“Where is he? He said he’d be here at home base waiting for me.”
But Wilson had moved up the hill to beside the Power Tower, perhaps looking over the visitor list for Collagesity, accessible via the gallery kiosk located on the Norum building wall across the lawn. Baker checked his inworld map and saw this. Up the stairs connecting eastern and western side of towns he went. And now connecting the two halves of his inworld self, one with bird and the other without.
There the poor bastard is, Baker thinks. Asleep at the helm.
He clears his throat. Wilson rouses and turns.
The first thing he thinks is, Where’s the bird? Baker was silouetted against the dark edge of Big E at the time, so maybe that was the explanation.
But when Wilson waved for them to sit down at the nearby table, the bird was clearly not there.
He told this fact to Baker Bloch. Baker looked at his shoulder to see Birdie the blackbird staring right back at him. “Well he’s here,” he said calmly.
“Um, no he’s not.” Wilson focused in closer to Baker, and the creature popped into existence. “Oh yeah, I see it now. I just had to zoom in.”
“And now when I zoom back out, it stays. I guess it decided to stick around now.”
They each then spend about a minute trying to take a picture of both of them taking a picture. They never could.
“Should we just go down and see Carrcassonnee while we’re both here?” Wilson suggested.
“After you,” Baker offered.
“Wake up Baker,” Carrcassonnee says.
“That’s Wilson,” Baker speaks back. “Notice that the bird isn’t on his shoulder.”
“Oh. I thought it was the other way ’round.”
“Well, it’s not, Carrcassonnee.”
“Please. Don’t be so formal once more. Call me Carr. Like a car with a horn and a beep. Beep beep! Carr. Is he ever going to wake up?”
“Hold on,” Baker says. “I can’t guarantee *I* won’t fall asleep now but I’ll get him up.”
“Great. I haven’t met Wilson yet. I’m hoping to make some meaning of him. George W. meaning.”
“I’m here,” Wilson then says, head raised. “Hello again Carrcassonnee.”
“Oh Jeez I have to do this all over again?? Call me Carr, Wilson. And nice to meet you too. But it’s Carr, like the horn. Like a goat.”
“We just met yesterday, Carr. Baker warned me that you might be a little incoherent.”
“How dare him!”
“But correct,” Wilson offers.
“Yeah,” Carrcassonnee admits. “So I guess you’re both here for sagely advice. First off, what do you think of yourselves? Here. Now. Why has one got a blackbird and the other doesn’t. Baker, do you want to start? Why do you think you don’t have the bird?”
“He *has* the bird,” Wilson says. “*I’m* birdless. But I’m compensated in other ways.”
“Like how?” Carrcassonnee queries.
“I can change into another.”
“Yes, I knew that. Wheeler isn’t it? The Wilson-Wheeler dichotomy? Who came first, what came second?”
“Kind of,” Wilson answers.
“But you are two-headed,” Carrcassonnee comes back.
“Well you are the interesting one here and now, then,” she says (for Carrcassonnee is a woman). “*I* don’t have a bird either. We are both women, then. And our good friend Hucka Doobie recently revealed that he too is a woman underneath all that neutral bee covering. So it’s just Baker Bloch as the man here now. Baker Blinker, of course, is all woman too. Karl cannot manifest in her now. Can he? Baker Bloch, are you there?”
“I’m here,” Baker answers.
“What’s going on with Baker Blinker?” Carrcassonnee asks.
“I’m not really all that clear about it. I know about The Mulholland Drives. But I think they may already be obsolete? Wilson might know more than me. Since he’s been rummaging around her stuff lately.” Wilson stares back at Baker. “Yeah, we know.”
“We do”, Carrcassonnee echoes.
“You were looking at your file,” Baker continues. “What’s in it? Did you put additional stuff in there? Or is it still intact as is… was?”
“I added [Wheeler],” Wilson confesses.