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     | |      c   o   m   m   u   n   i   c   a   t   i   o   n   s	| |
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  ...presents...	   Sunday Night Inside the Net
							 by Obscure Images

		      >>> a cDc publication.......1993 <<<
  ____	     _	   ____       _       ____	 _     ____	  _	  ____

     Sunday night; sitting alone in my room, nothing to do, time to kill.  I
tossed my cigarettes down on the computer table, took out my Zippo, and sat
down in the tattered brown swivel chair that I stole from my parents.  I hit
the switch on the power strip, and waited while the machinery noisily wound
itself up.  When everything was ready, I hit the switch on the front of the
computer, turning it on with a loud ping.

     While the computer prepared itself for a night of work, I grabbed a
cigarette from the half-full pack of smokes, and lit it.  The lighter clanked
closed as the computer informed me that it was ready to get to work.  I tapped
out a few keystrokes and decided to call down to the network to see if anyone
was around to talk to.	Talk isn't cheap anymore, but sometimes I find it
soothing.  It's an addiction, I know, but communications must be maintained.
The cigarette glowed red with anticipation.

     "Hey Paulie," said Liz, a 16 year old girl from Hyde Park, one of my

     "Y'know, something is really moronic," declared Andy, in response to
something that was said before my arrival.  I decided to respond to the comment

     "It's me, I'll fess up."

     "Sex with you... is all I want... and sometimes food," quoted Dwight, from
some song he was listening to on the radio.

     "I was sitting at KFC with two friends before the Teenage Fanclub show on
Friday, and one of them, totally out of context, says '23,'" recited Liz,
directing the statement to me.	Since I started to wear a cow tag with the
number 23 on it, and proclaiming it to be the number of chaos and collapse,
people have been flooding me with instances of the number's occurrence into
their daily lives.

     "Once you start looking, you can't stop," I said.

     "Yeah.  It's like when you learn a new word, it shows up everywhere,"
voiced Liz.

     "Hey Liz, ice balls as precipitation," said Dwight, completely out of

     By this time, my cigarette was long since burnt out, so I lit up another
one and sat back to watch the words scroll by.	I was only vaguely paying
attention, since conversation seemed as if it was going to be as inane as
usual.	My lungs felt clogged; I felt tired.  I took another drag and returned
my attention to the screen.

     "My thoracic curvature is where my back is hurting," remarked Lackey to
Eriq.  They were talking among themselves about eveyday problems.

     "How very existential," said Eriq to Lackey, who was now complaining
about something that I missed.

     "Smile for me baby, let all the angst come through the camera," I
mentioned for no reason.  A new person came onto the network and remained
silent for a while, apparently trying to get a grip on exactly what was going
on with the rest of us.  Obviously, he failed.	Sometimes conversations like
this are hard to join in on.  He wasn't missing much of anything.  I felt as
lonely as I did before I logged on.

     "Why's everybody so happy?" said the newcomer and then left, leaving his
contribution for the rest of us.

     " Everybody's happy nowadays," quoted Dwight from an old Buzzcocks song.

     "I'm not," I asserted.

     "I'm not happy.  I'm miserable," said Lackey.

     "Aww Lackey what's wrong?" asked Liz.

     "Nobody loves me," he replied.

     "I'm slightly depressed, but not completely.  That was earlier," said

     "I feel quite angstful at the moment," I added.  I was feeling a bit more
interested in the conversation, so I decided to stay a little longer.  I lit up
another cigarette and let it wrap its ghostly tentacles around the stagnant air
in my room, slowly eating away at my lungs.

     "Life's an illusion, love is the dream," quoted Dwight, from yet another
Buzzcocks song.

     "Paul, you always feel angstful," declared Eriq to me.

     I grinned into the void of the screen and said, "So what?"

     "Love?  What love?" cried Lackey, as well as one could do through a
computer.  I felt for him.

     "Love is overrated," uttered Eriq, slipping, at least in my mind, into a
smoking jacket.  I smiled again, liking the way that the conversation was
turning.  I felt slightly energized, even if it was in a negative sort of way.
A rush was coming on.  The ashtray was filling up quickly.

     Eriq proceeded to explain a problem he was having with women.  It seemed
that he had two women that equally wanted his attentions, and he could not
choose which one he really wanted to be with.  I bemoaned my lack of a loving
relationship and explained my wish for just one relationship.  "Here ," said Eriq.

     "If only it were that easy," I voiced.

     "If only we could turn our heads into breads we could slice them up and
make sandwiches," Dwight quoted again, this time from a King Missile song.

     "Too bad women aren't commodities anymore," I said, sarcastically to
nobody in particular.

     "Ahem," expressed Eriq, trying to remind me that Liz was still around, and
would probably dislike that remark.

     "Men are a pain," said Liz.

     "I mean, ultimately, love is worth it, it's just such a pain sometimes..."
remarked Eriq.

     "I won't disagree with that," said Liz.

     Strangely enough, the network computer added its own evaluation of the
conversation, as it scrolled the following up the screen: "'Women are made to
be loved, not understood,' - Oscar Wilde.  'Women are made to be understood,
not loved.' - Gloria Steinem."  Again I laughed to myself and looked over at
the blue glass ashtray, with its pile of cigarette butts starting to accumulate
in an alarmingly great number.

     "Actually, it's the delineation of expectations on the communications
front which seems to be a derailing factor," said Dwight, being cryptically
obtuse in his choice of language.

     "Thanks.  Cleared everything up nicely," I said.  "I'm an absurdist.  And
a discordian as well for that matter, what other choices do I have?" I stated
to Liz, who asked me about why exactly I said some things I said.

     "What might a discordian be?" Liz asked.

     "I can't tell you.  It's not a concrete ideology," I remarked, being
purposely evasive, not wanting to get off the other topic.

     "Paul is analog," said Eriq, in response to my comment, confusing the
matter even more.

     "Men bitch about women constantly....  Yet, they don't bother to tell us
their feelings... you guys frustrate us too!" asserted Liz, returning to the
original topic.

     "Whenever I tell a woman my feelings, they think I'm a wimp and won't have
anything to do with me," I said to Liz.

     "If we didn't frustrate each other, then there wouldn't be any problems to
overcome, and life would be boring," declared Dwight.

     "Really, Paulie?" questioned Liz.

     "Women SAY they want sensitivity, when they really want jerks to abuse
them," I said to Liz.

     "Relationships are what you want them to be.  No more and no less,"
declared Liz.

     "They have all these traditions inherited from the freemasons, and I think
it's just plain weird," said Dwight, again returning to the nonsensical, but
then returning to the topic with: "I want relationships to be permanently
exploratory, and binding at the participants' mutual request."

     "Maybe I just date psychotic women," I uttered.

     "Maybe," said Liz.

     "Well, at least you date," voiced Lackey.

     "Women all LOVE me as a friend, but never as anything more.  It gets to be
a real pain in the ass," I said.

     "Exactly, Paul," expressed Lackey.

     "Amen," said Eriq.

     "Paulie?" asked Liz.

     "Yeah?"  I replied.

     "It's wonderful to have friends.  And why would you want more if you
aren't friends first?" asked Liz.


     "Shut up, Eriq," I remarked, and then lit another cigarette.  "I didn't
say that I didn't want FRIENDS, and I could never be in a relationship where I
WASN'T friends with someone," I said to Liz.

     "Good.  " commented Liz.

     "It's just that I always end up as the Shoulder of Crying, and I end up
having nowhere to go," I said, following up on my previous comment while taking
a deep drag as I typed it.

     "Night must fall now darker,darker," mentioned Lackey.

     "You can only soak up so much of other people's problems, especially when
you have plenty of your own," I said, and put out the nearly-dead smoke with my
other hand.

     "Exactly," asserted Lackey.  "That's why you should have an exact
duplicate of you molded from sponge."

     "Good idea, Eriq," I said.

     "Yeah...  good point paulie," declared Liz.

     "I love all of my female friends, and I wouldn't trade them for anything,
but I need someone too." I said.

     "We all need someone special, Paulie," related Liz.

     "Needle.  Haystack.  Any questions?" said Dwight, obviously to someone

     "Yeah, and that's what I really dislike.  When I date someone I always end
up taking up all of their problems, and when they are done working them out
they leave me to be alone again," I uttered, while watching my second to last
cigarette burn away in the ashtray.

TheDefensesThenLetUsSpeakOfTheBrightOrTheBleak," said Dwight, trying to explain
the situation poetically.

     I lit up my last cigarette, feeling the pressing weight upon my lungs.  I
looked around my room and saw nothing.	The words scrolled past my eyes on the
screen.  Dwight's poem put an end to the other conversation, and I didn't feel
much like talking to anyone anymore.  I ignored the passing conversation, and
concentrated on the glowing end of the final cigarette and thought of nothing
but the burning.  I smoked the last of the cigarette and smashed the butt out
in the full ashtray.  I said my goodbyes to the remaining people on the
network, and signed off.  I shut the computer off, and got ready for bed.
Before I got into bed I looked at the ashtray, wondering if I should empty
it.  No, I thought, that can wait until later.	I climbed into bed, leaving the
ashtray sitting on the desk, full of dead butts.
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   (U)	 |==================================================================|
  .ooM	 |Copr. 1993 cDc communications by Obscure Images      07/01/93-#231|
\_______/|Seven SUPER-CALI-FRAGIL-ISTIC-EXPI-ALI-DOCIOUS years of cDc.	K!  |