Author’s Note to the Reader:

The following is an excerpt from my novel-in-progress, Mere Increments. Roger Jeffries is a low-level IT employee for the Iowan company, Everett Paper Corporation. Lately, his main responsibility at work has been to develop a self-sustaining computer system that will ultimately render his position obsolete. Various responses to this predicament cloud his consciousness. His wife, Mary, is a practitioner of New Age therapeutic remedies, but their attempts to mutually “define” Roger have fallen short. Another option is Project Ω, a homemade bit of coding that will ruin his company’s computer systems if deployed. In this section, Roger “plays CEO,” considering the elements of his life as he seeks to understand himself.

*          *          *

The days often reach a certain point where Roger Jeffries finds himself away from the office. At these points—the same point reached each day, the lunch hour—Roger Jeffries locks his and fellow systems analyst Bruce Keeler’s computers (the latter is widely known to be disgruntled and thus frequently away from their shared cubicle) and leaves the building, unannounced. He blends into the slightly elevated level of lunchtime traffic—as elevated as it can be in Carroll, Iowa—and circles his white mini-van around the front of the hulking gray Everett Paper Corporation campus1, taking the two lane frontage road north for half a mile until he catches one of the many Iowan dirt roads latticed atop the earth. He travels west for maybe one thousand feet until he reaches a particular inlet in which the road appears to turn into a Corn™ Field, though is actually truncated at slightly longer than a car’s length. This time of year the Corn™ is tall and overgrown and serves as a kind of canopy-from-beneath that conceals his mini-van, which is handy in the event anybody should drive by, especially in a grain truck or combine, should they mistake him as someone who is “up to no good,” though Roger Jeffries is more or less certain that nobody would see him as any kind of threat to one’s livelihood nor as a general doer of illicit deeds, that at worst someone might stop to chit chat with him.

Secluded and relaxed, Roger Jeffries reclines his seat and closes his eyes. He is aware that this position suggests that he could drift into sleep, but he knows this is impossible. His feelings won’t allow it.

There are many things he could do in this brief interlude. His anger, his fear, his guilt, his doubt, his perpetual discontent, or, more simply stated, his predominate sadness, eliminates napping as an option. This is not what he has secluded himself for, to nap. His purpose is to play a kind of game, to reconstruct the aspects of his life in such a way as to illustrate how they have come to be, how the alternatives—however available some may still remain—have been displaced. The rules of this game, in which he plays CEO, as he refers to it himself, dictate that no particular subject or event is elevated above any other, and that no conclusion shall be reached before all foreseeable alternatives have been considered.

1.)          Which is referred to as a campus more as a convention of language than anything—the “campus” is simply a 500,000 sq. ft cement block with windows only on the western 1/3 of its south side, which is where the offices (HR, IT, in- and outbound sales, etc.) are located. Whereas the majority of the building is warehouse. The lawn outside is nice and green, however, and lush, with a professionally manufactured Everett Paper Corporation sign that illuminates at night, and encompassed by a well maintained frontage road that allows access to the facility’s various points of entry/exit, and this could be why it’s called a campus.

Today, by happenstance, the subject is, at least to begin with, Mary. Specifically, Mary insofar as last month’s Happy Birthday America Bar-B-Que Bash is concerned, or rather, the pseudo-intellectual New Age fixations that led her to conceive of it, and the pleasures of the life that was the object of this event’s critique.

Mary’s New Age fixations mystify Roger Jeffries. Despite their frequent acts of Relation—Mary’s meticulous and furtively kept Diagnostic Postulations, the self-concept maps they equitably construct—it’s so totally clear that these things don’t work, that Roger Jeffries is still ailed by the Problem and that it may perhaps even be reinforced by these futile efforts of conjugal Relation. Mary is far more than smart enough to realize this, yet she remains stuck to her methods.

She was satirically pleasant at the B.B.Q. Bash, charming and warm to their small cohort of guests, the Nords and Axfords and Trevors and the Trevors’ infant granddaughter they kept in her bassinet, shaded from the sun in blankets.

An overall good hostess.

She wore an apron. She made dishes out of special family recipes. She oversaw the kids as they played and ate and bickered and played again. She asked them to throw chunks of hotdog buns for the birds, to demonstrate how nice and gentle they could be, as children. She made sure they were as pleasant to their guests as she was. She looked the other way when cousin Chet, still only twenty years old, drank three cans of Roger Jeffries’s Pabst Blue Ribbon. She called everyone to the grill when the meat was cooked. She resisted critique of Roger Jeffries when he went inside and mixed himself a cocktail. She said nothing when he drank it in several gulps and went inside for another. She only smiled and commented to her dazed husband how amazing it was that people considered this way of living to be real life. “Can you imagine?” she said. She appeared proud of her experiment, of her ability to participate in this realm of make believe she had herself constructed.

Roger Jeffries wishes he could have seen things Mary’s way in the sense she strives for. That is, he wishes he could achieve absolute insight into her point of view. Experience the immovable faith he suspects she has in her assumptions, the truth and infallibility of her worldview.

He stretches in his seat. He cranes his neck. His vertebrae pop, releasing pressure.

Maybe she doesn’t feel this way; she may not be so certain. He can’t venture the slightest guess as to the truth of his presumptions, of course—to do so would be at best fallacious and at worst a gross violation of their innate separateness. Instead, surprisingly—and here he looks up from the mini-van’s steering wheel shrouded in the shadows of Corn™, startled—he spent the day of the H.B.D.A.B.B.Q.B. feeling rather content. He’s not sure if the surprise of this fact is what causes him to open his eyes and sit up or if it’s the sound he hears of a vehicle approaching in the distance.

He settles again in his dual-and-overhead-canopy-airbagged captain’s chair, examining his contentedness, abstracting it, withdrawing himself from it, rendering it a feeling culled from him. Yes, content, for the first time in a long time, sipping his highball and feeding the birds with Edmund and Julie, the former of whom, wearing a coonskin cap that had gone askew, wadded the bread chunks between his dirty fingers and chucked them into the Corn™, while the latter sulked, and Roger Jeffries sprinkled crumbs with a feeling that resembled glee.

It was a very simple set of pleasures.

The mini-van slowly fills with the chalky consistency of dust lifted and carried from the approaching vehicle’s wake. Roger Jeffries craves a cigarette craving—he wishes to feel the feeling of needing a cigarette. This feeling, now, is at best abstract.

He vaguely recalls leaving a family gathering as a small child and wrapping his step pop’s spare kerchief around his tiny finger that he’d injured playing alone, then riding in the family Bronco, just the two of them. Lionel probably smoked several Marlboro 100’s and certainly wouldn’t look him in the eye, instead telling him that American life was still rugged regardless of any modern conveniences, though Roger Jeffries doesn’t know if he remembers this specifically or if his impressions and notions of his step pop imposes it on this particular memory, and instead of going to the ER, his step pop took him to the petting zoo—this he remembers distinctly—where he superglued Roger Jeffries’s wound closed so that he, Roger Jeffries, could feed the goats with his injured hand without bleeding all over them, just like a real buckaroo would, and it was probably fun—it was probably fun if the pain wasn’t too overwhelming, which seems ridiculous: of course his finger hurt like hell.

What a scene.

Roger Jeffries is amazed, digging for the clandestine pack of Nicorette gum he keeps in the mini-van’s center console beneath several spare smartphone chargers and a wad of unused Subway napkins, by the way contradictory and outright incompatible notions can be recognized by an individual and still exist inside him, side by side. That he can realize the indelible pleasures of the very life he can’t stand. A life that he has, in reality, chosen for himself. A life, which by all reasonable estimates qualifies him as a “wildly successful man.”

He hopes the nicotine from the tobacco cessation gum will stimulate the rapacious sensation of craving.

He is amazed and dumbfounded that, as a response to the QA Assurance code he and Bruce Keeler have been working on for several months and are nearly finished writing—the one that will analyze all of EPC’s other computer systems when finished, thus making Roger Jeffries’s position obsolete, he’s working toward his own end—he has authored silently and secretly in his home office that bit of virulent code aimed at disrupting and subverting the QA Assurance system’s language, a communicative transgression: Project Ω.

He gazes at his briefcase in the passenger seat, envisions its interior pocket distended with the malevolent USB drive containing the Project Ω code; the square bulge lining the walls, uncommunicated by the sealed clench of the zipper’s molded plastic teeth. He pops a tab of Nicorette into his mouth, tucking it between his gums and lower lip and closing his eyes once more.

Roger Jeffries has concluded that he can understand himself as existing simultaneously within five basic, necessarily inconsistent classes (subclasses not listed):

1.0 The Self Employed

2.0 The Self Domesticated

3.0 The Self of Others

4.0 The Self Concept

5.0 The Self Annihilated

(1.0) In which the Self Employed is the foundation of all other classes. In this (1.0) class, the Self is relinquished ([subclass] 1.1) to vast and largely abstract and/or anonymous networks of commerce and individuals. The Self Employed lives in the context of its Employer. It is then tasked (1.2) with responsibilities otherwise considered unnatural deviations from its essential nature, such as making photo copies, scrutinizing data, or designing an online system of quality assurance that, if executed properly, assures its own quality, thus reducing complexity and increasing efficiency for an insatiable corporate entity, or the more general premise of working for this corporate entity.

Roger Jeffries stirs in the mini-van’s driver seat. It occurs to him that he has not unbuckled his seat belt. He unbuckles his seat belt.

Behaviors previously considered unnatural and irrelevant quickly become engrained and internalized: indeed, the house won’t pay for itself; the kids most likely will not be smart or talented enough to obtain full academic or athletic collegiate scholarships (this is not a knock on them, it’s simply a reflection of Roger Jeffries’s own abilities, as indeed, his alma mater, good old UNI, is neither athletically elite nor academically prestigious, and, assuming his life doesn’t change dramatically in the near future, he still has about two years left of paying on his student loans—his children will likely re-live this reality); the many modern conveniences add up, financially, such as his push mower (used now—rarely—on the small patch of real grass he curates, the rest of the lawn is FieldTurf) that rests on the custom pallet he’d made some years back and fixed in the rear corner of his tool shed, fit perfectly between the levels of shelves along each wall that are lined with the tools he has somehow accumulated over time: the several coiled garden hoses, the jars of nails, the buckets of paint streaked with hardened globules, the folded squares of tarpaulin, the containers of highly volatile and flammable chemical compounds, etc., and the ceiling hooks that held their bikes before the kids became old enough to ride and the bikes were moved to the garage, hooks now draped with rags hardened and discolored by dried paint thinner.

The grill, too.

Roger Jeffries can not ignore the grill, the bulky silver gas unit he’d wheeled out for Mary to cook with in the most concertedly bourgeois manner she could affect.

He showed these shed items to Bud Nord, Paul Axford, and Dick Trevor over cocktails he’d mixed for them. They seemed to enjoy it.

Roger Jeffries enjoyed it, too.

He liked talking to them. He liked showing them his abridged finger, the one he injured as a small child. He liked the way they teased each other, the way they teased him and called Mary his old lady. He liked that they bellyached about their jobs and women.

He recognized these behaviors. These behaviors were quite real to him. He’s seen men act this way nearly every day he’s been alive and cogent . . .

He simulated friendship with these men.

He offered them beer and/or more cocktails. He told them the story of how his finger came to be abridged, of riding in Lionel’s Bronco, the stinging feeling of super glue on an open and extremely traumatic wound. He thought perhaps his abridged finger could earn him a nickname.

It felt good, this interface.

But, despite these kinds of pleasures and the class in which the Self can most easily experience them, this overarching class and its subclasses (1.0, 1.1, 1.2) give way to the secluded, almost-daily consideration of the alternatives (1.21). Here a key concept is introduced, Make a Difference.

Roger Jeffries is given to bouts of fantasy in which he speculates the possibilities suppressed by his current set of circumstances: that, indeed, he could have, if he had chosen to make the effort, packed a moving truck full of his stuff and left UNI for more cultivated frontiers. The Twin Cities, maybe, or Chicago, or back East to New York. Westward to the Pacific, perhaps, a destiny realized in Los Angeles. At any rate, he frequently imagines a young self packing up his stuff and driving for days—regardless of how close this destination might actually have been to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home of the UNI Panthers, he always envisions driving for days, young, stubbled, over-caffeinated and chain smoking—to some more prestigious or renowned place.

Or a better job, at least, with intellectually challenging projects and room for advancement, a context that would better appreciate his fluency in HTML and the more recently acquired Objective-C. He would, in this scenario, advance to some kind of management position, or find his work spiritually satisfying. He’d tell Mary about the pleasures of his work. He would, in some small way, Make a Difference in the world.

An itch irritates his neckline.

Such consideration invariably leads to frustration and a realization that fantasy has taken over. Roger Jeffries’s head snaps up—he subconsciously avoids dozing off.

The Corn™ bends low over the mini-van. Its shadow is thick and casts itself over the vehicle’s interior. He clamps down on the tab of Nicorette and straps his seat belt again.

He thinks of Chet, a good kid, a hard worker.

He feels the muscles around his mouth and ears tighten and pull, the base of his skull feels like it’s being squeezed, he grips tightly the captain’s chair’s armrest. Chet is a good kid, he reminds himself.

He says it out loud. He says, “Chet’s a good kid.”

Roger Jeffries is sure Chet is not in any way even slightly aware of his destructive patterns of thought concerning his nephew. He is an ass for thinking of Chet in terms of some vague, invented competition, Chet’s success vs. Roger Jeffries’s own. Chet certainly does not know of his uncle’s feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. How could he? Chet, who intends to become a SynthAg executive and who demonstrates the essential smarts and willpower to accomplish such a goal, hence his prestigious and much-sought after unpaid internship with Monsanto. Chet will most assuredly Make a Difference in the world, far beyond the typical U.S. middle-class course of bearing children and raising them and drawing pay.

The fact that fantasy seems to be the most readily available alternative is a great source of despair for Roger Jeffries.

He pulls his seat belt tight. He feels this action is appropriate.

He would rather that his default considered alternative be something more tenable: destroying his step pop’s Bonanzareels, each episode recorded and spliced chronologically, instead of inexplicably preserving them; waiting a year longer to propose to Mary, just to save a little more money; a life with no children, or only one, or a dozen, ten of them born at once and the other two (fraternal twins) born a month later, a wall of framed tabloid covers.

This subclass (1.21) commingles extensively with the next (1.22), in which the Self Employed is inclined to examine past mistakes. This examination of past mistakes revolves primarily around the failure to adequately Make a Difference in the world: failing to renounce the influence of his step pop on his current psyche; failure to find it a reasonable position to lay all the blame on his step pop for the existence of the Problem when Roger Jeffries knows, through rigorous Relation and shared examination with Mary, that the Problem is much more complex than mere Freudian platitudes; the failure to create something bold, something new; the failure to love Mary better; the failure to achieve an exciting and fulfilling career; the failure to be satisfied with the things he has.

Outside the wind picks up. The Corn™ bends further and wraps on the mini-van’s windows with its ultra-green leaves as though asking for a ride, or for license and registration, etc.

Roger Jeffries regrets that, having shown his neighbors his tool shed and joking with them about the banalities of everyday life, he found himself unable to continue this jovial male behavior. He saw Mary standing at the grill, passing brats and burgers to their guests. Her skirt stopped just below her calves. She had a bandana tied in her hair. Roger Jeffries received a brat himself, kissed Mary on the cheek, and receded into the house, where he spent the remainder of the day in his home office. This, he was informed as he and Mary Related to one another that night, did not Make a Difference on the outcome of the H.B.D.A.B.B.Q. Bash.

The neighbors continued their exercise in jovial masculine camaraderie without him.

Roger Jeffries still resents this fact, more than a month later.

It ignited, at the time, a refined and uniquely intense variety of anger, and still does. He cranes his neck in the other direction. A different vertebra pops, lower, relieving pressure.

He is not sure if this acute style of anger in which he balls his fists and openly snarls moves him closer to or further from his true self, if the impulses of anger are pure.

Indeed, the examination of past mistakes offered in subclass 1.22 (the last of the typical subclasses in this class [1.0]) can, in extreme cases, lead to the atypical subclass (1.3) in which the Self seeks solutions previously considered extreme and outside of its typical capacity to act, such as destruction of health or property, or sabotage; the subversion and termination of the Self Employed and the pleasures of life subsidized therein.

Roger Jeffries looks over at his briefcase once more. He recites the first line of Project Ω code. He considers himself fluent in Objective-C. That’s what he has written on his resume.

He pops in a second tab of Nicorette. He hopes like hell his children never take up smoking as he did, that it will never be a central pillar in how they live their lives, the prism through which they view experience. That they will never get so messed up and internally displaced as him.

This, he guesses, is a fatherly concern. Yes, complication is added when further classes of the Self are considered. Certainly, as regards the Self Domesticated (2.0), a similar process (2.1) unfolds, in which the Self is found to be not so much relinquished to the duties of marriage and parenthood (as well as the conceptions of such) as it is willfully given over to them, tasked (2.2) with responsibilities considered to be perfectly natural, i.e. impregnating his wife and raising their two children—though it’s unclear if this assumption of naturalness is culturally formed or if it’s biological. He’s not sure if having a wife and kids makes him human. The essential difference between class 2.0 and class 1.0 is that the latter is considered a priori to the former; the Self Domesticated cannot exist as such without the Self Employed.

Several cars drive past the dirt inlet. A grain truck, it seems by the deep rumble of its engine, and something smaller, most likely a pickup truck. The dust they lift does not make its way into the inlet, the Corn™ is that thick.

Roger Jeffries is Hungry. This makes sense, given that it’s his usual lunch hour.

Back when his step pop worked, in the days before he hurt his back and lived off what must have been a pretty large settlement reached with Canadian Pacific Railroad (this was after Roger Jeffries abridged his finger; Lionel was still lean then, and not devoted to taping every individual episode of Bonanza and splicing them into a continuous, chronological reel), wives used to pack lunches for their husbands if their family was of a certain socioeconomic class. Roger Jeffries’s mother, the sweetheart that she was, packed his step pop two salami sandwiches and a Thermos of coffee every single day until he became disabled.

Roger Jeffries identifies with this designation, to have become disabled.

He realizes that his understanding of the term is most likely perverted, as he is most certainly not disabled in any conventional sense of the term. The Funk and its underlying Problem, however, produce a similar effect. He’s nearly certain of this. A fundamental, spiritual dysfunction that has left his soul, as it were, bedridden. The word is what’s the issue, the customary interpretations of it, which of course he can only surmise based on what he perceives to be these customary interpretations of the words and its morphologies—differently abled, special needs, handicapped, infirm, incapacitated.

He says the last one out loud, “Incapacitated.”

He wonders what difference it would make if Mary packed him a lunch each morning (2.1.21 cf. 1.21). He wonders if this would enable them to more freely Relate, if possessing this definitive identity would allow him to locate and accept his place in the world. As in, Roger Jeffries, the Man Whose Wife Packs Him Lunch Each Morning with True and Sincere Love and Who Could Not Ask for Anything More. He could be an acronym, a M.W.W.P.H.L.E.M.T.S.L.W.C.N.A.A.M.

Of course he could ask for more.

Roger Jeffries gazes out the window of the mini-van. His POV is lined up directly with a long straight furrow that cuts all the way across the field, opening up to a small interstice of light at the other side. Gazing. He’s lined up perfectly with this furrow. If he rotates his view by even a couple of degrees he loses access to the notch of light—which is not in fact the other side of the field but is, due to the curvature of the earth, a mere slit of sky; the field goes on much further than Roger Jeffries can observe—and instead can only see the thick synthetic walls of Corn™. He does not veer his gaze from the furrow before him. He studies its straightness, the way the light cuts through it. The design of this field is perfect. It is conducive to distracted gazing. Roger Jeffries is always gazing, it seems. He grows self-conscious of his gazing even though clearly there is no one else in the van to likewise gaze upon him and scrutinize his gazing, and the several vehicles that have driven by have either failed to notice him due to the Corn™’s pervasive density or not cared that he’s parked here.

Naval gazing. The term, the common coinage with the origin he’s unaware of, words paired so frequently as to form a multi-lexical singularity—borrowed language, he’s heard it called—seems apt. Examining ever inward, gazing idly out.

Toward the end of the Happy Birthday America B.B.Q. Bash, Roger Jeffries gazed out the window of his home office, watching the small cohort of guests against the green backdrop of Corn™. Their mood was no more or less jovial than when he had participated along side them. Their joviality was consistent. The terminal point of this class (2.0) is when the Self Domesticated, after fantasizing of the alternatives and examining its past mistakes, compels itself inward and withdraws (2.3). As with subclass 1.3, this (2.3) is the atypical subclass.

Roger Jeffries’s stomach growls. He folds his hands over its slight swell. His Nicorette has begun to lose its flavor, which is fine, the flavor is caustic and quite less appealing than the flavor of an actual cigarette; Camel Filter Wide was his brand when he smoked. He pulls a crumpled Subway napkin from the center console and flattens it on the dashboard with his hands. He brings it to his mouth and folds it over his nicotine cessation gum. He does not know what to do with the object. He cranes his neck and searches the other side of the mini-van, as though some obvious kind of trash repository may appear on the passenger side. He crumples the napkin and stuffs it beneath the captain’s seat on the driver side of the vehicle, between the armrest and the center console.

Roger Jeffries finds few things truly amazing. One of the things he finds truly amazing is the straight furrow in front of him, on the other side of the windshield. The sheer force needed to carve such lines in the heat-dried earth.

Mary kept her Nuclear Housewife getup on long after the H.B.D.A.B.B.Q.B. ended. She wore it as they Related on the bed.

Roger Jeffries gazes at himself in the rearview mirror, at the yield of stubble, colored gray and the same red-brown of tobacco residue, sprouting across the curvature of his jawline.

This is what people see, class 3.0, the Self of Others.

After the Bash, in bed Relating, his head was light, and Mary shared his gaze as he spoke. His silhouette sat slumped in each of her pupils. He found this amazing, too. A sense of surprise and wonder at the sight of the separate self-reflections, the one and then the other, saturating him with astonishment such that the world seemed physically and spiritually altered. The two of them in their white room. The Employed and Domesticated Selves divided and decoded, united in her mind, he thinks, a new subclass of Selfhood (3.01).

A darkness overtakes the interstice of light at the end of the furrow. The Corn™ bobs in great arcs that cause the furrow to resemble an absurdly long and slim, synthetic green corridor. Never ending, like something from a nightmare. It’s surprising that the individual stalks don’t break, they bend so far and the leafy ears are so mutantly huge. It spins shadows that tighten as the sun rises and peaks. These shadows are quite dark, abstractions, replications of the replica crop itself.

Roger Jeffries, that night on the bed, relating anecdotes of his step pop to Mary—short verbal sketches of the B.B.Q.s of his youth, in which he was not so subtly forced to dress as Eric “Hoss” Cartwright with increasing fidelity each year—studied the images of himself in his wife’s eyes. Two versions, each opaque to him as he sat Indian style on the comforter, searching for proper words, gazing at himself in Mary’s eyes.

He was not himself.

He was located on the bed, in their bedroom, and yet he was both everywhere and nowhere. At once omnipresent and absent, a sovereign consciousness estranged (3.012) from all prior classes of the Self. Mary wrote things down. She licked her “ruby red” lips. Roger Jeffries swayed his shoulders, testing the depth of his stupor. It went quite deep. He looked at his split Selves in her eyes, one and then the other and found himself, however strong his inebriation, compelled to ponder the legitimacy of the other classes of Selfhood. Mary gently pried the highball from his hand and replaced it with a glass of water. Where did she get the water? She kissed him on the forehead. It’s no shock to Roger Jeffries that his Self Concept (4.0) is unstable, a series of replications of who he should be, the versions of him incrementally dissected and critiqued and reassembled in the process of Relation.

The darkness eclipsing the furrow is no longer just a small blotch on the horizon. It appears to outgrow its previous limits and take on a shape. Roger Jeffries gets the distinct impression that it lifts from the ground. It’s definitely coming toward him. Slowly, it seems.

He can’t help but observe the uniformity of the Corn™. He resists the notion that it consumes him. He will not dignify this premise. He will not endow this phony crop with even the vaguest of human traits. He withstands the urge to define himself in terms of this relationship. He focuses on his hunger pangs, pops in a fresh tab of Nicorette. He contemplates the Self Within the Self (4.01), this subclass’s dependence (4.02) on all prior classes and subclasses of the Self—these are each and all a priori to the Self Within the Self—as well as the infinitely convoluted web of externalities in which he and all people—he imagines that all people are aware of this convolution to some extent, at least—are perpetually mired in their daily lives, such that their understanding of themselves and the objects they come into contact with are refracted through these external prisms: what is consumed, such as cigarettes, what cultural sensibilities prevail at a given intersection of time and space, as in the dominant attitudes of masculine joviality and passive feminine provision and juvenile mischief, etc. A so-called clean slate of self-interpretation is damn near impossible.

He gazes through the windshield. The black shape in the furrow is most certainly free floating—he cannot make out what it is, though he can tell that it rotates in midair; his initial thought that it is a piece of implement or somehow related to the subterranean Rootz™ system is debunked. The windshield, he figures, resembles the screens of the computer monitors of work and home. The world left unmediated by the screens of the computer monitors of work and home seems foreign and perverse and totally alluring.

He could eat his lunch here if Mary had packed it for him. He must go back to the office soon. He may purchase food at a drive-thru first. He’s wasted too much time playing this lonesome game. He better mosey on back, hit the old dusty trail, venture yonder through the great cement membrane into the space of his work, to scout and chart the new ranges and valleys and snowcapped peaks, the spinning gas clouds and asteroid belts of the digital quality assurance frontier. To remove himself from this past of inward gazing, gazing at the Self Within the Self, conversely (4.12) the prism through which these externalities—such as the darkness approaching from the furrow, which, given the fact that it now separates into many different, smaller shapes that congeal into what appears to be some kind of spiraling funnel, or even a lance, pointed directly at his mini-van as it leaves a wake of splayed Cornstalkz™, acquiring speed and shedding here and there from its collection of bodies small lofty flakes that drift down in swaying arcs to the #SoylbyMonsanto—can be deciphered, this freedom of limits personified as him, Roger Jeffries. He floats inside of himself like the astronauts admired across America in the “good old days” of re-living the Anglo-American lust to explore and push further, through starbursts and the bright brilliant constellations alone, alone, alone, this singular idea—the broad assumption underlying this Corn™-shrouded game, rogerjeffriesexistentiallyalone—if only Mary and his children could follow him into the vastness of himself, or, if the metaphysical laws governing him, the forces of this inward pull, weren’t so strong, he could breach some plane and come screaming, burning, hurtling back into the life he’s chosen, if he could live this selected life the way he intended and subvert these classes of Self and their arbitrary definitions and not be cornered into giving a damn about Mary’s self-location exercises or the prospect of working himself out of work, the craving he has to destroy this situation with the code he’s written and henceforth assert, I am a complex and dynamic human being who is sovereign of any corporate or New Age interest, dare he could annihilate this mired Self (5.0), aware (5.1) of all a priori classes that have resulted from choice, from which this, the Self Annihilated, can further choose: withdrawal or immersion, to obliterate (5.11) the classes or immerse itself in them, fully, regardless of his ability to Make a Difference or not, this being the ultimate subversion of the Problem, to render these classes of Self obsolete.





© Eric Blix