07 April 2024

On Lists &List-Making

"Whose list is this?" you wonder in whisper. &Where the fuck am I? your mind whispers. The list sits loose between your fingers; you read it again.

Maybe it's not me, you console yourself; It's a common name, you decide.

"But is it?" you ask aloud, &then you start pacing.

"It is, but it isn't," you work out, "Cause, like, is this my list or am I an item on this list?" You stop cause something's in your shoe. You wriggle the thing free.

"If it's my list, then someone slipped it in my pocket?" you ask nobody in particular as you are alone, in a cold, dark cave, lined in ice, lit by a small wood fire. But you don't remember ever acquiring this particular list, so, "If I'm a line item on this list, what the fuck?" you shout, incensed at the thought, your voice echoing, echoing, echoing in the hollow cave.

"And where the fuck even am I?" you realize. Maybe I'm dreaming? Goddamn. You reach your hand out to the fire, No, fire's hot

"But..." you realize, "I am not cold, and I feel like I should be cold?" And why don't I remember anything? "No, I do remember, except that I'm not sure I should say what I remember aloud or even think it in my mind," you admit as you look over your shoulder at me. "What?" I ask, innocent. "I can hear you," you insist. "Hear what?" I challenge. You roll your eyes, "You're doing it, right now!" "Doing what?!" "Narrating!" 


The sun shines bright on a beautiful spring day on the horizon of the older woman's living quarters upon The Orbital, and as the squirrel, araft upon a thing of its own design and making, rides the creek—meandering, deeply, for the entirety of this day in a shallow valley through a forest—the creek opens out into a swaying field, and off in the distance the squirrel sees the middlemost peak where the three peaks meet, and at the base of the middlemost peak, the squirrel can see the green green hillside of the Listmaker's Ranch. 

The squirrel will not make it all the way to the Ranch by nightfall, and so, it sets up camp on the edge of the creek where it butts up nicely against a swaying field.


and then it poured

for an entire week it rained

and then it rained more


"One leaf died last week," the dragonfly informs, "And another will die in the next week or two, and so, I know that you are not from when I am from." The squirrel looks embarrassed, "I'ma squirrel. I'm obviously not from whenever this is that we are now." Confident, like all dragonflies, the dragonfly rolls its eyes, "Obviously." "So, should I pay you your $5 now for the analysis, or...?" squirrel goads. Above all of this nonsense, the dragonfly flies away.


The squirrel prepares itself a joint and simmers on a stone as the sun sets slowly behind the middlemost peak where the three peaks meet, and as the creek splashes softly by, the squirrel jots down a short mental list of the various things it would very muchly enjoy eating, that should be readily available along its journey to the Ranch. The squirrel takes another big toke and enjoys its life as it watches the sky turn from sunset hues to vast darkness sprinkled with specks of shimmery dust.