Osmose has gathered us all here, on the porch. He has sung his blues and let us know who we really were. I tried to defend my position.
“What I’ve really come to understand over all these years,” I had said to him, “was that I’m not a person at all. As my own subjective experience, I’ve analyzed that I am a dynamic shifting being. When I’ve looked into my heart, I’ve found nothing tangible. Just pieces and scattered reactions. Things that I wish I may have said. And then the reversal of just that. I’ve been so confused, and I’ve impregnated my own words with this despair. The is-of-identity that has been handed down to me via words, played to me on tapes seeming so decidedly falsified. I feel trapped in the 'I.' I want to throw it all away, and forget the whole concept of being, to flush the very notion of character from my own fiction, to stop imitating something I don’t believe in.”
Osmose Woodfume: “I want you to look the fuck at me.”
“I’m looking at you.”
“The fuck you are. You’re looking through me. Fuckmind. Do you hear my words? I’ve integrated; I’m as post- as they come. Resolve. Look at them computers, look at what you do… you’ve somehow managed to tie all these disparate pieces together and found something to resolve them all. Me.”
“I’m a real character, hell I’m a person. I invalidate your whole little theory. You invalidate your theories. You use the word ‘I’ all the time.”
“There you go again. You should listen to your heart a little more and your mind a little less. I’ve paged through these last twenty-one pages, I’ve seen what you’ve tried to be doing. I tell you, it’s not working.”
“But.. but, isn’t it now—isn’t it now working, Osmose?”
“I may have been your best friend before you disappeared into the pages, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to drag me down to your mind’s hell hole too. Look at what you’re putting us through—your indecisiveness. Your inability to create characters, or a plot that lasts longer than a fleeting thought. You try to cover up your weaknesses with these grand theories and then you put a clever device on a few more pages, to unexplain it all. To shits with you if you think this is real.”
“’To shits’… that’s my phrase, Oz. Mine. I gave it to Bobby Masters. Only he can use it, you’re just as much of a fiction as he is.”
“Wrong, boy, so wrong. Let’s review. I’m telling you how it is. This is not how you write a story, putting your own relationship as metanarrator in jeopardy by breaking the fourth wall over and over. Let’s review, you’ve introduced how many characters in the last few nodes?”
“Oh, a few… but my idea was that they were all one person. Because no one person is a person, they are just inhabited for short amount of time by a persistent identity crises that they accepted as reality.”
“Shit man,” Osmose cut in, “I does not have knowledge of how’s you go day-to-day-like, babbling this bullshit about the Episodic Vibrations of Techra, the Triangular Dissids of Issid, Bobby Masters, children born of plant, animal, technology—you even managed to slip in a markov chain on practically the entire body of your fictive work, and you tied all these things together and what is the reader left with?”
“The same thing they started with, nothing.”
“You say that as if it were something profound. You’re nuts, that’s all, and now you are manipulating the shit out of me to tell yourself off. You’ve got one too many personal fables to live down, you won’t even let me mention your real name, that way when you imagine the non-loons without the disorder, reading your story. They’ll think objectively about ‘the narrator’ of the story. You’ve fucked it all up; none of this can be taken seriously now. You once told me that you wanted to represent the zeitgeist of your generation. As I see it, you’re just the poltergeist of your generation: turning over a bunch of stones but never being visible.”
“Except to the one percent, I’ll always be there for them.”
“You’ll be preaching to the fucking choir, and where does that get you? A Self Called Nowhere. And if you say that’s the same place where you began, then you’re right. But if you keep up with this bullshit, that’s where you is going to as well.”
“Oh, come now Osmose. There must have been something of value up there, in one of those pages. Something any reader could have taken home with them. That’s all I want. I don’t really believe in all these theories as concrete things. Any attempt to explain anything for me is just a lie, anyway.”
Osmose Woodfume brings the porch back. You’re there; I can see you on the rocking chair, whittlinga wood pipe. Tod Onta and Antigen stand, holding little Baby Bobby Masters, who will once reach an age, pass into the dream time and never grow up and fall into the cosmos to turn up whenever needed. He has special protection from deletion. I can even hear Henry the Giant’s heavy footsteps, miles away. Some say to be up Heraclitus’ river is to be up shit creek. I say it helped me be who I am today. I’m keeping still, keeping my back still so that I can no longer feel my body. I go into my courtyard, and I do not see my people. But there is no blame.
I am the narrator.