CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
The Assembly
John Holliday


There came a point when I had firmly instituted myself in The Assembly, had inserted myself in The Society, had rightly secured my position in The Outfit whose subject matter and topical goings-on are totally irrelevant and extraneous to the material being processed here, and could very well be irrelevant and extraneous on the whole, not simply to this particular body of information, but rather to all and everyone, although this too is irrelevant and extraneous and getting things off track regarding this specific concern, namely my seat in The Assembly, located directly across from another well-situated member of The Outfit whom I came to dislike strongly and on the whole and could be considered something of an antagonist or nemesis or personal criminal. Our roller-equipped chairs with doubly padded seats and adjustable armrests were all situated around a single oblong table headed by The Society’s, Assembly’s, Outfit’s, Guild’s, Association’s, League’s, Organization’s, Circle’s, Formal Get-together’s, ad infinitum’s director, who often enjoyed remarking on the chair’s extreme comfort respective to what we were sitting in just last year, prior to the fine grant-writing of Sprem. These chairs also swiveled, allowing Verder’s face to swivel itself into a position directly facing mine, forcing me to note Verder’s face was both soft at the chin and edgy at the cheeks, which somehow manifested everything dislikable about Verder and Verder’s position on the fundamental issue of The Guild, or at least what Verder and I took to be the Fundamental Issue, the issue that couldn’t be overlooked if The Association intended to make any progress on most if not all concerns whatsoever. Verder took one position on the Fundamental Issue and I another, and my dislike for Verder can be summed up by the very position Verder took, the Verder Position, whose benefits he championed and displayed by waving his hands in a frantic and unnecessary way while repeating something or other with more and more force and anxious but Formally respectable volume accompanied by rhetorical placeholders and occasional table noises made by his hands, all rigid-like, not much different from those of my great-uncle Herschel. As a whole, The Circle’s position was mixed, but that is an entirely different and inconsequential concern when dealing with the supreme and near-unfounded opposition of Verder, the untenable yet unyielding Verder Position. When all important or relevant things regarding The Assembly are summed you get the Fundamental Issue, Verder and I, and the expanse of the oblong table whose polyurethane was thick and protective against extremely hot mugs and the liquids therein, which I and all other League members know as experiential fact due to an exemplary case of Verder’s hands becoming unnecessarily frantic.

      Verder’s quick and nervous hands somehow encapsulated everything Verder and everything related to Verder and hence contained my on-the-surface un-Verderian great-uncle Herschel himself.

      Much literature was to be had regarding the Fundamental Issue and both Verder and I gathered and compiled and arranged and explicated and presented such literature, although the literature gathered and compiled and so forth by Verder was simply a regurgitation of the Verder Position, without substance or sense and thus impossible to maintain or dispute. It could not be maintained or disputed: the Verder Position and all its derivatives exercised throughout the literature arranged by Verder and consequently contained by Verder, by the concept of Verder. But this, as far as I could infer via hands and voice and swiveling and all other gestures designed for detestation, is what Verder found to be the primary virtue of the Verder Position. It then followed, naturally or rightly or expectedly, that my primary goal was to curb, discourage, end, defeat, destroy, annihilate, utterly eradicate Verder’s position and everything contained by Verder’s position and to point out that while indisputability might be a primary virtue, indisputability sans maintainability is not, particularly in this case, which, as we both agreed, was of most high and serious import concerning The Outfit. We both agreed that what we disagreed on with most high and serious import was of most high and serious import, that it was the Fundamental Issue, concerning which we were at vehemently opposing ends, as was made clear by Verder’s own fleshy and rigid hands used mnemonically all abrupt and classically Verder-like, nearly scaring Sprem out of his personally grant-obtained seat. The force at which Verder’s hands struck the polyurethane caused Sprem to involuntarily position himself at the edge of his luckily wheel-locked seat and manifest the stir felt throughout The League. Sprem functioned as the extension of The Organization collective. Sprem also involuntarily functioned as the consequence of Verder and Verder’s excessively uptight appendages, specifically his hands, and sent questionable throat clearings up to The Formal Get-together’s director himself, something my great-uncle Herschel used to do (throat clearing), which could and ought to be seen as a function of Verder, the Verder Function, and most likely could be formalized by taking propositions of the Verder Position as axioms and therefore constructing the Verder Model, or a Verder Model, depending on which propositions you were to take as axioms, although it very well could be the case that the Verder System could be axiomatized in only a singular and restrictive and quintessentially Verder fashion, and no matter if this was or wasn’t the case, my great-uncle Herschel could have, as far as he was concerned, proved it to be so by summoning the great and irrefutable powers of quod erat demonstrandum, with which he implicitly had superior acquaintance and often referenced, or at least throughout the week span of the yearly Gapstetter family reunion, where the entirety of my Herschel experience took place and all constitutive elements of my personal great-uncle were rendered most clear and distinct, particularly his hands that, at one point, became more noticeably Verderian than any year prior, and, as a result, made it difficult for me to be near my great-uncle Herschel, especially during brunch, lunch, or dinner, when all members of the Gapstetter family formed two single-file lines to serve themselves from three food-filled tables positioned in the near-center of a Gapstetter’s lawn. Here the Verderian qualities of my otherwise un-Verderian great-uncle made themselves most apparent and detestable, resulting in my being unable to fill my own segmented and plastic brunch-, lunch-, or dinnerware. Here my otherwise un-Verderian great-uncle operated within the Verder System, possibly even the Verder Model or some sufficiently nearby variant, a Nonstandard Verder Model, the Verder* Model, a valuation that Verder himself didn’t or couldn’t intend or foresee or expect, wherein all the theorems of the Verder Model were provable with the addition of unanticipated consequences, such as my great-uncle Herschel’s constant use of QED, subject matter notwithstanding. This very well might have grated on the real Verder, despite the fact that the Verder* Model was in no way inconsistent with the Verder Model. This alone gave me a small amount of hope, happiness, merriment, deliverance from the weight of my great-uncle Herschel’s excessively gesturing fingers, gave me the only bit of refuge when, in all honesty of accident, my great-uncle Herschel’s grandson spilled a brightly colored liquid I’d deliberately avoided while moving through the single-file brunch, when a terribly red liquid was spilled on my shirt and Herschel himself, operating within Verder*, decided that QED was the appropriate response, despite the total, matter-of-fact nonsense such a response took on given the context, a response that disregarded its contextually objective nonsensicality, and thus maintained the excessive nature of Verder’s unnecessary hands. It also so happened that I was then dressed for The Assembly, as was sometimes the case during the weeklong Gapstetter reunion, that The Organization had a meeting at some point during the one-week span and forced me to undergo, in a single day, within a number of hours, both my on-the-surface un-Verderian great-uncle and Verder himself, both the Verder Model and Verder*, of which the latter was clearly a more irritating but in all likelihood less devastating function of Verder, less important Verder Function, making it slightly more tolerable when I concentrated on the high probability of it being lower on the Verder System totem pole, which was absolutely crucial, utterly necessary to keep in mind when faced with my great-uncle Herschel’s unnecessary and unmistakably Verderian hand gestures. Although it wasn’t clear whether these excessive movements could be considered or classified as gestures. It also isn’t clear that Herschel subscribed to the Verder Position, or that he even thought about the Verder Position, that he was aware of the Verder Position, that the Verder Position existed, that somebody (Verder) was fully committed to the Verder Position. But it is clear that the unreasonable and unrestrained movements did not fall within the same category of QED’s nonsensical usage, as it was only available in the Verder* Model and not the Verder Model, and recall that the Verder* Model is a non-standard interpretation of the Verder Model, something that Verder doubtless did not intend or foresee, a model that does everything Verder plus more, where the more is assuredly undesirable as far as the Verder System is concerned. To believe that Verder never anticipated this was mildly calming and the only thing that kept me from purposefully driving myself off the road while on the way to The Guild whose place of assemblage was between the Gapstetter reunion and my home that was, of course, also a Gapstetter residence. Because of The League’s location respective to my residence and the reunion, to stop home before the start of The Circle would be time wasted, and thus unnecessarily frustrating, not unlike Verder’s hands and everything encompassed by Verder’s hands, which, in the case, would encompass my trip, my passing by The Association just to exchange my deplorably red-stained shirt for a clean, fresh, good-as-new shirt, not just to change but to exchange, because I was already changed and wearing the Gapstetter ’98 family reunion tennis or polo or golf shirt that itself was red and technically stained that way, which was pointed out, literally, by my great-uncle Herschel before I left the reunion, pointed out in his unnecessary and Verderian way. He also pointed out that the embroidered coat of arms was missing a crest, and further conjectured that the coat of arms was a stock image that had nothing to do with the Gapstetters, that it was in all probability something my father’s brother’s son found for a good price, that no one in our family even knew what a blazon was, and that all we’d need to do is march ourselves over to the nearest heraldric vexillologist to settle things, QED. This he said while violently moving his thin but otherwise Verderian hands, albeit from within a nonstandard and undesirable Verder Model, namely Verder*, but which nevertheless contributed to my nearly being driven off the road. Vexillology was surely a function of Verder, part of the Verder Function. Whether heraldry was is not so clear. This was under debate as I was driving to The Assembly, and would have drove me to drive myself off the road if I hadn’t made the effort to keep reminding myself of the unintended model of the Verder System, the Verder* Model, and that if there’s one unintended model, there are many, beginning with Verder* and continuing to Verder** and Verder*** and so forth, all able, from the Verder Model axioms, to prove the Verder Model theorems plus more, if I hadn’t made the effort to repeat these important and absolutely necessary facts to myself, imagining how undesirable this must be for Verder, who undoubtedly wasn’t aware of these absolutely important and necessary facts, if this wasn’t kept in focus, I would have nearly, if not unquestionably, driven myself off the road that was flanked by ditch, trough, watercourse, as the more the conduit disrupted my focus, the more attractive it became. So not only were these facts necessarily the case, they were necessary for my avoiding the trench that Weierstrass decidedly established I could reach, mathematically, Zeno notwithstanding. Here Verder*, wherein my great-uncle Herschel consistently operated, called for QED. So had my great-uncle Herschel been cognizant of this Weierstrassian truth, and had he been sitting beside me, and had he noticed what I was mentally and physically avoiding, I would have audibly witnessed the nonstandard Verderian result and undoubtedly driven myself and my great-uncle Herschel into the watercourse. But it was clear that Herschel would not have been cognizant of this Weierstrassian verity that is more than likely not compatible or consistent with the Verder System and all its nonstandard and unintended models. But it is also clear that had Herschel been sitting beside me, I would have nearly driven both myself and my great-uncle Herschel off the road and into the ditch before either of us had been cognizant of this Weierstrassian truth. As to whether Zeno’s now-known-to-be-false proposals about motion and distance are consistent with all or any Verder models, this isn’t clear, although in all likelihood they are not only consistent but desired by Verder himself, unlike the nonstandard and unintended Verder* Model wherein my great-uncle Herschel operates. In all probability Verder founded the Verder System on Zeno’s puzzles about motion and distance in the face of the Weierstrassian truths, analogously constructing the Verder Model around Zeno’s now-known-to-be-false proposals about motion and distance, which put me at not only an infinite distance from the trough, but also from The Society where Verder would be waiting, anxiously moving his well-upholstered hands. This (Zeno’s now-known-to-be-false proposals about motion and distance) Verder assuredly found to be a virtue of the Verder Position, which was a crucial reason to detest the Verder Position and everything contained by the Verder Position, including but not limited to the Verder System and all its models. It was also a motivation to detest Verder’s fleshy and overwrought hands and everything encompassed by Verder’s fleshy and overwrought hands, including but not limited to my great-uncle Herschel’s thin but Verderian-in-every-other-way hands. By analogy, it might be said that Herschel’s spare and brittle hands functioned as the physical extension of the Verder* Model, and so it might be said that Verder was unaware of the nonstandard physical extensions the Verder Position contained. But this is just analogy, similitude, resemblance, just a metaphorical corollary to the facts that kept me from driving myself off the road and into the watercourse speeding by, the facts that kept me from entertaining, picturing, imagining Verder’s response to the Gapstetter ’98 family reunion polo or tennis or golf shirt, from conceptualizing the Verder Response. As I was leaving the third day of the Gapstetter ’98 family reunion, wearing the red Gapstetter ’98 reunion polo-tennis-golf shirt on account of my great-uncle Herschel’s grandson spilling a brightly colored liquid on the shirt I had worn to the Gapstetter reunion and planned to wear to The Assembly, Herschel unnecessarily remarked that the coat of arms was ironed and not stitched in place, and that the lettering above the coat of arms was, in fact, iron-on lettering, QED. He also remarked that because the coat of arms was ironed and not stitched in place, it must have been a general item of no consequence or relation or importance to the Gapstetter family, a general item that my father’s brother’s son must have found for a very good price, QED. Whether this was the Verder Response wasn’t made clear until I entered The League, The Outfit, The Organization where Verder himself was waiting with his stiff and anxious and unnecessary hands, where Verder swiveled his detestably soft and edgy face in the direction of the Gapstetter ’98 family reunion tennis shirt that I was wearing on account of not wanting to waste time and become unnecessarily frustrated, where Verder excessively motioned his fleshy hands and remarked that the coat of arms on my tennis shirt was ironed and not stitched in place, and that the lettering above the coat of arms was, in fact, iron-on lettering. He also remarked that because the coat of arms was ironed and not stitched in place, it must have been a general item of no consequence or relation or importance to the Gapstetter family, a general item that a family member must have found for a very good price.

      The Verder Response subsumed everything Verder and everything related to Verder except the unanticipated consequences of the nonstandard models of the Verder System and hence the unintended additions of Verder* wherein my otherwise conventionally Verderian great-uncle Herschel himself operated.

      Items of most high and serious import on The Society’s agenda were Sprem’s fine grant writing and the Fundamental Issue. Despite Sprem’s request to first review the status of his fine grant writing, Verder asked, urged, demanded to engage the Fundamental Issue immediately, all the while moving his unnecessary hands in a detestably frantic and classically Verderian fashion, occasionally rapping the table and nearly sending me out of The Assembly and into my car to drive myself into the watercourse. The Organization’s director cleared his throat not unlike my great-uncle Herschel, and Verder turned his both edgy and soft face to my location directly across the expanse of the oblong table in what was undoubtedly an effort to appeal to me who found the Fundamental Issue of utmost importance, an effort to gain my support in the immediate engagement, address, taking on of the Fundamental Issue, which was consequently to deny Sprem and the status of Sprem’s fine grant writing, and thus to deny the integrity of the Fundamental Issue and everything related to the Fundamental Issue. At that moment I thought of informing Verder of the unforeseeable and unintended interpretations of the Verder Model in an effort to flout, breach, violate Verder’s expectations, to inform Verder that when there is one nonstandard model, there are many, to point out this doubtlessly undesirable consequence of the Verder System and thus to crush, destroy, annihilate the Verder Position and all things concerned with the Verder Position, including but not limited to my great-uncle Herschel and his irritating and excessive but insignificant misuse of quod erat demonstrandum, to humiliate, devastate, shatter the Verder Position, Function, System when Verder himself least expected it, and all members of The Outfit were waiting for me either to shock or support Verder and the concerns of Verder, either to shock or support the Verder Concern, and so, in either case, deny Sprem and the status of Sprem’s fine grant writing as well as the integrity of the Fundamental Issue, in either case somehow misplace, lose, stray from the Fundamental Issue, somehow become encapsulated by the Verder Concern, somehow miss, avoid, overlook the question of most high and serious import, the Fundamental Question. At that moment I thought of running out of The League and into my car to drive myself into the watercourse that Weierstrass, in the face of Zeno and all that had failed to resolve Zeno’s puzzles, mathematically determined I could reach. Yet by recognizing the distinction between the Fundamental Issue and the Fundamental Question, by becoming cognizant of this Fundamental Distinction, and thus by experiencing a sort of click, dawning, aha, by experiencing this Fundamental Realization I became incapable of running out of The Assembly and into my car to drive myself into the watercourse, I became crippled, crushed, incapacitated. Either to shock or support Verder was to ignore the Fundamental Distinction, and to endorse Sprem and the status of Sprem’s fine grant writing was not to be crippled, crushed, incapacitated. Verder swiveled his chair that was obtained by the very fine grant writing whose status was up for consideration, swiveled his fine grant-funded chair and appeared to be examining my every feature as he nervously and unnecessarily flailed his detestably well-upholstered hands, urging, demanding, insisting we pursue the Fundamental Issue immediately, without any obstructions or setbacks, all the while prodding my every feature from across the polyurethaned table’s expanse. I was becoming encompassed, ensnared, entangled by Verder and the Verder Concern and everything encapsulated by the Verder Concern, including but not limited to complete disregard for the Fundamental Distinction, and it was all I could do to cope with the Fundamental Realization, let alone sustain Verder’s complete disregard for the Fundamental Distinction, Verder’s non-cognizance of the Fundamental Question, Verder’s unnecessarily rigid and overwrought hands that gave me the strongest wish to run outside and drive myself into the watercourse, and I would have undoubtedly run outside and driven myself into the watercourse if not for being crippled, ensnared, crushed except for the moment when Verder, in an effort either to gain my support or be shocked, again remarked that the coat of arms on my tennis shirt was ironed and not stitched in place, and that the lettering above the coat of arms was, in fact, iron-on lettering, QED, the moment when I, in a monstrous fit, attacked, denounced, lashed out at Verder and Verder’s complete disregard for the Fundamental Distinction and absolute overlooking of the Fundamental Question. But after lashing out, immediately after lashing out I became that much more crushed, ensnared, incapacitated, because to attack Verder was to ignore the Fundamental Distinction, to miss the Fundamental Question as I had for all time prior to the Fundamental Realization, because either position on the Fundamental Issue amounted to the same thing, namely missing the Fundamental Question, which is to say that both positions, all positions are contained by Verder and the Verder Position and everything related to the Verder Position, including but not limited to my great-uncle Herschel and the Verder* Model wherein he operated! Yet to express this was impossible, nearly unthinkable, because as far as The Assembly was concerned my position and anything expressed in the form of my position was the Verder Position, part of the Verder Function, within the Verder System. The Verder Concern was my concern. The Verder Response was my response. The Verder Model and all its unanticipated interpretations was my model and all its unanticipated interpretations. To listen to me was to listen to Verder. All I could do was stare at a smudge on the polyurethane left by Verder’s unnecessary hands and move from detester to abhorrer.