She’s running to the bus stop today.
Yes, it is sprinting for her—as if there is no other speed that can crush ribs and tear muscle and sauté lungs but this—but the bus visibly yawns as she jumps into him. Bored. Slow. Waiting.
U SO FAT. U NO DAT?
Chein-A Doll turns red. Except that is impossible, as she’s made of porcelain, but no matter. She flushes and retorts, “No I’m not.”
U NO MOVE RIGHT.
“I don’t move often,” Chein-A Doll defends herself. Explanation, sure. Looking down, it is regular and repetitive, and there is no use in looking at what you have, have always had, will always have, could will do must have. But a mirror, evil and artificial in its inhuman glare, has the ability to reverse you and transform you into another being, so that your eyes are removed from your body and you stare at yourself from the perspective of another. The bus laughs at her, for he is another.
SO U NO MOVE RIGHT.
“SHUT UP,” Chein-A Doll demands without thinking, “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK.”
You don’t’ know how to listen.
You try to move, you thought you couldn’t, you never thought about it, moving doesn’t exist nothing moves, there are little moves, the earth moves, it is great and immense and strong, but you don't feel it, you move a little, you don't feel it, it is everywhere, but it is nowhere, why should you move?
What is it? What is moving?
And when the bus drops her off, it drops her. Literally.
Screaming with the resonance of a hyena on a heated summer day, Chein-A Doll plummets into the sky and toward the bottom of the canyon. What is this? Where is she? A great night. Forever night, perpetual, never-ending—no. Black rock. Black canyon. Chein-A Doll does nothing but fall, and she is mindless.
That is when a voice out of nowhere giggles in delight, “You know how to fall!”
Amidst her falling, Chein-A Doll frowns. “I’m just doing what I have to do.”
“No one commanded you to fall.”
I beg to differ. “That fucking bus dropped me off and now I’m falling into a canyon. I’m going to die, aren’t I?”
“But that’s not the point. You know how to fall.”
“But,” Chein-A Doll repeats insistently, “I’m just doing what I have to do.”
Yes, she is. It is instruction: I drop you and you fall. It is unspoken, yet she feels it. Toward the end, Chein-A Doll becomes aware of the end. She rickets awkwardly onto the rock until balance is gained, so that she may stagger up and stand once more.
“I didn’t know there was a correct way of falling,” She finally manages to say as she dusts herself off of black dust and rubble.
“There is a correct way for everything.”
“How do you know?”
“You don’t know, you learn. You make it up. It’s all bullshit.”
“In that case, I can’t take you seriously.” Chein-A Doll makes to leave, but she realizes—where is she supposed to go?
She has nothing else to do but stay and listen.
“It depends on how it looks,” The voice continues to explain.
“It’s right if it looks right? Who determines what’s right?”
“They can all make it up! They can make it all up! They can all lie! They can lie all!”
“After a while, what is right becomes accepted. But what is accepted isn’t always right. The love of aesthetics is in your head.”
“In my head?”
“Yes, planted there. Rooted there. In your mother, in your child, but maybe you will be the new one to plant a seed. You can plant your own seed.”
“…No. But yes.”
Chein-A Doll sighs, looking around. She can’t see a thing. It is all black. Why must she stay here?
But. There is form. She can see little. But she realizes she likes it. And wait—now that she knows where she is, it is beautiful. She turns toward the voice, wherever it may be. “I know how to fall?”
“You know how to move.”
“No, I don’t…but I’d like to learn.”
“You can move. You need to learn that you know how to move.”
“Then you can teach me?”
“What made you think you had to ask?” The voice tinkles with the pleasant laughter of a sweet chocolate cake. “Let’s begin.”
Chein-A Doll prepares to follow.
“What’s your name?”
“I am your b-girl name.”
“I don’t have one.”
This is the Valley of Averages. It is the flattest, most renowned segment of the canyon, great and facile in its access. No tourists are allowed. It is the doorway to the canyon, except it lies in the middle and it has no doorknob.
Everywhere, there is a pulse. The canyon is alive. The black is from the color, mixed in rich saturation of everywhere everyone everything every love. The pulse creates the gridline by which Chein-A Doll walks on. Walks. Steps. Moves. The canyon can breathe. The pulse is the dictator. Follow it or die from embarrassment.
The Valley of Averages highlights every eight pulses. It is strong and omnipotent. Chein-A Doll crosses it on her way to other valleys. It is the valley where the flat plains meet the strong breadth of black rock. It goes with her. It is given birth to movement.
Not really. It lacks the proper physiology.
They Valley of Spiders is inhabited by monkeys. Spider monkeys. Black beasts with goofy faces and long proportions that laugh at a normal canon. The pulse is not fast, it is great. It gives energy and you expect for it to run out, but never shall it give way. The forever that it creates is amazing.
But the terrain is rocky, unpredictable, and the earth changes. Tectonic plates move at rates of lightning. Chein-A Doll falls more than once. But the monkeys love their life, for it is their own, and they share some of it with her. They make love to her and snatch her virginity with cackles of swagger and fresh. SWAGGER. FRESH.
The wind is strong here, and she begins to know it and love it. Balance is key amongst slides of six, three, and eight. If you cannot stay up you keep down, but there is always movement to the pulse. Do not burn out too quickly, for there will be fire. And death. Visit the valley often, and you will train your senses.
The Valley of—
“Oomph,” Chein-A Doll gets the wind knocked out of her. “What the f—oomph.”
The Valley of Tremors. Not like the Valley of Spiders; it pulses with a precision that Chein-A Doll cannot quite locate, but the tightness is there.
Walking through the Valley of Tremors is by no means difficult, assuming that you know where to go. If not, you have lost it. But there is a basic philosophy to the sharp lines and specific pulses. Follow them. Step on it, exactly.
“How was I supposed to know black rock could move?” Chein-A Doll groans. But not out of hatred. Out of frustration, an emotion that is actually love when tired. But within a few hikes through the valley, Chein-A Doll has it.
I don’t think you understand. Chein-A Doll has it.
It is a golden time when the Valley of Tremors becomes the new Valley of Averages. Its sister. Its twin. Its unmarried, adulterous giver.
The lesson she will always keep—the pulse is the ultimate rule.
Do not disobey the pulse.
The Valley of Lines has the grid drawn out.
“I’m not sure I like it.”
“You don’t know how wrong you are.”
Oh, but Chein-A Doll despises the long paths through the valley when she is unsure of where to go. There is one day, however, when she discovers a little stream, trickling in clever angles of perfection. It ends when she so wishes it. It is small and close and she may walk on it and love it. It has every way possible. It covers whatever path she could think of. It appears in her mind and then before her on black rock.
“You can stop following me whenever you wish,” the voice reassures her. “You can’t continue following me forever.”
“Can I really tell it where to go?” Chein-A Doll wonders, staring at the precious stream.
“It is your invention.”
Mine. Small. Precious. Intricate. Exact. Shapely. Clever. Exhausting. Smart. Creative. Inward-looking. Outward-looking. Private. Small. Precious. Mine.
The voice bids her farewell one evening. In an especially long way. “The Canyon is different from the Plains. It moves on its own and it allows you to move it. It is black rock. Few appreciate the beauty of raw black rock, because it is a new babe borne of novelty. The Plains do not stop moving the same blade of long grass. But when you travel through the Canyon and its great valleys, you encounter yourself. You become the Canyon, and the Canyon becomes you.”
“I’m part of it?”
“And it is part of you.”
“Who are you?”
“I am you. But you will become me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Identity isn’t so important anymore. It isn’t, but it is. It is important because only you can dictate the movement of the black rock like you can. But it is not important in any other way. I am you. You are not me.”
“If I travel the Canyon without you, I won’t do it properly. Because you’re me. I can’t leave myself behind.”
“The Canyon is you. You are with it.”
Chein-A Doll frowns.
“Stop thinking so goddamn much.”
“What’s your name?”
“That depends. What’s yours?” The voice smiles at her. “Your b-girl name exists, you just need to find it. And then you can see me.”
“What, from looking in a mirror?” Chein-A Doll recoils. “I hate mirrors.”
“Mirrors show my body.”
“That is because you are the viewer, the mirror is the action, and your body is the object. You need to change it so that you are the action, the mirror is the object, and the body is the viewer.”
“Meaning you should move. And you can without me.”
“You make no sense.”
“But I don’t have to. I just have to move.”
U NO FAT NO MORE.