s q u u b d o t c o m

The quadrangle fits neatly into place, nestled between the books and the miniature statues of limbless ancient greek gods.

"I'll have one of those," said Mr. Stevens as he walked to the counter. "A real bang up job there Simon, magnificant."

"I'm glad you're pleased sir." The man behind the counter spoke slowly, as if his voice had been stunted by some sort of vocal scraping. No doubt The Greats were to blame. He'd fallen off the trolly again. He had this terrible habit of falling off the trolly. Passers by looked around and then walked on, as did I.

Alice was slouched in the desk next to mine, scribbling on lavender paper. The grey seas contain many organisms. Great whales with their blowholes. Mr Stevens always told me about the hate mongers. I'd only seen them once though.

"Nice day for a swim," I'd overheard Thomas say, "it'd be better if Griggins would quit whistling that awful tune." Griggins never stopped whistling, he was like a train in the dead of night.

I passed the Cold-Barre on the way home, there the boys were, as they had always been, playing their games. The boat kept rocking. The story is falling apart. "I don't want to use proper nouns anymore, they waste too much time." Mr. Stevens spoke of grammer quite often. He had a certain dislike for it. It had left a bad taste in his younger days. The instructor always said keep your head down and it'll all come up rosy. Listening never worked with me though. The melodies kept playing.

"Oh my head," said Mr. Stevens "the band's gone in there again."

The shelf toppled over. My days at the bank were long and short, often wider than one would expect. I wondered if Alice had ever seen the out. Not my out at least.

It was my job to approve the loans to only those that could not possible pay them back. We liked totake their things. "There's something wrong with your winter theme." I couldn't see who was talking, they'd been behind the glass having a drink or some such nonsense. Never drink during office hours I'd always been told.

The tape keeps playing. There's a long road ahead, the feeling it's mid-March. Keep creeping up that line and they'll have you, have you in their coats. Pockets are for simple things, pennies, combs, murder weapons.

"I'm worried about your brother, he's got a lazy eye."

"Mr. Stevens," I said "it's nothing to be too concerned about, his problems are not quite that deep."

Swirling pools of dye. Colorless. When the seafaring people meet the godfaring people you'll have a holiday. I'd sit in the window, when I was younger. The leaves fall onto freshly tossed soil. I'd been getting used to my new fluids and my new box. The ground's a fine place to be.



Mr. Stevens had left a book for me. As always it was on the table next to the pitcher. This one was about a fellow named Reginald who had, and wisely I might say, thrown himself off a cliff. The entire book takes place in the 10 or 15 seconds it takes him to reach the ground. The book recounts the things going through his silly little head as he's falling.

Wait for a minute, the seltzer's run all over. He describes in fantastic detail his childhood.

"Did you read the book I'd left you?"

"Yes, Mr. Stevens, it was quite a depresser."

"Ah my boy, that's something you'll understand better when you've been dead." Mr. Stevens always had a way about him. Sort of dry, but interesting nonetheless. If you put three words together you must be German. Flies and swordsmen running about the flank. All over the cries of women. Flesh eating bacteria my eye, this had turned into something serious.

We floated back to camp, sailing on our wings of blue feathers. Mysterious, a hint of failure came upon the room. Dark and musty, his breath now faint, blood everywhere. Stabbing and kicking, punching and yelling, it all came easily, but this was not. Watching the lame one die was not an easy thing.

"Let's go sailing Alice," said a short stocky man who I'd seen in the bank just once before. She didn't even look up. the poor chap walked away head down. Later I had heard rumours that it was her grandfather. Everyday I passed the Cold-Barre and saw the boys playing, even in the midst of a terrible winter, there they would be, with their shackles and irons. Legs make the best pets. The story is falling apart.

I entered the resteraunt 22 minutes late for my dinner with Lucy. She didn't seem to mind. I didn't seem to care. Conversation was lacking. Alice was all I could think of. I had the swordfish.

"You're avoiding me," she said.

"No", I replied. "It's just that my mother...she's gone away to the turnstyles." I finished my meal.

"Wanna fuck?" she asked, as politely as one could ask such a question. We climbed the stairs towards the procreation chamber. The building smelled like church, vapours of saints filled the air.

"Where's your brother."

"I don't know Mr. Stevens, he said he'd be here around 7."

"Well If he's late again tell him I'm going to fix the disproportionatness of his face with my fist."

"Calm down, Mr Stevens," said the pale man in the corner, "Everything will work its way."

I've never seen the pacific. The organisms are bigger out there, the Greats made it so. The blue of the pale fellows veins shown through is paper like skin. I think he was one of them. A table top, a book, some keys. Alice sat slumped over a typewriter. She wrote letters. The kings will have their day. The ground is good place to be when you're worn out. I've seen things in here, heard the songs in my head. The instruments don't quite do it justice. On the way to my fathers funeral I saw, in the sky, three coats. Pockets are for knives he'd always said. My eyes are popping. Leaves fall on the dry earth, we all pissed in the ditch. It pooled at the bottom.

"Okay kids, time for a bathroom break." Dad had to go every 42 miles. Running through fields of thought, I could see all their possiblities. The story is losing steam. That's when I felt it go in, and it hurt. A big blue car, he always had a big blue car and it always smelled like the forest. Pine. I've just guzzled my last stopper. you've got to keep going. Space is out. I am out. Alice was out of lavender paper. She wrote on the yellow pad. I took the next sheet home and held it to the light.

1. 1 pad of lavender paper.

2. eggs

3. milk

4. death by firing squad

5. 3 pencils

6. i think my eye is falling out

7. no, it's sinking in.

8. my book is never going to be published.

9. quit making lists

This is all I had of Alice, I wasn't going to lose it.

"Did you read the book I left you?"

"No, Mr Stevens, I haven't gotten to it yet."

The old man behind Mr. Stevens laughed. "Kid's don't read anymore. Everything they could ever need is in the palm of my hand."

Stopped at the light. Fell through the floor. A new room. Scads of recorded material. the tape keeps playing. The birds stopped singing for a minute, I caught my breath.

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