so are you in or are you out

For a long time nothing happens and then something happens. The something can be good, bad, or neutral. The something can also be large, small, or medium. Furthermore, the space between somethings can be short, long, or in-between. Infinite permutations of this scheme occur and reoccur over a finite expanse of time. Tornadoes of frenetic activity tempered by vast plains of incremental movement. Hurried descents down spiral shadow staircases. Careful crawling across gleaming parquet floors. Hoarse screaming from the tops of turrets. Nothing is happening. Everything is happening. Synchronicity! Coincidence! Randomness! Chance! Snowflakes! Mollusks! Drifting sand dunes! Pointlessness. Pointilism. Your face as a series of points inside a frame on the wall. Don’t move, there are a few more points to fill in. Early morning purity dissolves into a sooty smudge of horror hours. I’m pulling up mandrake roots and delivering ornate twig bundles to your front porch by the light of a blue moon. You’ll thank me later, I’m sure. Tractor beams. (We’re veering off-course.) [You’re steering, of course.] The Periodic Table is, what, sometimes a chair… Electron clouds swarming with blue-gray gnatcatchers. Mechanical ants marching toward your workplace. Abort mission, stat.

Nothing is just nothing. Something is always happening. But is it happening again. Has it already occurred. How does it compare to, say, nothing. Can we try it on for size. The universe is a dressing room with no doors. No recording is allowed. Over-sized objects make us laugh. Tiny things make us weep with joy, crinkle our faces and speak in strange nonsensical babbling tones. It’s why so many of us collect miniatures. The pleasures of total control, the power to rearrange the tableau at will. Meanwhile, think about a giant foam cowboy hat. Why does it exist. What purpose does it serve. Who wears these things, anyway. It doesn’t matter because it’s hilarious. Its mere existence inspires drollery. Put the hat on and caper around a bit. See, don’t you feel better. You’re in the center of the vortex now. Look out, you’re pulsing with radioactive humor. But wait. Now you’re a homunculus in a jar, placed on a shelf, with the late afternoon sun hitting the embalming fluid just right. You could be an actor. The range of emotions you have mastered is simply stunning. They wrote this role just for you, and they so rarely do that these days. Have your lines tattooed onto your body and report to the set at half-past the chimney swift’s flight pattern on the sixth Thornsday of our evasive thirteenth month. We may need to trephine, though rest assured that we only ever use Stan and he’s the best. Check the clause in the contract due to arrive soon at your doorstep, tucked inside the front pouch of a wallaby. It will be a grand play, like no other, replicating the many permutations of the earlier scheme. Each act will be called something or nothing. Intermission will be long, short, or in-between. The entire thing will last until the end. So are you in or are you out.

the one and the other discuss wonder

What did you see today, other, asked the one.

I saw a tiny warbler bathing in the bird bath.

Oh! And how was that.

It pleased me in a way that I don’t often feel.

How, how did it please you, other.

Hmm. I don’t know if I can articulate it. It filled me with wonder.

That sounds good.

Yes, it was good, one.

Tell me, other, why are you not often filled with wonder.

I’m not sure. Lack of the right stimulation, I guess.

What is the right stimulation, other. Is it like how so many of our dreams go to childhood, where everything was a wonder, and our minds were not yet full of life-junk or maybe they were but it had not yet come crashing in on us.

Yes! It is like that. I think of roads, roads I traveled on as a kid, staring out from the backseat, and I looked off the road to what was beyond and I imagined myself there so many, many times that it was as if I really had been there, in the beyond, even if I never really had. And those are the roads I travel in my dreams, over and over.

The roads of wonder.

Yes.

Other, do you think there are still roads of wonder out there, for us to travel on, now…

I hope so, one. I really do. It is that hope that keeps us going, right.

Yes, that and the absurd, other…do not forget the absurd!

O right. Yes, we do take much delight in the absurd, don’t we, one.

It’s all around us. Were we not to take delight in it, it would surely drown us, other.

Plasticity of the mind. We must focus on the still-plastic parts of our minds, one!

Anteaters.

Yes, indeed. How long have you been saving that one up.

At least since this morning. Goodnight, other.

Goodnight, one.

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