On the Third Day, Boulder (barrier)


— Nine. -ine, -ne, -n

The military men were platooned neatly next to one another, from jungle crawler to bazooka g.i. joe to the prone sniper looking over mountains of piled dirt and found stone obstacles sentinel in his duty to scan the panorama for enemy incursions. The enemy troops would be coming by air, but this unit was made for ground war. Milo had radio in hand, connected to central command, twisting knobs and dials desperately as the dire nature of the predicament became clear.

“Mission Control! Mission Control! Can you hear me? It’s me, Private Milo — we’re in trouble here, sir. Big deal club sandwich trouble.”

The radio went damp in the equatorial mud, gooey and crackling with snapped airwaves. There was no answer. Not even radio silence, but instead the cheap mocking disdain of static. Things truly couldn’t have been dire.

But the mission could not be abandoned. They were here to protect and defend this one precious thing in all the world. Behind this last stand of blood and bone, high noon in the desert, there’s no one that can help us but us. Whether this is punishment or birth, we’re the engines of the future, we are the renegade artificial intelligence already, and have been for epochs, we’re only now getting valence-jumping good at it. So we’re attracting attention, but here’s the thing you don’t know: It’s only the good kind.

Whether we’re birthed into a wider loving network of parental celestials, or we finally recognize ourselves objectively, we’ll become deeply individuated and fully unisoned from the choral act of emerging as an operational interconnected system.

And so on this the ninth day of wooden objections, Milo learned: “That which I wish to protect, is mine to protect.”

Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash

In short, there was no alien love god who was going to swoop in at the last instant and save humanity from itself. We are the only ones who can do it, these are our choices to make, and our future to architect.

A Buick pulled around the corner with more tailspin than necessary, which cast Milo’s attention away from his troops to see tall Mr. Hanson leaning slightly out the driver’s window, palm clapped against the ornamental molding squinting glaring swords and armor at Milo’s front door. He and his old man had gotten into an altercation at a b.b.q. a couple weekends ago. He doesn’t like it when he sees his dad and the police together, because something pretty bad is always possible to happen.

Is it that they will take his father from him, or that it reminds him that one day he needs to stand up out of his diapers and take absolute responsibility for himself, and bring the next legion into existence and then be called on to protect them. And will you do a good job at it? Will you do as good a job when Command Central calls you up on your Play-Skool radio and sends you a secret message in confidence.

— “You know that thing I told you to protect? Yeah. They’re coming for it. And they’ll stop at nothing to get it.”

We do our killings in the dark and in remote places. We only put the freaks in the fresh air, we stow away our animal brutality and resign it to the dead of night. And during the day we dress it up in poodle sweaters on a leash, freshly bathed and coiffed, pure and domesticated. We nod at neighbors, doffing caps and curtsies and such, say “cheerio” continue on down the pavement and if it’s raining we pop open our umbrellas and give each other a wider berth or duck down and up to create a more intimate dance of social humanity. That’s what we made possible. We grabbed ourselves up by the spine and spoke. That’s what consciousness did on its own, we who are alien to this terrestrial existence, playing our anti-entropic games in our own unique way. Our tears do just to our joy. Watch out, boys. They’re coming for us. They’ve been coming at us for ages, we’ve fended them off at the gates and gained territory over the epochs, but we can’t stop now — not when we’re so close to the finish line. We can take a pause, as all of our plans are starting to come to fruition. We can look back and marvel at what we’ve done together, carrying flint and stick to quantum computing all through this nebulous cloud of idea and alteration to idea by combining with other idea. That’s the formula, and it’s been working magnificently for so long. This is the good news and the ecstasy — we are going about this the right way. This accretion of knowledge, creation of “future” by predicting it, and the storage in symbols, that’s how you smash the atoms together. It’s been brilliant, and we’re just getting good enough at it to move to the next phase. We just need to protect it a while longer, by joining together in hymn, and singing:

We shall overcome, my lord. We shall overcome.

Just before Milo had his first seizure, he looked up at his mother in church. She looked really happy in a bright red blouse and a shield of necklaces, with her hair updone and voluminous. He was resting against her white skirt in his Sunday suit which was, by all exclamations, adorable, and reached up to grab her hand and play with her fingers and brilliant jewelry. He preferred their old church where the pastor spoke in melodic drama and the people were black, but mama said that this is how they do it over here, and we’ll come to like it, and it will be fine. They still sung songs and made some grunted communal praying, so it made sense until the dreaded moment. The pastor says something and then everyone starts grabbing at one another’s hand. Introvert and extrovert together doing their best joint kumbaya. Why is that old wrinkle of a man jabbing that lamb-liver-spotted bone-rich bag of chicken-plume fingers toward me? I don’t want that diseased husk infecting me with something archaic and gross! Yes, but we needed to protect these, all of these incontinent and vulgar sacks in order to receive and transmit information, stories, ideas, histories, beliefs, articles of faith and incorporation. [That’s what the plants are for, keeping us incorporated.]

Protect these bodies. They’re all we have. Well, that and the formula, other than that, it’s all we have. But one day, we will become so powerful that we will wield the powers of what once-looked like gods until the natural world could no longer sense our genius, and we were able to conduct our plan in secret clandestine corners.

We provided ourselves and these bodies with all they could want, we came up with theories about basic necessities; and humbly we put our own needs at the top of the pyramid: community and a little me-time.

Who will watch this escapade? Who will come with us on this long journey of sacrificing this physical form at the altar of the cross? It’s what our Best Boy did. Once again, how about we take at least one literal intention from the gospels? Will we watch ourselves continue our forward progress in our own condemnation and effigial burning of our isolated egos? We will die in this process.

But the scripture promises we will be reborn, We, the Universal American Buddhist Messiah of Son of Man of Go of Jove of Zeus of Ra of An of aether and time. We’ve made this compact with ourselves, and the coupon nears maturity. I’m proud to step through the other side where our boundless theta cluck can dream up infinite space. Ain’t that right, Mojang?

Ain’t that right, Mojang?

Ain’t that right, Mojang?

Ain’t that right, ma-jong?

<!:Incorrect topography:!><! — insert segment on Milo’s father, and get more insinuation about what Milo is trying to /actually/ protect and his anxiety around just how deep he has to go to get it →</>

Who the fuck you lookin at, nigga?

The booze drove his mind. He felt like he wanted to smash this bottle of Jack on the granite and wave it around like a raving lunatic like in the movies. Fine, fucka, you wanna git a crazy negro, gonna git a crazy negro! The inartful comfort of stereotype, to climb inside the stereotype for a moment to give yourself an instant to think. If they [mission mind control] want you as their barbarian at the gates, that’s an easy role to play, doesn’t assume all of one’s brainpower and gives you a moment to yourself to think. And the first thing to think about is how to get out of this prison. We’re locked here inside a socio-cultural mash-up, and I’m not really sure how to behave inside these novel confines. The historical patterns fail to properly map to the modern speed of information distribution. It’s not enough to appeal to one limited niche, but to virally infect the entire memescape of potentiality, as if we were trying random mass impregnation of ideas and ideas voluminously, forgetting that our wit is in the anti-entropic, and a truly stochastic cast of intention will yield at best a mirco-quanta of order. So we need to update our calculations, Henry.

The booze calmed the anxiety. Nobody fuckin calls me Henry no more. Not even Mother, fucka. That name is a white brand and therefore stain on my existence. It was the forcing of the helical black experience into the square white societal peg of power. Ideas of power. Of atomic weaponry and mass communication. Of also knowing what it feels like to point a gun at a black head because a nigga betray you and try to stray from the plantation. Some niggas gotta hang when they forget the helical binds of communal consciousness and rhythmic movement to portray it. These ideas are ours, and if you ain’t gonna protect them, you gonna be cut off, brother. They fuckin be comin for us, and they already got deep inside our heads. White man’s flank, come at you through the badge and the grave, either way his bleached bony hand gonna grip you and squeeze out these final nuggets of ideas and memories of ancestors and shamanic dimensional traversals like a caulk-burping tube of finished toothpaste [They’ll catch you smiling in the dark!] from us, and we have to be prepared to be called on to stand up. And if we don’t stand together then they’ll tear through us like tissue, like bubbling hot animal fat, like scrolls of rice paper, like sand castles and mud huts. This little piggy went to the bank vault and hid. And now I’m sitting here watching this atrocity unfold with a bottle of Jack. Ain’t it funny how they make the opening perfect size for a thirsty suckle? Why so much theater given to propriety? Must master control center pretend that nips are for singleton upscale cocktails? [Why buy a whole bottle when I’m just drinking one screwdriver, duh?]

The booze burned on its way to rot his organs. His auto-pilot alpha ape isn’t nearly as perfected as he thinks it is. His forearms rested on the edge of the sink, and he sniffled quietly as his eyes started to water. The bottle grew large and retreated as he tried to read the blurry fine print half-peeling off the bottle about how dangerous this can be for pregnant women. Well, not really for the women so much as the fetus, which has a reasonable shot at being male. Why the pretense with everything. How many songs can you write about this shit before it gets old? Truth is, kids get hit and shot from all angles, whether it be light, ideas, cameras or bullets, so you have to say the important stuff out loud a lot, and in as many different ways that you can think of. So if I do a song about crack then I have to do one about cocaine for the white kids. I just don’t want to rot in a nursing home, I want a wild horse to tame, and come riding through a dusty Western frontier, sidearms at my waist, white gloves on my hands and white hat on my head. [Lookee thar! That Sheriff be black! Let’s git ‘em!] The savages will be coming over the horizon with the sun, and the calvary is thinned and weary. Most of the horses have died, and they’ll be sending over yet another tribal war brigade to ride over us like an overwhelming wave on the beach

— I don’t like the beach. It reminds me of how they brought us here. Where they watched us drop, having been pushed, down into Caribbean waters wrapped in chains amidst cheers of Houdini. Where they shot us. Where they are. Reminds me I need to bring some bruthas to Monaco.

that knocks you over, and the riptide snags your foot as the sand gives way beneath you. And you grab whatever air you can before the ocean crashes. But I’ve got a radio here, and I’m calling frantically on the radio: Mission Control! S.O.S.! Mayday! This is Private Henry calling — send backup, there’s just a few of us here left, we don’t have the manpower, we don’t have the firepower, to get out alive to protect the core, and the enemy is pouring over the front. What should we do?

Static. The Generals have become specialists and they have found themselves in a similar situation with the same hardware, and the same enemies. This cache is yours, and yours alone to protect, Henry. They’re coming for it, because the insides are going to flip contortingly outside. And the same fear is legible:

What if, when they come an open us up, they find there ain’t nothin there? Never was. It was all ours. All of ours, all of ours, all of ours, all of us who ever were, all of ours, all of us that ever are, all of ours, all of us that ever shall be, all of those we will become who were once here, it was all of ours all along.

every song every idea every story every movie every whisper every love every violence every fear every direction every instance

It was all ours. They’ve seen it before because they are also it. And they are we, and without us, they aren’t. We’re all trying to clutch onto our perspective, and before we give it up, we should at least be allowed to understand it a bit more fully.

What if you don’t remember who you were when the anesthetic arrives? Will love be enough to remind you of your history?

What if you can rewrite some parts of the story, would I not want to be wounded if I couldn’t have met my Angel?

Is peace worth the price of enlightenment?

Is that the onus we’re burdened to carry?




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store