Monday, May 23, 2011


They each had a nose for trouble.  And what was troubling them reeked of being far past time when things were worth saving.  So many items had gone bad.  They stood in the kitchen. 

She looked into the opened refrigerator as he was taking notes.

She: There are two gallons of milk and I believe the one on the left has gone bad.
He: Gallon of milk.  One on the left.  Gone bad.

She leaned in and examined the gallon on the left more closely.

She: Yes, definitely the gallon on the left.
He: It has been duly noted.

A puzzled expression came over her face.  Her nose wrinkled and she leaned back into the refrigerator.

She: Actually the gallon on the right has gone just as bad.
He: Gallon on the right.
She: Left and right.
He: Just as bad.
She: Other dairy. 
He: Expanding into the category or the stench drew you there?
She: Both.
He: Looks like another page is in order.
She: Be surprised if it doesn't use up an entire pad.
He: No surprises.  Just line after line of things gone bad.  However, it still doesn't exclude the usual punctuations of amazement and doubt.  Akin to awkward maneuvers to distract others from mucus on one's sleeve.  Left sleeve or right sleeve.  Take your pick or spontaneous expelling expressions of indeterminate determinacy.  Left or right.  Both gone bad as you say.  Both gone bad as we note.  As we record.  Line by line.  Line by line.  Page by page.  Pad by pad.  Publish.  Self-publish.  Self-conscious.  Awkward maneuvers to rid one of the mucus that clings.  That clings after being expelled. 
She: Aziago gone bad.
He: Aziago bad.
She: Cheddar.
He: Sharp?
She: Bad.
He: Mild?
She: The cheddar, the cheese, the dairy, all bad.
He: The gamut of dairy, all bad.  This will take a while to record. 
She: Not worth troubling with items anymore.  May as well focus on headings and domains.
He: This half of the kitchen?
She: Bad.  Rotate 180 degrees and repeat.
He: The kitchen in its entirety, bad.  Dining room?
She: Why limit documenting to rooms and floors?  Think big and think rotten.
He: Upstairs, downstairs, rotten.
She: It doesn't stop there.  The sidewalk spreads decay from residence to residence to putrescence to trash collection zone to what does it matter?  It's all decomposing matter.  Hurry before the paper yellows and the pen secretes the most foul and obscuring issue and ooze.  The surviving unhealthy, the virulent, the cancerous, the modes, the nodes, the substance, the loads unloading, all have issues, their issues, their issues, that cover the Earth's brittleness with gelatinous fictional fantasy incomprehensibility nonsense and the words and the words and the sounds and the groans and the groans and the whimpering and the muttering shooshing shooshing expulsion of the last final repulsive polluted air and all that remains is silent silence wrapped in stench.

- Max Stoltenberg

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