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Squid #324
(published April 5, 2007)
Ask The Giant Squid: Fantasmo!
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
What was your childhood like Giant Squid?

Because my childhood was fanstasmo.

This one time when I was 3 years old my Dad got me a rabbit. Then one morning I got up and my mother and Dad were still sleeping. I went outside and I looked on the ground. I saw a grey thing. It looked like a mouse. So I went in to wake up my Dad. He got up and went out side to the grey thing. He picked up this grey thing and opened the cage. My Dad put the grey thing inside the cage. I was looking at the rabbit and then the rabbit ate the grey thing. I screamed out. My Dad took me inside the house and he got the axe and chopped off the rabbit's head but I did not see this happen.

Three years later my Dad had left and my brother was born. This is the time when my mother became lazy. She would not wash a thing. Then food was a problem. We did not eat as well as before and my brother would eat bits of the bath room wall. On Sundays we went to my grand mother's house. She would feed us. My grand mother's cooking was very good and when it was time to go home me and my brother did not want to go. My brother would get very upset. When we got home, my brother did not play in the back yard. It was a tip. One day my brother was on top of the shed and fell through the roof of the shed he did not get hurt. It was amazing and surprising all at once . . . Today the shed is gone and the house is not a tip and I can cook and wash the dishes.

Mark Friedman

My Dearest Mark,

My young squid-hood was also best described as Fantasmo!

In fact, this reminds of a question that I received when I was a but a squirting squid-let.

Ask The Giant Squid: the Heart of the Heart of the Country

I have this friend. She likes me and I like her. We both know this. I don't know if we are like boyfriend and girlfriend or not. How should I ask?

At the time I was possessed of no access to the Internet's fine, informative tubes, nor was I possessed of a full awareness of the world above, your world, the Terrible and Searing Upspace. It was, I think, a time before time, and the message came to me when I did devour my first dying whale. Really, she was a porpoise, gray and sleek, but she had taken upon the illnesses of her kind and had drifted down, down deep into the benthic black, and I did latch onto her, and struggle with her, but she did not offer much in the way of resistance, and like a nefarious octopus (for I was but young) I did just sink with her into the sandy bottom. We settled upon a clear deserted patch, and mine eyes did only see her from the reflected biophosphorescent lights of a distant colony of creatures. The pressure was rupturing her slowly, and her heart was faint, and with my sharpened young beak I did pluck out each of her burst eyes, and draw from each socket the long and slippery nerve that reach deep into her mammalian brain.

The ocean was resonant. The salinity was dense in the cold water. The last sparks of the brain activity did leap about in my maw, as did the rot and the sickness which did strike deep into her flesh, and I recall being cast back from my prey onto the deserted sludge of the deep, my flesh pulsing and undulating with dim colors unknown to man or squid.

I convulsed there for a pleasant age.

From the clear blackness drifted distant colonies of lights, and their chattering blinking conversations. The porpoise persisted, and her brain did spark through the water, and my beak went slack, and my optically perfect eyes did dilate so wide that, as I lay there, and as the earth spun on her axis, I did faintly over many weeks, collect the light of distant rotating galaxies, and those faint pricks in the veil of the deep were intermingled with the closer creatures, and the lights of ocean trawlers, and Japanese whaling ships, and the echoing shimmering rustle of electromagnetic chirps layered a thousand data points to a single second.

And these many and diverse emanations did flicker about me, a true Fantasmo! and from them came this question, a Voice in the Waters, a thought, as though composed not of singular waves of energy, but instead only out of the interstices betwixt a thousand waves of energy. A piece of wood-pulp paper might have writ upon it a message, no? But even a blank sheet, it does itself bear a message, its bare presence says "Funny little monkeymen hands were hear, doing their strange and angular thing." Even the silence, the darkness between flashes, speaks. The message was emergent, the collision of a billion moments of silence in a million messages, a dim stutter of darkness between the friscillating lights, the signal that results when noise piles atop noise piles atop noise, until the bright spots are brilliant enough to blind even the most optically perfect eye, and the tiny darknesses are deepest abyssal black, and clearly spell their intent. Stuttering, communicative data gathered and collided from across the earth's tiny patches of dryness, and out from the space beyond the Upspace, and found their way to the deep in layer upon layer, and I saw then the Question.

This I do not invent. This, that I describe to you now, is a thing that happened to me in my youth.

It was, I knew in that moment, the One Question.

She likes me and I like her. We both know this. . . . How should I ask?

It lay upon the ground before me, like a bristly sea cucumber, glowing and eating and evacuating. And I did lazily close my maw about the question, and swallow it deep. And as I did this, I felt myself lifting, darting, than careering up, forever up, towards the undulant silver interstice, the delicate meniscus that separates my world — the world of Rational Things, of the cool embrace of the Depths, of a hierarchy of predator and prey that finds its roots in the very origin of life — from the senseless strut-and-fret pandeamonium of the Bright and Searing Upspace you call Home. Careering up, ever accelerating, from that depth of reason to burst the thin line, but yet unharmed.

This was my youth.


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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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