# 4/12 

Four

Vehicles

LENGTH: 3:00

FLAVOR: escalating rhapsody

There is something oddly sinister, oddly sinister about it all. Where do these come from? Why do they occur?

     The doctor doesn't know. "Maybe your skin is too dry," he deduces. "Or some irritants on your bedsheets. You clean them regularly, boy?" No. I sleep in the comfort of my own sweat and grime, thank you very much. Idiot—of course I clean my bedsheets, and moisturize regularly after every shower. These rashes are real.

      My prime consideration is not that the skin won't heal. It's not a serious, long-term infection—and I am not that dirty. What frightens me is not the rash itself, but the possibility of foreign intelligence entering my bloodstream carried by microbes. I've seen what they look like, under a microscope. You try telling me they don't have agendas of their own.

     What do they make me do exactly? Am I solely alone in control of my body, my thoughts and actions? It is as if a foreign parasite entered my body, and told me what I liked, where I wanted to eat, with what I should spend my time with. Who's to say my craving for meat, for sex, are not induced by intelligences lesser than my own?

     But no matter. The world is filled with parasites; with microbes; with single-celled organisms walking around in their designer socks and well-coifed hair, whose singular idea is to propagate and multiply. The startling aspect is the ubiquity of it all. How engrained yet subversive this simplicity really is. One loses his mind. You can bet the hive will instantly create another.

     What the rash really is, is war. War on your individuality. War between your skin and your organs, in the vast, flowing oceans of your blood with semi-aquatic entities seeking territorial dominance with biological weapons. And our entire life is like this. Every second, is a healing process—every tissue is a scar.

     If I were to consider, firsthand, the prime suspect behind these invading motives—I'd say they were extraterrestrial in origin. Not that aliens are waiting in spaceships high above us, watching down, maneuvering their molecular eels using remote controls. No. I mean intelligence itself is extraterrestrial, some pocket or field of consciousness that descends from the space above into material substances below, igniting life.

     Then, after millennia wearing the bodies like a glove, they'd forgotten how to leave again. Perhaps they'd forgotten they ever existed separately, as something greater and infinite.

     And perhaps one day one of us will wake up, remember what life was like swimming in the vast bloodstream of the silent, dark universe. How easy it is to stick our feelers into solid earth, and make them spin. Every body is a doll, an augmented reality fitted for our senses and pleasure. One day breaking free out of the shell below, we'll soar up into heaven to see what divine vehicles can be made of the sun, moon and stars.