Their Days Are Numbered is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online novel written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next “chapter” each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that installments should range between 150-1500 words, and that pieces should somehow incorporate a real-life occurrence, current event, news item, or other happening from that week).
Follow the entire “novel” here: Their Days Are Numbered.
The eighth installment is presented this week by Alex Kalamaroff.
Nature smells. Not necessarily in a bad way, but when we notice a smell, when we think that smells, it’s rarely if ever a compliment. Yet you keep walking north, through the rankness of nature.
There are the flowers though. Flowers generally-speaking smell delightful. But they taste pretty crappy. Take honeysuckle, for instance. Sounds delicious as a word.
These days everything has to be learned the hard way because there is no other way.
I mean, “honeysuckle”?
Head north: north not as a direction, but as a delusion, another faulty promise on which to build our crude temple of hope.
You even tried to make Baham’s Honeysuckle and Forget-me-not Stew, based on that recipe from the Dinner Party for the (Post-)Apocalypse zine you read before everything worldwide went ass over teakettle, before we all found ourselves pawing through the wreckage in search of canned goods and our loved ones.
North: not as a direction but as a sacred destination.
It almost makes one long for the torrential bullshit of the old days. At least then we had decent recipes and deodorant. Yeah, the old days have always been a synonym for yesterday. And yesterday has always been a synonym for never.
Still, honeysuckle is not delicious. Even though as you ate that stew you told yourself it would suffice.
It’s not that we must lie to survive, but that survival itself is a lie.
And so you, me, we, she, have to invent the songs to carry us onward. To have delusions, we used to think of that pejoratively. Now there is no greater necessity—and perhaps there never was; no kinder mercy either. To be deluded is to believe against all evidence to the contrary that your next step matters.
Yearn north, where it’s starting to snow.
And listen, friend, to this song. Hear the audible trees. Strains of ragged music. The miraculous percussive chanting of rockets igniting the night’s sky, the pages of a notebook flapping in an imaginary breeze, the rosewater draining from your grandmother’s bathtub. It’s a song to sing when the stench gets unbearable and the sun sinks and the honeysuckle isn’t enough to nourish us. And yet we stroll into tomorrow, another bright and desolate day, humming to ourselves the chorus of this song we’re composing along the way.