Wool, Silk, Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Cotton, Rubber, Leather, Synthetics, and Flesh


Gary 2

Ted was at Tool Rental when a woman ran up and said there was a guy laying in the lumber department unconscious and half-naked. Ted hurried to lumber and found Gary spread-eagled on his back in the middle of the aisle with his penis hanging out of his pants. Ted lifted Gary forward and began to stuff Sour Patch Kids into his mouth, slapping him to get him to chew. Gary chews and swallows a couple before he opens his eyes. Then Gary spits them out. “What the fuck is this?” Gary says. “Who the fuck are you?” Ted tells him to keep chewing, he needs the sugar. “I don’t want these fucking things. Get me a candy bar.” Ted tells him he’s going to eat the fucking Sour Patch Kids. He tells Gary to test his blood-sugar with the device he carries on him. “Fuck that thing,” says Gary. “Fuck that thing.” Ted tests him and the device reads 20. At 5 Gary would have been dead. He might have been near 5 before the sugar kicked in. “Why is your dick hanging out of your pants?” Ted asks. “How the fuck should I know?” says Gary. “Go fuck yourself.” Gary chewed another handful of Sour Patch Kids before he zipped himself up.


Aphorisms for a Cleopatra

59. And in this great moment of overcoming he realized that the hunt was itself as stimulative as the piece of ass he would trade the meat for.

62. And for this man, her beauty and her beautiful pussy would not be enough for him to trade the meat he brought back from the hunt. The woman he wanted would need to be more than her beauty. She would need something more to interest him.

63. Just having a pussy is not enough to keep the great man. A woman should aspire to the example of Cleopatra.

73. The laziness of the Western woman is implicit in the history of codified morality (i.e. the morality of the extended order, the large group: the laws of the church and state). Instead of the hard work of maintaining a man’s interest in her, she supported laws and moral codes whereby a man would be punished for losing interest. In order to keep him with the minimum of effort, she worked to make him feel guilt for his deepest impulses; she set up a legal system that penalized him financially for becoming interested in other women; and in the most extreme cases she stripped him entirely of his masculinity (what the game guys call the beta and omega man).

76. For him to be monogamous, she must continually provide him with reasons for it. So few women make a convincing argument. So few women do the hard work of maintaining a man’s interest in them. So few women can offer a man the excitement of the hunt.

98. His mother is the only woman he will trust. His mother is the only woman he will return to.


The Difference

The difference between the sexes is the difference between hunting dangerous game and gathering roots and berries. In the former, he must be talented and precise, studying the behaviors of the animals and developing tools and techniques to kill them. Given his predilection for the largest game he often puts his life at risk. But hers is a leisurely activity without physical risk or exertion. Her gathering might also have been a social activity with much chatter among the women as they picked and dug at the surface roots. The men, in contrast, were silent as they tracked a large animal into new territory, or followed the blood spoor into the high grasses where the wounded beast awaited them. What was spoken would need to be communicated clearly and efficiently according to the needs of the hunt. These hunts were mostly unsuccessful and the men learned about failure and hunger. But the gathering usually went well and the women had much time for sitting and talking and waiting for the men to return.


Aphorism on Consciousness

1. The suddenness of the appearance of consciousness, the disruption with which it appears, is as if one were watching a film at the cinema, being very much inside the story on the screen, the characters, feeling with them and being surprised and excited as the film progresses, when then, suddenly, the screen goes black. The lights come on. There is some technical problem. Suddenly you are aware of the movie theater itself, the others in the audience, and you and the others are anxious that the film begin again. The idea is to get the film projector working again, even if it is some temporary fix. Just so that you can finish this film.


Here Comes Success

1. He speaks of transcendence when he is unhappy, when he feels displeasure because of his environment or the action he performs. Do happy people speak of transcendence?

15. He tells himself he will transcend the world rather than act within it. To act might break certain rules. To act might offend the others. To act would be too risky. Transcendence is a sort of act without risk. The others will not even be aware he is performing a transcendence. Instead of changing his life he transcends.

33. One hears talk of transcendence from prisoners or those working at jobs they do not like. Transcendence is a refusal to affirm the world in which one acts. It is a refusal of the maxim that one is as one does: He doesn’t want to be a prisoner; he doesn’t want to be an accountant; he doesn’t want to be a freight team worker--he feels displeasure to act in these worlds. He would rather be elsewhere. He dreams of elsewhere. He speaks of transcendence when his will is not in some action, yet he still performs that action.

34. It allows him to perform an action he does not to want to perform. He tells himself: I have transcended and thereby removed the pain and I am not really what I am doing and it is now painless to perform this act. I am not really here. I have willed myself elsewhere. Transcendence is a delicate trick consciousness plays on the body to realign it with the world and get it acting again within the world, while removing the displeasure of the action.

51. To act without the full force of one’s will is a moral failing. He should become the greatest accountant, the greatest freight team worker--even the greatest prisoner. Any action can become a project, even a strong project, if he has the will for it.

76. Transcendence might be contrasted with the phenomenological attitude. Such an approach entails the suspension of judgment and full engagement with phenomena. The epoché engages him with the world without regard for his pain or pleasure, his happiness or unhappiness. He does not rank phenomena according to his desire. He does not speak of liking or disliking. The phenomenologist does not retreat from the world in which he acts.

79. Projects direct action. He who has a project will act according to his project, or not. When an action does not contribute to his project, or give him pleasure, he must ask himself why he is doing it. In an economy an action that does not contribute to one’s project invariably contributes to someone else’s: He works to promote someone else’s project. Often this means he sacrifices his own. The stronger one’s project the more painful this sacrifice will be.

81. Greatness is gifted only to him who has his own project.

82. If his project is strong he will only act according to it. A strong project is a strong will. A strong project is its own courage.

83. Transcendence is not a project. Transcendence is an avoidance of commitment to a project and the world in which one acts. To the man with a strong project it will seem the vilest sort of nonsense.


When Doug was 4 he tripped over a small dog and clean bit off his tongue. The blood loss almost killed him. Doug has no memory of the accident. Of his childhood he only remembers the beatings his older brother gave him. He beat me the day I was born, Doug said. They brought me home from the hospital and he started beating me.

In school they said he was Learning Disabled. They called Doug ‘retard’ every day. He didn’t want to live. In high school he would sit in his car and put a knife blade against his wrist, but he never did it.

Doug met Heather at the back of a bar in Wrigleyville. He asked why her friends were ignoring her. She was only a little fat then and the goiter she has now was not yet growing. This was 10 years ago. Doug started to see Heather and one day he brought her home and her husband was at the door and he threatened Doug. I’m just bringing her home, Doug protested. I don’t see what’s the problem. Soon after her divorce Doug decided to marry her.

He took Heather to the park with two KFC dinners and a bottle of wine. Inside one of the fried chicken boxes Doug had hidden a poem he had written and inside the folded up poem he put the ring. When Heather was almost finished eating chicken she found the poem and the ring and she agreed to marry him. She found the whole thing very romantic.

They moved in together along with Heather's teenaged son who smoked cigarettes and was mean to Doug’s cats. Doug got into it with him and it was decided that the young man would have to go. Doug sees him on the bus sometimes and they don’t talk to each other. He’s got a job now as a security guard and makes $3 an hour more than Doug does.

The best job Doug ever had was working freight at Wick's Furniture. All the guys were Mexican and didn’t speak English and that didn’t bother him. When Wick's shut down he worked at another warehouse where a night manager named Ken would ride him all the time. He would bring Doug into his office every night and tell him he was stupid. One day Doug didn’t go back. He had enough. The day he quit he was thinking of taking the bus to St. Charles and killing Ken with a machete. But Doug didn't go. Instead he stayed home and beat his wife.

The first time he beat Heather he just pushed her around, pushed her against the wall, and then he threw her down. Doug pushed her around this time too, but then he grabbed her around the neck and he strangled her. She was stupid and lazy and fat and she wouldn't stop nagging him. She didn't work and she just lay in bed watching tv and ate all the food while he was away. It must have been before he was strangling her that the neighbors called the cops because when he was strangling her she wasn’t making any loud noises. Heather didn’t want to press charges but she was so marked up that the cops had to take him away. She was pulling at him and crying to let him stay.

In jail the black guys called him Billy Bob. One black guy called him Slim Shady. There are no doors to the bathroom and you pull the garbage can in front of the stall when you use the toilet. Everybody waits their turn for the shower. Doug walked on the shower floor in his bare feet and got some sort of athlete’s foot. It still comes back sometimes. The food was terrible and Doug doesn't eat lunch meat anymore because of the memory. Doug says he’ll never hit her again because he doesn’t want to go back. I’m not a good person, he says. I hate my fat cow wife but I deserve her. It’s my punishment for hitting on her.

The one vacation Doug took in his life was to see his father in Las Vegas. But it wasn’t a good vacation because his father was dead when he got there. His father had gone to Vegas to drink himself to death 6 months before. Now he keeps his father on top of the TV. When Doug shakes the TV the little wooden box leaks a little of his father onto the carpet.

Doug and Heather are on their second bankruptcy. After their car was repo-ed a man came and told them they owed 20,000 dollars. The bankruptcy people tell them they can’t ever have any property. They want proof of their wages and they want receipts for everything they buy. Doug doesn’t think he will be allowed to buy any more comic books or cowboy hats. They just started garnishing his wages too. The last few days before paychecks Doug has no money for food and doesn't eat.

Last week Doug and Heather pawned their wedding rings. Doug used his money to get a large tattoo of the Gemini symbol on his back. But the tattoo looks more like the pi symbol and there must have been some misunderstanding because the tattoo artist had added wings to it. Doug refuses to show anyone and doesn't like to think about it. It's on his back so he doesn't see it much. Anyway, says Doug, he plans to kill himself when he's 60. He doesn't want to be like that old man he sees at the bus stop. He can hardly get up the stairs onto the bus. 60 is long enough.


Two in the Wilderness

"Too many men work on parts of things. Doing a job to completion satisfies me."
--Dick Proenneke

Who lived inside a dilapidated bus from the civilization he fled, who left for the same wilderness as Proenneke but without the proper gear, who died stupidly and youthfully and is celebrated with 2 films, 1 book and countless articles and tributes.

Copyright © Moraline Free