Timeline B.4

by Brantly Martin

photography Spencer Ostrander


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A, B, C & D meet in Alphabet City and take an Uber up the FDR and over the RFK to Randall’s Island. They are but four of 90,000 letters spelling out a music festival on an NYC Saturday in the summer of 2015. 


A & C enter a port-o-potty: A removes the ziplock bag taped to his cajones while C—in the spirit of modernity—documents the separation of bag from nuts and shrooms from bag with his iPhone. A, B, C & D wait in line for 24-ounce beers that A, B & C use to wash down caps and stems. B rolls cigarettes for D and himself. A smiles a pontification while C pulls out his camera: a Cannon 5D. It’s around 3 PM.

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B & C—B loitering for prose, C digitizing for print—survey the onslaught of protruding ass-cheecks and inverted masculinity making their way across and into an island that was once home to Natives, the British army, “destitute aliens,” insane asylums, Dutch Usurpers, English Usurpers, and is today (today) a pop-up shop for pop music, beer, the latest name for MDMA, and a breeding ground for social-media unrest, dopamine stripteases and free labor for this half-life-generation’s D&Ders transitioning to American Holographic Oligarchs. C points his Cannon ... (now a  magic wand) ... and a spell is cast: the protruding ass-cheecks are rendered helpless not to converge, shake and shimmy like cobras before the flute. And these obedient reptiles achieve what a gathering of smooth-skinned female asses over six million years of evolution has never before achieved: an energy lacking absolutely in sexuality. 


A had conceded to consumption prior to meeting up with B, C & D: a little of this, a little of that. A is a seeker and often a fleeting seer. The fungho addition to the metabolizing witch’s brew A had for breakfast is shape-shifting A’s self-visualization between the enchained, the chains, the fire, the shadows on the wall, and the shadow provider. He worries that he’s the chains—worse, he worries that B & C think he’s the chains—worse, he worries which is worse: to be the chains, to have B & C think he’s the chains, or to worry about what B & C think. A doesn’t realize that he’s neither the enchained, the chains, the fire, the shadows on the wall nor the shadow provider—A doesn’t realize he’s standing at the mouth of the cave holding a 24-oz beer and conversing with Plato while B loiters, C shoots and 90,000 American teenagers pose for the digiverse. D taps A on the shoulder and asks: Are you okay?

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Miss Memory checked the intake form at the behavioral clinic—hoggish liar, paternal protector, hard-driven palimpsest, coded raconteur—and thought: If observing an experiment changes an experiment then what does judging and rewriting the American experiment do to the undercurrents of future American experiments? 

[When playing TIMELINE for the first time, a player will have 4 “timeline-pieces” (or simply, “pieces”) at their disposal: morality, and 3 additional pieces based on the player’s genetic algorithm. Morality is the only mobile piece; no other piece may be moved along the timeline.] 

When Miss Memory talks of space exploration she is also talking of time travel and when Miss Memory brandishes the hoe of righteous revisionism she is about to extirpate Abuelo’s thousands-of-years-old stellar roots gifted from the Above to the Chihuahua Mountains. Mind control has many-a-guise with the grip of many-a-vise and heriditary programming is often written in the code of False Concillitory.

[A player will have 4 “states-of-being” (or simply, “states”) at their disposal when playing TIMELINE for the first time: self-righteous, dogmatic and 2 additional states based on the player’s genetic algorithm. When playing TIMELINE, a player can only achieve a self-righteous state by moving the morality piece forward; a player can only achieve a dogmatic state by moving the morality piece backward.] 

When epistolizing the hallucinatory or gestating an engineered coda to a recurring life in forty years, Miss Memory will see 2015 America taking the circuitous bait offered by multi-layered and multi-funded charlatans offering Guided Pattern Recognition Tours into our past that promise healing but deliver nothing but one golf clap after another.

[A player will be presented with the option of having their TIMELINE gaming experience dictated to them. Those offering to be “guides” will come in many forms, often familiar and trustworthy ones. It is recommended that a player NEVER take this offer; but the choice is for the player to make, and must be provided per the laws governing the Virtual Reality Paternalism Act of 2038.] 

After the “great update” of 2040 from human-defined morality and peer-approved punishment to A.I.-defined morality and neurologically-doled punishment, Miss Memory was acquired by the now tax-exempt TIMELINE. Guilt and Innocence and The Supreme Court went the way of hangings on Mott Street and human-driven cars. 

[If a player is confronted with the choice of being THE SHOOTER or THE SHOT, the player MUST make the decision to first person possess (FPP) one of them. Only after an FPP will TIMELNE continue.]

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He was to be born downtown at St. Joseph’s hospital in the summer of 1985 but things changed. Dad disappeared then reappeared then roughed up Mom and cursed out Grandma and shook Sister and stole a car and took off. Mom, fearing another assault, changed maternity wards to a hospital near their house by Greenspoint Mall. And that was where D’akord Tempo—known to his family as Dak and his friends as Po Po—was born three weeks late with a full head of hair and two fingers and two toes too many. Mom and Grandma took him home on the third day to their (as Grandma called it) “penthouse shotgun-house” on the north side. Dad remained on the lam and Grandma kept a pistol in her dresser drawer. 

Po Po began to draw: draw on a fourteen-fingered adolescence, draw on a Quit taking all the covers Sister, draw on a Be home before dark Grandma, draw on a How many bags are you checking Mom: draw draw draw. By eight he had an obsession and by ten he had a style. Crayons gave way to map pencils gave way to charcoal gave way to acrylic gave way to crayons with map pencils with charcoal with acrylic. By twelve Grandma was dead and Mom had married and upgraded to an almost suburban townhouse on the far northwest side of town and a “better” school. Stepdad didn’t fuck around: Be a man! Gimme those fucking finger paints! 

In seventh grade Po Po went with the Texas flow and tried out for the football team. Stepdad was none too impressed with the B-Team: What’s the point of being a goddamn mutant, Dak? Arts n craft? But after the season and through the summer Po Po began to grow: grow into the 6’ 4” frame that would be sent through the digiverse seventeen years later when he shot an off-duty cop, grow out of and into (and out of and into) hand-me-downs and “driven” clothes, grow the shadow he cast around his withdrawal into drawing, grow into the subterrestrial mold from which he cut himself. By eighth grade he was an overdigitized and oversized two-way lineman on the A-Team. Don’t think you a man just yet, Dak! 

High-School! Stepdad continued to molest Sister and Mom began to drink Old Crow and Po Po continued to draw and began to fight and found himself expelled and thrown out and quite often episodic. Po Po took a bus to the valley then walked to Mexico then got with a hooker then played the role of rentboy then discovered a Norteño version of meth that turned episodes to periods and shelters to homes and demons to mentors and nightmares to goals. Pharmaceuticals became found highways of seizing diagnoses that ran for years into spoon-bending forks in the road to be navigated by nothing other than modern American gun play. 

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