He was not far behind them, in Ross. He stared at the 3 primary colors under the red and white umbrella that represented candy. Cotton candy in this case, doubly meaningful. Because he’d also learned of Peter Cotton, inventor of the world famous cottonpicker from Kick-ass Bogota, as well as about Marion, a fellow pilot of WWWWI. “Flew a mission with me the day I went down,” he said at the bar drinking a tall grasshopper, as green as his outfit. Greener, Axis-Windmill realized. “Came to get me — only reason I’m standing here with this metal plate in my head. *Borneo*. Get that: Borneo. And all the maps said it didn’t exist, said there was nothing beyond the Elephant of Celebes or the Giant Rat of Sumatra. Rose knew all along where the cube-box was hidden. In one of the deepest corners of space. Marion took me there one night. We were up drinking and drinking and he said he knew of a place where we could get the best whiskey in the solar system, nay, the *universe*. Mind you, we were really drunk. He would have never told me otherwise — said so the next day. We climbed this low granite hill near his new airport over at… I think it’s Enchiladas. Anyway, something that starts with an ‘E’. Some wooden box type thingie was at the top. We reached it. He pointed west, I believe. A particular star, he said. Just rising… over there.”
“Alpha Centari?” I offered, just saying the brightest one I knew.
“That’s how you *find* it,” he replied, and then pointed me west to the famous cross of somewhat fainter stars, the crux of the matter as things turned out. “His buddy studies it,” he said, which I later learned referred to Philip Strevor, a professional pill popper over in Heaven Town.
“Dead?” I guessed about him after learning his job title and the name of his town.
“Might as well be,” came the answer from the green guy, almost as green as his drink he was still sipping, still nursing. “‘To death do us part,’ he said one night on the same low granite hill actually. He was staring at the star and said that, like the star was going to kill him or something.”
“Or marry him,” I added to the story. I was, of course, channeling in the moment. I’d gotten very good at that, in fact.
“We better get to Bartholomew,” he then said, turning toward me, or perhaps looking behind me for someone. I turned as well. Who were we looking at? 102? Something that can’t be edited because it goes in a perpetual circle, editing itself in the process as it revolves around and around and around? Could be.
We were both psychic is all I knew for sure.
He turned away from the cotton candy dispensers and headed toward town.