Copyright 2016 Richards Hall and e.
Published by Richards Hall and e. at Shakespir
The Art of Constancy
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As much as it pained her, Grace Pobbible knew Danny Brinbrot had an up on her. On her, the Queen of Up. It was his danged personal geometry, the one that left her, yes her, in the dark. Still, he applied it for her, and she succeeded.
Wow, six her’s already. Seven.
Like it or not, she just did not like it. She did not like it to death, and ran him off.
It was the boom diet that did it. The diet of diets that wasn’t going to sell. A diet based on not thinking about food. Just try and imagine what the food advertisers would be up against.
Not thinking, hmm, gotta think about that. Ow ow ow ow ow.
For Grace, always a champion of boom, a first champion, especially back when Danny wasn’t a player, a player he’d never be, what Danny observed was so obvious it nearly blew her mind. Out right blew it right out.
Right past up.
She needed him for that?
Sooner than later, it’s going to start to get rude. But first. It’s said you cannot win if you do not play, but truly, you cannot lose if you do not game. More and more, you cannot even game if you do not win, leaving the gamers to the plight behind the modern motto: you lose some, and then you lose the rest.
Only pre-winners need apply. Even them had better load up with winner’s insurance, and then play until them are good and gamed, like ex-quarterbacks leaking brain. Maybe time to shingle up that roof again.
While you’re at it, beware of falling off roofs, and stepping off cliffs, and going over the slipppery, spinnnery edggges of ledggges. I spellt all those words wrong so you knew it wasn’t accidental the first two times, lest you think I wrote haphazardly.. As for ‘..’, that should make you think twice. Does it mean I have double vision, maybe? And only half of what I say is true, if that much? If any?
Maybe you shouldn’t think twice. That’s all right. Leave me to the savage clause of grammamarians.
As such and all, Danny was out to play for keeps. Playing against entropy, the great one-sided game puzzle. Like a picture puzzle? Word puzzle? Were all pictures wrapped in words bleeding into fiction? Truly, a picture may be worth a billion words. A trillion bytes? More? The sky’s the limit?
Furthering inwards with geometry, perpendicular to Danny was Dr. Hermann Strumm, and thus they did meet at a point, as seems appropriate and appointed. Danny focused his ongoing studies on organic and natural time. An omni scientist, he wasn’t all that interested in knowing what wasn’t known. There is only so much room with-on and within anyone’s dish. Still, known seems to keep on coming.
Hermann went further and differently, delving into the point where organic and natural time fused, surreally, – in surreality? – contra-torting the one sided cube. Truly, and that is a telling term, the idea of siding together edges is to create an inside with faces to hide what’s there.
Room. Room to hide. Room to live. Room to play.
Room to escape.
Meanwhile, entropy waited outside, smacking it’s lips. When or if those lips got too cracked or dried, look out. A smart beast of entropy will simply live in water. And sublet on land. Thinking gators and croc’s. And worse. Shudder.
Too much play isn’t always a good thing. Other times, you can’t hide enough, you can’t hide for keeps. Live at your own peril, but don’t ignore your qualms about following the gold brick road thru the fairy-book kingdom of candy people passing over their peril to you, or me, or us, or not you, or them. Does that cover it? Or is it still all exposed? Do we need more rooms? It wouldn’t surprise me.
As for peril, the big one to Hermann was eternal life. Eternal life locked in static, which some called joy. Not a knock on GOD or not GOD, just a knock on not planning for the best, on delegating away everything you could possibly want to do. Be with your loved ones? Hell, one more second with my dad will make me explode. Ugh, there’s truth to that. Duck already. Me do go boom.
Hermann tried not to worry about it, choosing instead to worry about eternal death and entropy. Life and death, or living and dying? Love and hate? Loving and hating?
Stop and go, gaming start and end.
It all boiled down to separation of nothingnesses, keeping their distance even as they yearned to combine, breaking and braking and changing anything that could be broken, stopped or changed; anything that got in their way, that kept them apart or brought them together. There’s truly no pleasing anyone or anything, not for long. Not forever.
The great and terrible curse of love, with hatred handling it’s dirty work.
That is if you want to get bleak and joyless about it. Does pretending the opposite help?
“What is the problem with diets?” asked Grace.
“Everything,” said Hjalmar Poelzig.
“Why don’t you run and fetch us some coffee, Hjalmar?” asked Grace.
For the time being, Hjalmar wasn’t running.
“You say that as if you have the answer,” said Danny, for the time being not run off yet.
The location of the brainstorming was Grace Pobbible Industrial Sleep. Booms had evolved from just firing someone down a cannon’s barrel to firing them down a handgun’s barrel, which was a tight squeeze and required finesse. Grace could always squeeze tighter, especially when fronted with more explosives.
“What they should do,” offered Hjalmar, “is get those dog food companies to tell us how to eat.”
“Dogs,” said Danny, with a bit of a grunt. “You ever notice how those suckers are always out trying to sample how you taste?”
“On point, boys,” said Grace, for the moment grateful in being a cat person, adding, “that’s just how they’re coded.” Certainly, no other point to it. “Talking about diets will make you think about food, and thinking about food will make you think about eating, and thinking about eating can make you hungry,” said Grace.
“And thinking about hungry will make you think about being full,” Hjalmar reasoned right along.
Talk about stealing her thunder. “Yes,” Grace said slowly. “Essentially. Eventually, maybe. If you think about it right.” What she was thinking about was thinking with determination about two things at once. Thinking two things at once.
Why dieting should be one of the things she thought, she wasn’t sure, but that’s what occurred to her. She didn’t diet. Grace might be called solidly built, by someone hungry for a fist sandwich. She was robust and ate healthy and could punch your lights out. Yes, you. You think you’re big? I’ll make her bigger. She ate well, with constancy, staying in the zone where too much and not enough compromised without her being compromised.
What, you say? Make war, not compromise? America is anywhere an American is standing, even in America when it isn’t recognizable. Ain’t no two ways about it.
Not just thinking thinking, mind you, we most likely must think two and probably more things at once, but there’s a lot of pure auto-pilot thinking involved, if thinking is the word for it. Grace was thinking about thinking two things at once as in working out a math problem using your right hand while writing an essay using your left hand, simultaneously, not pausing to do one or the other one at a time. In that double-handed deal, one probably isn’t even thinking about telling the hands what to do, just what has to be done.
That seems to state her thinking pretty clearly, but also way too ambitiously.
She was thinking the second line of thinking would be something relatively easy, easier at least, as in making an effort not to think, as in not think about food, negate the thinking of food.
That doesn’t exactly sound like thinking.
Under different circumstances, Hjalmar and Danny worked for Hermann Strumm, but not at the same time, nor any longer. To Hermann someone like Hjalmar had more value than a Danny, and thus he kept a grip on him long after he was done gaming with them, even if it was them that walked away from Hermann’s game, with Hjalmar way more leery of Hermann than Danny was.
Probably had something to do with that grip.
The catnip that Hermann used to get Hjalmar to open up and play after their time of gaming had passed was Grace. Hjalmar was always willing to talk about her, and Hermann was always interested in what she was up to. Up.
“Thinking twice at once,” explained Hjalmar.
“Certainly. That makes all the sense in the Whirled,” said Hermann. “How does she get from dieting to thinking twice at once?”
“I don’t know.”
“No, you wouldn’t,” said Hermann. “Seriously, the more you think about dieting the hungrier you’re bound to get. Oooh, yes, this special diet food tastes so damned good. I can’t wait for dinner, so I won’t. It’s not like I don’t have an eating problem. She wants to double the thinking about it?” FYI, Hermann did not have an eating problem. Plus, he had a new personal cook with a sister who called herself K. If that doesn’t bring you up to speed you’re probably driving a car without wheels. No, that’s not rude, it’s pre-rude, a warm-up.
“I think she wants to think about one thing, like eating, and forget about something else, like eating more, at the same time. Sort of like thinking and artificially thinking.”
Eating more at the same time? How not?
”Artificially thinking? Is that vixen veering into technology now?”
“Not that I can tell,” said Hjalmar. “You know how she feels about that. My GOD I know you know how she feels about that.”
“I know how she feels about everything,” said Hermann. “That much we have in common.”
What Grace and Hermann essentially had in common was disbelief in the artificial. That anything was. Artificial was just code wording for misnamed or un-name-able. Being out of imagination, or just names. Take artificial sweet. Take it away completely, I won’t squawk. Maybe the taste of it was mechanical. Maybe the taste was no longer the taste, brainstormed from the mouth’s domain into just idea. Pure signal, reality decomposing. Maybe just flat reality decomposing. Maybe a good thing. Certainly a good thing for something, what isn’t?
If it was.
It would probably be helpful if I expounded on ‘IT’. I don’t mean information technology IT. If I expounded helpfully, it would probably be more helpful. There are limits, and levels.
“As I have it figured out,” said Hjalmar, “she’s looking to make forgetting a skill, as in forgetting, period, not forgetting a skill. Still, it’s going to require something you can’t forget, a constant reminder, a fuel as it were.” Constancy. “The easiest is when you’re stomach is telling you you’re hungry, so says Grace, as she says she didn’t even have to think that. She thinks you can negate that, and that’s what she calls artificial thinking.”
“Still leaving you hungry, if that’s your thing.”
Still leaving entropy unchecked, Hermann further thought. Still pulling us back towards the ground via enlarging our bellies. Of course the entropy game was a mystery, along with what side it played. Was there only one side?
Hell, yeah, in the long and fast of it, if you listened to what Hermann had to say about room to fillllll . . .
llllll . . . . .
llllll . . .
llllll . . .
Just look at all that space left to waste. Hey, guys and gals, let’s round up the gang and build a burger joint. Gal, what a word.
Negation is problematic, almost a thing of divine judgment, just meaning a thing not of human grade judgment. Judgment is somewhat ultimate. Human grade judgment really should be simply termed differently to avoid confusion. Or might that clash with the thinking of micro gods. Judgment aside, once Grace dismissed the idea of negation, which was a frequent first answer that occurred to her until she negated it, she admitted the idea of navigation.
In the fullness-lessening of time, which you should know to expect, it finally occurred to her to outright think in terms of a micro system of mental navigators, as in a system of secondary intelligence agents or agencies, all and only secondary, with a wanna-be strongest one trying to best the rest to prove it was strongest. Something along the line of multiple personalities, or sense faces, blending into one, with the fittest face trying to call the shots pretty much all of the time, even if not the best face were there even such. The alpha face, even if designed timid. Designed to lead the dead. Lead? I meant to say eat. Both? There’s wiggle room for further discussion there. Let it wiggle.
The problem Grace saw was the alpha might steer the body while trying to be wholly independent of the navigation system designed to manage the body, to monitor health. Physical and/or mental. The alpha’s secret name might be JOE EATS, or EAT JOEs. It might position itself to kibitz about what the body should be doing differently to play to it’s strengths, or hungers, driving the body out of balance. At least help steer.
JOE the STEER?
Is that teetering on rude?
Teetering on rude, you ask? The answer is no, it’s not teetering on rude. Once was, but now, not.
That out of balance scenario also played to Artificial Intelligence, as Grace saw it. It wasn’t her thing, nor her fear, but she acknowledged a fear that an intelligence network or system of cooperative navigators, clashing to be the commanding navigator, if only just because, could be corrupted. A lot of everyone thought about it, although everyone probably didn’t worry about it. Certainly not the corrupters, who probably didn’t see corruption as other than preferred personal order. So so so deserved, too. Heck, you might want to hand over your serving of deserved as tribute, before they take it via sucking it, and you with it, up their derrieres – a much more pleasant sounding word than anuses – and feeding it back to the peons suckling there.
Ooh, that’s rude, but still pleasantly put, no? Suckling, that’s literature at it’s finest. Well, you got your money’s worth. It may be tacky to advertise, but one really must. Also, I’ve got all these damn burgers on my hands now, too, in case you’re in Brooklyn this P.M. Running a big sale. Ask anyone where JOE’s is, every one knows it.
Grace did not subscribe to the idea of a so-called anti-corrupted navigator of navigators, a benevolent fascist as it were. She pretty much thought the opposite was needed, something to disrupt and override. An Over Ride Rider? An Over Ride Rider Over?
That was just her, thinking.
As may have been guessed, apart from being as ‘dol’l garn’d’ contrary as Danny, Grace was really interested in sleep, not A.I. Nor an I of III’s? (For those wondering, or just in doubt, no, dol’l garn’d is not Klingon. Not by my count at least.) Macro sleep was her game. The hive dream that unified the un-shared self, for want of a better term, hive dream, that is, and she certainly wanted one, a better term. She leaned towards the idea of macro night, but couldn’t make sense of it as it did not play to the senses, as if it were clear light that defied colorization. “I will find you,” she swore, and knew Danny could help in that quest, snarky dick that he was.
And all too soon wasn’t. At least not on her behalf. Danny could have told her about lighting and how it traveled as images, with light using the image of the SUN so as to advertise itself. How else would one know when they saw? Is the image of shapes about the number of them or the image? The is of them before the how many and how to get or make more. Maybe give that a second thought. Is GOD a mathematician? Not Before being GOD, which includes a bitch of an internship. Yes, it does.
Not that I’m not cool with math.
Of course, what happens when enough is enough and advertising catches on to the point it becomes more toxic and hateful than death and taxes? Becomes? Uh. Advertising for the sake of advertising. Entropy squared.
Along with Hermann, Grace shared belief in the base human directive, at least one, Don’t Die, DD. It would seem a rather obvious directive, the double D stacked up to B, and a lot of people seemed to get it. But did they get why? Did they get that entropy was out to get them? The big E, once a broken or popped and popping B? Pop a B placed near a vowel, place it behind a vowel, and the force of that popping could turn AH into EH.
If that’s nutty sounding to you, beware the approaching cliff five paragraphs away. It’s always five paragraphs away, but who’s counting?
Don’t you dare look ahead. (5)
For the time being one way of holding entropy in check was to wrap it up in little pieces, like a burrito with a hollow center calling to be fed and never filled. Wrapped up and safely squared away in the ever responsive and responsible human body. Any body. (4)
Was that the EARTH’s game? To rid herself of entropy? Or rid herself of life? Both? Neither? Somehow managing something? Navigating? All of the above? (3)
All of the below? (6) Numbering, sheesh.
From navigating one starts thinking back to steer, one starts thinking bull, and Taurus, and torus, and Torus Club. One starts thinking Iffen Counter. Probably just one one – me, along with Grace, Hermann and Danny, not to negate Hjalmar nor a no longer little girl, calling herself K, crowding it up. I don’t know what the hell everyone else is thinking. (1)
Back at Hermann’s lab, Strumm Laboratories, the word question of the moment was: what is the deal with ‘E’ and ‘H’? What was the connection to geometry and architecture and art, if there was one. For the record, you are h’e’r’e, and on the move, with e’r to spare and h’e to flip. ‘eh?’ Along with her ‘e’. Along with her’s all over the place without any ‘e’s. Her, e, her, e, her, e. Hurry? What’s the rush? We’re already here. Again.
Deal one, ‘E’ and ‘H’ each contain four right angles.
Deal two, ‘E’s’ have three vertical parallel edges joined on one sole edge versus ‘H’ with horizontal parallel edges joined at or near the center by a third edge. Or was it segments versus dashes versus short dashes? A code system? Edges, the zone between the stuff of ledges and steps, a starting point for something to walk on and off. To walk off with.
Deal three, each consists of two half rectangles. Deconstructed?
(If this paragraph starts becoming puzzling, see left edge of cover for base illustrations.) Of course ‘H’ has two symmetrical half rectangles, half rec’s, top and bottom, that could flip into a full rec, and the prelude to the idea of room, a room, even a rec room, leaving it only sensible and efficient to not duplicate the symmetry angle, so that ‘E’ has asymmetrical half rec’s needing a little flip and twist to contra-conjoin into a full rec.
Although, conjoining two ‘E’s by simple flip, especially an ‘E’ drawn nearly specifically as ‘E’, with artsy flourishes as opposed to pure, bland art-less line segments, suggested the possibility of two rooms with the idea of possibly four rooms, left with freedom to move, with the options of adding a small bit of wall, or a door, or both, with a hallway, and maybe more, or however you want to work it.
The deals keep on coming, but the geometric conclusion was EH was a symbol of architecture, human based architecture, at least humanic, based on sound, and based on rectangles, angles, lines, what-have-you. Vision. Wrecked angles bent out of shape by the big bang? A win for entropy? A lesson in bending? Hard to say precisely, as it was all imaginary, but one had to say something.
Well, I don’t have to.
I am well trained.
The same was eventually concluded about ‘A’, at least similarly concluded, that it was a symbol of architecture, but not humanic, considering the triangle and the open polygonic base. Or was the ‘A’ humanic and ‘EH’ not? Or was one not a symbol of architecture? Obviously the six faced cubic room, a re-arranged hexagon, with an element of fluctuating rectangle-ness, was married to human, as fixed hexagonal shape married to the bee. Was ‘A’ for ART, misknown as ARK? Or was one a symbol and the other a signal, adding up to notion? The notion that dropping ART into the middle of EH gave you EARTH. Try telling that to a cave man.
NO NO NO, you do not color the bison’s eyes orange. MORON!
It was all shipped off to Mulligan’s for review in their Department of Electro-magnetic Mirroring, where they also studied electric arts, er, arcs. As previously noted, classified stuff, and they’re starting to wonder about loose lips.
Hmm. I got nothin’ about that.
Are you thinking alligators yacking, maybe?
If Danny ever got his hands on their secrets no doubt they’d find a home in S.T.P.&I.
“Alpha bytes,” said Danny, at the last brain storming he would attend with Grace. OH, mercy.
“What about alphabets?” asked Grace.
“Is that what you said?” asked Hjalmar, he of 20/20 hearing. “I heard bytes.”
“Not bets,” said Danny. “There is no gamble to it. It’s all probability. Decidedly.”
Grace knew how Danny thought, which is to say she didn’t have a clue, but she should have expected this was how he would respond to the task at hand, dieting. She heated up and down quickly, and stowed a rant. But, OH, something was pivoting, slipping towards motion. More more more motion, to be sure. “And this ties into dieting how?” she asked, calmly, calmly about to go bang. “Are alpha bytes something to eat?”
Absolutely, easily found in the serial I’LLLLL next to Surreally-OHHHHH’s. Shouldn’t OH have it’s own alphabetic symbol? Scratch that. What about HO? And Ha and he and hi and who? HEY! Funny, I once won a donut for inventing OY, and OI, using a symbol close to pi to represent them, although it wasn’t intentional. Just tried to think up a shape that looked alphabetical. OY and OI were intentional, however.
“No sirrree, Ma’am,” said Danny. “They’re more likely to eat you.”
“Ouch,” said Hjalmar.
“So we’re talking fat burning,” Grace concluded, in a rush, with her thinking all over the place, trying to catch up. OH, dear. “You do realize we’re not interested in the nuts and bolts of weight loss?” Truly, she was ultimately into sleep loss, as in not losing it, especially not over fascist pigs and gimme pigs and then those flying monkeys symbolizing the soon to be super popular Pee Party.
“How are you not thinking of thinking?” asked Hjalmar. “I got it right away.”
That was pretty low. Grace could think orbits around Hjalmar when it came to thinking. At this point she would generally nail Hjalmar to the ceiling to keep him out of her way, but she was absolutely flummoxed, and appalled that there he was ahead of her, out of reach of her hammer.
“Duh,” said Danny jovially. “It’s ALL about thinking, Gracie. Intelligently.”
It is sometimes helpful to speak intelligently, too. It’s all fun and games until someone mis-uses an I.
“KA-FUCK!!? Don’t you EVER call me GRACIE,” said Gracie, a byte testily. So testily that the waves of anger emanating from her challenged the structural integrity of her coffee cup, and won. Crack. Snap. Pop.
“Whoa, whoa, calm down,” said Hjalmar, not at all calming.
“You, shut up,” she said. “Go get something to wipe up this coffee.”
“Dr. Pobbible,” said Danny, sensing formality was the only answer. “Can intelligence be artificial? Is it ever not artificial?”
“That’s not what that means.” Still, if anyone didn’t think intelligence could be artificial, it was Grace Pobbible.
“Right, soulless machines and soulless information will somehow come alive and think on it’s own. Thinking soullessly, if solely,” said Danny, nearly echoing how Grace thought about it. AI would only seem intelligent compared to deboned, or boned, humanity, slumming around in place loving itself for how smart it is in delegating life to metal, plastic and latex. Meanwhile hungry and abandoned dogs are eating comatose, deboned, useless bodies with their deboned heads stuck up the butts of flying monkeys, or stuck up the butt crack of virtual reality head-wear. Gotta get more girls into gaming, quick.
Maybe that’s simply a responsible clean-up plan. I am not on the outs with any dogs that don’t bark all night. That’s really an owner issue, anyway.
Sorry about the dogs, but you do realize they’re getting a taste for your flavor. It’s not them, it’s you. And if not you, the neighbor, anyone on the other side of the fence. Live atop a skyscraper, maybe they won’t get up to your floor.
Maybe they won’t eat someone with the taste of friend. That I could live with, with cats for protection, to clue me to when a dog is coming.
Meow meow meow.
“What’s that, girl? There’s a hungry dog coming up the elevator?”
“Do you have a point?” asked Grace.
“That’s my business,” said Danny. “For the record, yes.”
The Alpha byte? The key to unlocking accurate wording, and thus, accurate information? Wholly hell if it gets loose, out of hand of those who think they can handle it, thinking they can make it lie on their behalf forever, thinking intelligence, like GOD, isn’t as smart as them. The great and powerful ooze of idiocy that wouldn’t dream of advertising junk food for a dog. Them, that is, at least for now.
The your a peon’s, who saw . . . OH, what’s the point.
Danny stared at her with a look of defiance.
“Please, spare me your initialing.”
“Speed,” said Danny.
“Your one word answers are just as bad,” said Grace. “You want to hear my one word answer to everything? FIRED!”
“Fired?” asked Hjalmar. “I don’t get it. Do you get it, Danny?”
“You, too,” she said, laying down some orbital thinking on the boy.
It seemed Gracie had a kill switch, a kill word, and that was Gracie. Maybe it was just the letter ‘I’ making Grace Gracie, and unpalatable. Sort of commercial sounding for someone with moral stamina.
Say goodnight, Gracie.
Anger entropy was at work on her, frying brain cells, and fast, until she couldn’t think straight. Oh, yes, entropy has it’s many many ways, and bytes, of getting things dead.
Machine joy forever!!! Viva la loving, lovable muck a’ fucks packaging entropy and hate in near palatable doses.
Is that rude?
(muck a’ fucks is not Klingon, either, but it does cling.) ooh, you got some on your shoe.
With the human long in the forefront on the micro entropy battleground, with the beasts of prey, the lords and looters, the wanna-be-again belly crawlers championing machines to do their work, that work trying to fight down the uprights who were always fighting themselves for command of the great and terrible entropy snake, which did not exist, nor exist as a steady and reliable force of the continuum of nothingnesses – mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, colon, glory hole, eeew! – eeeew!! – wrapped within matter digesting and breaking down, and braking, and changing the masses of reality to enrich dirt and remove obstacles and pave the way for perpetual motion to perpetuate more freely.
Wait, that was supposed to become a question. Where’d it go?
Digested and disposed of ever so neatly.
But not neatly enough.
The question was the Source, Point, Emphasis, Elements and Direction of breakage, the brake age, and change. All those things are debatable, but with a little fudging the first letters do add up to speed, and why such a quest for faster and faster breaking down, etc? It didn’t seem any of the big competitors were in any hurry, apart from an urge to consume and respond. From where was the hurry coming?
It was Danny who saw that the hurry issue was a carrot, and maybe not following it, while begging the question of where did the carrot lead – be damned with the chicken egg question of what came first. Big Mom does not like you best, win or lose, nor whomever comes in first atop the biggest, tallest pile or left last within the biggest, deepest pit. And she’s beginning to wave that carrot in such a way as to suggest where she’s about to shove it.
OH, look at the time.
Is something not about to happen?
Not? Not ever possible?
Say goodnight, Gracie. Keep it up and sleep tight.
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