Tag Archives: Man About Time^*~~~

i feel a composition coming on (Montana)

He found his Alpheratz teleporter inside the skybox map and pulled it up to the blue surface. He was ready to let go. “Goodbye Nautilus,” he said, looking over all of it like a God himself in the instant. “Goodbye Collagesity,” he spoke, spotting its representative red pin on the beige ridge between highways 13 and 14 as well. “It seems I hardly knew ya.” Then he was gone. Outta here. Just like that. Teleported to parts unknown. Now Man About Time has his shot at running things. And he can bring Danny back too and his plunger, not the bathroom tool but the real one, the time one. Because, as I think I indicated or hinted at before, Danny knows a lot more than surface aspects of a hick janitor would indicate. He knows about Bill just to mention something in the instant. And his hatred of Billy Ray Cyrus, perhaps the ultimate hick who sired… Mabel? Maybe *she* thinks so.

—–

“Wheeler?” Mabel was surprised at the voice. She thought that old bridge had been burned down for good. “H-how are you?” Like she cared, but she tried to remain pleasant.

“I’m fine, I’m fine. Listen, I just wanted to call you and let you know that Jeffrey Phillips died.”

“Who?”

“Jeffrey Phillips. (pause) I thought you knew him pretty well.”

“Oh, yeah, the *playboy*. Well, that’s a shame.” Mabel wanted to add, “anything else?” but held her tongue. Instead she smoothed the ruffles of her lime green dress.

“He took Baker Bloch’s place as ruler of Collagesity. When Baker went…”

“*Where* did *Baker* go?” Mabel suddenly was in a state of panic. She had to at least pretend to rebuild that old, burnt bridge and return. Baker must come back!

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Mouse Island

I didn’t get out of the pod, which had turned into a boat. Soon enough I was darting toward Dizneyland, probably Pansy as well. I could only hope.

I stepped out of the boat and walked across the entry dock as quietly as I could. Maybe if I didn’t wake up anyone I could get out of this alive.

A squeaking board. “Halt!!”

Nope.

—–

We ate supper that night in silence. The knife we used to cut the pizza lay just beyond reach. I had two options as I saw it. We could either kill each other… or kiss each other. But this was Wheeler, I reminded myself. A Blurmaid — blue mermaid — but still: Wheeler. The whole separation of state and power came back to me like a punching fist, a jabbing knife. Looks like killing is the option.

“CUT!!” the director shouted behind the scenes. “That was GREAT. Now do it like you’re two monkeys climbing up a tree to grab the same banana. Annnnd ACTION!!”

The improv suggestion didn’t work. We sat there still, staring at each other. If I could only describe the look in her eyes. Two pools… whirlpools perhaps. I wish I was somewhere else.

—–

I was in the Temple now, having just completed the second of 2 whirls of the rainbow labyrinth on the bottom floor. Blue all around, but white here in the center. Just like her and her eyes. I was trapped like a fly between two window panes. I looked over at crooning Mercury propped up against a dead tree and understood more about what he went through.

Blue yellow red green, and then, secondly, cobalt purple orange maroon. If only there were just letters and not letters and numbers together then the world could remain perfect.

—–

“The switch from Kansas to Oz equals the switch from yellow to red as if through a door. Blue and yellow are Kansas, which remain perfect. Red and green are Oz, Munchkinland and the Yellow Brick Road to begin and encompass the whole. This *should* be perfect but it has been singly corrupted. And this is where we must understand *numbers* beyond letters. 13 in the first has been reduced to 12 in the second, with numbers adding 1/4th from the outside. This ‘outside’ is what we must really begin to understand. Because that is the direction of the Abyss and not God.”

I didn’t want to hear this TILE talk from Man About Time, attempting to explain my latest dream-reality. I knew Wheeler had created it all to teach me a valuable lesson. Don’t f-ck with mermaids. Or mice.

I am Pansy. Zero Hero.

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Birthplace of Bogota — BoB

“So is this it?” he asked. So innocent and mild-spoken, not like in the Big Dream I had. I’m reassured by his physical presence. This is not a monster before me (!). It was all imaginary; unreal. Like with that girl in the 1898 Oz movie.

“Yes, Man About Time — MAT.”

“Thank you,” he replied about me adding the way he likes to say his name. Like someone named Matt in our world — *your* world. “Welcome MAT!”, and so on. It reminded me of something else.

“Do, ahem, you remember Marcus Fox Smartville? I believe you may have met him on News Years. Not this year but maybe one back.”

“Of course.” He twirled around in place on the edge of the road. Highway 14, the compliment to Highway 13 on the other side of the peninsula we live upon.

“Explain your relationship — if you don’t mind.”

“I am he,” he said plainly, flinging his arms about again. He looks up at the colorful sign, continuing talk from before. “So this is TILE.”

“TILE indicator, yes. The gallery across the road pointed it out. One Barret Darkfold. Interesting art within as well.”

“And you’ve contacted him?”

“Yes. Because his is the closest registered gallery to Collagesity as I found out last night, and also that our names are alphabetically next to each other in a member list of the Virtual Soho group, which I just found out tonight in looking up something totally different. I told him I thought it was funny: these two found juxtapositions of ourselves in two nights.”

“It’s the bridge,” he suddenly said. “It points right to the sign.”

I looked north. “Bridge of the 7 Chickens?”

“Yes. It points directly to this… TILE substitute,” he reinforced.

The individual tile numbers are not exact but the colors match in two different ways, red for L and blue for E, just like in the letters of TILE. But this is LOVE, of course, so the O and the V don’t match the letters. But they match the remaining colors of green and yellow. This is TILE.

“Shall we go see the art?” I asked him after nothing else seemed to need adding about the sign.

As we started walking, 2 pods flew by us and pulled into a small station just ahead. We took it as yet another sign…

… then I found another pod across the bridge. I hopped in, leaving MAT behind.

MAT decided to check out the Darkfold gallery by himself. “Didn’t even say goodbye, hmph,” he muttered about my quick exit while passing through the multi-arched entrance.

—–

Ahh. Quito’s Garage. The place Karoz Blogger got married way back in novel 2. And I was just here.

—–

Soon I was back where I started. The pod had suddenly decided to turn around in its journey not far past the garage. As if it was all about that.

“How was your trip?”

“How was *yours*?”

“Colorful,” he replied over.

“Mine too!”

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Highcastle

His foot pointed at yet another classic book he hadn’t read: “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy. So many tomes to read and seemingly so little time, since he was on his own photo-novel 25 in a series of 1. He was at the top, everything leveled off. The Grandma, the *actual* one, was nearby. Very close. But she was busy with Man About Time at the moment. Everything depended on Sandman *not* reaching this level, and MAT knew it. He had to be reinforced that he was the chosen one. Would it work?”

He rested his hand on hers, not daring to ask the question foremost in his mind. He thought back to Collagesity and Carrcassonnnee, the attempt to make the 7th well and alive and functional again. There was a trick involved. Just like there was here. Grandma was always near death but never made it to the Pearly Gates, her just reward. Grandpa was waiting for her, just around the corner. She could hear his voice, feel his presence. Yet there was still a barrier, a resistance. What was it? Was it MAT? Did he want me to choose? she pondered.

—–

“I’m through here for the moment, Keith B. We can go back to your place.” But Keith was busy listening to the voices again. Only writing would help, not reading. He sat amidst the volume of dusty books, holding his head in his hands while rocking back and forth. What was wrong with him? This seemed just like Mercury.

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new sector

I wish I could say hello, welcome, “MAT Gone Bad” thought at his “welcoming” couch, spying Sandman descend the stairs from the Portal in the distance. But not here. Canada or not, this is *my* realm. And you’re not a part of it. Dany Rada, without an extra N — or an R — invented the (time) plunger that brought me here, in his true self. You have not seen his true self, you do not know the truth… *interloper*. Things have equaled out now and beyond, with not a level playing ground to behold, not even close.

He stares upward now, seeing the many levels Sandman, formerly newly appointed Collagesity leader Jeffrey Phillips, has to ascend to win the “game”. He’ll probably never make it to the castle, Man About Time calculates in his machinating mind, but even if he does the Grandma is there at the end. No one gets past the Grandma. Everyone has one, and everyone is leveled out at the top because of her. Grandma will ask about the innermost secrets and if she is not happy with the answers, she will *cancel all future realities*. That simple. But, again, he probably won’t even make it that far.

Sandman’s pace is still brisk when he steps upon the pathway leading to the Ethereal Falls. MAT reconsiders in the moment. Sandman is strong, having Jeffrey Phillips’ soul within as a new host. He truly could make it to the Grandma. But no further of course. Unless, *his* reality is cancelled instead. He ponders this terrifying if unlikely future for just a few seconds before waving it off as if an irritating gnat. He settles back into the couch for a nap, for there is no one down here that can bid him otherwise.

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another kind of card game; no Right of Way

“I only told a fib *this* big. Not a whopper.”

“Shut your mouth,” she responded, getting the joke but not liking it. Back to the cast of “Burger Wars” for her, it looked like.

“*Anyhoot*, we’re back to where we started from, you in your position and me in mine. This is good.” He puts down his hands. “This is excellent.” He begins to whistle a tune of no solid design. “This is great,” he paused in the activity to reinforce the positivity of the situation once more.

Wheeler/Wendy continues to wipe down the counter with a nonexistent rag. “Do you want me to keep doing this until we can see ourselves in the polished surface, hmmm?”

But her rhetorical question was answered by the first visitor of the night to this central Nautilus location, the basically vacant, sim-wide city we visited before for a couple of posts in section 3. Man About Time.

“Ahh, my most unfocused doppleganger, have a seat have a seat. How are things back in Collagesity, #2?” We are lone mates, thinks Jeffrey Phillips here, much like Speck and Crazy.

“I took Carrcassonnee apart and then put her back together, as you suggested.”

“Great!” Jeffrey Phillips was pleased MAT followed orders or at least suggestions for a change. “Any luck? Can we get her back? How long away from the tree can we expect her to live when disassembled?” So many questions, Phillips thinks. I need to return; can’t keep ruling the place long distance. But squaring the circle is important important and thus the return to this pretty central location.

“10 days at most,” MAT answers the second question first. “But it doesn’t matter,” he continues in his mild way. “The eye, even when separated from the (6 sectioned) body, remains staring and unblinking. No real response. I say we move to Plan B. Or Plan 2.”

“*You’re* Plan 2,” Jeffrey responded, laughing while simultaneously disappointed that Carrcassonnee couldn’t be reactivated. Wheeler/Wendy continued to needlessly wipe down the counter, wondering when this was going to end. Another visitor shows up. Fern Stalin. And right behind her, as usual, her own no. 2: Lichen Roosevelt. The old Yalta Bar and Grill gang had reassembled. They were all here to talk about what happened with the crashed ship over in Wallytown. Everyone needed to know; everyone needed to be brought up to speed.

“Speeding,” finished Fern Stalin 15 minutes later. “Stop signs ignored.”

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beside the canal

You’re not who I was expecting… *Wheeler*.”

“It’s because you tried out that different state on Elsa the other day. She didn’t want to come. She asked me to substitute for her. How did you like *my* kiss?”

Jeffrey Phillips wasn’t impressed and says so. Way too 18th Century, way too mellow. Besides, this was Wheeler for Christ’s sake. This wasn’t one of *his* girls. This was an equal (!). “Anyway, you kissed me, not the opposite way ’round.”

I was just experimenting. Just like you, tee hee. Do you, do you know what they’re calling you back in Marwood, you stud? Bruce Springsteen,” she answers herself, because you have your E Street band (of ladies) there, and also you are a Rock. Do you remember playing the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with the Barrys? You won.”

“Well, Paper and Scissors, I mean, Barry (X. Vampire) and Barry (DeBoy) are still around,” Jeffrey Phillips tries to defend himself, thinking of the 2 faced God Janus looking both forwards and backwards in time. “Sandy Beech as well… I’m not Sandy.”

“No,” countered Wheeler, Hidi for the moment. “You are all of those and more. You are the…”

“… last man standing,” he completed for Wheeler, knowing it was true or at least largely so. Besides Man About Time — and perhaps he doesn’t even count since he’s so unfocused — where are the others? “Baker Bloch has gone to the White Palace in Heaven to join Hucka Doobie,” he explains for the both of ’em. “Baker Blinker is gone as well — you’ve *absorbed* her.”

“That was a long time ago.”

“Karoz too.”

“Karoz is still around,” says Wheeler, knowing it was both false and true at once.

Jeffrey Phillips blew out air. “I guess… we just needed to talk.” He looked over at her: Janus faced as well. She changed. Windy, as in City. Big Windy even, bigger than ever. Where was this going? Was he ready… or did he need to wait? And where the heck was Norm Bob, Jimbo/O’Jimbo, Bimbo/O’Bimbo, and Drunk Dude? Why just the E girls now over in Marwood? Bruce Springsteen, pheh.

“I am not with you,” he decides to say, thinking of the queen-prime minister type relationship again that they had, his saving grace.

“I know.” She breathes out as well. “I have others.”

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separate

Later (or was it earlier?) he was looking at a portrait in one of the city galleries and recognized what he thought were the models. “Wheeler,” he muttered aloud, seeing the Triune that would always rule him. If he didn’t have Collagesity. He *must* hold onto Collagesity. He’ll get the crime spree under control. April Mae Flowers, yes, accomplished the actual homicides, he tried to assure himself. Didn’t work. He knew there were at least 5 active criminals in town (because of the fingerprince), despite only 3 registered residents so far. Danny, who tried to kill *him*, was, true, cleaning out his trailer, getting ready for banishment to… somewhere, Jeffrie Phillips hadn’t decided. Some place that has a lot of broken bathrooms, he he he. Or maybe where they all *worked*, ha ha ha, so he won’t have anything to do. Yes, Hell can be a place of complete, utter boredom too, he realized in the moment. So can Heaven — Heaven and Hell both… which means probably neither exists.

He must think of religion more. There are currently at least 3 active churches in town, or will be — they’re *built* is what I mean. Rezzed. There’s, obviously, the Temple of TILE, and Man About Town — MAT — certainly hasn’t given up on reactivating the old Collagesity ruling deity Carrcassonnee still up on the 3rd floor there, especially since (her replacement) Wheeler seems to be out of the picture. But all he can get out of her still is, “Iiiiiiiiii,” which may mean an uncompleted sentence about herself or maybe the “eye” that dominates her appearance. The eye is broke, he remembers — MAT told him that. That’s the 7th beyond the “unconscious” 6 prims of the body. That is the paradox of the 7 and the 6, the Sepisexton Enigma he termed it at another time. Wacky ol’ MAT, Jeffrie thinks. He’ll always be between one thing or another because of his non-fixed, variable nature. And he’ll probably never get Carrcassonnee to utter anything again except that one word, that one letter perhaps.

He looks again at the picture in the gallery and out of his thoughts. He decides (this must be later, then) that he’ll talk Charlene the Punk out of coming to Collagesity, if she hasn’t already decided herself. She has her business here, and can serve omelettes and other breakfast items in an untimely fashion. No doubt the local residents are use to such lags — heck, they may not even think about them much anymore. Like a fish living in water.

What he could even do is drop mention of Bad Kitten/Zado, Elsa, Darlene, and probably another one or two or three he isn’t thinking about. That’ll keep her here, he assumes. But he can always visit. Often. As often as all the others will allow.

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00250109

She’s quite pretty with the long eyelashes and I can see how Jeffrey might be attracted to her, he says to himself while studying. He’s trying not to stare over at the temple and its green tree still; trying to be distracted. TILE will have to wait. There’s Jeffrey Phillips to help first.

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about town 02

“And that’s about it, sir,” he spoke mildly, as usual, to the new town ruler. “Tour: complete.”

Jeffrey Philips stares at the entrance to the new collage series, called simply Picturetown and breaking the pattern of former series, all of which are named for towns and villages in and around Jasper County, Illinois — a map of which they stand upon here, in fact. Like Falmouth housed in the Fal Mouth Moon gallery that Danny cleans up, for example. He ponders whether to go through the door representing the beginning of the series. Instead he focuses on the surface aspects; he’s learning to ride or jump situations in order to remain objective, like a good ruler should.

“These… Rosehaven people… from this Picturetown. Are they aware we are using their store front here?”

Man About Time looked at Jeffrey Philips, trying to gauge what direction he was heading. “Does it matter?” he decides to say, and let it rest on that.

“I don’t know, I’m just wondering…”

“They will not care… they are artists as well.”

“Maybe we should talk to them.”

“Why, sir, don’t we enter the (new) exhibit and see what they would see if they knew about it.” His voice was gaining confidence. He realized Jeffrey Philips helped temper his mildness with his rugged individuality. This is a man fixed in time, unlike himself. He lets time move all around him rather than inside. MAT wondered who the latest girl is… he’d heard rumors of a woman alternately named Zado and Bad Kitten. He’s been meaning to look that up on the interwebs… maybe when he returns to his lower penthouse apartment at Kidd Tower. And he needs to finish decorating (!). So lazy; but I’ve had to help Jeffrey Philips so much lately. He knows so little about what we do here. And then there’s Carrcassonnee. He resists looking over at the top of the Temple of TILE from this vantage point; needs to keep focused on Jeffrey. This was a pivot point of some sort. Will he go inside? Is he afraid of losing… perspective?

“Not today, Man About Time.”

“MAT, please,” Man About Time insists about his name. Confidence. He is ever so slightly — baby steps — moving away from Time into something else. Town, perhaps. He then has the urge to look left at Roger Pine Ridge’s new house which isn’t there. A sudden backslide, pheh.

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