Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #017 – Pre-Tend

Let us pretend the story has ended. We were always good at that, pretend. Not that it was a bad thing. The greatest fictions were born from it. People use it to stay sane. People with authority and influence have no choice but to rely on it. But respect and success stem from fruitful pretension, like stars aligning, like calling a bet and staking your life and dignity on the results of that bet. Perhaps the noblest honesty demands that we acknowledge these layers of pretension we sheathe ourselves in. Perhaps self-reflection, and, dare I say it, metaphysical-and-fictional conceits seek not self-aggrandizement but a portrayal of anguish, which has its roots in the one source we’re sure we’re most familiar with: ourselves. Perhaps we shoehorn meaning into wherever there is none. Perhaps we hide behind dense layers of text in desperate acts of self-censorship. It’s all a marketing ploy and these towering billboards are symptomatic of collective, global insecurity.

Let us pretend that all this has anything to do with anything, much less this story. Let us pretend for the sake of pretend, for the sake of love, for the sake of the stars, for no sake at all. Let us pretend that everything has a reason, that all things came from matter, that when you leave, you will never be lost. Let us pretend the memory of you can be measured in fractions of a gram. Let us pretend that the end of all stories means the beginning of another. The law of conservation of energy and motives and ideas and feelings and meanings and life and everything states that: Let us pretend and never stop pretending.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #016 – How To Make a List

1.

Don’t worry about anything. Have a cuppa. Have a smoke. Have a spoonful. Thank the sun. Thank the moon in case you forget. Have another cuppa. Try not to collapse. You’re doing great! Make the bed. Your last one broke. Wonder if you’re too fat. Wish you had a full length mirror. Eat a hearty breakfast. Is bacon hearty? Who the fuck cares? Lick your plate to save on dish soap. Dress for work. It’s a Saturday. Don’t dress down; you go to work in your worst clothes anyway. Step outside and feel the sea breeze. You’re in the city, but all air molecules must’ve been sea breeze at one point. Shutter your windows. Toil on your life’s work. Toil on your life’s work? Toil on your quarter life’s work. Toil on any kind of work. Just, toil. Have one more cuppa. Feel good about yourself. Check social media. Feel terrible about yourself. Realize you require actual social interaction. Get out and pretend to buy milk. Realize you really do need milk. Forget what for. Forget what for. Forget what for. Convince yourself it’s for the waffles. Do waffles need milk? Inconsequential. Tip the cashier. No one tips in this country. There’s a tip for you. Say hi to passersby, regardless of species. Try not to get arrested. Don’t sweat too much. Fail miserably. Meet the girl of your dreams. Laugh out of despair. Double lock the front gate. Triple lock your front door. Your neighbors are nice people, you imagine. Wonder what they must look like. Trust no one. Fail miserably. Enter your safety zone. Type a few words. Relish every second of your life. Lay down feeling ambiguous. Masturbate in the dark. Sleep in your own fluids; you’re gonna need a bath eventually. Try again tomorrow.

2.

On second thought, make a list.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #015 – Your Body Is Wonderland

I have, through no fault of my own, found myself inadvertently stranded on your body. My endless meandering had caused me to crash land on a sector of timespace inhabited by your right foot.

I never had a thing for feet. From atop your cuneiform mounds, I could see hints of centuries of jam encrusted in between your toes. I trudged over flesh, careful not to slip into any of your pores.

Up your ankle I traveled. Your shin was a long stretch that was the epitome of the term, “legs for days”.

I walked the tightrope of your tibia, endless pits of space on either side.

I rounded your kneecap, clinging to skin for dear life. Try as you might to hide your scars, they show themselves, plain as day, when one comes as close as I have.

The ground got soft around your thighs. I blushed as I looked onward.

I took a right at your hipbone, and edged as close to your navel as safety permitted. I gazed not long, for fear of it gazing back.

The rise to your chest was a slow upwards incline. I felt every swell of your every breath, and every rib passed meant I was closer to traversing the great valley.

Twin shrines loomed on either peak. Thunderous explosions resonated from deep under your skin, where streams of molten red sloshed. I thought to rest here, for all eternity, jokingly.

I exited the valley and arrived at a crossroads. Should I go out on a limb? Or should I go on ahead? My capacity for puns should be lauded.

I decide to scale the monumental escarpment of your jaw, as if attempting to breach heaven. I ascend onto your chin and kiss the ground every hundred steps. I caress your chapped lips. Space isn’t good for your skin, honey.

I steered clear of your nose, for it blows. And sucks. Either is a danger.

Your eyes made one full blink per day. Watching every movement of your eyelid was like staring at a sunset. First, dusk, greeted by the midnight of shut eyes. I set off once more, as dawn broke.

Reaching your hair that flowed nearly in every direction deep into space, I hopped onto a random strand and slid up, up, and away. The image of you shrunk, till you were nothing but a pale dot, a mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #014 – A Space Odyssey

According to the book of the history of the universe, all the molecules that comprise you once belonged to an extinct race of warrior-scientists. Which parts of your body correspond to which sects of the warrior-scientist hierarchy are still undergoing extensive research but we may get results between now and the next Big Bang. This information is tangential. Space small talk. It gets really lonely out here. But it isn’t without purpose. It illustrates what the vibrations have been saying all along: We are made of star stuff and star thingamajiggies and Ziggies and star what-have-yous.

Warp space is among us. Our souls are spaghettifying, face first. Don’t forget what we came for. You’re a starsurfer without a destination. Evolution in the mud. A table for sixty. You are a banner beginning the dance. A knife that cuts through lies. Thirty two pesos and twelve centavos. The severance package. A symphony’s third movement. You are a hunger playlist, progressive metal sex, Afternoon Delight, oranges in space, electromagnetic moaning. The bears are coming home. Snatch the skytrees. Whistle for crabs. We’re having sushi tonight. You are a whatty who who calypso barely fragmentation summer set jewel speckled flight rays haptic spinster pigment jumble hokey bullets bring a ding down to bounty docks you dino flybait hippie ziggo speakerhappy fools jiving ho to gang bang plank thesaurus rex oedip-pokey eyes steampunk quantum physex one plus one plus one is naturally manufactured to break the rule set a pool jet stop the damn diggy peter patta po switch back the line and tell them all that I’m just fine. I’m just fine.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #013 – T-9 Minutes and Counting, We Have Liftoff

How would one think to begin if not by returning to the point of origin? Walk backwards, my love—follow my echoes ‘cross this milky expanse, trust that I broadcast for as long as I live and later, all will know that light is but another speed limit. How could we hope to navigate space wielding naught but passion and a pen? I will hold my breath and fold into you a hundred times plus three—only then will our atoms embrace the universe.

The lowest key on the grand piano of my childhood was an A—a deep sub-contra-octave, shaking the earth beneath firmly planted feet. I recall the density of those vibrations—the low A, a singularity that startled primordial waters, upon whose ripples rode the remnants of our collision, the wobbling cosmic swell that birthed the universe’s glimmering, fingerprint-dappled ebony, reflecting starlit eyes long dead. Those prints remain, proof of our entanglement across impossible spacetimes. Witness me whence you wait, and fall, will I, yes, fall, whenever you will, for floating is a fatal misnomer. Bodies always fall—for, toward, or past one another, for better or for worse—some achieve stable orbits while others are drawn too harshly to save themselves from collision—all pulled by the relative gravity of their own desperation. And yet there are others whose fields are too weak to pull anything in, so they fall without bearing, tugging at the hems of the fabric of the cosmos.

Are you ready? The launch parameters are undecided. Smack the monitor once or twice to restore visibility. The stabilizers were functional last time I checked—Are you ready? We will be stepping—no, swimming—or rather, pulled by our scruffs upward—or not, because there is no “up” in space—only away—but where to? And who is doing the pulling? Are you ready? The Earth has us fettered by our feet but the cuffs binding our affections to the stars are stronger. Are you ready? Let’s wing it.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #012 – The Oldest Game – Part 2

“The flaming mass lowers itself, ever so slowly, onto the face of Sandugo,” William chants. “All that is held together by the forces that drive life is torn apart by the intense heat and crushing impact. The lambalat progenitors, who sought to conquer land, perish before they even learn to stand upright. I have won.”

Benito eyes the meteor card with intensity, fully acknowledging death, and facing it head on. “The game isn’t over yet.”

“How is it not over? I have obliterated the planet. Chunks of molten rock are careening into space as we speak. There is no primordial soup from which to begin. There is no single piece of land present in any of our fields that could house your forces of connection. I have expelled a significant quantity of matter from these coordinates. I have let things run their course, as should be. You’d need a miracle in this godless universe.”

“I could wait.”

“What?”

“I could just sit here and wait, and so long as I don’t take my next turn, I will never lose. Life does not hurry, Will, nor do the forces that bond.”

“So that’s it? You’re just going to wallow. You couldn’t turn things around, so you’re just going to suspend this moment, your moment of utter defeat, and bask in nothing but emptiness for all time?” William dropped his remaining cards onto the table, stood up, and began to walk away. Benito called him out before he could exit the game space.

“Or—I could harness the forces that drive entropy for my own ends.” This statement made William stop in his tracks and turn around. Benito chose a card from his hand and showed it to William. It was unmistakable, that etching. But what use would he have for it, William thought.

“Go ahead, draw from the discard pile. The last card used was the Meteor. Willing to damage yourself further, I see. It’s fruitless.”

“You mentioned that you had sent chunks careening into space.” Benito brandishes the Meteor card. “Every chunk will fly for as long as it needs, but one day, every single one will collide with a newly formed planet, not enough to destroy it.” William looks at Benito in utter horror. “Yes, Will. I have used your own forces against you. These innumerable meteors carry traces of organic acids and will introduce them to the innumerable new planets. Moons will form that churn the seas. Life will rise, a trillionfold. Not enough cards of this game exist that could possibly turn it around for you, I’m afraid.”

William dropped to his knees. Benito dropped his remaining cards onto the table as well and walked over to where his opponent knelt, and offered his hand. “Come, let us be free of this place.” Hesitantly, William took it. And so, together, they walked out of Deep Space, the Astral Door closing in behind them.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #011 – The Oldest Game – Part 1

First card draw. Benito speaks: “Sandugo is as new worlds come: burning,  hostile. It is the center of the universe it knows. Stars have yet to come into existence, and thus, daylight is a concept equal parts alien and unfathomable. It is its own heat source. Millennia pass and the land cools. The seas are hotblood. The first organic acids bond. I am the force that drives life, the grand connection.” Benito brings out a card from his hand of five, and slams it onto the once-empty playing field.

William smirks. “I’d expect nothing other than an easy play from the reigning—or should I say soon-to-be-ex-champion. You forgot to coat your precious cell in lipids.” He lays a card onto his field. “The wild, hot seas prevent your connection from solidifying. High speed non-organic materials tear your acids apart. I am the force that drives entropy, the cosmos’ suicidal will. This match is merely a formality, Ben. I have foreseen every possible outcome; all of which end in your demise. The quanta are against you.”

Benito looks off to the side. “I have already made my move,” he said, noncommittally. William’s eyes widen as he checks Benito’s field. A new card lays right beside his first move. Benito speaks: “The sea’s hatred is a catalyst. The acids form a dynamic corpus that evades all turbulence thrown at it. The force that drives entropy loses a turn.”

William scoffs. “Of course you’d make that move. You surprise me by not surprising me. Go on with your turn, then.”

Another card is placed. “I evolve into a lambalat progenitor, uni-legged pioneer of the diaspora, venturer into scorching land, the next frontier.”

“There we go. Welcome to my domain, Ben.” William holds up a card for his opponent to see. Benito blinks twice. On the card, a picture of a meteor was etched.

[TO BE CONTINUED]

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