Thursday, September 27, 2007


this one a long time have i watched. all his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. never his mind on where! he! was! hmm? what! he! was doing!
- yoda

..i have only to wear black socks to be stigmatised as the demon overlord
- andrew eldritch

i checked my horoscope with a kind of foreboding today. i had this feeling it was going to say 'you can run but you can't hide, motherfucker! today's the day the shit's gonna hit the motherfucking fan'. well, that'd be the gist, anyways. horoscopes don't talk like that, after all. maybe this instead:

the moon in your sign today exerts a powerful force toward resolution. if there's something you've been avoiding facing, the time may have come to pay the piper, you evil snake-owning motherfucker.

it didn't say that though. it said 'instead of using your imagination as an escape, create an inner landscape that matches your goals. these intentions can then pave the road for your journey.'

i stared at it. it seemed like pretty good advice. and apart from that i was pleased and gladdened and humbled that my horoscope had not taken the chance to kick me when i was expecting to be kicked. instead it offered an olive branch of peace and reconciliation and i was pleased and gladdened etc.

i am not entirely sure why i have this feeling of foreboding. well, actually, i have one or two ideas. here's one of them:

i took accidental revenge on the puppy for pissing and shitting everywhere by accidentally abandoning him. it happened like this: i'd finished mopping up all the piss and shit and was going to the post office to pay bills and rent. the puppy darted between my legs as i set my feet on the ground and lifted them again, one after the other: walking. seemed like he needed a walk. he had the vitamin b at the moment: i was moving slowly, partly cos i was tired from cleaning up piss and shit and partly so i wouldn't kick him by accident.

i got his lead and put it on him and we walked to the post office, him darting this way and that, me lifting one foot at a time off the ground and replacing it a little way down the road.

the post office is on a busy busy road and there was nowhere to tie him up nearby that wouldn't have let him run on to the road and he's too little to know why this is a bad idea. so i tied him up around the corner out the front of the sisters of mercy. which sisters of mercy? i'll tell you later. oh hi, steve. what's up? i'm a little busy-

STEVE: i'm enjoying the stories but there is one literary device you're using a lot which i'm getting sick of. can i tell you which one?

ME: (aside) god, i use so many potentially-annoying literary devices..

1) saying 'i said that already' all the time.
2) saying something untrue and then saying 'i didn't really. i just made that bit up', which i stole from bill bryson.
3) mixing teenage language like 'hafta' and 'probly' and 'lil' with unnecessary erudtion, which i stole from fafblog, along with the very long sentences that go all over the shop.
4) writing stories that are almost entirely digression, which i stole from.. can't remember. but cryptonomicon by neal stephenson uses it very entertainingly.
5) writing about everything: herman melville, salman rushdie, tom robbins.
6) very short sentences. thanks don delillo! chapters the length of other people's paragraphs. thanks richard brautigan!
7) hyperlinks all over the place: bloggers in general, but especially boingboing.
8) explaining the obvious: douglas adams and fafblog again. and maybe neal stephenson too.
9) gratuitous swearing mixed with erudition: get your war on and deadwood.
10) writing in lower case all the time. no-one to blame for that but myself.
11) treating the group email as a storytelling form. ditto.
12) long lists. blame annie proulx in the shipping news and accordion crimes .
13) using the flimsiest of delaying tactics to create suspense.
14) treating a group email as a tiny novel with chapters and quotes etc.
15) over-use of quotes: i was doing this already but meeting the quote generator certainly encouraged me to do it a lot more.

(to STEVE) sure, go ahead!

STEVE: the one where you blame the reader for YOUR digressions.

ME: (aside) oops, forgot one:

16) blaming the reader for one's OWN digression.. fafblog again. you guys should really read fafblog if you like this kind of thing. guy's a genius.

(to STEVE) aaaaah i don't think i'll be giving that up any time soon, sorry.

STEVE: but..

ME: anyway, quit interrupting, steve! i'm trying to tell a story!

i walked into the post office. everything was different. everything that used to be there was gone except the scales and they were somewhere else now. the room was a different shape too. there was also a TAB counter in the corner and this threw me most of all. it seemed wrong somehow that there should be a TAB counter in the post office. i felt like the separation of church and state had been violated.

the guy with a hook for a hand wasn't there either. there was only the quiet guy with a beard who used to stand quietly off to the side sorting mail. maybe there'd been some kind of coup and the quiet guy had deposed the hook-handed leader of the post office and begun at once to re-organise his domain to his liking.

it was very confusing and it took us a long time to do the bills and rent thing. he ended up getting me to a) withdraw money, which he handed to me, and then b) give almost all of it back to him. it was like a dance or some funny exchange system such as marcel mauss described in 'the gift'. or perhaps the clumsiness of the transaction was a clue that he is an impostor and the true king of the post office is languishing in a cell somewhere, plotting his return.

eventually we were done and i went home. i frolicked about putting words next to one another for a while and putting sounds next to each other and putting letters next to each other. when i got tired of this i went and lay on the couch with alaska and watched cartoons for an hour or so. georgia came in.

'have you seen tigger?' she said. tigger is what we call the puppy. tigger pony, that's his full name, though i call him 'lil puppy pup-pup' most of the time. anyway, i hadn't seen him. we thought about it for a little while.

'did you bring him back from the post office?' she said. i had to admit that i couldn't remember doing that.

'AAAAAAAH! QUICK QUICK LET'S GO LET'S GO LET'S GO!' she said and we ran out to the car. i only had socks on my feet. 'QUICKLY QUICKLY!' they were special socks called tabi. ninjas wear them. 'OMIGOD I HOPE HE'S ALRIGHT!' they have a separate little bit for your big toe to go in. they make sense if you're wearing ninja boots, which are also thus divided, but i wasn't. 'OOOO POOR TIGGER PONY!' it had been raining and my socks got wet.

we drove there. georgia wrung her hands the whole way. we got there and jumped out and he was nowhere to be seen. we ran around looking for people to ask. there was a guy in the post office. he had a beard but he wasn't the guy i'd seen earlier. maybe he was a bearded minion of the new leader or maybe there'd been yet ANOTHER coup while i was moving words around and watching cartoons. i knocked on the door but the post office was shut and it took a while to convince the guy to open the door. turned out the sisters of mercy had come in asking whose dog it was. not that sisters of mercy. the other sisters of mercy.

we went to the sisters of mercy but they were shut. religious orders have business hours now. christ would spin in his grave if He hadn't already bailed from it like a zombie. a car pulled out of the driveway as we stood there. i ran over and tapped on their window. my socks squelched on the asphalt.

turns out they found tigger and asked around and then decided he'd been dumped because no-one knew whose he was and he was so cold. he feels the cold, tigger pony. he's only little and he feels the cold. i tried to not look like a bad person. i explained that when i finally realised what had happened i'd run out of the house without stopping to put shoes on. i lifted up my foot so the sisters of mercy could see my wet ninja socks. i'm not sure if it helped that much, standing on one leg with my wet ninja sock in the air, smiling winningly in a way i hoped no evil puppy-dumping motherfucker could pull off convincingly. the sisters of mercy looked at me doubtfully, that's for damn sure.

anyway: the upshot was that i drove over to the lost dogs' home this morning. it was a little bit of a drive. i got there and answered questions about things. while the nice lady at the desk was typing something in i looked down at tigger's file. under 'euthanasia?' it said 'no'. under 'why?' it said 'owner located'. i was glad about that. i was disturbed that the lil puppy had come so close to the word 'euthanasia?'. he's so little!

we went out the back to get tigger. i walked out amongst cages and cages and cages. on my right was a very big cage indeed, full of blankets. the warm essence of dog moved out in every direction from this pile at the speed of smell. it was like the benevolent sun, emanating its rays in all directions.

we walked past other cages. the dogs in them looked out at me forlornly and i looked back at them. i found tigger and he jumped all over me and licked me again and again while i carried him past the dog-blanket sun and said i'm so sorry i'm so sorry i'm so sorry!

we drove home. he sat on my lap. he's only little so i let him. on the way i saw a police car stopped on the side of the street. as we approached it started moving and drove along beside us for a bit.

is it legal to drive around with a puppy on your lap? i'm not sure but neither the car nor the puppy were registered so i didn't want to find out. i sang a little song.

i am invisible to police, it went. (or uninteresting at the very least).



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