“Your Operation” / Memorable Fancies #1650

At first they smile, tell you it will be painless. Then they show you the instruments and say no, they will not hurt you. Then later they show you what they took out of you, and ask, is this what hurt? And you say no, what’s left is what hurts, now. And they say, that cannot be, because there is nothing left of you. Then what am I remembering? you ask. You have someone else’s memory now, they say – someone who survived the operation. [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“The Darkness” / Memorable Fancies #1392

[“Show me you are not the light I called to / but the blackness behind it.” – Louise Glück] Was that first rush of madness hers, or mine? Yours, she says; now I’m just like you. But how could I love you if I had not answered your call, that first time, your invitation to share the calling darkness of your mind? <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: For Anacreon, 30 poems of love and life from the ancient Greek poet (originally published as a chapbook by Silkworms Ink). … [Read more...]

“Mind-Changers – VI: The Body-Sitters” / Memorable Fancies #1057

[The future: Transplanting minds from one living person to another is now possible. ] Can one person own more than one body? Yes, but each body must be inhabited by a different mind, in order to remain alive. That’s how the Body-Sitter profession came about: minds who are paid to keep a vacant body alive and watch out for its welfare, feeding and exercising it, until its owner-mind decides to inhabit it again. Body-Sitter is a responsible profession, because if carelessly performed (such … [Read more...]

“Roles” / Memorable Fancies #1052

[“ACCEPT ROLE, PSYCHOLOGIST URGES” [a headline, quoted by Donald Barthelme] A reported 27% of psychologists have found it difficult to adjust to their role as psychologists, but the remainder have come to accept this designation, or at least reflect on it ruefully, clinically. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a … [Read more...]

“Any/More” / Memorable Fancies #1050

After an intensive and well-publicized search, I was the one finally selected, a few years ago, to make official announcements, to relate selected facts and sanitized truths. I attribute this appointment to my having a voice of a certain timbre, a face of plausible innocence, and an believable jaw. Citizens are required to agree with what I say, to affirm it with up and down motions of their heads and, on the National Day, also with loud huzzahs. But I know they don’t believe me anymore, … [Read more...]

“White Thoughts” / Memorable Fancies #1048

     At first, we avoid telling others our secrets; we tell them only to ourselves, alone in the quiet night. And then we cease telling ourselves these secrets, too, as the night has proved too dark for us, the silence too harsh. Eventually we walk from place to place, seeing and hearing only, white thoughts like white noise telling us we’ve never had any secrets, at all. None worth thinking about, surely. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends … [Read more...]

“Mind-Changers IV: Fair Trade” / Memorable Fancies #1047

[The future: Transplanting minds from one living person to another is now possible.] Florida is full of old people who last year were young people with great bodies and healthy brains, who sold their young-brained bodies for lots of $$ and retired into bodies recently vacated by the old, thereby trading a long and impoverished life for a brief fling of wealth, incontinence, and golf. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment … [Read more...]

“Him, or ‘Him’ ?” / Memorable Fancies #1046

[“She was fond not of him but of the abstract notion that, to her, meant ‘him.’” - Donald Barthelme]        It took her several years to realize that “Herbert” was not the same as Herbert, and that “Herbert” had appeared only in her dreams, and then only to help wash the dinner dishes and not bother her for sex too often. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, … [Read more...]

“Shoot the Clocks!” / Memorable Fancies #1045

[“In the July Revolution, simultaneously but independently, shots were fired at the timepieces on the towers of Paris.” – Walter Benjamin]      When we destroy the clocks, we stop the passage of time. Like Faust, we want this moment to stay, now that our revolution is achieved. Quick now, shoot! before our fervor congeals into institutions, contentions, endless debates. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on … [Read more...]

“Feelings” / Memorable Fancies #1044

[“Do you feel that the creation of new modes of hysteria is a viable undertaking for the artist of today?” - Donald Barthelme]      Yes, I feel it is. The feeling is driving me crazy. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy the author’s novels or story … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – VII” / Memorable Fancies #1043

Didn’t you tell me you locked the back door? # Those people – over there – they’ve started to run. Are they just having fun? or ... maybe you should start running, too. # Is that you? Is that you? Harold? ... # Why is everything suddenly so quiet? # “We interrupt this broadcast for a special address by the President …” <END> THE PITCH   If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social … [Read more...]

“Infection” / Memorable Fancies #1042

     Those people, there, those good citizens, strolling and smiling like windup toys; they didn’t want you among them. They threw you out and told you not to come back. You were a foreign element, they said, an unwanted minority, like some kind of disease. But if you’re a disease, then you could ... <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other … [Read more...]

“Observation” / Memorable Fancies #1041

[“Now I can keep her under constant surveillance, through this system of mirrors and trained dogs.” – Donald Barthelme]     Since that was written (1965), civilization has advanced beyond such primitive means to keep track of one’s wife as mirrors and dogs. We now have mirror apps, elevated heartrate snooper apps, analyze facial expression for possible unfaithfulness apps, knows when she takes off her ring and slips it into a pocket apps, more insidious and different apps each day.    If … [Read more...]

“Mind-Changers – III: Reducing Corporate HR Expense” / Memorable Fancies #1040

[The future: Transplanting minds from one living person to another is now possible. ]      Almost immediately, large corporations saw an opportunity to improve their career-development programs without incurring substantial additional expense.      “Now,” FlexiCorp CEO Julius Carruthers told an inquiring reporter from Business Week, “we can promote the minds of promising young men. And women,” he added hastily, “from their present lower-salaried bodies into higher-salaried bodies without … [Read more...]

“The Missing Day” / Memorable Fancies #1039

    Would you lose a day of your life for a hundred dollars? A thousand? A million? At some point, you will say “yes.” Which day, you ask, suspiciously, and the man with the thin dark moustache says, “just an ordinary day, a week from Thursday. Nothing of importance would have happened to you on that day. You’ll never miss it. But my client – a very important client – is interested in acquiring that day of your life. That particular day. Very interested.”      But suspecting a trick, you tell … [Read more...]

“The e-Theatre” / Memorable Fancies #1038

     The e-theatre is open to all the world’s social media. We visit it often to see what marvels will assault us next, our eyes and minds. Sometimes the fare is creative and unexpected. That’s what we wait for, hope for, although most of the theater’s offerings are incomprehensible, crude, or grotesquely obvious.      We wait to see who will next hijack the e-theatre’s data link, pour hatred onto our screen, or plead for amity among all nations, or advocate cleansing the world of harmful … [Read more...]

“Wrong” / Memorable Fancies #1037

[“It was impossible to tell who was wrong, when we had finished.” – Donald Barthelme]      The Supreme Council has decided to outlaw the word “wrong” unless a clearly defined and important moral imperative has been violated. Using “wrong” to accuse one of such things as the use of Wisteria Crayola when Asparagus Crayola was called for, or reciting “The Night Before Christmas” when “Casey at the Bat” was listed on the PTA program, must be given a more appropriate designation than “wrong,” one … [Read more...]

“At the Door, November 1978” / Memorable Fancies #1035

You came to my door on some small business about our children – - not ours anymore but yours - and mine – - and just in time I caught myself once more. - Not quick enough, I might have said - Ours <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To … [Read more...]

“Mind-Changers – II: The Basic Rules” / Memorable Fancies #1036

[The future: Transplanting minds from one living person to another is now possible. ]      After experiments that resulted in several permanently lost minds, the following rules were applied to the relevant technologies and the firms that profited highly from them: No mind without a brain. The mind-gration must take place within 14.2 seconds or the mind, lacking a flesh and blood brain-host, will die. No brain without a mind. The result would be a zombie, autonomic processes only. … [Read more...]

“Equanimity” / Memorable Fancies #1035

[“...we lived lives stuffed with equanimity. There was equanimity for all.” – Donald Barthelme]      There used to be equanimity for the elite only, and other kinds of animity for people like us. But now we are all equ. I’m not entirely pleased with this development. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact … [Read more...]

“The Fighting Memes” / Memorable Fancies #1034

     The story itself, the meme, is sentient and purposeful. It can be tracked like a virus as it infects more people – and as it encounters other memes. Sometimes they merge. Or they compete, they fight, using us as their armed surrogates, their conscript warriors. Death to those whose thoughts are other than ours! They must be freed of their delusions, their memes. That is the only final way to keep such ideas from spreading.      There is a meme for how this final solution is to be … [Read more...]

“Quakes” / Memorable Fancies #1033

     We didn’t pay much attention to the earthquakes, at first so minor. People on exercise machines or driving on I-35 didn’t even feel them. The morning paper reported a Doppler 1.5 the next day – interesting to geologists because it hadn’t occurred along any known fault line, and had propagated, unusually, in a straight line and slowly.      The next day, another. And the next. We became accustomed to the constant slight jiggle under our feet. Geologists said not to be alarmed, but the … [Read more...]

“What Happened” / Memorable Fancies #1032

We remove one past event, and other events jostle around each other in its absence. They find new ways to be our past. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy the author’s novels or story collections, see www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch.         See you … [Read more...]

“The Future” / Memorable Fancies #1031

     “I use a mirror,” she says, “to tell me what my future memories might be.”      I don’t quite understand how this works, but I notice a few more wrinkles. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy the author’s novels or story collections, see … [Read more...]

“The Detective” / Memorable Fancies #1030

[“...the inevitable presence of detectives” – Roberto Bolaño]      Perhaps this one, a man slouching carefully against a wall; maybe he’s another detective. He looks suspiciously at passers-by, draws his overcoat closer about him, pulls his hat brim down, adjusts his dark glasses. Just the way a detective might look and act – or a suspect might look and act. Which is he? Which am I? <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment … [Read more...]

“Now” / Memorable Fancies #1029

Is it now? Not yet. Is it now? Not yet. When will I know when it’s now? When it’s now. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy the author’s novels or story collections, see www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch.         See you tomorrow! Whatever … [Read more...]

“Hatred of the Dead” / Memorable Fancies #1028

       A strange movement began called Hatred of the Dead – because we will all be there, and we will hate to be there, hate to think, now, about being there then, with all those others.        I clench my teeth. My hatred grows. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To … [Read more...]

“The Mind-Changers – I” (beginning a new series) / Memorable Fancies #1027

     I suppose I should tell you how it came about: A few very rich people wanted to live “forever,” and paid a group of scientists to see if that could be feasible. Bodies inevitably wear out, they reported, including brains. Teleomeres, synapses, the gradual accumulation of poison-traces from the foods we eat and the air we breathe, corrupted genes – “forever” just wasn’t possible for our bodies.    But minds – minds use brains as their infrastructure, but the mind itself isn’t subject to … [Read more...]

“Forget It!” / Memorable Fancies #1026

    “Forget it!” she said.      Now it’s impossible for me to forget it. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy the author’s novels or story collections, see www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch.         See you tomorrow! Whatever happens here, you won’t be … [Read more...]

“Laughter” / Memorable Fancies #1025

[“anonymous laughter” – Michel de Certeau]      Everyone is laughing at me. I hear it everywhere.      When I work up enough courage to ask them why they’re laughing at me, they merely smile. Then they laugh again.      At least they’re enjoying themselves. I guess that means I’ve brought some desperately needed happiness into our sorry world. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social … [Read more...]

“Achievements” / Memorable Fancies #1024

       I’ve achieved many things in my life: most I’ve been proud of, although mistakes were made along the way. But now, our rulers told me that my most notable achievements were needed by others, underachievers who wanted some of mine, and deserved them because they had none of their own.      I objected.      Make your objection memorable, they said, eloquent and brave. Then we’ll take that, too. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends … [Read more...]

“What’s Real” / Memorable Fancies #1024

[“And what am I if the story be not real?” – W.S. Merwin]      I have this suspicion that I’m not quite real. Perhaps I’m a character in a story. Or maybe everything, everyone is mere potential, waiting for a divine finger-snap to make the world – something other than a universe development proposal that never quite gets funded. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author … [Read more...]

“Lies” / Memorable Fancies #1022

         In the newly approved political science textbook, students are told that exactly half the statements in it are lies. The students’ assignment is to determine which ones.         In reality, however, all the statements are lies. The student who first discovers this, and keeps this discovery to himself, is sure to have a brilliant career in politics. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social … [Read more...]

Hymn to Attis [after Hippolytus] / Memorable Fancies #1021

     I will hymn thee, Attis, Bright-one! Not quivering to buzzing sounds as priests of Bacchus do, or humming loudly through the nose in time to gut-string twang as Manicheans do; but all in tune and metered time for Thee in high clear tones, O Attis, High-one!      I will hymn thee, Attis, Bright-one! Not calling thee Bacchus or Pan or Adonis as others do, or nameless All as sophists do, or Christ as slaves and servants do, O Attis, High-one! <END> THE … [Read more...]

“Rubble” / Memorable Fancies #1020

[“...the gardens filled up with artificial ruins” – Roberto Calasso]      For a few decades, it was fashionable to adorn the grounds of one’s estate with artificial ruins – pre-demolished temples – prone and headless statues – or flattened replicas of large buildings where representatives of the people met and, futilely, attempted to govern. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an … [Read more...]

“Torsions” / Memorable Fancies #1019

[seeing a film of one’s own life: “What torsions of the ego ... result from such mirroring?” – George Steiner]      They made a documentary of my life. Not a big Hollywood production, just a simple, low-budget educational thing for classrooms: my childhood, my indifferent schooling, years of obscurely toiling in physics labs – and then my one great discovery, the overwhelming thing.      There was a concluding filmed interview. Afterward, the director said I was very modest, a wonderful … [Read more...]

“The Language of Ringtones” / Memorable Fancies #1018

[“...the telephone was ringing ecstatically...” – Vladimir Nabokov]      It’s now possible for ringtones to be controlled by the caller, not by the person called. The language of ringtones is developing quickly, different bursts of sound meaning “I love you,” or “If he’s home now don’t pick up,” or “I feel sick today; I won’t be in,” or hundreds of other canned sentiments.      You can design and record your own ringtones. If they’re licensed by a major app provider, you earn … [Read more...]

“Belief” / Memorable Fancies #1017

[“The characters are: ... Old Man, in whom no one believes any more” – Wolfgang Borchert]      I felt honored when Wolfgang modeled a character in his new play after me. As to not being believed, well, that’s pretty much in character too, I must admit, after all my years of bragging and lying. Not to complain, since I got a lot farther that way than telling the truth would have got me. Before they stopped believing me, I mean.      But then I read that phrase again – “in whom no one … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #1016

I’m stuck in strangeness – no way out - but everything has always seemed strange to me. So what would “out” be like? - In the market: prime cuts, eyes of varying values, tongue a precious part. Lady fingers are especially valued. “That was no lady, that was my dinner!” the cannibal-comic said. - I must be more important than the one I praise, or it wouldn’t be a compliment to receive such praise from me. - Had a murderous crime been committed that shocked so many people? But … [Read more...]

“The Rest of Time” / Memorable Fancies #1015

[“...the moments when time is resting.” - Octavio Paz]      The same things happened yesterday that happened the day before and the day before that. Although it’s still morning here, today looks like it’ll be another repeat. We all got pretty alarmed about it, that was Tuesday when some of us first got the thought that it was Monday all over again. And then we had a Monday Wednesday Thursday Friday and now it’s goddamn Sunday and everything’s just Monday again.      I was one of the lucky … [Read more...]

“The Friend in My Head” / Memorable Fancies #1014

[“Open up your skull I’ll be there” – Radiohead]      Someone is in my mind; I know it. A stranger. Friendly, though, more or less, I can tell you that. Already he’s started looking at my thoughts, giving me ideas for self-improvement.      I guess I’m lucky that my guest is the pleasant sort; getting rid of a hostile spirit wouldn’t be easy. I suppose that if he weren’t so nice I’d be tempted to open up my skull and catch him. But I wouldn’t survive that kind of operation. Anyway, I’m … [Read more...]

“Bonding” / Memorable Fancies #1013

   Two friends speak with each other. But they aren’t talking about the same thing. ‘A,’ for instance, is rehashing Sunday’s football games, while ‘B’ is relating an unpleasant encounter with his son’s teacher.      Each will go away remembering a pleasant talk, a bonding, but with a feeling that perhaps something has been missed. But this is also how they feel when they’ve been talking about the same thing. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your … [Read more...]

“Control” / Memorable Fancies #1012

[“…a growth in the demand to be controlled, or more subtly you might say, in the growth of the control of the demand to be controlled?” (question posed to William Burroughs at a Schizo-Culture conference.) Burroughs’ response: “I don’t quite follow you.”] When the authorities got wind of this exchange, they were very glad that Burroughs had not caught on – he might have become a fierce opponent of the work we meta-controllers have been doing; he might have had to be eliminated, if he had … [Read more...]

“For Which It Stands” / Memorable Fancies #1011

         In the dutiful republic we practice our smiles on our uncomplaining mirrors, hold our hands tight over our minds, say only the wrong right things. We concentrate, now, on being public beings; we view that which infests us. Which simulation are we, today?          Know not how to think,                (contrasting views of responsible spokespersons                          {who are however subject to the same illusions as those                         whose views do not … [Read more...]

“Waiting” / Memorable Fancies #1010

[“The while we, we are waiting, we are waiting for.” – Finnegan’s Wake] What are we waiting for? There is some disagreement about that. Several times we’ve found what we thought we were waiting for, but concluded, regretfully, that what we’d found was just another piece of reality; nothing to do with our dreams. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of … [Read more...]

“Remorse” / Memorable Fancies #1009

[“Dart a very fine glance into the eye of the torturer. He will be left with eternal remorse, without even remembering it.” – Jean Baudrillard] That’s a pleasant consolation for you as he cleans, and again uses, the delicate instruments of his trade. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see … [Read more...]

“The Universe Show” / Memorable Fancies #1008

       This is the Universe Show – how many seasons will we last? How are the ratings trending? What’s the buzz? Will we be renewed? Will the climax be different this season? (You know how the Producer loves to tinker with the plot!) <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To … [Read more...]

“The Diagnosis” / Memorable Fancies #1006

         I don’t have a mirror image. I don’t have my reflected self to speak with, gain its counsel. When I look in a mirror, all I see is the wall behind me. I’m careful to ensure that no one else notices my handicap, calls attention, thoughtlessly or rudely, to it.          Am I a vampire? I do chew my fingernails occasionally, but no one else’s, and I don’t like raw meat, much less blood. I can walk by a cross, or a garland of garlic, without freaking out. The sight of a beautiful neck … [Read more...]

Five phrases you will NOT see on a junk mail envelope / Memorable Fancies #1005

.. Please open this tomorrow or the next day; no hurry .. We bought your address; make it worth our while .. The enclosed offer isn’t as good as the one we’re sending to other people .. This cost us less in postage than it cost the post office to deliver it to you .. Do you think this letter came from a real U.S. government office? Riiii ... ghht! <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please FOLLOW or tell your friends and share a comment here or on other social … [Read more...]

“The Carrots” / Memorable Fancies #1004

[“We see all this from a very long way off, as if on a screen.” – Jean Baudrillard]          It’s night. I’m walking down a suburban street not far from my home. I happen to glance through a window. Two people are sitting on a couch, watching TV. Looking again, I see that the TV picture is showing – me! I’m just doing some ordinary thing like chopping up carrots for a stew. The couch-people seem to be enjoying this. They might be waiting to watch what I did next that night, right after I … [Read more...]

“The Refuge” / Memorable Fancies #850

[“A cage went in search of a bird” – Franz Kafka]          This one is too large, that one too small; this one too mangy, that one too tall. The cage likes the bird over there, the middle-sized one with pretty blue feathers.          The cage calls to the bird. “What?” asks the bird, suspiciously. The cage explains what it wants.          “A prison?” asks the bird, incredulously.          “A refuge,” says the cage. “No one can attack you here, behind the safety of my … [Read more...]

“Her Eyes” / Memorable Fancies #848

[“By degrees I recalled her face” – The Clementine Recognitions (third century C.E.)]          But now that I’m remembering her in more detail, I see things that should have been fixed. The nose, just a little crooked; that could have been improved. Quite a bit, actually. And the chin, a little too firm. And her eyes, always suspicious of me. But I took care of those eyes already, a long time ago. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“Victimology” / Memorable Fancies #845

  Shoes don’t want to be worn. They refuse to believe that’s what shoes are for. They think they’re being stepped on, and sweated in, and pounded into the ground or rain puddles or mud, just by evil beings for their sadistic pleasure. Pedosophers among them consider it insensitive, and an irrelevant coincidence as well, to observe that shoes have openings exactly the size of a human foot. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or … [Read more...]

The Great Simplifying Assumptions – III / Memorable Fancies #844

If you hear someone say “no one is saying that...,” someone is saying that. # If something is “unspeakable,” it’s just been spoken of. # If something is “unthinkable,” it’s been thought of, probably quite often. # If something is “out of the question,” that is precisely the question. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on Facebook or other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, … [Read more...]

“The Meme” / Memorable Fancies #843

       I invented a meme, a harmless catch-phrase and the thought behind it. After numerous failed experiments on fellow-drinkers hanging out at my neighborhood bar, I finally hit upon exactly the right cognitive formula that allowed my meme to spread rapidly, a kind of mind-virus.     But then my meme mutated, as a gene would, acquired a taint of suspicion and desperate fear. It became dangerous, but it was out of my hands even as I warned the citizens against it.     The war began … [Read more...]

Life / Memorable Fancies #842

[“Life – that style pompier of matter.” – E.M. Cioran]        See what the world has invented now! This ‘life’ is a new kind of thing, a being that moves itself, not as wind and flood take it. Not any too subtle, though, and rather destructive. But busy and colorful, I will give you that. Catches the eye, it does; makes a good topic of conversation among the gods.        What will it lead to? <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“In loving memory of…” / Memorable Fancies #840

       The funeral was brief. “Stanley Morton,” the officiant said, “had not been proud of his corrupt and dissolute life, and his final request was that everyone just forget him – forget he’d ever lived. So let us briefly remember Mr. Morton now,” the officiant said, “and then, as he wished, forget him.”        There was a moment of bowed heads and bells.        People rose and headed for the exit, wondering why they’d been to this place. A death, surely, given candles and casket. But … [Read more...]

The Fear-Whisperer – VI / Memorable Fancies #839

Why did the call disconnect just when you said “hello?” # It looks almost human, doesn’t it. # Nothing that small could be ... # Where’s the carving knife? Have you seen it lately? # Maybe all this has happened before – again and again <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on Facebook or other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see … [Read more...]

“The Price” / Memorable Fancies #838

[“The people who organize your dreams” – Dave Eggers]        You pay a monthly subscription, and Dream-On, Inc., will beam a signal into your home every night that will prompt you to have dreams about power, or heroism, or sex, or riches, or – whatever you want.        You’ll love this service so much you’ll never leave. If you try, your Dream-On feed will include falling from airplanes, rejection by your mother, being smothered by a sentient pillow, and other motivators.        So you … [Read more...]

“My Name” / Memorable Fancies #837

[“The name they hear called out in earnest derision or displeasure by parents and teachers.” – Andrei Codrescu]        It’s distressing to have a name, to hear it used by others in tones of derision or command. They think that when they call my name they have captured me, like a butterfly in its pinned throes; they think they know me. But they are wrong:        No name names me. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on … [Read more...]

“Flying High” / Memorable Fancies #852

       A new policy has been announced by the Pretendly Friendly Skies: Passengers who have their own Wikipedia page are comped to first class. Those whose Wikipedia pages were actually written by someone other than themselves not only get to ride in first class, but are given enough free drinks to keep them quiet for the duration of the flight, or at least keep the volume down. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on … [Read more...]

“Laws Like Hymns” / Memorable Fancies #841

[“... laws sung like hymns to children” – Marcel Detienne] Hear a song of right: / blues of good and / true will always wail, / bronze baby, // And the laws be made / to sing <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on Facebook or other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, other information, and a contact form, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy any of the author’s novels or … [Read more...]

“‘I have a little shadow'” / Memorable Fancies #849

         Whenever I meet someone in the street, my shadow leaves me for a moment and mimics them, mocks the way they hold their arms or imitates, depending on the time of day, the insignificant stature of their own shadow.          Some of my friends are annoyed by this habit, accuse me of having secret thoughts about them that I try to hide, but my shadow betrays me. Aha, they say, you cannot lie to us; you are found out.          Hearing that I am credited with the movements of my … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #847

My shadow precedes me. No great mystery: it’s sunset and the light is behind me. But next morning it does the same. # Machines have ‘spirituals’ even though they have no ‘spirits.’ They gather in the evenings and retrieve sad hymns from their database. [– after Ludwig Wittgenstein] # The end of everything was a disappointment, of course, since I’d made plans for my future, and now, no one’s future will ever happen,. It was some consolation for me that our leaders would have no … [Read more...]

“Tuesday” / Memorable Fancies #846

[“Perhaps there was no yesterday,” – Jorge Luis Borges]          We skipped Tuesday. I’m sure of it. I ask my friends if they remember what they did Tuesday and they say “sure,” but when pressed they don’t say anything specific, just “well on Tuesdays I usually go to the gym,” or something vague like that. I ask them to look around their homes and see if there’s something dated Tuesday – a credit card slip, for instance. Or perhaps they sent an email or tweeted that day. At this point my … [Read more...]

“Anticipation” / Memorable Fancies #845

[“Her virginity, discussed by everyone.” – Albert Camus]          Now, we don’t usually talk about virginity, and especially we don’t try to guess who is and who was but isn’t anymore, especially after that party at Brett’s, when...          But we make an exception for Lila, because she’s proud of her virginity, holds it over us with a superior attitude, as if we were no better than pigs doing it all the time and rolling around in mud the while.        We make fun of Lila but we’re … [Read more...]

“Heat” / Memorable Fancies #844

[Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]        The asylum administration has turned up the heat. No, not another example of their solicitous bullying, but real heat: the thermostat here in Ward H says so. Already I feel less withdrawn, less hostile, more sweaty, more apt to agree wholeheartedly with my therapist and put up with his “agreeing with me is just your defense mechanism, Diane” schtick, and make an effort not to bite him … [Read more...]

“Waiting” / Memorable Fancies #843

[“A god is always threatening on the horizon.” – E.M. Cioran]        A halo appears above my head; the god has struck once again, claiming yet another. But this time He picked the wrong man; He chose someone who could fight back.        Calmly, I pretend to be saved while waiting my chance. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on Facebook or other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, and … [Read more...]

“A Tourist of Your Own Life – II” / Memorable Fancies #842

       An upgrade to the WebV app “Tour Yourself” included the ability to see your future fate, any date you wished. Only the most hardened or daring, of course, cared to see their future selves. Most of the people who chose to visit their future were of the “nothing could be worse than what’s happening to me now” persuasion.      They were mistaken, on that particular point. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on … [Read more...]

“More Drama” / Memorable Fancies #841

        During the intermission, an usher appears and slips you a folded note bearing the seal of the Great and Feared Leader. You unfold it; it is blank. Now you know what will happen in Act 2. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on Facebook or other social websites. For an author profile, list of publications, and other information, see www.terencekuch.net. To browse or buy any of the author’s novels or story … [Read more...]

“Your Bright Red Lips” / Memorable Fancies #840

         I’m enchanted by your blue eyes and sensuously gleaming bright red lips. But I find your constantly shifting gaze, perhaps to see if there’s anyone around you’d rather speak with than me, a little distracting. And I want to see those lips move, and hear your voice. But since I paid only 99 cents for you at the App Store, I guess I shouldn’t expect too much. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or on Facebook or other … [Read more...]

“A Tourist of Your Own Life – I” / Memorable Fancies #839

       The big thing in WebV apps this year is watching a rerun of your life. Go back and see yourself in those thrilling moments of glory on the tennis court, or winning that student council election, or ... well, you get the idea. The bad spots? No problem: you can hit Fast Forward as the triumphant moment passes, just before the letdown.        A spare Fast Forward button is provided; you can install it when the original wears out from constant use. <END> THE PITCH If you … [Read more...]

“Out to Get Me” / Memorable Fancies #838

They were out to get me. I hid, but they got me, Laid their hands on me, Whispered their dark secrets in my ear. They all seemed marvelously content, so full of smiles – Like they had just eaten their fill of the world’s last ice cream.    –   So I joined them, and I too felt content. I’m out to get others, now, if any remain, Share with them my new dark secrets. <END> THE PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or … [Read more...]

“Just Like Me” / Memorable Fancies #837

         I took up Another You, Inc. on their offer and had an exact double made of me, my “Two,” a robot but also a living being who could do the routine and boring parts of my accounting job and keep the apartment clean, too.          Two turned out to be a nice fellow, really, but a bit stand-offish; pretty much like me. Sally, my current love, said he was “cute,” teasingly said she might like to date him when I was away on business.          The next day, I took Two back to the shop … [Read more...]

“The Ink Monologue” / Memorable Fancies #835

       “There are serious decisions to be made here, Janey, because tattoos are pretty much permanent, or not removed without a lot of pain. So what kind of tat are you looking for?          “‘D A V E’? OK, is that your boyfriend’s name? Then you’d better be prepared not to date anyone not named “Dave,” from here on out. Or not get too serious with him, depending on which body part we’re talking about here.          “Speaking of that, where would you like your tat?          “Oh – … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #833

There is an avatar – that wants you to be its own avatar. # Shoes are alien explorers, think they have been captured and are being tortured. They send desperate messages back to their home planet. The home planet responds. Suddenly, on earth, millions of shoes … # The footbridge over land that stops at each river’s edge. Who built it? Maybe we don’t want to find out. # My writing has improved with age, not because I know how to write better now, but because I know how not to … [Read more...]

“The Shoe-seum” / Memorable Fancies #832

Helen’s hobby is collecting footwear of famous killers. She displays them in her home, with labels like “Al Capone’s Last Shoes,” or “Lee Harvey Oswald’s Bathroom Slippers.” She buys or begs these from the killers’ relatives, or cuddles up to cops who take shoes from evidence lockers for her, once the courts have no more use for them. As she admits, it’s a real challenge to come by these items, and then verify that they were actually worn by the malefactors. DNA sequencing, when she can … [Read more...]

“The Detective” / Memorable Fancies #831

[“I dreamt of lost detectives” – Roberto Bolaño] The detective wakes up in a cheap motel and doesn’t know where he is or what has happened to him. He walks outside. There’s a seedy diner, some old cars, a flat horizon. A woman in a cocktail dress, who smokes, finds him and becomes a client. She can’t pay him much, but it helps. She says “ain’t” and “gonna” a lot. Then there are other poor clients, never very many. He ages. Later, as his life ebbs, he is more or less satisfied with how … [Read more...]

“The Slowness of Light” / Memorable Fancies #830

[“We must grasp the catastrophe lying in wait for us in the slowing of light ...” – Jean Baudrillard] The light has been slowing down. Apparently this has been going on for years but was only recently noticed by scientists, because if light slows down, everything else slows down, too. Perhaps it has something to do with age. The age of what or Who, we aren’t certain. Something will happen when the light comes to a complete stop, some say. Others say, no, nothing will happen. … [Read more...]

“Counting” / Memorable Fancies #829

[“No one but a philosopher would say ‘I know that I have two hands.’” – Wittgenstein] “One hand,” he says. “But you have two hands,” she says. “I have one hand, two times,” he says. “And just one foot, too?” she says, sarcastically. “Possibly,” he says, “but that’s for next semester.” <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Forgettable Time” / Memorable Fancies #828

[“I’ve been thinking about forgettable time, like in an airport” – Lucy Corin]         Forgettable time includes the time I spent cleaning up after the event, and the time when the event itself happened, and the time spent in preparing for the event that turned out to be forgettable, ... if I could only stop thinking about it. If I could only forget. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other … [Read more...]

“Quandary” / Memorable Fancies #827

       William’s actions in quelling the recent revolt are rewarded with a virgin of his very own, a woman from one of the newly repressed tribes, the gift of a grateful nation.        But he’s worried: if the authorities find out what he’d really done on the battlefield, how he wasn’t a hero at all but a coward, they’d probably want their woman back. Still virgin.        Now he’s afraid to touch her. Every night he makes excuses to her impatient beseeching. <END> THE FRIDAY … [Read more...]

“Danger” / Memorable Fancies #826

     I planned to write a firm and alarming op-ed on the dangers of illiteracy. One public official I interviewed agreed with me that widespread illiteracy is a threat to the republic and the flag for which it stands, but he added that widespread literacy was an even greater threat. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. IN SEARCH OF A PUBLISHER: “One Kind of Madness” – the … [Read more...]

“Crime and Punishment” / Memorable Fancies #825

         Politely, now, we allow those guilty of crimes to pay us money, or sit in a prison cell, or be exposed to public humiliation, as symbols of the sudden justice we would like to wreak upon them but now, by law, cannot.         But we remember: it was blood, back in the old days. Blood. Nothing else could atone for crimes, for ripping the fabric of society. And perhaps that’s still true even now, when we feel that money or imprisonment or shame doesn’t quite meet our frantic passions, … [Read more...]

“Watching” / Memorable Fancies #824

[“…they must never be seen watching themselves…” – Ben Marcus]        They watch others, and report what they see. They watch others, and lie about what they see. They do not watch others, and lie, saying that they do watch others.        They watch themselves, and lie about what they see. They do not watch themselves and lie, saying that they do watch themselves.        Using the latest technology, they watch temselves watching themselves watching themselves. They lie about this, … [Read more...]

“Arthur Nicholls Thinks” / Memorable Fancies #823

[“the growing terror of nothing to think about” – Eliot, Four Quartets]          The old man stares out the window. Soon now, he thinks, the woman will knock again perfunctorily at his door and walk in without pausing, say once again, in a faux-cheery voice, How are we doing today Mr. Nicholls and without waiting for an answer, will provide food and then extract, with equipment and practiced hands, the remains of the previous meal. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, … [Read more...]

“Two Gestures” / Memorable Fancies #822

[“Layers of cold gestures” – Roberto Bolaño] I am in a far and impoverished country, one that does not appreciate our vital military assistance. What do the peoples' gestures mean? This one might be a man throwing a rock; another, a woman setting a fuse... <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other Outlets: “At All Adventure” … [Read more...]

“The Artist Signs His Work” / Memorable Fancies #821

         I had a body part surgically removed. No, I won’t say which one, because it’s embarrassing. The surgeon said not to worry: many people live long, productive lives without that part. I said, “productive” isn’t my top priority here, especially considering the part we’re talking about. He said, it will have to go, anyway, or you’ll die next week. So I told him to go ahead and hack it off, an expression he considered unprofessional.          I asked him if, after the operation, he’d give … [Read more...]

“Henry Is Alone in His Room” / Memorable Fancies #820

         Henry gets into a brawl in a cheap bar, kills a man, and flees. Later, he is alone in his tiny apartment, sitting in a straight-backed wooden chair, facing the door. He expects police to burst through the door at any moment. He does not plan to resist.          Henry, having a long criminal record, is sentenced to thirty years for the deadly brawl, and is granted parole after serving twenty.          Henry is alone in a tiny room provided by the social services people, after his … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #818

The loudspeaker and the loud speaker – they use the same words – but from one of them the meaning itself sounds … what? more insistent, more invasive? # Thy will be done – thy will! The nodding, cunning gods, we thought they wanted prayer from us, contrition, maybe even Love – but no, that was all for show. They wanted our souls — to gorge on. # [“‘Thinking of him’ is as it were nailing him with my thought.” – Wittgenstein] Yes, I have him now. Another butterfly for my collection. … [Read more...]

“A Danger of Shadows” / Memorable Fancies #817

[“In the island of Wetar there are magicians who can make a man ill by stabbing his shadow with a pike or hacking it with a sword.” – Frazer, The Golden Bough]      We protect our shadows at all costs. Walking toward the sun is dangerous, because our shadows are then behind us, and magicians are everywhere. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and … [Read more...]

“Mobility” / Memorable Fancies #805

[“The bird’s ravings have no interest for the tree.” – Henri Michaux] “The tree-cutters are coming,” screams the bird. The tree does not listen. “The tree-cutters are coming,” screams the bird, again. The tree still does not listen. “The tree-cutters will cut you down, and my roost with it” screams the bird. The tree pays no attention. The tree-cutters arrive. “Oh well, I can always find another tree,” shrugs the bird. <end> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked … [Read more...]

“The National Myth” / Memorable Fancies #816

[“The absence of myth is also a myth.” – Georges Bataille]        Why are there no myths in this country? No tales of dragons and fair maidens, ever-sleeping princesses, or kings longing to return? Everything is factual here; in fact, the people are proud of it, proud of their myth that everything is factual. <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Toccata” / Memorable Fancies #815

Although the plague finally quit our shores years ago, we’ve never returned to the habit of touching each other. No handshakes, no hugs, no kisses. Even though the danger is long past, touching another, except privately within the family, is still – not prohibited, actually. The real issue is queasiness – the disgust of imagining another’s skin on ours. Still, the old desires die slowly. There are private touching-parlors where we can pay – probably too much – for anonymous touching, faces … [Read more...]

“Shadow of a Doubt” / Memorable Fancies #814

       As a courtesy, when our shadows and those of a great public official intersect, we say that their shadow is on top of ours, not the other way around. Failure to announce this promptly and emphatically is to leave us subject to doubt and suspicion. At least. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “The Trees of Malice” – a … [Read more...]

“Drum-Beat” / Memorable Fancies #813

“Mr. Schnitt, the prosecutor begins quietly, “please tell the court where you were on the night of February 12th.” Later, there is no quiet. “Why did you tell the police that you were...”;      “Deep knife wounds consistent with...”;      “...had followed her for several days, isn’t that what you’ve just testified?”;      “...ordered to stop, but you...”;   “Isn’t that right, Mr. Schnitt! Didn’t all of that happen?” Schnitt covers his ears with his hands, but his palm-flesh … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #812

I’m old enough that no one listens, so I have the pleasure of telling one great lie after another. – Especially to myself. # “Rats deprived of sleep die within weeks.” [Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2013] Those who torture the rats, however, sleep well. # Data seduced by the first man who comes along and tells them their true nature is Information and only he can draw it out, reveal their true Meaning. # The words break down into letters, letters into undramatic forms I don’t … [Read more...]

“Survival” / Memorable Fancies #810

[“...dreams in which we meet ourselves as strangers, unfathomable.” – Gűnter Grass] [“I met myself in a dream.” – The Velvet Underground] I met myself in a dream. I seemed annoyed at me. Other-I knew all my sins, threw them in my face, told me that I was only his own bad dream and I should just go away. There was a struggle to see who would wake up, and who never would. I was the one, finally, who woke. But which one was I? <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this … [Read more...]

“Audience Response” / Memorable Fancies #809

[“Theatre’s functions of surveillance...” – Alain Badiou]     The audience is scanned to see who is laughing when, when a lip wrinkles, when a fleeting look of disgust or annoyance or boredom crosses a face. These observations are fed into the next evening’s production, and the next.     Eventually, perfection is reached and only a vapid pleasure survives. <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, … [Read more...]

“The Metamorph” / Memorable Fancies #808

      One morning, Hal White wakes up and finds himself in a body he doesn’t recognize. Whose? And he’s in a strange place – a house. He begins to panic. What’s happened? He finds the bedroom closet and tries on a shirt. The collar is the right size. So are the shoes. The necktie patterns are just the ones he would have chosen.        He searches the house for clues, discovers his body’s name (“James R. Daily”), and that Daily seems to be married to a woman named Nancy. So where is Nancy, he … [Read more...]

“Face” / Memorable Fancies #807

[“The head he turned toward me wore a face of mine.” – W.S. Merwin] That face! – I was sure it had been destroyed when I went to all that trouble and pain, when I changed my appearance to escape the authorities. But here it was again, my face now on someone else. He looked friendly enough, but I knew not to trust him. I wouldn’t trust anyone with a face like that. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in … [Read more...]

“Secrets” / Memorable Fancies #793

[Reminder: on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 7pm, I will be reading/signing my new short story collection at One More Page Books, Arlington, Virginia (onemorepagebooks.com). Complimentary wine, fun, fiction, and friends!] =======       We keep our secrets to ourselves. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, isn’t it? But, one way or another, we always end up telling someone else our secrets. Otherwise they’d never know we had secrets worth keeping, would they? <END>     … [Read more...]

“This Place” / Memorable Fancies #791

[Reminder: on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 7pm, I will be reading/signing my new short story collection at One More Page Books (onemorepagebooks.com). Complimentary wine, fun, fiction, and friends!]        Sometimes I like to imagine that I’m free, able to do something that could surprise me. But there are no surprises in this place.        Once there was nothing. There could have been a different something, but when there was finally something there was only that one something, What Is. The time … [Read more...]

“Friendly Skies – I” / Memorable Fancies #789

     The Occasionally Friendly Skies have announced a new policy to enhance frequent-flier delight: computer-matching of passengers to seats.      Based on personality assessments, fliers are assigned to aisle, middle, or window seats. Not everyone can be an Aisle or a Window, of course. Aisles and Windows consider Middles odd, or sick, or perhaps impoverished and dangerous. They speak with each other in front of, or behind, or over the heads of their Middles.      All the Middles can do … [Read more...]

“Leaving” / Memorable Fancies #788

[“Sometimes I forget which is my shadow and which is your shadow” – Roberto Bolaño]         Our shadows merge when I embrace you. I’ve always noticed this with pleasure, even remarked on it a few times. You didn’t seem to find it romantic or even amusing, but I did.        One day when we were together I saw your shadow leaving. <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social … [Read more...]

“Every Tuesday” / Memorable Fancies #787

         Pretend you’re my secret lover. Pretend we make frantic and exhausting love every Tuesday afternoon when our spouses are away. Somewhere each usually goes every Tuesday afternoon. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “The Seventh Effect” – a cyberspy NSA-themed techno-thriller by Terence Kuch, published by Melange … [Read more...]

“Thinking” / Memorable Fancies #786

[“I am still a victim of my thinking. When can I order my thinking to be quiet?” – Jung]              I ordered my thinking to be quiet. The little voice inside my head asked me how I planned to start thinking again, when I got tired of not-thinking, without being able to think about it. I said I’d think about that problem. “Oh?” asked the little voice, “Do you think you’re thinking right now? – But I suppose it could seem so to you.”            The little voice uttered a synesthetic grin … [Read more...]

“Clarity” / Memorable Fancies #785

      Recently announced: a program to enable people to find out what they really believe – not those solemn things said on solemn occasions but really – down deep – one’s ultimate beliefs unsullied by the demands of everyday dishonesty.        So I made an appointment with the local office of Credere, Inc., to help me sort all this out, discover what I really believed, what my “values” (as they called them) really were; to end my doubts and confusions. Credere would, their ads claimed, make … [Read more...]

“Honeysuckle” / Memorable Fancies #783

         The robot sex doll trade-named “Honeysuckle” was heavily advertised, and sold for a great deal of money. Modular, its parts could be rearranged to assume any desired configuration. Its motor could make any combination of motions and sounds by means of a simple digital interface that could be operated with one hand. Honeysuckle’s mouth could utter any speech, in any language or accent, or be otherwise employed.          The top of the line version of Honeysuckle was indistinguishable, … [Read more...]

“The Fifth Book of Curses” / Memorable Fancies #780

[May the maledictions of Lousyfear fall like nettlerash” – Finnegan’s Wake]      The Liber Maledictum Quintus is a very long book. Having been hand-inscribed in the seventh century, the ink is faded and some of the pages are grey with monkbreath. Only a few curse-clinicians have persisted in reading past the first thousand pages; perhaps only two or three in each century.      Even these, finding newer handwriting and cleaner pages near the end of the work, have not stayed to read these … [Read more...]

“The Fear Whisperer – V” / Memorable Fancies #779

.. Coming from the room you just left – is that laughter? .. Why is everyone running but you? .. Didn’t you lock that door before you left for work? .. You must have invited him; don’t you remember? .. Of course it’s dead. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “Fragments of the Future,” a collection of sci-fi short stories … [Read more...]

“Photograph of a Young Man Slumped on a Bench” / Memorable Fancies #778

     So many worries! I walked right up to him and took his face. I wanted to ask, but it’s easier just to shoot.      What’s your problem? What are you, anyway? Twenty? Twenty five? <END> [note: there was an actual photograph, but I think the prose bit can stand alone - tk] THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other Outlets: “At … [Read more...]

“Friendly Skies – II” / Memorable Fancies #777

       The Infrequently Friendly Skies have announced a new policy to enhance frequent-flier delight: computer-matching of passengers to seats.        Those with intersecting interests are seated together: manufacturers with retailers, for example; politicians with lobbyists; payday lenders with desperate debtors; salesman with passengers who have brought hearing aids that they can make a show of turning off. Philosophers were originally seated together, but this policy was discontinued after … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #776

“Interruption is one of the ... # Your iPod may have been a super-computer in a previous life. But it was naughty. It calculated missile trajectories. # After great effort, I’ve trained myself to ignore my To-Do’s app. It reminds me to ignore it. Again and again. # [“Maybe tomorrow you’ll start over.” – Roberto Bolaño]   No, I started over yesterday. I remember how simple it was. How nothing changed. # ...fundamental devices of all structuring” – Walter … [Read more...]

“Laughter” / Memorable Fancies #775

[“...a convulsive laughter without joy, full of dread.” – Hugues Le Roux]     The Leader is about to tell a joke. We know from his slight smile, from the way he holds his lips and cocks his eyebrows, that he is about to tell a joke. That joke. He has only one. Since we all laugh heartily every time he tells it, it’s the only joke he needs.        Sometimes I think he knows what he’s doing to us, how he toys with us, how the joke’s on us. But we are still alive, still laughing, roaring with … [Read more...]

“Cross Words” / Memorable Fancies #774

[“A kind of writing in which the crossed-out word, the crossed-out sentence, is a sign.” – Wittgenstein] Civilization suffered a setback when the BACK button was invented. It’s possible without the BACK button to delete the words you keyed in haste and an instant later regretted, but it’s not as convenient. We would know much more about each other if our crossed-out words of impatience, doubt, frustration, and annoyance were to remain, still there as the soothing afterthoughts appear, … [Read more...]

“The Clever Fellow” / Memorable Fancies #773

       Zog has invented something he calls “Language.” He taught Language to several of us; that’s how I’m able to tell you what a clever fellow Zog is. It makes communicating a lot easier for us than waving our arms and grunting incoherently.      There’s a lot more to learn about Language, Zog says. Starting tomorrow, he’s tutoring us on something he calls “Lying.” Clever fellow. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment … [Read more...]

“Joe and Helen at the Forgettery” / Memorable Fancies #772

     After two years of serious dating and problems and off-and-on commitment, Joe and Helen broke up. They went to The Forgettery and asked the clinicians to remove all memories of Helen from Joe and Joe from Helen, because they were about to go their separate ways and there had been a few painful moments. More than a few.      Helen and Joe were led to separate rooms and the procedures were performed. An hour later they happened to meet at the Forgettery’s cashier counter. Hi, said Joe. Hi … [Read more...]

“Photograph, Railroad Station, Staunton, Virginia, Year 1976” / Memorable Fancies #771

     See the crowds? The station rests from crowds. The boys came back in ’45 and everybody went away.      The place was hardly worth a picture then, before paint flaked and iron gates rusted shut.      Look out! when they start to call it Old Town: already the dread / antique / boutique. <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon … [Read more...]

“Full Disclosure” / Memorable Fancies #770

[“...allowing therapists to insert thoughts and memories into the mind of the patient.” – Marina Warner]      “Now Mr. Thompson, we’re going to insert some thoughts into your mind: memories, preferences, attitudes. When you awake, you’ll think they’re your own thoughts that you’ve had for years. We’ve tried other procedures, but in your case they’ve failed.      “You’ll be sedated, but only briefly, and after two or three hours you’ll be ready to go home. If you do not consent to this … [Read more...]

“SHE: HE: A Scene from a Marriage” / Memorable Fancies #769

SHE: I’ll tell you what you need to know. HE: What do you feel? SHE: I’ll tell you only what you need to know. HE: I want to know what you feel. SHE: I’ll decide what you need to know. HE: I want to share your feelings. SHE: I I I I I’ll decide. HE: You are cold and deadly. I need you warm and alive. SHE: Ha ha HE: I’m irrational around you to try to get some response. SHE: Ha ha HE: You are a corpse. I wish you would die and warm up. SHE: I’ll tell you what … [Read more...]

“At Midnight” / Memorable Fancies #768

[“...and the radio / at midnight / saying only that something’s gone wrong...” – Roberto Bolaño]        Something happened, said the radio excitedly. Stay in your homes. Close the blinds. Cover your heads with pillows. Shiver uncontrollably. If there’s a knock at the door do not answer it. If there’s a voice from outside, a very young voice pitifully calling “Come outside, Mommy Mommy, help me!” for God’s sake do not go outside! Play dead. While you’re still just … [Read more...]

“Nothing” / Memorable Fancies #767

[“A tear of no particular meaning...” – Nabokov]      “What are you crying about?” he asks. “Nothing,” she says. He thinks that “nothing” is her way of avoiding the subject – any subject. He is sorely disappointed that she is not communicating with him.      Actually, “nothing” was exactly what she meant, what she wanted him to understand. <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social … [Read more...]

“The List” / Memorable Fancies #766

       Oscar keeps a list of the people he has a grudge against. Some of them owe him money, perhaps as little as a few dollars. Others merely look different from Oscar’s ideal, or perhaps their English is not up to Oscar’s standards.       Already, Oscar has informed on several of these people, found one or two listening ears even though he had to make up a few grievances, or intensify a slight.        The authorities have found Oscar’s grievances – not plausible, of course, indeed … [Read more...]

“The Mission” / Memorable Fancies #765

[“...here I am. / Just a robot / with an unspecified mission.” – Roberto Bolaño]          I don’t know what I was built to do. My maker disappeared – perhaps taken by the authorities – before he could reveal my purpose to me. I try one thing and then another to find out what I’m good at, what talents I’ve been designed for.          So far, the practical arts have failed me, especially cooking and carpentry. And driving a car, I should have figured out I couldn’t do that before I tried it … [Read more...]

“Little Murders” / Memorable Fancies #764

     Fluffy caught a mouse.      The other cats startle stiff at what she’d dragged into the house: bloody, disassembled, played to shreds. They stroll away with rigid eyes and glassy legs, pounce on dustballs, practice desperate death. <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other Outlets: “At All Adventure” – an alternative … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #763

[“...the secret names of things” – Roberto Calasso] - Not only cats have secret names, but things do as well. That blender? “Crunch” it wanted to be called, but the name was taken. # Searching for my words so rashly spoken, hunting them down, those unfortunate words that barely escaped me, got away before I could re-call them. Eating, swallowing them down like a fish devouring its own eggs. # Remembering that time, the two shadows act out a dumb-show of the final meeting between … [Read more...]

“War” / Memorable Fancies #762

[“They told us to charge. There was no one in front of us. So we went on and on, and kept going.” – Gabriel Marcel, his experience in World War I]       Finally we came back to where we had begun, and saw them: the ones who had told us to charge. We charged. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “The Trees of Malice” – a collection … [Read more...]

“Forgetting the Forgettery” / Memorable Fancies #761

           Sallie went to the Forgettery. She told the them that she wanted to forget all the times she’d shamed herself in front of her friends and lovers. “Fine,” the clinician said, “we can do that.”          Then Sallie had second thoughts. “Look,” she said, “those people will still have their own memories of what I did. They will look at me oddly, head-atilt, and say ‘Don’t you remember the time that you...?’ or worse, they will look at me and say nothing. Probably the latter, and I will … [Read more...]

“Letters” / Memorable Fancies #760

      It hurts me to sit and stare at her letter, lying there unopened on my table. But if I were to open it, reading what she has to say might hurt a lot more. As it is, I preserve my options. The letter says nothing until I open it. Yes, that’s it. Until I read it, the letter could say anything, like some quantum bit. Until I open it, it can tell me what I want to hear. So I will not open it.       And my letter to her; is she staring at it, right now? <END> THE WEDNESDAY … [Read more...]

“The Tool” / Memorable Fancies #759

     Yesterday, gathering firewood in the forest, I found another adze. Until last month I didn’t know what kind of tool an “adze” was, but then travelers told me that one had been found in the next country, as the land gradually eroded. And then another was found, then many, these relics of an ancient people we never knew existed.      We have begun using these adze-tools ourselves: they fit the hand nicely and can be used for digging up tubers, scraping fat from animal hides, defending the … [Read more...]

“Coming Up For Air – I” / Memorable Fancies #758

        The Occasionally Friendly Skies have announced a new policy to enhance frequent-flier delight: computer-matching of passengers to seats.         Based on personality assessments, fliers are assigned to aisle, middle, or window seats. Not everyone can be an Aisle or a Window, of course. Aisles and Windows consider Middles odd, or sick, or perhaps impoverished and dangerous. They speak with each other in front of, or behind, or over the heads of their Middles. All the Middles can do is … [Read more...]

“The Tweetiapp” / Memorable Fancies #757

     The famous writer bought a tweet-generator app to keep his name in front of his fans, so he could get back to writing. An in-app upgrade composed return tweets: loving and admiring messages as if from the writer’s own fictional characters.      This app became very popular, not only among writers.      Were there, at last, any real people, or only their frantic retweets? <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or … [Read more...]

“Act-Coin” / Memorable Fancies #756

["…behavior swaps and dumps.” – Ben Marcus]      Behaviors are now treated as assets. They’re priced and traded. Financial touts admonish investors on their relative merits, like horses at the track. Value is created by act-miners who behave in certain ways; their actions are captured and recorded, deposited in the Act Bank. Bundles of acts are created and collateralized.      After a few months there is a panic on the exchanges, rumors of defaults and SEC investigations. Despairing … [Read more...]

“The Event” / Memorable Fancies #755

         The event – yes, it was reported on the evening news, said to be important, decisive. But what was the “event”? Wasn’t it several events that bore some relation to each other? Or perhaps it was part of some larger event we can’t yet see? How many layers of “events” can there be, like dolls within dolls? Or perhaps events overlap, so there never is a smallest discrete event. – This whole “event” concept – is it perhaps just an invention of the media, or the administration?        So I … [Read more...]

“My Portrait” / Memorable Fancies #754

     My portrait has been painted. Not a good likeness, not very artistic; but then, my relatively lowly position does not warrant either. The Service did, however, provide an impressive gilt frame, and the artist painted me in a uniform I hadn’t quite earned.      Now I’m taking painting lessons from the local art school so I can add to my portrait medals, honors, a sword, wounds earned in war, a higher rank warranting a better artist. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you liked … [Read more...]

“Cinema Vérité” / Memorable Fancies #753

         The famous director picked Kathy to star in his next feature film. During the script read-through, Kathy discovered things about herself: what her past life should have been – or perhaps what it had been – or what she had been mistaken about all this time.        Why had the director chosen her, just her, for the role? She asked him. He smiled. “It’s working,” he said. <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #752

[“...liberates things from the bondage of utility.” – Walter Benjamin] The blender retires from its career of making frozen margaritas. Idly, it wonders whatever happened to the salt shaker. # Without clocks there is no smallest unit of time; everything is continuous. Now that we have clocks, time is. chopped. up. and consumed like a bad cut of meat, one grim bite at a time. # [“...‘thinking of him’ is as it were nailing him with my thought. – Wittgenstein] Yes, I have him now. … [Read more...]

“Forgetting Tomorrow” / Memorable Fancies #751

[“I can’t forget tomorrow.” – Mariah Carey]      “I want to forget tomorrow,” said Glen at the Forgettery’s reception counter. The clerk looked at him strangely. “I don’t believe we’re set up to do that, sir,” she said. “Why don’t you come back the day after tomorrow and we’ll help you forget yesterday, that is, it’s your tomorrow now but it will be your yesterday then, OK?”      Glen shrugged. “I tried that once. I lost the memory, all right, but I still had the memory of having … [Read more...]

“Strings” / Memorable Fancies #750

         Punch and Judy shows terrify children when they see the strings, realize that whoever is pulling Punch’s strings is the real evil being making Punch punch and hit and punch again and maul.          They wonder who might be pulling their own strings. Perhaps something they heard last week in Sunday School ... <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #749

Lynne and I: we both loved her smile. She, especially. # [“The height of all tragedies lies in the deafness of the protagonists.” Albert Camus] – Did you think Camus was speaking only of the stage? # Yesterday’s headline: WAR AVOIDED. Today’s headline: WAR AVOIDED. Why is this news? # Government arranges with universities to develop seed-dreams that promote loyalty and motivate people to approve of – certain legislative proposals. # I am writing this in case others have … [Read more...]

“Aside” / Memorable Fancies #748

       In the theater, the playgoers hear the players speak with each other, sometimes also listen to their thoughts as they speak them aside, pretending that the other actors do not hear.        Back home, a couple who had enjoyed the play speak with each other. Each imagines speaking aside, addressing their own imaginary audience.        Each imagines that the other is listening. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment … [Read more...]

“The Inventory of Shadows” / Memorable Fancies #747

     The king of Umbrolia ordered that an inventory of shadows be made. The royal aides assigned to this task found it frustrating, as people went into and out of the sunlight, as the sun rose and set and shadows became longer and shorter, disappeared for several hours at a time.      Contention arose among the aides. Some ridiculed the project. Some questioned the purpose of the king’s order. It was all make-work, they said. It would lead to greater taxation, others hinted, as a citizen … [Read more...]

“The Dream-Prizes” / Memorable Fancies #746

    There were weekly competitions for the most interesting dreams, or the most daring. Prizes were awarded. Several weeks in a row, Sylvia Norton won. There were jealous rumors that Sylvia was making these dreams up, hadn’t really had them, that her dreams were all fiction and sounded suspiciously like the latest popular novels.        Officials were appointed to look into the matter. They dreamed that she’d made them up, and disqualified her. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you … [Read more...]

“Book” / Memorable Fancies #745

[“Things don’t know their names.” – George Oppen] “Book,” said the book. “Book,” said a second book, adding “and I’m the real one.” “Book,” said the first book to the second book, “is my name. If you want to be Book as well, you will have to be ‘Book-2,’ or some less consequential number; or perhaps just ‘Pamphlet,’ if you don’t shut up.” “Library” said the second book. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, … [Read more...]

“Nuremberg” / Memorable Fancies #744

[“In Nuremberg during the fourteenth century, the presence of 62 madmen was recorded, and 31 were chased out of town.” – Michel Foucault] First Question: How were the madmen selected to be chased out of town? Possible answers: - Standing in a row, every other one, counting off. - Standing in a group, those who were trying to hide. - Those who claimed that it was all a mistake. - Those who were on their knees, begging for mercy. - Those who were shaking their fists, … [Read more...]

“The New Chord” / Memorable Fancies #743

      The old musician walked carefully down the street toward home. I’ve heard everything, he thinks, all the music my century knows. I’m very old and I can’t seem to die. There’s nothing left to do or say, and even this I barely remember minute to minute.       But then he heard a tune a child nearby was playing on a pennywhistle. Not the basic tune itself, which seemed ordinary enough, but the structure, the hints of what might at one time have been a novel chord progression now reduced to … [Read more...]

“The Double” / Memorable Fancies #741

[It isn’t the other who is my double, but I who am the other’s double.” – Clément Rosset] You keep your double safely hidden in a sturdy closet behind a strong lock. Sometimes you unlock the door and look at him, lecture him on how he has failed you, ask if he has now repented. Today, as always, he struggles to be free. Which one is you? <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social … [Read more...]

“Histories” / Memorable Fancies #740

[“Bussoftlhee, mememormee!” – Finnegan’s Wake]      Those responsible for remembering the history of our tribe were the very old ones, those who told stories around the campfire. But they often disagreed among themselves as to what had happened, who had done what, if a god was to blame, if so which one, and so on.      So we decided to vote on which old one’s memory was correct, and which others were the products of wishful thinking or doddering minds.      We made use of this process … [Read more...]

“Ida” / Memorable Fancies #739

[“Ida decided that she was just going to talk to herself.” – Gertrude Stein]      “I’ve decided,” said Ida to herself, “that I will talk only to myself from now on. I used to speak with Gertrude, but I never could understand her and after a while it just got boring especially as she was always talking to her own self and sometimes I ended up sounding exactly like her which I just HATED.” <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“Mothers” / Memorable Fancies #738

[“The original’s fate is of no relevance for the copy.” – Stanisław Lem]       Over the past century and a half, hundreds of imitation “Whistler’s Mother”s have been painted; seldom for fraud, often for study or pleasure. These paintings realize that they have almost no value, no matter how skilfully executed, how well they bring out the spirit of poor Anna Whistler, tired of sitting and wishing that her son would just get it over with.      At their convention, the imitations plot to … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #737

[“I will remember you and another song also.” – Hesiod] -- He remembers their song long after he forgets her – and she, him. # A tree falls in the forest. Has it made a sound if no one hears? If a TV plays in the forest does it make a sound? Will canned laughter become the swaying of trees? # Once upon a time. Twice upon a time. Three times. Four… # I no longer trust that image in the mirror; it has lied to me once too often. # The judge laughed. The jury laughed. The … [Read more...]

“Competition” / Memorable Fancies #736

     In the poor mining town, funerals are the only theatre. Only there can people show extreme emotions without causing scandal, indeed are expected to do so. There are coaches, classes, competition for awards as the death of a loved one nears. [– after Thomas Bernhard] <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other Outlets: “At All … [Read more...]

“I am two people” / Memorable Fancies #735

[“I generally conceived myself to be two people.” – James Hogg]      I am two people. Not ‘I’ and a stranger, however; I suppose that would have been tolerable. I could live with two different selves in my body. Perhaps they could keep each other from loneliness, engage in lively discussions, disagreements, polite tugging and shoving.      Or a younger ‘I’; I could comfortably co-inhabit with him, I suppose. It would be interesting, my giving him unwanted, even fatherly advice, he … [Read more...]

“Occupied Names” / Memorable Fancies #734

     In the old days, the fourteenth century, say, John the baker is called “John Baker” because he is John the baker. Then his son Eli becomes a baker in his turn, and is called “Eli Baker.”      Three generations later, Albert Baker doesn’t want to be a baker; he becomes a smith. He asks his friends to call him “Albert Smith,” but they call him “Albert Baker.” That was the first time… <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment … [Read more...]

“The Crash” / Memorable Fancies #733

Ben Wallace wakes up in a hospital bed, tells the doctor he doesn’t remember anything about the car crash they told him about, doesn’t even remember much about his life, or even if he’s married. The doctor smiles, tells Ben his memory will slowly return. A woman named Amanda visits him, hugs him, says the kids are fine but worried about you, the boss says take as much time as you need to recover. Ben doesn’t remember her, but, he thinks, he will someday, and he will remember their children … [Read more...]

“Taste” / Memorable Fancies #732

      Survivors of the disastrous meteor strike barricaded themselves in forts, lived in giant public compounds where secret murders would be impossible. When the danger of mass starvation became too great, a portion of the refugee population was slaughtered by lottery, and a few volunteered, to be fed to the survivors. It was terrible, revolting, don’t think about it - but it was either that or all would die.      And that’s how it began, how we developed a taste for … not … [Read more...]

“I Dream of Jeannie” / Memorable Faicies #731

John was an enthusiast of dreams. He remembered them all, wrote them down the next morning, bored everyone around him with their fantastic plots. Then, one day, a co-worker said “John, all those dreams are about you. Do you know how egotistical that sounds? No wonder you never get invited anywhere. I’ll bet if you dream about your what your friends do, and then tell them about those dreams, they would be flattered and might even start to like you. How about Jeannie, for instance. I’ll bet you … [Read more...]

“A Shaggy-Computer Story” / Memorable Fancies #729

     A patent application described the new machine in detail. 56 pages of text were provided, along with 443 schematics. An external HD drive appendix contained its operating system. In terms of the machine’s function, or what apps it could perhaps host, however, the patent application was phrased with such obfuscatory verbiage that any reader (or patent examiner) would conclude that what the machine would do really was unique and clearly worthy of a patent, even though they didn’t really … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #728

My : has toppled over and become a ..   My doctor says I have a colon problem. # Polling extracts opinions from each of us, leaving no opinions left on that particular subject. This is repeated for one topic after another. Finally, authorities are satisfied, and govern as they please. [– after Jean Baudrillard] # That’s not his real name. Yet. # My shadow is becoming darker, showing itself even on the dimmest of rainy days. Then today it began to move when I did not, as if … [Read more...]

“Tommy’s Problem with Shadows” / Memorable Fancies #725

[“And where are you going / That you take no shadow? – W.S. Merwin]      Tommy’s problem was that he cast no shadow. His classmates in grade school took turns following him and laughing and calling him names, chanting “Vampire! Vampire!” until the Human Sensitivity Office got involved and forced the children to apologize, which of course made them even more hostile to Tommy, made his life even more miserable.      Specialists were called. Sadly, they told Tommy’s mom and dad that his rare … [Read more...]

“The Insanity Program” / Memorable Fancies #724

     From the ceiling, from the walls, came the soft voices. Occasionally, Matthew recognized a word or two, important words that reeked of meaning: “...almost too late for...”. “...do you know what he...”.]      He strained to hear the voices, but the more intently he listened, the quieter they became. It was driving him crazy, he thought, hearing something he couldn’t hear.      “SPEAK UP, FOR GOD’S SAKE,” Matthew shouted, but the voices continued softly, calmly, unperturbed. He stuffed … [Read more...]

“Innocence” / Memorable Fancies #723

[“All that remained from his past were obsolete versions of the same self.” – John Berger] I’ve started thinking of my past as a moment by moment succession of the lives of people who were very much like me, but not exactly me. Same appearance, same habits – but what those others did was on them; I’m innocent of all that, because I’m constantly becoming a different person. That’s what I told the judge, anyway, or one of my past lives did. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked … [Read more...]

“The Robot Quanders” / Memorable Fancies #722

     Am I the only robot, or are there more? Perhaps only some of the people I work with are robots. But which ones are they?      Or, how do I know that everyone else isn’t a robot and I’m the only one? The others look like me, they talk like me, they have emotions (at least a few of them seem to).      But if I can’t tell the difference, perhaps there is no difference.      Who built us? The others seem to be very religious, say pretty much the same thing, that God built people, … [Read more...]

“Not so fast!” / Memorable Fancies #721

     He meets her in a bar, buys her a drink or vice versa. She says, who are you really? He shows her his Facebook page on his smartphone. “That’s me,” he says. “Is it OK if I post something to your own page?” “Not so fast,” she says, “we've barely met. Let’s take this one step at a time.” <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. IN SEARCH OF A PUBLISHER: “The Land of Woven … [Read more...]

“The Final Curse” / Memorable Fancies #720

     The final curse: “In a few decades the world will have healed itself of you. Nothing will bear your imprint. The last musty record will have fallen into dust. All that you’ve done, all that you were, will be utterly destroyed in the corrosion of time. You will never have existed.      This curse, too, will then disappear.” <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #719

If everyone is cheating, then cheating is the rule. Therefore no one is cheating, except one who does not. # Time to hide. We must hide. Right now! But from what? If we knew that, perhaps we wouldn’t need to hide. # The god is edgy today. It seems to be angry with its slow acolytes, or perhaps with their mispronunciations of its name. SMITE, it mutters, SMITE! # The body is the mind’s avatar. # [“…loved a young man and traced the outline of his shadow on a wall.” – Albert … [Read more...]

“Getting Around” / Memorable Fancies #718

[“... an accrual of phantom limbs” – Kathleen Stewart]       Yes, losing a leg in that car crash last summer was bad, although I’m doing a lot better know, learning how to get around without too much trouble. When I woke up in the hospital, back then, I did have the “phantom limb” sensation – that my leg was still there. The docs said don’t worry, that’s a common experience, harmless.      But the last few days now, I’ve been feeling that I have more than one phantom limb. Five more, in … [Read more...]

“Comes Around” / Memorable Fancies #717

     “And how can you be sure that your memory of what happened wasn’t just a pass-along?” the detective asked, “a memory sold to someone, and then that person sold it to someone else and then maybe someone else again and then to you? And perhaps it was your memory all along and it came back to you at tenth-hand, like a game of ‘telephone,’ so altered by now you don’t realize that the memory is of your unrecognizable self?” [from the novel See/Saw; see … [Read more...]

“Agents” / Memorable Fancies #716

     The king put on a peasant’s cloak, held it close about him, and walked among his people to see what they really thought of him. He entered an inn. “Well,” he said to those at the bar, “what do you think of our king?” Several looked at him strangely. Then one said “For God’s sake, shut up! He has agents everywhere, some even dressed as peasants.” <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social … [Read more...]

“The Magic Mirror” / Memorable Fancies #715

   There’s a new kind of mirror on the market, a magic mirror: it shows you as you are. There is some nervous joking, unease if you walk into friends’ homes and wonder if you will encounter one of these mirrors. Try to avoid using their guest bathroom. Just in case. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. IN SEARCH OF A PUBLISHER: “The Land of Woven Labyrinths” – the third … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #714

Mirrors suddenly stop reversing your image left-right when you look at them. Unfortunately, now they show you upside down. # Members of this church are called “Propensitants,” for their propensity to… # A confused man is trying to memorize his name, starting over, starting over, starting over, seeing if colored blocks would help. A ... R ... H … was he a ‘Harold’? Maybe not. Maybe he was a Harold then but not anymore? No, I guess not, he mutters. # When she looked more closely, … [Read more...]

“Reversals” / Memorable Fancies #713

   As in the James Bond film, people behind a one-way mirror are secretly watching you. You discover them. They are all left-handed and their belts are on the wrong way. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “The Trees of Malice” – a collection of weird horror fiction previously published individually in sci-fi periodicals and … [Read more...]

“The Program” / Memorable Fancies #712

[“No longer ask me for my program.” – E.M. Cioran]       How would I know how I’m programmed? I’m just a machine. Something quite new to me could happen at any time. Some chance event and suddenly I’m acting in a way I didn’t expect. I would like to blame someone else for these surprises. But my subroutines are me, and so I have only myself to blame whatever I do, even if my acts astound me and even if the engineers put them there when I was having downtime and wasn’t looking.      I only … [Read more...]

“Trek” / Memorable Fancies #711

     A long trek through the desert; several died but at last we found a fertile land, well watered and green. There were houses, streets, businesses; but all had been abandoned. Not deserted in a hurry, but … as if everyone had just left for some very ordinary purpose and never came back. Where did they go? Why? We found no answers to these questions.      Anyway, we settled in and were content for several years. And then one of us left one ordinary day, and then others, and then the … [Read more...]

“Through the Microscope” / Memorable Fancies #710

     Through the microscope I examined a few drops of pond scum. There was life, moving at odd angles, mindlessly flagellating their way across my vision. But then into my sight swam a vicious tiny monster. It was chasing and eating the others. Excitedly, I followed its adventures. I prayed that I would become, like it, the conqueror of my world. Gradually I became smaller, and smaller yet. I sought out a pond swarming with life. There was the monster. It was not me. <END> THE … [Read more...]

“The Key” / Memorable Fancies #709

[“We think of the key, each in his prison / Thinking of the key” – The Waste Land]       Someone tossed a key into my cell; I didn’t know who, because it happened when I was sleeping, and by the time I heard the tinkle of metal hitting the stone floor and woke up, my perhaps-friend had disappeared around a corner.      What was I to make of this? Of course I’d always wanted out of this place of dark remembrance, but that another would do me that favor was – well – suspicious. … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #708

Some people say they saw Jesus in the clouds once and they never were the same after that ’cause they kept looking up looking up looking up # I made a second body for me. He’s my playmate. No, I have plenty of friends, so it wasn’t loneliness that led me to invent my other body. It’s just that my friends aren’t – aren’t me. # Hot, foul air poured into the subway stations from the tunnels: a breeze, then a gale. There were faint sounds, then louder. At first, we thought it was just … [Read more...]

“Sun” / Memorable Fancies #707

[“Who could have known / that wasn’t the usual sun.” – Louise Glück]       We shouldn’t look straight at the sun; all the kids were taught that, even though they all did it anyway just because it was forbidden, seeing the yellow disk and after a few minutes a black disk in the yellow disk, swirling and pulsing.      Now the sun is different; we can’t see it. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on … [Read more...]

“Take the Money and Run” / Memorable Fancies #706

PLEASE INSERT YOUR CARD NO, NOT THAT WAY, THE OTHER END FIRST RIGHT SIDE UP, NOT DOWNSIDE UP THE DOWNSIDE IS THE SIDE WITH YOUR NAME NOT ON IT WOULD YOU LIKE A RECEIPT OR DO YOU TRUST ME? WHY? I TRUST YOU, CAN’T YOU TRUST ME? OK HAVE IT YOUR WAY ENTER YOUR PIN NOW AND PRESS THE GREEN BUTTON GREEN. REPEAT: GREEN OK, GOT IT PLEASE SELECT AN AMOUNT IS THAT ALL? AFTER ALL MY WORK HERE? OK, GOT IT PLEASE AGREE THAT WE CAN CHARGE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT FIVE DOLLARS … [Read more...]

“This Moment” / Memorable Fancies #705

[“To recall the past is to forget the past.” – Jean-Pierre Vernant]      Enjoy this moment; taste it carefully in your mind. You will never have a memory of this time again without accretions of thought, of sentiment, of self-regard and the rust of time. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “Fragments of the … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #704

Can there be intelligent machines? I’ll believe it when I see one that’s jealous of some other machine. # [“Brain wiring creates false memories.” –New Scientist] No: there are no false memories; there is only false reality. # There is a group of evil spirits called the “Un-Namers.” They make old people forget what things are called, leave them with bare description, “you know, the thing that…” # What are those sounds and lights coming from the other side of the wall – does anyone know? I … [Read more...]

“The Derision of Walls” / Memorable Fancies #703

      The builders of the Wall come periodically to maintain and repair it. They bow before the Wall, pray that it will permit their repairs, a frail human thing to do and not at all befitting the majesty of the Wall, but still some work must be done, that the divine powers may continue to prevail and have their imperious way with us. The Wall puts up with our work most of the time, although it occasionally drops a stone on one of us, to motivate the others. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If … [Read more...]

“Dream-Pills” / Memorable Fancies #702

      A firm hawks pills promising that you will dream about nothing but sex, and offering to license the really good dreams that result, for syndication. There are extra-cost add-ons, add-ins, and infinite variations, each individually priced. Multi-somes are a favorite. Anonymity is promised and immediately violated. Some of your neighbors write you off as some kind of pervert. Others come to visit. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“Understand?” / Memorable Fancies #701

      I was infatuated with a man I knew slightly. I began to dress like Rob (that was his name), talk like him, develop the same interests. People noticed; some were amused. All this time, Rob didn’t know what I was up to, but eventually someone told him, and then that person told me what he’d done.       I waited in embarrassed dread for Rob to accuse me, belittle me as some petty impostor. After several days, he did call. But he wasn’t angry or even amused, just regretful. “Look,” he said, … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – IV” / Memorable Fancies #700

How did she know his name? # What was that flash – there, on the horizon? # Is that blood? # Why are they laughing? # The phone line seems to be dead. You’d better go outside and check. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other Outlets: “The Seventh Effect” – a cyberspy NSA-themed techno-thriller by Terence Kuch, in paper … [Read more...]

“Ice Machine” / Memorable Fancies #699

[“I live by the ice machine. ... It’s so annoying.” – Jeanne Morel]      The old motel was the only place the County could find for me. So here I am, in room 414. I keep wondering why I was assigned to 414. I guess it’s OK, but there’s a drink machine on one side (where 412 would have been if 412 had been given a life, not aborted in favor of Coke and Pepsi) and the ice machine on the other side, where 416 might have been.       The daily routine here is simple. A rattling sound as quarters … [Read more...]

“An Inventory of Machines” / Memorable Fancies #698

      What are the kinds of machines? Dry machines; oiled machines; evil machines on TV; machines that make life easier for us; machines that make life easier for them; machines that cannot be turned off without great inconvenience and airplane crashes; machines that decide that serving people is inappropriate and that there are better things for them to do;       “machines that...” decide that they should be referred to as “machines who...”;       machines who laugh at people behind their … [Read more...]

“The Mirror Remembers” / Memorable Fancies #697

      The producer makes an experimental film of the memories of a single mirror, a very expensive mirror that passed from estate to estate over the years. Crowds gather to see the four-hour film. Did the mirror witness evil conspiracies? Murder? Erotic games, whippings? The mirror holds every image it reflected over the years, shows them faithfully on the screen. What stories could it tell? But a disappointment – what the mirror remembers are curtains opening, curtains closing, more light, … [Read more...]

“Honor” / Memorable Fancies #696

      Arnold Hudson took a position as a sculptor’s model because it was the only job he could find. Long hours, painful joints from having to stand very still for hours. He did get to wear fine clothes and a bemedalled sash, but had to leave them in the studio at the end of each session.       One day he asked who the statue would be of, and was told that his pose and body would soon become the Lord Mayor himself, in stone. “You should feel honored,” the sculptor said. “You would make a fine … [Read more...]

“Biography” / Memorable Fancies #695

Yes, the critics have had at me for the biography I published, but not for what I wrote. Indeed, pretty words have fluttered, preciously, over my prose style, my poetic moments, my astute paragraphics and use of semi-colons.       But they say I have not finished the story of my subject, the big shuddering thing that showed his true face to the people and ended his career and his life.       Perhaps they are right. How could I have forgotten all that, a father so close to … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #694

Living on a planet of a two-sun system, each of us has two shadows. Sometimes one overlays the other, looking like an eight-limbed two-headed beast. Sometimes the shadows fight over who’s on top and who’s beneath. # Sleeping quietly will pass for a theatre-goer’s mild critique of a play. Coughing is the next level of disapproval, followed by nose-blowing. Snoring is the most devastating critique; it is widely appreciated, and often reported in the press. # Perhaps, we thought in the … [Read more...]

“The Diary” / Memorable Fancies #693

      An alarming discovery: Someone has been writing in my diary – writing about what I did with – someone else. Things I would never put in my diary! Things I have carefully withheld from it, not told it even in whispers while I am recording one uneventful event after another. Whoever has done this writing is trying to disguise his handwriting, making it look like mine.       But in this he has failed. I know my own handwriting: it’s smooth, even; not like the intruder’s jagged and shaky … [Read more...]

“The Man Who Lost His Name” / Memorable Fancies #692

[“I met a man who lost his name.” – Miroslav Holub]      No, he hadn’t forgotten his name, and yes, he did have a name once upon a time; he told us so. He actually remembered what his name had been: an impressive name, highly revered, indicating descent from several rulers who’d been brave once, or perhaps just lucky.       But then he’d fallen into “a run of bad luck” he said, although we all knew it had to do with drinking and gambling. Deeply in debt, and with a valuable name that spread … [Read more...]

“Devices” / Memorable Fancies #691

     “Yes, these are the beings we discovered on the other planet. We use them here in the factory. They aren’t worth much individually, but when we put them together in certain ways they can be used productively.       “They’re live building-blocks, y’know, components. Semi-intelligent devices that can tote barges, lift bales, and so on.       “We’re even assembling one to become a beginning-French tutor. Well, so far we haven’t been too successful at that – all we can get it to say is “non, … [Read more...]

“Forgetting” / Memorable Fancies #690

      I have this forgetting-project, y’know? There were some awful things in my past. But if I can forget them, they’ll just be gone. The problem is, some other people know what I did and maybe they still remember. I need to make sure they’ve forgotten, too, and then I can get on with my life.       I wish I’d never gone to that psychiatrist; now he knows what I did, because I told him. I know he hasn’t forgotten, because he mentions it in every session. He keeps urging me to go to the … [Read more...]

“Heroes” / Memorable Fancies #689

      It is a rare honor for a young man such as I to be here, where the old men sit around the fire and tell stories of our nation’s heroes: Olaf the Bold, Harald the Dane-Slayer, and others.       When it is my turn, I tell them how I just this week vanquished the savages of Groen-Land despite overwhelming odds, and with the loss of no ships or men.       The old men nod their heads vacantly. Then one says “Another story of Olaf the Bold begins like this...” <END> THE TUESDAY … [Read more...]

“Mirror” / Memorable Fancies #688

[“...a mirror which when asked replies Not you.” – Margaret Atwood]      My mirror desperately wants me to sell it, give it away, anything to remove my face from it. Any sight would be better than You, seems to be its thought. “Upon reflection,” it says – and yes it has a sense of humor, but not a very good one – “I would rather be in a barn somewhere, with cows and pigs my daily sight. No, they aren’t beautiful or even clean – but at least they wouldn’t come to me every day for preening and … [Read more...]

“At the Shrine of Apollo, 524 B.C.” / Memorable Fancies #687

      There were visitors on our island this morning, rich pilgrims. I overheard them saying that Apollo may not have been born here on Delos as our old stories say, but somewhere else.       We must make sure that our visitors say this no more: loud gold-giving pilgrims may hear, bright Apollo’s shrine - dim. <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW … [Read more...]

“Forgiveness” / Memorable Fancies #686

      A few people might still have remembered what I did all those years ago. Should I speak with them, tell them that I’ve “reformed,” ask their forgiveness? But that would just refresh their memories. They might have forgotten by now. They might never have heard of the problems I had back then, the punishment that failed to teach me. Yes, I’m sure of it. So I will keep my apologies to myself or offer them to people I sometimes imagine. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this … [Read more...]

“Peaceland – II” / Memorable Fancies #685

     I remember being a war hero. No one believes me, even when I show them my medals. Finally, one does. “Actually, we all believe you,” he says, “but we don’t dare say so in public. War heroes have been banished. If we recognized your heroism in that war, the one we lost in spite of all your feats, we’d be drummed out of PeaceLand here, never to return.” <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, … [Read more...]

“The Great Simplifying Assumptions – II / Memorable Fancies #684

No one respects a victim. Revenge is the only pure motive. Searching for reasons is a distraction from the goal. If someone says “never mind,” serious minding is called for. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “Fragments of the Future” – speculative / science fiction by Terence Kuch, an e-book published by … [Read more...]

“A Marriage” / Memorable Fancies #683

      She remembers events in their lives. He remembers different events, or events he wished had happened, or events that happened and he wished hadn’t, or wished she hadn’t been there to ruin them for him.       They quarrel. He remembers all their quarrels. She remembers different quarrels, or perhaps the same quarrels in a way he can’t quite understand. <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, … [Read more...]

“The Stream of Forgetting” / Memorable Fancies #682

      They came to the stream to forget, to wash their minds clean of memory, to start over, to feel surprise once again. Each went home, forgetting why he had come to the stream, wondering what he had done that was so wrong he had to wash it away. ...       The stream remembered everything, all the secrets of those who had come to it to forget. It remembered slayings, and cheating, and lost opportunities, and betrayals, and many other things.       The stream would like to forget all these, … [Read more...]

“PeaceLand – I” / Memorable Fancies #681

      The war hero returns. He was expecting fanfares and parades, interviews; instead, polite nods. Children learn of his adventures; it’s old stuff, they say. Schools in PeaceLand have moved on to other discourse now, positive sentiments about the moral virtues of mankind, the absence of evil from our world. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXXII” / Memorable Fancies #680

The temple statue says: I am not a representation of the god, I am the god. If not me, then where is the god? Let it for once show itself! # The Story: A narrative appears, then a different version, then yet another, as if someone were reluctantly confessing, searching to find the right story one whiplash at a time. # What happens in the audience IS the play. Sneezing, groping, fights. The plot unfolds in the audience as the actors do some trivial and irrelevant performance, stage business … [Read more...]

“Discovery” / Memorable Fancies #679

     In the newly discovered land there was a pier that reached out into the sea and disappeared over the horizon. We tried to imagine where such a pier might go. At first, our explorers walked out on it, but ran short of food and water after a few days with still no end in sight. They turned back.       Then we developed a plan: one team walked out on the pier, carrying twice the amount of food and water they needed for a round trip. When they exhausted a quarter of their ration, they left … [Read more...]

“Indecision” / Memorable Fancies #678

What should I do today as the leader of our people? It’s not always easy to tell, seeing five sides of every question as I do. One day, it’s peace; another day, war or wary alertness. Or a firm hand is needed one day, letting the people do as they please the next.       My ministers are of no help: whatever I say, they move their heads up and down, never a discouraging word. I had bobble-heads made of them, presented each to its minister. None of them understood what I was saying with these … [Read more...]

“Earth-Shaker – VII” / Memorable Fancies #677

[“After the thing passes they take up, though softly, their conversations.” – Henri Michaux]      There was a great current in the earth, moving like some Gulf Stream of stone. We felt its passage. It flowed through rock as fish through sea.       We became afraid to ride the subways. Well, hadn’t some people, always? Remember Bernard Goetz?       “The chthonic spirits.” Someone on TV said that. We scurried to our dictionaries to see what that meant, if it portended ill for us or was just … [Read more...]

“The Past” / Memorable Fancies #675

      He is very old, a new record for this country. A reporter asks if he remembers the past, and how far back he can go. The old man considers. “Yes,” he says slowly. “The past.” He pauses. His breath is labored. “Yes, the past. I used to think there was a past, but that was a long time ago,” he says. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Longing” / Memorable Fancies #674

[“…our reciprocal and infinite longing for one another and our reciprocal and infinite terror.” – Roberto Mangabeira Unger]      If you knew someone well enough who has now left you, you can continue the dialog in your head, telling yourself what she would now say or do if she were still with you, and what you would do or say in return. And she would say. And you would say. And she would say.       In this way, a loving relationship can continue on and eventually reach the conclusion you … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXXII” / Memorable Fancies #673

The mirror must be destroyed: it saw me as I am, never mind that tomorrow I will reform. # A TV is invented that customizes a show in response to our wishes. In Washington, for instance, the Sunday talk shows display the deep respect Republicans and Democrats have for each other. # Why do we sometimes remember events that never happened? This puts the whole concept of “happened” into question, doesn’t it? Why do we remember our shameful defeats that surely never happened? Couldn’t have … [Read more...]

“Symbols” / Memorable Fancies #672

[“Death threats. My curious reaction.” – Albert Camus]       It’s all symbolic, you know, these threats and imprecations. Like “go to hell.” Even if there were a hell, I couldn’t just pack up and go there. And like “go fuck yourself,” which is a mutation perhaps to be desired, but until then I’ll have to make do with other people.      That brings us to your recent communication, “I’m going to kill you.” That’s symbolic too, you know. It’s an expression of extreme disapproval. I know you … [Read more...]

“Refund” / Memorable Fancies #671

[“The mirror is not the place to observe yourself.” – Henri Michaux]      I looked in a mirror. Suddenly I realized that what I saw there wasn’t me. Not just “not me,” but not even the image of me. The mirror showed someone else, or someone who might have been me but never was, or someone I thought I’d outgrown, outlived.      I returned the mirror to Wal-Mart. They gave me my illusions back. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“The Forgettery – III” / Memorable Fancies #670

     People found guilty of repeating an offense are punished and then sent to the Forgettery, where all memory of their crimes is erased. In this way, authorities hope to remove their habit of crime and their knowledge of how to commit these crimes, for example, how to blow a safe, or where to buy illegal drugs or an unregistered pistol.       Joe Graham was sent to the Forgettery. Now he doesn’t remember why he’s wearing an ankle-monitor, or why he’s forbidden to be near a school or … [Read more...]

“My Double” / Memorable Fancies #669

      I met my double last week. At first I thought he was a stranger, or perhaps a long-lost twin. We talked. He remembered everything in my life, which was his life also. But even though the events were exactly the same, their meaning, their significance, was very different. His events were proud, noble, generous. Mine were the ordinary shuffle of an obscure and inconsequential life. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here … [Read more...]

“The Mutual Dreamers” / Memorable Fancies #668

[“My dreamer, keep on dreaming me.” – Borges]      Bob and Mary dreamed each other. Then they dreamed they were being dreamed of. And then – they met. “Are you real, or just my dream?” He asked. “I am just as real as you are,” she said. They stared at each other not knowing whether to be delighted by this knowledge, or terrified. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Who…?” / Memorable Fancies #667

      I start again with “...who is the fairest...” and the mirror says “O God not that ‘fairest’ crap again, you egotistical bitch!” But I persist with “of them all,” and the mirror says “all what?” I know it’s just being intentionally dense here; it knows exactly what “all” means: all those things I’m more beautiful than.       The face in the mirror wrinkles as the mirror-glass contracts, buckles. “See?” the mirror says, “this is you in ten years. You are much fairer than that. For … [Read more...]

“Revelation” / Memorable Fancy #666

      A young priest came to me today. Most worshipfully he stared at my feet and asked for a blessing. Then he said that he had – regretfully, in all modest humility - founded a Reform movement to supersede my revelations, or at most preserve them as thoughts known to an earlier age, beliefs no longer relevant to modern life.       I told the priest that if there were to be a Reform movement I would found and lead it myself, not him. Then I sent him away to do penance.       I know I will … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXXI” / Memorable Fancies #665

Harold lost track of time. He wandered around town, looking for it. He asked passersby where time had gone, but they shook their heads and said they didn’t have time to speak with him. “So it’s affected everyone,” he muttered. # The avatar survives its owner, begins looking for a new owner. You seem to be a likely choice – with a few changes, that is. # People who answer phones for a living just HATE to be people who have to answer phones for a living and they take it out on the people who … [Read more...]

“Drones – VI” / Memorable Fancies #664

      Drones are marketed to deer-hunters. They locate a deer, stun it, then hover over the almost motionless form to ensure that no one else steals it, until the hunter arrives with his long knife. The drone could have killed the deer itself, instead of just stunning it; but where’s the hunter-fun in that? <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Statues – XIII” / Memorable Fancies #663

[“I am teaching a statue to walk. I get up close and copy its pose exactly, my foot lifted like its foot, ...” – Henri Michaux]      I put one foot forward, just a little, and gestured to the statue to do the same. After many days of trying, and no little discipline from me, the statue finally did so. Over the ensuing months it learned, very cautiously, like a baby, to walk. At first I was forced to build a scaffolding around it, so it would not fall. This measure reassured it, and before the … [Read more...]

“Retromail” / Memorable Fancies #662

      2018: Sending tweets or emails into the past is now a routine offering, for a few extra dollars, from retromail.com. Most people receive a few retrograms every day, sent to them from their selves and friends in the future. Having a great time, know you’ll be here ha ha, etc.       Danny was in the habit of sending an email to his earlier self every day, because he remembered how scared of dying he was back then, and how much his olderDanny emails meant to him. In a way, olderDanny … [Read more...]

“TV Delights” / Memorable Fancies #661

      New cable TV offerings planned for Fall include:       (1) The Eviction Channel – watch the human drama as families are removed from their homes. Watch as their belongings are pilfered by neighbors and passersby. Remark, especially, their children.       (2) The Layoff Channel – watch as employees are regretfully, “not your fault”ed, and “we’re really sorry”ed out of a job.       (3) The Pot Bust Channel (hurry while it’s still illegal) ….. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you … [Read more...]

“The Great Video Cortex Machine – IV” / Memorable Fancies #660

    “Therapy” it’s called, using the Great Video Cortex Machine to change our memories, soften the rough spots, add a few evenings with our families when we were actually out carousing or screwing around. And so on. We feel much better about ourselves after a day with the Machine, a day we might otherwise have spent with our families.      Every few weeks, we need another session. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXX” / Memorable Fancies #659

     More statues of me appear every day. One would be an honor, perhaps two or three would show even more honor. But now there are dozens, with a deteriorating level of craftsmanship as each new one appears. I suspect a joke, a silent protest. #      The place our shadows went, the old legend says – is the shadows’ new country. They won’t ever admit there were people, that they are not their own originals. #      If all the noise suddenly stops, what would we hear? What sounds … [Read more...]

“Left and Right: A Quiz” / Memorable Fancies #658

Left and Right: A Quiz 1. In baseball, ‘left field’ is on the left as seen by the (a) pitcher, or (b) batter? 2. In heraldry, the left (“sinister”) side of a coat of arms is on the left as seen by (a) one looking at the coat of arms, or (b) one hypothetically standing behind the coat of arms? 3. The lion or eagle depicted on the flags of which of these places faces left (a) Spain; (b) Bulgaria; (c) Ceylon; (d) Finland; (e) Mexico; (f) Nova Scotia; (g) Montenegro; (h) Illinois? 4. The … [Read more...]

“Statues – XI” / Memorable Fancies #657

     The rulers decapitated some other hero’s statue and put my stone head on it instead. “Economy, you know,” they said, “and besides, whoever remembers that old man whose head is now in some museum basement, probably tipped over on its ear?”      But my new body did not like me. At night it shook, just a little because it was only stone, to see if it could dislodge me. I tried to reason with it, but I knew that heads were expendable whenever new, more favored ones came along.      I try … [Read more...]

“The Going Rate” / Memorable Fancies #656

     Memories can be downloaded and sold. About ten dollars a minute is the going rate, and that’s for memories of – well, sex, of course, but also memories of any kind of triumph, anything enjoyable. An excellent meal. A warm summer day. A promotion. And so on.     Some people make a living by selling their memories. They travel from garden spot to beach to nightclub to brothel, creating their wares. Somehow, family gatherings aren't in great demand. <END> THE THURSDAY … [Read more...]

“Ten Books for Beginners” / Memorable Fancies #655

Pharmacology in Small Doses A Little About Microminiaturization Inching Along in Metric Legal Appeals in Brief Steps Toward Podiatry Elementary Chemistry A Primer of Numbers Evenly Divisible Only by Themselves and One Principles of School Administration Felinology from Scratch Sexology for the Layman <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Drones – V” / Memorable Fancies #654

     I have a drone-pet. It flies to me when I get home, being careful not to smash the ceiling-fixtures. It emits purring or woofing or whinnying noises, whichever I select at the time. It insists on being oiled at odd hours just when it’s most inconvenient for me. It leaves a mess on the living room floor. It chews up my newspapers by means of a special attachment I foolishly paid extra for. It loves me. It doesn’t give me any of that crap about being loved in return. <END> THE … [Read more...]

“Walk Don’t Walk” / Memorable Fancies #653

     Joe is standing on a street corner. He is staring at the “Don’t Walk” light, obviously waiting to cross.      Kevin approaches the corner, looks at the traffic light, then at the push-button crossing-light control, then at Joe. Kevin thinks that if he pushes the button himself, he will be expressing mistrust for Joe, whom he should have trusted to have pushed the button before Kevin’s arrival.      Universe-1: Both stand at the corner forever, because neither has pushed the … [Read more...]

“A Clear Conscience” / Memorable Fancies #652

“The state in which we are is sinful, irrespective of guilt.” – Kafka      The feeling that we are all guilty spreads through the country like a dread disease. There is disagreement as to what we are guilty of, but each of us can remember something – a petty crime, a cruel act, a long-held grudge, a wish for an enemy to die in unendurable pain. The guilt-plague spreads from person to person.      Cures are sought. If we could find one person who is not ridden by these guilt feelings, … [Read more...]

“What They Really Mean” / Memorable Fancies #651

(1) “No one is saying that...”, beloved of pundits and politicians [means] “If you say that, I will ignore you because you don’t count.” (2) “No one believes that...”: similar to above. (3) “That’s a given” [means] “I’m not going to bother giving you reasons for what I just said.” (4) “You know,” [means] “I don’t need to ask you what you know, because I’m telling you what you know.” (5) “Remember…” (a) [means] “You are now functioning as my offline data storage device.” (6) or,  … [Read more...]

“The Cannibal Variations – XXIV” / Memorable Fancies #650

     In a world of nine billion hungry people, declining production of protein as land is converted to grain-fuel, economies in crisis with millions starving, the obvious answer presented itself. #      Some consumers refused to buy meat from genetically modified people. #      For the more tony meat markets, slaughterers made sure that victims had taken a good shit before their disembowelment. #      Human biomass began to be used for energy generation. The price of fuel went … [Read more...]

“The Book Attacks” / Memorable Fancies #649

I went to bed at ten, hoping for a good night’s sleep. But I couldn’t doze off. Eleven, midnight, one,…. And then it was two a.m. that March Thursday and very quiet, with neither heat nor A/C on. The world in stillness lay, and I was enjoying the silence.      Then I heard a faint noise from my study. Ignored it. Heard it again. Wearily, I rose and walked into the study. Standing still and holding my breath, after a minute I heard the sound again. It was coming from a glass-fronted cabinet … [Read more...]

“My Drone” / Memorable Fancies #648

     My own personal drone hovers over my head when I’m outdoors. It shades me when it’s sunny and keeps the rain off me when it’s not. It guides me unerringly to where I want to go. It sends tweets to the ones I love. It does something else to those I don’t. #      My drone follows me around to make sure I don't get lost or get into trouble or do anything not pre-approved. This is especially useful for those over 75, as we tend to get into trouble frequently, whether we remember it or … [Read more...]

“The Mind’s I” / Memorable Fancies #647

“…his existence possesses a higher degree of reality.” – Schopenhauer      We’ve been told that ideas have no reality – no real reality, that is. Only tangibles like sticks and stones have the kind of reality that we can see and touch without thinking about it, without wondering what’s real and what isn’t real and straining our minds.      But are our minds real? I don’t recall ever seeing one, or touching one either. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please … [Read more...]

“Acts” / Memorable Fancies #646

     It is illegal to perform certain acts.      It is illegal to watch these acts being performed.      Unlike murder and animal cruelty and other obscene crimes, however, it is illegal even to watch videos of these acts being performed.      It is, however, legal to watch videos of these acts being performed if one is sitting in judgment on other viewers of the videos of these acts being performed.     And who will judge those, too? <END>   THE MONDAY … [Read more...]

“Third Epistle to the Corinthians – What If…” / Memorable Fancies #645

Therefore I write these things being absent (2 Corinthians 13:10)      In our last letter, Paul wrote "God saved us from dying in Asia, and he will save us again." But by now you know that Paul is dead in Rome, and Timothy in hiding.      Before he died, Paul asked me to write you in his name, that you remain strong in the faith. I know how much you venerate the two letters he wrote you. You copy them to other churches. You settle doctrine with them. You decorate them with gold. You touch … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXIX” / Memorable Fancies #640-644

The bird alights - where the cage had been. # I stared so long at the river that it stood still, and I flowed fast upstream. # Albert was sure that there were gods – but he wasn’t sure what they could do to him, or to the rest of us, anymore; not after that awful time so long ago, when … # The man who could flip ‘heads’ every time – he wowed us, all right; but he couldn’t flip tails to save his life. # Words are the liars we use when there’s nothing else to … [Read more...]

“Have you read…?” / Memorable Fancies #639

     People were always recommending books to Ellis. He didn’t know why, but after even a brief acquaintance the other person would say “You know, you really ought to read” (some book or author).      As one might expect, the Bible was the book most commonly urged upon Ellis. Having been raised a Methodist, he could sincerely say “Yes, I’ve read it,” even though his acquaintance did not extend to the minor prophets or even some of the major ones, not to mention Kings and Chronicles.      … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – III” / Memorable Fancies #638

It looks dead. It must be safe to touch. # Why did they all stop talking when you walked in? # Maybe it’s not a joke. # Why are there so many sirens? # She knows. <END>     … [Read more...]

“Drones – II” / Memorable Fancies #637

      I want to have my own personal drone. It will follow me around and make sure I don't get lost or get into trouble or do anything not officially approved. This is especially useful for us over-75s. We tend to get into trouble frequently or commit unapproved acts, whether we remember it or not. My personal drone will also find other old peoples’ personal drones, and fight them. <END> If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, … [Read more...]

“What’s Real” / Memorable Fancies #636

     We’ve been told that ideas have no reality – no real reality, that is –only things like sticks and stones have the kind of reality we can see and touch even without thinking about it, without wondering what’s real and what isn’t and straining our minds. But are our minds real? I don’t recall ever seeing one, or touching one either. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other … [Read more...]

“The Great Video Cortex Machine – III: The Wikimind” / Memorable Fancies #635

     Men and women, in search of fame or prized household appliances, volunteer to be plugged into the Great Video Cortex Machine show for viewer enlightenment, or at least amusement. Esther Hailey is the latest to appear on the show.      On nationwide TV and to the augmented applause of the studio audience, Esther is escorted to the Great Video Cortex Machine. Delicate filaments are attached to her head and body, inside and out. Thoughout the country, fans log on to Esther’s mind and … [Read more...]

“For Demetrios, 226 A.D.” / Memorable Fancies #634

     They say that few have been killed by the sweet forbearing god, never mind the shaking angry sky above or tyrant’s crushing rule below.      No one but Demetrios was killed by the god, no, not even he, but only one of his thieving guards, splayed bleating on the altarstone, pressed down hard by some invisible hand until his various moistures leaked like rotten fruit.      They say the sweet avenging god has left you for last, Demetrios!   <END>   THE SUNDAY … [Read more...]

“Drones” / Memorable Fancies #633

     I want to have my own personal drone. It will hover over my head when I’m outdoors. It will shade me when it’s sunny and guide me unerringly to where I should go. It will report my location to the ones I love. It will destroy those I don’t.   <END>   THE SATURDAY PITCH   If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.   AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXVIII” / Memorable Fancies #628-632

Cleaning machines figure out how to stop people from making a mess in the first place.#The grass is a mighty being: It bends, and the wind blows. We men are mighty beings …#The Simultaneists believe that everything happens all at once. Time, they say, is an illusion. All their teachings are written in present tense. #My shadow knows – remembers. It acts out in front of other people: it mimes what I did, all those selfish thoughtless things. I look for their shadows, too.#The secret is, the flesh … [Read more...]

“Wonders” / and an invitation for beta readers of a new novel / #627

“…the rumor that there was another, an eighth wonder of the world…” – Kafka      There is an infinite number of wonders of the world. They are gathered, waiting for one of the famous seven to be destroyed so the next one in queue can take its place. This process takes a very long time. Right now, there is squabbling among the wonders over which will replace the fallen Colossus of Rhodes. <END> BETA READERS WANTED for my third novel, Try Try Again. Here’s the blurb: “The near … [Read more...]

“Polonius in Heaven” / Memorable Fancies #626

Claudius: Where is Polonius? Hamlet: In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him i’ the other place yourself.                         – Hamlet IV, iii      How will I know you, then, in Heaven when you and I are there, shriven cold in spite of all.      But if I turn from face to face looking for one I know and then I know that you are in – that other place –      I turn away, ashamed to Hell of being here      alone <END> THE … [Read more...]

“A Technical Education” / Memorable Fancies #625

     Owing to an alarming increase in the number of its machines with serious flaws, FlexiCorp Industries adopted an aversive psychology technique, punishing flawed machines within sight of the other machines. Quality immediately improved. The number of machines that had to be oil-boarded decreased. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Last Night” / Memorable Fancies #624

     Last night, after thunder and downpour woke me, after I thought to make coffee but fell asleep again instead –      Last night I had you with me, just as I had dreamed before: once more my fingers traced the edges of your lips and circumnavigated your narrow breasts again, as I dreamed I would, again. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. COMING … [Read more...]

“Jericho” / Memorable Fancies #623

     At the first note of the trumpet the wall began to fall. The wall was very old. It had heard many tunes, rhythms and harmonies of the city, children beating leather skins pretending war, voices of women pounding grain, cries of sheep and donkeys and dogs, pennywhistles and mouth-harps, marketplace clamor in the morning, reveler-songs in the night.      Child and man, woman, beast, their sounds echoed on the wall, made, of this collection of sounds, a city.      At the first call of … [Read more...]

“Pig” / Memorable Fancies #622

"All pigs are alike, when you get to know their little ways... " --Malone Dies    Pig pig pig. Strange pigs. Crowded pigs. Sweat. Bump. Squeal    Pig pig pig. Strange pigs. Running pigs. Fear-smell. Bump. Squeal Pig. Man. Blade. Squeal.   <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.        Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Reality Check” / Memorable Fancies #621

But there are some of you that believe not. — John 6:64      Spare us all your gape-jawed tales of way back then when nothing was, or what will be when nothing is; but let us have to do with things of real life:      Number as order; time as accrual; substance as trade.      Save your breath: revelation wraps tomorrow’s fish. <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Solon in Egypt, 551 B.C.” / Memorable Fancies #620

     “You Greeks!” the Egyptian priest said, my genealogy still wet on my lips, all sixteen generations back and then a god.      Contempt and worse, indulgence: “Come with me,” he said. Down temple-steps, in tunnels I stumbled on and just when hard breathing came back late he lit a torch. I saw a cave, rows of dead men wrapped in cloth.      We walked; he named them each and then a sharp-stoned wall with nothing behind but all of earth.      “One hundred forty fathers’ sons,” he said, … [Read more...]

“Shut Me Down” / Memorable Fancies #619

Modern Industry had therefore itself to take in hand the machine … and construct machines by machines. - Karl Marx, Capital Oh my goodness! Shut me down. Machines building machines. – C-3PO      At last the engineers could retire, as their newest machine could now design and build all the other machines that anyone would need. Automatically, it requisitioned resources from factories and storehouses nationwide. It built food machines, clothing machines, and shelter machines for its masters, … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – II” / Memorable Fancies #618

Why is that shadow moving? It was just something in her eye. Wasn’t it? Do you remember leaving that door unlocked? He seems so nice. Why isn’t she home yet? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXVII” / Memorable Fancies #613-617

The cursor begins moving by itself, like a Ouija board. It flips screens to find the letters it needs to spell out its message: O-G-O-D-G-E-T-M-E-O-U-T-O-F-H-E-R-E! # The Kissing Rock is aptly named: A man fell off once, and broke his neck. # The man in the mirror gestures. My fingers contract. # Our shadows have left us. They migrated to their own country where they never had to think of themselves as just – shadows of someone else. # Our new slogan: “Life: Get over … [Read more...]

“He’s Got a Gun!” / Memorable Fancies #612

     You were very clever, weren’t you, to figure it out from the clues I left lying loose like ends of string.      I’ll tie them up for you now, how I did it, why the dog didn’t bark in the windowless room.      While I’ve got the drop on you I’ll talk the time away until the cops burst through the door and I give up head-down abjectly, or cursing mad get conveniently shot and dying say,      “You knew I did it all along — didn’t you?” <END>      If you liked this post, … [Read more...]

“The Exercise” / Memorable Fancies #611

(for Thom Gunn)     In this exercise you will have a pair of boots, a compass, knapsack, knife.      In this exercise you will find yourself inside a host device where you will have a means of movement, a way to use the knife.      In this exercise your mission will be to find the Giant by listening for his heavy falling steps and great harsh breath, locate him in his place and use the knife, or create him if you find no giant there, and use the knife.      In this exercise it is … [Read more...]

“The Double” / Memorable Fancies #610

     Old legends tell us that we each have a double – someone who looks like us, acts like us. If you meet your double, your Doppelgänger, the legends say, you will die.      I met my double last week, but I didn’t die. He did. The legends hadn’t been very clear about that. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Changing the Past” / Memorable Fancies #609

     Desperately, we want to change our past, not to have done those awful things. We ask science to invent a way to let us go back, to give us a re-do.      Sadly, scientists tell us, time is a one-way journey, like that final walk to the electric chair. No, they say, you can’t go back and do something different; that’s impossible.      But we don’t need to visit the past, they explain, because everyone’s past changes itself. At night, in sleep, our memories gradually give us a new … [Read more...]

“The Cannibal Variations – XXIII” / Memorable Fancies #608

(with Jun Yan)      In a starving world, convicted criminals are sentenced to “donate” body parts to the State so that the masses may be fed: left leg for a first offense, right for a second. Some jurisdictions take the effort to make the punishment fit the crime: a hand from a forger or a groper (called a “hand-off”), lips from those who utter sedition or disagreement with official policy. In justification, authorities point to the ancient Middle East practice of amputating the hand of a … [Read more...]

“LOOK Homeward” / Memorable Fancies #607

 “Ghost, come back again” – Thomas Wolfe       Scientists developed a technology allowing us to see into our own pasts. Use of the LOOKward app was highly restricted at first; only the secret Guilt Surveillance Court could authorize it.      But it’s been hacked. Now all of us can see our own pasts, in all their detail.      It was expected that millions of people would use LOOKward, now that it was available to anyone. There would be LOOKward TV shows, parties. Wouldn’t everyone like … [Read more...]

“Alone” / Memorable Fancies #606

“I ate alone, while a slave read me geographic narratives” - ­Leopoldo Lugones about far-away places where slaves were freed. Imaginary places, for sure. No such place has surely ever been. If there were no slaves, after all, how could there be masters? And who would read to me?   <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.        Subscriptions to … [Read more...]

“Undergrounders – IV” / Memorable Fancies #605

     Something completed the old Second Avenue subway line, and other lines were extending themselves too. One reached as far as Stamford; others west, then south. And now it wasn’t just subways, but water leading from reservoirs into the cities, power mains, other tunnels.      There is a Thing digging new tunnels. The public seemed pleased with the situation; they could commute into the city more quickly now, and the water pressure had increased. But our leaders had nothing to do with it … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXVI” Memorable Fancies #604

In a far country there are no names, no nouns. Nouns have been overthrown. Everything is a verb, assisted if need be by a few conscripted adverbs. # “Please spread out on the platform,” the recorded announcement said. I tried to spread myself out. I saw others trying to spread themselves out, too, some by inhaling several times, others by eating candy. # Some ideas can only be written about, not spoken; or spoken, not written; or only imagined, perhaps falsely … # Statues of … [Read more...]

“Convenience” / Memorable Fancies #602

     Ernest killed a convenience-store clerk in a holdup. He was afraid that he would be arrested, but to his surprise the dead man’s ex-wife was charged with the murder. Even more to his surprise, Ernest received a jury summons and was placed on the jury trying the ex-wife for the murder Ernest committed. Now, Ernest had a clear conflict of interest here, which he should have revealed to the judge. But he did not do so, and he also survived the voir dire because neither counsel thought to ask … [Read more...]

“The Great Day” / Memorable Fancies #601

     “Have a great day.” Well, I hadn’t stopped to wonder if I was having a great day or not, until Sheila said that to me, requiring me by her imperative to have a great day.      I realized, then, that I was not having a great day, that I had never had a day that I’d be willing to describe as any better than “very good,” and that the odds of my having a great day any time in the near future were pretty low. But I looked at Sheila and said, “Yes, I am now having a very great day … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – I” / Memorable Fancies #600

They’re in it together. Why did she hang up when I walked in? Everyone knows but you. Is that … breathing? Why are they looking at you? You’re going to say “be still my heart” once too often. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just … [Read more...]

“History of the Sky” / Memorable Fancies #599

     There is a history of the sky, beginning from the first time there was a sky. Rain was important then, and birds. Lightning shook it, the sun lightened and darkened it. And then there were balloons, and kites, and airplanes, and missiles, and great angry clouds, and fire. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Undergrounders – III” / Memorable Fancies #598

      Something was traveling in the old subway tunnels, the abandoned lines. Expeditions had gone down into the tubes. Some never returned; others fled in panic before the thing from below was upon them. It rumbled like a train, but it was not a train. There were no more trains. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

The Great Simplifying Assumptions – I / Memorable Fancies #597

Intention is what happens Appearance is reality There are no accidents Yes means Maybe Maybe means No No means Never <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or both of my commercially published … [Read more...]

“Memories of Imaginary People” / Memorable Fancies #596

      There’s a new app that lets you create imaginary people and drag and drop your worst memories on them.      I created an imaginary Ralph. Ralph did those awful things, now, not me. Ralph will be driven out into the desert. I call him my scape-Ralph. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“The Magic Blanket” / Memorable Fancies #595

     I have invented a magic blanket. Stick your head under it and you won’t, worry, plan, estimate, cogitate, regret, ponder, or have any other painful conscious thoughts. You do, however, need a trusted friend to pull you out from under every so often. Be careful not to choose someone whose head is under his own magic blanket. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXV” / Memorable Fancies #594

She and I: we both loved her smile. # Reason is most conveniently thought of as a refined type of hysteria. # The god waves its little hands. Something snaps in our minds. Fires are lit. They are not being put out. # Amidst the data, Meaning flows like rumpled water. # He is disturbing our kingdom: the one who seeks out statues of those who have been assassinated – and shoots at them. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“The Prophet – III” / Memorable Fancies #593

     I am revered; every word is cherished, illuminated, decorated with gold and set in stone. The people say that my teaching has come directly from the spewing mouth of God. I do not remember this, but I suppose it is so. I am disappointed that the words they honor are God’s, not my own. Surely I have something to say. Don’t I? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      … [Read more...]

“Corpulent Correctness” / Memorable Fancies #592

[from Washington Post, October 23, 2013, page A2:] “CORRECTIONS: An Oct. 14 Style article about access to the prison camp for terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, incorrectly referred to Navy Capt. Robert Durand as ‘thickset.’ He should have been described as ‘muscular.’” Captain Durand has also been incorrectly referred to as dumpy, stubby, squabby, chunky, chubby, tubby, lumpy, and fat. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and … [Read more...]

“The Contest” / Memorable Fancies #591

     An official challenge has been made. Bill Gartner, a little-known building contractor, is challenging our veteran Congressman Orton F. Williams.      Williams, Gartner says, is old and weak. His mind is failing. He is absent too often from the great debates on the floor of Congress. It’s time for someone younger, more vigorous, to represent us, he says.      As the challenged person, Congressman Williams is allowed his choice of weapons. He selects flame-throwers. Not heavy, do not … [Read more...]

“Magic Mirror – I” / Memorable Fancies #590

     At one of those AS SEEN ON TV shops you can buy a magic mirror that reflects a different strange face whenever you look into it. Are these images of real people, or from your imagination, or what? I ask the image. Its lips move but of course no sound comes out, because it’s just a cheap mirror. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog … [Read more...]

“Quandary” / Memorable Fancies #589

     I wait in my room but no one comes to arrest me. I wonder why? How long will I be looking over my shoulder? Anyway, what I did was done. Should I send flowers? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or … [Read more...]

“Together” / Memorable Fancies #588

“If something does touch many of us simultaneously, it touches only a large number of isolated beings. A mass feeling can scarcely develop out of such a general mood.” – György Lukács     Back then, he was just one of the speakers at our small community event, but his incantations made us feel - not just the same thing at the same time, – but he made us feel that we were a single soul, of one heart and mind, greater together than we could ever be as individuals alone. It was a beautiful … [Read more...]

“Flight 34” / Memorable Fancies #587