A long layover in Dallas gave me time to write this longish short story, which has elements of pulp fiction in it. I have long loved Dashiell Hammett, and his influence is clear here. The link to a PDF is below.
The only really horrifying space in this universe is the empty chasm between you and me and you and me and you and you and you.
The disconnect, that empty yaw, the mouth of otherness with its ragged nasty teeth—
Ponder that and you’ll swirl down the cosmic terlet,
Hopeless and incommunicado,
Sure that the energy can’t jump from nerve to nerve,
we, staring over the synapse at the other tender receptors of life and energy and
in need of drayage,
in need of clean, effective transportation from mind to mind,
Special Delivery via sledge, text, Leonardo drawing, a good fuck, S.O.S., holy tablets, love song, tattoo, bumper sticker, crying jag, skywriting, snail mail, scowl or blog.
Transportation is the key, transportation of ideas,
Transportation the miracle,
And yet we celebrate the deliverymen, and celebrate the messages, when the marvel is, always, the bridging of the chasm,
by Dylan’s heartache and anger,
Johnny Rotten’s politics,
Whitman’s euphoria (Ray).
We celebrate the packet of data that leaps, infrared, from human device to human device,
the warmth of acceptance, the cold of rejection,
the “universality” of “The Scream,” the acceptable mystery of “Mona Lisa,”
the shadings of blue to both the color blind and the hyper-aware and well-seeing,
the United States Constitution,
when the marvel is
that the message was delivered at all.
transporting messages as realistic and true as a plastic flower,
suggesting the experience, but not capturing it,
(our individual imagination doing all the really heavy lifting)
And yet we shower them with gifts and fame (uncomprehending, not examining),
ignoring the mystery of the fundamental synapse separating us all.
And the businessmen—don’t even get me started.
As relevant to the essential experience as a bootleg t-shirt vendor set up 50 yards outside of the arena 30 minutes before SHOWTIME.
Those fools interested in bridging the synapse only enough to make the next tender receptor BUY.
They study the drayage, they measure the synapse, with unclean intent.
But that’s where the money is, and that’s undoubtedly from whence the breakthrough will come.
Ready yourselves, people! Prepare, deliverymen!
We must hijack this new transportation model before the bootleg T-shirt vendors monopolize the method to sell consumerist crack!
To arms! To pens! To your computers, your paint brushes, your pianos!
The synapse, its mysteries, belongs to the artists.
Drayage, the transportation of ideas, cannot be trusted to anyone else.