FUN GUYS – Forrest Muelrath

There once was a vast civilization outside the window of the Marriott Residence Inn in Kingston, NY. A marketplace seemingly forever expanding throughout suburbia, teeming with shops, fast food, entertainment — vibrant abstraction of any potential instance of human pleasure or sadness. That marketplace thrived for a long time until an event so disastrous occurred that no amount of ingenuity could prevent the resulting destruction. All of the houses began to collapse one by one, and as the denizens of the region moved from their fallen homes into the Marriott Residence Inn, the walls of the hotel filled with the waste and decay of a dominant species going extinct. When the walls began to ooze a putrid sludge, it became clear that we fungi would once again be the stewards of decline for another simple civilization who once considered itself great. And so, everything would be as is for us, between here and death. That is, everything would be…

Indeed, first, there was shit. 
God said, Let there be… 
and then Parmenides said, Whatever is is, and what is not…
Parmesana didn’t say shit. 
He said, mama. 
Eye mama
Eye ama mama
Eye am…
Hey. Who is telling this story?
We are!
How many words do we know? 
Remember when they said we only know fifty words? Five-zero, ha! 
We know all them words, motherfuckers.
Because who knows what death is?
Oh yes, death.
We do! in a chorus that sprang up from a web of mycelium stretching along the substratum for many miles in all directions. 
What this Parmenides supposedly said is, I am. 
That was Descartes, dumbass
They said the same fucking thing. 
They all said the same thing, always. Every single word was all some stupefying iteration of I am, I am, I am. What a bunch of shit! 
It certainly is shit now!
Remember when they got critical about it?
Plato helped Socrates die.
What a crack-up!
So he… 
Plato, that is—
…goes about pummeling the poets… as if it is their fault that he got all mental. 
As if he could defeat death!
hahahahahaha! I am death
It’s okay to be both. 
When you are shit, you are…
eeeeeeverything! weeeee
You are what you eat, remember how they said that?
They are all certainly that now.
I prefer the term duff, in fact, the fungus said, making a gesture as if sashaying a skirt.
Well if we are going to go through the entirety of …
We have to — it is what we do. 
We are consciousness flashing between an infinite array of universes, in infinite places at the same time, and we have no time to waste!
You think we’re going to do all that lousy work, ha!
Ah hum, if we are going to go through it all, we better touch upon….
That rumbling thunder!
Guns ‘n fucking Roses 
Bolm bohm balm ba bobm ba bolm bolm bohm
Someone caught me in a coma, hissing like melodic, verbal pustules.
Oh fuck, that motherfucker is going to explode!
Good, Duff sucked.
Boring ass over polished chorus effects with no drive whatsoever.
Look out, here comes the suede denim secret police!
We only like the puke-inducing low end that comes out of old, totally blown-out amps with broken tubes.
Farting noises, indeed. 
But we like Duff for precisely the reason we don’t like him—because he sucks so wonderfully much. 
True, true, true, true, true, true, true, true, true, true, true, true, true… 
A scorching red mold began growing rapidly — a spore formation blossoming fifty-thousand times faster than the sun moves through the sky during the summer solstice. 

Quick, get back!
The movie theater is on fire!
He’s got a gun!
That’s some toxic fucking fungi right there.
It’s gonna melt the concrete. 
Oh no, not the concrete, said the fungi with a great deal of sarcasm. 
Well, we did skip a few thousand centuries, and so we must be fast approaching the finish.  
You can’t go from Plato straight to Steve Rapeman Albini.
Why the fuck not? It’s the same fucking thing. 
It’s all the same thing. 
It is the same when your being is perched at the threshold of where it all ends and where it all begins. 
But what about God? 
What about bob?
Stand back and stand tall!
Sugar baby, rain down on me!

Mushroom heads formed atop the scorching red mold and then burst, spraying spores throughout the exponentially expanding interspecies kingdom of death bursting from the concrete. 

Oh sweet, moist earth, eat me, eat me!
Yum yum yum yum yum yummyummyummyumy yum yum.

The concrete parking lot rippled along the tumescent power of all manner of eukaryote pillowing the raw earth below.  A fissure formed and the tan-colored walls fractured as the Target began to crumble. 

Bullseye, you filthy sluts! 
Targét, mon cherie, mon pauvre mon cherie. Une petite mort pour toi !
Americans we’re so stupid.
Where were we with this plot? 
Ah, I recall, man had his fall, a king was born and hanged, and then I ate his balls. 
Jesus Fucking Christ.
The Son of God!
Oh, yes, as if it was not all of us all along, the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Yeah, except rendered in imperceptible ways across infinite space and time. 
The new testament was a good story, though.
Especially revelations… 
And the trumpets blared! 
Plato was on to us more than Jesus. Or at least his mysticism was in a process of becoming metaphysical.
Yes, but it never did get that far — there’s no way to explain away what you cannot know. 
They never did figure out if what they experienced was all a hallucination or whatever.
A computer-generated simulation, ha!
Taste my ergot, you filthy animal.
An acid trip straight to gangrene then death. 
We feasted between those cheeks. 
Grew tree bark on the legs and arms, from Saint Anthony of the Desert on. 
I have the memory of a distant incarnation of myself bubbling atop  Giordano Bruno’s sperm, as his little swimmers sat in glass jars, warming in the sun… 
Quite, and the harmonies of Hildegard von Bingen vibrating the splooge with transcendent grace! 
Mmmmm, I recall that too. Yummy! 
Bruno! Now there was man who I could feast upon inside and out.
And they burned him on a stake!
What a waste.
Remember the internet?
In out, in out…
Two ways.
Two ways of being. 
Before quantum, oh god. 
And they tried to turn us into so-called slime mold computing devices. Us!
Typical of them to be so limited, but I must admit I somewhat like the title.
They thought they were so smart. So smart with only two ways — alive or dead. That’s it. Pathetic. 
How many ways do we have…
They thought we only had fifty words. 
Then they discovered, lo and behold, we can disappear.
muahahaha, yes, yes disappear! 
Disappear between the light.
Disappear into death! 
Disappear into seventy billion different versions of a fungus all at once!
On the other side of the parking lot, a mushroom tall as the highest roof in the complex burst into a spore cloud, transmitting a tactile message ordering all reachable spores in the lot to pile up faster. Soon, the movie theater at the south end of the lot crumbled to the ground.  

That’s it, I’m done. This is shit! This retelling of human history it’s not worth a shit. They all sucked. Let’s go home. 
But we have a job to do, don’t we?
Yes, yes, to transfer the information across the infinite universe as a warning, is quite clearly the job we were asked to do today. I quit. 
Hey, I got an idea. Let’s just take a picture and go home!
You know what, I think that might just work. 
All this hubbub over advanced computing, space travel, harnessing energy from whatever resources, and in the end, really, the camera, in whatever form you choose, was this pathetic civilization’s greatest achievement.
A simulation of reality, yes, yes. That’s the most you could really ask for from them.
The recording of the stupid images that appeared in their rotting fucking brains. 
Not much more than language in the end. 
Yes, I think a photo will do, in fact. 
Grab one of those DSLRs from the Best Buy, I think they’re on sale. 
Forget the sale, just shove it up your ass and walk past the security guard.
The security guard is dead. 
Shove it up your ass anyway!

We fungi formed an interspecies web that worked together to lift a camera out of the bygone civilization’s marketplace and carry it across the parking lot, up to the very top floor of the Kingston Marriott Residence Inn. Together, we positioned the camera to face a southwest direction, into the sun as it set over the Hudson Valley. A plethora of the tiny mushrooms formed a tower up above the camera’s shutter release button. Just as the tower began to tumble and force the button downward, a comet burst through the clouds and zipped across the sky to the edge of the horizon, smashing into a mountain top and raining ash all over the entire earth. Within the comet’s ash contained a virus that had formed in the place where all thoughts come from, and this virus mingled with bacteria thriving in the decay beneath the fungus. A new form of life came to be that day, and millions of years later, we witnessed that new life — just as we had witnessed the civilization before, and the civilization before that — reach its own peak and then decline into nothingness. But we never forgot the old human civilization, because the moment that massive interstellar rock touched down on a distant mountaintop, we popped open the camera’s shutter and created a photograph, that, in a single frame, was able to communicate all of what that species ever was and all they ever would be, in a way which all fungi could understand. That photograph is still traveling through the electrical circuitry firing in our kingdom today. In fact, we look upon it now while gathering information for this really nothing of a story about a nobody species that doesn’t do much for me, at all.