Petrarch Lives

by laom

I took shots into the ground within a 76.2 centimetre distance in front of me with my rifle, and then relocated my nearest foot until it smothered the geographical point of entry. This is what’s called ‘walking’. Brief pauses in my personal locomotion after each movement provided me with opportunities to reload my rifle should I so need to pursue such a course of action. The average walking speed is about 4.82 kilometers traversed over the length of an hour. I had been ‘walking’ for 23 minutes now; thus it was not an unreasonable assumption that distance from the original location of my person in the advent of my movement and the current location of my body was approximately 210 meters - perhaps slightly less if the calculations take account of the brief pauses which I brought forth to the reader's attention in the sentence which is found before the previous one. Of course, there is also the time taken to point my rifle at an appropriate spot, in addition to the occasionally occurring event of reloading, which thus lowers the aforementioned distance slightly. Taking account of these parameters, the various connected organs, fluid, among other organic and inorganic material which serves as my immediate object was altogether removed from its starting position to a degree of, perhaps, 198 meters.

“Can you hear us? Hello? Hello?”
The low resolution picture of Steven and Emily leaning into their laptop was accompanied by even lower quality audio of Emily’s voice coming just a few decibels short of being classified as yelling.
“I can hear you fine.”
“Great.” They looked at each other and did some nervous smile cutoff chuckle thing which seemed meant to suggest that they were so excited to speak with me that they barely knew where to start. “It’s very cold up here!” They laughed in the same sort of tone.
“I can imagine. Did you have any issues touching down and getting everything set up?”
“Well coming in was fine… we’ve just been getting our little house set up today, and hopefully we can get started on all of the equipment tomorrow, have everything up and running… I don’t know…”
Behind them to the upper left was a little window pixelated to a white smudge. I imagined the snow plains running out behind them and rolling off the sunlight, the cold waters smashing against the ice walls. I leaned back in my reclining chair. I stared at my webcam until my eyes defocused.

I fidgeted with my lanyard and examined the fake bricking left of the projector screen.
The aged and unkempt auburn hair of the lady at the lectern almost blended into a section of it which the light had turned more reddish than brownish. Her monotone and bookish presentation of her co-authored paper at times reached striking harmony with the ominous, unrelenting hum of the air conditioning unit. The hour designated for some socially mutated form of lunch drew itself closer, phenomenologically, in the form of foot tapping, frequent postural adjustion, and a wholly undeserved level of attentiveness brought towards the speaker.
Steven had called in yesterday. His voice buzzed out of the phone like a strangled blender and described how everything important was now quite underway and how they had by now settled in quite comfortably relative to the level of comfort one could expect in such a situation. I remembered looking intensely at a wall and letting the hidden mechanisms of my mind retain that information for me.

I lied. I was not moving at all. In actuality I was leaning over the sink of a powder room, using the elbow of my left arm to support the weight of my torso in addition to two of the body parts attached to it, and the hand attached to my other arm was applying marked pressure to the area of my head just above my left ear while gyrating. Natasha had been just outside the door with her father’s life sized replica of a roman spear (a pilum - I believe that technically speaking it’s actually a javelin, but ‘spear’ is a more recognizable term), and had repeatedly thrust it through a medium sized hole located slightly above the doorknob in the attempt to impale me. I considered this game of ours to be a little bit of harmful fun, whereas she referred to it by screaming at the top of her lungs and sobbing violently - a peculiar name, but then again all names have a bit of strangeness to them. During our little dance I had jerked to my left, which was her right, in order to avoid one of her stabs, when I banged my head against the wall, which happened to be coated in a tasteful marble finish. Ouch! Thus you can deduce the reason for the marked pressure I was applying to the area of my head just above my left ear as well as the gyration which I have previously mentioned in the second sentence of this paragraph. A peculiarity may have reasonably arose within the mind of anyone who has now been informed of the events I have just described which I would now like to address: how was it that I could take the liberty to be leaning over the sink of the powder room; administering the aforementioned action to head, when there was a life-sized replica a roman spear being repeatedly thrust at me? But this is no mystery at all, I assure you, as I have not yet disclosed the actions which were undertaken temporally anterior to the collision of my head with the tasteful marble finish. In the heat of her assault Natasha had failed to take into proper account a certain fact of which it can be said, with the benefit of hindsight, that it was an important one so far as the success of her strategic endeavour is concerned. This fact, stated in the most clear fashion, was that there was a sixty two thousand psi industrial quality high pressure hose (attached to an adequate water supply) located to the left of the door within the powder room, which I promptly took into my hands after the collision involving my head. I pointed the high pressure hose at the hole in the door from an angle in the side of the powder room, and turned it on. Needless to say, the life sized replica of a roman spear which Natasha was wielding flew out of her hands and across the hall at an incredibly high speed. Rather than taking her chances in an adversarial position against a sixty two thousand psi industrial quality high pressure hose, Natasha chose to flee, and it was only then that I came into the already described position leaning over the sink - a position which I remain in.

Emily loves the snow. It’s been five fucking weeks in this bird shit tinted neginferno and she still throws the snow around and laughs like a child every fucking morning. She looks at me after she does it each time too, as if for approval, and I give her a fake smile which feels like it takes orders of magnitude more muscular effort than any other possible facial expression. I used to love Emily, then I thought that I did, and now I think I don’t. Do I? I abide by all the conventions. Externally I do. The most comforting thought I have is that it’s like this for everyone; that no one ‘loves’ their partner ‘all the time’ and that the ‘real love’ is me ‘pushing through it’ and that this is all totally normal and unconcerning. I don’t think I’ve ever had a less comforting thought in my entire life.

The sky had smothered the horizon and then pulled off and let the clouds froth and cough out. The wind traumatized the branches until they shook at a mere breeze. I stared down at my interlocked fingers, and then at the ground, and then at nothing. To think for some while after it I had felt such energy, such vitality, and now had surrendered completely motion to the planet and light to the star. If things were different than I assumed? Had I set ablaze my own happiness? For what was dignity in a fair scene and vanity on a poor one - had I traded the only future which might have left me full?

More confusing was that I was somehow incapable of providing an account to myself of why I actually did it. The reasons existed; but I could only recall them floating in front of me accosted only by my eyes, and my recollection was only able to explain its anteriority in the form of me shutting out my vision and thrashing out my arm until the hand took hold of the first it could make contact with. I tried not to think at all of the other sensation which took hold of me. When that thought crept upwards the event started to transform from a folly flung out of an emotional whirlpool to a vicious sadimy drawn out of the most vile drives which had been building up and pressurizing until an opportunity presented itself. This only made the former considerations appear worse.

I lied about that too. Any trained kinesiologist, or perhaps even an amateur one, if given an observation of my current bodily position in conditions which were conducive to the veracious use of vision would testify that it certainly could not be adequately described as leaning. In fact, my bodily position could much more aptly be conceptualized, as I am sure those versed in kinesthetics would attest to, a crouching position. In this crouching position, I was spatially located on the top of a sizable church organ, wielding a long but firm tree branch, and surrounded by a crowd of youth which had taken to yelling, banging their heads against available objects, and sobbing. The tree branch which I held was pointed, almost sharp, at the end which was opposite to me; a characteristic which served quite useful for the action I was undertaking, which I will now turn to describe. I reached down with this tree branch and used it to make contact with the keys of the sizable church organ I was crouched upon, and used it to play a simplified piano arrangement of Pachelbel’s acclaimed piece “Canon in D” (albeit at a slower tempo then is usual, owing to the obstructions placed upon my capacity to play given by the utensil I was using). The appreciable melodic qualities of this piece of music drove the youth into frenzy - this I can declare with a high degree of certainty on the basis of a statement one of these youth made to me during a brief pause in smashing his forehead against a foldable chair: “Please cease this simplified piano arrangement of Pachelbel’s acclaimed piece “Canon in D” (albeit at a slower tempo then is usual, owing to the obstructions placed upon your capacity to play given by the utensil you are using)! The appreciable melodic qualities of this piece of music are driving myself, and the youth which accompany me, into a frenzy!”. This, however, only increased the sadistic pleasure burning throughout my central nervous system, and I endeavoured to play the simplified piano arrangement of Pachelbel’s acclaimed piece “Canon in D” at an even greater intensity.

The Rosicrucian had an explanation for why we hurt each other. For why he hurt me. Why did he hurt me? I repeat what the Rosicrucian says: the world is all energy. Breath. There are many kinds of energy, physical, psychic, astral, nuclear. Breath. Thoughts have energies - they can be positive or negative. Breath. The energy we send out is what we receive back, in this life or the next or the next. Breath. The world is suffering greatly, this knowledge is given so that we might all free ourselves from the suffering. Breath.
Someone might dedicate their entire life to swimming - spending their whole existence training and thinking about swimming, predicating their entire being on becoming a successful swimmer - and then one day, be walking in the street, and get slammed into by a car running a red light, and become paralyzed, and by no fault of their own have their entire short stay on this universe utterly ruined. That’s kind of like the way he fucked my life up. Everything is so fucked and I know how fucked it is but I can’t do anything about it. I’m going to kill him. I swear to god I’m going to fucking kill that fucking piece of shit. Breath.

In summation of the above events, which I have described with utmost (if I may be so bold) clarity and attention to detail: I must state my rejection of your request in a complete and decisive manner. Not only is the combined area of my guest room, kitchen, and living room, in spite of the fashionable open-floor design, not enough to house a living specimen of Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum, but such a creature went extinct over approximately 114.4 million years ago according to a recent paper published in respectable paleontology journal “Cretaceous Research”, and thus it would be impossible for you to produce such a specimen.

I don’t think I’m evil. It’s more like I’m clinging to a pendulum, suspended high above the ground, for dear life, and the pendulum cuts people open each time it swings across.


In retrospect, which is really always looking forward, everything feels either awful or fantastic, but at the same time doesn’t really feel like anything, because it simply just happened that way and, all things considered, couldn’t have gone otherwise. Like the fact that all the words just came out jumbled, that they all fit together only ‘technically’ in that no rules of grammar were violated, but still it feels like some rule, even if informal, was violated, that something went very wrong; but nothing is wrong, and nothing really could be, because there simply isn’t anything better to say. Every attempt to grasp at something which could serve as a foundation is lacking - everything just crumbles. If there was some sort of ‘story’, if there was even some sort of meaning around which something even artificial could be constructed - but this ‘if’! All there is is ifs for us, isn’t there? From dreaming comes everything, but that’s all it is - a dream.


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