We thought about covering our city in ghosts, or maybe tapestries. One of us even tried to sell us on the idea of birds, but nobody was really listening. Then sunflowers were trending for a while. Then alphabets. Then letters. Then time itself and anchovies. But somehow or other time moved on and counted down seven weeks of everyone talking over each other right up to the great election. And people gathered from all four corners of the world that happened to be within the census district of the city, around the wishing well of accidental charity and dreams at the very center of the city’s voting district, right next to a bakery and across from a barbershop. Each individual proudly wore their self identity and semi personal agenda on their t-shirts and origami pocket scarfs. The day started with lanterns turning into butterflies. It ended with each ballot practicing ballet and being stamped in postage history stamp books and tossed into the well. And anyone who’s anyone already knows how the vote turned out, but what you might not know is that some butterflies are made of ceiling wax. It might seem unrelated, but on my way back from the election I may or may not have overheard an argument about how everything is related to somebody, and I know some people, so maybe, just maybe, you actually came here just to hear that some butterflies are made of ceiling wax. If so, you’re welcome, and now you know. Some butterflies are made of ceiling wax.
They say that the nameless one brought his army across the sea. His 300 ships and their yellow sails were first seen by a watcher in one of the towers. The news spread across the proud city and the men made ready for war. The war came and went and the proud city was conquered and renamed. Maybe renamed isn’t really the right word for to be renamed, something really must have had a name to begin with. Before the city was conquered and renamed by the nameless one, it had no name. Well it had many names actually, for over and over again, the city had been given many names, mostly by conquerors, but none of them had stuck around for very long. The original name of the city, if it ever even had one, is long lost and forgotten. However this is not a concern for the people of the city. They take great pride in the namelessness of their city. Almost any citizen will tell you proudly, if the subject even vaguely comes up, that their city doesn’t need a name, it just is. If it has to be called something they refer to it as the city, or the nameless city, or the city that has no name.
The last person to conquer the nameless city was the nameless one. Perhaps the thought of a city so ripe for naming was appealing to him, or maybe he crossed over the sea with his army and his ships with yellow sails for some other reason. It matters not, or if it does matter, well it is not known. What is known is that after he conquered it he took his own name and thrust it forcefully onto the city, and reluctantly the city went through the motions of taking it, for the people of the city weren’t given a choice. It is uncertain when exactly the people of the city as a whole stopped saying the name. Some say that the inhabitants of the city stopped saying it even as it was being thrust upon them. Those that say that are of course very wrong. It is extremely well documented that most if not all the inhabitants of the city reluctantly spoke the new name at least throughout the reign of the nameless one. However, all historians agree that seventeen generations later, it clearly was already being erased, and at least the last three rulers of the nameless one’s line are believed to have never even heard their own last name spoken out loud by anyone than other members of the royal family, whispered secretly behind closed doors on occasions when they could be absolutely sure that nobody unrelated by blood and dynasty could possibly be listening in.
The last of these rulers is of course best known for ending the line, for after he threw himself into the sea, no other member of the royal family was willing to accept the crown. The royal crown was instead given to a beggar chosen by lottery. The name of almost every beggar in the city, and even a few merchants, smiths, bards, and cantaloupe juggers that claimed they were beggars, were entered into the lottery. Valor Smith, the winner of the lottery, never tried to impose a name on the city that hated being named. Possibly because of that, it is his descendants that still rule the city to this day. The nameless one had a name, but by attaching it to the city, the nameless one’s name itself was lost. Where does this leave his descendants, the ones still living in the city he once won in a war so long ago? It leaves them nameless, with a name that no one is willing to speak.
Mr president, another person has gone outside. That makes four this week. I know that it is against the constitution of our awesome country to deny people doors, but they were never intended to use them.
We can’t outlaw glass doors because the glass lobby is too strong. Have you seen their representative? He can lift like 700 pounds.
Ask them nicely to come back inside? Do you really think that might work? Besides how are we supposed to communicate with them. Most outsiders have thrown away their walkie talkies and cell reception gets terrible if you get too far from civilization. Surely you wouldn’t consider requiring someone to go outside?
Oh you are thinking volunteers? But who would volunteer for that job? You’ve already gotten six applicants? That doesn’t make any sense. Wait, I signed up for this? Oh hell no I didn’t!
Have I just been defenestrated out the presidential window? I think I have. Crap. I am outside. This is not good. Also I am falling. That also doesn’t seem very good. I’m really more worried about the being outside thing though.
Ten years later…
Sign: Welcome to Windownia. Population? Yes.
Voice over: Windownia – defenestrating our presidents since 1987. If that sounds dirty to you, the president was also chewing gum. Which president? All of them!
It is always a tragedy when you lose your head. You look for it in the sock drawer with borrowed eyed. Finding nothing you think to cry, but that voids the terms of service for the eyes you borrowed. You lawyer up, but your top notch law expert turns out to be the personification of a potato chip only pretending to have passed the bar. You lose in the court of public opinion and people throw basket balls at your head. You follow the trail of tossed spheres to where it bends in the undergrowth. There chatting with the daisies and the moths, you find you head. Will you come back with me? you ask. Nope! It replies, because it knows how a good tragedy is supposed to end.
This adventure is so not overrated. Like if you had to choose between being on this adventure and saving a baby, I feel bad for the baby. Maybe you could do both. Save the baby and go on the adventure? You could even take the baby on the adventure. Then the baby could grow up on the adventure and have the best childhood ever. Best adulthood ever too probably. I don’t foresee this adventure wrapping up any time in the foreseeable future. So yeah, definitely bring the baby. We need it to carry on after us when we get too old and too frail to keep on going.
The Spinosaurus lived like 100 million years ago in like a constant state of dizziness. Then one day an unnamed time traveling Archaeologist/used car salesman, taught them about spotting. This new power allowed them to rebel against King Ankylosaurus. But the loyal followers of King Ankylosaurus did not go away quietly into the light. They hired space ninjas to assault the earth with large asteroids. Though King Ankylosaurus lost the war, it looked like his followers in their unwillingness to accept defeat, had doomed the whole planet. But had they? One brave Stegosaurus led a team of super dinosaurs into the upper atmosphere to repel the space ninjas and their space rocks of doom. This Stegosaurus would forever go down in history as Stacy Stardust, Stegosaurus Supreme.
Whatever it is that keeps me walking. It is the same thing that keeps me dreaming. It is the same thing that keeps me from sleeping. It is the same thing always lurking under my bed. Sometimes you have to thank your monsters. I named my monster Fred. Hey Fred, do you want to come walking with me?
Hopping along the path. I meet a woman building a fence. You’re walking the wrong way, she says. No, I reply. This is the direction that I must go. She laughs and shakes her head, then almost as an afterthought she adds, I meant that most people use both feet.