Tom Eicher : Circulation

This party seemed strange all from the start. When I came in I got introduced to several people in the bar. It hit me that although it was Monday there weren't much regulars in the place. Wile ordering a beer, I wondered how I was gonna end that evening. As always, there were several possibilities: Getting drunk, getting a girl, getting drunk and a girl. While still reflecting upon these things, I noticed that some of the people must have left the room, to make place for others. The new ones looked just like the old ones. I decided to go for another drink from bar. Taking a sip, I wandered off, upstairs. Guess what I found there. People. Lotsa people. Different people, different faces in different places, different races. For a moment all those faces seemed to melt into one big mosaic of faces, crying, laughing, thinking, loving, passing. Passing. A harsh movement, getting up, helped ban this bad magik from my eyes. Someone handed out red pills. I took one. Didn't ask what it was for - or against. Most of them are against reality anyway. I stumbled on, towards the stairs, to look where all the people I know had gone. Well, 'know' was kinda overrated since I only got introduced some minutes ago, but the people here had no intention of talking to me. Strange enough, not much had had that desire so far this evening. Upstairs. I encountered doors, lots of doors, a lot of them locked. Peeking through one of the keyholes, I saw a couple doing things I don't want to repeat here, or even remember. There were truly strange folks here, tonight. Stumbling on, wondering whether I'd get to do some of those things myself, tonight. A passing-by joint was another welcome distraction from the real world action. A few coughs later, I was back, still trying to find my destiny, whatever that should have been. Eventually, I came to a door that seemed to invite me. I don't know in what way it was different from all the other doors on this floor, still it was as if it had 'Come in' written all over it, in some magik invisible colour. Carefully, I put my hand upon the handle, pressing it down. Opened it, slowly, carefully. I felt a strange kind of energy, prickling on my skin, making me goose-pimpled, trying to make me enter. It was like a mixture of The Highlander getting his energy shake after a win and the USS Enterprise being sucked into that fantastic Doomsday machine. But I was not willing to let anything suck me somewhere, well, at least not a stange door like that. So I stood there, feeling proud and tall, while everything around me got sucked in. I noticed a couple passing me by, laughing, waving at me, suddenly being dissolved by this Doomsday Door. I felt like the eye of the hurricane. Perhaps I was the eye of the hurricane, then. Reality unfolded itself, and it was not before that moment that I knew what Gibson meant with the metaphor "unfolding like a cheap origami trick". I panicked as the blindfold of unidentified amphetamines and Marihuana suddenly vanished, leaving me there with the blank situation. I didn't like the aspect of being digested by any kind of domestic door, not even a Doomsday Door(tm), so I shut it. Just like that. I had expected some kind of fight, a struggle against those alien forces, but shutting the door returned everything to normal. I decided not to tempt my fate again. Dizzily, I reflected upon this recent experiences. Failing to reach valuable results, I stumbled back to the kitchen, grabbin' another beer. The people in the kitchen were different. Different from the people that were here the last time, different from the people that were there the first time. Without much concern, I left again, wandering, but avoiding the floor I knew the Doomsday Door to reside in. Suddenly the thinking cut in. If there was a door eating people, why was this place so damn crowded ? The people around looked all indefferent to me, so I decided to mark some of them by spilling strawberry margaritha on them. They reacted like you'd expect normal people to react, though. I nearly got into a fight with one guy, but avoided that by acting drunk. Opening another beer, I sat down at basement level, opposite the stairs leading up. It took a bit under 23 minutes for all of them to show up. They all disappeared upstairs, and never came back. I marked another 10 people, and waited again. 22 minutes later, the last of them began ascending the stairway. Following another thought, I sat down in the living room and counted the people in there. Thirty-five. Waited 2 minutes. Counted again. Thirty-two. Waited two minutes. Thirty-eight. Waited two minutes. Thirtty-six. Thirty-four. Thirty-seven. Now there, if there's a place absorbing people, and the number of people in a room at any given time is nearly constant ... there must be a counterpart to the Doomsday Door. I decided to call it the Genesis Door. I started marking people with strawberry margaritha, again. Thanks to the exchange, nobody there remembered me doing so half an hour ago. Running around, finding the one room where there were no spilled people. I was lucky several minutes later. I went to the toilet, washed my hands, urinated. A guy came out of the cabin. I washed my hands, simulated urinating again. Another guy left the cabin. Again, I washed my hands, watching the cabin. Another guy got out of it. "Excuse me, sir", I addressed him, "how did you get into that cabin, - err - I mean, how did you get in there?" He looked at me as if I had been talking about green martians. "Uh, thought the door perhaps?", he answered, not sure what I was asking. I rushed to the door, trying to pull it open. Locked, of course. I waited besides it. A guy got out, pulling it shut behind him. Locked again. I held it open when the next guy came out, mumbling "Sorry, urgent!", and rushed in. Nothing unusual in there. I locked the door, waited. Suddenly a part of the wall became transparent, and a guy walked right through the wall. He started to unzip his trousers, but got scared upon noticing me. "What are you doing in here", he asked in an unsure voice. "Nevermind", I replied, getting out. But I followed him secretly on his way from the kathode to the anode. Exactly 30 minutes later, he was gone, to wherever they all go. A couple of beers later, I addressed on of them: "Excuse me, but what would you say if someone were to tell you that you only got 30 minutes to live, in total. And that you'd had only some 25 minutes left?" He smiled, and replied "I'd say that he's nuts. 30 minutes seems a bit scarce, to enjoy oneself at a party, doesn't it?" I nodded. Switching from beer to irish whiskey, I sat at the bar. For once, I was quite content with just being there, some hours in a row. tom-23-03-96, at a party