Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Jonny Happic is Dying

Or at least Sake was pretty sure Jonny Happic was dying.

The tailored drugs, the swarm of microscopic, half chemical half mechanical aides, the technology that had kept him alive just wasn't available out here in the suburbs, and even if it was attempting to access it would raise flags right across the net.

He would be holed up somewhere, alone and disconnected from the world around him. To all intents decomposing, his body and mind unraveling as their various supports reached the end of their predetermined lives and began to shut down.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Into the Suburbs

Sake pushed open another door and there it was again, that smell peculiar to the suburbs. high, thin, skin, sweat, digestion. Biological. Then a waft from the ventilation obliterated it and all that remained was the scentless non-smell of neutrair or uniscent or some such product, an inoffensive touch of synthesized lime on the very edge of his nose.

The lobe of his ear itched. He scratched it, glanced around the room and walked toward the door opposite.

Saturday Night

It’s clear, looking back on the evening, that from the tree of possibilities presented we chose a rotten branch which was then followed right through to the shrivelled fruit at its end.

Bars were shut, full, too busy or too loud. A local drink took on bus and train and taxi journeys.

The tequilas made us nauseous rather than numb (even failing to remove the taste of cheap white wine). Combined with shouting over the obnoxious sub-music cigarettes just hastened hoarseness. Queasy and silent we sat wondering whether we’d had our eight pound entrance fee’s worth of fun while considering the knots and twigs of a mediocre night out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


It was the obvious signs that he noticed first: Twenty-four tiny, regular bubbles forming a letter J floating amongst the semi-submerged pans, plates and cutlery in the kitchen sink.

That evening he was presented with a whorl of tissue in the toilet bowl bearing an uncanny resemblance to his mother-in-law’s bad tempered terrier.

Once he’d seen a couple he began to see them everywhere.

Following a week of overheard telephone conversations, billboards glanced through the steamed up windows of the train to work and the improbable wandering of a favourite pen (a gift from his eldest) the man contemplated his own sanity. An active sceptic he’d always sneered at his mother’s superstitions, or clucked disinterestedly along to his wife’s weekly horoscope predictions. Fears of the unknown stilled by tales of the intangible. Well, that’s what he thought.

But these things were there, solid and real. The spilt sugar he’d pushed around with a deliberate index finger, feeling the coarse grains against his skin. The newspaper he’d been able to pick up and smooth out, transforming it’s abstract instruction into an innocuous (if typically doom-laden) headline. The signs were real, but his sensible mind couldn’t shake the improbability of what was happening.

It never really felt like a supernatural thing, these weren’t spirits whispering from the other side, the signs were far bigger than that. Whether they were creation’s cogs, muttered calculations for what would be, or whether they were echoes from a future universe he was never sure but clearly there was some truth in them. Admittedly it was a sideways, half glanced kind of truth, and more often not, even as he became more adept at recognising the signs themselves, their actual meaning remained frustratingly opaque.

None the less, as time ambled onward and the signs showed no intention of abating the man began to slowly string together a web of relations, contexts and meaning. The structure was loose and unpredictable, but like a shoal’s silver flutters there was an apparent collective intent. Though occasionally signs spoke independently, typically they were part of a sequence or combination. Often sets of signs would overlap and it was only after they’d passed he would be able to see how they meshed together and what they meant.

Not that they said anything directly. Certainly there were no insights he would bet on. Not the he was a betting man and certainly not the type to bet on evidence gleaned from pooled coffee in a cupless saucer left outside the office canteen. He never told a soul, though often those around him were affected by his interpretations and actions. The signs were there, he could show them, collect them, save them up but there was one element they needed to to give them meaning, an essential and irreplacable part of the mechanism the thought of which kept awake at night.

The signs were anthropic by nature. It was his interpretation that gave them meaning, without him they were just easily ignored coincidence or ceased to exist at all. With him they told of things that had happened or could happen or will happen.

Lucky for me, he thought, that haven’t yet chosen to tell of anything more important than a delayed train or an unexpected phone call.

Monday, October 18, 2004

In the Beginning there was Nothing

And Nothing was bored.

Without anything to judge the passage of time it is difficult to know how long Nothing has been bored for, or indeed when Nothing first became bored.

But none the less, Nothing was bored.

So, Nothing, in a moment of inspiration, created a space within itself. This gap within the fabric of Nothing, a void within a lack of anything looked around, recognised it’s companion, established their differences and named itself.

Nothing and Something became playmates, friends and lovers. They talked and argued, confided and despised. Yet however much they wished to be parted a fundamental love bound them together and however much they wished to be one their irreconcilable differences meant they remained forever seperate.

This is how Everything began...