“We have this road running straight here, and then the same road running to the side as well. Wonder what it means Option 01?” Pause. “Option 01?”
Turn. “Now where’d he go?”
“You know, son, these wearable pipe chairs come right here from Pipersville back in the days. Hence the name.”
“Cool, dad. Um, cool, heh, that you’re hanging around more now. I sort of, I don’t know, *missed* ya.”
“That’s great, son. No, I’m back. Or at least more back.” Damn sinkhole, he thinks to himself again while staring down at it. He’s glad now he planted that big Tree Green 02 back in the days as well, since it now helps impede his view of the bottom. Along with that big piece of plywood the neighbors left just sitting down there. Cursed sinkhole. Maybe just start a petition to cover up the thing. We have the Professor Suckaluck death story to get the ball rolling. Rolling, rolling, dead. Doorknob dead.
“Dad?” asked Preston Weston, still clutching his zapper gun. “Are you in thinking mode right now?”
Craighead Phillips Option 01 turns to his only child. “You’re one to speak about thinking modes.” He points to his head. “You have a whole *world* in there, son, heh heh. Your mother can’t wrap her brain around it.”
“Are you asking me to tell you a stor–yyy?” Preston Weston queries expectantly.
Craighead Phillips takes one last drag off his Chesterton cigarette before snuffing it out on the cement porch. “Nah, I’ve got to catch up with my other self, the one who cares less. Just wanted to come visit and see how you’re doing, kid.”
“I’m fine. So — you’re not going to stay the night?”
“Nah. Your mama and I have patched things up pretty well but not to that extent — not… well, let’s not go that far quite yet. Maybe within a month or so.” Maybe within a month or so my other self and I will tire of exploring north east south west on the continent, he thinks. Away from this blasted sinkhole. Anywhere else. But maybe they could *all* go away. At least for a bit. A vacation of some kind. He decides to test the water.
“Son, if you could go anywhere. And I mean anywhere. Where would it be? Where would make you happier in the world? Mars, I’m guessing.”
“Aww dad. You know the answer to this.”
“Not the Pipe Room. Don’t say the Pipe Room.”
“I… I wasn’t going to say that.”
“Because we don’t talk about the Pipe Room,” Craighead Phillips insisted.
“I *wasn’t* going to talk about it.”
“Son. That’s where your mother went off her rocker. When she was just a kid. Only a little more older than you. Did I ever tell you that story?”
And he thinks *I* have an overactive imagination, Preston Weston ponders while wondering how he can get out of a 15 minute soliloquy himself at this point.