The continent which you lie upon
Mirr’r heart and hand and head as one
So thou might not be beating center
‘Stead nervous ends and thoughts asplinter
“What is this place, Baker B.?”
“Morgan. Morgan, and, over there at the bell, Julia.”
“Hmm,” offered Hucka Doobie the bee person. “Let’s meet at your place instead.”
“Yes, I can feel it.” Hucka Doobie checks his inworld map for the general lay of the new diagonal, this “Heart Line” Diagonal. “Where was the spinning train?”
Baker Bloch checks as well. “Umm, Velox. Two sims up from us. We’re in Sabulella. Between Velox and Sabulella is Vashti. Beyond Velox is Webworm, Polia, Ufeus…”
“I get the picture,” interrupted the bee person. “I was called in because you finally, *finally*, got in over your head.”
“Well…” Baker Bloch started to protest.
“But you did,” Hucka Doobie completed matter-of-factly. She tried to turn toward the interior of the Tao Lodge they sat just outside of but found she couldn’t pivot her head. “Let’s get up,” she rather commanded. “Let’s go look at the painting that prompted you to give me a call. *Finally.*”
“Here’s another Dali painting I missed before.”
“I don’t think that’s a Dali,” proffered Hucka Doobie, walking up. “Let’s go see the real Dali.”
“Just around the corner here, Hucka Doobie. Tigertail, Stinger, Chick all in one.”
“Hold on, Baker B. I’m seeing something else in this one.”
“A map. A map that freaked you out, grid lines running all over the place. What has this dude been up to? you asked yourself upon reading his profile. Chick, Tigertail, Stinger…”
“But the chick is the elephant, and not the chick on the ground. Gala. Dali’s muse of course.”
“The chick is the elephant,” Baker Bloch reaffirmed.
“A nice fire. A laughing monk. What next, Baker B.?”
“I think you know what’s next.”
“It really was all my fault, Martha my dear. I was overthinking the situation.”
“Think nothing of it. The Diagonal was being misused and you stepped in, just as you should.”
“But this one is different.”
“Who’s going to tell the children, Sid?”
“We’ll do it… together.”
Heart Line 02
“As you can see, Grassy, the 2 sightings of Mossmen in Our Second Lyfe from the past several years — perhaps the same as your Gene Fade…”
“It is!” reinforced the Mmmmmm sitting in the chair next to Baker Bloch. “It’s my old friend Gene Fade. Gene Fade!”
“Yes,” spoke Baker Bloch not quite as enthusiastically. “Anyway, both sightings occur very close to our brand new Heart Line. The actual heart shaped dance stage in, let’s see, (Baker Bloch looks at the part of the map closest to him, its sw corner) Catocala — never remember that — it marks the line as the Heart one. Then just a bit later I found a linden palm right on the line in one of the sims below this map, but didn’t make the connection to *palm* or hand line until a little later. Then the spinning train in (Baker squints further up the map this time), Velox — yes, Velox — convinced me this new Diagonal also had power, just like the old one running through Rubi and VHC City and the like.”
“One is Heart,” Grassy inserts. “One is Head. You *thought* about the Head Line too much, so the Heart Line is automatically produced. And your friend Art Oluja is involved?”
“Right. The Cato-cala heart (Baker makes sure he’s pronouncing the sim name correctly) points right to the center of her new installment in the same sim.”
“Art use to live on the edge of Collagesity?”
“Yes. Eastern edge.”
“Why did she leave?”
“Nothing in Our Second Lyfe is permanent, Grassy,” instructs Baker Bloch to the rather naive Mmmmmm. “Things change… but I think Art decided to use the tier of the parcel for other purposes. You see, you can only hold a certain amount of mainland with a certain amount of tier, and the tier is rigged to jump way up in price if you go over your limit and you own enough land. I pay 35 US dollars in tier each month to the Lindens, but my land allowance is maxed out under this agreement. To buy even a small 512 parcel would push it up to 67 US dollars in tier. Do you understand?”
“I think so. I will study this matter. I have never owned land in Our Second Lyfe. Nor do I believe I desire to do so if the game is rigged this way, as you put it. I will stick to visiting Collagesity when needed and staying in my nice, free apartment near Iris that Bill provided me at the end of Collagesity novel 8.”
Baker Bloch looked over at the ovoid green figure beside him, his wonky pupils darting about the whites of his enormous eyes like black ping pong balls. “Probably a wise choice my friend.”
There’s a Moss Island sim in Our Second Lyfe but it only seems pertinent because the parcel composing the whole sim is called Two Suns 3. This pointed me back to Nascera and the Threesun Cult that, recently, we’ve seen Doc Brown of Eotia Village mentioning as a past obsession, and connected in some mysterious way to the religion that new Eotia resident (and new father) Zoidboro was a preacher of over in The Waste. The Threesun sim is also a location featured in Collagesity novel 8 LINK.
But first I probed other “Moss” sims of Second Lyfe. Checked all out by teleporting into the center and having a look around. These included Moss Gully on the Jeogeot continent (basically empty),
Moss Island (already accomplished), Moss n Mink (no allowed teleport), Mossmopolis (interesting name, but nothing there that I could tell), Mossu (clothing store), Mossy Cove (no teleport), and, finally Mossy Hill, which turned out to be a protected land sim of one of the Nascera continents, but not the original one. Perhaps the one they called Arecsan?
Upon visiting, the “Hill” part of the name confused me since the sim seemed totally flat, but I discovered there is a raise area in the southwest corner. Perhaps that’s what the Mossy Hill namers had in mind, and it is greener than the flatland to the northwest, green being the color of moss.
But the fact that this was a landscaping sim interested me (like Threesun sim) since the great majority of Nascera related sims are instead populated to the brink with residential houses (Linden homes). I pondered what equivalent sim might be on the several other Nascera continents, and quickly came upon this: Tam Lin, with some more interesting landscaping going on. And the point of a *heart* shaped pond in the middle.
Let’s go see…
Not quite a point but certainly a heart still.
And just over there to the east: another one. Reinforcement.
Some of you probably know who Tam Mossman is. Tam and I became friends many years ago. That was around the time he was the Prentice-Hall Publishing Company’s editor for Jane Roberts’ Seth books. He continued in that role many years.
And there’s this:
“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.”
here there everywhere
“Damn. And I was just beginning to enjoy myself tonight, pheh.” Hucka Doobie sighs. “Alright, Baker Bloch. Here I come to join you in Tam Lin. Reluctantly.” She accepts the teleport invite.
“Just thought you might want a hot dog tonight.”
Hucka Doobie tried to relax but then couldn’t help herself. “A *hot dog*?” Her voice couldn’t hide the shrill.
“Yeah. Fresh off the grill. See over there?” Baker indicated to his left.
“Yeah, I see. Baker Bloch. There must be more on your mind tonight than mere hot dogs. You’re always going deep.”
“Not really. Oh… and cole slaw. Big tub of it. Aren’t our Lindens wonderful? Free food. Beautiful location. Heart Lakes I think I’ll call this place. Not Tam Lin.”
“But then there’s the duplicate. Mossy Hill. Wait… Mistymo. Yeah, Mistymo,” Hucka Doobie proclaims after checking her inworld map.
“Baker Bloch looks around. There’s mossy hills in every direction here it seems to me. Over there. Over there. Then also over there. Mossy Hill (sim) doesn’t really have any hills. But this duplicate sim with the additional heart lakes and also this picnic table and some other stuff does. I think this is the true Mossy Hill sim, Hucka Doobie.” He pointed again. “Here, here, and here.”
“Could be.” Hucka Doobie was pondering how to cut this visit as short as possible. “Listen, I was doing some research over on the Heart Line… speaking of hearts.”
“No you weren’t,” spoke Baker Bloch quickly.
“You weren’t doing anything. I know. I brought you into existence. And why aren’t you a regular looking young black woman now? With antennae true, but otherwise: pretty normal.”
“I changed for the blog. Readers recognize me more in this shape. I show up better in a long shot. Here…
“Aha. I *tricked* you. You’re actually here now. You can’t leave.”
“No.” He looked her over. “Very good, Hucka D. Quite like Iman don’t you think?”
“Sure. I suppose. And I can retract my antennae if needed.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Baker Bloch then looked behind her at the black spots in the sky. He pointed. “Are those black holes?”
They were everywhere.
“Interesting, Wheeler. Roger summoned a demon while he was here and
he she can’t be erased now.”
“Yes.” Wheeler’s attention was instead focused on studying the so-called Dali butterfly ship, which, true to Roger Pine Ridge’s insistence, *wasn’t* a Dali, even though various versions of it show up in a google image search for “Dali + painting”. How did such a hoax become perpetuated? she pondered from her chair in front of the interwebs feed of the apartment.
And why was such a ship recently found by Baker Bloch in Blue Junkyards? From *Rosehaven* of all places.
Baker continued to stare at the demon, rainbow colored like the butterflies making up the sails of the ship. Was he becoming hypnotized?
Then suddenly he realized where it came from, snapping him out of his trance.
It had more to do with Roger’s hit single “Time” than anything else. Its *time* to be precise.
In erasing the demon, Baker saw there were no hands on the apartment’s clock. No time to tell.
Baker turned. “Who will live here now, Wheeler?”
Wheeler understood it could be herself. Roger might have taken her place in Collagesity. Just like that; snap of the fingers. She addresses this possibility to Baker. Both of ’em.
True Man Show
“It’s possible here in Columbia for people to see surrealist masters like this in our own backyard,” Laverick said. “That’s what the Tiger Hotel has always been about, creating a place that would be at home in New York or Chicago, and this is the next level of that. These paintings would normally only be accessible in a big city but they’re right here.”
“Today Missouri. Tomorrow: Rosehaven.” Ruby Fantasie extends her arms and shrills in as nasal a voice as she can muster over the city. “Come fiind mee! I’m heeere!!”
Hand of Opp.
If odd, crazy things become consistently common…
… well, I think you know what I’m getting at here (odd crazy things turn into common ordinary things). Like this image I found while googling “‘Baxter County’ Arkansas map” just a minute ago, before logging in here. It was in the 5th row of hits, about 29 images down. But it stuck out, you see, because of my recent mentions of Hand in relation to this county…. LINK
A very odd picture — it represents an upside down map of the county since the Missouri state line is to the south instead of the north where it should be. Here’s the web site it’s from:
“Black, white, blue, red, gray. You cannot get rid of me that easily, Baker Bloch. Nor Opp.”
“I know. The alchemy.”
“Yes. I am powerful still. Most powerful. Occident must work with Orient. There is no other way now. Physicality wanes, but mentally we can remain strong, even up to the end. And mental ultimately rules physical. *Creates* physical.”
“What about emotional?” Baker Bloch spoke from his own bench beside the cyan fountain. The Fountain of Morgan Mountain. Or Julia Mountain. Half and half.
“We’ll see about that,” Wheeler answers.
Hucka Doobie was studying collages in Collagesity again and catching up in general. “The Hand of Opp,” she gasps while standing in front of Stonethrow 08.
She examines the corner it makes with 09.
Could I walk into this collage? Hucka ponders while looking at the inviting road. All the way back to Stonethwaite? The road flickers again.
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.
“So. This is your portal.”
“I come down here to Dennis, I get cleaned up, um hum.”
“Err, you mean you get cleaned up and then you come down here to Dennis.” Baker Bloch remembered that Wheeler had said something was wrong with Tropp — True Opp. Maybe it’s that he gets everything backwards. He decides to test.
“So, Wilson Wheeler is your best mate down here.”
“Wheeler Wilson, yes.”
Aha! Baker thought.
“I left him over there dancing. He seems to try to dance his way into a different form. Axis.”
“I’ve heard of him. Rules The Waste, among other places. Rosehaven even, perhaps.”
“We can’t get rid of him.”
“We tried. Same with Wheeler.”
“True enough.” Karoz leaned forward. “You know I have a different user than you.”
“Okay. Come clean with it.” Baker Bloch knew, but he wanted to hear Karoz speak the name.
“Gene Fade.” Baker Bloch nods, trying to look a little shocked. “And the same goes for Tropp — Opp.”
“Gene Fade is Tropp’s user as well.” Baker kept his mouth open.
“But Tropp is the same as Bracket, originally king of the Comma Islands.”
“And, I’m guessing, Mmmmmm Grassy Noll is a Gene Fade avatar as well.”
“Could be.” Karoz continues his own story. “I was designed to safely walk the uber sacred peak of Grandaddy Mountain without damaging precious and sometimes rare plants. No animal interaction either. But I forsook this destiny and became enmeshed in Second Lyfe. Our Second Lyfe.”
“Noru, actually. Norum.”
“Norum was stronger than Chilbo — Chilbol — in the early days. Before the deforestation.”
“Right. Plants talk. Plants aid. Look at Collagesity now. The only thing keeping it living and breathing is the Rubi Woods.”
“Correct.” He continues onward with more “revelations”. “Gene Fade is my father. Father *and* user.”
“Grassy too. Gene created Grassy from his own genes.”
“‘Fade to Moss,'” Baker proffers. “The production tells all of this.”
“But not in this dimension. Not yet. Gene wanted to go beyond his days as Grassy Noll’s sidekick in all those Salad Bar Jack action-adventure movies. He was quite famous, but only through Grassy. ‘Fade to Moss’, an autobiography that wasn’t an autobiography, was suppose to propel him into a different circle, a different level.”
(to be continued)
a one and a two
“So this is where Old Mabel performs her Hannah Montana routine, huh,” spoke Baker Blinker, not touching her breakfast yet.
“Go ahead,” urged Baker Bloch, seeing his female counterpart’s hesitation. “The Bennington experiment eggs are the best. So tasty. I’m on my second helping.”
“Umm. I think I’ll pass. Thanks for the food, though. It just smells a little — off to me.”
“Bennington eggs? No way. They ship them in fresh every day. I hear the delivery truck rattle down main street every morning promptly at 5:00am. Or so.”
“From your home of Darkly Manor?” the female Baker attempts to clarify. “You *are* Pitch Darkly here in Collagesity. That’s where you live.”
“Err. Yeah, I suppose.” Baker Bloch was trying to understand how all that worked. He had memories of being the bloodied vampire originally from VHC City, and lots of them. Marriage to Mary Greentop. Construction of Darkly Manor to lure him to Collagesity from VHC City when the latter finally became impossible to live in. But how could he lure himself? He must be in two places at once.
“Well I’m all ears now. Convince me — and Karoz — to come back. Now that our coup didn’t work.”
“As you’ve described, it worked for one shining moment.”
“Morgan, yeah. But then — in the same spot even…”
“I know. Karoz lost the wrestling match again. Or won it — something.”
“But you’re right. We had it for a moment.” A climax, she thought, but didn’t say aloud. Then: droop all around. Julian reduced to Julia; loss of “N”. AlmaNoz separated out to Alma and Oz. But where did the “N” go? she pondered. Was the one time enough to lure them back? Like the good ol’ days?
“Two places,” Baker Blinker started the compromise in earnest. “We’ll have to have two places to live.”
Gene Fade’s Mountain Revisited
“Then we rounded the corner and, lo and behold, downtown Notherton was still there (!). Right below us. Gene Fade was so excited.”
“Because, um, Gene Fade was there — with you.”
“Right. And then the 5 sided mall (!!). We looked for it and then suddenly it was just looming before us, all dramatic and stuff.
“You can’t see the mall, mind you. It exists in another dimension.”
“Of course it does. Gene Fade’s dimension.”
Wheeler went to the next picture.
“And Gene Fade reached Notherton from this road leading back to his home at Jupiter Rock.”
“Jupiter Rock was his home,” Baker reaffirmed. “The town was named after the rock looming above it.”
“Gene Fade’s dimension. A dimensional rock as well.”
“Of course. It had a big red spot on it. More garnet colored, I suppose, but still red and obviously connectable to the same on the planet Jupiter. That’s how it got its name.”
“Not because Gene Fade or his town was from Jupiter. Because that would be ridiculous.”
“I wouldn’t say it would be ridiculous,” Baker countered. He thought about sulking but then changed his mind.
“I do really like the rock art on the posts,” said Wheeler, flipping back to picture 01. “80 posts to conform with the 80 posts you had in your new Sunklands blog at the time of its discovery. And both are still going on — rock posts and blog posts. Both continue. That certainly seems important.” The rest, thought Wheeler to herself: hogwash most likely. There was no Gene Fade. But, she modified, there *could* be Mossmen.
(to be continued)
“Oops! Holding hands again. You have to watch that.”
“So how do you like it? Great view down Old Cannon Road into the woods. You can probably watch Baker Blinker’s comings and goings. Make sure she’s not cheating on you, hehe.”
“Wouldn’t she?” You are, she thought to herself. 1/2 and 1/2.
“I like the apartment just fine.”
“Why — can’t you and Baker Blinker just live together. What’s this thing about the 2 separate places?”
“You know why.”
“I really don’t,” spoke Wheeler. “You had your one shining moment together. You should be happy now. Don’t mantis’ just make love once a year anyways? Aren’t you part mantis?” she teased again.
“You know I’m not.”
“Karoz, though. That’s Zorak backwards. And Zorak is a mantis. Spaced Ghost’s sidekick. That’s Baker Bloch’s father.”
“I know who Spaced Ghost is.”
“Where *is* Spaced Ghost? Oh, I guess I should be asking Baker Bloch that question. But *your* father. What’s all this b.s. about being Gene Fade’s son? Gene Fade doesn’t exist. Does he?” Wheeler was becoming curious again; doubts about his nonexistence creeping in once more. Karoz *was* here. He *could* be part moss. Probably more likely than being part mantis. And his mother — she must get more of the story about his mother. Both of ’em.
They stare into the post into the post into the post…