Hearing Mud Dry (V2 Archief, 1997) included a booklet of the short story Egit Mod Hoop by G.X. Jupitter-Larsen:
As the mud dried, the numbers got bigger: 1, 2…
Four travellers were taking turns throwing fire-works into a large metal box. All kinds of fire-works were used; nearly a thousand pieces in total. Sparks were flying; and not only did the smoke billowed out from the opening on top, but it spouted from creaks along the edges as well.
“I can tell my dear boy that you really don’t want to speak to anyone right now; however; I’m going to talk to you any way. Heritage is voluntary. I once had a conversation with someone who spook a completely different language and I had no trouble making myself understood or understanding whatever the gentleman was saying. Sincerity and politeness go along way you know.”
The structure, form, and facilities of modern airports are directly proportionate to the operating characteristics of the largest jets now in use. Runways up to 6000 metres in length. With expansion in air travel, the larger metropolis has built a third and forth airport. Instead of gradually growing out from primitive airfields, these newest airports born with the latest facilities.
Within one of the brightly lit waiting areas of the main terminal, two fellow travellers sitting in bright orange plastic chairs engage in conversation, centre stage. “Patience comes to those who wait. A lack of patience for those who want. Never the less however… So I know you don’t want to speak to anyone; but we’re the only ones here; our flights aren’t for hours still; I’m on flight 301. How about you?”
As the mud dried, the numbers got bigger: 13, 14, 15, 16…
The airport’s main runways are aligned to provide takeoffs and landings into the prevailing winds. Often parallel runways are used to increase traffic capacity. Additional runways are frequently provided as crosswind landings in powerful modern jets pose no special difficulty. Runway lengths are longer at high-altitude then at sea-level because of the longer takeoff runs needed in the thinner air. Most runways have transverse grooves which make braking easier in rainy conditions.
“475. I’m on flight 475.” said the young man, a loner hoping that if he’d just keep to himself, sitting, not looking at anything in particular, he wouldn’t have to deal with anyone else. Alas…
“I know you don’t want to talk to this fat old man; not to worry my fine friend; talking to me will do you less harm than good. I don’t wish to threaten your solitude. It’s obvious you belong alone. Really I’m the same way myself. It’s just that, well, it’s late at night and I love a good bed-time story. As a fellow traveller, I’m sure you have wonderful stories you could tell me. I could tell you a story or two. If you like.”
As the mud dried, the numbers got bigger: 24, 25, 26, 27…
For night use there is a line of white lights along the edge of a runway. With a row of green lights across the near threshold and red lights across the far end. Calvert system approach lights are in three sections; the outer section being of triple lighting units, the middle section of double units, and the final section of single lights. Six illuminated crossbars of decreasing length provide an artificial horizon; the widest being the farthest out and the narrowest the nearest to the runway.
“Neither of our flights are to take off for hours. Not for hours. And we’re the only ones here. I’m sure we both have just wonderful stories to tell each other. Yes?”
The numbers got bigger: 35, 36, 37, 38…
Terminal buildings are located in the centre of a complex of parallel pairs of runways that intersect. Arrival and departure facilities are usually on different levels. Most terminals have a circular pattern; with aircraft pulling into positions around the perimeter.
“Not just a maybe; my dear friend. May I call you my friend; my name is Maximilian! Yours…”
“Eduardc. My name is Eduardc. I was told that my flight is being delayed for 12 hours for a reason that hasn’t happened yet.”
“Well Eduardc; sounds like mud drying to me. Perfection doesn’t exclude flaw; existence is like that sometimes. Past effects can have future causes. The ticket is not the trip… albeit the schedule is not the ticket.”
“I know that… Yes; well. Do you always ramble on like that; to strangers?”
“I don’t ramble; I say what needs to be said the number of times it needs to be said…”
“Just once. Right?”
“Right! Grammar is in the eye of the beholder. The same word is never used more than once! In any phrase! The location of each word in relationship to all other words used makes each word totally different… Now, as a fellow traveller you must have a story you can tell me. By the way, my name is Maximilian.”
The focal point of the terminal area is the control tower. The volume of modern air traffic makes it essential to operate an orderly system of regulating flights.
Eduardc started to tell Maximilian about the subject of an essay he had just read. About how an animal gene, for a desired protein, can be introduced into a few cells of a plant. The gene would be carried by particular molecules that fragment. Suspended molecules transferring themselves along with the new gene to neighbouring cells. Soon the entire plant becomes a factory for animal protein.
He was interrupted; “No, no, I’ve heard that one already!!! Tell me another one!!!”
Air-traffic control directs the movement of airplanes.
Beginning to find enjoyment in the absurdness of this meeting, Eduardc starts over; “The elevator door smoothly glides open. He steps onto the elevator’s dirt floor and dust fills the air. The door then shuts… He turns around to push the button for the 153rd floor… The suspended machine starts hoisting him upwards. His body stands inside this structural framework, a platform raised by cables. While his mind is somewhere else. That somewhere else being a play of connotations. Erratical promises coupling suggestions with explicit meanings. His body stands inside this all black cube of polished entablements. His mind, upright in a context of a superstructure of ideas; composed of much.”
“Much of what?” sang the old man.
“Along with the sea-weed, the tide was washing up lumps of foam-rubber onto the beach…” Eduardc replied.
“Yyyyuuuuuuaahhh… od… ooooodssss… ram… now that was a lovely story that was! Egit Mod Hoop! Now I’ll return the favour by telling you one of mine… She was a passionate little slave! A slave called Free; long black hair, milk-white skin… She would turn round for her master’s approval. He’d always approve. He would examine every detail of every movement her thin body made. When he glanced her at play, it reminded him of were whispers. Whispers heard above the rattles of tin through city streets. Looking at blank static on a TV screen. Looking beyond the sympathetic and hugable concrete of a cityscape. The technology that was his artificial heart. The air tubes connected to the pump drive; connected to his lungs. The mind only ever reacting to the mind. Matter only ever reacting to matter. Nothingness only ever reacting to nothingness. Never the two shall touch…”
Taxiways usually parallel each runway. They connect at each runway end and at high-speed turnouts at two or more intermediate points. These permit aircraft to exit from the runway as soon as possible after touchdown. Thus minimizing headway required between landing aircraft.
Eduardc; “Did you hear about the latest regatta? These hackers will be sending off remote-controlled gossamer crafts to sail around some nearby asteroids.”
Maximilian; “Sounds like fun. I love those things… huge square sails, a thousand squaremetres fashioned from polymers thinner than plastic-wrap, catching photons; propeled by the pressure given off by sunbeams; and they go really fast too! Maneuvering the craft is done by changing its angle to the sun you know…”
“Yes I know. Egit Mod Hoop.”
The old man ponders for a while; “Now if there was a number… we’ll call it ‘a’… in between one and four but not two and three… and another number, called ‘b’, located in between four and eight but not five, six and seven… do you think there could be unconnected numbers in between our ‘a’ and ‘b’? Numbers that are neither a fraction of a counting position or somehow connected to the transexpansion numeral units?”
The young loner now ponders himself; “Aaaahhhh… sure. Any kind of relationship can be reflected by a language symbol…”
Sparks were flying. “It’s my opinion and you cant have it.”
“Well, that’s what I’ve always said…”
Maximilian went on; “You can rule the universe or you can rule yourself; never both. Can they sense the achievements to celebrate? Any next probably blank. Which they are probably planning. Allowed to go unchallenged. Called on to abandon haste; even streaming hardly. Pinning all its forms. Egit Mod Hoop.”
Eduardc replied; “It is possible that many would become spotted, the growing swooped. There are two this them taken deserved and serious. Down to hit them near the bombs blocked. Forces still bared near the end. Egit Mod Hoop.”
“Now trenched pounded sewage disintegrated. During this courage, Egit Mod Hoop.”
“Allowed to go unchallenged. Called on to abandon haste; even streaming hardly. Pinning all its forms. It is possible that many would become spotted, the growing swooped. Egit Mod Hoop.”
“Which they are probably planning. Allowed to go unchallenged. Egit Mod Hoop.”
“Pinning all its forms. It is possible that many would become spotted, the growing swooped. There are two this them taken deserved and serious. Down to hit them near the bombs blocked. Forces still bared near the end. Now trenched pounded sewage disintegrated. During this courage, Egit Mod Hoop.”
Maximilian and Eduardc passed by the night with stories being told back and forth. Maximilian told tales of embodied meanings emphasis. Of measures utilized in degrees. And vacuities of vacuum. Concerned with boundary values for semilinear elliptic systems of unknowns in a plane. Meaning and uniqueness established for a class of boundary data and equation nonlinearities.
Eduardc, spouting from creaks along the edges, gave anecdotes of a sharp fluffy slightness. Of constant temporary firmness. And of periphery rounded in circumference. Obtained for the pointwise boundedness and asymptotic decay of solutions to strongly coupled semilinear systems of parabolic equations on bounded domains. Cases were considered where the coupling of equations in their higher order terms causes stability based on the maximum principle. Or invariant set theorems to break down.
Morning. The two men board their respective flights. No farewells. You can never really say good-bye to a nomad as you’d never know if you’ll ever see him again.
As the mud dried, the numbers got bigger: 38, 39, 40, 41…
Eduardc headed on a five-hour trip east. Maximilian went on a nine-hour journey north. The jet-liner Eduardc was on was near empty. Maximilian’s was very crowded. Too crowed in fact. Both Eduardc and Maximilian would pass the time by listening to the mud under their seats dry: 47, 48, 49. Embodied meanings emphasis.