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Wednesday
Jun292011

Singularity

One word can spark a new idea. It can bring out a thought or action a person did not previously expect. It doesn't matter what the word is, once it hits a person, it stays there like a virus until something is done to anesthetize it. A dear friend in Toronto, Canada was watching herself in the mirror one day as she brushed her teeth. As she was doing so, she heard the word "breather" from somewhere in the back of her mind. She continued the idiosyncrasies of the typical day, but every so often her mind would hear "breather." This did not startle her; just a growing curiousity developed throughout the day. Returning home that evening, she sat down and thought about the word over and over in her head. "Breather. Breather. Breather." She thought of the meaning and decided that something was telling her that she might need to take a break from her routine. A week later, she bought a ticket to Seattle, Washington and went on a three week bike tour from the Pacific Northwest to Anchorage, Alaska. She told me it was one of the best decisions of her life.

I do not know if this same thought process inspired John Costa to write "Deimos." But I do know that one word shaped the story he wrote. Starting with a single word, he was able to create something greater that shaped into a brilliant story.

 

“The thieves came in through the day dream door, numeric order known to no one.” The Paranoiac said to the Suicide King, to himself.

            Deimos is that place you go. You don’t remember how you got there, but once you’ve been and turned back, something has indefinitely changed and will never be quite be the same.

            The second moon of Mars, a crooked little satellite, the Greek word for dread and panic.

            Deimos, similar to a black hole of sorts, an unknown of loose wires and orbital decadence, open valleys of emotionless and mind numbing fear.

            Deimos; a pen name, a tag, a handle, something never should have been taken. Little did he know at the time the power of the word itself.

            Deimos always wore the same thing; black pants and a black and yellow shirt of the schematics of a broken machine with a diagram of the Babylonian triangle of captivity. Converse skate shoes.

            He lived in California.

            When he went out he’d throw on a hoodie and ride a green BMX. He’d painted it with spray paint one summer.

            There were winds of darkness, stars cut across lines of the night sky through which navigation would be literally absurd to attempt any sort of calculation, so minute and precise in their randomly entropic detail. Orbiting, a graph of such a chart would simply be called unsolvable or void.

            He rambled on Epiphany, a holiday in early January; he knew what it meant.

            The times were slowing down for him, a simple reminder of how life can be full of wonder and mystery.

            Epiphany was a great day in winter, the sun came out over a cool fog and shone down hard on the pavement.

            Deimos rode the green BMX around town.

            Speeding like a missile with the wind flowing, he felt like king.

            Deimos woke up one morning, blinded by the smell of coffee brewing.

            He looked out the window of the flat; it was dark out.

            Lines cut across his wrists, like cross hatches or a jagged ladder climbing nowhere.

            Scar.

            He didn’t know why.

            Something about a machine being broken.

            The blade shining in the light of his eyes had contrasted the darkness of the blood. Scar.

            He scratched his head grappled with the spoon and coffee, sugar.

            He stood upon the blue Universal Unabridged Dictionary he’d tossed on the floor some time earlier like the book was a podium, and gave a slurred speech to no one in particular ending in the word “DEIMOS.”

            Then he bowed a thank you and sipped his coffee.

            There was a general haziness about him this time around.

            One thing was that the music always blared twenty four hours a day.

            The structure he lived in was very old, it must have been used for a bomb shelter when it was originally built. There was an odd ventilation system and there also seemed to be a lot of the signs on the walls which led him to believe it may have been a bar or hotel previously.

            It was a decent place, but he’d hope to move up.

            The windows were harsh and difficult to open, you couldn’t see through them very well, they were covered with stream lines and caked with dust.

            The floor was covered in books and loose papers, he was working on putting together a project of sorts.

            He sat at the desk and pulled out a cell phone and started to tovel, a term from Japan meaning to text message a novel. He hadn’t gotten very far but he liked the idea so he rolled with it.

            He sipped his coffee and pulled out an 80mg oxycontin from a box and put it in his mouth.

            He let the blue film coating on the outside melt on his tongue.

            He pulled it out and wiped it with a paper towel.

            Then he took out a fifty dollar bill and crushed the pill under it with a lighter with the suicide king of hearts on it.

            The powder lay on the desk and he cut it up into a line with an over balanced credit card.

            He rolled up the fifty dollar bill and put the powder up his nose through the dead face of Grant.

            In awe he leaned back in his chair then got up and lay on the floor.

            Which is where he lay for over an hour with his limbs stretched out like an X.

            Light flickered.

            Night crept out through the window.

            Time seemed irrelevant, he never knew whether it was night or day anymore.

            It’s all just eternal moments when you‘re high.

            He got up.

            He had his cake and ate it too.

            A psychedelic breakfast with a banana, cake, and coffee in the dark early dawn, he knew there were others like him all around; nocturnal night crawlers who would roll out of bed in the middle of the night for breakfast and do there routine then, he knew that he was not the only one.

            The music was the “autonomous rock-out machine” and had a life of its own.

            He tried to turn it down but the wires went hay wire and would just go up and the volume remained neutral, it liked to play itself loud.

            Right then it was blaring a thirty minute piece of symphonic post rock. At times the song would crescendo so loud the walls would shake and at others there were minute gaps of silence and feed back. The equalizer was acting up. Leave electronics on long enough they take a life of their own.

            He opened the door,

            The wind felt cool but there was an emptiness in space.

            The stars just weren’t there, just a flat cool black sky strewn across nothingness.

            Street lamps and the cross from the church across the street.

            It felt like a black hole or that time right before an earthquake when everything stands still.

            He smoked a cigarette.

            The sun started to show its rays.

            A little after dawn K. stopped by.

            K. lives right down the street.

            Friends for daze.

            Like thieves in the night they went for a drive in his black beemer.

            They spoke of a new publishing project in the works.

            Electronica music blared out the windows as the dawn air flowed into the car, K. was wearing shades.

            “Want to get coffee D.?”

            “Yea let’s go.”

            “I will buy you a cup.”

            K. took off his sunglasses and parked the car.

            The January weather was cool before the dawn of a promising year.

            A man sat at a table was speaking in prophetic Nostrodamean language in the dawn eating a croissant, his hair wild with energy he had papers sprawled in front of him, probably working on a piece.

            There was a silent moment of quiet electric disconnect in the weather as they walked through the cold plaza early morning.

            K. wore a blood red shirt with dripping black lines with a spiral from the ribs.

            They parted ways after coffee. K. had business to attend to, Deimos unlocked the door to his flat and went inside.

            He looked out the window, the sun was high in the sky by this point, the chimneys blowing warm vapors into the cool winter air from roof tops. He stood upon a broken laptop like a podium and went over the etymology of the word Deimos, mentioning Ares, the word for War, Mars in Roman, or the astronomical body in our heavens. Then he went into Art, and the two sons of Ares; Phobos and Deimos, Phobos being fear and Deimos being dread.

            Fear, trembling, dread, panic, the personification of sheer terror and despair.

            “The suicide king of hearts…” He smiled, “…in the cards” he sipped his coffee and stepped off a broken machine.

            FIN

 

Read more by Mr. Costa.

 

John Costa | Age 26 | Santa Rosa, CA

Can write with both hands simultaneously, but only while he is driving.

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