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BY Cobalt

02/01 Direct Link
The mall was comprised of many buildings, all woven together with parking inbetween the arms. I had to go across the parking lot to Manny’s, the only good men’s clothing store. My mother would have objected if she hadn’t been applying for a job. At Manny’s I found great embroidered underwear.

Later, I returned to the other part of the mall to find my mother. The people in the store acted grim, and then said my mom was dead. She had been in an accident driving to her new job across the mall, and didn’t make it in the hospital.

02/02 Direct Link
I used to get rides to my junior high school with this fat girl I hated, and her sister. For some reason this girl got a job working at the book warehouse with me. I had been working there for quite some time, despite hating the manager enough to want to spent my entire life making hers a living hell. When the fat girl got a job there, she questioned everything I did, and complained incessantly, while trying to act as though she ran the company. But she was still fat, and loved to wear ugly loud yellow clothing.
02/03 Direct Link
I took a train tour inside a women’s department store. I left the train, wandered, and found a secret doorway to a dark tower, with ramps instead of stairs. I found the rumored Atari room, where people played a graphic, and gory, Manga style game.

On another floor was the piercing parlor. I was instructed to scar one of the piercers. This new trend involved punching holes in the skin with a square shaped die. I didn’t have training. In the process I fell in love with him. Then he scarred me as a sign of his love for me.

02/04 Direct Link
A giant lizard and a group of hunters were tracking us. The sinister woman and her assistant wanted our destruction. The lizard was a living surveillance mechanism, one that could see the tiniest of details from a great distance, and could also read minds. It demolished highways on its way to us. Finally, after much tracking, the hunters had wiped out all of us but me. In the crumbling remains of a building, in a bathroom, I hid between a toilet and wall. I cowered, poorly disguised, underneath a pink blanket. I died with three shotgun blasts to the chest.
02/05 Direct Link
We couldn't get into mom's house.

"No one's answering the doorbell," the neighbor said.

"Well that's absurd. Mom never locks the door except at night," I told her.

She removed glass from the living room window so people could get inside the house. The door was jammed shut. Mom had been subletting the basement to a drummer from a metal band, who was so drunk, he rammed into the door with his head, and collapsed, unconscious. His wild drinking binges had caught on with mom and her boyfriend, who were so hungover, they didn't even know what day it was.

02/06 Direct Link
The map was cumbersome, and I couldn't fold it back to the original shape. I pulled out scissors and cut it up into pieces along the seams because I thought it would be easier to manage. When I was done, I only had one small piece left. When I examined it, the printing of the streets was so crude, they looked like they'd been drawn with crayons. And the street names were unreadable. After all that work, trying to make the map more efficient, and it has been practically useless to begin with. It was a valueable lesson about scissors.
02/07 Direct Link
My entire school was drafted. We were sent to a small island, where we had orientation, followed by lunch. I had to use the bathroom. When I came out, my troop sat at a picnic table eating, and there was no food left. As punishment for being pokey, I had to call home and explain what I'd done. Dad was angry that I'd been drafted. When I got back to my troop, they were building a shelter and boat out of trees and vines. Then there was a volcanic eruption. The entire island would soon sink into the ocean.
02/08 Direct Link
The tray of food looked good, but the food was wax. We thought, how fun to throw it around, see if it would break apart. Even the apples wouldn't chip, despite repeated blows.

"The fish must be real," someone said in the midst of our wax fight. "They smell like fish." But they had merely been scented, and were as hard as wax, if not wood painted with wax, or even steel coated in wax and varnished.

"This makes me uncomfortable," one of the women said, a scrawny type who no doubt was uncomfortable with food regardless of its authenticity.

02/09 Direct Link
The figure in the moss costume tries to dance with the figures in the bark costumes. The bark figures have their own choreographed dance, and the moss figure doesn't fit in. When the moss figure is upset, it jerks around, tantruming. For a few seconds, it almost fits in with the dance, thought the costume is all wrong. Far away, it's difficult to tell, which makes it better. Of course many things are much better from far away, like fireworks, and scenic views, and relationships. After the dance, the moss figure goes back to the swamp, and just stands around.
02/10 Direct Link
"Dulcimer," she says, enunciating, pointing to a picture she's holding, of a duck. When I look closer, I can't figure out if it's a photograph or a painting, but either way, the duck looks like it's in motion.

"Cucumber," she says, pointing to the same picture of the duck, except now the duck is gone and there's a pickle on an oak table. She's half right, which is, she's not as wrong as before, but still wrong.

"Dulcimer," she says again. I want to put the blindfold on her, maybe that will help, but it seems like she's already blind.

02/11 Direct Link
The girlfriend said, "I'm going to be staying in your apartment again."

I wasn't amused.

"Yeah," she said, smuggly. "First I'm going to stay with you guys, and then move around a lot for the next five years."

"How long?" I asked.

"Probably a month but maybe longer, it depends."

I grew angry. "Well, I think we'll have to talk about the cat situation," I said.

"Oh, yeah, I'm bringing the cats."

I became violent. "There better not be another incident with your cat pissing on my bed!" I shouted. You better get that cat fixed before you come back!"

02/12 Direct Link
My explanation of why the photographs in the magazine and on the poster were completely altered on the computer with the "mosaic" function in Photoshop, seemed to confuse them. "I thought it was better, aesthetically, to completely alter the whole image rather than blur the genital areas. That way it seemed less like censorship and more like art." I didn't even know why I was explaining myself to them, let alone in that way, because I am not normally for censorship. But it was too late anyway; the magazine and posters had been printed and distributed. What could I do?
02/13 Direct Link
Believe nothing, pretend nothing, do nothing: I pretend to live by these three idioms. I take life-sized mental photos of you lying in bed, dressed up as Nabokov, reading Marquez, and as therapy, you hold me for two hundreds years, and all that time I cry, while making open-faced hamburgers out of my heart.

I'm a two-dimensional, shit-faced brick with a ballpoint pen poking out of me, on a one-way trip to the moon. Oh, and I have one of those things that's either half-hard or half-flaccid, depending on how you perceive the world. And this is getting too personal.

02/14 Direct Link
I've been in the record store before, but can't remember what it's called. It's kind of dirty in the front area, and then there's a back room, where most of the vinyl is, which is even filthier. For some weird reason my brother is looking for a Lamb CD for a present. He finds something from '88 called "Milk". I tell him that can't be the same band currently known as Lamb.

In the back, there's a staff quiz going on about who sang the song "Sister Christian". No one remembers, but it encourages a discussion about favorite hair bands.

02/15 Direct Link
She said she had a hernia, but I think what she meant was that she had a hump. But maybe she had a hernia too, because anyone could see she had a hump. She also had meat, on a plate, in case anyone was hungry. But no one wanted to eat any meat because then they'd have to socialize with her, and for all they knew, the meat was poisoned. I didn't think it was very good to be offering meat, and talking of hernias, for the sake of the appetite. She was still, probably, a better cook than I.
02/16 Direct Link
I parked the car in the driveway and got out. As I walked toward the house, my cousin arrived. At that time I had to go back home and pick something up. But my car was now invisible. If I could find the door and unlock it, then I could probably get inside and drive even though I wouldn't be able to see anything. Of course I'd never had to find an invisible lock on an invisible door on an invisible car before. Even worse, the car was now insubstantial, turning the whole ordeal into a kind of guessing game.
02/17 Direct Link
I try to be the nice guy who has Down Syndrome, but get caught up in the moment when the mall walkers come my way in a horde, doing yet another lap, and am trampled. I lay on the floor, at least it's clean and polished but too polished and I can't get my grip and get back up, and here comes another bunch of mall walkers, but it's too late, despite my cries, I am trampled again. Won't somebody please take my flier? I only want to advertise the Fruit For Thought juice bar, please care won't you, please?
02/18 Direct Link
Steve wanted some stuff. I lied and told him I could get some.

I met up with Marci, went to the grocery store, and realized she knew someone, but she took her time asking the guy if he had any to sell.

Steve grew impatient. I played for time, but went out, forgetting his number.

I asked the dealer if he had the number for someone Steve lived with.

This guy, his wife, and Marci, were all really high. I had to drive us around. I got lost on the highway and ended up driving us around inside a mall.

02/19 Direct Link
We made it onto the train, but Bella fell off into the snow. We panicked, and left the train when we saw two rescue crews. We didn't know if we'd ever be able to leave now. The snow was almost up to our necks. Bella wouldn't be hard to spot, because she wore all black. We watched from a distance as one crew passed her on their snowmobiles. We found her in the doorway to her basement apartment. It had been filled almost completely with snow. She stood clutching onto some paperbacks she cried she just couldn't leave town without.
02/20 Direct Link
I'm given a plant that I'm supposed to take care of. I should assume it can't be that hard, but the girl gives me a sheet with instructions on it that look complicated. I'm not able to read the instructions because I don't know the language. I ask her to read them to me, just to make sure I understand them. So she reads them, but in the strange language they are written in. Still I don't understand what I'm supposed to do for this plant that is apparently very special and needs more than just water and some sunlight.
02/21 Direct Link
The cactus was a kind of Yucca plant. I pulled on it, from the center, and it came up from the dirt, freeing new leaves underneath to fan out. As I pulled it continued to do this, to resupply leaves, but maintaining a spike strand in my hands. I was like a magician pulling an endless line of scarves out of a hat. The situation was novel at first, but became more complicated when I was told to hold on, and start on my trip across country, keeping ahold of the cactus while I traveled. It would not be easy.
02/22 Direct Link
The chickens have small human thumbs. I don't know why. It might be a mutation or a breeding program to make fowl with human appendages. There aren't any farmers around. I think, will these chickens be happier if I set them free? Or if they have thumbs, will they be able to set themselves free? Scientific experimentation left alone would then produce evolutionary advances. But when I make to open the gates, the chickens just look at me like chickens look at people, people with their thumbs, their big gangly opposable tool building evolutionary thumbs. And then I am afraid.
02/23 Direct Link
I was participating in some sort of snow triathalon. I had to learn as I went along. First I had to use snowshoes and crampons to perform in a cross country race uphill. Then I had to climb an ice wall. After reaching the top we had to ski down the glacier. After that there were only four finalists. I wasn't one of them but they wanted me to watch. The final competition started out with precision speed shooting. Then, the contestants had to grab axes and hack away at the target stand. Whoever felled the structure first, would win.
02/24 Direct Link
Alina can't remember enough English to put together decent sentences. Talking on the telephone makes it even more difficult because we can't see each other when we speak. Her sentences are odd constructions of German, English, and confusion. She is easily frustrated and giggles, often interjecting apologies of "I can't remember the words," and "Mostly I just speak German you know?" Despite the problems she really wants to talk to me again, but when I come away from the telephone, I can't think of anything concrete that was said. I feel somehow empty inside, unable to overcome the language barrier.
02/25 Direct Link
As usual, I was expected to arrange the vegetables on the platters, but my right hand fell asleep. The vegetables were supposed to all sit together and form patterns. As I was getting them to fit together like a puzzle, a bee came into the house, and I had to run outside due to my allergies. I didn't know if I could get back inside the house to arrange the celery and carrot sticks by the time the guests arrived. I worked out further designs in my mind, while hitting my hand against my leg to try and renew circulation.
02/26 Direct Link
A handbag made out of rattlesnake skin, at the foot of a red sign that has the shape and size of a "stop" sign, but says "go" on it. I think, there must be something important in that bag, like a hand gun, but I can't reach it. I reach out for it, I bend down, I lean, I push myself forward, but the bag is just beyond my fingers. I can't get to it. The bag is too small, or too far away, or I am too weak to extend my arm enough, or stiffen my fingers for length.
02/27 Direct Link
I was on the street and the center took me in. I tried to explain that I was going to meet someone, and they said, plaintively, "Sure, sure," and locked me up. It was a cross between a prison and an institution, sameness on sameness. I was released, and I couldn't find my jacket, which had my wallet and keys inside. I asked around, amidst the inmates, the insane, those lined up involved in acts of useless repetition to satisfy the art of compulsive disorders, and no one knew where my jacket was. I found it on a butcher table.
02/28 Direct Link
The Birdman had built a pyramid tower out of Legos. Legend said the tower was haunted, and I knew it was. I had once broken inside with a friend, hoping to see the ghost of the Birdman. What we found were dead cats and the Birdman himself, rotting body behind a feathered mask.

When the group of explorers gathered, I was part of it. I went with them to explore the tower and the legend, in disbelief that I was involved. I knew the Birdman was still there, hidden inside the darkened chamber, waiting for more interlopers to prey on.