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Agony

 

LIVES

I live here.

They know it. Yawn.

Yawn.

I yawn in their faces nearly continuously.

Given that the average person breathes, on average, 16 times a minute, and that the average tidal volume, that is, the air displaced between inspiration and expiration, is 30.513 cubic inches, we can assume that when I breathe normally, that is, when I am not yawning in anyone’s face continuously, which is nearly never, I move 703,109.52 cubic inches of air a day.

Not to mention in a year.

Now. Considering that the average person who happens to be male, such as myself, for now, yawns ten times a day, and that each yawn forces 280.709 cubic inches of air out of the lungs following maximal inspiration, on average, we can assume that, when I’m breathing normally, which is nearly never, I yawn in ten faces a day, or in one face ten times a day, and thus I force 2,807.09 cubic inches of air into their mouth or mouths, over the course of it.

Whether I yawn in ten faces one time or in one face ten times depends on the relationship of their faces to myself.

If I am alone I yawn in my own face, which is also theirs, in the sense that they see it.

If I am in love I yawn in my lover’s own face, that is, theirs or the one closest to them that is mine.

Since we’ve been in love two or three times, it’s hard to say whose mouth is whose.

So I won’t exactly say.

Given that I’ve been in love three times, say, and that, on average, my being in love has lasted a year, we can assume that I’ve spent three years yawning in their faces, knowing they know that I live here, at least for those moments immediately following maximal inspiration.

So they’ve only known that I live here for three hours and 2.5 minutes, if we assume that each yawn lasts merely a moment, and that a mere moment is measured in seconds, one.

Two.

Just enough time for me to force 1,536,881.775 cubic inches of air into their faces.

Just enough time, three hours and 2.5 minutes, to live a little, to see a little something come of breathing, finally, which at first seems to yield no return but the repetitive consolation of mechanical certainty, tidal and all-together inhuman, like a birth rate.

I was born in the morning.

And my first cry of many must have, because it usually does, forced 8.604 cubic inches of air into my mother’s doctor’s face, which said face I am not counting as one of theirs, but only as one of mine, since it was not the face of a lover, but of an impersonal representative of a hospital, which might as well have been, for all I can remember, the hospital itself.

That is, I guess so.

So then they, the lovers I’ve loved who are not hospitals, force at least the normal tidal volume of air into my mouth every morning of my life, sometimes.

Now then.

It’s that time of day.

That is, then.

When they, the average sums of all known lovers, come in to my year, a mere moment, to count again their fingers for you, and count again your toes for them.

 

MOUTHS

Say now.

Given that the volume of a human mouth is, on average, 7.628 cubic inches, we can assume that the mouth can, in a given average situation, carry up to 635.666 tears.

Which would take 38.14 minutes to shed, if they were to be shed at the average rate at which tears are shed.

So we can assume that the volume of the average human body, in all its trembling, convulsing, and perambulating, is equal to that of 663.997 mouths.

Or, as wet as 422,097.433 tears.

And if the entire human body were made of tears, and each of those tears were shed, since that’s what they’re there for, to be shed, insofar as tears don’t strictly speaking preexist their being shed, it would take said human body 422.080 hours to do so.

Or, if the body spit mouthfuls of tears out of its mouth continuously, like a fountain, literally by the mouthful, per second, it would take only 11.06 minutes to run dry.

And from the resulting puddle, what.

If one were thinking generously, 664 mouths could drink from said puddle, and quench the thirst of their attendant human bodies.

Or, more generously yet, one mouth could drink from said puddle 664 times, say once a day for 664 days, and quench itself repeatedly, each time to its dissatisfaction, and so on.

So. The world’s largest fountains are the Fountains of Bellagio, which spray 423,947.668 mouths of water per minute.

From 133 mouth-like jets.

That’s 269,500,046.869 tears.

That many tears, in one day, could quench the generous thirst of 423,947.668 mouths for 24 hours, or the entire non-white population of Washington, DC, say.

With enough tears left over for a couple of white people’s mouths, too.

25,774 of them.

Satisfied for a single day, and then thirsty again. As it is with a kiss.

For instance I’ve given or taken at least one million kisses, of more or less lengthiness, on one million mouths, if we assume that each kiss lands, in a certain sense, on a different mouth, and that each mouth is, in a certain sense, the same.

If each of those kissed mouths were full of tears, as if in advance of those later tears which inevitably come trickling when the kisses cease, and if with each kiss I drank the tears into my own mouth as my lover drank mine into hers, then we can assume that the tears exchanged in such mouth play would still only be equal to 4.717 minutes of water as it is sprayed from the Fountains of Bellagio.

Our kisses, see, are nearly nothing.

All the white people in Washington, DC: their kisses are nearly nothing too.

In their entirety, the volume of their bodies is equal to that of a mere 144,535,872 mouths of tears, that is if they were made completely of tears, which we can assume that they are, given that the average human cries continuously, on and on while kissing, with each kiss renewing their supply of tears, as lovers drink each other up.

So. The entire white population of Washington, DC is made up of only 14,453.587% more mouths of tears than I have ever drank from lovers’ mouths.

Not too shabby, DC.

Because even if my body were covered in 133 mouth-like jets, like a human fountain, you would still be ahead of me, in terms of all your white people, like me, being greater in volume than all the kisses I carry around.

And yet, given that each mouth can only spit mouthfuls of tears out of its mouth continuously out of its self, like a fountain, per second, and not out of other mouths, it would still take the entire white population of Washington, DC only 11.06 minutes to run dry.

As it would take me the same 11.06 minutes to run dry, by mouth.

So we’re even —

HOURS

1.

There are, say, 70 houses on the street I grew up on, counting both sides of the street.

Assuming that the house I grew up in is fairly representative of an average house on its street, the street itself fairly representative of the neighborhood, the neighborhood itself fairly representative of the area, and the area itself fairly representative of the average U.S. suburb, then etc.

Then given that the house I grew up in has 24 windows, we can assume that the average house on the street I grew up on also has 24 windows, give or take a few panes.

2.

Windows vary in size, as we know.

But say that the windows in the house I grew up in were, on average, 9 square feet.

And say there are 1,680 windows on the street I grew up on.

So: 15,120 square feet of windowpanes.

3.

The front of my face is about .5 square feet, say.

So we can assume that about 18 of my faces would be needed if one wanted to cover an entire average-sized windowpane with the front of my face pressed against the glass, nostrils big and piggish like the nose of an embryo, which I want to do.

And if one wanted to cover all the windowpanes in the house I grew up in with the front of my face, one would need at least 432 of my faces to do so, which I also want to do.

4.

If the house I grew up in is truly average, and the windows of this house are truly average too, then we can easily estimate the number of my faces one would need if one were to want to cover all the windowpanes on the street I grew up on with my faces.

30,240.

And given that my nostrils, even when piggishly exaggerated by the hardness and transparency of glass, only make up .694% of my face, if one wanted (that is, if there were consumer demand for this service) to cover all the windowpanes on all of the houses on the street I grew up on with only my nostrils and not the entire front of my faces, one would need at least 783,820,080 of my nostrils to do so.

The entire street would then be darkened on the inside, and the windows wet with expiration, assuming that I continue breathing throughout this process, regardless of the number and dispersion of my nostrils.

5.

I’ve been rounding up.

But let’s see.

Whoever lives inside the houses can light candles or hold flashlights to illuminate the pig darkness of my nostrils. Given that there was always a ready supply of candles and flashlights in the house I grew up in, we can safely assume that most or all of the houses on the street I grew up on are similarly supplied with at least a few candles and at least a few flashlights.

Whoever lives inside the houses can hold flashlights under their chins to throw an eerie light on their faces, sexless.

6.

There are 195 countries in the world.

Given that one would need 432 of my faces to cover all the windows on the street I grew up on with the front of my faces, one would need 2.216 people from each country to press the front of their faces against windowpanes if one wanted a sense of international egalitarianism in the distribution of the labor of covering all the windows on all the houses on the street I grew up on with faces.

Rounding up, one could hire three people from each country and end up with 585 faces.

One man, one woman, and one child, perhaps.

The fact that children’s faces are, on average, smaller than the faces of adults, would make up for the fact that one had an excess of faces, considering the scale of the project.

After all, facts make up for facts.

7.

Let’s forget for the moment, or for good, about our previous plan to cover all the windows with my nostrils.

Because if the outward diversity of our team of international workers potentially suggests an understanding of labor as a matter of skin, then the front of the face, as a glassy apparition, is more suited to our purposes than the exposure of the nostrils, which might provoke in the homeowner some fantasy of a body’s interiority.

8.

The house I grew up in is a grey one.

9.

But the replacement of the suggestion of interiority (the nostrils) with the suggestion of exteriority (the faces) is too simple: the face also suggests interiority insofar as it is unique, unlike, say, the mouth, which is emptier and more generic.

So if, instead of using their faces, our international labor force pressed its wide open mouths against the windows, one would need far more bodies with mouths to complete the project: 60,480.

Given that each mouth, on average, is three square inches.

Given that the lips would be stretched across the glass, and forgetting, for now, or for good, the problem of the rest of the face being in the way.

And each mouth is shouting something continuously in its own language, which would further play up the anonymity and emptiness of the mouths.

For now.

10.

If each mouth is pressed to the glass without the interference of an attached face, so that the window appeared, from the inside of the house, to be completely covered in squirming shouting mouths, then we can assume that the mouths’ faces and heads must be crushed together somewhere behind the mouths, a few inches from the window, invisible from the inside as the mouths are invisible from the outside: a great mass of heads.

310.154 heads from each country.

630.308 eyes from each country.

11.

Given that the average head of human hair has about 100,000 strands of hair, we can assume that, if none of our workers are bald, there are 6.005 x 1010 strands of head-hair at any one time hanging from our mass of heads, blowing in the wind.

On a windy day.

So. Assuming that the workers do not work for one day, but for day after day, for years, for their whole lives, and given that we lose 100 strands of hair a day, and that the average body produces between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 hairs in a lifetime, we can assume that, if everyone works for a lifetime (that is, regardless of the age at which they first began to work they will work the rest of their lives, plus they will make up for the time when they did not work), then over the course of a lifetime, say, the lifetime of a homeowner inside a house looking out, there will be 9.17 x 1017 hairs fluttering around on the street I grew up on.

12.

Someone will need to rake up all that hair.

So I’ll need to hire one new employee for each household. This brings our total number of employees up to 60,550.

Now we have 310.512 people from each country, and 621.026 eyes. None of them are looking into the windows, which are covered by mouths, and so we can assume that all of them are looking up, into the wind.

The hair from each house will be raked into a huge pile in the middle of the street. Once a week, say. A great mass of hair.

13.

The house I grew up in has dark red shutters. It is a grey house with dark red shutters and a brown door.

14.

On a windy day the pile of hair will scatter, and will continue to scatter, even as our rakers rake up as much they can.

On a cold day a homeowner can open a window and feel the hot breath of 432 shouting mouths.

Or open a window partly.

Or open multiple windows partly or fully.

In this way our homeowner will pretty much have control over the temperature of his or her home on a cold day.

15.

Given that the current world average lifespan of a human being is 65 years, and that there are now 60,550 human beings employed in our company which employs people to hold their mouths open against windowpanes on the street I grew up on, and that they will all work for their entire lives, for 65 years, regardless of when they started working, and so some of them will be working long after they’ve died, because they still owe us, the company, some life, we can assume that our company owns, in one lifetime, 34,500,048,514.75 hours of human life.

The problem will be how to charge the homeowners for our services. Hourly or yearly rates? And how much.

16.

Given that the national minimum wage is, right now, $7.25 an hour, and that our workers are not exactly skilled, insofar as they need only to be capable of shouting a word, a word which they already ...

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