Squinting and wide-eyed the bubble wrap vesicles popped or were left alone. The wind played with the volume control of the land. Voices were raised to pull conversations to match what they were wearing out and that was their form of overcoming or coming over or getting something over with or getting with something to be to be prevented from falling off the back back to that. Metal gleamed in upper parts of windows on the upper floors. They smiled and gleamed for eyes to look up at them and see their teeth and feel their own cavities the ones that separated them and their bodies and their thoughts. A severing had passed through the town all slow like and stayed for some time a time that stretched its legs and wrapped them around for a hearing with words shaped with grammar that deadens penultimate nerve endings and endings that take their time some time a time that stretched its legs to wrap them around the buildings looked up to and looked at where metal gleamed in upper parts of windows on the upper floors. They smiled and gleamed for eyes to look up at them and see their teeth and feel their own cavities the ones that separated them and their bodies and their thoughts. A severing had passed through the town all slow like and stayed and stayed and still staying some time a time that stretched its legs and wrapped them around for a hearing with words shaped with grammar that deadens penultimate nerve endings and endings that take their time some time a time that stretched its legs and drew eyes to where its legs came together and the metal gleamed in the upper parts of its windows smiling with the shining brightness of its sharpened blade between its legs ready to come ready to come down.
Stool: What were you going to say? What were you trying to say?
Gash: It wasn't that.
Stool: So, you're giving up on that now?
Gash: No. It was never that.
Stool: That's your story and you're adhering to it?
Gash: What it never was is what you want it to be.
Stool: I'll bump into you some other day and find you and maybe I will just come across someone who reminds me of you and makes me forget you for good.
Gash: What good?
Stool: Of course. I will just stumble upon someone who reminds me of you and makes me forget you for whatever.
Gash: Whatever. What a word for one to use up all its limitless empty expression for seamlessly slipping out of the atmosphere and drifting off between systems worthless systems.
Stool: Stumbling will occupy my days to fall against or topple into someone who will never pull a trigger any trigger to evoke a crumbled fragment of you sticking to a drawn out roll of undeveloped film.
Gash: They might ask you to pull their finger instead and separate one of many old bones in their hands their bones their dismayed bones.
Stool: I'll separate your head from the rest of it.
Gash: It was the ending up in room after room and the purpose for my movements the getting up early the walking faster in the dark and the reasons would cut their hands to scale the fences and all the wires to get away from me to get as far away from me to reach the next sunset and its darkness before it is polluted with people and their hurrying to beat the light before it beats them to a pulp and its engulfing of the front rows of the solar system.
Stool: Stumbling about for me the brushstroke over my mouth painting the how it will be. I should get on with it then. Is there any rationalization left for me to stay?
Gash: You were causing me to think of a brief little narrative at least I think it's not too long or I could abridge it if I am able to discern the appropriate spots to do so.
Stool: I know I am off as much as the next person and I am next to you as the next person, but why postpone being off and on my stumbling through what lies ahead to smack into yet another decaying excuse. I must be off sooner than later otherwise it'll prompt breaking another shovel digging up our tired routine including the lists.
Gash: Yes, the lists.
Stool: The latest turn your blithering has taken can drive one to being off and on his stumbling way sooner than later or it will be the lists and how to address you now. Damn! I went and said it. May as well get it over with before I embark on my bumbling off-ramp or on-ramp or off-ramp. The latest turn the blithering self-conscious reflection on the latest turn your blithering has taken leaves me more confused how I am to address you before I depart for good for whatever.
Gash: I'm glad you've chosen to delay long enough to bring it up. You are a sporting and accommodating sort of fellow. As a matter of fact I added a 4th page to my list of how I might prefer to be addressed.
Stool: The only address I'd perhaps consider would be your former location seeing that your current shelter was replaced by a rather sizable hole in the ground.
Gash: The bastards. They're using more potent explosives these days. Some bastards have no manners.
Stool: I better be saying, "Have a good dump and farewell."
Gash: Before you go, would you like me tell you the abridged narrative or I could read to you my latest additions I made to a 4th page on my list of ways to address me?
Stool: No, no. It's no good.
Gash: How about a short synopsis?
Stool: No. It's no use. I am beginning my rotation of my body resulting in my back to your smeary face.
Gash: How about summing it up in one sentence and then you can decide to tarry a little more or leave for good for whatever.
Stool: One sentence?
Gash: One sentence.
Stool: One very short sentence?
Gash: Extremely short.
Stool: No more than 6 words?
Gash: I've got it down to 3.
Stool: Just 3?
Gash: 3. No more no less.
Stool: All right. Well, let's hear it then.
Gash: OK. I do appreciate it.
Gash: Got it refined down to its very core.
Stool: Definitely 3?
Gash: Yes, 3. I've been saying 3.
Stool: 3 beyond a shadow.
Gash: You, turd. Do you think I've miscounted?
Stool: Actually, yes.
Gash: Why? What number is in your head?
Gash: Are you for real?
Stool: No. I was really thinking 25.
Gash: Wow. Glad to see I've moved up slightly in your estimation of my not meeting your expectations.
Stool: I wouldn't say from 49 to 25 is slightly. Somewhat considerable.
Gash: Somewhat? You're saying somewhat?
Stool: Now don't be too remiss when it comes to your I'm certain inevitable condensed narrative. I have to be able to dig some amusement out from this dung heap before I about-face and take my pin to the soap bubble that was once you.
Gash: I'll give you inevitable.
Stool: Yes, you will. Go ahead.
Gash: 3 words.
Stool: Say them.
Gash: Her skin bio-hazard.
Stool: Her skin bio-hazard?
Stool: I said, "Interesting."
Gash: Which one do you want to follow? Her skin or bio-hazard?
Stool: Which one? Well, that's a tough one. I kind of like them both.
Gash: I'm getting that, but which one?
Stool: This is harder than I expected.
Gash: I thought you would either silently mouth the words "fuck off" and do your about-face or you might give me a little salute with some flourish and offer, "May your night of the runs be not too runny and farewell, Thou Bio-Hazard" and then do your about-face annihilation of my bubble planet.
Stool: Those sound promising as well and I'll most likely get to them, but I'm honestly torn.
Gash: Really? Do you want me to try again.
Stool: I'm game.
Gash: Her skin bio-hazard.
Stool: Well, consarnit! I am dumfungled that you came up with this flipping sockdolager.
Gash: And I'm touched that you found a way to use that many words from the 3rd page of my list.
Stool: It's a toss-up, my Dear Prophylactic Laden With Sputum.
Gash: You never seem to tire of Page 2 either. Don't think I won't be adding to the menu after you depart.
Stool: Why should you abstain from such an endeavor? I'll take the bait.
Gash: What bait?
Stool: Tell me about her skin.
Gash: Now that I've gotten you to stay this long, I don't particularly feel all that eager to go into what I never much went into myself but it very much ended up going into me.
Stool: You mentioned you could slap together an abridged version.
Gash: Slap flinching and ducking beneath a trestle train trestle no not I think not there's this knot down here down there under the train trestle I think not. I have an idea. How about I do the about-face and run along used to run along not a lot of playing I think not but a lot of running along yes an about-face and walk fast along the alley and I can either make it to the desert never too far from the desert or maybe someone something I think not too improbable to think that I just might have something someone thing stop me dead in my tracks yes stop me dead dead you know where I'm going with this you always have know where I'm going with this stop me dead I think not too improbable for something to stop me stop me dead deader than something else anything else and do me the favor of I think not too much to ask or if it's too much to ask then never mind taking your hand to the dirt or wherever I drop dead to wipe away my tracks. Do it thoroughly or do it half-assed or don't bother. I think not now that I think of it those used to be the choices now they seem to have been wiped out and replaced I think not too unlikely when disliked by so many so disliked that when it comes to wiping someone or thing out it sure gets dragged out I think not too far off the mark about how it sure gets dragged out.
Stool: Tell me about her skin.
Gash: Her belly button.
Stool: You don't have to restrict yourself to 3 words.
Gash: A rare accomplishment when I consider how much my silences have provoked many a resentful exclusion.
Stool: Self-inflicted I think not too inaccurate a surmise.
Gash: So I have been told. Yes, self-inflicted. I have been trying to keep my head down deep enough between the tidal mounds of waste keep my head down deep enough out of sight of the self I have been inflicted with.
Stool: You can't outfox it, man. At some intersection somewhere sometime they posted belonging on your back.
Gash: Hammered it into me to keep it between the shoulders.
Stool: You've underestimated relationships.
Gash: I think not. I have an all too exact gauging of their effects. They keep needling you. Like a lancet drawing out more pus than seed.
Stool: I used to complain about grapes with seeds in them. I demanded my seedless grapes. I think not any measure of exaggeration when I say how very precious it would be to encounter some seeds no matter how dry and put my tongue to them.
Stool: Noughts and crosses.
Gash: Her belly button had the center square. A dagger cut in on us on her. Superimposing game after game. Deeper and deeper. Got to keep this head down deep enough between the tidal mounds the tidal mountains of waste got to keep this head down deep enough out of sight of the self this head has been inflicted with. Put the spoon away and stop stirring it with the spoon put away that big spoon stop stirring it with the spoon put it away stop swinging that really big spoon at this head you can't see it keep it down deep enough between the tidal mountains of waste got to keep this head down deep enough.
- Max Stoltenberg