Laura and Sigmund are so in love and everything’s just great; long walks, hiking, dinners in the evening air. They often expressed the sentiment to one another that they were the luckiest people in the world. On a fairly standard evening they decided to try a new bar in their area. Upon arriving they found that it was far louder, darker, and crowded than they could have possibly imagined. Laura screams to Sigmund that she needs to use the restroom and gestures for him to stay put. She comes back from the restroom and embraces Sigmund, they make out while leaning on the bar; blissfully neglectful of the scowls they are receiving from those surrounding them. More drinking and revelry in the dark fade into a an impressionist haze of evening.
Sigmund wakes the next morning to find that the girl he came home with wasn’t Laura at all, and in fact bared very little resemblance to his purported soul mate. Laura stands in the doorway to their bedroom crying and asks why he has done this to them. The other girl wakes up and asks who Laura is and why is is she standing in she and Sigmund’s bedroom. Sigmund asks the same thing and tells the Laura he was sleeping beside to call the police. The crying Laura in the door asks what’s going on, but Laura of the bed simply gropes Sigmund and tells her she needs to leave. Laura screams that she has no place else to go, but Sigmund simply says, “How?” and then she notices three wolves pacing the living room that was once hers. Without any notice the wolves smash through the bedroom wall and consume Sigmund and Laura of the bed. Laura of tears runs out the front door only to find a monolithic traffic barrel in her front yard that reaches infinitely into the sky.
Sigmund’s car pulls up in the driveway and he gets out and frantically tells her that he’s been searching for her all night and he’s been so worried. The back of his car is pulsating with cats, making her doubt that he is who he says he is. He tells her that they’re in someone else’s yard and they need to go home.
Conductivity of particle trails in relation to faster than light communication, because a particle is simply the tip of a branch of a space time tree, or if not a tree, then a jellyfish moving through a cloud chamber; one whose filaments leave mucous trails in the water behind them, which could potentially be utilized by microorganisms to more effectively reach the point of origin and thereby relate to the other organisms where the endpoint is; further expediting the travel process. The microorganism could be continuous; a worm of sorts filling the trail of that which has come before it, but then that’s just a wormhole.
There are monsters about,
Minds run amok,
Writhing and Lurching
They tear themselves asunder,
Trying to be human,
Trying to be trusted
So that they may devour you,
But they are what they seem,
They are monsters.
It wasn’t enough to be enough anymore, one had to be infinitely more; or less, he wasn’t sure. To be full of wit and self-deprecation while quietly grooming one’s status as attractive seemed to be key in marketing as of late, probably somewhat always, but things were spiraling, getting worse, vapid even. Tragedy is now flaccidity because there is no more content; content has been banned or at least relegated to the basement in favor of speed, but it’s seen as alright because there is such a wealth of contentless material that the mere quantity constitutes conversation about said quantity, and the discussion therefore becomes content made of empty content. A giant box filled with empty boxes .
Breaking through a substantial writing block is good and bad. Good because stories get finished; if I could be writing four narratives at the same time right now I would be. Bad because I could be writing four narratives at the same time right now and I can’t be as well as having a job that occasionally consumes my entire day, which is not that bad in that it does so only occasionally. One by the end of March for certain, two by July if I’m lucky, two fast novellas to follow. If that can be done then maybe I take a year with the elephant in my room.
Of course I’ll probably lose whatever I’ve got right now by the end of the day. I actually read a Hemingway quote that seems quite helpful; basically he said to always stop while you know what’s going to happen next, which is good for me because I tend to write into walls and end up painfully editing my way out. Excerpts to probably come.
There is a single mindedness about hospitality that can be pleasantly numbing. The only way to survive is to make people happy. Not just customers (guests) unfortunately; managers, fellow servers and cooks all need to view you favorably or you will perish; not die necessarily, but you certainly won’t make any money. Talk to an experienced server and ask them if they’re “on” at the moment. If they’re still in the field, the inevitable answer will be, “yes”. The state of “on” can make it difficult to interact with people you know should they happen into your section or rotation, but after a while your style takes over and you address them as if you are an intermediary between the person they know and the person who is bringing them drinks.
Some people are quicker to learn how to employ the layers of “on”, these people generally become bartenders. You’re essentially an actor, or a prostitute (who is also an actor of sorts); you generate a persona that yields the highest net income per customer interaction. There are lots of servers; the last I saw hospitality was the number three employer behind government and medicine, so much of this information is probably already known or at least understood on some level.
Once you’ve undertaken concurrent sixteen to twenty hour shifts during times of high volume, you have changed; maybe not PST (could be depending on where you work), but definitely the feeling of having passed through a gauntlet. You are certainly not really you again until you’ve had a few days off.
Morals are constantly tested as well. Do you tell the truth, or do you lie. You quickly learn that lying is the best way to go 95% of the time, which is added to the “on” persona that eventually bleeds into your nonworking self; one eventually becoming indistinguishable from the other. Maybe you don’t work in a meat grinder though. Maybe you work for a sleepy mom and pop restaurant whose owners love you and give you semi-managerial responsibilities in these lean times. They might tell you that people can no longer take their credit card tips at the end of the night because of tax reasons. They tell you that you can’t take any tips home and you need to turn everything in to them so it can be added to your pay check, and then you show up one day and the locks have been changed; mom and pop are gone and are drinking your money somewhere in Texas. Coworkers who you repeatedly assured would receive their money call you a few times a day. Mom and pop have changed their number and likely their identities. What now?
What now? Work for corporate restaurants as a mercenary server; viewing your job as that of an independent contractor hired to push a product until a better opportunity presents itself. View your former coworkers you may wait on with the cold indifference that you might regard a squeegee man at a traffic light. You are “on”, they are your marks, your only goal is to act in such a way that will cause them to give you their money and come back again to give you more of their money. Of course, it would be great to have a drink after your shift is over, but you know, it’ll probably be late and you have to open tomorrow morning. Work sucks, you have bills to pay etc… Wow thank you so much for the 100% tip, you just saved my whole day. You’ll totally stop by the restaurant they work at on your day off and return the generosity. But you won’t. You’ll keep the money and give away another little piece of your soul to keep it. In the end, when and if you’ve escaped the industry, you won’t remember these things, and if you do it will be so much later that no one else will remember them either; these and countless other acts of extreme moral ambiguity undertaken by hospitality industry employees (assuming you’ve undertaken most of them) emerge from your memory as your “off” persona comes back to the fore. The question becomes; did you survive the industry or are you now so “on” that you don’t even know what it is anymore?
The building has sixteen apartments. There is nothing outside the building. Apartments can communicate with those above and below them, but can only look at the apartments beside them. Apartments being looked into do not know that they’re being looked into as the apartment that they look into is not the one looking in at them. Adding to the complexity is the movement of the apartments; apartments on higher levels can descend and look into the apartments below them without those apartments ever having knowledge and likewise those lower apartments can look in at those lower etc… This activity can result in having the highest apartment looking into an apartment that is observing another apartment that is observing another apartment that is observing another apartment. The difference with the last apartment being that it is unable to communicate with the four apartments who are observing it and its most immediate observing apartment is unaware that the apartments above are able to descend, as is the case with subsequently high apartments, although they, including the top-level, acknowledge the possibility that apartments higher than theirs might be observing them. The situation would deteriorate if someone in the apartments above was to tell a resident below that they were being observed. Another wrinkle is that the bottom apartment can change its perspective by moving to a different position on the grid which in turn changes the default perspective of all the apartment above it.