M a n y

Note: this piece is an expanded version of experimental fiction originally written in 2011. Images via Ernst Haeckel.


The first thing you see when you wake up, or the last thing you see before you go to sleep. The only meal stubborn enough to be served all day.


The branch of entomology that deals with ants. Derived from the Greek for ant. The period after World War II was a dark time for ant-based studies, with the proliferation of technology and Cold War tensions directing humanity’s achievements elsewhere. Thankfully, 1981 marked the resurgence of myrmecology, and interest in ants (whether the carpenter, bullet, crematogaster, or dinoponera variety) has been strong ever since. Estimates place ants as 17% of Earth’s total terrestrial biomass, and further argue that there may be as many species of ant as-yet undiscovered as there are known ant species.


Looking at something else to look at yourself. Reflecting the mannerisms of someone else to convince them to like you by seeing them in you.

Mm hmmmmmmmm

Waking up. Stretching. Emoting the sublimity of a moment, properly. Warm soup belly. Unflinchingly answering in the positive. Feeling content. Feeling confident about the usage of adverbs. Being content. Radiating excess energy. The random brightening of lights.


The state of having a valence greater than two. A thing that has more than two somethings. One thing that spawns many things. One thing with many sides. The quality or state of having many values, meanings, and approaches. [See M a n y.]


I didn’t believe in magic until my mother told me the story of her pet bunny. It goes like this: she went to a camp with her parents one summer, and the bunny went along. The day after they arrived it got lost, and despite thorough searches, it would not be found. By the last day my mother had almost forgotten about it, the way most children do when things leave them for no reason [see Memories for clarification on the differences between children and adults]. On the last day of camp there was a meal, and for that meal were a number of treats: beer-simmered sausages, veggie shish-kabobs, fried chicken, Mrs. Felderson’s famous potato salad, s’mores. And, to top it off, a delicious pot of rabbit stew. It was fresh, tasty, and exquisitely seasoned. Everyone enjoyed it: it ended the camp on the highest of notes. Only on the car ride back (after minutes of silence that later became normal in their relationship) did my grandparents tell my mother that, in the delicious rabbit stew that she had partaken in, was her own bunny.

That is when I knew that anything could happen.

Making Out

Tongue sails billowing. Currents rushing, swirling. Complete absence of seagulls. Observation of stars, creation of constellations (at any angle). Throwing the map away, trusting the winds not to betray. Not being able to drink the water beneath your chin. Wanting that thirst. See Mmmuaaa-!


A fertile, low-lying grassy plain found along the Outer Hebrides. A TV series located in the same place. A thing abandoned without pretense but also without history, like the opening pawn in a chess match.


See me. Or spend some time with me.


Children are the paintings. Adults are the ones looking at them. The shunting is instantaneous. And irreversible.


An African instrument consisting of a wooden board, a resonator, and staggered metal tines, the last of which are often adapted from cutlery. Further proof that you can you can play with your food instead of just eating it.


An apron and a corn cob pipe. A type of store usually only seen in old TV shows. In the UK, a corner shop or an offy. Where people go after they feel guilty about Black Friday.


The pantomimed question of why human beings treat each other the way we do. What some readers might want to express after a terrible pun.


See Mm hmmmmmmmm. See also Munchies. A drug, like coffee. Like dreams. (Both of which it either nudges away or softly embraces.) Possible side effects include anxiety, especially when you realize you’ve by mistake just eaten your roommates pot brownies. For some, see me my roommate.


Result of above. Cheeze whiz. Processed foods. Mayonnaise. Seven cheeseburgers in one go (from Burger King, though). Guacamole. Granola bars and juice boxes. 7-11 runs. Five pounds of Twizzlers in a “convenient” plastic container. Someone else’s cookies. Resurrection of stale chips. A simple indulgence. A need to be (full)filled, to occupy a space repeatedly emptied. An effortless, supple way to look at the complicated question of why we exist: to be filled.


A simplification. Can be lengthened, shortened. A kiss, with emphasis on its lingering qualities. A mellifluous act which cannot contain the mellifluousness it generates.


You’ll have to look this one up yourself.

Making Up

Not Making out. Not even close. Though the aftermath has the potential to far surpass it, vertically if not horizontally.


Verb or noun, to extract money from someone either through taxation or deception, or the payment thereof. Etymology: derived from 15th-century Latin mulctare, further from mulcta ‘to fine.’ Usage has steadily dropped since the 1800s, with a comeback unlikely.


If not a fan of Making out or Mmmuaaa-!, grow one. Requires: a fine-tooth comb, words from your father, a lack of noticeable maturity elsewhere, a pair of aviators, courage.


A compilation of all past and future entries. A constant time capsule. A misappropriation. The space in between the hitting of the F5 button and the rendering of the result. A way of living that is constantly refreshed, that can only be lived as-is. That cannot but imperfectly be shared with others. An ideal that makes loneliness bearable. Another answer for another day.


Going about; one way to end things.