“Whatever happened to us, Grassy?”
“Whatever happened to *you*.”
“What now, Grass?”
“My ice cream’s starting to melt all over this trampoline. Better hop to it!”
So they hopped on a nearby bus destined for parts unk.
“I could have swore this train was a bus when we started, Grass.” Spongeberg turns. “My drink machine!”
“Ahhh. Want one Grass? They’re simply the best. Pure cane sugar refreshment.”
Puzzled Grass kept staring at the bus-train and not Coffee Mix swigging Spongeberg. “No thanks,” he managed.
“What are we staring at now, Grass? A cube?”
“A red blue yellow spinny cube thingie, yeah.”
They gaze some more.
“Is it ‘s’pose to be relaxing? It’s not relaxing. Rather: a mess, a jumble.”
“We should move on, then, Spongeberg my friend. Like the night…”
“Fine with me.” They get up and move on.
“I’m not sure this is the healthiest of places, Grass.”
“I’m not either.”
“I’m not ready to die again. Right this minute. It’s painful!”
“I know it is, Spongeberg. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I brought you back. This isn’t fair. This is not the place I would have picked either. This Our Second Lyfe.”
“Good idea to get me set up at my potential new digs. Cheer me up.”
“I’m trying. You got those freebies at the furniture place just across Route 14 in front of us. Very handy.” He peers toward the far window. “And if you look at just the right angle over there you can see the giant faun statue. Reassuring, I suppose…”
“… that some of what I remember as My Second Lyfe is still here, yeah,” Spongeberg completes the Mmmmmm’s angle.
“13 and 14’s where it’s at, Spongeberg. You’ll love it here. Much better than those messy, ol’ woods.”
“Another investment of yours, Grass?”
“Yeah. I’m branching out. Like a tree.”
“I don’t know.” Spongeberg keeps looking around. “Animations are pretty primitive overall here.”
“Oh this is just the base, the Linden beginning. Lindenning. At the top’s where it’s at. 13 and 14. Connected now, like they’ve always been in hypertime. And hyperspace.”
“You *do* remember I use to live here. Mystenopolis.”
“Of course. And you’ve found the great faun statue intact and have decided to resume living here and move away from the messy woods. I know.”
“I haven’t given up on Whitehead Crossing.”
“I know that too.”
“Maybe we should start with stuff you *don’t* know, then.”
“Oh I know a lot. A-M. Maybe N-Z. It depends… well, on Karoz really.”
“One more thing, Grass. Before you commit to this. I can die. Unlike any of the other core avatars. It just happened to me. On Highway 13. Or maybe it was 14.”
“That’s okay,” assured the giant, green toy to his destroyer friend. “I actually know all about death and resurrection. We Mmmmmm’s have quite the short life span. I’ve died several times while existing in Our Second Lyfe.” He edges closer to Spongeberg. “Listen, that’s what’s so fascinating about the appearance of Gene Fade here. He swore he’d never return, since you age about 7x faster in this place. Now he didn’t die while here, because Mossmen like him naturally live so long anyways. *Anyways*, we’re opposites, see. Opposite sides of a spectrum.”
Spongeberg keeps looking. “Any liquor around this joint?”
“Here’s your rainbow daiquiri, sir,” announced Male Goth Avatar, currently serving as bartender at the End of the Line Inn.
“Great, thanks. Anything for you, Grass?”
“No, I’ll just keep staring at this wall while you imbibe. You take your time, though. We have plenty of time here. Plenty.”
This portion of the Baker Blinker Blog is brought to you by 3B Productions, maker of the fine None of your Bee’s Wax© global media events.
Black people. Just like me. But then: “Whiteyes”. Ice Cream Eyes?
She looks at the watch that she’s not wearing. Time to meet Grassy over at the Blue Feather Table Room.
Hucka Doobie kept staring at the map and adding information. “Karon above Lapara, Grassy. And Cadiz is nearby too.”
“A ‘Z’ is kind of an ‘N’ turned on its side,” offered his old friend sitting beside him. His old *nemesis*. But that was long, long ago and far, far away. In a different universe, really.
“You’re right Grassy Noll!” She rotates it in his mind. “Karoz’s ‘N’ must have been turned into a ‘Z’. It’s not lost, merely sideways!”
“Visa versa,” Grassy repeated. “Reverse the ‘N’ with the ‘Z’.”
She was really planning to stay here long term, he pondered from his plywood cube. Brought all of her exercise equipment over here, her personal gym. Not to be confused with her personal Jim, hehe. But he must remain serious. He’ll ask her as politely as possible to remove it all tomorrow. Or sometime this week. Sometime this month at the very least. Because (as we’ve pointed out) he’s stuck. Stuck in Time. Stuck in Money. Stuck in Brain Damage really, given that he is 2 Rogers in one. Roger Pine Ridge both (as also pointed out before [but much further back]).
What to do with the basement space, though? The upper part: living quarters. But here he could make… a studio again? Make music once more. Just start beating on stuff.
And there’s good and kind neighbor Grassy to consider. His landlord in effect. No, not his landlord… let’s just have them visit each other for a spell…
“Dum de *dum* de dum.”
“The late breakfast was, er, *special*, Grassy Noll. Just like you.”
“Thank you.” Was there sarcasm involved with his speech patterns? the Mmmmmm thought, then waved it off. Of course not. This is Roger Pine Ridge. Destined to be his best neighbor ever. Much more so than the Petersons, who left in the middle of the night to live in Alcatraz. And the Archibalds left much to be desired as well. He was a bit actor and she studied acting a bit. Go figure.
“I hear you are a famous thespian in your small area of the universe,” offered Roger, trying to ignore the fullness of his stomach and the needlessness for it.
“I am!” Grassy automatically started listing off the productions he starred in. “‘Salad Bar Jack in the River of Tile’ — I’m sure you’ve heard of that.”
“Then ‘Salad Bar Jack of All Trades’, ‘Salad Bar Jack be Nimble’…”
“I’m going to stop you there, Grassy. Grassy Noll. My most excellent neighbor.” He peers at his watch, not trying to hide it.
“Time,” Grassy spoke solemnly. “I understand.”
“And Money,” Roger quickly followed.
“We don’t speak of that.”
Roger Pine Ridge suddenly wondered what the inside of his brain looked like, and if flowers could be successfully cultivated there given the right fertilizer.
“Hmm. I should catch up with the deported Roger Pine Ridge over in Iris tonight.”
“It’s bigger than your apartment in Collagesity, Roger,” Mmmmmm Grassy Noll attempted to pursuade. “Better views probably. You can see all the way to the Moth Temple if you squint.”
“I don’t want to squint,” replied Roger Pine Ridge levelly. “I want my eyes wide open all the time.” He looked at the surrealist painting that came with the apartment; indicated it to Grassy. “And what’s *this* suppose to be?”
“It’s a Dali.”
“That’s not a Dali,” Roger Pine Ridge quickly corrected. “I know Dali. This isn’t one of his.”
“Sure it is,” countered Grassy. “Here, let me just click through the paintings. It’s a set of 4. 4 Dali’s. Surely you recognize the famous melted watches painting.”
“Yeah, that’s one of his. The butterfly ship is not,” insisted Roger Pine Ridge. “Wanna make a bet?”
“I tell you what. If that ain’t a Dali then I’ll talk Baker Bloch into sending you back to Collagesity and ending your sentence here in your ‘swamp village’ once and for all.”
2 days later:
“Ahhh. Good to be home.”