December 18, 1994 Web Exclusive


by Topher k

My friend and I (or was it me?-no matter) we were discussing the finer points of Fascist Social Darwinism when a swollen, bleeding, devastating flood overtook us. Right there, drinking our stale Italian sodas and dragging on our Swishers in the mall. We weren't doing anything that could have been construed as abnormal that I can recall, from here; but it isn't easy to remember here, they've engineered it thus. Psycho-engineering I believe it is, I believe. Yes, there we were suffering from a deadly lull in the conversation (somewhere between Machiavelli and Ayn Rand), & we just sat, and breathed, and stared. At each other, the wastebins, the lights, and the people eventually as well. My eyes watered at this inexplicably. I nearly drown in my own flood of my own ineffable emotion, strong though. Yes, in hindsight, it was strong. I can remember that much clearly. I felt my feet, remotely, moving towards an exit and looked down and (yes) they were. One right after the other just like they'd been taught (I always hoped they could do that on their own one day). I chuckled, I think then. Of course not outwardly, no, I was statuesque throughout the ordeal, which is probably humorous, or would be. My friend simply followed, not asking questions; she's incredibly understanding that way. I think, given the right solitude, I could love her. Maybe, though thanks be to that where I am now. I can never be sure about anything. again. Then we drove, or, rather, I drove and she sat beside and sometimes behind me. Depending on the need. Was it need? I suppose I can't really say for sure now. I'll try to think of other things for now. Yes, that seems best. To the point, I think. We (she and I, or possibly me) beat a convenience sotre clerk to his or her demise. This is what she told me. anyway. Now all I can remember is the driving and the migrating birds. I was flying. We stopped at another convenience store and again murdered the desk clerk. This time, she says, we used a can of tunafish and a bottle of that fake beer--non-alcoholic beverages, I believe, as opposed to the box of saltines we used the last time. Which was actually the first time, now that I've given it some thought. We decided to tour the area. Starting with whatever state lay helplessly above of where we were. It seemed like a wonderful idea at the time. When we (my friend and I) left a trailer of seventeen clerks in our wake, we still thought so. Two of the clerks' names were Peter, which was strange. To the south then. The clerks there were probably not particularly happy to see us. At least, she says, all but one weren't The one, she tells me, just kind of blinked, timidly, when beaten with the pack of Camels. Then he almost smiled, she says. I think she's probably lying about that. I wish I could know for sure. I don't believe or think I will ever again. If I think about it long enough hard enough the belief always comes to me (or do I come to the belief?) that she wasn't there when I killed those people. If I could call them that. None were destined to cure us of that lurid fascination with dead celebrities that keeps our ideas rooted in what was: they worked in Circle Ks, Mini-Marts, 7-11s, Gas and Gos and the like. When we got caught (again I don't think she was there, somewhere else perhaps, but not here.) in the forty-seventh state we'd toured we had (or was it just me?-no matter) just murdered Anastasia, nice girl, with a pack of Extra. Sugarless. We (I?) didn't want her to contract any cavities. I wouldn't have it any other way. she says. Then I'm here. I don't remember getting here. But they've engineered it thus. Psychic-something. I do remember talking to her in a blue forest with all those birds for hours. They all kept trying to land on us and I just batted them away. Eventually they just stopped trying. And I blinked and I'm here. It's nice here. I've never known anything better that I can be sure of. She drops by occasionally and brings me bird cages. I've not seen anything save the echoing walls for a long, long while. The florescent lights seem to throw off my biological clock which was so valuable wherever I was before I came to be. here. All I remember is the road, the driving, her occasionally (though I'm beginning to think not) and the birds. unlimited birds. And I still see these two little kids outside one of the stores, melting crayons on the hot sidewalk telling each other that somebody had it all wrong, but I forget who. It was a spectacular blend of color. waxen rainbows, I would have stayed all day but something made me feel hurried. Maybe her, maybe not. I can't recall f or sure now. Probably never again.

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