Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Eight

fatalistic blink that the spider is no longer in it. “That is a simple question,” Davey agrees complacently. “I wonder how long it will take me to find an answer.” He lowers his fingertip to the Rolodex. And the Rolodex comes to a stop. Ask Again Tomorrow, it says. Ask Again Tomorrow. Davey nods, as though this were the sagest response one could expect before all the gods and the councils of wise men, the klatches of grandmothers and interlinked supercomputers. Davey touches the controls and a tune he’s cued up starts with a cymbal crash, three loud beats, and

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Seven

how to ask you this,” the caller is saying. I should hang up on people more often, Davey thinks. “But, well, okay, I’ll just come right out and say it. Do you have plans for after?” “After?” “Well, the world’s going to stop, right?, and there’ll be a mess and everything, but, the thing is, with the spiders and all, it’s not like we have to worry too much, there’s no sense passing up opportunities, I mean,” the caller’s voice drops to a whisper, “are you single?” Davey’s eyes wander up to the spider corner, and he notes with a

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Six

dispensed with, really. Once started the Rolodex spins until someone taps it, then it reveals whatever you need to know. Sometimes it says, Outlook Not So Good. Sometimes it gives you a phone number. Davey’s been letting it spin while the woman talks. Why stop it? If the world is going to stop soon, what kind of advice can it give? Davey yawns. I still think the world needs a hand, he says to himself. He holds a finger over the shiny spot on the black Rolodex cover where he typically taps. Eensy weensy spider. Teensy tiny. I don’t know

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Five

about, but before she reveals her own silly premonitions, pshaw!, who could credit the premonitions of a mere girl, even if she does have an advanced degree in wiccanology, a precognitive grandmother (she knew, to the minute!, when President Everheard would resign, and, yes, she assures Davey, everybody knows he hasn’t been elected yet, that’s the point), and a father who was a witch doctor in communities in Africa, the Arctic, the Antarctic (he had hot blood), and the Peruvian Amazon, the caller has one little question, just one, teensy and tiny and unimportant as it may be, so easily

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Four

on about the track record of prophecies handed down by the old gods, how the Hittites knew about track shoes (and that track shoes would ultimately be found to be bad for your feet, particularly the really well padded and expensive ones made in sweat shops by the slight and malnourished), the Goths knew about heavy metal music (and that only long hairs would like it), the Caribs predicted MRSA, SARS, and mercury thermometers (although, the caller admitted, the Caribs seemed to think we would have moon colonies by now, go figure!), and, apropos of nothing, she had a premonition

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Three

to stop spinning. Recently deciphered Ancient Mayan, Egyptian and Celtic Runes all agree. Not to mention the deus ex machina operated by the spider deities. They’re actually the ones who provided the key to the codes. It was a scientist who established communication with the spider deities. His name is Dr Arthur Pod. Weird, huh? Spiders are arthropods; this guy’s name is Arthur Pod!” “Spiders?” “Yeah. Spiders! Who knew the spiders would help us at the end of the world!” Glancing up at the giant spider in the studio, Davey gives his Rolodex a new spin. The caller is going

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-Two

slow down, let alone give up the flying business, and this has been the case for all of, what, eight billion years?, worrying about what would happen if the plane crashed or stopped, wouldn’t that be crazy? What makes you so special that something that’s been going on exactly the same for eight fucking billion years is going to change on your watch? So how much should we be worrying about the earth stopping and everything on it being thrown out into the deadly vacuum of space? Davey has picked up another call. “In two days the earth is going

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy-One

other hand, so what? If you spend your entire life on an airplane, which, as far as everyone else is concerned, is clearly in motion, a plane that never comes down, a plane refueled on the wing, it doesn’t much matter that, should the plane be stopped abruptly, you will continue in motion and be killed as your body bashes against the no-longer-in-motion plane interior, if in fact the plane never comes any such sudden stop. I mean, it might be a scary fate to contemplate, but if the plane has been reliably in the air, not once threatening to

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Seventy

momentum of a mass spinning along the curve that keeps it steady before a continuous spherical explosion. Should that mass suddenly stop. every body would find out quickly how every moment of every day while crouched in a corner by the ceiling or tapping the arm of the green office chair that seems so dependably on a carpet in a room near the end of a covered walkway off the eaves of which minute globes disconnect and splash onto shadowed pebbles next to a rosebush, every body at rest would learn that immobility was hiding the damnedest velocity. On the

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Nine

pose you some yes or no questions. Tap once for yes, tap twice for no. Is that acceptable?” Davey leans forward, the rusty coils of the old office chair squeaking faintly. The spider does not tap. “Is that not acceptable?” The spider remains unmoving. The spider’s stillness, however, is relative. Dust goes on swirling in air not yet settled after the opening and closing of the door. Moisture curls from Davey’s breath and pores and from the breathing pores in the spider’s underside. Electrons zip through the pathways set up for them. And the whole business is packed with the

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Eight

eyes the elbow turn you have to take to exit the broadcast booth. You have to pass right under the spider. Which may have been there when he rushed to the mic and he didn’t notice. “You one of Dragon’s guests? He just forgot to tell me? C’mon, give me a sign. I know. If you understand me, tap a foreleg. Just one. It doesn’t have to be any big move. Yeah, I’d rather it not be a big move. Just tap. One. Ah. Tap. Ah. Well. Yes. That is a start. Not a coincidence, was it? How about I

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Seven

have a projectile weapon of tremendous efficacy here in my left boot.” Davey gestures significantly at his tattered tennis shoe. “You wouldn’t be an enchanted, um, princess or anything? I’ve never met one of those. Not so far as I know, anyway. I could very well have. Met one, you know. Present company not excepted.” The giant spider seems not to be reacting to these overtures. Davey taps his knee with a finger. “You look familiar,” he lies. “I have the feeling we’ve met before.” This is not true either. “You weren’t at the Carnival of Arthropods, were you?” Davey

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Six

he shot a man just to watch him apply himself to a new course of action in the face of a changed environment,” a patient and tender voice begins. Davey turns the sound down in the booth. He looks up at the spider. Did it move or was he imagining that? “Where did you come from? Yo! Spider! Yes, you. I saw that pedipalp twitch! You can hear me. Are you an ambassador from another dimension? If so, you’re not my first. I have a universal communicator in the drawer of the desk. You’re not dangerous, are you? Because I

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Five

tract houses? The projection TVs? Ah, hell. I had a friend who went to hell. He took a tour, too. A tour led by a dog. A very fine dog, he said. He gave me the dog’s business card. I have it in a file here somewhere. Files. There’s so much to TARANTULA! Sorry. Uh. There’s a story I’ve been wanting to share with you. Last week I conducted an interview with a musical artist you may have heard of. Merle Obregard. The original gunslinger banjolele player.” Quickly Davey queues up the recording. “In his most famous song Obregard claimed

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Four

laughed again. “I know! I know, huh? Anyway, so you made out like Jesus was some big, I don’t know, huckster?” “Motivational speaker.” “Oh. Oh, yeah. I see that. But isn’t he still in heaven? I mean, when he comes to earth, that’s when it all changes, right? Heaven is a great place, by the way. A great, great place. OK. I guess that’s it. Thanks so much for taking my call!” Davey cues up some harp music and while it tinkles away in the background muses, “I wonder what pictures they showed her of hell? The mineral springs? The

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Three

One of the ladies from my group, who got her halo buffed? She said it made her feel light-headed. Ha ha! I thought that was so funny! I sat in on one of the slide show lectures where they showed all the hell stuff. God! That was awful! But later we actually got to meet Jesus! He was very nice. Soft-spoken. When he took your hand he’d look you right in the eye and you’d sort of melt. Completely! When I die I totally want Jesus on my side.” “Any suggestion of when you might meet that fate?” The caller

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-Two

met Jesus. And. He isn’t like that at all.” “Oh?” “No! I went to heaven. I took this package tour. With my church group. It was all-inclusive; that means one price includes not just bed but all your meals and a few special extras, like a massage and halo-buffing. Everybody has a halo. Not just saints. Some people call them ‘auras.’ Same thing. It’s like this glowing around your head. If your halo is spotty it means you need work. Sometimes you need to work on your karma or you have to confess your sins and get absolution or whatever.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty-One

Everybody says that. Or. No, I don’t think I’ve heard that before. What makes you say that?” “Oh,” says Davey. “You’ve got your first name and you’ve got your last name. With those you have the major slots filled.” “Oh, I have a middle name, too. It’s Widget. Rotunda Widget Brunnhilda. RWB. That’s what I put on my monogrammed towels. And I live in Spring Spring, which is just like Sing Sing except that they have nothing in common. The weather’s similar, I think. I read that somewhere. Anyway, I’m calling tonight because I heard you talking about Jesus. I

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Sixty

“Yes, caller, you’re on the air. Could we get your name and where you’re calling from?” “DAVEY THUNDER!! YAY! Gosh. I can’t believe I got on.” Out of the corner of his eye Davey detects a new shadow. He glances up. A spider, hairy and brown and the size of a dinner plate, fills a corner of the room next to the ceiling. “I can’t believe it. Really. I’ve been dreaming of this moment. Dreaming!” “Dreaming is free,” Davey says absently. “Yeah! So my name is Rotunda. Rotunda Brunnhilda, that’s my full name.” “Sounds full,” says Davey. “Ha ha. Yeah.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Nine

to a tinkling piano that meanders up and down the scales and in and out the gills and touches here and there the fins of some old standard you can’t quite place but which is familiar as the insouciant compound eye of a blue-tailed fly. At the Battle of Agincourt, a poet once noted, a fly explored the protruding tongue of a young soldier. “Spring came to an earth soaked in blood,” Davey says, “and poppies threw open their skirts and bees poked their little noses into the blue fur suddenly exposed.” He taps the next light on the board,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Eight

couldn’t see myself standing up to you, I mean, not standing up in a bad way, challenging you. I mean. I wanted you to like me. And I thought, what if I say something stupid and shit. What if I have no idea what I’m saying, you know, and I say something totally insane, something batshit crazy, I’ll look like a loon before my Hero!” Davey considers the advice the Rolodex has offered. “The name,” he prompts. “Herodotus! There! Are you happy! Herodotus. Fuck.” The voice is interrupted by sobs. “Give my regards to Antietam,” Davey says softly, then cuts

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Seven

than I’ve had my own number.” As Davey speaks, the Rolodex spins and spins, its cards whitely blurring. With a tap of the finger it comes to a sudden stop and one card faces out. “Damn! Buses and shit. I’m uh I’m. I’m amazed, Davey, you hit it so soundly. You know how to get right to the center of the middle where things are true! That’s exactly why I’ve been such a big fan. And, you know, why I’ve hesitated to call before. Why it’s my first time and all. Confidence. You know what I mean? I just. I

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Six

my manners. I am so totally sorry. My God am I sorry. Mea culpa, man! Mea fucking culpa!” “Hey, hey. Chill. Mellow out. Cool down.” Davey flips open a Rolodex and gives it a spin. “The name is merely a convenience. You are to me but a voice without even a hair or eye color. So let’s back up the bus and pretend like I was waiting at the stop for somebody to descend the narrow bus steps and I didn’t know who that was and suddenly burst forth a fresh face that told me it had known me longer

Monday, November 07, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Five

flash, then another. Davey presses the first. "Hello, caller." "Hey, Davey. Love your show! I've been a listener for 32 years now, haven't missed a night. But I want to take issue with something. Last week you said a newspaper was a rent attitude flight risk with attendant renovation perspectives aligned then misaligned with a neutral mental partnership covered in taller whisks. An angry valence makes murky the subtle button, right?" "I'm sorry, caller, I didn't catch your name." "Oh! Sorry, sorry. This is the first time I've called and I was all ready with my question, that I forgot

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Four

hug. It was very cozy. 'So, what chu bin up to since that thing?' and he gave me a big wink. 'That thing with lightning?' 'No complaints!' I said. 'Great to see you here,' he said, then gave me another big wink. 'Just don't drink the water!' We got a good laugh out of that." A tinkling Hawaiian guitar begins to fill in the sudden silence. "So, listeners, what have you been up to since that thing? You know. Since that thing that hasn't let you go." As Davey is reading off the usual contact info, a button begins to

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Three

spun me round. I was face to face with the seminar leader himself, Mr J, Son of a Gun, Watermeddler, and Life Stirrer, his beard with not a flicker of gray and bushy, his mane calculatedly wild (smelled of balsam), the deep dark brown of his eyes like the hearts of two ancient trees felled by lightning. 'Thunder!' he exclaimed with that hearty hale fellow well met bonhomie I've always liked in confidence men and ladies of the night. It's even better when it's not genuine, you know? 'Jeez!' I exclaimed in return and we gave each other a big

Friday, November 04, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-Two

generally approve of making mistakes, even fiascos, grand spanking embarrassments, I am ready now to realize the error of my making my way here and would like a taxi please.' I thought I might invoke an even higher power but, enough mistakes having already been made, I decided the better part of valor was pushing out through the writhing throng and heading home. Perhaps I was just about at the door, it seemed I had made progress toward egress, I had no intention of closing the gap between myself and the stage, when a strong hand gripped my shoulder and

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty-One

the temptations of the evil, and the other was at the understudy for the regular lead who was usually off on matinees. I'm afraid I laughed at her. My will to live was miffed at being laughed at and shook her finger at me, the red of her nail painting arcs in the passage from being jaded and full of ennui to being dismissive and healthfully cynical. I dropped the half-empty bottle of Jesus Water and raised my hands up to heaven, which was glinting with the facets of acoustic popcorn. 'Oh Lord, deliver me some black coffee, plus

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Fifty

crunkled underfoot and that the canapés tasted oh so delish. The room spun like a dancing girl and Jesus was still up there rallying the troops, urging every one of us to forge ahead on the roadless travel, to seize the day in our octopus gloves, to sally forth, to act, to believe, and so on. I forget what all. By this time my will to live seemed split in two, one half shimmying out in front of me, beckoning with jungle red nails, the other drawing me back with a slender arm around my waist. Perhaps one represented the

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Thousand: Five Hundred Forty-Nine

thought it might be in the canapés, so I had a few of those. I had to wash them down with some of that watered wine, which, it turned out, was watered with something unwine-like all right, something unwine-like and fiery and clear, like vodka or maybe Everclear. I had a few more canapés, which were dry and tacky and cheap. Or so I thought of the first few. After the beverage chased those down I understood why the punch bowl was still deep enough to float a curly-locked moppet and why emptied Jesus brand water bottles