I planned on posting this entry yesterday, but then when I read over what I had written, I thought that it was bad, so I threw the entry in the trash, but then I awoke today and used my long-reach grabber to retrieve the entry from the waste bin, and, when I read it over again, I decided that, indeed, the entry is bad. So here it is:
I awoke today with a thought. I will tell what that thought was, but first I want to talk about my nightmare.
Events are less frightening when you verbalize them, as opposed to when you dream them, for the following reason. A photograph of a neckerchief smells like film stock. Whoever views such a representation without being allowed to handle the cloth itself will be unable to confirm any assessment of its aroma, because mere images leave olfactory data untranslated. Fear is the perfume that infuses all of my dreams; yet to describe their contents is to provide a snapshot incapable of rendering this most essential element.
My nightmare consisted of finding an injured duck in our basement; its foreleg was broken (the fact of its being a quadruped seemed not abnormal). Laboriously the duck kept pacing backwards in circles; and this scene, of course, was pervaded by a feeling of terror.
When I awoke, my first thought was of a remark that I overheard at the bike shop yesterday. I was waiting for the owner, Mr. Safezone, to install a coin dispenser on my new bike. I bought a grey bike, because my black bike broke.
(But it was really a kickstand that was being installed, not a coin dispenser; I substituted this fixture in my report because the notion of being able to dispense coins directly from the bike’s handlebars struck me as fantastic. Also, admittedly, I cannot remember the shop owner’s actual name: I called him Safezone because that sounds like the flip side of Dangerfield.)
The remark I overheard was about a popular video-sharing website. A customer said: “I liked Place X better before it got taken over by the Behemoth.” In this case, the Behemoth stands for a popular and successful corporation, and Place X is like Plan 9 from Outer Space.
This made me wonder: If I myself were a popular and successful corporation, could I do any better than the present Behemoth? Let’s say that you and I develop a sitcom; and our show is eventually released on DVD, so that fans can purchase and watch it in the privacy of their jail cell.
(All the seasons of our hit show are available in a single collection priced at 270 caesars. By the way, in my opinion, DVD is an acronym that stands for either “digital versatile disc” or “digital video disc.” And caesars are the monetary units accepted by futurity.)
So our best fan forks out some loot from his bike’s coin dispenser. Then this same fan uploads all four seasons of our show to Place X, for the world to enjoy. But once the masterpiece is forgotten, we lack a reliable paycheck. So let’s say that we decide to become a painter.
After finishing a mural, we photograph our work and share its image online. Now everyone copies and redistributes our pic, yet not a soul wants to pay the amount listed on the original artwork’s price tag: 190 caesars. Therefore we starve and die and meet God in heaven.
This devastating outcome stems from the fact that technology now allows electronic touchscreens to impart perfume from gifts with a degree of accuracy. For any muse who is in the business of dropping scented remembrancers, this might seem like great news; but, for a carpenter whose job is to construct devices of capital punishment…
I’d prefer to leave this entry as it is. I began it earlier in the day and stopped at the ellipsis—now I can’t recall where I was going with it.
The first trip that I took on my new gray bike was to the library, to pick up a copy of a book that I had reserved: The Wings of the Dove, by Henry James. I had read it a few years ago, but I decided to enjoy it again because I was in the mood for perfection. Here is my favorite fragment from the portion that I read this morning:
…lighted candles at wayside inns, in strange countries, amid mountain scenery, gave the evening meal a peculiar poetry…