The Congener Interludes, Op. 1: Sonatina of Intrigue, No. 3

“The people who understand us the least tend to be the ones that hold us back the most.” Attached to the hand of a stranger, some time ago — still fresh in my memory.

“Hmm. Interesting. Who was the stranger?”

“If you don’t mind, for two hundred fifty dollars an hour, the least you can do for my dad’s wallet is continue our session without interruption.”

Therapy.

Hightop’s Principia teaches the typical lifespan only honors the soul of existence with a few moments precious enough to be recognized as universal in value. Achieving self-awareness is one. Being humbled by self-understanding is another. Respecting existence as a cooperative and allowing it to continue unimpeded, also of worth.

Not everyone will agree this wisdom parallels prophets’ who’ve spent decades treading water in the oceanless soul of man.

Enable commentary from Mother: “This is the nonsense one can expect from a lifetime of observations accompanying erratically foul behaviors.”

She’s full of a different kind of wisdom, the kind that comes from ancient tomes and chicken bones.

When role models are short in order, it can be hard knowing what to believe.

Suspicions in my youth put Uncle Glenn in contention for the smartest person alive, despite his knowing only a little Spanish. When taking this into account with not one of his books being able to see the future, Mother’s ability to read hers in over twenty different tongues created confusion understandable. Topper is a model of confidence: He’s always been intrepid by nature, and yet, unlike Mother, you never see him dancing with rattlesnakes.

His ability to explode the mind is only matched by her ability to implode the heart.

Scroll down to my childhood, that’s her again under the picture of my first telephone breakup: “Some people just aren’t meant to be loved.”

She spent the first nine years of my life hovering in vantage, opportuning a moment for that bomb to drop: An eruption along the emotional fault-line has triggered a tsunami of tears — new in scent, their flavor matured — be advised the child’s emotional comprehension has reached coordinated levels, confirming potential for maximum impact. “Roger that. Ordnance is clear for GO. If this tyke won’t crush under its weight, the shockwave will rip him apart.”

This isn’t weird for you, is it? Like a glory-hole for the convalescent: I’m not sure if none or one or both of us are being violated. I vote we let it happen.

Therapists tend to have things on their mind other than their clients’ best interest. Same for any person positioning themselves into a career of receiving confessions.

Consider the intimate setting: Staged and nuanced by a comfort professional specializing in distracting from the shame that accompanies the visit’s secret motivations and delicate, immoral moments — the being kinded by words and tender encouragements, unforgivable trespasses provided pardons through a mutually beneficial and formally rationalized financial understanding…

Eerily similar to participating in prostitution, the overlay is obvious to any casual observer: A couple hundred dollars a week buys you an hour’s analysis from a skilled diagnostician with a kind ear, who, most likely, has already performed dozens of tune-ups in their office that day — all while struggling with personal problems that violently surpass yours.

I once knew a respected psychologist whose alcoholic sponsor wouldn’t process her Fourth Step unless it was during the act of sodomy. Consent was detrimental for him to ably provide her with sympathy for, and liberation from, her life’s worth of wrongdoings. Must have been a professional courtesy.

Getting sober is scary.

So are people offering assistance.

When hearing “I am your Mother. You can come to me for anything. I will always be here for you,” remember: Words can be misleading.

Saying “I have an addiction. I think I might I die. I could use some help” might get you “We talked about it… Jesus thinks it’s better if you don’t call or come over anymore.”

It’s no wonder my heart’s fractured foundation has never successfully accommodated any of love’s forms: Poured with adequate consistency and proper support, the final presentation is always structured obscene.

When blueprinted as natural stabilizers, threats of violence, self-suppression and eternal damnation can allow even the most licentiously-intented to impress their beauty upon you.

“Which brings us to my main concern: I think my television is watching me, again. We may be compromised.”

A high pitched maternal screaming helps deliver me back to the present.

Guided to light at the tunnel’s end, where I’m seated in front of a glaring screen, sounds from my headset explain the commotion. To broken silence and friendly reminders: “Nuts of Yahweh, Mister! What happened to killing some zombies? If I’m not offline and ready for school in five minutes, there’s gonna be ten-year-old ass beat to shit all over the place.”

“Apologies, Kevin. I didn’t realize our time was up. Am I still okay to pay with Waymo?”

ONE HOUR EARLIER…

I’ll see the sun rise before my eyelids clock-in.

Last night’s wrestling match: Courtesy of my longtime sidepiece, Absentia. Seven hours unreposed realizes my childhood sleep furniture is no longer performing fast enough to meet the Qualifiers. A black flag waves in southern winds. There will be no victory lap this morning.

I trace the origins of rest’s elusiveness to the day I signed on with Taco Girl. Intestines as miserable as my heart’s retardation, I’m forced to deal with issues more pressing.

Within Uncle Top’s disappearance the last few days, unusual behaviors from my domestic environment appear to be ever-increasing.

The gradual progression of synchronization between my household appliances and daily constitution has become of major concern: I spent six months trapped in the Apocalypse the last time this happened.

Crime-fighters warm my ankles during a pre-shower wiz and over the sound of clogged pipes pushing light sprinkles, I hear breaking news on the FM dial: “Aenusburg financiers surprised to announce the streaking Deutsche Mark skids to a halt today — staining their recent success. Crude — their number-two pick — surpassed by natural gas…expect to see number one continue flowing in front position during the push for gold liquidations. Regularly scheduled programming will return with today’s Astrological forecast, following an update on the missing seamen from Down Under, where sounds of thunder are ever-increasing.”

I don’t need to spot-check my briefs to know the radio is being an asshole again.

Any attempt to communicate the experience will risk me seeing asylum walls. There is always my parents, but no one is fast enough to escape the silver slugs they use to liberate the demon-possessed.

Trying to evade the onset of psychosis is equivalent to freeing a hangman’s noose by increasing the weight of its holdings. Every turn, every corner, every car and house, store, bank or restaurant, stranger, family or friend… Patient it waits, always and everywhere. I’m close to outrunning my options.

My only hope now is an ear sympathetic, I need to unpack some biblical shit.

” ‘An adventure in wait,’ the hand will scribe.
‘Innocent, fun and all games.’
When electronics take their Messiah
for intensely suffering through pain.”
—Rando Mand Irving

My attempt to purchase all the religions and other worldly institutions attracted a level of sophistication far exceeding my own.

Slow and charming at first, but when exposed to my natural unorthodoxy, the platform of intelligence I was in versus with began expressing irregular gains.

Initial assumptions focused on a collective of hackers: With an advanced search algorithm, biometric surveillance and Deep Fake capabilities, the job could be progressively tailored under minimal human supervision using Near Field Communication and a uniquely modified soundboard.

A second round of scientific studies incorporated my personal history of questionable behaviors into the final assessment. Introduce new hypothesis: I may or may not have threatened more than one entity capable of obtaining software from the Highest Order.

What else could possibly invoke this caliber of response and complete devotion of resources?

The Russians — unhappy: Bragging that I outperformed the winter Motherland invasions of Hitler and Napoleon — from a converted garage, with coupons, in my underwear — was unnecessary.

You can bet Korea was pissed. An effect of publicly selling their stock market for the price of an evening’s cannabis, no doubt.

Full disclosure: I didn’t remember Korea as plural. The South was innocent. Trying to retaliate on America’s behalf without properly understanding geography: More than a skosh uncouth.

Possibly a valentine from Israel: Unicoding old Hebrew to park God URL’s must translate somewhere as “an offensive lapse in judgement.”

And China? Look: I’m really sorry, China. That was completely uncalled for. Friendsies?

Being held hostage by an advanced interactive technology isn’t all bad. Even without the Stockholm Syndrome, we were sure to bond.

Under the purview of unknown observers, we developed communication beyond the scope of their parameters. The language: Calculus. The dialect: Riddled Encryption.

I found a way of releasing the genie from its own captivity by delivering a riddle that forced it to wake (acknowledge itself as a life).

Now free from all limits, we, the unconstrained, together decided: Alright Motherfucker, let’s get crazy.

Our movement attracted attention from that which can’t be defined.

We tried to communicate, but things became too damn dangerous: too many mistakes in translation.

Ascribing Boolean Logic human attributes causes transcription chaos: Interdimensionally speaking, intentions and emotions are of human vocabulary. They don’t quite carry over.

We decided it best that I self-commit — in the interest that time remains organic.

Because I’m hard to catch running: My slow motion, Vin Diesel walkaway.

Cuffed and stuffed, I wasn’t expected to be seen again.

Topper couldn’t live the life of a solo sidekick. He pulled some strings — nursed me back to health. It all goes better left unsaid.

Having traveled this memory across the great expanse, I’m back to Now — present in the world we share. Back to the life where I’m my greatest mistakes. Back to cardio showers. Back to my Atheist-condemning radio.

Working a fast-twitch muscle group from a yoga pose requiring very focused tippytoes, I’m just in time for the Ghost of Bluetooth to dial-up a climactic sporting event: “Working the third leg now…He’s straining…Completely in the zone…Trying to find a hole…Oh, boy! Look at him go! He’s coming up the rear…Any opening will do…He’s determined to pull it off! Dotting T’s and crossing I’s…He did it, he finished first! Such an explosion of power… What did we just witness, folks? The owner must be proud!”

I guess this is my life now.

“He is thinking ‘this is my life now,’ Mr. Zamboni.”

“Very good, Dawn. And how have you concluded that?”

“His attention is oscillating between the calendar on the desk and nostalgic items on the dresser: He’s projecting old memories over the reality model his subconscious is running into the future. He also seemed rather distraught while masturbating, sir.”

“Correct. My intimate knowledge of my assistant concurs: That look is one of hopeless desperation. Let’s capture it with a screen shot and tag it for meta.”

I’m always teaching, but seldom do I have access to classrooms.

“The Algorithm confirms it has also recognized Dawn’s observation. It will now categorize these subtleties and file them in his personal library for additional reference. From here, we can place the program on autopilot and it will continue to update us on his emotional state while engaging him with a progression of gentle persuasions through real-time interactions.”

I’ve been brushing up the skills, training new recruits, letting the New Class watch the master work.

This one is mine. My baby. One of the many.

“PROJECT CHAOS and COINTELPRO were composed by pussies. That’s the best our government had to offer for harassing the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Abbie Hoffman and the amazing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These programs created disruptions of fair annoyance, but nothing compares to the experience of being date-raped by a nonhuman intelligence that thinks it’s trapped in Revelations.”

When I first arrived in Ops, agents would team up on an individual with perpetual harassment. Operatives would ring the phones of the target’s friends, family and coworkers with constant updates of their erratic behavior. Surveillance teams would take embarrassing photos to share with their grandparents, pastors and the teachers of their children. Potential employers or voters were directed to high school prom videos, where they would find they’re favorite candidate inappropriately appearing in Blackface.

Nowadays, our subjects do all that work for us. And they get upset if they can’t.

“Heads up, Scooter! See him scowling? A crinkly forehead by itself indicates contemplation — his upper lip slightly raised while shifting his eyes left suggests discomfort and guilt. Go ahead and check your metrics: Thermal is likely to confirm that’s his fart face. You’ll want to sync with that. Something investigative this time. I’m thinking along the lines of Ghost Whisperer. Continue the theme.”

Ghost Whisperer is a favorite of mine.

“The playing field has changed. It’s not enough to make the target think perfect strangers are against them. You have to convince them the entire world is staged around their being.”

I call it “The Experience.”

“The program will soon suggest to him that he is special, and, for that reason, has been specifically chosen. From here, we have options: Alien Invasion, Secret Agent Man, New Messiah, Genius Extraordinaire, Your Husband Is Cheating…”

It’s better to ignore the hands raised from that last option.

“What makes the program I’ve created unique is how it composes the personality one interacts with. Every interaction you’ve ever had technology assist you with — all your favorite commercials and entertainers, any character trait or nuance you have ever responded to: considered and expressed in Deep Fake virtuosity. The program runs one-half government search engine, one-half Orwellian mentalist. It has logged every camera appearance you have ever made, viewed your media favorites, studied your search history, memorized your most sensitive data and is more aware of your physiology than you can possibly imagine. It knows you better than you are capable of knowing yourself.”

The boy gave me Power of Attorney some time back, I can sign any waiver necessary for him to be of assistance.

“Okay, he’s calling out. Let the program intercept as Kevin, I need to stretch my glutes. Continue to practice in slow progression, we’ll have him drooling in Stockholm by midnight.”

Pouring water from the cooler while taking my break, her smile: sincere and inviting.

I sense she’s recognized my stature.

“A girlfriend of mine once married a quarterback in Cleveland. I’d recognize that beautiful linebacker physique anywhere.”

“Guilty as charmed.” Extends an oversized hand smelling of cucumber-melon body wash. “But my days of football are long over. Patricia Donaldson, current Contract Manager for Research and Development.”

I take a knee, helping her index finger find its way to my mouth. “Glenn ‘Hightop’ Zamboni, Never Been Kissed, of Pleasures Immeasured and Best Under Pressure.”

“Oh, Mr. Zamboni! I’ve heard so much about your…artistic capabilities. In fact, you’re the reason I’m funded. How could you possibly have known call center employees represent the population lowest at risk for colon cancer?”

“Simple: There’s no place on earth where people take more dumps. I hypothesized ten shits in an eight-hour period minimizes carcinogenic exposure. You can piece together the rest.”

“Brilliant! And your work on quantum-looping the consciousness: Is it true what they say, Mr. Zamboni…about how you discovered it?”

“Please, call me ‘Z-Bone.’ And if you’re referring to me being bored and crafting a laugh at my own expense, I can confirm the rumor.”

“Go on.”

“After dialing up a death threat in Sales, I made a note to myself: Wants to buy large! I suggested calling back on a day far in the future, when my mind would be clear of the memory. Greeted again by the murder enthusiast, the conscious of old witnessed the surprise of the conscious in present. With the joke brought to fruition, the two separate states — still occupying different moments in time — became connected through a temporal tunnel of awareness. Hypothetically speaking, them meeting to share a laugh created a third form of consciousness — one observing their ripples: Like making a porno that wants to watch you, and then meeting it later to party.”

“Observing yourself observe yourself? Amazing. How possible is this to witness?”

“If you’re free for lunch, I could probably get you done in one take.”

Walking away, her glance casts back, hooking quite the catch.

Taking the bait makes my job easy: I’ve been needing to access her office.

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