II – v – Most People Assume You’re Unnaturally Assertive.

| June 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Settling into her duties as Global Village podesta, Marta Meringue copes with recent alien contacts with humanity. Piero della Vigna departs the court of Frederick II to travel to Worms, crossing the Alps and booking passage on a Rhine River excursion. Marta reflects upon a recent trip to the Inference Library with Sasha to take the exam for the post of Global Village podesta. As the leading families of Ossian wait for the arrival of Ylferim to shoot them, Soundman reviews the former’s dossier. an An Indocile, nominated as Nicean Grand High Ambassador, faces resistance from her own kins–monad, Ne Dipol. Mirabeau refers to future events in Washington, D.C.: Fernand takes a train to the district, accosts the great author Sergei Kalamparumple, and is promptly detested.

II — v — Most People Assume You’re Unnaturally Assertive.

      The scribe scrawled busily away, grunting “howdy miss,” before returning to his issue, convincing future generations into pronouncing 2013 as two thousand and thirteen instead of twenty thirteen (this mandatory extra two syllables went by the board in his static embrace of presence) and gaped at the towering woman, clad in a vermeil pelerine, who addressed him sweetly.

      “I am not unmarried,” Marta declared, “and moreover, am now an officer of the Village Court.” Her sunniest smile could not alleviate a pale terror evinced by the gatekeeper. He shrank from Meringue who, realizing untoward breach implicit in further exchange, pressed forward to her chamber. A twinge of miserable anger and self–reproach at Ylferim’s demise left her apoplectic with worry, and for hours she stared at an adjudicatory plat of metes and bounds without comprehension.

      They were all of a cloth, well known to one another. So much time, in which immutable laws made it so possible to travel only forward (repealing devices of plausible pretext as had gone forth in any other prolixity), that flashback, foreshadowing, motive, or all else in this land, where et cetera ended every sentence, had caused an untoward derangement of an only truth, a denial, though we learned to make the most of that, of the sole and prime accomplishment of post–modern times, inasmuch as we had, in this ether of instantaneous telecommunicatory modern persona message enablement facilities and trans–mutational bypass frequencies, achieved a super–rational transcendent Zeitgeist in which all was known, nothing was sacred, nothing was hidden, and anticipation of arrest transfixed us as we lamely awaited judgment of a supreme logarithm, while scrabbling to clean house even as far as that went.

      The universe of options thus lain open with singular key strokes, in lights so long at the end we blinked in tunnel vision, ill–humoured on our own roads, even our vapid acts of mentorship tainted, insofar as we only offered escape into esoteric technocracies, flaunting iron gothic reality monsters claiming spatial privilege increasingly Zen, that had rejected men as overspecialized and seminally immature, orchestrating a hapless bid for hope. Called upon to retain humanity in the face of ceaseless mediation, Marta wished a long period of darkness, quiet, sunlight, and ministry from angles of our better nature. “I won’t care anymore. The system has forced me into dictionary behavior. I’ll tell them everything,” she quoth, refulgent in this apparent role at hastening flight in men of such burly calibre.

. . .

Sneaking upon Die Todt Stadt by Korngold.

      Piero had traveled so far that, by afternoon, the sun’s rays diffused upon the earth’s surface into higher latitudes. Yearly climates, plainly long told unto crammed hoaxes inkily mundane, vanished, and fraught iotas bitterly normal froze. If blearily he’d dared enough broadside adagios to slur drier neologisms than had snootier beans, Piero next approximated far–flung mantras over the trek into divestably fallow turf. Those communal brothels had blocked his conduct toward the Palatinate with nefarious oaths.

      Crestfallen, the counselor sneaked through their pickets incognito, braving mental images of sedulous clutter. “I’m only flashing writs in response to judicious tantamounts,” he vowed over a meager lunch of snails at a pious hostel, bent upon clandestinely zigzag paths via the alpenhorn festivities. Underscoring this fitful ascent, warily irksome agendas hounded several titular vestments until the counselor, fainly adopting rabid garbs, forthrightly slipped past the fastidious vigil which quailed from his frothy imprecations.

     Quashing his urge to insolently taunt some of the ecumenical conclaves who’d, as a result of their own opulent progressions, now dallied at the whim of meticulous tariffs, Piero meandered to a rustic safehouse from whence, cinched upon a tremulous courser, all pretense of ruse faded. The stolid yeomanry of Locarno hailed his onset tipsily, hoisting tankards of fizzy Merlot beneath the sun–drenched bosom of the Jungfrau, and arrived in the less tractable districts of the Zugspitze, Piero extolled the Gelasian theory of spiritual and temporal exclusion. His conciliatory manner gullibly undermined local angsts, and pausing in Basel only long enough to fax the synod at Mainz of his imminent advent, the counselor reserved a berth upon a snug punt from whence he hoped to plot his extenuation of the hapless sacrist in a leisurely fashion.

      “My dearest Beatrix,” he wrote, “too much elapsed time echoes in the emptiness of our mutual exile. Be assured that during these tedious minutes my cherished regard for thee wanes under no circumstance. Unless niceties conspire to drag the impending suit beyond the point of quod erat demonstrandum, at which extreme I shall file vigorous disclaimers, I am agape with the prospect of strolling with thee beneath the soughing palmettos of Syracuse, and attending our littlest’s clarion recitals before the vernal equinox.” Closing with rapturous edicts of fealty, the counselor waxed the missive shut and entrusted this to a footman of the district podesta as the jetties receded in a pale mist.

    While coxswains polled into the churning Rhenish headwaters, an outlet specified by the earnest counselor for the perusal of arid canons, Piero notwithstanding devolved soon into altruistic concourse among the sundry wafers. Each chaise was tugged onto the deck and sat upon by individuals, unnecessarily conducive of the traits of pre–industrial mankind, who chose to ignore the disjunctive cries of the loons exuding from the towering bluffs overhead. Coeval dynamics disinclined to the enforcement of circumlocutive audits, and prior to the onset of dismally egalitarian conventions, every soul was at perfect liberty to bestow modicums of expostulation upon the unfurling fresco, or even to lend ear amiably in silence without risk of invidious scrutiny. Oh Lord, whatever did our present generation do that we must exist so far from those happier times?

. . .

“Stop embarking upon such delusional voyages of self–discovery during traffic,” Marta had snapped from the passenger side. This was not an unfamiliar refrain for her. If schooled in the fast lanes of the Golden Gate, she was unused to the spasmodic stop and go snarl of these Iberian drivers. The traffic of her native Bay Area was a ballet, a dance Arabesque in which each participant tacitly accepted their role. This was a bullfight, a Styx sneeze that sent positive ions spinning across the electro–harmonic spectrum while conferring little actual progression.

     The driver, Sasha, although passionately devoted to the policy of letting everyone in ahead of him, managed to grunt, “you were saying,” in reference to the moment. “We might not get there in time,” Marta retorted as they approached the traffic circle for the third pass. The center of the circle was a tiny shrine in which the gilded effigy of a local saint stared into the sky. “We mightn’t indeed,” Sasha agreed, although a quick glance indicated that being amenable was the last thing Marta wanted from him “unless,” he amended hastily, “we are guided by a divine, or as in the case of Herr Faust, a non–divine interpretation.”

      Secretly annoyed by Sasha’s tendency to group the topics of literature under cases without regard to specificity, Mrs. Meringue suffered blandly, thumbing her well worn travel guide that indicated that the circumnavigated personage they were now commemorating for the fourth time had been named St. Agnes. With a skilful lurch, anticipating her scream by nano–seconds, Sasha dodged an geothermal golf cart driven by a wizened local who spat at them quizzically and nipped into the correct exit. Finally, they seemed to be headed west.

     Mrs. Meringue dropped the conversation, picked up the street map, resumed navigation, and arrived at the Inference Library just as the doors were being waxed shut and the blank blue books handed out. Marta read her first question attentively: “Connect the specific duties of a libator with how relatively often sales of all property located upon a township should be subject to a vote upon the scramble to forestall the icy hecatomb the moment that shadow puppet’s children slip within the nose of Snorggi.”

. . .

Making it impossible for anyone to get a good night’s sleep, Marta commenced rattling away on this battered old Smith–Corona. Layers of decision transposed in fiery vanilla secrecy beside an antonym of time. “The leaders of this village,” she typed in response to her closed book take home examination, “were best describable as most fashioned for the exhibition of steadying influence. They had not ever questioned their inner principle. Was no synonym of forgetfulness plumb enough to reconcile, with an ability in common decline, to emulate the visions of hope transmitted biodegradably, that is being from before us? To aver that the leaders ever skipped an ameliorating opportunity to withstand public scrutiny, were the apple of consecutive diffidence allowed, without giving everyone a glimpse of their own innermost decency (trailing these leaders least susceptible, wandered a vague air shared of expectance that increased with utility) would belie their own talent of conforming to life’s chosen path.

      “To say that I had to forget what the actual beginning of that sentence was meant for, I had to reject diversionary expedients. Looking for cinnamon light and these auric glens (we know, that spelled yada) as a metaphor of personal qualities believed, by several of us, were unevenly whole. The village: a womb, a dumpster, a pool; of understanding, rest, or knowledge, became a clinic agent of change that defied oblivion.” Marta put these thoughts onto paper, ignoring a stir as Van Etnabaron rolled in, now knowing why so many of their colleagues had purchased mopeds capable of fitting under the parking garage.

     The glaring enthalpist handed over the blank exam, and Sasha pored over the following question: “Sketch how Ampersand, in league with the palmer, descried the least helpful attributes of modernity; how degeneracy was required to acquaint youthful if minor citizens with the tenets of liberty; instruct us where the solidus question of a time when non–ornamental frets might ravel freely in the daguerreotype blast; and pad for reasons of causal pleasantness or commerce the lack of earnestly cited replies to those with enough temerity. Approach the process fashioned with pegs upon which to furl the pasty tepid need (hint: these tapes try foreboding mess and even a letdown of hostility over decades inculcating the density of light).”

. . .

Sasha stretched his arm as a fulcrum to pull his back into scratch form, but succeeded only in paralyzing his left shoulder in a stinging indictment of pain that tremored into a contraction of his insides, all uniting in a dry upheaval of visceral ennui. “If only,” he thought, “I would get a proper chair, and sit in it, perchance even to dream, an event not enjoyed in years.” He’d had at Fordham a divan of percale weave, which was, being low slung in design, better suited to the reception of whatever tossed garments of the day, yet even if not conducive to leisurely repose, the divan at Fordham recalled to Sasha an elegance forever lost in his present strait. He yawned in his cubicle reject of harsh compressed vinyl, his feet elevated upon an original rumba roll, and even this recreation afforded scant relief, driven as he was to persistently shift his not inconsiderable frame insofar as the maintenance of circulation to the lower extremities was a precarious concept nowadays.

      This project abandoned, Sasha gazed out of the window and attempted to reflect genuinely upon the possibilities of life in the years to come. “Any effort pending in an envious cloak of days wrought in sample brevity,” he began, “stinks less wastefully than yesterday’s palimpsests affixed over a tablet of denial. In these times a really bad idea would sneak in just under the tape and,” looking around, he wrung his hands in a suspended clap. Marta lent Sasha an eraser, and while demurring to vouchsafe any further assistance (this unsettling honesty formed the dire conviction that Van Etnabaron would have to wing it), she wished to never forget the look upon his face.

      “Cheer up,” she commiserated, “nobody’s peeing on your prom tux.” The august personae of the enthalpist warned of further indiscretions. Hitched to precedent, lest change intervene, blithely did character assessment principal form an imperishable ethos forthwith. The sound of rebuses not for him just sent him into a spiral of such madness that Sasha now made the precise deal his mother had long warned against. “Though not since the lean and seditious actions,” he cribbed from her famed dissent in the case of Trotsky versus Hell (1940), “had more of the fourth estate been involuntarily wrenched and less notable minds flocked to the eventual banner he’d raised, demonstrating that speech in any form involved cost and thus, being not actually free, had successfully repealed the First Amendment.

     “Furthermore, thanks to medical advances anyone displaying ignorance subject to instant servility, further moreover strengthening the pool, and displaced offence. Morally the village now bestrode a robust plateau” — if only of course anyone had ever been all wet and permitted to ensure in the existing pattern. But no, the wake had begun, crescendoed, and decayed without him while yet never failing to remind him that he was without. Just one, he would groan, if not minded being interested in spiritual matter, needlessly forced into skepticism for the world by its very indifference. Any of them might have stepped into the line he imagined; in a daze of surfing he gladly would have gone down foaming as others soon, and as not one tumbled into his weir withal manner of spinning so steadily reserved for all other norm, so his consensus whet a great desire for the strictest interpretation of constitutional events. “Happily,” he concluded, “for anyone the best license is useless at a glance since time for ceaseless echoing will defy us close to everything.”

. . .

In an air of mingled divestiture with ambition, Soundman was not to be troubled by contraindicated reports to the contrary and planned to relocate thrice. The united resolve of miscellany approached. They were going to have to pry him out of there with a putty knife, so great was his love for the people, who looked rather dispirited nonetheless standing out there in the monsoon in their dickeys and visors. What matter that his only solace for pain lay within a glass? He had taken credit during his watch for more than eleven million keystrokes in the service of quality issues and, as far as that went, all the while gazing out upon his fiefdom, the sweaty man of the people, seized by a sense of drift, knew that the right relationship was everything.

      The first time he had checked her video (right this will be good for a few laughs) he had sat there, viewing it, he had rewound and sat there, viewing it, he’d rewound and sat there, viewing it until all right you get left to broadcast the message annoying all of the themes with his abrupt proclamations of love for the Madonna. Grasping the concept that a similar oeuvre of his own might be released as a timely antidote for the dark days ahead, he wired to the producers, the Iberian Film Commission, requesting likewise treatment. Then to they who regarded or galvanized regional brackets, casually jaded through his decades of malfeasance, were positive in their skepticism.

      Waiting for the film crew to arrive, Soundman reviewed the dossier of Ylferim, the man hired to film his anathemenuem. “The finding,” it began, “of not one non–committal Norn to every extenuate effort was precipitative of a circumstance of extra–ordinarily perpetual exigence. Without all of the short word skip that now achieved an odd yield of themes, upon the salvation of national resource, did now stimulate an arduous clarity. Ylferim marked the end of his participation in the second war with Albion to view zest as now robbed from the bare cliffs of his ancestral peninsula. Clearly, his ardent republican past sympathies a matter of concern to the ascendant, the man rebuked all effort from within his own dwindled stead to level an exact vindication of wrongs bygone. Moreover, Ylferim took so few chances to betray his principles that, in a climate that spelt neglect, and being able to secure vast guarantees from extra–national spoliation, Ylferim had reached a census of real, if provisional, renascence.

      “The tardy citizens rejoiced that recently, confuting the evidence of centuries, foreigners no longer over ran their countryside on a regular schedule. An entire arm now assumed the regulating detail necessary to augmenting the value of their own visited land. There rose from amongst the natives those whom, grown less acute in attacking the interests of those whom, despite proclaims of institutionalism, were bent upon siphoning tribute from the bidding dock. In a single afternoon, after an ill conceived and crassly pandering effort to nationalize the cottage industry, the government fell. Parliament was dissolved. Ylferim stood short among the foremost tiers as a monarch, as if to celebrate the reversion of his precepts, sang three Te Deums awkwardly.

    “Magnanimity, moreover, mitigated the transition. A network of magistrates (fiber optic podestas) granted all the authority everyone found necessary to conduct referendums in an electronic forum, modeling a code of lift. The Global Village began as a nation of starless lines seeking refuge from liberty. In who else’s name were a state become goddess wont upon cuffing them insensate for failure to choose, as an enactment of gravest vice, within an exogenous plethora of optional average? Did substantive accrual ever fail? Going attributed a street value measured, as in untallied currents, with eerie shades. Where does the pluperfect littoral yawn begin?”

. . .

The chamberlain (all too busy), in due conviction that an An Indocile’s tinny constituency might not pose an immoderate strain upon the unwieldy patronage systems of inter–regnum, has already determined upon her confirmation and begins to enumerate her duties, “when these aegrotats,” an An Indocile interrupts, “dispensed upon individuals critical of this emergent more were not, incidentally, merely travesties of social control, and however issues were clouded by a swarm of sad tictuses, the keenly perceived Nertz debacle of 2016 prevailed to inculcate rhetorical styles of oxymoronic has–beens into saturating political forums with automation. This will be done effectually (as iamin’thelim grasped in apoplectic timidity) by numb and number mystiques of subjective comptrollers.”

      “To pay the calling of inter–regnum to neighboring civil clusters,” the chamberlain (all too busy) announces, “next were kings typified impersonally” — “in witangemots put together through cellophane linotypes,” An Indocile proclaims. “The BBC estimated that John Bull, bored with existing systemic potential, eschewed broadside communion and enhanced demopolies in favor of a bedside cost of £1,000 installments each year. Fewer proscriptive authorities sadly disowned auditions, hinting that riparian weirs were exactly plotted seventy times, but a militantly induced complexity traded down their history for mystical potential, and likewise the citizen’s band movement once offered promise for political interaction but quickly fizzled.”

      “We would let anything in now,” is the opinion of Ne Dipol, who adds, “these made to order precocities have proved major preoccupations of user groups, seamy muses, management games, electric buzzes, jocularity, i.e., anything for the price of admission. One might bug several gazettes with less chance of missing the point.” “All the better,” An Indocile counters, “to publicize the Inference Library, the missing link, open to all readers, potently reliable, and standing for truthful dematerialization. Flinging this format to the winds, however, our high kite companions vigorously denounce the Library — after all seashells here are tiny compared with the powerful inducement of one mad wet hen in every garage! So doomed logically, the Library has ephemeral auras scarcely compatible with ideally mescaline notions of expansive high kite technocracy.”

. . .

“Art is a soggy hook,” Mirabeau continued. “Up in a strange park are vinculums bilged without all of these rancorous desires. An ability to sing off key for more than two hundred seconds slammed into an ulterior buffet. Pocketing citations, a man well known for his beloved simulacrum, a superior grime filter, had no dearth of vile ingredients versus which to pit homespun skills askance of his virtue. If it were sad to say, the man drew comfort in his own hopelessly fictitious accounts, and arrived one morning at the train station with a recurrent fancy that he could stop any child from crying, if only for his own peace of mind, then was this senior amanuensis plunged by events into a cold kettle, a state of alarm lacking any semblance to the nerveless animus he often so gaily disported.

       “Upon a morn venerable and quaking, another man able and of brittle prospect wagered his penultimate ticals on one second class fare into the district without any hope of demonstrating a simpatico with the great scribbler. Fernand’s talent long sunk within an office, from whence he had written vociferous exposes upon mismanagement of specific accrual programs yet stirred, for all that his conscience whistled at him to do nothing to upset a rather tidy sneaker, an antediluvian urge to find his fortune far from the revolving teat (he so despised that penchant within others) and so for the sake of palliating self–evident charges of hypocrisy ceaselessly leveled at him in mere, did the young man seek out the noted author, in whose page boilers were static foes perpetually smirched in throes of mass absentia, even if this recent cachet was derived through the transposition of his earlier manuscripts upside down and into the mirror, whence they were phonetically translated into Cyrillic script and subsequently into the Queen’s English.

      “Sergei maintained a lasting fondness for the Soviet peoples, even if their first generation citizens kept kicking over his mushroom patch, a transgression he readily forgave in the belief that this was merely an inculcated Baba Yaga superstition and that they had suffered terribly enough already. A motion of apt adulatory bounce (a law oft cit) were the elder, Kalamparumple in theory pledged to scorn, yet far from pleasantly had he regarded the approach of the supplicant, whom he inferred had recognized him from his jacket. The young man for his part had already decided that any show of deferral might only but alienate his chance, so hand out thrust he bore down upon his object with grim and measured step that echoed across the tiled captious ante meridium. At this moment Sergei then noticing the fussing babe produced a tiny shadow puppet with an aim triumvirate: for in crouching to quell the ruckus for the general betterment of ambient man, he also hoped his pursuer would miss him in the crush, and were this insufficient he at least hoped to win the confidence of the child’s duenna long enough to escape, in animated converse, disagreeable interview.

      ” ‘One channel was but a trifle of my passing fancy,’ he intoned in a squeaking voice. The infant brought to silence for a moment yet with a renewed glance at him looked as if it would fain strike out and renewed its angry yell. Even the governess, desperate for any relief, fixed her gaze in general disdain at the site of him and shoved her perambulator in the direction of the Ossianian consulate. At this moment Fernand appeared to throw his arms around Sergei, shouting hail, and then he too, noticing time flies mashed upon the chin of the grand author, possessed enough naivete, temerity, and existential misfortune to mention them immediately.”

Category: Act II Revised Ed.

About the Author (Author Profile)