Friday, July 15, 2016

The Puzzle

June 18, 2016

7AM, thereabouts. He has just ridden a transport from the hospital to the mental health clinic. He is wearing only paper scrubs. The back of the transport was a tiny cage locked from the outside, and it reminded him of the back of patrol cars. The transporters, male and female, wear the Dark Blue Uniforms: Dickie's cargo pants, velcro belts, close-trimmed hair, pens and pokie-sticks, small latex gloves. They move their mouths as though he does a lot of dip and she has a lot of sarcasm. They lead him through a buzzing door, a buzzing hall, and pass him off to a large and round black man who carries himself with the confidence of a slow hustle. The large round black man worries about nothing and has done this before. He is now naked and squatting in a room behind a curtain and coughing while Slow Hustle watches on with disinterest. They give him temporary underwear. It's really cheesecloth.

He follows Slow man to a place they call a day area. A large LCD television anchored just shy of the ceiling on the east wall repeats like its newsworthy the lurid details of the latest professional basketball opinions. The nurses station sits behind thick transparent plastic, with an air gap at the top. It's like a small command center with CCTV, computer monitors, people he will never hear talk, wires, gizmos, wankjacks with tubes, fake flowers, fake art, a public notice from 2008 about new changes in this or that medical law, and the lifebeat of a social organism. In one corner of the area is a small bookshelf with old magazines, sudoku puzzles, decks of cards, board games, crayons and coloring books, a book of logic puzzles, and boxes of jigsaw puzzles. He has walked the room and gotten its initial feel, sits in the corner near the altar to mind games, and shakes. He is in shock. He is completely open to the experience.

He gathers information and feels out the room. The room is set up to worship the television. Even the nurses will absently watch the television when they are not texting or entering in data set after data set. The television set is loud. After some time has passed, he turns the television down but accidentally, because the television is broken, changes the channels, too. He is glad enough that it's no longer chyrons on top of chyrons below morons talking nonsense. It's now channel surfing. He will eventually crash on one of the Taken movies.

He looks through the puzzle books. Sudoku is too mathematical. Crosswords are too trivial. Jokebooks are alright but passive. Wait. Here are some logic books, with logic puzzles like the ones he used to work out when he was in the gifted program as a boy. Here's how these puzzles work. The setup to the puzzles explains the scope of the puzzle. The facts or clues tell only a small piece of the whole. Using the setup and the clues, a person fills in a grid with Xs and Os, or puts some things in the right sequence. Using the grid and reasoning out further, a person can from the pieces infer the rest of the whole. But the hard part is paying attention to how things collide.

Some people have already filled in some puzzles with ink. Some of them are now ruined from the previous people erring. He brings the logic book back to the adjoining tables and sets it on the table. He walks to the command center and asks one of the nurses for pencil and paper.

—Sorry, can't give you a pencil, but here's a pen.

Why can't I use a pencil?


With paper and pen, he sits with the logic book and sets to working on Number 7.

Deep underneath the words and the languages are the images and their relational connections. Connections have a logic, each logic dependent upon the layer of investigation. Whereas Meta is the storyteller, I am the unnameable. I am the investigation and the life of the logics themselves. We both live among the layers, though we both have our reasons for choosing the ways we do. We are not enemies, and often, we work together through people. You might say we are lovers. But then that's going far away from the study of connection, towards the application, when our only point is just to unravel, with you, how to say Hello.

Play your own mind games!

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