Hmph. This wasn’t here last night (when I passed by). Changes again!
And where did my red cap go??
Marilyn was incredulous. “Cook tonight?? Andy, you can barely make *soup*, hmph.”
“I do all right.”
We missed out on our chance at Elberta, brother of mine. She’s gone.”
“Toothpick’s sister? She’s right up there.”
“I know. But that’s her *picture*.”
“Oh.” Boos scratches his unbagged head.
Bogota took another look at the framed photos on the wall through the holes in his skull; had a realization. “Wait… that’s *Amber*. Remember Amber?”
“Remember Neck City?”
“It’s coming back (!)” The memories were focusing…
“Sure glad to have Amber back,” Dickie Doom states while looking over at his golden hued daughter preparing the food for tonight, but wife Debbie knew that wasn’t her real name. Not any longer.
“Dick. We need to talk.”
Turns out it was all just a dream. The pink plastic couch Andy Warhole sat upon while fellow artist Barry DeBoy dreamed lying down on the same is gone, and the 2 rooms of the apartment have indeed merged, just like Andy wished. Dreams and reality are certainly getting mixed up in ol’ NWES City, soon to be changed to NWES Town if certain members of the city council had their way, in reaction to all the “cities” springing up around it, like arrogant, belligerent suburbs. First there was Zen City, then Meat City. The list goes on. And then there’s Collagesity, which had the audacity to neatly and tightly integrate itself into the very fabric of NWES City and become one with it almost, another insult to the term. How could something call itself a city (or sity in this case) and be so much smaller than NWES City, lost in the coattails like a small child to a towering mother. No, these *satellites* must not be termed cities. It is wrong. And in comic reaction the mother who has the only real claim to the name (it feels) might instead abort it.
But we digress. We need to find out the whereabouts of Barry DeBoy. Poor thing: he’s lost his original home in the city to fire (Norm the Cashier’s Flower Shop), and then the apartment with the pink couch, as we’ve mentioned, is all just a dream. We must find out where he’s *really* dreaming, physically that is. He *must* have a location in town, er, the city — let’s not move too fast on that.
He is dreaming again of his beach, searching for the one who also gave up red but with no physical presence yet found.
“I’m tired of all these books, Ross C. Go into the future and get me some clean ones, without the virus that’s going all around the place.”
Ross C. bleeped and blipped and estimated that it would take 5 man-hours to return from the future with the equivalent amount of books currently in Andy Warhole’s library, 1/2 of art and 1/2 of other. He never reads them, however. He just likes their appearance in this room when visitors come around. Which should be tonight for Marilyn, Hilter, and the rest. The party starts in 3 hours. Not enough time, Ross C. realizes. She tells her master this.
“Then just get rid of the lot of ’em,” Warhole waves off. “Build me a big aquarium and fill it full of colorful and exotic fish. Get the color pattern from my Marilyn screenprint, the one from Niagara (movie).” Ross C. does the blipping and bleeping thing again and now estimates this will take 10 hours to create, or twice as long as the new library of books. She tells him this.
“Then let’s just, I don’t know, *move*. What are we doing here anyway? This is not my apartment; these are not my books. I don’t have an apartment in the City. I live on the east coast, next to the clean, refreshing Korean Channel full of war ships and war planes and flags and explosions. So exciting. Move our asses, yes. That’s what we should do. That other art fellow lives here instead, Barry or Barren or something or other.” Warhole looks out the window. “Why he’s just painted that Super Building over there, turned it into a *Supper* Building to make Dinner Girl and her lot happy.” Warhole sighs. Ross C. waits patiently for more orders. They always come. She knew they didn’t have to move since they don’t live here in the first place. Or do they?
Warhole settles back into the plastic pink couch, resigned to host the party since everyone is already invited. “Destroy the bookshelf, yes. Just destroy the wall. Why do we have 2 rooms in this City apartment? Studio apartments are where it’s at. I am an artist after all, Jesus. Destroy the wall.”
Ross C. estimates that it will take 2 1/2 hours to destroy the bookshelf and the wall between the 2 rooms of the apartment, fusing them into one. But that doesn’t include the cleaning up, which will take an additional 1/2 hour. “It will be close, master,” she offers in her metallic way.
I loove what you’ve done to the place, Andy. It’s so — open!”
“Thank you, Marilyn.” Ross C. hides in the corner behind the door with the filled dustpan, unable to escape when the first wave of guests arrived.
“A message to all my fans out there. Some like their Pink hot.”
“This will never work, Elberta,” Toothpick states at another low point. “You’re so beautiful and I’m so… ugly. Never mind the whole brother-sister…”
“I’m going to stop you there, potential husband of mind. No, better, I’m going to *absorb* you. I want to see what happens.”
Toothpick/Filbert was at a low point, as stated. He had nothing to lose. “Take me.”
“He must never find you, Ross C. He’ll destroy our little square world if he does and make everyone in it miserable.”
“Happy (*zip*) unhappy,” she sputtered.
There’s only one way out. *Become* the world, see. See me in him and him in me.”
Robot from the future Ross C. saw the truth in it.
Hotgirl was freed from Misery Cabin but was unable to speak about her experience there for a while.
Old reality was flickering on and off.
She eventually made her way back to GASTON.
“What we *need* to do,” old companion Domino told
Hotgirl Hitgirl Hitgerl Hitgurl Hitgal while they watched piled up house band Firesign Theatre play for the 4th time tonight at the Rhino, “is to similarly change *Misery*… to *Mystery*. That’s what [delete name] indicates.”
“Shuts your trap.” But the seed had been planted.
The Fuhrer was furious. He glared at each in turn. “Why didn’t you *tell* me I was dead, Andy… Marilyn.
Where’s your Ross C. anyway, Andy? I need to talk to the robot from the future about the, well, *future*.” He looks out at the sea and northern part of the sacred isles. He can hear but not see the battles raging on more behind him. “*Japanese*. How *dare* they continue fighting beyond my death. The war is over!” Another plane crashes into another ship, spewing metal and glass and bodies all around. Hilter stills doesn’t turn. Andy decides to explain to him gently; bring him back to Earth in at least a virtual manner.
“Your name is Hilter, bud. This guy who’s dead in this paper, a lookalike mind you but only that, is named *Hitler*. It’s not you. You are just a man wearing a Hitler, er, Hilter costume. Halloween’s coming up, and then X-mas after that. You are merely dressed for the seasons. You have forgotten who you truly are. At the core.”
“Yes,” Marilyn breathily adds but stops there. Andy has stated the core issue and that was enough for the present. Andy Warhole is surprisingly lucid these days. Perhaps he’s finally gotten over being kidnapped by David Bowie in yet another ship, a terrifying experience that made his hair turn white.
“Why don’t we just go inside the bar and look at the girls. Maybe that’ll calm you down,” suggested the suddenly sage artist formerly known as an a-hole of a man.
“*Japanese*!” Hilter starts once more. Didn’t work.
“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.
The artist whose name sounds like Rothko sits opposite Andy Warhole, one a-hole of a guy.
“The soothsayer will be here soon and we’ll *see*…
who’s the better artist in hyperspace and hypertime.”
“Just hypertime will do. I don’t do hyperspace.” His voice was level and confident, like he was the more famous artist already instead of a basic unknown. Andy was threatened. He’d been to Gabby several times since we last saw him over in Cassandra City (Moe’s –now sold!). The picture was clearing in his smoky ball. Andy was not the most famous artist of the land! Gabby then explained this was in hypertime — Gabby worked mostly in hyper worlds to see his visions, he said — and thus there’s *time* to change the outcome. Gabby didn’t illuminate the idea of complementary hyperspace to the rather dim witted Warhole; probably knew it would be a waste of his breath. Hypertime was enough for today. The stage had been set. And here he was, murderous covid ravens circling above and outside this tiny cafe perched on the top of Yellowmoon or thereabouts. With the artist whose name sounded like Rothko but wasn’t Rothko. Close! Close enough for Andy. Because Andy indeed thought he was this artist. He had trouble resolving near from same in his fuzzy way of thinking, and Barry was just playing along with the confusion. So this would be another Post involving Close.
Thoko: that’s it. Maker of fine designer women’s clothing. But that would become a front for something much more deep and sinister, like the Amazon itself. It was like going from Nowhere to Somewhere…
Ant arrives from his castle in the distance. Harrison Jett will shortly show up from his castle in the opposite direction acting as rear guard. Soon the battle will commence in earnest.
(to be continued)
The buffet was already laid out on the serving table at The Cones, my latest local eating and drinking establishment but this time for core avatars only, where they can let down their hair and be themselves and mingle amongst their other selves without the need for masks and separate identities. Take silhouetted Andy Warhole here on the upper deck, waiting for his date Marilyn to show up. But actually they were one core avatar and each knew the other knew this. In the moment. So while he waited, he was actually waiting for the single user of both, the single core used by this user, to simply change his costume to Marilyn’s, switch chairs, and then combine snapshots of each into one composite photo to make it seem the two were on a date. This happens over and over in the outside world, with little recognition by the avatars themselves. But here, at Sunklands Institute in the great Iris waterlands — swamp some derisively call it, like Roger Pine Ridge back in the days — separation could be relaxed and examined more from a distance, a perspective. Photo-novel 13, in fact, is all about getting back to core — that could be a subtitle.
The sun had just set when Warhole switched chairs and the collaging process mentioned above took place.
“Marilyn, so glad to see me, ahem, you again.”
“It’s purrr-fect here,” she cooed while staring out at the spot where the sun had just set, seeing no aftereffects commonly known as twilight, or the refraction and scattering of the sun’s rays caused by the atmosphere. Strange — this wouldn’t happen in the real world. Real Life. She decided to ask about this.
After Andy Warhole uttered the almost obligatory 5 or 6 repeats of her name, all in the same monotone, he responded properly. “No this isn’t real for certain, this — *world*.” But not being very philosophical he had no more to say about this. The DJ for the night showed up, and he mumbled, “About time.” It was Hilter, Chancellor of all of Germany by this point in time but not the all encompassing evil dude we know and despise by a slightly different name. So: 1939. Twenty years after the publication of the infamous Red Book.
Actually I have to bring in another core avatar to play Hilter, since Baker Bloch doesn’t have that costume or what’s more commonly called, in Our Second Lyfe terms, an “outfit”. So Bracket Jupiter is logged on since he does — two core avatars here are logged on simultaneously, which is common and even necessary in my work. He takes his position while I make another collage of Marilyn and Andy in the background. I add facelights to both to help highlight their position. Hilter waits calmly for it to be over before starting his first tune. And what would that tune be, you might ask? 1939… lemme check. INSERT PHOTO HERE
I believe it was Pink Floyd’s “On the Run” combined with Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” but difficult to say definitively because of the confusing effects of yet another collage.
(to be continued)
Andy Warhole had been looking for Gabby all over town and finally found him in my new bar called Moe’s on the west edge, a low rent district. Art was on his mind again, and how to make money from it. “Look into your marvelous crystal ball, Gabby,” he requested, “and tell me my future.”
Gabby gazed deeply into the smokey sphere, saw the future, and then lied about it while starting to sweat. “Nothing, Andy. Sorry. Shall we talk about the weather instead. So hot, so muggy!” He nervously wiped his brow.
What he actually saw was a muscular man of reddish complexion walking underwater and wielding a menacing metallic golf club. Heading right toward him: The Boss. He knew this was one a-hole of a man.
He stared at Warhole. He reviewed the vision of the man. He stared at Andy Warhole.
“Ok, my turn, my turn.” Andy got up, Hilter from the couch sat down. “Ahem: How do I become chancellor of all of Germany?”