Chatlog – A Play In Three Chat-Windows – Around 40 MinutesSTET
Originally Appeared in Vulcan Literary Journal Vol. 3, 2008
Click Here For Formatted Version (Images)

Conversation with LESSEREVILS at 2008-01-26 14:49:36 on SOUNDANDFURY (aim)

(14:49:39) SOUNDANDFURY: Rin.

(14:49:39) LESSEREVILS <AUTO-REPLY>: I sold all of our belongings and filled our car with snacks while you were at work.

I set the cat free.

I crank called 911.

I bit our landlord.

We can never go back.

We’re free.

(14:49:40) SOUNDANDFURY: Rin

(14:49:48) SOUNDANDFURY: we dropped acid

(14:50:08) SOUNDANDFURY: wait that’s pretty legally damning.

(14:50:43) SOUNDANDFURY: If I could take it back I would. But since this is an IM conversation, I cannot.

(14:51:12) SOUNDANDFURY: But if I grin, flick my fingers and pretend I’m on the edge of a grand masterpiece, typing it against my reflection in the screen…

(14:51:18) SOUNDANDFURY: then there it is

(14:51:24) SOUNDANDFURY: and our conversation becomes a fiction

(14:51:31) SOUNDANDFURY: and therefore something again in my grasp

(14:51:36) SOUNDANDFURY: that I can control.

(14:52:27) SOUNDANDFURY: “Are you? Are…”

(14:52:29) SOUNDANDFURY: “What?”

(14:52:37) SOUNDANDFURY: “Able to hold a conversation?”

(14:52:43) SOUNDANDFURY: “Oh, I’m not talking to anyone.”

(14:52:45) SOUNDANDFURY: They laugh.

(14:52:55) SOUNDANDFURY: “Well, I’m writing a story… I think.”

(14:52:59) SOUNDANDFURY: “What?”

(14:53:06) SOUNDANDFURY: “A fiction… it’s meta-fiction. I think.”

(14:53:17) SOUNDANDFURY: “I’m really interested in that, but tell me about it when we’re not…”

(14:53:41) SOUNDANDFURY: “Yeah, I’m really interested in it too.”

(14:53:45) SOUNDANDFURY: and he turned back to the keyboard.

(14:54:07) SOUNDANDFURY: Soon she got lonely though, up there on the bed, miles away

(14:54:44) SOUNDANDFURY: and she came down to him

(14:54:56) SOUNDANDFURY: and in qw iuuieewrreed

(14:55:04) SOUNDANDFURY: lips against his ear.



Conversation with MIKEXFULTON at 2008-01-26 14:55:05 on SOUNDANDFURY (aim)

(14:55:05) MIKEXFULTON: pickupyourphone

(14:55:12) SOUNDANDFURY: shut up dude I’m trying to write a story

(14:55:27) SOUNDANDFURY: god if only this could be shared as well

(14:55:31) SOUNDANDFURY: it can be

(14:55:37) MIKEXFULTON: are you trippin

(14:55:38) SOUNDANDFURY: A story can be written like this…

(14:55:40) SOUNDANDFURY: yes

(14:55:47) SOUNDANDFURY: beside the point

(14:55:55) SOUNDANDFURY: Seriously, I’m trying really hard, while I’m lucid.

(14:56:14) SOUNDANDFURY: I was writing a story, and a story could be recorded…

(14:56:20) SOUNDANDFURY: Key press for key press

(14:56:29) SOUNDANDFURY: and time stamped

(14:56:33) SOUNDANDFURY: and replayed exactly

(14:56:36) SOUNDANDFURY: so one

(14:56:37) SOUNDANDFURY: felt

(14:56:38) SOUNDANDFURY: a

(14:56:39) SOUNDANDFURY: sense

(14:56:40) SOUNDANDFURY: of

(14:56:45) SOUNDANDFURY: oncoming disaster, something…

(14:56:57) SOUNDANDFURY: It doesn’t matter; let’s say my room inspection upon 7pm this evening.

(14:57:09) SOUNDANDFURY: Ok, that’s a good climax for the play.

(14:57:22) MIKEXFULTON: hahaha

(14:57:30) SOUNDANDFURY: Oh the layers!

(14:57:33) SOUNDANDFURY: See!

(14:57:34) SOUNDANDFURY: See!

(14:57:48) SOUNDANDFURY: Layer one: The madman. He who does not see him as society sees.

(14:58:08) SOUNDANDFURY: Layer two: The fabric. The reality, true game, which the play is played out in.

(14:58:11) MIKEXFULTON: ian when did you start tripping

(14:58:25) SOUNDANDFURY: Layer three: The storyteller! The most important layer!

(14:58:35) SOUNDANDFURY: Oh, for in this we can see god if we so choose (and many do)

(14:58:42) SOUNDANDFURY: but we can see also

(14:58:50) SOUNDANDFURY: (and Mike, I’ve been tripping for about 3 hours?)

(14:59:13) SOUNDANDFURY: the puppeteer (how is that spelled?), the juggler, the entertainer.

(14:59:38) SOUNDANDFURY: (letting the veil drop, again, there. Not madness, no, but an artistic piece.)

(14:59:44) SOUNDANDFURY: but seriously, Mike…

(14:59:58) SOUNDANDFURY: Can you think of any art that’s played itself out through IM windows on a computer screen?

(15:00:09) SOUNDANDFURY: If so, please link me to it, because if it’s already been done, then what use is this?

(15:00:25) SOUNDANDFURY: Mike. I ain’t playing.

(15:00:44) SOUNDANDFURY: Any thoughts?

(15:00:47) SOUNDANDFURY: Anyone?

(15:01:58) SOUNDANDFURY: And he grinned, laughed. A play with several roles, performed. And he turned back, back to the girl on the bed, back to life, back to Beckett on the shelf, and it was complete.

(15:05:53) MIKEXFULTON logged out.



Conversation with LESSEREVILS at 2008-01-26 15:03:04 on SOUNDANDFURY (aim)

(15:03:04) LESSEREVILS: Gross.

(15:05:04) SOUNDANDFURY: Oh, you only got the first act of the story.

(15:05:10) SOUNDANDFURY: It’s scripted across IM windows.

(15:05:13) SOUNDANDFURY: Time-stamped.

(15:05:19) SOUNDANDFURY: Like a symphony, with limits.

(15:06:10) SOUNDANDFURY: “Wait, can I be a character?”

(15:06:31) SOUNDANDFURY: “You are a character… I mean, you’re in it. Wait, you really think this is important? What I’m writing? What I’m doing?”

(15:06:43) SOUNDANDFURY: “Well, you’re really smart…”

(15:06:57) SOUNDANDFURY: “But I’m tripping. Everything seems important to me.”

(15:07:06) SOUNDANDFURY: The conversation went on

(15:07:11) SOUNDANDFURY: but wasn’t as…

(15:07:13) SOUNDANDFURY: important.

(15:07:45) SOUNDANDFURY: If he is thinking of an IM conversation as an enactment

(15:07:56) SOUNDANDFURY: he is limited by time constraints, he realizes.

(15:08:09) SOUNDANDFURY: Too long between some conversation from either character

(15:08:24) SOUNDANDFURY: and someone wonders if one of them died, walked away, or simply lost interest and minimized the window.

(15:09:14) SOUNDANDFURY: A significant lapse in conversation can be thought of as an intermission, a time for the audience to take a breath (either in reading a transcripted version or seeing a live enactment) but too long and they will think the piece is over.

(15:09:45) SOUNDANDFURY: So

(15:09:52) SOUNDANDFURY: he has to keep the drama continuing

(15:09:59) SOUNDANDFURY: raise drama by raising wpm

(15:10:02) SOUNDANDFURY: words per minute

(15:10:19) SOUNDANDFURY: literally, the playwright must

(15:10:20) SOUNDANDFURY: must

(15:10:24) SOUNDANDFURY: must keep time with his play!

(15:10:42) SOUNDANDFURY: If he falls behind, in his creation, IN THE ACT OF CREATING THE PLAY, he loses the interest!



(15:11:02) SOUNDANDFURY: So

(15:11:03) SOUNDANDFURY: so

(15:11:06) SOUNDANDFURY: so where is the story?

(15:11:14) SOUNDANDFURY: He can’t simply have this creation

(15:11:18) SOUNDANDFURY: this pure orgasmic creation

(15:11:53) SOUNDANDFURY: so satisfying to him, this truth, oh man, so visceralllll he could almost make love to it as if it were this keyboard (“Gross,” says Rin, LesserEvils, reminding him of reality.)

(15:12:34) SOUNDANDFURY: The beauty is evident, but man does not thrive on the understanding of the webs alone.

(15:12:51) SOUNDANDFURY: He wishes to see the spiders running across them, chasing the flies.

(15:13:10) SOUNDANDFURY: The flies shooting their little six shooters off into the sky, romantically.

(15:13:17) SOUNDANDFURY: The Action, folks, The Action.

(15:14:06) SOUNDANDFURY: Already introduced, the medium

(15:14:18) SOUNDANDFURY: the medium, and the players.

(15:14:43) SOUNDANDFURY: The medium is multilayered reality based time-stamped internet communications.

(15:14:47) SOUNDANDFURY: IE: A play!

(15:14:59) SOUNDANDFURY: Well, minus the internet part, and it’s basically a play!

(15:15:07) SOUNDANDFURY: The players: Improv!

(15:15:08) SOUNDANDFURY: Real!

(15:15:44) SOUNDANDFURY: Ian (the playwright,) Rin (as the responseless chat window,) Beth (the girl, in the order of introduction,) Michael Fulton (as the interrupting chat window) and… who knows!

(15:16:04) SOUNDANDFURY: But verily, with fast enough typing speed, and comprehension, life itself can become a drama

(15:16:20) SOUNDANDFURY: (which is probably the very kind of reality based schlock, lowest common denominator television, that I myself am so down on)

(15:16:38) SOUNDANDFURY: but it can become one loved by even the highest minds.

(15:17:52) SOUNDANDFURY: Intrigue (Are they really on drugs, is there an impending bust, did this really happen? Will he risk it all for the girl and his literati ideals?) and intelligence (Is this a new form of play? Is it well written? How long will he wank us off like this and pretend he can ask our own questions for us?)

(15:18:39) SOUNDANDFURY: A sort of sexy spy action thriller meets Scooby-Doo gang pop culture mind numbing go to Whitecastle affair.

(15:18:48) SOUNDANDFURY: Loved by any and all!

(15:18:58) SOUNDANDFURY: But I’m not smart enough to write my way out of it.

(15:19:09) SOUNDANDFURY: I only know the medium itself.

(15:19:22) SOUNDANDFURY: Therein lie my limits as a playwright.

(15:20:41) SOUNDANDFURY: And cowering into himself, he envisioned the end of the play, lights going down on the artist, dreaming to himself of success and renown, but dooming himself by the nature of his creation (without end, without real plot, real life.) It is in the end a creation. And will always be such.

(15:21:01) LESSEREVILS: Oh, but here is your assisted suicide

(15:21:11) LESSEREVILS: your life that means something when you force it.

(15:21:19) SOUNDANDFURY: A screaming jubilation!

(15:21:32) LESSEREVILS: An art that was worth it when your thoughts were scrambled?

(15:21:42) SOUNDANDFURY: A collaboration!

(15:21:43) LESSEREVILS: There was no primal human suffering…

(15:21:59) LESSEREVILS: There was no tortured beauty in a realistic consciousness…

(15:22:10) SOUNDANDFURY: The true joy is that layers are endless!

(15:22:11) LESSEREVILS: The idea is enticing

(15:22:18) LESSEREVILS: but

(15:22:22) SOUNDANDFURY: but

(15:22:26) SOUNDANDFURY: You and I

(15:22:27) LESSEREVILS: scruples

(15:22:29) SOUNDANDFURY: dancing around a creation

(15:22:30) SOUNDANDFURY: right now…

(15:22:35) SOUNDANDFURY: to sell?

(15:22:42) SOUNDANDFURY: No, the thought is farthest.

(15:22:51) SOUNDANDFURY: It’s the dance of creation that matters.

(15:23:04) LESSEREVILS: I am so much more real than you.

(15:23:10) SOUNDANDFURY: (specifically, if anyone could be enticed to spend this long actually watching, a free internet installation, or reading…)

(15:23:20) SOUNDANDFURY: I know!

(15:23:22) SOUNDANDFURY: You are!

(15:23:26) SOUNDANDFURY: Isn’t that amazing?

(15:23:43) SOUNDANDFURY: That right now, I can be this creation, this force created by the playwright

(15:23:46) SOUNDANDFURY: and you can be real!


(15:23:55) SOUNDANDFURY: Genius.

(15:23:57) SOUNDANDFURY: Totally genius.

(15:24:08) SOUNDANDFURY: Coming all over myself, right now, seriously.

(15:24:17) LESSEREVILS: I believe it.

(15:24:21) SOUNDANDFURY: “Are you having a real conversation now?”

(15:24:23) SOUNDANDFURY: “That’s Rin.”

(15:24:26) LESSEREVILS: Don’t lie to me.

(15:24:28) SOUNDANDFURY: I’m not, really.

(15:24:37) SOUNDANDFURY: Rin, I need to write an ending to this so I can walk away.

(15:24:40) SOUNDANDFURY: I need your help.

(15:24:43) LESSEREVILS: Sure.

(15:24:51) SOUNDANDFURY: You can’t make it easy though.

(15:25:00) SOUNDANDFURY: I know you’ll be tempted to make it easy.

(15:25:05) LESSEREVILS: I will lay my head to the earth and you can become cold again. Don’t worry. This is the end.

(15:25:08) SOUNDANDFURY: And let me lie back down with the girl and my drugs?

(15:25:13) SOUNDANDFURY: No.

(15:25:15) SOUNDANDFURY: It’s not that easy.

(15:25:22) LESSEREVILS: It is that easy. Walk away. The end.

(15:25:27) LESSEREVILS: Goodnight, Moon.

(15:25:27) SOUNDANDFURY: Really?

(15:25:37) SOUNDANDFURY: Why does it seem so hard?

(15:28:57) SOUNDANDFURY: “I know why you wanted your notebook now, your drawings.”

(15:28:57) LESSEREVILS <AUTO-REPLY>: I sold all of our belongings and filled our car with snacks while you were at work.

I set the cat free.

I crank called 911.

I bit our landlord.

We can never go back.

We’re free.

(15:29:10) SOUNDANDFURY: “It’s the act of creation, isn’t it….”

(15:29:14) SOUNDANDFURY: Creation…

(15:29:15) SOUNDANDFURY: …