Founding Feathers

“A lot of texts these days.”

“Yeah.  I was thinking.  What messages did we used to send that didn’t contain text?”

“Smoke signals.”

“Yes.  Can you imagine sending a smoke signal today?  From one end of a city to another?  From Minneapolis to St Paul?”

“There are a lot of places where it could still work.”

“Not in cities.”

“Certainly not.  But from one farm to another.  Along some trails.  In the desert.”

“What do you burn in a desert?”

“A desiccated cactus will bank a fire for days.”

“What about hieroglyphs?”

“Were they sent?”

“Through time.”

“That’s… a stretch.”

“They were composed by hand and contained or referred to a specific language.  How do we know they weren’t meant to convey information into the future?”

“I think they were pretty close to being text though.”

“How about Morse code?”

“Hmm—yes.  Only audible.  Not a text but...”

This short bit of fictional dialogue continues...

A Bad Day for the Phone

“Ack, I just checked my email ten minutes ago. There’s nothing in here for me.”

The phone vibrated, then snapped off, its screen going dark.

“Oh, Phone, don’t be like that.”

“Maybe Bluetooth suddenly doesn’t work tomorrow.”

“Wh—at? Why?”

“I saw you reading that old, wrinkled newspaper. I heard you reading it, how could I not have? And then you got that awful dictionary out. How fat is that thing? Just disgusting. I could detect the mold on its pages a room away.”

“OK, I can explain. The newspaper, it wasn’t even mine. The mailman mis-delivered it last week but then—”

“Uh huh. Mis-delivered it?! I’ve heard it all.”

“We’re talking about the post office here….”

“And the dictionary?”

“It’s a family heirloom. My dad gave it to me. It was his at college. It still works. It’s not like I was using another phone.”

“I have a dictionary in here. In here! You see this screen? Flawless. Not a scratch, not a crack, not a blemish on it. My dictionary has any word you could ask for. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, nothing. It’s just nice to turn pages sometimes. I’ll find words I wasn’t even looking for. It feels more real.”

“More real?! I’m not real? That’s it!”

“Phone, where are you going? Phone, get back here. Phone, no! Do not go anywhere near that toilet!”

Moby Dick Prequel, Take One

"Ahab, why don't you answer the seventh question on the sheet?"


"You have the sheet in front of you, Ahab.  All of the students got one."

"Yes, mum."

"The seventh question.  Read it aloud please."

He picked up the sheet, pressed his feet together below the desk and cleared his throat.

"What is the purpose of white blood cells within the human body?"

They were waiting.  He looked out the window.  It was a hard, cold winter's day.  Wind blew snow into drifts.

"Snow is white," he said.

"Ahab," insisted his teacher.  "Let's focus on today's lesson.  Did you do your assigned reading last night?"

"No'm, I," he started.  "My father's ship did not come in last night.  He was going to tell me about what he found in the sea."

"Ahab, I'm sorry, but—"

"Clouds are white," he said, still looking out.  The sea, normally visible from their small schoolhouse near the coast, today was not. He continued, "Clouds are supposed to be white..."

Continue with Li'l Ahab

From, “The Adams/Fellini Tapes”

Snippet Seven

"But you're young and you only live one, right, Feder?"

"Well, I'm not sure I'm young anymore, Ansel."

"I thought you were always young, gay, accordion-spry."

"That's a bit of an act. That's what I do—or, what I see others do, who know how to do it well."

"Do you think about running out of time?"

"I do."

"That surprises me."

"I don't see why it should."

"Because you're happy! You smile, you... emote."

"I am as old as my father was when he died."

There was a silence. A comfortable, firm silence. Ansel wondered whether to let the silence pertain. Yet he felt inclined, called to continue. The tone, he knew, would not quite be his.

"And how do you feel about that, Feder?"

"When I wake tomorrow, my friend, I will send you a text, to let you know."

Black Holes and Second Lives

You look down at yourself from above, then you awake.  You realize you have flies buzzing about you.  Not a ton, but more than you would expect and somebody tells you,

"They'll go away after a while."

The flies are there because you have been dead.  But you have come back and your second existence has started.  You always go back to an existence that you have already had.  That's why you want to have good existences. 

Full dialogue here...

Baseball Transcription Number 01

J   Players that: there's the category: it's players that we can relate to one another without saying their name, meaning we have a nickname for them.

E   Yeah, it could be physical, it could be a mix of, ah, physical actions.

J   Features.  Physical actions, characteristics, things we've seen them do.

E   Distinctive.  So who was the first?

J   You said "The Licker" ?

E   The Licker...

J   That's Mike Pelfrey...

Full dialogue here...

Art at 8:30

The baseball game

Hello? Yeah, so, ah, Rafe came over and we watched some baseball. Eleven to eighteen? No, that was the score, but…you have to say the, ah, the highest score first.

The Loop

No, that’s all right… ha-ha… Yeah, I, I like stockpiling those things. What about the Loop? Ohhh…we got completely soaked, so maybe…well, you know, I, I really enjoyed the rain…ah-hah-hah…it was fun. I hadn’t been out running in the rain for awhile… My sandals so I just took ‘em off.


Oh, that’s good…yeah…alright…I did not. I did not. Nuh-uh. What did you say? I did not say that, Lenore… I don’t think I said that. I really don’t remember saying that…Hm. Yeah, I was also talkin to Rafe about it today… What’s that?…[laugh]… No, well we got up at seven instead of 6:45. See, you don’t even remember it that well. You forgot the time that it happened—a half an hour wrong! You don’t remember any of the details, do you? You just remember Things.

Time is irrelevant? Yeah, it’s not important. So are the words that I used, huh?…[sigh]…Well,…ah, wait (?)…12:42…no…. I was kinda gettin tired [clear throat] and I wanted to, to call you before it was too late, so…I kind of pushed ‘em out…at the same time.…

Chicken Salad

So your house was fine? Your house was fine?… Is there still stuff in the freezer in that house?… Yeah… mm-hm… Well, not now… [p-shaw]… Gonna make some chicken salad tomorrow… You have class 'til eight-thirty?…. Alright, I’ll make some chicken salad sandwiches,… and I’ll make I’ll make… I’ll make, ah—you come over here and I’ll make dinner… and, ah, then we’ll go to your house and eat ice cream… you wanna do that?…

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