Superlative Land

by stephen hastings-king

You are walking through a canyon made of shelving units lined with colorful masterpieces of three-dimensional minimalist design that incorporate with great exactitude perfect words perfectly weighted in perfect number when from all sides perfect words migrate from their perfect environments and array themselves before you as overlapping transparent frames made of implications.  Looking through them is like looking into a stereoscope.  Inside the stereoscope you see a pathway that leads first across the higher planes of being and then over the superlunary spheres and a feeling coalesces in you that this, this is a journey to be undertaken.  So you climb into the stereoscope and follow the path with remarkable speed and as you do the knowledge forms within you that this journey will take you to Superlative Land.


At the entrance to Superlative Land the Captains of Industry await; Aunt Jemima and Betty Crocker, the Michelin Man and Jolly Green Giant and many others.  You are welcomed by your image which is like you in every way but better and you are each pleased to see the other and as you embrace the Captains of Industry applaud and confetti drops and a banner unfurls that says Well Done! as a speech is broadcast over tinny loudspeakers in keeping with fidelity requirements of another time that recognizes the magnitude of your achievement. 


Everyone is happy to see you.  You are their honored guest.  There is to be a banquet.   On the way, Aunt Jemima tells you how pancake mix is made from already cooked pancakes and the Michelin Man explains why he is white and the Jolly Green Giant lifts you high in the air and you can see the sparkling amusement park in Superlative Land and its promise of more fun than you have ever had.


Then you are on a pillow next to your image in the middle of an elaborate social machinery and course after course of sumptuous food arrives culminating in one that involves a meat that seems familiar but you can't quite place.  And the wine flows, o how the wine flows brought to you by winsome maidens each of whom is careful to indicate to you the very negotiable status of their virtue.  Then come the rounds of toasts and you notice that your perfected image knows exactly what to do which allows you to lose yourself in porn film reveries involving winsome maids in different positions.


Then a profound weariness overtakes you and as you drift off to sleep the machinery begins to change and you know how the story ends but you nonetheless wonder as if it was about to happen to someone else at what moment they will kill you and how you will be stored so you can be served at the banquet that celebrates the arrival of another just like yourself.