Friday, November 9

self-loathing takes a deliciously ironic twist

breaking bread with your enemies. understanding that your differences may not be as vast as you thought. learning to trust one another. learning that maybe the enemy is, in fact, an awful lot like you.

yea. an awful lot because the motherfucker was me.
i am frizzant skint.

here we go again.

i've done a lot of traveling across altspaces in my days. i've interfaced with a few versions of myself. i've enjoyed it.

you know. except for the me i just vomited spajjy onto a few minutes ago. that exchange could have been a bit more fun.

even when the two me's were wandering around the station trying to get nasty with each other... even that had its charm.

but finding out that frizzant fucking skint... engineer, pornographer, bastard who designed the station, the monster responsible for life in whatever century it is i live in... is me?

frankly that's more proof that the universe must be destroyed.

but of course that's what the universe wants me to do, remember? so i can't do it. even if i hate the fact that i am the person most responsible for my miserable life.

'shrimp tempura roll?' skint asks, his mouth already full of rice and fish, orange mayonnaise dotting his moustache. 'you'll like it. ' he chuckles and watches me.

i haven't eaten since... since i have no idea. probably best to eat something. gotta keep my strength up if i have to strangle this fucker. i pop a piece in my mouth. it's tasty. i decide to try to be polite

'you know, we do a similar dish in the future. except a lot of is served with god fucking damn it you fucking bastard shitfuckshitspazzwhywhywhywhythefuck is this of all things happening. fuck you skint. fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck you. cunt! argh!'

the last 'argh' is actually an argh because i am choking on a piece of shrimp tail. skint lurches across the floor towards me, but luckily it's spajjy to the rescue, rising up in my throat and pushing the little piece of chitin out onto the floor.

skint smiles at me again. 'i know this is hard. but it's not as bad as you think. i'm not the evil monster you want me to be.'

'the future. the science. the technology. all of it... it's all you. you imagined, concepted, prototyped, created and executed all of it.' i shout at him, rice exploding from the mouth. i've never been this angry in my life.

he sits there, calmly, peacefully, looking straight into my eyes. i'm not going to call him a me. he doesn't deserve it.

'take a look around you. does this seem to you to be the laboratory of a mad genius?' he asks.

i scan the room. son of a bitch is right. this looks more like what a vaguely bright child might have in his bedroom if his parents had enough money to buy him little techie toys but he was too stupid to actually learn anything more about how they work than what he knew what he first started playing with them so they accumulate into little middens and are forgotten.

also there are fingernails all over the place. and bits of hair. this place is gross.

actually this is more the room of a sad loser than a mad genius.

feels just like home

'it does seem a bit light on the, you know, inventiveness side of things.' i say.

'yea. so first off, fuck you. stop blaming me for every little thing that went wrong in your life.'

'wait. no. fuck you. history makes it very clear that frizzant skint is responsible for many of the advancements in science that led to the modern era. it must be you.'

'dude. listen. i barely have a college degree. i don't have a job. all these books around here... i've read the blurb and the first few pages. most of them are romance novels. i am not an engineer. i am not a scientist.'

once again, nothing makes any sense. i ought to be used to it by now.

'so why do i know your name?'

'that's what me and the other you were trying to figure out. where is he, by the way? he asks


'well... me and spajjy sort of drained him of his... uh... bodily fluids.' i say. 'what's left of him is a sandy pile by your front door.'

skint looks at me, nodding, in a this-happens-a-lot sort of way.

'what is with you guys? why do you keep showing up here and killing each other?' he asks, while stuffing his mouth with some dumplings.

i look at skint in a what-the-fuck-do-you-mean sort of way.

'what the fuck do you mean?' i ask him. this isn't good.

'that version of you that you just... absorbed.. to death... he showed up yesterday. before him, i had a visitor for about a month. the longest one was here for just under a year, but that was way back in college. sometimes i get two in a row. once, i had three show up at the same time, and they all brawled. that was pretty awesome. i shot a video of it and put it on youtube. you want to see?'

i do actually really want to see that, but there's a more pressing concern.

'how many have there been?'

'lost count. i used to have have a little score-card but i've misplaced it... i'd guess by now it's over  five hundred.' he says. i don't like the way he said it. like it didn't matter. like we were disposable. which we are, but it's not for him to make that claim.

'so... a version of me shows up, then another shows up and kills that one, and you have this conversation.'

'yup.' he slurps his miso soup. a piece of tofu sticks to his lip.



'so what do we do now?' i ask him.

'well... i go on to explain to you that all the fancy space science and bullshit that you future people have is based on drunken scribblings in my notebooks and half-started screenplays. you then say...'

'ohmygodnofuckingwayit'sallamistake' i shout.

'yes, and then you say ' wait not exactly...

'because somewhere someone else in the future saw those notes and figured out a way to make those things happen.'

he points his finger at me like a little gun.

'bingo. then you go on to say...'

'so you are sort of responsible...' i yell.

'yes. you are very predictable. now you're going to try to show me something that is going to 'blow your mind little old-timey earth man like...'

i vomit. partially from the unfresh fish, partially from the shock of this very unusual conversation, but mostly because spajjy is tearing his way out of me.

skint stares at spajjy.

'that's new.' he says. he means it.

good. about fucking time this dick stops being so smug.

'skint. meet spajjy. spajjy, this is skint.' i say.

'how d'ya do?' spajjy blorbles at him.

skint continues to stare.

'shit's different now, right skint?' i ask.

'so it would seem.' skint says, quietly.

he sits there, staring at the wall now, tapping his fingers on his desk. he's forgotten about his lunch.

'what do they usually show you?' i ask him.

'astronaut fucking ice cream. look, i'm confused. the other guys say they have to kill the other other guys because those other other guys are trying to kill the universe.' he answers.

 i don't know if he believes or comprehends what he is telling me, but it sure seems that way.

'right. i'm saying the same thing. but with one difference.' i say.

'what's that?'

'that i have to kill all of them. not just the guy i killed...'

'i killed! ' spajjy interrupts me.

'we killed,' i compromise, 'when i got here.'

'we got here... spajjy interrupts again. i have to put an end to these interruptions. i can't concentrate.

'look spongedick... you came in my body, through my atoms, in my ass. that means i came here. i'm the vehicle. stop interrupting me.' fucking spajjy. too much togetherness. literally.

'how many are there?' skint asks.

'how many what?' i ask back.

'how many of you... of us... are there?'

'an infinite number of them, of course. but we only need to kill infinity minus two of them. originally it was going to be me and the other me from the altspace i just...'

skint interrupts me

'wait wait wait. you actually use the word altspace. that's from a note i wrote down when i passed out on the subway platform waiting to go home and woke up very very drunk. ha!'

'hilarious. shut the fuck up and listen.' i bark at him. this version of me has too much autonomy. maybe i should kill him. 'we have our own problem back there, but i think it's a red herring... this whole simp thing... that the universe cooked up to get us to ignore the bigger problem.'


'a kind of negative emotion plasma. you came up with the physics for it.'

'i did?'

'emoticons ring a bell?'

'those stupid colon brackets?'


'from emails?'

'what's email?"


'nevermind. eventually you come up with the concept.' i finish.

he looks proud. and bewildered. also a little ill because i think his sushi is starting to revolt in his guts.

'so everything i came up with ends up becoming real?' he asks.

'how the fuck should i know if everything you came up with becomes real? i don't know everything you came up with. but a lot of it does, yes.'

'awesome. want to see? i have all these notebooks.' he reaches into a pile of papers on his desk. there are dozens of little black notebooks. i am intrigued. this is basically like looking at the playbook for the future. a future i've already lived through.

he opens one... i see a rough sketch of the station. i quickly close my eyes.

it's also like looking at a list of all the horrible things that are, or will, or have, gone wrong in my life.

'maybe later.' i tell him.

his face sags a bit with disappointment. he really wanted to show me his drawings. how cute. we sit in silence for a bit. the radiator starts banging and spajjy releases a sigh of contentment. and a methane bubble. the room reeks now.

'maybe we could go to the living room?' skint suggests.

'fabulous idea. you have anything to drink? there's a lot we need to talk about.'

he smiles at me.

'you ought to know me well enough not to have to ask that.'

we exit the room, leaving spajjy to shvitz in peace.

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