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Long enough ago that I've forgotten the club's name, although it had a wonderful view of the sou'eastern coast from the open rooftop, a bunch of would-be nouveau riche, along with a healthy helping of working men, working women, and the unavoidable innocent bystanders all converged for a nighttime beach bash. One fellow, local to the bone (I could tell by his accent, so I'll spare you the racial profiling), interrupted my conversation:
His attention seemed more focused on the next mark than on me, so I paused only momentarily to ascertain my own next target.
He'd taken at least a step and a half before turning half-a-round, glancing back to meet my level stare: "Coat?"
I smiled at him and shook my head quietly.
"What'd that guy want?" asked the guy awaiting the resumption of whatever bull session the businessman had interrupted; and again, I had to re-rail the thought-train after the guages hot-swapped underfoot, yet re-rail it did, and answered his question:
"I didn't quite verify, but I'm quite certain he wanted to take my coke."
Karl, Max, and... well, Ludwig (for lack of a better blamehole) walk out of the pub, because two have a beef and the third sold books on who'll win it. There's cold rain pooled in the alleyway's cracked pavement, flowing softly towards the gutter as the warm rain overflows the bounds, ripple by reflected ripple, but the clamouring boots make quick work of those cesspools, forming a ring around our three champions.
After a brief verbal dispute regarding directions perpendicular to the compass rose, as pertains to belts, and the sportsmanship of a flail improvised from a belt terminated by an oversized buckle, the clamour calls for a less partial referee, so Mycroft fishes out a brace of shattered glasses, a well-rotten dishrag, and an intact bottle of 202-proof rum, for use as emergency disinfectant.
Details of the fight are available upon request from eyewitnesses, although allegedly the subsequent claimants of stubs from the well-made books were glad to demonstrate exactly what happened; all I know is that once the salted plasma flowed so freely that none present could distinguish one pavestone from the next, Mycroft took aside the winner.
"See that river, into which yon gutter drains?"
The winner nods.
"Here's your Planck, and I never want to see you on this side of it ever again."
Barely over a decade ago, I had my conversation last (at the time of this writing) with an inspiration - words don't do him justice, so I'll use as few as possible, though fallibility and fatalism compel the use of a few extra. I don't remember our full exchange - for it took place over minutes scattered down the hours and years, blown across forest trails, grassy diamonds, and endlessly flowing pitch, level for a fleeting lifetime - so I'll avoid quoting the exact words leading to the following misinterpretations, although if reinterpret them you must, I recommend that you do so with the assistance of one or more of the locutors present at the time of that speaking...
- If you must shoot, shoot to kill.
- If your first shot isn't likely to kill, make sure you're sufficiently familiar with the firearm that you can send off a handful.
- Kill with at least one bullet.
- Don't be the guy who gets shot in his sleep on the beach.
- Don't write that book.
- If you must enlist, think once; think twice; and enlist.
He is quite likely to have meant at least one of those interpretations, and someday I hope to ask him which of those unintended were not incorrect.
- A Compass Blooms
- Head Of The Lethe
- Rhetorical Vocative
- Pervalent Brane Cancer
- Encoding For Survivability
`` Рукописи не горят. ,, - Михаиле Булгакове
Before the lies begin, I'd like to anchor this speculation partway through a conversation that actually did occur, somewhere near the Euclidean midpoint between the cafeteria of the modern languages building and the best vantage point on campus, although you'd have to use a proprietarily-weighted geometry for the mean calculation to land in the talking-aloud part of the relevant library, rather than the graveyard floors; and the talking indeed was allowed, and loud, and lewd, but the rudest dude was in too good a mood to tell the future doctors to act their age, so she and I spoke as soft as we could, short of actually whispering, while that orgy of sophomoric ineptitude raged in the rest of the room.
"You should've left a notebook", she scolded. "If you'd left a notebook at this desk, like I left one at mine, then nobody would've taken your seat."
I shrugged away the matter, for the setting sun's image, crawling up the opposed wall, bathed in its soft glow the gradually emptying room, and there was now no shortage of computers. I sat where I had before, and loaded a questionably-obtained digital reproduction of the documentation in question.
Seeing where my attention went, she asked: "You're studying from the book instead of the class materials?"
I nodded, launching into an endless paean to the greatness of the book, rapidly terminated thanks to her impatient impoliteness, likely diagnosable as attention deficit disorder by the moronic future-professionals who so recently had rendered the room entirely unfit for studying.
"Have you ever seen her book?"
Instead of asking whether she meant the author's personal copy, or some library's well-worn copy, filled with the hints and tears of past generations, I shook my head; words were rapidly becoming quite an expensive commodity to spend, as I had entered the lexical storm of an organic chemistry textbook's contents table, and needed every drop of dopamine on task.
"If it's such a good book, and you like it so much, why don't you buy it?"
At which point, I must've made some joke about how I'd rather buy her, even though she hadn't read a single page of that book, than a book that is too heavy for her to survive having dropped on her head; although I doubt I'd have survived getting the pavement dropped on my head from the height of that room; although not claiming to have said that means that the only lie in this post is the fact that it is tagged as such.
In closing, I'll elide the book's title, as there are half a dozen different works with the same name in just the first page of search results, although I will mention that the author came to be known as "Bruice Almighty".
As you may be aware, efforts are underway to revisit, comprehend, and ultimately digitize the unpublished research notes logged by the pseudonym allegedly signed as Borodin, no mean feat given the centurial culture barriers blasted apart by the brave volunteers. Although Alexander Shulgin may have cast open landscapes innumerable of both the imaginary manifestations of reality, and the physical attainment of hitherto mere amorphisms, he also found himself at the precipice of a language chasm deep yet narrow: for example, had he needed to verify that his friends and relations could recognize lexicographic racemization in eightth-bit-cleaned compilations of IUPAC nomenclatures - or worse yet, disclaim their own proficiencies in one or another of such disassembly exercises - he may have never encountered the question of how exactly "2CB" decompiles as "brominated two-carbon notafueladditive"... if you're still reading, there's a chance that you remember what I have forgot.
In the hope of finding common understanding, recognizing the preexisting conceptual landscape, and not getting too worked up about whether discussion of how many concepts this list contains is conversation or syllogism, I'll elaborate upon last semester's practical work, starting with my quick rephrasing of instructor comments regarding an educational recreation of four experiments performed just over one hundred years ago, all of which exhibited at the time of their publication an unexpected degree of discontinuity, despite the prevailing theories regarding the nature of the underlying continua:
nb: comments and grades for either student could apply to the other, since they worked together on all parts of these experiments, interpretation, and presentation in the first week, you arrived prepared, with questions about the apparati. your elucidations of the prevailing theories improved markedly in the second week. in computing the statistical expectation values, you performed several computations yet presented the results of only one. merely listing which source measurements caused statistical failure is unacceptable, without discussion of possible reasons for each measurement's exclusion, and your grade was reduced for this reason, and for omitting an additional procedure made possible by the preassembled wiring of the provided electromotive forcing apparatus and documented in the reference notes. your presentation of the results suffered as a consequence of disclosing choices leading to the samples ultimately correlated against the prevailing theory, a disclosure which reduced the time available for discussing alternative wirings. your reference notebooks are incomplete: roughly half consisted of rephrasings of the prevailing theory, and you could have saved ink by specifying one of the previously published works as a reference standard; and you failed to detail your rationale for choices made during experiment, computation, and debriefing.
Since my final grade in that semester was lower than that given by this instructor, above the minimal level considered passing although regrettably closer to that than the perfect score, and quite satisfactory given my policies for allocating study time and mental effort for schoolwork, I consider that to have been a good learning experience.
Incidentally, the numbers relevant for rendering the previous reflection against
the one percent decimal background across half a year of an arbitrary sparse set
of the distinguished portion of a fourfold metric are:
'#(63 89 76 87 30 84)
Reconstructing the machine that produced such a trace is neither trivial nor ...
... and in case you were wondering, the four experiments are all spanned by attempts to measure Ohmic impedance of fluids (e.g. Helium, Hydrargyrum) dilute well past chemical inertness, and modulation of such measurements by the nature of the irradiation upon the circuit component emitting the lepton.
Sometime in the hours after that last incident, I found myself balancing the perfectly reasonable yet mutually exclusive demands upon my time and location from people who do exist, although have never met each other outside of this particular hell. For reasons likely influenced by current events, my conversations with them collided at an overgrown cathedral rudely interrupting an otherwise perfectly serviceable maze of urban alleyways, which had turned my would-be escape route into a surprise pilgrimage.
I juggled excuses at the first two pursuers, although one would require an actual conversation rather than just a quick response, and such commons is no place for conversation. We arranged to meet at one of the nearby gardens to talk things over, and I realized that I'd taken off my shoes upon entering the holy ground. While putting them back on, the third pursuer appeared above me, inquiring about my conversations with the other two:
"Have you always been bilingual?"
I answered in the affirmative, and he followed up with a question that was regrettably lost during the subsequent confusion, although my answer survived:
"Thinking in two parallel languages is a blessing turned curseful by the overlap of their phonemomes, an interference quite unfortunate."
I was awake and typing by the time the response to that thought had crystallized, wondering how much credit I could consciously claim for ideas that my unconscious mind had presented as those of another: if two languages have no overlap whatsoever, are they truly distinct?
The beaded raindrops, quivering as they waited their turn to slide earthwards, diffracted the outer confusion past the point of senselessness from my dry vantage point within the car, yet eventually I discerned a woman's face in profile at the driver's window, facing forwards as she spoke to another person just outside my mind. Try as I could to focus on her words, they remained unknown, although an urgency rising from within compelled me to brave the elements and crack the window. To my surprise, human confusion drowned out the weather, as the second woman snapped into focus facing directly at me.
"Finally you're responsive. Do you have any idea how long we've been here?"
I glance at the passenger side, where my wake of consciousness already blends seamlessly into the nighttime traffic. The car is empty, other than myself, and the moments of my confusion cost me another beat of conversation.
"Still no answer. We've been tapping on this side for longer than I care."
The two women, almost indistinguishable: blue uniforms, precise hue undiscernable through the airborne damp and urban darkness, black hair flowing to blend with the shoulder-clipped radio mouthpiece and hip-holstered pistols, obscuring their nametags on the way down. The one previously in profile has now turned to face me directly, and the focus left by the retreating glass blurs the other into the wake sweeping around to meet its counterpart at their aphelion.
"... I was talking to someone at the other window. You know, something about you reminds me of him, beyond the fact that you're all cops, although you do all dress the same. If you know who I'm talking about, he'll confirm this fact."
Now it was her turn to pause in confusion, puzzling through my answer: I'd answered neither her question, which I hadn't heard, nor the one I had, although my manner suggested that my words bore relevance to the situation.
"Sir, please explain to us what you're doing here. Traffic has reached a complete standstill for reasons unknown, and our colleagues are still failing to establish rapport with operators of other vehicles. How did you reach this part of the city, and why?"
Had I a quick ready answer to toss her way, I'd have given it without the second thought that warned of an innumerable multitude of questions surging beneath the invisible surfaces of aquatic equipotential realigning themselves to the changes in my cabin's airflow. Wary enough of her tired temper and scant patience for slow talk to overcome my regret that such action would certainly lead to the dissolution the passengers who had filled the car only moments ago into the partially unsortable blood-red-shifting context, I bought myself some time by revealing the topic fluttering out of existence as my wakefront converged:
"Have either of you ever heard of a closed timelike curve?"
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there, Had worn them both about the same, And both that morning equally lay, In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
... at least, that's how I found the undergrown, overbent one, winding 'twixt excessive capitals, elided punctuals, and italicized in a painstaking digital tribute to merchandise sold in the author's name, and guessing by the author's fame, the trees may not have died in vain.
Here's an other:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both, and be one traveler, long I stood. I looked down one as far as I could, to where it bent in the undergrowth. Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim... for it was grassy, and wanted wear! Though as for that: my glancing glare had worn them both about the same. They both that morning equally lay, in leaves no step had trodden black, so I kept the first for another day; yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubt that I shall ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and oceans hence: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the `dif-fer-ence."
In case you're wondering: "Here's an other" is not an intentional anachronism for the sake of clockmelt, but rather a transliteration from Hebrew.
General Intertextuality found himself years later as the Icing Squad he faced poised near that cusp adrift in time that floates always around the day when his great-uncle Sammy took him to meet Fire. Mind not the names lost and lost meanings named: the people missed, because of love, you know; the feelings tossed, the talent thrown away! Sailboats sail, and hunters diving go. It's not that dark old night has hid her from us... no. You'd find her, if you went along that trail; Her voice faded to an echo from the dark cold void: "Know Mores!" The primal word still spins the worldly lore!
You see the story do, but not that whore.