a door.
a peephole.
in what feels like a wooden chair (rickety -yes)
in a room cramped with clanking ductwork.
looking at...there! across the room:

a door.
with a peephole.
a small circle of flickering light

"what are you doing here?" (an unidentifiable voice)

"i was sent here to contemplate the problem of nuclear fusion, to unravel the mystery of HAARP; i was sent here to achieve psychic contact with sasquatch, to discover the origin of belly button lint...yes indeed...i was sent here to determine how many 7-and-a-half inch forks laid end to end it would take to get to the moon, but right now i'm trying to calculate the measure and quality of force necessary to rearrange my DNA molecules. i wanted to be a newt and now look at me."

"no, YOU look at YOU...look, for instance, at your hand" (the voice...identifiable only as the last unidentifiable voice)

and i put my hand out, palm side up. it's covered with ant-sized words and letters all scrambling around, scurrying up my wrist and to my elbow.

"you are swarming"

"i am gathering"

"you are swarming."


i get up, scared.
what does it mean to be swarming?
what DOES it mean to be swarming?

and now a tentative shuffle to the door.
dust, scraps of foil, bullet casings and mouse turds part like the red fucking sea, carving out my destiny in the form of a straight line from chair to door.
"hey, wait...wasn't there something in there about smelling the roses?"

"in where?"

"ummm...this life thing. in there."

"there are no roses, sorry. "rose" is not even in the dictionary. there is the path. that is all. you are either on it or not."

"my choice?"

"your choice."

ok...(press "play")
(tentative shuffle re-begun.)
i can see it more clearly now...
that delectable flicker.
like a candle, with all of the sensual associations of fire and candleness.
mothlike, i approach the door. it is made of flesh and blood. i can feel its warmth, its pulse, its rhythm & churn from yards away. i know this pull.
opiatic and necessary, and me: as predictable as the next addict.

i am there.
my hand on the door disappears into its wooden fleshiness.

"stop...look before you leap"

i retract my hand...but oh!...my fingers are bent this-way, that-way. they don't fit together. and the words that once were random are now forming into patterned, illogical strands.

"just because you don't understand them doesn't mean they're illogical"

without touching the door i put my eye to the peephole.
there, in a rock room lit only by torches: a girl and cat.
familiar and completely alien to me.
she turns.
i know those eyes.
i know that gesture, that ridiculous haircut.
she is me.
she is me at 7. and upon closer scrutiny i see that she is only letters, held together by... gravitational pull? by elmer's glue?
she looks like swarm of bees, like televised white noise...a pixelated hologram.