Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"THE DREAM THAT ERODES YOUR VISION" is an enticingly special fast fiction based on this painting by Tim Biskup whose scintillating work can be seen on the front and back covers of the latest Blab!, a magazine which the Los Angles Reader has dubbed: "the New Yorker for Mutants."
So set aside for a minute all those beakers of toxic waste that you're alphabetizing based on mutating side-effects and enjoy...


"So, why did you lose your last job ?" he asks with no real interest. A throw-away line which proves to the world that he is not completely ignorant of what goes on during job interviews. He stares at Michael with half-dead, buggy eyes that could be popped out of their respective sockets and placed on the table while he groped his way to the the shitter. Yes, he has more important things to be doing than this interview.

They sit in a grimy office consisting of one desk, one clock whose arms hold up five minutes to one, one tiny window and one framed photo of a meat factory. They are at the packing plant which receives various cuts that are processed into sausage, patties or ground beef. The factory in the photo is where the actual slaughter takes place and where friends of friends or enemies of enemies get jobs by mentioning that they know that asshole Bill or Joe or Mike or Tom.

"Well you know, I just didn't quite ummm..." Michael pauses, interlacing his fingers into a concerted fist of prayer.

Rick Wheeler looks up at the clock.

"My life's dream is to build a ship. An actual galleon straight out of the 1600's," Michael says in a burst of contained excitement. "Every penny that I make goes into making that dream come to life. Outside of work, I spend every waking hour researching and planning for what will be its meticulous construction. Some people have a hard time with that."

"Alright, well okay. You start bright and early six o'clock Monday morning then," Rick Wheeler says not wanting to waste anymore time. And after he stands up his head is momentarily smack dab in the center of the photo of the slaughter house. This fits with the fantasy of so many of his employees who image his body hanging on metal hooks next to cows in that plant. But today Michael's impression of his boss is simply that of an impatient man in a hurry and as Rick Wheeler leaves, he is replaced by his secretary, newly refreshed from her lunch break.

"Have you ever sailed ?" Michael asks her.

"No." She smiles her version of a smile which she can offer out for as long as the taste of her lunch remains in the corners of her mouth. Usually until around 2:00.

"Well its wonderful if you're able to go to sea on something you've built yourself. It's a form of walking on water. Very special feeling."

She nods.

"I'm building a ship which will be so radiantly spectacular that it will be camouflaged against the sun-light sparked waters around it." And Michael proceeds to explain in lustrous detail the mast, sails and size of his boat which will leave an imprint on her eyes. She will blink and blink but that dazzling ship will remain for several minutes. Like staring at the sun.

And in three weeks the dazzlingly described image of Michael's galleon will momentarily blind one of his co-workers who won't see the hands of Rick Wheeler in the main belt of the ground beef grinder and Michael will once again be in search of a new job.


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