Capital weblog. Everything feels the same: I am in a continual state of picnic, dripping with morkstant. The water up here is dry but with bubbles. I try to organize rock swaps but no one shows up. The loneliness is devastating, but a source of comfort. I contorted my ears to fit into the new painter’s helmet and now worry they may stick that way. I keep the hologram of home in a steel vitrine. I know that it’s there. I don’t need to look. I continually tattoo myself in invisible ink. My clothes are starting to tighten from these new bulges. Would you believe the dirt they brought from Sony HoloWhile 73-C is purple? I wouldn’t and I still don’t. The powders we’ve been consuming turn things different colors. It’s like that classic thing from the dims: how does one know the color one experiences is the same color another experiences? I don’t even know that my experiences of the color are ever the same. I think I have the opposite of color blindness: sometimes all I can see is colors. Ever since they began naming stars after stars I’ve felt closer to the—allow me this indulgence—Hollyweird actors of old. Hester Sunshine. Bob Hamburger. Adam Baz. Dug Funnie. Maya Monroe. I have a recording of a city street bustling with people and conversation that I listen to while I’m organizing the different atmospheres we collect. My greatest grandfather had been one of the top noses in the world. The disgust on his phase when I told him my career plans is forever imprinted on my corquid. “You cannot smell in space!” His wife was in a compulsive homonymic fit, neetering about the senselessness of scentlessness. I take some comfort in the fact that even though half my friends are computers and I’m aboard a machine that’s pixels wide and metal across, we still spend our days collecting and cataloguing and ordering natural things. What defines a good view is how much of it there is. You can have a big window on the top floor overlooking a swamp and an oilrig and series of increasingly smaller billboards advertising new forms of hideousness and it’s still better than a keyhole to another wall. Even if the well is the inside of the museum. Maybe I mixed up my metaphors. I watched an old advertisement for one of those awkward video walls from the 20s a few days back. We had a really big and really fun series of laughs about that. Bad data. No good. I have never tasted an apple. Has not being able to smell or taste up here really made my touch better? Is it like having more fingers or fewer? How long would it take me to adapt to having 37 fingers? What even was music? Why did the earthers own terrariums? Terraria? The fish don’t have little aquaria under the water. I have space bits but they aren’t in vitrines and they are not ornamental. It had been brother’s job to break things to people. His way was the highway. I dreamt of a car that aged in reverse, always getting closer and closer to that plastic smell people yearn form. My Papapa had been the first to synthesize that smell using mangrove blossoms, duck feathers and bat urine. Soon all the cars had to smell that way. People would think it was fishy if their new Shevi smelled like the desert after rain or the ocean at neap tide. That part was real. The dream part was the inexorable march toward newness. You could tell the car was on its final wheels as dog burps and hot sauce and radio rock smells defused. I make a note—this note—to remind me to smell every inch of this ship if we get somewhere with smell.
ZABMAT is a failed science fiction magazine attempted by artist Sam Davis. This (very) short story is the first in a series of selections from its pages.