Archive for January, 2012

Batoane de Carne

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Jurnal Capitanului, 30 Aprilie 2020, 6 zile in afara de Planet #$*!

Toata echipa doarme. In 6 zile, vor ajunge la #$*! cu incarcatura, care este cel mai mare sarcina trimit pana acum. Am in 5,000 barili aproximativ 750,000 litri de petrol. Nu-mi place sa zbor cu acest mult de greutate, dar extraterestrile au zis ca revendicarea a crescut nebuna in ultimul an. Amintesc cum, cand contact a fost facut cu ei, nimeni pot credeau ca primul lucru ei vreau era petrol. "Orice lucru vrei, poti ai," ziceau lideri noi, "dar petrolul --am o nevoie prea mare, si este foarte, dar foarte limitat ca o resursa."

"Faci lucruri prosti cu acest substanta." Spuneau extraterestrile. "Materiale plastice sunt urate, si au un gust rau. Si pentru combustibile, n-ai nevoie de petrol. Poti faci fapturi noi mici."

Fapturi erau...ciudati la inceput, a spune cel mai putin. Ca niste cincile, moi si cu ochi mari. Acum ei fac toti masini sa muncesc, si am primit douasprezece perechi de reproducere pe an, care-i mai mult decat suficient pentru toata lumea. Nava cosmica a mea zboara prin cerii din cauza o echipa de sase fapturi puternice. Din cand in cand, fac griji despre intrebari de durere. Ma intreb daca fapturi simt durere, in timp energiei ei este sugit pentru comoditate al oameni. Posibil e mai bine sa nu baga in seama....

Batoane de carne, suntem chemat. Extrateristrile au in loc de piele ceva metal de nu stiu ce compositie, in loc de sange, un fel de noroi negru, care curge ca melasa. Ei radeau cu bucuriei a unor bebelusi cand descopereau muschii si maruntaie nostri. Dar nimic e haios in ochi ei in comparatie cu politicieni. Nu conteaza care partid sau filozofie au oameni noi de stat. Daca politicieni se imbraca-n costumuri si fac argumente, tot e bine cu ei.

De fapt, in afara de petrolul, chestia de cea mai mult branza la Planet #$*! e politicieni la kilogram. In acest moment, cinci persoane --din Japonia, Franta, Guatemala, si doua din Sudan-- sunt in nava impreuna cu barili. Probabil, vor aparea pe programe de comedie la video dupa debarcam. Am auzit ca-i o viata usoara pentru ei, chiar daca este un pic umilitoara.

Deci, noi primim o solutie din blana pentru energie, si fiinte din #$*! primesc tirani, mincinosi, si manuitori nostri pentru divertisment. Bineinteles, votam pentru cine vor fi primit la lumea noua-n cosmosul. In general primim cel mai rau indivizi putem, si ei sunt mai mult productivi ca asa, ca obiecte de umor. Gaseam cateva ani in urma ca petrolul e folosit si intr-un mod subit: este o baza pentru parfum. Inca nu stiu cum merge sex intre fiintele, dar aparent mirosul de petrol ajuta. Aici am aproape un milion de litri de afrodisiac.

Cred ca-i o relatie buna in sfirsitul, adica-i eficient pentru toti. Vai, dar drumul la #$*! este lung si obositor, fara multe obiective turistice, si nu pot dorm in nava. Doar sase zile....

Pentr-un concurs de fictiune.

The Time is Implicit

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The order comes mid-afternoon, as I'm curled in bed reading a pulp novel that's become addictive mostly for the familiarity of the prose and regular opportunities to inwardly roll my eyes at the book's wholly unbelievable characters. When it comes, the order produces a sound, more familiar than the contents of the book and so dominant in my cache of daily stimuli it sets off uncontrollable physical reactions. My heart speeds up perceptibly, climbs a few inches upward, threatening the base of my throat.


It's my messenger program, pumping sound from behind the wall of my bedroom. Have to get up. Finish this page first. I read a few paragraphs, not really absorbing the meaning of any of the words, my head reminding me every other second that I have to get up. So I do.

On the screen, the order waits. How long has it been waiting? A few minutes. A pang of guilt. This could have just been a greeting, but it's not, and now precious time has lapsed. There's a phone number, and I'm to call it and reserve a table for four people, for tomorrow.

"For what time?" I ask.

"The time is implicit!"

I parse the response. It gives the impression of a foreign object in an otherwise understandable world of words. What the fuck does that mean? Without any conscious effort, I've already decided that the table I'm reserving is located at a restaurant, and that the reservation is for eating. The host will want to know what time the reservation is for. They're going to ask me, in a language in which I usually have to ask for two or three repetitions to get the jist of what's being said. I get the idea I should reply with either "evening" or "eight" when the question comes. This seems wholly inadequate, and I think about how this will probably end in disaster tomorrow. I hate this shit, hate how often and how thoroughly things do not make sense. This is taking too long. I call.

On the phone, a single ring followed by vague sounds of construction work. A grumbly, half-audible voice says, "Da." For a second I wonder if the voice is speaking to someone else. I ask if the man speaks English. No.

I recite the little schpiel I've scribbled in my notebook to help me not blank out in panic while trying to speak Romanian. I want to reserve a table for tomorrow night.

A response comes, containing "it can't be done" followed by a train of complete nonsense. I ask for a repetition. It comes again, thankfully a little slower. It can't be done because the place is full already. Okay, thanks.

There was no question of time. "The time is implicit" makes perfect sense, and I feel a little ridiculous for having spent so much energy on it.

I remember, from back in the days of public schooling, the particular evil of standardized tests. Multiple-choice questions would occasionally contain an answer that said there wasn't enough information in the question to correctly solve the given problem. I'd always gravitate towards this choice; more information always seemed to be needed, whether it was an actual piece of content relevant to the problem or some aspect of the question's wording. In life, the idea that more information is needed to act is always available. It may be a tempting choice, but it isn't the right one nearly as often as the mind would like.