|Unknown stranger to myself in All the Names w/ the birth toll still registering exponentially
26 May 2020> Last night we were getting a visa to go to Mexico, everything in some dingy office was in disarray + abandoned except for a guy who evidently was our co-worker. We was saying dat you’d think they’d have their shit together considering how menny people crossed thru this border + was telling him how we used to live in Tucson + cross the border to work in Mexico every day + how they startid to get to know us + would just wave us thru. We were walking to our job site, sum sorta fallow field dat needed to be cleared. We stood looking at it from the banks of a ditch—everything was burned out + smoldering w/ spilled oil, total wasteland. He pointed out some elk-like animal + called it an African deer (evidently we were in Africa now) + we said "yah, another 1 of those dik-dik things" + then lamented how we would have brought gaiters if we knew what kind of job this would be. We was wearing tennis shoes + no socks + there were lots of thorns + snakes, etc. + we was staring at the elk as if we were watching it on sum nature show or dat scene in Deer Hunter (1978).
27 May 2020> This is our 53rd post of 2020 + it ain't even June. Not daily as The Daily Noose might imply, but more than bi-weekly, whereas in years before dat it was weekly, if not monthly. Guess we got the Corona virus to thank for this resent proliferation, ∀ll this retroactive filling in w/ old journals in our home-bound state. Therapy for sure, this journaling weave done w/ such regularity... tho if anything our output has slowed down (compared to how much we used to write) now dat it's on Inurnet... @ least the personal day-to-day of what 1 wd normally write in a personal diary. Back in the 80s + 90s we rote purely for ourselves. Occasionally we might say (like in the last post from Dec 1992) that if we died (say, in a plane crash) + if sum 1 found this, then... but now we're self-conchus, we edit what we write now dat it's on Inurnet. Not dat any 1 in their right mind would read this, b-sides us, or a version of us @ a later date. Just like how we're re-reading our journals now from 20+ years ago, yes, souprized @ how much weave changed, ox! A stranger to ourself, as we realized even back in 1988 when we wrote this song:
Which also reveals our inclinations for "The Daily Noose":
Sum stuff in our journals we totally remember, other stuff weave selectively forgotten, like in the next journal we're currently transcribing (January 1993) we describe a ski trip to the White Mountains (Arizona) which for the life of us we can't remember... i mean, maybe now dat we're reading we sorta recall. We started to read The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr + he talks about the plasticity of the humun brain, how if u don't use curtain parts of then those bits get repurposed for other means. W/in the memary area of our one SSES-OS there's onely so much room, just like how on computers we gotta delete files to make room for more... question is, how do our brains decide what to remember + what to forget? 1 detail we do member was this massive whirlpool in the Salt River, near Apache Jct, during these insane floods in Arizona (wich is probly what prompted the ski trip (loads of fresh powder))... we member staring in awe @ this Charybdis @ a sharp kink in the river, maybe @ a dam. In our journal we say before then we'd never seen a body of water dat wasn't flat, but concave, like a bowl, spinning turbulently. Our brain decided to keep dat detail but figgered the bit about going skiing wasn't important to remember.
Looking for the unknown woman in Saramago's book is like killing the Arab on the beach in Camus' The Stranger, a senseless act w/ apparently no meaning. Saramago takes the absurdist existentialism of Camus + doses it w/ Kafka... the protagonist (Senhor José—the onely named person in the book) works @ the Central Registry, a burrocratic arkhive dat logs ∀ll the deaths, births + marriages (which are the onely stats dat matter @ the end of the day.... unless you're famous).
Forget marriages, the onely 2 things dat count are births + deaths + weave said this before, but it always astonishes us how transfixed the media + 99% of the humun population is w/ death, specially now w/ the daily death count being a permanent fixture of front page headlines. But what about the birth toll? 100,000 ain't a drop in the bucket in the scheme of things. So far this year 56,514,288 babies halve bin born. Even if we take the current COVID-19 worldwide death toll (350,000) it's onely 1% of the total death tally (23,726,052 so far this year) ... + the population has still grown by 32,788,267 despite COVID-19. Why is no 1 talking about these #s? Humuns are inherently individualistic + selfish, they care onely about themselves + loved 1s so when they read these headlines they project this dread + fear into what-ifs of their current situation. No 1 wants them or their friends or loved 1s to be the 1s dat die, but sum body has to, otherwise the population will continue to grow exponentially + humuns will take the entire planet down w/ it. The onely alternative to disease + war is to stop fucking in the 1st place, or if u do, stop @ 1 or 2.
Unless you're famous, ∀ll dat matters to the Central Registry is when/where u were born + when/where u died... @t the end of the day dat's ∀ll dat matters for 99% of the population, inklooting us. So why we due we bother w/ any of this? Writing books, making records, keeping a journal, etc... + why do we need to put in words what it is about All the Names that struck us? A book about a lonely paper-pusher dat as a side hobby takes it upon himself to search for an unknown woman, only to find her (spoiler alert!) in an unmarked grave in a section of a cemetary reserved for sewersides (why her death was unnaccounted for). We perticklerly liked the bit about the shepherd grazing his sheep in the cemetary (where Senhor José slept dat night!) who would switch the names + #s around on the fresh graves before they'd install the headstone + put the name in stone.
|# 748 <(current)> 750> 20 pieces from the Corona Casalingo series|