Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm getting really close to something awful. You ever felt that way? Like a large piece of ice orbiting the sun, getting closer an closer til there's nothing left to prove it ever existed at all? You ever gotten close to an annihilation real, an annihilation total, an annihilation people will supposedly notice at some future date, when you say or write something far too honest, when they squawk over a half-empty martini, "Say, you're kind of fucked up, aren't you?" And you either laugh it up or transmute your feelings into something slightly more deceptive than humor?

The concept of "emp" is best understood as a bunch of friends running out onto a sun-bathed field in the year 2005. Some kids stay behind, but the rest run out.

The runners are Jeff and Bridges and Laurie. The stayers-back are Gabe and Michelle.

The runners change very fast. They're happy and scared all the time. Meanwhile, Gabe and Michelle talk about sports and why Panera is bad for you and why all deli cuts are intrinsically harmful to your physiological well being, despite popular beliefs to the contrary. The runners are doing too many things to describe here. Most things work out, and nobody dies.

Three hours later, the runners start walking back. Jeff says to Bridges, "I smell dog shit." Bridges hoists his calf up and winces. Indeed, his sole is covered in a mostly-brown, oily turd. He tries to wipe it off on the grass but it's no good; the turd is solidified from so much heat and running.

Jeff nods in shrewd understanding. But Laurie? Laurie doesn't get it. She's all like, "How the fuck did you step in dog shit? I was in the same field, and I didn't step in dog shit."

"You got lucky," argues Bridges.

"No, no, no, no, no," Laurie rapid-fires, "I looked where I was lying and running and sitting. I never moved before checking the grass. You know? It's a fucking park, man, use your eyes."

Bridges feels indicted in every way that Laurie feels nothing. He lowers his head and whimpers incoherently. Laurie looks over and snorts. She's thinking about career choices and where she sees herself in the next five years (hint: it's looking good!).

As the runners cross from the grass onto the pavement, Gabe rises from the cement and says to Laurie, "That's why I stayed here."

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