What you do is you start a bank, then by sleight of hand you convince everyone that while you only have 10 units of coin in your coffers y...
Friday, December 17, 2010
It did startle me a little – the stamp – I think it startled sniffer-dog too; I noticed his tongue began to water immediately when the stamp hit the table – thud – straight out of the Pavlov playbook.
So yes, a little startled, but overall I was pleased. I thought it most correct that the eight-year old with the water-gun in front of me should be pulled aside, his weapon confiscated, and his parents separated for interrogation. And I felt comforted by the panoramic eye looking down at all of us, safely corralled below; and by the knowledge that somewhere, at a monitoring station behind the scenes, we were being watched by yet more able graduates from the prestigious School for Authoritarian Morons.
In my socks, holding up my beltless pants, I felt – how shall I say – a sense of safety. I thought of the bombings Pavlov-the-hound must have foiled, and I thought of all the dastardly jackals that had been apprehended at this very gateway, by these very moronic gentlemen, and I was just so grateful for the School for Authoritarian Morons and its able alumni.
Was I inconvenienced? Perhaps a little. But I considered I had not been unduly detained, only long enough to explain that the "suspicious hard spots" Moron One had flagged were in fact merely bones from my skeleton – skinny as I am – and not deadly weapons concealed under my skin. But once all this was cleared up, I was permitted to put my shoes back on and walk straight through, no questions asked.
Think what peace of mind! My concern was no longer being blown to smithereens at thirty-five thousand feet, just the Athlete’s foot I was probably contracting walking in socks where millions of slobs had stood before me, awaiting Pavlov’s muzzle and the able hands of an elite graduate from the School for Authoritarian Morons.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Ok then. Here goes: Joyeux Anniversaaaire ♪♫♫♫ hmm mm mm hmm hm mm ♪♫♫ joyeux AAAnIIIversairUUh ♪♪♪♫♫ ♪♪ joyeux AAAnIIversaaaaaaaire ♫♫
Happy birthday, little sister. Happy birthday.
I still remember with fondness your birthday party way back, how you sent that clod from Belgrade running with a projectile-to-crotch. I believe it was your clog that time, but you were just as precise with bottines, flip-flops or velcro sneaks. I also remember with fondness – when it was not turned on me – your evil eye, that laser-dart from your pupils, feared across Zagreb by all youths under ten. So be careful, Don Juans on the piazza, she’s a feisty little miss, my sister.
And I am most fond of her. Especially when her laser is turned off and she is humming tunes like now. Then she a spark of light in this great dust cloud we inhabit, and which – to your great annoyance , I know, little sis – we must share with just too many darned dullards, weasels and clods. Aren’t you lucky to have a brother like me then, huh? Ha!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I roll out of bed and slip into knee-high socks just before my feet hit the floor, a mixture of rock, gravel and earth, a reminder that I am below ground. I ignore the cross-border shelling on the radio and the sniveling little smart-ass from the BBC reporting on it. I slap some jam on butterless toast and hum Boys of Summer, and I scratch myself just above that useless piece of bone at the bottom of your spine – a reminder that once, a long time ago, we had tails.
Then, for reasons only I am aware of, I think of that snotty squirt I punched in the nose that summer down in Dubrovnik, and I stop what I’m doing, what with all that blood running down his face. But Boys of Summer cuts in and I am humming again, chewing toast as North Korea threatens the South with total annihilation.
The guy with jam on his face, the guy humming Boys of Summer, that’s Lui Labas, and we are inside his head. You should not be asking yourself whether a young man like Lui ought to be humming such a tune at daybreak wearing y-fronts and socks, and what kind of message that sends. Instead, you should be asking yourself about the guy sitting across from him, the guy in the suit scribbling numbers in a notebook – that would be Shitbird – scribbling and shaking his fountain pen that is threatening to dry up in his hand as he prepares to sum the Grand Total of his and Lui’s spectacular financial straits. And you should be concerned with the Yak-haired Yeti, three heads taller than either of them, standing at the stove preparing oeuf-au-plat for his guests.
These should be your concerns. Plus, above ground, hovering in the ionosphere in a small carbon-molecule craft are two guys you should also be concerned with; two guys typing up a report about their observations on the ground and the best way to impress their sergeant-superior. Especially how to sell to him that the footage they hold in their hands, showing flats and tubulars in a ritual interlocking of limbs, was indeed recorded live by them, and is not part of an elaborate montage recorded – typically – on the Golden Coast of the Americas, and sold as compact discs at refueling posts along transport corridors, so called, highways.
Why can’t we just tell him we recorded it ourselves?
Because he’ll know we’re lying.
Why? He’d have to track down the flats in question?
Oh yeah, and when he asks you how you managed to get right up against that flat, right in the middle of the action, without being seen, what are you going to tell him then, you dipstick?
No, no, we just tell him we were PART of the action.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
But don't be fooled. In your heart is a wiry, short-legged kamikaze. He has no name (unless you have given him one). He does not fuss over he-said-she-said, and he does not give two turds about what is cool and what is not. But he will, at the drop of a hat, throw himself unarmed at an enemy barrage; and we will, with his bare fists, fight off an angry mob of humans to save your skinny ass.
Yes, he’s Japanese, yes, he doesn’t speak a word of English, yes, yes, yes. So what! He may look a bit funny and “old world”, he may be impetuous and unkindly at times, and he won't pick up dog turds, but he’s your kamikaze, and at the end of the day he’s also your man against conquering Huns and Visigoths, not the he nor she in he-said-she-said. So when he shows his face in your heart of hearts, when he gets up to show himself, DO NOT act like you don’t know him! Put down your i-phone, get off your skinny ass and show him some respect.
Don't be a pansy.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
We have been traversing the European continent without respite for well-nigh two months now, laying bricks in Bratislava, groveling for food in Dortmunt, and from Lille , escaping by the skin of our teeth.
It has been a lively peregrination, without a doubt, but crisscrossing thus has left us stranded on German soil, currently near Frankfurt, out of funds, out of food, and looking for a way home.
We spent most of yesterday debating what home is, exactly – not a simple matter – and it might have been shortened considerably were it not for Lui’s obsession of late with an alleged encounter on a rooftop two weeks ago.
I was out taking a piss, Shitbird, when these two wraithy dudes in uniform come down from the heavens. Barely had time to tuck in my prick and these guys were huddled around me looking quizzical and scientific. Plus, no gunboat overhead – no flashing saucers, nothing – so how these yoyos alighted on that rooftops, Shitbird, is a mystery, ungodly and unprovable.
Exactly my point.
What do you mean?
Anyway, one guy had a notepad, some kind of little back-lit clipboard, and a scribbler to hand. Oh, and guess what... are you listening?
All ears, Labas.
Guess what else they had? Both of them... Opposable thumbs, Shitbird. Opposable freakin' thumbs.
I did not wish to enter into a discussion that would surely escalate into an argument about APES. Neither of us knows goddamn thing about apes, so I insisted we not discuss the opposable thumb, but use it, by the side of the fucking road, with a cardboard sign that reads ROTTERDAM CITY, which we had decided by unanimous vote would be “home” for the next couple weeks (Lui knows a place “underground” where we can crash).
Another thing, it was dark, but I coulda sworn I saw a zipper on that sucker. Horizontal, round his crotch
Think for a minute, Shitbird. Who do you think came up with the zipper? The guys with the backlit clipboard, or the guy with his pants down? What does that tell you?
What it tells me Lui, is that we are sitting here on the outskirts of Frankfurt wasting precious time. When this nut-bread you are chewing on is finished, we will be eating grass, you piss-ant. So stop your bullshit about alien technology.
Look, I'm telling you what I saw.
I was there, don’t you think I would have seen these little green men?
Nope. Beyond your capabilities my friend.
And why the hell is that?
Because you’re colorblind, Aloysius.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Enough. Case-specifics, sergeant!
The entity in question goes by the appellation Lui Labas. He is below average in weight and muscle mass. We were not able to gauge his intellectual capacity.
In the absence of specific testing, sir, we are unable to determine whether he is a genius or a driveling retard. We suspect the latter. We caught him on a rooftop, pissing down a drainpipe downtown Frankfurt – that’s Germany, sir, the theater of that bestial war I mentioned last time.
Oh yes, the sputtering officer with the moustache.
Sir, I think I should tell you, we may be wasting our time. The spectrum among these entities is wide. I’m not sure this Labas is representative material.
What makes you think so?
His displacements seem completely aimless – he behaves like a decoy – and more to the point, it seems his utterances are aimless too. We have noted frequent rolling of eye-orbs in his interlocutors, and our sources have told us that this is a way to indicate that what is being said is “total fucking nonsense” and “to cease forthwith”.
Circumstantial, sergeant. Get more evidence. Now, what of his companion?
Entity Labas has been in the company of a tubular who goes by the appellation Shitbird – not a name, as such, but a compound of terms. To wit: “excrement” and “winged creature of flight”.
They have animals that fly?
His companion can fly?
No sir, he is named after such a creature.
What of this “excrement” business, then?
Strange fucking peoples.
Come back when you know more… Oh, and sergeant, get some footage on this “interlocking of limbs” – flats and tubulars – I am curious as to these titillations.
Friday, September 10, 2010
You and me in a capsule skyward, two peas in a pod blasting into the unknown. Through the porthole left, a billion cubic feet of nothing. Through the rear the Pacific, a pissy puddle on a ball. And yonder, just out, my sweet, swishing clouds of dust and incalculable space.
No snickering schnooks here… nope.
I jest. But in truth I am scared shitless. I squeeze your hand and call you sweet things mon amour, mon lapin and hope for a godly figure to press a finger on this jangling box of gears to slow it the fuck down. This speed of light's no good when a man’s got eyes and YOU, mon amour, to behold.
Everything is vortex and spiraling tunnels. Everything is speed and accelerations off-the-chart. We are a speck in the infinite, but we are together a speck. Our system none can fathom – not even I – it fits in a capsule skyward, it fits in a hand, it fits right here, between this thought and the next.
Speed of snail, speed of sound, speed of light – it matters not – because you and me, we are the system.
ps- mon cœur, do not pull the lever under the stock of canned beans if you want to stay in once piece, i.e. retain your current incarnation, love, which I am fondly touching.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I know, I know, every now and then you get a sense of grander things and whatnot, maybe a goddamn illumination, and you tear yourself up, Christ Lord, I sold myself short. But fret no more friend, I’m twice your age – Whatsit yall youngsters say: been there, done that – and as sure as I’m standing here, this is all ye gonna get. Mark my words. Good as gold. So go ‘head. Stand in line with the rest, have no shame. Sure, these bozos don’t know their buttholes from the back of their hand. So you’re as little smarter, so you're a little wiser. So what. Dismount that high-horse forthwith amigo, it’s a goddamn cripple, take you nowhere. And hey, don’t think these dames want ‘ny better. Don’t think these dames are lookin’ out for a greater scheme but a few young’uns to push about and a bit one-two in the sack when the moon’s right. Way of the world, compadre. You’re looking for lightness of spirit? I’ve reached down panties in my day – extra-marital, extra-curricular, all colors and flavors – look no further, there’s your goddamn lightness of spirit. But no need for such chicanery in this day and age – remember alls we had was chewin’ tobacco and the pictures – you got gadgets and contraptions as far as the eye can see… all for your goddamn entertainment.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Do I envy you your self-involvement? At times, yes. How uncomplicated it must be to confine your attention solely to the twitches of your own body and the stimulus-response pulses of its centerpiece, your pampered, oft fondled and needlessly scratched genitalia. So… yes.
But the outside world is worth a glance too. Just last week I was on the ocean floor. I played with razor clams and built small forts from dead plankton. I walked over sandwaves and listened for the ultrasound that – it is said – large sea mammals can hear from hundreds of miles off. I imagine that in my absence you had those highlights done, and that the girl who did them spoke seamlessly, but that you listened, as you are now, alert only to key words and phrases. Words like this one: mutherfucker!
Sorry, what dyou say?
That was a little strong, and I doubt your hairdresser squeezed that one in, but it illustrates my point: briefly your head was extracted out of the long A-hole of self-absorption and entertainment you spend most of your time in, your own body, conveniently, as your principal point of entry.
Keywords. You want to reach your fellow man, then you need to get his attention, and without keywords, in this day and age, you are nowhere.
Now – I agree – most of these words are not in themselves very special, and usually they are bandied about without purpose. Choosing them, arranging them, that is where skill enters in. I make no claims of mastery here; I am an apprentice and I wish to be no more. It is a means to me, not an end. (Point of information: when applied to whole populations, it is called advertising or propaganda and we are not interested in that here.)
Of course, it goes without saying that some words are more powerful than others; some words have a greater or lesser degree of impingement. You have to be aware of that. This is key. This one for instance, pussy!
Woaah Labas, what the fuck, what’s on your mind little man?
is a powerful word. But rather a wild card for it can elicit hostility as easily as it can subjugation, and just as quickly it can put a grown man to sleep. It is not a terribly useful word. It is powerful, but unpredictable, and thus – for our purposes – useless.
When you speak to a man, you want to sting lightly like nettle. You mustn’t wish to excite his emotions in any significant way. Some argue that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get his sorry head out of his ass; call him a cocksucker, knock him in the fucking face if you have. But I am not of this opinion. No, surprise him, be ingenious, juggle keywords and nettle lightly because, remember, down the line – and maybe faster than you think – you will be speaking to him spirit to spirit, and I think at this point he will remember that you called him a cocksucker, and I just think that is no way to start a conversation.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Solitary and without occupation, my mind, thankfully, has a raft of distractions to keep itself afloat: pictures of people, unfinished dialogues, special girls from the past, but also, the more rudimentary, time.
So it is with some excitement that I stretch out my arm now and catch the glow on my wristwatch to read that it is precisely two o’clock!
In a place like this, it is a treasure of knowledge to know even as little as that: on what side of noon or midnight the journey's made.
In my excitement, I attempt to be my own clock for a while and count down seconds as I descend, but I lose track quickly and get flustered and out of breath for all this concentration.
So I turn again to what is real and physical and simple.
Pressure has increased all along – such is water at depths – and yet my limbs feel almost like air. For some time I have felt close to weightless – cold, but weightless – and with no light anywhere and practically no sound but those gurgles and pings, it is easy to question whether one exists at all.
But I do not question… I continue my descent, my mind clinging to its raft, the glowworm like a lone-star above me.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
It’s knife-sets and cufflinks now. It’s looking at the haze off your kid’s ipad and the guilt scurrying in your wife’s eye. It’s alarm clocks and medication, paid holiday and fighting fights in your brain, no longer down low and rough on the pavement.
So you get crazy. You shut the door – you slam that fucker shut – curse all and sundry in your mother tongue – tvoja majka je bolesno majmuna – pull your toolkit down from the attic, your bag of files, rasps, and jigsaws, and you build a fucking boat the size of a shoe, then a royal scepter from a log, and from that man-sized trunk in the yard, that crazy stump of oak, a human face.
Pheeeeeeew! Man! Christ that feels good.
And you look with satisfaction at the face.
But time elapses and you get lazy. You turn into a lazy fucker once more, you forget, you ignore, you seek distraction, you take up smoking, dump your wife, get a girl, screw around, pay up lawyers, buy a hammock, ditch shoes for slippers, meals for beer, drink no end and bray in the streets, 'til at last you throw up your hands at the heavens. What the fuck? WHAT THE HECK IS THIS!!?? WHAT THE FUH!
But the Lord is silent or is himself distracted. Either way, you get no answer.
So you lose yourself in woodwork once more. You lose yourself, and you ask yourself, you turn a question, like a lunatic, in your brain: would wood-work work? Would it work, this woodwork? Would woodwork work? And you file and you rasp and you drill, first a house, then a man, a woman, a breastfeeder, a cufflink, a royal scepter, but it brings no solace as before. And you file and you rasp and you drill some more, until you are covered in sawdust head to toe and your whole house, your whole fucking house is strewn and there is nothing more in life, not a single object left to replicate…
So now you have no choice, but finally, at long last, to CREATE!
And goddamn it that feels good.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Why are you looking away then?
There’s a bird.
Forget the bird, Lui, you’re not a cat, you can ignore birds when you want to.
Alright, where was I? Yes. Anyway, the problem is, after a while, even this eyeballing got boring. There was the odd wink and staring contest, sure, but nothing of real substance. But then someone had this brilliant idea. Someone said, you know what, screw this, I’m gonna to stop eyeballing everyone around here, I’m gonna turn my back on these shmucks and I’m going to eyeball this, this thing here, this beautiful, glistening, shimmering object I’ve just called into being, this radiant – this… this iridescent thing of beauty and I’m going to stare at it until everybody else stares at it too, until eyeballs in the furthest reaches of space can’t help but stretch out fingers of some kind to touch this ruby bijou I hold my hands.
It was a ruby?
Like the color ruby, Lui. Just run with it. So... what we have now is the onset of desire, of want, of need, and now things start to really change. Now eyeballs don’t just stare out anymore, now they start to look askance, and in some cases tears flow from them for days on end. Eventually – I mean in the long run – you get love, deceit, economics, and you get facebook and that sort of thing, but not for a while. First there is a another major milestone, the greatest I'd say – but I’m biased – first there's the woman!
That would be you?
And the man, right? They’re simultaneous.
Maybe… perhaps. In any case, there’s certainly the woman. And it is for the woman that land masses would be brutally partitioned, epic battles fought in rivers of blood, whole kingdoms ripped asunder for gems to bestow up her and so on and so forth. And this is why you want to kiss me so bad, Lui. I’m your ruby…
mmmm... ok, but we’re also in Paris.
[We eyeball each other for a while. A bird flutters overhead...]
[...until it gets boring, and then… ]
Sunday, May 9, 2010
But now you’ve stopped thinking about the swirls of sand completely, now you’ve totally taken your eye off the ball, and thus, at the height of your self-applaudisment (even inventing new words derived from French), brisk and adolescent though you may be, genius and philosophic though your thinking, the swirls of sand start coming down: first the Riviera in soft showers, then Copacabana and finally, raining down hard as hail, the courser grain off Huntington Beach.
A genius little prick you feel now, smothered thus in your own universe.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Plus, my friend, I got this body: I got these legs I can cross in tight seats, kick out in a squabble or scramble like mad when my life is under threat. I got two arms, two hands, two feet – feel that –I got those. And these little gems, my friend, I got them too, eyes to gaze at lush damsels in the spring and leer when I’m feeling dark & ghetto.
Yeah, these are mine: my dimpled cheeks, my busted molar, even this rogue lock of hair I’ve battled in earnest for years. Mine! I own this body. I don’t rent, it’s not on loan, it’s mine to do with as I may, to thrust at this world – helter-skelter – to thrust at this world with the fervor of a kamikaze, to throw into the air, to hurtle into space or drop into the fray.
I light a cigarette…
So now, my friend, I must tell you this:
This is my last cup of coffee in this great city. This rampart of the common. And I will miss it. I damn well will!
I will miss bigman under the brickwork; I'll miss the brigand gang of Kurds with their brass spittoons and mustaches. And I will miss the warm summer nights when the sky comes down in pellets of water and starlight. I’ll miss that. I'll miss you, Rotterdam City.
But I take what I’ve got now.
I take it all bundled up like this, like I said...
and I go.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
My eyes and mind at this stage were still in apprenticeship and not much good to anyone. Nuance? Forget it. Man and woman, for instance, they were just Man. Chartreuse and jungle-green, that was just Green. But I understood even then that I must shriek some considerable length before that milky breast would be thrust into my face and the enemy inside placated. I understood that. I understood very quickly – stinky-shrieky Croat, six months of age – I understood the rudiments of time.
But when I began to understand time, right then, at that instant, a new danger arose, a danger I would come to experience in depth, a danger without bounds: boredom.
I got bored. And this – after existence itself – was my first true condition. And it sucked.
When you get bored, you start to think needlessly. You think too far and too deep until your thoughts become more real to you than even the crap in your own diapers.
Deep inside my tiny body – even as I appeared busily crawling about – I felt something was wrong, something beyond the enemy-stomach. I intuited it, I sensed it, and, of course, I thought about it. But for a long time it remained non-specific. It was still, you might say, just green.
Now, moving on…
The other night I was downtown Bruges at a place that serves steak, beer and pretty much nothing else. Opposite me was a Belgian man in his forties: glassy eyes, piss-blond whiskers and teeth approximately the same color. (Note for travelers: Belgians are a charitable folk; a tad medieval in more ways than just that one, but overall, a pretty friendly, unassuming folk.) So there I was: cozy corner, three-square-feet of oak, steak-frites and a pint of Chimay. And there he was: cheery man from West Flanderen downing his fifth pint on an empty stomach. He spoke most of the time and I could see in his face and how he clutched his glass – much like I gripped fingers back in the days – that most likely this guy was still fully battling the enemy-stomach. So, I just let him speak and only once did I interupt to mention what a nice necktie he had, dotted red on jungle-green..
Thursday, April 8, 2010
There was crap in the gutter, wafts of urine all about and pigeons pecking squashed fries off the cobbles. The smell was human, but barely. I tell you, I was not here by choice. I took no pleasure watching spindly girls from Belaruse struggle on lacquered heels. I took no pleasure.
Rage is what I felt. I thought to grab some piece of piping off the ground and club these trolls, a hundred strokes each, then calmly straighten my cuffs and jacket like a made man… take that, you bonbon eating piece of... (to the Belgian dwarf ). And then with the same piece of piping, shatter the red-lit cages of glass, all of them, and release their thin-armed inmates to freedom.
I thought to myself, they'll run like gazelles through the streets.
But then I thought again. In every doorway a greasy ape fingered a cellphone. In every doorway such a man leered at his clientele – Bulgarian, German, Belgian – calculating in his oily skull the monies each will part with once they have partaken. You screw with these greaseballs and they don't hesitate, they snap your fingers back and smash your teeth with gold rings and Zippo-hardened fists. Make no mistake.
And so I thought again.
This place is a shithole, it is a well of shit, a fount! Nothing on Earth would have made me happier than to see these twenty gazelles leap to freedom on their lacquered heels. Nothing.
But freedom where? Freedom what? There are apes in doorways in every city. Here, in Bucharest, Bombay, even – yes – even Zagreb. No matter where, they are there.
Then the rage in my stomach became a firestorm and my mind turned into a blaze of nun-chukkas breaking every bone in this stinking alley – Man and ape alike – every bone like kindling wood.
A dizzying wheel of strokes!!
TAK TAK TAK!!
[German truckers in a heap; Belgian leches in the gutter; Bulgarians in a bulge before me; and all the greasy apes, all of them, begging, BEGGING for mercy.]
Meanwhile, there I was, pulling my trolley bag forward over the cobbles, minding the pigeons, minding my own business. And at the end of the street – nun-chukkas still in full swing – I thought of Bigman. I thought of him for a while because he calms me down.
Bigman, I thought, I understand why you only come out at night, why you are so careful to reveal yourself, why you smile but do not speak, and why you live so deep, deep underground. I understand.
The wells of shit, they are above ground.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I thought about the French fries I would thrust down my throat, the Doobie Brothers that soon would blast symphonic across my quarters; I thought on the joys of Mica’s calves, cheeks and bellybutton; I thought – Yes! – without shame or reservation– what a joyous, wondrous day.
And so I pardoned with a wave of the hand the fiddling fauntleroys for being such little twerps, and I forgave their bovine mothers too for being so flustered at all and sundry. And I thought to myself, let me resume my life here among you with a kind-hearted gesture.
After the fries had gone in a dozen a pop, after the quart of ginger-ale and the clutch of toffees at the duty free; after satisfying my most commanding Earthly needs, I ventured down into the bowels of Amsterdam International Airport and waited on the platform with the ordinary-Man, the pig in uniform, the hack in a suit. I waited for the bullet-train back to Rotterdam City.
Understand, dear reader, this may seem utterly ordinary to you, but understand that “ordinary” - for me - had just been stripped and skinny dipped into a tub of vitriol. Recall the eyeless gentlemen, recall the stack of biscuits breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, recall the sheer horror of wall-crossings and telekinesis. So forgive me if I enjoyed (more than is appropriate) the chocolate skinned starlets who sat across from me in the bullet-train home. Forgive the rapt expression on my face as I beheld the gold amulets at the foot of their heaving breasts – Shantala, Serena – in bubbly golden script. Indeed, forgive me all these heaving breasts, but I was beside myself with joy in this bullet-train, on this day, in the bowels of Amsterdam International Airport.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I am served by two eyeless gentlemen – the same stack of biscuits, breakfast, lunch and dinner – and since my stunt the other night I’ve been observed by two other gentlemen, also eyeless. In truth, JK, I am also observing myself because my stunt – I crossed a solid wall of brick– was not deliberate and by no means expected. I am – praise all things holy! – shaken, JK.
In case you haven’t figured it out, it’s me, it’s Lui. And in case you are asking yourself where the hell I am, carry on because I can’t tell you, I have no fucking clue. Excuse my language JK – I know where you stand on obscenities – but I am uncomfortable here in every way conceivable. Forget the biscuits and eyeless gentlemen, this place – will you believe it – is stranger even than your evaporation chamber, your plasma tank, it is stranger, JK, than any locale or contraption you have ever conceived. I ask you, I beg you, JK, command one of your machines, materialize me, rub together your magnetizers, do what you do, but do it!
JK, I write to you because you are best versed in these matters. If I were trying to get laid I would seek counsel with Brendan Benchpress; if I were merely irked or vexed, I would turn to my heart, my Mica Spirelli, but as it happens, JK, I am out of Time – literally out of time – so it is your help I seek.
Something happened when I last awoke. Usually Time rolls out its carpet for me as a matter of course– flap flap flap – the days shines, twilights and then goes dark and my life transpires like clockwork. But on this day, JK, it’s as if the carpet did not fully unfurl, and I tripped over the fucking thing, tripped and found myself here. Found myself thus, JK.
I have been told a number of things, but all in a language as yet unintelligible, so forgive me if I omit to relay some critical details. I have not seen a single ray of natural light since my arrival, and all food has been, as I said, biscuits. But I have been informed by these gentlemen that all is well and that I needn’t worry about a single solitary thing.
HAHAHAHAHA HAAAAAAAAAAAA HAHAHAHHAAAA HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAA HAHAHA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HAAA HA!
Excuse me if I find some of this amusing, but if you don’t mind – as a substitute for the terrific grief that rips through me – I laugh with all my teeth, all my tongue, until my gut is purged, and then I laugh again:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAHAAAAA AHAAHA HAHAAAAAAAAAAAA HAHAH AAHA HAHA
And when I’ve had quite enough I become angry, terrifically angry and vent forth as follows:
Listen, you eyeless TURDS! My name is Lui Labas. Allies beyond this shithole will cast terror upon your hairless skulls – I wage my life on it – but that aside, think a moment on this: if I can cross partitions and walls of brick without a scratch, what barrier of any consequence can you erect? THINK for a moment!
But to you JK, I confide: I have crossed all walls but one, the last wall, not even the biggest nor thickest, but I am terrified, JK … for God only knows what lies behind it! God only knows!
Ps- I send this, as agreed, by emergency protocol, but my mind is jittery and unstable so the words above may reach you diminished of sense or perhaps altered completely. Make of them what you can, JK. What you can. Lastly…
Sunday, March 14, 2010
So they say… so who do we have here?
His name is Lui Labas, sir. We picked him up off the street. There was a big tall guy with him too, a big hairy guy, but he looked irregular; we thought he’d be too much trouble, sir.
What’s he doing now?
He’s pacing up and down, sir.
Has he eaten anything?
Sir, he said today was “toosdae” sir, and on “toosdae” he says he’s supposed to have “waffls” with his sister, sir.
That does not answer my question.
Well get him some of those blasted “waffls” then.
He won’t eat them, sir.
And why the hell not!?
Sir, his sister, sir, Bee Labas. He won’t –
Shut up! Enough. You’re dismissed! Get out my sight.
Sir, one more thing, sir.
Sir, we found him in the hall last night, sir. He was –
Which one of you God-blasted incompetents forgot to lock his door?
Sir, that’s just it, sir… Sir, his door was locked, sir.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
But Lui, reaching down panties, you can do that in the dark, man. Or is it brassier clips you struggle with?
Quit giggling Brendan. No clip ever held back an able-bodied Croat, and I can make my way one hand tied behind my back. But that’s not the point. The point is you want to see stuff, you wanna look down, you wanna – anyway, let me finish. It was dark. On the groundfloor under a flimsy duvet there was me and Mica. Two floors up JK was kick-starting his back-up generator, and outside on the streets there was rumbling going on, maybe Kurds battling Turks, maybe the pulse pushing up out of the underground. Who knows, but I wasn’t about to get out of bed , no sirree. And like I said, it was pitch dark and when it’s pitch dark strange things happen. Very strange things… or maybe it’s pitch dark because strange things happen, ever thought about that?
Christ, Lui, you’re about to have sex, man. Who cares!
Right! But, for your information, as my hand was moving down along Mica’s belly – soft as peach, my friend – as my hand was moving down her belly, at that particular instant, somewhere way out – I mean WAY OUT, Bren – some an unholy chasm ripped through space like a massive blackhole shuddering, and every piece of matter this side of the universe was under its spell!
What the -
That means me, Bren, that means Mica Spirelli, that means -
When did that happen? I didn’t feel anything. You're confusing things Labas. Remember, you're about to have s-
I’m getting to that, let me finish. So -bang- huge blackhole, everything shuddering, my hand roving down in the dark, Mica reaching up, JK’s gennie rattling upstairs -
Alright, go go!
Yeah, so it being pitch dark and all, I’m going by cues now , Bren, and these little cues from Mica they just keep coming, you see, and she’s soft as peach all over, and despite all that rattling and rumbling upstairs, and that shuddering in space, despite all that, when we made the climb completely in the dark, and when we slipped off the edge and cascaded down together, there was that moment – no cues, nothing– there was that moment when everything stood completely still.
That's it!? Labas! Details, man, DETAILS!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
How can I say…. I was pissed off.
One thing I had going for me though – one thing I’ve lost since – a setv of vocal cords so badass and shreaky I silenced mother, father and attendant staff for fifteen minutes. My first fifteen minutes I owned. This was my guitar solo, and I let loose! A good thing too because for the first fifteen minutes at least, I was nameless.
Eventually, it came: Lui Antun Labas.
Understand my frustration, though, I came from a very simple place: temperature regulated, sound muted, light unnecessary, food channeled in, and me all padded out in my little my capsule, proof against impact of all sorts, doorknobs, broom handles etc. And most importantly, my thoughts reigned supreme. I crossed deserts on foot, floated weightless through the void and threw javelins at meteorites. Now and then, for sport, I kicked my mom in the gut, but mostly I was adrift in realms of my own.
Now jump thirty-five years forward… watch your step.
What do you get?
I’ll tell you, my friend. You look here. I’ll tell you what you get. A whole bunch of crap you get. Crap-you-don’t-need carefully collected. Bric-a-brac, cardboard boxes, books I’ve never read, books I’ll never read, almanacs, wristwatches ticking and defunct, maps of the world, maps of Crete, maps of Rotterdam, folders of miscellany, bits and pieces, chips off chandeliers; I have bundles of letters, letters from Leticia, shit she wrote way back when she put her hand down my pants for “feels”; I have chessboards – I have three – I have shoulder bags with leather pouches! Belts in abundance; I have scarves, my friend, long, short, fagggot-ass, you name it. Christ so much shit. Do you have all this shit? Do you have all this crap down there Bigman? Corkscrews, shower mats? You have that shit in your burrow? I’ll tell you what, don’t you envy us, my friend, don’t you envy us. You see this silky thread here – feel that. You feel that? – between me and each thing here there is such a thread. A tether, Bigman. A silky tether.
Ever heard of Gulliver? You know Gulliver, right?
Friday, February 5, 2010
Little touch of alcohol back of my throat and Drago comes to mind: his belt-flask, his schnappsy breath and the string of fucks he used to weave in and out of his language like points de soutures (fucking happy to see you my friend. You are my fucking friend!).
In goes an eighth of quiche… the crust… the crumbs…. then an olive, a wrinkly, slippery little sucker I balance on my tongue, then waterpolo around my mouth for sport before I gut it of its seed.
Another gulp of Ribbenstock. A big foamy gulp I slosh around like it’s Biaritz all up and down my molars so the undertow can wash out the eggy-paste that comes with the territory quiche Lorraine.
All sounds good and fun, you say: Lui Labas sitting around eating quiche doing squat all; 7/8th left; crazy olives in a jar; Ribbenstock cider in abundance. My friend, I can’t complain.... except for outside temperatures which have stooped to new lows; the enemy creeps in with icicles through the cracks, my toes are curled up cold, my neck is cramped and my prick has retreated –
In my bathrobe borrowed from the Belgrade Intercontinental I sit for a moment with my Ribbenstock cider. Every now and then I pop an olive, but mostly I think of what I was thinking yesterday when I was babysitting JK’s mammoth cat… It went something like this,
Sometimes there’s just nothing going on. Sometimes there’s only what you’re doing right this minute! Heck, not even what you’ve done because nothing you’ve done was really lasting. You do this, you do that, you loll about, you slumber and life does that hopscotch over your butt, skipping you in its round of rewards. Like a cat on a couch... like you my friend, bewhiskered thing-with-claws...
But thinking all this doesn’t stop me from grabbing another eighth of quiche. So that’s what I do. 6/8ths and counting...
Saturday, January 23, 2010
At the end of the day – I’ll tell you – all stacked up, it’s people I love! Warm-bodied bipeds with nerves, knots in their stomachs, blushy faces, jittery hands and above all! stuff to say: Lui, my man, what goes in a bouillabaisse? A conversation about clams, for instance. Cleavage, Labas, on older women, what do you think? (Brendan) not my favorite, but beats a diabolo hands down.
In short: long-haired, short haired, male or female, people. It’s with people I live, people I mingle, converse, interact, intercour–
(um… I hold a special and particular fondness for females– this is true – and a few even ignite fires in my groin and lower abdomen: redheads, girls from Split and Dubrovnik, classy chicks from Belgrade and so on, but this has been documented and is not the subject of this present exposé)
Where was I? People, yes, but not all people. We have here vast populations and among them, to be sure, there are some monstrosities too: six-hundred-pounders that can barely move (I speak not of the professionals that wrestle Sumo; they are incredibly agile). And there are people who are monstrous in a less visible, but equally disturbing way: some have demonic breath, others sweat like hogs. And there are even those that are monstrous in a way that is practically invisible, that can go undetected for years, but is deadly nevertheless. I speak of men and women who seed your thoughts with nettle and thorn-bush, who plant seedling quips and jibes until your mind is crawling with fucking brush and thorn, and you can’t see jack shit anymore for all the undergrowth, let alone move without scratching yourself bloody –
My list… I was going to give you my list. My list of people hand picked out of a population of 6.692 billion and counting (I just checked). Some are alive, some are dead, some I don’t know, but all are class-A, stand-up, league-of-their-own types. Clams, cleavage, stock-chit-chat, anything goes with this band of greats. Here they are, in no special order, my people:
Labas, Bee: Sister. Dome-haired semi-professional bowler. Winner of “Best Sister” and “Best Sister… Ever” National and Hemispheric. Famous words: hit me with that little rake again little brother and you lose your balls.
Benchpress, Brendan: muscle-bound macho-man. Conspiracy theorist and philandering rake (other rake). Famous words: drop the brain Labas; it draws blood from where it is needed most.
Bigman: Creature of the burrows. Holder-down of the fort and gentleman of the night. Famous words: [none in known language].
Spirelli, Mica: Au-pair extraodinaire. Lithe-limbed princess of Ljubljana. Wearer of fleecy wool and sayer of sweet-somethings. Famous words: hold my hand you baboon.
Gonzaga, Luigi: Predecessor. Barefoot soldier of the spirit. Winner of “Coolest Medieval man-of-faith” and features in “Best Haircuts of the Sixteenth Century”. Famous words: keep your word and the path will clear itself.
Stanic, Drago: Serbian. Numerate gangster. Disembodied spirit. Holder of hotdog stand on galaxy rim. Famous words: Ignore the gun please, just give me the money.
Labas, Lui: Croat. Once-in-a-while nuisance. Land animal and ocean-faring spirit. Professional. Amateur. Admirer and defamer. “Best Brother” Hemispheric bronze medalist. Famous words: I’ll just show up if your turn me away.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Thus was my ease on this quiet afternoon… Thus was my ease when the shit came down.
Holy mother of God! Umpire of the infinite! Shit-kicker Galactic! What in Jesus H –
It came down on my skull like a godly jack handle, so hard, so fast I spit pretzels in a cone-shaped spray. My hands seized what they could. My bare feet jostled. My eyes did crazy laps in their sockets.
Fast I scrambled to adjust, but Time – rascally-ticker – pulled a Houdini on my butt and double-quick tied past, present and future in a smartass little knot I could not for the life of me unravel. And thus I stood, Lui Labas, a timeless figurine completely helpless to understand what the fuck just hit me, what needle, what ballpoint pen, what crayon came down from God-knows where to probe me in the skull, here on my own square of ground!
Then – in the flash that followed– Time pressed on. Pretzels dropped like Mikado to the ground. I sprang to my feet, I reached for the doorknob and with my other hand lassoed my scarf around my neck (my faggot-ass scarf, correct, but this is not apropos right this minute), with grace I lassoed that sucker as I spun, pretzels crunching underfoot.
Meanwhile, overhead, the sky crackled like fruit-de-mer on a grill, and on the ground Turks scuttled for shelter. THEN, just before the sky turned black, just before sound vanished fully from my ears, I managed a final leap to safety, into my cube.
As I arced over the threshold – frame by frame –I felt my body’s utter tinyness, utter fragility, as if my limbs could snap like balsa wood and my skull crushed like a tortoise egg.
I landed a finger-snap later, and that’s when I heard something behind me. The sound of feet and the fresh crunch of pretzels.
I was terrified. Utterly terrified. I dared not look. I could not. I stood completely motionless, pillar-of-salt, balsa wood and eggshell...
Lui? HELLOOO. Are you in there? My man! It’s me, it’s Louis. Sorry to barge in like this. I was in the area and I thought –
Jesus Christ LOUIS!! What did I tell you about this! Send me a text for God’s sake! I told you, this biblical shit pisses me off!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
There are all kinds of reasons I don’t take advice from Brendan, but these are primary: ripped collar, v-neck on skin, muscles-from-Brussels. All three are cardinally wrong. If you have any one of these whatever else you do is irrelevant… to wit: Brendan’s belt has two sets of holes and thus two belt “forks” of stainless steel; the wallpaper on Bren’s phone is a picture of Chuck Norris kicking a giant Asian man in the face. You see where I’m going here?
But I digress.
I bring this up because the other day I wandered off into a conversation about the oneness-of-everything, that in fact we are all one, and that one day in the distant future we will all merge into a single consciousness… in a fashion.
I rejected this. I mean, I rejected it as a notion and as a possibility. The notion because it bugged me as a sentient being. The possibility because it will not happen. Why? Because I will fight it to the death, that’s why.
You have to understand that at the end of the day things could stack up terribly wrong. For instance – and this is real possibility – things could go the way of Brendan Benchpress. I cannot speak for you of course, but I will say this: I will not under any circumstance, cosmic or otherwise, wear my pants like Bren – God bless his soul – not here and not yonder in the oneness-of-light. And I encourage you to resist with me or we will all be ridiculous for rest of time.
Now, I mention this because I know how it’ll play out. First they’ll distract you, they’ll say, aaah, look here, a SUPERNOVA, a collapsing STAR – and then bang! they’ll pull a fast one on you. Your shirt will be shorn of its collar and your pecker pressed into a pant-leg, and that will be that. We will be One.
Not on my watch.
On my watch there will be differences and distinctions, there will be sleevless sweaters, sweeties and assholes. And if I merge into this oneness despite myself, if I am coerced or bamboozled, then I will go in kicking and screaming. I will bark across the galaxy into the face of this consciousness, vast and all-encompassing, and I will say to it (and thus to you!):
I am a Croat.
But above all
I am Lui Labas,
An inalienable spirit!