Feed one kind and starve another.
The boxes in which they were stored accumulated crumbs in the corners, evidence of dissolution, of the shells’ complicity with stardust, with the antihuman ebb of entropy. One day on a visit to his grandparents’ neighbor he spotted on a coffee table a hideous decorative clock from Florida ornamented with affixed shells, several valuable specimens possibly ruined with clumps of glue and glitter. Shells grew, he understood now. They were clocks themselves. They lurked in fathomless beds of frond and mud, were exuded in octopus and shark shit.
(Finding only crumbs in the corners, he licks meaning from the air before fluttering out of focus entirely, a waver in light and space with a whispering voice made yet of sharp edges.)
That redolent active ingredient thus consumed and absorbed, eyes electrified and seeking ever to advance through brick, through bone, or to simply lead this body by high beams blazing into some new moment, an original experience invigorating all that was once considered known. Another possibility, of course, is that you’re lost and staring at yourself in the same mirror you use to rehearse all those pointless invented scenarios in preparation for conflicts unlikely to come.
The first act of reading the secret inscriptions that underwrote the universe.
What I find depressing is that you can pay to have your filthy name put on a star or a crater on the moon that never did anything to hurt you in the first place, never so much as glanced in your direction.
which gave his life a new grim purpose
Drugs and music made another set of twins. Each were like seashells or stardust you took into your body.
staring at the uncreditted taxidermist’s eyeball work, he spotted the telltale glue
he had fantasies of flash-laminating his coffee table, capturing everything on it in a plastic glob, magazine, coins, half-eaten sandwich, ashtray
a ‘real’ collector tolerated the slippage, the loose and therefore implicitly temporary nature of his hoard
you glued shit to backgrounds like a maniac
what the fuck was drymount, anyway
Back in the main house, they were introduced. The ruddy-faced hunter’s eyes glistened with impatience at the inadequate hairless apes circulating among his kills. In that razor-look the collector felt himself collected, or at least browsed. The hunter had worked out a handshake unlike any other, encircling a proffered hand in a tight ring and squeezing the line of knuckles together to produce unmistakably intentional pain. You had to grant it was an accomplishment: a handshake you’d gnaw your arm off to get free of.
They made tidy analogues for sex or the forest, possibly more satisfying than any wider exploration would ever be, certainly safer. Drugs and songs were seashells he could seek to turn into pennies.