The Science Fiction of Science Fiction – Adedapo Adeniyi
August 19, 2023
bats living off ecstasy
the world’s beautiful filth
drugs and literature
what’s real even?
what’s reality even?
what’s what even?
who are we?
The hallowed citizens of crash house.
Like living in a rotoscoped Richard Linklater film about dreams and drugs
Except we aren’t bums or government agents or character’s from somebody’s sleep, or Steven Soderbergh
We might be characters from somebody’s sleep
Everyday is a haze, clickety clackety, clickety clackety
Possessed by computers and lsd, science fiction and unrelated words, exaggerated worlds
We are God himself.
I’m 19 and high off my mind, I’ve abandoned my 15th book
Bosun is on his third, he’s too slow, I tell him to take it easy on the speed, he’s too fast.
This time, I was chronicling the life of a man who lived, or thought he did, I knew he’d die at the end and it would be revealed to us that he’d been dead all along but I got excited and I got excited and I got killed, I’m sorry, I got excited and killed him in the second chapter, a completed book, two chapters, life in its glory, finished.
I’m 19 and high off my mind, I’ve finished my first book, it is two chapters long and is a metamodern masterpiece about a man who lives and dies but was dead all along.
Bosun is on his third, an exposé into the Nigerian gothic, he said it had witches and vampires and zombies and ghosts
Fucking zombies and ghosts?
Pick a side man, are they coming back as smelly bodies or smelly mist?
no wonder he abandoned it
I loved reading the 56 chapters he wrote though, was it 57? Told
me he was aiming for over 100
Couldn’t figure if it was him writing or the coke, but I knew deep inside me that it was never Bosun writing, always the coke
Always the coke.
Wura’s reading My Year Of Rest And Relaxation in reverse again, she’s become accustomed to a life of non-linearity, she was 21 when I first met her, now it feels like she’s 9, running around yelling lyrics of pop songs from 2014, tomorrow she’ll probably be 15, fantasizing about her first kiss, teenage bliss, telling me she believes in love and Jesus Christ again.
Last night she stayed up till 4 rehearsing a monologue for a theater play she’d never act in, a theater play that didn’t exist and would never, it was true only for her and she loved it like that, I stay up listening to her till I fall asleep crying, I’m her only true audience and she’ll never know, she’ll also never know that last night I didn’t cry because I was listening to Bauhaus and thinking about a tomorrow that would never come, tomorrow never came for me. I was stuck in a never ending present, unable to move in time, I envied Wura because she was free from such constructs, she was whenever she wanted to be, I was only ever at one instant.
It’s constant, waking up to bottles of soy milk scattered around the room and white powder we’ve grown too accustomed to. Our ‘hey, good mornings have been replaced with cult-like greetings of ‘we live in a twilight world.’ Maybe we are a cult, worshipping either cocaine or milk, I can’t tell the difference anymore, what’s the difference anyways?
A house of unorderlies who were raised on a Stephen King book about a writer locked up and tortured. Grew up hating fans and books that had too many sequels, God forbid misery.
I am surrounded by mad men with the heart of the avant garde, I swear somebody walks around reciting fucking Shakespeare all day, fucking Shakespeare, the worst part is when you ask who he’s reading and he says it’s Soyinka, no, you fuck, Soyinka didn’t write ‘Shall I compare thee to a bright summer’s day’ you fuck.
I remember being 12 and my grandfather had planted tobacco around the house to keep snakes away and my friends would come over and take the dried seeds, crush them up, roll them up in textbook paper and smoke it. 30 minutes later they’re laughing their brains off and asking me, “Am I high?,” over and over, of course that was because I never smoked with them, I was always the sober one. Now the tables have turned and the question has twisted into asking “Are you high?,” I am, I was, always and forever, never sober, these days it feels like my blood has become a drug to keep me forever intoxicated, that my pursuit of an escape from real life has become my real life.
Theodora came over today, they’re non binary, which means they hates 0s and 1s and even The fucking Matrix, a film I thought was legendary, which made me think they were uncool until Wura came and told me that they were a pilot, I thought that was weird but I didn’t want to come off as rude so I asked Wura what she meant, that was when she told me that all Theodora did was snort coffee beans and sands from the pyramids, sands from all the wonders of the world really, international travel from the comforts of your home. Theodora would then go on to tell me about how they would practically stay up all night astral projecting (which they had mastered) and have their soul go anywhere they wanted. We became friends after that, I loved hearing their stories and even though they didn’t stay at the house, they came over every now and then to see Wura, and of course me.
Last time they were over, they told me about this girl who they invited over to their room, the girl was already tripping off shrooms and when Theodora astral projected, they told me they and the girl swapped bodies, she was in Theodora et vice versa, exchanged souls, they became very different people, the world had changed for them both and they existed in it as two detached viewers of it, and then they fucked.
Nonso pulls me to the corner of the room
“Do you want to hear about the dream I just had?,” he asks
“Yes, please, tell me,” I answer, blinking my eyes and shaking my head so I feel fully awake as he tells me, that never works
“Ok so I wasn’t in this one, I was this other guy, who I’ve never seen in my life, and his daughter had just died because she was sick so he’s pretty sad, then he uhh he goes back in time to save her, by killing the version of himself in the past so he can be her her her new dad, yeah, but he kinda changes the past and instead of her dying because she’s sick, she gets killed instead by this guy who was madly in love with her, you were the guy by the way, I know right, crazy, and then I try to go back in time again to try and save her, but the dude who was her dad in the past is the me who came to the past first to save his sick daughter, remember? great, and so I somehow already know that my daughter would die again in the future so when I come back to the past, I kill myself, I mean the second me from the future, so now I’ve killed two me’s, the first one from the past when I tried to save her from dying of the sickness, and then the me from the future that comes back after she gets killed, and so as I’m standing at the body of the me I just killed, I look back to see that my daughter saw everything and she starts to run before I can explain, she falls as she’s running and I can’t remember if she breaks her head or she gets pierced through the heart by something on the floor, but she dies sha, and I walk up to her, and I’m crying because she’s dead again but I know that if I try to go back to the past to save her, the me that’s there will kill me, so then I kill myself and then I wake up,” he stops, looks at me smiling
“Wow man, that felt so real,” I tell him
“You know, I think it was, maybe I was in this other universe in the head of this dude who knew how to time travel, I’m going to go write it down now before I forget.”
He hugs me and runs to his room. Nonso is peculiar, he’s almost never awake, really he only ever wakes up to eat, take a shower and write, he’s always sleeping, or rather, he’s always dreaming, collecting stories from what he thinks is the multiverse, or wherever dreams come anyways, he keeps a dream journal that has like a billon stories in it because he spends all his days dreaming, we’re awake all the time but he’s written more than any of us.
I feel even more like a dream now.
The sun is setting and Bosun, who has mucus running down his nose and is sweating his balls off comes to tell me he’s starting another story, and he’s basing it on Alex
Oh Alex has been walking around all day with his dick out because today he’s Bashir Lightning Conductor, and Bashir Lightning Conductor hates to be called Alex, he also hates clothes because they make him feel confined and he loves feeling free, Bashir also thinks he can fly and pretty much walks around the house swearing he can but not doing very much flying, that’s who Alex is today, two days ago he was Antonionini, he’s a screenwriter, he smokes mint cigarettes, thinks he’s Italian and writes films about an Earth that has been sucked into the black hole, only to find that the planet remains intact in it but strange things start to happen to the humans, he plans to chronicle these humans, and their bizarre and absurd lives, one by one, as many of them as he can. Out of all of the offsprings of Alex’s personality disorder, he’s the most intriguing, I’ve also grown rather fond of Salome, or Salo, she’s a retired popstar in her early 60s who lets me stay with her while she’s on mescaline, recounting past lovers that inspired her old albums, I love listening to her talk about the love she got from men that never were, the heartbreaks that never were and the albums that she recorded after that never were, and sometimes, as she cries these euphoric tears, you can watch her phase back into Alex, who is quite usually oblivious to his persona shifts and has no idea why he’s lying down next to me with tears in his eyes, holding my hands.
Of course Bosun’s favorite personality is Ola, he’s an eccentric painter who speaks Yoruba rather well, which explains why Bosun likes him so much but it’s very odd because Alex is Efik and can’t utter a word in Yoruba to save his life, Ola paints pictures that have a distinct feeling of the macabre, capturing these ghoulish images and stories on his canvas, he feels like a walking nightmare. Last month, the printer stopped working as he was trying to print some pictures, he got frustrated and slit his left wrist then started to use his blood to paint a picture of a printer that had its organs removed and laying next to it but was also in some wilderness that he’d later tell Bosun represented the emptiness of his soul, Theodora would walk in on his halfway into the painting bleeding out and visibly dying, both of us would then rush him to the hospital, he was there for a week before Alex had to be transferred to the psych ward for a while to be put on suicide watch, Ola hasn’t been back since then.
Sometimes I worry about him, how he only has a minute amount of control over his life and that whenever he’s conscious, he’s trying to get his shit together because whoever he’d been previously had done a lot of things, he’s broken, he’s very broken, he’s also very sad. He spends the little time he has to himself, worshipping at the feet of DiCaprio and Bale and Dafoe and the younger Phoenix brother, the one that’s still alive, he only finds solace in films.
I think Bosun thinks he understands Alex and wants to capture his personas on a page, but none of us understand Alex, not even himself.
I share my melancholy with Titi, she’s Wura’s younger sister, I’m in love with her but she doesn’t believe it and I tell her we’re spanning time over and over like Vincent Gallo says to Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66, she cried the first time we saw that film together. I like being held by her, it’s a completely different feeling from anything I’ve ever taken, she’s different, special.
She doesn’t stay here like her sister, she comes over, sleeps all day, dances all night, I can never get any writing done, the entrance of Grimes and 100 gecs, the entrance of her imagination, she treats it like the Olympics, she treats it like she’s the only dancer in the entire world, how could I write? she’s showing me things my mind could never think of conjuring.
She kissed me once, her lipgloss was strawberry flavored and the purple lights were on, I stayed up for a week thinking about that kiss, and then I danced.
I’d stay up forever thinking about her.
She tells me I need to come back to reality sometimes, I tell her I try but there’s nothing to keep me here and she isn’t always around so I run back to the fantasy.
I walk past Mimi’s room, her door’s locked again, I stand and try to hear if there’s any sounds coming from inside, there’s none, I wonder if she’s with anybody today, she’s always with somebody, a student of Anaïs Nin and the Kama Sutra, Mimi’s art is sex, she’s unreal, inhuman, a goddess, master of the transcendental arts, she invited us to come watch her fuck one time, not a single person got a boner, how could we? she was so good, I came thrice and I didn’t even get a hard on, Bosun came five times before he had to run out, Bashir Lightning Conductor was on duty that day so there was semen all over the floor where he stood. I’d never see anybody fuck like that all my life, it made me feel like what I’d expect the rapture to feel like, if I was going to heaven of course. I cannot even start to describe what happened that day but I told myself that if I ever felt suicidal, I’d tell Mimi to fuck me to death so the last thing I’d feel before I died would be God.
Sometimes I think she should be more careful, she’s been pregnant thrice now, no father so it seems to us that she’s carrying the next Messiah, give it 7 weeks it’ll bleed out, maybe it’s the blood that saves her, she has a glow in her eyes now, everybody thinks it’s from the sex, Theodora thinks it’s from the dead fetuses, I think it’s from the Von Trier films she’s become too familiar with.
Tonight I will make love to lsd and start a new book in the morning, an alternate history telling of a reality where MKO Abiola didn’t die but instead evolves to become a drug addled and paranoid President Of Nigeria, he starts to run mutation tests on his people in the hopes of building an army to protect him from ‘enemies’ who want to kill him, the experiments go wrong, a virus of the uncanny breaks out and he finds himself ruling over a country of mad men and monsters. He would then cover himself in sackcloth, shave his head and retire to a 40 day fast begging God for mercy and to come down and save his people.
As the book progresses, we will find out that none of those things really happened and that everything appeared to Abiola as his final thoughts as he sat with Susan Rice and died slowly.
I smiled to myself, I was 90 now, or I’d be 90 in two days, or I thought I’d be 90 in two days, still high off my mind, decades have passed but I was still in that room, still making love to lsd, still thinking about Titi, still hearing my keys move by themselves as I controlled my laptop telepathically. I’d die a very abrupt death in the spirit of my life’s ambiguity, a final cliffhanger for the hurrah that had been a progressive mindfuck, but just before I died, I’d question everything, like I always did.
I didn’t exist, not in somebody dream, not in somebody’s delusion, not in somebody’s trip, I wasn’t. And nobody else was either. I don’t exist, I never will.
For now, somewhat, I am, because they are because I am, our souls intertwined and became one, a cosmic ball on the uncertainty of existence.
And when I close my eyes,they all disappear. It was like they were never there.