I think that I remember something that I have to know. I remembered it. It was there. I had it in my head. With it, everything made perfect sense. I was there. I knew it. And then I forgot it. I was awake, not as aware. I let it escape.I need to sleep. I know that. And I will. But not now. I’ve whittled the unnecessary parts out of my head. I’ve made my head vulnerable, the heliocentric core exposed, the truth of my existence right there. I only have to remember it again. It’s that fucking easy.
The beautiful drift, muttering those words to myself, thinking I knew something real, a fundamental truth or at least a way inside to where I had never been let in, the godsend or baby with shining stars, something beyond me, beyond the game that I insisted on playing to prove I was right. That was what was going through my head as I accosted the family cat.
I hadn’t seen him for too long. It was like he was gone. And then he was there. I was in the land of the dead, something like that. He was quiet. There was a show he was in, on stage. He was tired of that. We talked like he had never left. I asked if he would speak at my father’s funeral. It wasn’t dark out, not yet. We talked about the things we hadn’t done. It was difficult to understand what he said. I couldn’t figure out if he was tired or just forgotten. I had texted and emailed for years. That wasn’t it. It was more of an exhaustion. He spoke well. He understood what it was to lose someone. I was sorry to see him go.
We walked around the carpet, following the story of Samra. The Duck Machine was in the back corner, an odd contraption with a lever that looked like a duck-bill and a bird floating inside the plastic tub.
“You quack into it,” the guide explained.
I did, and the duck burst to life, flapping its wings, wiggling its way out through the duck-bill opening, almost attacking me, flying at the peanut machine. The machine took pennies, which I fed it, and peanuts shot out, except that the duck was no longer a duck but an otter or a marten, something like that, and dove out of sight, now more of a snake. I still had two pennies left.
“That is the story of Samra,” the guide explained. “First one thing and then another.”
“The Hive should be more your thing. It’s tactile.”
“Tactile. You’re really losing me.”
“You can replay the perfect moment, the bra sliding down, the hand against your breast, just that tiny perfection, the closest thing to it, in your head.”
“And then what? What after that?’
“You do it again.”
“Which leaves you with what?”
“Eternal fucking recurrence. Aren’t you programmed to fucking understand that?”
“What’s the point in talking about it? It’s sex. Just sex. There aren’t words to go on about it. It’s fucking.”
“It’s not my programming to accept that.”
While it is true that Hollywood is a tight box that suffocates individual vision, it also allows for the expense and crew that can make for a distraction worth watching.
9. The Fifth Element (Besson, 1997) Multipass.
7. Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993) Stay…stay.
6. Jaws (Spielberg, 1975) Just eats and sleeps and makes little baby sharks.
5. Rocky (Stallone, 1976) Women weaken legs!
4. The Sound of Music (Wise,1965) Nothing comes from nothing.
“I have no fortune for you today.” Liyuan gave Dee a cigarette.
She reached out with indifference.
“How is Icarus?”
She smoked passively, staring out.
“Always seeing the same faces, doing the same things, going nowhere.”
“That’s not entirely true, Dee. We really are going somewhere.”
“Jesus, Liyuan, what’s wrong with you? Did you actually like high school?”
“Very much. I loved to learn. It was a very exciting place.”