hey, otro adelanto del segundo número de PLAN B, ya casi está lista!!!

Notes for Schizophrene and Chimp Haven (mixed):

I lay on the table, unable to tolerate even the lightest touch.

Deformation/stacking: a need-based architecture. A man I barely know writing in red on my thigh. I threw the pen into the garden, completely disgusted.

I want to write about sacrifice. I want to write about the loss of an intimate potential. Coffee, cream, early afternoon. Sometimes I try to think about the past, but in fact there is no factual, distant past. Here in the café it’s so volatile.

How can I link to chimps from this other, more psychotic writing? Sometimes there’s sensation when you’re kissed, and sometimes nothing at all. I am thinking of the famous experiment with the chimp in which the sexual organs are re-allocated to, say, the limbs. Then the chimp is born. So, then what is it like to touch someone? What exactly are you touching? And, when touched in a way guaranteed to produce desire, you feel numb. But when you’re asked to do something, do this, you start to feel. Story of my bloody life! I don’t have a boyfriend.

In the lab, track for effort. I go to the lab and write down the nomenclature, storing it for something else, like them, like the bio-engineers. It’s a human practice and eventually, exhausted from asking about the animal wall, the cell’s domain, I ask: What is your favorite flower? The man whose lab it is, John, says: Colombine. Is he coming on to me? He knows I’m from Colorado. I suddenly want to kiss him, but I can’t distinguish whether it’s the desire I feel for this environment or what, irrationally, I want from him.

I lay on the table and she put her hands on me, right on the middle part of me, until I stopped twitching.

In Berkeley National Laboratory’s syntech lab, I asked questions about cells. About collaboration. About failure. About cartoons. About experiments. About what makes an environment stable. About the color pink. About the jar with the orange lid. About where the problem comes in the work and how you go about approaching it. About code. About nomenclature. About effort in an experiment: how you track it. What it means to make an effort in a particular area and to not see a result. Yesterday, I met the writer Dodie Bellamy. She said: “I always have to write against structure in a kind of frenzy.” The desire I felt for the scientist I felt for her when she described a monster as “ravenous,” as a being who has to lose control of herself before she can feel. In the car, I noticed that I wanted to sleep, like literally have a nap of some kind, inside her features: her soft blonde hair, her gingko necklace, her attitude to writing, and so on. I felt the same desire I felt in the lab.

In the sanctuary, there’s a chimp. I read that though most of the chimps in Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for retired primates in Louisiana, are there for good, it’s not the case for all of them. The ones who come from U.S labs are sometimes recalled, for further experimentation. I don’t know if this is true. On March 8th, 2008, I am going to go. I am going to go there. I want to see it with my own eyes.

“Can I ask you a question about failure?” “Shoot.” “In you lab, what does it mean to fail?” “Well, it’s when the machine we intend to build doesn’t behave in the way we want it to.” “Is the body a machine?” “Yes.”

Bhanu Kapil