FICTION June 6, 2014

(no subject)

by C.M. Barnes

subject: restructuring
got email from work re: restructuring. was self okay with being paid a little less in light of restructuring? said was okay with being paid a little less. havent heard back and am now seized with icky surety that have no job. inbox silence strong indication. trying not to trouble

subject: restructuring 2
like need this on top of ex-gf issue. must remember restructuring happens. restructuring not personal. our entire working relationship conducted via email

subject: restructuring 3
would have appreciated official notice. a simple, mass-CCd two liner would have sufficed. emails cost nothing. they hardly even exist, in physical sense

subject: pistol
am troubled enough re: restructuring to imagine holding pistol. am mentally spinning little, slotted, bullet carapace thing in hand. index finger is barrel, thumb is hammer, middle, ring, and pinky finger are grip

subject: pistol 2
why does hand form pistol shape naturally? (did hand hold pistol in former life?) now that considering, sometimes will be sitting at work desk, staring out window at sacajawea park, look down, and find hand has become pistol all by self

subject: job hunt
burnished resume. (remains fundamentally unchanged). also reviewed cover letter template. (template because has blanks, mad lib style, for inserting words (i.e. am proficient with workdesk software)). know quantum less than nothing about workdesk software. yet seems important to construct shiny new cyber mirage version of self

subject: what to stream?
what to stream? what to stream? am scrolling through options, clicking through eternal video store of nowhere

subject: religious pamphlets
(un)related(?): caught right hall neighbor stuffing mail slot with religious pamphlets. was going down line, shoving pamphlets in everyones already exploding slots. very troubling. didnt, however, try to stop. dont think legally can

subject: religious pamphlets 2
pretty sure if stuffed right hall neighbors slot with burnished resumes, he would feel same as self re: selfs mail slot stuffed with religious pamphlets

subject: philip glass piano etude no. 2
am calming by repetitively listening to philip glass piano etude no. 2. music itself also repetitive, and due to mysterious download quirk, digitally stole ten times in row. this also accentuates repetitive nature of listening experience

subject: philip glass piano etude no. 2 (2)
but what is listening experience? thousands of overlapping arpeggios layering each other to produce warm, magical density. think of layering as arpeggiated glaze—as in, self is dull-witted animal baking in arpeggiated glaze. philly g is baker. apartment is oven

subject: ex-gf
went out seeking caffeine and bumped into ex-gf at ex-coffee spot (still individual coffee spot). found out shes moving to palau. palau is island chain of thousand, little volcanic land slivers in south pacific two thousand miles north of austraila. one airport in palau, one city, one highway—thousands of pristine beaches. (almost all of palau pristine beaches)

subject: ex-gf 2
palau just means breakup will be verified by geography. split will become antipodal, as great of separation as achievable short of space travel/death

subject: ex-gf 3
she knows self gets volatile in coffee shops. total caffeine aggro. one perk of ex-status is can drop bombs on former partner and then walk away clean, swirling ice in americano

subject: ex-gf 4
she will be happy there—in palau. she loves ocean. water her element. saw her go skinny-dipping in mountain lake full of spring snow run-off. isolated, austere place—like beer commercial. she took off boots, shirt, shorts, bra, panties, and socks and ran in from shore. breasts flitted around under icy surface

subject: ex-gf 5
unfortunately group hike, and somebody else—think tim—got in too. (tim in possession of elephantine unit.) there self was, sitting on shore, exhausted, pack straps cutting through skin of shoulders, thinking, mountain lake full of spring snow run-off?

subject: ex-gf 6
oh yeah, lost job today

subject: ex-gf 7
maybe is good thing. have been sensing her presence orbiting self in this stupid city. have felt pressure to move only along prescribed trajectories—trajectories she knows well—for fear of changing course and bumping into her. sayonara to that tension

subject: ex-gf 8
but what was she even doing at ex-coffee spot this morning? this morning is self’s time to be at ex-coffee spot! maybe she wanted to bump into self, to tell self about palau, to editorialize on otherwise unlikely end to proximity? difficult to imagine wanting to bump into self. sleepy time

subject: js bachs fugue no. 15 in g major
cover letter responding well to js bachs fugue no. 15 in g major (for well-tempered clavier). fugue no. 15 exactly 52 seconds long. no lead-in, no tail off. just 52 seconds of glenn gould laying down wicked, beautiful sound. want someone to give self 52 seconds of time so can play for them. would say something like, hey man, if you can give me 52 seconds of your time, i guarantee youll come away happy—which, if actually said to someone in this stupid city, oh boy

subject: point-counter-point
turns out fugue no. 15 its just exercise in point-counter-point composition. (idiosyncratic glenny g explained vis-à-vis u-view.) this selfs point. that your point. together (but apart) we hold down points. suppose selfs point here in apartment. your point dont know where

subject: al and gwen
am conscious of als brittle stem twigs hanging in far corner. am also conscious of gwens big, leafy gal tendrils hanging overhead. al and gwen exist to hang from ceiling because ex-gfs favorite book is (was) alfred and guinevere. also because former occupant, probably now dead, installed ugly, grimy, metal hooks in ceiling. is like al and gwen fled each other

subject: al and gwen 2
note emphasize fled, not hang—which odd, considering self hung them in first place. (double note am not dead former occupant who installed ugly, grimy, metal hooks)

subject: deutsch fräulein
did sample lesson of learn-deutsch-online. (foreign language skills = job plus) surprisingly not terrible. software user-friendly (and free for illegal download). favorite part narrator, deutsch fräulein. deutsch fräulein has schöner voice. turned up earbuds so was like deutsch fräulein right on top of self, moaning sexy umlauts in selfs ears

subject: deutsch fräulein  2
made smooth cyber transition between learn-deutsch-online and adult web content

subject: scumbag
have been imagining self as protagonist in french film, never working, caressing lips, flicking lit cigarettes indoors, body all svelte gray lines, only exercise making love, every gesture interpretable though subtitles. feline women find self hiding naked under sheets (smoking) and squeal with happiness. then we commit desultory crimes of passion (i.e. shooting florid detectives/robbing jowly gangsters). when cinematic death approaches, am apathetic. not hard to picture self whispering scumbag in french as ex-gf hovers over svelte, gray, imaginary body

subject: scumbag 2
could not bring self to imagine dying with existentialist dignity. bit by bit. day by day. (quiet but inexorable progression of second hand towards abyss). plus one for you, right hall neighbor

subject: back to business
had phone interview with someone in other, better city. interviewer asked for time self overcame significant challenge. talked about ex-gfs tragic plane crash death in south pacific. interviewer also asked about time self failed. talked about same thing

subject: religious pamphlets 2
and it always same pamphlet! always same ridiculous typos. always same cutesy illustrations of stick figures pinwheeling stick arms while tumbling into fiery pit. ITS NOT TO LATE! [sic] screams header in gothic chiller font

subject: come teach english in exotic, foreign _________

subject: religious pamphlets 3
know right hall neighbor just trying to help, but still, very troubling. more so because right hall neighbor looks like normal-ish guy. tucks in flannel shirts. carries keys clipped to belt on jangly, i-climb-mountains thing. has long hair, a womans cut. ovally, bluish face reminiscent of emu egg. requisite faint southern accent. if self just looked at him, self would never know. proof of god?

subject: networking
emailed tim for job prospectus. tim replied with prospectus most grim—especially for selfs limited skill set (discussing deutsch weather, etc.) tim has job writing made-to-order erotic fiction (in keeping with elephantine unit). clients fill out questionnaire about whatever butters their pancakes, and tim works it in. 90% time high heels. boring?

subject: point-counter-point 2
think now glenny g not so idiosyncratic. think instead glenny gs entire life was just exercise in point-counter-point composition. his voice was only point audible. other, harmonizing points were sounding in his head

subject: prayer
tried to pray for job over lunch of pepper jack quesadillas. remember some elements of prayer from childhood, not all. fell to discussing economic downturn with ceiling.

subject: only hot 18+ models need apply (no experience a plus!)

subject: the man self was
once made love in bushes of fitzwilliam square (in dublin, ireland). remember looking up from act, through dark, grasping bushes, and seeing couple pushing stroller along fitzwilliam street. was like 3 a.m. (maybe baby no sleep?) dont remember lover, only couple, stroller. it was so big. could have fit all of childhood in there

subject: desires
understand secret to life not gratifying desires. secret to life transcending desires. yet am full of desires. if transcended all desires, would no longer exist. yet (weirdly) also fear non-existence. very much want to exist. must transcend desire to exist? pistol hand, pistol hand, pistol hand

subject: how much this city...

subject: no exit
hell not other people. hell filled with hanging plants that remind self of other people

subject: friendbook
updated friendbook page. changed photo to non-representative outline. changed job title to freelance human. changed relationship stat to wldnt u lk 2 no ; ). changed religious views to single/ready to mingle. also posted series of intimate thoughts to friends—all 247. (i.e. has anyone else ever noticed that whenever you search for your illness symptoms online, the answer is almost always brain tumor? sometimes AIDS, but, like 98% of time, brain tumor!) also added philly g and glenny g to musical favs. so far, no response. am seized with icky surety that dont exist

subject: friendbook 2
have created additional friendbook page to comment on original page (under pretentious pseudonym, philip gould). have also sent self friendship request. so far, no response

subject: the nature of god
what it? seriously. if truly free to peck whichever keyboard keys self chooses (as in no divine, loving force guides fingers) then could type anything/do anything without meaningful consequence.
might as well just go kill last endangered, albino penguin or something

subject: friendbook 3
am taking sweet time responding to philip goulds friendship request. dont want to come off overeager

subject: pussy jail
ex-gf and self used to play game where one must insert words pussy jail into popular song lyrics then attempt to sing song without laughing
wont you take me to pussy jail
play us a song were in pussy jail
im in pussy jail and on a steel horse i ride
i shot the pussy jail
luck, be a pussy jail tonight
the warden threw a party in the pussy jail
fun game, but no more. sigh

subject: friendbook 4
wish philip gould would just back the H off

subject: friendbook 5
posted update about how hand naturally forms pistol shape. trying not to trouble

subject: (no subject)
am going to see if right hall neighbor wants to hang

C.M. Barnes holds an MFA from the University of Montana and lives and writes in Missoula. His work has appeared in Phoebe, Literary Laundry, and Cargoes and is forthcoming in Clapboard House, Arcadia, and Digital Americana. He is currently at work on a collection of fictions.
C.M. Barnes holds an MFA from the University of Montana and lives and writes in Missoula. His work has appeared in Phoebe, Literary Laundry, and Cargoes and is forthcoming in Clapboard House, Arcadia, and Digital Americana. He is currently at work on a collection of fictions.