sid.

this is a story about a girl  named sid.
[ click on the pictures they take you places.]

‘welcome?’ he offered as she’d been neck-cricked,  staring at the spot where the wall meets the ceiling  for over an hour while he sat behind her sewing leopard print fabric onto a throw pillow. sid had been working on these blankouts. sid had gone months [58 days and counting] since her last blankout. a few minutes without direct human interaction and sid would click off until someone wandered along and jolted her out of the blankness.

‘thank you.’ she spun around and addressed her patron of awareness.
[i’m not a people-person], sid lied to herself.
sid ‘s condition forced her to become a people-person. she’d been in this situation for a year or so and sid refused to come home from work and lose all her hours until that morning wake up call. sticking to the public kept her conscious.
he paused mid-stitch and looked up at sid.  ‘i’ve never gotten a thank you for a welcome.’
‘i’ve never waited an hour for a welcome.’
[this is not a love story]
 said her thoughts.
himynameis kyle was the only one in the hall of evolution and the exit was all the way upstairs, so he would have to do until the next lilly pad of consciousness floated within jumping distance.
‘did you know our hearts have tiny brains?’sid had to start a lot of conversations. sometimes her initiations made her feel like a superhero. sometimes her initiations made her feel like mud.  she wretched a little every time she felt the weather in her words.

‘did you know there’s enough pressure in there’ he poked his finger at her heart ‘to squirt blood 30 feet?’
‘do you  have a tape measure?’
he rummaged around under the desk and sid floated off until kyle resurfaced with a footlong cloth tape measure.
‘how’s this?’ he tossed it at her.
‘that’ll work. but only if you don’t stop talking at me.’
‘what do you want to hear?’
‘i would like to hear those things that happen in your head when nobody’s looking.’ sid started at the base of kyle’s desk and stretched the tape measure out towards the massive mastodon replica. she pulled a bit of chalk from her fanny pack, marked the 12 inches, and began again at the new starting point. sid thought about daisies. sid thought about rolling hills and grandparents.
‘you know that won’t work. you’re looking.’
‘course i’m looking. it’s hard to measure without looking.’
‘clever. i mean i can’t tell you what happens in my head when nobody’s looking while you’re here looking at what’s happening in my head.’
‘pretend i’m not.’
‘but i know you are.’
‘that’s why it’s pretend.
‘maybe i’m just not a very good pretender.’
‘you should work on that. no. you shouldn’t work on that. i know enough pretenders already.’ she paused in her measuring and counted 13 chalkmarks on the museum floor. sid thought about apartment complexes and midgets on elevators.
‘lately i feel like i’ve gotten too good at the wrong kind of pretending.’ kyle stitched another stitch into his pillow.
‘what’s the wrong kind?’
he pressed the pillow onto his cheek. he made small circular motions. ‘maybe my timing’s just off. most of my day is pretend and i’m just walking around, stashing the real for later. i get home and stuff ridiculous pillows with all of the real.’
‘the real world needs a bit of pretend. but  like everything else,’ she scratched chalkmark number thirty on the ground, ‘we decide where to draw the line.’ sid backed up one more step and stood up just in front of the giant mastodon. ‘ squirt your heart out. i should be safe from here.’

sid walked down the bus isle with an eye out for her next conversation. she was thinking about how much nicer her life would be had this condition started before most of her fellow humans were plugged up with mp3 players and blue teeth. she stuffed that thought between the bus seats.
this is where you are.
with so little alone time, sid had to keep her thoughts in good places so’s not to melt into the rest of the world. she tried that one time.  her ego had only recently forgiven her for the last i’m-gonna-dissolve-you incident.
to maintain some semblance of identity, sid had become skilled in the art of spinning ordinary into weird and then back again before the next words came out of her mouth.

sid plopped down next to a tiny mouse of a woman with a tiny cat nestled in the nook of her arm. she was taking a gamble. a cat person is a cat person either because she is not a people person or because she would very much like to be a people person and isn’t quite sure how. sid was lucky; catlady fell into the latter category. one question about lil’ meowmix and sid could think freely for the entire busride. as long as she tossed in a catlike comment now and again, catlady would go for hours.
sid sometimes got sick of this moment, so she used the opportunity to look back.

When she first started spacing, sid almost lost herself completely. it started at the bus stop. she nearly froze by the time another rider came along and splashed some change into her coffee cup.
she blamed the incident on extreme exhaustion since she had been awake for a few days gluing together toothpicks to form a tiny replica of her bedroom. but a month later it happened again and sid found herself snapping-to in the grocery store. ‘ma’am. you’re going to have to purchase that cucumber if you’d like to continue fondling it.’ the ‘ma’am’ in that sentence irked her.
after losing an entire day, sid decided to sit down and really figure out what was going on and thus lost three days in a row. four days of no-show-no-call and The Snowy Owl sent someone over to check up on her. that someone was nancy and also sid’s best friend.
‘yes i am so very vicious.’ sid says. sid is not at all vicious.

nancy stood in the doorway of sid’s apartment and watched her zombie-walk out of the bathroom, climb onto a kitchen chair and start drawing tiny circles on the wall. continue drawing tiny circles on the wall would be more accurate. it looked as though sid had done nothing but draw tiny circles on every available surface for the past three days. and nights.

‘what the hell, sid?’
sid fell off her chair.
‘theFUCK!?’
‘i’ve been here for a bit now. and before that outside. and before that work where you haven’t been for three days because you have a thing for tiny circles?
sid pulled herself back onto the chair and tried to shake the gross feeling that she’d been absent from herself for a few days.
‘i. don’t. know. lemme think.’ sid fumbled with the last bits of her memory.  home from work, sat down at the kitchen table, started the tiny circles  … nancy saw sid start to melt away behind her eyes and slapped her.
‘what did you take??’
‘bah. nothing. i don’t think. i don’t know.  i don’t know what’s going on.’
nancy started speaking like those tourists in movies who think that loudslow speech is going to teach a German English. ‘TODAY. IS. FRIDAY. YOU’VE. BEEN. GONE. SINCE. MONDAY. I’VE. BEEN. SENT. TO. RESCUE. YOU.’
‘thank you? i think there’s a short circuit in my brain or something. i keep losing time.’
‘well you seem alright now. relatively.  in other news, these circles are impressive.’

sid looked down at the table in front of her. she’d started in the middle and spiraled outward with the tiny circles. she must have clicked into autopilot and the circles took over. after she’d covered the table, it was on to the counters and the toaster and the cabinets and now climbing the walls.  she started to slip.
‘george is gonna be pissed.’
‘nah man. this is like art. your landlord can’t get angry about art.’ nancy almost got herself kicked out of school [again] a few months back when TSU decided to have a ‘day without art’ which consisted of covering up all of the statues and paintings with black trash bags.  nancy spent a month before this ‘day without art’ constructing picture frames of various sizes with ‘ART!’ printed in small letters across the top. on the ‘day without art’ nancy went around campus and framed beautiful things.

you of all people know the absurdity of that statement. when was the last time your writing didn’t make a person angry?’
‘hey. i have no intentions of pissing people off.’ sid raised an eyebrow at her. ‘the people might take offense to the truth but that is no fault of mine.’
‘fair enough. but still. you are clearly aware of the fact that calling something ‘art’ doesn’t justify its creation to the general population. in fact sometimes the mere act of doing so seems to anger the people.’
‘but my writing isn’t ‘art.’’’
‘says you. but you are certainly no authority on the matter.’
‘are you sure it’s wise to be waxing philosophical in your condition? your consciousness seems to be slippery enough as is. also, you’re about 4 days late for work as is. lesgo. unless you  have more circle work to do.’

—–

the bus had passed sid’s stop a while back, but catlady was a gem. sid was going to ride this one as long as she could.
‘yes. cats really can see a person’s soul.’

sid’s conscience started getting angry. -bullshit!- it said. -you’re coughing up hairballs of bullshit all over catlady.- arguing with her conscience was futile, but sid could sometimes ignore it for a little while.

—-

nancy stayed with sid for the next week and together they pieced together her diagnosis. sid needed human interaction at all times. and while nancy was her best friend,  living together was not an option. they were both just too weird.

nancy skittled over to sid’s computer.
‘we’re going to find you some help. you know living together is not an option. we’re both just too weird.’
luckily neither of them liked phones very much so they communicated via walkietalkie. nancy agreed to give sid a wakeup walkie every morning. she’d talk her out the door but beyond that, they needed to find other ways to keep sid conscious.
sid looked over nancy’s shoulder as she googled: -help me i’m lonely.-
‘ i am not lonely.’
sid was a terrible liar unless she was lying to herself.
‘rightright. you’re an introvert who can be alone without being lonely.’ nancy, like most best friends, was good at knowing when sid was lying to herself. she also knew which truths sid had to find on her own.
‘but that which can help a lonely person might just help you. see look: ‘Wakamaru is the first human-size robot built to provide companionship and/or function as a caretaker and house sitter’. sid+companionship=conscious sid. ’
‘there’s an idea. or maybe i should just hire a hooker to listen to my dreams and tuck me in every night.’
‘perfect. send sunny on over to my place when you’re done with her.’

sid refused to purchase companionship online. sid could be an extrovert. since there’s really no such thing. only stories sid liked to tell herself.

she took the bus to the YMCA and showered amongst the naked old ladies. naked old ladies in the locker rooms at the YMCA had no reservations. naked bodies, naked words. eva, sam, and dorothy shared sid’s distaste for social conventions and had years of experience in crumbling them to bits. by the end of the first month sid had learned more in the bathroom than she had in any classroom.
sid didn’t usually discuss her condition with other people.  but when these ladies asked her why she chose a public shower every morning, she felt no need to cover up. also, ‘i just want shower company’ was an awful thing she read once on OkCupid.

catlady was bustling about, gathering up her cat items. all the commotion brought sid back.
‘it was very nice chatting with another cat lover. i have a hard time understanding most of our species. but cats—cats can really SEE, you know?’
‘yes. i know.’

as sid watched catlady waddle down the isle she noticed the bus had come full circle and was almost back to her stop. sid hopped back a seat and sat herself a little too close to a middle-aged monkey of a man in a bowtie.
‘um hi.’
sid opened her eyes a little wider and leaned closer to the man, a tiny smirk on her lips.
the man shifted uncomfortably and pressed himself up against the glass. ‘h-how are you today?’
sid held her position and stared.
‘i-it’s nice out today. much better than yesterday.’
sid didn’t budge. the man was out of words so the two of them sat for several moments as the bus pulled up to sid’s stop.
‘thanks!’ sid rubbed the guy’s head like an 8 year old son and hurried off the bus.

sid smiled and sprinted the stairs of her apartment complex. this condition was growing on her. the old sid never would have pulled such a stunt. the old sid called herself an introvert because she was afraid of the people. no, the old sid was afraid of her reflection in the people.

sid spun into blake’s apartment and flung herself onto his inflatable loveseat.
sid’s insides matched the insides of the loveseat.
sid wondered why she forgets that her insides always match the insides of the loveseat.

‘vatic.’ he announced from the other room inside his piles and piles of words.
‘vatic. that’s a new one. may i have the definition please?’
internetting was one of those solitary activities that switched sid off. the only thing she really missed was her word-a-day. blake was happy to help sid with most of her dilemmas.

‘vatic: of or related to a prophet or a prophecy.’
‘ah.  oh. yes. it all makes sense now.’ blake left his words and joined sid on the couch.
‘a while back my sister and i were eating lunch when this strange crackling sound started upstairs. it took us a bit to recognize words, but we managed to decipher the message: ‘a year from now, you will relate this incident to a word you receive from a friend.’’
‘weird.’
‘i know right? we were skeptical at the time, but never again will i question vatic attic static.’

sid was clever. sid liked to play with the words.

blake groaned and pulled the plug on the couch as he hopped over to the beanbag and watched sid sink to the floor. ‘you’re grounded. also–’ blake slipped into his junkcloset and reappeared with a ouija  board. ‘let’s follow this prophetic path.’
‘WEEEEEEGIE! strange. you don’t seem like the ouija type.’
‘i wasn’t aware of a ouija type. nor that you considered me a type.’
‘i’m not too sure what that meant. it just seemed like something to say. you’re sort of an anything type i guess. maybe not the raping type. serial killer ya. but not a raper. rapier. rapist. none of those.’
‘words have such a way with you. my self esteem is soaring.’
‘i think ‘inflate self-esteem’ was part of the fine print in the ‘be blake’s friend’ job description.’

sid wasn’t one to read the fine print or the backs of books or warning signs or billboards.

the other part of that fine print told sid to help out with blake’s mundane tasks. lately she’d been spending her friday nights cropping every word from the odd numbered  pages of blake’s three favorite novels. if he mixed all of these words together and pulled them out one at  time, blake would find the answer.

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone"

‘so who should we dial up on ouija  here. does he have to be dead? or maybe just a little dead? can we give a wakeup call to the mostly dead?’
‘since when are you so into rules?’
‘round about the time you went all supernatural on me.’
‘how’s about you put your fingers on this thing and we’ll see what happens.’
sid shut up and let ouija talk::
-t.h.a.t.s.w.h.a.t.s.h.e.s.a.i.d.-
‘awww really sid?’ blake left sid and ouija alone while he went to the bathroom.
‘that wasn’t-’ sid started to protest but noticed the ouija was still trying to talk to her.
-e.n.j.o.y.a.l.o.n.e.t.i.m.e.-
‘and just how exactly should i do that?’ sid was more weirded out by how natural it seemed to talk to a letterboard than the fact that she was talking to a letterboard.
-b.e.a.w.a.r.e.-
‘that’s  not very helpful.’
-r.i.g.h.t.n.o.w.-

sid was still conscious. sid looked up as blake walked back into the room fidgeting his fly.
‘gah! you’re still here. how’d you manage that?’
‘um. magic. ouija here is for real. someone was just talking to me.
‘ooo. what’d you learn from him? her? it? himherit?’
‘her. and she told me to enjoy being alone. i think she’s mocking me.’
‘ah sidney. only you could make sarcastic contact with the other side.’
‘ya ya. could i borrow this thing? it might be sarcastic but it feels like progress.’
‘only if you promise not to let it put me out of a job. you’ve still got a novel and a quarter yet to dissect.’
‘as if something with a name like ouija could replace a blake.’
‘wellthanks. for that, a bedtime story.’ he escorted sid down the hall to her apartment and started his story while sid brushed her teeth::

‘a little gaggle of geese gather at the edge of a frozen pond. the leader only recently pulled himself out of a slippery situation involving a gang of magpies and a two bit transistor radio and thus the group was a little late on their southbound flight this year. after staring at the pond for a while, the leader spoke up: ‘why exactly are we all just standing here as though something’s different? nothing has changed.’ and with that he proceeded to walk out to the center and sit as though the lake was liquid as the day before. half of the flock followed, assuming flaws in their own judgment.

the other half looked on in disbelief as their fellow flock members froze their feathers. not knowing what else to do, they started walking in the opposite direction—’ blake paused and noticed sid had slipped to sleep. ‘we’ll finish later.’ he started to wish her sweet dreams but then remembered that sid doesn’t do that these days. her consciousness no longer had a dimmer switch. on and off were her only options.

seven hours later, nancy threw that switch back into the on position.
‘GOOOOOOOOOOD morning. welcome back.’
sid bolted upright and grabbed for the walkie on her nightstand.
‘thanks butterbean. you off today?’
‘yupindeed. come over and play?’
‘kk i’ll be there soon bye  now.’
sid threw her legs over the side of the bed to begin her usual sprint out the door but stepped on the ouija pointer and ended up flat on her back instead. ‘oh hello. you still here?’ sid flipped onto her belly and rested her fingers on ouija.
-a.l.w.a.y.s…s.o.m.e.t.i.m.e.s.y.o.u.f.o.r.g.e.t.-
‘this is only day two of my ouija experience. sorry if you slipped my mind overnight.’
-no…w.a.k.e.u.p.-
‘strange. i can feel your frustration. ha! i’ve been handling an unheard of psychic condition for the past year and have recently discovered a loophole that involves communing with the other side. but the fact that emotion comes along with your words strikes me as strange. ‘
sid picked up the walkie.
‘venue change. can you come here instead?’
‘well sidney. home and still awake? did someone have a cuddle buddy last night?’
‘like i wouldn’t have told you that immediately. just come over, k? i could use a sanity substantiation.’
‘yes’m. prudence police on the way.’
sid snorted. she could think of a bookful of adjectives to describe nancy. ‘prudent’ was not one of them.
she turned her attention back to ouija.
-w.h.y.-
‘hush. it’s only nancy. anything you can say to me you can say in front of nancy.’
-n.o.t.t.r.u.e.-
‘oh i’m sorry. would you prefer i hole myself up with you all day?’
-j.u.s.t.a.w.h.i.l.e.-
‘what’s a while? why are you so cryptic? who are you?’
-s.l.o.w.d.o.w.n.-
‘yesyes fine. why are you so cryptic?’
-y.o.u.r.c.h.o.i.c.e-
sid growled and was about to chuck the pointer across the room when nancy walked in.
‘ just in time i see?’
‘yes. here. say hello to nancy.’ ouija was more of an introvert than sid thought she used to be. nancy patted sid on the head and stood up.
‘come, my manic medium. let’s get you out of here.’
‘no but she was here last night and again this morning and there’s something she wants from me and–’
‘shhhhhh i know. if she’s stuck around this long she’ll be here when we get back. there’s an other world out there that’s not quite so other worldly. maybe. let’s stick with that for now.’
‘alright.’ both nancy and sid flirted with the edge on a pretty regular basis. but every time one really started to slip, the other found some footing.

sid pulled some jeans on over her pj’s and the two went out into the day.
‘where to?’
‘this way.’ they turned right and started walking up the street. ‘so where’d you find yourself yesterday?’
‘yesterday..’ sid had forgotten there was anything before her mind went ouija. ‘yesterday was the history museum.’
‘ah. fiddling with the force that might modify this probability field to better facilitate evolution?
sid stopped walking. ‘who are you?
‘hello i’m nancy.’
ya maybe. and no, there was no fiddling involved. i did space out for about an hour in the hall of evolution if that does anything for you.
‘definitely. i mean who knows where you go during those times. maybe you’ve stumbled across the next stage of human consciousness.’
‘you know how i feel about stages.’
‘rightright.  arbitrary lines, unnecessary divisions … ‘
‘ i’m still stuck on spirals. they might be lines but nothing’s divided. and even if you stretch them out you’re left with a bunch of waves.

‘but there’s still room to migrate along those waves, tread water and you’ll just bob up and down.  i’m not trying to say each wave needs a specific divider, but you can still differentiate between an eagre and a ripple.’
you make strange sense sometimes.’
‘so maybe you’ve evolved yourself off the deep end. ‘greater depth less span’, right? you dip so deep your attention span drops to zero?’
‘now there’s something. but why would the next stage of consciousness involve an utter lack of it? awareness should increase, not disappear completely.
‘maybe you’re just too married to the idea of your own awareness. just because you have no recollection of those times doesn’t mean nothing’s going on there.’
‘fair enough. so do i apply for a divorce? stop stringing awareness along? detach completely for the benefit of human development?
‘don’t kill sid off just yet. at least not before we gather a little outside input. we’re long overdue for a people-poll anyway.’

nancy paused and swung her backpack around to the front. she pulled out two green plastic visors, a couple of  lanyard nametags and a clipboard.

they each pulled on a visor and a lanyard as nancy sized up their current location: a small park just on the edge of downtown. the weather made for a nice cross-section sample. ‘the people have a good grasp of things today.’
nancy set off toward the pond while sid wandered to the seesaws.
a rather robust child had situated himself at the bottom end while his tiny brother crawled up and down the other side. sid sat herself down on the woodchips next to the heavier half.

‘how do you like this spot?’
the chunky child rolled his head over his neck to look at sid.
‘it’s good. my feet can stay on the ground and he likes it up there.’
‘what would happen if he could bring himself down?’
the child ran his finger under one of his chin folds. wiping the body goo onto his shorts he replied,
‘no. that wouldn’t work. then i’d go up even if i didn’t want to.’
‘well how do you know if he wants to come down?’
‘he tells me. or he can just climb down if he wants to.’
‘well couldn’t you just climb down if you didn’t want to be up anymore?’
‘noooooo. being up is scary enough. i would fall if i tried to get down on my own.’
‘and you don’t think he would let you down if you just asked?’
he looked up at his brother now dangling from the plank making monkey calls, feet a few inches from the ground.
‘maybe. but i dunno.’
‘that’s true. but how can you be sure that you won’t just get up and let him crash to the ground?’
the look on the child’s face told sid she had reached his limit. nancy wandered up and stood for a moment to take in the whole scenario.
‘turn around.’
nancy turned around and sid unzipped the small pocket of her backpack to pull out two lollipops.
‘forget that last question.’ sid held the lollies out for the kid. ‘here’s one for you and one for monkey boy. don’t eat them until after your done seesawing.’
life came back into the kid’s eyes as he grabbed at the treats.

‘so what did we accomplish there aside from teaching children to take candy from strangers?’ nancy asked as they left the park.
‘ah crap i always forget about parental consent. humm what did i accomplish. a little toddler philosophy, but i’m not seeing any blatant connections between my situation and seesaw stud’s interview.’
nancy and sid both recognized the fact that you could connect green beans to pat sajack without too much effort. that wasn’t the point of the people-poll. only interviews that were overtly synchronic with their current dilemma were taken into account.  like nancy’s:

after a quick scan of the crowd, nancy had singled out a couple of hula-hoopers. she took two steps in their direction. the first step caught her right foot in a croquette wicket and the second landed her left foot directly on top of a red croquette ball. her third step did not exist as steps one and two had placed her flat on her back.

‘cool visor. you might look pretty official if you hadn’t just plopped yourself in the middle of our game.’ one of the croquetters was standing over nancy looking rather green, nancy thought, visor over her eyes.
‘sorry my near death experience ruined your game.’
‘don’t be so dramatic. that experience was only a moment nearer to death than whatever experience you had just before it. and this right here is an even closer to death experience. also, our game is certainly not ruined. now maybe if you just keep lying there it’ll make things a little more difficult on us, but i have a feeling you’re going to get up and put that wicket in a better place than it was before.’
‘i have a feeling your feeling is right.’ nancy stood up and readjusted her visor. ‘and thank you for answering my question before i even had a chance to ask.’ nancy positioned the wicket in a slightly better spot and set off towards sid and the seesaws.

as nancy finished recounting her interview endeavor, the duo stopped and realized they’d come full circle back to sid’s apartment complex.
‘well. that certainly doesn’t leave much room for interpretation.’
‘nope. looks like you should stick with sid for a bit. she might just have something of a contribution for this world.’ nancy started taking the stairs two at a time, squatting down and jumping with both feet froggy-style.

‘i forget i have low self-esteem until hearing something like that feels so good.’
‘hm ya. i guess not everyone can be so blessed as i am,  to know the world is better off since i’m in it.’
‘right. if you were gone, the rest of us mortals would end up wasting a whole bunch of time trying to fill up all of that extra ego-space.
‘exactly.’
‘such selfless motives.’
‘ha. nope. too much of my motivation for how i treat the humans revolves around how my actions will make them respond to me. i might be ‘doing good,’ but ultimately i’m concerned with how i can make them make me feel.’
‘hmmm manipulative philanthropy?’
sid walked into blake’s apartment.
‘hello sir. we’re here for The Answers. we’ve been tracking them for years and all of our sources indicate this location as their hideout.’
‘well good luck. i’m sure they’re around here somewhere—i’ll see little flashes of them as i’m rounding a corner or just waking up in the morning.  i think i may have accidentally flushed one the other day.  they’re frisky little buggers. good luck catching one. but if you stop trying, you might just get one to let you hold it, maybe pet it for a little while.’

‘have you been so lucky?’ nancy closed the door and squished down onto the beanbag chair.
‘oh yes. in fact they seem to be warming up to me lately.’
‘what’s your secret?’
‘patience. and not making any sudden movements.’
‘well that counts me out.’ nancy flipped off the back of the beanbag and chasséd  into the other room.

blake was knee-deep in words again. he’d decided there was no need to wait for sid to completely finish cleaving his novels in order to start reassembling. the entire west wall of his apartment was now covered in rubber cement. blake had started in the upper left corner and was slowly wording his way across the wall.
sid swiped nancy’s beanbag spot and started re-inflating the chair blake had pulled the plug on yesterday. everything became very colorful after a minute or so of breathing a lot of oxygen out and a lot of rubber cement fumes in. sid paused to keep from passing out and losing all the colors.

‘-sing blind A wanting… listen yourself “EXPLODED”?-’ she read aloud from the wall.
‘i figure it’s no different from the rest of this. random bits. we’ll give it a scan and pay attention to what we can link together and maybe exploit it a little to feed our meaning-craving.’

‘why?’ sid flopped back onto the beanbag and started to swirl around the room.
‘i’ve found that adding a ‘not’ on to the end of that question immediately makes my life at least 80% more enjoyable.’
sid reached up and started twirling the colors around her fingers.

‘ya. there’s much less pressure when not being able to come up with a decent answer to a question is a good thing.’
‘which is why i’m not much of a scientist.’
‘i guess that’s sort of the difference between scientists and artists–’ blake cut her off:
‘careful there. i’m fairly certain most if not all scientists are artists and vice versa.’
‘fair enough. rephrase: i guess that’s the difference between those who sustain themselves with science and those who sustain themselves with art::’
‘better.’
‘the scientists will go crazy for a little bit but then reel it all back in with scrupulous testing, a method grounded in rationality. the artist tends to just play with the crazy and figure out ways to show it to the people.’

‘interesting theory.  now just apply that method so it’ll make sense to the people.’
‘ha. right. i think i prefer this method:’ sid reached over and grabbed december 2004’s issue of ‘Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness’ from blake’s tower of magazines. ‘number, please.’
returning from the other room, nancy answered ‘seventeen’ and sat herself on the floor to continue inflating the deflated chair. sid flipped to page seventeen and started reading:
‘-There are also new data suggesting that the heart’s field is directly involved in intuitive perception, through its coupling to an energetic information field outside the bounds of space and time. Using a rigorous experimental design, we found compelling evidence that both the heart and brain receive and respond to information about a future event before the event actually happens. Even more surprising was our finding that the heart appears to receive this “intuitive” information before the brain.-’
nancy took her mouth off the nozzle to respond and blasted her eyeball with a shot of her own hot air in the process.

‘interesting. i’ve always tended to favor intuition over logic. now it seems i have a logical reason to do so.’
sid started to spin and this time it wasn’t the result of oxygen deprivation.
‘right. well at the moment intuition is saying ouija. i’ll see you kids on the other side.’
sid skipped down the hallway and into her apartment. somersaulting onto the floor, she sprawled herself out in front of ouija and again placed her fingers on the diamond.
-t.h.e.r.e.y.o.u.a.r.e-
‘yes. here i am. and always have been.’
-m.a.k.i.n.g.p.r.o.g.r.e.s.s..i.s.e.e.-
‘feels like it. and that’s really all that matters, right?’
-y.o.u.r.e.a.s.k.i.n.g.m.e?-
‘in fact yes. ‘you’ are the only one i would ask such a thing.’

-v.e.r.y.g.o.o.d.c.o.n.t.i.n.u.e.-

‘but i suppose ‘you’ isn’t really appropriate now is it? ‘you’ creates a separation, puts me even further from myself. and that separation started this in the first place.’ something snapped. how had sid become so disconnected that she split completely? lost all ability to know this bit of herself? why had it taken total absence to realize what she used to have?

-d.o.n.t.b.e.s.o.h.a.r.d.o.n.y.o.u.r.s.e.l.f.-
‘right. if you had never fallen silent i wouldn’t have come to know this other part of me. us. whatever. and i guess ‘you’ is really no different than ‘i’. just a convenient distinction. some separation is necessary or ‘we’ would never get anywhere because there’d be nowhere to go. -a.n.d.j.u.s.t.w.h.e.r.e.a.r.e.w.e.g.o.i.n.g?-
‘that is the question, isn’t it? everywhere. maybe nowhere. maybe we’ve just created this separation so we feel as if we’re going somewhere when in fact there is only one where, one when, one—

y.o.u.s.o.u.n.d.l.i.k.e.t.h.e.l.i.o.n.k.i.n.g.-
‘i believe the song you’re referencing is from the lion king II, simba’s pride. and is it a problem if a large portion of my worldview stems from disney songs?
-o.n.l.y.i.f.y.o.u.t.h.i.n.k.s.o.-
‘ok. well anyway. thank you for opening this whole new world.
-t.h.a.t.s.w.h.a.t.f.r.i.e.n.d.s.a.r.e.f.o.r.-

‘yes. um.’
sid flipped through her disney song rolodex. ‘heffalumps and woozles?’
-i.t.h.i.n.k.w.e.a.r.e.d.o.n.e.h.e.r.e-
‘right.’
-d.o.y.o.u.s.t.i.l.l.n.e.e.d.t.h.i.s.o.u.j.i.a.t.h.i.n.g?-
‘nope.’
sid said with a sort of intuitive confidence she didn’t know existed until now.
she got up and went to stare at the mirror over her bathroom sink, the porcelain pedestal of her Self.
‘good morning.’

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