Sometime back he landed a job editing for a woman that he knew. A filmmaker in her own right, the woman had many segments to be changed in terms of the level of contrast. Darkened according to the requirements of post-production or who knew what. The unexpected irony of the job was whenever one modified the frame it wouldn’t darken the frame but instead change the demeanor of the characters within it? It would also then affect a poster that he had been working on downtown that was being transferred to wall art. The female artist noticing this change splayed all over the finished brick wall as he finished it. The experience convincing me to accompany another of his peripheral lady friends of his to venture up to Canada in order to chase UFO’s. He accompanied this friend into the forest being told all the way that there will be some stuff to see. Having retired in the evening he awoke to experience his own urgent need to defecate. Then pulling down his sleeping bag only to find to his horror that he had shit himself now covered from the waist down in his own crap.
Decades later, he now lived in L.A. with a son that worked in his own movie that he produced and as a professional armorer to other films in the movie industry. The first scene of his own production utilizing an old water cooled Browning heavy machine gun that had been completely disassembled and spread out upon the studio’s floor. The man arriving on the scene before his son encountering an assistant. The smart aleck responding to the father’s request to do something pointing at the plethora of parts and quipping, “Put that together!” He walked around the ‘bazillion’ parts carefully taking in their relative configuration then turning to the smirk Alec replying, “No I can’t!“, then turning to say, “But there are other parts here about that I am responsible for putting together, including my son who is your boss!” The old man smirking at the chastened young man adding, “That I can do! I know my son.”
His next most recent exploit had him stuck on the outskirts of a desert town in broad daylight. The inside of the car that he had purchased the previous year was dirty as hell. Otherwise, it was empty of anything, luggage, gold clubs, and the whole bit. The damn thing just sat there as he pumped the gas. It wouldn’t turn over, even though he had mentally gone over all the possible causes. After some time he realized what he thought was wrong with it turned out to not be not what was wrong with it at all. The starter would turn but the motor just wouldn’t catch. It just sat there behind the wheel unmoving until a tow truck happened by. He got a job on a work detail that was not much different than that of a prison work detail but without the leg chains. The task at hand consisted of breaking up natural limestone formations using a bucket of vinegar and forcefully applying a claw ended crow bar. It turned out to everyone’s surprise that he was exceptional to the task of fracturing stone finishing his section long before the others. The end of the day being given due verbal credit for the same.
Now back at home, it was late. Very late! Or rather it was early just before the arrival of the Sun’s rise. He lay in the bed nursing his aches and pains. Some that seemed to be newly discovered along with others that were old enemies of that now false impression of persistent youth that would come at night to plague him. Sleep was intermittent. It was hard to get more than an hour or more uninterrupted of rest before being awakened. That nightly contest between failing bowel and bladder vying for attention. Or now increasingly the climax of a fantastic nightmare that saw him bail out back into that consistent waking dream of ongoing linear existence. The passing impressions then quickly desiccating into vague dissembled imagery that left him only the creaks and moans of the structure around him. Quick little painful incidents not unlike those other in command of his own material embodiment. The basket woven about him signifying that things were possibly coming to an end.
This place that he called home was far out of joint. A shaky tower of yesteryear’s imagination overbuilt of slab construction weighing heavily upon an insubstantial foundation. This twenty plus stories sinking more each year into a relatively insubstantial firmament of clay. The floor on his level canting here and sliding a bit off plumb there. It had become apparent to the eye and feel that the ‘new’ kitchen that had been installed some twenty years previous was now visibly on a cant. The stove tilting forward leading edge below the from of the counter. The dips and peaks of simply walking down the common hallway from the elevators suggesting the elastic nature of the structural concrete. The marked fall of the perimeter of the outer walls out of sync with the core suggesting a slow form of eventual destruction that if left unheeded might result in being caught in a future collapse.
The building had been overbuilt some ten stories past what had been initially planned on paper. Nine stories now extended to twenty creaking and moaning some sixty years after the fact. The developer loading his bank account with the further revenue that the additional stories produced. Then dumping it in the condo craze that suddenly blossomed the second decade after its construction. The municipality inbred from long association with career grifters ever read to turn a quick profit on the misery of others turning a blind eye to this scam. No doubt after receiving some form of tribute acknowledging their cut. Those once active players now unreachable to be held to account on the fact of their presently all now being food for the worms. That long season of death was upon him. The death of his parents at the beginning of the decade culminating as of late with the passing of his aunt and another peripheral member of his extended family. He was running out of the possibility of offering an active past by way of those still living that could verify the beginnings of his own existence. The death of the world that presently defined him now at hand.
His station in society now transformed into something beyond his own recognition. Though still stable enough to provide moderate comfort and security enough for his growing infirmities. The general impression spread over all through the specious nature of the news of the day being a further burden of having to contend with the universal institution of a bombardment by the latest communication technology of a type of radar waves that were said by some to degrade the human organism over time. The constant broadcasting and simultaneous monitoring of humanity as a whole more important than maintaining its continued existence. The most evident affect of this shifting form of environment being up a muddying up of personal consciousness. The inability to postulate one’s own without some form of external prompting. The other side affects being aches and pains that were similar to those that he was currently experiencing. This making it hard to operate in that old sense of conventionality. He lay there counting the intervals between one moment and another his consciousness diverted from his leg twitching to an unaccustomed stiffness in his arm. The dull constant pain near the patella of his knee signifying a problem with circulation. The question of his own final collapse was at hand. It seemed imminent.
Earlier in the evening he had gone to the washroom and fumbled some aspirin out of the cabinet and taken a couple of tabs. The effect of the medication seeming to after so many minutes relieve the fogginess in his head. The sensation masking another symptom of the storm cloud of a lurking headache just below the horizon of his active consciousness. Advancing age and a nightly grinding from anxious sleep had left his teeth in the back of his mouth actively crumbled. Had he retained any of his former wealth it might have presented a dentist’s paradise! Was the sum total of both interior and exterior conspiring in some form of cosmic sympathy to inform him that his own time was coming to a close? His eyes now closed staring at the ceiling through the coverlet of the flesh of his eyelids searching for something past the furtive shadows from street traffic passing far below. Scenarios forming upon this darkened stage before him showing that one fatal moment when an unexpected collapse of his corner building would fall apart around him.
And what, by God’s grace if provided a few moments to plot an escape, he would choose to grab? Something potent with past memories? His imagination painting himself attempting to wend his way through collapsing stone and broken concrete. Perhaps with an unaccustomed degree of physical effort getting down to the outboard patio on the fifth floor and hurling himself over the parapet to the section of roof of the strip mall just adjacent? Then with bruised ankles limping to the furthest extension of same far away from his building’s collapse. The inertia of his animal fear without the persistence of reason causing himself to once again jump to the asphalt of the parking lot and maybe do his limbs further damage. The final result being a broken ankle or worse? Now free of danger turning back to see his former home’s twenty story’s sloughed and off kilter at half their former height, many floors now fully pancaked one upon the other. These static musings causing him to wonder if in such a scenario if he would have enough energy and vitality to accomplish this stunt? Could he even climb over that last two story wall extending himself by the grip of his hands hanging from its parapet and dropping to the ground below?
The conclusion of this mental narrative leaving him there stirred from rest half naked gripping a small valise overstuffed with remained of his mortal possessions wondering what future was left to be enjoyed. There eventually to be discovered by the appointed rescuers accordingly to their assigned tasks. What if that small bag was found missing after regaining consciousness int he hospital. That small automatic now missing that had been his constant bedmate comforting him for decades that his rest would not be interrupted by some untoward aggression by parties unknown. Would it have been taken away with all the other remnants of his newly severed past? That only final heirloom bespeaking a solitary habit that he would hope had been rescued from before. This new society disarming that former right to, “Repeal all borders!” The many discs and papers that formed some continuity with the present now in the collective heap of what was now off limits to all save workers conveying it to a landfill. The mandatory transfer of his own body and should to this hospital vouchsafing that they would be permanently beyond his reach. The local hegemony of bureaucrats grabbing whatever could be salvaged now gleaned further down the line for the benefit of their own new communal society at large. And he now left, Table Raza, for the remainder of his life. Bereft of the possibility of raising any sort of evidence that a former past pertaining directly to him had once existed. In that uncertain amount of time left would he walk about in those final years, or months, bereft of any motivation to summon the will to survive? And empty personality just waiting for his own death. Now completely stripped of possibility by a society that had descended like a cloud causing all for reasons of changing politics to forget. One could only wonder?
He had read articles over the last several years about a device that had been created under the excuse of the banner of scientific exploration for changing the gravitation of a small section of the the earth. Supposedly implemented at an unprecedented fantastic cost to investigate the origins of the perceivable universe. The mode of logic employed by their collective not unlike that of a newly blinded person in a dark room. Lost for the blinding light of day on so many issues of going so far as to endanger all collective life and limb. This soluble madness of hubris dampening all reason of these megalomaniacs that used that excuse to sally forth down a darker path. The analogy carried further seeing this same individual striking a match in the midst of a bunker full of gunpowder expecting to discover the source of some sunlight. Mankind had been like that for some time having degenerated into a false sense of mounting sophistication that did nothing more than produce an additional burden upon the firmament of this thoughts. These contradiction of logic posing as solid truths in fact being willful superstitions presented as science for the sake of a hegemony fearful of losing control. The gelatin-like substance filling the brain case behind these thoughts now being slowly microwaved. The solidity of their dogmas as malleable as the Jello gelatin-like reason governing the long checkered past of failures endured by all. An active folly posed in unquestioned amalgam of old laws of thermodynamics demanding that every action beg and equal and opposite reaction. All the wars, all the gunshots fired, all the explosions and detonations of mines; the inspired events come of discoveries by Alfred Nobel’s; the letters by Albert Einstein’s to sitting presidents affirming the discoveries of Max Planck’s and Enrico Ferme’s; along with all the other madmen that discovered a new way to unleash all the forces of the universe to the maximum of their destructive potential! All placed with the touch of a perverse leader to explode the planet little by little.
And now with the popular madness inspired through example of fictional Dr. Mabuse’s and Professor Moriarity’s, a collective self-destructive mindset threatening the stability of the universe by following the goal of creating a singularity to govern all. The achievement of which would serve to swallow all humankind into a real black hole despite all assurances to the contrary. All for the sake of a megalomaniac’s demented dream to displace the ultimate governing powers of the gods.
He came back from the quiet terror of these speculations to his own imagined world of dilemmas that the obsequious agents of his building were avoiding as best they could. Too timid and unwilling to be confronted by the tenants that based upon the past inaction on so many pressing issues were now wary of them. Both side not wishing to have to endure the next encounter but driven by the growing extremity of the festering situation were driven by the fear that one was imminent!
Dawn approached as the sleepless man awoke for he sixth time. The last interval shortening to a matter of some minutes. He noticed that his own penis was standing vertically erect as if in sympathy with that of the depiction of an ancient primeval Egyptian god. He wondered about this iconic legacy of the past experienced by all males at the approach of the Sun. Certainly a surprise to all those presently impotent aging older males! He extended the back of his had out to rest upon the coolness of the covers and thought about what he had experienced int he last segment of his life. That mutual desire by both landlord and tenant to accommodate each other. The landlord’s of this pyramidal society offering the absurdity of organic bread and other tidbits branded as health to offset plans for enacting a final mass extinction. And all their tenants clinging to some impossible hope that life as they once thought they knew it would be brought back to some semblance of normal. Offering to their liege their patience and continued silence to once more again hear out the continued claims of their former landlord’s absurd promises. Ones that promised that after their phalanxes of bureaucrats had finished their appointed task of enthralling all, these slaves would be made whole. Both factions blinded to the impossible task of finding accommodation in these conflicting goals. The only conceivable result to this dilemma coming in a day in the not too distant future of the discovery of a moment of both’s total destruction. The long habit of persisting through memory now employed to guide him through each room. Little by little, half step by quarter step, he slowly navigated his own environment,
Having become blind he had to substitute his sense of feel for his eyes. Step by step, now he could feel the texture of the floor through the soles of his feet. Within his mind that scene from childhood of caterpillars upon a leaf alternately extending their long antennas, Each one slowly and incrementally dipping down to feel about to chart the path ahead. The sounds of his own passing across the environment attenuated into providing an auditory roadmap confirming the exploration of his touch. Accidental impacts unforeseen causing an instantaneous pause. His toes stubbing the newly discovered fact of a pair of slippers resting errant upon the floor. A surprise of sorts? After a slow travel he imagined that he could navigate with a confidence of his own surety within his own domain. The bed now was just before him and he twisted around to sit down with the assurance that there would be no unfortunate surprises. He lay back in the bed and was restored to that nightly first moment when one would first close their eyes and expected an uninterrupted peace. That same mental stare at an empty ceiling where these same nightly shadows would accompany him to sleep.
The dream that he drifted to having him in the guise of an aging student of the arts that was taking a class along with others very much younger than his own years. The professor conducting the class being dismissive of the half-hearted efforts of the dreamer. The evidence of this student’s inattention being some construction paper cutouts that were in a shambles. The final test ahead being at another location,the man now being directed by his aggravated teacher to load himself along with some other students in the back of a pickup truck. The rough ride encountered playing further havoc with the man’s failing creation as he attempt to salvage it. His turn at the subsequent examination held seeing him verbally attempting to put the remaining pieces not savaged by this ride into a recognizable form. The scene fading back into the cold dark reality of his bed.
He dragged himself to the window and pulled it open then stuck his head out into the vast restless ocean of cool air. The drop below him being some fifteen stories or more. One by one, vaulting one leg after the other coming to rest upon the narrow sill he climbed out of his former world. The particulars of a chance to defy his desire to impulsively jump and survive and were quite obviously next to nil. One quick flight like a chick evolved finally into adulthood format he edge of the nest. One could only wonder!