from the manuscript i’m working on from THE STRANGERS, a novel forthcoming from Black Square Editions — via the latest gimmick.
She said, “If I had a twin, and I’m not saying that I do, I would say we grew up in a simple house, squatting on a hill that overlooked a debased island, one used only as a trash dump.”
“Go on,” I said.
“If this were the case and in no way am I admitting that it is, then I’d say our mother and father were examples of a kind of utopianist, a type of idealist or religious seeker. In short, they were drug addicts and debilitated. My twin and I (should those two referents signify any aspect of reality) raised ourselves eating handouts from the market women and making toys and tools out of the junkyard, which was an ocean that seemed to us then almost as infinite as the real, but was not, no not nearly.”
“I see,” I said.
“You see what?” the captain said.
“No, nothing. Please continue,” I said.
The captain touched the tip of her tongue with her pinkie. I took out a pair of zebra-patterned sunglasses and placed them on top of my head. She said, “If this happened to have happened, and please understand I deny and affirm nada, squat, zilchy-zilch, then it may have occurred that my twin and I began experimenting, playing, fooling around with at first electronic equipment then computational devices and then daisy-chained elements and then nets within and without other nets and then highly personalized and only occasionally brought-forth, never-uttered languages. With this expertise, if one is to believe such a tale, an action I neither endorse nor condemn, my twin and I might have begun reaching out from our trash island to stroke the belly of far away commodity exchanges, purring stock markets, and deeply dreaming arbitrage centers. Twins of this type, in this manner of story, may have taken strange numbers from that ambush of bewildered and half-sentient financial tigers, may have taken unliving or savage or mystical or deformed digits buried inside calculations and data and spreadsheets never actually handled but whose shadowy existences were made necessary by other gravitational events, other more obvious and prosaic numbers closer to the minds of drone bankers. Twins of this sort, though it isn’t in my nature to speculate on their existential possibility, may have corralled these iridescent integers into more worldly shapes so that they, the hypothetical twins, could, should they want to (should they exist to want to), purchase not only the entirety of their own debased island but fleets of archipelagos and pinwheels of peninsulas and infinite itineraries of isthmuses for, in short, these perhaps possible twins were now—had become—bandits of an extreme order and therefore godly rich.”
a fuller excerpt available here: http://exploringfictions.blogspot.com/2011/06/eugene-lim-from-strange-twins.html