Guy Benjamin carefully checks the mailbox for explosives before continuing to move in.
He plans to stay here for a while, despite the dangers. Because he’s in hiding again.
Yes this will do I suppose, he thinks. But the animations in the house *suck*.
I guess that’s the point, though. No energy to detect up here in the skies. Blanket silence.
Oh no. Another picture of Foxtrot above the head of the bed. But this one’s crooked. I’ll just get up here and straight– OH NO!!
Gee Cat had doubts at first but then realized he was exactly where he was suppose to be. At this spot.
He waits patiently for someone to emerge from that tunnel, perhaps a friend but also perhaps a… fiend. Time will shortly tell.
A painter soon arrives. “I was just — Soap Lake,” he started with the broken sentences to add to the plot confusion. “Suds — Bubbles — took care…” He collapses at Gee Cat’s feet. Lordy, the big orange feline thought, have to drag him over to The Asylum for more rehabilitation. The body is back but the mind is still, let’s say, lacking. Dr. Mouse will fix him up, but he won’t be happy to see me.
Better get to work.
“We found a dogg, Police Chief Vice Chancellor Inspector Martha Wiggins. But *not* in *this* Lyfe.”
I recognized him immediately, even though I’m not sure I wanted to. Not the man on the bike also staring over. That would be the long sought after Dr. Mouse, shortened over time from Doctor *of* Mouse, as in Mick Mouse, as in Pansy Mouse which Mick changed into after the operation to remove all the black and fatten up the face and body. No, I’m talking about the shadowy man in the window with the red eye, presumably with a matching one hidden behind the grille of the window pane. I’ve seen him before: the house on the hill in Pickleland. This is Schuman; Schuman is interested in what I am doing. Endlessly inventive, he has found a new guise.
I also think about the “red eye” of the 1st Bogota collage, there the color applying to a lightning bolt design highlighting an eyeless socket of a skull, a facial tattoo made famous by pop musician David Bowie.
And to further this, I’m reminded in one of his last videos called “Lazarus”, Bowie had bandages very similar to Schuman.
So is this Schuman or is this Bowie? Perhaps a game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe would be appropriate here.
Maybe I need to think about Blue Berry Girl more, since she perhaps has become more central. She’s not Blurmaid as I anticipated in this half shell at the X shaped crossroads in the heart of the Maebaleia/Satori continent, but maybe her story is more crucial. What do we know of her so far?
This is as good a time as any to create a kind of year in review post, short in nature. The virus is of course the big news in 2020, and everyone has been impacted to one large degree or another, including us. But we’ve also been more fortunate than most. We haven’t lost our jobs (knock on wooden head), we remain healthy (again with the knocks on the head), and, despite both working from home in the main, the wife and I are getting along swimmingly. I can’t imagine a couple being locked indoors together this winter that doesn’t like each other. Lots of divorces will come out of this. Loss of jobs, splitting up of families. What happened in 2020 will be impacting us for years to come.
That’s why it’s so urgent for Joe Biden and his administration to push legislation and acts through as quickly as possible to bring relief Americans so desperately need. Bring us affordable health care and education; reform the prison system and military-industrial complex. Enact *now*, as soon as possible, sweeping climate change mandates that will help us save the planet (we should be leaders on this!) and stop further catastrophes to heap on top of the ones we already face from other directions as a nation. I remain optimistic but also realistic, given the history of the Democratic party up to this point and the sheer lunacy, right now, within their counterparts, the Republicans, who remain an actual political party only in name, unable to help anyone but the rich and powerful who don’t need it. Trickle down economics is a myth by this time.
I know steps are being taken. I’m just not sure they’re enough. All great nations have their turn, then fall back and yield to others on the rise. I think this virus is exposing who we really are. We cannot be the leaders in the future with the present systems in place. We can’t just return to the “normal” of the Obama years. We’re falling behind.
OKAY, getting back to the blog and my safe zone (yea!), I’ve had a really good year there, along with lots of local hiking. I’m extremely blessed to be living in the community we do, with oodles of beautiful, protected park land very close by. This is something I’d also like to focus on this year, and years to come. Return to real life photos and art, and a bit more away from virtual stuff and My Second Lyfe. A bit — because both will continue in tandem with each other for some time.
He dared to skate right across main street in broad daylight coming back from the Giant Tiger when he spotted it to his right.
“Whoa ho ho. A new arcade! How could I have *missed* this before??” Naturally he pulled in and started checking out the games.
“Pac-Man. Laaame, pheh.”
“But *Doom*, he he. Yeah, this is what we’re talking about. Wait till I tell… wait, what’s the name of my best friend? Millgate. Yeah, that’s it. Wait till I tell Millgate.”
He plays Doom for several hours and becomes so immersed that when he finishes he is in a different world.
“Whooooa. What happened to *Picturetown*??”
It was all so very funny, Supper Man and his new arch-nemesis Toothpick battling it out for the right to marry Dinner Girl and/or Elberta first. Because their fists and, occasionally, feet kept passing through each other. Neither was real. Onlooking Barry DeBoy determined it was a dream a while back because he was wearing the red tie. In reality he didn’t possess this tie any more — gave it to Miss Graham the schoolteacher in exchange for… what? A life without the 5 looking on. A life without Pan-Z. He felt the precious tie one last time before waking up, instead holding the air in front of his chest as it vanished into nothingness again. The Great Void. Blackness. “Yippy tie one on I suppose,” he tried to humor himself in the moment, but he’d also heard the word “tile” used in that expression recently over at the temple. Funny again. “Yippy tile one on” — made sense as well.
He rolls over. Helloo, who’s this?
Dreaming still. Wake up, wake up! But he didn’t want to suddenly. Wendy wakes up instead, tells him who he is. Not “Q”, because that’s already been covered. The symbol on the hat could pass for a “Q” but he didn’t want it to now, not for Wendy.
“Annnnnnd CUT! That was great guys! But — Wendy. We need to get you out of *that* dress and into the blood stained one as soon as possible! The Twins are breathing down my back, bearing down on my neck! You need to be invisible down there.”
Wendy knew what he was talking about but didn’t care. Wasn’t she Miss Graham reincarnated? She was. Didn’t she give Hucka Doobie the red tie procured from Barry DeBoy in a similar way before and send her away? She most assuredly did. Baker and she were getting too close. “Barry, *you* are Baker,” she said earlier. “You are the artist that is going to paint CITY and save us all from suburbia.” He turned it over in his mind like a rubik’s cube and saw the truth in it. Better get back to work…
“We may not be finished with Cassandra City, Baker Bloch. I hope you can mustard enough energy to ketchup with me.”
“I relish the thought.”
“I thought you would I thought you would.” Then he became mild again, his normal self. Man About Time, MAT, knew something. I had a meeting with him tomorrow to discuss Beet and the making of their next album, “Lived to Tell”. Lived to tell *what*? I want to ask him. Why did they pick The Crossroads to record that album? I separate myself from MAT for now and fade from the picture.
“So we begin.”
“Is he gone yet? Oh HI!”
“I want to buy this place.” Simple and soft from the end of the bar. “And the jar.”
“Homer?” Moe couldn’t part with Homer he didn’t think. Best to start over somewhere else.
“Bar not jar,” he gruffed over to his old friend in his course manner. His old *enemy* friend. Best to keep them close to the vest; know of their whereabouts. New Nun and Sticky between them nodded, since they were one with his mind. Shut up mind! Did I say that out loud as well?
MAT spit in his hand and moved toward Moe, arm extended. Dare he shake it? he asked internally while shaking in a different way. So mild. So dangerous.
He extended his figure upward. He reached.
I suppose it all started when Blutus tried to cross the road to get to the other side. He never made it; run over by a blue-black car of dubious design and specs, unmarked all the way from bumper to fender. He’d just made a call to the police. He had the information they needed to solve the puzzle of a case they were facing head on. Just on his way over he was to make his report. When this happened, *SPLAT*. They never really got the blue-purple blood off the pavement, a permanent testimony of sorts to the stain and strain (and drain) this put on the town. Toppsity was never the same. This is where it started most likely. The War.
Elements were involved of course; when weren’t they in conflicts involving Toppsity and covens in general. The fires that ultimately consumed Gabby’s brother Amos Truth and prevented him from regenerating one more time were put out by Marilyn’s Niagara waterfall tumbling and roaring over the western ridge. Earth moved north to south and consumed sign posts and everything underneath that level. The Ministry of Soiled Clothes was set up near the laundromat. Air and leaves and air through leaves crowded around and basically enclosed innocent residents in their harmless apartment units over here and just there, like insidious kudzu. Aether had split the scene, unable to fit in anywhere. Spirit was gone, spirits were low. People were taking uppers everywhere just to try to reach the surface of the soil and not be taken under. Reds and yellows were shot most of the day to decrease pervasive dopamine and increase lacking serotonin. Toppsity was in a state. Maybe Utah (or Indiana (or Pennsylvania)). Where’s those string beans?
Sacky doll waited for his master to come home again but it never happened. Amos was gone from this world.
“Selma says Go!”
“You shouldn’t be digging too deep in these hills, Marty. There’s Indian relics that you don’t want to be uncovering.” He indicates the heavily bulldozed, grassy green knoll behind the famous singer/composer.
“Cursed, yeah. I know all about that.”
“The fame,” guessed Barry X. Vampire from his swing, smoking a Marlboro tonight for a particular reason. Marlborough.
“Star,” Marty furthered. “Like Marsha ‘Pink’ Krakow wanted to be. I sent Arthur Kill over to Storybrook to kill all that. But then I had a change of heart. Let her be a star if she chooses. It’s her life to live. I will be hidden darkly in the Beech Grove if she needs me, like New Orleans. I still have a key.”
“To success,” Barry finished again.
“To *failure*,” Marty corrected. “Obscurity. It’s what Vain people like us fear the most. To die in Vain when we could have died in Washington D.C.”
“Capitol idea,” came the reply this time.
“Capitol *Records* idea,” and then in Marty’s newish Urqhart garden they played his first non-Capitol hit “Coming Up,” knowing it would inspire Lemon to come back to music one last time. Despite the immense weight of fame and also Yoko Ona. Who we should probably talk to next; get her side of the story.