From his perch atop Pimushe Island, zebra-donkey Zettie Lamont laments the recent loss of the undifferentiated mini coop from nearby Fisher’s Isle down below because he knows it means the beginning of the end for his beloved New Island.
He also laments the loss of his Uncle Zippers in the island’s short but bloody ’92 war between The Actors and The Observers, and often trots over to Flossie’s in the Leon sim to complain to former soldier and current couch potato Norris about it.
“Get off your striped ass and do something!” he might sprayingly bray into the bleached man’s face during any one visit. He’s earned that right.
Roger Pine Ridge is back in town, and in his old apartment next to SoSo Mall formerly shared with old girlfriend Cyberpaperdoll, who, you might recall, ran off with a younger, hipper dude named Bandit Boy during his stint in Iris in the heart of the Heterocera continent. Roger says he’s tired of toying around, as he put it, with our user Baker B. up in the real world, and was itching to get back to playing a “less pressurized, less constrained” part in the still evolving “Collagesity mythos” — again his words. Here he poses with the cutout of another, directly related Roger at the town’s Blue Feather Club: Roger “Syd” Barrett, his fellow bandmember during the early days of psychedelic mega-group Pink Floyd and its original driving force. The mantle of band leader passed from Roger (Syd) to Roger (Roger) in early ’68, as Syd’s mind gradually turned to mush. But you see his fingerprints all over later (and more commercially successful) Floyd in such albums as “Wish You Were Here”, “The Wall,” and, of course, the masterpiece of them all, 1973’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, whose main theme is elements of the world (constraints of “Time”, pressures of “Money”, etc.) that lead one to go mad (“Brain Damage”).
Roger Pine Ridge had his way paid out of the Iris “swamp village” by newly crowned continental queen Bill — The Bill. He chose to enter the real world first, but now leaves behind the old, old disagreement of Missouri vs. Arkansas as the heart of our US of A to focus on “virtual frivolities”.
Again, his phrasings. Welcome back Roger!
The introduction of Pot-D.
“Thank you for waiting, Roger.”
“No problem… The Bill.”
“Bill, please. For now.”
“Well I’ll get straight to it. Since this is the only Fisher Island in Wisconsin (Roger indicates the map still displayed on the media feed of The Table Room), and then the only *Fishers* Island — plural — in the state is on a Hazelhurst topo map — that we’re talking about an exchange: Fisher or Fishers Island for New Island. I am such an exchange, after all, since I’m not Roger Waters but Roger Pine Ridge. And it has worked out all right for me. I’m here, aren’t I?”
“You are indeed,” affirms Bill. “And we’re glad to have you sitting at our Table. You are *The* Variant, as I might be *The* Bill. Interesting symmetry.”
Roger puts a hand to his naturally cracked lips. “Does this Ruby have to affect the change? Can you not do it yourself?”
“As you know, RPR, I am indeed queen of Collagesity, but only because Mabel is so involved in New Island that’s she’s rarely here. Once she returns — all this aberrant energy she feels is dealt with — then she’s back here and a battle shapes up. I need to know what side you’re on. I’d like you to stand with me, obviously. Not that your position at The Table is in doubt, it’s just…”
“So Mabel controls Ruby,” interrupts an engrossed Roger Pine Ridge. “Ruby, the girl of 15, of course, and not Rubi the Woods. No one can control the forest.”
“Not so fast on that, Roger PR, my aberrant friend. We have a plan.”
new Max related graffiti found in still vacant Stairs Gallery
But who’s Ruby? observing Ragdoll wonders.
Mary usually talked to Ralph (horse) during her after-dark angling sessions at Rubisea, but tonight was different. Indigo, a night owl herself, made an introduction.
Indigo was full of questions about her new home. “Why do you call it the Rubi Sea?” the blue woman asked in her deep, almost masculine voice. And with odd overtones to it.
“Ru-BI-se-A,” Mary pronounced correctly. “It’s just a joke name. It’s a little pool of water but we call it a sea, see? And of course Rubi is the sim it’s in — we’re in. Well, *you’re* in. Say you just moved in night before last?” She looked over at the trailer sitting on the southwest corner of the lot, perched atop the spring that feeds the pool. She was eager to go take a closer look but Indigo seemed to want to keep her distance from it, maybe so as not to wake kinfolk Agnus and Ragdoll inside.
” Ru-BI-se-A,” Indigo repeated, and gazed over at the water to her left. “And this *perch*, you say, is the only fish in it. Like the Perch restaurant daddy and sis and I ate at yesterday with the big, human head mounted on the wall — another Perch. And then to add to it we had the perch at Perch.” She pointed left. “From this pool?”
Nah, these little fishes are hardly worth the bait to catch them. The restaurant’s fish are imported from the big fresh water lakes over in the Pond District, I believe. Tethia and Sesea. Maybe Pruni too.”
“Tethia and Sesea and Pruni.” Indigo found that saying names aloud helped her remember them. Or writing them down — but she forgot to bring her notepad and ink pen out tonight. She was going to start taking notes on the position of all the trees of the forest. Her daddy said that’s how she can help best right now in their efforts. Ragdoll will focus on religion, he’ll focus on The Diagonal as a whole, and Indigo will have the woods. She’s started to read Karl’s “Blood Curdling Tells of the Rubi Woods,” a Collagesity classic by now.
“But tell me more about yourself,” Mary then requested. “I know you’re from Obscure just over the hill — beyond The Wall. But were you born there?” Mary was guessing not, judging by her colorful appearance.
“Bennington.” Indigo almost spit the name out. “Don’t want to talk about it,” she added clippingly.
So Mary thought of other things for potential discussion. “How did you get involved in this — Pot-D wasn’t it?”
Indigo reflexively found herself biting her tongue again. She had slipped up near the beginning of their night time conversation, so glad she was to talk to another human being besides Angus and Ragdoll. So she decided to erase the faux pas from Mary’s mind. Indigo began toying with the triangular red amulet hanging round her neck, with glints from its silver skeletal hands catching Mary’s eye now and then. “Beautiful, isn’t it. My daddy gave this to me when I turned 13.” Indigo then reached around with both hands and removed the necklace, laying it on the table between them and making sure the triangle faced Mary full on. The fisherwoman was already transfixed by now.
“Pot-D is a secret between you and me Mary. Collagesity will know in time what it means, but for right now you must keep it locked away in your mind. Locket. Locket. Lock-it.”
And just like that the deed was done. Indigo gathered up the necklace and said she had to get back to bed now since the sun was about to come up. Mary picked up her fishing pole and headed back to Darkly Manor, with the last thing she recalled about their conversation being Indigo’s hatred of her home town. Farmington, wasn’t it? Something “-ing”, anyway. Pretty sure.
“Goodbye, um…,” but Mary also couldn’t quite recall the name of the horse she had been friends with going on a year now.
Facing threats to the south (Cult of Oo’d)…
… the east (Fal Mouth Moon)…
… the north (Stairs/Maxites)…
… Sister Martha Lamb retreats into her fortress of cheese to worship the gateway gods. She chooses liquor tonight just to switch it up…
… but when fellow devotee Jack Richardson starts to sneeze and sniff beside her, she changes back to the standard fries on the opposite side of the prayer room.
Good ol’ fries. Never lets her down. Now if she could only stop stealing glances at Baker B.’s degenerate collages in the Fal Mouth Moon across the street and focus on the Great Cheese. That hand, that hand…
One worry: she’ll start to develop stigmata but of the wrong kind. Tell tale type.
It’s all leading somewhere but she doesn’t know where.
These days Young Ruby often sits atop the Rose 01 dune, aka the Blue Rose Dune, and meditates on her surroundings:
Eraserhead Man’s cottage to the south and its Rabbit Hole portal, now fronted by a small grove of palms…
… Axis’ supposed castle to the west…
… but then an even higher castle across Route 9 that Ruby speculates may his actual home in a bluff, this Man in the High Castle, after all. But maybe both castles are bluffs…
… since we also have the moving castle, the island’s Monster as some call it, including her Aunt Annie. It almost invariably appears to abductees/visitors in or around the Wastelands. More on that soon.
Poor Annie, Ruby thinks. Lost in a quagmire of undifferentiated pills, dance, and sex now. Like being covered in bees with no whirlwind plan for escape.
She should go visit Karl over in the Gloomy Gus after this; get a measure of how he’s holding up. That way she can also stop by the duplicate Scarlet Creative Sylvia House and see if Mabel is, by chance, home. She’d like to catch up with what’s happening over in Heterocera these days. And her doppleganger.
the “i” and the “y”
“We’re going to be here a long time. Aren’t we daddy?”
Angus didn’t know how to answer the pointed question by his daughter but he knew they were. The energy was just too strong here. Much more palpable than Obscure. True source revealed!
“It was those woods all along.” his daughter Ragdoll spoke again. “Wasn’t it?”
When they had returned inside, Ragdoll asked her father if Rubi was spelled with a “y”, with a negative response coming back at her. Then who’s Ruby? she wonders afterwards. Misspelling? And why the attachment to the Max deity? She could sneak out of town and ask Max directly, she supposed, but that had become illegal thanks to Sister Martha Lamb. But… middle of the night. Who would be watching?
Sister Martha Lamb, that’s who.
“Ssooo…,” Martha Lamb hissed from behind, startling her. “You’ve chosen Max (over the others). Looks like we’ll have to talk to the *Town Council* about *this*.”
And she hadn’t even received a clear answer to her question tonight.
“Maybe (the graffiti) was all just some kind of elaborate trap set up by Lamb herself,” she theorized to her sister later back at their shared room in the Rubi trailer. She stopped typing in her journal and turned to face Indigo directly. “You’ve never talked to him. Have you?” Indigo just shrugs from her lying position in return. She’d almost always assumed the conversation between the two was just in Ragdoll’s head but rarely said anything about it out of politeness. Let the child have something to believe in, to hang her hat on, Indigo had thought down through the years now. We’re stuck in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. But, anyway, it was all leading up to this. The woods. The town. The religious battles between the Oo’dites, the Cheeseheads, and now, most likely, the Maxers who can’t be x-ed out. Ragdoll would soon turn 13. Old enough to know the truth. She will be initiated into the fold.
This is what Pot-D was about now: The woods. The town. And, of course, The Diagonal itself. Indigo will hide in the 125/125 tree tomorrow until the sun comes up. And she must remember to take Karl’s book with her for study and entertainment. Tinbaby, hrmph!
the 125 and the 125
Sunrise. June 16, 2018. Indigo returns to the trailer confident that the walking tree can be reasoned with. “Just polished off chapter 13,” she declared to her yawning sister. “‘Unch.'”
“What a doll!” Fisher thinks when spotting a stiffly laid out Lisa the Vegetarian on one of his roamings around New Island. But she was just playing and roaming as well. Turns out she owned a luxurious yacht moored at the fabulous Diamond Sailing Club in the southwest part of the island. She boldly invites him over for dinner, entertainment and “whatever”, a proposition Fisher readily accepts. Could it be: love at first sight?
He helps her clean up after a delicious meal of tofu tacos, bean salad, and fruit smoothies — well, *sort* of helps. They chat of the bloated naval budget caused by the military industrial complex and how it takes away food, clothing, and decent housing from the island’s poor and feeble.
Moving downstairs to the living room, she dazzles him with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and David Bowie’s reinterpretation of Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play” on her Prim Possible grand piano. Yes, she was showing off now.
They talk more on the couch in front of one of Adelaide Morris’ most famous multi-panel paintings: “Fractured Violin”, commissioned by the Jack Benny Musical Foundation in ’76 and bought by Lisa after her first shipment of high grade quartz to the Corsica continent.
It was time for Fisher to leave, he said. But Lisa skillfully removed a key item of clothing when it became entangled in the shutting door. Soon they were rocking to David Bowie’s reinterpretation of the Rolling Stones’ “Lets’ Spend the Night Together” spinning on a bedside ’39 victrola.
In the morning, Lisa proudly shows Fisher her collection of homemade, low prim plants, pastries, and culinary appliances.
over the hill
“Give. Me. Some. PILLS!”
“Flying high are we again tonight Annie? And we’re also joined by Young Ruby. Hi Young Ruby!”
“Hellooo,” the 15 year old replied innocently across the table. The Table. She was also flying high but in a different way.
“And of course The Librarian between you. But let’s go further up tonight, guys,” Axis suggests, retaining a small, mischievous smile upon his lips, Mona Lisa style. “To the Hitop Pool of Undifferentiated Lovemaking. Love, I meant there. 1/2 and 1/2. And I believe its Hilltop. Let’s top, er, hop to it!
“Annie, you chose the red tube. That means you’re temperamental and undisciplined. Ruby you chose the blue one. You are even keeled and fun to work with. Your weaknesses are chocolate…”
“… butter pecan…”
“… and lemonade.”
“Sure ’nuff! Remarkable Axis.” Young Ruby was amazed over how spot on his on-the-spot psychoanalysis was. Axis was an evil genius for sure! And also: in that order.
“It’s time for me to turn into the dog.”
Oh goodie, both women thought as one. Their love of Tin Tin was only matched by their love for their weaknesses, but unfortunately he had his back to them tonight with not much to say.
The sun was rising on Hilltop Pool. The sun was always rising here, over wealthy and poor alike.
“What was it about that jar?” Sister Martha Lamb wondered for yet another time concerning Falmouth 08, even going so far as to rez a small couch in front of it for further analysis. “Copyright protected image; inside but also broken through,” she continued thinking aloud. “A weakness but also… hmmm.”
She still couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
Angus Muffin often took the form of kindly human father figure Sid Viscous when studying The Diagonal away from Rubi. Here he sits in what novel 4 (“Collagesity 2017 Middle”) deems the PCH Forest, former or perhaps even future (!) abode of recently resurrected Clare Nova, remembering that Clare is the literal flip side, as it were, of our Fisher. But what does this really mean? Sid ponders while sitting on a bit of projecting natural Linden grass in the woods at 35/35/100 Hooktip and staring toward Clare’s “Good Neighbor Commandments” obelisk also sitting smack dab on The Diagonal.
The PCH Forest hasn’t changed significantly since novel 4, as far as Angus/Sid can tell (I’ve given him permission to access this blog for his studies, warning him to quickly avert his eyes when encountering infinity points within). He thinks this *non*change is unusual in itself, given the several makeovers the forest went through during my more intense focus on it toward the end of that novel.
He stands up and walks toward the obelisk, situated on the southern edge of the forest. As always, he tries to follow The Diagonal in as straight a line as possible by keeping the first two coordinate points of his position the same at any time. Not as easy as it might sound!
So here, directly in front of the obelisk, for example: 4/4/99 Hooktip.
Tonight Sid finds what could be an important clue about The Diagonal in this area. He’s uncovered that an avatar named [delete] has a small, two story apartment directly on it who is a fan of Firesign Theatre, just like his user, and is part of a Second Lyfe group called Firesigntheatergoers. Never mind that the actual spelling of the famed comedy group is “Theatre” and not “Theater”. There’s still some pretty interesting synchronicity going on here. Check out the group in [delete name’s] list that comes after it: *Fishers Island* Yacht Club. And out of the 5 other members of Firesigntheatergoers, 2 are Baker Bloch himself plus his alt Bracket Jupiter. “How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at All” indeed!
But for now, Angus/Sid has to get back to Collagesity to work his shift as a recently hired cook at Perch. He needs to devise a plan to get rid of that job. Asap! He has to have more time with The Diagonal. Fishers Island Yacht Club is an obvious next possible destination. And a friend request has been sent to [delete name].
red green again
“Get it? She’s *my* doll.”
“Yes, ha ha. Very funny, Bendy. Now lets go put the Tronesisia statue back in API (Artist Point Interactive) before anyone misses her.” 34,537 dollars worth of lindens for that piece alone! Fisher was thinking. Bendy must be punished for this particular mischief. Perhaps taking his Mars Bars away for 1 month will do the trick.
But when they reached API in the southeast part of the island (Bendy is very strong; hauling back and forth and even bending the steel Tronesisia statue presented no problem), the gruff robot had another surprise for Fisher. I, Baker B., had decided to donate 3 of my most recent collages to the gallery, hanging them in the “Waiting Room.”
And then Lisa the Vegetarian herself gave me *half* the “Fractured Violin” painting from her boathouse to put in the gallery, leaving a message saying the other half would be sent when Fisher finished the work he began the other night. When I messaged her back asking what this meant, she simply replied, “Fisher will know.”
But it’s a coup if the future prophet can pull this off — in however way he’s suppose to. “Fractured Violin” is worth at least 10 Tronesisias! Some rumors have it that Adelaide’s multi-panel work might actually be priceless due to certain compositional anomalies. Lisa must really *really* like Fisher to even go this far with the transaction.
But can he finish the deed he started? The salvation of all Our Second Lyves may depend on it.
“These books over here have no title. They must be the important ones. The ones behind the rules.”
“I don’t feel comfortable here,” replied the almost 13 year old Shirley Boot to middle-of-15 Ruby. “Eraserhead Man could come back from one of his ramblings with Robot Derak Jones at any time.”
“Relax,” assured Ruby, still standing tall after the events of the night before up at Hilltop Pool. The Sun Rose. “We have permission to be here. I was *born* here… in the Rabbit Hole.”
“Then what about *him*?” Shirley rolls over and points down to the floor below them. “Mr. Transparent,” she adds glibly.
“Oh he’s just a halfway person. A portal effect. Nothing to worry about. As long as we don’t sit in the chair and try to knit or something. Just do like I said and don’t sit in the chair.”
“Oh I *won’t*. I never had any intention of sitting in that chair.”
“It’s EM’s chair and that is that. It’s a portal thing… ‘nother one. But this raised floor, the books (she waves at the bookshelf in front of her), even the toilet over there just behind the wall… fair game. The table below us as well. It’s just the chair…”
“So you keep saying.” Shirley was itching to talk about men again… boys. She wondered if she should pull out the spliff she has in her pocket and light up. Does Ruby smoke? Is she *cool*?
“I saw the Man in the High Castle outside today,” the 15 year old then said, reimagining the scene. “Checking out EM’s small palm grove. And I’m sure he spotted Annie’s easel and cherry chair there as well. He owns the land, you know. But he didn’t delete the objects. Curious, huh? And he’s just enlarged his castle toward Mabel’s house; you know, the Scarlet Creative Sylvia House. The castle’s west wall is practically in her front yard now.”
Potheads, Shirley then thought, seeing
Marty Bendy and Jay Fisher milling about in their strange ways upstairs. New Island Studios, humph. Maybe I should excuse myself and head over there instead. Always up for a smoke those two are.
Ruby was thinking along the same lines — how to excuse herself without seeming rude. But they stuck with each other tonight, unable to break the magnetic attraction. Not that either was gay or anything. But there was a close friendship forming for sure. One needed the other. Despite the 2 1/2 year difference in age. Shirley needed to cut down on the smokes, especially at her tender age. Ruby just needed someone to discuss High Castle stuff, dunes and island morphology, and so on. Annie had gone too far down Pill Popper Lane now, an understood cul-de-sac.
So Ruby and Shirley went back to Mabel’s house and lounged around the dining table. Ruby read some favorite passages from Mabel’s 3rd Diary to Shirley while Fisher and Bendy, now downstairs, sat on the couch behind them here and stared at various, small insects that flew within range. “A gnat,” Bendy blurted at one point just before he ate it.
Strange that Irish Moss would grow in the sea, Mabel thought from the Yd Bay coastline, peering out at the red plant cluster in the shallow water ahead…
… that, in truth, was another red-blue situation, its duplicate cluster’s hue being just unresolved from Mabel’s distance.
Mabel makes sure to say hello to Leeman or Leemon on her way back to the Scarlet Creative Sylvia House, her home away from home.
Aloha indeed, in that you say hello to this island you never get to say goodbye. The blue never seems to come with the red. Except for one person…
“I knew it was going to be you tonight,” Mabel spoke across the table in her peculiar Martian accent, consonants accented and vowels subdued.
“Well, I knew it was going to be *you*,” the confident 15 year old countered.
one way two
“The walls are closing in on us, Ruby. We have limited time.”
“Have you been inside?” asked the wirey teenager while glancing over her shoulder at the new, western half of the castle. Axis’ castle, I suppose.
“The door remains locked.” On a whim, Mabel decided to do something else tonight. “Would you like to see another one of my incarnations? It may come in handy when trying to understand the battle between Bill and me for Collagesity later on. Won’t be long.”
“That’s cool. Blonde hair again. I think I like the Martian angle better.”
“Um, you’re still a little different than before.”
“Am I?” Mabel looked down at her dress, realized she had glasses on now. Sunglasses — lime colored ones, matching the dress. And hoop earrings! Yes, she remembered now. Montana. This was the outfit she concocted to sing at the Cult of Oo’d church last month. Must have gotten mixed up in her regular, normal day outfits. Embarrassed, Mabel decided not to divulge her more recent infatuation with pop singer Hannah Montana and also her father Billy Ray Cyrus. Daenerys from “Game of Thrones”: yes. Hannah and Billy: not quite yet.
But they must move on the meat of Mabel’s report. “Ruby, I cannot stress this enough. Do *not* return to the API with Shirley Boot or anyone else for that matter. This Mid Hazel’s presence is still strong there. Bill and I have talked. She’s agreed to meet the powerful witch — her mentor after all — face to face once more. In the old castle across Route 9. She could be over there right now.”
“Axis’?” queried Ruby, thinking of the high castle directly across the road from her Blue Rose Dune that she suspected may also belong to him.
No, this one is different. More of a manor, I suppose. I guess.”
On a whim, Bill decided to show Mid Hazel another one of her incarnations. “Might come in handy later on,” she explained.
“Get that whore trash out of here,” the observing witch commanded.