Cut off shut off. Leave off. Leave it off. Arms hands out under can't find a comfortable position to doze off cut off shut off leave off leave it off. Arms hands out under can't find a comfortable position to doze off circulation cut off shut off backed up stuffed up nose up hands up. Hands up.
Written off written out left out stand out stand up sit down kneel down hands up. Hands up. Follow the signs. No signs. Where to turn? Tired of turning. This is the loop. This is the loop. Hold the turn until flying off. Fly off. Cut off. Shut off. Leave off. Leave it off. Arms hands out under can't find a comfortable position to doze off cut off shut off leave off leave it off. Clear off. Clearing off. No clearing. Nothing clear. Clear as shit. Clear as bullshit. Arms out hands out hands up. Hands up. Eyes down. Looking down or looking up?
As a boy or as a man looking down no it was looking up at the sky at night a night sky the night sky it was like something not like something it was not like looking up at the night sky it was more it was less it was like holding one's face over the sink filled with something very dark and very silent and it was so close to the face that was learning to be filled in darkened in with more silence more reflection of this dark something unlike so unlike itself so like something else so this so damn this.
She: Was that your foot?
He: My arm.
She: What is your arm doing down there?
He: I dropped something.
She: Good luck trying to find it.
He: Never mind.
She: What was it?
He: Never mind.
She: I want to know what it was.
He: And I said never mind.
She: Was it your watch? That thing just won't stay on your wrist. It's as if you are shrinking and time just gets away from you. Is this just another one of your themes you're attempting to clandestinely let slip away into another brief preview of oblivion.
He: Not even close. We can still hear each other. At least as far as we usually manage a semblance of connection. Two people only seem to convince themselves of being connected when they offer yet another one of their assumptions about the other or the dim kicking of the foot against the pathetically searching limb.
She: Still think it was your watch.
He: You keep thinking that while I give up on something else. Trudging on to yet another story of the box of fractured light bulbs, you know the one?
She: Is this more electrical humor?
He: No. That was the story about the two electricians vacationing in a geothermal pool I told you about a couple of weeks ago.
She: More like a couple of months ago.
He: A couple of months?
She: You and time.
He: You and money.
She: You and social interaction.
He: You and operating any type of electronic devices.
She: You and me.
He: Sorry. Run that one by me again.
She: You and me.
He: No. Must be the absence of light.
She: The absence of light? It's only been pitch black in here for who knows how long?
He: Where in here? I thought we made it outside. You mean to tell me you think we're still in the house?
She: Well, why not?
He: Why not? What room do you think we've been in? I can't even ask you what it looks like or feels like or smells like? There isn't any of that just the fucking next thing we lose that's all.
She: Give me your arm.
She: You know why you won't let me touch your arm.
He: Yes, I don't want you to reach out and poke me in the eye.
She: What's the difference? You won't need it in the dark now.
He: I'd like to at least hold on to the idea of being able to see even if everything is going to be dark indefinitely.
She: That doesn't fit in with your gradual descent into oblivion.
He: It's the principle of the thing. Plus oblivion doesn't work that way at least I don't think so.
She: You think you've successfully gotten me to forget about wanting to feel your arm.
He: It's too dark for terms like success now.
She: Just give me your arm.
He: I could be giving you the wrong one and you couldn't tell the difference.
She: I'd just ask again for the other one.
He: I could give you the same one twice or however many times we carry on this thing that we're carrying on.
She: You don't want me to notice that your watch is missing.
He: What room have you been imagining we've been in all this time?
She: If we've been outside where has the Sun been all this time?
He: I think we've been knocked off course and we've been drifting in some dark part of the universe.
She: I remember watching my father play on his classic billiard table. You know the ones with the pockets with the netting. I loved that table. I would watch him plan his shots and see the balls go where he wanted them to go. In the beginning he let me retrieve the billiard balls for him. When I made mistakes and dropped a ball or two after a while he would tell me to leave them alone. "Keep your little dirty hands off the precious cargo, my dear," he'd say. So I'd stand there quietly trying not to make a sound or a move and I stopped looking at him and the thinking and his fucking plan and after even more time I got tired of the smacking sound. The more I ignored it the louder the smacking got. The only time it would decrease in volume was when I put my attention on the pockets and just look at the balls hanging stuck in the nets. Just hanging stuck.
- Max Stoltenberg