Living in such a state          taTestaTesTaTe          etats a hcus ni gniviL
 of mind in which time         sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA         emit hcihw ni dnim of
 does not pass, space         STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE         ecaps ,ssap ton seod
 does not exist, and         sTATeSt        oFOfOfo         dna ,tsixe ton seod
 idea is not there.         STatEst          ofoFOFo         .ereht ton si aedi
 Stuck in a place          staTEsT            OfOFofo          ecalp a ni kcutS
 where movements           TATeSTa            foFofoF           stnemevom erehw
 are impossible                              fOFoFOf             elbissopmi era
 in all forms,                             UsOFofO                ,smrof lla ni
 physical and                            nbEifof                   dna lacisyhp
 or mental -                           uNBeInO                      - latnem ro
 your mind is                         UNbeinG                      si dnim rouy
 focusing on a                       unBEING                      a no gnisucof
 lone thing, or                      NBeINgu                     ro ,gniht enol
 a lone nothing.                     bEinGUn                    .gnihton enol a
 You are numb and                    EiNguNB                   dna bmun era ouY
 unaware to events                                            stneve ot erawanu
 taking place - not                  -iSSuE-                 ton - ecalp gnikat
 knowing how or what                 4/23/94                tahw ro woh gniwonk
 to think. You are in                F-O-U-R               ni era uoY .kniht ot
 a state of unbeing....                                  ....gniebnu fo etats a



EDiTORiAL by Kilgore Trout



"Western people often see obscenity where there is only symbolism."

--Sir John Woodroffe, Shakti & Shakta


by Kilgore Trout

Yes, welcome once again to another issue of State of unBeing. We're still putting these babies out, but I'm still wondering just how much you people out there like it. Obviously, we're getting enough submissions to continue, so that's a good sign, but I'd like to know exactly what you think about the magazine and what you think needs to change/remain. I just want to feel loved. Is that such a bad thing?

Heh. Actually, if you don't like it and would rather read the script to Joe Versus the Volcano, it doesn't really bother me. I just get a kick out of doing this, and it has become a habit to put out zines now. It just comes naturally.

Anyways, we have some pretty interesting stuff in this issue. One note that I'd like to make is about my article on Kurt Cobain's suicide. I have absolutely no idea what is in it. I wrote it during the weekend he died, and I just cut and pasted it into the magazine today. It's probably pretty crappy, but for some reason I felt I should put it in. If I turn him into some bullshit icon (which I probably did) forgive me, but I liked the guy's music.

I'm sure some of you are wondering exactly what happened to all of those "TO BE CONTINUED..." stories that appeared in the first and second issues. If you skipped around before reading this, you might question why I started another story when I hadn't finished up the last one. Do not fear, my friends, for GRiMACE, THE DiLEMMA OF LORNE: STUD-BOY OR DiSiLLUSiONED GEEK?, and THE CONTiNUiNG STORY OF BUNGALO BiLL will all be completed in the next issue. They all just got put off by the author's, and it's all our fault. Clockwork will also be back next issue with a shitload of stuff, but he's out looking for tuxedos for prom, and I guess you've figured out by now how much of a procrastinator he is (alright, so I am too. That's why we're so close.)

Now, pull out those reading glasses, get a nice cup of herbal tea, and read to your heart's content.



Kilgore Trout

Bobbi Sands
Captain Moonlight
Chris Wugner
Crux Ansata
Flying Rat's Nostril
I Wish My Name Were Nathan
Ivy Carson
Kilgore Trout


"The Beast does not look what he is. He may even have a comic moustache."

--Soloviev, "The Anti Christ"


[Editorial | Next]

by Bobbi Sands

The very title of this essay will alienate some people. This is unfortunate, because it demonstrates the power of society to control our very minds. Many fear the day when the government can look into our very souls and tell us, "You will believe, without question." That day is here.

When was the last time you asked yourself, "Why?" Not "Why should I drive on the right side of the road?" or "Why is the sky blue?" or "Why is Perot on TV so much?" but something simple, like "Why marry?" or "Why police?" Some things are taken for granted, even by thinkers. One of these things is definitions. It is through definitions, unquestioned definitions, that society controls.

One of the least understood words is "revolution." The word revolution meant so much to so many people as "a dramatic change" that it had to be dramatically changed. Society took the phrase "violent revolution," compressed it to read "revolution," and pulled the typical pea-and-shell trick of saying, "What? but it was always this way."

"We have always had police."

"We have always married."

"We have always had money."


Another word that they changed this way is "terrorism." Terrorism need not be violent, it just has to terrify, be traumatic, make a person react in a way they never did before. You want to be a terrorist? Go to school and give a sandwich to the principal, and run like hell.

If you can't make them think, at least make them wonder.

Gurdijeff taught that most people spend their lives asleep. From time to time one person wakes up and thinks. That is terror, the realization there is a world outside your head. Most people never realize that. Most people are under the conception they think, but in reality they just select from a menu of choices within the parameters of Decency. Decency is okay, as long as you decide to be decent yourself.

Most people decide to be decent because that is what they have done their entire lives. And that is what their parents did their entire lives. And that is what their parents' parents did their entire lives.

That is safe.

Most people wake up, go to work/school, go home, go to bed, wake up, et cetera ad infinitum. Then they die. Next time they get up, it's judgment day and God is saying, "I gave you free will, schmucks, why didn't you use it?"

That's where the crazies come in. We wait until people aren't paying attention, then we sneak up behind them and MAKE them think.

That is terrorism.

It is extremely hard to go through a daily routine when a random element is tossed in there. Say you had a routine of

1: Wake Up
2: Goto School/Work
3: Goto Home
4: Goto Bed
5: Goto 1.
After a while, it becomes habit. You could do it in your sleep. You never stop to think "Why do I do this this way?" Say someone changed your routine, so it read like this:

1: Wake Up
2: Pick A Number Between One And Ten
3: If Number Is Ten Die Else Goto School/Work
4: Goto Home
5: Goto Bed
6: Goto 1.
Then you become more careful. You begin to think "I might be dead tomorrow." You begin to value your life.

You begin to think.

The importance of Terrorism, as a movement to organize people to make people think, is that it will make people think. It startles. It confuses.

It awakens and illuminates.

Just do it.

The reader may be thinking, "But if I become a terrorist, I will bring about repression. I will bring down a rain of police into my neighborhood and add additional hardship to my family and the families of my neighbors. My children and my children's playmates will become targets for gun toting tyrants with uniforms and impunity to gun down on allegations of riot incitement." Maybe he or she was just thinking, "But I'll get arrested." Maybe you had out your Author Identification PullDown Menu, and are simply selecting the Crazie option. That leaves very few Decent options, such as Ignore, Disbelieve, and Distrust. Select one and stop reading. I shouldn't have bothered. For those who are operating beyond the menu, I continue.

It is absolutely true that, when you make people think, "by any means necessary," people with badges get upset. If you make people think often enough, they may even show up at your neighborhood to make you stop. Jerry Rubin, one of the first yippies, said, "[R]epression eliminates the bystander, the neutral observer, the theorist; it forces everyone to pick a side." If you make the police come by, they become the terrorists.

They make people think.

Attract attention. Bring in the guest speakers in blue, and have them perform a free performance piece in your front yard. Make people think, "If they dragged away him, they can drag away me," instead of, "If they dragged away him, he is guilty."

Even better, think that yourself.

It is vital that every person begin to make an effort to make those around him think. Every man a teacher. Teach with your actions, teach with your words, teach with your beliefs. Do things you don't believe in, just so people wonder why you did it.

Do things.

When you shock one person, you run the risk of making someone think for themselves. That's a risk we all want to take. Even if they think you are wrong, they THINK.

When the civilians think, the crazies win.

Confusion, terrorism, for victory. Solidarity with the terrorists of all peoples, all lands, all causes.


The Moral Principle and the Material Interest

A Moral Principle met a Material Interest on a bridge wide enough for but one.

"Down, you base thing!" thundered the Moral Principle, "and let me pass over you!"

The Material Interest merely looked in the other's eyes without saying anything.

"Ah," said the Moral Principle, hesitatingly, "let us draw lots to see which shall retire till the other has crossed."

The Material Interest maintained an unbroken silence and an unwavering stare.

"In order to avoid a conflict," the Moral Principle resumed, somewhat uneasily, "I shall myself lie down and let you walk over me."

Then the Material Interest found a tongue, and by a strange coincidence it was its own tongue. "I don't think you are very good walking," it said. "I am a little particular about what I have underfoot. Suppose you get off into the water."

It occurred that way.

--The opening fable to Ambrose Bierce's Fantastic Fables


[Prev | Next]

by Captain Moonlight

Labor, n. One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.

--Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

When we were young we really didn't understand what it was. Mom and Dad went out to something called 'work' and brought it home. But we knew it must be good--with it we got food and clothes and toys and candy and all other good things. But they never really told us where it was from.

When we were a little older--in our 'teens--we realized where it really came from. We finally saw the blood caked on it, the blood which would never come off, the blood of millions. We saw that whenever we got some of it, someone else got it taken away from them. We went to the city and saw what it did, who it affected--the beggars, the pan-handlers, the street-corner vendors. We cried out in indignation, we shouted, yet we did nothing.

When we were still older, we began to become blind again to the blood caked on it. Perhaps we had just imagined it. We saw what it could get us, what our parents tried to get it for. Sure, to get it we gave up a few things--the right to read some texts which were against our new philosophy, to think certain ways about our situation and that of others, to meet in certain places, to discuss some things, but, most importantly, the precious Time which we could have spent with our children--that Time being the one thing we can never replenish, when we could have taught our children right from wrong, rather than what the establishment wanted them to think was right and wrong, and perhaps to see the blood-spots which they were yet to innocent to see. Though it really meant nothing on its own, a piece of paper with a cheap portrait on it, we all believed it to be something, so it was. We killed for it--or, more likely, we sent our friends and our children who were just beginning to see the blood-spots out to kill for it. We saw the awesome power it gave us over People--their bodies, their Minds, their very Souls. So we made ourselves believe what they told us--it was that blessed thing called 'Success', not murder, that gave it to us.

When we were still older, we saw what we had done. After we had dropped the bombs, after we had noticed we had fewer friends, and fewer children, after they had all gone off to get us money, and had come back on platters, we began to see the blood come back--only this time we saw the faces of who it was--it was Bob, and Jeremy, and Betty, and Sue, and we saw them screaming from the portrait, not of Washington, not of Jefferson, but of those we knew, shouting at us, "We died at Such-A-Place, and you sent us," screaming with mute lips, laying dead under a stone, yelling at us from a wall of black granite, and those who did come back, minus a bit here and there, a leg, or an eye, or a hand, living on the same streets where we had seen the others those long years ago. We tried to get back that Innocence which we had lost, without realizing that Innocence, once lost, can never be regained. We tried to tell our children, to show them our mistake lest they make the same, but they had already entered the cycle, already sent their friends and children off to war, already gone blind to the blood-spots which we saw so readily, trying to teach that lesson we should have taught them in their childhood, not realizing they would grow up so soon, to be just like us. Then they put us in put us in a home, as we had our parents, and they their parents before us. And after that there was nothing to do but sit in a corner and see the dead battalions marching past us, trying to call them back, as they cursed our stupidity--and their own. Then we died, murmuring like the sea, questioning 'Why, why, why?' and watching the world burn, set on fire by that arsonist we call 'Money'.


...Life as it is. I have lived for over forty years and I have seen life, as it is. Pain, misery, cruelty beyond belief. I've heard all the voices of God's noblest creature. Moans from bundles of filth in the streets. I've been a soldier and a slave. I've seen my comrades fall in battle or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I've held them at the last moment. These were men who saw life, as it is. And they died despairing. No glory, no bray of last words, only their eyes filled with confusion, questioning why. I do not think they were asking why they were dying, but why they had ever lived. And life itself seems lunatic who knows where madness lies. Perhaps to be too practical is madness, to surrender dreams, this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash--Too much sanity may be madness! And maddest of all, to see life as it is, and not as it should be.

--Joe Darion and Dale Wasserman, "Man of La Mancha"


[Prev | Next]

by Nomad


The cycle you may ask is part of Nature, the ever turning wheel. The saying "What goes around comes around" explains it a little, but not fully. Don't think I'm going to, because I can't. First we'll look at it in a low level stage and the increase, alright? The human body is a good choice. We're born full of energy and hype. We grow older and give birth to a child, which completes the cycle. On even a simpler note, animals are born, they grow, develop, give birth, die, and give their body to the ground. Now to the larger scope. The universe is created. The cycle of life and death, good and evil. There can't be one without the other, no good without evil, no life without death. So you see the cycle can't be stopped: you can stall, but not stop it. The cycle will still be going when we're all dead and decayed, so live with it.


The two men stood staring at each other sizing themselves up. All around them chaos was roaming. Fires spread, destroying everything they came to. Floods drowned the once great cities of mankind. Winds brought down the largest mountains. Earth swallowed cities that the other elements couldn't get to. As all this happened the madman that started it stood in front of me laughing. He was actually having joy from wreaking so much havoc. But I was here to stop him; kill him even if I must die. I have come to stop and kill the man the prophecies said would end the earth.


Who wants to be a Hero? I mean a real Hero, someone who is willing to sacrifice everything for the right thing. A Hero will risk his happiness to allow others to be happy. A Hero will give up his love to allow others to love. The Hero is very different from most men. Most men are selfish, they take and won't give. Most men are cowards when it comes down to it. A Hero is a man who would let others take credit for an accomplishment. A Hero will try and not fight, but they feel the fire and anger eating away at them, begging, howling to be let out. But a Hero won't let it. A Hero is someone who would give up his one life to save a million. Or even give his one life and soul to save someone weaker or in need to live. A Hero knows this so he walks a step behind and a step away, always watching and protecting those who don't know that they're in danger, people who don't know that there is someone who cares and protects them. A Hero is a loner, always in need of caring and love but really never getting it. So I ask again: Who wants to be a Hero? I do.


I don't look at religion the same as others. I see religion as something private. Why go to a temple when there is a temple in your heart and mind? Also, the idea of a god that is all good and has no evil makes no sense. For one, good and evil are abstract terms. Good and evil are determined by each individual. When I hear that Satan is the enemy of God I think of two possibilities. One, God and Satan are of the same coin, one on each side, the same person. And two, that they're partners, neither evil or good, but neutral, watching over man.

But as I will always say, man is supposedly a thinking creature, so let your mind be free and think. Don't be a sheep, be a shepherd. Believe in what you want.


In days of old, when sheep herding was still a good job, the Christian belief teachers used shepherding as an example of how God was. Not directly involved, but was there to guide if he needed to. Well, times have come and gone, and they have certainly changed. Now, I wonder if our shepherd is still with us. Has he abandoned us to let us wander where we want with no guidance? Has he fallen asleep, and we've roamed away from him? Or is he testing us to see if we still believe and honor him? What ever the reason the shepherd is not doing his job, I hope he starts again soon.


nothing can stop me now
i don't care anymore
nothing can stop me now
i just don't care

-- Nine Inch Nails, "Piggy"


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by Kilgore Trout

Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast
A harmful knife, that hence her soul unsheathed:
That blow did bail it from the deep unrest
Of that polluted prison where it breathed:
Her contrite sighs unto the clouds bequeathed
Her winged sprite, and through her wounds did fry
Life's lasting date from cancell'd destiny.

--From "The Rape of Lucrere" by William Shakespeare

On Friday, April 8, the body of Kurt Cobain was found in his Seattle home. He had taken a shotgun and blown his head off. He was 27. Just one out of thirty thousand suicides that happen each year, except this one happened to a man known to millions.

Cobain's death reeks of the late Sixties and early Seventies when the music industry lost Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, who were also all 27 at the times of their deaths. Each was at the peak of his or her career, and each had much more to contribute. In this midway point in the Nineties, are we ushering in a new era where our most talented artists come to an untimely end?

But before that question can be answered, we must look at the causes of suicide. Why do people kill themselves? What can be so painful to endure that the only sanctity is death? The causes of suicide should be carefully studied and analyzed, for therein lies the solution. Naturally, the end result of a suicide is horribly predictable.

Albert Camus' THE MYTH OF SiSYPHUS opens, "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide." He goes on to ask the question, "Is life worth living?" 30,000 people in America each year ask themselves that question, and the answer they decide on is no. And for each of these people who succeed in the cessation of his life, 15 others fail at the attempt. "You can appreciate the importance of that reply," writes Camus, "for it will prelude the definitive act."

The statement that Camus makes seems at first obvious and common sense. But to the people who seriously consider the question, the decision is far more complex than most realize. Most suicides are not performed on an impulsive nature--a long period of contemplation usually passes before any action is taken. Jerry Jacobs, author of ADOLESCENT SUiCiDE, agrees that, " was not a particular incident in the adolescents' lives that led them to attempt suicide; rather, the nature [and] number of events were the crucial features." Jacobs goes on to say that such problems as broken homes, failed romances, and relocation are just a few of these incidents that might trigger suicide.

This is one of the prime reasons that so many people find it hard to understand why someone so successful as Kurt Cobain could commit suicide. There has always been a tendency to link suicide to mental disorder, and if someone appeared to be normal and healthy, than he was. Cobain's public persona, even through the allegations of heroin abuse and his overdose in Rome a few months ago, seemed to portray him as happy, with a loving wife and daughter. But a celebrity's image and his everyday reality are more often than not two totally different things.

Cobain never wanted to be in the public eye as a full-blown rock star. He hated MTV and its overproduced, superficial style. But with the release of 1991's album NEVERMiND and the hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Kurt Cobain and Nirvana became a rock icon, creating "grunge" and making way for other Seattle acts like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. The record industry, for Cobain, represented greedy record executives who wanted to cash in on the new sound, and he wanted none of it. While such mass exposure did allow his music to reach an unimaginable number of people, it also attracted poseurs and people ready to jump on the latest trend: people that Cobain utterly despised. With their latest album, iN UTERO, the group had hoped to alienate most of their audience, but instead they entered the Billboard charts at number one. With all of this, coupled with press about his wife's alleged use of heroin while pregnant and his own heroin use brought upon by severe stomach pains, the music seemed to lose its fire for him, and the music was what he lived for. As Cobain wrote in his suicide note, "I haven't felt excitement in...creating music...for too many years now."

Many suicides contain the same symptoms as Cobain's. Depression, family problems, and other factors are found in nearly all cases. The only difference lies in Cobain's social status, and yet his suicide brought him back to a more human level, for immortality is the blessing of stardom. His suicide was an escape from the ever-present eye of the public, an attempt to escape the pain of his life that had begun at such an early age. The sadly ironic fact remains that his death brought his image to many more people than his music ever would have done, and his final action etched his face and music in millions everywhere.

His death does serve as an important message, at least in my mind. Without sounding too preachy, it seems to me that the fame and fortune that nearly everyone would like to have only caused him trouble, and the idea that society's idea of success makes one happy have finally been utterly proven false. It is a lesson not to be taken lightly, and maybe a few people will learn to do things for what they believe in, like Cobain, instead of always wanting something more.

* * * * *

As an aside to this article, I'd like to make a few comments on the surrounding hype of Kurt Cobain's death. Once again, MTV totally fucked Kurt Cobain up the ass by devoting a whole weekend tribute to the man. While this was not maliciously intended, seeing Nirvana's Unplugged performance about twenty million times only served to show how uncaring MTV was by trying too hard to seem to have a heart. And I can also definitely see why Cobain hated so many of the "trendy grungers" that liked his music. People called in to our local college radio station and kept saying that this was all just a publicity stunt to sell more records. If they knew anything about Nirvana, the thought of this would never have entered into their heads. Besides, such a scam would most definitely cast a bad light on a performer, so it was an idiotic idea anyway. But what amazes me the most were the people who came to school the next Monday, clad in flannel and their favorite Nirvana concert shirts bought at some store crying their eyes out. Get a life. It's only music, and if you can't face the death of someone you've never met, than you will have serious problems in the future. I don't mean to come off with a superiority complex or anything--I'm sad the guy died, too. But acting like one of your close relatives had just died really shows how immature you are. If someone mourns for the unknown dead a thousand miles away, just how will he react when someone he knows dies? It's something to think about.


"Some things seemed to improve with age. Some things were improved with age. And some were just fucked with until all their charm was gone.

--Joel Rosenberg, The Heir Apparent


[Prev | Next]

by Griphon

Finding the door open
and the wind rustling in
while clouds gather and laugh
at the mighty Being
who now has lost his soul.

"Poor lost soul," she said once...
Now the Being is undone
and wallows among self-doubt
and the loss of a faith
almost religious.
Now the Being doubts
the world, and with it,
the ability to live.

So the being is no more,
And becomes one of the Dead
No longer Being.


"The human body is always treated as an image of society and there can be no natural way of considering the body that does not involve at the same time a social dimension."

--Mary Douglas, Natural Symbols


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by Crux Ansata

The haze slowly crispens, and we see a hardwood dance floor, unlighted but for two spotlight beams emanating from an invisible source. These twin lights follow the steps, from the neck down, of two prima donna ballerinas, clad radiantly in white tights, white leotards, satin white ballet slippers, and gauzy white tutus.

The lights pan to follow the dancers, ever in the center of the rays. Soundlessly, they step and turn to unheard melodies in seemingly chaotic directions, yet with the inarguable reason of a "strange attractor."

As the minutes progress, they encounter one another with increased regularity, and, each time they do, they acknowledge one another's presence with a language, though inaudible, still comprehensible. They contact familiarly, intimately--finally erotically. Fingertips brush, fingers entwine, shoulders are touched, breasts are caressed, the fingers explore upwards, giving us the distinct impression of sensuous explorations of the lips, the cheeks, the eyes, and downwards, showing an expert and calculated repetoire of caresses, fondles, and sensuous strokes of the fingertips.

As the unheard melody strikes crescendo, a series of spins finds the dancers paired in facing, with the faintest implication of lightly touching breasts, subtle indications of slightly swollen nipples. Expertly, they balance on only the toe of their right slippers, as all three free limbs enter into slow, graceful movement.

The left leg slowly lifts straight outwards, and folds around the other partner, brushing the small of the back as the two enter into a single, spotless lotus, folding just behind the path of the left hand as it glides upwards, touching but with the fingertips and fingernails buttocks, back, shoulders, finally resting on the nape and luxuriously penetrating the hair, crossing at the midback the path of the right hand on a similarly sensuous path from the forehead, along the path of the hair, back, coming to rest gently caressing the buttocks of the opposite partner.

As they fold together, the eye's camera zooms into them, slowly panning upwards, coming to rest on the lightly yet firmly kissing faces, identical in appearance. Alabaster skin, ruby lips, striking eyes.

The camera zooms, as either it or the dancers begin once more to spin, deeply embraced.

All goes black.


"The family that sleeps together, stays together."

--A girl in my Calculus class


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by Griphon

it is nice to lie here next to you. it is nice to be warm next to your body and to hold you and feel you and not have you object. you are warm and soft and i feel safe holding you and to have you sleep in my arms. dawn will come soon and soon i will not feel safe anymore and something will not be right between us and you will say that things will change between us. but now everything is frozen in the night and you and i are together and there is nothing different. i could end this night abruptly. i could wake you up and tell you that i love you and maybe you would pull away and then everything would not be fine and i would feel like hell. but i will keep you in my arms tonight and tell you that i love you in your ear and have you pull closer to me as if you were having a bad dream. and i will softly kiss you and close my eyes here in the dark and lie next to your warm sleeping body and feel safe and pray that the sun doesnt rise tommorow. when it comes i will leave you. but i stay with you now, and do not let you go.


I am split in different places
I am split from everything
...All this energy destroys me
Killing my security
...Adrenalin creates this law
And gives me hope for life again.

--Throbbing Gristle, "(Paper Thin) Adrenalin"


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by Crux Ansata

The sirens scream through the night again

I can hear them rip through the streets

the night
the city
my city
my head
my heart

my hope
as violently as any charge I've laid

even here
safely tucked away
less than six feet

I know they go
to serve and protect
protecting Austin's future
to make the world a safer place for me and the children I will
never have

I wonder who they drag off tonight
in slave's shackles to a bamboo cage

was it a criminal
was it an enemy
was it a stranger
was it a friend
was it a lover

(it was someone's lover)

would they have killed me
would they have kissed me
would I have fought them
would I have fucked them

how blithely people accept this
if the sirens call, you must be evil
devils do not torment the good

to most these sirens are a comfort
to me these sirens are a torment
or a promise of one
I and mine hide ever from the baying of the pigs
both these feelings are as fleeting as the sirens,
even now fading in the distance.

Until the hunt begins anew.


I said, "You are gods;
you are all sons of the Most High."

--God, Psalms 82:6


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by Griphon

Upon a pedestal
the gods they worship
begin to crack;
and all is dead

Among the thralls
of the damned
the death cries echo,
but few hear.

Nothing left.
Nothing is ever left.
Nothing for those
composed of nothing.


"War is a crime. Ask the infantry. Ask the dead."

--Ernest Hemingway


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by Flying Rat's Nostril (no, that's my real name)

(To be read in its entirety before being commented on and not thrown into a
large bonfire as poems with sappy titles such as this should be.)

We shared many things,
my love and I.
Our happiness and experience
and our love for
each other.

But we share no longer.
She was not what she
appeared to be.

We were happy and our
love was eternal.
But then my uncle died.
And that is not what ended us,
because I did not love my

He lived on a lonely hill,
and did strange things
to birds and stray

And it did not end
when I noticed that
she wore spurs
to the funeral.

It ended when at the
funeral she calmly
slipped on a bondage

And leapt thirty feet
into the air, arcing
towards my uncle's
open casket.

And while she was in the air
I heard a pop,
and something looking much
like a girdle flew away.

And then my love
began to inflate, like
one of those industrial
size balloons you see over
used car lots.

Then she landed on
him with a squish.

She was eight-hundred pounds,
straddling the stiff uncle,
with an inflatable monkey
doll on her shoulders,
"Ride 'em Cowboy!"


The moment I swear to love a woman all my life, that very moment I begin
to hate her.
In the same way, if I swore to hate a woman all my life, I should
instantly feel a pang on compunction
Amounting almost to love.

--D.H. Lawrence, "Love"


[Prev | Next]

by Griphon

that night i saw her. she stood fragilely among the world, time and space seemingly unaffecting her for fear that she would break. the moon did not filter directly upon her. each delicate feature was silvered in the night, her skin was soft and pale. her hair lay still in the quiet breeze, each black strand too fine to catch the wind. she burned with a soft light. such a delicate girl, frozen among the sea of the tilting world. i thought of how beautiful she was and how delicate. i thought of how no one would be able to handle her softly enough. she would break into a thousand pieces. she would break into a thousand pieces on the floor of someone's room after falling off the bed and then that person would sweep her up and forget about her. no love lost, no remorse for the death of such a beautiful thing as she. i couldn't watch her die. too many things have died that were beautiful. she did not deserve the Fate she had because of her delicate perfection. how does the rain fall upon her without bruising her? how does the sun not shatter her with its harshness? how does she step into Reality and not shatter? she cannot. i cannot allow her. i take her soul with me, releasing it with a .38 caliber pistol. strangely, she does not shatter. only collapse, like a picked flower.


"The mirror of the soul cannot reflect both earth and heaven; and the one vanishes from its surface, as the other is glassed upon its deep."



[Prev | Next]

by I Wish My Name Were Nathan

Nodding my head side to side while eating
As if listening to the music inside my head

Which churns,

clanging walls of steel and high-pitched whistles
Food in the dark
Alone in the silence
Writhing in my mind

A cloudy, humid, buzzing abyss
almost stripped of humanity
Walking the dog in the dark
It pisses on dim hydrants
Which never protest

But only sit there,
being pissed on and holding water back
Figs in the bathtub
Tasting figgy and sweet
Juices mixing in with the bathtub's water

Which sloshes back and forth as I move my hairy legs

One hand clapping
At the destruction
Of a tree

Falling in the woods with no one around to hear it

But me, with
my food in the dark,
my pissing dog, and
my figs and hairy legs.


"I like Volkswagons because they look like fat people wearing bikinis, and that turns me off."

-- Phadrous


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by Chris Wugner

[Editor's note: I received this piece through a friend of mine, and he said it was the funniest thing he had seen in a while. Apparently, at the school I go to, one of the students on the newspaper staff is a horrible writer. Some of the staff felt it would be nice to make a parody of his writing, so here it is. Kinda strange, kinda weird. You really have to know this guy to understand, but I think you'll still enjoy the story. Just think of the geekiest dork in your school and/or workplace. He'll do just fine. All names have been changed to protect the guilty. And if you don't like it, just be thankful they wrote this instead of more Dr. Graves. Heh.]

James and Gabe beat me up I were on sofa. Then they drink the coffee I were pour. They bat in hand. Bat big. There was blud on my face and toe. The phone ringed like a cat. I sed "Hello?" It were Gabe and James. They were punching my dad at work. I culdn't tell if he were at HEB or Wallmart. The had him in some pliers and did hurt him. What a goose.

Now James and Gabe. Oww! Gabe hit me in the I with a rok. If I was to be bigg I could teech him a think about football! Me and Rachel the hores eat at Luby's. Gabe spilt tee on my hare. Cold. Cold Brrr! He beet me with a nudle. My mom did a puzl and hug me. What a gud mom. "Yu are a gud mom," I sed and ate nudles. James slams my face in the wol. He laffs like a manic. My father have 9 jobs. Kids beet him like a pile of beans.

I want to Principal when I gro up. I was going to be a niwspayper editer butt it wers too boring. I just fixed the same stori over and over did Erik ever get his digree from Rice Univercity? No. I always call it Rice and Beans College. So. My girlfrin can kiss boys on their pee pee. I seen her do it. We went on a Cross Cuntry Campout last weak. Coach Murray and the others showed team spirit and cut off one of my feengers for luck. It must be lucky, because we won bi-district. So smart that coach. So smart.

I blud all over my carr wif 90 million miles. My purty gud friend, Purty Gud Friend, tell me I am were illgimite bastard. He thoink I am no pee=pee and my girlfrin kiss his course his big. What a pal! I seen it b-for. It is huge! He hit me wif it and gave me black I. Oww! But he play because he is my friend. He tol me too kiss his Rufus won-I'd trowser snak. He spit manaise on me! Like my dad.

Wun nite together were my firlfrin in a a abundend wairhous. We were was talkin about how fur we'd go. She'd sed she'd tit me. No I said not till marry. bang went a loid noiz. We look over and seen the top uv my dads hed git struck with a pipe. His hed split bloddy. Go dad git up n' hit him Dads coffin wer big. I felt up my girls shirt she had big tittees but they were hard and felt like shrimp. I took my my mom to the carnivol and felt hir up two. My moms felt like cookie big big cookie. After we were don at the carnival we found our car was on fire and burnd. A dogey was on fire too on the car. The car was so blak. The dog was so hap he liked me face. But then he fund out I was a dork big an left. Bag o'. Teek tof. Dub dogey.

My mom sed git a fish. Dogey is were mean, she sed. Hee he I sed and spit grap juice out my nose. My fish ate it al gone. Yum yum, Fishy Boswell sed. Rachel poot on Erics fase. She is putting fish on her wee-wee. I did not no she had wee-wee. She put in in my anum. Oh boy oh! Now I have a loose botum.

My brother does puzls at school. Rachel laff at my wee-wee and sho me hers and it is bigr. Laff some more she did. My dad broght home a rotten piece of froot. Eat it boy! he said. It's all I kan find. It floated on toilet. Hoopy Day comes on. Go Fonz! I like Chris, Fonz sed. I am cool!

When Erik comed home from sckool he had a wif. But it was Rachel dad sed to Erik for to get a wife and have babbbiys so mark off cud wife at HEB. But Erik had a nother girl from college. Dad sed no git Rachel so we don't have more bills for a nother person. The money we had saved to take a vacation to Elgin was not enuf. Dad kiled the uther girl.

Mom saw sum shit on the grund. She thought he wuz a puzl! She poot it together. She smell like Rachels poosy. She need doosh. Yuk! Chris sed. Joy haz bug in her poosy. Mom sez Crabs! Can we eat them? Dad cuked lice for dinner wun nite. Eat it bastard! he sed. Krunchy! My girlfrin sez her ass smell like Rachel poosy. She rub my nose in it. Puzl! I feel my granmom's tity. It am rinkel. She weez at me an kiss me! Kan I hav a dollar?

James and Gabe kall me to sez hullo. Hey sed James. I think they were looking for girl advize. The ask me bout college girls and havin' sex. Dad slipped on Erik's wad. Again! sed mom. Poor Dad, Chris. Rachel rub her self and smile Don't smile at me Rachel. Gros. That's gross. Some men at work tryed to git my Dad fired but I tole them to stop or I'd get my frin, Hit Hard. They baked off. I see you, Rachel, sed Erix pee-pee. Wow, a talkin p-p, sed Rachel and suked it. Wow suk Rachel it suck long. Mom broght us root beer and presunts to open an sing songz by the Monkees. David Reinhold can run fast. He haz gud pacing so I can run gud to. David likes to run with me cauz he punches me a lot. David iz coach's favorite runner. Not. Me. I tried to be best when I payd Rachel to kiss him butt he only made me run mor. Couch knowz best!

Erik shod me how to "giv gud hed." He playz with himself and make my leg waf and kiss my ear. Are we brothers? I sed. Uhh! he sed and tuch me in my pee-p. My nipul got hard. My pant wer wet! I luv you, I sed to Eric. He bit my nipul an mak me hollr. Dad spank Erik with his belt. He bastard, Dad sed to Erik. You not brother. He peese of doo-doo. Dad kick me in my testclese. You basturd! Dad make me rub his boss p-p. Dad duz not have to clean toylet. I help Dad! His boss give me candy and mak mi hand wett. He tel me to lik my hand and it is neat. Yum, saltee! Dad stik my hed in toylet an tell me to git gum some bad poo-poo on. Lik it off Bastard, and give it to Rachel. She purty, he sed. Rachel not like it. Dand spnak me because Rachel not poot out for his gum. You are a burden an waste of fuck, my dad sed. He luv me. Hooraey!

When Chris late for wirk Dad makes Chris not dat hiz girlfrin. But. It is not bad cuz Chris can't dat her now. She sez why don't you want to fuk but no, I say, I want wif with tittee like Rachel an Mom's. Mom made a puzle by cutting up nud pikturs of Rachel and me. She putz thim togther an shows Dads boss. Dads boss takes them an gives thim to a magizeen man who iz nise an sinds us four dollers. I don't know why. Wee never get the piktures bak. Erik spilt ise creem on my Dads toe and dad shit big one. Erik, he said, better not do that you boy. Dad o dad. His fase git red an shake. Dadz toe was too sticky. Erik and Chris lik sticky faces. Rachel doesn't git sticky face. Mom just makes her a puzl with Dad's wirk shirt. He gets a new one tomorrow when he starts a job at Snakey's Pitza, rolling doo. I like Chris pitza it war and like Rachel. Rachel get pizza shirt puzl in too months.

Dad sed he give mee car win I gro up. He sed he tak it out of my ass. He bin me over win he won't an I driv the car! Wut a grate deel! Rachel ask for a rid in the car. No, I say. I kiss pee-pee, she sed. But I give my ass to dad for car so I do not want it share. I tell her I have no p-p. I have no p-p, I sed. I am coul! Wons I drive over to see my girlfrin. She lok in house. Heer is piktur, I sed. Her mom tak it. She luv me! Neet! Dad git me bend over win I get home. I pretind it is my girlfriend that stiks her p-o in my botum. I mone. dad mak my back sticky. Turn round, he sed. Oh boy, stickee face! Dad nok out my teeth.

Your teeth hurt my p-p, he sed. Now I onlee smile out of side. Still have for teeth! Dad sed gums feel like poosy and givs me treet in mouth. Wow, car an treet! Not evun my burthday yet. Mom cry and say I git hurpees. Mind yor own biznes bich! What a gud Dad.


"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

--Oz the Omnipotent


[Prev | Next]

by Ivy Carson

You are the melting man
you are your situation
there is no time to breathe
and yet one single breath
leads to insatiable desire
of suicide ... in sex.

So many blazing orchids
burning in your throat
making you choke
making you sigh
sigh in tiny deaths....

-- from "Melt" by Siouxsie And The Banshees

A sharp pain swells within her body as she wipes away red lipstick smeared at the corners of her mouth. The young woman studies the lips in the mirror before her while moistening them with her tongue and finding it somewhat strange that the filth her mouth has touched and spoken cannot be seen.

The recollection of an angelic Christian girl she is acquainted with brings a slight smile upon her countenance. She thinks of the radiant halo of light that embraces her acquaintance, and of how each word or glance the girl emits flows from her with the warmth and brightness of a sunbeam.

Suddenly, the harsh realization that she will never possess this purity and litheness hurls itself into her daydream. She knows that every inch of her ivory skin has been kissed, clenched, and desecrated. She knows about the sticky, foul layer that covers her face and body, the vile film that persuades her to spread her long, pale legs and become vulnerable again and again. It is the same coating that forces her head down in shame and guilt. She once scratched and scrubbed herself until crimson liquid intermixed with teardrops streamed down onto the bathroom only to increase the membrane's thickness. Her eyebrows no longer rise in confused naivete above sparkling eyes. Instead, they are pinched together to form a cluster of worried wrinkles on her forehead. The disgusting creature wonders why perverted thoughts and desires must constantly swim about in her mind.

She continues to examine the base image watching her through the mirror, but purposely avoids eye contact. Eyes would only confirm and reveal more than she wants to know. Without corroboration of her sordidness, she can still hope that there is a trace of innocence left within her.


I know what I want
I want you
Too bad I'm too fucked up to do anything about it
All I could do is hurt you
I am a wounded animal blinded by headlights
This could be the universal love song

--Henry Rollins, Now Watch Him Die


[Prev | Next]

by I Wish My Name Were Nathan

So I skip and hop across the busy intersection looking for some fun.

"Hey, sir!" I say, going up to a sir conveniently passing by.

"Hmm?" he responds enthusiastically.

"How many times have you looked back on your life? You know, sat down in a comfy chair on a warm, slightly breezy Saturday afternoon, looking out a window at life and thinking about your own? You know, recollecting all the memories of your carefree and reckless youth, then the trials and tribulations of your teenage years, then your successful college years and then your lifetime career?" I ask.

I continue, "Then do you start with your childhood, and remember the complete freedom you had, to go around your neighborhood and explore all the strange things around you, like that old water pump sitting majestically in the center of some old lady's yard, or an old dog lying lackadaisically next to that fence down at the end of the road, who always used to wheeze when it breathed and sometimes licked your feet? Or do you prefer the age of learning, when you first got the knack of reading and practically couldn't stop yourself from gaining new information and trying to apply it around the house, or the times when you were too young to read but liked to knock over bookcases? How about the times when you went far from home and followed the railroad tracks hundreds of feet out of your known territory, but you never felt scared because you had that direct path back home, or even when you did get lost sometimes and you cried but you liked to hide behind trees so no one would see you crying when they found you?

"Or," I say, "do you think about your teenage years and the times when you first discovered sex and felt so guilty when you touched yourself and you resorted to the most outrageous hiding places so your deeds would never be known, or were you a relatively asexual being, preferring to be a loner in the back of the classroom, rarely raising your hand but always knowing the answers, cynicism brewing in your skull towards the entire educational system where you felt completely overqualified and wished for a way out so you could get on with your life? Then did you go home and write poetry and depressing stories as your only outlet or did you have a good friend you could sit home and talk on the phone with, sometimes so late at night that you'd look at the clock and fleetingly think it was the afternoon before you realized with a shock that it was tomorrow? Or did you like to stay up late at night and watch television and constantly find yourself analyzing it for logical errors and poor writing and acting? But that was all probably overshadowed by your growing resentment of the fact that as you were getting older, you seemed to have less rights, like that junior high where they treated you like a prisoner just because adolescents are too rebellious and society hasn't come up for a decent way to inculcate teens into U.S. society, which you felt completely isolated from through high school, where the class president and all elected students were the popular ones and not necessarily the brightest ones. Or did you spend most of your time an anxious and nervous wreck through high school because your parents were constantly pushing you to succeed so you could apply for a lot of great scholarships which you never quite felt qualified for although you were smart enough? Then do you think back on all the cliques and groups of stereotyped conformist teenagers who spent much of their social lives trying to fit in rather than develop a sense of identity and a moral code, and who found themselves wrecks while you watched it all seemingly unscathed, but then realized you were the one who suffered while the shallow ones at least thought they were happy?

"Or do you prefer your college years, where nothing has changed at all except for harder classes and a slightly higher intelligence level, where rather than complaining about school lunches and rules against gum, they complain about commons food and the alcohol policy, or did you not even notice, too engaged in studying in constant fear of losing those scholarships you slaved for or the loans you lied on the applications for or the respect you kissed up to the tough professors for? Do you remember all the finals you swore you'd study extensively for but ended up cramming for and receiving an average grade, then was it that gnawing sense of guilt that made you half- consciously walk down the damp sidewalks in the drizzle and mumble to yourself that next time, oh next time, you'd study and you'd show them all but then how you went home and turned on the television and drank beers? Does that sense of self-loathing come back, that you always felt when you got some good grades but never made any friends, except those people who you gathered together with on late nights and sat outside and looked at the gaudily lit up trees but couldn't appreciate what you were seeing because you were drunk? Then do you think about all the friends you had in high school, people who thought just like you and who you often engaged in mind-riveting social conversation but who you never see or write to anymore because you assumed you didn't need to contact them because they had the same sense of apathy you had and there'd be nothing to talk about except your shattered dreams?

"Then do you think about the current state of affairs in your life, working at a demeaning, underpaid job where you rush to finish your work so that you can sit back in your rusty office chair and look at the closed blinds because a building's on the other side and try to remember a time when America wasn't in some sort of crisis that never resolved itself because politicians would bring it up years later as a reason why the candidate's character wasn't solid? Do you trace the path of your ballot in your mind and always end up seeing it land in some landfill with something different marked in than what you thought? Do you then reminisce on all the times just a few years before when you could have done something different, changed your routine, chiseled yourself out of your rut, but didn't because of a feeling of modesty and self- consciousness that you regretted later because it wouldn't have mattered in the slightest anyway?

"Then do you get up from your comfy chair, pull down the blinds, put your hand to your eyes and regret that you ever brought it up, like then realize that dwelling--even thinking about--the past is a pure waste of time? Do you ever do that?"

The sir stared at me and blinked a few times, unable to speak.

"Thought so," I said.

I nodded at him and hopped and skipped away.


Whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'T is the divinity that stirs within us;
'T is heaven itself that points out our hereafter
And intimates eternity to man

ETERNITY! Thou pleasing, dreadful thought!

-- Addison


[Prev | Footer]

by Kilgore Trout

Kafka was an asshole, in a way. I mean, "The Metamorphosis" contained an interesting plot and provided many insights into the human soul, but as for being a good story, it lacked a great deal. Just who wants to read about a bug who is crawling around in pain due to an apple lodged in his back? Or am I just being too judgmental, with my once intelligent and artistic mind eroded with the violent action flicks of Jean Claude van Damme and Steven Seagal? Nah. The book just sucked.

That's just me, though. Some things I enjoy immensely and others I hate, and most of the time I don't know why I like or dislike it. sometimes I wish that there was a bit of logic in my choices, but more often than not it's just an extremely powerful sense of intuition.

I'm also the same way about people. Like last week, for instance, this woman walked into the convenience store where I worked and bought a pack of Virginia Slims and a jar of vaseline. When she came up to pay, I knew that this woman was up to no good. Two days later, she turned up in the papers. Seems the lady had been sodomizing her three-year old daughter with dildos and burning her with cigarettes.

Some people are just really fucked up.

* * * * *

It's 10:30pm, and I'm ready to close the store and head home. This has become my summer life now: working and sleeping. Sometimes I even play the lotto. Whoever said life after high school opened new and exciting doors in everyone's lives was most definitely handing out a big line of crap.

I walked over to the candy racks and tidied up after the damn kids who pick up a candy bar to look at and feel/crush and replace in the wrong bin. It would seem that seven-year olds either have no respect for organization and cleanliness, or they are just plain dumb. Hell, when I was seven, all of my G.I. Joes were sorted alphabetically. Kids these days just aren't made like they used to be.

The door chime rang as an elderly man stepped into the store. He bore a shimmering resemblance of Albert Einstein, only bald. His three-piece suit smelled of goat's cheese, but I knew there was much more to him than stagnant dairy odors. I raced back up to the counter.

"Are you being served?" I asked in my best British accent. I always try to bring as much class to this lousy joint as possible.

"There's a lady who's sure," he began, "all that glitters is gold, and she's buying the stairway to heaven."

What the hell was this guy up to? "Excuse me, sir, but would you like to buy something?"

He started to speak again. "When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for."

"Oh yeah, old man, and exactly what word would that be?" I rudely asked.

"Milk." I've just noticed that his lips don't move when he speaks.

"It's in the very back," I directed, "next to all the beer."

The bald man shambled to the back and retrieved a carton of milk. He made it back to the counter and set the mild down next to the register.

"Is that all for you today?" I asked.

The old man looked up and stared at me. "My name is @Eduardo @Montezuma III. You can call me @Ed, though."

"Well, why the hell don't your lips move?

I'm an excellent ventriloquist, and it's fun to spook people."

This night was starting to get weird. I mean, how many milk-drinking ventriloquists are there in the world? I'm afraid to even ask.

"Look at this picture," he ordered, pointing to the side of the milk carton. On it was the face of a beautiful teenage girl.

"Oh, and I suppose this is your long-lost daughter, right?"

"Yes, it is." I can tell he isn't kidding.

"I'm sorry, sir. I didn't know."

The old man smiled weakly with thin lips. "She left home a year ago, at the age of sixteen. Lauren was her name. And she was such a bright and beautiful girl--had a helluva future lined up for her, too. None of those things mattered too much to her, though. All she ever wanted was love, and I thought love consisted of showering her with expensive gifts. Boy, was I wrong."

I scratched my goatee with my thumb and index finger, thinking about how this guy would fit in with some really low-budget melodramatic film. Why was he telling me this? Did he only want a stranger's shoulder to cry on, or did he have a more sinister motive in mind? And there still remained one important question: if he was such a good ventriloquist, then where the hell was his fucking dummy?

"Look, sir, I don't mean to sound uncaring, but why are you telling me all of this? I'm just a simple store clerk who graduated from high school three months ago."

"Because," Eduardo Montezuma III explained, "I have chosen you to be the one to help find my daughter."

* * * * *

Once, when I was ten, my parents took me to a very fancy restaurant. Being like every little boy who wants to prove that he is a big boy and can do things on his own, I asked if I could go to the restroom alone. They agreed.

I left the table and merrily walked to the bathroom, looking at what everybody else was doing (they were mostly eating, for you inquiring minds out there). Using both hands, I pushed the big bathroom door open and stepped inside.

I was alone.

Now came time for the test. Pulling my zipper down, I hurried over to the lowest urinal and checked the height. It was just the right size, and an enormous amount of pride flooded into my system as a lot of piss flooded out.

About this time, I heard the door open, and in walked a sharply dressed black man (I know, it would be P.C. of me to say, "African-American," but at age ten, I was still calling shit "fudgecakes"). He proceeded over to the urinal directly next to mine and began urinating.

"Hey, kid. Look over here."

His voice echoed harshly off the tile walls. Knowing I shouldn't and not wanting to, I curiously turned my head and saw my first mature penis. He spoke again.

"Someday, boy, when you grow up, yours will be just like mine."

My face flushed a bright red, and I struggled to finish peeing and get the hell out of the bathroom. I zipped my pants up and hurried back to my table. Just as feelings of safety were returning to calm me down, I looked over at the next table and gasped. Sitting there was the man with his wife and son. He just smiled.

I never told my parents about that incident because I was afraid that I would get in trouble for looking at someone else's penis. More importantly, the thought that I might go to HELL for such a sin plagued me for weeks until I buried the memory for eight years.

Aside from a phobia of public restrooms, I did get something positive out of the whole experience. I learned that some people have things hidden so deep inside of them that even they don't know of their existence. Sometimes even the most sane person is actually the craziest. It's something that I learned the hard way.

* * * * *

We drove in Eduardo's pink Ford Mustang 5.0 convertible with the top down, heading for his mansion in the hills north of town. He was smoking cheap Cuban cigars and was now opening his mouth when talking. This didn't make me feel any better, for the smell of alcohol wafted out of his mouth and into my nostrils. Although, to defend Ed, he wasn't acting drunk, and he always went exactly five miles over the speed limit. Hopefully, it was some new kind of breath spray.

I don't think I'll ever understand why I stepped into that pink Mustang. He seemed likeable enough, but most con-men can come off as Jesus himself. Still, my gut instinct told me to go along for the ride. I've done stupid stuff in my life before, but getting into a car with a strange Spanish-Indian on a search for his lost daughter has to top the list. At least it will spice up my summer, and then maybe I won't end up being stuck as a store clerk for the rest of my life.

Ed turned to me. "Would you care for a cigar?"

I shook my head and reaching in my pocket, pulling out a nicotine patch. I peeled off the back and stuck it on my left breast. The black market patch induced an intense rush almost immediately.

"I hate the smell of cigarette smoke," I told Eduardo. "This way, I smell fresh and am still addicted like a motherfucker."

Ed reared back, laughing. He lifted the cigar to his lips and inhaled an ungodly amount of smoke. Then, defying the laws of physics as taught to me in 11th grade by Mr. Weisenbaum, Eduardo blew perfect smoke rings that circled around his head in 70mph winds.

"Bet you can't do that one, my boy, with those nicotine patches."

"How the hell do you do that?"

"All in good time, all in good time. You have much to learn, and I have much to teach. But the events that are to take place in the next few weeks are already set in place, so why try to hurry while they patiently wait for you? Although I cannot guarantee that you will be home for supper tomorrow night, I do know that you will meet a woman who can satisfy your every desire. Ah, to be young again, to be able to walk the streets late at night and know for sure that any girl on the corner could be yours for a few dollars."

Ed let out a sigh and did not speak until we reached our destination.

To call his mansion a mansion was like calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground. This place was huge, comparable to a castle. Ed pulled into the ten-car garage which house various other pink automobiles. We both stepped out and walked inside.

The inner furnishings of this place were simply incredible. I feared that whatever I touched would crumble into pieces, and I would have to use all of my savings for some antique footstool. However, Ed motioned me out of what I later found out was the first of seven sitting-rooms into his office.

I took a seat in a big, leather chair in front of his desk. Eduardo walked over to the wet-bar/stereo system.

"I could not give you a cigar, so how about a drink?" he inquired.

"But I'm not old enough to drink," I protested.

"Ah, but don't you see? You are in Eduardo's kingdom, so you can do anything you want."

"Oh," I smiled, "I'll have a big, whopping glass of straight vodka."

Once again, Eduardo laughed heartily. He brought the bottle over and placed it in my hands. I looked at the label. Absolut.

"Consider it a gift. Now, before we get drunk, I need to tell you a few things that will be very important to you later on."

I unscrewed the cap and took a swig of vodka. The alcohol burned through my lungs and hit the pit of my stomach like fire.

"Like what?" I gasped.

"Well, my informants say that Lauren has been spotted on the East Side. I don't know if she left town earlier, but that's not important. What is important is the fact that she is in town, and unfortunately, some sources link her to that bastard pimp Flamingo. He's a small-time operator, but Flamingo thinks he's king of the streets. Don't underestimate him, though, for he is still one tough bird.

"I will provide you with whatever you need to complete this task. It is up to you to plan the mission, for I am no strategist. Also, if you bring my daughter back to me, I will give you anything that you desire."

"Anything?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"Anything. And now, my friend, get drunk tonight and enjoy yourself. If you need any assistance in finding a bathroom to puke in or have trouble getting into bed, don't hesitate to ring for Marie, the French maid. Good night."

With that, Eduardo walked out of the room, leaving me alone with a bottle of vodka. I drank.

* * * * *

In another part of the world where it was already the next day, a vacationing American couple lounged on the beach. The sun burns their bodies, but they know that it will tan later.

The wife is a shapely woman, still in excellent health at the age of thirty. She screws the pizza delivery boy from time to time back in their small, midwestern town. Two years from now, she will find a lump on her left breast and die in an interstate pile-up while racing to the doctor.

The husband lies on his back, displaying his toned muscles for all to see. He is five years older than his wife and screws the pizza delivery boy from time to time back in their small, midwestern town. After his wife dies, he will walk into a crowded Bookstop and shot four people browsing the books of Martin Amis before turning the gun on himself.

But all of this was in the not-so-distant future. Right now, this lovely couple was having a heated argument on whether or not they should go swimming.

"But honey," said the wife, "I just know that there are sharks out there."

"Jesus," cursed the husband. "You've seen Jaws one too many times. Do you see Roy Scheider patrolling the beaches? No. Look around. These little kids are playing in the water, and they're not being gobbled up by sharks."

"Then their mothers are stupid for letting their precious children wade in shark-infested waters. When are we going to have children?"


"Look, Frank. We've been married for five years. Don't you think we should have a baby?"

"I can't believe you're asking me something like that. We're on vacation! Anyway, I thought you were worried about sharks."

"Well, it is an important question, and we need to start thinking about it."

"I know, but I don't think now is the time to discuss it. Hell, you'd probably keep him away from the ocean because of your fear of sharks."

She got a stubborn look on her face. "How do you know the child will be masculine?"

"It's just a generalization, dear. 'He' can mean 'she,' too."

A scream caught the couple's attention. One of the little boys was jerking up and down as the water turned red all around him.

"See," the wife said triumphantly, "I told you there were sharks."



State  of  unBeing  is  copyrighted (c) 1994 by Kilgore  Trout  and  Apocalypse 
Culture Publications.   All rights are reserved to cover,  format,  editorials, 
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