Paradise Journal: A Man’s Life

“At this point, I have basically no chance of living a man’s life.”

“Leave out my cereal and newspaper; I’ll get to them after finishing in the garden.”

“The garden is my space. I feel like it loves me as I love it. In lots of little ways.”

“There is always a possibility one might reemerge from the folds of what one has become. That is rebirth. We should always hope for it, but I don’t know if I can say that I have ever seen it.”

“I am an emigre of sorts–life’s emigre–an emigre from life.”

“There nothing other than this. Nothing but to keep your mind busy. Fourteen. Doubles.”

“Keep your mind upon this space. Never give in to wish-I-would or what-elseness.”

“The day is a beauty. Night is beauty in relapse.”

“I wish I had gotten more doses. There won’t be enough for the weekend.”

“Never forget that God made you, loves you and wants for you to be happy.”

“It works for me. It has always worked for me. Really, I have nothing for cause to complain.”

“4 a.m., and still the cat–the cat. I put him out but he finds his way back in somehow. Or wails outside.”

“From here, these sands seem to go on forever—but really it is less than half a mile to the sea.”

“Romas, heirlooms, cherry, glorys, kumato. Plus some other kinds I found and put in. It’ll be a surprise.”

“There really are some chances here of stepping this coding up to another level. Making it adaptive. Real learning. Then you wouldn’t need human tweaking, human involvement at all.”

“Whenever I try to get closer, you withdraw.”

“I want to know who you are, for who you really are. Why is that such a crime?”

“Let’s begin with the lighter one. This is older. It will fetch a better price, I think.”

“I have always had the greatest respect for experts on tapestries. So much to learn.”

“I keep trying to become visible, but it seems like they won’t let me. I have to wonder if it’s a sign of an internal flaw–or a subtle oppression.”

“I suppose it’s fine if we all become the same. At least, I see no harm on it.”

“I keep getting lots of responses, but it’s usually only when I post about food.”

“Artisanal chocolates, Moroccan raisins, kefir-infused tapenade.”

***

“I suppose I sought my revenge on you by trying to have you near me. By being so exclusionary.”

“Endive, parsnip, kale–you’d be surprised how much they bring up the flavor in soup, but also as a smoothie!”

“Everything is words, words, words. I wish they could just make everything simpler. So you couldn’t mess up even if you tried.”

“It’s a libertarian suggestion–so I think that means it comes from England.”

“Knit one, perl two—isn’t that how it goes? Oh, look, now it’s tangled. I’ll never get this down.”

***

“It felt like evil. But of course I don’t believe in evil. Unless you mean, like, exclusion.”

***

“I love all our brothers and sisters in the Rainbow as much as the next person.”

“In this place they make your sushi from behind a huge slab of glass, which is bulletproof. You can watch the robot arms working on your order. It’s all the rage. They say it’s better by taste test than any human chef.”

“I’d love to see robots make French cuisine next. Of course, they sterilize everything constantly. It’s very, very hygienic.”

***

“The Jews, the Jews! Always it’s the Jews! Who are they? What do they want? Where are they going?–And, if they are going somewhere–should we go with them?”

“Do we really have a choice in the matter?”

“Third? No, this is the fourth injection, I think. It’s gone well for me, almost no complications.”

“In a time of contagion, we no longer have the luxury of assuming the health of the individual is his own business. The health of one is the health of the whole.”

“Your son is responding beautifully. Soon he’ll make a magnificent coelacanth, or even a megalodon, if he puts in the effort. And if he wants, he someday even might become pregnant with more.”

“It’s literally racist to give birth only to the same species as you.”

“Birth should be for everyone–at least until we can replace it with something better, which we will.”

***

“Soon they say everyone will begin to transform, and then it will be clearer what we were aiming at all along.”

“Yes, I remember about love sometimes. But then I blink, blink. Then my eyes separate, contract into slits, nictate–and presto, I am back in the beautiful present moment.”

***

“Oh, I don’t use the word ‘daughter’. That implies possession, you know. We both know it’s best to avoid attachments anyway. We respect each other more for that. And in a spiritual way, I suppose I’m as much her daughter as she is mine.”

“I like to think my love for you is matched by my love for every human being on the planet. And I happen to have room in my heart for both of those. Don’t make me choose.”

“To be honest, I try to avoid any kind of attention to so-called outcomes. What matters is how much you’re discovering about yourself.”

***

“I always liked the idea that because there’s really nothing when you die, it’s all the more reason not to worry about death. Even, in a way, to embrace it.”

***

“The body is just a flowerpot–a cavity for sprouting important new forms and entities. And the mind is the same way. That is why we have to have full access to them both.”

“No, no, I never said I wasn’t a carrier of injustice. Because I know we have to atone. I am completely on board with that.”

“I know that struggle is necessary, and healthy. I know it’s a part of growth. I just wish sometimes that it wasn’t always so personal.”

“You can order all the ingredients online. You prepare it in a single, specially designed pot. There’s really no reason to even leave your home.”

“Please remain in your homes and await further instructions. There is no reason for concern.”

“I guess I admit that even I have had my doubts. That’s why it’s so good to report these things. It really takes a load off. You’ll see.”

***

“Now and then I keep falling into the old ways. Like yesterday I said ‘him’.”

“We are Angel. We name is Angel. We come [garbled] you to punish, punish, punish.” 

“Punish the past, right a wrong. That’s the rhythm we want—the justice-rhythm. Our war is just begun.”

“These parts used to be part of me. They were ‘mine’. Now they aren’t mine–they just float around until they become part of the sky, part of the air, part of the Everyone.” 

“I tell you, I never felt so liberated.”

***

“I used to have a name–I think. But what a good thing I can’t remember it! It’s really a load off my mind, and it keeps me from thinking I’m too special.”

“I’m tired all the time now. There’s nothing happier than sitting. That’s my profession, now: I sit.”

***

“They say it’s like an apartment complex where we’ll bond and create additional community resources. So I wouldn’t worry about going.”

***

“He comes around every few days. Like a big shadow that comes and bangs on the doors to our rooms. Sometimes he stops at one, as if he’s smelling it out, savoring. Then he moves on.”

“After the sessions, it always smells like sulfur, ozone and dead cats.”

“Remember that other one who came in a while ago, the nymphomaniac with the green skin, azure hair, enlarged anime eyes, gills on the wrists? Well, they say she was vacated last week.”

“I wonder who they’ll take next? As long as they let me keep my implants, honey, I’m game for anything.”

***

“There is a little corner of my room that, in the mornings, gets a small shaft of sunlight for a few minutes. I like to put my hand in it, feel the warmth. That light is so strange. I decided not to tell anyone about it, since it makes me feel guilty and I don’t want it to seem like I’m hoarding or get in trouble.”

***

“I saw back behind the wall for a few seconds before they wheeled me to the other session. I saw that they were eating people. Still alive. Some still moving as they were eaten. You’ve never seen such smiling in all your life.”

“It was like those contests where they used to eat watermelon. Everything about it was so—joyous. Such belonging. Real communion.”

“Body parts are a necessary ingredient for the New Man. You can’t seriously expect to create the New Man if he doesn’t have a body, can you?”

“I sometimes get the weird feeling I should pray—but what for? And what to? I have no idea—maybe once I knew.”

“Maybe I’ll just pray to the lunch-cart, since it brings good things. Don’t tell anyone.”

“They have me lined up for another session this Tuesday.”

“I can’t remember ever being happier.”

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