Saturday, November 17, 2012

unpublished story: Me and Martha

I was having this problem. Every night I would go to sleep, and I would wake up just a little while later having to pee. In my sleep I would fight it, resist what I knew, or rather felt I could not deny. And then I would get up and do it, wash my hands, and go back to bed beside Martha, my wife--wash them so that, touching her, I wouldn't contaminate her with what went on above the toilet, for sometimes after my piss, staring at my dun-colored penis, I would become aroused and let semen coat my hand. So I'd be deep in sleep, and there, again, would be a piss honking in my dream. It got to the point where I would scream on mere instinct, less from frustration than from such a brutal and indelible pain that I hope none of you ever must endure, including the most awful among you. In any case, it was a problem about which I couldn't complain, because to the rest of the world, which suffers from inanition and sadness and so doesn't count a rogue piss among its problems, my overeager spleen bore no resolution.

So one night I cut off my penis. That's right, I just cut it off. There I was in the kitchen, and I hadn't even had to pee, and there it was, too, flopping on the floor like a child in gym class, I mean the real gymnastics element, somersaults and so on. I'm doing whatever happens right after you cut off your penis, and here comes my wife, hollering and yammering about look, you cut that thing off. And so she tells me, I knew you would do this. I always thought you were close to this point, not quite a nadir but a simple act of closure. You were never meant to survive past a certain phase of adulthood, nor did you know how, nor did you want to. And if only I were as much of a lunatic as you are--as irresponsible, empty and poor in human emotion as you are--perhaps I could understand you, though I have to add that I understand why and wherefore you have done this, cut off this soft excess and let it go cold on the floor. But now you repudiate all I could have done for you, every move, silent but unoppressed, that I could have made to try but fail to heal you, even before I have done it, even before it was possible to do, and even before I wanted to do it. To conclude, I have never wanted anything for you but this.

So there I was, out on the floor, with my wife hollering and trying to save me, and then on the phone, probably with our therapist, saying that her husband, Brian, had cut off his penis, and what did this signify. You need to tell him what you want out of this relationship, our therapist said, because he is the kind of man to whom not much means a whole lot besides a day spent in the emergency room. So I lay there and assumed my punishment. 

unpublished story: Train

My mother always told me do not fall halfway asleep on a train holding a part of you you cannot control. She has lived for a long time. Now she lives apart from my father and arranges furniture and decorative fruit in her own apartment. When I was nine she took away a train-set my father had bought me and disassembled it. Where is your father now, she said, and shook me. She apologized. This is before she asked me whether I had sexual thoughts. We snapped the railroad back together and used it. She and my father had a dinner party that night. My parents were actors. I am a very good doctor. I do not believe in acting. When I was fifteen my mother kissed me in the backseat of a moving car. She didn't take it too far beyond that. I remember the unimpeachable age of my mother. She said that she felt like a teenager again. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

unpublished story c. 11/09: The Squirt of my Breathing


I took myself in the room where no smell could flow, and my boyfriend gushed from room to room in hopes of me. I smuggled our solar television-radio--conjoined like a weird meat--in with me, in around this small room with my hands all over it, and together, my radio and me, under the sheets we watched game shows. 

My boyfriend comes from the South, where they don't produce much good except inviolable boys like me, rough and unquietly pious, who turn out like him, only worse--better, sometimes. I give everyone a chance: you can see how he might strut his intelligence nicely. I distribute chances like I am setting a forest on fire. 

I let a whiff of that room melt in: oh, how sweet. Nothing at all. Goddamn. I broadcasted Book TV because that is what I like to watch when I have a lot of energy so that I will not become too excited about my life. The lack of smell strung me out on mothery vibes, and I thought of how my neighbor always laments her kids don't stink. But I could feel the quake of my boyfriend's stomp, the stiff shake of a foot or two on rotted plank, and I knew what was coming. I had babysat before, and as I've said, those kids do stink to high heaven from legs down. 

I plucked at my novella of a sex as he entered. I showed it to him. What do you think of this? I said, it points to Alabama. He sat down on the end of the bed and told me a story recently taken place a mile away that had grown elemental for him, sliced the rare sockets of his heart, he said. I scoffed. He lay back and I pushed him erect with my foot. I turned up the volume control on my television-radio and watched sports play themselves out. I readied wavy straights of cocaine on the face of the TV, so as things turned out I could only pay attention to the radio: behold, it's my first time to sneak a thing up my nose, and had I not been so rutted and dumped I might not have bothered. 

I breathed the long sigh of living unhigh when finally a chunk was firmly stuck, peering out the coast of a nostril. My nostrils look like a private beach: tight, flaky and overflared. They give way to my gruffly mustached upper lip, the crust parked in around there. By this time my boyfriend was halfway finished with his story. Are you finished? I asked. He was talking about this little colored kid flattened in the street, this jaunty green Honda leaving him for meat. The kid was already some sort of fucked--eyes poked close, talking garbled--before today he was mashed into wide black and gray. There was something in there caught up with my boyfriend's childhood, a young man's memory. The volume of sports was maximum. This reminds me of my sister, I said, have you met my sister? My boyfriend took himself out of the room he was so mad at that. I guess I was supposed to hold in the great, winsome things I have to say. I changed the channel. 

Now the device was mute and I watched the score of the game. I could hear the beat of my bloodstream. I looked at my window and nothing much was going on in there. I took in breath after breath so that I could have all of the oxygen. I spent my time in that room making myself not get too worked up over the big questions: the abhorrences of men I admire, the impending endings of my life. I gave these questions a chance to answer themselves until I heard my neighbor going at it again, chasing those little things around the world for a bath they wouldn't have, taking a hand from under her skirt to ease those plump uncut children into the basin to which they belong. The yelling was so strange and exuberant I could not hear the commercials between plays. Control the behavior of your children! I called. The noise--none of it--had no point. I picked up the phone and for a long time I heard the squirt of my own breathing. After awhile someone picked up with a long and slow hello. I asked for the police, but an ambulance came instead. 

unfinished story c. 09/10: Airwaves

Sheppard drove his family through the thick and dead air of the south, through the highway snaking by towns that used to consider themselves nowhere. That air, brutal in heat but nonetheless a current, stirred in their minivan and whipped at Hicks when he put his window down, which he did when--not often, this--he was too numb to the hiss of the internal air to let it continue, too numb to the burden of tending it as well, and numb, though he loved them ferociously, to his family's restless noise, which circled around him as vultures do who intend to torture their prey with the mere threat of their presence, and which in turn drowned in its volume--this sound being the two boys bashing their action figures together, and Gran-Momma Steward uttering hushabies one after the other, and Rosie Baby being silent--which drowned out, once again, the pop radio stations for which he had to search anew with each infelicitous shift in airwaves, tenderly rotating the dial until a sexy electronic croon filtered in. They were moving to the south--not moving, but subjected to the scrutiny of moving, for of course moving, to the ones who move, means the will to move, which these Sheppards, for reason mainly of the effort it invokes, had not. They were moving from Orlando to Alabama. (Others will object that Orlando is already the south--nearly as south as the latter lets itself get.) Sheppard's law firm demanded his transfer to Alabama, remanded him and therefore the Sheppards in general to its deep and green luster, after the loss of a case which, however potent his involvement, was not after all his fault. Nissan was too suit-strong, too busy internally, to sue with success, however stalwart Sheppard had been--which indeed, in disposition, Sheppard had been, to the salvation of no one, including Sheppard himself.

The summer was at war with the earth, dry and defeated, and to walk around outside was to feel the pressure of an impending explosion, a landmine approaching--to be, as a southerner, held under the regime of heat. The Sheppards did their best to ignore this late-August conflict--they sang as one, played games that faded with the day--this heat which shimmered not unlike, of course, a wave, taut and cruel in how it disgusted those who lived it with even themselves, with how they smelled and how it made them afraid of their own bodies, how it made the outside, the sun and its arsenal, a medium between this inside and that one, places to hide: refuge, respite, rest. And the rest stops, too--and the motels, too kitschy to be sketchy, too banal to be funny--were stricken with liquidy heat. This summer did not suck at the south, did not drain it, but swallowed it and then, the sun agape and impatient as always, longed for more.

Sheppard stood outside of the rest stop and looked at his children, sweat beginning to tickle his shoulders from a mere moment in the heat. His t-shirt would stick to his dampening skin if he stood for a minute or more, and so he pulled at its middle, and used it to fan at his chest, the dense hair now vaguely wet like a sponge which mops up water but is itself wet . His two boys were playing with sticks over by the creek which ran through a small trench abutting the parking lot, small boscages there kicked about by a swift but generous wind. He mopped at his forehead, at his thin and thinning hairline, with the back of his hand and sighed, knowing that he had to gather his boys, and soon; Saturday was halfway done, and Sheppard was due in the office on Monday morning, which was a different, more impersonal kind of moving--a change, he expected, in neither content nor workaday form.

"Boys," he said, then clicking his tongue at them. The heat stuck around everyone like an aura. Truckers were smoking near him, laughing at any syllable-- grunt, suggestion of a sound--struck up between them. One snorted, and that was enough to get them laughing, and then they coughed up, all at once, a surround of smoke like a tiny see-through mist, seeming to shield the heat, making it a rumor to them, for they seemed impervious to it, as if behind this scrim it did not exist. 

"Boys, quit," he said, and added, "Boys, there's liable to be snakes."

The creek didn't lap but was folded, almost pleated in surface, the skirt of the earth; smooth, tiny spikes were what passed for ripples; its cold was not a contrast to the day but a contradiction. No fish lived. The boys didn't splash but smacked at the water, and one of them, Abe, would cup this frigid water with a hand and apply it to his face, to the nascent acne, the fringes and beginnings of hair, its cracking and cracked texture. Indeed he was young for his age, teenaged as he was, but the water was such a danger to the day--a defense against the depth of its heat--that anyone with skin and a sensibility would have done the same. 

"Boys," Sheppard said, greedily smoothing his fat, Jewy hair. 

The younger boy, Nigel, did the same as Abe, made a scoop of his hand and sunk it in the water, and then applied it, without knowing why, to his face. 

unfinished novel c. 08/08: New Dog City

Every night I lie at my master's bedside. 

Literally every night. There is not one night I do not lie at my master's bedside.

Usually I cannot sleep because I have no clothing to keep me warm. 

I stare at the ceiling fan while my masters sleep in their warm and comfortable clothes. 

By "my master" I meant "my two masters."

They are life partners.

Bandit and Sweetie.

A lesbian couple.

I am not involved in their lovemaking. But I may often view it.

"Rargh rargh rargh rargh rargh rargh rargh rargh rargh rargh," they tell me. But before I leave the room, sad and dejected, they are clawing at each other.

So I can stand in the doorway and watch. 

About 68% of the time, I watch.

Most of the time I am in the living my room or I am enjoying my dinner. 

For dinner I usually have meat or vegetables. 

Sometimes I am treated to my masters' food.

I tire of meat and vegetables. Sometimes I want a "square meal."

My supper is usually pre-broiled or pre-steamed. My supper comes from a bag.

Sometimes I rifle through that bag when I am hungry.

My masters fuck a lot.

When they fuck well you would like to see it.

They run around the bedroom and growl at each other.

They bite each other.

Because there is no way for them, actually, to fuck.

They use strap-on dildos. I have witnessed it.

I laughed, it was funny to see, and they told me to leave. 

At least I think they did.

But they did not know I was laughing. 

Why well they do not know how to laugh.

They run around and jump on each other and bite and snap and fake-out.

I have named myself Sean.

My tag I cannot read. 

My masters are angry a lot. 

I cannot understand them but I know they are very angry.

We all get angry sometimes. It is understandable.

Sweetie and Bandit are both mutts, I think.

How do I know this well after a certain time you just know.

They frequent rallies and demonstrations for mutts. Or well I have accompanied them and it looked like that.

I believe there is a lot of pro-mutt paraphernalia decorating their apartment. 

Bandit and Sweetie are gracious masters.

Still, I want to pluck their eyeballs out, I want to smash them both with a suitcase.

And I can.

There are suitcases all over. 

Both of my masters are attorneys for the ACLU. 

It's kind of annoying.

I don't care how far left you are.

Language is not instrumentalist.

The fuck. 

By the way, let's just assume that, even though my speech occurs on a level separate from theirs, time has adapted me to the signs and symbols of New Dog City.

And let's just assume I know the name of New Dog City because well I just do.

No, actually ha ha I'm kidding, it's a name "we the people" have invented for this place. 

It is a fitting name.

If you could see New Dog City you would agree.

My masters go to work and they wear pantsuits.

They look great.

I want to burn them alive.

When they go to buy new pantsuits they take me along.

I would like a pantsuit because I am cold often.

I believe they feel that my skin is suitable insulation and that I do not need clothing.

When they take me to buy pantsuits with them or whatever at the place where you can bring people I say, "Please, buy me this. I want this. I am very cold all the time!" 

They bark at me very loudly. It's embarrassing, really. I believe this is their way of laughing at and consoling me.

I do not feel consoled. 

Instead, I feel the distance growing between me and the clothes I desire.

Sometimes they chain me up outside of the clothing store when they feel I am being bad. 

I do not feel wanting to be less cold is bad behavior.

What a strange world we live in, I think.

Bandit has udders.

I have seen Sweetie bite her lover's udders.

Bandit's eyes are engulfed in black. Her body is dotted with it, black.

Sweetie resembles a deer.

She is heavyset and slow, but beautiful. 

Bandit's voice is high-pitched. Sweetie speaks very little.

Sweetie feels overpowered by Bandit, I think. 

Sweetie feels very sad and alone much of the time.

I want to kill myself. I want to choke on my chicken and my vegetables and die.

I want to throw up on the floor.

For a few weeks now on a daily basis I throw up on the floor.

I laugh and start to eat it.


"We the people" are talking outside. 

In New Dog City.

We are standing amongst a gang of dogs in McCarren park.

The dogs think we are playing.

We are actually have an intellectual discussion.

"The seventh Harry Potter book is the best of the Harry Potter books," Sandra says.

I am deeply in love with Sandra. Our owners are good friends, and because of that there's some brother-sister space I'd like someday to overcome.

It is also because of Sandra, in addition, of course, to the coldness, that I cannot fall asleep most nights for a long time.

We are drinking beers.

"The epilogue of the seventh Harry Potter book is the worst epilogue ever," Michael says.

Michael is cool. He and Sandra used to date. 

It's hard for me to really imagine Michael and Sandra together.

This is before I knew either of them.

Imagining it turns me on and nauseates me.

When I think about it I hate Sandra and I masturbate and want to love her forever.

"Let's not talk about Harry Potter," I say.

"Why not?" Sandra asks.

"I guess we can."

"But really why not?"

"It's just that we talk about Harry Potter a lot lately."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry, too," Michael says.

"I'm actually not. I only want to talk about Harry Potter."

"Ha ha ha ha ha."

"All I want to talk about for the rest of my life is Harry Potter. Books, movies, everything."

This isn't even Sandra at her best.

unpublished story c. fucking who cares: Shabbos


I start out by bringing to the fore what had gone unerupted, the song stringing its last dense welt to the closing note, and finally, a shocked child behind drawn blinds, wailing into his bedclothes, under the duvet now, and the mother downstairs   preparing for Shabbos (so blind), unaware that the sun has vanished and waiting over a pair of candles, torturing herself by enforcing a limit on ritual as the night cools, as the wind picks up through the open window behind her, and scatters, rather twists her hair with caution, turns it between soft digital whips and the candles go out before they're lit; the matches won't strike; the boy upstairs continues his awful display, throwing his limbs about the bed until he's remitted from between the sheets, not wrapped in them but mundanely bundled, like a normal day's waking, until he starts with his eyes at the wall, and not noticing the mirror behind him he wipes his eyes and plunges out of bed, decamping now from that torpid war-zone of his own invention; indeed, this is what you would call acting out, the wayward alarm of that toil at which we hinted, the hint of life, the soured and shopworn grease of a grief his mother will go on to deny, despite the cuts, the veracity of his open wounds, the scars already forming--and this boy, thirteen yesterday, but younger today for all of his petulance; his mother waits for the wind to calm, less sated than ready; and the ramshackle house, which bends here and there with the first undressing of a rain, the first garment pulled of a storm, not even a threat but a curse, a curse on her androgynous name, and yet a name spoken softer than prayer, than the Amidah and the rocking which animates it, and the shuffling, a menace, which follows without regress; the wind stops, and the house collapses like its brother, but not without a word; not without a scream, a protest, a pitiful act of resistance, do I pray for the demise of her house

unpublished story c. 1/10: I Will Come and Bury You

I Will Come and Bury You

Her teeth are so small they remind one of children's teeth.

This woman I have thought about in a special way for nearly a year--she went home. She felt the cold blow over her. She hurried in from the heat, called this boyfriend of hers, said, "I'm home. Will you come over now?"

"Will you?"

Her apartment often overflows with cold. Someone must fix the thermostat before we freeze in here.

Before we freeze.

This boyfriend hurried over to shake her softly to the music, to follow her around, to tug her down fast to the floor and--look, I don't want to think about what they do next. 

He puffs out in the middle, is small. I never got a good look at him. He's not pretty. He looks like me.

I just go on, and on, and on. 


For a long time I lived by myself. I still do. What's odd is I never learned the right way to pronounce the name of my street (Vernice), and I get shit--perhaps unfairly--from fellows who do--who did. What's strangest is I can tell that my dog, unlike most people, loves it when I hug her. She is an assortment of breeds. This, that, this, another. Her hair is all sorts of colors--chestnut, some sort of vermillion, really violent sepia, that last one perhaps most prominent, grown all over her fur in spots and swallow-me holes. Does that indicate anything?

Still wondering where I am right now?

Her name is Desiree. I mean, the dog. I love her so goddamn much.

This woman--I'm waiting to slip up and say her name--turns her tongue up. Her tongue is especially long and slim, red and slick. This tongue, she coils it like a corkscrew. What she does next is somebody else's concern. That's reserved for the next time someone bears witness--will someone please get her out of here before I lose it?


He--the boyfriend for whom, my knuckles poised for the pause, I got swapped--comes outside because I am waiting out there by myself. I am just waiting out here and I am not yelling. Here he comes, shrilling, over to tough, listening me, arms folded on the sidewalk.

He has on his parka because it's so cold in there even though it's so hot out here, so blue and sunny. 

I feel so blue.

He comes outside and he tells me to go away. He socks me a few times in my knotty gut till I drop what I'm holding. It spills on the hot concrete. I don't feel so dangerous any more--I don't feel like such a threat, like a ticking--what the hell am I? Will someone please come and get me, for the love of--how about now? How about now? Now?

I'm waiting out here, and I am just waiting.

I look at her looking out the window, me curling into myself on the ground. Sun surfs up my cold, cold sweat. I release a shiver--can you forgive me for all of those dozing-off moments?

This heat is getting to me. I'm starting to lose touch. I crawl into old holes. 

"Look," I say, out there. "Listen."


They're watching something. It's one of those foreign movies. She's got her head lolling in his lap. It's cold. She's got him hard in her fist. 

No she doesn't. Fuck him.


She whispers at him while he sleeps. 

"Mark," she whispers, because that must be his name. He stutters up--he says one of those words that sound like, "Huh?"--and grabs more sheets. 

"I'm so sorry you had to see that," she says. "Bug," she says. She calls him that.

"Look," she says.

The sun's setting up the sky outside. She bears her teeth and breathes in.


They meet for coffee in the afternoon. She sits at this table, waiting for him, and plashes coffee around in her mouth. Plash is a word she taught me.

He sits down at this table while they are still young. He hunches forward.

"Listen," she says. "Will you accept my apology?" she says.

He brings out a big, gleaming ring and waves it around.

"Will you marry me?" he says.

She snatches his coffee-warm hand across the table--not the one with the ring.

It gets messy.

Look: if you need me, which you won't, I'll be lapping the shore with each day's debris; I'll buy flights to the most ecstatic cities, I'll take them when I'm not unwanted--if you need me, here I come to bury you. If I've had a heart hard about all this, and a softer stomach--well, let me tell you a thing or two about mistaking me for Mark. Because I happen to understand what happens when all of the electricity on a block goes out, goes black, and one loses even the landline--my land-mine. Maybe next year. Maybe some other servant, some next September, in South Dakota, when I get better, when I'm off the sidewalk. Maybe next year, when I'm here, and I haven't lost everything.

Maybe when I have.

I lift her up in my arms. 

unfinished story c. 06/11: Gold and Grandma

Whenever I approach my grandmother's chair I smell shit--unmistakably a blast of her bowels, released before their time. Thankfully my parents have sheathed her chair--hers because for obvious reasons she sits in it whenever she sits down to eat--with a sort of mat to protect the chair itself from the smell stuck to the inner ass-seams of her oversized and floral dresses. Obviously, my parents preserve the chair because she is disappearing; ninety-eight and tapering at every turn, she's not physically unhealthy but a victim of mature dementia, and so sits in her room for whole days, watching the TV that she cannot see due to the cataracts, calling me nightly into her room--"Bran," she emits like an automatic signal so soft you can't quite call it alarm--to close the blinds after she's eaten her dinner, and can only confirm that I've shut them by the rushing dark and the sudden clap with which the white planks embrace the windows. On my way out she sometimes grazes my arm with the back of her hand and asks me to change the channel, which for her means the speed of the TV's brightness: its boldness, its tribal pulse--and then the drone of Food Network, HGTV and so on, its vocal glaze heralding night, sleep. Her hearing is indeed fine. But her vision is a nonsense that she cannot deny. Light appears to her only as a sedimented hole, a constant ditch toward which she walks, or is wheeled by her walker, tennis balls attached to its two metal ends, with the help of which she creeps by laps through the house--on Monday, Wednesday and Friday--assisted, nay, spurred by her nanny, Frank, who holds her arm and lies to her carefully as she goes, my grandmother not really walking or pushing her walker but almost tossing it forward, wavering, always threatening to cease--"I'm ready to play cards," she'll say--and hating faithless motion but loving Frank's company too much to execute, to simply ease her grip and fall and stop living, for he is that final force which will hold her arm and speak her name, Lily, and not one of her titles, her three bitter household designations: Mother, Mom and Mama. Mama is mine. 

poem c. 2/12: stitchings for a song

i am moving faster than i have to
tiger woods is crying
a mess i had wanted is
not a mistake
clothes crowd the floor in dark colors

limp like a body would disturb them
everything stays in the present tense

a tremble set to song and with no melody
hummed from boredom

imagine a bomb that disperses no cloud
or that rainwater has no taste

an orange shirt flexed at the lip of
a suitcase is now an exit

imagine another thing

Thursday, November 15, 2012

c. 11/2008: The Manager of Stories

I just dug this old story up. I wrote it during my first semester of undergrad as--I wishfully believe but am not so certain--a response to the suicide of David Foster Wallace.


The Manager of Stories
Alec Niedenthal

I can’t kill myself; somehow I’m always already dead; I’ll die, or try to, I promise you, but I promise you also, like I have before, that I can’t and will show you how futile it is, the promissory dying. If I kill myself I want to sense the negation, to feel and grasp and cleave to the wringing of my machinery, die with sovereignty, yes—I want to be a sovereign sort of dier, the kind that leaves no room for ambiguity, not to speak of the ambiguity of ambiguity, the absence of even a presence of absence—this now is vaguely philosophical language and you are thinking, “I don’t want to read this, I can’t read this right now”—the utter death of all domestic meaning, which is also impossible just as the latter is indecipherable, is not possible either to live. I want to die without a lapse in consciousness, without a lull in the brute matter of movement. I do not wish to defeat death, that does not concern me, but merely to die with some irremissibility, if that latter word is apropos to the hasty philosophical matter I am shitting out for you, to the playful jig I am doing (ha ha ha I am dancing), if such a mix of high and low registers is not necessarily outmoded. I want to die and to not die. By my own dumb discretion. I wish to accord an absoluteness to my dying, a grace and fullness of being, a disappearance that is simultaneously felt and fading; I want to walk myself through the door instead of walk through it. But to do so I cannot name the activity of my death. Of my anonymous activity. No, replacing death with anonymous activity is not enough, inasmuch as both you and I know what I mean when I say anonymous activity, that is to say death. As we all know, and we do, the signified and the signifier are two sides of the same coin: signification which is an arbitrary signal. If you do not know this then this is something you need to know. I’m telling this to you for your own good, that you need to know the maps of your speech, that utterance is effectively a metaphor for a chain of different and deferent silent utterances inside of nous—that is French for us, a word in English which indicates, or is, well as I am about to say and have been saying for a while, indicates a first-person plural pronoun, for it cannot be actually that; however, I do not know how to say the French word which performs the utterance of the English word “inside,” which indicates the status of being inside of something, in the French language, I have never read a thing in my life—I did never in my life, which is on its way out, learn the French language, so my knowing the definition, or the proper function, of nous in the first place is an intellectual bravura, a dissolving red dwarf of mental effort, which is to say it is mostly cool and alright—that each word builds its own Babel. Words cannot actually build. That is figurative language, which is not only a characteristic of the literary space but also language in toto, on account of the way in which it forms and remolds and then destroys things, objects in the real world, replaces them with material sounds and the life and selfsame death of the grapheme itself. 

All of which verbs are as well figurative, and are probably recalling images in your head, well not actually recalling but doing the job of the word recalling, okay. 

Words are workaholics. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. That is funny on many levels. Allow me to explain these levels for you. I will now explain them. Workaholics is a funny word, especially in the context of these philosophical ruminations, which I think are excellent so far and you like them, and also we were just talking about the mental associations of words, which is to say that words, which are doubtlessly metaphors for more words, probably have a terminus in images, and thus reside (there are words literally dwelling in your consciousness, spread out on a divan and spooning) in the recesses of memory, which you must employ (employ literally; your consciousness  is a bourgeois shithole) to speak—Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov is an autobiographical memoir written by Vladimir Nabokov, a professional writer who is now dead, and who supposes incorrectly that the reality of the book’s events are exclusively under his own dominion, when in truth the secret of the autobiographical writing has not been elucidated for him, which secret is that a book , even one in which the self seems to have autonomy, writes itself, that writing a book is a passive act of the highest materialism, that what he writes are not memories or any sequel or prequel to reality but a bowel movement of the mind, an incontinent expulsion of the self onto a frame and a canvas—a self-shitting—and a way of capturing  time in image, in space, in form where memory seems to have none (which attempt at form is a very funny joke); the memories are not his; they are assimilated by the work—you needing previously viewed images to achieve word-image interplay (like, for instance, a vulgate for destroy, possibly an explosion or the collapsing of a bridge or a man being crushed by a T. Rex or well generally just something with emotional resonance). Okay.

 So as I was saying before you derailed my train from its track (this train representing the act of thinking and this track representing thought), it is a difficult task to circumvent the ascription of a word—a concept, an idea, an image, a memory, a notion—to death, which is one of the principal ways by which to negate it and thereby achieve independence from it—well I guess I actually am trying to kill death but that is not my principal aim, that being to transcend the impossibility of death, the transcendence not actually being also a transgression nor a violence against death, but instead a simple utterance of, “No,” a denial, and from that an equanimity and an equidistance between death and not-death, a surviving in dying and then a suicide of the soul, tracing my death and then coloring it in, but before that an ability to see beyond it, to walk the tight rope but inevitably fall in rectitude, preserved in the safety net which is my laughter in the night; okay yes, in explanation, to say anonymous activity is also to say death is also to say the act of dying is also to say kaput is also to conjure the way in which your grandfather or hamster died, or otherwise how you would like to die, &c &c. These being philosophical and thus (which is a philosophical term in general) somewhat intelligent things to say, generally. 
Philosophy is great. Literature is great. All of these things are great. These humorous and intentionally broad apothegms are being written for the generation of your laughter, though not an excessive amount. One beneficial technique for whatever writing game you may pursue while being alive is that of serial humor within a serious literary context.  This technique essays to interject humor where before it was absent, similar to the notion, not uncommon in dramatic films and television shows, of comic relief.  In this case, my pithy remarks tend to state, as if novel, commonalities of opinion among a plurality of intellectual circles, namely that philosophy and literature are great in some regard or another. Which pithy remarks, in this particular case of humor-interjection, are funny for the following reasons: they belie the complexity of the issues at hand, which issues neither I nor you (presumably) are in full comprehension of (doubtless I am not, but you don’t understand how important it is for you to let me tell my story regardless, for it is a story to hear), yet in order to palliate a tension of intellectual effort (work, one might say) and give both of our minds a breather, the inability of the brain to breathe notwithstanding (and now I am encroaching on tedium; it was not at all necessary to explain the schema of my breathing brain metaphor; this peculiarly flinty self-flagellation is an occult kind of literary humor; English majors and other very intelligent and cultured people (doubtless you discern a jocular tone now, when the praise of pedants comes into play, a touchy subject in literary space ever since writing has been worth reading)—now I will be as blunt as the work will allow—require a very stupid and ill-conceived sense of humor in order to crest in decorum), and well, now I’ve lost my way in this labyrinth of parenthetical statements, for you see I am no Claude Simon when it comes to the parenthetical arts, indeed Claude Simon is a writer of French novels who quite often enjoys the parentheses (( ); now this is just me being an asshole) in his writings, and who is also identified as a student of the noveau roman school of novelists when in fact he is barely of the sort, indeed he oftentimes is the author of conventional but hardly ever antiseptic, I think, narratives—inasmuch as convention is often imputed an unwarranted connotative safety—in many different senses of the word (conventional); why, were it not for his condition as a Frenchman (in which scenario he would not, however, be Claude Simon), he would most likely be fully liberated from such a label, which may, in the eyes of old and crotchety white male literary critics,  who are reasonably terrified that if they were to stop sucking the cock of the late Saul Bellow and commence sucking the cock of, say, William T. Vollmann, or rather recommence, then they themselves would have to suffer not getting their own cocks sucked, being of course on the tapering end of their sexual lifespans—I’m not sure where I left off but am going to make a stab at finding it—be a pejorative one; and anyway the point of humor is to mitigate stuffiness and induce an often requisite punchiness (and paunchiness—that is a flourish of lingual iridescence  known as wordplay, often attributed by the aforementioned critics to the author of books who is named James Joyce (“[…] and he, this overeducated white male, is a maestro of Joycean wordplay […]”), for he is venerated by very smart and erudite intellectual circles for being the very first individual in the history of the literary arts to split the atom of language; I am not sure what kind of meaning my wordplay has here, but there it goes!) in any given dramatic book or story. You may have noticed that that was only one reason, when I promised a plurality of them. Well, you know what? You can suck it. (That last sentence also functions as an instantiation of the humor claim which I presented for you previously.)

The reason for my haughtiness—or what some may deem wordiness—is that I intend to alienate you, fully and to the greatest degree of my intellectual wizardry. This must be made clear. And know that my intentions are not parodic. I am not attempting anything higher than to die, which is itself the highest attempt there is. It might appear that I am deconstructing literary conventions and, to a lesser degree, the lexicon of language itself—but mostly literary space, as you have often heard me say probably. To consent to this appearance is idiocy and you would be wrong in doing so. I am trying to kill myself. Pure and simple suicide.

Note that I was close to altering all uses of the first person pronoun occurring after my parenthetical hurricane to the third person pronoun, and all uses of the second person pronoun to, “the reader.” I am not sure why I would do that. But seeing as I am simply trying to die here and not impress anybody with symbolic know-how, I decided, probably judiciously, against doing so.

You see, everyone has their jobs, and mine is particularly onerous. The labor is backbreaking, per se. I am not sure why I opted to include per se. The labor also is not backbreaking, mostly. Opted is a word also meaning decided. Okay. My name is “The Manager of Stories.” Well no—that is my title. My name, insofar as I have one, is actually unnamable, unrepeatable, for it is the name of everyone ever who has written anything at all, that name taking quite a vocal and temporal devotion to enounce. So I am the Manager, which word is capitalized so that it is given the grammatical force of a proper noun and also to denote some sort of affectation of the word manager and its life in the mind; I take my job very seriously. I am the taskmaster of stories. I do not enslave, but maintain taskfulness. I drive and energize, galvanize and catalyze; I punish and censure, reprove and rebuke (incidentally, there are many words synonymous to punish, and I cannot hope to use them all). Additionally, I am the judge of break times and weekly hour-distribution. It is a rare occurrence when I must perform the task myself, as you have most likely observed.

And now I wish to quit. Well, not quit so much as kill myself, as you have most likely observed. My job does not define me, you must understand. But I must receive the death which eludes all but the most diligent practitioner of dying. I often supervise dying, but now I wish to experience death for myself. If that makes sense. Doubtless you are weary of my explanations. I should quit explaining and get to dying. This job has exhausted itself and so have I. If you haven’t noticed, the process of alienation has become much attenuated. That is because I have been propelled into absence. This is a literary concept which furnishes meaning outside of this particular text and probably should be disregarded. But basically my intentions have been clouded by my own golden literary dust, swept by the pendulous broom of my receding mind and gently illuminated by a small rectangle of sunlight falling out the pane of an overhead window, whose caressing beam is interrupted by an iron grill attached to the plasterwork, the light and window and lattice just being objects trapped in space and without form, like all that foregoes is but pretends to not be. 

Fuck. The preceding sentence serves as a funny caesura in intellection. The preceding sentence serves a similar function to ejaculate coming out of a stately penis. Tendentially, in this wild and strange line of work, my employees commit suicide—which is their job, incidentally—with the strongest and most profound sense of verve and brio, erupting out of a most curious kind of involution, awakening from a stasis and exploding into the essentially formless debris of meaning, the residue, the marks and impressions of space’s most animal algebra. But these suicides are all kinds of inauthentic, in spite of their evident necessity, mainly due to their ongoing struggle with authenticity itself. And how to instill a sense of it? How to truly and completely snuff oneself out? By matching myself against the high-minded commanders who war with what makes them beat and tick, I am not saying simply, “There is no authenticity or meaning, and those who seek either are stupid and misguided.” That has been said before. There are things, moreover, that haven’t been said before. I intend to find them as soon as I disappear.