Crossing Our Communication Networks
Lucas Southworth

I, me,—Vincent—have returned to the past six years of my life. And I (sadly) realize I've allowed my communication threads to fray from yours.

In some ways I feel this dead communication to be my fault. So I've decided to restart these free-flowing communication networks, which have (sadly) ceased. To do this, I will wait for the communication grids to (sadly) cross; therefore cabling into them; therefore fortifying the various guidance sockets; therefore revitalizing our (sadly) deceased communication networks.

Six years ago, I, me,—Vincent—killed you. I smashed your head with an implement meant for yardwork, (frantically, sadly) damaging our communication networks and your brain as well. Six years passed without mention. Not once did you attempt to scrape though my friction tubes. Not once did you surface among the minor systems. But then, (frantically, sadly) a fragment of you returned. It was small. A miniscule. But it helped me understand: I had done this: I had unraveled our communication threads!

This was not something I'd planned!

Six years ago, I (violently, frantically, sadly) stripped your life from the information grid. At the time, you were asking and asking for knowledge of your impending termination. What I knew of your death became friction, was friction, was communication. But what we couldn't know was that the horrid communication networks wire us all, and, at the same time, they (violently, frantically, sadly) clogged our reasoning threads. What a contradiction!

This is what you didn't understand: to travel along the speech rope is friction. To rub up against the undisguised networks is death, is death.

And for these six years, I, me,—Vincent—have often wondered why we continue to plug our tongues into the unconscious systems. It is, I think, the reason we (sadly, violently, frantically, sadly) delight in maintaining our communication networks, the reason we continue to pull and tug at our resistance cords.

So I have sent this sluggish transmission, and I will (sadly, violently, frantically, sadly) coil it in your direction. It is my hope that the distance that separates us may not yet be fully torn. And if my meager calculations are correct, there is, in fact, the probability of a somewhat reinvigorated communication network.

I believe that. Or, I want to believe.

Not so long ago, that byte of you returned. That miniscule. And it was then that the last six years of my life were restored: friction, friction, communication, and the death of our communication networks. But I, me,—Vincent—think, or rather hope, that dead transmissions can still vapor the information grid. There are rumors to this effect, although few believe them.

Together, we will (unknowingly, sadly, violently, frantically, sadly) continue to crash against the walls of our complex systems. We are bound to them; therefore tied against them; therefore struggling only as much as we can struggle!

So I send you this message in hopes of regaining what we have lost. Of course, I fear it will not reach you. I've (unknowingly, sadly, violently, frantically, sadly) severed the wires of our friction tubes, and I cannot rebind them. But there is the act of speech, of death, of communication: the act of friction.

And there is you. I suspect you must be somewhere, hiding among the cavities that dot the information grids. Or you are (unknowingly, sadly, violently, frantically, sadly) dissolved to pieces within the colored striations we refer to as the speech ropes. Or you are stretched and concave, rotating among those sharp and frightful guidance sockets.

But if this belated message does reach you, will you answer? These last six years, I, me,—Vincent—have begun to wonder: can a transmission of this sort be enough to justify my actions? Can something so simple as desire restore what we've lost? Can I satisfy the longings of my crossed and tattered circuitry?

So I (anxiously, unknowingly, sadly, violently, frantically, sadly) send these words in your direction. I ask again: Please reply!

Lucas Southworth has stories in or coming from Mid-American Review, Willow Springs, Web Conjunctions and others. He's a graduate of the MFA program at Alabama.

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Detail of drawing on main page courtesy of Leodrawings.

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