Off You Go, Martin!

“Martin! Martin! Urgent! Get over here!” Gordon screamed into the telephone. “Get over here now!” He slammed the telephone on to the receiver.

Gordon shook his arms violently. “This is big! This is big!”

The man facing him on the other side of the desk was smiling from ear to ear. “I’m glad that you’re so glad, Gordon,” he said. “I knew you’d be happy. I knew it.”

“Happy!? By Jove, I’m ecstatic! Just wait until Martin hears what you just told me!”

“Oh, Martin’s going to love it too, I’m sure.”

“Love it!? By Jove, he’s going to be out of his socks! He’s going to be out of his drawers! His coat will be out of the window, I tell you!” Gordon cackled mightily. “Ooooh!” He rubbed his hands together and puckered his lips. “This is big, Jeremy!”

Martin burst through the door, his suit jacket flailing around as if caught in a windstorm. “What’s going on, Gordon?”

“Martin!” Gordon’s bushy eyebrows were in his hairline. “Just listen to what Jeremy just told me!”

“What’s that, Gordon?”

“Just listen!”

Jeremy stood up from the chair he had just seconds before sat down in. He patted down his shirt. He brushed off his pants. He adjusted his cuffs, one after the other. A sheepishness had overtaken him. He looked down at the floor.

“Jeremy!” Gordon was jumping up and down in the air. “Jeremy! Tell Martin what you just told me!” He looked at Martin again. “You’re going to love this, Martin! Your coat’s gonna go flying out the window!”

Martin began taking his arms out of his coat. “What is it!?” He ran over to the window.

“Ooooh, Jeremy! Jeremy! Tell him!”

Jeremy sat down again, drumming on his lap with his hands. He was smiling so hard it was impossible. “Well, Martin…” His drumming was in triple-time. Gordon began to waltz. “I was just telling Gordon here…” Gordon screamed in the highest pitch he could muster.

“Gordon! I’m trying to listen!” yelled Martin, struggling with the bolt on the window.

Jeremy continued. “I knew Gordon was going to love this. I knew it was big. I didn’t realize how big, but the way Gordon is reacting, well, I guess it’s pretty big.”

“You better believe it! You better believe it!” said Gordon.

Martin had one leg out the window.

“Step down from there, Martin! Martin!” Gordon made a flapping, beckoning gesture with his right hand.

Martin looked down at his leg, and stepped back inside. “Sorry. I was trying to listen to Jeremy and I forgot what I was doing.”

“Screw your head on, Martin! You’re going to need your head for this. You’re going to need every neuron in that beautiful brain of yours. This is going to send you flying out the window! This is going to send you into the stratosphere! You’re going to be Halley’s Comet, Martin!”

Jeremy burst forth in a loud voice. He explained to Martin exactly what he had explained to Gordon, in twice as many words and twice as fast. It all came out in a single breath, and when he was done, he collapsed on to the floor, his eyes rolling back in his head.

Martin’s coat was floating down towards the busy New York streets. Gordon’s head burst through the floor of the conference room upstairs, startling a tableful of bespectacled men. Lava poured out of his ears. Jeremy lay perfectly still on the floor, white as a sheet. His face shew unparalleled ecstasy.

Aflame in the atmosphere, Martin reached speeds immeasurable.

NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT

NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT STEP ONE:

THE BEGINNING OF NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT

WHAT IS NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT:

  • a project designed to uncover the new beauty
  • a project for fun and beauty
  • let’s recapture the MAGIC and love ourselves

HOW IS NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT:

  • I am going to write it
  • I am going to believe in myself, that I can do it

WHY IS NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT:

  • my old projects are not beautiful
  • my old projects are also old
  • i am sick and tired of old not-beautiful projects

WHEN IS NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT:

  • now and in the future

WHERE IS BEAUTIFUL PROJECT:

  • inside of my heart
  • later on, in your mind
  • on this website

NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT STEP TWO:

DETERMINING THE NATURE OF DRAGONS

  • dragons are involved in the new beautiful project
  • there is something about dragons: they have pride
  • their pride is why they fell from godhood
  • do they regret this? or are they fine with it?

NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT STEP THREE:

CREATION OF NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT

  • this will have to happen
  • if this does not happen, new beautiful project will not exist
  • new beautiful project already exists
  • therefore, this will happen

NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT STEP FOUR:

THIS STEP IS THUS FAR UNDETERMINED

  • more work is necessary
  • we’ve got the foundations down

NEW BEAUTIFUL PROJECT IS A GO!!!!!!!

How to Make Friends

dear balckwell,

my name is jeremy from the state of massachusetts. i’ve been living here in massachusetts for seven and a half years. i just turned twenty two years old, and yet, i don’t know anyone anywhere. i used to know some people but then i forgot about them, and i can’t find their names anywhere. that was around a year ago. i would like to make some new friends, but i don’t know how. if you have any tips for not forgetting my friends once i get them, that would also be helpful.

from,
john (that’s a fake name)

PART ONE: HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS

Hi John!

This is an interesting question. Enough readers have written in with variations on this question that I’m starting to wonder where they got the impression that I have friends. I do have friends; it’s just that I’m not sure where I ever mentioned it. I have also begun to wonder how I made the friends I have. Perhaps, if I can come to understand that, I can begin to help my readers who come to me for advice on this topic.

By my definition, I would say that I have ten friends, plus one potential friend who I haven’t met yet. Outside of these ten friends, there are some people who, if encountered at the right level of inebriation, I might call “my friend” or “my buddy.” However, they’re not really my friends. They’re just people that I know.

I have one friend of 20 years, three friends of 11 years, three friends of 5 years, 2 friends of 4 years, and one friend of 3 years. I guess it’s been a while since I made a friend.

For the record, if anyone is wondering, The Imp is not my friend. I want to make that explicitly clear.

I made four of these friends in high school. I made three of these friends by living in a college dorm with them. I made one friend at work. I made one friend by him being a brother of a previous friend. I made another friend by her being a friend of the Imp (who, I repeat, is not my friend.)

I would say that the friend I made at work is the only friend I made on purpose. How I did it was I showed up at work, and waited for him to talk to me. When he had talked to me enough, I started talking to him too. Then, I left that job and didn’t talk to him for a year. After that year, he messaged me on Facebook. So that’s how I got that friend.

Okay. I think, after some analysis, I have come upon a couple of pointers for how to make friends.

1) Show Up at the Same Place at Around the Same Time

A great way to make friends is to be in constant proximity with someone who you might like for a few months, maybe a year or two. This could be at school, at work, or even at home if you happen to be roommates. Eventually, if you are near them a lot, you will find it necessary to say something to them. If you’re at work, you might say, “Do we have any more potatoes?” If you’re at school, you might say, “What class is this again?” If you’re at home, you might say, “Where’s the salt?” If you have enough mundane conversations, it is statistically likely that, eventually, one of you might make a joke. If both parties find the joke compatible with their humour, a friendship will begin to sprout. From there, friendships have a mind of their own.

If you’re impatient, or have no reason to talk to the person, you might have to take matters into your own hand by speaking unnecessarily. If you’re at school, you could say, “Hey, you dropped your pen.” When they look for it, you could say, “Oh, maybe I was mistaken.” If you’re at work, you could say, “Hey do you work tomorrow?” If they ask why you asked, you say, “Oh, no reason. I just wanted to know.” If you’re at home, you could ask them what they think of the house or apartment the two of you live in. You share common ground, after all.

Here are a few more lines for various situations:

School:

Work:

“Hump day, am I right?” – NB: Only works on Wednesdays (and some Thursdays, depending on the country.)

Home:

“Hey, mi casa es su casa.”

2) Ask Your Friends to Bring Their Friends

This an advanced manouevre, because you need to make at least one initial friend first, and that friend needs to have at least one friend other than you. This won’t work for you, John, since you don’t have any friends yet, but if you do happen to make a friend or two who have at least one other friend, this will become a viable option.

There are several ways to make this happen. One way is to plan an activity that requires three or more people, and then say, “Well, [friend], I don’t know enough people to make this work, but I’ve already bought the tickets, so it’s up to you to bring some of your friends too.” This shifts the obligation to your friend to bring their friends, and you can sit back and reap the rewards.

Making these new people into your friend can be difficult. Some of the tactics from step one won’t work, because you will be meeting them less often. My advice is to be cool, be calm, and take things in stride.

PART TWO: HOW TO REMEMBER YOUR FRIENDS

This is something I also have struggled with in the past. Here are some tips that I have implemented in my own life.

1) MAKE A LIST

A list is a great way to remember anything. Whenever you make a new friend, write their name down in a notebook, along with a brief physical description, and a few notes about how you met, what they like to do, etc. This way, anytime you’re unsure about what friends you have, you can check back on the list and remember. If possible, write down their address, or some form of contact, so that you don’t end up in a position where you can’t find where they are. Having a friend who you can’t find is no better than having no friend at all.

2) MAKE ASSOCIATIONS

Your brain is a collection of interconnected neurons. The more connections a neuron has, the more easy it is to recall the information contained in said neuron. So a good way to remember people is to associate them with common concepts or objects. For example, you could associate your friend Brian with the colour blue, so any time you see something blue, you think of Brian, and remember that he is your friend. Or you could associate cookies with your friend Kirkencott, so that any time you eat a cookie, or buy cookies at the grocery store, you remember Kirkencott, and perhaps think about calling him or sending him a text.

3) MAKE A SCHEDULE

A schedule means that you will meet with friends whether you like it or not. If you say to Sam, “Let’s meet at the discotheque every Sunday,” and then write “Discotheque” on each Sunday of your calendar, you will end up finding Sam at the discotheque every Sunday (providing you follow the schedule on your calendar.) Even easier is to tell Joe, “Hey, come over every Saturday and we will play Shogi.” That way, Joe will simply show up at your house each week with his Shogi board, and you won’t have to remember anything at all. If Joe shows up and you don’t recognize him, just play it cool, and it’s probable that you’ll be able to become friends again fairly easily.

PART THREE: CONCLUSION

Well John, I hope this helps you out. Good luck.

Balckwell Manifesto #4 – January, 2021

I find that I spend much less time nowadays thinking of my past. It used to be that I would spend hours of days recreating past circumstances, trying to return to my mind those lost emotions – emotions which felt so much more real than their present counterparts, due to their being frozen in time, encased in an immovable bubble that provided them solidity and clarity, as opposed to the malleability and transience that characterizes the here and now. My past is, in essence, a work of fiction, that I may read at my own leisure, while my current life is a manuscript, a work-in-progress, the writing of which brings with it the struggle and pain of creation. I am, these days, more of a writer than a reader, if you will. I remain an avid reader, but now I read not so much for escape but for inspiration. I read because the more I allow beautiful words and ideas into my mind, the more it becomes a rich, flowering garden, from which I may pluck delicious fruits as I laze within its luxurious grounds – fruits that provide the foundations for Works of which I will one day be so fond.

As it stands right now, these Works are but a pain in my side, a bee in my bonnet, and a sword in my back. My goal is to become one of the greatest writers to ever live. This is, of course, pure vanity. I often say that I lack ambition, but I find that I must now reveal the truth, which is that I aspire to a glory so high and vaunted as to possibly not even exist. Perhaps it is as they say, and the Age of the Novel is over. If this is the case, so be it. This fact changes nothing of the ferocity with which I approach my mission. In fact, its impossibility only increases its honour in my eyes.

I am a writer of novels. It is not my job; it is not my hobby. It is my vocation. I would not go as far as to say that it is what I am best at; instead, I would say that it is the only thing I am capable of doing. Over the years of my life, it has become increasingly clear to me that any other course is impossible. This is not to say that in some alternative reality, such courses may not have made me happy, or been met with success. In certain circumstances, I am sure that I could competently perform a wide variety of activities. However, in the specific circumstances that make up my existence on this planet, at this time in its lifespan, all these courses are closed to me. It is nothing about my social or economic position that bars me; it is instead some aspect of my own mind. Perhaps it has been poisoned, or perhaps it alone contains an antidote that frees me from other poisons – either way, due to what 19th century doctors might describe as my “nervous disorder,” or 21st century psychologists might describe as my “mental illness,” I find myself woefully ill-prepared for the lifestyle that many might term “normal.” For many years, I blamed this on my own stupidity.

Well, the words that we use inside of our head have immense power, and this word “stupidity” brought with it a self-restraining paralysis that was of no use to anybody, least of all myself. Nowadays, I choose not to call myself stupid. I do not call myself anything at all. I simply accept that I am the way that I am, and repeat to myself the adage: “It takes all kinds to make the world go round.” My kind, I admit, is one whose usefulness for maintaining the rotation of the Earth is difficult to recognize, but I, like many others, take the word ‘all’ to mean ‘each and every one,’ and logically speaking, this must necessarily include my kind as well.

All this is to say that I no longer consider it my duty to spend quite so much time reflecting on my life in order to determine what, exactly, “my problem” is. This time I now spend trying to determine what “my problem” will be – i.e. what disastrous circumstances might befall me in the future and make it readily apparent that my decision to make no money and forego the “building of a career” is a foolish one. This is futile time wasted, I know, and it is one of my primary short-term goals to eradicate such thoughts completely, allowing myself to focus exclusively on the composition of my Works.

‘What Works are these, exactly?’ you may ask. You may look around this website and see no works able to justify such an audacious renunciation of civil duty, instead seeing exclusively the confused, amateurish writings of a young man with an overblown sense of his own importance. In which case, you may chalk this entire project up to simple egoism! Well! I can’t help but admit that this judgement is a sound and reasonable one! All I can say in my defence is that a man’s life has the potential to be quite long, and I am trying my best to continually improve. If I fail in my goal of becoming one of the greatest writers to ever live, I consider that failure a more worthwhile use of a lifetime than success in any other pursuit. If I die having contributed nothing of artistic value to the universe, I will at least be able to say that I did no harm, and on top of that, I managed, at times, to enjoy myself.

I believe wholeheartedly that the creation of Beautiful Works is in itself a positive act, and that such an act is the most positive that I, as myself, can perform. This is not to the neglect of more tangible acts, such as being affectionate and generous towards my loved ones, and to a lesser extent, the entire portion of the human population that I come into contact with. My egoism does not extend to the social sphere; I consider it my duty as a responsible human being to behave in a virtuous manner towards whomever I am able. I love everyone. I love everyone, although many are twisted, evil, malicious creatures, and the structures and systems they create facilitate wickedness on a scale that no single individual could possible conceive. I can not help but be a human being, and as such, I can not help but feel a certain amount of love for all other human beings. I hope that you can understand.

It is on this note that I end this update to the ever-evolving Balckwell Manifesto. It is my hope that this document will continue to grow and change over the years, reflecting the contents of my soul and the system by which I govern my actions. I extend a hearty Happy New Year to all denizens of the Soup Web, and many happy returns. My greatest hope is that I can one day do you all proud

– Balckwell

Strangers

“I have never seen these people before, and I know not who they are.”

“They are the people you once were, in a past world. They live in your apartment building with you, but they keep from your sight like rats in a cave, appearing before you only on days such as today, when you have proven yourself to be resolute and pure of heart. They appear before you as a reward: the reward is the reminder of how far you have come. Seeing where you were lifts your spirits, and confirms that the way you have chosen is correct. To be virtuous, to be pure of heart, to be free from Gravity, is the course that leads to an especial glorified blessed existence among the stars.

Those shadows you see: when they are alone, they say, “Zoom up!” and they zoom, and are burned in the fires of the atmosphere, and their bones they burn too, and are blackened and sent down to Earth again as soot, dark as a moonless night. Their way is perverse and horrid, and they seek to make it to the starry world as by a shortcut.

Be not like them, my young friend, but stay your course. Though it seem difficult, though it seem trying, and though it seem that Gravity pushes you down at a rate of approx. 9m/s², the truth is that your path is the easiest and most fruitful.”

My Moustache

One of the great features of my life is that I have structured it such that I can grow a moustache with impunity. No one dares defy my right to grow a moustache, and I have been met with great support from all sides since the day of its coronation. That being said, I did not grow a moustache in order to reap admiration; no, I grew my moustache because I felt that it would help me to define a marked change in my attitude and behaviour towards the strange mishap that is life on earth. This it has done, and so much so that I believe the great scholars who in the future take it upon themselves to write my biographies will have no choice but to divide them into two sections: pre-moustache and moustache. Of course, this implies the fact – which, while it might easily be left unsaid, might just as easily be said – that this moustache is here to stay. Make no mistake about it, friends! There is no end for this moustache but my grave!

Continue reading “My Moustache”

Hokey-Bokey: An Introduction

放棄ボーキー
Hokey-Bokey: Throwing it All Away

Throw away your memories, and all that lies in your past!
Throw away your dreams, and all that lies in your future!
Throw away your worries, and all that contaminates your present!
Make ice! It’s all nice on ice, alright!

The time has come to Deny the Earth, and thus, it is time for Hokey-Bokey.

What must be done? Ah, well there we go – but also, there we gon’t. Must?
What should be done? Ah, well there we go – but also, there we gon’t. Should?

Hokey-Bokey is a philosophy with only one rule, and that rule is: Always give up!
Hokey-Bokey is a philosophy with only one motto, and that motto is: Deny the Earth!
Hokey-Bokey is a philosophy with only one suggestion, and that suggestion is: Be yourself!

PART ONE: ALWAYS GIVE UP

What you are aiming for cannot be achieved! That which you seek is beyond your reckoning! Look around you! Why are you striving when there is so much sitting to be done!? The Master said: ‘A true sage ignores that, and chooses this.’

*

Did you ever want something so badly that it made you sick? Was that thing, perhaps, a papaya? Do you know how much those cost around here? Maybe it’s best to forget about it.

*

Have you ever felt that love is more trouble than its worth? Alas, my friend, it seems you’ve never been in love.

*

Here I sit, awaiting a promotion. With a promotion comes power; and with power, comes money; and with money, comes power. With enough power, I could give myself a promotion! With enough money, I could quit my job!

*

‘Ahhhhhh’, you say. ‘Ahhhhhhhh!’ Okay, okay! I’ll listen – just stop screaming!

*

My father used to expect things of me. He’d say, ‘Aren’t you going to do this? Aren’t you going to do that?’ It made me weep and gnash my teeth. I decided, ‘I’m doing nothing!’ and off I went. ‘I’m happy!’ I screamed. But still, ‘Aren’t you going to do this? Aren’t you going to do that?’ The words rang in my ears.

I didn’t do this, and I didn’t do that. No, I did some other thing. When I’d finished, my father said: ‘That’s the ticket!’

*

I started something that I couldn’t finish. And now it sits there, incomplete. It’s missing its… What was it missing again? I don’t see anything.

*

Balance your dreams atop a high perch, and let them crash all over you. A dream ‘comes true,’ so they say, when you are playing in its wreckage.

*

Phew! It’s over! And I thought that was going to continue until the day I died! It’s over now! And I’m only half-dead.

*

‘This has to be done. It must be done. It can not not be done. There is no way for it not to be done! Doing it is a necessity. It is required that it be done. It must. It has to! Stop! You ought to do it! It is best for it to be done! It would be greatly appreciated! Where are you going! Wait! It would benefit us all for it to be done! It’s not too hard! Come back!’

*

And he stood atop his dusty mountain, and stared down at all that lived and breathed in this century and those to come. He saw it all, and he leapt, arms outstretched.

*

LOVE! Love is the power! They don’t understand that it is LOVE that makes it all possible!

PART TWO: DENY THE EARTH

No, do not fear the earth, and do not hate the Earth – Deny the Earth! With fear and hate the Earth spins its web around you. Deny it! The Earth has no power over me, for I do not recognize it!

*

‘But the trees are shining, and the birds are calling!’ Exactly! I did not ask you to deny birds, did I!?

*

Behold! The man whose photograph you are looking at – this is a man who takes no pictures, and would not be caught dead appearing in one!

*

An App? You call this an App? Well, I’m still hungry! Where’s the main course?

*

‘Is your goal not to change minds – to purge others of their latent, dangerous beliefs? Why, then, do you act as if the mind is immutable – that it cannot be changed?’ So says Falsital of Wizzeroth.

*

Take from Earth what little you need – you will treat it better than Earth ever did. You are rescuing it! I say, take what you need and cherish it! And then… then there is nothing left to do!

*

A man far away screams from a mountaintop.

‘Stop it!’ I yell.

‘No!’

Well, then. I suppose I’ll just listen to something else.

*

And there, across the sky, burning hotter than a thousand suns, stood that grand Castle, and within it, the people of God slept. Slept to dream a million dreams, of torments and passions, and of retribution. The world around burned with a crazed fire, but within those walls, not a sound of it could be heard!

*

‘Become a mechanism!’ they cry, papers flying out of their pockets. ‘Become a mechanism and it is easy!’

*

‘Don’t try too hard,’ she said.

‘It’s okay – I wasn’t trying at all!’

*

Fame will crash your computer desktop. Fame will knock over your bookshelf. Fame will spill your paints. Fame will drink your water. Fame will sit in your chair. Fame will walk in your shoes. Fame is for scoundrels, and only scoundrels deserve it!

*

Freedom! This is what we are chasing for – this is why all else must be denied! Freedom! Freedom can only come when that which tries to control you is thrust away! Freedom can only come when you Deny the Earth! Do not let the mind control control your mind. Your mind is deadly; your mind will kill you. Well, I ask, who better to be my murderer!?

PART THREE: BE YOURSELF

You can not help it! It is right there for you to do!

*

Let’s watch the birds! There they are: Up a tree, down a tree. High in the sky and deep in my dumpster.

‘How I wish’, you might say, ‘how I wish to be like that bird! Flying, hopping, stopping, crying. It is the life for me!’ (You say.) My friend, that bird’s life is not for you. For one, you do not like to get wet, and it is raining out.

*

He looks like he’s having fun, doesn’t he? Well, me too!

*

What a miserable sap. Standing there with a grimace on his face. Cheer up, darling! We can’t all be this way!

*

Thirty minutes a day is all you need
To make your pay, to eat your feed
Why do you always want for more?
You walk the dog, you walk the store
Don’t you know what you are living for?
Haven’t you seen this all before?

You eat your pay, you make your feed
You stomp your hoof, you eat some hay
You’re going somewhere new today!
Why must you always stomp and bray?
Just go along, just come with me
Worry not, take no heed
You are a horse, and nothing else

*

I can not control the movements of orbs! They roll away from me, and they fall on the floor. They bruise, and then no one will eat them any longer. I won’t apologize – I can not control the movements of orbs!

*

When I paint a thousand pictures and write a thousand books – inside of this mass, this detritus of my soul, will lie an original work that will prove to you what I was.

*

He stepped forward, gingerly. “I can’t do this, I can’t do that. It’s harder for me than for some.”

He stepped backwards. “Ah, it’s very difficult.”

He stepped to the side. “Ah, some may find it easy, but not me.”

He jumped in the air. “Great!”

*

‘Away on a boat! Off to the sea! It is clear: this is the life for me!’
‘My friend, please stop! You fear the sea!’
‘That is not for you to decide! Off I go!’

THE STARS MUST BE MY FRIENDS TO SHINE FOR ME

It has been night every day recently. No one walks the streets around my home. I hear cars one at a time – usually loud ones, screaming by at unimaginable speeds. I can not fathom where they are coming from, or where they are off to. It’s night time; there’s no knowing what anyone is up to.

Continue reading “THE STARS MUST BE MY FRIENDS TO SHINE FOR ME”

A Poem from the Balckwell Archives

November, 1, 2017

not a densely wooded forest,
nor a carefully manicured lawn
no oaks obscuring the clear blue sky
hardly any grass to speak of
Like No Park I’ve Ever Tasted

large piles of dirt
young trees sparsely planted
maybe in 100 years, this will be a park
for now: park, or parking lot?

dogs off leash
a naturalistic dog obstacle course
constructed of stumps and rocks
maybe i should bring my kids
No Nuisance Barking

behold a vantage point: you see
a road
and then, a highway
some farms
a streetlight

further north, i accidentally reach a sidewalk
i turn around
a creek
a bridge, a pond
bench carved out of a trunk
leaves fall like snow
my ducks in a row
true peace
No Dog Zone

across the street lies a beautiful golf course
hidden behind a wall of trees.
for us, a former dump
construction signs littered everywhere
Everett Crowley Park

Big Pot

I am quite certain that no man has ever made as much soup as I made last night. It is an unholy, blasphemous amount of soup. Unholy, because its size recalls the irreconcilable sin of gluttony; blasphemous, because the idea that man should usurp the act of creation to such a vast extent is surely an affront to God.

I got the idea in my head last week that what was required for our household was a Big Pot. We are a household of Soup; this is true all year round, but especially at this time of year. For us, soup is sustenance, and sustenance is soup. Until recently, we made our soups in a moderately sized pot, a pot that was passed down to me from my parents, and has been with me for many a year. This pot, while unremarkable for its physical size, takes up a remarkable space in my heart. Alas, when I conceived of the idea of Big Pot, all this sentimentality was quickly thrown out of the nearest window, and I was overcome with a desire for a pot of such proportions as could feed a whole village.

Well, that is exactly what we now have! The box that seeked to contain this monstrosity denoted its volume as 8 quarts. I have never heard of this foreign measurement, but I can only assume that it is short for quarters – that is to say that our Big Pot is the size of eight quarters – that is to say, it is the size of two whole pots. A pot that is two pots is a frightening concept indeed.

As to the creation of the soup: I began, as usual, by cutting the onion. Ah, the onion! It became clear even at this early moment that cooking with Big Pot was a culinary experience altogether unlike any I had ever reckoned with. When it came time to slide the multisected onion from the board to the pot, I was overcome with a feeling much like that of Neil Armstrong when he first made the grand effort to turn his suit-encumbered body around and cast his ken upon the grand orb that is our home. The onion, that I had once known to fill the bottom of a pot and then some, was like a speck in the infinite abyss that was Big Pot! It was as if I had thrown a handful of sand into the ocean! My eyes welled up, and not for the reason one might expect when dealing with onions; no, my eyes welled up with an intense sadness.

This sadness, however, was mixed with an altogether less unpleasant emotion, which, in turn, was mixed with fear – it was in this moment that I became aware of the potential that lay before me. With a pot this size, I could, dare I say it… I dare not. Whether I dared to voice this possibility even to myself, I will not reveal. Let us suffice to say, that my mind was instantly filled with ideas so hideous in their scope that I was forced to look away. Big Pot was leading me down disastrous roads, roads that could only end in distinct suffering – not only my own, but the suffering of many a living being. I closed my eyes. They were welling up again; this time, however, it was from the toxic excretions of the onions.

The rest of the soup construction flowed almost like a dream. It seemed as if I was in the kitchen for hours, peeling, slicing, dicing, in a pitiful attempt to fill the depths of Big Pot. Squash, potato, tomato, turnip, lentils – all disappeared into the maw of the pot. A whole cutting board full of ingredients would slide disgracefully into the pot, leaving the pot no fuller. It was as if the soup was being sucked through a portal into an infinite Soup Dimension. I searched through the fridge for ingredients – three quarters of a can of leftover beans went into the pot. Big Pot only laughed.

Before I knew it, the soup was ready. At this point, all sense of perspective had left me. The Pot was an universe unto itself. That things could travel from Big Pot back into this world was nigh inconceivable. But I was hungry – oh, so hungry. I was fatigued, not only physically, from the laborious work of filling the pot, but spiritually too. My mind had been torn asunder and patched back together; I was not the same man I had once been.

I stuck a ladle in the pot, and beheld the dripping monstrosity as I directed it towards a human-sized bowl. I must have appeared as a madman, for, as my wife later told me, I was laughing deliriously throughout this whole procedure. I could not control myself. After removing the ladlefuls necessary to fill my bowl – a bowl that I have always trusted to contain exactly one meals-worth of food – the level of soup in the pot had not changed. Sheer, unbridled mirth filled my soul with this discovery – contained in the pot must be an infinite amount of soup! I ladled another bowl, and found, to no surprise, that the amount of soup left in the bowl remained unchanged.

After dinner, we realized, to our horror, that the rest of the soup would have to be rescued from Big Pot and transferred to refridgeratable vessels. Thankfully, this duty did not fall upon me; having cooked the soup itself, the responsibility for clean-up belonged to my wife. I must admit that I did not stay to watch this event unfold. I escaped to another room; however, I did not escape from the horrific screams that emanated from our kitchen as tupperware after tupperware was exhausted in the attempt to contain this larger-than-should-be-allowed soup.

A day has now passed, but still I dare not peer into the fridge. I could not bear to witness such a scene. The sheer overwhelming mass of soup is sure to drive me to irrecoverable madness. So, I sit at my table, and write out this tale of warning and woe for any reader who may be so courteous as to heed its vital message.

It was a good soup that I made last night. It was a delicious soup, in fact. I may dare to declare that it was one of the most delicious soups that I have ever tasted. But was it worth it? The creation of this soup took me somewhere where no human should ever be; what I brought home is beyond human conception. This experience has made me unlike you, or any member of our specices. I look out upon this world now as something alien, something wholly unlike the man I supposed myself to be yesterday. The trifling sorrows of humankind seem strange to me, as do their fleeting joys. I am numb to all such emotions. My mind is filled to the brim with inhuman knowledge – that which should not be known. That knowledge is intimately connected with that substance that you fain to represent with that monosyllabic word: “Soup.”

Ah, soup! It sounds so easy, so carefree! Yes, it sounds simple enough that even a child could understand! But be not fooled by such notions! It is dangerous, more dangerous than you could ever know! Beware its presence, and take care before you step too far.