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give him a halberd or give him a flamberge he does not care; something to swing, something to swing: he seeks swingability. what's he done with his grappling hooks? has he rescued us from this pit? i wouldn't call it rescuing, as i look at emeril, tied to the post grapple in his gut. he found the hooked ropes, something to swing, something to swing, and now emeril is upon a post writhing like a fish out of what, i cannot say. i look up; there is a branch. if he would only hook the branch. but now, he hooks me, ties me to a tree, the grapple prodding but not piercing my buttock. what do you want, i ask him, but he is mad, mad as a carolingian hat swinging and swinging, rallying the despondent beneath a standard of idiocy. he tells us, tied to our stakes, he will show us the way. he has figured something out. he will show us. he tells us, now he knows, he has deduced this and induced that and now he can be sure of some microtic fact. emeril languishes; i think he has yet to convince emeril, who struggles. let me show you the way he exclaims breathily into emeril's ear. i ask what he is trying to show us and he reveals that he is showing us what is real. i ask why not use these grappled hooks to help us escape the pit. but there is no pit, he tells me, as he uses grapples juan and ties him to a telephone pole. ring ring, he swings the rope around juan. the grapple falls about juan's ankle so he will not be pierced by his new ankle bracelet. though tied to the telephone pole, at least he now has been shown the way. which way? i ask, and to where? to what? there is no response. juan and emeril stare blankly. perhaps i can use the fire in my eyes to burn through these ropes. i watch as our savior our scientooligan, showing us the way, grapples tracy and lorenzo and xiuliu and mbtoctu and steverino. where are all these grapples coming from? ah, i see. ah, the way is shown to me. there is a line, a_really_really_really_long_line assembling the grapples one by one. he runs past us, the tethered masses, chanting the equation the equation that shall show us the way he shares with us the equation that can free us. emeril dies; he was hungry. juan languishes. tracy and xiuliu are languishing. mbtoctu and lorenzo and steverino seem uninterested in the equation. this solves everything, yells our salvation. now it all makes sense, he tells us, now we can know everything. why have you trapped us in this pit? i ask candidly. he refuses to answer; he assaults my intelligence; the equation is not for fools, he says. how can the equation help us, asks lorenzo, as steverino begins to languish, how can the equation help us, lorenzo implores. he cackles, and rambles, and tells us about a fractal. xiuliu and tracy who have been suffering express no relief to hear of this. the equation, the fractal, he calls into the night, they can show us, they can help us! juan dies. steverino, languishing. xiuliu and tracy, languishing. he tells them about the equation. it can save you, he says. it can save us. we are tied to this and that, bound by a grappling hook and the knowledge of a boy scout. we are crucified but his equation can save us. tracy dies. look at these corpses, he yells, kicking emeril, or what emeril was, anyway. the equation could have prevented this, he screams. if only you had listened! if only you had heeded my great knowledge of the equation! the equation! i look up towards the exit of this pit so high above. he looks down, at the ground, he yells. he tells the worms about the equation and then he tells the dirt. xiuliu dies, and then he tells the corpses again, as lorenzo begins to languish. mbtoctu begins to languish. he unties the dead emeril. what a waste, says our hero, what a waste of a grapple. grapples everywhere, now. the ropes, the hooks. there is no one else to tie up, but if there was, he's got the grapples to do so. the equation, he whispers into my ear, his breath reeking, the equation is the standard, around which we can rally. mbtoctu dies, steverino is now dead. he laughs, what fools they were to not understand the equation. the equation, the equation, he says with a stumble, falling faceward onto a grapple breaking his head open. he lies there screaming, what a mess. at last he liberates his bloodied head from the hooked grapple. there is no more talk of the equation, as he ties himself up, to the corpse of emeril. his bloodied face reveals no clues. he dies. i look at lorenzo. lorenzo does not look back. i look up, high above watching the enterance of the pit. lorenzo dies. i languish. i will die here, in this pit, for an equation. there are the grapples, there are the ropes, there is the branch. we could have escaped, yes, but then, we wouldn't have the equation. the equation, the equation. i try and sing, but the rotting corpses smell too gross. i try and languish faster. there is such silence. a bird alights on my shoulder, chirping. it is a vulture, craning its neck about, something to swing. it waits patiently. in spite the loneliness, in spite of the saddening sky, in spite of the unlived life, at least i now know the equation. i die.

051218



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