PM]: eat
Barbara [3:19 PM]: yo udead?
Barbara [3:19 PM]: how are exam going, when yo ugo home, tues?
I go then
Schaffner32 [3:20 PM]: Yes, I'm dead, of course: you simpleton.
Schaffner32 [3:22 PM]: I am go home about Tues or about in then
74

and around and over and in and about in Tues or Weds I suppose.
Barbara [3:26 PM]: bus?
Barbara [3:27 PM]: I know beast
Schaffner32 [3:27 PM]: No... I have too much stuff. I think my
parents are picking me up.
Barbara [3:28 PM]: good
Schaffner32 [3:28 PM]: U?
Barbara [3:28 PM]: tues, flying
Barbara [3:28 PM]: 1 hour 10 min flight
Schaffner32 [3:29 PM]: shut up! no way! shut uuuuahuahp!
(accompanied by stupid smile(s) and laughs...)
Barbara [3:29 PM]: LOL!!!!!!
Barbara [3:29 PM]: SHUT UP!!
Barbara [4:20 PM]: bib
Barbara [4:20 PM]: have to study a lot now
Barbara [4:20 PM]: bi
Barbara [4:20 PM]: beast
Barbara [4:21 PM]: by tli soon!! SOON
*
Mel [3:15 PM]: hello demon.
Schaffner32 [3:15 PM]: I know. I wrote before if you were home,
bitch, but I suppose you were offline.
Schaffner32 [3:18 PM]: You yes at home in house or elsewhere
that is near or is or was or is in the area of which is in or of and or
your is home or house child?
Mel [3:18 PM]: yesyes
Schaffner32 [3:19 PM]: good.
Mel [3:19 PM]: tis a snowing like crazzzzzzzzy
Schaffner32 [3:19 PM]: Here it is but doesn't appear to be coming
down hard, just a lot.
Mel [3:20 PM]: mmmhm
Mel [3:20 PM]: mmmm
Mel [3:20 PM]: hmmmm
Mel [3:20 PM]: so
Mel [3:21 PM]: what is up at the syracuse universitaaaaaay
75

Schaffner32 [3:22 PM]: No.


Schaffner32 [3:22 PM]: I mean nothing. (I get those words
confused.)
Schaffner32 [3:23 PM]: I was singing really loudly and excitely
this morning at about 9 cuz I thought Charles left my room, but he
didn't. I realized this when I saw him in his bed sleeping an hour
later.
Schaffner32 [3:23 PM]: (I didn't kill him.)
Mel [3:24 PM]: damn it
Mel [3:24 PM]: you should of while you had the chance
Schaffner32 [3:26 PM]: I'm waiting; you know how it is. These
things aren't as easy as they seem. I get scared. But... whenever I
kill, I realize that the high and sense of power is what's valuable and
not the consequences. I (and you) should keep this in mind... Oh,
well. Nobody's perfect.
Mel [3:28 PM]: true.
Schaffner32 [3:30 PM]: How are the kids?
Schaffner32 [3:30 PM]: (I mean your family)
Mel [3:31 PM]: well- lucy is a wench and carol is the devil herself
Mel [3:31 PM]: all is well
Schaffner32 [3:48 PM]: Of course it is....
Mel [3:48 PM]: memories
Mel [3:49 PM]: meeeeeh
Mel [3:49 PM]: its
Mel [3:49 PM]: i like home
Mel [3:49 PM]: when my friends are here
Schaffner32 [3:49 PM]: I'm looking forward to getting out of here.
I'm so sick of Trevor 's voice (hear it right now)
Mel [3:49 PM]: but right now
Mel [3:49 PM]: haha
Mel [3:49 PM]: he is rather
Mel [3:49 PM]: .....
Mel [3:50 PM]: fill in the blank
Mel [3:50 PM]: icky?-viler?-odd?
Mel [3:50 PM]: yo no se
76

Schaffner32 [3:50 PM]: what is it... who is "he"... the devil... ?


Schaffner32 [3:50 PM]: (Are Lucy and Carol real people?)
Mel [3:51 PM]: yeah- my mom and sis
Mel [3:51 PM]: he
Mel [3:51 PM]: is trevor
[...]
Schaffner32 [4:08 PM]: my dad went to North High School in
Worcester
Schaffner32 [4:09 PM]: ........ He also is 100% Syrian
Mel [4:09 PM]: ???
Mel [4:10 PM]: is he a loaf of bread?
Mel [4:10 PM]: heheeh
Mel [4:10 PM]: what do you mean
Schaffner32 [4:13 PM]: I'm 1/2 swedish 1/2 loaf of bread (syrian)
my mom's 100 percent swedish and my dad is Syrian... it's a cool
mix (that's why I'm strange)
Mel [4:13 PM]: haha
Schaffner32 [4:16 PM]: I'll be back in a few minutes.... I have to
go potty...
Mel [4:16 PM]: k
Mel [4:30 PM]: mommy beckonms-later gator
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: I'm back.... oh... Do have a good day!
Do!
*
Mel [5:24 PM]: i love your hampster
Mel [5:25 PM]: no?
Mel [5:25 PM]: yes?
Mel [5:25 PM]: ok
Schaffner32 [5:25 PM]: I hoped you liked it; thanks.
Mel [5:25 PM]: how was your christ-mas?
Schaffner32 [5:27 PM]: It was. Bland and tasteless like mud.
Schaffner32 [5:27 PM]: Yours?
Mel [5:27 PM]: hmmm
Mel [5:27 PM]: same
[...]
77

Mel [5:33 PM]: i got a patriotic snowman pin


Mel [5:34 PM]: so exciting!
Mel [5:34 PM]: heheh
Schaffner32 [5:34 PM]: I'm proud of you. You should always
where it; it's something to be very, very proud of. Wow; you're so
lucky....
Mel [5:34 PM]: i hate that type of patriotism
Schaffner32 [5:35 PM]: You mean stupid "let's where red, white,
and blue so we can look 'patriotic' and feel cool" patriotism?
Snowmen like it.
Mel [5:35 PM]: oh they do?
Mel [5:35 PM]: nevermind then
Schaffner32 [5:36 PM]: Got question. If you leave a message
untouched (not read) in the new mail folder for aol, is it ever deleted
automatically? Hope not.
Mel [5:36 PM]: i dont think so
Schaffner32 [5:36 PM]: Gud. (Bless you, bloody monster.)
Mel [5:37 PM]: spank you hairy demon.
Schaffner32 [5:37 PM]: We gonna go somewhere and eat some
fish? Only 9 days left...
Mel [5:37 PM]: sounds good
Mel [5:38 PM]: hows about
Mel [5:38 PM]: ???
Mel [5:38 PM]: i know not when
Schaffner32 [5:38 PM]: fhadkso.
Mel [5:38 PM]: yes
Mel [5:38 PM]: thatll do fine
Schaffner32 [5:38 PM]: iohasfd ishfa ohadisf hadisfo fohadis
fohadis disfoha odisfha fohadis iohdsfa aosidhf fhdiaso oaisdfh
idosafh aosdihf fhdisoaiohsdaf fhadioso oadishf fhadiso oaisdhf
hioasdf.
Schaffner32 [5:39 PM]: what you think go where?
Mel [5:39 PM]: ........i hear japan is nice this time of day
Schaffner32 [5:40 PM]: I know; you saw Lost in Translation?
Mel [5:40 PM]: nononono
78

Schaffner32 [5:40 PM]: I want to but did so I did want to but not
really, but if it was that I did not yet see it, I'd want to even though I
didn't really before I saw it.
Mel [5:42 PM]: so
Schaffner32 [5:42 PM]: (It's almost death o'clock. Where are your
children?) So you want to go hiking in Vietnam or see a movie or
have children or shop or eat something and die?
Mel [5:42 PM]: weshall see it but not for the first time but close to
the second- not quite yes?
Schaffner32 [5:42 PM]: See what?
Mel [5:43 PM]: that thing about those people....
Schaffner32 [5:43 PM]: Kindergarten? Angels? ABC?
Mel [5:44 PM]: what weould you like to view devil?
Mel [5:45 PM]: think on this
Mel [5:45 PM]: i call you soon
Mel [5:45 PM]: this weekender
Mel [5:45 PM]: yesyes?
Mel [5:45 PM]: ok
Mel [5:46 PM]: byebye
Schaffner32 [5:46 PM]: I ok. Bye. Ok? Uob.
Schaffner32 [5:46 PM]: Bi
**
V. Mel and the Movies, Spring Semester 2004
Mel [1:36 AM]: i fucking love you
Mel [1:36 AM]: you fuck
Schaffner32 [1:36 AM]: I fucking eat your fuck
Mel [1:36 AM]: doubly.
Schaffner32 [1:38 AM]: I was just going to send something rather
disturbing... I decided not to unless you want to read it..
Mel [1:39 AM]: what type of disturbing?
Schaffner32 [1:39 AM]: dead baby joke disturbing
Mel [1:40 AM]: send it
Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: "If you ever have a baby, you know I'll eat
it before you can ever fuck it!"
79

Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: I wrote it without really thinking... was just


using word "fuck" with different ideas...
Mel [1:41 AM]: i know sweetie
Mel [1:41 AM]: heheh
Schaffner32 [1:41 AM]: Thank you bunchkin honeyface.
Mel [1:41 AM]: bunchkinface
Mel [1:41 AM]: i like that
Schaffner32 [1:42 AM]: I just pictured you in a giant hornet nest
drowning in honey... thick, engulfing honey which you choke on
and suffocate with althroughout your descencion into an eternal
grave of netheflore.
Mel [1:42 AM]: cops is the most sad show ever
Schaffner32 [1:42 AM]: "honey" made me think
Schaffner32 [1:42 AM]: why cops?
Mel [1:42 AM]: because its real people and they are sad people
Schaffner32 [1:43 AM]: they should just have a show of them all
drowning in honey, then?
Schaffner32 [1:43 AM]: well, I guess the better verb would be
"suffocating" in honey..
Mel [1:43 AM]: true.
Mel [1:43 AM]: i think it would be less sad if they did that - yes!
Mel [1:43 AM]: a solution!
Schaffner32 [1:44 AM]: not sad... vindicating.... envigorating....
vivifying... and... sexy.
Mel [1:44 AM]: hehehe
Schaffner32 [1:44 AM]: you know.... hehehe....
Mel [1:44 AM]: hehe?
Mel [1:44 AM]: he?
Schaffner32 [1:45 AM]: many he's...
Schaffner32 [1:46 AM]: steve, green sweater boy, and george...
Mel [1:47 AM]: true true
Mel [1:47 AM]: i have no hes
Mel [1:47 AM]: tooo bad
Schaffner32 [1:48 AM]: he, he, and he. oh, don't worry. I don't
"have" all of them, yet. I just have their souls. You can too.
80

Mel [1:48 AM]: please?


Schaffner32 [1:49 AM]: you know how
Mel [1:50 AM]: cut off there hairs and put it in honey!?!!?
Mel [1:52 AM]: noyes?
Mel [1:52 AM]: tim.
Schaffner32 [2:00 AM]: (sigh).... you have to follow your heart,
honey
Mel [2:00 AM]: sigh
Mel [2:00 AM]: tim
Schaffner32 [2:00 AM]: sorry I was gone for so long. I promise
that I'll never leave you nor forsake you or be a bad god.
Mel [2:00 AM]: thank you jesus.
Schaffner32 [2:01 AM]: thank YOU, Martha.
Mel [2:01 AM]: teehee
Schaffner32 [2:02 AM]: it's not a joke.
Mel [2:02 AM]: i know
Schaffner32 [2:02 AM]: ok.
Mel [2:02 AM]: i like you tim
Mel [2:02 AM]: you make a good person-thingy
Schaffner32 [2:03 AM]: (thanks... I think that I wish I was better at
being water, though) you make a bad sponge, but a good housewife
Mel [2:03 AM]: i wish i were a better sponge- but how i love to
wash dish!
Schaffner32 [2:04 AM]: I wash dish when my don is dead; he
comes and gets replacement but then again by he I mean him or
another person who is not dead you know and feet.
Schaffner32 [2:04 AM]: do you like apples?
Mel [2:11 AM]: sometimes
Schaffner32 [2:11 AM]: good. I look like a girl in this shirt
Mel [2:12 AM]: sex.
Schaffner32 [2:13 AM]: I know. knowie actually is a better word.
It sounds nicer and they should've chosen it in the court of law over
that other one.
Mel: whats time we go to movie?
81

Schaffner32: fuck you bitch


Mel: okay!
Schaffner32: I'd rather eat your hair than eat you
Mel: so 2?
Mel: hehe
Schaffner32: uhhh... have you eaten yet? the last bus leaves the mall
at like 6 so we have to be done at the mall by then... I have to check
the fucking movie times now...
Mel: im gonna look p times
Mel: NO ILL CHECK THEM BEEEAITCH
Schaffner32: ock. (one syllable work over two-syllable "o.k.")
Mel: its at 410
Mel: shitter
Schaffner32: shitter momma..... but actually.... how long is it?
Mel: hold ons
Mel: 2h 6m
Schaffner32: oh I have to check the schedule in my room til I know
for sure...
do you want to do that for me? I'll give you my key... I'm talking to
a few people and am lazy. I'll make you my slave.
Mel: im not yo bitch mama
Schaffner32: I aint yo mama, bitch
Mel: clever devil
Schaffner32: did you eat yet?
Mel: no chupa
Schaffner32: I so hungry... maybe I go to room then meet you at
dining and maybe if it turns out bus sched is good then we go?
Mel: yes maam
Schaffner32: ock... I'll go to room now.
Mel: ockggle
Schaffner32: yes indeed, Evil One.
Mel: byebye skank
*
Mel [4:43 PM]: quick shower
Schaffner32 [4:44 PM]: not quick enough...
82

Mel [4:45 PM]: mwa


Mel [4:45 PM]: haha?
Schaffner32 [4:45 PM]: no.
Schaffner32 [4:45 PM]: this isn't a joke. not this time, barabara.
Schaffner32 [4:46 PM]: you masterpiece of dwelv-ed-anchorchiefs.
Mel [4:47 PM]: yep
Schaffner32 [4:48 PM]: don't be fresh with me, kaka-faced-lunikar
of hennity.
Mel [4:55 PM]: poopooey
Mel [4:55 PM]: on
Mel [4:55 PM]: youey
Schaffner32 [4:56 PM]: eat your OWN shit, Lutard.
Mel [4:57 PM]: are you calling me a TARD?!!?!?!
Schaffner32 [4:57 PM]: a LUtard.
Mel [4:57 PM]: yeah
Mel [4:57 PM]: well
Mel [4:58 PM]: youre a pootard
Schaffner32 [4:59 PM]: I know that. So when is bus coming?
Schaffner32 [4:59 PM]: I'm peeing now...
Schaffner32 [4:59 PM]: I mean I am going to potty-room. Will be
back on a day like this sometime.
Mel [5:00 PM]: i
Mel [5:00 PM]: love
Mel [5:00 PM]: pee
Mel [5:00 PM]: who would a thought?
Schaffner32 [5:02 PM]: Today is the day of return. Here I am. And
I peed.
Schaffner32 [5:02 PM]: Peeed, rather.
Mel [5:02 PM]: congrats
Mel [5:02 PM]: im way wicked proud stoked
Mel [5:15 PM]: dinig hall at 530 beeeaitch
Mel [5:16 PM]: be there
Mel is away at 5:17 PM
Schaffner32 [5:17 PM]: k... on phone with mom; tiet came in and
said "gayly" "tim, ready for our date?" and I was quick to explain
83

I'm going in a GROUP.. :)


Mel [5:17 PM]: HAHA
Mel [5:17 PM]: CUTE
Mel [5:17 PM]: byebey'
Schaffner32 [5:17 PM]: bi
*
Mel [2:51 PM]: sucky sucky?
Schaffner32 [2:51 PM]: playing flute loudly, shaved chest,
stomach, and croch
Mel [2:51 PM]: no way
Mel [2:51 PM]: no
Mel [2:51 PM]: way
Mel [2:52 PM]: isnt it crotch?
Schaffner32 [2:52 PM]: oh, yeah. I knew it looked funny.
Schaffner32 [2:52 PM]: want to have sex in sand and fog in a house
with jennifer connelly?
Mel [2:54 PM]: tonight?
Mel [2:54 PM]: what time?
Mel [2:54 PM]: look em up hoho
Schaffner32 [2:55 PM]: sure, fucky poopy face
Mel [2:59 PM]: ehem?
Schaffner32 [3:01 PM]: 3:25 , 7:10 , 10:00
Mel [3:01 PM]: 710?
Mel [3:01 PM]: ?
Mel [3:01 PM]: ???
Schaffner32 [3:01 PM]: two movies or just one?
Mel [3:01 PM]: ????????
Mel [3:01 PM]: ????
Mel [3:01 PM]: ?
Mel [3:02 PM]: whens the last bus?
Mel [3:02 PM]: we can sneak in to 2
Mel [3:02 PM]: is there a bus at 12?
Schaffner32 [3:03 PM]: don't know... it says somewhere... free
bus.... not sure of sched will check thou
Mel [3:03 PM]: kkk
84

Schaffner32 [3:04 PM]: I love those people.


Mel [3:04 PM]: its like cub scouts with cooler uniforms
Mel [3:07 PM]: oh fuckface
Mel [3:07 PM]: lets go to the 10
Mel [3:07 PM]: what say you?
Schaffner32 [3:08 PM]: but, what if bus ain't come back at later
when we be done and take taxi?
Mel [3:08 PM]: yesm
Mel [3:08 PM]: me tinks wed end up taking one anywho
Mel [3:09 PM]: kkk?
Mel [3:09 PM]: k.
Schaffner32 [3:09 PM]: well, we could make it so we wouldn't
have to if you want... you don't mind payiiing?
Mel [3:10 PM]: no
Mel [3:10 PM]: me tinks its like
Mel [3:10 PM]: 8 bucks
Mel [3:10 PM]: 4 + 4?
Schaffner32 [3:12 PM]: ADULT: $8.25
SENIOR: $6.00
CHILD: $6.00
Mel [3:13 PM]: for the cab turd
Schaffner32 [3:13 PM]: YOU will only have to pay $6 because
you're a child... an immature excuse for the mother that you are.
Mel [3:13 PM]: true.
Mel [3:13 PM]: and you will pay 6
Mel [3:14 PM]: poor excuse for an elderly childmolester if i ever
saw one
Schaffner32 [3:14 PM]: I try.
Mel [3:19 PM]: so what bus should we take?
Schaffner32 [3:28 PM]: 910 bus to get there at 943; 758 to get there
at 828; I'd rather latter b/c would like to get a few things... you?
But, if we went for 710 film, could take bus back and save money.
What think?
Mel [3:29 PM]: why does it take so long to get there?
Mel [3:29 PM]: me tinks there is a direct bus on friday
85

Mel [3:33 PM]: okok


Mel [3:33 PM]: i want to buys some things too
Mel [3:33 PM]: so
Mel [3:33 PM]: wait
Schaffner32 [3:33 PM]: yea...dat's the sched I have... I don't have
other one
Mel [3:34 PM]: hmmmm
Mel [3:38 PM]: 605 from bb
Mel [3:38 PM]: ??
Mel [3:38 PM]: ?
Mel [3:38 PM]: ?
Mel [3:38 PM]: ?///
Mel [3:38 PM]: one of the buses leaves
Schaffner32 [3:40 PM]: where didst thou hear this.
Mel [3:40 PM]: billy
Schaffner32 [3:40 PM]: who the bloody hell is he????!!!!!!!
Mel [3:41 PM]: my bitch.
Schaffner32 [3:41 PM]: I know that, you bloody fool from Hell's
mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Schaffner32 [3:48 PM]: sooo.... where did you really hear that? I
know you were lying about Billy.
Mel [3:48 PM]: Bill
Mel [3:48 PM]: he vants to come
Mel [3:48 PM]: vith tiet
Mel [3:48 PM]: what say you?
Mel [3:48 PM]: kkk?
Schaffner32 [3:51 PM]: oh... really? Bill on my floor? I love him.
Mel [3:52 PM]: good
Mel [3:52 PM]: he and tiet are coming
Schaffner32 [3:53 PM]: I mean... I love how he tastes....
Schaffner32 [3:53 PM]: good
Mel [3:53 PM]: yummay
Schaffner32 [3:55 PM]: ask billy where he knows the brewster time
from
Mel [3:56 PM]: some schedile he has
86

Schaffner32 [3:56 PM]: I don't believe him... I'm going to his room
right now.
Mel [3:57 PM]: dont hurt him
Schaffner32 [3:57 PM]: never mind... ask him if he's used it to go
to the carousel before. if he says no, only *then* I'll hurt him, don't
worry.
Mel [3:58 PM]: yea he hast
Schaffner32 [3:58 PM]: is that supposed to be "has" or "hasn't" you
silly little no-fingered handicap!
Mel is away at 3:59 PM
Mel [3:59 PM]: has
Schaffner32 [3:59 PM]: fine. He better believe himself or else he'll
be not again and again and thus unconqueshed.
Mel [4:00 PM]: kkk
[...]
Schaffner32 [4:08 PM]: I ain't a stupid blowhole, Mary.
Mel [4:08 PM]: yes you are
Mel [4:08 PM]: your my fav blowhole
Schaffner32 [4:08 PM]: thank you.
Mel [4:14 PM]: meet me downstairs
Mel [4:14 PM]: we are going to buy crickets
Mel [4:14 PM]: nownow
Schaffner32 [4:15 PM]: what?
Mel [4:16 PM]: we need to take a taxi
Mel [4:16 PM]: to get crickets
Mel [4:16 PM]: for my gecko
Mel [4:16 PM]: nownow
Mel [4:16 PM]: NOW
Mel [4:16 PM]: does your phone work?
Schaffner32 [4:16 PM]: yes... call and explain now.
Mel [4:16 PM]: nono
Mel [4:16 PM]: can you call sutaxi and tell them to come to bb
Mel [4:17 PM]: we need to be driven to 3150 eerie blvd.
Mel [4:17 PM]: to petco
Mel [4:17 PM]: im paying- i just want some company
87

Mel [4:18 PM]: ??


Schaffner32 [4:18 PM]: how far is?
Mel [4:18 PM]: like 2 miles
Mel [4:18 PM]: are ye calling?
Mel [4:18 PM]: quickly son!
Schaffner32 [4:19 PM]: ok. I need pants... I'll call in a minute...
Mel [4:19 PM]: k
Mel [4:22 PM]: ??/
Schaffner32 [4:22 PM]: first place said they have nothing available
until 530/6... I'll call another place...
Mel [4:22 PM]: did you call
Mel [4:22 PM]: su taxi?
Schaffner32 [4:23 PM]: yeah... there are many numbers for diff taxi
places.... I'll call another now
Mel [4:23 PM]: nono
Mel [4:23 PM]: its
Mel [4:23 PM]: 4SUTAXI
Mel [4:23 PM]: is the number
Schaffner32 [4:25 PM]: 1800 or 1315... called 3 more places and
they ALLL said they have NOTHING available for an HOUR?? I'll
try this place...
Schaffner32 [4:25 PM]: 800 or 315?
Mel [4:25 PM]: the ara code one
Mel [4:25 PM]: area code
Schaffner32 [4:26 PM]: yes.. . I already called that one.. I'm
serious. this is weeeeird. call for yourself and see what I mean ... I
called 3 places... the only three places I have on this list received
from SU...
Mel [4:26 PM]: or is it 443- damn it
Mel [4:27 PM]: im so confused
Mel [4:27 PM]: hmmm
Schaffner32 [4:27 PM]: I looked at the numbers/letters on them,
and SUTAXI corresponds to one I dialed.. I'm confused too! How
can they ALLLL have NOTHING available?
Schaffner32 [4:27 PM]: maybe b/c of storm??? I donno...
88

Mel [4:27 PM]: true


Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: I really don't understand.
Mel [4:28 PM]: my poor little gecko will have to go without food
for a day
Mel [4:28 PM]: the place closes at 5
Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: is there a place at the mall?
Mel [4:28 PM]: i dont think so
Mel [4:28 PM]: its ok
Mel [4:29 PM]: the book says he can go up to a week
Mel [4:29 PM]: without food
Mel [4:29 PM]: so
Mel [4:29 PM]: i think a day is alright
Mel [4:31 PM]: k
Mel [4:31 PM]: shower time
Mel [4:31 PM]: must go
Mel [4:31 PM]: i smell
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: oh shit... you should email him and tell
him to eat you or that you should eat him or request either of him
Mel [4:32 PM]: hell be good
Mel [4:32 PM]: he ate three last night
Mel [4:32 PM]: so hes ggoood
Mel [4:32 PM]: kkk
Mel [4:32 PM]: peace
Schaffner32 [4:33 PM]: have good showa
*
Schaffner32 [1:03 AM]: Hi. How are you? Obviously I'm kidding;
I mean to say that I wish to eat you.
Mel is away at 1:04 AM
Mel [1:04 AM]: i am fine
Mel [1:04 AM]: and by that
Mel [1:04 AM]: i mean
Mel [1:04 AM]: i want you to eat me
Mel [1:04 AM]: goodnight my cannibalistic love
Mel [1:05 AM]: i will see the on the morrow
Schaffner32 [1:05 AM]: yes... I'll finally do my reading now
89

**
VI. Randomness
Yanks42423 [11:28 PM]: u there fuckha
Auto response from Schaffner32 [11:28 PM]: "...some argue that
marriage is for procreation, but if so, a fertility test as well as a
blood test would be required. "
Yanks42423 [11:38 PM]: gotta ask you something when you get up
or get back or wherever the fuck ya are
Yanks42423 [11:39 PM]: good bye porter
Schaffner32 [1:39 AM]: yes?
Auto response from Yanks42423 [1:39 AM]: As Ahnold would say
"I'll be bach"
Yanks42423 [1:40 AM]: were you the one that busted the suite?
Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: nope
Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: how'd you hear
Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: it was Trevor
Yanks42423 [1:40 AM]: my roommate was in there
Yanks42423 [1:40 AM]: WHAT?
Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: Trevor said I should before so that's why I
suspect it was him
Schaffner32 [1:40 AM]: I don't think it's right to "rat" people out
Yanks42423 [1:41 AM]: exactly
Schaffner32 [1:41 AM]: they all probably assume it was me though
cuz I always them to turn their loud obnoxious bass down
Yanks42423 [1:41 AM]: i wasnt here my roommate told me
Schaffner32 [1:42 AM]: why would Trevor do it though when he's
been in there on similar occasions
Schaffner32 [1:42 AM]: what'd he say "Tim ratted us out"?
Yanks42423 [1:42 AM]: no, but he said that you complained
Yanks42423 [1:42 AM]: he didnt accuse you
Yanks42423 [1:44 AM]: its funny you mentioned that trevor was
acting weird earlier
Schaffner32 [1:44 AM]: is he maybe... dead?
Schaffner32 [1:45 AM]: sometimes bodies still flinch after they
90

have died
Yanks42423 [1:46 AM]: i dont know but he has something against
diego and adam, because they said he cheated in the basketball pool
Schaffner32 [1:46 AM]: childish childish... did he win that thing?
how much did he get?
Yanks42423 [1:49 AM]: thats the thing he got disqualified so tyler
and i split the money because we tied for second
Yanks42423 [1:49 AM]: and he claimed he didnt cheat
Yanks42423 [1:50 AM]: but adam diego didnt believe him and now
there is thing between them so their is motive for this action
Schaffner32 [1:51 AM]: he'll probably deny it and say it was me...
he probably would've rather me do it so he wouldn't get the wrap but
then when I said no he must've
Schaffner32 [1:57 AM]: why are you dead?
Yanks42423 [1:59 AM]: because you are a fucking sewer dwelling
piece of shit scumbag motha-fuckha
Schaffner32 [1:59 AM]: like yo mamma
Schaffner32 [2:00 AM]: ooh snap!
Yanks42423 [2:00 AM]: crackle and pop
Schaffner32 [2:01 AM]: mmhhHHHHHMMmmmm
Ya n k s 4 2 4 2 3
[2:04
AM]:
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuh
Schaffner32 [2:05 AM]: so what's your favorite cat?
Yanks42423 [2:06 AM]: i hate cats
Yanks42423 [2:06 AM]: im an africanized bee person myself they
make the best pets
Yanks42423 [2:06 AM]: for sure
Schaffner32 [2:07 AM]: so everything from Africa is bad you say?
Yanks42423 [2:08 AM]: i didnt say that i said africanized bees
make the best pets wat are you talking about you fucking cunt
Schaffner32 [2:08 AM]: you're an awful sexist villain from Detroit
Yanks42423 [2:11 AM]: yes of course
Schaffner32 [2:12 AM]: don't state the obvious so often, it makes
you appear brudish!
Schaffner32 [2:14 AM]: and also dull or creatious!
91

Yanks42423 [2:14 AM]: smart thinking and while your at it why


dont you beat on your cock and balls for a while
Schaffner32 [2:14 AM]: only if you'll dance naked for me
Schaffner32 [2:20 AM]: well... you don't *have* to
Yanks42423 [2:21 AM]: good it will help you avoid cancer
Yanks42423 [2:24 AM]: right
Schaffner32 [2:25 AM]: exactly
Schaffner32 [2:25 AM]: I was peeing just now
Schaffner32 [2:28 AM]: into a baby's throat
Schaffner32 [2:29 AM]: I drank a lot of water before so I knew I'd
pee for a long time so that it'd be long enough for the baby to
suffocate from pee pouring into its trachea and preventing sweet,
ripe breath that is so invigorating to witness in its most vulnerable
moments and finally taken away by me, making me feel so much
more powerful and spirited.
Yanks42423 [2:35 AM]: :-)
Schaffner32 [2:35 AM]: now I'll come to pee in your throat as you
sleep
Schaffner32 [2:36 AM]: you never just type smileys... I guess you
were too turned on by the thought of the baby dying
Schaffner32 [2:37 AM]: :) sweet dreams/death
*
shaggy1231232001: what is your name?
shaggy1231232001: ??
Tim: pipu
shaggy1231232001: huh
Tim: well, the full version is dahki-pipu
Tim: but it's kind of embarassing
shaggy1231232001: wrong person
Tim: glad you aren't making fun of it like most ppl do
shaggy1231232001: huh
shaggy1231232001: that is your name
Tim: geez! what is wrong with ppl.... yes, my name is dahki-pipu.
is there a problem???
Tim: My dad's family is Indian so they chose my first name for me
92

shaggy1231232001: ok
shaggy1231232001: i was not making fun of your name
Tim: ready? the full name is dahki-pipu lafti lafti genitalianiss
shaggy1231232001: ok
shaggy1231232001: cool
Tim: most ppl just call me pipu genitalia though
Tim: can you imagine elementary school where I got called pipi and
pupu? you try living with it... what were my parents thinking...
shaggy1231232001: are you serious
Tim: there you go again! I'm crying now! I'm just crying
ahhhhh!!!!!!!!
Tim: I hear the voices all over again...
shaggy1231232001: sorry
Tim: mocking children..
shaggy1231232001: i am not trying to make fun of you
shaggy1231232001: really
Tim: peepee! poopoo!
shaggy1231232001: i just think it is an unusual name is all
Tim: I'm just going to eat myself! Ahh! There I go! there goes a
chunk of flesh! look what you've made me do!!!!!
Tim: well, it's not unusual!
shaggy1231232001:
Tim: don't worry... I have a flesh-eating problem; it's not usually
with me, though; it's usually with people I start getting close to. and
then it happens... it's a reported condition so I have an excuse
shaggy1231232001: ok now you are just acting weird
Tim: weird??? are you making fun of me again!!!
shaggy1231232001: sleep deprievity creeping in
Tim: hehehe
Tim: actually... my name is Tim
shaggy1231232001: that is what i thought
shaggy1231232001: nice story though
Tim: I know; thank you
shaggy1231232001: hehe
*
93

thescottydoo: hey
timdb85: hey what's up?
thescottydoo: nothing much, yourself?
timdb85: I'm eating a penguin, you?
timdb85: :-)
thescottydoo: the poor penguin!
timdb85: and he was cute too :-(
*
timdb85: do you have any grandchildren?
LaVieBoheme1221: personally... no
timdb85: hehe
timdb85: you could have a one-year-old grand child by now
timdb85: when you were twelve... and then when your daughter
was 9
timdb85: it's very possible
LaVieBoheme1221: true
LaVieBoheme1221: but... not really
LaVieBoheme1221: you have any grand kids?
timdb85: of course, I have seven!
timdb85: no.
timdb85: would like one, though.
*
mirililly [3:58 PM]: hey timmy!
Schaffner32 [3:59 PM]: helloooooooo! How is Charlie in the
bathed morning sun?
mirililly [3:59 PM]: simply marvelous! and thyself?
Schaffner32 [4:00 PM]: Only what is not of thine elinguished
masterpiece.
Schaffner32 [4:00 PM]: How is band if you art thou in?
mirililly [4:01 PM]: oh i am
mirililly [4:01 PM]: its still great :)
mirililly [4:01 PM]: hows college treating you?
mirililly [4:01 PM]: i havent seen you in ages! i miss you
Schaffner32 [4:03 PM]: I'm not real, don't worry. College is angry
with me, but it gave me good ratings, yet it's too strict a bit with
94

policies which I need to adapt to so we can better get along. :) I


like most things about it.
mirililly [4:04 PM]: lol
mirililly [4:04 PM]: well thats good
*
Tim: so how's your love life?
Tim: a bit personal, sorry
jasowu: its ok
jasowu: um
jasowu: just dating
jasowu: i guess
jasowu: pining on occasion for a past guy
jasowu: but getting over that
Tim: good; healthy to keep dating after a breakup
Tim: though of course I've never really dated or been in a
relationship, I know what's good to do
jasowu: its hard
jasowu: but yunno
jasowu: kinda just getting myself back togethere
Tim: we should all be born ajoined to a soul mate whom we are
compatible with in every way and would never think of breaking up
with
jasowu: you and me
jasowu: hehe
Tim: who knows
Tim: no two people are "perfect" for each other though
jasowu: well certainly
Tim: i like to state obvious facts like I invented them
jasowu: its good to sound confident
jasowu: jsut not arrogant
jasowu: hehe
Tim: apdy
jasowu: what is that
Tim: I wrote that cuz I didn't know what to say
jasowu: go to bed
95

Tim: so I thought if i typed something you wouldn't notice that it


was nonsense
*
Diana: tim you're still online
Schaffner32: I'm in the lobby of "our" dorm now... was in room
Diana: is Charles in the room
Schaffner32: he went home for wkend! Yah!
Diana: it seemed like he always went home for the weekend
Schaffner32: baby
Diana: do his parents pick him up
Diana: or does he get a ride
Schaffner32: I dunno. he never tells me anything and I hence don't
really caya
Diana: oh
Diana: you can go on AIM from the lobby of the dorm
Schaffner32: maybe he'll crash on his way back... hopefully.
Schaffner32: oh yeah...
Diana: wow
Schaffner32: my internet explorer isn't working so I have to use
AOL on my laptop so my family can't use online and they get
madddddddddddddddddd and eat children
Diana: why is your internet explorer not working
Diana: don't you have the ethernet cable
Schaffner32: I'm humming ethnically (middle-eastern-y) and I have
400+ viruses and I never brought it for a repair after it was
diagnosed.. I should
Diana: i doubt you have 400+ viruses
Diana: i think your computer would be dead if you had 400+ viruses
Schaffner32: that's what they told me...
Schaffner32: do you doubt CMS????!!!!
Diana: what is CMS
Schaffner32: They showed me the diagnosis program's results and
that's what it said. Computer and Media Services, foo'.
Diana: oh
Diana: i forgot
96

Diana: hmmm
Schaffner32: pretending I'm drumming bongos which are really the
computer table now...
Diana: haha
Schaffner32: you should be too
Diana: i wish a dining hall or something was open
Diana: it stinks when you want to eat and you can't
Schaffner32: where have you eaten? just eating walls/carpeting,
etc.?
Diana: yeah
Diana: the usual
Diana: sometimes i eat chapstick
Schaffner32: you're such an animal.
Schaffner32: do you really?
Diana: yeah
Schaffner32: no you don't
Diana: and notebooks
Schaffner32: nutuh giiahrl
Diana: how should i respond to that
Schaffner32: I said nut-uh "girl" with a ghetto accent
Diana: what does "nut-uh" mean
Schaffner32: say it out loud and you'll know
Schaffner32: don't pronounce the t very much
Schaffner32: it's more nuh(t)-uh.
Diana: oh
Diana: maybe i'll try it
Schaffner32: I'm going to have to log off and then on again.
Diana: ok
Schaffner32: all betta
Diana: good i'm glad
Diana: r u in your room now
Schaffner32: no... I had to refresh aol here to see pics someone sent
me in an email
Schaffner32: it was yo mamma
Diana: i don't have a mom
97

Schaffner32: awkward.. sorry about that.


Diana: j/k
Diana: i have a mom but i don't really like her
Schaffner32: ohhhhhhhhhhhhh good
Schaffner32: I know you do, anyway... I just forgot for a minute I
guess :-)
Schaffner32: that would suck if you were serious... for you and me;
I'd eat myself, you know.
Diana: no i'm not serious
Schaffner32: I know.
Schaffner32: can you poop on the floor, please?
Diana: technically yeah
Schaffner32: sorry, "would you?"
Diana: in the bathroom
Diana: you'd have to; you can't hold it in
Schaffner32: I mean, would you please do it on the floor. I just want
to see what happens... actually, do it on your roommate's bed and
say you wanted to introduce yourself in a unique way. I'm just
curious to how they'd react and how that'd play out....
Diana: hey i have to go to the health center to fill out some forms
Diana: yeah i might do that
Diana: i'll talk to you later ok
Diana: bye
*
fivelittlemonkeys:
should save some profound thoughts for
tomorrow
Schaffner32: you're not a rat ....are you? I don't think I've ever
seen, and I've definitely never spoken with a rat....
fivelittlemonkeys: being a cat person i wouldnt think you would
have
fivelittlemonkeys: if your cats are worth anything
Schaffner32: I think my cats are rats....because it all rhymes.
fivelittlemonkeys: bats are bald rats in french
fivelittlemonkeys: bye
fivelittlemonkeys: i have to go
98

Schaffner32: I'm not that good at French, I just remember that


seniore means tomato. Goodbye."
*
lilmacdaddy80: I have alot of bills in April
lilmacdaddy80: taxes and all
lilmacdaddy80: and car registration and inspectioini
lilmacdaddy80: insurance , car and credit cards
lilmacdaddy80: ugghhhhh
Schaffner32: stinks
Schaffner32: just run away!
Schaffner32: :-)
**
VII. Summer to Fall 2004
Diana [10:30 PM]: James!
Diana [10:30 PM]: so you didn't call my house
Diana [10:30 PM]: !
Schaffner32 [10:31 PM]: no, sorry.
Diana [10:31 PM]: is this James?
Diana [10:31 PM]: that i'm talking to
Schaffner32 [10:33 PM]: that's what I signed the email as!
Diana [10:33 PM]: yeah
Diana [10:33 PM]: so who called my house then?
Diana [10:33 PM]: Bob?
Diana [10:34 PM]: your other personality
Diana [10:38 PM]: .ok i'm gonna take a shower
Schaffner32 [10:38 PM]: no; jeremy. I don't know who the fuck.
Diana [10:38 PM]: what
Diana [10:38 PM]: who the fuck what?
Schaffner32 [10:39 PM]: you the fuck.
Diana [10:39 PM]: tim!
Diana [10:39 PM]: that's mean
Diana is away at 10:39 PM
Schaffner32 [10:40 PM]: mean? what are you talking about?
*
99

Schaffner32 [4:06 PM]: hey


Mel [4:07 PM]: hello kitten
Mel [4:07 PM]: guess what?
Mel [4:07 PM]: andrea cut off her finger!
Mel [4:07 PM]: a piece
Schaffner32 [4:07 PM]: you bought one?
Mel [4:07 PM]: of her thumb
Schaffner32 [4:07 PM]: Andrea oh no!
Schaffner32 [4:07 PM]: I remember her
Schaffner32 [4:07 PM]: did she go to the hospital? (duh)
Schaffner32 [4:08 PM]: did they sew it back on?
Mel [4:09 PM]: no they couldnt find it
Mel [4:09 PM]: so the top of her thumb is missing
Schaffner32 [4:09 PM]: eww
Mel [4:09 PM]: mmmmmmmhm
Schaffner32 [4:09 PM]: meat chopper?
Schaffner32 [4:10 PM]: oh I assumed it happened at work
Schaffner32 [4:12 PM]: how'd it happ?
Mel [4:13 PM]: meat chopper
Mel [4:13 PM]: turkey to be evact
Mel [4:13 PM]: exact
Schaffner32 [4:13 PM]: blood flavored turkey
Schaffner32 [4:13 PM]: well I'm glad it happened to her
Schaffner32 [4:17 PM]: hey, do you have a banquet tomorrow night
at 7?
Mel [4:20 PM]: wha?
Schaffner32 [4:20 PM]: oh, guess not. Just wondering.
Mel [4:21 PM]: do ye?
Schaffner32 [4:22 PM]: ok, I was just hoping because this girl who
I've been ignoring for a long time has a party and my parents and I
are invited and I have to find an excuse not to go
Schaffner32 [4:22 PM]: I'll just say you or someone have a banquet
and invited me
Schaffner32 [4:22 PM]: haha
Mel [4:24 PM]: when is this
100

Mel [4:24 PM]: ?


Mel [4:24 PM]: tomm?
Schaffner32 [4:24 PM]: yeah
Mel [4:24 PM]: you can come over
Mel [4:25 PM]: im not doing nothing
Schaffner32 [4:25 PM]: I was just making a joke
Schaffner32 [4:25 PM]: I never want to see you again, really
Schaffner32 [4:25 PM]: a have a picture of you that I poop on every
night
Mel [4:25 PM]: hahaha
Mel [4:25 PM]: thank god.
Schaffner32 [4:26 PM]: I know...
Mel [4:26 PM]: i pee on yours
Schaffner32 [4:26 PM]: I know!!
Schaffner32 [4:26 PM]: but do you want to see the manchurian
candidate maybe?
Mel [4:26 PM]: i sawed it
Mel [4:26 PM]: twas good
Schaffner32 [4:26 PM]: ooo
Mel [4:26 PM]: we could see something else
Mel [4:27 PM]: possibly
Schaffner32 [4:27 PM]: possibly
Schaffner32 [4:27 PM]: we don't have to
Schaffner32 [4:27 PM]: but anything is possible
Mel [4:28 PM]: or we could do elsesomething
Mel [4:28 PM]: hah
Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: find George?
Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: no
Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: I don't know who that is
Mel [4:28 PM]: hah
Mel [4:28 PM]: yes you do
Mel [4:28 PM]: hes the tighty whitey boy
Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: mmmmMMMMMmmmm
Schaffner32 [4:28 PM]: I didn't mean that
Mel [4:29 PM]: yes you did
101

Mel [4:29 PM]: biatchoo.


Schaffner32 [4:29 PM]: we can search for male prostitutes maybe
Mel [4:29 PM]: now must i to work
Mel [4:30 PM]: yesyes!
Mel [4:30 PM]: i call you tomm
Mel [4:30 PM]: byes
Schaffner32 [4:30 PM]: help me think of an explanation first tho
Schaffner32 [4:30 PM]: cool
Mel [4:30 PM]: come over
Mel [4:30 PM]: ok
Mel [4:30 PM]: bye
Schaffner32 [4:30 PM]: come when?
Mel [4:31 PM]: tomm at 530
Mel [4:31 PM]: kkk
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: yes; I'll think of what the purpose of the
banquet will be
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: maybe for the kkk?
Mel [4:31 PM]: okey!
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: yes, to benefit racism
Mel [4:31 PM]: must go
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: cool
Mel [4:31 PM]: i call tomm
Mel [4:31 PM]: or tonight later
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: k; sorry to hold you; bye
Mel [4:31 PM]: byes
Schaffner32 [4:31 PM]: have a good day
*
Mel [8:13 PM]: cest bon vive?
Schaffner32 [8:14 PM]: oui
Mel [8:14 PM]: that looks like french
Mel [8:14 PM]: is it?
Mel [8:14 PM]: vive is spanish me tinks
Schaffner32 [8:14 PM]: yes; it is "yes"/"wee"
Mel [8:14 PM]: coooool
Schaffner32 [8:18 PM]: how are oui?
102

Schaffner32 [8:19 PM]: how are you?


Schaffner32 [8:20 PM]: I was trying to be clever, but I forgot how
stupid you are.
Schaffner32 [8:20 PM]: :)
Mel [8:22 PM]: oh
Mel [8:22 PM]: indeed!
Mel [8:22 PM]: im jammin
Mel [8:22 PM]: you?
Schaffner32 [8:22 PM]: just got job as Host at cracker barrell in
sturbridge in addition to one at pizza place
Mel [8:23 PM]: so you like the hosyting ey?
Schaffner32 [8:23 PM]: yessum
Schaffner32 [8:24 PM]: like other place cuz they don't really have
as many rules as cracker barrell and I can work on writing there
Mel [8:25 PM]: do you have to dress up?
Schaffner32 [8:26 PM]: yeah that too; really strict dress close;
always have to be clean shaven, especially in the pubic area
Mel [8:31 PM]: haha
Schaffner32 [8:35 PM]: when should I come?
Mel [8:39 PM]: next weekend?
Schaffner32 [8:40 PM]: it could be possible; don't know if I'll have
to work on Saturdays for this job though; I'm going to ask for
Saturday off
Schaffner32 [8:40 PM]: I mean Saturdays in general off or
otherwise I'd never have a day off
Schaffner32 [8:43 PM]: Every day I pray for your death.
Mel [8:43 PM]: thank you.
Mel [8:43 PM]: as do i you?
Mel [8:43 PM]: no i pray your pets will die
Mel [8:44 PM]: so you will live and suffer
Schaffner32 [8:44 PM]: and thank you as well
Schaffner32 [8:44 PM]: If I come next weekend we can go
sledding! Or apple picking?
Schaffner32 [8:45 PM]: too gay; maybe just hang out
Schaffner32 [8:46 PM]: which could be interpreted as leading to a
103

killing spree
Mel [8:48 PM]: hehe
Mel [8:48 PM]: indeed
Schaffner32 [8:53 PM]: but you have plans any at all?
Mel [8:54 PM]: to screw your mom
Mel [8:54 PM]: thats all
Schaffner32 [8:54 PM]: none besides, like any events you wanted
to go to?
Mel [8:54 PM]: hmmm
Mel [8:54 PM]: i dont know
Mel [8:54 PM]: ill check
Mel [8:55 PM]: there are some comedians coming soon
Schaffner32 [8:55 PM]: hmmie
Schaffner32 [8:56 PM]: it's not like we have to have anything
structured to do
Schaffner32 [8:56 PM]: how is your school year different this than
last?
Mel [8:56 PM]: we can always go places and do things like mug
small children....
Mel [8:56 PM]: my classes are so much better
Mel [8:57 PM]: its insane how much better they are
Schaffner32 [8:57 PM]: better in what way
Mel [8:57 PM]: now that im actually in illustration
Schaffner32 [8:57 PM]: oh cool
Schaffner32 [8:58 PM]: what kind of illustration is your favorite?
Schaffner32 [8:58 PM]: I have no idea what I mean by that
question but imagine you could answer it.
Mel [8:58 PM]: oh i like drawing-some people paint-i like
charicatures and want to draw political cartoons
Mel [8:59 PM]: that would rock my world
Schaffner32 [8:59 PM]: ooh; do you draw Bush at all? (I don't
mean vagina)
Mel [9:00 PM]: hahaha
Mel [9:00 PM]: AHAHA
Mel [9:00 PM]: um
104

Mel [9:00 PM]: sure


Mel [9:00 PM]: bush is easy
Mel [9:00 PM]: hes got a simple face
Mel [9:00 PM]: simple face
Mel [9:00 PM]: for simple man
Schaffner32 [9:01 PM]: yes
Schaffner32 [9:01 PM]: you'll have to show me some of your work;
I didn't see much last year
Schaffner32 [9:02 PM]: do you know the Dillons?
Mel [9:02 PM]: no
Schaffner32 [9:03 PM]: oh; they illustrate a lot of children's
classics
Mel [9:03 PM]: OH
Mel [9:03 PM]: oh
Schaffner32 [9:03 PM]: very unique; I found a book I didn't know
they illustrated that I forgot the name of that I had wanted since 1st
grade and found the name while looking through old school papers
Schaffner32 [9:04 PM]: The Porcelain Cat is the book
Schaffner32 [9:04 PM]: so you know them?
Mel [9:05 PM]: nope
Mel [9:05 PM]: hehehe
Schaffner32 [9:05 PM]: hahaha
Schaffner32 [9:05 PM]: ah well
Schaffner32 [9:07 PM]: it'll be a sweet, handsome death of yours...
Mel [9:08 PM]: thank jesus
**
VIII. A New Screenname and Era
Schaffner32 [14:48]: my new sn is timdb85 and you should have
that
Barbara [14:48]: I didn't until now though I should have
Schaffner32 [14:48]: it's ok because you have black eyes
Barbara [14:48]: I know
*
timdb85: little dormissey
105

Barbara: hi
Barbara: what does that mean
timdb85: horry nalinacklance
timdb85: mormormor
timdb85: call me you?
Barbara: I'm gonna go to bed soon
Barbara: me call you tomorrow maybe?
timdb85: kkk
Barbara: ok
timdb85: bibi
*
Barbara: tom!
timdb85: aweofiawhf
Barbara: hows banana republic?
timdb85: good
timdb85: of course
timdb85: are you dead?
Barbara: almost
Barbara: it was a rough day
Barbara: with very little sleep
Barbara: just took a test
Barbara: but now I'm done nad happy
Barbara: and my fellow mysticism student, her name is Enali
Barbara: Enaili
Barbara: she is a PhD student actually
Barbara: anyway she owns a chocolate shop
Barbara: and she gave me a choc eg
timdb85: so it's worth it to stay up :-)
Barbara: filled iwth chocolates
Barbara: like, truffles ands tuff
Barbara: lol
timdb85: hehe
timdb85: I love truffles sort of :-)
Barbara: I Know
Barbara: I LLOLLLLOVE them
106

Barbara: give me some for easter?


Barbara: ha
timdb85: nope.
timdb85: :-)
Barbara: going to call home
Barbara: so ttyl
timdb85: I'm saving this conversation btw
Barbara: poppy
timdb85: kkk
Barbara: oh gobby!
timdb85: bibi
Barbara: do you have some from the past?
Barbara: if you do I wnat to see them
Barbara: then I'll poop on you
timdb85: (note to self--"gobby" means "good")
Barbara: I said this b/c I know you're saving it
timdb85: I'll show you LOTS
Barbara: bibby
timdb85: yeah I have a real lots of them
timdb85: bibi
*
Barbara: I have to go study
Barbara: exam at 9 am
Barbara: spanish linguistcis
timdb85: oh ok
timdb85: sounds crappy like a balloon
**
IX. Matt
Matt: you look sad
timdb85 wants to send file C:\Documents and Settings\Timothy
Ballan.TIMOTHY-0DUXTZC\My Documents\Pictures and Videos
\Sexuality-Related\Pictures of Me\2005_02_20 (About
160)\DSC00479.JPG.
timdb85: thanks
107

timdb85: I try
Matt: like a sexy little orphan
timdb85: ooh
timdb85: love orphans
M a t t r e c e i v e d C : \ D o c u m e n t s a n d S e t t i n g s \ Ti m o t h y
Ballan.TIMOTHY-0DUXTZC\My Documents\Pictures and Videos
\Sexuality-Related\Pictures of Me\2005_02_20 (About
160)\DSC00479.JPG.
timdb85: it turns me on that someone has experienced loss
timdb85 wants to send file C:\Documents and Settings\Timothy
Ballan.TIMOTHY-0DUXTZC\My Documents\Pictures and Videos
\Sexuality-Related\Pictures of Me\2005_02_20 (About
160)\DSC00470.JPG.
M a t t r e c e i v e d C : \ D o c u m e n t s a n d S e t t i n g s \ Ti m o t h y
Ballan.TIMOTHY-0DUXTZC\My Documents\Pictures and Videos
\Sexuality-Related\Pictures of Me\2005_02_20 (About
160)\DSC00470.JPG.
Matt: thats kinda weird in a sexy way
Matt: LOL
Matt: or not that sexy
Matt: but weird
timdb85: yes
timdb85: and it also untrue
timdb85: but I like to pretend it is so I can be special
*
timdb85: my grandmother made a funny noise just now... it was
either her stomach or a big and weird fart
Matt: hahahahah ew
Matt: r u in bed with her?
timdb85: a little bit
Matt: sweet
timdb85: I wish you would kill me when I turned 60
Matt: hmmm not 60- like 70
timdb85: ok
timdb85: I might not remember and be scared when you try to kill
108

me, though
Matt: ok
Matt: ill just suprise you
Matt: like from behind
timdb85: ok, it's a plan
Matt: Ok
Matt: well Im off to make some tea and slowly die
Matt: night
timdb85: haha
timdb85: sounds wonderful :-)
Matt: I know
*
6:52 PM
Matt: do it
to me
now
Tim: mama
scared ta
check email in a min
Matt: ok
6:55 PM
Matt: I'm losing my mind
7:00 PM
Tim: porquois?
pourquois?
Matt: not actually
Tim: I don't know French but I had a dream I did
what not?
Matt: thought for a econd I was
Tim: an econd
like a second only longer
Matt: like 2 seconds?
or inbet 1 and 2?
Tim: 7 and 43
inbet I guess is a word--I'm also dead inside
109

Matt: oh no
Tim: all the way dead
why you think you lost mind for about 23 seconds?
Matt: si
*
timdb85: how's (the) movie?
Matt: hot
Matt: hot guy is in it
timdb85: hoo?
Matt: jerking off
Matt: no idea his name
Matt: eddie
timdb85: you make me want to drown in your cum in the largest vat
impossible to swim out of where even if I'm dropped off at the
bottom and have hours of oxygen in a tank it would still run out as I
try to rise out of it and however much I hate it I'll love the idea as I
die slowly
Matt: hahahaahahahahaha
timdb85: it's all true
Matt: im sick to my damn tummmmmmmy
timdb85: really?
Matt: little
timdb85: I want your tummy in a muffin
timdb85: real bad
Matt: I want to runaway real bad
Matt: im bored with my life
timdb85: where would you run to?
Matt: Texas
Matt: for the love of a cock tease
timdb85: awww
Matt: lol
timdb85: (I quote lyrics of a song)
Matt: ur a good singer
timdb85: oh thanks
timdb85: I'm listening to it
110

timdb85: heard it first in a supermarket when I went to buy pens or


something
Matt: naughty
timdb85: gramma's dead
timdb85: ate 'er
timdb85: she used to live with me but then I ate 'er
Matt: fuck me
timdb85: no fuck a bumblee
timdb85: don't know how to spell I guess
Matt: guesssssssssssssssssssss
timdb85: I think I want Barry in my liver
Matt: trauma
timdb85: and you can live in my spleen
Matt: doree
timdb85: hate him
timdb85: he lives in my throat
Matt: fucked it
timdb85: can't cuz I ain't got one
timdb85: I lied about doree
timdb85: bumbumbumbumbum
timdb85: yeah yeah
timdb85: yeah yeah
Matt: brb
timdb85: ding ding ding
timdb85: blop blop blop
*
timdb85: grampa ate a clambor
timdb85: and a sambo :-(
**
X. Anticlimax
Barbara: I sent a friend to your website
Barbara: and told him to listen to stampede first
Barbara: lol
timdb85: did he like?
111

Barbara: he said 'intense'


timdb85: answer my previous questions too
timdb85: he said nothing else?
Barbara: I mean lin gering and lyrical go together for me sometimes
Barbara: I am working on previous questions
timdb85: ahh
timdb85: I see
Barbara: but they COUDL be diff
Barbara: but in this case for me they go together
timdb85: thanks for elaborating
Barbara: yeas
timdb85: and did your friend-thing say anything else?
*
Barbara: I could do reserach for you on music of ecuador
Barbara: :-)
timdb85: yeah, but I have a canker sore
Barbara: ew
Barbara: hate
timdb85: you stopped talking for some reason
*
Mel: there you are
Mel: i was afraid to call
timdb85: gramma!
timdb85: hahahah
timdb85: I had an experience with another egg-man
Mel: i was confused by the email
Mel: eggggggggggggman?
timdb85: remember the other egg man whose house I went to in
rochester? He looked like an egg. Well, it turns out that I found
someone else who didn't look like an egg in their pics but did in real
life! :-)
Mel: hahaha
*
Mel: and how are you doing my dear sweet weebaby
timdb85: hehe
112

timdb85: I pooped on a dead squirrel and it made me angry!!


*
Mel (8:21:41 PM): boo boo ski watten
timdb85 (8:22:22 PM): gramber...
timdb85 (8:22:28 PM): whatcha call me??!
Mel (8:22:50 PM): i called you a rootin tootin halla ninny (granny
voice)
timdb85 (8:24:43 PM): haheheheh
timdb85 (8:24:47 PM): you're a pumpkin-girl
Mel (8:25:44 PM): yaaaaaaaaay
Mel (8:25:52 PM): i really need to pee.
timdb85 (8:26:13 PM): why?!
*
Mel: mamaaaaaaaa
Mel: suuuuuuuuup
timdb85: I'm dead; you?
timdb85: I got a new cell phone though
Mel: im semi dead
timdb85: good
timdb85: how is school missy?
Mel: aight
Mel: you?
timdb85: ok... have some catching up to do
Mel: ohhhhhh
Mel: gogo
timdb85: you can call me if you want or not later
timdb85: or maybe tomorrow
timdb85: would be better
Mel: ok
Mel: tommmm
Mel: after 9
timdb85: you call me?
Mel: yesm
timdb85: betsa boosa!
timdb85: =bet your kaboose!
113

Mel: hahahaha
timdb85: I just made that up
timdb85: what are you doing tonight? Have you seen Garden State?
you should
timdb85: go see it tonight
Mel: i saw it
Mel: i love it
timdb85: good
Mel: i also love wicker park
timdb85: hmm... should I see it?
Mel: you should maybe see it
timdb85: I guess.
Mel: do you think whats his ass is cute
Mel: hes in it
timdb85: I know his ass... I don't particularly like him
Mel: josh hartnet
timdb85: yes
Mel: i dont normally like him
Mel: but his character is so cute
timdb85: awww; I love seeing cute things bleed
Mel: HAHAHA
timdb85: it's something Kaira would think I think
timdb85: she loves when people bleed
Mel: i love that girl and i dont even know her
Mel: if someone needed killing
Mel: id get her
timdb85: me too
timdb85: I let a creep take naked pictures of me
timdb85: don't know why
timdb85: was being "too nice"
Mel: uhoh
timdb85: he said they'll be in a photo show and will be black and
white but he'll probably masturbate to them
timdb85: I wasn't thinking
Mel: uhoh
114

Mel: i dont want anyone molesting you


timdb85: I won't let him
timdb85: he's hit on me before but I've stood my ground
timdb85: but Jesus molests me; I can't help it because he's invisible
Mel: HAHAHAHA
timdb85: and I LOVE IT
timdb85: but not really
timdb85: have you molested anyone up there yet?
Mel: um
Mel: just a few random people
timdb85: Uggh... WHY AREN'T YOU DEAD YET??
Mel: I dont know
*
you smell like shit
Diana
thanks
you smell like ploob
mixture between poop and boob
Diana
pretty much
i met a woman who pooped out of her boobs, and also bled out of
them at the same time and little baby chickens made of mucus came
out too
i bet she was in a lot of pain
Diana
no, she masturbated while doing it, as well as puked but puking is
nice for her
and she gave birth to doves out of her ass
haha you know what would be super awkward?
115

Diana
if as someone's Facebook status update, s/he put something like "I
masturbated today"
Diana
hahahah
i wonder what types of reactions that would get
Diana
all her friends would defriend her and she'd be assassinated!
like it's def not pc for Facebook
Diana
but really masturbating is not something that should be kept a secret
Diana
I want to go to VT for the night
I slept all day--it's not as usual recently for me to that, but I did. I
felt depressed so I didn't want to get up
I know--we're a strangely puritan country sometimes
are you still depressed?
Diana
what
Diana
whats wrong?
Diana
I don't know if I am really
but if I am it's just chemicals, but also it might be influenced from
joblessness, lovelessness, and nearby-friend-lessnesss
waaaaaaaaah
aww im your friend... im not exactly nearby, but you can pretend i
116

am
Diana
yeye
*hehe
yes, I know; that's why I said "nearby"
actually dave will be moving back to mass soon
Diana
but relatively speaking in terms of the galaxy you are nearby
I hate Dave
jk
[...]
ive been talking to him more lately, he sounds really good
Diana
i like your skin, and your clever look.
i mean he just sounds diffeerent than he used to
Diana
that's what someone just emailed me
different?
like asian now?
[...]
hi
you can call me jj
you always say hi when you're nervous
Diana
117

...sorry, I forgot we'd been talking for a few minutes


what are you nervous about?
Diana
no, I just was thinking that'd be funny to say
I'm going to record this conversation and use parts of it in a play/
story
you will need my permission for that
Diana
permission?
I'm very average looking
yes... i have copyright over all of what i have said in this
conversation
Diana
oh no.
so you will have to pay me $500/ word
Diana
np
*
Did you get my emails?
Diana
10:11 PM
yessum
sowwy on phone
will look at file soon!
sowwwwwwy
118

its okay
Diana
i just wanted to make sure that's the email address you use
Diana
look at it when you have time
Diana
who u talkin to on the fone????
Diana
barbbbbbara
oh
Diana
tell her i say hi
Diana
Diana hi
barbara say hi back
is this an experiment?
Diana
is her voice going to come from out of nowhere?
Diana
nono
how are you feeling?
Diana
are you feeling better than when i talked to you the last time?
Diana
10:25 PM
yes
sorry I'm done w phone now
119

yes I feel better--I started a new medicine a week or so ago


you're sooooo popular!
Diana
no i'm not
I posted the article on facebooky (a link to it)
but I still edit it every few days basically
oh wow... did you post it on the internet?
Diana
yes
google documents!
it allows you to edit it and create a webpage for it (and it updates
whenever you edit it)
awesome
Diana
i didnt know that existed
Diana
google documents i mean
Diana
I exist and so do my bowels
I got prescriptions for my constipation
you had less questions/comments toward the end of the article; my
dad also said the latter half reads easier
yes it does
Diana
that's funny that you noticed that
Diana
although hopefully the newest vesion is easier to understand toward
120

the beginning
oh what prescription did they give you?
Diana
I just wanted to start the paper off in a just-so way
I don't remember
some syrup
lactolose?
sonja?
im here
Diana
sorry
Diana
that's the name of it?
Diana
Lactolose?
Diana
I shouldn't talk since I twas on the phone being ignoring-ish
yes something like that
you must have been having pretty bad constipation
Diana
i feel like doctors are reluctant to give out medicine for bowl
functions
Diana
I've had it since I visited you in NYC coincidentally
oh noOoooo!
Diana
that's really sad
Diana
121

she was a nurse practitioner--there's a difference!


im sorry
Diana
yes I guess so
it's ok
that's true
Diana
sometimes nurse practitioners are better than doctors... like they're
more caring
Diana
that's what my dad though
t
and he's a dr
she was nice
haha
Diana
well thats good
Diana
does the medicine have any side effects?
Diana
I dunno
hope not
hope it just helps me poop
it's as needed
ummm so im going to my flute instructor's benefit concert
tomorrow night
Diana
122

im nervous
Diana
thank you for sending the pdf by the way
I'm keeping it for ever in a folder with my article
suck him off
hahaha
Diana
that would be inappropriate
Diana
spose so
im going alone
Diana
that's what I do whenever I get nervous though
i guess thats why im so nervious
Diana
I suck someone off to try to impress them
then I ususally get arrested
I'd go with you if I lived next door to you
how was boston, btw?
okay
Diana
i wasnt there for very long
Diana
i ended up leaving at 2, which worked out because i could do
laundry and stuff when i got back to NY
Diana
123

nice
neeeayyss!
was the laundry bloody?
with goat's blood
nope
Diana
but it smelled
Diana
awesome
you should sell it on ebay labeled "unwashed and disgusting"
you'll get loads of creepers begging to give you all their money
then shoot them
oh wow... did you hear about the BU medical student?
Diana
Craig's List killer?
Diana
yeah, he's my friend
he's not a killer
he's a good christian woman and he likes apricots in his macaroni
but he ate my mind
and my tortillini
ooooo
Diana
i can tell you're still not over that
Diana
11:01 PM
omg
Diana
124

so i really think im falling for mali


Diana
its really weird
Diana
like he's not really that attractive
Diana
and i suck at the flute because i never practice
Diana
so i cant see him seeing anything in me
Diana
hmm
sorry I was in the bathroom
you always poop while you're takling to me
Diana
take it as a compliment!
I just peed and brushed me teeth and washed me face
no poop
oh
Diana
so what's barbara up to?
Diana
killin people
she's moving in the fall for grad school
...mallory is good too--my parents' cat
she's PISSED that you didn't ask about her just now

125

Foreign Images
In a lowly-lit room with large square black and white porcelain tiles,
a man is playing a piano of the same carving and wood as the
elaborately etched dark wood ceiling and walls. We see this from
different angles that only take from one to another after periods of at
least ten seconds. Coming to a close focus on the pianist's eyes,
though, we see them slowly turn red and, once completely red,
slowly melt. He doesn't seem to care, though.
Our perspective now zooms into his completely dark eye sockets,
and until there is no light seen, and while the sound of his playing is
fading. As the music fades out over about ten seconds, though,
another type of music gradually appears: the introduction to a song
that grows in volume as the characters who will apparently sing it
slowly materialize from the darkness behind them. They are
rumpled blob-shaped fluorescently animated characters who look
very serious, neither their mannerisms nor mouths aligning with the
attitude or rhythm and words of the music:
"We are the dancing fruities,
We are the dancing fruities,
We are the dancing fruities and we love to say your name.
The dancing fruities,
We are the dancing fruities,
The dancing fruities and we love to say your name."
They come to closely face us one at a time and loudly scream,
"What's your name?! What's your name?! Is it Bob Joe Lotz
Croatia Tellekeneketiny?! Telleslementerarinifee? Bob? Mary!
LOVE!!!! ...Love!!! ...love!! ...love! ...love..."
They slowly re-fade into soundlessness and darkness while
transforming into falling droplets of water. But, still reflecting a
126

tiny amount of light, we can just barely see that they meet and
combine to form a very large translucent black slug that soon lands
on the top of a closed baby grand piano, sliding onto then off the
keys, then falling again for about ten seconds. The slug ultimately
reaches some surface that is as shining, translucent, and black as
itself, but the slug is soon absorbed into the substance, as the area
around is darkened as if by a thick ink, this ink spreading out to
become a large ocean.
We are slowly submerged beneath this ocean, but only a few feet
beneath the crests of leisurely turning low waves. Our perspective
stays fixed at this level and on the water around us until, after about
a minute, a dull orange and yellow fish coated with spiraling wiry
tentacles approaches and swallows us. We feel and hear it jump out
of the water but, even after several seconds, remain in the air,
apparently flying. Little by little, we can see through its body until
it disappears. We see the night sky around us, clouds, stars, and also
a naked fat and rumply elderly woman somewhat reminiscent of a
Shar Pei dog, sitting uncomfortably on a cloud, smiling shyly.
We come over and sit next to her, but she looks bashful and only
offers us infrequent sideways glances without moving her head.
Even as burning meteorites start falling all around, she looks neither
scared nor concerned, even when a small one hits her, creating a
large gash along the top of her head. The gash only grows, though,
as a flame ignites out of it, beginning to consume the woman who
continues to smile but shyly. The cloud supporting her and us
begins moving as if a vehicle and, after it descends for nearly half a
minute, it leads us into a cave within the rocky ledge of a hill.
After the cloud and continuously burning woman leave us, there is
nothing to light this dank cave but the open sky around several
corners. We only hear and faintly see drips and splashes for minutes
until the blackness lightens to morph between blueish-seafoam
green and other colors that sparkle iridescently with pinks, dark
127

blues, and bright yellow-greens. After about twenty seconds, these


lights fade to darkness once again, but now complete darkness and
also silence.
Through the eyes of a young child waking from a dream, we emerge
to see him immersed in urine slowly but continuously spilling from
his bed onto the floor around it. Creeping under his door, we see
that the urine has spilled out into a hall and down a set of stairs to
flood the entire bottom floor in about an inch of liquid. His parents
are sitting on a couch in darkness, the mother crying, repeating,
"What are we going to do?", the father comforting her. As we pass
through their house's open front door onto its porch, we can see that
it is only not yet quite dawn. Yet, we still notice at the edge of the
porch above its three steps two mice looking intently up toward us,
one quite larger than an average mouse and one quite small.
The little one, apparently bravely, shakingly, but deliberately, begins
to sing a very sweepingly lyrical but nonsensical song.
"Chicken heads and lollipops and days of all the weigh,
Sing a song or kill your mom and then we'll all be gay,
nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana,
nana nana nana nana nana nana nah,
nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana,
nana nana nana nana nana nana nah."
The larger one watches him start and, as they eye each other, begins
to sing as well, though similarly nervous. They seem to be
effectively encouraging one another through fixed glances, but they
continue to shake and look uneasy even as they finish, though they
are now smiling.
As they retain lovingly fixed glances between one another, we fly
over their heads, over nearby trees, and over a nearby field of wheat.
Flying onward and continuing to ascend, we soon notice a large and
128

sudden cliff that drops off into extensive rocky terrain. We begin to
descend, however, upon spotting a rockless field in the distance,
where we land, at the nearby edge of a murky bog.
Next to a large pile of various mostly notably curly twigs, a softly
smiling shriveled and small elderly womandressed in witch-like
black with strikingly black but warm eyesis instructing two burly
developmentally-disabled men in building her a house of these curly
twigs. After only several seconds, time somehow lapses so that we
see the men finish building the house and then leave. We now
follow the witch-like old woman as she enters her new hut to sit on
a stool made of twigs and slowly but deliberately eat her hands. She
bleeds little, though, and smiles all the while. Once the woman
finishes eating her hands, she begins to hum peacefully and, using
her now-stump arms, open one of her new cabinets. She removes a
pumpkin from this cabinet, carries it through her still-open front
door, and sets it in her new mailbox. Once the woman returns inside
and closes her brittle door, though, the pumpkin falls out of the back
of the mailbox.
We focus on this pumpkin as time fast-forwards until it rots away.
We are then forced through the dirt beneath it for several seconds
until we come to the opening of an underground cavern as extensive
and spacious as several linked enormous warehouses. We are
directed through the cavern, through a city sewer, up onto a
telephone wire above in the remnants of this long-abandoned city,
and into an apartment window of a pumpkin-shaped man facing us
but with a torso and legs that are backwards from his head and arms.
Wielding a newly minted machete, he excitedly yodels and skips,
running down the decrepit cement steps of his building out into the
ruins of the city itself, knocking heads off of only townsfolk who
look condescendingly toward him. When done, we watch him catch
his breath, calm down, and then look very sad, looking downward,
seeming to fall limp.
129

After several seconds of stillness, he falls completely over, impaled


with an arrow shot from a golf cart decorated with red and blue
balloons and streamers. It is being driven by wide-eyed small
deformed-looking people dressed and acting like deranged
stereotypical Native Americans. Their costumes and held toys seem
to imply that they have just come from a six-year-old's wild birthday
party.
We rise above the ground to see a whole line of these vehicles with
these people in them, as far in the distance as can be seen. As we
look further in the distance, we also notice that the landscape looks
like a keyboard, with this first line of golf carts and more lines on
either side of it representing "white keys" and areas in between the
lines representing "black keys".
The keys begin moving as if being played, the landscape
transforming into some extraordinary, inordinately expansive
keyboard. Some keys soon shift to differing heights with some also
widening and some narrowing. Some collapse and fall into possibly
eternal black nothingness below the ground. We follow the path of
one collapsed key for a while, but then stop and look back up
beneath the ground to see what looks like the inner workings of a
cheap upright piano but with wires, clock spirals, automobile gears,
and other pieces displaying a mechanism much more complex than
that of any piano.
We ascend closer again and see that there are green worms crawling
all over the springs, bars, discs, and other parts of this mechanism,
eating them. As they eat, this whole "underneath world" begins to
shrink as we suppose the "above world" is as well. When all that is
left are the worms, they form a huge ball that grows larger and
smoother until it appears to be just growing glass that glows on and
off with various neon tones. We follow the growing and glowing
ball as it travels for some time, but we eventually let it drift away.
130

We begin to fall and fall and fall until we break through and become
trapped in the skin of a large timpani in some completely darkened
dusty school closet. We hear oddly deranged brooding string music
all around but can see nothing, until we notice that all the
instruments in this vast closet are being hurled into each other and
all around us. Soon we appear to be crushed to the point of death.

131

Unlikely Encounters
Early Morning
An innocent-looking deer approaches a gate where a cutely
quivering squirrel is sitting. As the deer inches closer and closer,
the squirrel quivers with increasing intensity, appearing frozen with
shock. It soon becomes more and more apparent that the deer
intends to eat the squirrel.
*
Waking up to their loud beeping alarm, one says, "It sounds just like
a harpand beautiful endless fields of daisies stretching across all I
know or could ever hope to know..."
*
Just warming up their morning shower as their mother breaks in
through door with an axe:
"What are you doing!?"
"I thought you were dead! You've been in there for hours, I couldn't
find the key to the door, and I didn't want to waste time waiting for a
locksmith."
"Umm... I've been in here for maybe two min"
"Ohh... Sorry."
The mother leaves leisurely as the son stares in shock.
*
To her father: "I want a baby named SueI don't care if it's a boy
and I'll just keep it here in my apartmentit can sleep on the
couch."
Her father replies with a delay: "Oh dear. I think I've forgotten
132

something..."
"Dad, you have Alzheimer's! How cliche is that?!"
*
You call up a friend who, when they say "hello", you respond to
sternly, as if irritated, with a forceful and seething "What?!".
At the end of the ensuing actually normal conversation, the friend
laughs while sweetly commenting, "I would never kill you". You
both laugh warmly as if she said, "I'm glad we're friends".
*
To: continuingeducation@wls.edu
Subject: Withdrawal
Hi. I e-mailed the following to the wrong address a couple days
ago:
I would like to be withdrawn from PH 100 EL. My name is
Timothy BallanI do not have a student ID because I am not a
matriculatd student yet.
Thank you,
Timothy Ballan
PSI know I don't know you, but did you happen to see the movie
"Lady in the Water" yet?
Breakfast
White mother to white son:
muffin?"

"Aren't you going to finish your

"Shut up you black bastard."


*
Breakfast in a quiet diner, after having sat by one another for only a
133

short time but without looking at one another or making any sound,
one turns to the other and coldly states, "I wish you were dead."
En Route to School
One watches as a fat lady runs down the middle of a road rubbing
honey all over her bodyunder her clothes and on her exposed
skin, screaming "I'm a bee! I'm a bee!"
Elsewhere, someone notices a woman with her baby on the street
and asks, "Can I please have your baby?"
After a pause and with a disgusted and quizzical expression, "No!"
"Fine."
Another person, to a random little girl waiting for the bus: "There
are things worse than death, you know..."
*
In clearly early fall, as I am driving through narrow winding forest
roads, I see a duck fly down into a pond to my left.
"A duck? What the hell? I fucking hate ducks!", as I step on the gas
to shoot my car into the pond. As the car is sinking, I step up on the
roof, angrily flailing my arms to try to catch the duck as it flies
away before I fall off into the water. As I'm reaching the shore, I
say "I FUCKING HATE DUCKS!"
*
While driving on a busy street, a warm-looking, smiling female
driver graciously and very unexpectedly lets me go in front of her. I
drive very slowly and deliberately in front of her while I roll down
my window and give her the middle finger.
*
A woman who doesn't look particularly friendly boards a bus to sit
across from me. I say semi-enthusiastically, "Hi Sam!" as she
134

ignores me except for an initial near-expressionless glance.


A passenger behind me has a box of ants on his lap, many of which
crawl out and all over the bus and onto people.
I fail to notice as two giant old-fashioned black bicycles ride by my
window, taller than the bus and almost as long, and, riding a few
seconds behind them, an equally giant Volkswagen Beetle. Several
seconds later, I notice neither a girl riding a tricycle nor a Mack
truck that soon honks before unintentionally catching up with her
and running her over. Someone nearby catches my attention by
saying, "Did you see that?" He details what happened intensely
excitedly, but only mentions the bikes and car. I only shrug as, after
a few seconds, he does as well.
Kindergarten
Holding a snow globe with clearly only four characters inside, a
little girl gives names to each of them but also to characters that
obviously aren't there.
Catholic School
A visiting priest from Ghana gives a long-winded yet very energetic
prayer, prompting me to, after quite a while, throw a hymnal at him.
He only says "Ow, why you'd do that man?!" before continuing his
prayer as I and others sigh with disappointment.
Before Class
Obviously referring to another girl's anklet, a girl asks "Didn't you
wear that as a necklace the other day?" Apparently awoken from a
daydream, the girl with the anklet becomes flustered by the question
and confusedly asks, "These?!", pointing to her sandals, then, "You
mean these?", pointing to her shorts, and then continuing in this
135

manner referring to aspects of her attire besides her anklet, all while
remaining in a seemingly dazed state.
*
"How should I treat this girl who's been so mean to me?"
"Kiss her on her head and pet her side and act as if she is a goddess
of comfort to whom you are returning comfort slowly and
lovinglyangelically as if to a baby deer sent from heaven."
*
In response to a blind teacher approaching the front of his
classroom, one says, "I'm sick of this blind guy; the joke was old the
second dayhe can't see, we get it..."
*
"Does anyone have any questions before I hand out the test?"
"Yes", quietly but definitely.
"Okaygreat! Here's your test."
Class
A professor brags, "Millions of fractions of people have already
bought my book!"
"How many people is that?"
"...One."
*
An older together- and respectable-looking male teacher in "proper"
posture and uniform stands silently writing at the blackboard of a
small nineteenth-century-styled classroom with a high ceiling and
intricate ornamental carving throughout. All the students look quiet
and sleepy. Through a tall old-fashioned window next to the board,
we see an overcast morning sky with traveling mist near the ground.
The teacher abruptly stops writing though continuing to face the
136

board, starting to shake. He begins to defecate uncontrollably


enough for his excrement to burn a hole through his pants with its
intense speed, amount, and heat. As this starts, he stands frozen,
but, after a while, he moves a little to avoid becoming more covered
in his feces. After the flow of his waste stops, he continues writing
and speaking at his new position, clearing nervouslyshakingly
trying to ignore what just happened as is apparent from his voice,
posture, and what facial expressions can be seen from his position.
There's a pile of feces as large as at least two elephants' and then a
trail away from it to where he now stands. People look shocked but
don't laugh or say anything.
*
In the middle of a class discussion, a girl explodes into dust, but the
few who notice don't seem to care.
A few minutes later, I look toward the closet and ask, "Who's in
there?!" when there was clearly no noise coming from there.
The teacher is then prompted to ask, "Wait, where's Cheryl?"
With slight annoyance in their voice, one student casually responds,
"She turned to dust a few minutes ago."
Lunch Break
One buys tissues as snacks at a convenience-type store located in a
mall's food court.
*
Waiting until it's her turn to order at a fast food restaurant, a woman
slowly takes the bucket meant for tips and vomits into it, while a
man has been changing his baby's diaper on the counter for minutes.
*
A woman dumps hot tea on her own head. Another points toward
her and laughingly states, "It looks like she peed in her pants!"
137

Another person adds, "I wish she did. I wish she would."
*
An old man sitting at a Thanksgiving dinner with many of his
relatives picks his butt relatively inconspicuously, but his wife
points toward him furiously and screams, "CRAP!"
Soon after, a young child burps violently and long enough to splatter
blood all over his surrounding family.
*
In a nasally Long-Island-ish accent, a woman comments to another,
"Oh Delila! You must have been putting that new gel in your hair!
You're beak is coming in quite well...", sing-songy toward the end.
The speaker is a hideously bulbous older woman nearly covered in
course hairs stemming out of moles and multiple moderate to large
apparent tumors all over her body. She has cracked and broken
skin, varicose veins, and greasy white-grey hair that is balding in the
middle. As she speaks, Delilaa lady dressed up in a bird suit,
apparently a white mallard duck but with a wide cartoon-like
beaklooks flattered to the point of speechlessness, only cheekily
turning her head downward while looking sideways and batting her
long eyelash extensions.
*
A middle-aged somewhat hefty man is sitting backwards on a toilet
that is positioned almost parallel with the bathroom door. Someone
opens the unlocked door as the man nearly screams, "I'm on the
toilet" very pointedly and moderately angrily. The other quietly
apologizes while gently closing the door.
The Sickly's Mid-day
Nurses come to move an immobile thousand-plus-pound woman
from her bed onto a kind of wheeled platform through a doorway
recently widened by several feet.
138

"I'm as big as a house...", in a moping, depressed voice, as if just


realizing she had put on a few pounds over the past few months.
The nurses all find it appropriate to attempt to flatteringly dismiss
this and say, "Oh no... You're fine!" and, "Are you kidding?!"
*
A senile and otherwise demented paraplegic old woman in a nursing
home says, "All the animals like me... They keep coming to me...".
A volunteer youth meanly responds, "They're treating you just like
everyone else. You're not special and the animals don't think you
are either." The old woman then begins to cry.
At another rest home, an old lady moves a recliner so that it faces
the bottom of some stairs. She proceeds to sit on it and read.
*
In a free clinic's waiting room, someone is lost in concentration
while reading a book, but it is upside down. Another patient
observes an interaction between some acquaintances that just
noticed each other:
"Hi! How've you been?"
"Good."
"How's your son?"
Loudly and dramatically but seriously, "HUGE!"
A woman with gray, frayed, and disheveled hair sits alone on a
bench with a sad expression. She is wearing a cheap-looking purple
velvet-like hat and dress, and one of her cheeks is as swollen as a
moderately large melon. As the doctor walks up to her, she smiles
with a sadness in her eyes as her mouth opens just enough for a
thick whitish-yellow fluid to stream all over her dress, the bench,
and the floor.
139

Later, in his office, the doctor nonchalantly comments to another


one of his patients, "What's that awful smell?"
"...It's me! Okay?! I smell! I have a problem! Is that okay with
you?!"
*
At an anger management group, a seemingly sweet, kind, and gentle
older fat man says, "Sometimes I get so mad... I just want to go on
a killing spree by taking glass bottles and smashing them into
random people's skulls!"
*
Sitting down with a therapist for a first time visit:
"So... Tell me a little about yourself.."
"Umm... I'm sorry, but I don't really see that this is getting us
anywhereI think I'll go...."
"Okaysorry."
Elsewhere, a patient complains to her psychiatrist, saying, "They
always put diamonds in my throat, the people in my mind, Charlotte
and Karlotte."
Somewhere else, a patient grabs papers off of their social worker's
desk to intensely scan them as the worker requests more and more
sternly that they be returned, such as by saying, "Tim, those are
confidential..." The worker finally grabs them away.
*
A rich-looking man observes a homeless person's shoes falling
apart, commenting, "Oh, maybe you should get new shoes
someday..."
"I can'tI'm penniless."
140

Smiling, walking on, "That's nice."


Elsewhere, an old homeless woman runs through a city park,
followed by a flock of pigeons pecking at her hair and all over her.
She says, "Get away from me! Please! I don't smell baddo I?!"
Afternoon
A group of snobby-looking teenage girls ride in a red convertible
past an elderly couple who have their car windows down. The girls
throw bags of wet, rotting lettuce into the couple's car so that the
bags hit the couple's faces, as the girls laugh and point and then
speed away.
*
A mom gives instructions to her son as she leaves the house for a
few hours: "Mrs. Jarvis should be coming at two-thirty, so let her in
if she comes. ...But don't let her in before two-thirty."
*
Two male friends in their early twenties are walking energetically
through a city park:
Seeing an old lady, one of them comments, "I wish that lady would
jump up and down forever and never stop."
Seeing a big dog, "Oh! It's a baby! I wonder what color its heart
is... If only it would say something."
Seeing a fat dog, "I wish he were a pig."
Then, pointing to an empty space: "This is a girl; I think I can't
remember what 'a girl' means..."
They soon pass two women on a bench talking in normal voices,
one repeatedly asking "What?" in between the other's breaths.
141

Then, whenever the other tries to repeat herself, the first woman
interrupts her by saying "What?" and continues this as the other
patiently restarts over and over.
Nearby, a thin, wide-eyed, skittish-looking man in his thirties
beseeches a young child alone on another bench, "Child, what day is
it? Is it Friday?"
Innocently, "I think so."
"Actually I think it's SaturdayI think that's today... Child! Do
you know if Dolores is yet living in her temple cast of iron
trudglings?!"
"I think so."
*
An older lady attending to her garden on a leafy and flowery
winding suburban route is disturbed by the sound and slight breeze
of a six-year-old girl slowly passing by on a small training-wheeled
bike, a pink helmet on her head and pink pompoms hanging from
the white bike's handlebars. As the girl passes, the older lady
notices a rotting dove at the edge of the woods across the road. A
slight sadness at this quickly becomes intense rage, as the lady
throws her shovel and gloves down into the mulch beneath her,
stomps away from her weed-ridden and overgrown yard filled with
trash and refuse, and begins running after the girl who, by now, is
well beyond hearing range of the lady. The lady starts screaming
and waving maniacally, "You killed my bird! You killed my bird!"
until she happens to trip over a seemingly unused spray paint can in
the gutter of the street, next to a sewer opening. Struck with a
thought, though still in her slippers and night gown, the lady decides
to immediately trek with this spray paint can two miles in a
direction perpendicular to the girl's path; she crosses several bridges
over nearby highways and highway ramps but only decides to spray
paint on the edge of the fourth bridge she comes to. In scratchy,
142

childlike handwriting, with some upside-down and some backwards


letters, she writes, "YOU KILLED MY BIRD". Satisfied with her
handling of the situation, she turns back to return to her gardening.
*
It is starting to rain and I don't have an umbrella, but I see a stifflooking middle-aged woman with one. I run up and say, "Can I
share?", all very awkwardly. She's visibly disturbed but relatively
polite. While she remains stiff as we don't talk for minutes, I remain
relaxed.
She then asks, "Where are you going?"
"Brewster Hall."
"Well I'm turning here"
"That's okay. I'll take a longer route if it means I'll be drier!" I
smile and laugh warmly, while she fakes a smile and laugh. I follow
her to her carher destinationand give her directions to where I
would be driven, all without asking, but I do say "Thank you" in the
end.
*
In a place where snow thickly coats the ground, on the outskirts of
shoveled paths through a campus quadrangle, we barely notice
benches surrounded by two feet of snow and with much snow on
them. We also barely notice seated upon one of them an old woman
nearly covered in snow that collapsed on her when she sat, reading
while holding a cup of hot coffee.
*
An old lady looks at a young man on his cell phone and grabs it
away, saying, "That's mine!" before biting it, throwing it, and
stomping on it.
Early Evening
143

Behind a hotel, at a point where a muddy swamp meets a wellmanicured lawn, a family finds this place fit to lay down beach
towels, build muddy sand castles, and play in the water, even while
it is starting to thunder and rain.
*
At an intersection of trails in the woods, just off one of the trails, a
huge manatee-ish grey bunny, furless, wrinkly, slimy-ish, and
clammy-looking, tall as the trees and very wide, bends but doesn't
break trees as it moves like a slug through them. A little girl says ,
"Look Mommya doggy!" Ignoring her daughter, preoccupied
with packing up lunch materials from the picnic they just had,
bending over and with her back toward the bunny, she neither
notices it nor its quiet, wind-like sounds of movement, even though
it is very near her. She is soon slid over, crushed by the bunny that
is blinded by wrinkles over its eyes. She screams and flails, but it is
too late.
*
A schizophrenic pre-pubescent boy dials a car dealership, though he
is self-conscious about his high voice enough to apparently
generally fear phone calls. With a heavily frightened but also
pitifully sad sound in his voice, he starts, "There's a goat here and
she keeps unplugging the charger to my cell phone."
Taken aback but carefully and hesitantly, the car salesman on the
other end responds, "Sorry ma'am, we can't help you with that...".
Sounding incredibly, achingly depressed, the voice shakingly
responds, "...Okay", and then hangs up. Without seeing the caller,
you'd assume the voice belonged to a feeble old woman.
*
Responding to an e-mail filled with small-talk from my assigned
"peer advisor" at college:
"I'm Tim, your peer advisee. Do you only get one? If so, it might
upset you to know that I'm a bird. I hope you don't mind.
144

Love,
Thomas"
*
As I meet people on my dorm floor, I start a conversation with one
by exclaiming in a very serious tone, "Wow... Isn't it amazing that
every single one of our lives has now intersected?!"
*
Someone directs me to "Smell this lotion", so I put some on my
hand and smell it. Looking enamored with it, then energized to
receive more of a high from it, I grab the bottle and vigorously
pump much more on my hands and stuff as much as I can up my
nostrils.
*
"You're such a cutie-pie!"
"I'm not a pieI'm a human being!"
En Route to the Mall
One calls 411 and asks, "What year is it?"
*
"I'm going to the store now."
"So am I."
"You are?"
"Oh, waitno; I thought I was you for a second."
*
As you pass through a fast food drive-through, you and your friend
notice a young female worker go into a storage shed belonging to
the restaurant. "Open the door; let's lock her in there, okay? Come
on, let's go."
*
145

Someone notices a feather, saying, "Oh look!" before grabbing it


and eating it. They defensively exclaim, "What?!" in response to a
weird look from their friend.
*
While smiling, with wide eyes and a crazed facial expression, you
should go up to a stranger on the street and, looking fixedly off
aside from their face, in a heavy British accent, ask "Have you met
Charles?"
*
I call to say I'm not coming to a small get-together because I'm busy,
but I come anyway.
"I thought you said you weren't coming..."
"What? Why would you think that?!"
Mall
A put-together-looking woman stands inside of a mall's entrance
while somewhat loudly repeating the word "Broddigalls" usually
with four-second intervals, as concerned patrons gather all around
trying to find out what she needs. This goes on for two minutes and
the lady finally says, "It was a joke".
*
Someone within a group of friends at a grocery store reads aloud
from the label of a water bottle, "This water is a product of Greece".
They then throw it across the store.
*
"Are you all set sir?"
"Yeah."
"This cashier can take you right over here."
From the customer's current perspective, the rear end of a very large
146

woman is blocking sight of the other cashier and their register as the
woman bends down to inspect candy on a low shelf.
Another nearby says, "I wish I were really fat."
Their friend responds, "You're joking, right?"
"No... I just think it would be nice..."
*
One goes around to random people at a mall food court and
sincerely and calmly but intensely frustratedly explains how "I need
to finish a project for my doctor". The person measures people's
heads, body parts, and belongings from random points, including
from mid-air, while insisting that people "please hold still to
cooperate".
In the corner of another mall food court, one is seen pulling out her
hair and eating it, pleasedly, but then throwing up afterward.
Dinner
"Get up Tim! It's time for dinner."
From his bed, "I'm pooOOooping!!"
*
With seriousness, someone pours soda all over a table as if a glass
were there.
*
At his college's cafeteria, a young man throws his food and dishes
across the wide and high-ceilinged room. He proceeds to do this
with the food and dishes of those near him as well. He bangs
together their trays and dances around the room, hitting people with
the trays and taking their chairs to throw. When the first person
decides to comment, saying, "Ow..." as they are hit with a chair, the
man realizes what he's done and says, "I'm sorry ...I'm sick."
147

*
With insistent concern, you comment to your waitress: "Miss... I
believe there's a hippo in my salad."
*
An older lady appears appropriately dressed and poised for her place
in a small low-lit four-star restaurant as she sits alone sipping soup
at a small table and on a small chair that her immensely plump
seated rear only partially touches. She begins to continuously
loudly flatulate, and to a degree where the fat on her bottom can be
seen to slightly ripple. Although her face becomes increasingly red,
she only continues to sip her soup while seemingly greatly trying to
both appear oblivious to and innocent of the noise and now putrid
smell she is producing. Others retain their dignified composure but
leave one by one until she is alone.
*
A man blows bubbles of gum during a restaurant dinner with his
friends and continues to even after one of them gets a call that the
rest of their family was murdered.
*
While serious and calm in the midst of a formal banquet, I turn to
the table nearest me, asking, "Has anyone seen my baton?"
"No, we haven't. Sorry."
"Oh! There! I think I see it!"
"Where? What?"
I slowly kneel down to a canister of ice on a banquet table near me
to sensually but modestly lick it. I beseech those around me,
"Please. Join me." I touch and look at them in eerie ways as I
similarly smile on and off and in the basic direction of people's faces
or in no specific direction. Sincerely pleadingly, I grab people by
their hands, arms, or ears and force them to follow me onto banquet
tables. I tip over tables, spread food all over the room, and smear
148

food over the faces and clothes of those who have remained seated.
No one reacts violently, only surprisedly.
Post-Dinner
Monica's roommate, Darla, has a disability where she does whatever
she notices someone else doing, even if it forces them to stop. She
usually doesn't realize that she's doing something odd and usually
feels that the other person is doing something wrong. But, she
means no harm and can't help it
Their first night at school, getting into the shower after a few
minutes of preparing, Monica asks, "Darla? Do you need the
bathroom?"
"Nope."
"You sure?"
"Yep. I'm readingyou made me want to look at your book when
you picked it up before."
"Okay... I should be out in 20 minutes."
...
"Get out of the shower!"
"But, I'm... All right."
Frustratedly but with a tinge of vindication, Darla responds, "Thank
you!"
*
In the study area of a library, students are sitting at a table reading
and writing, one girl reading while eating a peach. The boy across
149

from the girl stares glaringly once he notices that she is eating.
Detecting his stare right away, the girl lets out a small gasp. With
stern disapproval and contempt, he says, "There's no smoking in the
library", continuing to stare until the girl responds innocently and
respectfully. She says, "Oh", while slowly placing the peach to her
side on the table. Once he seems confident that he's done his job,
the boy turns back to his work. The girl returns to her studying
without touching the peach but soon leaves to study on a snowcovered bench outside.
*
A group of friends is watching the news. As it mentions in passing
the acronym "FBI", one of the friends responds wryly with "FBI my
ass!" A long confused silence ensues.
Elsewhere, a very melodramatic, strange television program ends
with a supposedly frightening, startling revelation from a vampire:
"You didn't suspect that I might be a visitor from another time, did
you?" The audience retains blank expressions.
Somewhere else, a man watches another day of a cable channel
dedicated supremely to comedy, but offers not one smile nor hint of
interest in the programming.
*
After dialing a friend, you repeat, "Please don't pick up, please don't
pick up, please don't pick up", and this chant spills over into the first
few seconds after the friend picks up.
"What? Did you just say, 'Please don't pick up'?"
"No, no, no... I was just talking to my cat."
"...You don't have a cat."
"I was talking to my neighbor's cat."
*
150

A toilet gurglingly speaks "Sarah" as she walks by the bathroom


while on the phone: "I think my toilet just called my name..."
*
I say "Hi, Sourdough" to my parents' dog on the floor.
My mom asks, "What?"
"Sometimes Luther's name is 'Sourdough'."
A bit later, my brother and I conspire to slice Luther's stomach open
in the middle of the night, to let his organs spill all over the kitchen
floor for our parents to wake up to in the morning.
Evening
Someone goes to a farm petting zoo every night to feed all the
animals such large amounts that they get incredibly fat over time, to
the great confusion of the owners.
*
"What if the police show up! I don't want to go to jail!"
"Then hide!"
From outside, "It's the police! Open up!"
"Okay", as she opens the door.
"What are you doing?!"
"They said to open the doorthey're the police, after all!"
*
A laughing, skipping young girl runs through an ice cream shoppe
holding an ice cream cone. As she passes a corner right before the
entrance, she explodes as if bombed from the inside, but we see no
fire or smoke, only a splash of bodily fluid and tissue against the
151

walls and floors.


*
Talking while walking through a busy hall of an airport terminal:
"Jeremy Feldott, I didn't buy you that shirt, the Easter Bunny did."
"The Easter Bunny's dead, Mom. He died long ago, in my heart,
and in my mind. But can't we just sit down here?"
"Well, I suppose, dear. We might as well have our lunches hereI
don't see where else"
The father comments, "Yesit's like a picnic here. What do you
say we spread a blanket out for us to sit on?"
Everyone becomes excited. But, soon, the whole airport explodes.
A high school concert begins elsewhere in the world, with the vice
principal beginning, "I don't want to scare anyone here, but I think
you all deserve to know there has been an explosionand I
wouldn't joke about thisit was at Yale University,
apparently... ...I'm just joking guys! Enjoy the concert!" No one
speaks or moves throughout or after his talking.
A Crowded, Late-Hours Restaurant, a Half Hour Before Closing
A person is seated but leaves immediately for no apparent reason.
Four fat ladies:
"Will someone tell that baby to shut the hell up?!"
"If that were my kid, I'd have a hammer in his skull by now."
"That's for sure"
152

"Mm-hmm."
A nearby old lady sitting by herself keeps saying, "Why do the
ducks keep flying in my head? Please, someone tell meanyone!
Please? Doesn't anyone know?"
A nearby bulky, short-legged man comes to a table where the older
Indian couple who own the restaurant is seated, scooping ice cream
into several dishes from two relatively small containers.
"Heycan we get some of that?!"
"...We're saving it for a birthday party in a few min"
"Oh, that's okay! C'mon!", as he takes the ice cream and invites his
family to take some.
A nearby table of kids first throws food and bread at some old ladies
before chasing them out of the restaurant as if they were birds.
Everyone in the restaurant laughs.
A nearby group of young adult men laughingly ask the waitress to
come right away as one of them prepares to vomit, doing so on a
plate in front of the shocked waitress. They all smear it on her as
she laughs nervously but soon starts to cry. After she leaves, one of
them whispers to the others, "Let's crawl under the table of those
girls over there and kill them, and then kill the waitress on our way
out!" The others respond with, "Yeah!", "Yeah!", and "Awesome!"
A heater precariously hanging above a table falls and burns a man
alive. Their young waitress comes over and is very apologetic to
the family. She tries to put out the fire but is afraid. No one,
including the family, seems to care.
153

People in the restaurant leave or die until the woman complaining


about the ducks in her head is the only one left besides the chef,
who says, "Time to leave, Granny". She responds by saying, as if
very meaningful, "Bouncing, but circular, they are trees of tomatoes.
I feel distantdizzy and nauseous, but sedentary in a blithe
dissatisfaction."
Because she doesn't seem to hear him or
understand where she is, he shoots her, turns the light out, and
leaves.

154

Positive Images

155

Somewhere in Space, Somewhere in Time


There was a planet, Speceatim, where everyone was made of
Bosonsandfermions. These were tiny identical rocks that filled
every tiny layer of the planet. At each layer there lived at least one
of the eight types of creatures made up of the Bosonsandfermions
found throughout the planet, but most layers included all eight. The
eight types included The Rocks, The Amoebas, The Lizards, The
Simpletons, The Sociopaths, The Spiritualists, The Wittingly
Ineffective, and The Unwittingly Effective. No one knew which
they themselves were, except The Wittingly Ineffective and The
Sociopaths, but at least The Sociopaths didn't care. Had this planet
evolved differently, there might have been a ninth creature, but the
planet that would have then been not Speceatim would have been so
different from Speceatim that no one on Speceatim would have even
recognized it as a planet at all. This ninth creature would have been
the Masochist. Now, there were some Masochists on Speceatim, but
they were so few and lived for such short times that no one thought
them creatures; they didn't protect themselves and thus were usually
eaten by the Sociopaths.
Most of the layers within a sphere are, in a sense, in its middle; this
is mostly where all eight creatures lived in harmony. The harmony,
though, was not always a happy one. The Rocks, The Amoebas,
The Lizards, The Simpletons, and The Sociopaths were all happy,
but not the Spiritualists. The Spiritualists said they were happy, but
they were mostly liars, though some were more like The Sociopaths
than liars, as they learned to find happiness while hurting other
creatures. They walked into rocky caves once a week or more to
imagine that they were happy, or to imagine how to become more
like The Sociopaths. While six of the eight creatures were happy, it
was only The Wittingly Ineffective and The Unwittingly Effective
who knew how to find happiness. The happy besides them had
already found it and so did not need to find it, because they already
156

loved each other and every other creatureeven the nonliving


Bosonsandfermions.
The Wittingly Ineffective knew how to find happiness, but they also
knew that they could not be happy, though they did try. They were
happy sometimes, but not enough to say that they were in general
"happy". But, nowhere in Speceatim were there creatures who
knew "exactly" how to be happy and yet were not happy. The only
creatures who knew exactly how to be happy were The Unwittingly
Effectivebut since they were neither The Sociopaths nor The
Wittingly Ineffective, they did not know their own identities, and
most others didn't know what to think of them either.
They knew that they were happy, though, and they knew that it was
because they loved each other and every other creatureeven the
nonliving Bosonsandfermions that made up each creature. But they
did not know that their love was truly effective, because they knew
enough to know that they could not know for sure, because neither
theynor any other creaturecould see outside of the layer in
which they were locked, within Speceatim. If they thought that they
were effective, then they were The Simpletons.
But The
Unwittingly Effective, knowing how to create nearly as much
happiness as possible, knowing that this included happiness for
themselves in addition to for the other creatures, and knowing that
they themselves were happy, knowing that five of the other
creatures were happy, they most of all loved the unhappy, and most
of most of all, they loved the unhappiest of The Spiritualists. And it
was their effective loving that allowed as many of the Spiritualists,
The Wittingly Ineffective, and others of their own kind to exist
throughout as much of the planet as they didbut it was also others'
ineffective non-loving that was a part of this planet where, if it were
any different, it would be very different. But those on this planet
who loved did so because they knew that everyone was made of
Bosonsandfermions.
157

Shimmering Fluorescent Pools


As she peered past the ripples of cool greens and the pale blue
shimmers, beyond the reflections of her face and of the world
above, she could sense something looking back at her. She sensed
this every day while banished to wade in the shallow waters of this
still and clear lake encircled by walls of towering pines.
This woman was esteemed and praised as sacred among those of
this tiny Vermont village hidden between rolling miles of verdant
shallow unfarmed hills, a village somehow bordering the edge of
icebergs and cliffs to the north. The farmers and smiths of varied
sorts knew it was their spiritual duty to protect this woman, lest she
die and the sun dim with her death.
And yet a summer came drier than any remembered by the villagers
and, as the farms slowly reduced to dusty cracks and hardened
broken roots, so did the sanctuary of their most revered of water
nymphs.
The days gathered and slowed as the woman grew a silvern tone of
algae, her lake dirtying and drying, and as the farmers, smiths, and
maids prayed for some gracious outpouring from God's hidden
reservoirs to save the woman and their town.
But nights soon approached where the enchanted aquarian woman
would lay beneath a sunset that never waned until its reversal upon
the morning clearing and, on a bed of dried lavender and mint in a
field of high grass at the edge of piney woods, she would breathe
through the sky, through clear watery cords winding beneath two
venting and contracting orifices colored by the sun and clouds.
And on the night of waiting dread, the royal angel of this old pious
village lay down knowing her breath would empty with the slowing
158

of the undulating tubes in the sky. She watched with tears clouding
the violet rosed fiery blues as swelled the music of planets and
pines, whistling grass, violins and deep stringed instruments from
the heavens and grounds, as the purpled mouths up above ended
their motion with grace. And she closed her eyes and smiled.
*
In her death, the tubes of the sky broke into the world she had seen
but not understood in her daytime meanderings through the village's
shallow lake. Against the clashing howls of rushing city traffic on a
wet and snowy morning, a robust but reviled male child was born to
a poor woman who lived in fields by day and empty buildings by
night, unexpecting what she soon would leave to the city infant safe
haven.

159

The Old Storyteller


I once heard a story about a little girl who met a saquatch deep in
the woods behind her house in the mountains. These creatures,
known also as "Bigfoot", would rarely show themselves this way.
I've heard that the only people to whom they show themselves are
those they trust not to expose themor be able to expose them.
There are some who I believe have been allowed to view these
creatures, but no one else would believe them, or at least no one
more convincing at storytelling than I. I do not believe the
sasquatch would allow me to tell this story if I were truly a
convincing reporter.
They have powers enough to sense the
consequences of their actions, even to sense who will tell whom will
tell whom and all of these people's characters.
Well, this one little girl I'm sure was both trusted and seen as
innocent enough so as not to be believed by those who could easily
do harm to the peaceful sasquatch. She was the daughter of a
construction worker for a building company years ago. What they
built to this day remains unknown, however. I believe that the
sasquatch protected themselves from what was built, but that's just
me.
Anyway, I heard this little girl was wandering in the woods one day
when this male sasquatchoddly enough for a male sasquatch
spotted her while grieving for the loss of his own daughter. He felt
something was wrong in revealing himself to this girl, but even
sasquatch are not always above their feelings it seems.
I'm sure he was questioning whether he should reveal himself in his
own thoughts, but, publicly, he managed to convince his tribe that
he honestly believed this little girl was innocent and trustworthy and
that he just wanted to confirm with them his intentions before his
revelation. Upon reaching his tribe for this exchange, it was clear
160

that he was emotionally upset after seeing the girl, and this remained
a mystery until later events would explain his apparent internal strife
over this. His tribe knew something was odd, but these are creatures
faithful to their own, loving, forgiving, and unassuming.
So, he returned to the spot where he saw the little brunette girl
playing with rocks on a dusty trail, returning day after day until he
finally found her again. He did not appear to her immediately, but
allowed a sparkling pink dust to surround her and warm her skin.
He spoke into her mind, saying, "Don't be afraid, little one. I am
good." The girl was not afraid and maybe wouldn't have even been
if she spotted him without this introduction.
I can't say what occurred that day, but I know the girl did not return
to her home that night, which is how her father knew something was
going wrong. But this girl was not hurt and she was not unwilling
to stay the night with the sasquatch; the rest of this tribe was
hesitant to accept her, but they accepted whatever this male
sasquatchwho was the head of this tribefelt. These creatures
did find something special in this little girl, however. And, they
soon became enamored with her enough to allow her to sleep with
them in their expansive nest undergroundsomething I've never
heard happen between sasquatch and human.
Anyway, the little girl finally returned to her father's early the next
morning, creeping up the stairs and into her bed. She hadn't realized
how late it was, and I suppose, had the sasquatch tribe not become
so enamored with her, they would have been more cautious and
insist she return home so as not to risk their unwanted exposure.
Yet, as the budding love between the sasquatch tribe and the girl
became established, so did extreme trust on the part of the
sasquatchpossibly at least somewhat blind trust. This extreme
trust centered on a belief that this little girl was not only trustworthy
and innocent, but adult enough to follow through on her
trustworthiness and innocence. I tell you, if this girl were more
161

mature, she would have known the things they assumed she knew.
She was just a girl, and she was the best girl she could be at her age.
But, a while after this girl returned to her bed, she was surprised not
to hear her father get up for his routine early morning hunt. She
went to look for him and found no sign of him. She ran and ran and
screamed for her father, nearly understanding for a moment what
she may have done. But, her father soon returnedthough with
some of his friends, in his tractor, guns in hand. They had not gone
on a hunt, only a hunt for his darling girl, whom he loved more than
he thought any other ever could. They embraced and cried and
lovingly scolded one anotheras this innocent girl was as afraid in
finding an empty house as was her father.
Around this time, many little girls had been disappearing in the
mountains and no one knew why. Personally, I feel it was some
stranger in town doing away with them. I know that's hard to take,
but it seems too much like a coincidence that they'd all wander off
within a few months of each other, or that some strange animals got
them all without a trace. And, the sasquatch certainly would never
be to blame for this.
In tearful celebration of finding his daughter, the girl, her father, and
all his hunting buddies had a large meal out in the town a few miles
down from their mountain. At one point during the dinner, the
father suddenly remembered some man he once heard in this bar
whom he previously dismissed as crazytalking about some
creature called "sasquatch" and how they are probably why all the
girls are going, since the girls all disappear from the woods where
the creatures are reported to live. When he remembered this, it must
have hit close to home, since all the girls' disappearances happened
in the same woods where his daughter was playing before he
thought she had been taken. Naturally as a father, protective of his
daughter, his fright, concern, and love prompted a desire to further
shield his daughter from potential harm.
162

Apart from his daughter's knowledge, her father and his buddies
were planning a full-fledged hunt for any sasquatch around they
could find. They planned this hunt for the day his daughter was
supposed to have started her fist day of school. However, when this
day came, the girl wasn't in school; she was in the woods with what
she, at this point, had come to think of as her second family.
The sasquatch were showing her magic that they performed with
rocks and their minds, such as their ability to send sparkling dustlike substances through the air to get people's attention, and their
ability to send their voices into others' minds. They don't have vocal
chords, by the waythey communicate through telepathy, and they
could also read the girl's intended speech this way.
From the distance, to all of their disbelief, they heard the sound of
gunshots and falling trees. They were all used to falling trees as
space was being cleared for new houses for the people wanting to
move from the city down the mountain, but these sounds were
different. These tree fallings were due to military jeeps, that the
father's buddies had brought up, mowing over trees in their way that
were small enough to be toppled over. This was such pitiful
disrespect of this wonderful country out here.
Anyways, what happened next is a tragedy. A massacre. The
sasquatch were too surprised to hide themselves in time from the
gunshots that killed so many of them. And then, as the little girl was
being safely cradled and carried by her running sasquatch father, her
human father could not see his daughter, until it was too late. Both
the sasquatch father and little girl were killed with a single bullet.
There was a funeral for the girl, and many, many funerals within the
remnants of the sasquatch tribe. The girl's father and his friends
were profoundly distraught by the girl's death, completely gave up
hunting, and each began to slowly descend into a deep, chronic
163

sadness. For the members of the sasquatch tribe who lived, their
lingering pain would be unfathomable to humans. Sasquatch are
each connected to their tribe, their family, in ways deeper than are
humans.
The father was eventually killed in a foreign war that he volunteered
to fight in, and, one by one, his hunting buddies died through
similarly risky and even suicidal behavior. The rest of the sasquatch
tribe died in ways nearly mirroring the deaths of each of the hunters
that killed their familyincluding the little girlthat day. It's as if
these were parallel realms of love, neither necessarily more perfect
than the other, just different.
But, I have heard that the story does not end like this. This story
only really tells of a potential series of events foreseen by the wise
sasquatch, later revealed to the story's little girl when she was
viewed as certainly trustworthy. And yet, even if I said I was this
girl, you wouldn't be convinced, would you?

164

Positive Images
Garen's nightly ritual reached the dead of winter, adding to so many
other winters, wandering through the bare clawing barks and twigs
and solemn pines. The floor of this forest glistened with overfrosted snow, brightened by the even whiter moon. This night was
especially cold, as was the strut of Garen's step and his tired eyes
looking upon the same path for yet another night.
Through the prickery thorns triumphantly posed even in their midwinter death, he saw anew a grove he had seen so many times but
never approached. This was the time for a changea time for
approaching this thicket beyond the thickets at hand, maybe to find
a place offering some break from a hardened and solemn path.
A subtle mist appeared in his eyes and a tiny smile, some new vigor,
as if this might be the exploration of the century. He brushed
through the prickers that mostly broke easily, but not without
pricking his hands and outermost sweater. Just past this miniature
maze of thorns lay a surprising frozen stream and then, beyond that,
a grove so dark yet welcoming in newness and some sort of
enchanted beckoning.
A flame as if a shooting meteor on fire, running past the corner of
his right eye, and once again he was youthful, though an old man,
chasing out of instinct some sort of candle with wings. And now he
is running and brushing aside the feathery arms of thickly growing
pines and can make out more and more but only barely some sort of
white night gown and a candle. But it is so fast and he is out of
breath.
But suddenly there is this open field. How could I have not seen
this before? This is almost some sort of ancient amphitheater with
its center a small ring of pines encircled by acres of rolling and
165

bowing leaves of snowy grass whose edges meet entrances of thick


groves and places that might frighten the girl who has now already
begun to set up a picnic near the center! I can barely imagine who
she is, in her little night gown, with her empty glasses taken out of a
small basket, smiling with such a smile that I am entranced and
called from some power touching some part of me I can neither
immediately witness nor identify.
She is pouring me water out of a metal flask, into some sort of wine
glassbut it looks like a delicate and treasured antique, very ornate
and fragile. I sit, after what must have been two minutes of walking
toward her in some sort of tranced state. She hands this to me,
while I am somewhat shaking, and then pours her own. She smiles
through the flame she had already placed between her and where
she must have known I would sit. What a tall candle, as its fire is
high enough from its base on a gilded antiqued holder that it
obscures my vision, dancing between her glances and whirls of
knowing smiling elegance. She is nine, but I don't know how I
know this.
I must look quizzical and uncertain and frightened, yet so intrigued
and so hopeful. "Who are you, MissMa'am?" I slow my words
toward the end of this question that I assume may be countered with
a laughwhich it is. I set my water down out of growing pull from
deep within my stomach toward some place deep within a fabric of
space that she holds in her hand, as she takes my opened hand, and I
feel so warm, and I think this water is magical and I am lifted to
some high euphoria of tingling stars inside my head. She whispers
with the delicacy of an aged princess of time: "I have something to
show you."
I see above me, as if I am mostly still in my body, but that part of
me that observes and understands is drawing further and further
away from just above the candle that glows so bright even as I
ascend swirlingly, but with the center of my vision fixed on the
166

candle; I am somehow a camera, it could be. My vision is somehow


overlapped by a perspective far above meand then perspectives
high above that and on, growing further and further apart in height
into the atmosphere. There are periods where I see without some
overlap between perspectives of different heights, though, but they
grow shorter and shorter as I spin more and more, reaching the
furthest of distances away from myself into the heavens. I see these
bodies in the stars that I could only imagine before given their
recorded shape from telescopes sent where I am now. And I feel
like I am one of these bodies, one of these stars as great as I once
only regarded a tree to be. I am overwhelmed with blues and
oranges that are also red and shiningness of sparkle intertwined with
powerful fire. I am surrounded by these events near and far that are
asteroids, and meteors, and distant worlds that I cannot fathom.
Now I see her again, floating in some black twirling garb, holding
her candle, flying over moons whose craters fill from their depths
with some sort of dark water or ink as she passes above them, and I
am apparently drawn along her path just like when I saw her in the
woods. But I don't feel that I am willing my movements and I don't
feel like myself at all, really, but only as if I am watching a movie of
some outrageous spectacle and worth.
She fades into the blackness surrounding all of these stars and
meteors as all my visions from my ascent into these heavens are
reversed and slow down just as they sped up, until I see myself and
this angel on the red and white picnic blanket she had set up; we are
still in the same position. But my perspective is no longer centered
on the candle but on some place just in from the edge of the trees
toward the left away from our picnic.
My descent slows until, through the roof of some quaint log cottage
(with a moment of vision obscured by surrounding dark bark and
wood), I see an elderlyyet still vivaciouswoman making tea on
an old stovetop. All the decor is quaint but clearly from the 1980's,
when this lady must have begun to retire from a lifetime of
167

dedicated and loving work. The cottage adorned with the woman's
floral paintings are illuminated with a warm orange glow from
candles and an old wood-stove. My perspective then widens so that
I see her husband reading the day's newspaper at a small but sturdy
round honey-colored wooden kitchen table. She comes over to
deliver him his tea after she had already served herself and with
some sipsher maroon lipstick marks the turquoise gleam of the
mug already on the table as opposed to his olive and avocado
smaller and thinner mug. As she sits, he quickly gathers and places
his newspaper downwhich he was only moments ago deeply
entranced by, brightened with a smile at the knowledge that they
can now discuss their daysand the newspaper. I suppose this man
was away for a good part of the afternoon, out to some country
stores with friends. I know they are one of the happiest couples I've
ever been able to observe.
My perspective retracts through the window (with a moment of blur
from aged glass and some rugged thin bars of almost papery wood)
and suddenly whizzes upward once again into the atmospherebut
not yet into space. I almost feel a headache and queasiness from
this sudden jolt, and I am somewhat disoriented. But I soon see
clearly enough to note that I am already slowly descending upon the
whole North American continent, and I discern that I am centering
in on north central Arizona, upon some place very remote in the
Painted Desert, rumpled hills rippling around a tent set up between
sparse cacti and small flowers. There is no snow, but I know it is a
cold night. I don't know how much time went by as my perspective
only gradually focused in on this scene.
I see a mother with dainty yet glowing thick dark hair come out of a
tent slowly and as if she is beginning a dance in a unique ballet of
sorts. Ias shecatch this beginning of a meteor shower of white
gleaming hot dots and shooting lines of cracked and cut diamond
and glittering powder. Her face brightens with the lighted spirits
that comes with knowing she has such a gift to give to her son who
168

is playing inside with a wooden train. I see himnot yet noticing


the starsbeyond a slightly peeled-open flap of one of the two that
enclose the entrance to this makeshift tent. I understand that it is the
son's birthday with all of the gilded paper wrapping surrounding
him and this seeming camping vacation.
She beckons him
wordlesslyalthough I can't hear the nature of her voice's sound; I
am just astounded by the painting and lightning-ish scraping and
crackling of bright stars across the sky. His face lights up with
twice the youth and innocent rejoicing as hers, and he bolts out, with
his mother catching his hand, leading her into the space outlined by
scattered plantssome flowering with pinks and mustard- and lightyellowsof the desert. He is twirling her, though she is barely
keeping up with his twisting and ratcheting center winding with
energy seemingly provided by the stars themselves. She is laughing
almost in hysterics drawn by his exuberance and motivated by her
love for him and his for her. They laugh and shout and yelp and
exude some happiness I have not felt in so long, as my head is
seemingly thrown back suddenly, spun up toward the meteor shower
somehow quickly dissipating. I can tell I am now nearer back
toward my New Hampshire woods.
The stars at hand, though, shine upon an area of rolling plains in a
rural Midwest county where, under them, I slowly descend to find
the opened deep red doors of a darkened church painted white and
with dark blues, reds, and greens absorbed into the unlighted
stained-glass windows shaped as cones over the doorswhose castiron black handles and decorations reflect some tiny glints of orange
scattered light. I duck beneath the crest of the doorway and see a
darkened sanctuary but for some flickering light sent from one lone
tall candle on an altar draped in a purple cloth with edges of golden
frills. Every pew of the church is filled with people, but I can only
see the face of a man approaching the lone candle from its left.
With a smaller bare candle in his hand, he holds it to the altar's
flame as I can now see the face of the wife he returns to. He passes
the light onto his wife, his wife shares it with her best friend, her
169

best friend passes it to her daughter, her daughter offers it to a


strange visitor, that visitor gives it to an elderly widower, and it
passes all the way around the congregation until the sanctuary is
filled with dots of gleaming fiery light. The lights are intensely
yellow and white, as if brightened dandelionsthe orange light
reflected onto the door must be incorporating the color of the
moderately dark wood of the pews.
I seem to begin floating upward in the back of the church while still
viewing the congregation until I reach the ceiling when the last
candle of this community is lit. I see many children curled in quiet
positions, soundly sleeping by their parents and family throughout
the rows of padded pewspadded with cross-stitch cloth, the color
of dark goldenrod. I slowly float toward the altar's largest flame and
become surrounded by its deep and profoundly yet silently
exuberant light. I feel not consumed by the flame but infinitely
comforted by its warmth. I slowly fall back out from its center to
look onto it, but it is now the candle that is and has been in front of
me throughout these magnificent dreamful visions, and in front of
this young angel with hazel strands of supple streaming hair.
Slowly I look up upon her glowing face.
As I felt myself return to my body, I asked, "Are you an angel?"
"We are all each other's angels."
Then I knew what I had to do.

170

The Island in the Swamp


In the midst of a vast swamp in the midst of a vaster forest, there
rises a moss-covered hill filled with pines but for a bare top. There
are many beaver dams in the swamp's deep watery parts, some in
small pools and others in large pond-like areas. In soggy grassy
parts, while sometimes interrupted by meandering streams, there
grow many different shades and shapes of flowers and, in the higher
but often bare trees, there sit giant nests of cranes. And, on the tall
hill at the center of this greatly expansive swamp, surrounded by
soggy but ivy-covered ground at its bottom, there lives a lone older
lady in a little hut made of the curly twigs that often fall from the
pines. She is not lonely, though, because her fluffy grey cat is
nearly always by her side.
This lady is neither lonely nor cold. Her hut's roof is coated by
insulating and water-resistant oranged pine needles, and the hut
itself is bound tightly together with bunches of strong grass.
And, this lady and her cat are neither lonely, cold, nor hungry. The
lady eats nuts, berries, and even mushrooms that occasionally pop
up around the bottom of the hill on its west side; she considers these
mushrooms a treat! She also climbs the ladders and bridges she
built in and between the trees, made from curly sticks and bunches
of strong grass like the house but with more and stronger, thicker
grass. This is how she gathers nuts, sometimes very small but
sometimes as big as her fists, which she cooks over a fire pit behind
her hut. She also gathers red, blue, and purple berries from the short
flowery bushes around her house, about a third of the way up the
hill.
She drinks water caught in leaves of the few deciduous trees and
bushes, and sometimes straight from the stream that flows through
her backyard from a small pond at the top of the hill. She always
171

has a store of water, though, in jugs she makes from clay dug deep
in the ground. Though she eats only berries, nuts, and occasionally
mushrooms, there are so many flavors on this island that she never
gets tired of them. The cat never tires of the mice, insects, and fish
she finds either, nor the guinea hens she sometimes catches from the
trees and amidst the short flowery bushes beneath them. And, the
cat most certainly never tires of the many types of swampweed she
very much likesthough the older lady does not like them at all!
While the grey fluffy cat bathes her own self, the older lady bathes
in the little pond at the top of the hill. It is shallow and very clean;
no branches, pine needles, nor leaves fall into it because there are no
trees this high up! The water is so clear that it sparkles with the
colors of the smooth pebbles that cover its bottom rather than any
sand or mudcolors from red, to brown, to black, to yellow, to
purple, to blue, to white. This pond is so clear because it is
generated by a clean spring that flows from underneath the hill to its
top, down the stream in back of the lady's hut, and into the swamp
which it fills in entirety.
For fun, the lady writes poems, plays, and even music that she plays
on flutes she makes from long branches and short twigs. She is
inspired by all around her that gives her sustenance, peace, and
constant enjoyment. Even at night, she is inspired by the view from
her window that faces the bottom of the hill, where, beyond clear
skies, the woman can see planets and stars more brightly than she
ever could when she lived in the city. She and her fluffy grey cat
are o.k. here, and, in fact, very happy.

172

About the Author


Timothy Ballan is a composer and writer who currently resides in
Western Massachusetts. As a composer, Timothy mostly writes
accessible classical music. As a writer, Timothy mostly writes
plotless stories, atmospheric vignettes, poems, and non-pretentious
philosophy. When not composing or writing, Timothy leads several
musical groups in urban youth development programs, teaches
private piano lessons, and tutors youth in various academic subjects.
In his free time, Timothy enjoys driving on country roads, hiking,
watching scary movies, and sharing time and an absurd sense of
humor with his human and mint-flavored bobby-pin friends.

173

Related Interests