i've reached an end, i wanted to see how far i could take it,
Quinny: honey, you're not writing in your journal, you're writing out loud. i burned your diary awhile back, remember? it was just page upon page of scribbles and chickenscratch.
Binny clutches Quinny for dear life.
Binny: sis, i'm going crazy.
Quinny: no, at the end of the day, family abides, i see that now.
Binny: that's the problem with knowledge, it breaches into the sub of a word, you need a sub to travel further, and you don't want to go there, you don't want to click that extra link, cos it'll take you down another rabbit hole of strange words and concepts that couldn't possibly be real, invented place names from some bored basement kid who lives in Madagascar and has never seen Madagascar. that's just it, there's always another link, you can't know everything. Codrus always drilled into us that once you knew the sum of earthly knowledge you turn to mars. or at least early earthly knowledge. once you know the skin you turn inward to the heart. sure you know what this word means, but what is its history? who first came up with the word, what was she wearing at the time, what taboo of tradition was she committing? is it worth a life to expand the language so the future can understand your life better? what's left are only the indecipherable subtweets.
Quinny: you're too cooped up in here. granted the study, half kitchen, living room, and typing room are all one room. too much technology taints it evil. there is no need for most websites. the only usefulness is art. we need a desperate vacation. or rather a retreat. read this brochure. never mind, i'll say it out loud: well basically it's to the Grand Oak. you may not believe...
Binny: i believe to a fault.
Quinny: and i believe in you through your faults. cos you always had my back since i was a baby and my back was a matchbox. let me be there for you now cos we couldn't for our poor mother. cancer has gripped this family and silenced our petty gripes, sickness infects everyone not just the sick, taking the chainmail of genes and wiping out whole strands as it props up others. it's indiscriminate and random and set to the lunar rays of the ocean. there's a cold realization that one has to die in order to live, it understands this, it is this, it runs on this, it's in its genes. if there is no meaning then there's a whole big blank slate for us to make our meaning, paint the meaning on the canvas of our adult body backs, we live for each other. call it empathic illness, call it biconditionality, codependent and parasitic, copacetic and primal, i choose to merely call it tea and empathy, the lubricants of life.
Binny: what's that sound? i hear the distinctive sound of the remote control siding on the card table, it's unique and unmistakable, nothing else sounds like this. were you reading that heartfelt speech off a tv dialogue? are we in The Truman Show?
Quinny waters her palm in the litchen sink and slaps her sis on the face.
Quinny: snap out of it, sister! no, we're not in Germany, it's the two of us, we can make it if we try, it's always been us, all we see and hear and taste is each other. i give you my heart, literally if i could. i was just catching the Mets score and the tail-end of my soaps while having a deep conversation with you.
Binny: that's worse! tv has permanently encrusted our lives! and we can never drone and chill cos the drones never make cool choices for movie night, they don't know what makes people cry and laugh and hue and awe, it's like they're heartless. y'know this morning i'm Googling translated words and just for my own sanity i want to make sure i've learned nutter, nuttish. well guess what? nutish in Uzbek means "Hogwarts". that...just...can't...be.
Quinny: come on, that's enough internet for today, i'll drag you by your legs like the really old days if i have to. i'll rip your jeans and make them fashionable again. let's go for a nice Oak soak.
the two ladies travel by plane, train, and automobile until they reach the holy mecca. there are no awkward silences since Binny drones on the whole time. it's only awkward when the talking stops.
Quinny: we're here, hun! get your suntan lotion and sonic shades out!
Quinny places a cap on the retractable pen lying on the dashboard baking in the unusual sun flickering on and off. she undoes the seatbelt that's been securing Binny by her forehead and guides her sister gently by the shoulder to the promised land.
Binny doesn't notice.
Binny: and i invented a way for me to streamline it, make it easier, save time and maximize productivity. see when i'm scrolling instagram and i have way too many followers and i can't possibly give the attention needed to read each carefully-worded caption, i get the gist of it as i continue moving without stopping to look at all the pretty colors. i can get the gist of each pic in a second, too. sure i miss all the beautiful detail of the pic which is the whole point, but my brain as per each succeeding generation has been dutifully reduced to the attention span of -1 seconds. i use a small green pocket notebook and an uncapped pencil to write down foreign words and strange places so i don't have to go back and start at the beginning. but as i near the end of my internet day, the 18-hours-ago-mark limit of my scroll, i can save time by remembering the last three things in my head instead of writing them down, my brain is still good for that, hasn't been too fried beyond recognition.
Quinny: is there a point to this monologue? the audience gets bored when it's not involved.
Binny: it doesn't work. you try to remember the last three things but you inevitably forget the last three things in the haze of the barrage of instagram pictures. useless. you have to start all over, go back to the point where you were to remember the word, by then you forgot where that point is or was. lost forever. knowledge escapes. i broke my own invention.
a crease in Binny's forehead starts to crackle.
Cub: dad are you ready?
Wolf: for what?
Cub: you're moderating the debate! it starts next!
Wolf: snap. fuck my life.
Wolf: i'm here, studio audience, hear hear, thanks, i lost about three years of my life running over here plus with all my bacon consumption i'm gonna die soon, i really hope this'll be worth it. hello, America and around the world, this is CNN Breaking News.
BBC America reporter: this is BBC Breaking News, i'm Jane Sexylibrarian, live at the site of the next presidential debate in what has turned into the kookiest sideshow yet: on the dais are: Hilary, wearing her trademark tiara, Larry David reliving his teenage years admitting pre-debate he wore a Donny Osmond shirt when all of his friends were wearing Che, a mad scientist with a voice like silk, and Mickey Bump who is not worried about anything. Ralph Nader's parrot Cardozo is on the stage on his usual perch as well. the bird has higher poll numbers than Ralph himself, so i'm afraid Mr. Nader has been relegated to the kids'-table debate earlier this evening. later, only our intrepid BBC reporters get access to the mysterious Monte Carlo estate where lives who Guinness has just confirmed owns the greatest Beatles fan collection of all time. hint: this person is an actual beetle. and later, we look into the fact that it's seeming pretty obvious as the decades roll on that human life has no meaning whatsoever. scientists and religious leaders confirm. Monte Carlo, it's nice this time of night. that's where all the tennis players stay for their taxes, right? that reminds me, i'm missing my afternoon delight with my tennis coach for this, better be good.
Cub knocks shoulders with her dad.
Cub: dad, wake up.
Wolf: was it all a dream?
Cub: no, you dreamt through the whole thing. war was not debated by decree of Codrus. amazingly, though, food policy was discussed.
Wolf: i have a throught. forgot. i am so tired my whole life. can i use your instagram for the fifth time today?
Cub: you're really chatting up a storm with Baleen, huh? i'm jealous.
Wolf: his mother. it's not like that. his whole family, i've come to care for them after the incident. they've become my true family.
Cub: thanks a lot.
Wolf: i don't get this whole internet thing. this box is trash. what is it good for? i see your scroll all the time and it's filled with nothing but celebrities giving the finger. what is that? it's only good for bringing people together. i don't get into all that young shiznit. you know where the word Satan comes from? it's from a root word from Latin that means "relativism". true, looked it up on Google Translate. we gotta relate to one another or we'll burn like a chain reaction. i just don't see it.
Cub: i can dream. alright, don't stay up too late, mister, wear bright clothing, and remember to drink plenty of liquids. oh, dad, i seem to have a lot of my glitter missing?
Wolf: sorry, using it as makeup for when your old man goes on television. you know how rushed mornings are, you grab the first bottle out the door.
Cub: and is there a dirty old man outside? i hear him from my bedroom snoring at night, he's sleeping on top of our trashcans.
Wolf: it's not me, that's just Larry, i'm writing his tweets for him. we come from the greatest generation, i get him.
at Codrus's apartmentalized fortress:
Codrus is trying not to watch Drone TV through his fingers covering his eyes. he hangs his fingers in shame.
Codrus: that idiot is bungling another debate. though i love the plaid shirt and ripped jeans he's wearing.
Bump: *sorry knock knock* can i come in, boss?
Codrus: over already?
Bump: i can still win. second is not bad. first fight in our marriage. i have to win this, it was a lark before but now it's a condor. i have to see how far this can go. i have to do it for my precious.
Codrus: so sweet it makes me sick, both meanings. now dance for me, troll! are you butt naked?
Bump: yes like you ordered. i hate showing my butt.
Codrus: wait let me get in the shadows first. okay. ENTER. disrobe and twirl around a few times, in the light where i can see you.
Bump: okay. i never got that robe in the mail. you sent it, right?
Codrus: must've been a mixup with the drones. i'm not getting off on this you know, this is about power, which is sex. you promise to do better next time?
Bump: sure, boss, i got distracted by all the lights. the city lights. the attractions. the cup of coffee that self-cools from the rainwater outside getting in your cup. why the hell isn't the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Seattle?
Codrus: alright, i'm good, whatever. let me show you my latest machination. that's why sidekicks exist, to be evil villains' personal yelpers.
Bump: i have my own ideas, too, but, whatever. what am i looking at? jars filled with rainwater? rain has that distinctive scent. see i'm no apprentice.
Codrus (finger risen to the air): not just ANY rainwater. okay any rainwater. but it's what's inside the jars.
Bump: don't see a thing.
Codrus: exactly. they are my tardigrades, my nano army that can't lose cos you can't see them losing. they're still incubating, still fermenting. when they hatch, the tide of the war will turn. when they're done, we're all done.
Bump: just look out for that monk, boss, there's something about monky, he's got someone on his side.
Uvula (by her cave): oh, you're here! you scared me! where the hell did you come from?
Codrus (whooshing his cape): i've come a long distance to meet you, my dear. it's not like that. to defeat you not deflower you. my device is beeping something fierce. up a storm. if i look up, the storm. i'm looking up, no storm. i was waiting for it to brew and whip up. where's my monster? where's Patricia? this doo said it'd be here.
Uvula: that's a Dragon Radar.
Codrus: ah. well. never fear, i've already attached the atom bomb to it while it was still a baby tropical storm while you were sleeping. the greatest work gets done when you're sleeping, the scary work. you have no hope. lead me into your cave.
Uvula: gross. look, i think it's coming. see, you have to be patient with things. i could tell from measuring the contours of the clouds.
Codrus: give it up, sister, you could never be a weather girl.
a group of hyenas (listening in): yeah, you don't have the tits.
hyenas: sorry my liegess, just shooting the breeze.
Uvula: more like shooting the shit. ATTACK!
the hyenas commiserate together in a circle, hollering indecipherably, moving around in a circle frantically.
Uvula: are you laughing or crying? i can't tell.
Codrus: it's the same thing.
Uvula: oh for fuck sake. EAGLES, ATTACK!
the eagles, who have been underwater near Philadelphia waiting for the command, swoop from out the ocean depths like Willy and fly briskly into the 360 panoramic of the hurricane's eye. they chew their beaks into the job and detach the atom bomb where it safely drops in the middle of the Pacific and blows up a few marine ecosystems.
Uvula: damn you! those were like my children, even the lichen. god damn you!
Codrus: not for long. while the kids fight in the sky, let's have a more adult grounded battle of technique and strategy. let's talk to each other for god sake, enough with these emails and bombs!
Codrus walks to the entrance of Uvula's cave. Uvula takes out from under her hoodie a package of raw nongrounded coffee beans and eats them whole.
Uvula (still chewing the paste): mmmm, battle food. okay i've had my spinach. i will block you from this entrance forever.
Codrus is suddenly at the back of her inside the cave.
Uvula: hey, how'd you do that?
Codrus: always watch your back.
Uvula: i can't, it's physically impossible. i look out onto the open green plain stages of Earth and i can only experience life through my own singular two-eyed lens in this one body of a woman named Uvula. that's U-V-U-L-A, don't you forget it. i will only have one frame of reference forever. i can't really know what any other living entity is thinking or feeling, ever.
Uvula: you'll never get my gold!
Codrus: silly girl, tricks are for adults.
Uvula: do not infantilize me! oh i especially hate being patronized by a fuckboy.
Codrus: here's your problem. you value the gold more than the rocks in your epic domicile here. you think it was the gold giving you the power? that world is gone. it's the stones in here which house the Stones, that's the real gold. alright, i'll get a couple of Bump's mafia guys over her with cranes and cement and whatnot, they'll crack open all the loot by the end of the week, two weeks tops, i promise. you're in good feet, they're not going anywhere, all they do is build buildings, that's all they do. this was your last stronghold, i now own pretty much all of it, i'm a conglomerate, i'm a company with a soul, i'm corporation people. there's no need to rein in the rain, only to reign. can you tell i missed out on Monopoly when i was a kid?
Uvula: i can't stop you if i wanted. it's the strangest thing, i can move but i can't think...
Codrus: seeya, toots.
Uvula: where are you moving?
Codrus: soon. for now it's back to the ol' studio. can't miss movie night.
Codrus in his private movie theatre, where it's darker than the black outside. he sits in the middle of the rows as the shadows from the drones' film projectors bounce off only him, feet up, with his five bags of popcorn and coke, leisurely waiting for the feature to start, the present presentation.
FIRST, THE PREVIEWS, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
Codrus: too much coke, too sweet. *sigh* the previews are always better than the film you've come to see. always wanting what you don't have in the moment you don't see what you do have.
as the credits start to roll, Codrus gets all dour and loose and rubbery and seizurey. he leaves the darkened theatre head down like a lit fuse before the last scene fades to black and has a chance to show the first white credit. he clutches to his last bag of popcorn filled to the brim. he turns the bag upside down and empties out all that gorgeous puffy fluffy corn goodness in a spasm, leaving but one uncooked kernel which he carefully fishes out with the steady hand of a neurosurgeon. he pops it in his mouth and grinds his chew. or should i say chews his grind.