(updates should be read from the bottom up)
Montana. Not going well. This state is practically empty, of humans that is. Stopped at the side of a remote road to relieve myself and was chased off by what I think was a rutting moose. Relief accomplished. Took my Bushmaster into a country store intending to slaughter everyone; when it seized up on me a couple of middle-schoolers came over and helpfully explained the problem, cleared and rechambered the round for me. One of them said she'd been bugging her parents to get her one of these since she was in grade school. Sort of ruined the mood. I'm heading southeast.
Came to wandering the woods; have no idea how I got here. Have no recollection of the circumstances of the bizarre last update. I'm not even married. The last thing I remember is being driven from the Potato exhibit by an alarmed group of people, begging to be allowed to"join" them, for what purpose I do not know. I'm not sure what that means, I only remembering feeling very desperate. My head is killing me. I've got to get out of Iowa. Idaho. Whatever. I'm almost three states into a countrywide killing spree and still no killing.
How could I have not known? But then how could anyone have known this without seeing it for himself? My eyes are forever opened. I have beheld it, the World's Largest Potato; I have marveled at creation, as if at the creation, as if standing before the embryonic, half-formed earth itself. This is no mere vegetable; one is humbled before its mass, awestruck by its glorious, earthen, bulging rotundity, the sort of sculpted wonder no human hand or imagination can fashion; to behold it is to see the hand of the creator manifest in His handiwork; it is primal creation itself, like a Venus of Willendorf crafted by God in His youth overcome by the fever of creation; it is like the egg, entirely self-contained, possessing all that is good and sustaining within. I don't know how I can go back now; I don't even recognize my life up to this point. Somebody get this message out to my wife:
MY EYES HAVE BEHELD THE TRANSCENDENT TUBER. I CANNOT GO BACK NOW.
SELL THE HOUSE
SELL THE CAR
SELL THE KIDS
FIND SOMEONE ELSE
I'M NEVER COMING BACK
I'm going to waste every potato-worshiping supplicant I find at the sacrilegious shrine of the starchy wonder, like a jihadi rampaging at the wailing wall. Then I'm going blow their blasphemous idol to Kingdom Come. That f*%&ing root gets more attention and respect than I do. Not for long. Soon our names and destinies will be forever intertwined. I am become death, destroyer of novelty attractions. My God, what have I become? Do you people see what you've reduced me to? I'm pulling an Oswald on a f*%&ing vegetable! Damn you all!
Just crossed the state line into Idaho--Idaho, not Iowa! Well, that answers that question. Now it's just a matter of finding my first target of opportunity to make this an official interstate killing spree; there's a sign for a roadside attraction, "world's largest potato". Hmm. Such pride. I know now what I must do. Tuber hubris (tubris?) cannot be tolerated. By the way, does anyone out there know anything about, say, the Mann act or extradition law? Thanks.
Hit a deer. This has never happened to me before. I can't believe how upsetting it is; very traumatic. A beautiful creature too, a buck with an impressive rack; just magnificent. Couldn't have happened at a worse time. And I was so psyched; now I'm just utterly devastated. This is no way to begin a cross country killing spree, with the death of an innocent animal. On a wholly unrelated note, just curious you understand, but does anyone know how venison is prepared?
If you're in the Spokane area you may wish to stay indoors, oh at least until daybreak. I can say nothing further; al Qaeda may be perusing the internet. State line coming up; we're about to go federal.
Had to turn back (forgot to euthanize the cat) somewhere around Leavenworth, a bizarre reproduction of a Bavarian village in the Cascades (unfortunately lacking in a suitable clock-tower). Did manage to destroy a particularly annoying Hofbrauhaus (six bucks for a Heineken? guess who just made the list). These old Czech surplus explosives are seriously degraded and unstable as hell but, like weak coke, if you just use enough of it you'll be alright. It's all about making your mark on your way out, man!
twelve hits at 5PM, at least one of which is a google search. That's good enough for me. Cut sitemeter adrift, cleaned, oiled and test fired the Uzi, sending the neighbors fleeing for cover (heard what I hope was a dog yelp I don't know), packed up some old Soviet-era Czech explosives that I got for a song from that now defunct operation out of Florida, found an old claymore, what the hell I'm doing with a claymore I don't recall but it's going to come in handy when they finally corner me in a motel somewhere in Kansas, a case of Snickers and water and a stop at the ATM and I'm off. I hope I can find a package store this late (friggin' liquor laws--maybe I'll make a stop in Olympia on my way out). Oops, I almost forgot to rig the house to explode. Now: I just need you all to email me your addresses so I can personally send each of you a complimentary memorial Untethered mug or t-shirt (supplies limited; XL and XXL only).
Eleven hits at 3PM on a Friday (5 eastern!). Eleven. I'm one single-digit day short of launching into a multi-state killing spree here. At this point I'm beginning to wonder what's wrong with the remaining eleven, who are willing to suffer through these self pitying harangues. No really, it doesn't bother me.
I don't care that you don't read this because this is good; and I'm not one to boast. Most of what I've written here I look back upon with embarrassment and a twinge of regret. Mostly I think I didn't quite get it right. This is my nature; the many embarrassments large and small (and for a person of no consequence these are mostly small) that have issued from this mouth over the years are still remembered with bitter mortification, some going back to childhood; just as some now ancient slights in my personal history can still gnaw at this fragile ego. But at the moment I'm looking upon the recent past and thinking: not bad. A start, at least.
Surveying what else is out there at this price confirms this; the early friend of the blog to whom I still owe a debt striking me from his blogroll and the relief I feel for this because then I can finally strike the embarrassment that was his name from mine, posting the minutiae of his life. I still hope to thank him in print one day if these pipe dreams can be willed into reality. I still feel kindly toward him, even as I feel relieved of any association. I remain ready to help him in any way I might, hollow promise though that is at this remove. But any excuse to shorten and refine the blogroll is welcome.
Another friend despises "reading fiction" as a waste of time. Fiction is a feminine practice, slightly decadent and frivolous, apparently. This is harder to forgive. Some of us will never be satisfied until all artifice is wrung out of the culture, until all is made forthright and plain, plain, plain; every work realist, turned inside out under the harsh, even glare of an unforgiving, plodding collective consciousness purged of imagination's distortions and abstractions, which apparently confuse and repulse them as degenerate.
I can only be thankful to read such tripe, such ignorance, and not hear it coming from someone who is within arm's reach. What to make of such--words fail; whatever it is, this attitude, a word or phrase has not yet been coined.
I can only think of the bitter regret I feel knowing I will never read all that is out there of value, that I will never fully understand the art because of the limits of time, because of the late start and the engagement with social and political issues that demands all this reading of non-fiction--the same concerns that cannot be illuminated fully without fiction, without the highest form of writing that is the novel. Because of the demands of the mundane one's life is surrounded less by beauty, more by the merely practical. One has to speak and consume the language of the deal and the bargain. The language of compromise. I don't pretend it can or should be any other way---yet, still. A hearty f--- you to the sentiment of literalism and the mind in which it festers, offered as gently as the vulgarity allows and hoping it doesn't poison the rest. But it must be said.