The Unknown: The Red Line.

In space they took Dirk away and they made him write things. Lots of things. He was fed through an umbilical and in a glass sphere he wrote for days without stopping and the aliens observed him.

I remember that time didn’t pass while we were in orbit. I could see the earth, and I watched with fascination its storms and seasons. I had never would never again see anything so beautiful. We circled it once every ten minutes. The sun rose and set over a swirling blue horizon. I now fully understood my love for this planet, this sweet bluegreen weedgarden, that had grown a literature. Its soft salty oceans, its sandy shores, starfish, seaweed, and languages. The people I loved because I remembered them. I remembered Ed from Phoenix and Marla and my grandmother and my daughter, who would be born in 2010. I remembered my death and my birth as if they happened on the same afternoon. I remembered Barth, Krass-Mueller, Rettberg, as if they were the same memory. I could smell Kansas and I could see the ocean in San Diego. I could feel the heat of Albuquerque and the cold of Manitoba. I could taste the coconut shrimp we ate with Newt Gingrich mingled with the Tucher Hefe-Weizen I drank the night Dirk shot the TV. I could read every page of the anthology and every link of the hypertext was visible at once, forming a rotating four-dimensional model in my mind. I was having an orgasm and sleeping and drinking coffee and finishing my novel I Will Keep the Home Fires Burning. It was 2020 and 1969. I was having sex with everyone I ever had or would have sex with at once, while reading the New York Times 13 October 1998.

And then I opened my eyes and caught Mark Amerika stealing my cigarettes from beneath my pillow.



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The Unknown at Spineless Books.