the drafts of a potential final product
the incoherent reaction to a common methodology
Somewhere out along the edge of Windfall Canyon Rd off of Highway 50 in Nevada a man is awoken by the sounds of a distant drove of feral donkeys braying in the distance. He rubs his sunburned forehead and quints his eyes at the brutal sun bearing down upon him. He is missing an arm, to which he has grown quite accustomed since it was blown off by that "goddamn land-mine" several years previous. Sitting up he checks his pants and retrieves a crushed pack of Pall Mall cigarettes and shakes the bent, crooked delight from the pack. Reaching into his chest pocket he is surprised to find his tarnished-by-the-years Zippo lighter engraved with "Best of luck, Shit-wad - Mary Sue" on the side. Standing to his feet he lights the cigarette and takes a deep breath of smoke into his lungs, blowing it out in the direction of the curious donkeys with their ears at full attention. He scowls at them and steps up out the ditch and onto the highway. On the other side he sees the box. That cursed box that no doubt brought him to this place at this very moment.
I guess sometimes God just shits you out in the damnedest places, he thinks.
He casually walks across the highway and nudges the box with his toe. He picks it up and wipes the sandy film from the top revealing that familiar message: "The Doctor is In". He opens the lid and says to the tiny man inside, "Alright you little shit, where have you brought me now?"
Here you go pretending like everything has to make sense, he replied.
a box on the side of the highway
Driving along a semi-populated highway in a semi-populated city I noticed a small box lying in the shoulder of the highway. The wind was was teasing it: lifting it up and pushing it forward like a slug slithering. The passing vehicles made it bump and bounce against the concrete barrier. Something about the sight caught my eye and having a newfound resolution to be more impulsive I pulled my vehicle over to investigate. I began walking down the shoulder not knowing what it was I expected to find, but according to the nature of the universe and its governing laws of probability and chance, it makes sense that every once in awhile the most insignificant thing could turn out to be the most important in the universe. Sometimes amazing things happen; sometimes there's trash on the side of the highway. This time, for the first time, I intended to know for sure. The oncoming traffic blew past me sending dusty whirlwinds that spun over and around the box. The anticipation of the coming wind made me feel connected to the box as its purpose became more and more curious with each passing step. The faces of the drivers made me smile as it took them a few too many seconds to comprehend what this grinning invalid was up to. I had them figured out, and they knew nothing about me or what led me to be approaching a box on the side of the highway. The closer I stepped to the box a nervous feeling began to well up inside me. Why was I so nervous? It was just a box, was it not? Standing over the box my shadow seemed to make it sit completely still; like a timid rabbit avoiding confrontation. As I stepped closer and reached to lift the box a voice said to me from within the box: "Please do not lift my box, or the most unimaginable horror will afflict you." I paused for a moment and then proceeded to lift one corner slowly with my finger. Inside stood a little man of maybe three inches tall. He lifted his hand to shield his eyes from the incoming light.
"Why have you lifted my world?" he said.
"I was curious is all." I replied.
"Well leave me be. I am a busy man."
"Busy with threats?"
"Well I certainly didn't think you would be so stubborn as to lift the box after I threatened you. Now go. I have much work to do."
"And what is your profession?" I replied.
"Have you ever seen a sunset turn into a candle? Or a star become a god?"
I stood and thought about this for a moment and reaching no conclusion I merely nodded yes.
"I am so convinced that is true." he said as he began moving around the perimeter of the box searching for something unknown. Suddenly it came to me--in what I would like to believe as my own thoughts: You are he who lies in waiting. The things we forget. The things we remember when we try to forget.
"Are you the one who devours my passion and instills contempt in my heart?" I asked him.
He sighed and replied, "No. I am afraid you are mistaken."
"Listen: I am you in some form that you fear. Only I am but a metaphor in the form of a box on the side of the highway that you have only recently found the courage to explore."
And he was right. This is not the end, i thought.
He looked up at me annoyed and and said with malice, "Well come inside if you're not going to leave me be. Stop letting all this terrible wind inside!"
"How can I come inside? That's preposterous!"
"Well I assume the same way you got here. You set out on a path with a destination in mind. If an obstacle got in your way, what would you do?"
"I guess I would go around it."
"Then come inside this box. Your relative size is but an obstacle and no obstacle is greater or lesser than another. They are all simply obstacles."
So I closed my eyes and entered the box. I let the edge down to keep out the mess from outside. I could hear the sounds of the highway and an occasional shifting wind but overall it was quite pleasant.
The little man--who was now just an average sized man in comparison to myself-- sat down in front of a workbench and slipped on a pair of purple safety goggles. He began examining a palm-sized black ball that he picked up from the table in front of him. I watched him turn the ball around and around close to his face, checking every spec of surface. He seemed content and sat it down, and proceeded to write something into a very large and thick notebook.
"What is it you have there, mister?"
He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand and sighed. "It is of no concern to you. This is just my work. Now have a seat over there and try not to bother me any more."
I turned and behind me was a fireplace where in front sat an elegant, red velvet chair with curved, mahogany legs. I know this was not here when I arrived, I was sure of it. Nonetheless, I walked over and sat in the chair and watched the flames do a pirouette as the man began smashing the black ball into thousands of pieces, grunting after each thwack! He sat the hammer down and slid his hand across the surface of the table, sweeping the fragments into a neat pile in front of him. He then brushed the pieces into a medium sized mortar bowl and began crushing them with a stone pestle. He sifted through the dust with his finger and tasted a bit. He nodded in acceptance and emptied a bit of the dust into his hand. Cupping both hands together into a bowl shape, he held the dust up to his face and blew very quickly sending the dust whirling through the air. He dusted off his hands and reached into a woven basket next to his chair and retrieved another ball and started the process over again. The dust continued to swirl around the room and began moving in my direction. It stopped in front of me, as if it was observing me, and continued towards the front of the hearth. The dust began swirling out of control and took the shape of a tornado reaching from the top of the hearth down to the floor. The cloud began to take shape and in a flash it stopped and there sat a rather large adult, male crow. It shook off it's feathers as if it had just landed. The crow turned it's head in my direction and cawed loudly. Its eyes were black and reflected the light of the flames.
"Don't mind him," said the man from the other side of the room. "He's just warming himself by the fire. He's had a long journey."
"I am afraid that is not where my confusion lies, good sir. But might you tell me how this creature came to be?"
He looked at me blankly and said "Again, do not worry. He is but a creation of mine to distract me from the boredom that you are providing me at the moment."
At first I was offended, but given my awkward entrance and the sure absurdity of the situation I chose to ignore his insult. "So you make birds out of crushed up rocks?" I knew the question would return a surly retort.
"No, I do not create birds. The things I create are of no significance to you or anyone. I do wish you would leave me be!"
"CAWWWW" said the crow.
"Well, what is it you create exactly?" I knew I was crossing the line, but I was far too curious now.
The man sighed and removed his goggles, sat his mallet in a leather stirrup attached to the side of the workbench and stood up. "If you must know, my unwelcome guest, I am the creator of insignificant things. I create the things you ignore. The things you see, but do not. And normal a man of my profession goes unheard and undisturbed!"
"But why on Earth would you want to create insignificant things? What is the purpose?"
"Well, someone has to make them don't they? What is significant without the insignificant? Your question really shows your ignorance on the nature of the universe."
There he goes again with the insults. "But insignificant things are just things that were once important to someone and then someone lost them or--"
He interrupted my train of thought and said, "Yes, yes they get lost, they get stolen, the get forgotten. But there lies the presence of another Kilmore."
"A Kilmore?" I asked, now very confused.
"Wow, you really are naive, are you not? Son, I am a Kilmore. A Kilmore is a creator. A creator of everything, for everything. Even Kilmores made Kilmores. A kilmore makes the things of other Kilmores, and the things that I am not creating."
"Are you saying you are a god? You created the universe?"
"You are not listening: A God created the universe, but a Kilmore created the story of a God creating the universe, and also the Universe. But not the Universe you know."
It was here I asked for further clarification.
"Everything in what you call your universe is created. But nothing ever really exists. Think of it as how a letter makes up a word, makes up a sentence, makes up a story, that instills a thought, that promotes an idea, that creates--well, anything really. And then, and this is the most important part, when you factor in the chaotic nature of the universe, sometimes a word can become a skyscraper, or a penny can become a negotiator talking a suicidal man off the roof of that skyscraper. The same is applied to physical objects, emotions, and all the precious elements of the systems of life. What you see as life is but an exponential growth of non-fluid things manifesting themselves randomly into a seemingly conscious world."
I stared at him for a moment, trying to let my brain digest what he was saying.
"So why am I here? What's the purpose?"
"Ah-ha! There is a prime example of your ignorance. You think there is a purpose. A purpose to this, a purpose to that. What's the purpose, purpose purpose??? But have you ever stopped to think that sometimes things just happen? I don't know how you got here. I sure wouldn't have led you here to come interrupt me so. Sometimes things just happen--random things--and you just accept them and move on. You sir, are a random occurence in my daily life."
"But everything was so normal just moments ago, and now I feel like I am outside of reality, am I dreaming?"
"Let me assure you that I don't care if you are dreaming or not. And you know there is a pretty simple solution for figuring that out. And as far as 'what is normal': things are always 'so normal' until they suddenly aren't anymore. That's the beauty of the living in a Kilmore creation of chaos and unpredictability. It can seem so predictable until it is not anymore, which in turn makes it even more unpredictable. The amount of patterns that can form in predictability, and the many ways to count them become astronomical and beyond that of human comprehension. You simply are not built to understand them. Which is why when one of you, walk into a place like this the reality becomes questionable."
"One of me?"
"Yes, one just like you. And one not like you sunbathing on a beach half-way across the world! You don't really think this is the only place that you exist?"
To be continued?