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Anatomical terms of location

By Cali Dux.

Anatomical terms of location

The world is fringed with old people who have traversed the baffling years and what have they carried over that time? Whatever it is it can’t transmit. They approach me and tell me to use the library slips as insoles, or to run my thumb down a page in order to read it quickly, and where are all your friends?? (they ask me.) I humour them but I don’t know what they are trying to communicate. It must be traces from the violent days of their forging.

In 1964 the return capsule of the American Corona spy satellite #1005 misjudged re-entry and landed in a field in Uruguay. The impact, and subsequent handling of the capsule, led to exposure and destruction of the film contained inside.

as long as I wake up every hour, on the hour, dressed
the trees out there had been steamed by the water but she wasn’t worried about it because she and her husband knew it was going on so they could just let it happen and it’s ok
ok look listen to me there was shouting outside, you went outside, and by the time you got there they were turning the corner, you just need to say that and I’ll fill in the rest
[non-verbal communication consisting of a stare then a smile followed closely by severe censure]
with regards to morals, I do have something to say
mathematics because they’re all writing nonsense. don’t forget now. visual research methods. ha ha

It is unclear as to whether or not the old people are trying to transmit a cohesive body of information or set of impressions towards me. But fine, what if they aren’t trying? Or: what if they aren’t “trying”?

59 old people have approached me on the street in the last 64 days, ostensibly to communicate with me. Their words are, more often than not, nonsensical (on first examination). One thing remains clear: this is not accidental. 59 out of 64 cannot be explained away as a mere anomaly, statistically insignificant like benefit fraud or civilian casualties. I believe this to be the fruiting of (i.e. ‘the coming to fruition of’) the latest leg in a long campaign, the roots of which stretch back to the murky hinterland of the Cold War, before then even, before these old people were born and before their quiet manipulators too were conscious.

Twenty years from now all of my geriatric interlocutors will have passed on. By that time I hope to be in a well paying consultancy or finance role, having left all this vaguely threatening uncertainty behind me. But I cannot escape the sense that like them I too am a pawn in a plan which has no visible aim except to play itself out, whilst in turn facilitating the unfolding of its anterior movement.

Because I feel their words could compel my future actions. Anyone is liable, or able, to influence anyone else through the words they speak – and I believe we can agree on that. What if for example their words lie in my memory only later to be activated in conjunction with a particular set of circumstances? I’m thinking of films such as The Manchurian Candidate or the hugely successful Bourne series.

The capsule from 1964 most likely had pictures of Russia inside it. Corona satellites captured images on very large format film and then communicated the unprocessed negatives to earth in the return capsule, where they were developed in secret by Kodak technicians at the so and so lab in wherever, northern North America.

I am the Corona spy satellite #1005, trailing across the earth, serene and disposable. I wait until I drift over my subject, I take my photograph and then, seamlessly, automatically (I imagine by clockwork) I release my return capsule to earth and go dormant. The contents of my capsule are a mystery to all on the planet.

10-23 from above

A fourteen year old posted a dvd through the letterbox of a forty-three year old man for his birthday.

A car drove up fast then stopped quick. A man got out of the driver’s side and strode round to the passenger seat. He opened the door and pulled out a woman. She fell onto the road and he let her fall (she was crying). The man walked back round and got into the car then drove away. Fifteen minutes later she was still crying but sitting on the curb. When offered a cigarette she said no smoking is bad for you.

A middle-aged couple were on a bed next to each other. The man read a book, clothed. The woman, naked, lifted her left leg up and down slowly.

A man asked for a pound.

A man was found dead in an exterior basement.

A child was found dead, strangled by her own clothes, hanging from the barbed wire by the side of the railway tracks.

An old man walked out of a building and set fire to himself. The next day there were some ashes near the drain but no other indication.

A blind woman walked into a car parked across the pavement. It had its hazard lights flashing.

A twelve-year-old put eight lit cigarettes in his mouth to show off, was reprimanded.

Apparently he’s a paedophile and he had sex with her when she was thirteen. I was invited on that trip. Her mother was not all there. I liked him.

For your cousin? Sure man. Twenty pounds.

Cali Dux is a writer who lives in Britain.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, October 17th, 2014.