“The Forever Day” / Memorable Fancies #1781

[“It seems, at certain moments, as though the universe has stopped moving.” – Lydia Davis] Something has jammed the machinery of the world. We are stuck at March 7th. This day, this same day, keeps repeating. Though most of us will probably find this distressing, it could have been worse: the weather on this final March 7th is, in most places, rather pleasant. But why this particular day? Would something have – happened – on March 8th? Something we’ve been spared? What would the headlines … [Read more...]

“Heart-Beat” / Memorable Fancies #1646

“My heart goes out to you,” he said, pulling the skin apart and displaying his beating heart, there among ribs, muscles, lungs. “Bet you can’t beat that!” he said. [There's a new, third edition of Fragments of the Future sci-fi - available now on Amazon. Take a look!] … [Read more...]

“Where is Travis Bogle?” / Memorable Fancies #1161

Travis Bogle, loser and habitual minor criminal, kills a guard in a bungled convenience-store holdup. He is sentenced to 20 years in prison, but is offered the option of being aged 20 years in one calendar month instead, an experimental procedure intended to reduce ballooning prison costs. He agrees, and returns from the aging-tube to his wife Ruth after a month, looking and feeling 64 instead of 44. Ruth is glad to have her husband back, whatever shape he’s in. But Travis is deeply … [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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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 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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]

“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...]