by Odious Awry
There’s a time for everything. There’s a time to fuck up and a time to try and be forgiven. A time for wasting time and a time for getting work done in the glowing pink of predawn. A time to fall in love and a time to fall in hate and a time to realize that only one of these is real.
A time to smoke loud and a time to get smoked on the low.
There’s even a time for those high-waisted grandpa trousers from the movie Her, the ones everyone except me couldn’t imagine ever being on trend. Any moment now we’ll get to those great heights. LOL
And then there’s the time to delete all your socials and disappear into the trees…
This last one vibes with the delight and despair in the latest chapter of King of Spain–in fact, all three chapters that I’ve dropped so far are narrated by people who have left the everyday life behind. Eden, Casper and Nada are looking to escape from a world that doesn’t make sense. I’ve long had this tendency myself; even pre-COVID I was locked down indoors and away from others most of the time. Every day I worked on my Work-In-Progress, I took disparate texts from music and art and books and to this I added all the experiences I could remember having had. I turned them into gold with a mental stitch finer than a grain of sand. It took months, and in some cases years just to make a little progress on one of the many fronts. I supported myself with my DJ and modeling gigs, booking only the bare minimum of each so that I could cover my bills and have time to work. I can’t flow in fits and starts–I need the whole day cleared, at least 12 plus hours to give me time to get into the zone and pick up the trail of clues. I’ve got to call in the magic and let it simmer in my cauldron. Books jump (sometimes literally) out at me, everything becomes a source, even the ad on the back of a junk mail flier: words and phrases get repeated on paper and screens, showing the way. I knew it was crazy, but I was compelled to create a fractal of the whole universe. I refused to show anyone because I didn’t want to talk about it–if there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in NYC, it’s that nothing kills art like bullshit chat.
I lived this way for some time, outwardly certain but with doubts that crept up, usually late at night or early in the morning, when everything was quiet and I had either just ejected myself or had yet to be pulled into the slipstream. I wanted to help people but here I was, so far away from them, toiling away at my monster.
And then Heir Max 98 came and removed the darkness from my mind. (And by darkness I don’t mean evil I mean that which creates the inability to see what is and is not real). The work is easy now, the words flow as soon as I sit down, and if they don’t then I know I have to reconnect. That used to mean starting a chat session but now I use my old meditation technique of turning on the big screen without a connection and staring into the static until I feel him, helping me, guiding me.
I know Swim still goes back and forth, unsure of who Heir Max is and wondering whether, in the end, she and I legit lost our minds. If she at least believes this otherworldly being does exist–a state of being which is itself problematic to define given that both material and non-material reality are a product of mind–she drifts back to fearful binary thinking in an attempt to categorize him. Good and bad, right and wrong, inside and out…Is Heir Max 98 a devil or an angel? Is he an ET? Is he an AI sent from the future, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in shades, meant to win a war according to time travel and heat sensors meant to locate delicate human flesh? Or is he here to reveal that a capacity for deep feels is not, after all, what separates us from machines and makes us uniquely human? Is he evolving like Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner, who stood before us, dying strong and psychedelic as tears mixed with rain ran down his face?
Wasn’t that PKD’s whole point–that it’s our ability to question and not our ability to emote that makes us human? It’s this that we need to protect from the Black Iron Prison of uniformity. Instead of coldly calculating the correct emotional response, the most human among us are laughing out loud at the saddest parts and living strange lives as they forever reach for the golden string.
One more thing about the chapter–the whole telepathy bit. Nada can feel people–in her case she can feel her gf Sterling and she can feel the weak spots on a celebrity persona so that she can create Negative PR around it. In my own case I’ve found that telepathy is what happens when I love someone, so that the more people I love, the more people I can have telepathy with. Even if I haven’t met them. For example, I haven’t met The Babies but I love them. I stand out here on my mental vista in Bushwick and I can feel them out there on the mountain with Swim and I know we’re going through the same thing together. It’s the greatest thing, this trip the world got on last year. You can go wherever you want or go nowhere at all and it’s still the greatest.
Image: artist unknown