Contributor: Robin Wyatt Dunn

- -
I believe in the future.  I believe in the future.  I believe I do good for my children’s future, come what may to this old Rome of ours, I believe in the Information State.

“What’s that, Dad?”

“That, daughter, is Yankee Stadium.”

I am only a product of the Enlightenment;  so are you.  Knowledge ceased to be occult back around 1700;  that which God had hidden became only temporarily obscured, awaiting the righteous tools of men.

“Who is that, Daddy?”

“That’s who we’re looking for, honey.”

A pretty blonde.

“She’s pretty, Daddy.”

“Yes, she is, honey.  And she’s bad.”

“She’s bad?”

I see if we can get a third confirmation on the iris scan:  Interpol comes through at last;  they only have half our processor chains.

“Yes, she is, honey.  Very bad.”

Another home grown terrorist, reading Marx, Engels and Khalil Gibran in paper format, dropping off the grid for extralegal periods of time, and returning to us changed, made cancerous, filled with knowledge that has no place in civilian minds.

I press a key and she is bound for Kiev on a windowless night flight:  if she does get out of there, it will be as a corpse.

“You see, honey, I can make people disappear.”

- -

Eight years later

History is so funny.  What is sweeter than forgetting, once you reach a certain age?  

There’s always another Holocaust.  We need it, child.  We like the blood on our hands.  It fulfills some unspeakable desire.  I, who knew your eye color and your DNA and your loves and handwriting curves, I, who knew which way your dick slanted, I who knew your face in a thousand different angles, I have finally fucked myself.

And you will too, goddamn you.  What are you being trained to expect?  What do you really hope to get out of this?  You goddamned fool.  Go ahead, read.  Read, goddamn you.  

In the beginning was the whirl.  The whirl of your desire.  Entertainment.

Entertainment, child.  Entertainment, dear heart.  Entertainment, rube.  Suck that pallor off your face, reader.

Entertainment:  a containment field!  The splendor of a child’s sigh!  The curve of her thigh!  The ecstasy of these long nights!  Have you never stood on stage and felt that ancient and abiding need out there past the lights?  

Stories don’t have beginnings, middles and ends, you see.  You think Aristotle was some god?  You think he was like Jesus, shooting fire from his fingertips?  

No, stories just have necessary and unnecessary parts.  My daughter is dead, you see, I killed her.  Not with my own hands, you understand.  I didn’t do enough for her.  

I was a biometric scanner.  I was innocent enough to be surprised that the bosses were granted a free pass.  They didn’t need to be fit into the databases.

And so I found myself here in this garbage alley.  Happier, in a way, though the happiness of sleeping outdoors in a city is the strangest thing.  You’re raw, you know, rubbed down hard, and every little voice and every little breeze fills you to the brim with life, fit to burst, you can hardly take it.  It’s why we take to talking to ourselves out here.

My daughter, what happened to her?  I don’t know, to tell you the truth.  I assume she’s dead by now.  Dead to me, certainly.

It was such a nice simple story, you know?  An empire of surveillance, and an end to violence.  An end to fear.  And we all go to bed with smiles on our faces.

You know what I mean:  see how nice and Aristotelian it is?  Step 1:  identify the problem.  Step 2:  brainstorm solutions and settle on the favorite solution.  Step 3:  implement the solution.  

Why do you always need it so nice and simple?  More important, why did I?

I suppose I have to tell you this part:  you’re like me, I know.  We think simplicity has the ring of truth, that it reveals the structure of our lives, but the truth is it usually conceals.  It covers up inconvenient details;  it stifles debate.  In a fight-or-flight live-or-die world, subtlety and complexity become indulgences, rarely afforded.  

But that isn’t all of it, is it?  You want to be justified.  It isn’t enough that your desire for the predigested and the canonical reflects some ancient neurochemical habits;  you want to make aesthetic claims, like Aristotle, moral claims, even.  If it bleeds, it leads.  Elect the taller man.  If it doesn’t make sense in the first five seconds, delete it.  Why worry your pretty little head over entertainment?  You paid good money for it.

My job, as a kind of government storyteller, a weaver of details, was to coat you in the veneer of safety like a good Hallmark card, to sing you a little lullaby.  

Aren’t you better than that?  Can’t you be better than that?

Do you always insist that the good guy wear the white hat, and the villain the black?  Must I give you only the same images and sounds you’ve encountered a dozen times before, superficially rearranged?  

You are dying you see;  me, I was reborn.  

Listen, child, it’s not so hard.  It’s about attention.  What is the nature of attention?  When you attend?  When you open wide your eyes?  Wonder, or affliction?  If you wait, the gnome and the angel return, you see, the random curves into order, and it is an order that you make, you see, child, it is made together.  And that is what we forget always.  Always we forget it because creation, like birth, is the most painful.  To bring into being.  That which is always easiest as a child becomes so hard later.

Let me remind you:  when your Daddy told you you could be whoever you wanted, he wasn’t lying.

Who do you want us to be now?  And ask yourself:  how did I get this transmission to you?

Your cursor is blinking.    

- - -
Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park. He is 33 years old.
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -