the temperature had fallen much like the daylight, evening hours were always the worst when having to go through and pick everyone’s trash up. he was destined for greater things than being a trash picker, he was destined to be in the spotlight. the impatience of waiting to be put where he really belonged was growing thin on his skin. in the midst of his cleaning up, verdant hues capture shoes of another. brows immediately knitted together with confusion, his gaze tantalizingly trails up the other until he captures the blonde boy’s gaze, “ ay! your in the middle of my sweeping! ” a pause, tongue rolling about behind his brims with a confused expression. in this area of the circus grounds, there hardly ever lingered a single soul.
For our 46th issue, TNI will go digging. Below is our Call for Submissions, complete with a list of keywords. For the upcoming “DIG” issue, pitches are due September 17th. Please email email@example.com with your pitch.
“DIG” keywords: Archaeology, “Can You Dig It?”, extractive industries, your home, your clothes, mining, fracking, genealogy, intellectual history, archives, inner depths, the unconscious, dinosaurs, pot shards, termites moles and other burrowers, catacombs, spelunking, underground cities, ruin porn, earthquakes, salvage, treasure hunters, deep sea diving, early human settlement, erosion, trash pickers, landfills, radioactive waste burial, gravediggers, cemeteries, grave robbers, wells, underground cultures, Diglett, Dugtrio, buried alive, indigenous burial grounds, prison escapes via tunnel, the dugout (baseball), drug running tunnels, tunnels in and out of Palestine, “needle in a haystack” and data collection, submarine communications cables, gardening, buried treasure, the Diggers, Dig!, foundations/construction, holes, muckraking, brownfields, sewers, water delivery systems, dredging, dredging & geo-engineering projects, dredging up the past, races to lay cable for high frequency trading, the subatomic, bodies preserved in ice/bogs/volcanic ash, extreme tunneling (“place hacking”), archives, moats, archeology, “underground businesses”, Trap doors/music, bridge and tunnel, dust, the diamond industry, the underground in myths and fairy tales like literal underground, burrowers.
My name is Doug
I live on the 2nd Floor
I live across the street from you…and I think I’ve seen you before. Well, dumpster diving, to be exact..every Tuesday around 11pm on the eve of recycling day.
I watch you come out of your apartment building and sort through the clear plastic bags by the curb. Maybe you are the contentious super of the building, keeping up with codes. But probably not. You separate news papers; laying them out in piles on the steps, sorting and dividing. Some of those piles go back into the bags and some are carted to your apartment. I observe your art and respect it. It’s meticulously methodical and you search and sort tenderly with love. Your hobby is my entertainment…
Sometimes you catch me watching from my window. You can’t see who I am, but you see me looking. That’s on purpose. I want to see what you do when you know people can see your suspicious activity. I don’t phase you.
Are you a hoarder? Is your apartment a lending library of old New York Times’? Is this your secret world? Or are you a hoarding exhibitionist? Is it exciting to see what might be new in the bags every Tuesday? I get it. I sometimes look in the garbage room of my building to see if there’s anything good thrown out! It’s where I got a shoe rack and a full length steel framed mirror (a $500 value). So I get it. I do.
What I like about you the most is that everyday at 8:30am you head to work dressed very nicely. Professional. What do you do? Is your office orderly? Do you stay late to go through garbage pails after your co workers leave?
On Saturdays I see you leave your building in running attire. You have discipline and take care of yourself. Have you ever run a marathon?
I sometimes pass you on the street and I smile or say hi. You respond in kind with a generous smile. You’re great. You’re a comfort to the neighborhood. We’re a creepy neighbor match made in heaven. You’re a hoarder and I’m a “Peeping-Doug)…
The Servitude Bubble is creating “jobs”, sure — but only of the lowest kind: low-end, deskilled, dead-end, go-nowhere “service” jobs — that don’t only crush your soul, damage your psyche, and break your spirit — but waste your potential. Not “service” as in doctors and therapists— “service” as in pedicurists, trash-pickers, and dog-walkers. And so, on balance, it deskills and impoverishes human potential — it doesn’t expand and enrich it. The Servitude Bubble is made of stuff which, en masse, wastes, decimates, and demolishes the thing which counts most: human potential.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that Labyrinth hits a lot of notes that fit my view of Plague’s aesthetic.
The bog of stench? Hell yeah, the Scarred Wasteland is practically made for bogs. (Some of them less full of stench than others. Some of them full of cranberries.)
A sweet and flawless peach, perfect for the first bite, that sends you into dreams and delirium, and if you wake from them you’ll see that the fruit is completely rotted inside? They probably grow in whole twisted orchards there, and the Plague dragons make liquor from that will fuck you up good.
The Junk Lady? A vast wasteland of trash roamed by pickers and scavengers, with a pile of scavenged trash and treasure as big as them on their back, that’s as Plague as you can get.
Unexpectedly tall and beautiful ruler, the only one of such in a sea of disparate mutts and goblins, with cheekbones you could cut yourself on and tight leather pants? Who invites you to a masquerade that’s like a fever dream, and then you wake up and wonder if it really happened at all? Well, of course Plague dragons are mostly hardy mixed breeds, showing signs of their mixed heritage and mutations, but just try telling me it doesn’t have a few lineages of surprisingly beautiful purebreds, stately and elegant, whose line is totally resistant to everything the Scarred Wasteland can throw at it, albeit kind of rawboned, tightly wound, and a little unstable because they know everything’s out to get them and they’re going to fucking get it first.
And a habit of kidnapping a treasure from their would-be brides and testing/courting them as they try to retrieve it? Well come on, the only way to make sure you’re taking a mate who’s strong enough to survive is to see them in action.