(for audio blog, scroll to the bottom)
I need directions for how to follow directions.
Something like: Step one-read them in order. Step 2: do the steps in order. No improvising. (The steps are numbered in chronological order for a reason. The procedure isn’t: Start wherever you like to put your kids’ swing set together.)
If that were the case, I would start at the end, when it’s all finished.
I wish all instructions said: Start wherever you like! So I’ll start with step 3! What goes good after 3? I hate 4, 5 looks way too fucking complicated and 6? I think 6 should follow 2, then we’ll do 7. . . then I will see how I feel after that. I may even leave out some numbers. I mean just because you have a bunch of numbers doesn’t mean you have to use them all right? I mean even math doesn’t use ALL THE NUMBERS at once. That’s just stupid.
Good I’m being discerning. Even a little smart about the number line which has always bothered me. What if number 2 hates 1? What if 4 can’t stand the sight of 3? It’s like grade school in a small town where you are always sitting next to Kimmy Stanley and Kimmy Stanley, who wears blue glasses and pigtails, is one boring fucking individual. Karen Spruell is no better. Fuck, I thought, can I just change my name during school hours? I will be the only school kid with a series of aliases. Or is that aliei?
I decided I should change my last name to New. Because I wanted to sit next to Paula Newman and that would guarantee it. This was after I tried to get Paula to change her last name to Stegg so she could sit by me, my name being Stehr. The shortest unpronounceable name ever. Phonics stopped being a thing once I was done answering roll call.
I was the only kid in sixth grade with a disguised name due to chronology, which may be why I developed an allergy to reading directions. So long and drawn out- Jesus I will be dead before I finish reading the instructions and swing sets will be outlawed for the dangerously boring things they are. They really should just collapse after the third use. Even birds won’t use a use pink and blue swing set. Ever see an abandoned swing set in a yard?
There’s a perimeter of radioactivity around them, no squirrels, butterflies, raccoons—not even any spiders, for God’s sake. Maybe they know something we don’t. Children play strategically around them, as if they don’t even see the swing set that dad nearly lost his marriage over during one very long Christmas Eve sponsored by egg nog. (Rum? Really? He would have been better off with whisky or scotch. Who builds anything drinking rum? Maybe that’s why the kids won’t play on it.
I figured maybe if I didn’t follow the directions I could build a swing set that kids might use for more than five minutes. Our yard isn’t really big enough to have a black hole of that size in it and I’m not about to have my kids stay indoors with me. I’m their fucking mother for god’s sake, not a companion animal. My job is to make sure they don’t expire before age eighteen and if they are in the house with me all day and night because they are avoiding the Bermuda triangle of a swing set in the back yard, someone is going to be spending some time in the lockup, and last I checked Murdering Your Own Children Even if they Fucking Deserve it, is not on the list of preferred parental behaviors, and I don’t want to be in a tiny cell next to Kimmy Stanley or some shit for the next thirty years of my life.
I thought maybe if I just followed the directions in a-chronological order, the swing set might look so goddamn interesting and mysterious that my kids might not ever come back in the house at all, and this was a goal worth working towards.
As I built this monstrosity I also employed some Synchronous Directionality, which is when you do all of the steps of the instructions at the same time. You definitely need to wear tennis shoes for this. I figured Syn chronous Directionalitywould keep me completely safe from all thing ordinal, but as soon as I built the swing set, loosely speaking, the government called and wanted to hire me and wouldn’t take no for an answer, even when I said “I can’t follow instructions.”
Apparently the bureaucrats needed help understanding the tax code, which science has proven cannot be done while following the guidelines, and then Trump wanted me in the Strategic Planning Department.
I asked, “Really? Strategic planning for what?”
They said they didn’t know and that was part of the beauty of my job. I was to work towards an unknown goal using something like Debbie Snack Cakes as a template and, since my name is Debbie, and I needed to rehabilitate my name and reputation because of that awful Dallas thing of the early 80’s, I took the job and created the Adventitous Planning Department. No one knows what it means so I pretty much do whatever I want, mostly designing things that don’t work, but that’s not a problem since no one can really figure out what the things I design are for in the first place.
Like place mats for cars. That was a signature piece. I also designed an ice cube tray that makes anything but cubes, mostly jagged slivers in random triangular shapes that cut your throat open when you drink your highball. (So if a highball is more mixer than booze, is a lowball more booze than mixer? If so I’ll have three lowballs please.)
Meanwhile Ice Scientists have told me that my non-cube ice shapes aren’t random because ice cleaves apart in certain predictable patterns, but since I was listening to the words they were using to explain this out of order (like listening to English as if it was German) I didn’t understand what the Ice-atists were saying to me. Global warming will take care of the ice anyway, so I don’t really need to know.
I have also recently embarked on atemporality where I attempt to experience time out of order. Like expecting a break up that already happened! Some people call that depression. I call it planning for your past. (I’m going to do that surprise break up better this time because I know all my lines!
Atemporal living is also very similar to housework-pretty much the eternal return of the same, thus the stuttering now of the dishes never being over, also known as timelessness. Who knew you could get that with your kitchen? Being a practicing Atemporalist also means I’m never late anymore.
And my other trick, called a-historicity is also coming along nicely. This consists of pretending something that never happened happened last week. President Hillary. I thought I’d be alone in this project, but no! I’m attending a Hillary is Really the President party tonight.
We are going to bring lowballs and build a swing set.
The Laughing Coyote
Audio of this blog below…give it a listen!