What to do next

The situation is, I agree, desperate. But fortunately I know the proper way to proceed. That is why I am giving you these instructions. They will save your life. First, persuade yourself that the situation is not desperate (my instructions will save your life only if you have not already hopelessly compromised it by listening to the instructions of others, or to the whispers of your heart, which is in itself suspect, in that is has been taught how to behave – how to whisper even – by the very culture that has produced the desperate situation).
First, wear that mouth cap. If you don't have a mouth cap, go make one yourself. Be creative. Use any and all materials that you can find in and around your house. Dental dams, baseball caps, etcetera. If you are an aesthetic: it's not a good time to be an aesthetic. Save your aesthetics for another era. Breathing beats art, if you want to know my opinion.
Next: ear plugs. Self-explanatory. Ear plugs are ideal if you need to zone out the chatter and noise of your loved ones.
Optional: tampons up your nose. (Or, if you prefer, tape recorders up your brother's nose.) This has the clear advantage of cancelling out your smell, which can be a good thing if your fellow residents are smelly, but it can also be a bad thing. For instance, when you forgot to turn off the gas and are simultaneously trying to light a candle (here's my advice: skip the candles. Save your candles for black outs).
Finally, go wear that eye mask that you bought on the internet ages ago when it looked like a sensible thing to buy (it wasn't and you forgot about it). Take it out of that drawer filled with stuff. Lie on your back and put it on.
Now is the time to let the time do its work.
Repeat after me, mentally: I am the virus. I am the virus. I am the virus.
Silence and darkness and clean air will be the answer to all your questions.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Eelco Janzen, een zelfverklaarde digibeet, schrijft:

    Goedemiddag Viktor,

    Ik ben (ook ?) een fan van de boeken van Donald Barthelme, maar uitgerekend de (gehavende) Amateurs die je toont heb ik nooit gevonden (tweedehands).

    Wel heb ik:

    Come Back, Dr. Caliagari
    Snow White
    Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts
    City Life
    The Dead Father
    Overnight to Many Cities
    The King

    Het is (helaas ?) lang geleden dat ik ze gelezen heb en ik herinner me ze niet zo heel goed meer, maar wel dat the Dead Father behoorlijk "heavy" vond...

    eelco janzen

  2. Eelco, ik ben nooit verder gekomen dan Amateurs. Dead father klinkt wel als een boek dat ik graag zou willen lezen, itt bijvoorbeeld Snow White. Zoals bij alle satire, en zeker Amerikaanse, bestaat het gevaar dat het al snel 'flauw' dan wel 'melig' wordt. Maar Barthelme durft tenminste te experimenteren in zijn teksten en dat is al heel wat. Waar zie je dat nog, heden ten dage?


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