Supposedly the year is 1869 … something that can change in a minute, I know now. But the wormholes want what they want, and that’s that. No point in arguing with absurd and wonderful things like time and flowers. I gave up all that writing on my two first chants of Maldoror on top of Fort National in St.Malo.
No heavy gold barrels or syrupy aged rum there, by the way, for those inexhaustible pirate aficionado’s and treasure seekers among you!
Time travelers can never do too much anyway. Constant physical experiments and trying to keep up with the fashions of the days, is more than enough for creatures like us. Hell, in some ways, we too are just lost souls trying to dehumanize our self … What a funny thing that. Surely stupid of course, but dam it, funny as hell!
So, today it could be Paris, my beloved city of deranged youth and playful musical legs. Well, that is when I’m blessed being to opium-sedated to notice all the filthy excrement pushing through trembling roses and children’s toys in the streets. Ah, my poor travel-burdened Victorian father … always on the search for that next ambitious stone to crack him over the nose! The family had better stayed in Montevideo, if you ask me. But then again, with this time traveling ordeal hanging over me all the time, I guess it don’t matter much anyway. Paris today, Oslo tomorrow … Montevideo again, hmm … I can only hope.
By the way, let me just conclude this ones and for all, before stepping all over the place: Yes my name is Comte de Lautreamont, ore Isidore-Lucien Ducasse as my parents wanted it; something of a silly twenty three year old school dropout and aspiring writer, time-prisoner and a pathetic moneylender of epic proportions. Sadly many a man (hiding is exhaustive) especially my bloody banker Darasse, will have no problems testifying to that.
Ah, and another thing, before I continue forcing my overaged words on you hopeful strangers: I really have not become much wiser, just because I to now – like many others (some I will name later) – have been plucked out as one fitted for traveling between our many dimensions. Masters, teachers, prophets, messiahs, philosophers, fathers and mothers … I have in no way gotten information or insight on who they all are or where they could come from. So, better giving up on that messed up mess, all you common folk, geniuses, madmen, angels and devils; in your way hardened diggers for terrifying truths and candy-sugared circus tricks. You know as much as I do!
I just travel more (it seems)
What I do know, is that this bunch of self-declared saviors, have a whole staff of half-wits running around categorizing things for them. Like those obsessed fellows Carl von Linne’ and Charles Darwin wasn’t enough for the world already. I actually met the engineer who programed them that way!
Certainly they have equipped us travelers with some talents and know-hows. But come on; try putting that to the test somewhere in just any half clouded neighborhood …
I myself, therefore, try not to take myself too seriously (anymore), which is hard as draining blood from a dried up vampire victim, I have to admit. That’s why I prefer talking more than writing, painting, composing music or some other exhaustive explorations of the art and heart.
At least that was until I encountered on a young journalist student in the city of Oslo. We met during some protest rally against the animal fur industry; both attacking a food-carriage selling miniature burritos just outside the university campus. We instantly agreed on that bodily needs and pleasures like food and sex were highly important in front of any social revolt, however small or big. Being the first one I was able to creatively word and idea play with, a vital sign of one of our important steps away from the monkey stage in our evolutionary latter (the only step, some bright minds have argued) I certainly didn’t want to lose this one. I also soon discovered I could get terrible funny drunk with this person, without some silly moralizing around it. Sometimes things did get horribly blurry, me even forgetting what time period I was in … No use explaining that to him, by the way. Didrik Danzer, as the young man’s name is, is basically a man of words and concepts, and not much else. But him not being a terrified time traveler an all, I guess it’s for the better anyway. Lucky bastard!
Early fragments of first mission (12 hours before hitting the shores of civilization):
Dressed in my usually crappy lice-ridden coat, bought for me by my father before him steam-boating himself back to Uruguay, I was presented with the great wilderness of Norway. It was really something that first night, walking over the beautiful hills of Jotunheimen: Snow covered mountaintops, green half-frozen lagoons, staring so boyishly at fresh tracks of small and larger predators, while all the time shaking violently from the pinching cold attacking my tender skin … Wow, I surely thought I was going to experience the most beautifully death ever!
After all my terrible unhealthy city-dirty French despairs, I wouldn’t have minded it a bit, I can tell you.
Washing of then, as best as I could anyway, the sticky disgusting goo on my body after going through the wormholes, I finally was able to enter this frighteningly small capital of Norway. Basically, at least in some parts, it was just as Paris and my own dear neighborhood: Rue Notre Dame des Victories. At least the first couple of days. But then … O, help me all mortals and immortals of the wise merciful worlds! (Sadly not so many left anymore in our part of the Milky Way) people started talking and living, and I was left all alone again …
I had of course already lived through this, to some extent, in so many cities. But the Norwegians pompous and uncultured coolness, got to me hard as a barrel of rotten fish speeding down the road, hitting and killing every smock without some type of cynical armor passed down from his privileged parents.
Eventually getting up (physically), after receiving some much needed help from a young girl no more than twelve or thirteen of age, I got myself a strong bitter coffee and started walking around my new streets of Oslo. As always on these trips, if I may just call them that, I’m not too sure what to do with myself. Fortunately I am, also this time I was, able to meet some wonderfully enigmatic individuals that for some reason wanted to help me on my way.
The young girl, Josephine, almost never left my side, assuring me she was some type of unpolished street girl with nothing better to do anyway. Probably after getting inspired by that movie Pretty Baby, I guess. She mentioned it a lot and commercial posters of it were hanging everywhere. From her basic decent manners and good clothing, it did not make much sense of course, but I left the ordeal alone, not asking too much about it. She was way too cute and fragile to just be cut of like that anyway. Herr Student Didrik came and went as he pleased, a little more skeptic about the whole affair with this funny looking stranger, even after I explained the situation with my father and his private deals with the masters.
‘’It’s just expected of me’’ I tried explaining, ‘’ I’m sure you also have your duties and responsibilities …’’ But at this early point, I could clearly see that my greasy moll eaten coat was way too much for the young fellow to handle. Not to mention my pail time-weary face, always as much confusing to me as everybody else.
‘’You see’’ I still insisted for a while out of pure embarrassment, ‘’it’s no use buying a new coat, pants, shirt or whatever either, because it will all get greased up soon enough anyway … That’s just how it is with me. I really can’t escape it!’’
After spending some days together, mostly drinking cheap local beer ore putting our lips to my two small bottles of ass-kicking check absinth that I always carry with me, while talking most passionately about Hamsun and this newly deceased Bjørneboe fella, Didrik did loosen up a bit though.
Rather swiftly, he then presented me, or I him, with the idea of having some fun with this raggedy type literary magazine called Tussen, which he had done some work for earlier. Didrik would basically present me as a talented avant-garde out of work writer fellow from abroad, researching the city for new writing ideas. For status effect, as always a great card to hold when you are among the highbrowed type, my new last name would now go as: Montbelliard. As from the famous French House of Montbelliard. A long gone aristocratic family that still makes some interesting headlines from time to time, even way up here in whale hunting country. I was supposed to be some influential guys not to sympathetic nephew or cousin, I think we decided on. That way we could distance our self a little easier if any inquiries started to be made.
So, Isidore Montbelliard was the name, and Norwegian journalism was the game. First we decided to kid around as much as we could and were permitted to, mostly writing half-serious analytical stories concerning the challenged social skills of the northern folks (not exclusively just them anymore), and actually coming up with a series of pretty interesting examples:
Tussen literary magazine
November 11. 1980.
Streets of Oslo
Bye Isidore Montbelliard and Didrik Danzer.
Wednesday morning, we, the authors, observed a very sickly-looking man in a tight silky grey suit receiving extensive legal advices from his somewhat fat grey and brown-striped cat. Telepathically it must have been, and on the always crowded downtown bus of all things; the 24 bus to be exact. From the way he was caressing while at the same time promising the wise animal fresh salmon for dinner, its rather safely fear to assume that this was the man’s longtime companion, and not just any bohemian street cat hanging around.
Out of the little we managed to eavesdrop in on this guy when he started talking aloud – always after he had received a long penetrating look from his cat – the whole matter supposedly concerned some ill-fated custody battle, where the man’s nine year old son was the sparkling gem everyone was fighting over, including his wealthy but extremely promiscuous grandmother. A person the cat obviously hated in a rather impressive and theatrical fashion, demonstrating this by scratching the man’s shoulder with both speedy paws every time she was mentioned.
Well, after a while – even though this man behaved completely calm and composed throughout the whole journey, at one point looking devastatingly weak and just barely able to control his eyes from overflowing with tears – people started getting scared; pushing, yelling and outright demanding the already sweating highly confused bus driver to deal with the situation. In him dealing with it, almost every single one of the passengers agreed, at least they would be able to get a not too upsetting and healthy start on their day. In this manner, also, and only in this manner, no official complaint against him or the bus company would be necessary either, of course.
Somewhat more puzzling than anything else though, was that both the troubled man and the wise heavyset cat left completely separately, not even getting off at the same bus stop.
Tussen literary magazine
November 17. 1980.
Streets of Oslo
Bye Isidore Montbelliard and Didrik Danzer.
Late Sunday night, way passed normal strolling ours, at least her in Oslo, me and cowriter Didrik Danzer encountered on a group of mums running around with at least ten or twelve baby carriages in front of them. All and one fighting to get passed one another, even if the street we was on was completely barren and empty at this hour. For some reason, language where no longer used or wanted in a sensible manner anymore. It seemed these people just had gotten tired or forgotten it, some of them not even able to pronounce simple words when they tried. The mouth and jaw muscles for some reason shutting down all services. Instead it was all a semi-controlled revolution where baby carriages, monkey screaming and hair-pulling were the prime weapon and message of choice.
Only after one of the baby’s actually fell out of one of the carriages, we were able to stop laughing and offer our much needed assistance. But for no use! All of the women, every single one, wanted in some (semi)-unconscious way to keep on war fearing and making mayhem on that street, at exactly that moment in time too perhaps; staring at both of us in a highly aggressive but also a strangely begging-type of manner.
Just as we decided it would be safer for everybody if we left them alone, fittingly enough as we were coming up against one of the main cemetery’s in the city, Didrik got hit with some type of hard toy-giraffe right in the eye; just by getting a little too close to one of these deranged women. Fortunately no permanent damage was done.
Even their precious offspring … soft, perfumed and eternal as they are in glow and gaze – something witch afterwards left us both contemplating on our own crooked childhoods – was nothing more than a secondhand thought to these crazed mums riding the midnight train.
As expected, from however with a semi-humid soul, after this incident we stormed the first bar we could find and got more perversely drunk than ever before. The bill of course handled and payed for only by the authors themselves, and with no mentioning of the magazine.
I couldn’t have been happier meeting and befriending a Norwegian like Herr Student Danzer, staying away from the sneaky wormholes as much as I could. I knew my father Francois would have much inconvenience dealing with the masters if I kept doing this, but being already the famously disappointing son in the family…
Well, wormholes, as they always insisted on pointing out, had a rather wild natured life of their own, and could therefore not easily be manipulated for just any flimsy purpose. Human life in itself could be lost, but worst for the masters, the extremely valuable wormholes themselves if not handled appropriately. Accordingly to my father, there was now only about seventeen thousand in full operational use in the whole Milky Way. This meaning totally controllable and accessible wormholes, ready to appear wherever and whenever necessary. Supposedly the rest of them, a hell of a lot of them so, could easily surprise everyone in charge by tapping the prescheduled time traveler on the shoulder one day, catapulting the poor bastard to a place better fitted for nightmares and devils.
Naturally my father would rather have me at least in the same planet as himself, despite the constant fights and disagreements between us.
As a last social installment (eventually maybe presenting the work for Tussen) before I had to disappear for a while – getting first the inspirational data from observing an overweight man panting and sighing in front of a bike rack in some neighborhood, while all the time getting ugly and disappointing looks from the more fit crowd around him – I presented Didrik with the idea of starting up some type of heavy-breathers club. Something to keep him creative and entertained, and at the same time help loosen him up when the stormy and stiffening study-cloud started pouring over his head. No to mention, maybe even helping a few of the people in society not automatically born into families of supermen and superwomen. Anyway, Didrik loved the idea, explaining with great details that he himself had always been a heavy breather. And that the city actually was completely infested with them, but they had all just learned different ways to hide it ones in public.
Being somewhat of a psychology aficionado on the side from his regular routines, Didrik was in fact convinced that all this disturbing and repressions of the breading created physical abnormalities that in worst case scenario could end up with people never discovering their true characters or potential. Some of this theorizing had its starting grounds with the adventurous psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, he informed me with modest pride, but far from everything. Didrik also enjoyed and got some inspiration from the writing of Sabina Spielrein, especially the parts in her diaries where she comes fascinatingly close to analyzing, and even describing some of the orgasmic spasms and other naughty bed behavior of the great Carl Gustav Jung himself. This, I have to admit, amazed me a great deal; having never touched too much on that type of literature myself. I promised I would look into it, if and when I could.
So, having touched on a subject dear to Didrik already, I imagined the upstart of the Heavy-Breathers club wouldn’t be a too impossible task to handle. And certainly I myself would return from behind the slim time-curtain in not too long a time, expecting then to have my own share of work and fun with this stuff.
Sweet Josephine, actually resembling quite a bit on the young child-star Broke Shields of the day, promised to help, all the time trying to convince us that she could probably get close, and only her, to some most revealing situations, just by being so sunnily adorable and innocent-looking. We both tried calming her aggressive enthusiasm as much as if we could (to no help whatsoever), but at the same time secretly appreciating, and to some extent, amusingly accepting what Josephine was proposing to do for the bigger cause.
Flyers, small posters and maybe some cheap advertisement in obscure arty magazines, was basically going to be it to get people’s attention. We had somewhat already found out that people in certain work areas, actually mostly in different sections of some very accomplished business firms in Oslo, had lost or were in some type of risk losing their jobs because of their heavy breathing. The word was that executives and other individuals in higher positions, just refused to deal with employers that sometimes had bad days, and then expressing this in a bodily fashion. Heavy breathing, and in some occasions, even typical everyday sighing noises, was simply being looked at as something too elementary and weak to deal with. Supposedly high level firms neither had the time or resources to help people back to a work rhythm that in their eyes should be both obvious and desirable for any normal-functioning individual part of a modern society.
To put it in another way, the whole thing was entering a bone-chilling mind frame where the prime principal was: ‘’Be her, but never let us know that you sometimes maybe don’t want to!’’
In today’s Paris, that is my Victorian Paris, I had already witnessed to many an injustice done upon the common man. Let’s just say that it is quite impossible for me to get rid of the foul smell on my clothes, put there so skillfully by the impoverished streets of my dear city. And how many a yelling landlord, often halfway running after a family he had violently evicted, hadn’t I had to bear witnessing. Seeing that slightly overweight man, it really wasn’t much I can honestly tell you, getting ridiculed and humiliated like that in a time period where humans had supposedly accomplished so much, got to me in a fashion that just couldn’t be discarded as nothing anymore.
The childish cruelty, in almost everything and so much of it, had stopped being just another fact of life I could shrug disappointing shoulders to.
Different time periods certainly do have some real change carved into them. But the fabric of real circumstances, which comes directly from man’s corrupt intentions and power-driven appetites, now that’s something else! From this standpoint, this world of ours only gets polished examples of how things should be. The inside core of things almost never changing.
But to be actually able to play with these concepts out in the open, pointing a glowing finger at them from time to time … that I could only really do after been pushed over to more so called modern times.
After giving it some have dazed afterthought, I guess I wanted my encounter with Oslo in the 1980s to be some type of presentation for the masters, which I knew was holding my father responsible for much of my rather high maintenance trips.
In that sense, I was actually depending to a dangerously high degree on Herr Student Didrik Danzer’s will to play and work with this strangely fast-developing Heavy-Breathers club concept.
An abrupt end to the adventure that had blossomed up so wonderfully true and daring between our equally bony shoulders could surely mean the darkest type of elimination of the whole poetic essence that is Comte de Lautreamont.
In that sorry case, forget you ever read this as fast as humanly possible.