Abefmieti (from the Collected Works of Robert Darry)
Over this summer it has become difficult for me to grasp the reasoning behind my agenda. My collected text became a weight, almost exactly a paper weight resting on the corner of my desk. I've begun to make plans for contraptions, more contraptions which my side of the house is nearly full of already. I made lists and books of transcribed language, organizing the text by various methods and I would consult these lists nearly twenty times a day.
Even working at my desk has become quite a process. It isn’t much of a desk to speak of—really just a couple wobbly card tables of varying heights set next to each other. I have turned all of the rooms I inhabit into different project spaces, for example, by pasting up analyzed andor reconfigured word lists on my side of the stairway from the first floor to the second or covering the walls, ceiling and windows of my side of the sunroom, I can work on any particular project I happen to be interested in at the moment by walking into my bedroom closet or any other room. So getting any work done always involves me leaving my desk for a considerable amount of time, of course, only to return after being detoured by a connection I might make between the sunroom and my bathroom, or the front office and the attic.
After a month or so of this I have begun to notice that Bren and his friends exhibit high levels of sensitivity to suggestion. The whole of my side of the house has been papered with successive configurations of my collected text, and the available area of my desk has shrunk to about a third of one of the card tables. Over the past couple weeks, though, I've come to the realization that I can widen my available work space by jotting esoteric notes on some of the things Bren and his friends leave around. For instance, I have seen a particular word occurring within the notes compiled from the various transmissions sent to the house—it isn’t an actual word (abefmieti), but it's one I'm interested in—and by scrawling the word on various bits of paper littering Bren's side of the house, I have been able to insinuate the word into the minds of Bren and some of his friends. I have done this over the course of a couple weeks and early this morning the process came to fruition. There was an easily observable change in Bren's behavior over this period. I kept on hearing him murmur, “abefmieti,” at odd moments as if he was punctuating his thoughts. Then I was awoken by his voice this morning, I heard him screaming at the top of his lungs from somewhere in the house, repeating himself over and over: “Abefmieti! Abefmieti!! Abefmieti!!!.” His screams fading only long enough for me to wonder exactly where the sound was coming from before he began again. When he started up again about a half hour later he was joined by another voice, a woman's voice, and slowly I heard two or three others chime in. Each of them began screaming, "Abefmieti!!!!" and they continued like that for nearly forty five minutes, but by the time they quit they were chanting the word in unison with much smoother voices.
Today, as I work I am busy constructing in my head, a more vivid method of presenting the true facts generated in my work to Bren. A dramatization, such as you see on tv when they are showing the effects of, say, Anacin or aspirin. Something to really drive the message home to him. I am faced with a metaphor of God knows how many parts; more than two, anyway. With coincidences blossoming these days wherever I look, and I have nothing but a sound, a word, Abefmieti, to hold them together. I must find a way to present this work to Bren, but I am discovering that the creative impulse appropriates that which is within God’s power alone; or rather, it presumptuously seeks to emulate it. The trouble in this case being that the text is not a civilization nor even a culture, in the anthropological sense. It is the combination, endlessly unmade and remade, of temporary sensibilities. It is the creation, endlessly unmade and remade, of a temporary consciousness. And certainly consciousness is dynamically tied to a history of patterns of experience within the physical environment as well as within any abstract environment peopled by letters and words. But when these environments exist simultaneously even the most elementary physicist feels that it is no longer possible to submit to the personal atmosphere, fog of physical remorse, which to acknowledge is already an affliction.
Communication is the key, I've said it before and I'm saying it again. I can only pass my data on to the sensitive, and the sensitive must reply in kind. There are untold billions of molecules in the text. I am attempting to collect data on each and every one. At some deep psychic level I must get through. The sensitive must receive this staggering set of energies, and feed back something like the same quantity of information. If you conceive of a being whose faculties are so sharpened that it can follow every molecule or word in its course, such a being, whose attributes are as essentially finite as our own, would be able to do what is impossible to us. For example, we have seen that molecules in a vessel full of air at uniform temperature are moving with velocities that are by no means uniform, though the mean velocity of any great number of them, arbitrarily selected, is almost exactly uniform. Now let us suppose that such a vessel is divided into two portions, A and B, by a division in which there is a small hole, and that a being, who can see the individual molecules, opens and closes this hole, so as to allow only the swifter molecules to pass from A to B, and only the slower molecules to pass from B to A. This being will thus, without expenditure of work, raise the temperature of B and lower that of A, in other words it would bring about a higher level of order from the previously chaotic. But to determine what side of the vessel a molecule must be on, this being must store information about the state of the molecule (the nature of the letter or word). Eventually, the being will run out of information storage space and must begin to erase the information that has been previously gathered. Erasing information is a thermodynamically irreversible process that increases the entropy of a system. Therefore, according to this train of logic, the being reveals a deep connection between information and it's ability to be transmissible.
If this being, this demon of information is, as I suppose it to be, the expression of a radically changed form of consciousness, wouldn't awareness of that break, and the necessary forgetting of the older consciousness, create its own narrative? Or rather, it would be a squint-eyed look at the visible, divergent enough to glimpse what is not visible there. An ear deaf enough not to be seduced by the melody and harmony of forms, but fine enough to take in pitch and nuance. Impassive before the seductions of the aestheticizing megalopolis, but affected by what they conceal in displaying it: the mute lament of what the absolute lacks. A rap of your finger on a drum fires all the sounds and starts a new harmony. This little drunken vigil is holy if only because of the mark it bestows on us. I pronounce you, method! It might be true that solitude is dangerous for idle and wandering souls who populate it with their passions and their chimeras, but why are we crawling on hands and knees? This isn't the war: this is every day. The demon is invisible and real.
Listen to a voice. Whose voice, no one's, there is no one, there's a voice without a mouth, and somewhere a hand, it calls that a hand, it wants to make a hand, or if not a hand something somewhere that can leave a trace, of what is made, of what is said. Can't you hear it then? Can't you hear the terrible voice that is crying out the whole length of the horizon and which is usually known as silence? The main thing is to learn how to think crudely. Crude thinking, that is the thinking of the great. That's Bren's mind. Bren's thought is something blunt, an object he carries around with him on his shoulder. His friends all seem to carry the same tool around with them. They feel they are rich, rich in time. They don't know—as I do—that this happens to all worlds in the posthistorical phase. Without exception. They go insane.
I met Dorothy again today. She must have been the lone female voice chanting along with Bren at 6 or 7 this morning. I found her asleep on a couch in Bren's front room around noon. She was an old friend of Bren's, and used to hang around the house quite often. When I stumbled upon her sleeping body, she awoke immediately, sat up and asked me, "What's the purpose of your existence, right now?" In many respects what she said was difficult to accept. But certainly it was true that I did not understand the real purpose of my life. And certainly, also, I had been brought to California not of my own free will. I still can’t come to terms with it. I can’t accept it. But I won’t be here anymore. Me. I’ll be gone for good. If at least I’d learned something. I feel as helpless as the day I was born. I haven’t found a meaning. It’s… I have to search. I have to keep searching. All I've found are these mad statistics generated by the surrounding countryside in the form of long texts. Now may I, so worthy of these tortures, fervently take up that superhuman promise made to our created body and soul: that promise, that madness! Elegance, science, violence!