The Third One
Questions Without Answers III: Neither Questions, Nor Answers
By Mark Daves
J: Luke, I’ll answer this one. Think of it like a bag of barbecue-flavored sunflower seeds, David brand, oh, and I want David to be our first corporate sponsor—
M: Is David a corporation?
J: —think of it like taking a bunch of sunflower seeds and stuffing your mouth full of them. You get the salt and the flavor overwhelming you, manage to split a couple of them on one side of your mouth while the rest are wadded up on the opposite side—
L: I always cut my tongue.
J: —you cut your tongue, and the salt and artificial flavoring burns, but you get that little kernel of protein and nut fat—
L: Incidentally, that’s the name of our first mixtape: “Nut Fat”
J: —you get that little bit of goodness and spit the shell, send another one through the process, cut your tongue, Nut Fat, spit, slowly working your way through the wad, but as you keep going they get soggier and soggier and the flavor has already been sucked off—
L: I always suck the flavor off.
J: —the flavor’s gone, and you’re left with a mouthful of soggy shells.
M: So that’s your business model?
L: Obviously there are nuances to the ordeal.
J: Tongue placement, for example, is paramount to the success of a business in our industry.
M: And how do you think the process affects your product, however loosely-defined your ‘product’ is.
L: Okay, I’ll get this one, I see where you’re going. Imagine—wait, have you ever butt-chugged?
M: What? No, no I haven’t—
L: Okay never mind that. Imagine—
M: No, please go on with the butt-chugging.
L: —imagine you have to ship a variety of groceries to your sick aunt that lives in another state—
J: Goddamnit, Luke, no. Mark, you can’t just let him go off like that. He was going to leave you looking like a fool.
L: Almost got him.
The Second One
… And I had the chance to sit down with John and Luke and pick their brains for a moment; what follows is a three-way dialogue between us.
One: “What kind of traits do you two possess that sort of drew you to collaboration?”
Luke: “It’s the taste for fine wine and cheese, really–”
John: “Yeast and mold, exactly what I was going to say.”
L: “We’re not complicated people, we just experience great metaphysical dread.”
J: “Like the best and rest of us; the difference with us is in the cocktails.”
L: “Yeah, it can’t be avoided.”
Two: “Can you elaborate on the difference being ‘in the cocktails?’”
J: “It’s a performance thing, ya know? And accountability. We’re accountable.”
L: “John is accountable. Accountability’s bullshit; I’m responsible.”
John draws in a breath as if he’s about to unleash a torrent and instead just stares at Luke.
Three: “Okay, that doesn’t really follow; who came up with what in the most recent venture, [classified]?
L: “It really came naturally. What started as an innocent pillowfight ended in a binge of alcohol and porn.”
J: “Funny that you say that, I was thinking that I didn’t know who came up with what either. It was like a jungle out there–I lost a lot of body hair.”
Four: “You guys are losing me, how did it start? John, you lost body hair?”
L: “It’s a subtle thing, yeah. You think you’re in the clear and then it happens–”
L: “It is what it is.”
J: “And yes, to answer your question, I trim my arm pits–keeps the odor down.”
Five: “What does that have to do with the… moving on. What’s the vision at play here? Is there a mission statement?”
J: “Well I don’t know about that. Kind of cynical, isn’t it?”
L: “Yeah, I’m with you, what are you implying, here, penman?”
J: “ We don’t have missions. We had a mission, and we accomplish things.”
L: “You don’t accomplish things by having a mission.”
Six: “Surely you must create goals to meet them?”
J: “Now you get us; we create goals and we meet them.”
Seven: “What about before you meet them?”
J: “That’s when we create them. What is your deal?”
Eight: “Let’s just get off this. I apologize. Who does the graphic design?”
L: “Yeah, Lukey graphicman.”
J: “But not right now; he’s into stencilling more than digital work.”
L: “You know, pigments and surfaces–”
J: “Pigments and surfaces.”
Ten: “I know what stencilling is, I’m just having trouble understanding how you do what you do. I honestly have the same problem when I use [classified]. What’s the point?”
L: “Boiling it down undermines the conflation to begin with. Why would be boil it down? We’re all so fucking boiled down today. I woke up today and my epidermis slid clean off my hand, one big chunk, because I was so fucking boiled down yesterday in class. I can’t get the capitalism out of my vas deferens.”
J: “First it was having goals and now it’s having points. It’s like you don’t get it, brother-man. We don’t keep score; would you like to know my IQ? I’ll give you a hint–it’s how many minutes I laid in bed thinking about masturbating a second time.”
L: “It’s really all about masturbation.”
The First One
Questions without Answers: Answers without Questions
By Mark Daves
…On our second encounter together, I tried to take a different approach to learning about the duo.
M: The writer is a secretive creature, and I get the sense that’s exactly the case with you two.
J: The spooky writer spook-spooks his spooked readers.
L: I cut my thumb and I’ve been bleeding for like an hour.
J: He meant like answering phones, not the fact that you’re a non secretor.
L: I’m just playing Witty.
M: I don’t have a secretary.
L: Now he gets it; we’re still stuck on the old personal impersonal handjob.
J: Luke, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve gotten off to in the last week?
L: I already told you about this. I was sitting on our porch in the sunlight, peeling an orange and fondling my genitals, as it were, and the marvelous way that the orange oil sprayed out of the tearing skin left me spraying—
L: —leaking with pulsing pressure.
M: Alright, I—
J: For me it was a secret—Luke thought I had left the office for dinner, but I was in the closet.
L: I knew I heard a gentle sobbing.
J: Basking in the afterglow.
M: You two are one of a kind.
J: What? Don’t tell me you’re a non sequitur as well. Do you like him?
M: Do I like—
J: Shut the fuck up, you.
L: No, I don’t like him.
J: Me neither.
M: I don’t know what I’ve done.
J: That’s just it with your type.
L: This guy doesn’t know what he’s done. You’ve oozed all over our spirit; you’re a secretarial secretor with a puss bubble full of secrets. Fuckin’ journalists, man, they’ll press you for your oils and leave you dryer than the conversation at a citrus party.
My journalistic sense is telling me to hop on the ride, but I’m a bit nervous about how they’re building the tracks.