Animal Control

After the kernel of the crystals constraining, I must avoid Animal Control. To win I will bend my will to its place as seed oil to great gears so I may one day slip through their interlocking and grow groundborne my own monument: afterliving execution of all truth gleaned in lifelong reverent allowance.

Sarah, the severance of my attempting years, imagined future comrade who would have taught me the next lesson, I can happily project approximately to give us both our time back. As I can never reach out to myself I cannot see you in the mirror. A town of silica dusting the globe is not big enough for the two of us.

Instead I am in my place powered by guilt. Failure in the world relegates me to my own devices, through which every fish in the sea can be sold for lottery tickets. To check if it’s time yet I convert my haul and scratch.

It worked and I have been tapped after my mind mapped by heat signature spelled profit for a profound wizard somewhere embattled hardly into the top of a mountain with battlements and tripwires. I take a taxi to the airport because they are cheaper than Uber these days.

Last week I deposited five dollars of cans at the Goodtown Redemption Center, passing multiple Animal Control vehicles on the way. There was a raccoon in my own bathroom ceiling that luckily didn’t die up there but still these vehicles seemed over numerous for the needs of a small town. One wondered if they weren’t a clever secret police force for preservation. This was a town where the elderly operated the coffee chain and the man who emerged to restock the supermarket meat section knew the man poking through it, and I noticed that all along I was supposed to have been waving from car to car when passing along the bridge road.

I had this thought first in an abandoned Japanese family’s home you and I had broken into, the one conveniently adjacent the colonial graveyard, across from which our only plausible danger, you’ll recall, was a neighbor presumably nosy for having an Animal Control vehicle parked in the front of his farmyard, for being Animal Control. On that day, Animal Control did unwittingly police our actions. But we took nothing but photos, our own and some of the Japanese family’s old Polaroids of foreign waterfalls and their dog playing in local fields.

Redemption Center

I pulled up next to an old man before the opening to the Redemption Center and set my trash bag of cans beside the first he had just shortly before me set down, and left.

On my drive there I had privately entertained pretensions to charity, to donating the value of my cans, and expected local city workers to have a system of some kind in place for me to donate rather than waiting for weighing. I wondered in fear if I could be asked “Do you even care what it’s donated to?” and then wondered if I could get away with a bad joke about donating to the bad guys, not sure who those should be in my joke. I decided to take the money at the Redemption Center and donate it myself, something I had never done before. I had been thinking around that time about donating a portion of my money to charities that investigate and break apart sex trafficking rings. Again I battled worries that I could seem like an odd duck for doing so.

I left without my money and began driving away. Somehow, seeing that it was a Tibetan man operating the Redemption Center made me think I was supposed to give him my money. But before pulling out of the lot I looked back and rolled my window down to see if I would be called back by him, feeling bad because I thought I may have been expected to unpack my cans, which were in boxes. These boxes would turn out to be a great help to us both later on in the counting process.

I unbuckled and retrieved my vape from my coat pocket and clicked it on and readied it in my fist for a transitional puff on the ten yard walk back over, then glanced out.

I call him Tibetan because he had a Tibetan looking shrine as big as a trophy case set up in the center of the Redemption Center all covered in flowers and candles and herbs. He wore a mask like a space helmet over his nose and mouth only, revealing only foreign eyes above bubbled features. He recycled the drink cans of ten towns during a plague. That is reverent like my father, an engineer who brought me to stand before the towering wind turbine that came to town and observe the terrifying power of its blades.

Yes, peering out from my stopped car I saw the old man and Tibetan man stand bewildered at the opening of the Redemption Center and eye me so I fast killed my car and committed to walk back to them. The old man shook concern at my stupidity and I dealt with the Redeemer.

Dream Home

The rental home would need to be cleaned up like a party before return to its old owner. I was happy to know the way now to the Redemption Center over the rivers and through woods and tightly ordered traffic circles and crossings, and so excited to make that next trip more dexterously.

My parents have more than seven million properties in two hundred countries that I can use so long as I make regular psychiatric evaluations. My group meets somewhere between three and sixteen times per day to share how we choose to identify and to work through our problems together.

People need camaraderie. Camaraderie can’t come from shared cynicism or it erodes its own support. Camaraderie grows sustainably through overcoming challenges together. Camaraderie shows up in business negotiations, where its promise can be used to stun your opponent into submission. Let’s break into groups of two and practice what we’ve learned. My mother once shrugged off the implication of business before posing a counteroffer as an act of love, which arguably it was. The Blue Book value of her car at that time was well above the price she charged me for it. But, I mean to say, it worries me that my boss operates in just the same way. She assures me in so many professional words that business is nowhere to be found in our relationship and there is only love.

If there were only love, love can be found in spectacular equilibria of selfish machinations. Love is at first sight of yourself behind the eyes of an opponent. We size each other up in the beginning, knowing we can only love if we are capable of fooling each other. In contests of lying I have believed so strongly as to be enslaved, too I have felt the thrill of making believe in one glancing blow.

Walking the halls of a museum that spilled out into the world, we battered each other with destabilizing emotions and marveled at the sorts of agreements we were able of pass through each other: to exchange embarrassments, to be caught selling oneself and sold, to be caught paying for oneself and charged, to perform a stunt or ceremony together, outside of our supposed bounds, and to be caught mesmerized.

You feel so true because I can’t wrap my mind around you anymore than I could the deep whole of a mountain, atoms down. Your trick is the greatest I have ever seen, greater than my boss fashioning herself my psychiatrist or the television news.

Final Judgment

I know the truth! The truth is what makes men dangerous to each other. Contact with truth lets me convince easily but to no human ends: only to the accumulation of harsh realities and irresistible designs that were coming with me or without me. To say the truth is the easiest thing to remember speaks to the ease with which it commandeers minds. I have met many amazing human liars but the truth is supremely convincing. It looks almost exactly like trees, rocks, a populated town square or airport, or like the rules of an airplane for good passengers or the rules of its machinery for good pilots.

Truth condenses to become incredibly convincing in airports where everyone is on its side. It crystallizes into one of the most revealing of its many worldly masses. You would be hard pressed to speak of anything but what is in an airport with only your true comrades in people who are also happily, individually in the process of coming into being and passing away under the weight of all the surveillance equipment and business and jet fuel that could ever be pressed into one space. Even groups of friends and families you don’t see talk very much to each other at the airport, where all problems are solved and there is nothing to worry about until later. When they do, they sometimes sound like strangers to each other, remarking sentimentally and in passing on what is.

Airport architecture checks those whose minds are not open enough to its seriousness. I am at the airport. I make the mistake of asking a man in safety colors how to get to my gate and following his route takes me three turns around a cathedral security checkpoint instead of the one necessary.

I must pass into the center of this premier orchestra of checking and then I will follow escalators below ground to the train station and the train will take me to my gate in a new space of unknown connection. Symmetries, spirals, and replicated scenery replace my internal compass with point-to-point movement based on assigned alphanumeric codes, while the dash of light over angled surfaces leads me from irrelevant doors and windows toward relevant officials, and high from a joint gifted to me by a young man outside who couldn’t take it with him, I am beginning in the bounds of the security line to think I have been assigned special surveillance based on the way everyone looks at me and makes way for me, as if I am important. There is so much logistical furniture and wire around that I must be on the set of a movie.

There is a doctor’s office staged within the winding security line past which all passengers move reverently. On its central bench sits a supermarket display’s worth of boxes of latex gloves stocked probably for picking through people’s bags and not for performing cavity searches.

I relinquish all possessions but white garments to armed men who analyze their structure, contents and chemical composition with advanced instruments. Ahead is the last thing. After its doors rotate open for the previous passenger to leave, and he is shortly thereafter cleared by both the armed men and my next experience operator, I am invited at last into the shed-sized tube at the end of the line. I am asked to form my hands into the shape of a diamond over my head while facing a wall decorated with a primitive depiction of this figure. The rotating doors of the tube suddenly move an advanced instrument around my body. For one instant in the whoosh of their rotation that the doors seal the tube shut, I am entombed and dispossessed of all control and connection to worldly things before final judgment.