Q: Who is Publius Enigma, what is the meaning of it all, and what is the treasure to be had? A: (Uncle Custard) As the Infamous Q has emphasized, ‘you humans are so limited’. This is a project for all those out there with higher IQ’s, it does require a mastery of diverse languages, along with a lot of spare time.
The Publius sim was a stranger one, so close to Public Nudity yet so far. Not being multi-lingual I decided to tread lightly from this central spot, a default landing point on a bridge. I looked down. I recall the red dress. And the woman inside.
Hucka Doobie continued to read on the floor, then, momentarily: “22 is a good one, Baker Bloch. I think I might like that best.” About 20 minutes later: “Here, just here.” She points to the book before her. “Barry DeBoy is in The Waste but it’s *not* the Waste. What was the name of that place?”
Baker Bloch was still fiddling around with the piano, to mix a metaphor. He paused in the effort to recall, which he couldn’t. “Something about numbers,” is all he could distantly offer.
“We should look that up. The place should be separated from The Waste. Not everything has to be Hana Lei if it is the unknown.”
“Suppose.” He started again with the bad “Chopsticks”, hell bent on mastering it before night’s end.
My home! I think excitedly while still peering down. Pink’s motel that she runs. *Mom*. And… Suisan. I am D-Boy, which means I make a lot of D’s which makes me a Dunce with a capital D. So says Suisan. Before she fully understood my special gifts. I learned to make Art with a capital A, an accomplishment that needed to be acknowledged. I stare into the transposed Tiger’s mouth. Black Diamond. CITY.
A friend waits outside beyond the screened in studio. “Hellooo?” My best friend. My only friend. I wind him up and he winds me down. Now we just have to figure out how to return to the White Palace and get that ruby red key.
“Got it!” But Hucka Doobie was fast asleep by now.
He was beyond the end of Route 13 now. He sensed a hole in the West here, something he couldn’t get to while corporeal. If he hadn’t wasted so much time chasing girls here and there, he lamented. But the Afterlife is all about regret, at the beginning. What could and couldn’t have happened, and so on. There’s always a gap between what occurred and the ideal, and a big one. Get ready for the shock. But the ideal still exists and that is the salvific force, the saving grace. The ideal *was* made flesh, and you can view it, you can penetrate it at points — non-corporeally of course, but also — sometimes — with real significance. And it is here in the West that Jeffrey Phillips decides he can start to make the changes he desires.
“Ahh, Barry DeBoy,” he says from his higher position, looking down. “Something about that island.” He penetrates.
It didn’t work with Norm the Cashier — dead — but it might with Wendy, another blue square of Earth just over there.
In a dream tonight, she shed something red and he did too: his red tie. They were on a beach in the dream and he was the dreamer and it was his beach. He’d been there a while but Wendy had just arrived — in red. Red Stripe Beach: that was the name, or that became it after the pivotal event. It was all leading somewhere…
Barry woke up, his back aching again. Sleeping on his pink plastic couch won’t hack it long term. He needs a proper bed! First Norm’s couch at the flower shop that was destroyed by a fire week before last and now this nearby place with only a couch again to crash on. Norm let him stay in her bed some nights, but that was it. “Nothing over 50%,” she said. “We must remaining playing just a game and not let it become a philosophy or even religion. We are not a religion,” she ended, puzzling the younger Barry who only wanted the friendly, loving warmth of female companionship. She returned to her cash register with this proclamation and he returned to her couch. The final, fated visit by Amazonia for the 49×61 payment was still days and maybe weeks away. The number 17 comes to mind. He was out and about when it happened, just roaming the streets of Black Ice and wondering if Norm and he had any kind of future. Apparently not, now, although he’d heard the witch doctors down at the market could bring the formerly living back from the dead, a favorite cat or dog, or even a girlfriend or wife for the price. Which he didn’t have anyway — and that’s how Norm got in trouble in the *first* place. He sighs. “Oh well,” he speaks aloud and moves to the other room to write down his dreams per usual before making breakfast. Toasty-O’s, the story of his life.
In another dream, Barry sits across from a guy named Jack Danielsun at a Toasty-O shaped bar but knows his actual name is Dimmy, like a lightbulb. Not the brightest, he ascertained from the dull conversation. Just another unschooled punk. He spoke of bartending at Phantom Hill and how he got there in a row boat from the other side of the rather large island he lived on. Again: not the smartest. And probably schizophrenic on top of it all.
(to be continued?)
He met her in the club beside baker b.’s Red Umbrella gallery and in front of Norm the Cashier’s flower shop. In his dream he followed her down to a beach at the enigmatically named Publius sim. She was wearing a red dress, a freebie in a box as Graham 02 or Barry 02 soon discovered at the end of the path. Later the red (box) was removed at a club in Montague owned by a big fan of Supertramp. Red strip: now he knew what that meant. He can imagine Norm shaking her head. He better get back to her. If only he could figure out a way to wake up — pinching doesn’t work here.
She was shaped like the letter Q, a hole with a squiggle on the edge,” he grasps for an explanation after finally coming back. “That’s me!” Norm doesn’t approve and threatens to cut off his credit. “Do you know how much I sacrificed to get to this place?!”
He crosses his arms, feeling guilty again. Was this statue that had trouble rezzing in before *alive*? Was it another version of himself? Was it Graham once more? The green dot doesn’t lie but no one was around according to his scanner. He pinches himself. Is he dreaming? His hand passes through his arm on the way to its intended action. Failure, of course. He’s dreaming.
He attempts communication. “Whatup?” he decided to frame it. “How’s it hanging?” he follows up. Nothing. There *must* be something to this — anomaly.
The only avatar around — found through turning off volume and toggling on the “show skeleton” option for avatars — is this dancing gecko more in the southern part of the sim: Montague. He teleports to the edge of a sky “o” to find it. He stares over at the drink cooler after manifesting, realizing this was another hole, like in his most recent work called “Half and Hole” featured in that last post before the current one here. And the bar itself is shaped like a hole. He’s traveling a diagonal again.
“Whatup?” he tries again over to the jiggling exotic lizard. He’s sitting on a “333 — Tiki Bar Stool”; he checks while waiting. But nothing again. He wasn’t surprised.
Someone else must be coming.
It seemed like a good place to send Crappy in, the newest freebie outfit on the marketplace I added to my cart only several minutes back. Crappy hates the 1974 music of Supertramp and thinks their album “Crime of the Century” is vastly overrated. Perfect.
It didn’t work! Something is wrong with Crappy. Maybe Supertramp merits deeper study after all.
“If you approach things with a sense of humor, people immediately assume you’re not to be taken seriously. But I think truths about society and human existence can be approached in different ways. You don’t always have to be deadly serious. Sarcasm and humor can help you see things in a lighter vein.”
“It’s an extension of my old work into collage. The 3d Venus turns into herself (again) only to be a hole. Kind of like Warhole over there, ha.”
“Very funny.” Warhole didn’t laugh. Warhole hardly never laughs at nothing. The a-hole.
Ant, who was closer to Barry 02 and staring at his newest work with him (Warhole was staring away or looking at his feet or the ceiling, take your pick), spoke up again. “It’s wonderful. 2 4th floor works now. We want to commission you, me and Harrison Jett. You may remember him from the art rock group Beet, like a sugar beet. In fact, that was their original names: the Sugar Beets. Came out from the praries of Idaho around Rupert and Paul. Family all worked in that kind of factory, except for Uncle Bob. He was different. He was a frog.”
“We’ve been through that,” replied Barry 02, thinking back to the figure and symbol filled chalkboard of his most recently remembered dream. “But his name was Bullfrog.”
“That’s just what he *was*.”
Andy Warhole finally turns toward the work from his more distant, angly position. “I’ll give you 50,000 lindens for it, final offer. I’ll give it to Yoko Ona as a wedding present for her most recent marriage to John. I’ll let Marilyn kiss it for good luck before the ceremony with her permamark lips. I’ll let [delete name] [delete] all over it with his [delete]. Then it will be ready, then it will be good.” Andy Warhole pulls an attache case out from under the couch next to him. He always has it ready for an art purchase. Always 50,000 lindens for the nobodys, not less but certainly no more. Always over 50,000 for the somebodys.
Barry 02 pondered the deal. This means he could make art for a 1/2 year without any hassles of an outside job. He could paint canvases without painting walls or ceilings. He could sculpt with garbage instead of throwing it away with a group of similarly grody smelling men into bins. Binmen I think they call them across the pond, the ocean. “Okay.” Andy slides the attache case from the couch over to Barry 02. He’s almost sold his soul. One touch of the money and he’s done.
She kept scribbling with the chalk while talking, producing figure after figure, like an adding machine but beyond: all the numbers and more. “So you see it’s very easy.” She caps off her last equation with a triumphant swirl of the arm. She faces the classroom. “Bullfrog was Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer all along, so when Sue Ellen Hutchinson or Hutchison killed the *lat-ter*… she also killed the *for-mer*. It’s all indicated way back at the beginning with this modifier here.” But before she could circle the appropriate symbol with her yellow chalk — I believe it was a “q” — Barry spoke up. He couldn’t wait any longer; had his arm in the air for a while now, which the young(-ish) teacher was use to. She didn’t want to be interrupted until this decisive declaration.
“Miss Graham, Miss Graham,” he interjected. She twirled, as if surprised by his voice. She wasn’t. “Oh… yes Barry.” She points to him with her chalk instead of the “q”.
So (his name) wasn’t Graham — the *teacher* was Graham. Wheeler had her wish.
“I’m wondering, uh, if all this means red caps are bad. *I* have on a red cap.” He takes off his cap and quickly puts it back on to emphasize. *And* a red tie.” He flips his tie at the teacher, who jumps back a bit as if it were a snake. It made a peculiar, cartoon(-ish) snapping noise she wasn’t expecting. What was *that*, she thought internally. She’d have to add it in somewhere on the board to figure out later. Better not erase this juggernaut just yet.
Barry woke up still holding his tie. “Q, heh?” he said aloud to no one. “I’m Q(!)”
(to be continued?)