The Birth Tab

I found myself sitting at the computer again, on Alien Tour. My mind enters a numb zone, a happy zone, organized into grids. I think it’s a food show, locks of candy, sugar dreams, purple messages, ozone attachments. Nothing interests me anymore. I’m looking for one specific type of candy, called, The Birth Tab. Stories of The Birth Tab are as old as The Network. Rumors of it go back to the invention of the first word processor. Someone apparently found this peculiar candy beneath the keys, covered in dust. What happens when you chew it, right? Well, supposedly chewing it gives you a miracle. You get to see a live webcam feed of your own birth. It’s not in HD, but, somehow you just know it’s your birth, and nobody else’s. Guttural instinct of digital history kicks in. The Pre-Internet Womb. Looking for it, my ego propelled like a tyrant wave, never crashing but rolling along, taking me to this vista or that. Sometimes a hotel, sometimes a stadium. Always an ocean. I’ve been flooded with desire to know myself. Did I enter this world in a blue room or a red room? Was a nurse there or a doctor? What was the view like from the window? Was it raining? How did my mother look? Was she okay? Cut to: Sarcophagus view with ocean. Pause for two seconds. Fade out. I once found a flesh island. A very promising zone, with oyster skin membrane. Inside was a burgeoning community of poets. They used VR goggles to explore language. They promised to find The Birth Tab within the word, “Eskimo”. “Between the ‘S’ and the ‘K’, that’s where you’ll find it.”, they squealed. So, I purchased a pair of flesh goggles from them. Cost me everything. I started widening the kerning between the letters, got deeper and deeper between them. Consequently, I found myself standing on an ice pillar, with cement legs. I tried to remove the goggles, but they had disappeared. The scoundrels had trapped me in a vortex. Ironically, I was rescued by a Digital Eskimo. A sweet, noble man, called Echo Region. I swore to never search for The Birth Tab again. Fade out to ending sequence: Mutant jellyfish masquerading as The Birth Tab. Echo Region became my lover. We explored other continents, but eventually, we tried to settle down and start a family. I worked at a research hospital, administering sub-historical vaccinations. I rescued billions of ancient people from things like bubonic plague, Spanish influenza, polio. Echo wanted me to rescue his Inuit ancestors. Historically, tuberculosis had been introduced by Euro-American whalers, killing many indigenous people. I agreed to rescue them, but in the process, I discovered a glorious, new island, between the letters “I” and “N”, of the word, “Inuit”. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of The Birth Tab. I couldn’t resist traveling forward. I was tripping through a single strand of tuberculosis. The Birth Tab was always so close, but always just out of reach. Before I knew it, Echo Region, my beloved, had collapsed into the Ether. I tried to call out, “Echo Region”, but found myself in silence, broken, disheveled, no heart. Bernard Shaw said that life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself. What have I really created over the years? All I had left were digital sensations, the feeling of brick, the smell of whale blubber on Echo Region’s breath, virtual reality poems, riddled with meaning but cursed with transience. Epilogue: Close up of typewriter, ecstatic homeless man eating the keys. I have a new tactic now. I’m creating a medical condition as a substitute for my ego, called, “Birth Tab Syndrome”. It comes on like a sugar rush, then merges with your limbic system, causing an ice pick crescendo of brain damage. I’ll be posting it in my blog, inside out, so you can actually observe the crystals growing. Avoid it like the plague. Forever born again. Forever the one. Restless

Leave a Comment