I was reading about black holes today, which put me in a certain kind of mood. The Japanese have a word for it “Yugen” . That and I saw this picture (warning 10 MB picture), which is a super-high-res image of a fraction of the stars in our own galaxy.
You know I’ve always thought there was something deeply wrong with me. Partially because of the two links above. I’ve had people get very red-faced, very loud and and sure about certain ideas they have, including ideas that are really quite fantastic, compelling stories, like God and the Afterlife and Retirement, when the very fact that all those stars out there exist reduces so much of all of that noise coming out of people’s mouths to be….
Not that I know any better. I am so awfully aware of how little I know that I indulge myself in a congruently complimentary hobby/passion/desperate need: to make things up. If I had it my way I would be a professional-maker-upper. I don’t want to call them novels or fiction, I want to call them stories. That’s all they are in the end.
In that spirit I’m writing this flash fiction medley which is is comprised of ideas that have taken root somewhere inside of me, that I have been quite an abysmal parent to, always claiming tomorrow I will finally write them all out, and do them justice. However in light (or lack thereof) of super-massive black holes of infinitely large mass and infinitely small volume I will deny my perfectionism and just let the ideas flow, like so much kaleidoscopic vomit.
Starting with The Third Planet Is Sure They’re Being Watched By An Eye In The Sky (because I love Modest Mouse and because Edward Snowden). This would have/will be/should have been a story about an obscure band with some average to pretty decent instrumentalists who acquire, randomly at a party, the skills of a front-girl and lyricist of dubious reputation- she has an obsession with psychedelics and is rarely seen sober, a sort of neo-hippy that others dismiss as pretentious.
Her name is Rachel and her parents are rich and thus the band plays at her place, which is austere and owned by her single father, the too serious CEO of some impenetrably dull hedge fund.
She writes these strange lyrics and sings in an off-beat falsetto with the band wishing she sounded more like Haylee Williams but they can’t deny the poetry, the way in which her words are so enigmatic, flow so easily, and how she never ever writes them without being at the very least stoned, if not tripping all over everybody’s balls.
The band is obscure, they get some hits on Xanga- using the new-fangled internet (did I not mention this all takes place in the 80’s?), play a few concerts but never make it big. They are torn apart by the tragic suicide of their front-girl, who falls in love with the gay guitarist that found her at the party and can’t hack the impossibility of it all.
The band falls apart, the lyrics left online.
Till they are found by a certain boy decades later. He fails to find anyone to take credit for them. On 4chan him and a dedicated few begin to form a subculture over these lyrics on account of how eerily accurate they are when it comes to historical events in the 21st century.
Funny thing about these lyrics. They are strangely prophetic. Very much like an 80’s version of Nostradamus, Rachel had somehow written down these hard to understand, rolling lines, that all seemed to come true. So this subculture spawns a member, who didn’t show her tits then GTFO, who becomes, through some twist of fate (in other words a realty TV show contestant), super-famous, ga ga famous, and after singing the autotuned songs of successful song writers eventually releases her own album- remixes of Rachel’s lines, catchier now with a bit of dubstep to underline the drop.
The last song in the album contains lines that suggest that this was what was always going to happen anyway, and whilst scholars spend a goodly amount of time debunking and arguing against the prophetic nature of all the other songs (not unlike a an 80’s remixed Nostradamus) it is very difficult to argue against the rather explicit nature of these final lines that talk about another girl from another time when information is far more free taking her words and making them widely known.
See why I don’t finish these stories? That one could go one for awhile.
There is also Sonder, a story I really keep telling myself I’ll write, which is meant to be about a single day in the life of this person, and how it ends suddenly, and how although there is all this pain in his life- a divorce in process, a job that does not treat him so well- he values the time he has waiting, at the bus, or at lunch, the in between times, where he listens to these fantastic pod casts that teach him all about natural selection, or the general theory of relativity; space and time and history.
And at the end of this day, through random chance he is struck by a car, on his to the operating theater- with his broken family and wife united by the tragedy, all around him wishing him well with superstitious but well-meaning platitudes and the invocation of a plethora of conflicting Gods; then, in that gurney with the tube in his mouth he starts to imagine.
He imagines zooming out, of that hospital, and appreciating the hundreds of lives in the same building- like disparate atoms in a gas cloud all heading towards their own destinies, all of equal importance, all comprising a whole. From their he zooms out to the city block and wonders at the various animals, the sparrows and cockroaches that have evolved to fill their various nooks in the shadows where tigers once stalked- the strange ways in which life has continues to reproduce itself and that trajectories through time those species have taken…he zooms out again to the whole island, considers the geological movements, the plate tectonics of the island breaking off, reforming, the volcanic violence that led to it’s original creation- and he zooms out even more to consider the earth, wrapped in it’s atmosphere against the void, this pale blue dot with all the variety, all the life, all the water and wealth of chaos- and zooms out again, to the solar system and the strange series of collisions that led to the planets, the life cycle of Sol, and again to the galaxy with it’s billions upon billions of sisters to Sol and all that potential, the potential for all those hospital tragedies, and again to all the billions of other galaxies and the sheer amount of other things, the shadow of infinity- and without God, and without answers, with one single tear rolling down his face, the man is content in the face of death. Without words, without actions, with his imagination alone he traversed all of space and time.
The definition of Sonder.
The anesthesia dulls him to sleep and he dies on the table and his imagination is lost to an invisible past only the reader might have appreciated.
Let’s go for the hat trick, one time, with my final story-yet-unwritten: Get Krunk
Which is quite simply about a man who does not drink much, or dream much, whose life is turned somewhat inside out by the collapse of his company, a sudden thing that discards him, and all the things he thought were important, and leads him to a bar his fellow workers always frequent and he never did, where they regale each other with happy memories he missed in his endearing naivete, and how he drinks quite heavily that night.
He stumbles out of the cab home too early near a football field where the lights of the stadium hypnotize him- shadows, young, dance underneath those sharp lights, and he stumbles towards them driven by a mysterious line “get Krunk, get Krunk”…and he finds himself in a party for high-schooler’s, and he joins.
This man he looks so young and his askew tie and stained suit mark him as cool among all these teens. The story would have been about the lie he lives for one insane, magical night, where he tries to relive his past, and would have turned on a girl, the kind of girl he wishes he would have had, and how he realizes at the end how late it is, when, she brandishes her fake ID with pride.
I’m not certain what he would have done during that party but I think it would have had something to do with making a heartfelt speech about the future for these young ones, and something about how he befriends a supposed younger version of himself, who really is not like him at all- and that realization that he can’t even guide himself, because of course there is no one like him- not truly- that truth hurts.
I probably would have ended with the girl and whether he has sex with her or not because that shit sells.
Three’s a crowd apparently so I’ll cut the medley short. It’s kind of freeing to let these stories out so I might do this again soon. It’s also a form of cheating which appeals to me.