Indefinite Length, Part 2

9. Mar. 2018

Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 1
Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 2

Indefinite Length, Part 2

Fever dreams are part of the healing process. You know this even as you complain aloud in the darkness about having to wipe sweat off your chest, and getting back into bed to lay in a coolish puddle. Elevated body temperature is proof that your cellular soldiers are on patrol. War zone wet sheets and now you're awake, remembering the dream, mind casting about for proof of which parts actually happened.

Metaphorically, of course. You're convinced you learned something.

It always starts at your parents' house, you're always back home, they are working in the garden together and the sun is shining. Maybe the dog is there, maybe another dog you don't recognize. Maybe the backyard is full of relatives. Your bike is in the garage. No one has died, divorced, moved away, except you. Your boss from two jobs ago is in the kitchen, and your ex from three relationships ago is suddenly there and grabs your hand to escape from some nameless threat. (That threat would be your cold virus, but you don't have a cold now, not here.) You run and the house becomes a great wooden sailing ship at sea, you're on the deck, and the wind is steady. Crowds of people mill about dressed like summer tourists and your ex is now from only one relationship ago. You have a sense that something is expected of you, but your only impulse is to keep moving.

Night has fallen and you are walking through a parking lot, in a city you don't recognize. A distant fast food sign shines high above the scene, like a plastic moon, and a group of older kids (some multi-ethnic gang from an 80's dystopian future movie; man, their clothes are crazy) are trying to play basketball across the tops of empty cars. You understand that they would kill you for invading their territory but the buildings around the lot are close and tall and you can't see a way out. You have a children's book with you, and decide to sit and read it, but the pages scribble themselves until everything is a tangle of black and purple lines, red crayon, and typewriter mistakes. The kids have seen you now, and pull knives on you, so you read the book to them.

On the other side of the parking lot, your (dead) father watches, and he is young and un-handicapped. That is when you know you are dreaming. That is when the fever breaks.

Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 2
Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 2

This is the New Stuff - "Indefinite Length, Part 2" is part of the Indefinite Length series! Kim Breeding-Mercer is letting go of the cubical and the shovel. Instead she has laid out the plans for a design build. She regularly engages in the clarity of business with the language we all use. The difference is that she is accountable. Her words are fluid like the river. Her words are strong. Kim's dancing the way she likes. No matter what you think. You can thank her later.

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 2"

#OgFOMK #KimBreedingMercer #IndefiniteLength #IDP1 #IDP2 #Fiction



Predatory Garage

07. Mar. 2018

The first obstacle to attending the Norfolk Public Library Local Authors Fair was parking in the Main Street Garage.  We pulled in that Saturday morning around 9:30. The garage has a system which works by a driver pressing a green button, a device then ejects a time and date stamped ticket, the restraining arm goes up, and the driver can go in.

What I did not know is that there is a time limit to this.  If you press the button, and the ticket spits out, you must take the ticket within a limited number of seconds, or the restraining gate will not rise.

I was not fast enough.  But I did not know you could simply repeat the ritual, retain the second ticket, and – if you were quick enough – be rewarded with the rise of the restraining arm.

I saw an attendant and flagged her, whereupon she motioned and went the other way.  I sat waiting for about two minutes, then engaged the horn on my stunningly loud Ford Focus.  Quickly, the attendant appeared, repressed the button, took the ticket and handed it to me, the restraint rose, and I was able to enter the garage.

The Main Street Garage was not through with me, however.

Later that evening, upon exit, I could not reach the exit slot into which I had to enter my ticket to leave.  It seems most of the various slots on the exit machinery are designed to be operated from monster trucks.  The obvious solution is to stop well back of the machine, walk up, conclude business, watch the arm rise, get back in the nearby car and drive through. 

The exit designers had anticipated this.  The machinery will not work unless the car is pulled up parallel to the device, as monitored by a sensor in the pavement alongside the exit automaton.

So, my wife exited the car, I pulled up, she squeezed between the car and the leering machinery, placed the ticket – which had been validated by Norfolk Public Library – into the slot, the gate lifted, I drove through, the wife joined me on the other side.

Sunday morning, it took me two tries, but I foiled the entrance monitor and got in with relative ease.  The garage, as I would learn later, apparently took notice.

When we attempted to leave, we executed our Saturday method, but when the wife inserted the ticket – which again, had been validated by Norfolk Public Library – the screen showed “Ticket not valid for exit – press help”.  I had a downed gate in front of me, and two other people wanting to exit (did I note that only one exit lane was open?) behind me.  I was trapped.

We hit the help button, which phoned someone, who spoke to us through a speaker, and decided there was something wrong with our ticket.  She advised we talk to the Norfolk Public Library.  Not great advice since I was blocking the only exit from the garage, and traffic was already backing up behind me.  We read her the numbers on the ticket, the time, the date, and offered to pay if she could tell us how much we owed and allow us to ransom our way out of the garage.  She phoned someone else.  That person had us try the ticket again.  Neither of the help people had ever heard of exactly the directions I was getting from the self-satisfied device’s screen.

We conversed for perhaps three minutes, until she asked me what lane I was in, and magically the restraining gate rose, I drove through, retrieved my wife, and we hurtled off into freedom.

We will stay clear of the Main Street Garage.  If we present at the Local Authors Fair next year, we will park at MacArthur Mall, pay the parking ourselves, feel safer.  Being eaten by a parking garage once is quite enough.  We feel lucky not to be sitting there now, ensnarled in the enmity of automation, machinery and concrete.

Ken Poyner - Predatory Garage
Ken Poyner - Predatory Garage

Ken Poyner's - Predatory Garage is about the future, which is now. The future is one where we all need s little coaching into whatever contraption big brother has thought of. Big brother is compassionate and wants to get paid too, just like the rest of us. But big brother hired his little brother who is on crack to engineer the fast paced, stuck on stupid, eschellon of goodness. Ken is letting us know that his journey is perhaps an excuse for automation or a retraction for luddites. What do you think?

© Ken Poyner / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Predatory Garage"

#OgFOMK #KenPoyner #LocalAuthorsFair #Parking #Norfolk #Tidewater #HamptonRoads



New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!

3 Mar. 2018
By Mykel Board - Bio

New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!
New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!

Question 1: How do they know who is and who isn't?

Question 2: This is a landmark building... once the tallest in North America. Do they have a right to deny entrance only to tourists?

Question 3: How about if the tourist is accompanied by a native?

Mykel Board shows that a sign in New York is getting kind of picky.  Sort of like the sign here in Portsmouth that says: "Swimming Point" and then another sign under it: "No Swimming."

If you've enjoyed his writing here. Look below and check out his books.

© Mykel Board / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Mykel's Photos - "New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!"

Hashtags: #OgFOMK #MykelBoard #NewYorkLife #Tourists