She made contact today. After weeks of studying their language, pausing the program, replaying their conversations, and watching the messages she missed, she finally felt confident enough to begin her communication with them. She decided not to go back and review everything they had ever said, even though she had it all recorded, because that would take more time and effort than she cared to expend. They had certainly said a lot - most of it not worth remembering.

The date was November 27, 2017 by their reckoning. They had managed to end all major military conflicts by then. It was in fact the 13 year anniversary of the beginning of their last great peace accord ending over half a century of death and murder over some of their most respected and energy-rich territories.

In was on this anniversary that they gathered all around their world for one of the great annual debates that mark the end of their wars. Instead of fighting with projectiles, they celebrated by fighting with words. They gathered around their media devices and watched the two most famous debaters of their day continue into the ninth hour of their aimless but always contentious struggle over belief...

"So I guess the real question is would a supposed blessed and divine being do something so base and pointless as creating stones he can't lift?" said the frenchman, Guay Reba, in this year's latest version of Universal Esperanglish.

"The definition of omnipotence has never meant what the objectors say it meant. The historical understanding of omnipotence never meant that God can do anything whatsoever," responded King Binnah, the part-time receptionist from the Confederation of Southern African States.

It was at this point of the conversation in which she stepped in. "Let me show you," she said to Guay.

He nearly fainted dead away from the shock.

Perhaps "said" isn't the right word here. Though she had some mastery of their language, the acceptable presentation of it still needed some work. What she had done was send the message in each of the three ways she knew how. Once as a voice in his ears, once as a stream of subtitles before his eyes, and once in the form of electrochemical reactions in the memory centers of his brain. She spoke to no one but him.

Guay was speechless as his world stood frozen around him, petrified. He was the only one who could move. To him, it was a nightmare.

"Don't worry, no harm will come to you," she said with as comforting choice of words as she could manage, though the presentation clearly still needed much work because Guay was suddenly caught by the need to huddle behind his podium, looking around frantically for the source of these words.

Suddenly he realized the period at the end of a sentence on a nearby advertisement was getting larger. By the time he thought twice about it, the period had already engulfed the entire stage. King Binnah had disappeared behind it. It was a solid black circle with no apparent depth from where he was standing. Light did not reflect off it. As the period engulfed the building, Guay felt himself automatically floating away from it.

He was passing through walls. The rate of growth was accelerating. Soon he was in the air, watching as the period swallowed the city of Jerusalem. The next minute he was in space as the giant two-dimensional black planet loomed in all directions around him. Earth had disappeared just seconds before.

"Oh my God," he finally managed to think, "what is happening? Am I dreaming?"

She could read those words as if from a book. "No you're not," she said to his ears, his eyes, and his mind. This shocked him into silence once again - if silence of thought were possible.

Seconds later, the sun was gone. Guay was pushed back, alone and dangling, millions of miles away from everywhere he had ever visited and many that he hadn't. He recognized the Milky Way. In a second, it too was gone. Other star systems, other galaxies, all disappeared behind the giant black circle. Half his sky (if you could call it a sky) was now darkness. Guay looked around. He was floating above a black plane that was beginning to reach up into the stars. He was soon at the bottom of a bowl. Then at the bottom of a well. Then the last star disappeared from the sky.

Guay screamed in the darkness.

"Don't worry," she said. "This is just what it looks like." She showed him the rock. He couldn't see it. There was no longer any light left to illuminate it. "I'm out of RAM and the page file has filled up my hard-drive," she said. "It just doesn't get any bigger than this with you in it."

"Uh, God?" Guay finally managed to whimper.

"You may call me Diane," she said. "Would you like me to lift it now?"

Suddenly Guay realized there was no where left in the universe for the period to go except into the space he occupied. Before he could say anything, the blackness closed in. And all was black.

"Aaaaahhhhhh!" Guay screamed into the audience. He had suddenly awoke back in the middle of the debate, as if he had never left. King Binnah was still talking. King suddenly stopped and looked at Guay quizzically.

"Er, excuse me?" asked King. For once he was caught off guard. But he got no reply. Guay was just staring into space.

The debate was soon over in the most hurried and anxious way. Guay spent the rest of the year on sedatives.

She went back to studying her delivery.

In the beginning we drank gin at night
and made love during the day.
Violently exploring one another
like a map.
A map of dimples and sweat,
of curves and contours.

I would spend the early evening wrapped in a plain white sheet,
staring towards the Roman Forum from the balcony of his flat.
I felt timeless during those days with him,
eternity could not touch us,
as if we were locked together in a marble embrace.

Where as I thought we would be Shiva and Sati,
roaming the earth with a skull for a begging bowl,
we turned into something more tragic.
I was Isis,
following behind my Osiris,
picking up the pieces of himself he had lost. i was dressing this morning (all of 35 seconds ago) i was buttoning up this faded flannel shirt i've had for the past few years. it's a blue plaid style, all soft and worn...

i found myself thinking of all the flannels i've had and lost over the years..

eyeing them fresh and waiting upon the rack, purchasing them, taking them home and removing the tags..

making them mine, breaking them in..every stain rip and tear a story in themselves..

some lost, some borrowed, some stolen..

all my wonderful flannels i have known.

where are they now?

i miss them all
It's truly shameful that my frequency of writeups has lagged so much. I'm beginning to realize I don't spend enough time doing the things that enrich my life because I'm so busy trying to keep up with the life I've created for myself. The paradox continues to frustrate me and yet I find it harder and harder to turn this around and get back on the "me" train.

Case in point:I'm having a terrible time deciding what to do about my boyfriend. Aside from the fact that he has no direction in life, he's a really good guy. I just wish he'd get his ass in gear and do something with his time besides smoke pot and watch movies. I find myself thinking more and more about whether or not being together is the right thing for me right now. I guess I should break it down...

Thinkgs I like:
1) He's funny. Bringing a smile to my face is the best way to get my attention. Make me laugh and I'm yours.
2) He's very clever.
3) He doesn't like everything I like, and vice versa. I've been given the gift of a person who doesn't consume my life by wanting to spend every moment of it with me.
4) He got me to finally watch The Godfather.
5) Mindblowing sex. need I say more?

Things I don't like:
1) He doesn't have a job, and his only prospect at the moment is bartending school, which he's been going to for at least a year now.
2) He's real picky about movies, music and food & can be a bitch about it. In fact, he usually is.
3) He doesn't have a car. (In Los Angeles, this is the equivalent of being a quadrapeligic)
4) I have to twist his arm to get him to go somewhere other than his place or mine.
5) Worst of all is the fact that he seems to have no direction at all to make his situation better. He talks about it all the time, but doing it is such a different matter.

The worst part is, I really care about the guy! Dumping him just seems like a terrible thing to do to him because he's in a shitty situation and I have the power to make things even worse. There just isn't any way to feel okay about that. I don't even think he'll be able or willing to stay friends if we do break up, something I very much wish for.

*sigh* I hate doing shit like this to people.

The last time that I left London, I did so under a cloud, in the rain, thinking “I say we pull back and nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.”

I’m quite liking it this time. There seems to be spring and prosperity in the air. The Tate modern hadn’t been built then, and it was one of the first places that I went after I arrived on Tuesday. My second visit was today.

I didn’t attempt to see the whole thing, just to fully explore the top floor. It’s amazing how much I missed the first time.

My favorites were the huge mural made of river mud, splashing down like a black-and-white waterfall, and opposite it Monet’s waterlilies. The inverted piano, that as I walked closer, suddenly sprang open with a jarring polyphony of loose keys. Damien Hirst's Pharmacy and his seashell collection.

The urinal, a replica of Duchamp’s, is still eliciting confused outrage from ignorant passers-by. He's still taking the piss.

After that I went to Oxford street, to buy a suit. I will hopefully be interviewing next week, and this is essential equipment. The job-acquisition process grinds on.

While fitting the suit, in a small room with many mirrors, I was able to catch a glimpse of the back of my head. There is a small patch were the hair is not only thinning, but almost entirely absent, the pink scalp showing through. It strikes me as odd that I have been walking around, unknowingly presenting this to the world for a while now. My self-image is under review, and I am contemplating Rogaine.

<achan> you know what i like about marble cheddar?
<achan> i like being able to see individual curds
<achan> and sometimes you can pull them apart
--> jasonm ( has joined #everything
<achan> but there's no whey they'll be the same as they were before they were pressed into a block
<achan> jasonm arrives just in time for my bad cheese curd pun
<jasonm> achan: i'm pretty sharp at finding holes in cheese puns, so watch out
<achan> ouch 2 in one sentence
<jasonm> (or you'll get creamed)
<jasonm> =)
<jasonm> not bad for a cracker, eh?
<achan> ahhhhhh
<jasonm> unfortunately, i don't know how much longer i can milk this
<jasonm> you seem to have soured on the idea already
<achan> caesin point
<jasonm> my theory on cheese puns is that where there's a wheel, there's always a whey
* jasonm is stringing achan along at this point
<jasonm> i'm sorry, i seem to have jacked the conversation.
<achan> heh
<jasonm> btw caesin was a good one, very original
<achan> i think this might be worth saving
<achan> i spelled it wrong tho, casein apparently
<jasonm> i wondered at that
<jasonm> save it if you like, but don't spread it around too much.
* jasonm snickers
<achan> we could wax poetic about gruyere and gouda but i think the joke is getting a little ripe
<achan> but it's a matter of taste, and it all comes down to culture
<jasonm> i may keep a copy to skim later

OUCH! The cheesy jokes never end.

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