FABRICATIONS: EXCERPTS

As far as I can tell, this is my first time being here—I catch on certain, familiar shapes, though they all appear as novel to me. I am in a garden, of decaying machinery, of spacecraft. How I know these are space-faring vessels, I do not know, but as I read the plaques of the ship displays, I feel as though I have encountered their descriptions before: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo…Saturn.

Saturn stretches for dozens of meters, laid out before me, as if it has been dissected. As I read the various information placards about each ship component, as I move forward, toward the apex of the vessel, I am reminded of certain, erratic things: of costume make-up, of toys that use mirrors to create fantastic illusions, of blackened, marble, memorials. I dwell on the toys, run my hand over the thick, alloy plating of the ship, and pause at another display:

“Separation Stage III: When reaching the altitude of…”

According to the authors of this garden, rockets of this design relayed over a dozen individuals to a neighboring moon—a first for the species. The Saturn V seems like an icon for a people whose history I cannot embrace. I am awed at the spectacle of the spaceship, but am silent as to why I should even care. A certain displacement has dried my faculties, and the founded memories that add meaning to my sensations are cracked, fissured. I stop, hand extended upon the Saturn V body, and cry. For what reason? Because…the disconnections and inconsistencies of my past, of context, are literally, unbearable; because this audience of rusting technologies should signify some thing; because I know I have been here with my father; because, bluntly, this familiarity without a source saddens me. A sad, confounded awe.

I wipe away some tears as if someone else might see me, lean against the railing separating me from the rocket, and, briefly, white-knuckle it. I continue to the tip of this display, attempt to ascertain, reconstruct, anything about these moments I spent with my father. At the final tier of the ship, where a small capsule was used, propelled out to space and back to Earth, I see her.

The girl is young, with cropped, blonde hair. She is wearing a yellow sundress, and flat-heeled shoes. She is younger than ten, and plaintively eating. I approach her and she stops chewing; she looks at me. She offers me some “freeze-dried” ice-crème: thick wafers of pink, brown, and white. I kneel down beside her. I take a small piece of the food and begin eating it; with my saliva, the chalkiness of the first bite turns into cool, smooth, strawberry. The girl then asks me my name.

“Nerissa,” I reply.

Her eyes light up, and she smiles, “My name is Nerissa, too!”

I smile back, “Are you alone here?”

She shakes her head, “Daddy had a call; he said he would be right back.” The younger Nerissa munches another bite on the ice crème, “are you?”

My body becomes tense at the question, curled tight. I weave into myself to find an answer, but find none. I have no recollection of if I have ever met, been accompanied by, anyone else; even if I have, there is no evidence for me to be certain. I try to measure my voice in a sweet tone, look at this other Nerissa, “Not anymore…”

Her face lights up, as if she had found a new friend, a friend with her name, an older, and stronger friend. I imagine her imagining me playing games with her; except I have nothing to teach her, or entertain her with.

She puts down the food package for a moment, and beams.  She says “That’s good! Want to play a game until daddy gets back?” She nibbles on the last part of the dessert.

“Sure, what would you like to play?” I add, “Maybe you could show me a game!” I reach out and put my hand on her shoulder, squeeze lightly and give her a warm smile.

All this feels so real, real enough: my fingers compressing the sinew in her arm, the soft texture of her dress, the scent of strawberries, and the rapid, light pulse of this Nerissa’s heart.

I do not know why I am looking for affirmation of this reality, of my reiterated reality in this instant; it all seems too dreamy, even if I have no reference point for what likeness my dreams exhibit. I figure that, even if this is a dream, my being lucid of it has little actual impact on the world I inhabit. But if there is logic to this “dream,” I decide that meeting my younger self must have some significance. Though I cannot place why it matters, it does.

My questions about verity subside. I glance at the deployed rocket; I lightly furl my hair over my ear and look at this girl, myself, and stretch my left arm out to touch her rosy cheek.

———-
As Clara Did

“The years went by, increasing Andrée Aparicio’s beauty until at sixteen she had become a marvellous adolescent girl with a supple body and heavy golden locks which lit up a delicate, sparkling countenance admirably adorned with enormous, candid green eyes.”
-Locus Solus, Raymond Roussel.

Adoration crops up in every Iteration.
People adore hating me; people adore loving me–

I now care less either way: simulacra are furniture.
Even so…for all of my clients’ thought, action, I equally counter.

Example from an Iteration:
My dear, poor friend, Clara:

Her father raped her when we were high-school students.
Her response? (Now an irony) Self-imposed starvation.

The incident occurred an handful of times,
Each one fed Clara in a pillorying from food —

By my Junior year, she, the literal star of our swim team
Fainted from 500 metres of a Front Crawl.

Clara’s father did love her…
He was captivated by her sleekness, a thing I lacked.

Clara, too, loved him, but with placid hatred;
She, thin, boneily strong as she was, did this:

Manipulated a psychiatrist for Lorazepam;
Acquired some [excellent] whiskey.

What I know of  this Incident is scant;
An hotel room; empty bottle; orange pill bottle; her dead body.

To me Clara had never been furniture…
Essence, the derivative of applied attachment. Yet,

Her whole “purpose” was…was it to make me miserable, sick?
I teem in that which you bestow and revoke from me.
———-
Emergence

De profúndis clamávi ad te, Dómine: Dómine, exáudi vocem meam.

Or Immersion…

Cold-castled soul,
Seeking the could-be Enervated:

Hoar-styled as I am—tell me if you
Made me to be so staid.

Placation near, yet never forgotten;
Walking alone in purging alone.

Lures dropped when I felt my Plunge
For you.

Ascribe your point of capture,
Or I will:

A billow of blanches; Bony iniquities;
Supplications Yours.

Give me redemptive waiting—I will die.

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