00250702

We began again the next day…

“It’s Plan 2, Stumpy,” spoke Man About Time within Moe’s Bar over at NWES City. He’s decided to leave this footprint in the town; keep paying rent on it. “Black Ice is caput.”

“Yeah, I know,” replies Stumpy the formerly headless bartender, hired only after he promised to get one. “We’ll have to think of ‘what ifs’ on that one.”

“What if…” MAT starts, “… I was recognized for being a world renowned artist.”

“What if…” Stumpy chips in, getting into the game himself, “… I remained headless and could still balance red wine and blue pot correctly.”

“What if…” MAT’s turn again. “All of this is a dream.”

“What if… I were actually dead instead of alive.”

“What if… Charlene were actually my girl instead of Jeffrey Phillips’.” MAT pauses here; Stumpy takes a good gander at him. “Because, you know, he’s dead and all.”

“Maybe *we’re* dead,” Stumpy doubles down. Were they still playing the game? “Do you, er, fancy her, Man About Time? You can tell me. I’m your no. 1 bartender after all. Remember, you hired me after I promised to get a head.”

“Ahead in life, yes. Which the job would give you. So: case closed; loop completed. You are here. You have a head.”

“Back to Charlene…”

—–

He sits for a while on the subway before he remembers it was never finished. He’ll have to walk. Another “what if,” then. What if… the subway system of town was finished and residents could more easily move from one sim to another. But to Black Ice and continue his pitches which are All Pitch. Maybe he should buy Barry DeBoy’s red baseball cap. Put it on backwards so he can tell the two apart. “I’m here,” he imagines saying to forward cap wearing Barry across from him on the train. “And you’re there.” But he was facing (transposed) the other way and couldn’t even see him. Reminds me of a certain Tiger we’ve viewed recently. Barry, I mean, MAT sits alone again. Then gets up. Because of the whole nonfunctioning part of the subway. He’ll have to walk to Black Ice. Surely he remembers how to walk — yes, one foot then another then another. Feets get moving!

(to be continued)

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00250701

The tiles behind the stove were falling off. And she’d left the burner on again.

“Oh mom,” he complains. “What are we going to do with you?” He turns the knob to the off position and starts clearing the air.

—–

“We have to fix TILE,” Man About Time urges, making his pitch. “Carrcassonnee has become Sepisexton, the 7 and the 6 at once, and is roaming the metaverse unchecked, freeing demons right and left that she can use at her disposal. We’ve already clocked 4 with the same name of Jenny.”

“Jenny is *not* a demon,” countered Mabel, present for the debate. “She’s just… very orange.”

“Aldebaronian,” clarified likewise alien Roger Pine Ridge, who also made a window in his busy schedule for this important discussion.

“No, like I said, there are *4*.” Man About Time remained fixed about the unfixed nature of the town’s chief religion, the one it is known for through the temple and some other stuff.

“Boat,” Baker Bloch piped in. “I recall a boat. Didn’t that crash over in Wallytown, though?”

“*Wallytown*,” stepped in Wheeler, “is something we’re *not* suppose to talk about. Not after the shower.”

“Counter that,” uttered Carrcassonnee propped up in a corner, unable to walk still or talk very much. She was basically limited to things that belong in a kitchen. “Spachula,” she offered further. “Scrape up eggs off counter. Will stick if not scraped. Spachula.”

The rest tried to figure out what that translated to in the latest Carrcassonnee limited language issuances. Probably something to do with eyes again. Or “I”s. Despite the split, MAT had gotten her this far, which was something, they agreed.

“Danny. What say you?” Danny was, once more, Man About Time’s right hand man, just like in the past. Pickleland in the sideways world, his trusty plunger turned back in time. Tiger.

“Radar.” Another simplistic issuance but followed up by 176 more sentences that I won’t write out but explained very well what the lack of radar meant to the Schuman without the N. Because there was Sector R to deal with now. “… mustard,” came the end of his last sentence of the 176, describing the color of the entity most responsible for the confusion. Earlier words in this sentence and the 175 preceding it elucidated a robot from a sideways world, probably Oz, who wormed their way into susceptible people’s lives disguised as a “best friend”, as he had called it. This was the case with Barry.

“Very good, thank you Danny. I will close then, for now, by saying that every state of the US is also a state of mind. Think about that.” MAT stares them down from his position in front, on top. For the moment and, hopefully, for the future.

Of the 10 people in the meeting, only 2 thought about bordering states with this, and that is only because they shared some of the same static, been out in the same snowstorm and not made it back in time for supper and a movie that one instance. And suffered the consequences.

(to be continued)

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dream’s end

Of course I got lost in the maze that is my home. This happened even in childhood when I was more familiar with the place. But when I spotted the dummy with the red tie in the middle of the road I knew I was close. Me! They made me a martyr, just because I was special. The 5 were still inside of me all right, all taking orderly turns now, no fighting or jostling for top position. They’ve learned to cooperate. I’ve taught them well. Along with Miss Graham of course. I wonder where *she* is now?

Onward to the motel.

—–

The door was open. “Mom?” I called in.

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army of one

Bestie, as I liked to call him, was always the best. He constantly pointed out to me when I was down and out that I was a writer as well as an artist, and to find the balance between the two represented my path in life.

The path between the canvas and the typewriter here led to… mom? Suisan? I had to find out (again). And to somehow avoid Schuman without the extra N if possible. Don’t piano around with fiddles! I was on my way. “Thanks Bestie!” I called back, thanking him. He tipped his mustard colored metal helmet at me in parting, however brief. He would return. He was almost a constant shadow, as they say, in that I’m able to muster him up in any time of trouble. Like now! How to end photo-novel 25, a series of 1. Forward! (hup hup hup)

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GUMMMMP!

Q: Who is Publius Enigma, what is the meaning of it all, and what is the treasure to be had? A: (Uncle Custard) As the Infamous Q has emphasized, ‘you humans are so limited’. This is a project for all those out there with higher IQ’s, it does require a mastery of diverse languages, along with a lot of spare time.

The Publius sim was a stranger one, so close to Public Nudity yet so far. Not being multi-lingual I decided to tread lightly from this central spot, a default landing point on a bridge. I looked down. I recall the red dress. And the woman inside.

—–

Hucka Doobie continued to read on the floor, then, momentarily: “22 is a good one, Baker Bloch. I think I might like that best.” About 20 minutes later: “Here, just here.” She points to the book before her. “Barry DeBoy is in The Waste but it’s *not* the Waste. What was the name of that place?”

Baker Bloch was still fiddling around with the piano, to mix a metaphor. He paused in the effort to recall, which he couldn’t. “Something about numbers,” is all he could distantly offer.

“We should look that up. The place should be separated from The Waste. Not everything has to be Hana Lei if it is the unknown.”

“Suppose.” He started again with the bad “Chopsticks”, hell bent on mastering it before night’s end.

—–

My home! I think excitedly while still peering down. Pink’s motel that she runs. *Mom*. And… Suisan. I am D-Boy, which means I make a lot of D’s which makes me a Dunce with a capital D. So says Suisan. Before she fully understood my special gifts. I learned to make Art with a capital A, an accomplishment that needed to be acknowledged. I stare into the transposed Tiger’s mouth. Black Diamond. CITY.

A friend waits outside beyond the screened in studio. “Hellooo?” My best friend. My only friend. I wind him up and he winds me down. Now we just have to figure out how to return to the White Palace and get that ruby red key.

—-

“Got it!” But Hucka Doobie was fast asleep by now.

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00250614

He was beyond the end of Route 13 now. He sensed a hole in the West here, something he couldn’t get to while corporeal. If he hadn’t wasted so much time chasing girls here and there, he lamented. But the Afterlife is all about regret, at the beginning. What could and couldn’t have happened, and so on. There’s always a gap between what occurred and the ideal, and a big one. Get ready for the shock. But the ideal still exists and that is the salvific force, the saving grace. The ideal *was* made flesh, and you can view it, you can penetrate it at points — non-corporeally of course, but also — sometimes — with real significance. And it is here in the West that Jeffrey Phillips decides he can start to make the changes he desires.

“Ahh, Barry DeBoy,” he says from his higher position, looking down. “Something about that island.” He penetrates.

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man on the border

He could go anywhere, do anything. He truly had a bike now. But how to use this new found power. He’s decided to be a spiritual guide for the blog, for Collagesity perched up there on that beige ridge between Route 13, which he’s riding on currently, and Route 14 on the other side. Together (through the Wizard Cube): 25, or the number of letters subtract one. And that one could be him, hidden in form. He could be the true man behind the Wizard in Oz-speak, which is All-speak now for him. Because he knows Oz represents the Afterlife.

He bikes on, plotting on how to heal the Great Split. Brother against brother, friend against friend. It’s all going to end somewhere, and perhaps badly. But Nautilus can survive. If he places himself in the middle. And that could be an anchor for the rest.

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i feel a composition coming on (Montana)

He found his Alpheratz teleporter inside the skybox map and pulled it up to the blue surface. He was ready to let go. “Goodbye Nautilus,” he said, looking over all of it like a God himself in the instant. “Goodbye Collagesity,” he spoke, spotting its representative red pin on the beige ridge between highways 13 and 14 as well. “It seems I hardly knew ya.” Then he was gone. Outta here. Just like that. Teleported to parts unknown. Now Man About Time has his shot at running things. And he can bring Danny back too and his plunger, not the bathroom tool but the real one, the time one. Because, as I think I indicated or hinted at before, Danny knows a lot more than surface aspects of a hick janitor would indicate. He knows about Bill just to mention something in the instant. And his hatred of Billy Ray Cyrus, perhaps the ultimate hick who sired… Mabel? Maybe *she* thinks so.

—–

“Wheeler?” Mabel was surprised at the voice. She thought that old bridge had been burned down for good. “H-how are you?” Like she cared, but she tried to remain pleasant.

“I’m fine, I’m fine. Listen, I just wanted to call you and let you know that Jeffrey Phillips died.”

“Who?”

“Jeffrey Phillips. (pause) I thought you knew him pretty well.”

“Oh, yeah, the *playboy*. Well, that’s a shame.” Mabel wanted to add, “anything else?” but held her tongue. Instead she smoothed the ruffles of her lime green dress.

“He took Baker Bloch’s place as ruler of Collagesity. When Baker went…”

“*Where* did *Baker* go?” Mabel suddenly was in a state of panic. She had to at least pretend to rebuild that old, burnt bridge and return. Baker must come back!

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slipperman (filling a hole)

“AYYYEEEEE!!”

—–

“I do believe he was trying to say your name at the end,” spoke Walter, also looking down on the mess below.

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Corton 02

Jeffrey Phillips stands on the edge of the larger of the two Corton islands, staring across the bridging log at the lesser one. Meeting place, he ruminates. But who with? And where is Wheeler?; she was just behind me.

—–

Alone at the center of the second he morphs into a Mouse again. The Gods look down from above.

“He soo wants to change. For Charlene the Punk. For others perhaps. He wants to be a good ruler (of Collagesity).”

“He understands his roots in Twin Peaks’ Phillip Jeffries and that’s a good jumping off spot or point,” spoke the other, maybe a female this time. Let’s call her Ayesha.

“If he puts on the red Judy shoes that would help.”

“The slippers,” agrees Ayesha. Let’s say the male’s name in this scenario is Walter. Walter Westinghouse. From Homerland.

“All he has to do is click the heels three times and he’s home,” says Walter, who should know. “He doesn’t have to go through all this pain and sorrow. He doesn’t have to pass through Gormania, West Virginia.”

“All that has been taken car of,” spoke Ayesha, thinking about the bike and then the inability of Jeffrey Phillips to fit into the rest of his band of pink punks. He had his “revenge”: Syd to SID. And then, collaterally, TILE to Tyle. Mercury X. Rising at the center of the labyrinth remains in love with his car. Phillip Jeffries as snow white Pansy looks on.

“He’ll get there,” reinforces Walter. But not tonight, both knew, watching him revert to old form. Jeffrey Phillips walks away from the center of the second, intent on finding Wheeler back in the small woods of the first. Maybe I just inadvertently skipped over a post, creating a plot hole (‘nother one).

—–

“Yes, see there, Wheeler?” he said, pointing with his cane. “A hole in the terrain, or the real plot (of ground) showing through the facade.”

“Who are you old man?” spoke a concerned Wheeler just out of camera range again. “And what have you done with Jeffrey Phillips??”

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