Two realities were superimposing themselves on top of each other, inadvertently (perhaps) creating chaos and confusion. He simply didn’t know; he simply couldn’t understand. In the moment.
I’ve created the bare bones of a consignment store on my Rubi property not seen since the very beginning of this here photo-novel, number 22 in a series of 20. The first thing I decide on to fill out the 4 square emptiness is a Volvo station wagon, which definitely does *not* have two handles on its back door nosiree.
Let’s just prop it up outside for now against the building’s unfinished, plywood exterior.
Then I add another image inside that has become meaningful to me today: the collage characters I call Source (Male) and Lake (Female) — perhaps another version of Adam and Eve and the whole Apples story — *hiding* something. Like we are seeing through a wall into another dimension.
And since the Tacoma consignment store the impossible station wagon is driving by on N Proctor Ave in that first picture above is named Megs and Mo, I suppose Cassandra City’s Moes Bar is related somehow. The transparent Source and Lake image comes from M & M as well — very important there. More soon.
“Phil had the richest, most complicated sense of humor of the four of us,” said his Firesign Theatre partner David Ossman. “He loved what he called ‘the stupid’ and he could twist it into surreal pieces of head-beating comedy. His High School Lunch Menus, the Irish guy who taught how to paint like the insane, the Funny Names Club of America. He had the whole range. Bergman and Austin were really the Lennon and McCartney of the group.”
“She h’ain’t coming!” So shrill and trilling for a chicken, who usually wax eloquently when they have that talking device inserted down their throats. But Toothpick knew what happened; voice matches emotions of the moment. He figured Elberta ran off with that [delete name] boy Jimmy John Jones who she’s been going on about for months now. She’s bucking tradition in more ways that one. So she sent her messenger chick. The coward. He’d understand. He didn’t want to see her that way neither. This was his sister for God durn sake. His *twin*. He begins to think of running away himself. Maybe he’ll just follow her and Jimmy to wherever they went. That’ll teach ’em. He would have understood. He h’ain’t no looker like Jimmy. Everything will be safe and above board. He always liked Jimmy anyway. Despite the, um, well…
“We’ll have to order you a new part from Black Ice. I think it’s down in the belt section.”
“You’ll get use…”
Duncan Avocado kept shaking his head. He wasn’t going to budge on this. Pot-D can do whatever they like to him in return. Send him back to Dixie for all he cares. Then the memories flood back, the Slave-up vending machine, etc. Two months is a long *long* time down there (in Hell). He doesn’t want to relive that pain, even from a safe distance. He forces himself to come back to the present. He fondles his skeleton heart necklace, the one Buster gave him almost two years ago now. He reconsiders.
Buster Damm senses the change of heart and sweetens the package. “Elberta is a *looker*. You’ll get use to the hick ways. And they’re not really from the Deep South anyway, Mississippi and all. They’re from the very southern part of Black Ice where we use to have the Boos and Bogota…”
Duncan was nodding his head now. He’d given in. To whatever they had in mind. Mention of The River sealed it.
“No three word name. One, or, at best, two.” He spits in his hand. Buster spits in his. They shake.
“*There*. I’ve finished. Now *you* can decide if this is her or not. I think it is.” He turns the easel with its charcoal pencil drawing toward Toothpick (Filbert). “Mind you this is from memory. But I have a good memory.”
“I remember that you have a good memory,” returns Toothpick in jest, taking a gander.
“It’s when I first saw her in the club,” he explains more upon seeing the puzzled look on his friend’s face. “Before she fully turned her back to me and I knew it was her. But this memory is stronger for some reason. Maybe I just didn’t want to identity the body with Aunt Fannie.”
Toothpick scratches his bald head. “I can’t tell, Mr. Z. Maybe if you’d make a picture of her actual *fannie*, hmm.”
“Yeah, I know. You can’t see the eyes in the back. But this is…”
“… what I remember, huh,” completed Toothpick for Mr. Z. After a moment, he turns away from the picture and stares out over the deck rails at the sea, chewing on his dangly straw and thinking of Elberta. His sister. Soon to be perhaps more. Soon he’d see her in positions like this if the family had their way. “Listen, um, Z, I have to head to the canal now. I’ll be back before sunrise, er, sunset.”
Mr. Z looks at the sea as well. “Beautiful time of the day here at Mercury Rising, yes. I’ll be waiting. I’ll try to make a better drawing before you get back.”
“You do that, hmph,” he says while half smiling. He gets up from the couch. Time to go meet the better half.