Subject: The long dark pokernight of the soul
The house was completely dark when I arrived. Quiet, too. A little
too quite. I stumbled up the stairs and into the library. A dim
light seeped through the cigarette smoke stained windows. Enough for
me to find a clear spot on the floor to set my heavy bag. Lights. I
knew there were lights but it was not at all clear how to turn them
on. With my outstretched arm I felt around the perimeter of the
defunct fake fireplace mantle, knowing there ought to be some clamp on
work lights fitted with party style coloured bulbs. Ah. There. But
no switch. Just a cord. I followed the cord with my hand, past the
junction with a three way extension cord outlet and down to the floor.
A power strip. A few jabs with my finger in the spot where I figured
a switch ought to be yielded success. The room was filled with a dim
orange, red, and green glow as a whole horde of party style bulbs came
on simultaneously through the room. Well that’s a start, I thought.
I took off my coat and hung it on the already full coat rack in the
The dining room and kitchen were both similarly devoid of artificial
light, but these were somewhat easier to turn on, the electrical
circuits for the ceiling fixtures having been repaired or at least
switched back on in spite of the live wires poking their serpentine
two pronged tongues out of the control center ceiling. One wall
mounted switch, one pull cord. Now at least I could see.
In the freezer I found the handle of gin I had so hoped to find.
Good. I’d brought tonic and limes, of which there were none in the
kitchen. I fetched those out of my bag and fixed myself a gin and
tonic. Next I thought about putting on some music and writing the
poker night email, but the computer in the control center was a big
dark screen and a small army of dimly blinking LEDs indicating who
knows what. I jiggled the mouse. It’s underbelly started to glow red
but then went dark again. The screen stayed black. I jiggled the
other, less promising mouse. A machine whirred up but it wasn’t the
one I was expecting. The screen stayed black. I decided to have a
Back in the library I smoked my lonely cigarette with naught but its
ghostly vaporous trails hanging in the air to keep me company. I
thought about what books might still be around here that belonged to
me. That collection of Whinny the Pooh stories my mom gave me for
Christmas several years back. Maybe one of those PKD novels. Maybe
more than one. I thought about doing a bit of book shopping, but
decided in favour of staying comfortably seated, smoking my cigarette
and sipping on my gin and tonic. Hey is that the Ghostbusters DVD
over there? No. There was a third final fantasy movie? Wonders
Having finished the cigarette I pulled myself up and set myself
forward with renewed determination to write the pokernight email. I
thought about the days I used to carry my laptop with me everywhere.
That’d sure be nice. That was before I relied on it so much for my
livelihood. Also before it grew so many appendages. But surely, this
house, I knew there was at least one functioning Internet enabled
machine I could get to in the control center. Probably just needed to
turn the screen on.
Sometimes I think my cell phone makes a better flashlight than a
communication device. This was the second time tonight I’d used it as
such. It’s tiny screen’s glow illuminated the edges of the giant
screen as I searched for something to depress. Perhaps a switch to
flip. Something labeled “power” at the very bottom proved to be an
indicator not an activator. I ran my fingers around the edges.
Awfully fancy, this thing. I tried jiggling mice again. I tried
pressing keyboard keys. Finally I found a button, on top, behind what
in the Architectural profession we might call a facade. Success.
Kind of. The thing powered on, then told me it could not find any
After a few more minutes of fumbling, I heard a soft sloshy rumbling
from outside. The sound grew louder, and then I heard the door open.
The sound turned into more of a sloshy gargling, growing louder at an
alarming rate. I turned my head to look at the entry way and to my
horror saw a giant land sea anemone, gurgle slosh, gurgle sloshing
it’s way up the stairs. Then lightning struck the house and it caught
on fire. Soon the house was filled with laser gun wielding space
centipedes all blasting away at the land anemone. The house probably
would have been blown away when the land sea anemone set off it’s
unlicensed nuclear device in the middle of the dining room if it had
not been for mighty Thor transporting the entire block to Norse Heaven
just in time. I’m'a have to go do some disco dancing with some sexy
norse goddesses soon, but I just wanted to let you all know first that
“first hand at nine”
xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxx somerville massachusetts.