Amnesiac Dink by Simon Turkel

A man named Dink (D) sits cross-legged in the grass in a small park in the center of Philadelphia (P). Beside him is a large bronze statue (LBS), presumably crafted in the likeness of one of the more famous characters from the American History Books (AHBs). D was sitting on the small stone stoop (SSS) of the LBS just moments ago.

On the stoop he had eaten a frozen burrito (FB) out of a brown paper bag, which bag is now crinkled on the grass between his legs. The FB was still frozen when he ate it, because there are no microwaves in P City Parks & because D has no home w/ a microwave & because D has no friends w/ homes w/ microwaves. Now D is sitting in the grass beside the SSS, as the stoop had been rather hard on his bottom.

Why is D homeless (H)? People might walk past him & get a look (L) at his tattered clothes, at his rugged unshaven face, at his torn black garbage bag of a knapsack, & they might get thoughts about grand & sweeping things like drug addiction, the terrible jobless state of the economy, the failures of the GOP, even psychosis. But the truth is that D was born H. His mother was H. His father was H. His sister was H. Even D’s childhood dog Lucky was H. D was born in an alley in Massachusetts & he has lived in the alleys, parking lots & jungle camps of America (A), for every day of his thirty years of life. The current unemployment rate & the small bag of heroin in his back pocket are only secondary coincidences to a much more pressing concern.

D has not read any AHBs. The LBS that is towering over his head is just as significant to D as the cigarette butt (CB) he's just found curled up in the grass. He smokes the CB & flicks it away.

It is not very hard for a man in D’s position to think that he knows a great deal. A (i.e., indefinite article ‘A’) loft of pigeons (LOP) settle on the grass before him & he watches them scratch at the ground. Not only was D born H, but he was also born, like most people, w/o a memory (M). (One of the pigeons (P) is a bold little fellow, it waddles over to D’s foot & pecks at the rubber sole of his shoe. D instinctually kicks it away.) You see, D’s M was never given the proper chance to develop & mature; this, a direct result of D’s H lifestyle, into which, as we’ve said, he was unchoosingly born. D, being out in the open A & always on the move as a kid, reached the experiential age of about ninety-six in only his second year of life. Funnily (F-ily), D’s M began to go at age two. There’s more to it than that though.

As D got older & more was expected of him, by his H mother, sister & father, in the way of fending for himself (FFH) in the great lonesome world (GLW), he learned something of vital importance that all wolf pups in Alaska have known since the dawn of time. D learned that in order to successfully FFH in the GLW, he would have to be fast-thinking, aggressive & primarily self-serving (PSS). Because he had no home, D grew fangs & bristly fur & calloused hands & he learned how to win a knife fight.

In the interest of not altering the mood too much, thus not jarring ourselves from D’s psyche, as that is the point of this: to become immersed in Amnesiac (A-prime) D’s psyche, we can spare ourselves the discussion of the present ontology of self as primarily temporal & aspatial, meaning simply that one’s self exists only in the moment of its consciousness & does not extend in either direction timewards, which makes it clear how PSS behavior will collapse a person’s worldview to encompass only the instant he is in & bar all evidence of a past or future. Suffice it to say that the LBS & the AHBs had very little to do w/ D’s very important H project of FFH in the GLW & so were sort of shunned from D’s thinking. In tandem w/ the aforementioned overstimulation, PSS behavior caused D’s budding M to deteriorate at a very young age. Walking down the street for D was like watching a foreign film w/out subtitles.

The LOP are still feeding collectively on the grass. D studies them. He studies everything in his immediate field of vision. There is a row of trees (ROT). Next to the ROT are two Porta-Pottys (PPs) standing side by side. The LOP flock over to the crooked corpse of their fallen friend (CCoFF) & pick out the meat. D takes it all in w/ his legs crossed & his fingers folded on themselves. He notices the position of each bristling blade of grass (BBoG), the position of the sun in the sky (SiS), the position of each bowing tree limb (BTL). D is sure that he knows everything now.

From behind the PPs comes a black cat trotting w/ a limp chipmunk dangling from its teeth. F L P, D thinks to himself.

An H man named A-prime D sits cross-legged in the grass in a small park in the center of P. An H man named A-prime D sits cross-legged in the grass in a small park in the center of P. An H man named A-prime D sits cross-legged in the grass in a small park in the center of P. [Loop ad infinitum].


Simon Turkel is presently (2012) a student of Creative Writing and Philosophy at Oberlin College. He hopes to see more of you soon.