“Remember? I asked you to select a pencil to begin. Pull one of the 4 pencils out of the desk, I said to you that day long long ago. 30 years?”
“Maybe.” He recalled the desk of course, the pencils, the *dunce cap*. Always making D’s he was back then, until Suisan got her learned hooks into his hide.
“And low and behold you pulled out the 4th, the hardest to do. I knew you were special then. Do you still have the pencil?”
Barry DeBoy stared at the desk, indicating the 4 pencils. Suisan understood.
“Yes, you had to give it back. You couldn’t take it with you all of your life. Instead you received the *tie*. You traded the pencil for the tie. And so here you are.” She indicated, in turn, Barry’s omnipresent tie, at least in Dream World, La La Land.
“Do you see all the planets, Duncy? *Sorry*: Barry. Old habit.” She turns slightly red here. “But you’re only suppose to see one.
“*There* it is. Appearing from a hidden place. Neptune. The icy planet. I.C.U., hehe. Remember we played that game with Neptune? You learned about the solar system and eventually the milky way and the whole cosmos that way. Nothing was hidden from you any more. Thanks to that pencil.”
“Mr. Johnson came to call. He’d learned of a special boy in our class who could alter dimensions and make the 3d appear 2d. A special gift indeed. He wanted the boy for himself. And it was Johnston, not Johnson.”
“We almost made the mistake of sending you away, Barry. We would have never found you again.”
“I’m Neptune.” He points to the now fully exposed blue planet slowly slowly revolving around the sun. Slower than any of the rest, even stinky Uranus, which will eventually catch up with her. Because Neptune is a she. He’d seen her once in the high grass beyond Le Mars. But he didn’t want to think about what she was doing there just then. In the moment.
“One more,” Suisan requested.
“The bomb, Barry. We never finished our childhood puzzle so we could move to the adult ones. But now you’re…”
“An adult,” Barry surmised. He understood the message. He must awake and get back to work. Zen City was gone, but there was still Meat City, Collagesity. CITY must be purified of all these hanger oners. Suburbia must be cleansed.
Goodbye, er, The Waste. For now.