aboard a James Cameronesque experimental water vessel that seems like an Avatar but runs like a dream handler.
Imzhan is sound asleep, snoring.
Codrus (boot on his neck): wake up, the world's oyster is cracking. row row fight the power. just kidding, no need for either oar, this boat runs on dream.
Imzhan (disturbed): steam? punk? have a steaming cup of shut the fuck up. you shouldn't have made me angry. you should let men sleep, they have a damn good excuse to, i don't get enough sleep, never have. i gave up a lot to be with you on this goose chase. i'm here in part cos despite everything you do to me, like mushroom-stamp my forehead, i like you, goddammit, don't know why. part of it is i think you'll fail and i'll take a special Glee in watching that live, the L symbol on the forehead. no offense, but i assume if i can take you at your warts, then...
Codrus (laughs innocently): thanks for the laugh, it pierced me like a single massive drill. i needed that. seems the roles are reversed today, i am of the waves and you are waterlogged. my bed was made of fluffy hay, yours of nothing but the wind direction.
Imzhan: i gave up my family for you. i don't believe in any of this but you do, so the fascination lingers and is maintained. the last time we were all huddled in that crowded house of Burning i was screaming at the top of my esophagus cos the cats had gone missing running around on lost paws and no time to pause and my old wife was proving nagging isn't just an old wife's tale. i hated being there and needed to escape, needed, not wanted mind you. one is a rich man's folly, the other is human-blood-coated dna for dad. i remember when the bridge snapped, it's unfortunately the only thing i do remember:
*tab* do you know how frightening it was to see the cats roaming outside free? i yelled at her with all my guts little pieces of flesh in the bamboo roof of my mouth flew like a flag how could you? are you senile or something? oh right yes you are you're fucking old that's the problem too many things to go to too many things scheduled to distract you from realizing it all means nothing a type of busying buzzing stopgap to keep you and me your flesh and bone along with you from the edge of the existentialist void how could you leave the screen open? see it doesn't matter who wins even by a slim margin even by banking to the right taking the road less traveled it doesn't make a difference there will be the next terrorism in the halls of learning in a Tunisian museum where the shelves are for displays not displays. i have not love in my life only bills and my pet bird Responsibility has grown up and become a vulture picking at my senses slowly until my boner became my bones. went to the store and the same tired folks are there the sideward mobility that requires Sideways wine the jolly old short man who doesn't need to troll cos he looks like a troll who yells Good Morning like Uncle Grandpa to every customer in line disgruntled or not before checking their foods and checking their moods. don't test me pops i'm not in the mood. how am i? that's a loaded question. and the answer is loaded with different degrees of freight weight depending on the meaning of loaded. got only Happy Eggs but they didn't make me happy i sensed there was something decidedly unhappy about how they treated their chickens chicks the world over are becoming second-class citizens nobody checks anymore they are fatted with the fatted calf and too lazy to research they would rather believe the quick lie, the fast li(f)e i am so tired i can't think i need to leave i need to get the hell outta here it's suffocating me there is so much air here it condenses into a little ball and explodes into a firework of electricity you caused me great pain on this day thanks for your gift on my birthday you hurt my pump of blood rubbing it with alcohol get this through your old head oldhead i love those cats more than i'll ever love you, Do i make myself crystal clear? do i make myself diamond clear? unforgivable!!! Unforgiven!
Codrus: sheesh man. you need to cool off my friend.
Imzhan: oh no, i'm done with your drugs a'sundry, anything is pozible with patchouli, you've addicted me enough with your all-encompassings.
Codrus reaches into the salt water with his hand and splashes some on Imzhan's face.
Codrus: i meant literally.
Imzhan: i get angry and i can't control it, it's a plasma globe of bad green energy that fills the soul with bad juju soul music, black magic and black soot that i would in one stroke abandon all the people that have propped me up to be a person. i create a Monster. hurting your own familial bond is a sin, you are literally hurting yourself, the person you literally are. when the silent treatment becomes permanent silence, it's a quite scary persona.
Codrus: scary for me, too, but i've learned to see the long con. i see things from a mountaintop, i see the strand of energy from above with an eagle eye and imagine how it can be harnessed to produce the one thing humanity has never had: an alternative. the work is slow and overbearing but the sickly ocean spray gives you a distraction. i've been watching on the internet videos about the Slow Movement. that's what we need: periodicals that print out only once every three months so we can digest the news into our stomach with context not text-speed, it's not about who's first to the scene of the story but who crafts the best story. slow food, you get your salad one day and your meatballs the next. slow schedule, work when you want from home, the trope of the maddening boss is obsolete, make room for a siesta. all until the party when we find the completed stone tab and push tab and link everyone in the world with an internet video which will unite everyone under me, the one in electrical charge. i'll drink to that.
Imzhan: don't say Tab. i hate Tab. actually it's my favorite drink but i hate when you say Tab. i'd as soon drink saltwater to match my mood. i hate everyone on the internet, all those youtube personalities are pure junk in the digital stream.
Codrus: your mood is streaming into your personality but that's what happens. all art eventually becomes content. i'm trying to make my videos good. i look into the future and the present for past tenets. pirates then and now, men and djs with guns, white aliens. Tennant isn't fiction if you project the show's projects. there's a lot of anger out there, people are Breaking Indifferent, they can't take the constant drumbeat of the conundrum, they are sick of following rules which are as slippery as slick spaghetti. you cook spaghetti in water but you should never wash it or you'll drown it. if it sticks to the wall it's good enough. i imagine my navy vehicles like a Tron Riverbike with a hole in it to put the energy source, a plasma lamp, a sparkly plasma ball of fun, unlimited from the Earth's very core, the World's Personality. science stops being cool when you see the plasma globe collecting dust in a museum display, science is only fun when you really fucking use it, utilize it, make it your breath, turn it into applied science, technology, that word tech is so coldly precise, so computerized to do my bidding, it's a joy to pronounce and say, tech, tech, hardware, power to mobilize, start, run, to not run away anymore, plasma, the very blood that coats our way.
Imzhan: i mean if that bitch wants to call the cops, let her, Family Matters ain't no sitcom, it's real fucking life, not reality tv, life's hard, you have to make choices, sometimes you end up hurting your loved ones rather than your enemies, i always found that quite strange..........yeah, you go ahead, you wizened dried-up old cunt.
Codrus: so i think you're talking about your nosy neighbor trope? not your mom or wife?
Imzhan: she's all the same woman in the end, same person in general. i'm not a people, i'm dead. another good man forced to wear the black hat instead of the guayabera of a liberated Cuba. i never asked to be LeBron James in that first year in Little Havana. my little friend doesn't say hello anymore so i count on you, my little friend, to help me see past the pressures of life which go too far and crack the diamond.
Codrus: when i was young and angsty i donned a black shirt and cap and fashioned myself a dark poet, i would be remembered as the boy who lived in that ghastly rich city but could never be happy there or anywhere, i would stroll the edge of the beach alone not caring if the waves were to swallow me up, writing emo poetry on an exposed boulder. i wanted to be remembered that way, i never actually did those things, just crafting that persona took up all my time.
Imzhan: this garish technological marvel of a raft is a floating bamboo house, i'm motorboating it up. but bamboo works both ways, it is sturdy underroof but its sturdiness makes it the perfect weapon under
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Imzhan spastically addresses his growing stubble and picks out small coffee grounds from it. he tries to cry but it comes out fake, Imzhan realizes anything he utters in a spontaneous gust couldn't possibly represent his tortured inner feelings of disillusionment, abandonment, self-abandonment, confusion, and a yearning for something that doesn't exist, there's a word for that, it's Gaelic or Welsh, not quite hiraeth but close, English, for all that English covers and colors, it still hasn't caught up to that feeling yet.
Imzhan: i'm ready to join Scientology. i want the answers. i want to go to group not for therapy but for the group itself, to be in a group is enough. i need to start seeing my second family, somwhere along the way i grew tired of my family.
Codrus: they grew tired of you, any pangs of love you had shared dissipated in the continuing going to work every day at a dead-end french-fry Mickey-Mouse job. it's understandable, everyone gets tired and needs to sleep. i feel the world exploding but not from the core, rather on the overheated surface full of too many people who're ready to crack like an endless New England nor'easter. even familial bonds are dissolving, kids leave their yuppie parents to join strange lands and strange organizations because they are precisely strange and new. Anarchist Organization is an oxymoron. the old ways are becoming older faster in this godforsaken internet age, it's time to believe in a slow god again godspeed. when i see the headline of NEW TECH on the cover of my defunct newspaper, i gravitate not toward the word TECH but to the word NEW.
Imzhan: i am your friend you know, till the end. that could mean me killing you but i do it out of love. you might get out of hand and only i have the kryptonite in my Batcave. i haven't lost my curiosity, that's what keeps humans going, not love or sex, curiosity to see if the latest thing will fail, i want to see where this leads, leader.
Codrus: currently however many knots starboard! to the stars my naughty marine! exploration is done by dirty men with dirty ideas and dirty intentions, they're the ones who get their hands dirty. this isn't noughts and crosses, this is to counter the nihilism of winning by drawing a line through, this is for a cross that cannot be crossed off, one fashioned not in amber but in adamantium.
Imzhan stays prostrate but looks upside-down past the bow of the whatever-it-is that keeps them afloat.
Imzhan: i don't need no mountain. my eyes are clearer now, i needed real salt water, not tears. i do see a couple of beige specks but it could be a big tease and not the closing wreckage. it's amazing how we search for one tragedy only to find the tragedy nobody cares about: ocean trash.
Imzhan lets out a huge fart that smells of meatballs.
Codrus: thank you, i smelt each ingredient down to the tarragon.
Imzhan: that's the sign of a good digestion, properly allowing the esophagus to read each section of the meal in context and deliver a verdict that rings loud and clear. only slow-eaters who have studied this for years would understand.
Codrus spies the debris hurrying not to get caught hiding in whirlpools, 3 of the 4 try to disappear with their secrets below the narutos. for once a thing loses its secrets, it ceases to be a thing. the airplane seat cushion, the paper carton still full of milk, and the plastic 6-pack ring still uncut. still denotes a little faith in humanity still. secrets that could alleviate pain are especially hard to track down, for once the truth is known, no alternate theories can ever be formed, and it all dies. Imzhan is doing more than shielding the sun from his eyes with his hands as he tries to get back to sleep, he's covering his eyes from the world.
Imzhan: too late, the moment's gone, no respite, no sweet dream to be had, what could have been, thanks obama, thanks world order, i'm up now, i'm up.
Codrus whips to the piece of swimming boulder on his whip that no one else has, with the buttons that no one else has, he gets to it faster than anyone else. could. he's first. he's first to the scene.
Codrus: sheesh man, okay, i get it, next time i'll let you get napped.