Time Saw a Fly

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Please see the home page for a general description of this novel. Enjoy these small sumptuous first few chapters, but be warned, although a work of fiction, Time Saw a Fly contains a real vision of what truth lies in the heart of man, and is to be avoided by those wise enough not to know...too much. Enjoy!


Time Saw a Fly

Rich Norman

Copyright © 2011 by Richard Lawrence Norman
Standing Dead Publications
PO Box 387
O'Brien, Oregon 97534
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy or recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
ISBN 978-0-9845693-4-2

Greed is valueless.
––Rich Norman

The neurosis is, so to say, the negative of the perversion. ––Sigmund Freud

There is much filth in the world; that much is true. But that does not make the world itself a filthy monster. ––Friedrich Nietzsche

Time is a living dying thing, black and bright, it enfolds all dull empty things and places within itself and for a moment, each earthen bit of dust shimmers silver, yawns awake and breathes its hope into the ink of space as one of Time's glistening, vanishing scales. So does Time arch her back around and over all things as she consumes them and knows them. What bit of dust does not shine out as she engulfs and consumes it? Who and what does not hunger in rapture to be the object of such hunger, the filler up of such emptiness? So does Time know the hunger of all meaningless things, and is herself the first author of beauty, and all other lies and truths which fill true emptiness, and make the impossible glow with meaning, as if any warmth could but for a moment fill such hunger, and warm any blackness which can not see itself, or be warmed.

With this thought Time might fill herself and consume herself, create and devour her unending days in blissful imaginings, in heavens of meaning, laughter and warmth. So it is that all heavens are as Time intends, a sweetness to be spent and consumed, to nourish us in our loneliest hour, our most honest hour where unblinking as Time herself, we need a lie the most, even one of heaven.

To breathe in and then exhale all things and moments, and to leave every moment suspended in the coldest black, an endless outstretched ashen desert, frigid and pure, where light shivers and knows how slowly, how poorly any thimble of hope can ever fill even a single pulse of blackness in Time's shuddering eternity, where all things and times are within her and then cast out, left to the infinite stillness of unceasing hunger, which each of her magnificent eternal breaths both replenishes and consumes. So does she hunger to be filled, ache to be engorged, to see and know herself and so to fill her blackness with visions of herself, although she knows it is but folly––but a speck of ash wrapped in light. And so in the blackest kernel of meaningless eternal truth and suffering she gulps at herself and imagines, imagines of pain and beauty and feels the hammering, the shudders of eternity swelling and crashing before her will, and so imagines for a moment, that eternity is enough.

And so it was with such vain and foolish hope, with such desperate, empty, aching and eternal longing as this that she stooped to look, to sense, to smell and hear close within the thin dirty creases, cracks and intricate folds of an irrelevant universe that she perched herself, Time herself, a frozen specter, an expectant spectator to her own hidden tragedy and unknown drama...and listened. Closer and closer came the slapping thunder, the monstrous wing beats of hope, nearer and nearer to her until the wind filled her ears and she was buffeted before the creature, beaten senseless with happiness by the pummeling cacophony of its beating wings! Time saw a fly.

“What a magnificent bit of energetica! thought Time, as she climbed into its soul. A world of a thousand reflections, multi-fractal hues and shapes opened before her and then began to vibrate, and suddenly they burst into the air, screaming, howling, hammering through the waves of space, crushing atoms beneath their wings, and all the universe turned beneath them and held them aloft. Swirling downward the fly landed and Time was giddy to be there, alive and dying in this infinitely tiny infinity where all the universe was piled beneath these wings. "This is a powerful beast," thought Time. Suddenly a vile overwhelming odor invaded and saturated every pore of the creature's being, and although the fly seemed unaffected, Time became painfully nauseous and withdrew from her host to observe from a distance.

Time watched as the beast of prey she had inhabited was flicked off a yellow sweater. Susan Lessing was the woman in the sweater. She was seated at a table in a restaurant and an overly full plate of steaming hot buttered prawns with extra butter sauce sat before her. The source of the odor was clear. "So Susan, how's my little baby maker? How ya holdin' up, honey?" Susan was very pregnant and although at first it seemed repellent to her, she was now elbow deep in butter sauce and was bringing those prawns into the feed hole of her baby's universe, and she knew, she needed every one of them, butter sauce, tails and all. "I'm fine, sweetie––pass the butter." Jake noticed how Susan had taken on an air of sure authority and utterly glowed with selfishness. Pregnancy agreed with his wife and he fed her for it. Time was again becoming nauseous. "This scene is too sickly sweet even for a fly," she thought. Time can unwind and rewind, play and slow each frame, each moment of the "reals" of time, and so having infinite control of time she has no patience, and thusly, expects it exclusively of others. "Let them endure this tedium," she thought and advanced the beat and measure of the years to her choosing. She wondered of this young, unhatched, well-buttered offspring, and if he might not be more than the vessel which bore him. "Let us see," she thought, "What of the boy?"

She was careful to avoid the birth itself, a spectacle which was undoubtedly as gruesome, distasteful and grotesque as the dinner scene, although not covered in syrup and butter sauce. Ahhh... there he is, fat and rosy cheeked, wrapped in a big blue sock, a tiny cap on his head, and his round face with the dark red flush of health upon his cheeks, a shade not unlike that of a high quality kosher bologna or extra lean ham. It was hard not to think about food products as one gazed around the nursery and saw the rows upon rows of incubators, which when surveyed from a distance resembled an open block wide field of egg cartons, an expanse, a field of nooks and divots, each exactly as the next, one after the other and each before the next in dizzying uniformity, tiers and tiers of babies––fat, fat babies, all eleven pounds or more. Most were closer to fifteen. It was impossible to see the spectacle and not think of food.

A nurse, a practiced veteran who must have been in excellent physical condition and possessed of upper body strength far beyond her diminutive appearance, a super nurse possessing near Olympian strength and power from handling these heifer tots all day, performed a staggering feat and brought in two at once, Samuel Lessing weighing in at a scant fourteen pounds, and a real oven stuffer hitting the crib at twenty-one pounds even: one Jacob Orinson. The lad to Sam's right was an inconsequential twelve pound disappointment named Pete Burton, who was by current nursery standards hardly big enough to fill the bun. The nurse made effortless work of the seemingly impossible and adroitly sunk the two swollen infants into their receptacles. She began a chart for each, beginning with an obligatory zero in the feeding column, indicating that the new arrivals had not yet been fed.

Jeanette Emit was stuck in traffic. She was sweating, which takes a lot out of a sixty-eight year old piano teacher. As is the norm today, in this new age filled with new people which the media has branded "The Loxvol Generation" or "Generation L" for short, Jeanette Emit, Sam Lessing's grandmother and Susan Lessing's mother, was in charge of the first two months of child rearing. Although not always the case, it was becoming typical for the grandparents to take on this duty, as the mother was, after the long struggles of child bearing, concerned with everything but her child. After the deprivations and discomfort of child birth, today's Loxvol mom was chiefly concerned with her weight. But today, due to the effects of Loxvol she was concerned with supplementing it, rather than losing it. A sudden sharp drop in intelligence often accompanied the first two months after childbirth, and this had led to a rash of neglected and injured babies which were left unattended as their mothers gorged themselves in the forgetful caloric bliss which was now termed PPI, or in proper medical lingo, "Post Partum Ingestion," a two month period where the blood serum concentration of Loxvol jumps to unexpected highs, leading to a conjunction of symptoms consisting predominantly in an uncontrollable increase in appetite, and the onset of a condition near idiocy, characterized by a blissfully glassy-eyed stare and a total disregard for all the world which is not on a plate, known as "Consumptive Anelepsia." That's doctor speak for "Who cares, just shut up and feed me."

Jeanette knew this was her opportunity, her chance to make a difference. Her beloved daughter Susan wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer to start with, hell, she wasn't even the sharpest spoon, and it was no surprise when Susan got on board, or "on bottle" would be the better phrase, as the entire country, young and old for two generations had succumb, or been “cured” if you believe the ads. Jeanette had not fallen before the bottle, she never took the pills and was one of the few left in America who preferred a good piece of music, or their kids, to a plate of shrimp, even one with a side of steak. Jeanette knew now was her time to do it––to make a difference.

Although her grandson Samuel was born from a womb and blood supply which was loaded with the drug, a curious instance, a pharmacological aberrance was noted whereby a child born to a Loxvol mom had to receive breast milk, which is saturated with the drug, or have his bottle milk supplemented with the addition of a tablet. The result if these early drugged feedings were missed was a lifelong immunity to the drug, which as the advertisers and their doctors would have you believe, was a sure path to sickness and misery, but Jeanette recognized most of the warning as a simple description of childhood as she understood it, as it should be, complete with bumps, bruises, pain and kindness––a childhood without state sponsored dope. There was a syndrome which would result and she knew that, too. Decreased appetite, low weight, slow growth, emotional instability and "mental disturbance." She reasoned the last two sounded normal but seemed abnormal today, where no parent cares, and no child seems to care about that. Perhaps she was wrong, perhaps she was condemning Sam to something worse than being part of Generation L and that syndrome was real...but she had to try. If she could get there before Sam's third feeding, she could do it––she could make a difference. No way was she putting pills in that kid's milk––no way.

The Olympian nurse surrendered the boy to Jeanette's tender care with careful instructions and a blister pack of kiddy Loxvol, the national preemptive cure for childhood. On the way home she looked adoringly at him, all fifteen pounds of obese pink meat, weird and overstuffed, this healthy bag of fat and hope sprung from the best of American pharmacopoeia, flounder and fillet, and she knew he was in for a change, a chance: life instead of lunch.

Once back in the humble surroundings of Jeanette's small home, she prepared Sam a bottle with formula heated and prepared properly and most assuredly with no pill in it. The lad had received but a single feeding in the hospital as was indicated by his discharge records, and as Jeanette knew, the first two feedings were Loxvol free. She had done it! Now she knew time was short. Two months, three at the most and Susan would have him. There was work to be done.

She took the infant into her music room which was prepared with a crib and bedding. She lay the child on the soft fabric and sat at her piano. Although her surroundings were humble, and her lifestyle spartan, her instrument was as her talent––the very finest in the world. The tone of the upper register was delicate and pure, clear and bright as an icicle filled with sunlight, if the hands fell lightly upon the keys, gently teasing out, coaxing each bashful shade of nuance to glow and sparkle, or those same notes could become the broken teeth of pain, a blood blade to press into the skin and soul, to cut with viscous abandon and purge the tender heart. The lower register was a laughing thing, warm and bountiful, complex and symmetrical, the breath of a summer afternoon, or an evening of faded mellow twilight, and those same keys might be struck with hate and roar as a hungry animal, a beast of desperate evil, joyous in its lust to devour and swallow, and so may find its place and measure as well, to fill and to purge the tender heart.

She began to play and spread a melody out with gentle arms, smooth and clear as a mirror aglow with flecks of sky, its surface shimmered with ripples of forgotten starlight and lost worlds reflecting off the unthinking waters, flowing silver and bright, blue and gold, clouds and sun spark amongst the rocks covered in clear liquid glaze, water, moving, knowing, caressing the azure lens of clouds and flecks of forgotten sun.

Now each tone is clear and naked, cold and frozen, each a prism, each alone, blue ice, white ice, cold yellow sun's blood, all colors frozen in the air, one at a time, and then a huge chord built from low to high, high to low, in to out and over itself twice again until the sheet of ice is cast up into the air before the pale frozen sun, moving slowly, dancing, melting through the pure glass ice––almost captured as a tear of glass suspended in ice, and now she whips her hands down and smashes the disk, each splinter falling playfully upon the frozen lake bed, clinking and chiming pure and laughing in a swirling game of music and beauty, light and evil, love and tragedy, hope and laughter. He would know.