He awoke again a little later on in the day, not having moved from his spot in front of the Raccoon typewriter. Nappy the cat stared directly into the camera, aware of its presence. Eraserhead Man even dared to wave at it, thinking the noticing was funny. Barry DeBoy was not aware of it. Barry DeBoy was in character. He had awoken again, in the same spot as before. Someone, perhaps himself, had turned off the lamp. More clarity all around this time. Wadded up papers on the floor — was this something *he* wrote, perhaps a future or past version again? He picked one up, unwadded it. Something about a place named Gaston. Later he found parrot droppings on the floor of the shed and put two and two together to make four or five. A pirate with a parrot had been here, and he thought he knew which one. The dream controller. The one who brought the virus in his pirate ship for communities that didn’t heed the warnings. Like maw’s Storybrook. Like this place. DeBoy tries to remember the name, the most obvious thing he should recall. But all he could come up with was The Waste, which he knew wasn’t quite right. Something about a number. Or numbers.
He unwadded more; tried to piece together the story being written. Gaston had appeared in something called a photo-novel in versions 6, 11, 16, 21. Through this, the bastard pirate had concluded that it was related to something called a Magic Square of Jupiter, a 4×4 glyph that appeared, perhaps most famously, in Albrect Durer’s print “Melancholia” from back in the 15th Century or something — this from the pirate text again.
He finished unfolding the papers, shooed the conscious cat from the table, and tried to align them in correct order. 70 pages total, he understood from the numeration. But only 4 present here: bits about the magic square and the overall theories but no meat, no details. He would have to shift his attention elsewhere for more answers.
He turned to the stool and the easel holding a canvas on the other side of the screened in shed. Painting. Barry DeBoy realized he had two functions in life now. He was a writer. He was an artist, if not a painter then the equivalent. But in this moment: painter. He had work to do… he remembered that too. The CITY design. Black Diamond. He must get to work soon.
He wasn’t a writer in this incarnation. He was an artist. He wadded the papers back up and threw them in the trashcan underneath the desk. The true story of Gaston would have to wait until another day, another dreamer in another day perhaps, or one who dreams he is real even though he is just another character, one in a long long line now. Maybe he will share a first name with another of his kind — quite likely, given the sheer number. But before DeBoy gets to work — this is *his* work station now, not the pirate’s, not anyone else named Barry — he must explore the neighborhood. Find Suisan if possible and get the story about his mother. Maybe even — maw? He had to look. He had to know. Suisan would know. If she was available.
(to be continued)