And the light shone in through the light, through the negative, and the sprockets could not keep pace. They tore themselves in all directions, limbs of suicidal silver nitrate turning them- selves into whispers of reflective hair bounding itself into ropes and cords, in chains, that hair. And from the acid it emerged, not revealed, but completely blank, so that not only was the current picture removed, but all traces within the mind of the event, of the day, of the moment, obliterated. It was a snake, and eventually it tore itself free from the bath of my own self resignation, my own complacency with the past, and began to crawl forward. Image after image, no longer images, but notes of condemnation branded in by the reflective light of Mars. I slowly crept backwards, but the film, the light and light, kept moving forward, this time, with almost military skill and precision. I grabbed it by the throat, and the blood rushed.
I had this vision, and already I am at fault for the sin of writing it down. What do you say? You inspect no sin bound to the iron chains of my hemoglobin, those iron gates that rust with the passing of each monoxide mistress, caressing the bars? No, it is a sin to transcribe language. Not only does it make us more forgetful, more neglectful of information, but in addition, it forces us to refuse privilege to the primacy of speech. What is speech, may you ask? Speech, each word like burning fire fondled phlegm coming out of my chest, speech, and this is so. I was born with a speech impediment. Oh, why do I lie? I gave myself a speech impediment, and it was through my own stupidity, my own ignorance. I found no difference between the sounds made by “f,” “th,” and “v”; for me they are all the same. I recognized the difference at some point in my life, I simply did not find the energy to care to maintain the separateness of these distinct sounds.
So there was my life, a jumble of sounds that rose and fell in privilege and primacy within the confines of my mouth. And for years I cried that I could not be understood, I cried in all corners. But after the tears came the realization that I was given the gift, to be able to speak, not for the sake of others, not for their enjoyment nor their benefit. Rather, I was given the gift to speak solely to myself, in mutilated whispers, and from there, from that point in spacetime, I could become man.
And so when I write, that gift is abused, tortured, mistreated. I cannot do so without guilt, but I must. My poor head, my little sick head. I have no compassion for it, but I implore you to perhaps shed some. It cannot contain everything, all information, it cannot do that. So I must write. Kill me. Rip out my acid-soaked fingers so that they may begin to pick fights with each other in the alleys of my knuckles.
And another membrane of mind will peel off. Look, look at the ant scatter itself across the brick, its mortal life sending telegrams to the sun through the wires of its feet, pressing themselves against the earth, gently rocking it back and forth, vibrating it as to allow the moon to listen, and the sun to watch. Soon, the ant will die, and his fate is also mine, and its memory will be forgotten, but let the brain within each blade of grass, and the brain infused within the mud of the brick, and my humanoid mind, be etched with each tearing apart, each bubbling of its exoskeleton. These minds will peel off, like the skin of an onion, and find within their loneliness some eternity amongst all that is forgotten
So yes, there is virtue in being forgotten; there is redemption in this too. God, this man was forgotten. He used to be a man, like any other, with pain, and feelings, and aggravations, and jealousy, but that was forgotten, and all that was remembered of him were some miracles and choice pieces of earthly advice that are now handed out on the street and can run a man less than ten American dollars at any backlot bookstore. I personally do not believe in God, but you do, you, you do believe in God. So, if you have any compassion for him, stop worshiping Him, stop praising Him! His cross, this was His suicide. He did not die for you, He died for himself.
Constantly praising Him. Sometimes He may have just wanted to masturbate. And you, continue to praise Him. Let the man have His rest.
So God was forgotten, so there is virtue in this too. To be forgotten, and to be a subject of that kingdom of the lost. My grandfather gave me upon my birth a golden watch. I used to walk around with this watch, until I lost it. And so for months, I would lose my mind, crash it against walls and stone edifices. I hated myself, his one possession in this world, and I had lost it. He died, he isn’t. With the loosing of that watch, his spirit was too lost in the closet, and so a greater pain set into the honeycomb holes of my skull, and the roots of my teeth receded, only leaving with them the shadow of death’s afterthought.
It was much like the taste that one gets in one’s mouth upon waking up in the morning. That numbing metallic taste. I once hated this feeling, but over time I began to appreciate it. I began to worship the feeling of grogginess in my bones, the feeling of not being fully awake. I found my grandfather’s watch one day one the ground, and it had stopped working. It was not that the battery had run dry, for I could still feel those little calvarymen of energy course through the hands of the clock, but it rang silent. When the watch was lost, it was still working, my grandfather was still alive, within that watch. But once it was found, once it was discovered again, it died.
So live while forgotten. And this, this is my pain with the written word. The fact that no longer can things be forgotten; all is remembered; all is recorded, and saved for history. To be impermanent is to be blessed, to be transient, is to live amongst all that is good.
And it, with each breath, and with each movement. It—sick fly flapping its wings with each tormented moan. In the corner, he speaks a language of coughs and moans, the sound of a electrical transformer turning on and off constantly. His eyes are two sewage pits, looking into space blindly, as if in a trance. I can sense, in his every breath he is possessed by some demon. Oh, what a sweet little head, it hangs low—but then again, like a door that had yet to be greased, the creaking dawn matching pitch with the creaking—ribs rub against each other like two sticks attempting to make fire. And then, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap. Fly thou into thy spawn, back to your nest! All is at once silent, and I walk forward. Inside the skin—life, outside the skin—death. And to mix the inside with the outside? There he sits on the bench in the park. There, and not here, but there, a distance away in mind and land. To go from here—to there. And now, I have grown sick again. And they will mix. A small nick in the side of his neck. He would not even react. Just sit there, breathing as all disgusting humans do, breathing human breaths.
But why am I rambling like this? There is no point in this activity, just because I have a gut that speaks through my mouth, coughing up my entrails. All the pain I feel, all the sensitivity, in whatever amount it may exist creeps through my stomach to my diaphragm, and decides there to fester and to fuck itself to oblivion, creating petulant little offspring. Constantly crying, constantly in need of nutrition, these cretins. “Come here, my overly analytical mind will give you rich milk, laden with fat,” and the children of my anxiety continued to whine. “Stop it, stop it, you termites!” They turn me into glue.
I once read that the moment before death is better than all moments of one’s life put together, synthesized. To be perpetually caught in them moments before death, is that not our fate? In that exact spot, I sit, the world spinning too fast to allow even my contents to spew forth. I am kept together by the sheer speed of it all.
The fly came to me, that man on the bench. “Did I ever tell you the story about the pony? There was once a sick horse that went to the teller, and in a scraggly voiced asked to make a deposit. The teller asked if he was sick, and the pony replied, ‘no, I’m just a little horse.’”
And with that, a small nick was made in the side of his neck, and the inside was mixed with the outside. Goodbye, old friend. I will meet you in that cosmic penitentiary. We may tap against
each other’s cell walls little love notes. I will seal mine with the signature—M.L. Lubin.