COLLAGESITY 2016-2017 WINTER
Old Mabel was in an unfamiliar place. She tried to get her bearings. “DJ Ned — Heartsdale,” she read. “This must be Heartsdale,” she concluded, and then found herself buying some heart shaped glasses from a nearby store named Blown-Apart.
She stepped out into the street and had a rethink. “Not Heartsdale,” she said now, “but in the heart of things still.” She recognized the junction of Old Cannon and North roads — barely. “Collagesity. Far in the future.” She looked around. “But where are all of Baker Bloch’s collages?”
A person approached Old Mabel from the south that she soon learned was named Buurb. He will be both familiar and unfamiliar to my many blog readers. Stay tuned!
Buurb walks up to the Red Umbrella packed with Baker Bloch’s collages and wonders why he’s here at this juncture of roads. “I *finally* get the courage to enter Collagesity to find my dream lady and she is gone,” he mutters to himself. “New Island is where she went, the furry bartender over at the mall said. New Moon Island.”
“I hate this place.”
COLLAGESITY 2018 EARLIER
As soon as he stepped foot upon the crossroad early last year, Buurb knew this was actually Collagesity set in the future.
It was 20 meters down the road where his more psychic wife first realized this, but that turned out to only be a strong reflection. Merely a T-junction.
Because this was the ‘X’ that led home. Mabel would be waiting with a pot of something or ‘nother. Perhaps bean stew tonight. He better make his way through the trash again.
Bill (Wheeler) came back to Collagesity to retrieve some tweezers and got chills while standing in front of the town library and staring at this view down Old Cannon Road toward the Rubi Woods.
Time to head home again, Buurb thinks.
But instead Buurb finds himself heading left, toward the freebies library at the end of Lost Heaven Road. What to buy today? he considers. Maybe something for Mabel this time.
Yes, more bean stew for Mabel. He loves that stuff. And — Buurb couldn’t resist — a Green Lantern mini-avatar for himself, hehe. He can hear his wife now: “You’re *such* a Sheldon.”
Bill (Wheeler again) couldn’t figure it out. Why would this mysterious Ellen insist on going first and then make such a weak opening move? She counters with her own weird kind of opening: Pawn to Queen 4. Because at this rate she was going to win in 13 moves or less. Anyway, she’d check back tomorrow and see if Ellen had stopped by to play again. Poor girl; maybe not the brightest of us all.
But Bill was wrong about that.
“It’s stronger than I remember, Buurb. If it wasn’t for this house…” Mabel trails off here, thinking of possibilities.
“We’re not ready to go out,” counters her husband. They were married in the backyard of this very structure last year, but it had been added onto since. 3 floors now, with this being the topmost.
“Collagesity needs us,” states the wife. “Needs my — our energy.”
storied house 02
It was a beautiful house, but quite prim heavy at 195li. And that’s unfurnished. Impractical, most likely, to set up in present day Collagesity except on a temporary basis. And Mabel wasn’t going to go *back* without it, I don’t think. So it looks like they’re stuck in Heartsdale for a while longer.
Although well beyond its glory days, the town still retained some interesting landmarks. There was the coffee and sweets shop on the corner of Blown Apart and West Anglia. This is Mabel and Buurb’s favorite table within they’re sitting at here, with the great view toward their house (their house??). Mabel usually only drinks coffee. Buurb sometimes gets a whole wheat danish roll, like today. Mabel knew there wasn’t any use in trying to change Buurb’s mind over leaving, so she instead talked about New Island and how they got here. She sometimes read her associated diaries to Buurb late at night while they, let’s say, sipped cognac and munched on taffy popcorn.
It all revolved around the vinyl version of “Sometime in New York City” and the void in the center of Lennon’s solo career it represented. Slavery? That’s what they often discussed, and, yes, occasionally argued about. Very occasionally. For Mabel was against slavery of any kind in any fashion. Buurb made some qualified exceptions.
“Take the South after the Civil War,” he said today after taking the first bite of his roll and then setting it back on the small plate.
“No, don’t go there,” his wife demanded, also wishing her husband wouldn’t speak with his mouth full.
He chewed and swallowed; lightly smacked his lips. “Given 5, 7, 8 years, don’t you think President Lee would have freed the slaves himself? And the South might have been better going that route. Take carpetbaggers…”
“I *said*, I don’t want to hear it.” She ‘d have nothing negative spoken about Stove Top Lincoln. Andrew The Tailor Johnson, however, was often open for potshots. But she wasn’t in the mood this morning. She kept thinking about the house across the street. It was and wasn’t their house; another quandary. They were married there, true. But they also still lived in the trashy alley that followed from Old Church Street beside it across St. George Street at its front. The sale hadn’t been finalized. And the mortgage would be 2 full months’ wages between them (!). Could they really afford it? Were they digging a financial grave they would never emerge from? But the house! So perfect. If I could just get it to Collagesity, Mabel thought, we’d have a piece of property with no attached tax, no attached anything; that’s how things work there.
“Look at Pitch Darkly,” she said to Buurb another time on this subject. “Look at Woody (Woodmanson). Refuges… like us. The Bakers take them in, make sure they’re wanted and provided for. You’d like The Bakers, Buurb.”
“I knew Baker Blinker,” he corrected. “Or I at least knew someone who claimed to be her.”
“Oh yes,” Mable said, a pang of jealousy crossing her heart. Her Heartsdale heart. “Precious Snowflake.”
Because she was still around. We’ll revisit her soon and find out more of her story.
“What are you doing out there silly?” speaks Burrb through the window pane at his wife. “You’re 15 minutes late — can you hear me?” Mable nods. “You’re 15 minutes late,” he repeats.
“I was trying to find the diary,” her muffled voice sounds from outside.
“The dairy?” he playfully replies and smiles. “Down the road and to your right.” But Mable wasn’t in the mood for games and just indicates the book with the hand in her hand and goes around to the front door to enter.
30 minutes later, Mabel had spilled the wine about Mid Hazel, Karoz Blogger, Precious Snowflake, and the Ohno sim in general.
Buurb demanded a field trip.
But they weren’t going to ascend that hill to the haunted Palmer Lodge in the middle of the night.
Oh no (sorry).
There wasn’t much in the way of art in Heartsdale to Mabel’s disappointment. One gallery showing mainly soft core erotica — well, a lot of it wasn’t even erotica, just women posed in various suggestive manners, let’s say. But there were some other types of works mixed in here and there, like this painting called simply “Dancer” that Mabel kind of liked. And this one below named “Country Road”. When visiting, Mabel sometimes imagined traveling down this picturesque road — outta here (like in that old John Denver song).
In Collagesity, there were rumors that you could actually go inside Baker B.’s collages to different Real Lyfe locations. Maybe the same could apply here, she thought.
The town had plenty of empty buildings and apartments. Mabel again wonders what it looked like in its more golden days. When it was closer in time to Collagesity. When did the split occur? Does it have something to do with the house? *Their* house? It must be, Mabel concluded some time ago.
Mabel had begun to smoke. “2 packs of Lucky Stripes, Jim,” she requests to the owner of the town’s lone convenience store. “And a couple of snickers.” It was a habit born mainly of, well, boredom. Not much to do in Heartsdale, as you the reader have probably picked up. Buurb worried about her continued health, but he figured it would turn around once she had her house. Then they would be focused on fixing it up, showcasing it even for the rest of the community. Maybe open a gallery in part of the downstairs. Mabel could paint up on their favorite floor, the 3rd. Scenes of town, even. She would turn around, he believed. Returned immersion in art would aid immensely. The parts of Heartsdale that seemed sour or boring would have new light shed upon them. It all revolves around the house.
Mabel returns to their alley apartment, planning to light one up as soon as she got inside.
As mentioned, Mabel and Buurb loved the 3rd floor of their potential house. A type of heaven for them, I suppose. Buurb could write and Mabel could do art. Their respective passions, besides each other of course. Or this is how they fulfill themselves through each other.
We start at the northernmost window (of 3) looking west…
… then pan out to take in a nearby chest with a smaller container, perhaps a suitcase, on top of it.
This is in the room at the top of the ladder heading up from the 2nd floor. Then below we also peek into the next room. Both contain a variety of what could be called refuge or junk, but the married couple still love the stuff and dare not throw any of it away once the house transaction is complete. Whenever that is.
Mabel often wonders who this melted girl in the portrait is. Could it be her as a child, somehow? At any rate, looking at it always reminds her of her beloved twin brother Little Big for some reason, still off fighting in the Green and White War in some distant part of the galaxy. Last she heard: Aldebaran.
More of the second room; that would be Buurb’s writing desk in the distance, which would double as a place for them to have brunch, tea, etc.
And then we have Mabel herself sitting in the 3rd room. This is projected to be her art studio where she’ll rekindle her love of painting (and drawing). But what to paint remains a big question.
Maybe that perpetually burning fuel tanker down at the gas station seen through the south window here, hmm.
Mabel’s primary goal today remained the mission, however, and speaking with Precious Snowflake who she knows is the same as Baker Blinker. On her way, she stops to take a good look at that tanker. “Yes, this might do very well for subject matter,” she says.
She walks into the fire within but remains unharmed.
Onward to the mission…
Buurb came home from a hard day of peddling his wares. Something was different. The alley leading to his home was gone!
Sealed up by brick, it appeared. Why hadn’t Mabel phoned him?? But she was probably out doing stuff on her own. The consulting, yes. Maybe down at the mission dispensing free gravy to the poor, removing unwanted lumps when needed. It’s all about Montana lately for her.
Stunned, Buurb walks around the block starting left. The Queen’s Arms still here, yes. He hadn’t totally lost his sense of direction — this *was* the correct block, the correct road. But no alley on its north side now.
But then, just beyond: the alley!
Turned at a right angle (to the block)? He cautiously starts down it.
More complicated than before… more doors.
But no sign of Mabel’s and his apartment. None of the number of doors he tries seem to lead anywhere atall, in fact.
Nervously tapping his good foot on the stone blocks, he phones his wife. “Com’on Mabel. Pick up. Pick up…”
“So you see, PS. It was never suppose to come to this. You over there. Me here.” Baker Blinker then looks down the pier toward the center of town. “Oh Me Gods. Here comes Buurb. You’re not suppose to be seen with me. Gotta scram!” Baker Blinker disappears. Precious Snowflake is alone when Buurb walks up. He didn’t spot Baker Blinker sitting with his Heartsdale friend. Else his brains would have been even more scrambled up than what they already were.
“Thank God, Precious. Someone I know. Are you alright? Is the mission okay?” He spoke rapidly, not letting Precious get a word in edgewise. “The town! It’s changed. I’ve walked all around it now, trying to find… *someone*. And here you are. Not at the mission but here. But this place is new too. A coffee shop, eh? Mabel would be pleased. Have you seen Mabel? I’ve tried and tried to reach her on the hot phone but no go. Do you have a phone? Perhaps yours would work better in this… new environment. Are you okay?” he repeats. “God I have to take a leak, Precious. I can’t even find a bathroom I’m familiar with! You know my condition.”
Precious Snowflake took it all in. She remembered the blueness, the change. Pink to blue and blue to pink. The mixed up boy-girl. Leeman.
“You walked right past someone on the way up here,” she said nonchalantly. “Did you not see them?”
Just like that, Mabel was back in Collagesity. It wasn’t their house that was the key, it was the *Mission*. She’d just completed a long and fascinating conversation with long time dual resident Turchin McGurchin about the nature of “Beach” and “Time”. Precious Snowflake had been working on The Rainbow Sphere all along, a final gift.
But what is The Rainbow Sphere? That’s what former town resident Roger Pine Ridge was aiming to find out.
“Gilmore, I’m going to be out of this water world and back on dry land before you know it, you hateful bastard. You’ll see.”
Axis certainly gets around. Here’s he’s on an island in the northeast part of Heterocera (Eggar sim). It’s hot down here at the beach, and he pulls off his duster coat and carefully lays it by the shoreline. He must get back to the art store soon. Too bad he can’t wear those paint splattered paints they sell for free within…. merely a mesh figure he is. But perhaps they’ll fit burgeoning artist Annie to the T.
One way to find out…
“Aren’t they just the dreamiest, Turch?! Now when Baker Bloch reopens the Red Umbrella we’ll be back in business. Buurb should be here soon.”
“Sure,” reassures Turch, because he knows Mabel can’t take another loss like her brother Little. But probably she won’t have to. Most likely, yes.
“I can’t do this Precious; put your wings back on. I have to find Mabel.”
Collagesity these days
Business was down at the Bodega Market in SoSo Mall, thanks mainly to all the attached, empty apartments due to tighter prim restrictions on Wheeler Wilson’s land in Collagesity (1024 square meters, down from Baker Blinker’s 1536). New manager Cyborg Kathy (Kathy Crowder to her family) usually closes up shop at 4 these days, but that’s okay. It gave her an excuse to go back to night school and finish her degree in Prison Reform from local institute Sam Parr State College, original president Karoz Blogger’s final gift to the area. Just over the hill and hang a right. Or was it a left?
But in other parts of Collagesity, things have picked up. In The North, we now have a new church where formerly sat Knight’s Castle, which hadn’t been worked on in a while. Karoz Blogger’s old and long hope of making TILE the official religion of town hasn’t really panned out, so we needed to fill a spiritual void now that he is gone. The Cult of Oo’d might just be the ticket, but we’ll see. We’ve already visited the interior in a recent post (“feathered”), peering through the eyes of two time challenged Rabbits. I’m eagerly looking forward to see what else develops from it. I know Mabel is itching to do her best Montana impression for the congregation soon. And a free bag of popcorn to the first 5 parishioners who arrive on Sunday. Or was it Wednesday?
Whoa Baker Bloch! You have both guns *and* drugs on you. Do you think you could sneak by trained door sniffer Wendy O’Riley that easily? I didn’t think so, ha ha. He’s only doing more akking for a blog post.
And then Mabel has a new home (!). It’s not nearly as large as the similarly styled house she so loved in Heartsdale, but in time I know she’ll grow to appreciate it almost as much. Now whether current hubby Buurb will be there to enjoy it with her remains a question to be asked. Turchin McGurchin, understanding Buurb like he does, fears the worse. But even if this happens, I feel Mabel has a strong support group in Collagesity. Turch is up at the Mission next door, and Woody Woodmanson is right behind her in his perpetually snow topped house. She has superior neighbors. And then Pitch Darkly, Baker Bloch, and the rest are right around as well. She’ll be fine. I should add that the house is set up at about the exact same place she lived back in January through March of last year, before her move to Heartsdale with Buurb. She’s coming home, in essence. Back to the border of her beloved woods.
Then, and to Mabel’s complete excitement (she’s inspired!), the Red Umbrella gallery featuring baker b.’s collage series of Sam Parr, Embarras and Stonethrow has returned to Collagesity, taking the place of the TILE Temple on the northern edge of town.
Last and perhaps not least, the TILE Labyrinth remains, having been moved to the basement of Fal Mouth Moon from the now derezzed temple. Baker Bloch warns Mabel that this basement is the main way to her house, but she’s okay with the idea. She plans to walk the labyrinth as much possible, which would certainly be an improvement from before when it was rarely used.
The Rainbow Sphere on the 2nd floor of the Mission is gone, a temporary apparition. But the related files on Precious Snowflake’s hard drive remained in the Heartsdale-to-Collagesity transition, and Mabel as well as Turch keep studying and learning. Another kind of school, in effect. TILE has not died but merely transformed.
“Well pardon *me*, I guess. Robots, hrmph.”
“It’s tough losing your hair, isn’t it Grandpa 02?”
“I suppose, Grandpa 01. Oh. There’s Grandpa 03. Tapping at the window. We’re about ready to commence.”
“Shame about Grandpa 05 last week. Died on the john.”
“We still have Grandpas 04, 06, and 07. Along with us three.”
“The originals, he he. As of about 2 minutes ago.”
“Right. Another beer?”
like in urchin
“*There* you are, Gramps! I don’t know how I keep missing you.”
Space Ghost (“Gramps”) turns, takes a look at Buurb, and then faces forward again, rocking a bit faster. “You haven’t changed,” he spouts grumpily.
“I know. I think I’m going to give it another shot with Mabel. I’m not quite ready to end a steady marriage.”
“My boy Baker Black,” the elder Space Ghost grumbles, mispronouncing his son’s name, “said to wait here in this town until the boy turns back into a girl. Then and only then can I go home.” He glances at Buurb again. “And you’re not changing, hmph. So I’m not heading home yet.”
“Collagesity, you mean,” speaks Buurb, who again thought of Mabel’s invitation to join her there to live in *their* new house, she keeps putting it. She’s certainly not prepared to break the bonds from her end either.
“1 1/2 years I’ve been here, give or take a year or two. Do you know how long a year and a half is give or take that?”
“Well,” states Buurb, trying not make *too* much fun of the old man, “that could be a negative half year, meaning you haven’t even arrived in Heartsdale to begin with. You stayed in Collagesity, and, even on top of that, lost a half year there.”
Space Ghost shakes his head, not taking this in correctly. “Babble. That’s all you young folks do these day. Rambles and babbles. You might as well be little robots walking forwards and backwards and every which way — always getting in *my* way, phmph. Now, back in my days… (Buurb thinks: here we go) In *my* days…,” Space Ghost repeats, turning to face Buurb and even shaking his cane a bit at him, “boys and girls remained separate and pure. There *were* no mixed up boy-girls like you.”
Buurbs attempts to remain patient again. “Oh, I’m sure they were around, Pops. It’s just they didn’t tell you they were, um, mixed up. It wasn’t socially acceptable then. It’s a lot better these days with the interwebs and social media educating people about such things.”
Space Ghost wasn’t finished digging at him. “Then *why* did you marry Mabel?”
Buurb shrugs. “I changed over. I knew I didn’t love Precious Snowflake any longer when I began to love Mabel. My sex changed — before I was a woman, now I’m a man. It’s not *that* unusual Gramps. Out friend Turchin McGur–.”
“He’s not *my* friend,” Space Ghost cuts Buurb off. “*He’s* the one who took Mabel over there in the first place. You should be together here or you should be together there if you’re a couple. But not you here and her there, see. Figure it out. Who *are* you? *What* are you?”
“I’m Buurb,” the hobo-man declares firmly.
“You *were* Unch,” Space Ghost snaps back.
“Urch, you mean,” Buurb replies. He’d finally lost his cool. “And it’s Baker *Bloch*, not Black. You don’t even know your own son’s name, let alone the true state of the world.”
Buurb immediately regretted flying off the handle. Kindness, he thought. I have to be kind to the Grandpas. They don’t know what they’re talking about half the time. But also: so much shared wisdom between them. They will be missed, each and every one.
“How was John’s funeral?” he then thought to ask, changing the subject.
“I keep looking over at that tower, Buurb, and see Henry Winkler keep climbing up and down those ladders. *Henry Winkler*. Does he live in Heartsdale? I guess he has to, given that I keep seeing him over there. From ‘Happy Guys.’ You remember, don’t you? Fonzie Bear I think he was called. I wonder how he got *here*?”
“Sometimes he even looks over here and waves at me or something.”