Mechanically Separated Chicken.

Saturday, August 31, 2002


We've stopped to refuel, so I thought I'd drop you a quick card. Sorry about the picture - it's all they had. There's no-one with tan lines like that out here, let me tell you. Ha ha.

Now, I've been thinking. You know how, when you were a kid, you used to fantasize about there being two of you? And how you wished so often that you were a pair of identical twins? It wasn't so much about having a twin, and therefore being able to fool other people. No, no. With you it wasn't about illusion, you wanted to actually be two people. In two places at once. To do two things simultaneously. To never be alone. To read your own mind. You wanted twice as much of everything.

Remember how you could levitate? Oh, of course you couldn't actually fly, but you could definitely float a few centimetres above the ground. It was really just a matter of effort, and most of the time you couldn't be bothered concentrating hard enough. It was the same with objects - opening drawers, moving salt-shakers, bending cutlery with your mind - there was no question that you could do it. The fact that you hadn't yet was proof only of the enormity of your unexercised potential.

Then at some point you asked your parents for a magic kit, and they bought you a second-hand one. I don't know quite what you were expecting, but it sure wasn't that battered cardboard box (the same familiar shape and size as Snakes and Ladders) with the photograph of two prestigitating, white, gloved hands on the lid. There were no gloves or top hat inside though - no secret compartments, no live animals, no saw for bisecting women. You soon realised that it contained, in fact, no magic at all but rather just a clumsy set of aluminium hoops, coloured nylon handkerchiefs and playing cards, all rigged for maximum disappointment. Nothing worked. The hoops broke the second time you used them.

You would have been happier had the box opened to reveal a plain white card that read, "Squeeze."

Or, "Hover."

Or, "It's happening right now."

(Incidentally, wasn't this was the year before the chemistry set? Another failure, and for similar reasons, ie. a lack of explosions.)

But anyway, back to the twin thing. It's like that right now and I thought you'd understand. It's impossible. I want it all squeezed together. No spaces, no gaps; just maximum density. Everything existing at once. I mean, sure, I want to be here - leaning against the car, writing this and getting red dust smeared all over my t-shirt. I like standing here in the sun, wearing the blue floppy kid's hat I found at yesterday campsite; playing with the dog's ears and waiting for H to come back from the toilets with a bottle of water. I do. I really, really do.

But still. There are other places. Places I'm not. An infinite number, actually. Not even counting distant planets with inhospitable atmospheres. Not even counting other truckstops at other towns in other countries. I think you know what I mean.

Oh good. H. just came back with chips and two brand new tapes for the car stereo: Queen and Toto. Plus, barley sugar for later. Who doesn't love barley sugar?

Look at this: already there are too many words for one postcard.

I'll call when we get back. (Abracadabra.)