BY Cobalt

12/01 Direct Link

I met up with the traveling performance group I joined. The leader of my section turned out to be Debbie Harry. Debbie! Her hair was short, and bleached blond, so I didn’t recognize her at first.

The play had a long segment in the middle about the deaths of many different children, their ghosts explaining their tragic deaths. I knew we’d have to double people in their roles, or cut some parts, so that we’d have enough actors to play the ghost children. When I counted the ghost roles, I became confused and counted the roles surgical instruments would play.

12/02 Direct Link
What I didn’t want to do was leave my favorite things behind, but there wasn’t time to grab them. Instead I had to take a bunch of things I’d recently come across, shove them into a large black garbage bag, with my ration of the food, and hope I could hold onto even that. The military men followed in our direction of retreat, and we thought we’d had them fooled until we came to an open field. They kept advancing. We had to make a decision. Down from behind the large bushes, we had to sneak across the open field.
12/03 Direct Link
I bought a CD with a pop-up book in the middle, which illustrated areas in my house. The first few pages showed places where cats were hidden. Further pages revealed dimly lit rooms and corridors hiding dark, sinister forces, complete with fires lit from Hell itself. A pop-up train blew a whistle, and roared out of a tunnel of paper flames. When we approached those areas, my friend Lysa said, “I change my mind, I don’t want to see those parts of your house.” Just beyond a doorway to the basement I saw flames, and heard a distant train whistle.
12/04 Direct Link
Inside one room, we find the prow of a speedboat. The room is well kept, brightly lit, and even the half of the boat kept inside it is clean. The doors have frosted glass inserts, with old names stenciled on them but worn down so much that they are unidentifiable. It’s a guess as to why there’s part of a boat here, which appears pretty much useless except for parts. How it was brought into the room, and the house, is unknown, and only I could answer the questions relating to it. I, who know next to nothing about boats.
12/05 Direct Link
A girl had given me an old Jesus statue, one that she had driven nails and pins into. After carrying the statue home, I soon noticed a splinter in my thumb. Actually it wasn’t a splinter, but a tiny old safety pin, blackened due to age. Worse, the safety pin had been embedded past the corner part, so that the latch was poking out, as well as the sharp end that went into it. How I had done this, I couldn’t even imagine. The more I wondered, the more it hurt, until the pain was soon a throbbing, swollen mess.
12/06 Direct Link
Back and forth through the warehouse, looking for the cute stray miniature sheepdog I had been given, that had escaped from the office and wandered away. Each corner I turned, the place seemed to have grown. The machinery section led to the greenhouse section, full of exotic plants, chain-link fences, yawning garage doors and cracks in the walls and floors. The dog could have been anywhere. He turned up in the ancient, crumbling graveyard in the back, where he was having an argument, in English, with other stray dogs. Then he disappeared again, running from the bigger, meaner, confrontational dogs.
12/07 Direct Link
Trees don’t have wings, I’m told, but there’s no disputing what I have seen, except by those who haven’t seen them and don’t believe me. Trees with large, bat-like wings, covered with bark and leaves, opening and closing, like parrots trapped in small apartments, practicing for takeoffs they no longer can follow through with. Of course it doesn’t make sense, I know it too. Maybe they were preparing to uproot themselves and fly somewhere nicer for the winter. Maybe they had always had wings, but never bothered to exercise them. Or were just skilled at keeping watch for anyone nearby.
12/08 Direct Link
There’s a sub-basement that looks like an old abandoned parking garage, and it has tall, thin windows where dim light filters though. At one end is a stairway that curves up, and at the first sharp turn, splits into two stairways that go in opposite directions. One stairway leads to a heavy wooden door, the other to a large open room, once some sort of production center. The man who currently works in this room wears a black rubber apron and has a gigantic orb on a table, that looks like a peeled orange skin made out of rusted metal.
12/09 Direct Link
The man warns us, because a killer is stalking people in the old buildings. He tells us that he’s a black man, as dark as night, so dark he could be standing in the room right now, and we wouldn’t see him. If he tried to kill one of us, it would be too late to scream, because no one would see it happen. We think we’ll go up a floor, but the man tells us we’d better not, that’s it’s probably safer just to leave the building completely. But then we remember the room with the heavy wooden door.
12/10 Direct Link
I had to take the train from Denver to Boulder to see friends. In the filthy, smelly train station, there was a rail, and hanging from it, a sort of rubber swing, made from a thin but solid piece of pale latex. I was supposed to sit in this. It would carry me to Boulder, with some stops along the way. I thought, this indeed is techological progress for Colorado! I bought my ticket, sat in the comfortable sling, and waited. Suddenly I was shot along the rail at a ridiculous speed, clutching onto the rubber loop for dear life.
12/11 Direct Link
I forget where we were driving to. All I know is that we got stopped, and had to sit in traffic near an intersection. It was a cold, grey, winter day, with a cloudy sky. Dirt covered snow lined the sides of the streets. While we talked, waiting for traffic to move, the pale grey clouds came lower to the ground as snow fell. The greyness progressively enveloped the landscape ahead--the street lights, the cars, the ground --and crept slowly towards us. There was going to be zero visibility, and who knows what kinds of conditions inside the storm.
12/12 Direct Link
Somehow a man has disappeared and I have arrived to take his place. No one has noticed, it happened so fast. I’m even using his old body, though I am entirely different. Why I was chosen for the job I don’t know. They didn’t brief me with any details. I don’t know any facts about his life, any idea what events have taken place up until now. All I know is what I know, and nothing about the man who used to live here. If people suspect, well, they’ll probably just think he’s a lot stranger than they ever realized.
12/13 Direct Link
I’d never seen a red and white dog before. It looked like a typical sort of eskimo dog, except where it might have been black it was bright red. The ears had longer sprays of bright yellow hair mixed in with the red. Her cat however was a completely normal Siamese mix. She had thousands of cat and dog toys too, some, miniature bean-filled Siamese cats that looked and make meowing sounds that were a little bit too realistic for toys. The shelves on her walls upstairs were piled high with these toys, many of them dirty, others brand new.
12/14 Direct Link
I played with the red goo for awhile, stretching it out, sticking it to the wall, you know, typical stuff you do with that kids toy. I decided to make some of my own from the portable goo machine and computer program. When she found out what I’d been doing, she sort of just expected me to vaccuum up mine as well as hers and put it back into the machine, even though mine was blue, and there was almost no way to separate it from hers. The result was purple, with dirt chunks and cat hair stuck to it.
12/15 Direct Link
We went to a wrestling match in a small arena shaped like a wide open “U”, with the ring in the middle of the curve. It didn’t make much sense from an audience viewing perspective. It penalized anyone in the audience who wasn’t on the second tier, and anyone who wasn’t situated exactly around the ring. My brother and his son had seats on the second tier, in front of the ring. I had to go sit by myself in a wobbly, six foot high fold-out chair made of wood, all the way in the far corner of the “U”.
12/16 Direct Link
Twenty black squirrels, all wearing little paper birthday hats, elastic straps under their chins, the hats topped with tissue paper pom-pons. They sit around on their hing legs, holding small forks, and knives, waiting for the birthday cake. There’s a dried out starfish on the table, and a couple of worms writhing around on top of it. The squirrels figure that the cake will arrive soon. They’ll just keep waiting a little bit longer, as the sun sets and cold breezes chill them and matte their fur. But the cake will never arrive. It will be walnuts, again, for dinner.
12/17 Direct Link
The starfish wears a crumpled old paper birthday hat, and grasps at an old paper horn, the kind that unfurls like a chameleon's tongue. The starfish favors pink and gold -- colors in the hat, and the horn -- why even the starfish himself is even a delicate, subtle combination of those colors. One would say it's a perfect tableau, the moist starfish himself matches the sand, a mix of almond beige and salmon pink colors. He plays with the horn but can't actually blow into it so he unfurls the paper with one arm and holds onto the mouthpiece with another.
12/18 Direct Link
I grow an extra pair of arms and legs. They aren't placed thoughtfully. The new arms, nearly the same size as my others, grow out of my shoulders directly behind my first pair. Same thing with the legs, they come out from my hips, deform my buttocks, and there they are, pretty much in the way. I can't walk faster, because the new legs trip me up. I can however do other things faster, like wash and dry dishes at the same time, or read through a magazine while flipping through channels on the TV. My life just seems easier.
12/19 Direct Link

I've never seen a barn orb. How does it stay standing like that, in a relative upright position to the ground? "How do the cows like it?" I ask the farmer.

"They don't mind it either way," he tells me with assuredness.

Inside the barn, I worry that it is going to roll, and that I will have to keep up by walking, running, in the appropriate direction, avoiding cows and hay and chickens as they run and fly and fall all around me. I've never spent any time on a farm, and this is an awkward place to begin.

12/20 Direct Link
She's wearing a diving mask but we're standing on a rocky hill. There are gigantic fingers protruding from the ground all around us.

"Do you want to put the puzzle together?" she asks me.

I'm trying to pick lint balls off of my sweater. There are so many of them. My picking leads to the yarn of the sweater stretching and pulling and distorting the shape.

"The puzzle? Remember? Puzzle?" she says.

"Can you help me with the little lint balls?" I ask, my annoyance growing. There's a small barking dog running in and out between my legs, distracting me.

12/21 Direct Link
I don't know if I should eat the fruits from the tree. They look sickly orange, with blueish bruises, on all of them. Such an easy to eat size too, about the size of a small rubber ball. Something isn't right with the tree though; something that smells terrible is oozing from sections of the trunk, and areas of the grass where the syrup has dripped onto are yellowed and dead. Obviously the pineapples don't mind, and are growing up out of the ground everywhere, most of them half sticking up out of the dirt like fat, ugly, retarded carrots.
12/22 Direct Link
Jake at Trevor's office, asks what I've been doing all day. Watching an old horror film and transcribing it, I tell him. When Jada arrives, they decide my skills would be good at DCG or DGC, which I never get quite straight. I have to go to an office across town and find Jeff. He's somewhere in a building full of very modern businesses, many open offices with no walls, in addition to people movers and escalators crisscrossing everywhere, like a huge airport jammed together into 8,000 square feet. The DCG office is hidden in the back of a store.
12/23 Direct Link
I had to do an erotic dance performance with a woman I didn't really know. It was decided that we would work out a piece for pre-contest judging. We aimed for Asian themed costumes. Each of us had to go to separate costumers. I spent hours at an Asian woman's house, where the costumer created my costume using only elaborate fabric strips. On the way to the performance I suddenly realized I was supposed to meet a friend to see a movie. I had no way to contact him to explain that I had to do the dance performance instead.
12/24 Direct Link
After a conversation with the Flash, note that there are Malaysian centipedes crawling all over you and the blanket. Go to video game console for next set of instructions. At video game console, sitting on the floor, note that more centipedes are trying to climb up onto you. Note the yellow-backed black widow crossing your leg. You are not in danger as it is only interested in attacking the centipede. Look up for help and see that the party has moved out of the room and there is no one to help you. You will have to sit very still.
12/25 Direct Link
Instructions as listed in the book:

You'll need one sister, and one set of twin girls.

In the back seat of the car, place the sister. She will monitor the twins who may wish to play by drawing on the back window.

Drive to pick up the missing twin girl.

Introduce the boyfriend. He is the jealous type.

Go to the party. It's on the second floor of the apartment complex.

Inside you'll find the video game console unit, which is already activated. Positioned at it will be one smart child.

Feel free to lay down on the large couch.

12/26 Direct Link
The girl in the Thai restaurant argued with her father about working for minimum wage all summer in the restaurant. Couldn't she just borrow money from grandma? At the counter, she had a fake smile. I didn't know what to order but luckily it was a photo menu.

I heard someone complain: "The owner, she used to have a good thing here. Now you hear her in the back—she's like, The M mixes with the W—no good. The W mixes with the M—no good. It's just not the same. This place is probably going to close soon."

12/27 Direct Link
The nearby convenience store was manned by Charles Nelson Riley. When I went in late at night he didn't even charge me for my bottle of Pepsi. Another customer said he didn't care—he was losing his job there. The store was owned by a woman who owned a nearby restaurant, which was also closing down. For some reason, the religious sect she belonged to was opening a new center in Canada, and that's where she was going. Apparently Riley had been charging customers for purchases at random. He looked so sad and humorless, just sitting on the folding chair.
12/28 Direct Link
My friend had a new apartment. I took a train from Denver up to Green Mountain. He gave me instructions on how to find him. The map included a large rock in the grass near the sidewalk. There was a secret trail behind it, which I had to find and follow down a hill. This would lead me to a parking garage. Up through the parking garage I would be able to find his aparment building. The apartments had no walls between them but merely folding partitions and lines delineated by furniture. All the residents were socially maladjusted computer nerds.
12/29 Direct Link
The strangest thing I notice as I drive through Missouri are three red barns in a small town. One says Tokyo Spa. The other says Hong Kong Market. The third one is blank, but is probably connected to the market. Barns! Red barns! Mixed with something Asian! I didn't stop, nor did I take photos. I chalk it up on my list of things I tell people about of which no one believes me, which also includes the Haunted Market in Indiana, which sells groceries along with Halloween supplies and has a haunted house "the length of a football field".
12/30 Direct Link
Some men are going to kidnap Scooby Doo. I have to warn him even though I otherwise wouldn't really care. Eventually I get to his hotel room after getting past security. I pull him out the door (he's much smaller in real life), and carry him away from an angry mob. But then I realize I'm not holding Scooby Doo but an angry, struggling, Scrooge McDuck. He insists I put him down, but I try to explain that it's for his own good that I'm taking him away from the hotel, even though now I can't believe what I'm saying.
12/31 Direct Link
Lamps are on in the corner. A man is punched in the stomach by another, who doesn't even seem particularly angry. A bowl of tomato soup is spilled out all over the leg of the man with the big fists. Down at the feet of the men is a little house with a little yard and a little doghouse. If they are not careful, they will step on this arrangement. A tiny blue bird is chirping somewhere in the miniature environment. Smaller still, on the porch, is a minute black sea urchin, dripping wet in a puddle of salt water.