I'd like to send you an update on my status. Since last I wrote, I've cleared some hurdles and dodged some hairy foes on my way out of this mess. Thankfully I found a knife in one of the many abandoned shelters littered about. And yes, I'm calling this a mess now. Not yet a disaster, but still, I don't know how I let this happen. It's still interesting here and all that, so I suppose that's something I shouldn't take for granted. For example, the light here whirls between a vivid hue-infested orgy, to a state of lurking greys and strange shadows. It's really nice.
Anyways, what I was eager to write about is this cashmere sweater I’m wearing. It's the only thing grounding me to my previous life. It's so god damned cozy and it reminds me of home. It's lightweight, warm, and comfortable. And for sure, comfort is needed on this weird island with seemingly unlimited abstraction, not to mention odd, and to my eye, discordant plant life. And I hesitate to use that word, “abstraction,” since this place’s reality is no doubt pretty straight forward to its native inhabitants, whoever they are (I’m gathering clues). In fact, most likely I am the abstraction. This cozy sweater is the abstraction, this letter to you. Everything is twisted now. Nothing makes sense, and I wonder if words add up. My only relationship to language anymore are these letters. I still have this typewriter and have a few blank pages left, my prized possessions. They are stand-in for hope, like years left to live. Bah!
Most days I wander this confusing landscape mumbling and getting lost in impossibly nonsensical fixations. My latest mumblings are the words “cashmere” and “yer.” I keep saying the phrase cashmere yer all day long, and I don't know the fuck why. Excuse my Swedish. I kid. But something about cashmere yer has got me all riled up. I first wrote it off to the paranoid non sequitur fixations, last seen in frequency during my stoned youth. But lately I'm convinced it's much more than that. Charles, I think I've stumbled onto the key to this place.
You see, cashmere is luxurious and cozy. Hands down. And I find that people who adorn their figure in this fiber take luxury and comfort seriously. They also like animals and enjoy being close to them. And they don't condone their slaughter for the sake of a sophisticated wardrobe. They are a mostly moral people. (Quite different from those leather people). Pair this understanding with the word “yer,” and things get interesting. Of course, “yer” is not an actual word, but represents a rich tapestry of interpretive possibilities. Is yer a stand in for you or yours? Shorthand for year? Or maybe the sound of an involuntary auditory gasp when one is punched in the god damned face? Yer! Or even more horrific, the last gasp of life as death ushers in? Like, “Charles…<cough> I think I see the light..yer…” The end.
You, yours, year, and “yer” as involuntary gasp. Life and death. Don’t you see the pattern? You are only a real “you” if you posses life. And that possession is defined as a state of “yours.” And we are all measured against the metric of “years.” How old are you? How much or how many: lovers, babies, books read, money, countries visited, and people have you destroyed? Last year, this year, next year. Year after year after year, until that final involuntary, unretractable yer!
Undeniably there is “abstraction” in all this. No doubt. But out here it seems totally clear: I must find comfort and elegance in the whirl. I must get cozy with all of these ominous specters that drift alongside me.
Set me free
Aboard a ship
Beneath the sea
I remember those lines from before. I have no idea where they came from. Perhaps similar to “Ring Around the Rosie.” I always liked the ending: “Life is but a dream.” Scratch that. That particular line belongs to “Row Row Your Boat!”. In any case, didn’t you always used to recite that line to me, in jest?
I am writing this letter indoors, safe and with sturdy shelter. Every day I walk and explore my surroundings, only to find one abandoned shelter after another. Hard to tell what, or who, once inhabited these structures, or for what purpose they were built. But there are tools and resources to be found in these shelters. To pass the boredom, I sometimes turn my attention to the abundant indigenous plant life on the island and attempt to cultivate it. I find that the results of my potted stasis to this plant life mirrors the odd nature of my own predicament: fragile but exuberant, extravagantly on the edge of full collapse, symbiotic, at war, alone, frequently sexually aroused for no particular reason, mad, and completely “out there.” Like I said in the beginning, it's all a mess.
I think I've written enough and besides, it's time for some rest. I'm leaving my current shelter in the morning. I've an eye towards the sea but we'll discover what more this land is yet to bring. I'm far from defeated and so you needn’t worry. I'll be taking a few essential belongings with me, as I intend to survive as much as I intend to stay comfortable and remain nary a fibers width away from any and all remnants of luxury.