Perhaps one of the most complex literary exercises is to place a promising premise (rock solid) within an appropriate context that would help develop – and expand – the seed of what perhaps might become a great story.
Such was not the case of an ignored (for good reason) author, whose name is still unknown (and we do intuit that it shall never be discovered) and from whom we almost know nothing about; his natural tendency to laziness and apathy are to blame. The sole written witness of a sombre existence and an unfathomable corpus are some random notes about a great idea he once thought he had (or still has); we trust that the reader will understand the distilled time and spacial references.
Maybe inspired by Cortázar or a similar muse, he ventured himself in generating, in creating, in suspecting, a mundi absurdo, an absurd mechanised and Oriental world; the action happening (statically) in the land of the rising sun. In order for his own delirious sketch to be imbued with reality, thus splashing the incredulous reader, the unknown author invents public organisms and resorts to all kinds of predictable tricks with the mere ontic hope that those yellow bureaucracies might adopt Godlike shapes; useless institutions of being-givers.
The unnamed pen writes about a study, supposedly carried out by the Association of the Vehicular Mayhem in the Far East, also known by the natives as: KLGHFHDJHAKJF-94584373-HGHJFHKJFAOASH, which states that the main metropolis, rock-home of sushi and where the madness for whale oil and dolphins and young girls wearing school uniforms and facial culmination find their garden of Eden, is the city that suffers the most presence of vehicular traffic worldwide.
The ignored author (who surely has inspired better lines than those which his own cowardice prevented him to even write) roguishly assumes the right to create, supposedly ex nihilo, another human being (without even owning the suitable copy or creative rights) who already possesses such a name – or better said, the potentiality of becoming one – falling into a duplicitas ad absurdum.
The annonymous hand writes about this man as if he were the honorary president of that imagined associated institution linked with the pre-mentioned vehicular chaos. His name is Kimito Matsude, suffering eighty four years of prostatic age; him being rather fond of chow fan, Argentine soap operas (through which he modestly managed to dominate the use of the rioplatense Spanish and to read some Borges in its original form) and the Peruvian football side Sporting Cristal.
This man, Kimito (Matsude), allegedly commented whilst being overcome with a sombre mood to an unquoted-by-our-almost-fictitious-author source, some observations and statistics about the affair that served as an inspiration for the present account; after a brief internal debate, and only because the liver won the contest, we would very well be able to quote Matsude’s (Kimito) words if these would have had effectively been those at all; the man was (maybe is) mute, and in the supposed creative-fiction of the persistently unknown writer, there are a series of movement descriptions that, according to our intuition, are part of a sign language. Such gestures could be read or interpreted or seen like this:
Kimito Matsude waves his head, winks his left eye and keeps it closed for three seconds, as he blows with his peeking tongue out while his lips trap it; he opens his now full left eye, and raises his right arm in a 90° angle (relative to his body), showing his ring index finger.
This scene is summed up by the phantasmagorical fictioner, through the following words:
According to what I could gather from the recent scene, and making use of my rudimentary Japanese, Matusde is fond of tango and the way in which Keith Jarrett improvises his masterpieces, after eating fish; specifically herring.
The story goes on, returning to the unknown and perchance timid author, including some beautiful poetic passages where the brevity of the Koan is compared to the quick digestion of the vegetarian and the speed with which the sushi is prepared in the congested metropolis, even in the least likely hell-hole; but then the account gains a bit of rhythm and congruently quotes something said by an erudite in the subject so he can explain today’s trafficky furore (eventually the causa prima that inspired our mysterious pen):
“It is indeed true that the vehicular congestion is actually a mere reality which transcends the frontiers of the problematic; the solutions are surely forever hidden behind the clouds emanating from the enormous quantity of cars that are invading this metropolis just like the illusion of existence permeates the human mind. Thanks to the work of the Association of which I am a proud member, the amazing KLGHFHDJHAKJF-94584373-HGHJFHKJFAOASH (indeed, the reader will happily guess or remember the long and useless name), we have discovered drivers – and passengers as well – who are being trapped in their own vehicles because of these labyrinthine jams; a Borgesian fiction, a maze made of rubber and metal and glass and anguish which Daedalus himself would have never escaped – the Minotaur is not one, but all who are trapped in it; some unhappy folks might be, today, celebrating their ninth month of confinement. Other extreme cases exceed the trio of years.”
This is when (and where) the story breaks and the second voice (the commenting one, or that which played the role of observer’s voice or out-of-the-tale-commentator) loses its strength, to the extent that it is falling as the prey of a subtle opera singer’s dystonia; this is the reason why, from now on (now) the reader shall follow the supposed story-teller’s wake (which is, by the way, still unknown to us) accompanied by the newly second non-dystonic voice that shall continue to work as a diabolus ex-machina; that is, as a commentator and critic.
Trio of years, a lovely expression; a musical-literary conjugation and an elegant way to lighten up such an atrocious suffering (if real) casted upon those unhappy yellows, locked up inside Ariadne’s nightmare.
A couple of lines ahead, the still mysterious writer exaggeratedly talks about a certain case study, suffered by the notable professor Kodak Suzuki, whose wife, who had been pregnant for only a month, says goodbye to him during a sunny August morning, as the proud and anxious father-to-be departs to work; they kissed farewell as those who ignore the true hidden, thus neglected, laws of the universe: as if they were immortals, as if they could decide when the last breath is bound to occur.
Unfortunately for the diligent professor Kodak Suzuki, he never knew that such a routinous kiss felt by his cheek would be in fact the last he would indeed savour in quite a long time; that he would miss the birth of his first and only child (Minolta Suzuki); that his untidy debts would dramatically increase; and that some eleven months, four days and a couple of hours later, his mourning wife would confuse him with an estranged inhabitant from Ming, who after the first touch, the first embrace, would eventually become him, Kodak Suzuki.
It is natural to exempt professor Suzuki’s desperate measures when he found out about his late luck; it is natural to understand how his head ended up after endless knocks applied over his yellow left temple with a modest and old photo-camera whose brand refuses, still today, to have a literary existence without any monetary compensation for its makers: hence, the void. It is natural indeed to surprisingly read that Mr KS was a devoted Catholic man and despite this, the temple became the location of his death.
His mother, Mrs S (whose name we decided to abbreviate in order to prevent writing her full name: Samiko Ehert Gradik Teko Aka Guaja Kuku Kyot) sued both the state and the already celebrated Association of the Vehicular Mayhem in the Far East, or KLGHFHDJHAKJF-94584373-HGHJFHKJFAOASH, for compensatory damages: 100.000.000 Yens was the amount required. The court sentence is due in the following days; though it shan’t matter any longer, because the inpatient Mrs S or Samiko Ehert Gradik Teko Aka Guaja Kuku Kyot or even SEGTAGKK if you prefer, inspiring herself in her distinguished Samurai lineage, accomplished the millenarian rite and opened her abdomen in two perfect halves; arakiri in front of the Justice Court of Law; perhaps as a serendipitous echo to her beloved son’s demise; perhaps as a living depiction of the natural fragmented state in which we humans, who we are yet not worthy of such a name, live.
Some scarce meters away from the abandoned vehicle that once belonged to the suicidal Mr Kodak Suzuki, we see a certain Mr Pey Pang Song, Korean by birth but Japanese by obligation. Such a piece of information was supposedly expressed by the voice which had to be discarded after showing some alarming symptoms of singer’s dystonia, to the now first and leading voice of this account through means of physical expressions (mainly using hands and guttural sounds) given that its own vocal difficulties impeded it to make a proper use of itself whilst being trapped in a dystonic entropy; hence the resorting to sign language. Now, we return to following the actual leading and tonic voice.
Besides being a prestigious painter, Mr Pey Pang Song is a tenacious father and a devoted husband: for two years and five months he has been punctiliously and dutifully performing his obligations as the father of his kids, each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday after three pm, whilst still being trapped in the nightmare of Ariadne; the maze made of rubber, metal sheets, glass, iron and anguish; the never ending absurdity of traffic. His offsprings’ names are Sarah Song, a coquettish pre-menstrual girl of fifteen years of age, and John Lee Song, a dumpy little fellow yet with a natural talent for music (the clarinet) and a certain inclination towards his left (due to a slight length difference in his legs); despite appearing to be in his late forties, he is actually nine.
On occasions, such family visits might well endure the usual midnight honking mayhem and extend till right before dawn. Mr Song’s talents as a father are impeccable: despite the limitations imposed by the overwhelming traffic reality-imprisonment, he always has a trick at hand to celebrate a birthday, an A + in any of their report cards, a fallen tooth, a first kiss, a wedding, a birth that took place in a nearby car, or even a goal scored by his favourite football team (Kashima Antlers); the last culinary invention was to cook some exquisite hamburgers au moteur served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, bacon, and love.
Whereas his wife, Sarah Ling, visits him on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, usually once the sun has departed and the nanny arrived at the family home; the wearing of the shock absorbers is forcing them to dwindle the intensity of their Taoist physical loving sessions. Mr Song refuses to abandon his car, just as a growing minority of sensible citizens are starting to do, yet it is still unknown whether these have ever reached the longed lost home; to him, the car and the phallus are two siamese that were separated at birth; two faces of a same disc; two pleasure machines; two objects of conquest that are put in, and put out at will; two perfections that are meant never to be abandoned.
On occasion, when asked, he answers smugly: so, if a rest-room were full of urinaters and you had no room to perform that bodily function, would you leave your penis alone for it to micturate by itself if you could not properly urinate like a regular man?
The cunning Mr Song does indeed take advantage of such a firm belief regarding attachment: when for any given circumstantial reason or delay at work (his paintings on asphalt made with oil and break fluids are currently on the rise: the last one, entitled Yu Tsun in Flames has been auctioned by Sotheby’s for a sum that went well beyond the fifteen figures) he cannot physically love Mrs Ling as she was meant to as indicated by the way of the Tao, she sits on top of the heated bonnet, moaning exaggeratedly, jumping, riding, wiggling her sweated hips; and in occasions of exceptional passion, making her tongue dance over the flowed and vaginated bonnet, swirling with it around the front lights and bumpers as if she were drawing them. Were such a monstrosity to take place during an anniversary date, it is most definitely likely that Mrs Ling would end up with drops of warm oil dripping from her lips.
The chaotic Latin America is slowly starting to project its sombre and obscure shadow over the cystic yellow avenues, unaccustomed to such a display of peddlers. At first, when the jam was almost sweet and not yet bitter as it is today, the first ball pens were on sale; then came the notepads, tissues – elements of first necessity. The bargains and monetary demands started to increase disproportionately, considering the numbers of cars involved. When the jam became bitter as bile, clothes, music (both through live performances, cassettes, CDs and vinyls), computers and luxury articles were being offered.
The first supermarketial hawks made a Team-A like appearance, hiring experienced Sherpas to provide the different (many) improvised mini-stores in those scarce empty spaces over the main arteries between cars, bodies, hope and depression; the most optimistic estimations disbelieve in a prompt resolution, and the wild capitalist beast has already started to prey on such a lack of positivity by invading every visible (and hidden, such as subterranean hot dog stands) niche.
Here is where the author (whose name persists in being ignored) turns to the fatal and low blow: the apparition of the crows (as they are well known here); those who feast and live on the dead. The workers of death.
A certain mysterious Mr S distributes his cards; they promote a lofty funeral service of high quality and unique hygiene standards. Such is the security exuded by this man as he talks about the merits of his métier, that every listener feels the sincere (if such an adjective is an attribute in natura of men) urge to die in his very arms. A strange rapacious bird and his pigeons prowl around the disaster’s epicentre; if necessary, Mr S possesses the skills and the tools to make the car into a perfect and coquettish coffin. I do believe to have perceived a certain surname of Polish musicality, or at least from Eastern Europe; but his appearance is more Mediterranean.
I, the natural and sole voice that is left as an observer ex machina of such a wordy queasiness, take my leave because I can no longer tolerate the discriminatory humour (that others, such as this miserable and undercover author, call mere description) that is pouring from this tale.
Yet various problems of all other kinds are to be found almost everywhere; something is burning a few feet away from Mr Pey Pang Song’s vaginated car; a fire that owes its existence both to a stubborn tourist from Aberdeen (Ags McMon according to his almost ashy passport) who was visiting the island, and his patriarchal will: the resignated family (word that serves the purpose of briefly depicting the lady wife and their twenty four off springs) tried, unsuccessfully during the first four hours, to set afire the infarcted corpse that once hosted Ags McMon’s soul, the beloved father of those twenty four little rascals and the patient yet awful kisser husband of Lucy de Bruce to whom we just referred as the lady wife, but the closed windows proved to be an hermetic enemy. As fate disguised in the robes of chance wanted it, the 23rd son opened the glassy separation of the modest Seat Ibiza coupé in order to gobble up some air, when the fatal and inevitable bonfire began.
The mysterious Mr S and his workers of death would not consider such an ethereal (carbonized) chance like the previous one; the boss chases the filthy lucre, which is not truly filthy but which shows the latent filthiness of men. At least it is licit to give him some credit for going after that which is most esteemed to him; paradoxically, he would forfeit his own life in order to see his profits grow.
Slowly, life is being invaded by rubber, metal sheets, glass, iron, fumes and despair; few are those who still linger on in those obsolete concrete building structures once known to mankind as apartments, flats, houses. If home is where the heart is, then I do declare that I ignore where my heart is (nor whether I possess one, or many, or none) and therefore I know not if I’m capable of declaring any valid assertion whatsoever its nature might be; I also ignore how to end this very account that captures me between words and ideas and dreams and delusions and deliriums; I can barely move.
The perspired leather of this old Honda Civic 1989 is chafing my buttocks; I cannot remember another time other than the one that is slowly crawling inside this story; ideas are chaotically piling up within me at an ever ascending rate; concepts that I cannot transfer to paper or leather or that are too subtle and precious to be carved over the plastic at hand, and my skin already reflects all the words it can bear; lack of space, and times.
I shall wait for Ariadne to hopefully return and, while posed on her guiding hands, I might be able to find a way out from this unintelligible and dense labyrinth which keeps closing over me.