The life of Dinty Ramble. As a little boy somewhere on this brown, blue, and green ball called here I decided to leave a little structure my fortune had given me and wander the roads in search of the present.  Finding the world indifferent and malevolent I found solace in a cobblestone well on the periphery of a small potters field.  In a small alcove within the well I spent many evenings discussing the spherical changing whole above me with companions of slippery creatures, which I would tickle to sleep by rubbing their bellies.  What one may not know is that in the bottoms of wells lives an ectothermic animal called a pillow-fish (not to be confused with the “cuttlefish”), which is not a fish at all, and a special edible moss that grows from a splendid dampness in a potent stream of light short lived in the acute minutes it is aligned with the permeable opening O I had chosen to live in.  While frightened at first by the sounds from the potters’ field darkness, I soon began to speak openly with the sky and acquired new companions of unnatural men wandering the ubiquitous exoskeleton of my home.  These ghosts, as they are referred to, told me stories of the world far gone and spoke of the fate of the vain natural man.  After many evenings hearing tales of adventure and myth I decided that, due to the increasing size and constitution of my person the bucket would not bear my weight on the cat gut rope, and that I should leave and fend against the world in order to obtain some stories of my own.  On a summers’ eve a gentleman quite capable of lifting me from my depths retained a bit more in his bucket, I am sure, than he had planned for.  Being a gentle rambler and seasoned troubadour he told me tales of ships, planes, guns, men and beasts.  Wanting to encounter them all with amicable delight I set forth against the dawn.  After many years spending my dreams in the world of adventure along the banks of the Euphrates, on the coast of Nantucket, in the jungles of Africa, and on the heights of the Andes I felt a strong sentimentality and pining towards the well and my boneless friends of the field.  I knew that I was too big for a well of any size and that I couldn’t spend every sunless hour wandering around with the unnatural men of time.  So I willed a well of my own that I could carry with me wherever I meandered.  I built myself a moveable well out of horsehair, goat teeth, and an old oak crippled by fire from the sky.  Inside this well I discovered that I could visit the ghosts of the earth who without bones could no longer beat the skins of day in the ever-marching orchestra of men and that there lived inside me another well which must have a well of its own.  Thus, there must be infinite wells reaching all the way to a world where all songs begin.   Here, our voices, the living and the dead can be one and time is lulled to submission like the ghost of Orpheus had lulled the judges of hell.  Now, with this finely strung friend I can bring songs that speak of ghosts and natural men who live in the darkness of my eternal well sleeping amongst pillow-fish and delicious moss.  If I may meet you one of these days, so that I can lend a bucket to your well, we will share a drink from the moist spring of all timeless men.

– Joshua Sternberg


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