Mr History> by Jonathon Carmichael

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4:35 PM the end of slavery is approaching for the day. I get in my door about six, that fuck in the apartment next door just gave me that look again. Sit down, contemplate my next move that is obviously related to food. Buy it, cook it, not eat, go to a friend's house and eat their mother's cooking. Someone is at the door, I can hear them marauding out the front of my apartment, the door is open, I shout and Mr. History enters. He sits on the couch, reaches in his bag and pulls out his mix bowl, scissors and a bag of Chiba. Well, a three-course meal has arrived for someone.

Mr. History always affects me but never really addresses me directly. Chop, chop, chop, burp, chop. I will take this slight interruption and delay to intelligence as an opportunity to recite a parable. Ok, well I live in some shitty part of Melbourne in a three-story apartment block that is always on the verge of collapsing or becoming a public health crisis. The residents all have some kind of ducted heating unit that is linked and does not heat or cool but simply blows, no matter what the temperature. Now we also have a notice board on the bottom floor for complaints and suggestions, not that there is any serious statement on it just: FUCK YOU ALL BOB your hair is so shit and you better stop seeing my wife or you are existence zero. Aids is what the Christian refer to as Karma. S11-M1. God came for you, love him and receive eternal life. Obviously this notice reads something like this after a day, God came on you, fuck him and receive eternal fellatio. Anyway there is one complaint that keeps getting posted that reads: Miss Sheffield can you please stop burning your eggs at 6: 45 in the morning, we can all smell it through the air vents. So, my point is that the smells from one apartment get filtered in to all the other apartments. Chop chop. So what I am interested in is the fact that Mr. History has been smoking cones in my apartment three times a week and no one complains. I am curious about this. Now to me the smell has become a coat of paint on the walls and it ceases to affect me, but it travels straight into the duct and on into the other apartments. Why does no one complain? Eggs are not contraband.

Well I assert that all these old fogies, single mums and hermits enjoy their satanic fix. It serves the purpose of their weekly insurrection, they just have to turn a blind eye and let others do the `wrong things'. They enjoy it, knowing that it reflects their wrong doings by not making it a conscious problem. Lying back on the couch reconstructing their own hippie hey day; or maybe they dream they are a policeman trying to solve the case of the mysterious drug user in the mist.

Mr. History's hobby is an insightful mystery that allows all the residents in the apartment block to take on another personality. They gain gratification and escape through the dream machine that Mr. History creates/incites. It is their exile from television, where they can rediscover conscious dreaming, travelling through vistas of mystic thought. Exploring their internal landscape. Averting their daily suppression. The suppression by things like television, which control and dictate their so-called escape.

Your Oz is programmed. Multi-national media corporations dictate the light in the box. They only give a shit about getting you to buy shit that you can't use, and can't fit on top of the other shit you don't use. Chop chop, the bong is under the tap. So this I believe is why the cops are never kicking down my door. Mr. History provides all these people with a chance to remember, or construct a life outside the walls that they are so often entrapped in. Even if they have jobs this is a city, a city of walls.

Mr. History passes me a bong and I blow the stagnant smoke straight up into the vent. I did have a television, and I did like to turn it on sometimes. Until some fuck once said, you know, I can fix the problem with the colour, and low and behold the revelation arrived – it never worked again.

Mr. History asserts that all of reality is a simulation and if he wished he could turn me into a piece of cheese. Obviously it is not that easy I say, or you would never be dry and smoking shit Chiba here 24/7, but rather be doing lines of cocaine in a field with your Playstation surrounded by naked women.

Well, back to my food. I would like to cook something but I have no recipes. I watch people slaving over a meal; sometimes these cooks think they are fucking artists. I wish I were right now, too. Smoke drifts up to the vent. Oh, I lie, I have one recipe that my ex-girlfriend left on the fridge as told me she was never coming back and I should seek counselling for my unexplainable social psychosis. The recipe reads:


AQUIRE A CAT (note: I had a cat once and it just followed me around all day waiting for me to propose to it)
GIVING ALL YOU HAVE TO OTHERS (note: how the fuck do I keep or feed my cat if I have to give it away)

If I could cook this shit I most definitely could not stomach it. Mr. History is so stoned now he is talking to himself as usual. I have noted that the bong is a source of empowerment to a lot of people, not the Chiba but the bong, it is a stand-in microphone. The subject just feels that they can fill the room with `their' conversation of the most obscure themes. They just sit there with the bong in one hand, lighter in the other and talk utter shit. This can occur for up to twenty minutes until someone says: shut the fuck up and pull your cone.

Mr. History is doing this right now, but I am used to it. It is what he does. He is my television and others fleeting freedom. Like I said, he never really talks to me but to some hypothetical collective conscience that it appears, he believes, is publishing his every word for Uni students to analyse for it's `obvious' brilliance.

I'm sure that you have guessed that Mr. History is unemployed. He once had a job packing shelves at Safeway, but they fired him when they found him masturbating in the cold freezer. Why do I put up with him? Well he has never insulted me, never threatened me and he of course provides all the drugs. His pastime is to talk absolute shit, and since I know this, I believe it to be the basis of most friendships. Neither partner understands that they are just both talking shit, but when one does the friendship ends or one partner becomes the others' subject. Therefore, I do not really believe I have a basis to throw Mr. History out of my life...yet anyway.

Oh shit the kettle is boiling over. Mr. History is reading Cosmo out loud. Cyber-sex is healthy, and why Look like this Watch this He must do this...or he is out It is normal to gain pleasure from things like that Buy this Apply this twice daily Eat this, not that Spotlight on success. Mr. History is on the Internet now, downloading his consciousness. Then he is uploading his DNA to a representative of the `multinational conglomerate of discursive oppression. PTY LTD', who send him an E-email that reads: You are of no use to us. We estimate that you will die of a heart attack at age 49. Have a nice day.

Mr. History is screaming as he receives techno-erotic pleasure from a Wetware virus. He believes that the virus is planning to propagate his son, to penetrate and crash the Microsoft web page. He will probably take down Hotmail while he is there. It is quite obvious to me at this point as I watch my newly acquired television that someone has activated an economically motivated `apocalypse media virus'. Cause and effect...I tell you.

Int. Melbourne. A three-story apartment block. Day. Mr. History looks over at his friend who is eating a Four-and-Twenty-Pie and starring down at the cars going past on the street below. Then Mr. History slowly tilts his head up and blows smoke up into the vent. Our protagonist looks up from the window and turns to Mr. History.

Protagonist: I imagine there is an UN-`free' world somewhere, where people can discuss things freely.


Published in Undergrowth #5 > The Human Ecology, Feb 2005.