DDM –2 ( Short Version)



“There’s a hole in sun,
and all that was given will fall back there someday.
The life we live here is measured it seems, by the sins from some past existence.
The closer you get to the end…
the more you remember from the very beginning, and…just before it.
It takes a lifetime to scratch away that veil of forgetting.”

The walk:

It’s 5:34 am, October 31st, 2027.
Tonight is Halloween, and there’s a ragged chem-snow falling, as white feathers out of a busted pillow. Quiet, it falls in slowly, motion shaken out of its slip by an unseen hand. Grey toxic clouds, have us locked down, and caged in, and away from the sunlight, going on a month now. It is terrible how much you can miss the sun — the heart can ache for its light like a lover.

They will reach a decision soon, I am sure of it, and then they will come for me. I have been feeling that for a long time now. Their little bots have been crawling all over my place. I see them move across the screen as I type this; micro-drones are getting in, under the doors; the updates on my computer are happening on a daily basis now. I changed the settings on auto-update, but the bots got in and changed them all back again. I see the Internet flicker lights, on the little black box…the information going up and down the wire. Tiny little snitches running back…

I hear their frequencies.

Sometimes it is like a dripping tap, or the trickling of water in the corner of the room. Just out of ear shot, but known enough to aggravate, to frustrate and confuse me. A soft tingling. Sometimes a whisper.

My sleep can be sporadic, and I am aware of the forced dreaming when I do sleep. And their attempt at placing thought. I quickly wake up from it, usually in an exhausted panic. Something of a night terror, as they try to slip quietly into my head. Like a cat in the godam bulrushes. And change me from within…change me. Change me into what?

The morning headaches, the ache and lethargy in my bones and muscles. The metallic taste, always at the back of my mouth, as the nanos are in food. What they call thems..oh yeah, flavour buds, or cleaning beads if there in your shampoo.

Feels sometimes like I am pissing, ground glass — as my body tries to shed itself of all their little tiny corruptions. And in that I walk over and pick up the plastic bottle on the table, and take one of Advillenol Nanogel capsules for my headache. I choke it down.

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Michael Burns — “Harlequin”, Acrylic, Oil on Canvas

Everyone in this town is dark, with heads down and depressed; I see them on my way to the store. They talk of the weather, as if they know… I try to get them to remember clouds, the different types of clouds. The different shapes and the heights that they would form at, and they look at me strangely, and I laugh to myself. And then I feel bad about laughing.

The older ones once knew, but can’t remember any longer, everybody short-term memory is shot from the widely available, and free of charge, Cannabiscuits. Always offered, when you enter a public place — usually with a coffee. So fucking nice of them.

I feel like throwing up, the Nano-gel is working its wonders, headache gone, but now my gut hurts.

I fade on past it, bid them well, leaving them in their ignorance of how and why all this happens.  I won’t stop writing. I won’t stop thinking. And why such great power wasted on one thing, one human, one man..because; they can waste such resources, and because they unseen can reach across and touch and tear me down. And I know it, and they have me know that they know it. We play this game; and I have never, nor will I ever see their faces.

I have taken to backing up my writings in paper, and it is very difficult to find. I sit for hours with paper and pencil and duplicate the day’s work. I have it on the backs of old envelopes and brown paper bags. Old books I can find and white wash out the print.

The incessant changing of my words, what is rewritten by their technology. The subtle shifts of meaning — I am being gaslighted. Slowly Alzheimered like the rest. They steal the notebooks and I start over again. It a slow process and they are very good at it, and so very patient at it…

I take a lot of walks, and I found a kind of, dead zone about ten miles out-of-town. No bots, no 9G, no EMF, a hole in the InterWorld. I walk out-of-town about three miles, to an old bicycle I have stashed in scrub bush and grasses, and then ride swiftly to that little sacred place.

Its snowing today, that will make it difficult for me…

I think they are out of range there, besides it’s no place — maybe it is an area on the far corner of the broadcast, and the many overlapping signals, a tiny place otherwise unnoticeable. I have never seen anyone there — I generally do not see many people walking like me. People don’t walk anymore. I don’t know what they do?

It a piece of wasteland, it has no particular value, old corrupted land. No large trees or exceptional foliage. I am usually sore when I get there, aching and a bit tired…but it’s a miracle every time to arrive there and feel it. Sometimes I wonder if it really is accidental. I have become so paranoid. I am not sure if they know — there are times when I am low that I feel they have allowed this place because they wish to use it, in some way against me.

I enter the place as if… I have gone through an invisible door in reality, a crack opens and I pass through into a peaceful calm that falls on me instantly. As though, someone threw a warm soft blanket around my shoulders upon arriving from the bitter cold.

And that cold outside snowy world is a wall that surrounds that little place. But cannot penetrate it. You can feel it, it is just, there, at the end of my arms — the invisible wall. Just out of reach, felt, but yet not quite.

I am lighter here in this little place, I weigh less, I am sure of it and I float on my feet. I feel strength in my body and legs again. The air is different, sweet in each inhalation.
My blood stops pounding through my head. The constant headache eases. The pressure subsidies.

I have to sit down on the ground for a moment as soon as I enter. It’s not that I am tire from the ride, I am use to it now.
I have never felt so relaxed like that, entering into that place, so content. I am sure this is how I would feel all the time, if left alone with the natural world.

My breath enters and leaves my lungs as it should, effortlessly. As if it breathed for the first time. The ringing stops and everything is quiet, so very quiet, like sleep with my eyes open.

It’s not much of a place there, it’s not even that beautiful. I remember nature from when I was young and I saw some beautiful places, woody places were life thrived forever separated from the harm of us. I have wondered if those places of youth still exist.

There is odd bits of ancient trash hanging on the edges of the trees, and the ground is full of mutated weeds — trying to pull life from that precious little piece of ground.
The trees are average trees, they seem like natural trees, poplar and tamarack. But, even they, are…relaxed. Quietly, still as if looking, watching and relaxed. The shapes of the leaves and the way they hang, they like that — the branches reaching for the light, so naturally. I swear the trees are happy. Not twisted and tormented like those growing things around the town.
There is a smell of freshness, real freshness, not the artificial kind. A humus smell reaches up to me, a fresh rotting smell of grasses and leaves and goodness, reaches up from life in the natural. It has an odor from long ago, I remember it long ago, nostalgic of the beginning of this world. I have been here a long, long time.

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Michael Burns — Watercolor/gouache, 1980

I saw a bird there once…I didn’t know what to do at first, I was so excited and stood so still and would not move, dare I spook the little thing. I was shocked, and that excitement filled me for hours — I could not stop smiling, I was afraid someone might guess, when I went back, or know what I saw and I did want to tell them all. I really did. I wanted to tell every single person. I wanted to yell it all the way back home…

I thought for a moment, it was a hallucination. I thought, I have become light-headed, the ride has shorten my oxygen, and I am seeing things. But I am not seeing things — I thought they were all extinct…every single one of them. I love birds.
I remember them as a child, they were everywhere one looked. Flying everywhere; living in trees and the sky, flying and singing and chirping and mating. The memory is so far back, at the edges of what I consider real.

Birds have been gone for a number of years now, viruses and diseases, they say; a fading dream of an old fresh world. There are not many left alive that remember birds. Maybe they have been gone longer than I think. Maybe I am not remembering correctly. Maybe I am older than I think.
Off course they have them in the government zoos. Or they are those factory farm bred chicken for food, genetically modified, featherless, unable to walk. But no wild birds exist anymore. In fact, there are no insects or frogs, or little small creatures at all. I wonder what that bird eats?

I watched that bird… It was one of those little Junco’s. A tiny fellow with light-colored beak and charcoal coat of fluffy feathers. He was a bit chubby and very quick. I enjoyed watching birds as a child. I use to know all their names, and their habitats…he wasn’t afraid of me. He would bounce onto the ground pick something up, a seed or something, and then flit back up into the trees. He seemed healthy enough.
Time slowed as I watched him, I think it stopped, stopped dead and I felt as if years were falling away — and the bird and the quiet, and a slow heartbeat, and no wind and the cool…and my warm blanket around my shoulders. The little place. This is clear…this is clarity, and pure. And so very, very slow.

I can usually only stay there about twenty minutes and then I have to leave. I have a notebook and pencil there that I love to write in, and leave it hidden behind a tree, at the base in a plastic bag. I write my clear thoughts, observations, and try to sketch them. I take my long ride back, and gradually the grey curtain grows in intensity as I gain distance, closing to town. It is a hard leaving it…I force myself to leave.

All the crap flows back inside of me, like my visit has acted as a dam inside my head, holding back all that crazy. I start to worry if they know. I am walking there so many times a week. I fear they are watching, and have been since I left the re-orientation complex six months ago. Will they find this little place and destroy it, do they already know about it, and so are waiting to use it at the right time against me. I shake these thoughts loose, and persevere on I go into the town. Lost in a fretting for while, home-sickness jumps me as I arrive into town. Not wanting to enter that place, or to live there…lost. Completely lost.

One day, I am going to go that place, enter that crack in reality, and stay there..stay there for ever.