He finally figured out how to remove the giant acorn of a head. He was relieved to find his own head still within, or perhaps it just grew there, like a seed in a pod, ready to hatch forth at the right moment. He pulled and pulled and pulled and finally it was there. Fully formed, seemingly. But the bikini top and especially bottom with attached tail remained. That was part of the new body apparently, part of the assimilation. 2 Sandy’s in one now. One Piece Sandy again. He had (seemingly?) woken up, but not in a good way.
And to top it all off now, he had big hands, like the greeter at the door of Bar FF. Odd name; he couldn’t think of what the initials could stand for. Probably something Japanese related, he realized. He couldn’t see the writing on the wall while staring down at monstrous appendages.
Sandy wasn’t alone at the bar. “I believe you know my father,” the 1/2 snow 1/2 sponge being spoke over.
Snowbob’s *mother* Snowmanster exits the closet again, looks around. “Well *this* is different. Underwater, eh. And apparently I can breathe underwater, lucky me. Now to find Old Grey once… oh. There you are!”
Dinner Girl often dreams she is her great great grandmother Din Din, or at least her winged statue in NWES City’s huge police station harboring a vast law enforcement system. Liberating the city of all men who don’t understand or submit and making unions with like-minded strong, weapon toting women across the globe, like the Amazonians. Great people they are, great tribe. Except for the, well, sawing, and I’m not referring to snoring here. What is *left* is the one. Leforest should know, now called Phyllis in this here blog and blog derived photo-novel 22… well, you know. Leforest Bresford. Let’s see what she’s up to. And where the *heck* did Hucka Doobie go? Oh well… on with the show. The show must go on, as Mercury X. Rising once sang to complement the going insane one.
“I’m tired of all these books, Ross C. Go into the future and get me some clean ones, without the virus that’s going all around the place.”
Ross C. bleeped and blipped and estimated that it would take 5 man-hours to return from the future with the equivalent amount of books currently in Andy Warhole’s library, 1/2 of art and 1/2 of other. He never reads them, however. He just likes their appearance in this room when visitors come around. Which should be tonight for Marilyn, Hilter, and the rest. The party starts in 3 hours. Not enough time, Ross C. realizes. She tells her master this.
“Then just get rid of the lot of ’em,” Warhole waves off. “Build me a big aquarium and fill it full of colorful and exotic fish. Get the color pattern from my Marilyn screenprint, the one from Niagara (movie).” Ross C. does the blipping and bleeping thing again and now estimates this will take 10 hours to create, or twice as long as the new library of books. She tells him this.
“Then let’s just, I don’t know, *move*. What are we doing here anyway? This is not my apartment; these are not my books. I don’t have an apartment in the City. I live on the east coast, next to the clean, refreshing Korean Channel full of war ships and war planes and flags and explosions. So exciting. Move our asses, yes. That’s what we should do. That other art fellow lives here instead, Barry or Barren or something or other.” Warhole looks out the window. “Why he’s just painted that Super Building over there, turned it into a *Supper* Building to make Dinner Girl and her lot happy.” Warhole sighs. Ross C. waits patiently for more orders. They always come. She knew they didn’t have to move since they don’t live here in the first place. Or do they?
Warhole settles back into the plastic pink couch, resigned to host the party since everyone is already invited. “Destroy the bookshelf, yes. Just destroy the wall. Why do we have 2 rooms in this City apartment? Studio apartments are where it’s at. I am an artist after all, Jesus. Destroy the wall.”
Ross C. estimates that it will take 2 1/2 hours to destroy the bookshelf and the wall between the 2 rooms of the apartment, fusing them into one. But that doesn’t include the cleaning up, which will take an additional 1/2 hour. “It will be close, master,” she offers in her metallic way.
I loove what you’ve done to the place, Andy. It’s so — open!”
“Thank you, Marilyn.” Ross C. hides in the corner behind the door with the filled dustpan, unable to escape when the first wave of guests arrived.
Scarlet (Creative) Trinity
One day I’m going to get this boat of mine fixed and row row row all the way around this island, like it was (in) a stream.” Dimmy Gene then takes another sip of his homemade Sumatran blend, further pondering about a hill full of phantoms he’s heard about on its opposite side. He involuntarily shudders and winces at once.
He recalls his old girlfriend Little Oakley Annie coming for a visit in the Fall of ’26, just before the end. “I’m going back home to Green River after this,” she spoke to him, pistol waving around haphazardly in her right hand as usual. It would do her in; Oakley was no more after that, no more visits. Buried at Green River on that hill overlooking the vale. Dimmy then ponders about Teepot, which he hadn’t thought of for a long long time. Maybe he should switch from coffee to tea for a while, he segued, starting with green. No: red. This rogue Sumatran is starting to taste like Raid, like something you’d set out to get rid of pests or something. Darn hurricanes: cutting me off from the real coffee I love. He sips again, looking out at the wavy water and wondering if yet another would hit the west coast this Fall. Clouds were darkening again…
An island surrounded by a River. He ruminated where he got the idea while sipping and then wincing once more. But he dare not pull this tarp up and look at the damning holes again. The Phantom Hill trip won’t be happening anytime soon.
(to be continued?)
“Now. Isn’t that a lot better than that nasty old gun, eh? Corona-V. Won’t let you down, hehe. 9 out of 10 pirates — *recommend*.”
“Who *are* you?” she said to the tiny green creature on the pool’s edge beside her with the projecting, announcer-like voice. She was getting use to honing in on the frequency, like a small radio that blends into background noise at first.
“Why I’m a *friend*, a guiding spirit if you will, yes.” Spore rubs his miniature hands together in diabolic glee. Plan Z was working perfectly. Except he’s decided to trim the name down to Pan-Z to separate it from that other guy with a plan about the canal that didn’t work so well. NWES City remains in pieces. “Now just rellaaxx and forget *all* about that awful black swamp, eh? Settle back. You remain a star, don’t worry. I’ll be back shortly.” He patters off, still rubbing his hands and snickering underneath his breath. Oakley Annie floats and sips for a while, thinking of the past.
“You use to be *my* friend,” Big Wanda with new doo spoke, sitting up for emphasis.
“Well things change, what can I say.” She looked over. “What happened to your horns, the thing that gave away your sign?”
“Aww, got tired of them.” She patted her hornless head, indicating her pigtailed hair she replaced them with; kind of floppy horns if you will; deflated almost. “Looked much better on the other version of Elberta I have,” she opined about it, “the one that was going to marry–”
“Don’t tell me,” Oakley Annie beams with new psychic insight because of the brew; in the dark no more. “Toothpick.” She cackles. “*That’s* what Spore was going on about with the guy with the failed plan, ha.”
“You’re not the only one who’s dead here, Oakley Annie. I am too.”
“I know.” She almost reaches back into the box to produce a beer for Big Wanda but then remembers this is all imaginary; in her head. Big Wanda was not dead, not yet. She hasn’t tasted cool happiness at the end of a long, dusty trail.
Another sip (*ahhhh*). Spore says she can stay in his land for as long as she wants, and she has nowhere to go. Could be a while (*sip*). “Who can I speak to next? Who will fill that vacant hole of a zero doughnut this time?”
She trembles despite the good vibrations. “Mom?”
Truly dead this time.
Later they all ate sushi with oversized toothpicks at Black Diamond’s. Big Wanda with “deflated horns”, as I’ve called her floppy pigtails, was in charge, Spore’s plan in action. Master judo samurai Black Diamond (background) gave Little Oakley Annie the honorable name Green River during a pre-meal tea ceremony and her mama the name Kummer, which was short (he explained) for, “coming mother”. Or so that’s what they thought he meant. We were working with places in Washington again, switched from Illinois switched from Mississippi. Faulkner had no hold here, the Rule of the 100 and the way of fame and fortune conveniently forgotten. Zzz was not about Faulkner, nope. This was the mother, this was the father, but not the son, the fruity one.
Big Wanda spoke. “Little Annie Oakley, *sorry*, Green River, has fallen asleep again, cutting zzz’s instead of being in the moment. Too much fighting in life will do that, drain you of the oh-so-precious life force because you have done so with others.” She turns. “But you’re holding up well, Old Grey. How’s that floating device going?”
“Pretty good,” Old Grey admitted, knowing indeed what is holding her up and propelling her forward. Snowmanster and she will be at the tree again soon. In fact: they’re there.
“Interesting,” Core-Alena says to begin in his-her feminine/masculine voice and staring toward Old Grey’s way.
“I had to move. The houses and structures kept closing in. Soon *I* would become a house, a structure. Time to go on. I searched for a sim, a place for center. Nothing would be as perfect as Purden, the 128 128 128. I had moved before, returned. I knew what it took to be Mobile and the consequences suffered or endured because of it. I changed. Out of the ground and into the air and all was different. I could be either male or female since I was both. I had to retain some green in my form but that was about all. I could even be a car. Right Alena?”
“Right Core,” he spoke out the side of his-her mouth to the other being inside the tree.
“Good thing we both can breath underwater,” returned female Alena from the other side.
“That’s just what I said when I showed up here in Iris!” offered listening Snowmanster, still present at the psychic talking tree in the exact center of The Shallows. 128 128 again, but without the third 128 this time. Not perfection. But it seems to do for the moment.
Floating Old Grey in her bubble piped up for the first time during the visit. “I was killed. Murdered. By…”
“Now now, Old Grey. Don’t try to think too hard. You’re freshly dead after all.” Snowmanster stood back and looked at her, snowy hands on frosty hips in a studying gesture. Core-Alena as one was scrutinizing her as well. She floated, she bobbed and weaved seemingly at random but basically in the same spot.
“Oily way,” the tree being(s) said after an interval. “That’s the phrase I was thinking about back there.”
Time to ponder Gong again and the Flying Teepot.
he got glowing reviews in the “Daily Beast”
“We call him Torch but I believe his first name is Glenn. I try to stay a certain distance from the fellow understandably, me being both Snowy and Frosty at once.” He looks over. “Still not talking to me, Old Grey?” He turns back, sighs. “This NWES Island, Old Grey. I don’t think we can ever leave now. Collagesity has been fully assimilated.” He pries his eyes off the hypnotic dancing fireman again, looks at his watch. “Speaking of the City I think I’ll take a walk; getting a little hot in here. Cool off, you know.” He was thinking of a certain seat in town shaded green and blue formerly across the street from a fire station. Just south and east of Diamondfyre, but not far enough to forget how to come home to mother.
“I was born there, in that dresser,” spoke Snowmanster to no one now, not even one who doesn’t listen, doesn’t know. “I became someone that day, way back in photo-novel 3. You were there, Old Grey. Even at the beginning. We talked of, well, we discussed a lot of stuff while walking to Purden and meeting Core-Alena for the first time. You weren’t impressed. I recall you mimicking me through a ‘Star Wars’ character. But now you’re paying the price.” He looks over at Old Grey that isn’t there but he pretends she is anyway, cane still in hand. He notices the ill fitting wig again, the cracked grey skin. Old. Dead, even. Death itself. She was beginning to smell.
Wee person Aloha climbed out of the picture before him and introduced herself by saying goodbye, pheh. Green lantern carrying Fern will have to do.
It didn’t work with Norm the Cashier — dead — but it might with Wendy, another blue square of Earth just over there.
In a dream tonight, she shed something red and he did too: his red tie. They were on a beach in the dream and he was the dreamer and it was his beach. He’d been there a while but Wendy had just arrived — in red. Red Stripe Beach: that was the name, or that became it after the pivotal event. It was all leading somewhere…
Barry woke up, his back aching again. Sleeping on his pink plastic couch won’t hack it long term. He needs a proper bed! First Norm’s couch at the flower shop that was destroyed by a fire week before last and now this nearby place with only a couch again to crash on. Norm let him stay in her bed some nights, but that was it. “Nothing over 50%,” she said. “We must remaining playing just a game and not let it become a philosophy or even religion. We are not a religion,” she ended, puzzling the younger Barry who only wanted the friendly, loving warmth of female companionship. She returned to her cash register with this proclamation and he returned to her couch. The final, fated visit by Amazonia for the 49×61 payment was still days and maybe weeks away. The number 17 comes to mind. He was out and about when it happened, just roaming the streets of Black Ice and wondering if Norm and he had any kind of future. Apparently not, now, although he’d heard the witch doctors down at the market could bring the formerly living back from the dead, a favorite cat or dog, or even a girlfriend or wife for the price. Which he didn’t have anyway — and that’s how Norm got in trouble in the *first* place. He sighs. “Oh well,” he speaks aloud and moves to the other room to write down his dreams per usual before making breakfast. Toasty-O’s, the story of his life.
In another dream, Barry sits across from a guy named Jack Danielsun at a Toasty-O shaped bar but knows his actual name is Dimmy, like a lightbulb. Not the brightest, he ascertained from the dull conversation. Just another unschooled punk. He spoke of bartending at Phantom Hill and how he got there in a row boat from the other side of the rather large island he lived on. Again: not the smartest. And probably schizophrenic on top of it all.
(to be continued?)
“They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, Kick Ass 02.” He seems to stare up at the old ruined house that is kind of box shaped like his head, but perhaps he is actually looking beyond it at the woman with the “straw.”
Kick Ass 02 had no reply for Kick Ass 01 because he had no lines in this scene. More perhaps later on about the Kick Asses, who live in, let’s see, that would be Black Ice. Its Deep South. That must mean they know…
“Elberta, do you remember the Kick Asses?”
“Of course. I use to date Boos! And Bogota, she admitted for the first time to her brother, her fiancee.”
“Bogota too? I thought you said he was a loser, a nobody.”
“Bogota was just… unformed.” She grabbed one of her floppy pigtails reflexively, a nervous action.
“Unformed? You always said uninformed, as in stoopid.” But Toothpick drew back here since he considered himself rather dimwitted. Calling the Black Ice pot kettle green or something.
“No, I said, or use to say, *uniformed*. He was a pilot in the 1st World Wide Web War. WWWWI. Fought for Amazonia…”
“I’m going to cut you short there, Elberta, future wife of mine, present sister of mine. He *didn’t* fight for no war. He *didn’t* fly around that tiger plane he bragged about all the time. He was a braggart, a bag headed braggart. And a liar. And a thief.”
“The only thing he stole was green from Black,” his fiancee/sister countered. “And that was only because…
“Jiminy,” Toothpick realized. “You’re talking about Black Ice itself!” They both realized it at the same time, in fact, minds — and probably bodies — still synchronized. We better leave them to it again.
(to be continued)
Turns out it was all just a dream. The pink plastic couch Andy Warhole sat upon while fellow artist Barry DeBoy dreamed lying down on the same is gone, and the 2 rooms of the apartment have indeed merged, just like Andy wished. Dreams and reality are certainly getting mixed up in ol’ NWES City, soon to be changed to NWES Town if certain members of the city council had their way, in reaction to all the “cities” springing up around it, like arrogant, belligerent suburbs. First there was Zen City, then Meat City. The list goes on. And then there’s Collagesity, which had the audacity to neatly and tightly integrate itself into the very fabric of NWES City and become one with it almost, another insult to the term. How could something call itself a city (or sity in this case) and be so much smaller than NWES City, lost in the coattails like a small child to a towering mother. No, these *satellites* must not be termed cities. It is wrong. And in comic reaction the mother who has the only real claim to the name (it feels) might instead abort it.
But we digress. We need to find out the whereabouts of Barry DeBoy. Poor thing: he’s lost his original home in the city to fire (Norm the Cashier’s Flower Shop), and then the apartment with the pink couch, as we’ve mentioned, is all just a dream. We must find out where he’s *really* dreaming, physically that is. He *must* have a location in town, er, the city — let’s not move too fast on that.
He is dreaming again of his beach, searching for the one who also gave up red but with no physical presence yet found.
“It didn’t work out for us in Cassandra City, Moe.” Man About Time (MAT) looks over at revolving Homer. “But maybe it will work out here. In another city: NWES City. The City.”
“Town,” Moe gruffed back at sitting Man About Time (MAT). “Check the latest *town* council meeting notes. Here, I’ll send you a notecard.” The bartender was clearly miffed about the decision.
Man About Town checks the notecard; then: “I see.”
“Diamondfyre was the deciding vote,” Moe went on. “East and West decided nay, and North and South decided yea. So it was up to Diamondfyre to tip the balance — the, er, unofficial 5th sim of the town. Northwest if you will.”
MAT was still staring at the notecard in his inventory. “I’ll fight it,” he declares mildly but firmly.
“It’s partly *your* lot’s fault, see. You Collagesity people, moving in here and renting here and there and there and there. Like this joint. Does Moe’s really belong in this town?”
“Yes,” issues MAT promptly. He stares at the revolving head again. But perhaps not Homer, he thinks. Maybe that’s the key. One of them. Removal of the head. But Moe already said he wouldn’t travel without the head. So here we are.
“Moe,” MAT decides to venture after a sip of American beer. So insipid. “How close are you to retirement?”
“I don’t know,” he returned roughly. “5 years?”
More like 5 days, Man About Time then thought. Maybe even 5 hours. The head spins ’round for one of its last times here.
“I’ve been mean-ing to ask you,” coos Marilyn, washing her hands before exiting the joint just as she did when entering. “How’s Di-nah doing? I never see her around any more.”
“Oh, pheh,” Moe waved off the poster behind the wash basin. “That old thing? That’s just an expression. You can do it by yourself if needed. Right Zapppa?”
Zapppa continued to look at the counter, obviously uncomfortable in the moment. “I’m not here for small talk, Moe,” he said in a big voice. He then stared straight into his eyes, determined to get it over. “You’re fired.”
Moe picks up a beer glass, wipes it, sets it down again. “It’s — it’s that girl, isn’t it? She’s *helping* you.”
“No, I didn’t say that.” He gets up to leave; reaches into Cassandra’s brain container first.
“Hey! Where you going with Homer’s head?? And, hey, what’s, er, this here at the bottom of his jar?”
“Retirement pension!” Zapppa shouted back before disappearing over the Montana horizon, knowing that egg would take him far.
“Well, the apartment’s ours again, Wendy. We have a new start here at Bigfoot.”
“Wonderful.” She was truly happy about the situation. She was truly Wendy in the moment, mediocre actress Alice Frame a far away dream for both of them. It was just like with Breeze before. Sandy should have known by the names — Wendy; Breeze. Together: Breezy, the archetype thereof.
“But I do insist you change into the other dress as soon as possible. The Twins are still out there… somewhere. The Cub Run consignment store is a thing to be reckoned with.”
“I know.” She smooths her present dress’ puffed out nature, not ready to show Sandy too much too soon. She knew how he was. But she was ready to take the gamble that she could change him. She’s betting that he’s ready to settle down with one woman and one woman only. For more than a week’s stretch. The search for All Orange: over. She knew she was the one. The right dress will come soon enough. Then he can see what he wants to.
“Let’s run away, Wendy,” Sandy then tries. “Forget about The Twins. We’ll hide out in one of the suburb cities away from town, maybe this Meat City I’ve been studying up on. There’s a place there you can dance. My new friend Francis can probably get you a job. Then I can run the slot machines next door or something. Maybe work at a newspaper office like I did before in Tinseltown–”
“Stop,” she demanded. Both knew the impossibility of it all. They were stuck in Town, formerly the City before the council told everyone otherwise. Their new landlord MAT is fighting it — wrote a strong guest editorial in the well respected Meat City Post, a true up and coming rival to the NWES City Gazette which I guess will have to be changed to the NWES Town Gazette now, perhaps weakening its position as top dog further. Collagesity be damned, Sandy thinks. But MAT makes some persuasive arguments.
(to be continued)
“I see… you have the answer.”
“Truth,” he shot back. And then he asked his name.
“Here’s what we have so far, then. Saints Joseph and Mary *combine*, see, at (Fort) Wayne, which creates the Great Black Swamp, the same as Jesus but blacker.”
“And that’s where TILE comes in,” I speculate from behind the batty-mobile, since there was no remaining room up front. “SID, I mean there.”
“Yes. The Great Black Swamp had to be drained by tiling, which had very positive effects short term but less so long-wise. Little Oakley Annie could now travel easily to Defiance formerly in the center of the swamp to purchase more bullets for her shootings back in the day but later she pays in a different way. We are trying to control the eventual damage — that’s part of all this.”
“And the mouth at Toledo is — the vulva?” I theorize further. “John (Bob) Denver would not be happy.” I snicker; not returned.
“The Abyss is the Mother,” half rabbit, half bat Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer replies pedantically, citing some dry and unmemorable TILE document now that I can’t recall the exact name of. “The Unknown, The Void, The *Static*,” he continues with the synonyms and analogies. He could have gone on for some time, I realize.
I stand even further back, almost against the far wall of the garage-room now trying to take it all in. Professor Art and his train car were turned sideways to begin, which also turns the splayed figure in the center of it all that way as well. Fort Wayne — birth of Rainbowology and the fusion of Oz and Floyd. The Great Blackness (etc.). But then at Toledo: light! Birth. Between the open legs of the mother. Newton from Jasper. It all added up to… we go from nowhere to…
“And the train car is Black Ice,” Baumbeer tacks on while turning toward the back of the garage. But that part behind the batty-mobile’s tail end remains unclear and ill defined.
It became clearer upstairs. Black Diamond.
I had my assignment, but I would need the good doctor’s batty-mobile removed from the garage in order to paint. Ceiling’s too low up here.
“No problem,” he answered. “It’s mainly just a show car anyway. I’ll store it up on the third.”