Saturday, May 21, 2011

Semi-Realtime Notes: Oh No Everything Is Wet Now

This is a new e-book collaboration by ANA C and RICHARD CHIEM

I'm reading this and feeling it out. Right now. That's how this will work. Okay?

Follow the path with me. Here.


I go to Magic Helicopter Press and read the little blurby, though not thoroughly and then click.

Gah: my first thought. I sort of curse Chrome because it loaded the page wrong.

I think something went wrong.

Something went wrong. A dull metallic background. Seems like pre-2k html.


A cat is wearing red sunglasses. The left temple extends in a solid line, breaking eastward in a beam towards an unknown destination. It forms a path. Subconsciously I remember on the previous page, something about following and so I follow this red line to the next destination, curious at my discovery.

Scene 1

A google image search for the term "oh no everything is wet now". Screen-cap art is beautiful to me, the collection of what is seen through the eyes of the browser's browser... here a feminine Hitler, Ana herself, some prominent font-bits from Richard's blog. This is the e-book existing externally within itself. A short meditation on what it "is" to exist at all on the internet.

Scene 2

Red line continues to break right. We're still in the intro-credits. Another cap, an RTF doc cap, "A NOVELLA IN SMALL PARTS", Richard's lips stretch still and pink and pixelated in a canvas over the red path which now turns south. I click the play button (which seems to pierce Chiem's lower lip). My shitty internet connection sends a white spiral into motion. Ana and Richard start chanting the title of the e book, shaky at first but building in confidence and improvisation. They walk through a city and laugh and chant and Richard suggests a swimming pool they can visit.

Note: Going to a pool.

Scene 3

Following the path south now. Another video, another pixel-Chiem. He's standing at the apex of an escalator. Where is the fucking pool? What's in his hand. I click the button. More load time. Ana asks "up or down". Slightly to the left of the video I see the first hard "text" of the e book and as I read it, Ana also reads it as they explore the motion of an escalator in forward and reverse motions. Up and down. The piece analyzes distance, someone attractive in the distance at some restaurant the distraction makes the food seem stale.

Scene 4

The path has gone from red to silver. It breaks left now and I slide my fingers along the touchpad and go, flow. More video still. More RTF screencap. More prose on food. Eggs now. Richard reads, he holds a double umbrella. Someone thinks of the narrator, and the narrator thinks of someone. Ana cuts in and drops ice. Everyone drops ice and it's a terrible feeling because it's a crash and a spill all at once. Narrator (Ana) is sorry she ruins everything. Everything is in ruin and I feel sad and imagine ice melting.

I want to better understand this image so I take opportunity from my desire to piss. I get up and piss and go to the freezer and take out an ice cube and drop it onto the floor and leave it there. Now the metaphor exists. There is no moisture yet, the ice is still in form.

Scene 5

The path is red again and southward and I follow her to a new space. A new video and a pee story. I'm getting the drift of this now. I just peed. Now there is a pee story. Peeing, looking out windows. Seems like a good moment of any day. Another mantra: Now is Now. There is a simplicity here in each image and a message that sort of curls out at you like carving rind from apple. What is the use in thinking? It seems dull and deadly. You think only in the past or future only of what you've done or what you'll do or what they've done or what they'll do. Now is now and really the only time you have to know yourself.

The ice cube is struggling to hold itself together. I can see its perspiration now. I bet if I lift it up it will reveal a puddle. I'm not going to touch it.

Scene 6

A brief intermission. I follow the line, silver again. Another google image cap. "Now is Now". I note a story within the cap, and a video. This is the most descriptive piece yet. Richard is watching Tao's BEBE ZEVA DVD. They've made it to the pool. Richard exclaims "FUCK THE MOON". There is a tension arising, a mention of the suffering. There is a connection between two people. There is a connection between people who know each other's cell phone numbers. There is a new kind of way to hurt the one you love by ignoring their light on the little ear box.

There it is, I see the ice. I see the water. The floor is hard wood. I'm in my mother's house. She's going to be upset. I feel happy.

Scene 7 

Breaking right again on silver to the story of an orange and tits. Women compare their breasts to food. My breasts are pears. Bebe's breasts are plums. Ana writes breasts as oranges. Nutrition. Mexican nipples. Spicy candy. Ola.

The ice is forming into water. I fight an urge to wipe it up. The video is musical, repetitive. "Theycontrolmetheycontrolmetheycontrolme". Seems urgency is increasing.

Scene 8

Mary had a little lamb but I have a computer. Richard walks through a produce section. The female character watches a wall. She's slow and drunk and cracking. The wood is whispering her name. Seems to be a despair here. I don't know. I feel odd.

I don't want to look at my ice cube.

Scene 9

Ana on a zebra rug. What is a suicide girl? I've googled it. Now I know. Ana mentions camel toe. Seems like this is the first time I've heard camel toe in fiction. Is that possible? Is camel toe cliche? No. Not yet.

The ice is gone. Maybe.

Scene 10

The line is black now. I've made it this far. The place is at once uncomfortable and familiar and sad. Magic. The characters are together again. What are these things, this places in the relationship? Seems like they are the things we don't feel compelled to speak about, they seem to feely or too abstract to describe. Seems like there is a finger on a slug in this piece, pressing slow but hard and pushing out a colored goo. I've been here before, in cupcake land.


Scene 11

A flurry or images now and a new aggression. HaHa You fuck. Pop cultural name dropping galore. Everyone wears red lipstick and only Gwen Stefani isn't a clown. I keep looking at the pink cupcake on the screen. Ana laughs at "coexistence". What's so funny? Feels like I know. Feels like I have a lot of shame right now. I'm thinking of my own life. My mother is stomping around upstairs, working and cleaning. I'm down here blogging. Messing up the hardwood. Haha.

The floor is wet.

Scene 12

 Richard is eating cupcake. The next piece has another staircase. Is this the third or fourth reference to one? The narrator escapes into a room, seems to be in a place he'd like to be but can't be there. I like the line about sexual tension.

I want a cupcake. I need some paper towel. The floor is soaked. The cube has made a splash. I can't look away now. It's been a few minutes, me just watching the shape form and, not form.

Scene 13

A silver line shoots north, it's a long scroll all the way up. Here we go. This is it. I'm at the end. The path ends here. Richard is at the pool, working at the umbrella. Two people retreat into a room to FUCK. The story fades away as the narrator imagines fucking fruit. Ana and Richard chant in a thumbnail sized thumbnail video "Oh No Everything is Wet Now"

I'm getting up. I'm going to look for mistakes in this blog and clean the floor. I'm going to go upstairs and face my family. Our house rests on the edge of a small lake. There are loons fucking musically not far off. I can hear them, but I can't see them. It is one misty morning.


  1. Nice job, Frank. I enjoyed reading this and visualizing the book in my head.

    Interested in your comments about thinking