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Alex Carnevale

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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Entries in dreams (2)


In Which The Enthusiast Waits For A Sensation Of Truth

Saturday Maxims


Life is mediation between the opposing viewpoints that the world is infinitely, irrascibly large and that the world is infinitely, pitifully small.

For example, I woke this morning to an email from a woman who shares my last name. It read Good morning husband! I love to have quiet time when its raining... Don't you? Outside, it is not raining. Yesterday, rain, but not today. She continues I'm just praying and hanging out with God!!! Have a fruitful day! There is, after all, much to be done today. Will her blessing, like the message, reach me in error?

It is finally hot in New York, and I make plans to meet someone. On the subway I see that in extreme weather it is chic to both overdress and underdress. One girl, who seems either to be stoned or overwhelmed by allergies, is doing both. She has what appears to be a turban made of a tattered sheepskin rug on her head, but her shirt, which is already made of sheer material, has so many holes that I can literally see both her nipples. She is sneezing uncontrollably.

I feel for her, but consider the possibility that I too have a cold. Hottness in the nostrils, soggy head, slow and subtly pained movements. If I do, the preemtive medicine I took this morning has gotten into it already, mixed with the feeling of illness, and become an inextricable part of the experience. It is the medicine I have taken all my life, making it impossible to know if my memories of being sick are memories of symptoms of illness or the effects of common medicines.

Maybe the epidemic has reached me. Or something worse. I think to make a mental list of every possible source for the anxiety and sense of dread I am now experiencing. Spell them out, rank in importance, make a plan. It might be a long list, but it would never be a complete list. Something entirely unknowable and vastly sinister will be left out no matter how concerted my effort. The biggest thing, the opaque origin of all fears.

Thinking of what must be done is, if done with efficiency, the essence of a productive life, and if done in extremis, the essence of neurosis. Ideally, one should limit thoughts of what must be done to the lowest frequecy that still maximizes the actual enaction of plans. Making lists allows us to cease thinking of future tasks and return to present unencumbered life. Yet how often one makes a list and then discards or never refers to it. The list is only an artificial method for quieting the violent and debilitating impulse to plan. The train stops.

I glance an advertisement for a museum show of textiles. Everything about the word textile is wrong, but at least it's easy to spell. The hardest words for me to spell have two consonant sounds flanked by vowels that could be doubled or singular in their spelling and sound the same. Corollary. Necessary. Also, can we just start writing "æffect" to avoid confusion?

The genius of Anni Albers.

In weather like this, being stood up is almost a blessing. Really, whenever someone fails to show up–even a loved one, even one anticipated with eagerness—a great sense of relief pervades me. Not only will I not have to offer up my privacy, I now have something to hold over them, the upper hand, an excuse for future wrongdoing. Rendezvous is also a hard word to spell.

I look around for something to do, and decide to remain motionless behind my sunglasses. The eyes move only by jerks, must always be settling upon something. There is nothing fluid in their activity. Like the mind, the eyes do not function—and indeed may not exist—between nodes of perception. Most often in early May those nodes are wearing skirts of some kind. In New York, the beauty of the women serves as irresistable entrée to the slow paralysis if the city's inhumanities.

No thought is autonomous from those directly before and after. An overlapping series of filaments, much like a thread of wool. Some filaments strong, some hardly there at all, with nonetheless the combined result of everyday strength. Textilic.

I buy an expensive hamburger with ginger and water-chestnuts mixed in with the meat. The waiter says, Good, huh? I ask if he's from North Carolina. No, he says, Mississippi. I tell him I'm from North Carolina, but have lost all traces of my accent. Oh, he says, I'm trying to lose mine.

I feel for him too. I mean, to what extent can someone transcend their regional accent? Is not the very first indicator of a free and versatile intelligence that it uses an idiom not beholden to one necessarily benighted locale? Because I am in Chelsea another male waiter also comes over to check on me. I say that I am enjoying the water-chestnuts. He asks what I do, but I don't know what to tell him. I attempt to follow blessed curiosities with ease and intuition? No good.

A five-year-old out on the street says to his father, Probably around 6 pm Eastern time. It's unsettling, but reminds me of a dream from last night in which a god was teaching me to paint clouds. It said, You paint them in black paint, and from the earth they appear white. That we're allowed memory of dreams, and dreams of memory, is the capital offense of the divine being.

In a gutter, the day’s first soggy headline. An actress, prominent a decade ago but somewhat forgotten now, has appeared mostly nude on the cover of a popular magazine. It is the oldest, stalest story imaginable—from out the void of creeping time, meaninglessness has erupted. The table is set with good china and our grandmother's silver, but it is we who are consumed.

Then a marvelous bookstore appears where there was none before. I open the first book I recognize to the page on which I know I'll find the sentence Faith is the aftermath of questioning—not the answers but the quitting of doubt. It's still there.

Will Hubbard is the executive editor of This Recording.


Post title, and final quotation, from here...THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO UNNHHH

"Ain't That Good News" - Sam Cooke (mp3)

"Young Hearts Spark Fire" - Japandroids (mp3)

"Save Me From What I Want" - St. Vincent (mp3)

"Your Funeral... My Trial" - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (mp3)


In Which Lost Violates Its Own Inner Chi

The Dumbest Professional Killer Alive

The dream. Every night it's always the same.

I'm a little boy walking through my hometown. My dick is super-huge, because in my dreams I'm always well-endowed. I'm trying to walk home, but I keep finding the same street at the end of wherever I go. A man finds me there. He's wearing a mumu and he smells like a skunk masturbating. He tells me that I'm going to be the vice president one day, and that I'll run the whole world. And then he shoots me in the face.

he can't say he didn't see this coming

This dream is reflective of reality: some enterprising hippie is always going back to try and save the future. But lately, it's not just hippies killing me in my dream. And no longer are people telling me I'll be the vice president one day.

setting the record for interminable press conferences...this guy

The people who kill me in my dream now say one thing: "If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have elected him." "Who?" I say. "Obama," they answer. At first it was 60 Minutes. Then, he started guesting on Heroes and The Office. Pretty soon he was on television three times a week. Three times a week turned into every night.

Like Benjamin Linus, our president can't get enough of his own press. And someone is trying to travel back in time to ensure I never exist so that Obama won't get elected. It's the perfect plan.

I know what Sayid Hassan Jarrah is going through. I too have many lives on my conscience. Families without homes, because their president is addicted to watching himself on TV. I have half a mind to go back in time and prevent myself from ever existing. One thing and one thing only stops me: Faraday said you can't change the fucking timeline.

Where is Faraday? Who knows. He's probably doing yeoman time travel work. I half expected him to pop up during Adam Lambert's phenomenal rendition of Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears" on Idol last night.

"I brought you some chicken salad...unless you are planning to kill me later on perhaps?"

You can't change the timeline, and yet young Benjamin Linus sits dead somewhere in the jungle. There are only two possibilities. The first is that Linus somehow weathered a bullet to the heart, and is still alive. The second is the possibility that Linus dies in every version of the timeline.

"I'm doing a blond now"

Let's take possibility one. Having lived through these events, it's possible that the elder Linus made his way off his sick bed on the other island and was able to communicate with his young version of himself, and ensure that he wore some kind of protection from Sayid's killing bullet. This would allow him to live to a ripe old age.

The second possibility is that Linus dies. Since we meet Linus later on, it's possible that the two Linuses are not one and the same. We believed that the older man was Benjamin Linus, but he could be Henry Gale for all we know. We have no proof that the two are one and the same, except the show's POV storytelling. Taking Benjamin Linus' name and place within the Dharma Initiative would be a clever way for the hostiles to infiltrate Initiative if they knew what had occurred. With the Senior Linus dead, there would be no one to refute this.

Either way, one thing is for goddamn certain: you cannot change the timeline. (The next episode is even titled "Whatever Happened, Happened.")

Then again, Sayid always was one to learn things the hard way. This is approximately the 8,000th time he has slept with a woman on Lost only to find out she was deceiving him in some way. This time it was somehow more forgivable, because honestly who could believe that a bounty hunter could be that foxy?

In Dharmaville, things are getting a bit on the edgy side. LaFleur and Juliet had a good thing going, and the only one of the castaways who seems amply satisfied with his new digs is Hurley, and that's just because of proximity to the cafeteria.

the fucking tater tots here are out of this world you guys

Presumably Jin was driving the van around because he was finally looking for Sun. Once again instead of finding Sun he finds Sayid. The only screen time Jack Shepard can manage is when his wet hose is flailing around. His meek little firefighting smile is just about the saddest thing we've ever seen.

Where is all of this going? I'm going to put myself out on a limb and guess that when the Dharma Initiative gets dumped into a mass grave, it's the Losties writing the check. They're going to win this war for Benjamin Linus, and they're going to complete the Swan station. The only question is, what is going to motivate them to take the lives of Horace Goodspeed and Co.? What is going to end female fertility? What is going to put a premium on young children, and what is going to bring the Losties back to the future?

I have but one answer for you.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.