Chronicles of Infection [escapades in Insectopia, part 5]


The phone rings.

The Infected One looks up from his Cherry where everything, until just a moment ago, had been sailing along smoothly. Even the microscopic question of the ending had temporarily vanished into a nether region of his creative faculties. And now this.

The phone rings again.

It is clearly a living thing possessed of animus. The way that phones guarantee their species’ continuity, their very species’ being, is to distract their host organism [human beings] from whatever it is it is doing at the time and make it disagreeably aware of being a social animal with responsibilities, commitments and solidarities. There is no other genus of technological appliance that can fulfill this evolutionary function as perfectly: the phone is a highly specialized organism. To achieve its Darwinian purpose it has evolved an incredible range of mating calls [called ring tones] and an astounding behavioral pattern sometimes referred to as “vibracall”. As a creature living in a hellish biotope [i.e. the domestic sphere] it has also thrived due to its incredible persistence.

The phone rings a third time.

The Infected One finds it impossible he has again forgotten to turn it off. He keeps forgetting and then gets interrupted time and again. How on earth does he keep forgetting. The Infected One has already smashed two phones in this identical situation and yet here he is, fully in the river of writing and the god-fucking-damn-fucking-phone is ringing. This is a stand-off, a battle of the wills: the caller VS. the callee. Sooner or later one gets tired of waiting for someone to pick up.

The phone rings for the fourth time.

The Infected One opens his hands and places them palms down on the table before him. He looks right through the screen of the Cherry, to the terminal point of vision beyond the end of the universe, which is, the point is, he guesses, paradoxically invisible. But one can fix on it, it’s a mental thing. Stop thinking for the space of a few breaths and win the unnecessary battle of wills, which could be the true, ultimate purpose of the existence of telephones. Cellphones are different, you sort of…

The fifth ring rings out from the hallway…

…bounds down along its walls, somehow turns the corner and, finding nothing better to do, assaults The Infected One’s auditory system. The exact sequence is: External Auditory Canal, Tympanic Membrane, Malleus&Incus&Stapes [like J.C., Pompey and Crassus], Cochlea [for simplicity’s sake], then the Cochlear Nerve. Recalling these details and others more he remembers why he did not go on with his studies and cowardly decided that there were many enough a doctor on the planet. But he was – yes, the terminal point of vision! Focus on your breath. Become one with everything there is. Let go off of –

The sixth ring is a straw and The Infected One is the spine of a camel.

Defeated he rises and limps himself out into the hallway, down it to the special edition, jet-black, cordless Aton CLT315, which cuts such a fine figure it’s not even funny [·  Ecomode: can be used with several mobile handsets, zero-emission mode ·  Display: graphic, illuminated display, 8 lines, 65,000 colours ·  Number of names and numbers: 500 ·  Phone book transfer between mobile handsets ·  Combox button ·  Menus in 20 languages ·  Hands-free function ·  Caller’s number (CLIP) ·  SMS function ·  Mute button (!) ·  Room monitoring (infant alarm) ]. The Infected One has no children: never ~ on account of ~ who knows ~ never say never.

Broke backed, he picks up the speaker and listens. It’s an unknown voice, sounding composed, authoritative and slightly pitched into the register of sympathy. A policeman, the law, the motherfucking cops. Understanding that there must have been death or severe trauma, The Infected One tries to fortify his feelings into something like a carapace. But first he must confirm to the police man that he is who he is and that he can identify the person in question in a manner that demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that he knows the p. i. q. He takes both hurdles in a low voice, close to tears without even having yet been informed what tragedy exactly has taken place. The fucking popo.

–       … tried to contact his daughter in the States but haven’t been able to reach her. His father is staying at St. Sargasso’s but is in a permanent vegetative state. The way things are looking, you are the only known and contactable relative or acquaintance, Mr. Fanon. The Lucerne State Police would really welcome your cooperation in identifying the body. Would it be possible for you to do this today? The body will be removed this morning.

–       No, don’t just yet. I mean, I would like to, I want to see it in situ. This is my good friend of more than two decades. I think I have a right to.

[…to be continued….…to be continued….…to be continued….…to be continued….]

About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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