Wilder Cognition

much as Cat Stephens led you to believe, it is indeed a wild world

Update October 28, 2009

Filed under: admin — Jensen @ 3:02 pm

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Just a quick note. Due to this year’s NaNoWriMo, this blog will take a back-seat for one month. Not that I wont put a few things here, but nowhere near as much as I otherwise would have. After November there will be lots uploaded.

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Fit for purpose. October 21, 2009

Filed under: Alfred,Prose,Rollin',Teacup — Jensen @ 11:01 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Alfred was 23 when he first realized that he was special. In the extraordinary sense, rather than that retarded sense. Damn the P.C. I say, why be politically correct when you can get to the point. Anyway, Alfred was 23 when luck tipped its cap. Alfred found that he was able to talk to objects. He could have conversations, honest to the goodness two way exchanges of sentences, with lamps, mugs and even with more obscure objects, such as doorstops and ornamental bookends.

When Alfred learnt he could do this, he was (as one might expect) more than slightly worried that he was losing his mind. It was a chat with a teacup that settled the argument for him. He was told that ‘Life is tough for those with real gifts’. Sound advice, Alfred thought. Far beyond a teacup, Alfred mused. So far ahead, in fact, that Alfred quite forgot his fear in a moment of unfurling enlightenment. And this was the moment that Alfred learnt that this gift was merely another aspect of his life. Like the miracle of self-propelled locomotion, fast as stubby legs could carry him – or the sense of sight, nearsighted as he was. In any case, from these two impressions you have a clear understanding that Alfred felt entitled to have at least one special gift. For a boy born with so few talents, the ability to talk to objects was far and away enough by way of compensation.

At first it was just Teacup that he could hear properly. All the other objects that had spoken before were like whispers, or a sudden scream. Both sounds unintelligible and terrifying. No, it was Teacup that settled him into the life of talking to objects.

Teacup told Alfred many things, before introducing him to the myriad other objects in the kitchen. Some of his earliest friends were Kettle, Pan and Rolling Pin. Rollin’, as he liked to be known, was a wonderful character. Alfred would often roll him over the linoleum floor for shits and giggles, while Kettle whistled a merry tune and Pan sat by with an air of purpose.

One thing that all people should know about objects is that they are most eager to be used. In fact, antiques are the unhappiest of all creatures. They moan, constantly, and after some years of moaning they simply give up on words and scream and wail. Not long later they are silent as space.

Another thing that all people should know is that objects are deeply opposed to superfluousness. They will lord over any surplus, and therefore unused, crockery. They will hurl abuse at the cups that, through no fault of their own, are simply not picked out to have tea or coffee poured into their eager mouths. ‘Survival of the most useful.’ That’s how Teacup explained it.

The last thing that should be said, before we continue, is that objects are extremely prejudice to those from ‘another room’. To them a kettle has no place in a bathroom and a loo-brush, no place in a kitchen. Where objects do make an ‘unhealthy’ transition they are mocked, jeered at and made to feel ridiculous. The exception is for objects that make frequent trips, the so-called ‘Tourist Class’ of object. Such as plates, cups and bowls that might enter the living room. Books (a snobby race of object) and cordless telephones; which might end up in any room whatever. For the most part objects are resigned to staying in the room that best suits them. And that life goes on suiting them until the landfill.

Alfred’s education on the politics of being an object made him something of a champion of the house from day one. He would ensure that objects were replaced in their respective rooms. He would rotate the cups to ensure each had a fair turn. He even ensured that there was a spare bulb standing by when a lamp went out, lest they feel purposelessness for a second. In short, he was a hero and was treated with a great deal of respect. ‘There goes our Alfred.’ They’d say. ‘Isn’t he a fine fellow, well he could very be a lamp if ever I saw a shining example.

Of course, it was also in our boy Alfred’s best interest to be helpful. Imagine a single person shouting for your attention. Now think of the effect of a room-full of people. Now picture a house-full. Each separate voice, seeking fulfillment of their own agenda. It was enough to send pains shooting out from his temples. Enough to make his eyes throb in their sockets. It was maddening. So, at least with the house in order, they would stick to the business of whispering gossip to one another and not hounding our Alfred for help.

Now, Alfred’s mother (Doris) wasn’t in receipt of Alfred’s gift and his Father was long since buried. As such, Alfred kept his talent to himself for fear of being experimented on, or worse – simply pointed out in the street by children. Of course, often he’d slip. He’d mistakenly address an object as Sir or Madam, if he bumped into them by accident. He’d even become suspiciously insistent that his mother replaced certain items in their respective rooms.

The dear old woman; in her cardigan – tiny, bird-like talons for fingers. That totem to days; resplendently adorned with faux-diamond jewelry – disrespected by her own son. The poor crone; in her pink slippers – throat crocking a protest at such maltreatment. In her own home! Her own son! Can you imagine it, the good-natured Alfred, his father’s son, working up to shouting at a weak, weathered, widow. And simply for bringing the washing-up bowl into the living room in order that she could soak her swollen feet. Well, it’s disrespectful isn’t it?

Alfred’s Mother was soon trained to leave things as they were ‘meant to be.’ Alfred went back to being the hero of the house. He spoke freely to the objects, not caring if his mother overheard.

It was about this time that Doris took to shaking and weeping. For days she would just sit there, Alfred tending to her with meals and assisting her to the bathroom. All the while Alfred kept the object’s taunts to himself, so as not to shock her with their insults.

‘No longer fit for purpose, that one.’ Pot said. Rollin’ was of the same opinion. ‘She’s as good as landfill-bound, far as I can see.’ Said Teacup. Alfred said nothing; he just went about keeping things in order.

Not long later there was an incident. It happened whilst Alfred and his mother took tea in the living room. They were talking happily on the wonderful outlook for the afternoon and if they shouldn’t sit in the garden. ‘You’d do as well to treat her to euthanasia.’ Said Bible abruptly.

It was at this point where Alfred could no longer hold back. ‘How dare you!’ He screamed before picking up Bible and hurling him across the room.

‘Sir, you forget yourself. Desist!’ The other books shouted together.
He didn’t hear the smash. He didn’t register anything until a plate said the word that marked the crime. ‘Murderer!’ One long word that screeched out into the silence and ended in a guttural sobbing.

Alfred’s mother had dropped a cup. In the fright that overtook her, in the moment of panic caused by her son’s outburst, she’d opened her fingers and the cup tumbled through the air. A young thing, it didn’t have time to cry out before it shattered into innumerable pieces.

Only last week Alfred had been talking to that little cup about starting a drinking vessel choir. The newest member of The Cupboard Crew now lay in fragments. All he can do was get a brush and try his best to keep as much together as can be. Lest he be buried at the landfill in that dreaded state; ‘incomplete’.

‘You can’t let her get away with it Alfred, she’ll do us all in!’ Teacup pleaded. ‘She must be stopped!’

‘My mother made a slip, it happens. Please, try stay calm!’

‘You let it happen, you should have given her a sippy cup you twat!’ Teacup screeched.

‘What do you want? I can’t undo things!’

‘We want retribution! We want an eye for an eye. We want her ‘incomplete’!’

‘You want me to kill my mother!?’

‘Yes, it is that simple – if you want a happy life you’ll get rid of her. It’s an act of prevention. You don’t want us to die, do you?’

‘Of course not! But—’

‘But nothing! You must, you’re the only one fit for the purpose!’

Much as Alfred did protest, in the end he made up his mind. As we all would, we’d brain our kin to silence an army of voices. He took his mother upstairs to the bathroom, forced her head into the wide open mouth of the bathtub and therein bashed her brains out with Rollin’. Shards of her skull splintering off. Great lumps of brain making a glutinously bloody bid for the floor.

All the mess artfully kept in the belly of the tub. She slumped down inside, lifeless. Alfred climbed in on top of her and, after drawing the shower curtain closed, he ensured that her body was entirely dead. Just as that cup had fallen to a place where repair was impossible. The solid thuds, slowly changed to a sucking, splattering sound. And then it was over.

Alfred took off his clothes and left them on top of his mother’s corpse. He then dismounted her and walked to the kitchen to replace Rollin’. Then he took himself to the bedroom to have a lie down.

Next morning Alfred awoke his first thought being that he’d had a messed up dream. Even before the alarm clock tried to engage him in a discussion about recent sports news, he knew he had no such luck. He didn’t even try to go into the bathroom. Just walked on by and on downstairs to get some breakfast and a cup of tea.

Things got back to normal pretty quickly for our Alfred, in the sense that he wasn’t too harassed by the objects. Teacup was happy not to be ‘next on the hit-list’ as he put it. Bathtub was happy to be full. Rollin’ insisted that he not be cleaned, as he liked his new colour immensely – it seemed to Rollin’ as if he was made of rosewood.

In the end however, it was pretty clear that things could not remain in this tranquil, ordered state. Doris was starting to smell. She smelt worse than anything Alfred had smelt. Each time he went to the toilet he had to endure her rank odor. Even the smell of his own excrement would have been more pleasing, but it was under a fat layer of decay.

At the end of that week the doorbell rings, twice. Alfred dresses in a gown and wanders downstairs, greeting objects as he walks past them.

‘Open up, its the police!’ Said the Constable (Stewie). He was outside with two other blue fellows, which could be made out through the warped glass of the front door. Alfred tightened the rope on his gown and walked over to open the door.

The Constable was shown into the kitchen by Alfred, who then set about making tea. They were there for routine follow up to a report of a large infestation of flies seen coating Alfred’s bathroom window.

So that is the story of Alfred. The poor boy’s in an asylum now. They were set to leave with the story that a bird had simply gotten into the bathroom through the window and died. They were actually in the hallway. The other two officers milling about outside. The Constable tipped his cup back and downed the last dregs of tea and then handed Alfred the cup. There was a moment of fumbling, as he tried to take the cup and it dropped.

In the end it took all three men to restrain him and they didn’t stop there. Two held him down whilst the Constable checked the bathroom and came back white as a sheet. They gave him a right good beating to boot.

Anyway, now his only friend is his first – Teacup.

We join Teacup in search for a new purpose.

‘Alfred, I could be a keepsake cup. Do you have any foreign coins, or a lone battery? Tell you what; pull out all your teeth and give them to me, I’ll look after them for you!’

 

The story of Amis the Pointless and how he became known as Amis the Brute. October 19, 2009

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It should be put to the reader that Amis was at first known as Amis the Pointless. He was, as is evident, of little danger to anyone before this point and certainly not deserving of the title ‘brute’.

Amis the Pointless was a sullen creature prone to bouts of weeping inconsolably at the vision of a crushed flower or a chess set that had not been set out correctly. He was even once found sobbing at the state of the country, but that’s enough to make anyone sodden through, except that in Amis’ case he was lamenting the lack of affordable housing for nomads.

Amis smoked, that’s another thing you should know about him. As we all know now that does not make him a ‘rebel’ or look ‘kool’. Except that Amis was born during the eighties, when men wearing mascara was considered cool, so smoking was picked up as a small distraction from the state of the country.

Not that Amis did much at this stage to improve the state of the country. In fact he was more an example of hypocrisy than we can be allowed to ignore. Amis was as much a reason for the country being shit, for the fact he did nothing to improve it. He was apathetic and in this day and age there is simultaneously no more prevalent and virulent a state of existence.

This however is the story of Amis and how he came to gain his newer title. How he came to be renamed.

Amis was in one of his moods of torment on the road between Meols and Hull, when he sighted a huge man walking toward him along the road. At first he thought the man was very close, because of his size in relation to the things behind him. But allowing a moment to gain perspective he was advised by his brain that the man was indeed still some way off and was indeed huge, but yet to be of threat. Which is, of course, the first thought of a pointless and brainless creature such as Past Amis. To consider anything larger than himself is a very distressing thing indeed. In fact, so often do they find dangers so daunting, that they attempt by any means whatever to rid their path of it, be that by running away, hiding, making them sign some form a declaration, or by employing a very large army of half-wits to dispose of the hazard on their behalf. Such is the lesson of history. Such is the state of the country.

Now it is that the large figure walking toward Amis is in fact Kevin the Tiny. Not a title that is in any sense refelctive of his stature, but rather the only adjective that could accurately describe his brain. He had been studied, in his youth, and x‑rays and f‑rays confirmed that the size and shape of his brain is best likened to a teabag. The round traditional type that has been dunked a few times and then drained and placed on the side of the saucer. Puckered up and feeble looking.

The comparison goes further toward the truth. The f‑rays were more the decisive picture, showing his brain to have the same colour and even a very thin outer membrane, which the doctors hypothesised may be that through which Kevin’s ideas might squeeze. Anyone who knows anything about tea-bags, or anything with a similar purpose, knows that the thin fabric lets out only the flavoured water that has swilled through and not the tea leaves themselves which remain within. As such it is the same with Kevin, only the most miniscule of thoughts can bypass this blockade layer. All the real substance of his mind remaining locked in the bag of his brain.

Who knows what grand theories might have played against the insides of Kevin the Tiny’s eyes on seeing Amis the Pointless. The only thing we know is what a robin nearby heard slip from his lips. A single word. ‘Friend.’

Amis’ mind was agog with a reeling team of scenarios. Most of which ended with the idea that he might be cut up and eaten over a period of a days. Or however long it would take for such a monstrously huge man to eat him. Amis readied himself for a fight. The robin flew toward Amis and settled himself in a tree nearby to gauge his intentions. ‘Fiend.’ Amis muttered. The robin was not best pleased.

When they were only 200 yards apart Amis stopped in his tracks. Whether it was through fear, he would never admit. But we know that Kevin matched this action. Who knows why he did, other than that the outer wall of his teabag brain sanctioned the impulse to pass through and instruct the legs to cease their lumbered progress.

Amis was aghast. He was trapped in a stalemate by the giant whose name he did not know at the time. He thought about the state of the country and how such monsterous people are allowed to wander the footpaths of the land with impunity. Perhaps it was his subscription to the Everyday Moan that bred this ill‑reasoned leaning toward intollerance. It certainly can’t have helped that he partook in the practice of reading the badly written wordy-bilge of such a ridiculous paper. It was headline after headline of ‘Immigrants’ this and ‘Royalty’ that. Moreover there was a flippant use of polls. Readers submitting their opinions on a given unsubstantiated fact and the results would be published the following day. As much as one can trust in the results and consider them a true reflection of the state of the nation.

Kevin grinds the toe of his shoe into the gravel path. Amis balls his fists. Amis walks forward and stops. Kevin does the same. Amis starts walking again. Kevin follows the action with the precision of a reflection.

The robin travels back and forth but doesn’t hear another word uttered. All conversation now an internal process. Except for Kevin, who didn’t have any thoughts.

It crossed Amis’ mind that perhaps it might be best to walk across the field, rather than to carry on down the path and eventually meet whatever fate awaited him. There was a gap in the hedge to the right of him and he pushed his way through.

Coincidence permitted, in this strange case, that there were also a gap for Kevin into that very same field and he climbed on through, much to the horror of Amis. Kevin was mirroring him move for move. Repeating the action and even taking to running when Amis did, remaining parallel to him until he met the barrier of the next hedge. A hedge that was, for each, impassable.

The robin looked on in horror as Amis scanned the ground for some form of attrition. Seeing a tree branch he picked it up and, being the same thickness as a baseball bat and the same length as a golf club, he lifted it above his head and charged forward.

Kevin had no such luck in finding a suitable comparative prop to mimic Amis accurately and instead he simply took to running, charging down the length of the field.

What passes is the nearest approximation of the incident as described by a robin who, having been distracted momentarily by a worm, wasn’t in the correct frame of mind of commit every action to memory.

Kevin and Amis reached each other, but Kevin, of his own accord, stopped. He stood there, towering over Amis and smiling a dumb but sincere smile. Amis, struck by this intense strangeness, turned on his heels and ran in the other direction and, on reaching the lower right corner of the field, curled into a ball.

Kevin was at this moment distracted, similar to the robin, by a passing bee and took to following it, soon disappearing over the edge of the horizon. No doubt off to the home of that singular bee and a waiting mob of non‑too‑welcoming and highly‑protective soldier bees.

Amis missed all this, quite in a world of misery and tears. He was crunched so tightly in a ball that he would have done well just to breathe. Upon unfurling Amis found no monster above him, nor giant near him, nor even a figure on the horizon. He picked himself up, brushed off the dirt that hadn’t cemented itself (wetted by his tears) to his trowsers and stood tall.

Still clutching the stick he walked cautiously toward the path and continued on his way. The robin settled on an upcoming fencepost and watched Amis passed tentatively.

Recovering his confidence in light of the deduction that the huge man (Kevin) was headed in a contrary direction to begin with – and had probably resumed his journey toward where Amis had come from – he himself continued on his way. As a last act to anoint this sure conclusion, a last sacrifice to mark the dissolution of his remaining fears, he hurled the large stick behind him. Unbeknownst to Amis, striking the robin and it was this unfortunate soul who recounted the tale for the world. Insisting that Amis the Pointless should henceforth be referred to as Amis the brute, for a brute he was ‑ in thought, as much as action.

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open for business.

Filed under: admin — Jensen @ 12:22 pm

This is the piffling little flourish that sends Wilder Cognition into digital being.

Henceforth this will be a place to post my brand of storytelling.