I was prophesied to die at a certain age, and knew nothing that could cure me. Later, much later, the world was stretched out before me like leather, one morning after another. I asked the wise among my friends, “I will go out onto the white and endless savanna, is it there I will find my charm against sleep?” My wise friends consulted themselves, and they asked of me eight tasks.

    1) I am to go the fountain in town and put into it some of my blood, in the way I would talk with you or write.
    2) I will plant lines of rice in such a way that the paddy will grow into a palace.
    3) For my third task, I will solve problems such as chemical spills, oil spills, etc.
    4) I will find some way to herd the impala, and domesticate them then, perhaps through patience and repetition. In the morning I will pet them on their faces, and in the evening I will pet them on their faces. I will feed them, and wait with them, and pet them on their faces.
    5) GOTO 7
    7) I will draw a perfectly round O, or trick some thing into doing this for me.
    8) GOTO 4
    “So you have given up duty,” my wise friend remarked, “that is a first step.”

Donald Dunbar lives in southeast Portland and hosts the reading series If Not For Kidnap in his living room. He used to update his blog spare the, which links to work of his online, but is trying something different with infinity is not a hotel.