He made a terrible mistake.💣 👅 READ MORE 👅 💣
💥 SPOILERS FOR CUNT TOWARD ENEMY 💥
Bombs are associated with “colored wires”.
So everyone has their own color.
Lazur = blue
Cortázar = the language fits one of his backgrounds and it means something like “old stable”
Rubicon = a menacing but beautiful red word. Don’t cross him…
Calendula was the obvious name for the third character, as it is an orange flower (opposite on the color wheel from Lazur’s blue), means little clock (time is a theme of the book and Calendula seeks to minimize and control time), and it kind of sounds like Caligula. Triple significance.
A bomb is impossible to fit in the brain. So I explode it into Time + Destruction. These are impossible to fit as well, so I divide again.
Everyone has a wristwatch.
Everyone carries a countdown on their arm.
The mundane reflects the unspeakable.
Knowing these simple elements allows me to extrapolate the connective tissue between everything.💣 👁️ READ MORE 👁️💣
It’s raining but the rain is dry. It gathers on his hand, in his nails.
A clicking sound. He checks his watch but his wrist is empty.
The rain is dirty and it’s too late for him. There is contamination at the deepest level.
Something ticks under his pillow. He reaches under and his hand disappears behind the blank mass. He doesn’t know what is under the rock. He stares at the pillowcase where his wrist ends. The pillowcase is flat with wrinkles at the edges.
The cutter in his hand grows wet, soft tissue brushing his fingers. Snip. Snip. Biological current severed. The house will be sold soon. His mother’s garden has to look decent.
She calls for him, weak as the wind.
“I want you to have something,” she says, eyebrows still dark under paling hair. Her voice is like autumn leaves crumbling from humidity.
He is acutely aware of bringing a loaded gun into his mother’s house, each bullet containing enough explosive potential to eradicate the face gently weathered across a lifetime.
“I put your father’s watch in the box.”💣 👅 READ MORE 👅 💣
Lazur sits at the booth, the restaurant dim as always, black interior, cold morning light through half-drawn curtains. He wears blue jeans and a green field jacket and worn-out combat boots, black stripping to gray.
The only reason he knows about this place is because as a child he was taken in search of what was supposedly his dad’s favorite restaurant. They drove for hours looking for it as his dad explained the virtues of this particular location, hinting that it would reunite them with something that had been taken from them, imparted by proximity to an authentic mode of production, something honest and true pertaining to manhood and culture. Lazur still isn’t sure if this is the restaurant, or another restaurant his dad settled on in lieu of the perfect, still-undiscovered ideal, in whose absence their masculine trajectories have suffered. When they ate here, his dad seemed vaguely subdued, which his child-self didn’t think much of, but decades later he tried to decode the cloud of adult emotion in retrospect. Perhaps it was the restaurant, but it wasn’t as good as his dad remembered. Perhaps it would have been better never to find it at all.💣 👅 READ MORE 👅 💣
A photo floats on the ashy water, charred along the white edges. Lazur picks it up and it drips as if fished from a tray of developer fluid.
In the camera flash, the 5000K explosion of a false sun, his naked body looks snuff-film obscene, his face vulnerable and agonized from the stick of dynamite inserted in his ass, invisible except for the way his knees are thrust forward, chest arched, legs spread.
The boy next to him smiles, the half-boy, shattered boy, buried teeth glowing in the burst of light, jawbone strewn like a constellation through blasted flesh.
Their eyes are red from the flash bouncing off the blood in their retinas. They look like demons set apart from the rest of humanity. Demons of the bomb.
Lazur looks around the gaming hall, mentally diagramming the exits, the best place to store a bomb if you wanted to blow out the supports of the building. He’s in Semi Nova for a wargaming convention, south of the equator, the air feels different, and this is the closest he can get to taking a vacation because he still gets to gnaw on the problem via cardboard simulation, mass destruction methadone.
His little cousin is here, playing toyetic card games at the kid’s area, by a mural of Crash Bandicoot and Vegeta. Half his family is Semi Novan, from the Lechian migration to the Creciente Fértil region. He spent the morning with them, guilty at each touch, like he was involving them in something too ugly to comprehend. A physical taint, a contagious violence, or just a crippling paranoia.💣 👅 READ MORE 👅 💣
Everything is an explosive. Every thought is a sort of explosion inside the head. When you give me your hand I feel as if something is exploding inside you.
— Karel Čapek, “Krakatit”
The messages start at 10 AM, on the LED ad screens all around the Fuchsia World Mall.
The parking lot explodes.
People run, of course.
Explosions from within the mall. Smoke rises from the courtyard at the center, or traps itself dark behind cracked windows.
Eventually people stop moving. Some have the presence of mind to understand what’s happening, the rest get lucky with shock and concussion, or the inability to move with their new bodies.
The border is delineated by horrified bystanders, clean and unharmed, except for the powderized city drifting into the creases of their clothes and lungs.
Lazur drives into the storm of carcinogens, windshield growing grayer.💣 👅 READ MORE 👅 💣