Doesn't Work. (or, if/then: doesn't do work = at equilibrium)

—That's what I do sometimes. When it's late at night and my kids are feeling restless, or I'm just feeling clouded, I pile those poops in the car and take 'em for a drive on the Belt Parkway. And I turn on that Yoshihiro Hanno Japanese electronica song “Refugee" and they go woooop and fall right asleep. And I pull into that organic food and nature store and buy my wife some of that “Ezekiel 4:9" bread. And he added, in the laboratory, with that shocked, kind face of his, most alive when most incongruously terrified: “Do I have to wash this stuff off my hands before I go home and pick up my kids?! He said the ethanol killed all the bacteria but can I hold onto my kids?!" Or was it the “Bay Parkway," in reference to rumbling about, like the centrifuge machines?

The Light Reactions

Yes I was the lovechild of Bill Keller and Thomas Friedman. They use to play good-mom/bad-mom overtoppa me, in that crib and all throughout my childhood. Thomas I called Papa, after Ernest. He would tend a difficult, odiferous garden in the backyard and spin tops on the kitchen table, saying, “See that top? See how it spins? That's the future." He would take us to large municipal zoos and through state of the art airports, just to witness the construction and eat in the restaurants, watching the travelers hustle by, saying, between sips of his milkshake, “They envy us." At night he'd read the opening pages of The Great Gatsby to us in that squawk-laden voice of his, saying, as he thumbed closed the book again, “That's your heritage." A portrait of Martin Luther hung above his bed. He'd point to it and whisper, “That's the Rebel Yell." We toured the sanatoriums of Ladenburg one summer. He kept straying into cells, joking about closing the doors on himself and then halfway closing them. In all the pictures, what is most apparent, is the brutality of the black iron bars clipping the bright whites of his teeth as he stared back at us. He'd leave the grounds, almost skipping, saying, “This is the way, this is the way to lee and lo." But by the time we'd try to get going the next morning, he'd bury his head in the pillows, brusque and fussy. He left buildings bedazzled in the sheen of that summer's sun, flush with its heat and glare, that seductive, foreign star famous to all vacationers—and snap readings of his interstellar aura account for the reactions of so many of the hoteliers who went on record, calling him a jerk-off or arrogant, or impulsively messianic. But his go-to phrase, his mantra, which was the only thing he clung to throughout—even his facial hair and eye color changed—remained: “The verdict's still out." And he built bird feeders all fall once we returned to Connecticut, and he drew small diagrams on chromatography paper, surveying all the organisms in the green algae pond water.

BOY Play me that vertiginous game again. GIRL Which one, Disaster? BOY Please stop calling me Disaster. GIRL I can't just start calling you Fred again. Not after the affair. BOY The Dreyfus Affair?

I used to be called Girl. And I would defeat all the boys at the Arcade. And drink gallons of Lager. And smoke right in the middle of the bar, walk from patio to bar, and they'd pretend not to notice. But they did. Their infrareds shot up. I was powerful then, and then…


And if we ever go to the North Sea I'll probably look out, stare straight out into it, and wince or something, from the—I'll say it's the air but it will really be because you are in error. You lied—your affair. Of the heart and the penis. And I'll know how completely I have you, what with that bathetic pose of yours, declaiming men and women equals while assuming every woman operates as a bird as well, and that you are some sort of wing-mending friend, and that it is your duty to bend down, to grovel and begin kissing calves, and knees, and all of that other—people like attention, sure fuck they do; that's why pretty girls sit with their dogs on stoops, in the company of middle-aged outcasts from their buildings, men who are pasty and who say things like, “I felt low, it just made me feel very small, and weird, you know," while the girls tug at their socks, scratch their ankles and smoke…gawky but pretty girls will sit there, listening, twitching, at times even respond to it.