death driving to the taco bell to get a black cherry slushie – Aonghas Cameron
September 5, 2021
One day, I decided to go to a petrol station. The petrol station had this dedicated place for slushies. I had never been there before. There was a big line outside full of families and overweight children and it was beautiful to see but it was also a unique experience because I had never been in this kind of line before. That is, a line along the side of an establishment just to get in. The kind of line that exists alongside a brick wall. Most of the lines I had been in previously were in front of a door, not next to it. There was also a kind of liveliness about the line with the kids talking shit and loudly enjoying their slushies while sitting on wooden benches attached to tables. The people in the line seemed cool. There was this girl that kinda looked like somebody from high school but she wasn’t. She seemed interesting but may not have been. After a pleasant wait, I walked up to the unicorn. It was just nice to stand amongst people. Not because of some armchair psychology COVID psychosis but just because people are cool. People ran about like children getting the ice and syrup from the machines. As did I, although I thought myself above it all because I moved slower and more calmly. Some of the machines splashed flavoured liquid everywhere. This place was a machine of libidinal childish consumerist individualism bursting at the seams. In other words, it was cool as fuck. I’m a bastard. Please don’t read this as a condemnation. Or do. It doesn’t really matter. In the cosmic sense. It matters incredibly to me. I was in a daze and trying to avoid my fellow customers. The thing is, having a piece of sugary crap with ice in it turns you into a bastard. I was behind this family man and I was thinking “How long is this gonna take? My gangrenous grotesque monstrosity might melt,” It didn’t. Waiting is pleasant. It’s cool to just be in a place and not have to worry about the fact that you’re doing nothing. Just take a look around. The pinks and blues kind of reminded by of the movie Downfalls High which was directed by Machine Gun Kelly and Mod Sun (the directorial debut of both artists) as a companion piece to Baker’s 2020 album Tickets to My Downfall (of which I had, at that point, only listened to the opening track). I overheard some broad talking to her kid saying “It wasn’t you, the lady overdid it” or something like that. Train them to hate service workers early. Like, goddamn, the kid didn’t get his sugary crap fast enough. I mean, I exhibited the same reaction myself but at least I felt bad about it. Some poor underpaid slushie slinger who probably had enough on their plate keeping this whole machine going. After finishing the overpowering mixture, I walked over to the freezers. Kurt Cobain look-alikes, happy families, pop tarts, kids in iron man onesies. All partaking in one sacred beautiful pastime. Like a Norman Rockwell painting. Japanese extra strong Monster Energy and Mountain Dew Red White and Blue Flavour. Fourth of July limited edition. Like Disneyland, it was its own separate little world dedicated to slushies. I was the fat middle-aged man wearing a Mickey Mouse hat, marvelling at the rides, pointing out Goofy and Donald to his sugar-poisoned children. Or at least I occupied the same role. So I purchased some of the drinks. I wondered what the patriotic Mountain Dew tasted like.
People weren’t obeying the sign. I was an officious bastard. An ugly one, too. This guy was shaking water out of his head by tilting it. This man who I designated as a representative of decay because I was in a spectacularly vain mood. He didn’t even look that bad. He was kind of cute. If I was a heterosexual woman and he was particularly funny, I would probably be quite attracted to him. Hell, even the kid was cracking his neck or tipping out water. The kid was more of an athlete than me. I was just looking to spend the hour and maybe lose a little weight. I was forced to the edge cause everyone was swimming in their own segment rather than clockwise as the sign instructed. This meant that I could not arc my arms to their fullest extent. I wondered if this other guy was annoyed at my not obeying the sign forcing him to not obey it. I thought about going up to him and saying “Same thing happened to me, man,” but then I realised how shitty that would sound. He’s probably just a normal guy that wanted to swim. He was like the law. A statesman with his arms crossed. Later on, he handed me my locker bracelet which I would have otherwise forgotten. This probably meant something.
Later on, I met an angel. She was beautiful and I didn’t know her name. We floated. I was death driving to the taco bell to get a black cherry slushie. Every bastard wants to be a writer. If you’ve got no social skills and don’t know what to do, you can just say I’m a writer and that’s just part of it. You are my atom lover and I love you so. In a sense, what we call autofiction is just tabloid speculation applied to real people. The ugly thoughts you immediately regret but now given legitimacy because they’re bound up in a book and fashionable self-loathing. I hate self-deprecation. If you hated yourself so much, you wouldn’t be here.
So I said to the angel “You are my atom lover and I love you so,”
And she knew that I had never met a girl before and said “What if I was some Subway worker?”
And I was all like “Then I would get a discount,”
And this was the zen accelerationist wisdom. Only through rampant materialism can we achieve peace. Only when we are truly sick and tired of art and people and things and skincare can we begin our spiritual suicide. It was like Lou Reed said when he wanted us to give up our life of reason but it was here on the big screen.
And I said to her “What kind of movies do you like?”
And she said “I like Peggy Sue Got Married,”
And I said “I’ve never seen that,”
I hate artists because they’re all French or paedophiles whereas True American Craftsmen while away some of their free time drinking beer and don’t feel the least depressed about it. I don’t want to grill. In my arrogance, I don’t want to grill. My angel is not a femboy. I am egoistic and deeply impatient. I can’t wait to read some Stirner so I can logically justify my complete sociopathy and distance from the world. You can logically justify anything. You can’t emotionally justify anything. And yet it’s the former that makes our heart sing. People are bastards. I don’t own a car. I don’t like cars. I like public transport but I can’t get on the tube now so I just walk. There was a period in my life where I had to sleep on a different bed. All the time I thought that I would wake up earlier if I just had my bed back. Turns out it wasn’t the bed. I realise how much that sounds like self-aggrandisement. The thing is, with autofiction, there isn’t sufficient distance between the author and the character. So the ugly impulses are legitimised not only by the form but by the author. When the author has a character, they can really go in on them. It is a clear truth (so clear I may as well not even say it), that when an author goes in on a character, they’re really going in on themselves but they don’t realise it. This is because authors are self-obsessed fucks. No-one ever critiques real life. But when you’re writing fiction you’ve gotta avoid stereotypes and introduce motifs and shit. Godard was pretty cool about this because he depicted himself as having incestuous fantasies in his movie Every Man for Himself. This makes me respect him as an artist despite Pierrot le Fou being a pile of crap. Just in case you wanted an indication of how utterly shallow I am. Despite dating an angel, I was still a virgin. Which was good because sex seemed cumbersome. Not that I wasn’t excited for it and consumed by it. I had started masturbating more. The angel treated me well. This disturbed me greatly. Naturally, we saw Peggy Sue got Married. I was delighted for her because she was happy watching the movie. Patronising, I know. I felt nothing. I, however, had advanced along the path of zen accelerationism. I had spiralled into not enjoying anything. Nothing aesthetically pleased me, nothing made me think, nothing entertained me and nothing aroused great love in me. In other words, I was afflicted by the disease that was spreading quickly among the insufferable privileged: ennui. Still, I pretended to enjoy things because otherwise the angel would be sad.
One day, work resumed. Summer break was over. I realised how fundamentally selfish I have been in my descriptions of the angel. That is, I have only ever related what I had done for her and her utility to me. Only briefly did I touch on what she did for me. Even then, excessive focus on that would cross over into fetishization. This angel had no wings. However, I do not want to describe her appearance to you. As callous as it sounds, I am embarrassed by her appearance. That is, I know the reader would think less of me or even think me a punchline if I related the appearance of the angel that had appeared to me at one point. To be honest, I still didn’t even know her name. You are my atom lover. My minstrel queen. I show up in the mask made up out of the skin of some garbage bag and breathe deeply. Anyway, one day the angel got sick and died. You know the story. You know how it goes. She curses me. Curses the fact that she spent her remaining mortal cycle with a guy who never knew her. Who was barely alive and wanted pity for that fact. We belong to a lineage of ideas. Every work is the bastard child of incestuous lovers. However, if the genetic deficiencies are too noticeable, people start to jeer. Reality is, by its nature, deformed. And so, the hyper-real symbols leak in. Reality is the simulacra. Work was good. I just wanted to know what to do. And so, I did.
At work, some guy brought in a hammer and started assaulting some chick. I got a bloody nose.
The extra strength Monster Energy was excellent. I now empathise with those who abuse amphetamines. Drive, meaning, beauty and purpose all in one fast little pill. The big three: angels, demons and machines. We were the great mother from which poured the non-human entities. And so, our children will phase us out. For our bloated body is smothering that which supports us.
Only we exist! The hut was a floating Pontius farm on fire. The whiteness, the moon and my riches circling the sun.
more disturbingly, these lyrics are less about meaning and more about being empathised with. They become explicit appeals to responsibility and forgiveness. Imagination may rest on the head and so my attempts to replicate the lustre of a clock are beyond me. What does it matter if we are Sherlock Holmes or Michel Franco? Well, I have my theories. I can’t have them. They’re all fictional. They’re all garbage. They’d all be generated by Fox beginning with their minds.
Why must every workplace week have a cryogenic bath? There is beauty. There are lepers. There are methinkers. The trees sprout out of our broken corpse. The vampires bathe us in mystery. Like the idea of a piece of plastic drying up like a raisin in the sun.
Symbols allow you to connect to the heart of the matter (the apple carton that turns out to be Kahlil Gibran). They give you a little inspiration as a compass, a piece of meat that is quickly to be consumed, protected by symbols.
Likewise, you may be thinking: “But so many symbols!”. The truth is, the world is composed of symbols. You couldn’t tell them religion was irrelevant, as they were simply being observant. People believe in godallegories.com. There is a website dedicated to bringing useful DMT to everyone.
“So people are just gonna drop by your house to see what you have on. You have a desk and a hard drive. Don’t you get it? You have a desk and a hard drive. Someone will post something to social media and expect it to be authentic. I know this seems like a big deal to most people but it is actually quite a lot,”
The world succumbed to its own parasitic drive. We are parasitic on the drip of knowledge. Any attempt to combat this drive will inevitably lead to errors. There will be people who want to protect themselves and their property. Perhaps the drive to protect is the mark of a good artist.