the dada magazine about nothing
N A D A
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It keeps happening again and again. Things are beginning to get intimate. She invites me back to her apartment or condo with the guy sitting front desk all night, making sure everyone coming in is decent, in the eyes of the leasing company. We are in her bed, kissing and touching each other. There is maybe an adult beverage or two on the nightstand or mini fridge, next to the alarm clock. Bracelets, keys, and coins scattered across the barren plain. The upper garments are usually removed at this point. I look down at her and she stares up at me with watery anime eyes, and the expression of a helpless child. She says, “I really like you”. Four simple words that could be interpreted any number of way; but which my dick has stubbornly understood as, “I want babies and to grow old together”, or something like that. It falls limp and my guts sink. Beer bubbles assault my throat, my feet begin to swell and lose circulation. Looking down at her I see a daughter looking up at her dad after he has bought her a kitten. Unconditional love oozes out from her gills. Weird glimpses into vividly unrealistic futures bombard me every time, like getting hit with a baseball bat while stuck to a giant spider web. I don’t know what to say in return. I usually just repeat back, “I really like you”, but in the form of a question, unintentionally of coarse. I don’t know why it happens, everything seems to be firmly outlined before hand, that we have no knowledge of our personal lives or aspirations, and that everything is purely physical, however sad that may seem. But then it slips out. I REALLY LIKE YOU... and I cannot continue down the path. Stopped in my tracks, feeling more and more like the donkey nibbling at forbidden fruit, I either make a really strong drink and fall asleep, or just pretend to be distant and fragile as I roll over to stare at the wall. I don’t want to lie, because I have no clue if I could really like her or not; and that’s what baffles me.
How does she know? I should probably ask someday. What she doest know, is that I just want to play video games and eat nachos by myself rather than in anyone’s company. She doesn’t know that I hate my parents even though they are perfectly reasonable and generous individuals. She doesn’t know that I hate my job, and my life, and secretly really just want to BE Justin Bieber… or watch the Jodorowski box set until I die of starvation. She doesn’t know that I used to ignore my girlfriend’s calls and say I was at work, when I didn’t even have a job and was just smoking pot with my friends. By all standards I may very well be a piece of shit. You’d think if she were getting some cosmically attuned intuition, these grim pieces of information and bad vibes would also come through more clearly. Do warm fuzzy feelings and love at first sight still exist? I may just be shunning off the women of my dreams, repeatedly, bound to live out a bitter grumpy old lonely man life, because im too scared to take a chance. Or maybe she is in fact just as sleazy as I am. Either way, I’m not getting laid. I’m no Casanova or even a confident speaker, and these girls are for the most part, empty, soulless, run of the mill, university girls. In fact, I am surprised I have had luck getting any girl to talk to me in the first place with my attitude. That’s why it is so strange. They all want to be my girlfriend or something. It’s like I have “The Scent” with no strings attached. I’ve heard about guys faking “The Scent” to get laid. Fake receiving of calls from nonexistent girlfriend, talking to girls about these non-existent relationship problems. Creating back-stories with turbulence and cheating, always on the opposing teams part, of coarse. Saying that you really love this nonexistent girlfriend but she maybe beats you or something, and you love her too much to stand up for yourself. Maybe even paying someone before hand to punch you in the ribs, to have bruises for authenticity (and to show off the rock hard abs). I think I might be damaged goods. People don’t normally see situations like this, do they. A normal person would be happy to have someone to keep them company in this cold fucked up world. But I have to make a god damn issue out of everything.
the drawsings are watusi, the statue of an old woman looks like she watusis, the ladies in the ballet class are watusi, the old instructor watusis out of the class room, and nancy sinatra watusis to close the door, the girls watusi into position, and the music is set watusi, this cause all the ladies to be watusi, they watusi and lift weights, they watusi those booties, harmless booty watusi, Gary Underwood watusis in his swivle chair, he watusi talks on the phone, he's a watusi talker, At the "christmas [watusi] away party, everybody, was watusi,they are fanatic followers of watusi, watusi is in there blood, the dave clark five watusi in to the stage, "Thanks Donny, Right fella's "Whenever You're Around", watusi corny smiles, Mike Smith's organ key colors are reverse and Dave Clark is a wierd lip-singer, way to kill the watusi Dave Clark, the only people who watusi now are that one wierd couple and that one watusi girl that watusis alone, turns out she's the dj, destined to watusi alone. Nancy Sinatra is Married in this movie, the senator, who is grandson of the watusi statue woman, she founded the school for girls, the senator's face is watusi, it over expresses, comically, now it's The Animal's time to watusi up the stage, for some reason the director makes the band set up for the obviously lip-synched watusied up scene, with the exception of the drummer, of course, "Animals are you ready to roar" "we're ready" "Then Go Animals Go!" Eric Burden you are a horrible lip-singer, but it's getting the people to watusi, the senator watusis in, and what does he see in the craze of watusi, dillusions of zulu watusi, but he shacks it off, Teressa Taylor is up next to watusi her new song, she finances her schooling and subsequent underground watusi clubs with her blooseming music carrier, she sings a song on guitar in front of the crowd which includes the senator, and so the song goes. "get yourself a college girl, a college girl, a college girl, get yourself a college girl, how happy you will be, how happy you will be, a college girl knows how to love, and how to live, and how to love, so brother take advantage of, her knew philosophy, her knew philosophy, psychoanalitycly she's not too complex, she knows all from A to Z, regarding S-E-X, S-E-X spells sex, there is no romantic trick, she has not employed, tantalize her analize her, she been home with Frued, good ole siggy Frued, get yourself a college girl, a well read book of knowledge girl, she's a woman of the world, she's fun and fancy free, here you fellow college girls, do thyself be true, we can go most anything most any man can do, and do thyself be true, sooo lets not whistle in the dark, it's time that we ignite the spark, and girls i'll be your joan of arc, let's show the world we're free come on and follow me, she is watusied in applause, in the same watusi energy she is summoned off to watusi with the board of trustees, they watusi a watusi of intellect, of hearts and minds, but will prove to be a more delicate matter than one can simply watusi through, they take a watusi trip to sunvalley, idaho, the senator is in a watusi, the business man/artist dual have got some watusi to do of their own, Nancy Sinatra's camera reality husband watusis in, the girls are in a watusi, this can prove to be a formidable watusi, "sex is always dynamite, as i remember it" says the senator, such a watusi mouth, the girls take an oath to not watusi with any boys whilw on winter vacation, Sue Ann watusis in her "almost bikini", she watusis to show the viewer, not the ones in camera reality, what they are missing. Gary Underwood introduces himself to Terresa, and she watusis him, and after the men's failed attempt to negotiate, "a potrait of a songwriter, you, I'm going to use your portrait in my advertising campaign and Iâ€™m paying him $5000 to paint it" "And I'll capture your magnificant womanhood on canvas in your baby doll night gown" Terresa is watusied and Gary Underwood says "listen to reason, we just want to make money off your song" to which Terresa watusis "and with a painting like that you can make a fortune selling it to stag parties!" she really "knows all from A to Z" sorry boys, she can't be watusied out of this one, in fact it is she who watusis the men out of the condo, Terresa proclaims "men, they've only got one thing on their minds" "lucky for us" Sue Ann so enthusiasticly watusis. The business man and the artist watusi a scheme, "We need a girl that wonâ€™t turn us down. stan getz is rehearsing for his show tonight, there's a girl on his line up that can't say no".
Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking And when she passes, each one she passes goes - ah When she walks, she's like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gently That when she passes, each one she passes goes - aah
Ooh But he watches so sadly, How can he tell her he loves her, Yes he would give his heart gladly, but instead when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead not at he
Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking And when she passes he smile, but sh just doesnâ€™t see.
Astrud lowers the sheet of music right as sings "ah" and stares right at us, locking gaze with hers. We are invited to stare as moves, to the gestures of movement that sings about.
she our she she
The chorus is sung with Astrud addressing the audience in the camera reality. It is not that she is just speaking to them, but she withholding from us the stare that invites us to do so. When she is still upon the screen it is a close up on time. Time slows down and we get a glimpse in the thought of the viewer “oh but he watches so sadly.” The momentum picks up and Astrud moves, stares right at us, locking our gaze with hers. We are invited to stare as she moves, to the gestures of movement that she sings about. Our body can kinesthetically relax to the gentle motions that are portrayed on screen. “each day when she walks to the sea.” each day, what a joy, a village character like that, like a clock, reliable. They both mark time.
Something was broken. It was something that was until just this very moment was not broken. Something had fallen and shattered. As I lived alone I could only deduce that I was no longer in the same said state. Godfuckingdammit I should have bought that pistol at the gun convention my libertarian friend dragged me to back in ’09. Now here I was unarmed and up against God knows what. A baseball bat would have been a fair substitute but I hadn’t played baseball since the fifth grade. Fuckfuckfuck. There must be something. That’s it. Golf club. I hadn’t played golf since father’s day ’08 but for some reason I was still hanging onto the clubs. And thank God I did. I slinked towards the kitchen, driver in hand. I could hear something faintly stirring, the intermittent glancing of glass off of ceramic or something of the sort. Quietly as I could I drew a deep breath, flipped the lights on with my left hand, raised my four-wood with my right and in the most menacing voice I could muster screamed, “The police are already on their way motherfucker (a lie) so I suggest you… oh Jesus Christ! What are you doing here?” “Child, I told you I would come as a thief in the night.” “Fuck man, I didn’t think that was to be taken literally,” I gasped, lowering my improvised bludgeon and heaving an exasperated sigh. “Why wouldn’t you? Everybody takes everything in that book you call the Bible literally nowadays. Uh… sorry about the mess. Say, you got anything to drink? Something hard I mean.” “Um, sure,” I fumbled through the cabinet and found a bottle of Makers and two glasses,” but uh, can’t you just turn water into wine?” “Do you have any idea how fucking sick I am of wine?” I decanted two heady pours and before I could say cheers Jesus had downed his in one swill. “That’s more like it,” he coughed. “So uh,” I balked for a moment, “Is this your second coming, your parousia or whatever?” “Looks that way.” “So… aren’t there supposed to be, like, locusts and oceans of blood and stars falling from the sky and stuff?”
“Fuck! I just got here! Would you get off my back already? You mortals are just as bad Dad up in heaven. For the last two-thousand years it’s been, ‘Jesus! When are you going to take out the trash?’ or ‘Jesus! That lawn's not going to mow itself,’ or ‘Jesus! When are you ever going to do something with your death?’ I’ll tell you something. Don’t ever move back in with your parents.” I was taken a back for a moment. “Well, there was the salvation of all mankind. That was kind of doing something with your death wasn’t it?” “Actually, uh, you don’t mind if I help myself to another do you?” “Be my guest.” “Actually it turns out that to gain entry into the eternal kingdom all you have to do is not be a complete asshole which regrettably precludes the ascension of 99% of people.” I was still a bit overwhelmed. “So is there really gonna be an Armageddon and the armies of heaven and hell clashing on earth?” I asked now wishing I had bought a lot more than that pistol at the gun show back in ’09. “Hey kid, I’m the prince of peace. Go and ask Dad about that one. Hey uhh… listen, would you mind doing me a solid? I don’t have a valid photo ID or anything so you mind if I take this bottle with me? I’ll get you back. Swear on my mother’s life.” Of course I would have agreed but before I could he was already edging towards the door. “Listen I got some stuff to do but I’ll hit you up soon. Oh and one more thing. Don’t tell anyone you saw me.” And with that he slipped out the door leaving me to lament the absence of drink that I now could very much have used.
This is a travel story, told to me on a greyhound as it lurched and pulled itself through the 1-5 corridor under the curtain of dead monuments making up a black, spotless night. I hadn’t seen Ahmed in years, or so it seemed, we had gone too western together but I don’t think he graduated, he looked haggard and weak, and he smiled like a ghost. “What have you been doing?” I asked. He stared at me as if I had suddenly grown a second head. “traveling”, he answered as if he were crying, crackling his voice as if releasing a bitter laugh or a sob, he cradled the headrest in front of him, making a sound and corresponding gesture like he was vomiting in his mouth and then, swallowing it. This went on longer than I would had thought, I counted at least fifteen gurgles ( horrible gurgles, the kind that seem to snake through hospital corridors and nightmares), the whole spectacle must had lasted ten minutes. We sat in silence as the bus passed by the shadows of skyscrapers and the skeletons of desperate people who lumbered in the dark, looking stricken. I asked Ahmed how he was, but I don’t think he heard me. “The last time I was at the greyhound station was four years ago, shooting up in the bathroom, and then puking in the lobby. I was trying to get some dope from this guy who lives in Rainer, Wallid, it was Christmas eve, which meant nothing to me because I was raised Muslim, Wallid as well. I agreed to meet him downtown for several reason, one being security and convenience ( I lived in Burien at the time), the other being that Wallid thought he was being followed, that the government had fabricated a story that he was selling heroin for the Taliban. Which is ridiculous, anyway you look at it. Wallid wasn’t alone when I met him in front of Nordstrom, which was a cluster fuck, I might add. Everything, the street, the cars, the trees, but the faces as well, were paved in a thin veneer of ice, like an odd hell, an eternity spent in a commercial you’re not really a part of. It was like a thin film of ice separated me and Wallid and his friends from the rest of the world. There was an eel like quality to his two companions, who happened to be customers, A white kid who wore a dirty pea coat and looked like bones, his eyes like an inverse void, sucking in on themselves, An Asian kid who looked happy and distant, like a bored child. ‘I’m Gandalf’, said the white kid. ‘I’m Fargo’, said the Asian kid. Having a stupid name and being a junkie is actually more common than you would think, enough that I don’t bother to question it too much anymore. ‘ Are you from Fargo?’, I asked. Fargo shook his head. ‘I’ve never left Washington’. I didn’t bother asking Gandalf about his name. it turned out that they were only hanging out with Wallid ( who liked to meet his clients one on one) because they were waiting for me, or, to be more precise, for my clean needles.
And so we decided to walk to the greyhound station. An old man smoked crack in the stall next to us, he had no teeth and his hair had a feathered quality to it. He was dirty and he hissed incomprehensible threats at us, promises of violence and perhaps, even of pleasure. Gandalf was probably the same age as me ( 18) but he had the steady distant gaze of an old junkie, he tied me off and shoot me up, attentive to the dose and the health of my veins, there was a kindness in the way his hand brushed my arm, tracing the shape of the protruding vein, and then gently tapping it. He shot up through his neck. ‘The only placed left’, he said as he flashed a smile that gleamed like the edge of a knife. When I started puking in the lobby, Gandalf and Fargo whisked me toward capitol hill, we walked through that industrial park up on Union, it was empty and the dead trees splintered their limbs in a hushed defeat, it felt as if we were walking through a graveyard or the future ruins of Seattle. The three of us sat on a bench and stared at the skyscrapers and pink clouds, threatening a snow that we knew wouldn’t come. ‘That shit never happens here, it’s just grey’ said Fargo, as he fumbled lighting a cigarette. I pointed out how alone we were, it was as if the city had finally summoned the power to be what it really was, a shell, like one that is left on the beach, one in which people take shelter and then disregard, as if they live in the middle of hazard signs, if you think about it, the city’s like a way station, you stay till your numbers called or you simply just die. ‘I don’t buy that’, said Gandalf, ‘ I think that the city’s like a crown, you put it on and soak up all the shit and the stench and the sadness, you become a prince the worse you get and it gets, sort of like you fuse together and then crumble.’ Fargo sauntered off like an elephant dragging himself into some godforsaken spot in the savannah to die, Gandalf gave me a slight nod and beckoned me with his hand to follow him. Straddling the cold cement on his tip-toes, Gandalf seemed to dance across the park like a prima-ballerina. Fargo was preparing a hit, facing a wall, unaware of Gandalf heaving under his coat, he spun Fargo around and placed a knife, ever so serenely, which made it all the more terrifying, at his throat. They conversed in a tense low whisper, more like a hum than anything. We all had another hit. As Gandalf was nodding off, drifting into the void and then, inexplicitly, back into an absent reality (one in which, a jury, instead of two people he barely knew were formed around him), he murmured, ‘I could had been a prince, but I do a lot of bad things’. He gave a snort instead of a laugh when I asked why he still does bad things then. Placing his palms to the sky as if he were holding it up, he answered, ‘sometimes you just want to get hurt.’” Ahmed closed his eyes, we had just left Everett. I didn’t bother to ask him why he was going to Bellingham.
Perhaps the most difficult change in Alan's life over the past seven months was the decrease in the quality of bus service in and around the metropolitan area. The busses were routinely five to ten minutes late, often causing Alan to miss his connection downtown and more than once he had had a shotgun pulled on him, the driver concerned that Alan might attempt to hijack the vehicle. Not only this but the cleanliness of the busses had decreased dramatically, there often being refuse strewn about the floor and, at times, the seats. Finally the usually sub-par attitudes of the bus patrons seemed to somehow, and to Alan's astonishment, have gotten worse though bus ridership had fallen so Alan found it relatively easy to escape sitting next to a moaning woman with a weeping head wound or some conspiracy nut (and these seemed to have multiplied radically) who was hell bent on sharing his theories with Alan. Alan had never been interested in that nonsense before and sure as heck wasn't going to start believing in it now. The apocalypse had happened and no one had noticed. Everyone was so deeply entrenched in their routines, cycles and habits that the end of the world had simply washed over them. Sure many people had died, everyone that had survived had lost many loved ones, though this in itself was not considered terribly unusual. Alan had been a little upset after his father, mother, and all of his grandparents had been consumed by the plague of brain worms. But people die all the time, it was a natural part of life, and so what if they had died close together rather than spaced apart? There was work to be done, anyways. So Alan had adjusted as any man might. And after his brothers had died in the Great Battle of Reckoning he had been sad (it is true) but he had never been very close with either of them and hadn't seen each in years. It was when his girlfriend and dog died while out walking (they had been caught in one of the wandering miasmas) that he had become distraught. He used his accrued sick days (untouched in the five years he had been working at Datanamics Retail Statistics Solutions) to take a week off of work. He mostly lay in bed and stared at the wall. The next week came however and, out of sick days, Alan returned to his routine which steadily pushed the loss of Tina and Teddy into the background. The fact that his office, unlike many others, had not closed helped Alan greatly. Of course output had diminished and while Datanamics had not been truly 'open' for some time Alan was able to get in every day through a hole bashed in a window during one of the early waves of looting. The management of Datanymics, reliant as it was on vast server farms and sensitive hardware, had had the foresight to install quite efficient solar panels on their building so that, even through the power grid was in utter shambles, Alan's computer had had power these seven months now. And this in spite of the ever present layer of heavy roiling clouds that filled the entire sky. During the so called "pangs of the end" (a series of volcanic eruptions, mudslides and one day where the sun wept great tears of pus) Alan had become very concerned over a rather large backlog of work that had been steadily piled up. Without so many distractions around through he conquered this in no time at all and actually got ahead on his future work for a short period.
Alan's job at Datanymics consisted of analyzing consumer habits, mostly finding trends in the covertly fought after three to nine year old female market. Alan would receive datasheets automatically constructed at the retail level and run them through exhaustive statistical analysis then write up a 40 to 50 page report every two weeks. As these sheets were assembled and delivered without any human interaction they had continued to arrive on Alan's computer even as the stores, retail consumption, and for that matter the entirety of modern capitalism vaporized around him. For the majority of this time the spreadsheets had been filled almost entirely with zeros but it was data nonetheless and Alan continued to produce his reports which he piled up on his boss' desk. Alan worked through this by holding a great faith that someone, somewhere would be very interested on the effect the fall of humanity had on the buying power of pre-tweens. It wasn't until one day during his coffee break that Alan had really been distraught by the state of things around him. The office had invested in a fairly expensive Finnish single serving coffee maker which connected directly to the water supply. Alan had always felt a tenderness toward this machine, an affection almost and often visited it three times during his work day. Upon quaffing his first cup this day he had been struck by a strange sensation which began as a mild confusion then swept into a deep nausea and matured into a great and mighty anger. The coffee was not good. In fact it was terrible. What was usually a nutty, fruity and mild brew was here thick, metallic and familiar in an atavistically repulsive way. Looking around himself to make sure no one could see Alan bent over the sink and spit the coffee out. He stood for a time, baffled and furious but, noticing that almost seven minutes had passed since he had left his desk (and not wanting to give the impression he was slacking) he returned to his computer and immediately sent a highly detailed complaint of his problem to the maintenance office. It wasn't for some twenty minutes that Alan noticed the reply from the maintenance office in his in-box:
The same bull-wash they have been sending me for almost seven months now. Incensed and deciding to take matters into his own hands Alan stomped downstairs and grabbed a wrench set and a pile of rags himself from the maintanence office. It took him sometime to open up the Finnish single serving coffee machine thought when he finally did he immediately noticed something, a dark mass, blocking the water intake. Upon unhooking the tube a 6 inch long substance slid out: black, gelatinous, quivering slightly on the ground . Mouth agape Alan took a step over to the nearby sink and turned on the cold and hot knobs in succession. Each time however a thick stream of blood poured out, gushed out into the basin. The rage inside him had reached a critical point so Alan unthinking stamped a foot and then, to no one in particular said "Well I'll be darned. All this hoo-haw and now all the water's all gone and turned to blood!"
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Even if the street was empty I waited at the red lightâ€” Japanese styleâ€”so as to leave space for the spirits of the broken cars. Even if I was expecting no letter I stopped at the general delivery window, for one must honor the spirits of torn up letters, and at the airmail counter to salute the spirits of unmailed letters.
ÂŠ 2012 draoB lairotidE adaN 9# 1SN devreseR sthgiR llA
all the water's gone and turned to blood