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Saturday, July 11, 2009

listening in

I'm stretched in trunks across the back of my cooling meteorite. The sun drags across the Northern Hemisphere like the tongue of a dog, drippy with clouds and humidity. I ignore what I can now, the chiseling at JK's above and my own whistly nostrils – hay fevered and cold. Instead, I try to imagine this rock as a cliff-hung outcrop above the Adriatic, somewhere off Split or Dubrovnik, this beautiful rock that only some days ago was zipping past lunarscapes through showers of cosmic rays... to land here in my backyard, into this perfect crater. Perfect and parabolic, like a dish, a huge receptor –

What's that! Shshshshshshshsththth – the beginning of that Beatles song? – no, no the unsheathing blade of a cut-throat in Baluchistan, yes; And that there, – plick pluck plick pluck – Chinese fingers, a thousand or more netting rackets in Guangzhou. And there – allez, allez, on y va mon vieux, allez – the Port of Marseille, an old man and his dog. And when I shift my ear a little like this, I can hear Thriller in LA; And like this, sixteen Sunni rebels in a trailer, insurgents and their English speaking overlord – What? What's that? SAY IT AGAIN! – but I can't hear it now over the cling-clanging of Brendan's dumbbells 40 miles north in Amsterdam. Interference. I turn my head to focus, but now I hear fires rage, voices cry, guns crackle, and from afar, the keystrokes of a bureaucrat and the dim bleeps of his algorithms. But now a ringing rips through everything, an incessant intrusive ringing, I can't hear –

Wait, that's me, my front door!

Quick I thrown pants on over my Y-front trunks.

The man at the door is bearded and massive like a bear. The sun is eclipsed. He does not greet, does not introduce himself, but clenches his fists and then utters his message of information:

Are you Mr. Labas?

Yes.

Mr. Labas, you are not to listen.

I'm just sitting on my rock, sir.

Again, Mr. Labas, do not listen. You can sit, lie, talk, do as you please, but don't listen. If I have to come here again...

His jaw opens and closes. The sun appears briefly behind his ear, and then he leaves.

I go back to my rock, and try in vain to blot out what I can. But now I wonder about this man who looks so much like Chuck Norris (was it Chuck Norris?). And I think, should I be scared of this guy? I mean – fuck – after all, if I can hear all of you, then surely, well, you can hear me too, right?... No?