It is true that my name is Kalashnikov, and that I have returned. This is not to say that I was gone, for I was always present, to myself. I labor this point only because I wish to inspire no rumours of a departing and of a return, of a passing and a reanimation, of a death and a resurrection. If you hear stories along such lines, of my resurrection and of my offers of a blesséd redemption, pay no attention. Paradise is a work of deceit, calculated to prey upon your credulity. They will invariably ask for money, but do not give it to them. Simply walk away, paying no heed to their stories.
It sounds easy enough, the walking away from a story, but in truth nothing is more difficult, for we are susceptible to stories. They seduce, and we find it impossible to turn away. It is something to do with the limbic system, or chemistry, or perhaps the brain. Perhaps our emotions, rendering us an easy prey. The only recourse is a prophylaxis, the prevention of story, the refusal to be interpolated. To this end I do not venture outdoors until I have blocked my ears with a suitable material (e.g. a soft cheese) and have likewise stopped up my eyes with duct tape. Once I have rendered myself impervious to the world I may go about my business, indifferent both to the wisdom and folly of man. I say man, but of course the wisdom and folly of a woman is also a matter of indifference. In a sense what I have accomplished is to have made an existential retreat from reality in order to reconstitute it in solipsistic terms.
In this sense it is true that I was away, but only in this limited sense. I pay no heed to the world and its antiquated practices, its quaint evocation of reality. These affectations may no longer reach me, as I stumble along the road, or rather crawl, upon all fours, until my knees bleed. And then I go about on my belly, as a snake does, abjuring the affectations of our species, the consumers’ tastes of the moment, the trendy lifestyle options of the hour. Instead I reach to the further horizon, the alternative facts, the unseen and uncreated reality. Because I cannot see reality, I cannot find it, and I must therefore create it. It is not there until I have willed it, crawling along in total darkness on my belly, as a serpent, oblivious to human commerce.
Did I not say I have been busy? Yes, I was busy. “Busy doing what?” you say. Busy crawling about the city, my ears stinking of cheese, willing into existence my world-historical conception. Nor am I finished at this work, if I am honest, which I rarely ever am. Before I came upon this idea of mine, to block out the world in order to go in search of it, I endured the endless chatter of the masses, everyone to a man claiming forever to be busy. I say “to a man,” but it is the same of a woman. For, you see, everyone is always busy all the time, man or woman, or woman transitioning, or man transitioning, and so on. And yet it is impossible to say what anyone is accomplishing, and of what human value this perennial busyness is. As no one is able to say what her busyness means, I hit upon the idea of a pure busyness, busyness-in-itself, which is to say a busyness that is indifferent to everything beyond. And I hit upon the idea of crawling about on all fours with nothing but my busyness as company. Then came the refinements: the crawling on my belly to prevent the scraping of my knees, the stopping up of my nose, the deadening of my sense of touch with medications.
They tell me I have missed a great many things in my time away. They tell me that the President is busy, and that drama and chaos reign. They tell me that the world has gone mad. My only reply is to chortle an abrupt “HAHA!” Perhaps that is not a chortle, but rather a kuffah or a gabble, if those are indeed words, which they are because I have spoken them. Well, let the world go mad, I say. I am busy at my conception, indifferent to all else. Nothing disturbs me. Let everything burn and perish, I am interested only in the distant horizon of my Idea, toward which I crawl, on my belly, in the silent unfeeling darkness.
“Ah, foolish Kalashnikov,” you say, “has the President himself not provided you a mission?” He has provided me a mission, yes, he has. I cannot speak of it. Let it be enough to say that my mission is in no way impeded by this quest of mine for the Immaculate Conception, as I am calling it. Indeed, the two go well together. Indeed, they are the same. It is a matter of on the one hand versus on the other. Note that I am not speaking of hands, which is to say of literal hands. Metaphorical hands, by all means, if there must be hands. There is on the one hand the truth of the world, and on the other hand there is the President’s truth, metaphorically speaking. Again, it is a matter of one’s conception. Perhaps your conception differs from the President’s, but no matter. If I have learned one thing in this pisshole of a world, it is that nothing matters. And if I have learned one other thing, and only a second thing, it is that everything matters. So you see, even two incongruous things may coexist, cohabitate, conjoin. From which it follows that my quest and the President’s quest may also conjoin, be they ever so incongruous. I am not suggesting that they are in fact incongruous, only that this does not preclude their conjoining.
If nothing else, I have almost, and by accident, found peace. A slight peace, a momentary peace, a suggestion of peace. Yes, the idea that there may be a conceivable peace somewhere has occurred, quite by accident. All it required is that I block my senses with cheese, etc. and that I crawl about on my belly. It happens that the less I am aware of this hectic world of men, the more interesting and the more attractive it is. When my ears etc are fully blocked I find the world is a work of beauty and of exquisite intelligence. I crawl about in the higher wisdom of oblivion, where the voices of women are siren songs, and not the usual quotidian chatter
– And I was like totally
– Ohmygod that is like so totally
– Yes, it is so totally like and I was like
and there in the distance is the horizon, the elusive conception, the Truth.