wordy to no good end 

August 20th, 2009

It was his lot to fulfill himself only halfway. Everything in him was truncated: his way of life, like his way of thinking. A man of fragments, himself a fragment.

E.M. Cioran


For rent: the letter Q. Daily and weekly rates provided. Must provide your own u. Box K.
I am researching a paper on people who need help with researching papers. If you need help researching a paper and are willing to help me research mine please contact me. Box 232.
Small pointy object seeks round soft object to poke. Box 1009.
Collector of off-colour jokes involving squids or octopi will pay top dollar for same. Box 8.
Ever wonder what to do with your excess static electricity? I am Donny the Balloon Sticking Guy and I love the stuff! If you have extra static electricity hanging around your house shocking you on your doorknobs and making your hair stick up funny then you should mail it to me. Write for address. Box 3694.
Wanted: Inner Mongolian travelling hat. Size 7 1/8. Will trade for a picture of Gore Vidal's barber eating a peach. Box 90.
For sale: tiny vests. Suitable for a finch or wren. Mostlye Western designs. $4/vest. Box 2.
For sale: one weeble. Has a tendency to fall down. Half price. Box 13.
Novelty T-shirts available: burst into flames whenever Saved By the Bell is mentioned. Great for parties. Many sizes and colours. 50/50 Blend. Box 30.

Listen to Part Nineteen of

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Click on the picture. (3:21)

Or start from the beginning.



The Unfinished Sentence

Gordon didn't know what to make of it. There it was when he got up in the morning. He'd just walked into his living room on the way to the kitchen to make coffee when he saw it. On his first pass through the room he ignored it. He acknowledged it in no way. He just went straight into the kitchen as if he had seen nothing. But there was no mistaking it.

He filled the kettle and pulled out the cone filters. He opened the can and got out the coffee. In short, he went about making his morning coffee the same way he always did. But he was rattled. He focused on the kitchen counter, on the stove, on the kettle, on the cupboard. He kept his head down. He deliberately didn't look into the living room.

He couldn't keep it up though. After the kettle started to boil he could contain himself no longer. Standing at the counter he leaned back until he could see the edge of the couch. It was still there.

It was lying on the couch. He could just make out the letters "a" and "s" hanging over the far arm. He knew there was a "w" there he couldn't see. 'Was' was there. There at the end of his couch. Suddenly. This morning. What the hell 'was' was doing there he didn't know. But he was afraid to find out.

He hadn't been drinking the night before. This was the kind of thing that did happen on mornings after the night before but he knew this wasn't one of the those. Somehow, and he really had no idea how, the word 'was' had made it into his apartment and was now lying on his couch. As he was pouring his coffee and thinking this over he heard the TV come on. Now 'Was' was watching his TV. Great.

Gordon decided, standing at his kitchen counter not enjoying his morning coffee at all, that there was no way he was going to be intimidated by a mere verb. A very large noun maybe but not a verb. No way.

Gordon marched into the living room and started to demand to know what 'Was' was doing lounging on his couch. He started to. Then he heard the sound of a toilet flushing. His toilet flushing. The bathroom door swung open and out came "She demanded to know if he". The fragment sauntered past him, 'Know' even nodded a little silent "hey" as it passed.

The fragment sat itself down on the couch next to 'Was'. It was a little tight. 'She' had to sit on the arm and 'He' was pretty much jammed up next to 'Was'. But now there was no mistaking it, seated on Gordon's couch and watching his TV was "She demanded to know if he was". It was a little unnerving. Especially when 'Demanded' frowned at him and jerked his thumb to the left. Apparently Gordon was blocking the TV. He moved.

'Was' looked up at Gordon and motioned with his toe towards the coffee table.

"I believe, that is yours." 'Was' said. 'Was' was indicating three perfectly round black dots sitting on the table next to Gordon's SELF magazine. An ellipsis. Gordon stood there agape. He didn't know what to do. He wanted to know what this was. What was happening? This was all very confusing.

'Was' spoke again having picked up on Gordon's confusion.

"Look buddy it's fairly straight forward. In 1999 you started writing a story called The Girl Who Loved Elephants. It was a fairly stupid story but never mind that. The last complete sentence you wrote was "She was very upset." and then you started another sentence. Do you remember?"

Gordon shook his head. He remembered the story and he didn't think it was stupid but he couldn't remember the next sentence at all. Wait a minute!

"That's right Skippy. You got it." 'Was' said in a fairly surly manner. "She demanded to know if he was..." 'Was' stood up. "Well? What did she demand to know?"

Gets Finished


What was on Gordon's mind at that moment was not the provision of a suitable ending for the sentence fragment that he had abandoned over six years before and that somehow now had elbowed its way into his apartment to demand satisfaction.

What was going on in Gordon's mind at that moment could only be described as a complete and total breakdown of rational thought. Gordon's brain was, ironically, forming a whole new bunch of sentence fragments. Some of these consisting of only a word or two, some merely a stuttered, inaudible sound: a wha? or huh? or fua...

Gordon's obvious confusion and impotence did not please the fragment now standing, somewhat menacingly, before him.

"Look Skippy" 'Was' said, 'Was' was obviously the ring leader, "It's you who got us into this mess and..." 'Demanded' poked Gordon in the chest for emphasis, "YOU who has to get us out."

'She' and 'He' nodded in agreement, 'Demanded' poked him in the chest again, 'To' and 'If' were hanging back a little but they didn't look very pleased with him either. Gordon's mind was swimming or. perhaps more accurately, drownproofing. How in the hell...? He didn't know...

"It occurs to me" Gordon turned, it was 'Know' who was sitting Gordon's chair and lighting a pipe "That perhaps we don't even need" he paused, puffing "this fellow". 'Know' indicated Gordon with the stem of his pipe.

"Waddaya mean?" 'Demanded' demanded.

"Well," the sage looking 'Know' said, puffing away on the pipe until a cloud of smoke surrounded him and he was partially obscured "This fellow doesn't seem all that bright. Since we got here he hasn't contributed much of anything. It seems to me that all we really need are a few more words and we can finish this thing ourselves. I mean," he paused for emphasis "it doesn't even really matter so much what the words are."

"Waddaya mean it don't matter?" 'Demanded' demanded. "It's gotta be a sentence!"

Gordon thought he saw 'Know' roll his eyes. Suddenly he knew what to say: "somebody who loved elephants too!" he blurted out.

All the collected words turned and stared at Gordon. 'Know' smiled. "Brighter than I thought." he stood up. "Well, gentlemen... and lady" he said nodding to 'She'. "It is time to go."

The now completed sentence suddenly disappeared and Gordon was left alone again in his apartment with a vague sense of accomplishment. It was watching the TV.


Public Service Announcement

Be aware that it is no longer safe to assume that crows (corvus brachyrhynchos) are strictly benevolent. Recent reports have indicated that there has been a certain amount of sniggering (crow style) behind our backs of late and they may, in fact, be up to something.