ABSURDIS EXTREME // Case Study #2 [1/2/1983] by B.A. Loney

This is the story of a billboard. An old billboard on the corner of Big Lasher and 20th. It was covered in endless layers of shabby ads. A bit of text here. A model’s face there. Some bird shit.

The bird shit was like a spray of iron pellets embedded in the metal and paper. That’s how hard it had gotten beneath the harsh, bone bleaching sun. To the lonely earthworm looking on from below, these were portents of doom. Well, they would have been portents of doom had the earthworm been able to see.

The fact that this earthworm was as blind as a worm—and deaf like one too—isn’t terribly important for our super serious scientific research. A gust of wind flapped paper over the model’s nose with a loud pop. Now, that detail is important. As is the detail that upon not hearing this, the earthworm crawled up. We’re not sure why it crawled up. Perhaps it wanted a view it could not see to accompany the sound it could not hear. No one can know the mind of an earthworm, okay? You just need to accept this.

If, indeed, an earthworm has a mind.

So, anyway, the earthworm eventually reached the billboard’s top. Unsurprisingly, it saw and heard nothing. It wondered where it was now relative to where it had been, and felt similarly clueless. It’s really not easy being an earthworm.

It was on this cusp of despair that the earthworm felt something like hard peas digging into its ribs. (Do earthworms have ribs? Gah. Anyway.) The earthworm could have sworn it was feeling a letter ‘A’. Of course, every earthworm knows Braille. It’s the first thing wormlets are taught in school. So, yeah, this was definitely feeling like the first letter of the alphabet…

The earthworm fidgeted a bit, edging its body over to the right. Yeah, an ‘A’. Driven by curiosity, it started to move along the trail of fossil bird shit, not knowing that it was fossil bird shit. You see, earthworms are not only blind and deaf, they also can’t smell for shit. Still, it was old, dried up shit, so the shit no longer retained its shitty smell, thus the earthworm couldn’t have smelled it even had it possessed a nose—which it clearly didn’t. (We can’t believe how often we were able to squeeze the word ‘shit’ into this paragraph!)

It took nearly two hours, but the earthworm was patient. It painstakingly moved its clammy, naked body over every shitty bump at the top of that billboard. It got turned on a few times during this process, but earthworms don’t have penises to get boners with, so the arousal was strictly cerebral. We suppose this means earthworms have minds after all, and that the mind is the most powerful sex organ.

But, again, we must omit this fact for now because of its quantifiable littleness. That very same day, the old billboard on the corner of Big Lasher and 20th was scrapped and sent off to be melted down. It was turned into a dozen new shiny shovels that every day since have cut many earthworms into halves, giving them all a new life that has been twice as good.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

the Bronze Horseman (Fragment #025)

My work in the museum is what I would call my hobby, as my work in B.O.S.O.M. is my real source of income. It’s a very nice, financially advantageous environment… if you can adopt the thought that you are merely a tool – a means to an end. Filth, innuendos and deviant urges are all commonplace, routine parts of the job here. Nobody will be polite towards a kettle or a floor mat. It’s normal. The wishes of our clients are supreme law here. Because (sorry for my banality!) they pay. OK, let’s do without naming the number I dance to!

Generally, we all do everything, and we can’t reject orders. But everyone has their own private preferences. Betty, for example, likes to be a piano or a harp. She likes music and musicians. (By the way, she has a really rad voice! She might make a great career out of it.) Damn! I looked away again! My bad!

What about me? If you’re reading this part of my scribble, you should know that my passion is literature. I like to be a book. I like writers and readers. I like to be written and to be read. I’ve been educational supplies and novels, vignettes and literary magazines. They’ve yearned for sweethearts and derided malevolent persons with me. They…

– Hey, baby! A client is waiting for you!

I put aside the anthology of The Silver Age of Russian Poetry.

– Come in, Schulz!

He’s a really great guy. He always tries to select clients for us whose proclivities match our personal bents.

– What is it today, Schulz?
– A reader. Pushkin. The Bronze Horseman.
– Not bad!
– Yes… I know you like books and Pushkin, baby… but there is a slight change. Today won’t be ink.

Suddenly, I notice the heavy awl and a packet of little metallic beads in his hands.

– What the hell?
– Sorry, baby… It’ll be Braille. Your client is blind.

“And turned to him with his back, proudest,
On height that never might be tossed,
Over Neva’s unending wildness,
Stands, with his arm, stretched to skies, lightless,
The idol on his brazen stallion.”

Oh, my poor over-extended spine… Fuck! Pushkin! Son of a bitch! Why did you write such lengthy poems?! I hate you and your excessively descriptive style! Now I’ll only read Matsuo Basho! (to be continued)

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2014

My special thanks to Cyan Ryan
for the grammar corrections and improvement this essay!

Braille

Sometimes I think that I must live without
My ears.
The slops of words just flow into this downspout.

Sometimes I dream that I must live without
My eyes.
The loathsome things just settle on this hangout.

My nose, mouth… The ineffective stuff.
My fingers would be quite enough
For my escape from this dull jail.
God bless you, monsieur Louis Braille!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2014