Arguments In Space

Traveling. Long drawn out travel. Stress. On flight back and arrival a great surprise awaits. Oh. Oh. What is the surprise? Short story. Off the top I’m thinking, as a title for those words poked out early on an airport napkin. What a napkin it was. It smelled. Of something unclean. It was dark white, probably recycled. I wonder if the waitress picked it up off the floor and thought it was still good. But it didn’t smell of the floor. It smelt of kerosene. It smelt of airport. Stilgelegtflughafen. Powdered though. Stop. Title? Back to title. Wait. The waitress is cute. The lowest button of her untucked blouse is about to undo. It’s being massaged open as she walks and carries trays. I watched a man watch her ass. Why wasn’t I that guy? Nomatter. Title. Title: Todd On A Role. Todd On The Role. It doesn’t matter what Todd wants or what he rolls because he’s the other guy watching the waitress’ ass. A story about modern day stress but not from travel. The travel, the jockeying, the game of corporates, fighting for your position in a world where everyone is made equal by the fight. Forced to be equal. How does one stand above the rest? The dilemma of Todd. Wait. Is that the title? He questions having to adhere so much, having to compromise so much–just to be equal. As in “all men are created equal.” Or. All men are equated equal. Newspeak. A story about a guy who questions everything in a world where nothing is questioned. He goes on a business trip. How long is he gone? Takes place over a week. A few days. Two days. A five day week. Detail each day. Like a log. Use Disney/Orlando seminar trip from 2000. Wait. Where are those notes? The monotony and redundancy of each day, of life. Yes, use the Disney thing. A week in hell seminars encased in Walt Disney’s nightmare for America. The spectacle. The illusion that induces a trance in Todd. Like the one time he took shrooms? Todd has a short circuit while in Disney World. This causes him to start to misplace things. Forget. His presentation, for example. He is delusional and freaks out during a presentation. But everyone thought it was very entertaining. Even though it will get him fired. The files/slides of his presentation enhance his delusion, saying, thinking that during the moment of “turn”, that is, the moment where the trance started, some kind of electrical impulse took over, zapped him, and during this moment his files were all different and some were missing. For example. From his childhood. Vision from a time before he knew what it was like to be equal. Before he was equated. He fiddled with a draw program, the document saved has become reality. A vision. He has a daughter (but the reality is his wife recently left him with his daughter). His daughter was growing up and wanted to be an artist–what he wanted to be. Each of the activities at the Disney convention center play a role in his breakdown. His misgivings manifest. The seminar agenda? Everyday The Same Success. Wait. Stop.

Fascinated with Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex. But I am also bored. His writing is nothing less than brilliant. I am not bored with his writing. But the story. Just started reading chapter titled Middlesex and it reminded me of Virgin Suicides neighborhood. Why?

Idear

A play. Need a one legged actor. If one leg actor not available take two legged actor. We’ll stop there, for sure. Unless we get a paraplegic actor, wheel chair n’all. This actor/character is gay, of course. And lives in San Fran. He’s been together with one person since his accident. The partner doesn’t mind, he jokes, because he’s still got another leg that seems to work better than before. But there is a secret to their relationship. The loss of the leg. How did it happen? An avid surfer attacked by a shark? Some fantastic accident that I haven’t thought of yet. The war. Yeah, I think it’ll be the war. In fact, I wanted that from the start. But the gay thing… The problem is the partner doesn’t know the whole story of the lost leg. Something’s been kept from him. But he wants to know. The other won’t tell him. What would be a good secret? A fantastic secret accident?

The universe is a place where two ends never meet. That’s the secret. Forget everything else. Membrane theory. String theory. The answer to everything when we don’t even have a question. The Big Bang my ass.

The weekend I lost all my friends. It wasn’t as though there were many to begin with. The loss was gradual because there were so few. Required then more energy to lose. Leaving the nest I suppose. Or perhaps HS. Those were the first friends lost. But were any of them friends? Not one from my graduating class am I in touch with. Obviously I acquired others but in the end they were the same and they in turn were eventually lost eventually and the process sped-up until one day I realized I’d better do something about this. Or maybe not. So I did. I did not. I actually tried to focus on the issue. You know, like how some teachers in school might tell you to do. But it didn’t work. At least not long term. Then came last weekend. With my last two friends we headed out to one of their mother’s beach houses. After that weekend I would only have a girlfriend which doesn’t really count as a friend, right? Yes. The problem I have is being too combative. According to my own empirical evidence (yes, my own) I never really thought my combative nature was worse than the next thinking person. But how can one be objective there, eh? The conversation began with rockets. How fast a vehicle needs to travel in order to reach space. I said the space shuttle reaches around seven-teen thousand miles per hour. Na-ah, someone said. I asked him if he meant to say No. “They don’t need to travel fast just fly out of the atmosphere,” he said. “Sorry,” was my combative response. “I’m very surprised you’d say that. You were in the airforce. You have to actually break out of our atmosphere–you can’t just fly out of it. “And what about the SR-seventy-one,” he said. At this moment I knew the stage was set. Friend was fiddling with his phone as other friend interjected. “Hey Dude, do you know why they launch rockets near the equator?” Friend drank from his glass of beer and nipped at his whiskey as though the two were a ritual and also toasting his question because he decided to become part of the conversation. “What does that have to do with our conversation?” I asked. “Well, we just started so I thought I’d mix things up,” someone said. Friend took another drink. In fact they all took lots more, slowly. “Ok,” I said, feeling the booze drip inside me but still unaware of the brew-who it would end up making in the morning. “Why don’t we discuss how the price of tee in China will effect the growth of butterflies in grannies soup.” “My granny makes pies with those butterflies, you know,” friend said. “So do you guys want to talk about something or…” other friend tried to say but was cut out. “We want to talk,” friend said like the ape he was. “Which, by the way, we’re doing.” “Talking just to talk is not what forty year olds should be doing. It’s pointless and we’re not women, I think,” I said. “Friend, be cool.” “Why,” other friend said. “You just asked a question and I answered it and you thik what I said is not true. Now, before you boys get lost again: one cannot just fly out of the atmosphere into space. First there’s no air to fly on. Second there’s something called gravity. Gravity kinda hold this whole show together so it’s kind of a big deal, pretty powerful. So do you get it? You have to break out of the atmosphere.” “Which the SR-seventy-one does,” friend said. “But it doesn’t go into space.” “Sure it does. It’s like a flying satellite when it gets up there.” “No it doesn’t, it can’t,” I said. “The SR-seventy-one has jet engines, very special jet engines and they, like all other jet engines need air to burn their fuel. It goes very high, yes, but it doesn’t leave the stratosphere where there is no more air.” “But the engines burn liquid oxygen.” And I stopped. Pissed. How do you argue with that? Leave it. Stop here as well. Tired of writing this.

-T

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Tom

Just another expat blogger.