CEP00000003 123.45 Stories - table of contents
136 1000-word stories written in the idle summer in 1998 – approximately
170 pages long
These stories were written in one mad, energetic summer. The project
started when I realized that my pile of “notes for potentially intriguing
story ideas” had become quite large. I had amassed over fifty or
sixty. During a long period between jobs when I was living my wife’s
family’s house in Japan, at a time when I could barely speak any Japanese,
I found that the thoughts and words flowed. I decided that it would
be a good idea to flesh out the thoughts I had scribbled down and see what
become of them. I would limit myself to 1000 words, just to see what
became of my ideas. I also thought that 1000 words was a good length
for a short story, that being about the length of the average magazine
or long newspaper article (which is also what most people prefer to read
over fiction anyway). I kept track of the dates the stories were
written on. On one mad day, I actually wrote ten stories, which should
be about 10,000 words. During the course of the project, several
other ideas came to mind, and the whole thing expanded somewhat.
After the stories, I decided to add some appendices: words that intrigues
me, concepts that amazed me, synonyms that set me mind on fire, as well
as some recent poems I had written. Now it is groaning under its
own unwieldiness. I hope to some day take the best stories and actually
turn them into real stories, although it might be true that the better
tales in the collection stand as they are at 1000 words.
Table of Contents includes:
137 short stories
Appendix I: Unfinished Stories
Appendix IIa: Words
Appendix IIb: Synonyms
Appendix III: Ideas
Appendix IV: Poems
Stories (with dates and descriptions) :
1-the Man Who Was Afraid to Read a Book - May 17th, 1998: mysterious books
turn up all the time, he’s afraid to read them.
2- the succubus/incubus watches people - May 17th: the succubus and
his history of manipulating people’s sex.
3 - watching a million porn, the Japanese virgin - May 17th: never
knowing what is behind the mosaic
4 - Touching the Inner Alien - June 12th: about life, and God, the
contemplation of friends and people and hate…
5 - I Love Myself - June 12th: the recycled translated story crossing
the earth, bringing doom…
6 - the Faux Reporteur - June 12th: he’s becoming a better lover and
so is she, so they begin to hate each other.
7 - I Once Had A Woman - June 14th: making love in all the strangest
8 - We're out of toilet paper - forever! - June 14th: the metaphysics
of society and toiletpaper
9 - Watching the Death of Ivan Ilyich? - June 14th: different literary
10 – A Nice Place to Live, But I Wouldn’t Want To Visit There – June
15th: would you still love me if I had no arms or legs - and had scales
all over my body?
11 - Terrified of the power of machines - the Ghost of the Machine
- June 15: machines hate him and want to destroy him.
12 - Good Surreal / Bad Surreal - June 15th: as the title says
13 - More Sophistic Truisms - May 15th and June 15th: conversation
fragment full of sophistic truisms
14 - I Dreamed I Dreamed - June 16th and before: hallucinatory story
about repressed memories.
15 - Do As You Must (or You Must Do) - June 15th and before: burbling
ramble about the nature of friendship.
16 - the Obsoluut Happening - still June 15th: the same events occur
over and over again, yet each time you learn more from it and take its
natural conclusion further.
17 - Another Hunter Hunting - June 17th: fax story about job-hunting,
friendship, and murder.
18 - A Certain Type of Circular Logic - June 17th: can you split an
atom? Ponderous piece about intelligence
19 - I Am Not Alive Unless I Can Speak - June 20th: telephone conspiracy
and revolution vs. the telephone “other.”
20 - Give The Proceeds To Charity Or Give Me Death - June 20th: strange
story – reading from the book about something happening, then it really
21 - The End of the Girl as She Knows It - June 20th: babbling
tale of post-apocalyptic credit society
22 - Nights In Hell - July 21st: an alien comes to my village, and
I go to the alien village
23 - The Somnambulist - July 21st: dream life and real life merge:
“I dreamed you punched me last night.” “You did.”
24 - A Loser Among Losers - June 21st: absurdist tale of a mind that
doesn’t understand real objects
25 - Writing in a Shell - June 21st: Leonard’s mother writing to Leonard
in Havana, etc.
26 - See Through My Thin Disguise? - June 22nd and before: the Jesus
27 - Poets for President - June 22nd: what would happen if we ever
elect a poet as president instead of an actor?
28 - the body/mind: a clever disguise - June 23rd/24th: Will the mind
ever kill its enemy – the body?
29 - Horny, I'm Home - July 24th: 20-year sex fantasies of pregnant
women, nurses, teachers, linked to divorce and abuse.
30 - the Follower/the Swallower - I Never Learned the Trick - June
24th: toilet fantasy with the floating head that passes by.
31 - The Hitman of Love - June 24th: dire tale of the AIDS assassin.
32 - Living Life Backwards - June 24th: backwards version of “the Hitman
of Love” with a happy ending.
33 - the Metempsychotic - June 24th: the foetus aborts itself, afraid
of the world we live in.
34 - Male motherhood: hot for the 2020's - June 24th: faux reportage
about male pregnancies.
35 - Mickey the Louse - June 25th: a season in a mouse suit at a famous
theme park and his adventure with the mouse groupies it attracts
36 - the Village of Disease - June 25th: sexual initiation rites in
liberal isolated villages.
37 - Get Thee To A Monastery - June 26th: the man who leaves his family
and enters a sinister monastery.
38 - Hell-o'-Kitty - June 27th: the existential discussion about dreams
between the detective and the man. “You could have been immortal…
was it worth it?”
39 - the Attractacus - June 27th: the man is confronted by the son
he abandoned… if that’s who he is.
40 - aman,aP lan,aC A nal,P A naM A - June 27th: surreal story about
41 - bankheis.txt - June 27th: unusual scenario about Peter and Ravi
robbing a bank.
42 - Pastoral Afternoons - June 27th: strange, sinister romance: John
married a girl, all she wanted was a car.
43 - The nation of Gamblers - June 27th: sinister fantasy about a nation
44 - The - June 30th: “I imagine a man…” surreal story (a la Borges)
about imagining a man…
45 - Forty Acres and A Moscow Mule - June 30th: surreal drug gun fantasy
in Moscow airport
46 - s(G)lutting - June 30th: the teacher whose language gets worse
while that of his students improves.
47 - Venom in the Sac - June 30th: the medieval prophet who spoke of
the future Germany.
48 - the Rara Avis - June 30th/July 1st: the hand that kills the sleeping
husband by lulling him into a very deep sleep…
49 - the Horn'ed Shadowy Figure - July 1st: Watson fingers Holmes for
50 - the Sub Rosa - June 1st: the existential submarine Rosa and its
crew that doesn’t exist.
51 - Albert the Eponymous Johnson - July 1st: renaming the famous anti-hero,
surreal, time travel.
52 - the Rara Avis II - July 2nd: the self-taught scholar of Chinese
in intellectual and moral debate with the Japanese scholar.
53 - the Broken Thumbnail - July 2nd, 3rd: the group of mad writers
who live out their own tales of murder as a group project.
54 - the Third of July - July 3rd: the rich man manipulates his wife
and his friend.
55 - the Rara Avis III - July 4th: existential tale of alienation in
Tokyo – film censor begins to censor out the world.
56 - the Fourth of July - July 4th: the friend of the rich man manipulates
him and his wife.
57 - Lassie Fair, Fair Lassie - July 4th: cute tale of the waitress
who can’t remember what she said, who mistakes reality.
58 – a Glass of Orange Jews - July 4th: Philosophical ramble on my
59 - Rara Avis IV - July 5th: the testimonial of the original silicon
inhabitants of earth and the fall of their civilization.
Fifty-Nine – horror fantasy: the man who wants to make himself Gregor
Samsa and turn into a cockroach.
60 - The... - July 6th: meta-fictional tale: a writer gets mysterious
letters from a sinister fan.
61 - Hypothetical - July 6th: surreal fantasy – the rival minor gods
create rival civilizations and wager which one is better suited to survive.
62 - the Time of the New Romans - July 6th: cathartic abstraction story
– the writer of the encyclopedia of alienation can’t make people understand
or care about what he has written.
63 - SF - July 6th: bizarre romance – a man falls in love with both
parts of a hermaphrodite.
64 - the Walker Walking - July 8th: the man who can’t think unless
65 - Turner Says - July 8th: the suicidal man can’t remember anything,
so he asks his wife to write his thoughts down…
66 - Maze-life - July 8th: conceptual piece about the maze people and
their maze, the importance of maze concepts, etc.
67 - Newton Says - July 8th: surreal description – the harder he tries
to run, the slower he moves.
68 - Piecemeal - July 8th: surreal fantasy – a broken man, he finds
out that parts of his body are being replaced for money…
69 - Live Transmission from Charon - July
9th: post-nuclear European escapes to the empty American wasteland.
70 - the Master Plan - July 10th: sinister romance – criminal from
America returns to his woman, all of her friends hate him.
71 - the Traveler Traveling - July 10th: hallucinatory story – the
Russians are British, the Germans are Russian, the Brits are German, etc.
72 - I've Never Lied To You - July 10th: philosophical fantasy – every
five years another rebirth, “But even that is a lie.”
73 - The Unutterable - July 10th: linguistic fantasy – computer geek
re-creates the words of an ancient Chinese curse through computer analysis
74 - the Impermanent - July 10th: sinister meta-fiction – the stories
re-write themselves and threaten the writer.
75 - the Un-forgetting - July 10th: the bum on the run from the forces
76 - Genius Loci - July 10th: meta-fictional story – confused writer
acts out his new murder story before he writes it.
77 - Language, Myself - July 10th: absurd fantasy – one by one the
language of the people around him becomes unintelligible.
78 - Woh - July 10th: linguistic fantasy – a farmer suddenly begins
speaking more and more Chinese.
79 - the Box o' Virus - July 10th: a Pandora’s box of all the computer
viruses of the ancient world vs. our sick society.
80 - Justice On Trial, Again - July 11th: meta-fictional fantasy –
his art becomes his life, he becomes a character from his novel.
81 - Large Breasted Mama - July 11th: meta-fiction – more literary
analysis of books that don’t exist (Polonius Incident, etc.)
82 - the Bridal Chamber - July 17th: meta-fictional fantasy – my relationship
with my wife improves as she becomes unstable.
83 - j'Pense Donc j'Suis - July 18th: the man abandons his old life,
begins a new one by blotting out his old life. Is eventually compelled
to search his past so he uses the “repressed memories application” program
to search and recall.
84 - the Look - July 18th: In a cold world, he is haunted by a vision
of a girl he saw once in a subway.
85 - the Omni Bust - July 18th: in his uncle’s library he discovers
a diary that describes his life perfectly.
86 - the Brothers of the Sisters of Merci - July 18th: the convoluted
love scheme – two twisted couples.
87 - the Pyre - July 19th: the unusual ritual – at the funeral they
burn the whole house, then the whole neighborhood.
88 - Number 3674 - July 19th: the fake family – his family becomes
estranged, so he abandons them and searches for his real family by blood
89 - Number 3675 (Nyuugata) - July 19th: dreaming lots of dreams, collecting
123.45 of them, the story
90 - Number 3676 - July 19th: three starts as a story about farming
91 - Number 3677 (the Internationale) - July 19th: loneliness in the
brothel of international women.
92 - Number 5678 - July 19th: the drifter can only think of the nonsense
set phrase in his head, until he gets drawn to somebody.
93 - I Thought You'd Be... Taller! - July
19th: surreal duel fantasy that blends film with reality.
94 - Tales of History and Imagination -
July 19th: surrealistic war murder fantasy – the same child murder situation
95 - the Syllogism - July 20th: bizarre murder investigated by a bunch
of detective fiction writers.
96 - Es Gibt Kluge Leute, Aber Nur Bloede Gruppen - July 20th: a group
of teachers become violent before class one day.
97 - Glitter From the Gutter - July 20th: surreal fantasy – he loses
the important disc, the gutter swallows it, his life is ruined.
98 - Yes, Well, That is Your Opinion - July 20th: strange fantasy about
99 - Please Read the Next Story First, Please - July 20th: long harangue
about backwards criticism.
100 - Paling Enesis - July 20th: two writers meet at a wedding ceremony
and talk coyly about conspiracies.
101 - "Cabbie..." - July 22nd: drunk stumbles into my car and thinks
it’s a taxi, then goes on a murderous rampage.
102 - Mermaid Sushi Cannibalism - July 22nd: strange person introduces
me to the world of the illegal underground gourmand society.
103 - La Plus Important c'est Gateau - July 24th: utterly strange internecine
104 - the Community - July 24th: story about all the Johns I’ve known.
105 - the Autocide - July 24th: young couple kill themselves, their
mothers artificially inseminate and give birth to their own grandchildren.
106 - the Repeating Crime - July 25th: the same act of sabotage is
repeated on the same street in Kyoto.
107 - the Lying Photographer - July 25th: surreal story about new photographs
of old situations.
108 - N. Tropy - July 25th/ 26th: my enemy entropy and how I can run
towards him but cannot touch him.
109 - Sexual Anthropologists - July 25th: quasi-report on the rituals
of three sex-tribes.
110 - Mentally Promiscuous - July 25th: cerebral story of couple falling
in love with images and thoughts and “love.”
111 - Heaven in Me - July 26th: the new mystic of corruption and his
pilgrimage, his enemy…
112 - Daijobu - July 26th: splitting up the male and female half and
flying off and away
113 - the Twins - July 26th: convincing the child that he is Hitler.
114 - Bait - July 26th: We bait information in each other’s diaries.
115 - the Re-run - July 26th: stupid guy writes story, then can’t rewrite
it after it is destroyed no matter how much more intelligent and intense
116 - Paper - July 26th: paper money, books, stories - the writer just
can’t do anything to get published.
117 - the Fable, the Table - July 27th: making a real table and carving
a table of contents on it before beginning to write.
118 - Appendix 1/Unfinished One-Page Stories - July 27th: analysis
of unfinished stories and the world’s shortest story.
119 - the Urusaibakari Sanctum - July 27th: mock political thriller
– U.S. wants to take over Japan…
120 - Crotch - July 29th: realistic voyeuristic adventure - the guy
who drives by the couple in the car and the fight that ensues…
121 - the Fah-Cucumber - July 31st: all about the black days, and the
black days’ effects on the black days.
122 - Nervous Habits - August 1st: J.P. hires me to watch him, then
frames me. A story about the framing story.
123.45 - Doraterror - August 1st: serial killings that hatch out of
the phone club.
Appendix I: Unfinished Stories
1 - (Non Compros) Mentis... - August 1st: John and her drink whiskey and
2 - Pater Sinica... - August 1st: my Chinese father (unfinished)
3 - the Courvoisier... - August 1st: the beauty contest in the train
4 - 12-year-old Whiskey in the Shade... - August 1st: destroying his
wife’s peace of mind by punching holes in her condoms.
5 - Catechresis and the Glenlivet... - August 2nd: corrupting the corrupt
and bringing them all into the same hell.
6 - the Prime Sounder... - August 2nd: the first piano and the monkeys
that play it.
7 - Noise... - August 2nd: the car and the noise filling the world
and how it fuels our hatred...
8 - the Javanese Wife... - August 2nd: jokingly speculating that there
is a plot, then being drawn into it because it is real.
9 a - Fiction: Not Fact - August 3rd: strange conversation about infidelity.
9 b - Taxi... - August 3rd: strange drunken taxi ride.
10 - Sunaku Graffiti... - August 3rd: an evening in a bar and bathroom
11 – Roll of Worms – June 10th, 1996 – the old long-dead friend and
the old roll of film of his I develop… and the threats he leaves on it.
12 – the Note: Ich bin ein… - June 11th, 1996 – suicide and John F.
acrostic - Aether - ambiguity - anaphora - antihimeria - antiniomy - antithesis
- bathos - catechresis - catechumen - diacope - enallage - encomium - epanepsis
- epanorthosis - epistrophe - epizeuxis - eschatology - etiology - eureka
- evil - heresy - hyperbalon - ineffable - isolcolon - je ne sais quoi
- logomachy - metamorphosis - metempsychosis - Monism - onotology - palimpsest
- pallindrome - palingenesis - pathos - periphrasis - poetry - polyptoton
- prosopopeia - satyriasis - sophism - soteriology - syllogism - synchronicity
- syzygy - tervigersate - thaumaturgy - transubstantiation - truth - tu
Appendix IIb: Synonyms
Divinity - Heaven - Devil - Hell
Appendix III: Ideas
Albigenses - Alchemy - Bogomils - Cabala - Cathari - Dualism - Emanation
- Existentialism - Gnosticism - Hasidim - Mandaeans - Manichaeism - Mithraism
- Paulicians - Theosophy - Zoroastrianism
Appendix IV: Poems
Poems 1 to 88 (all untitled)
Book Titles that Might Have Been
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all text and titles copyright Peter Hoflich