How You Know

You've tripped over your slashed potato, a fearful and fleshless contraption. In the sidebar there's a story about a newborn lady, who came out 32 years old and went to the market and killed a man. The man was a father but mean, and the cash register simply stood up and walked away.

The famous are all less than the few, and you'll note the conveyor, with the groceries akimbo, is not moving, not moving, not moving, refusing. The cash register was the master, the conveyor the slave, and it knows not yet now what to do with its own shining love. Watch the water bottles throttle, they are confused, "where do we go? How do we get? What is this place, why are we not moving?"

The customers were the most inundane, converted, diverted, ran distressing through shelves and windows and hammering lies, the children played bouncing balls in the aisles, "Who is that lady, mommy?" but mommy was out in the minivan, driving it into Lester's car, as he backed out without looking and ran over a cow.

There was a cow, but now it was not.

The baskets in the parking lot shine, in the bright sun of a May, and a certain scene is played out again and again in the head of the wife of the man who was killed by the 32 year old woman who was born just today. "I want to call you a bitch," the wife was saying, "but I can't quite decide. This is beautiful. My children will grow up to run countries, my love affair will bloom into life, my heart belongs to the sleeves of Harrison Kirsch, so beautiful is he."

One morning I decided to ask one of them. "Are you a zebra?" I asked. The old man, standing very close to the bars and looking at my habitat, only focused his eyes more clearly on mine, but said nothing. I repeated myself. "Excuse me, sir, are you a zebra?" I asked.

"But he is my silence," the new woman said, "And heros are harder than dildos when strapped on in bed."

"You are a bitch," the wife decided, and stormed out, forgetting the children, to find Harrison, who was fucking a chef from El Paso.

Later, where leftover penguins lost all sense of fate, and knew only that one day they'd die like their governing body, a happily clad sauce, of minarets and baking powder, declined comment. No questions, no questions, it's only us legends, here to turn off your electricity, it's been too long, you know.

The new woman slid further and further into despair as she realized she didn't know anything about marketing. All of these cash registers, all of these screaming machines that wanted quarters to dispense their plastic eggs with the crap in them. "Can't I just become real?" she asked the rack with the tabloids, which didn't answer, didn't speak, but merely continued to display truths that no one ever believed.

"I AM MANY YEARS TOO OLD FOR YOU," said a fifteen year old boy who was checking out the new woman's ass. He thought she had propositioned him, the way she carried her nameless behavior, echoing through the courts of this hallowed building, where all of the money had left, but the merchandise was still fresh, and clean.

"That man is staring at you," said the girl left behind by the wife of the man who was killed by the new woman, as she pulled on the new woman's burgundy sleeve.

"Oh, dear," said the new woman, "I know how to talk, and I know all of these words, but I don't understand what you mean."

The embarassed adolescent moved away slowly, the inner turmoil he felt obvious on his fantastically chiselled neck. "I want to love her, the way she loves me, but I can't do this to anyone," he thought, and then he tripped over a hand-basket, left behind, still holding two frightened cans of corn, and a six-pack of gatorade.

You'll lose your place on the page if you look down, but you know this woman doesn't even belong in her situation, let alone yours. How can you trade places? What is this magical silverware?

The horns in the parking lot continued, and sirens approached from the edges. Somewhere, in this vacinity, an official voice was announcing, a person has been made to pass on. Anyone with any information leading to the conclusion of this investigation will be given consideration in the next allocation of funds, continued the announcer, who only really wanted to be eating bread, wine, and cigarettes. Please remain calmly inundated with the situation at hand, we will return you to your shopping as soon as these children have homes.

But there are not enough sandwiches to go around, all the people who can make them left the place with the ingredients, and all the children to eat them can't figure out plastic bags, cannot read that they should not put them on their heads, and some of them are already turning blue.

Does the tense frighten you? This "was" followed by this "is," we speak of foundations and relativity but we never even met the funny German man who now apparently makes bagels. Oh, this doughnut bread, this manna from Alcatraz, didn't they ever bleed for you, the way the new 32 year old was bleeding now? She couldn't understand it, at all, this red liquid coming out of her skin. Nor could the clean-up man, who had zipped himself up and stumbled out of the back to see what the screaming was about.

"Now, gawdamnit, they've up and taked all the registers," he mumbled, not accepting the information his eyes gave him about the woman, and the blood, and the fifteen year old passed out with a hard-on. The clean-up man's name was Pete, but his name tag was missing.

In the back of the room where the managers used to sit there was a key, spitting on the ground while hanging on the wall, the only thing it could do to entertain itself all day. Its mouth was dry, and it had already hit that spot down there a lot of times, many times, it couldn't count anyway, but it was pretty sure it had hit it a lot of times. What was the point of this? The manager wasn't even here, he'd left early to meet his mistress, who liked to shave his back for him, something his wife would never do.

"Can't you read me later?" the page is asking you.

Vague plastic mason jars filled all of the sinks in the city soon after the incident. The investigating personell never did get a thorough finger on the rateless things that had allegedly happened. The children grew into better persons than they would have otherwise, but this just doesn't end. Every time it seems to be drawing to a close a new melon is grown in the field of the farmer, who wanted nothing more than to forget he'd ever been born. Goddamn the sun, always burning, and the morning he woke up and actually thought about what things meant, and found that they didn't mean anything.

But don't be hasty, the chickens he farmed were still farmers themselves, seedless though they were, specially fabricated by a council of elders in a nice part of a nice country where they did this sort of thing and thought it nice. The rolling meadows, the guzzling horses, and maybe, from time to time, a new car, if you guess the right made up numbers, pull the right hat off of your so obviously wrong head.

Distance is made up of chambers, and small pairs of scissors. Think about it long enough and the truth will abolish all remaining qualms about needles, and alcohol.

The newly minted, but more recently deteriorating, 32 year old woman spoke to the janitor, who didn't believe she was there. He was gathering up jars of jelly, he liked to do things with jelly, but normally it cost too much. "Do ya think they'll come back 'afore I get outt'n here?" he asked her, but she was staring at her clothes, damp with her self, and she still didn't understand quite how words fit together to form concepts. THIS is the way the movies should be, with rain made out of Middletown, and trees like scars on the horizon. The janitor couldn't see past his own paragraph, which was poorly written and smeared by the hand of a sloppy editor, eating a trendy chow mein.

"You know how you know when it's over?"