Aught, no. 2 (1998)
Do we move through time? Or are we still, static sitting ducks as events propel themselves towards us through the Universe?
First, there is a sound. Presumably the sound itself occurs, and then we hear it a split-second afterwards; but we connect the two together, the reaction to the action. Even when it's so far away that the sound appears almost totally unrelated to its source, we know where of it originates. We THINK we do, anyway. After all, we saw the man bring the hammer down upon the anvil; and isn't that the sound of metal against metal? [Hit], "ping," [hit], "ping." But what if it were silent, there were no sound at the hammer's ground zero, and there were some little creature inside of your ear whispering in metallic syllables delayed in an exact syncopation of the approximate distance from hit of hammer to sound in ear? It watches the man raise his arm above his head, then bring the hammer down: the slightest pause, and "ping," it whispers. How would you ever know?
Events happen to me, and I record them here after. However, I don't know anymore if I'm really recording the event. The delay between when something happens and when I transcribe the happening makes me wonder. I carry this notebook with me at all times, but it's quite impossible for me to be transcribing the event exactly as when it happens. I thought about carrying a tape recorder with me, but I'm too afraid of there somehow being a difference between what I know I heard and what the tape recorder says I heard. Of course, I know how a tape recorder works. But if something happens, if the rules of acoustics or mechanics or REALITY change somehow and the tape recorder does not replay what actually happened, what most likely will happen is that the revised version of the event will replace the original, true version of the event but I'll be fooled and never realize it. I'm terrified of that. I'd rather all of the doubt be concentrated in me. Less variables, less dubious echoes.
Why would that tall guy sitting across from me be writing here? I wonder what he could be so focused on and so intense about?
Atmosphere definitely has an effect on someone's mood. I think you could come into a place in one mood and have it completely changed by the place if you were there long enough. Here for example. The lighting is horrible, the drinks are overpriced and the tables are not even clean. There's a bit of caked on food right next to my left hand. Disgusting! It's smoky, too. Jesus that guy is weird. He's just writing and writing. He's completely oblivious to anything outside of what he's writing. What a freak.
I hate being out by myself. But sometimes I just feel I need to go out, so I end up at some idiotic place like this, sitting and staring at people, one after the other, then at another, then back at the first one . . . I'm sure it's noticeable, and that I must get on people's nerves. At least this time I was smart enough to bring along this notebook. I wish I had something to really write about. No, what I'd really like is to have someone to be here with.
E = MC2: Energy = Mass x ________? Content Chrono ?
A digital clock, travelling at the speed of light, begins to move away from me at exactly 12:00. It travels for five minutes, at which point it turns its face towards me, which I see says 12:05. I check my watch and find that it says 12:10. This is because it takes the light from the clock's readout 5 minutes to travel back to me since the clock travelled away from me for 5 minutes at the speed of light. So at exactly 12:05, which is exactly when the clock turned itself towards me, the digital readout "12:05" nothing more than light began its journey towards me, which would take it 5 minutes to cover the distance the clock travelled in 5 minutes moving at the speed of light away from me. The speed of light is always constant. Is that right? Like a clock will ever travel at the speed of light.
What is that God damn movie? Marilyn Monroe and Einstein. Fuck Fuck FUCK Is that even the theory of relativity? Gravity something something blah blah. Shauna was here. The weight of a body in motion varies with velocity. If Shauna is in an elevator that is moving downward at ___ mph, she is not overweight. That's right. I think. Gravity: if Shauna is on the moon, she is not overweight. Displacement of mass: if Shauna is in a pool of water, Shauna is not overweight. All relative. Except that I'll bet those guys would never even look at me. Look. Look.
How are you? What have you been up to since I left?
Letter writing makes true communication virtually impossible. Only yesterday did I get the letter you sent a month ago the one that was in response to the card and letter I sent you for your B-day. It's so frustrating, the delay in getting a response, the lag time. I get a letter and it's responding not to the letter I've just sent but the one before that. But I don't know why I'm telling you this. Obviously, you know.
I'm sitting in this bar I just can't write to you when I'm at the barracks. It's kind of a nice bar: cheap drinks, well-lit, not too many people. There's this really tall guy scribbling in a wire-bound notebook, and this little fat girl drawing on a napkin. Oh, and there's some other guy writing too. Jesus, what is this, writer's central?! Anyway, I come here sometimes to have a beer & a scotch on the rocks & wish you were here, that I was out with you. You were right, I should never have joined. 3 fucking more years. I don't know if I can handle it.
Kelly D. Sat & Sun? Mark come in for 2 hrs Wed. a.m.?
MEMO TO ALL WAITERS/WAITRESSES:
There are enough employees to cover every shift, both in the bar and in the restaurant. All of you gave me your availability when you were first hired, and I made a basic rotation based on this. However, I don't know why, but there seems to be a gap in the system. It appears that some of you are trading your shifts with other employees and then not volunteering to cover their shift for that week or the following week, but instead agreeing to cover for them at some undisclosed and future date. What this does is create holes in the schedule for the week in which you trade.
I then have the problem of being understaffed, and am unable to provide quality service to our clientele. I think it is because of this decline in service that business has gone steadily down in the past few months. For example, there were only 5 customers in the bar at 9 o'clock Sat. night. You all know that I've barely been able to get by for the last 1 1/2 years. I can not afford for business to drop off AT ALL! Please meet with me with the person your trading with for all shift trades. If your availability has changed, please let me know immediately. I really need all of us all to pull together and help out like the team I know we can be!
Copyright © 1998, by the author.
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