4 mi clas praject I M riting a thing laik they uze to in teh urly dayz uv teh intert00bz. In teh urly dayz uv teh intertubez evrybody rote thingz w/wrds insted uv alweyz uzing videoz and ipodz laik we do 2dey!!!1! It wuz verE hard 2 comunic8 bcuz u alwayz had 2 spel thingz teh saim wey evry time!1! & there wur no emoticonz and so u nevr new wat sumbody wuz thinkN LOL.
In teh urly dayz uv teh Intertubez evry1 red brainE clasik litterachur laik steevun king & dr soos. Everybudy waz a real Einstine but they wer borde bcuz tehy alwayz had 2 wurk & lern thingz but insted uv 2 munths uv skool laik we hav tehy had mayB a yr or mor!!1!!
That iz wy I M glad robotz run evrything & we no longR hav 2 stop uzing teh intertubze 2 do sum werk. )))
by N8 Jonez
Words didn’t fail the last man on earth; the city of machines did. After the gears ground down and clunked their last, he spoke at various consoles, but the machines wouldn’t whir back to life. Nothing but his cerebrometer made even the faintest buzz. Either its battery was failing or he was because each day it dropped a tenth of a percent: 81.2. 81.1, 81.0, 80.9….
That’s when he found books: worlds that were, worlds that weren’t, worlds that could be right now: He built his own generator, wells, crops, pets, even a woman. He walked away from the city of the machines.
Years later, he wheeled in on a chair pushed by his favorite great granddaughter. They sifted through dust layered upon the old machines and the former last man reminisced on how machines walked, thought, rocked babies, and bought cans of scrumptious goolop for you. They popped an unopened can and tried it: tasted like gritty motor oil. It must have spoiled, the former last man said.
The great granddaughter stumbled across the cerebrometer and shook off the dust. Hers was 140. Must be broken, he muttered. He slipped the leather straps over his head, and his read 120. How can one be greater than 100%, he asked. His great granddaughter pointed to the words, “Intelligence Quotient.” Oh, he said, I thought I was getting a B.
An elderly couple lay on their stomachs in the grass of a hillside under a starry sky. The air is warm and moist, not like it is these days; dry and brittle like old glass. The wife sighs in contentment and they press against one another in a sideways embrace.
“Jessica left James yesterday,” she says.
“James always was a jerk,” he mumbles. A firefly bobs past overhead. “Anyway, why?”
“He was using the machine to cheat on her,” she says. “With her.”
He chuckles. She slides an inch away from him.
“You wouldn’t ever do something like that, would you?”
He laughs louder. She swats him gently.
“No, no. It’s a damn fool thing to do. I can’t see the attraction of it, to be honest.”
“Why not? A younger me, prettier…”
He thinks for a moment. “Pretty might have mattered to me back then, and sure, I’ll look at a finely shaped woman at any age, but if pretty was all I cared about, we wouldn’t have lasted ten years, let alone thirty.”
“Thirty-one,” she corrected.
“Ah, right. Sure, I could travel back to meet you before, and you might even be willing, but… to be honest, my dear, you were terrible in bed then.”
“So were you!”
“Exactly. That was before you learned how to do that thing with your tongue, and…”
“I see the point. Now shh. Here we come.”
A small blue convertible pulls onto the shoulder of the road below the hill and parks. The top is down. A much younger version of the couple tumble out of the vehicle, laughing, chasing one another. Minutes pass, and the younger couple spread a blanket in the grass.
“My, but you were handsome then,” she whispers from their hiding spot on the hill.
He nods. “And energetic too,” he says and presses record on the video camera.
This story is part of the Daily Cabal’s third anniversary celebration, a collection of kabbalah-themed stories. (Thanks to Mechaieh for the theme!) The other anniversary stories are Angela’s Mechaiah’s Daughter, David’s Has he thoughts within his head? and Luc’s Before Exile.
Little is known of the activities of the celebrated writer Jorge Luis Borges after he faked his own death in 1986.
According to some reports, he lived in a secret bunker under the Argentine National Library where, with several assistants to help read and research, the blind author devoted himself to the study of the kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition that had figured in many of his stories and poems. He focused on the golem-making rituals that turn created into creator in worshipful mimicry of the divine. Using techniques that disassembled and recombined the most basic linguistic elements of the bible, Borges invested every waking hour in study and practice. No stranger to creation through language, he’d become an adept sometime in the early 1990’s.
With his assistants, he fashioned three humanoid shapes out of clay. Alone, he inscribed them all over with mystic syllables. When the golems woke to consciousness, they were alone.
One of the three crumbled to dust before they discovered they could sustain themselves by continuously reading and rereading Borges’ work. They haunted the library’s stacks each night, searching out their maker’s stories, poems, essays, letters, speeches–anything that, like them, bore the mark of his mind.
They discovered that, by copying out his work in their own hand, they could renew and refine their rough forms into something more human. Soon they had no need of reference copies; every word of their maker having been pressed into their neuronal clay by their neverending rereading. Eventually one began to write not only finished pieces, but their drafts, starting with a copy of “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” that contained Borges’ every strikeout and marginal jotting. Even the handwriting was similar. After years of diligent scribing, the golem re-composed the totality of its maker’s career and began to venture new compositions–a line of poetry here, a phrase two of prose there. Another decade, and he was composing new stories, tales Borges would have written.
The moment the golem completed the last word of his first slim volume, The Voice of the Mirror and Other Stories, Borges, living in a distant part of the city under an assumed name, found that he could see again.
“Light,” he said to his companions at a café table under evening trees. “Everywhere there is light.”