Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A palindrome is when a clown climbs out of the vagina of another clown. And then another clown climbs out of the vagina of the clown who is climbing out of the other clown's vagina. And then a third etc etc ad nauseam to infinity. It's confusing. I hate clowns. Just thinking about them like this makes me want to vomit in somebody's open mouth. And magic. What is wrong with people? If your job is being a clown or doing magic tricks then you are an asshole. An ass-hole with a hyphen. Sorry to be so blunt but what the fuck is wrong with you? Do something else. Get a job. Watch TV. Rob a bank. I don't care. And this never-ending circle of clowns birthing clowns, is this what my life has become? Do I read the same backwards as I do forwards?
I guess so. It's snowing now and it's weird because my thermostat is set at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live somewhere where weather is measured in litres then you should know that 80 degrees Fahrenheit is hot. Even though it is freezing outside, literally to the point where the sky is cracking wide open and falling into great white mounds in my driveway, it remains uncomfortably warm in my house. I wear shorts and drink beer and shout BOO YA at my dog just like I do in the summertime but it isn't summertime and everybody knows it. All it takes is one look outside and it all comes crashing down. God's sleety jizz splattering against the windows, gutter sluts doing whore angels in the dirty snow; it's winter out there and I hate it.
But no matter, I will get in my car and drive to work tomorrow, sliding around on the icy roads and when I get there I'll tell Dave he's a cunt and I'll schedule a meeting to brainstorm ideas for next week's meeting and then I'll drive back home and eat dinner alone with the phone in my hand and I won't call my father or my children and I'll watch that show about the guys who say funny things and then I'll go to bed and record my innermost thoughts into a tape recorder that I hold in my hand above my head and I will accidentally drop it and it will land on my face and I will say something like "that's about right."
But the next morning, well maybe not the next or the one after that, but one morning I will listen to the previous night's recording and it will say "clowns are okay" and I will look into the mirror and I will say "clowns are okay" and that will be that. And people who do magic I guess.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
It's 1979 and Justin Bieber has just bombed the Masjid al-Haram, Islam's holy site at Mecca. Pakistani students are storming the local offices of Bieber's record company, Island Def Jam. They are burning it to the ground. I am in a reinforced safe room in the basement and I am okay. I'm writing with a pen on some paper and there's a girl and she is painting a picture of a man without a face. It's a protest piece. Something about facial recognition technology. She asks me what I'm writing and I tell her that it is a script for a TV show. It's the final episode of Welcome Back Kotter.
"What are you talking about?" she says. "Welcome Back Kotter came on before I was even born."
I tell her what I'm talking about. "It's the one where Horshack is dealing with being married and Freddy and Epstein have a fight."
"What year is this?" the girl asks. Then she says "look at your phone."
"My phone says it is 1979."
And now things are weird between us. And someone is pounding on the door. It's Bieber.
"Let me in," he says.
"Let him in," the girl says.
"Don't come in," I shout. "You'll fuck everything up."
"Can't stop me," Bieber says. "I'm a member of the United States 361st Psychological Operations Company."
"Shit," says the girl and then she sends me a text message. He thinks we're terrorists.
The word is in my brain. TERRORIST.
And things are changing. There are thoughts. Memories. TERRORISTS.
This isn't a record company. They think I'm a terrorist. The music is loud. It's hard to think. Why do I have my phone? Why is she texting me?
"It's in the painting," she says. "Tell me about the painting."
"It's not my painting."
"Look at your hands," she says. "Tell me about the painting."
My hands are splattered with blood.
"It's paint," she says. "Tell me about the painting."
I'm closing my eyes and I can see things inside of my mind. Words and diagrams. Calculations. Code. Hardware. Wires and lenses and plastic casings. I'm inventing facial recognition technology.
She's sticking a needle into my veins.
"I'm an artist now," I say.
"Once a terrorist," she says.
"But I sold it," I say. "To the FBI."
"Indeed," she says. "But what came next. Ibiza, of course. But what after that?"
"Art," I say.
"You don't think we would track someone like you? Tell me about the Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics."
"I packed it in after Ibiza. I swear."
"Tell me about the Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin."
"I was studying," I say.
"Fiqh, kalam, Bieber, tafsir, philosophy, science, language, literature. Please turn the music off. I can't think straight."
"You were Hawza."
"No," I say. "They wouldn't allow it. I was just learning. About myself. About the world. People."
"Bombs," she says.
"Bieber," I reply. "BIEBER."
I'm awake now. Bed. Hospital. Pakistan. The nurses are laughing and there is a soldier.
"You told them everything," the soldier says. "You should never tell them everything. Now come with me. We're going to see Justin."