We humans, on coming into the world, find we have one sorry privilege--the privilege of feeling ourselves live, with all the fine illusions that follow as a consequence, the illusion, in particular, that this inner experience we have of a life forever varied and changing--changing according to time, circumstance, or fortuity--is a reality outside ourselves.
You buy furniture, you tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled, then the right set of dishes, then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things that you used to own, now they own you.
A man living in normal circumstances suddenly disappeared, was not heard from, returned months or years later and didn't remember where he had been during this time. Later, however, someone who had run across him, somewhere, in a foreign country, recognized him, but the man himself remembered nothing.
It was a burning wind -- it burned through Susan's sleep like acid on silk, reaching deep into each smooth furrow of her body. The nightgown was too much. Her breasts felt as though covered with sand, with insects, as though she lay buried to the neck in an anthill in a hot summer storm. By turns it was terrible and then sweet -- a tickling, moving, crawling sensation. An awareness of the physical that not even sleep could override.
A picnic. Picture a forest, a country road, a meadow. Cars drive off the country road into the meadow, a group of young people get out carrying bottles, baskets of food, transistor radios, and cameras. They light fires, pitch tents, turn on the music. In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around... Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind... And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, candy wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s penknife, torn newspapers, coins, faded flowers picked in another meadow.
- Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic (1971)
John Tocher surveys the free music landscape for new and old releases encompassing the realms of avant garde, experimental, electronic, musique concréte, industrial, dada-ist music. A transplant from the Los Angeles area, he now makes his home in southeast Texas near the border with Louisiana --deep in swamp country, where the ambiance is enhanced by cicadas and the occasional hurricane.