Not Like This: Recollections from the Sustainment Chamber
Dennis Scott Herbert
One time, I was just a bundle of senses floating and perceiving through life. Then, I became an Internet sensation.
One time, I stood outside in the rain and got wet without ever feeling a single drop because I needed satellites to beam me reception. And inside, my buddy’s metal band played music I couldn’t hear, only a pulsing in the bricks and the rolling double bass drum. I needed to tell all my followers I was there.
One time, I rode a subway through underground tunnels in the city and I sat, surrounded by people, and watched digital figures on a three-inch screen have sex with each other.
One time, I found out from the page of a friend’s friend that my long-lost friend had fallen and died. And I could remember the feeling of falling from some other memory I had saved in here, somewhere in here.
I could remember the feeling of falling from some other memory I had saved in here, somewhere in here.
One time, I took a photograph with my phone of the most wonderful tree. An October maple, its leaves so red, so brilliantly red, that the whole world "liked" it. It got three billion stars. I considered creating my own small galaxy.
One time, I yelled at the face of a girl talking in my phone. And I yelled and I yelled not because I was mad, but because I used to be in love. So I kept yelling because I forgot what it felt like, what she felt like. Then the phone froze and glitched and the image warped and the darkness of her open mouth pixilated itself into a blackberry. And I remember plucking blackberries off a bush in a meadow fenced off from the overgrown woods.
One time, I saw so many dicks on chat roulette because I wanted to find this girl from Arkansas I had met before. I just wanted to see her again. So I searched and searched and during that process thirty-seven random dicks popped up. I never found her.
The whole world "liked" it. It got three billion stars. I considered creating my own small galaxy.
One time, I went into a bathroom to take a picture of my naked body in the mirror so I could send it to a girl who had already sent me a picture of her naked body in a mirror so we could decide if we wanted to see each other’s naked bodies in person.
One time, I ran around Vice City blowing up cars while Flock of Seagulls played. And I ran so far away that the game map ended, went blank, and I wished for my senses. I wished for the smell of leaves dying, or the feeling of frozen water falling from the sky in little flakes, or the feeling of floating down a stream, or the electricity of a lover’s lips pushing into mine, or the look of my mom smiling at me, or my dad smiling at me, or even just the sinking in my gut, the sorrow in my gut, when standing by a grave. I wished for something I could feel.
One time, the cable fell out of my vertebrate port. It snowed so heavy in my vision and I watched it for hours and when I was a kid after a blizzard I jumped off the roof of the garage into four feet of fresh powder. It was as if the feeling of falling stuck in me, forever.
Dennis Scott Herbert is very dangerous. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in (b)OINK, Squalorly, the Minnesota Review, Smokelong Quarterly, and Hobart, among others.
Designed by Meghan Murphy.