This one came to us for the weekly some time ago and there was something about it that wouldn’t let us put it down. I think the idea is a great one and the delivery speaks for itself.
The Parasite from Proto-Space
“This is the story of three girls trapped in three different towers,” Jamie, owner of J-BaL’s (Jamie’s Bar and Lounge) said, swinging the microphone cable around his head like a lasso. The high from the KFC (ketamine, fentanyl, and crack) injection was nearing its climax. His words made about as much sense as a message hidden in tuna footprints, but that was the point of shooting KFC. The audience was hooked on it as well; one needed to be high on Colonel in order to enjoy the insanity that often went down at J-BaL’s open mic night.
“This is also the story of a man,” Jamie continued, “a boy really, on a quest to rescue the girl held prisoner in the highest tower. The two other girls are okay in his book, but the boy’s heart is fixed on his prize: the feather-haired beauty with chlorine eyes. Her tower is the most fortified structure known to man: a titanium spike piercing the pink pillow clouds of planet Palumphagus … otherwise known as Detroit, Michigan. Its entrance is guarded by bioroid tanks that could shoot down the La Gracia Orbital Colony if need be. Rescuing her by air is impossible due to the energy shield generated by a machine humming in the basement of a nearby church. That church is where the hero of this story trips on a wire and unplugs the shield generator. This is where the story is supposed to begin. But let’s not begin it there …”
Someone in the audience belched, scenting the air with onion mist.
“In my opinion, it will suffice to start where all the action is … the epic ka-booms! and ka-blangs! of the climax where the hero dodges lasers and missiles, rescues the girl, and takes her home and fucks her. But that’s not what happens at all. Nope. Not even close. As you’ll see, this story is not derivative of your typical Hollywood action thriller. There may be goblins and frost-giants smashing McMansions with their clubs, but none of the characters care. You know why? Because writing from a stance of boredom and passivity is much less cliché than making characters actually give a shit about the fantastic elements thrown in to appease the author’s nostalgia for sci-fi and fantasy. Eventually, passive narrators will become old hat both in and out of academic circles. Casual readers and students will doze off as plots become predictable, and professors will be susceptible to fits of rage knowing that their home city isn’t producing literature of remotely good value.
“So, instead of boring you with the same old tropes of princesses developing Stockholm syndrome and knights in white fedoras causing the immolation and combustion of people and objects, I am going to let my very special guest tell you a story inspired by a lump of cancerous matter on the eyeball of a toad yearning for something to yearn for. There will be no desperate soliloquies of longing for fame, glory, money, pussy, or cookies … just pure, unfiltered linguistic aberrations that exist solely to cushion the psychological bludgeoning resulting from weaning one’s self off of moonshine. What you’re about to hear is a verbatim transcription from the mind of a telepathic tonsil stone hacked onto a monkey’s face by a hawk with undescended testes. These words are a tonic that needs no gin. Friends, relatives, fuck buddies, and total strangers, I am proud to present to you the story of The Parasite and his Mission to Save Humanity from the Coming of Proto-Space as told by the Parasite himself. Take it away Mr. Parasite!”
There was some weak applause as the Parasite took the stage.
“Thank you Jamie, for the kind introduction,” he cleared his vacuole. “Before I get to the thesis of my presentation tonight, I figure I’ll tell you all a little bit about myself. As you folks can probably tell,” he scanned the audience with his shiny black eye, “I am not from this world. My neck of the woods is a place where there are no such things as days, feelings, or objects. You can’t even call the main body I broke off of a planet, solar system, or even a body at all. It’s like a photographic negative of a glob of white-out the size of a galaxy; a planarian that moves through the universe devouring whatever it touches. It is not a black hole. It’s much different than that. Proto-Space, which is the closest the English language can come to naming it, has been around since the beginning of …”
“Bullshit!” An empty beer bottle sailed past the Parasite’s head. “Who do you think you are, pullin’ this sensical crap on us? Do you know where you are, pal? This is Colonel Country, motherfucker! We come here to shoot KFC and listen to lit’rature that don’t make no sense. We don’t wanna hear none of your straightforward narrative shit, you hear me?!”
“Sir, I’m sorry, but …”
“Fuck you!” Several figures rose from their seats and began to file out of the bar. “Lousy prick!” Someone spit in the Parasite’s direction.
“Alright then,” Jamie took the mic. “Let’s hear it for the Parasite everybody!”
One person clapped. It was a thirty-something man in gray sweats. His belly shook like a sandbag as he smacked his tiny hands together. He was probably the guy who burped before.
The Parasite slunk offstage and into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
Sensing that the night was pretty much over, Jamie tied a shoelace around his arm, plucked a fresh syringe from his belt, popped the needle into a vein and pressed the plunger. Divine utterances coursed through his bloodstream until they found their way to his tongue. He knew that if he kept talking, the Colonel would descend from on high and transform his ramblings into poetry or, if the drug was quality; a coherent narrative. As Doug the Pusher always reminded his clients; KFC makes sense of nonsense and vice-versa. It will fuck you. You need it in order to live. I’m your supplier. My word is Gospel.
Jamie grabbed the microphone. “Later that night,” he made a face like two skunks had crawled up his nostrils and had sex in his sinus cavity, “the Parasite lay in bed smoking a stogie found in a nearby ashtray. His girl lay beside him, her arm wrapped around his carapace. She was a college student he had met while bar hopping the previous weekend. She didn’t make enough money as a burlesque dancer to pay her tuition let alone maintain a steady supply of cigarettes. The black orb in the center of the Parasite’s face looked sad and moist as he stared at the ceiling.
“It’s okay, baby,” cooed the girl, her shoulders softened by the cotton of her shirt. “I’m sure you’ll get it up next time. We just need to try something new in bed, that’s all.”
He’d had the confidence of a bull moose when they first met. What had happened? At what point had he let his guard down and allowed self-defeatist thoughts to creep in?
“Like what?” he sniffed, “we’ve tried everything; anal, oral, nasal. Just because my dick is made of Proto-Space doesn’t mean I can do everything. I guess I need to be all there mentally before I can make you happy,” he groaned.
“It’s because of those jerks at the bar, isn’t it?” The girl traced one of his spikes with her finger. “Just ignore those fuckbags. Everyone’s allowed to give a crappy open mic performance once in awhile, right?”
“B-but,” the Parasite’s lower mandible was trembling, “it’s just that I don’t think anybody cares about the coming of Proto-Space or the fact that I can guide them to Post-Space, which is a much better alternative. Salvation is right in front of their faces and nobody gives a fuck!” The Parasite grunted and smacked his skull with his spiked claws.
“Stop that!” the girl became cross. “You just need something to boost your confidence.” She tossed onto her left side and clicked off the lamp. “I’m going to bed. Maybe something will come to you in your dreams, I don’t know. We’ll talk about it in the morning.”
“Good night,” the Parasite croaked, but she was already out.
The next morning the Parasite awoke to find the girl missing. Had she gone to class? Not likely, since it was summer break. Did she have a job? Maybe she went to the gym? Then reality sunk in. She had left him for a creature much younger and more physically fit. The Parasite stared up at the bumpy white ceiling. Life in this dimension was grinding his brain into powder. It made him not want to get out of bed ever again. If only he could curl up under the blankets and disappear into a pocket universe: preferably one where no one could find him. Maybe he could find a way back to Proto-Space where he belonged.
His mission on Earth, however, was his top priority. On December 28th at 11:41 pm, the region of space housing Earth and its solar system would be devoured by Proto-Space. The Parasite hadn’t done a very good job of convincing people to go to Post-Space though. His appearance frightened most humans. Sporting several thousand legs, a black orb for an eye, and a spiny exoskeleton, it was very difficult to get people to listen to him. He’d made efforts to boost his popularity by performing at events such as the open mic night at J-BaL’s, where everyone was fucked up anyway, but it was to no avail. Simply put, he was a loser. Even back home in Proto-Space, he wasn’t the most amorphous, the most incomprehensible and nowhere near the most eldritch. He might as well assimilate back into Proto-Space and reunite with Grandma and Uncle Kmkwlggh and every other parasite who had cast aside their individuality out of boredom with corporeal life. That way, he’d be a part of something powerful and all-consuming despite no longer having a personal identity.
“Fuck it,” he shouted at the bare walls. “If I can’t convince people to seek salvation through Post-Space, I’ll just become part of Proto-Space again. As far as humanity is concerned, Proto-Space will be an upgrade from this hell hole they live in.”
He reached for his cell phone to check the time. It was already 4:30.
“Fuck,” he rolled onto his side.
The scent of the girl he’d been sleeping with for the last seven nights was still on the sheets. Strawberry rain. He liked that smell. Not too overpowering; a perfect complement to the scents of sex. But now she was gone, and so was the sex. Oh well. He kicked off the blankets and sat upright. The apartment smelled of impotence and failure. What was he going to do today? His mind began to wander. What am I doing with my life?
He earned his keep by selling vials of Proto-Space as a street drug. The only piece of furniture he owned was a bookshelf. None of the books on his shelf were of Earthly origin. He had brought them from home; books written in his mother tongue on subjects completely incomprehensible to the human mind. One such book, translated at the expense of most of its meaning, was titled The Cellular Regression of Sheep Over Water. He pulled the book next to it from the shelf. This one was titled: An Arboreal Light to Unlock Nothingness and Parasouls. He flipped through it. One of his legs landed on a sentence halfway down the page:
“The mysteries of sloth exit stage left while fires beneath the ocean illuminate the Abacus breathing life into the End of Time.”
Even he couldn’t understand it. He sighed.
“Well,” he crawled out of bed head first like he used to when he was a child, “time to get on with the day. I think I’ll go to the mall. Yeah! That’s what I’ll do. I’ll check my bank account balance and then maybe I’ll go to MATCH! Video Games (More Addictive Than Colonel, Homie!) and see if they’ve got anything new. I could even get a patty at Bock Quacky’s Chicken and Duck Burgers! Should I get chicken or duck? I guess I’ll flip a coin.”
The Parasite scuttled across the bedroom floor, picked up a musty t-shirt and smelled it.
“Eh, smells clean enough,” he donned the shirt, careful not to further tear the holes his ex had cut into the fabric for his spines. He brushed his mandibles, downed some Proto-Space with a glass of water, gathered his phone, wallet, keys, iPod, and backpack with his laptop in it and headed out the door and down the stairs to the air conditioned lobby. He checked his mailbox: nothing except for that Shop-Rite coupon he’d kept in there for weeks. Oh well. He selected the album ‘Planetary Duality’ by the band The Faceless from his iPod and went off into the residual mugginess of early September.
He didn’t find anything at MATCH! Video Games. He chatted with the clerk for awhile about games, anime, clowns, and hypothetical scenarios involving rooms full of headless mannequins. But as always, the subject eventually turned to the fate of the universe.
“So, what happens when matter is assimilated into Proto-Space?” The clerk’s eyes were wide with mock curiosity. Normally, humans had no interest in talking about Proto-Space or its implications. But this grunt-level salesman who sold ‘retro’ electronic games, toys, trading cards, and other collectibles to autistic thirty-year-olds, –a job akin to waving insulin in front of a diabetic’s face– was enough of a dork to humor the Parasite. Every other day, the Parasite would shuffle into the store and browse the same old shelves in search of Japanese Role Playing Games to play on his days off from missionary work. Since JRPGs were rarely traded in and the Parasite had nothing better to do, he’d stand by the register and prattle on and on to the clerk about how Proto-Space was good, but Post-Space was better and blah, blah, blah, et cetera, et cetera.
“Well,” the Parasite scratched his eye with one of his facial claws, “it goes something like this: when Proto-Space makes contact with matter, it accelerates its entropy. It causes the particles of whatever it touches to run in fast-forward. Proto-Space will eventually spread across your entire universe and everything will be reduced to nil. This is the Fate decreed unto you by our race. However, there is still a chance for humanity to achieve a state of bliss even more ideal than that which Proto-Space offers.”
“And, how do I achieve such a state?” The clerk smirked.
A little boy and his mom entered the store. The boy began to jump up and down at the discovery of a plush Bullet Bill.
“By allowing me to guide you to the Paradise known as Post-Space,” said the Parasite. “Post-Space is a world without trauma, turmoil, strife, pain, decay, or death. It was built for all who seek refuge from the harshness of the physical world as well as the false paradise of Proto-Space. Although Proto-Space is a reprieve from mortal suffering, arguably a step-up from the conditions of your reality, it is still not ideal. It’s like entering a perpetual state of Zen. No good, no evil, just Existence for its own sake. Post-Space, on the other hand, consists only of what humans call ‘goodness.’ Post-Space is a luxurious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting whereas Proto-Space is a sheet cake from Walmart served in a church basement. One is obviously the better choice, but both are food and contain sugar and carbohydrates.”
“What is our reality here then?” The clerk glanced around the store to see if any customers needed help.
“A can of diced chicken cubes and gravy from the bargain shelf of a grocery store in a low-income neighborhood.” The Parasite couldn’t help but snicker.
“Fair enough,” said the clerk. “In that case, I suppose it doesn’t matter whether I choose to go with you to Post-Space or remain here and get sucked into Proto-Space. I’m not much of a cake fan anyway. I think I’ll just chill here in Space-Space and enable people with shopping addictions until the Fated Hour arrives.”
“That’s your call.” The Parasite shot a glance at the little boy who was now bawling because his mom refused to buy him a two hundred dollar comic book.
Since his arrival on Earth in the year 2001, the Parasite had been prescribed psych meds to numb the distress of the human condition weighing him down at all hours. His doctor was Edmund Jeffries, a man who had dealt with much more volatile clients that the Parasite. Jeffries often expressed his opinion that it didn’t matter whether humans chose Proto or Post-Space. The Parasite’s job, he argued, should be to educate people about the existence of Post-Space while allowing them to choose their own destiny.
“That’s one way to look at it,” the Parasite approximated a smile.
“Yes, and isn’t it comforting to know that some might view the Walmart cake as a special treat in and of itself? If one is always seeking a better piece of cake, how can one ever be satisfied? I mean cake is cake. I’d be happy just to have a piece of cake at all,” Jeffries chuckled in his doofy way and flashed the Parasite a buck-toothed grin.
“You’re starting to sound like my mother,” the Parasite tried with all his strength to keep from scowling.
“Now, tell me something about your mother,” Jeffries was unabashed. “You haven’t said much about her. Did you two have a good relationship?”
“Uh …” the Parasite’s left mandible began to twitch, “I guess so. I mean all of us Parasites, my brothers and sisters that is, were born from the dark matter core of Proto-Space kinda like how a mushroom spore splits off from its parent.”
“I see,” Jeffries began to scribble on a sheet of yellow loose leaf paper attached to a clipboard. “Does it bother you that someday you’ll have to return to your mother, that is, to where you came from?”
“You mean like when I assimilate back into Proto-Space, like when this universe is completely taken over? Yeah, it’s something all Parasites worry about just as humans worry about death. This thing you call ‘death’, by the way, is no big deal to us Parasites. We know exactly what happens to a consciousness when its body stops working. It ain’t bad at all.”
“What happens when humans die?” Jeffries bit the eraser of his pencil with his pursed upper lip, one of his many quirky mannerisms.
“They become part of Post-Space, which is probably the biggest reason why nobody wants to go with me; because they would be literally volunteering to be killed. Nobody wants to die, but that’s just because they have no idea what awaits them after the fact. They say stuff like ‘but I don’t wanna die, I just wanna stay here and live out the rest of my life and die naturally,’ which is total bullshit. Things will get better for them no matter what they do, but there are only two months left before the arrival of Proto-Space. When that happens, everyone on Earth who isn’t already dead will be locked out of true salvation forever. If only they could see just how golden the opportunity is that I’m offering them. Everyone’s argument seems to be that they need ‘proof.’ ‘Prove to me that the reality you preach about will be better than the one I’ll end up in if I just stay here,’ they say. What I want to say to the fuckers is ‘how can I prove something so monumental to an organism content with eating cubed chicken and Walmart cake for the rest of eternity?’ It’s as though I’m offering a deer tick an ocean of blood and it refuses simply because it can’t understand how to pay the entry fee to the beach club. All humans have to do is trust me … it’s as simple as that, but no. They see me as some kind of monstrosity from outside of time who wants to rob them of their free will and goad them into shedding their individual forms and become some kind of one-body, one-mind pot of human soup. I guess that’s technically what happens when a human assimilates into Post-Space, but it’s like learning to drive a car. Once you’re over the threshold of fear it just feels natural. Not that I’ve ever driven a car … but maybe I should learn just to prove to you humans that Post-Space is not so bad.”
As the Parasite spilled his guts, Jeffries continued to jot.
The conversation meandered to the college girl and back to Post-Space again before Jeffries glanced down at his watch and signaled that their half-hour session was over.
The Parasite crawled down from the pleather chair with the brass buttons. Jeffries bid him farewell and shut the door behind him. The Parasite figured by the time he got to the drug store, his prescriptions would be ready for pickup. He navigated the labyrinthine corridors of the medical office building with his keen memory of the building’s layout. His eye was capable of seeing in 360 degrees as well as a multitude of possible timelines for living things and objects. It took a lot of strain on the Parasite’s part to utilize this type of sight. It was akin to a human straining their eyes to read the fine print on a medicine bottle. The Parasite was several millennia old, a twenty-something in human years, but he was already beginning to feel elderly.
Months went by and still, nobody agreed to be ‘chaperoned’ to Post-Space by the Parasite. Each month after his appointment with Jeffries, the Parasite would visit his local drug store and pick up his prescriptions. It was nearing the end of December. The Parasite had all but given up on his mission. If the human race was content with mediocrity, then they didn’t really deserve to be saved. The Parasite figured he’d stay on Earth until the day before Proto-Space usurped the cosmos. Perhaps he could bang one more State University floozy before all her emotional highs and lows became a perpetual flat line. While waiting in line at the drugstore one day, he got an idea.
Though he was certain he couldn’t contract human diseases such as the flu, he decided to get a flu shot anyway since his pharmacist, a lady with a certain girl-next-door-ish quality about her, had offered. Maybe he could convince her to get coffee with him before Proto-Space rendered all coffee flavorless and transformed laughter into a ubiquitous hum.
Abigail Mazurowski, the pharmacist, beckoned the Parasite into a tiny office and offered him a seat in a plastic chair.
“Hello,” said the Parasite, feeling friendlier than usual. “I don’t believe we’ve ever spoken for more than a few minutes.”
“I think you’re right,” she chirped, smiling a smile that could’ve melted a glacier on Pluto.
“It’s nice to know that I have such a cute pharmacist.”
“Aww,” she cooed with perhaps a hint of bashfulness, “why thank you. Now which arm … or … leg would you like your flu shot in?”
“Any one is fine,” the Parasite’s eye landed on a pack of Depend undergarments as he glanced around the room.
Abigail opened the syringe kit, dipped a piece of cotton in alcohol and swabbed one of the fleshy parts of the Parasite’s forelegs. “Okay,” she said, “just a little pinch.”
The Parasite winced at the cool fluid being pumped into his leg. The coolness radiated throughout his upper body, encasing his head, his midsection, and then his entire body in an icy tingle.
“Feels good doesn’t it?” Abigail smirked.
“Yeah,” said the Parasite. “I didn’t know flu shots could feel this good.”
He felt like he was in one of those York peppermint patty commercials, standing on a mountaintop. Then it was like he was standing on the surface of a frozen moon in some region of space untouched by starlight for several billion years.
Wait a minute. The Parasite wiggled his legs. What the fuck? I can’t feel my legs, my face, anything!
He cried out, but he wasn’t sure if his vocal appendage had delivered the sound. Ice was ringing in his ears. Then came the voice … Abigail’s voice … reverberating like the call of an Arctic explorer off the walls of a cavern: a shrill, metallic echo.
“I thought you might like a taste of what you’ve been offering people all the time you’ve been on Earth. This is what happens when an organism born from Proto-Space makes contact with Post-Space.”
Is she serious? Since the Parasite’s speech apparatus didn’t work anymore, all he could do was think. What is she? Could she be …
“I can hear your thoughts and yes, I am a Parasite like you. My goal is to quelch Post-Space awareness in this dimension by snuffing traitors like you. The coming of Proto-Space is the best thing for this universe as well as every other. Goodbye now, I hope better things await the particles that constituted you once they all dissipate and become free energy.”
The Parasite was beyond speech. How had he not been able to predict this unfortunate turn of events? How could there have been another Parasite roaming the Earth this whole time without his knowledge? Perhaps his fifth-dimensional sensory organs were deteriorating. It was too late to ponder the hows and whys at this point. His frozen body was breaking into smaller and smaller pieces and memories were slipping out of his head and swirling down a space-time sinkhole. Could there potentially be a better life awaiting him on the other side of ducks and garbage and geese and honk? Honk! There goes Doug the Pusher on his bicycle again, past the tomato shop where Wallace and weapons and cane and horse plow can’t shut mother plck stich chumsklu&9jf9jfikpo8djpasjiaeji>>>>>>>gasentry wool nomes end game stigelo bilgoum … aaand … that’s all for tonight, folks!”
Jamie placed the microphone back in its holder. “Hope to see you all next week. Let’s give it up once again for the Parasite from Proto-Space!”
The man with the sweatpants and the onion breath clapped. Everybody else had left.
“Where did he go?” Jamie glanced around the room.
“He went to tha shitter like twenny minnits ago but hasn come out yet.”
A ball of ice formed in Jamie’s gut. Usually, when people went to use the shitter in this joint, they never came out alive.
Jamie crept slowly up to the door. He wrapped his tiny fingers around the handle and turned it slowly.
The sweatpants man sat in his chair picking his nose. He watched as Jamie opened the door and went inside. As soon as Jamie’s slender form disappeared into the murky shadows of the shitter, the door slammed behind him.
It wasn’t until five or six minutes after the sweatpants man had flicked his booger that he became concerned about Jamie. The emcee had been in there an awful long time, and he was the only one who knew the location of the sweatpants man’s car keys. The man got up from the plastic chair and adjusted his underwear, which had gotten pinched between his butt cheeks. As he plodded over to the shitter, he noticed the telltale signs of a hangover swirling in his brain like black static. He knocked on the door.
“Jemeh?” The man had lost his ability to annunciate years ago. “Y’in ther?” Something like fear scuttled across his heart. “I’m com’ in okey?” He turned the doorknob, which felt like one of Frosty the Snowman’s testicles. As the door creaked open, a gust of frigid wind punched him in the face. Flurries of snow eddied into the nightclub. The man stepped through the door and into a shin-deep drift of freshly fallen snow. The door no longer led to a bar bathroom. Beyond the door was a winter wonderland filled with candy canes and pine trees adorned with colored lights, and a house decorated with wreaths and cardboard cutouts of reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh. The cars in the driveway looked old-fashioned, like they came from the late eighties or early nineties.
The man trudged through the snow toward a window lit by a single candle. He wiped away the frost with his bare hand and peered in. Sitting on the floor next to a Christmas tree and mountains of presents were three small children. Their parents watched over them with mugs of cocoa sitting on the armrests of their maroon leather love seats. The parents were beaming: vicariously reliving all the holiday joys they experienced as kids.
The sweatpants man hiccupped. He began to feel slightly less drunk.
“Boy,” he said to himself, “musta bin some strong shit Jamee put in my Long Guyland ice tee,” he hiccuped again, “I dun eevin feel drunk no more. I feels like, I cud geddoff booze atlagether when I’m in this place.” He smiled and noticed his teeth were chattering and that he couldn’t feel his legs. “I bedder get me someplace where I ken warm up.”
All at once, the snow began to melt. In its place, a wooden floor emerged. Walls and a fireplace sprouted from the ground and a roof formed over his head. Then he saw that he was surrounded by old friends. Jamie was there, as well as all the friends that had disappeared from his life when he became an alcoholic. That was after his wife Anna had died of breast cancer. The place looked awfully familiar. Then he remembered; this was the Christmas party where he and Anna had first met. If his recollection of events was correct, she should be over by the table with the white cloth dipping a piece of shrimp into cocktail sauce and talking with Ralph Henderson, his former coworker.
He shuffled hurriedly past Jamie who patted him on the shoulder and offered him some eggnog, to which he said “no thanks.” And there she was: Anna Elfman, the lady with high cheekbones who used to leave sticky notes on his cubicle wall with caricatures of their boss on them. Anna had been an art major in college, but had resigned herself to becoming a middle manager for a printing company when she hit a wall of student loan debt after trying to sell her art in New York City.
When he approached her, the scenario played out exactly as he remembered it: déjà vu. Except he was now one hundred pounds heavier and dressed in clothes swiped off the free table at St. Vincent’s Thrift Store. Experiencing this moment again conjured up feelings akin to those of the parents in the other house reliving Christmas through their children’s eyes. Although nothing in any universe ever remained the same for long, new experiences could resonate with old ones and become all the more sublime. When nostalgia mixes with the exciting, trailblazing quality of new traditions, it’s like having your cake and eating it too. And the cake tastes amazing whether it’s from Walmart, Trader Joe’s or a grocery store in a low-income neighborhood.
This new universe in which the sweatpants man found himself: a universe made up of Post-Space as opposed to Proto or Ordinary Space, would never repeat itself. It would remember the past, celebrate the present, and maintain high hopes for the future.
The sweatpants man, now clad in a white tuxedo with frills and a bow-tie, kissed his wife-to-be and continued to kiss her for as long as he wanted the moment to last. In Post-Space, any given moment had the potential to last forever. But when it was over, it could only return garnished in the dressing of a new memory, just as potent as the old, carrying the hope of infinite new ones to come.
Brett Petersen is a writer, musician and artist from Albany NY whose high functioning autism only adds to his creativity. He has a B.A. in English, performs in the bands Raziel’s Tree and Blank Slate, and is currently working on a collection of short stories. Links to his previous publications, musical projects and artwork can be found at http://www.jellyfishentity.wordpress.com.