I have been in a coma now for sixty-seven days. No one reaches me anymore. And I don’t reach them. Everything that has to do with reaching—in, out—all of that is done. It is jazz that has lost its voice.
I am adrift on a blue glacier in the middle of the sea.
Here, there is no history, only invention, and hopes for survival.
Here, from my icy alien distance, I pitch a network exec on my idea for an interactive pop odyssey through American culture and void, I get all crackly and charged telling them how it will be the remix of a remix of a remix ( I get lost in layered Matroyshkan notions such as these, by which we feel there is more, always more, when I know there is always less, so much less…)
Yet being adrift on a blue glacier
in the middle of the sea
in a coma for the past sixty-seven days,
I am inclined to fill up all this
hobbying nothingness with my own set of illusions,
which of course are not mine at all but remixes
of remixes … you get the idea.
Here’s where the odyssey begins.
It is a book, it is a film. It is interactive. You are part of the action. You must participate—physically, sensually, imaginatively, etc.—in order for the venture to be successful, in order for the gaps to be filled in. You also have the choice to leave the gaps completely unfilled, empty. You don’t have to do anything. This book will exist without you, same as you’ll exist without this book. There is no mutual bond of dependency. There is the Mission Impossible creed, remixed: (now being spoken through the ghost of Tom Cruise through an aging grade school’s P.A. system, also aging: If you choose to accept this mission…)
You are aboard a space ship. There are lots of blinking lights, a multi-colored siege of blinking lights and cool-looking consoles that are both futuristic and retro, Star Trek as a stillborn space-baby. All of it is very thrilling, very exciting, you are intrigued and highly stimulated by all the things around you that are beyond your grasp, which is pretty much everything: the lights, the humming consoles, the ironing board on long spindly insect legs, the blue-skinned alien with a coiled pyramid of dark, glossy hair set atop her head, the way she is ironing a yellow shirt that looks like it might be Lycro, and the way the steam exhales from the iron like the hissy snortings of a gentle baby bull.
You are aboard the ship, you don’t know why. A dignified-looking gentleman, with dark eyes and spongy gray hair that stands several inches high off his scalp, turns to face the screen, that is to say the camera, and speaks directly into it (this he does after after all the people and activity around and behind him have gone into a freeze). The Captain engages, in a rulerthick stentorian—We, the characters? You, the readers, the audience?
We have stopped. When we start again, you will see a black screen.