Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

By Madama Mama

Not so long ago, in a dimension quite possibly accessible, there lived a remarkable people called the angles. Although the angles had once had rotations and well rounded arguments , they discovered the more angles they used, the fewer loop holes they needed. With time the possibility curve disappeared. The information market was cornered and all subjects were packed into boxes. The subjects, having long ago become accustomed to square roots and graphic design were content to accumulate boxes, some gathering so many, they began to shape artificial mansions and sell them to aspiring box owners who didn’t yet know all the angles.

The new box owners, however, became deeply perturbed. They discovered that though they were secondary owners, the primary responsibility for maintaining the structural integrity of their assimilated cubicles, which; being only boxes deteriorated at a very rapid rate; relied on them. They had also acquired a very unpleasant new neighbor who went by the name of Budget Deficit. Bud, as he was often called, was fond of leaving paper trails to the doors of the artificial mansions. Since this constituted littering and littering was against the law, the new box owners were instantly evicted and forced to fight and scramble for smaller boxes. Having run into all the corners that they could, they discovered a new angle who promised to introduce them to His Royal Majesty Holiday, Emperor of the White Dynasty.

Emperor Holiday listened gravely to their plea, then pronounced ponderously, “you really have nothing that I want for all you have is boxes. Boxes, you see are disposable and I prefer far more permanence. I’ve heard it rumored that close to your town, buried deeply in a mountain, is a brilliant stone whose glory outshines all the rest and whose girth is without measure. Bring to me this treasure, and you shall have boxes beyond your wildest dreams.”

The evicted box owners were excited. They missed the comforting shelter of their boxed in lives and were eager to return to it. They created a master plan. Appealing to all the angles by demonstrating on a graphic chart the degrees and folds necessary for the construction of unlimited boxes, they received permission to remove the mountain.

They discovered this was no easy task. Once they had removed the mountain, they had no place to put it, so they dumped it in the sea. This annoyed the fish, who never quite liked anglers anyway, and swam away to a more hospitable location. This also made the fishermen unhappy, but as they had never accumulated very many boxes, their happiness was not considered important. The removal continued; bringing up enough gold, coal and metal to keep any box owner happy, but still they couldn’t find the stone for Emperor Holiday. “You must dig deeper,” the Emperor advised. This presented quite a dilemma for a people who had squared their pies, drew straight lines and grafted intersections because every time they used their square pegs, the hole filled in. They finally consulted a spatial specialist.

The specialist carefully measured the degrees of each corner and calculated the width and length. He admired the precision of the shaft, but shook his head. “You’re going about this all wrong. You can’t have angles. You’ll have to use curves.”

The evicted box owners were scandalized. “I say,” said one, clearing his throat. “Isn’t that a little discriminatory?”
“Not at all,” said the specialist. “There is a high success rate among those who use angles, but there are times when you need to throw in a few curves.”

The evicted box owners felt a little barbaric about throwing curves into their shaft, but agreed that anything was worth a sacrifice for Emperor Holiday. As the curves tumbled downward, the evicted box owners noticed a very curious pattern. They once more consulted the spatial specialist who appreciated the curves and got down to serious business. “What you’ve created is called a spiral. It’s somewhat like an inverted bubble.”

The evicted box owners murmured among themselves. They understood bubbles. They once used them to support their boxes until the bubbles burst. “Are you sure so many curves won’t be dangerous?” They worried. “They could begin a revolutionary thought.”

“Just handle your curves with care,” advised the spatial specialist. “And the shaft will take care of itself.”

So they continued to throw in curves while the spiral grew larger, deeper; it’s sweeping, circular motion drawing in the countryside. It became so large it acquired a sliding scale and developed an annual interest rate. After months of pit falls and talking in circles, they began to see a point. At the bottom of the shaft was the tip of a most beautiful and enormous jewel. Here at last, was a viable asset for an equitable return to Emperor Holiday. The evicted box owners began immediately digging around the base of the stone, pulling and prying until it wobbled. “I found a loose end!” Cried one of the evicted joyously. “If we can’t have our boxes back, at least we’ll be able to build a tax shelter.”

It took a number of angles to establish a loophole where the point could be excavated from its position, but their efforts finally dislodged it and they maneuvered it with a blanket coverage so they could obscure its destination with Emperor Holiday. Then, a catastrophe occurred. As they removed the point of the shaft, the annual adjustments dropped. The hole became a vortex, liquidating everything in sight, then sweeping on, drawing in the paper trail, the boxes, most of the angles and even Budget Deficit. “Quickly,” said the engineer of shafting. “We need to put a cap on this. We’re being flushed down the drain.” So the evicted box owners drove the point home and stopped the flow of mutual funds.

When it was over, there was nothing left except a great depression and a single, badly injured angle who piteously cried, “I wish to file a petition with Homeland Security. I’ve been earmarked for capital gain.” Being a very weak angle, he was routinely ignored.

They again consulted the spatial specialist, who, upon reviewing their progress report, nodded his head wising and said, “Yes, by all appearances, you’ve lost to this round.”

“This is the pits!” Moaned the evicted box owners. “We have no paper trails, no boxes, not even a tax shelter. Whatever are we going to do?”

The spatial specialist, who by then was tired of people who think in boxes, sighed. “I suppose you’ll just have to find more angles.”

By karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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