“Another dream: I was at 23:23, the place *and* the time. This was the…”
“… beginning?” He’d heard this too. Male-female synthesis. “So we’re back to trying to track this 102 fellow. Or 102 girl.”
He wanted to scream but couldn’t open his mouth to do it. Stuck. Just like in life.
Realities were shifting around for him more rapidly than ever, almost at a blur’s pace now. Time to calm the hell down. Where’s that green phone and D Flat ring when you need it?
Lunchtime now. He wondered if any of these other dudes he was sitting with on this beam in the sky had any packets of mustard for his sandwich. He hated bologna without mustard. But with it: best thing ever. “Wanda forgot the mustard again,” he said to Fred beside him, lifting the top slice of bread to show the non-yellowness within.
Yellow yellow yellow. He was remembering something. Tumbling, he fell into a different reality, different universe really.
Wanda was with him, now called Hidi, true face hidden beneath towering blue hair. They had kids between them. Yellow ones, all beaming smiles at the camera. “Cheese!”
He tried to reach for the ringing phone but it remained just out of his grasp. Blue anyway; probably wasn’t for him, and neither was Wanda-now-Hidi and the in-between kids. And now he’s checking, the key is D, not D Flat. Too far away from Middle C to matter. Oh well. On to the next!
“Let me try!” Hidi exuded, poseball whisked away as she selected the next.
“Get it?!” she shouted down to Kolya far below after assuming the new pose. “I’m a banana!” Kolya didn’t get it, the one within not yet ready to be peeled. “Very appealing!” he shouted up, trying to be funny despite the confusion. The holes in his head began to hurt. He forgot to eat his sandwich before he left that one reality, but there was the problem with the mustard. Then, with the vertigo induced by hunger apparently, he fell off the beam into a family centered by beaming yellow kids. Well, except for the middle one, who was too small to smile and just sucked on her pacifier to indicate being please in the moment. The camera’s eye moved onward…
Kolya selected one but it turned out to be Hidi’s pose again. “Whaddaya think? Giant tigers!” He’d seen this before. But where?
Then he remembered (again). Picturetown. Must – get – back.
“Have you heard, the news, Douglas? “‘Daily Toilet’ says Picturetown is back on the map and humming.”
“Distractions,” offers Douglas Blue Feather, the local sheriff ’round these parts. “Us Angels should stick to what’s good for us. *Dreaming*.”
“But reality beckons!” Douglas hated when Yellow Purse Kimball shouted during a game. And this is the first hole (!). What will the 8th, the 11th, the 16th bring? A noisy snack of Big 60 cookies in assorted vanilla, chocolate, strawberry packed away deep in his golf bag? Gum chewing; finger snapping; whistling; singing, even: “Singin’ in the Rain”? Weatherman Fox Stet, a professor of biology over at Camden Yards, forecasts a good chance of storms this afternoon. Per usual in early May or June or whenever the f-ck it is now. Along with the wind of course, the constant evening billowing.
“Better finish by 2,” Douglas says, looking up in the skies. Clear sailing so far. He glances over at his golfing partner already swatting away. “Maybe, Yellow, we should save the putting for the actual green and not the tee.”
“Hey, I’m just practicing!” The shouting again. Oh looky, there goes the first piece of gum into his mouth. It was going to be a long round of golf. The only reason he’s doing this in the first place is get the scoop on Picturetown, because Yellow Purse Kimball has inside stuff. But he mustn’t be too obvious about the prying, the digging, the scooping. “Vanilla and chocolate,” he imagines saying to Don the ice cream vendor between front and back nines. “And top it off with, let’s see…”
“Strawberry?” guesses Don, still 9 holes away in dream-reality but already scooping away at the brown and and then white filled buckets below him in his imagination.
“Let’s go with lime.”
“This is absolutely the longest f-cking round of golf I’ve ever played, Douglas thinks after 2 pieces of gum, 5 whistles, and 15 hums by his count. And we’re only 1/3 the way through! Don and his delicious, home made ice cream, sorbet and sherbet is still 3 holes away. Can he hold out for his just reward? But he’s already got some scoops, so to speak. Information, that is. White Palace, Toddles the precious precocious child stuck exactly halfway between 23 22 and 22 23. Male and female. This information definitely didn’t come from the “Daily Toilet”. Inside stuff indeed. He looks over: at least Yellow Purse is on the green while putting now. Can you take any longer to make a shot? Oh, there’s goes the humming again, the stalling. He’s recalculating his line. Might as well dream about ice cream again, pheh.
(to be continued?)
Kolya truly loved Hidi but could only touch and hold her in his dreams. There he called her “my unicorn” — that could be an alternate title of this post. The shower had yet to be installed at the uncompleted bathroom down toward the bay area in the dreamscape, but at this tree they’d set up duplicate poseballs in the meantime. It wasn’t ideal. Most times they just pass through each other, like tonight. There was no water, thus they remained dirty, or attempted to be. He called her a bad kitten and had to be punished. She laughed — that smile again. Always the smile. She took the tomfoolery good naturedly. It was all play in the land of dreams.
Reality reared its ugly head again. Kolya was sitting apart from Hidi in the train, who had also nodded off then woke up. They were having the same dream in fact. And where was
Sam Jerry, her real part-time lover? Husband Axis had been left behind in NWES City, where he ran a brothel for cows. The other Jerry, who also goes by Harry and even more commonly Norris, had decided to become tiny again and look for his old home in Rose Heaven. He planned to go back to composing but slow it the hell down this time, one tri-chord per 2 seconds at most.
So they pondered about each other in awkward silence. In another dream, Kolya, and probably Hidi along with him as he thought he recalled, took the train all the way to Picturetown. “Where the hell is Picturetown?” he remembered asking a jogger on stilts in Toronto.
“What was that destination again, sir?”
“Picturetown,” Kolya answered for Cpt. Margret Coffee. “Thanks for the coffee, Margret, by the way.” (*sip*)
“Call me Captain,” requested Margret, ready to sail the ship, as they say, after her stint at baggage check-in was over.
“Yes ma’am,” Kolya dutifully replied, a Marine brat as a youth and thus use to accepting orders.
“Ginger, you got anything yet?” asked Cpt. Coffee to the receptionist by her side, just back from medical leave for a face replacement.
“No, I’m afraid not. How about Toronto?” she offers. “*Very* popular destination. I’m betting you’ll like it there.”
“It has to be Picturetown,” insisted Kolya, off on one of his tangent tasks. “Try Prince Edward Island.”
“Ahh,” jumped in Cpt. Margret Coffee again. “A beautiful province. Setting for ‘Anne of Green Gables’, you know. You’ll *love* it there.”
“No, not that one, the other one, the other Prince Edward.” Kolya scratches his holey head, at a loss for words beyond this.
“The other Prince Edward… oh you mean the *county*.” Margret had figured that part out. “And *Picton*.” Margret had figured the other part out.
“Picturetown, yes.” Kolya could not pronounce it any other way, no matter how hard he tried to conform. Picturetown it is.
The plane went down somewhere between Otterville and Delhi. That’s how Kolya met the red complexioned Indian fellow named Sam. Sorry: Jerry. He was wearing a lime colored shirt while jogging past a collapsed garage. He also owned a lime hued X 1/9, and stated this route to Delhi was much too dangerous to attempt it by car — too many right angle turns, too much distracting graffiti, especially down at the Indian Lake Creek Bridge, he said. He preferred running it. But he was all up for a lift when spotting the collapsed garage and Kolya just happened to drive by, asking for directions. “Which way does a bird fly to get to Picturetown around here?” he called through the rolled down window, just in time for Jerry to catch it since he was quickly losing steam. He had reached the end of his jogging days. “I’ll show you,” and he sprinted one last time around the side of the car and got in beside Kolya. Soon he had taken the driver’s wheel. The train tracks on the other side of Delhi beckoned. They were going beyond the before.
“Get it?” she asked. “It’s (a) trapped *rock*, then a picture full of rocks, a rotating one. Rocks.” She held out her hand which was balled into a fist. “Now you try,” she requested while snickering. Let’s see, I thought, rock beats scissors? Or was it paper — no, paper covers rock. Which one would I choose? Do I let her win, or lose? “The paper is one,” she says into my mind, short term product (curse?) of another spell. “The rock is zero, and the scissors are two.” She molds her still outstretched hand into the appropriate symbols while saying this. “Who do you know that is a 102?” Me, I realized. “What about the quartz?” I tried to deflect, but which led directly back to rock.
He was a blank, ready to be written upon. Some called him Jonny already. He stared out past the Bellisaria Blues Bar toward the sea, the houseboats. He was looking for a… kite? His mind went blank again. He was a blank. Jonny he was called by some. He stares past the blues bar toward the sea, the sky, the… what was it? A ship. A boat or maybe… space?
I decided it should be a 200 meter long tether of red, knotted up like a rock hard ball of yarn left of center. This is the Jonny part.
Alice Farrowheart was inconsolable. My poor poor Toddles, she lamented to anyone around at the time, the police for now.
“There there, now now,” the squad all attempted to calm. “Toddles is still in town. The tracker implanted in her neck like everyone’s neck tells us so (!).”
“But *where*?” she exclaims back.
“The tracker says Apple’s Orchard. Wait.” Officer Robert Petrie Dish checked Master Radar again. “Heading to Neptune now… yes, she’s in Neptune. She’s… making a turn left. Looks like she’s going to Black Ice.”
“You’ve checked *everywhere*. She’s *physically* NOT in the city!” Alice Farrowheart couldn’t help herself. She had to yell to get the feelings out. Where — was — TODDLES??
The officers and gentlemen around her knew there was one other place she could be hiding but were too scared to raise the possibility. They knew Collagesity was more or less fully integrated into NWES City — and Collagesity contained collages and now NWES City does too. Precious precocious child Toodles could have gone to the Inside World, perhaps, gasp (they collectively did when they thought of this), Picturetown? Inside the pictures that were collages? The squad thinks again about how unwise it was for town to decide to stay “city” and live with all the other lesser and inferior cities intruding in and around it, like unwanted pregnancies and resulting ragamuffin children. They should have been cast off with the name. Now look what happens. Actual children disappearing. She could be anywhere now, even — gasp (again) — Canada.
She should have never gone into that cave. She was out in the open, the fresh, clean air with the star studded sky spreading out above her, and then she wasn’t. A path, but not leading to clean, fresh water. Dank, dingy, green, algae congested. Atrophied. Some say her life was atrophied when she got hitched to her twin brother Toothpick/Philburg back at the end of photo-novel 22. Only the Free Tilists, with close ties to the Deep South (of Black Ice), would marry them. “Amoral,” cried to Pentagonists, worshipers of all things 5 sided and 5 pointed and originating on Mars. “Blasphemous, a slap in the face of Our Lord God of Heaven,” bemoaned the Trilogists, better known as our Christians. Only the 4-square Tilists would touch it, but only in Catalpa outside the direct influence of the city council who had ultimate judgment in these matters and could expel the couple if the ceremony was held on their grounds. Instead: All Orange, between the wine red apples of Apple’s Orchard and the slick yellow banana symbolically lying at the center of Black Ice, which all revolves around like a Beanstalk or Pope to a helmet wearing monkey (crook) with one upturned and one downturned eyebrow. It was only in All Orange where it could happen. The 5th, but in a good way this time (we hope).
Barry De Boy settled back in the rocking chair with the maple leaf pillow and felt it was good. I have acquired the power of the three now, the scissors to begin, then the paper, then, lastly, rock (in the middle). Rock solid I am. Jeffrie Phillips I am. He he he. He he he he he. Ho ho. Hu. Huh.
It was Waldrip. Or was it Waldrup. Waldrop? …drep? Anyway, I could feel his presence even if I couldn’t see him. Like a mouse.
He stopped rocking, stood up. “Who goes there?”
“We reached a dead end in NWES City, my love, future present past.”
“We did,” agreed Charlene Brown the punk beside him in the car at the center of the new city, whatever he or she or they decide to call it. Maybe just New Town.
“Oh… look over there, dearest. Another Happy Travels office, just like in…”
“Don’t say it, sweets. Let’s put that name behind us, move on to the new. New Town?” she then guessed, mirroring my thoughts.
“Anyway, there it is… again. Probably the portal to Gaston once more as well.”
“Don’t use it,” wisely advised Charlene. “Seal that up too. Let Barry X. Vampire the writer and, heck, Barry Deboy the artist deal with it if they wish.”
“Are the Barrys still around?” I ask through Jeffrie Phillips, borrowing his voice for the moment.
Charlene shook her head, but not as a denial. Instead: “Not our problem.”
“And a MacDonald’s,” Jeffrie joked when looking more behind them. Funny.
“I just want a place to disappear to, Jeffrie. Maybe this *twin* to our NWES City will do the trick…”
“For a while,” Jeffrie Phillips reinforced from his position opposite Charlene “Punk” Brown at the Static Social Lounge next to the *other* local Red gallery besides the Red Umbrella. This was another indication that they were in the right spot. “What are you going to call it?”
“The City? Oh, I don’t know, I’ll think of something.”
“*We’ll* think of something.” They sat in silence for a while after that, taking in the new sights and sounds.
They even had a view of the harbour (Canadian) just beyond the gallery.