A Case of The Déjà vu Daisy
For Trystan with love, dad
From the black books shelf
Part two of Snowflakes Anonymous
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Also from the black books shelf
Off the road
Advanced quantum metaphysics for beginners
The spirit world
The dance of Zen
The dark night of the soul
God’s crazy parlour of sweet consent
Under a full moon
A hole in the wind
Sleepless nights in paradise
The best of Moriarty
The daily wound
CQ calling, CQ calling
“With her mouth full of teeth and face full of looking, far from her feet, very Japanese she was and called herself Elisabeth until her boat came in and then she was gone for a new life somewhere else.”
“Arr me hearty, ‘tis a wonderful story yore telling.”
“You got me out of bed for this?” said the miserable miser hiding his money under his pillow in case of thieves.
“Make room for the maestro, coming through here.”
“OK, touching the wizard’s stone now for inspiration.”
But the inspiration was all used up that not even a sky full of rain could make more of, so the X-ray dog left his final lesson none the wiser and called out: “Action stations!” as if it would make any difference.
“Hold your horses a minute matey,” growled the pirate captain in disguise as the shadow who’d suddenly become lost in the story and had started muttering in the background about it but no one had heard him and so now he just had to speak up and call out, but just as he was about to speak more, a rusty voice boomed out full of surreptitious longing:
“The abstract concept takes no prisoners and makes room for no one,” said the rusty voice of the bucket that was half empty to be full and could not for its very life tell what day it was anymore even, and having had its say spoke no more.
“There is more?” said the X-ray dog.
The pirate scratched his head and broke open another beer. “Mumble mumble,” he went into his drink that absorbed him hook line and sinker until he really didn’t care what anyone said anymore and so left them all to it.
The fire roared up the sooty chimney and told its own story that a few were listening to and absorbed they were too in it as the minutes turned to hours. And on such a night with the snow piled deep outside, good cheer was what made the night pass most acceptably.
Up in the rafters where the shadows danced their merry dance and could be likened to souls communing and interlinking and merging, the sound of the roof could be heard groaning under all the weight and as more snow fell the groaning became more pronounced until eyes began to glance upwards in concern.
The landlord was unconcerned and carried on passing out beer over the bar, the roof had survived a hundred winter snows so one more was not to be worried about.
“Awaken me from the dead so I may join the living,” said the voice that no one took any notice of; the ancestors were gone now and were to be ignored when they called to come back.
“I cannae weep no more,” said another, fresh in the grave.
“This number multiplied and multiplied again will make us strong to break out of here where our souls rot in the ground,” said the rotting bones of a mathematician long set in the frozen earth.
When the door burst open, all eyes turned to the distraction as the snow whirled in a bundle of rags that collapsed to the floor shivering.
The landlord came from behind his bar to see what was what as the heavy door was heaved shut locking the blizzard outside.
The roof groaned and the fire spat sparks and the wind howled to be let in as Number 5 picked herself up and shook the snow from her and then made her way towards the heat of the fire.
“Well rust me bones if it ain’t Number 5 come from out of the cold, cold night,” said the shadow getting to his feet and making room for Number 5 to sit by the fire.
The landlord thrust a mulled wine into her frozen hands and retired back behind the bar. Without saying anything Number 5 sipped the warm drink as the sounds of the tavern resumed.
Late into the night the shadow and Number 5 huddle together and spoke little, comfortable in the fire’s warmth, and one by one the men curled up where they were and pulling a coat up here or sharing a blanket there they all fell into a fitful sleep.
Tomorrow would be soon enough to find the boat, tonight was a night to survive the unseasonable weather or count the flowerpots in heaven.
Number 5 in her ivory tower of peace and love for the day was counting her rosary beads when all of a sudden she found herself standing in front of the déjà vu daisy.
“Whoa,” she said, “what happened?”
“You’ve died and gone to Heaven,” said the déjà vu daisy.
“Cool,” she said. “What do I do now?”
“Well now you grow some wings, learn how to play the harp and fly around the place singing love songs forever,” said the déjà vu daisy waving his magic wand to begin her wings growing.
“Wait a minute,” said Number 5 thinking about it.
“Yes?” said the déjà vu daisy.
“Love songs?” said Number 5 questioningly.
“Sure, why not?” replied the déjà vu daisy continuing to wave his magic wand.
“But I don’t know anyone here to sing these love songs to,” she said shyly looking around at the clouds.
“You sing them to me of course,” said the déjà vu daisy almost finished with the wing growing thing.
“But I don’t know you, I mean, we’ve never met, that is, I don’t usually sing songs to strangers unless I’m busking for money,” said Number 5 flapping her new wings in wonder.
“You want money?” asked the déjà vu daisy, wondering if he should rustle up twenty bucks for her.
“What would I spend it on here?” said Number 5 looking around and seeing only clouds.
“What would you have spent it on back on Earth?” asked the déjà vu daisy, ready to wave his wand again.
“Well, I kind of like flower pots,” said Number 5 flying up and down a bit.
“No problem,” said the déjà vu daisy and magicked up a flower pot for her.
As it floated in the cotton woolly stuff of the cloud they were standing on Number 5 stared at it and then burst into tears.
“Why are you crying?” asked the déjà vu daisy not sure if he should give her a comforting hug or not.
“I miss my little house and my pots and all my friends,” said Number 5 blubbering and looking around for a handkerchief.
“Watch this,” said the déjà vu daisy offering his handkerchief to Number 5 who took it and blew her nose and then looked up to see the déjà vu daisy waving his wand in circles and mumbling to himself under his breath.
“Poof!” her little house appeared with all her pots and in the distance Number 5 could see her friends coming with a bottle of wine.
“Wow,” said Number 5, “you really are the déjà vu daisy.”
“Of course I am,” said the déjà vu daisy.
“Thanks,” said Number 5 looking at her house.
“You’re welcome,” said the déjà vu daisy. “I’m going for my afternoon coffee now but I’ll drop in on you from time to time to see if you need anything, Ok?”
“Ok,” said Number 5 and ran to him and gave him a kiss on his cheek.
“I’m sure we’re going to have a lovely time,” said the déjà vu daisy and off he went for his coffee leaving Number 5 staring after him, a love song beginning to form in her heart.
Days later, Number 5 was having tea in the garden of her little house that was perched on one of the clouds in heaven when a parcel was delivered by angel mail.
After signing for it and looking around for a coin to tip the postman with but not finding one and so finding another thing to put on her list of things needed she opened the parcel.
Inside was a cracker that said: ‘Pull this with your dreams and all will be revealed.’
So she pulled on the cracker and out fell a harp and a ticket for the afternoon matinee.
“Cool,” she said and dashed inside to change into her best dress.
Afternoon soon came and off she dashed to the pictures.
“The last time I saw you, you looked so beautiful,” said the déjà vu daisy stepping out of the shadows outside of the picture house.
“And now?” asked Number 5 taking the déjà vu daisy’s hand.
“You’re more beautiful than I can ever say even though I will say it forever,” said the déjà vu daisy as he and Number 5 went in to watch the picture show of the afternoon matinee in heaven.
THE BARD’S TALE
The full time bard was drinking his fill in amongst his thoughts he would say soon, the refuge of his soul teasing him that what he would say was worth anything at all as it all came to him to be forgotten in the moments that passed.
“How do I die here like this every night with no satisfaction to save me?” he said, and then getting to his feet he began his bardly tirade for all to hear.
The pirate gang quietened down and turned to hear what he had to say.
“The ocean is endless so I will take you and you and you to escape this night while I haul at the moon for succour.
And though we will never find each other here as we follow our belonging, our design must leave something in our souls of where we long to be and cannot be found.”
“Keelhaul the landlubber,” shouted one pirate from the back.
“Leave him be,” said the shadow as captain. “It’s culture lads so listen up.”
“Culture,” they all mumbled to themselves.
“Yay, I was looking for something in where I longed to be in all the shores that washed my way and though I could not be good in this, I was not so bad in the making of it where I fell to be made for your spell to take me away.”
“Take me away,” sang the pirates not sure if it was a song or not.
“And so away I fell into you to be lost and in my lost-ness I broke my soul wide open and crashed in a thousand pieces and every piece was a lover to you.”
“Arr,” said the pirates, listening but not understanding.
“And each piece said I hurt and in my hurting I became free to be me, but so lonely was this me that could find no way home. Don’t leave me this way, I called out, but you did, leaving your fantastic behind that I buried in the deep of me that could not help but cry for your return until I cried and cried and prayed for the bad one to take me away and dispel your myth from out of me.”
“From out of me,” sang the pirates.
“But I could not find my soul anywhere to advance this so much beyond the ending that kept coming around to crush me until I screamed to the déjà vu daisy to let me go.”
“Let me go,” they sang.
“Full-well the falling never to rise again, in this where the falling is forever.”
“Falling is forever,” sang the pirates.
“And closing the book to find it opening again and again to the same page to let me die so much…
Many made the pilgrimage over the sand of the dunes of hell to pay me homage in the winds that blew through me to say I was not alone.
If I could but free myself from this I would be free, but freedom comes at such a price it downs the soul and does not stop until you are completely broken open.
Upon these shores then to pour all that I am, and pouring to become that which walks into it all.”
“Tis the plank for thee to walk,” said the pirates, warming up to the bard now.
“I am the wind I hear in my ears I cried, and the hard light of the sun that fried me in my imperfection. I am the desire looked for in the dust of the looking. In this place I am found to be lost in you where you told me not to go. But you told me so much in my looking for you of your disguise and in this way I found you to be lost again.”
“Lost again,” sang the pirates in their deep voices.
“If you know me so well you know I don’t live well without you; and now on the wasted end of the night of all this where I watch for you and holding on to the invitation I name you to save me in this place to be saved where I can never be saved.”
“Never be saved,” sang the pirates.
“I can never win this where all the doors are shut to me and the night is too dark and heavy for the dreams to come true.”
“Dreams to come true,” sang the pirates with the chorus.
“So I stopped completely to be here where I cannot move in any direction without you. So strange to be this, some end game calling to come in to dance me where I cannot go into your beauty where I belong, where I’ve always belonged and always wanted you with my soul so longing to come in.”
“Longing to come in,” sang the pirates.
“So drawing my destiny like some escape artist pulling from the deck his redemption I call upon you once again to release me from my burden where my soul is but a pawn in your game and calls so much to be released that my heart breaks in the gospel of it all.”
“Gospel of it all,” they sang loudly.
“Oh holy breakthrough to let me be free and say no more in this thing where the raw love must pour through the roof to flood the desert dry into full flower.”
At this the pirates all looked to the roof but finding nothing there but the roof creaking under the weight of the snow outside they all turned back to the bard.
“I await you in this place that is as dry as a bone with your absence that I feel too much. So let me feel more than this parting can ever allow, coming in and knowing once again your love. But I have lived too long.”
With this said the bard collapsed onto the table and knew no more of the night.
“Arr, ‘tis beyond me,” said the shadow.
“The pirates banged their mugs on the tables and raised a cheer for the bard.
“Tis culture lads, that’s what it is.
Number 5 was fast asleep in the arms of the shadow and dreaming of heaven and a picture show.
The shadow of course had dreams too…
“I feel I’ve been falling for years and never reaching bottom and so will live forever falling out of my tree,” said the shadow.
In the coal exchange of this statement and way down the bottom of the rubble pile the exasperated slipper was counting her money as the Ides of the moon blew through her and caused her to shiver like an old Woolworths shoe slipping up the gin, and hot, hot as a marshmallow roasting in the sun.
“A bomb a day keeps the doctor away.”
“And we didn’t catch cancer today and that’s something isn’t it?”
“How long have you been falling for that one?”
“Not long enough it seems.”
“What we need is another good bombing on TV, that’ll cheer us up.
“Oh I do love a good bombing on TV.”
“And maybe they’ll throw in some American precision air strikes.”
“And a surgical pancake…”
“Now what are you talking about?”
“I was thinking about breakfast.”
“Let’s turn on the TV first, I’m getting withdrawal symptoms.”
“Me too… You know, it’s big Buddha day today in Thailand.”
“How do you know?”
“I saw it on the internet.”
“You stay away from that internet, there’s nothing but lies, bad news and subversives there.”
“They said Buddhism is the most peaceful religion.”
“You stay away from Buddhism too. Ours is the only true religion. All others are fake, with false prophets and the anti-Christ and mad bombers.”
“How do you know so much?”
“Trust me dear, it’s all on TV plain to see.”
“And it’s all true?”
“Of course it is, the government wouldn’t allow it if it wasn’t.”
“What would we do without TV?”
“Heaven forbid the thought, but we’d be lost and go mad and end up talking to each other just like loonies in the loony bin.”
“Would you still love me if I went mad?”
“Well of course I will dear, what else are sisters good for if not to look after each other?”
“Do you think we’ll ever be happy?”
“But we are happy dear.”
“Yes, of course we are.”
“It’s just that; I was wondering is all.”
“I told you, stay off the internet or it’ll put thoughts into your head that shouldn’t be there.”
“What would I do without you?”
“Oow look, they’re bombing the rubble where all the mad bombers live.”
“How could anyone live like that?”
“It’s different over there dear, they don’t think like we do.”
“It’s the heat, it fries their brains and makes them all mad and then they jump into cars full of bombs and go off killing people.”
“Why don’t they move somewhere else?”
“Who would have them dear?”
“We’ve got a spare bed.”
“If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times, stay off the internet.”
“They should all be dead by now anyway, with all the bombs going off everywhere.”
“You can never kill them all dear, they’re fast breeders, and where would we be without someone to bomb?”
“I don’t know.”
“Without the war dear, we’d all go mad and turn on each other, and then where would we be?”
“I don’t know, where would we be?”
“We’d all go back to living in dark caves and talking about out there where we’d fear to go. That’s where we’d be.”
“I’m so glad I’ve got you for comfort.”
“And the TV dear, and the TV.”
“Meanwhile, although the black king had pulled so many strings behind the lines of closed doors no one could tell anymore where the lines ended and the truth began; but after much investigating, zero evidence was found to back up the lies of the evil ones in their bastions of hate and anger,” said Han from the news on the TV.
“Turn the TV off dear and come to bed,” mumbled Number 5 from her dreaming….
When Number 5 woke in the morning she found the shadow was gone and she was left to find her own way through the day.
FROM HERE TO THERE
Is this my argument then that I cannot say any other way but this, that I have nothing to say but must say it anyway?
Is that the cat I hear?
“Oregano Nussfuss at your service sir.”
Must I appreciate every Zorro that barks at my door?
“We are happy to please.”
And now what must I do with this nitty that comes from nowhere?
“Observe it at your leisure or feed it at your pleasure of course.”
Is there no cake?
“There is cake and coffee and snakes in your mind and clouds to sail on by with. You takes your pick.”
Am I but a tourist then to be by here with such; and this lot must be my lot for all the lot it is?
“When the bill comes you will know, but until then there is the menu, and your blade to discern your share of the merry dance in the light and the darkness to endure and all that comes in between.”
I am but this, but I would be more. Tell me why it must be this way.
“Round and round you will go until you find your center, and when you get there you must be with what you find. It is then you will know the answer to that one.”
Is it all a Zen dance then, some mystery soup to come across what I will find and finding say: “Is this it?
“You ask from a place that has endless questions. When you find the place of answers you will know for yourself. Until then you will be busy searching for what you haven’t lost.”
And what door is this that opens so?
“It is the last door and time to go home.”
“Do dead people go to heaven?” said the radio…
Number 5 was a quiet vegetarian most of the time these days and had decided not to go out much for fear of being seen by the sheep who would accuse her of being too big and a subversive to boot, but she had friends that came to visit and for whom she was grateful; they brought her things like chocolate and beer, and sometimes the occasional invitation that she would regretfully decline.
When she felt the pangs of loneliness coming on she would talk to her cat or the parrot she kept in a cage or listen to world radio in the kitchen over a large pot of tea, and sometimes a biscuit.
Every night at 7pm sharp she went to bed and listened to her favourite station on the wireless called: ‘Oh My Gaud It’s a Cracker-box’ to which she would fall asleep to before the end and the wireless would play all night, influencing her dreams until she woke up early in the morning and turned it off and began her day.
As of late she’d been wondering if dead people really did go to heaven, or whether they just got buried in the ground and that was it.
None of her friends knew the answer and said to her that maybe there was no way to really know but that it seemed likely that when you’re dead and gone you’re worm-bait and there’s nothing left to go anywhere but down in the ground, and being buried in a box under tons of earth didn’t seem like anyone’s idea of heaven.
But not to worry, for if it’s down under then you’ll not know anymore, and if it’s up to heaven then all is well, right? So either way there’s nothing to worry over.
Yet Number 5 wanted to know for herself, if for no other reason than her peace of mind, now, while she could have peace of mind and certainly before old age enfeebled her beyond all inquiry.
She wasn’t much into praying but she did begin asking questions out loud as she pottered about her room and so it shouldn’t have been such a surprise when she was answered out of the blue later that day as she was taking the air by the open window when a hardpan of deadlight crept in and said:
“Do I speak to you?”
Number 5 took fright then and screamed and set her chimes to ringing which caused the hardpan of deadlight to melt into the shadows to disappear leaving Number 5 staring in horror at all the shadows of her room where it might be hiding to spring out at her, at any moment.
The X-ray dog that was lurking about in the bushes of the garden stuck its head in the open window and said:
“What’re you screaming about?” but only succeeded in giving Number 5 another fright, and two frights in one day was quite enough.
Number 5 ran for the door in the clothes and shoes she was wearing and grabbed her suitcase in passing and began fumbling with the locks and bolts to get out, all the while with the fear of the lack of the déjà vu daisy in her that she would be caught by whatever was in the room behind her.
Out on the street, with eyes wild and moaning she hurried to escape and caused some concern to the pedestrians that were able to see her, but she was past and gone before they could quite realise, leaving them wondering if they really had seen her.
When she came to the train station she waited for the first train out of town and settled herself on a wooden seat in the empty station and hoped no one else would come along and disturb her.
After a while her head began to nod and before long, the ordeal which had worn her out drifted away as she dozed off to the hum of the trains travelling along the tracks to somewhere else.
The X-ray dog settled down near her to guard her against all comers and before long was asleep too to dream of a story full of ghosts…
“Ning-Ning,” said Number 5 the ghost of all she could be.
“Very-very,” said the story opening up.
“Chop-chop,” said the river of time.
And then fourteen miles of river opened up under the story and took it far away; but it doesn’t matter where you are; if you’re nowhere, somewhere or anywhere, whether enlightenment comes or not you’ll find you’re really only where you are.
In the night of one-eye and two-step sure to please on Jagan-oo-dee beach where the story stood in patchouli sandals by the ocean of huge, it came to a pause all of a sudden when it ran out of fuel to carry on.
“Safety first,” called the golden virgin from her book of romance.
But the story didn’t want to be safe, it just wanted to move.
The wound was a full moon of incremental pathways of its choosing that took it closer to that clarity and away from the huge illusion that had surrounded it since forever.
But we do not pass Andromeda this way without singeing our toes and so when the night comes we ask to be forgiven and take our sack full of treasure home with us and in this way the dreaming becomes pure and then, when the singing tree asks for its tune back, we gladly gave it and all the better it is too for having been sung, and sung so well.
It was the ghost of all the old beliefs that said this from out of the deep dark pit where one day escaping, it came to fly on the ocean huge again and glad we were that it did so, for long it spent in that dark, bloody pit making moans that kept us awake.
“We are not amused by your secrecy,” said the X-ray dog to Number 5; “but we have ways to entice you to open up.”
Shivers Saturday in the divergent test and 2nd grade erection assistant to the shovels of the night was speaking topographically out the back of his mouthful of pie just then and almost caught what was being said, but the end of the line came and no more words were uttered in the scramble to exit the train.
Number 5, the X-ray dog and the triage of four porters exited the train in a straight line dead at three in the afternoon of it all and was immediately assaulted by the baggage of noise and sights in the station; and if the angels had any messages, she’d not hear them.
“Get me out of here,” she threw back over her shoulder to the gang and then ran for the exit.
The gang grabbed the luggage and followed as best they could and were not heard about again until near the end of this story.
“Shade your eyes then and bend into it the broken burdens one by one until your head is too heavy and the doors close and you scream, and if the big mister comes to take you away then scream some more in the elastic echoes,” said the X-ray dog trying to frighten Number 5 who was lost and would not say anything just then.
Ribald and taciturn were a pair of musketeers, and 30 shirts for an echo was a thief who had a big bucket of death and carried it around with him wherever he would go and scratched it on walls high and low grinning fair.
Oh what must we do with him in the diary of a diary where the big huge plankton grows?
Nothing; let him die his own death alone.
So down into the deep, oh the deep he was sown, to sit in the shadows of the grief he has known with the elastic echoes; and for this that can never be we have a machine that will turn you and turn you.
No-no don’t frown at the cow, you silly man you. You must have had cheese for breakfast, now look what you’ve done.
Oh what can we do with you?
And now the man with the grin is on the turn and here he comes, racing up the street on his rubber motorbike.
Run boys, we’re in trouble now as we walk down the backstreets of the life full of those elastic echoes.
And the wind of the raging loss shouts many encounters deep with the dream thief, and the other one we don’t talk about much, the sacrosanct bitch of loneliness.
“Where is this that is not that for a stranger in a strange land?
Dream me this beneath the diary sighs so I can turn you into concrete where your appetites confirm you live so small and die this every day until you’re dead and lace up this shoe with your arrogance.
Tie up that sign in the centre of your universe to make the small smaller and the hole deeper, and wind up that monkey and let it loose into the fray of your thinking.
And snip at the edges of all you hold dear until it turns away from you. But oh, to let us live here and now in the riches of all this and sing the praises…” moaned the X-ray dog.
“For heaven’s sake give me an apple so I can eat it with my teeth,” said Number 5 to the stupid dog that wouldn’t stop talking.
But the goal is the journey and it calls like some whisper from another place so strange; stronger and stronger it calls until it is answered by Number 5:
“What am I answering in this place too joined and sure or sailing blind,” said Number 5 all chatter-gun suddenly in the spiritualism pie.
“Something still alive in this one boys,” said the half-moon burbling in the heat.
“…and a bottle of your best pain killer to spend the night; and take that cigarette out of my face before I die,” said Number 5 to the kiosk boy while looking for a direction to head towards.
Number 5 didn’t care about what was being said, all she wanted was coffee without mildew; not a crime surely?
It is around about here that the backstreet hero put in an appearance:
“Oh my aching bones,” moaned the backstreet hero from his grave and clutching his knees, hips, hands and feet all over until he was curled up into a ball of misery, aching and moaning.
“Get up,” said the moon, “You’ve work to do.”
“I’m too old,” he said, and rubbed his knee with his cracked jaw that clicked every time he moved it.
“It’s not over until you’re dead buried, and even then you can come back as a ghost,” said the assemblage dumpage hanging out of a rusty tin can discarded long ago into the dust that grew at its feet out of the grass roots that were once dreams that had tumbled out of the sky screaming into earth never to fly again, and none the wiser as to why but accepting it as told.
“I’m going back to sleep; I’m too late, by the length of my life to be a hero,” said the backstreet hero doing just that, leaving the story clueless and without a leg to stand on.
All of a sudden a subversive ghost with arms as big as the Titanic waddled into the story and set about her squashing shadows by the dozen until she was eventually overcome, and steam-punked she joined the tide of the converted and became another machine steaming about the place and gnashing with her mechanical teeth all that got in her way.
On passing a bakers an overly large baloney sandwich sailed out of the window into her mouth and gummed up the works which caused a deal of concern to the hard-pressed workers down below in the steam factory and made them think about going on strike.
When the witch of chips was informed there was a subversive in the ranks she sent the invisible ghost to sort it out.
The invisible ghost was an old soldier retired long ago and had set up shop these days as a hardpan of deadlight that never went out before dark and answered only to the witch of chips who had found him hungry and lost and wandering in a back alley crying with his head pressed to the ground, defeated and broken.
So she had press-ganged him into working for her and paid him in old boots with worn down rivets, and the occasional smack in the face to make him see things her way.
“If only I could remember my name,” he would say.
“You don’t need a name,” she would say and throw a pair of old boots at him. “Put these on, you’ve work to do.”
And grumbling he would put them on and smile through his missing teeth as she told him what she wanted, and nine tenths of the time he’d come back after doing the deadly deed like an old dog with no other home and then would wait for further instructions.
His arch-rival was the X-ray dog that would smell him coming from a mile away and would rush to bite at his heels and hound him back out of town, until the witch gave him a potion that made him invisible in the night but didn’t hide his smell which would make the X-ray dog run in circles trying to find the source, and not finding it would bark and bark and wake people up and have them opening their windows to shout: “shut up.”
One night someone threw a rubber alligator at the X-ray dog, and narrowly missing him by an inch it lay there in the road unmoving.
When the X-ray dog went to sniff at the rubber alligator it suddenly came alive as if moved by an invisible hand and began snapping its jaws to which the X-ray dog, tail between its legs ran for it pursued by maniacal laughter that came from nowhere.
One day, the witch of chips hopped on her broomstick and flew far away leaving the invisible ghost lost in this story but really was waiting for a bus with the graveyard gang…
As big as a howl, who was known as the invisible ghost had nothing better to do than stand around waiting for a bus.
The watery grave near his feet coughed and made the ghost jump up in the air.
“You made me jump,” said the ghost staring hard at the watery grave to see if it was a threat.
“Relax,” said the watery grave, “you’re too jumpy.”
“My nerves are playing up,” said the ghost.
“What’s your name?” asked the watery grave sniffing and wondering if it had a cold coming on.
“They call me the ghost when I’m not looking,” said the ghost. “What’s yours?”
“Well I used to be called eyes out of the back of the head, but these days I go by the watery grave,” said the watery grave deadpan.
“What you doing around these parts?” asked the ghost.
“Nothing much, just hanging around,” replied the watery grave. “And you?”
“Waiting for a bus,” said the ghost and dropped a dime on the ground and began dancing on it.
“Oow,” said the night of many visions that came from nowhere all of a sudden and joined in the conversation unexpectedly making the ghost jump again.
“You made me jump,” said the ghost to the night as he picked up his dime and put it in his pocket.
“Sorry,” said the night, “force of habit and all that.”
“You should warn people you’re coming,” said the ghost trying hard to see into the heart of the night.
“If you find yourself confounded by every barking dog of perplexity that comes at you then you are automatically thinking in confusion and are probably tied to your emotions that react whenever something or someone pulls your chain.
Realizing this doesn’t always move you on to an answer or bring relief, in fact, depending on how far gone you are it could tip you over the edge of the borderline into total fear of all you trust and then following the mind’s direction you could find yourself just like the barking dog,” said the night on the borderline of an old complexity it thought it had outwitted a long time ago.
“Oh,” said the ghost nervously chewing on his lip.
“Doing nothing on the other hand could have you plotting complete destruction and round the bend of any sanity you may have had up to that moment,” said the night to the ghost.
“So what do you do to find some peace, especially if you’ve burnt the candle at both ends and they’ve met in the middle to tell you all the things you don’t want to here?” said the watery grave wondering if there would be any sleep tonight.
“This kind of situational extreme can happen at any time you’re not centered and sometimes even then,” said the guru joining in the conversation from close by who had wandered in to the scene from far away.
“Hear hear,” said the night and clapped in agreement.
“But if you have a suitcase or a backpack you could pack it up with all you need and disappear into the outback of all you know or just go travelling without a plan,” said the guru and began to meditate.
“Yes indeed,” said reality chirping in. “There’s lots of things you could do but when you’ve done them and you find you’ve arrived wherever you’ve thought to go you will find that the whole world is inside you and there’s no escape.”
“Praying to the demons to leave you alone will only find them laughing at you. Chanting the ching-chong for hours on end every day in monkish endeavours could add fuel to the fire and eventually have you crying to the unsound in desperation,” said doom who was hiding nearby in the bushes.
“The weight of the mind is a powerful thing when left unchecked for so long that when you do find it bothering you it may drive you up the wall in so many different ways you end up at the doctor’s for medication that often only makes matters worse,” said the boundary wall looking on.
“Can I interest you in a piece of toast?” said the ghost of all that could never be stepping out of the darkness to offer an empty plate around to the gang who were nonplussed as to how to react.
“Don’t mind if I do,” said the night not moving an inch in any direction.
A long moment of silence finally passed and the ghost moved over to the guru and sat down beside him and lit a cigarette and puffed away on it, the cloying smoke spreading slowly in the still air.
“There’s always religion,” said the priest from the church that was not far away.
“Turning to religion may be of some help where the solace of others massages your ego for a time, but everyone has their limits as to how much they can listen to someone else’s grief before they avoid you and then you’ll be back to being alone and mumbling” said the conclusion waiting in the wings.
“It could be at this point that you feel so empty and exhausted that your thoughts turn to a final solution, and this is where things could turn interesting, for you’ve reached the stage where you’ve finally grown calm and maybe can be receptive to something more than the unquiet, and you may begin to understand that everything has brought you to where you are,” said the guru waking up.
“It doesn’t really matter what drove you to such a state, it was only the vehicle that got you there and if you’re awake enough you’ll know to get out of it and let it go,” said the cat sitting on top of the tombstone and unnoticed until now.
“The ghost jumped and glowered at the cat for making him do it again.
“But everyone’s pain is their own and it can seem like a familiar coat that’s not so easy to take off when the time comes. For some it could be a breaking down and crying or laughing, and for others it will be a profound experience, or perhaps just bad nerves, but whatever happens you’ve arrived at that place in your life where you are no longer completely lost in the superficial and you’ve begun to open up to something more,” said the exit doors beginning to open.
“So what’s the answer then?” asked the question.
“Stand back and sing,” said the guru doing his encore on the borderline of the string theory of existence.
“This is all very interesting but I have to run,” said the ghost over his shoulder as he ran for the approaching bus chugging up the hill towards him.
“Come back soon,” they all called out after him.
THE INFINITE EYE OF THE NEEDLE
If the infinite eye of the needle is closed and going to sleep on the curtain line between here and there where an expression comes to say: we are not here, then better fortune next time when the sun comes up to wish you luck.
Of course, the retrospective answer to it all they say would be a jolly good old kick up the bum give or take a joker or two, and clowns aside this is believed to be true unless the bottom falls out of the world and then we’ll have something else to moan about won’t we where the fatted calf meets the flying pig in the desert of all we’ve made.
And we cannot be more carried away by it unless we’re lying in our beds fast asleep in the blessings of our dreams surrounded by the moral turpitude they say is not good for us.
But not this or any other thing can fall lower than the bottom of an old well where the sun doesn’t shine and the bells of misery boom loud.
An eye for an eye then where the fat camel meets the singing Number 5 never to avail an ounce of heavenly beauty and then some between the sheets of all you know and all you’ve lost forever. So begin another song soon while you still have breath to sing.
If the déjà vu daisy comes to drink from your well, you’d better hope it has not been poisoned by anything you have done or thought, for if it has then he will go away and may not return, and then your soul will shrivel up and become an old corpse sucking gruel through a straw into your rotting carcase that will die forever without him.
The already dead will tell you: we have come to sing of good cheer with our hearts so pure where we’ve buried them where they can’t be found, so open up the money box of your smile and laugh long and loud with us as we rob you blind and invite you into hell where we dance so proud on our tombs.
Pay them no mind where they dance their curse with not a song worth listening to, where all that comes from their hearts is the greed they’re long used to that ate them up long ago to leave only the husk spitting poison. No, don’t vote for them and don’t look at them or you’ll be drawn in to become some fish to be gutted on the altar of their reason to turn and turn and become lost.
Look to your own heart and find your own song and then sing it loud so your heart can hear you to dance the dance of your life.
There is no more reason to exist but this where the Promised Land is found in your own heart and the door is open for you to know, and knowing, you are set free.
Yet: “Follow me,” call the blind making so much noise you can hardly hear anything else.
“Follow me, I know where I’m going and I can take you there too.”
“And where are you going to Mr blind man that I must follow?”
“To the promised land of course,” they will say.
“Have you been there? Do you know where it is?”
“I have a vision.”
“Would that be the vision that comes with the Christmas crackers?”
“The very same, and made in China and a great investment.”
“Let me show you the door to all this, it’s called bye-bye.”
“Roll up, roll up, cheese for chips and no name for a surrender to state your cause here. Roll up; we are giving it away today. We have the hidden death, we have oysters and cars that explode and plastic poison, we have the laugh a minute excuse for madness. Roll up, we have it all and discounts for everyone,” said an old excuse outside the diner.
“Ah, but what about the one in his ivory tower with sweets for all,” said the shadow wandering into the diner.
The shadow in the diner was ordering soup from behind the counter when the maid of his awakening stepped up and said to him so much he fell over in a swoon.
On coming back to consciousness he found he was a changed man and so dashed out into the street with words for everyone:
“Three Buddha’s for a prayer in the infinite eye of the needle or a you-hoo drinking coffee is all it takes to wake up singing, so get on your knees quick with your begging bowl and stop your weeping where in-doctorates have set you apart, and like a child, dry your eyes and get back to praying.
Whisper this in the journey where the moon is your friend and the dark quiet is your comforting brief, I am here and you are with me.
Who are you that comes to answer my call to show me what I would know? But then, who am I not that goes within through the opened door?
Oh how brave we are to meet each other so; and how I will cry when you leave. And now that you’ve gone I have no idea how to get back to you again, or even what I’m talking about,” said the shadow in his awakening.
“The electric guru teaches the tin hand man by inference in his custom to lay aside what is most bothersome and enter the infinite eye of the needle and leave all behind that cannot enter.
Snake up now in your crown footloose to be easy, you are here, and where it is want is so to be; but time as a pendulum comes to cast it away, too soon to be where you are not.
So let go and surrender in the infinite eye of the needle and leave all outside of this door.
The dark squirrel of your thinking as a passage from an old book or a thief in the night, or maybe just as a religious concern will come to say what you fear is real and must be avoided.
This is the time to face your fear and make the squirrel disappear as an idea that has no merit,” said the ides of the snake in its passing wisdom.
“But who am I?” said the dark squirrel finally running down and out of breath, defeated at last in the territory of the worm where nothing can be said or known that is not on TV; and in this way the dark squirrel entered the loony bin and was never seen again except as a light burning in the moon.
Another place to leave was leaning on a broken match and so many faces, one with black hair down past the breasts, leather jacket under French hairdo near to musical instruments gathering dust and cries for more, past Japanese lady so gay with eyes raised to the sky wanting more or less our friend the prostitute
Breathe in look at the light, breathe out look at the dark or the smoke in the eyes, her legs, she’s gone now taking her look, laughing too much to be depressed by pretty girl. Now there’s a pretty boy for you: pretty face, Mona Lisa smile with batman in the air.
Satiate the pain by absorbing it in the ghost dance where the suede cowboy, cigar, leafleting problems, ring in ear, ring in nose, that’s a smile, another beer here silly face, brown face, red face, blue jeans, we don’t fancy yours where the ghost dance joins the subliminal sound of ringing as the silver sax waits on the stage to be played soon.
Kiss me quick lookalikes standing out stretching credence, washed biker look, sharp hair short hair, all the same; the scarecrow sits next to the shadow puffing fags, the guy’s alright but the girl with her hand inside his shirt is making him forget to breathe, with her cleavage all soft skin wrapped in a cotton flower designer hair shirt earrings pressing throng of the pub getting too loud…
“In the variance of what is and what is not yet is the possibility of all that can be. On the tour lines of this are many volunteers waving their banners to be counted,” said the voice from the wireless.
“Forsooth and what the hell have I wondered into now?” said the shadow to himself as a bunch of flowers came through the post and arrived after their expiry date which has nothing to do with anything in the restaurant that never closes before midnight and then some between the ever after sheets that call and call to come home and go to sleep.
So while the waiting was going on until the morning and the radio was playing the shadow advanced further into it all.
“Anyway, don’t go mysteriously wooden legs to anyone who will listen, it will only get you into trouble,” said the shadow to the walls that were bugged.
“You lost me when you opened your mouth dear boy,” said the mysteriously wooden legs.
“Well they do say love’s blanket wants to envelope me but I won’t let it because I don’t want to be smothered…and that’s why I talk to the glass eye every chance I get and use a spoon to shovel the scrambled coffee I get in reply,” said the shadow to no one at all because they’d all gone home and left him to it and talking to himself.
“We shall fly here if we can’t fly there unless we can’t fly anywhere and then we’ll have to land, but if we’re already on the ground then we will stay there until we can fly again. But if we can’t fly again because we’ve lost our wings or are caged forever in the little lie of doom then we shall bewail our fate and cry until we are no more, unless we are silent and don’t say a thing,” said the little cry of fate coming to the shadow’s rescue.
“In tomorrow’s breath of this will come many questions to be answered and of course none of them will have an expiry date but maybe with a small stretch of the imagination could be rounded up into the long hours of antiquity we sell ourselves in waiting for life to happen,” said the professor of antiquities.
“If you die the same death twice it means you’re not learning your lessons and according to Buddhist theory you are bound to repeat this event over and over until you do,” came the reply to the unanswered question not asked yet.
“So it is said and so they say,” said the shadow to the walls.
“Personally the universe regurgitates the same stuff over and over, but I would say this is a once only and unique experience without exception and who knows what happens when we go but I don’t think we will come back to try again,” said the walls to the shadow.
“This being the case that our one time here for however long will be so incredibly precious that no words can ever say how much, so when any life is lost before time then it must be with some sadness,” said the professor hanging around to listen.
“You need to get out more,” shouted a stupendous cry over the shadow’s shoulder trying to frighten him to get out more.
“If you die before you get to Heaven does all you did to get there still count or does all that effort go to waste?” said the shadow holding his rapidly beating heart with his hands on his chest.
“Don’t know,” said love’s blanket coming to wrap him up.
“And if you’ve suffered mightily during your life and yet still don’t get into Heaven what happens to all the Brownie points you’ve built up? Do you get them back or are they just gone and so sorry, but you can’t come in,” asked the black angel of death that was hovering in the shadows not wanting to be seen.
“So you’re guilty then, no matter what?” said the shadow wondering if guilt had a colour.
“When you wash behind your ears for thirty years and they’re still not clean, then yes, you are still to blame?” said the black angel of death and flew out of the open window into the dark night.
“But if all the custard in the world was poured through the hole of a donut, how many tarts can be filled with what’s left over?” shouted the shadow after the black angel of death. No reply came to the question.
With questions like these at school the shadow gave up on it as algebra for donkeys and took himself off down the beach every chance he could get and found naked girls in the dunes.
When they discovered how much fun the shadow was having they sent him off to rocket science school and he sure did miss them dunes.
After he passed out a while later they gave him a donut and the keys to a rocket and said: “go find out for your-self.”
Of course he ate the donut and crashed the rocket in the dunes and lived happily and never cared one bit about the old questions.
But things change and they found him again and put him back to work doing tourist brochures for the off-worlders which was a pointless exercise in futility seeing as how the world was set to explode in another war the elite would have the world fighting again to make more money and get the population down to manageable numbers.
So, the shadow ate the sadly sandwich in the restaurant that never closed and wondered how the madmen ever got so powerful and why we all didn’t see what they were doing long ago destroying our world and us along with it.
“To the Nth degree then, and back again,” said the voice.
“Who is this talking to me through my teeth?” said the shadow to his teeth.
“It is I, the ghost of all your dreams,” said the mermaid on her wireless far out on the ocean waves. And then her wireless went dead and she couldn’t say anymore.
And then the walls went quiet too.
In the slipstream of his unknowing before he found himself where he wanted to be he was full of questions that had no answers and so he had to make the answers and this is when she walked up to him in the distance that came flapping from out of a worry he had that he was going to be alone forever and said: “Answer me this and all the heavenly wine you can carry will by yours for the taking.”
“OK,” he said hoping that the heavenly wine was what he thought it was.
“At the feet of the dragon where you now dwell with one answer left, where if you get it wrong you will be judged for all eternity, what is it you want the most in this darkness you find yourself in?”
He wished she hadn’t asked him that one to which he still wasn’t sure what the answer was, but he gave her what he had: “To fulfil the appointment I made long ago,” he said.
“Which is?” said asked a little snappishly for his liking so that he felt like giving her the old: ‘don’t speak to me like that’ spiel, but just in time he thought about the heavenly wine and wondered what that was.
He needed more time, but it seems that time comes with a length of rope to hang yourself with and he’d been so obliging he’d tied himself up with it, and if he was here out of fear then maybe he shouldn’t be here at all.
“To lose my fear of becoming all that I am and be happy,” he blurted out suddenly thinking that was the answer.
“Prepare to be judged,” she said and walked away to leave him to face his fear of the unknown alone.
It was a strange place he was in with no idea how he got there or even where there was and the idea of spending eternity there was not an appealing one, so he made up his mind to break out somehow and so he looked around for a chink in the prison walls that he could use to escape.
As his thoughts unravelled in the dungeon he found himself in he began to suspect that what he was thinking was not conducive to getting out of there.
Change of plan: Explode and see what happens…
Seven days later he took a rest a looked around him to see what had happened and found him-self mightily pleased with what he saw.
“Well done,” she said, appearing out of the blue again.
“Who are you?” he said looking at her and wondering what she had to do with it all.
“Does it matter?” she said grinning so much he just had to grin right back at her.
“No, not really I suppose,” he said.
“Well come on then,” she said, holding out her hand to him.
“Where are we going to?” he asked as she took his hand.
“We’re off to make another universe,” she said, “and this time I’m going to be the boss.”
“OK,” he said, “but what about my heavenly wine?”
“Later,” she said, “I’m the boss now.”
“OK, but watch out for that snake.”
I REALLY WANT TO…
“Polish up the trumpet boys, we’re in business again,” said the shadow.
“What’s up cap’n?” said the boys in the boat.
“We’ve a ton of grog to deliver to the navy,” said the shadow grinning.
“We’ll never make it there cap’n,” said the boys eyeing the mountain of grog.
“I really want to sink,” said the boat groaning at the seams.
“We can but try,” said the shadow opening up the first bottle.
“Bottoms up lads,” he said and glugged away until the bottle was empty.
The boys followed suit and soon there was a very happy boat bobbing on the waves of the ocean. And silhouetted against the setting sun many cheers were raised as they drifted right out of this story into the next one that may begin with the words: I really want to…
Two boots south of the Mason Dixon line trouble was brewing with the rebels who weren’t allowed to raise their rebel flag anymore. So they all moved to Finland and were welcomed as the new immigrants and were paid lots of money to be freedom fighters against capitalism.
Over in England the Mongolian Muslims from Arabia had taken a vote and converted to English Muslims and decided not to blow up the houses of parliament after all, and satirical expletives aside were very grateful for their lovely apartments, god bless the Queen, amen.
In the benches in the house of lords the government were laughing fit to bust at the photos of the bloody bits of children, all that was left after their bombs had fallen, and now were undecided where next to cause carnage.
Jane could have told them all where the next plane load of bombs should fall as she stood in the ruins of her hospital after it had been bombed into dust by the capitalist pigs safe in their halls of judgement and superior to the pain they caused.
A volunteer to it all couldn’t agree more as she packed parcels with food to be sent to the surviving children who would become the rookies on the fish and the next wave of suicide bombers and with nothing left to live for, what else could they do in the face of so much horror and hate that came at them all the days of their lives?
A piece of paper fell out of the sky and was immediately mistaken for a secret message from the allies who didn’t know what side they were on anymore that said: ‘What version of The déjà vu daisy have you programmed yourself to believe that causes all this?’
The message was taken to the Prime Minister of England who read it and fell in love with the idea of propagation from the skies and so sent it with millions of other pieces of paper with a message straight back to where it came from where they were used as toilet paper.
The plan is working they said as they wiped their bums with the paper and sent off a twenty dollar note by return of mail and waited for the sky to rain money.
The scythe in the hands of crackpot doom was so busy these days mowing down the innocent that it had no time to read the telegram that came disguised as a rebel flag waving in the wind the bombs made that said: ‘We would surrender if only we could, stop. The war is killing us all, stop. In the name of the déjà vu daisy, stop. Before we’re all gone, stop.
The Prime Minister in glee couldn’t be happier in another war, it was plain for all to see, and of course the PM was guiltless, the cronies had voted for it and it was the PMs job to cause as much destruction and loss of life as could be before the war ended and the next one came along.
And so the darlings of Britain watched in mock horror the war on TV that was just in time for Christmas viewing, while the nails in the coffins began to rust with the senseless depravity of it. It will be over soon, won’t it and maybe just in time for the New Year’s bash where everyone gets stupidly drunk to welcome in the New Year and another round of death to our enemies and tuning a blind eye…
A controlled explosion as a moth fluttered into the story, a bit like a rubber tree really in the enlightenment procedures and began laughing at a rusty old guru with the face of an angel who was doing emergency calisthenics to go forward after going backwards for so long and was getting a giddy feeling of euphoria and expansion that evoked a thanks-up and a sideways motion much like a terrible drunk going home after the first and last bell has come and gone.
Anyway, a double standard, not to be outdone for anything less than a fair share and with the grace of a sea-spoon in the bushes was clamouring for more in the failed views of liberalism and although being ignored continued to cry fake news and to blame the Russians who also tuned a blind eye away until a huge punch came from a Mexican conservative to knock the double standard off his perch and then all was quiet for a moment.
The engine grease of this or any other thing that can be said is part sell-by-date and part snowflake in the sun and must be left where it falls, and let no one say it hasn’t been said when that time comes called the end; unless there’s more to be said.
When the sea-spoon in the bushes heard its name being taken in vain a flare was sent up but got lost in all the other ones of the celebrations going on right then and so nothing more was heard for a while except the scribbling of yet one more hastily done letter of complaint that the bushes ate as it was written; the bushes being crowded this time of year with hungry silent types, secret agents and whistle blowers in the dark.
The upshot of this was a double drat and snigger.
A black dog riding on the floorboards of a passing motorbike seemed mightily amused as the motorbike stopped momentarily at the scene, but was soon gone and nothing more came to be said.
As the day progressed into another idea that came in the sweltering heat for a hot coffee, the shadows grew into rustic pictures on the walls and slowly slid downwards into the twilight.
Mothers with tattooed bodies carried their babies through this and became passing strangers to any that were anonymous in the shadows that were made for such with their cylindrical ideas that never paused for a moment but carried on regardless in all the moments that passed as if the race was on and stopping the circus would make it sadly ever after and then where would we be?
Fallen out of our sleeping tree is where we’d be, and nobody wants that, so keep on keeping on until the holy wine comes to quench the thirst, and if we must suffer for a shallow lack of all we want then let it be in those shadows where our name is whispered and the spent moments of all we’ve been can find us praying for the rain and the beauty that so many have spoken of in their books for the dead and the dying who can never leave until their purpose has been fulfilled; and none can define that except from the fullness of the heart when it awakens and steps into the light.
The moth, fluttering from the shadows, huge and strange caused a temporary fright in the binary system of free speech until an old man in a long gray beard under an umbrella wandered by to look at the menu.
“What are we having today?” he said.
Nothing took his fancy so he wandered on to look elsewhere, the moth fluttering before him, much like a pet dog off the leash and sniffing all in its path.
Suddenly the days became long with not a lot to do; so signs were put up on every available space for customers, but the customers were going home with just the odd one here and there who’d lost their way and didn’t know where home was anymore and would perhaps stay wandering forever in and out of the shadows and heat and the crazy designs of their mind.
And then the dancing girls came from the edges to reveal themselves in the hot sun. Around and around they danced as their legs and arms browned, their hair moving in the sideways motion of their being. But it was only a faint, a diversion until later when the boys would be out and the laughter and flirting would begin in earnest to release the ragged bonds, and strong in their force would pick and choose what they wanted until there was nothing left to write home about.
Exotic March was on the horizon as the onward journey revealed too much through the abandoned borders; the guards away and gone crying for their dreams, the heat exhausting as flies buzzed around the many dead things in the road.
And coming across a deserted shelter, we took stock of all that was left to survive onwards through it all in the exemplary modifications of another day.
Which is when a decision happened and turned the clocks back all the way to another time when the living was easy. This was when time travel was discovered.
It’s funny how a slight declination in the whirling can have such a profound effect and turn things about where even history changes to meet the new aspect, and all expectations from that point onwards becomes an open doorway of possibility.
This is not something that is taught in the schools, and perhaps for good reason, for if everyone knew this it would change the world over night and everyone would appear in the place they’re meant to be to discover their inheritance, that treasure set aside for each and everyone from before time began.
But then the rich would become poor, and losing all they have taken would wail in their poverty and spend a thousand years climbing out of that pit. No, this is not taught in the schools.
We can’t say for sure when time began, or when it really ended for that matter. Maybe it was when we found each other under that full moon so long ago and our soul opened to you and let you in.
We are you as you are us.
The moment we lose your hand is when we are in separation, and when we find it again all is well; and we find there is no story but you unless we turn the wireless on.
The bones of an old song on the radio was whipping up support for the rebels in their cold coats and oversized boots from the bone-yard in the hot heat and sun of another windblown day, and mumbling:
“We would surrender if only they would let us,” but had to be satisfied with eight ounces of coffee for all their troubles. And as they blindly tumbled onwards, the wind in its wishful thinking told them secrets to keep them alive and to never give up until they were all home again.
“We are huge here where we meet in the high circles,” said the wind that blows forever.
A ballerina for those thoughts then that come so perfectly out of the blue to thrive in the endless stages of childhood; and let us hope the grave does not find us still standing before we fall into that pit to leave us animated as starched soldiers, moving here and there with every string that pulls us along lifeless corridors where the daily the déjà vu daisy of money has such sway.
In the next pizza house the double-dip boys came wearing their boxing gloves to teach us to pray harder for all we didn’t have that they told us we must have.
We scarpered over the wall of that little drama to escape and get away to later where we slept in our dreams.
The morning brought orange juice with no smiles and the news that a dear friend had passed away to go on before us in her sleep which made us sad. So we remembered the good times we’d had together until we’d cried enough and then we carried on and knew she’d always be with us even though we’d never see her again.
NEARLY NOW WHERE THE STRANGER IS HERO
The old ways of dying are rusting with the sharp toothed beggars that nibble at the feet of the saint in the halls of the city of neon full of machines ridden by their operators that know nothing else, staring out of eyes that are made in the schools to operate the machines.
It’s hard to think sometimes in all the noise in the nearly now where they do say you can fake it if you try hard enough; but the trying is full of booby-trappers buried in the dust with too many explanations about how it all should be so that withdrawing in self preservation becomes a habit.
“You can’t do that,” they say.
“So bite me,” we say back at them and then turn around and run; seems like we’re always running these days to somewhere else where they’re not. Who do you call when your feet are on fire?
“Complain to me,” say the machines in the crazy parlours of duplicity and heavy waiting between what comes last and what may come next.
But underneath the waterfalls of the rain where the stranger is hero of the inside story all can be forgiven in the holy moments of living.
And so we turned west to travel around the world and see what we could see and ended falling where every misery has as its defence a darker moment of excuse to wallow deeper, and the deeper you go the more open the wound becomes, until the dark night of the soul enters, and falling there the door opens to the heart deep down. Going into that the secret way is found to that treasure only the beloved has.
Living there one becomes as free as free can be where life is boundless in every gift of joy that comes in waves from nowhere to fill the heart.
But a moment’s distraction will find you falling away to separation where: ‘not that’ is misery, and that is called not living.
Between these two is the time of sleeping and waking, much like the ocean in its endless journey with the shore, it is always a part of the shore but in its receding it goes away and calls out: “Why do you leave me so?” but then it turns and comes back in again in celebration.
No one can say this with words and everyone’s experience is different, but sometimes a signpost can evoke something from deep within, and who is to say what a life is worth, that if one follows another road, different from the normal, that it is of less worth.
When we looked up we found the agreements were broken over and over until they became worthless; and that became a concern and turned into a long search to find something that was of worth.
Years burned away to dust and the uphill climb was hard until we yearned for a place to rest, to lay it all down and become easy again, but the harder we tried the harder it seemed, until one day, becoming so heavy, we fell over and lay there on our back looking up.
Maybe we’d found a clue.
There are two types of madness: one that lets you in and one that lets you out and we’d known both of them intimately; but perhaps madness is just a paradox that muddles up the mind so that you have no clear path, and the edges close in to intrude upon all you’ve ever known as true and right.
At dawn we came across where we’d been before and found it strange, as if all the life had abandoned it to leave it not even forlorn, just some ghost place where any tracks of past activity had worn away.
So we set up camp and slept away the day into night and then lit a fire and danced naked under the stars; and if you’ve never danced naked under the stars then we suggest you do it soonest.
Love of course doesn’t come or go, it just is, but often it’s evoked to grow in an attachment where a fascination that attracts becomes more than the every-day loving, and falling in love happens.
To some it becomes an infatuation, and to others it brings out the depth of their heart and the many things in between that come to the surface to be healed or fought over until they’re let go of and love can shine through clearly.
This kind of love can be fraught with dangers, the worst being separation through a parting of the ways.
For the un-evolved soul this brings huge loss and can lead to identity problems where the loss is so severe it can seem that life has gone out of the living and the dark night of the soul takes hold to tear that one’s world apart.
If survived, a re-evaluation must happen before any forward motion can take place.
When all seems hopeless the only hope must come from looking up; but when nothing works but time, then it’s just a question of endurance until enough time has passed and the wound heals over.
We got as far as the huge mountain before the endurance ran out, and then came the long walk to the top to find the temple of the déjà vu daisy and the wise one that lived there.
When we got to the ten thousand steps we were exhausted and really wanted to turn back, but we had to carry on.
At the top sat the Buddha, but he was petrified. We walked once around him and then went and stared at the ten thousand steps we had to go back down.
We thought that one day we would look back on all this and think of it as the time of the long search to find what we’d never lost.
A great sadness fell over us that made everything go dark and we cared nothing for the living.
With our ability to assume any social niceties lacking we dreaded any contact with our species and so sat by the Buddha in a kind of companionable silence and found he was the only thing we could relate to.
“In here, only the message counts, not the words that deliver it,” said the silence responding to the unasked question.
Far below and in and out of the Upanishads of the big river, the teeth of the lips of misdirection were just warming up and causing concern among the masses of the righteous and faithful.
No amount of coffee could fix this and so Isis Media as herself in disguise was introduced into the belief that everything would turn out alright in the end.
This was news to the problematic that set up a hastily erected outpost to waylay any strangers that wanted in, in any way and for whatever reason.
The first casualties were a gang of handsome idiots who mistook all that was said for the truth of reality and became spoiled in the rush to fame.
Listening in on a high frequency from the bushes, Ali Akbar the Californian subversive grinned from ear to ear and dialled up the machine further to hear more but was disturbed by Joan on her wireless out in the ocean deep:
“Joan the mermaid, Joan the mermaid, can you hear me?”
Joan was an old hand at giving pause to the unwary and though far away, her wireless machine was most powerful and could reach into places others feared to tread.
Ali was on hold and waiting for inspiration or something and so was speechless in the inquiry from Joan, which is not always a bad thing for hyperbole can be overrated at times, most especially when one is hiding out in the bushes and spying on all that’s going on.
Joan eventually tuned to a different bandwidth and Ali went back to listening to the results of the misdirection. But the story had moved on from that and so Ali too tuned in to something different.
A racing coffin with the tendencies of an expiry date fell over backwards at this and decided to speak no more until resurrection day came when it would be lifted out into the light to be applauded for such patience in the face of all misdirection.
But one thing leads to another under the sun where the city is crazy with it all; but when night comes it is cooler and the dogs wake up from their heavy sleep in the heat to cherry pick their dreaming where they exist.
And in our cherry-picking dreams must we live where we die in our graves and be nothing more than shadows of all we can guess to be true?
The answer comes close to nature as a force of forgetting where we lay down where we fall to become one. Later, hand in hand we stroll under the moon and remember what is so easy to forget, that together we are inseparable.
The desert is our home where we come back to be, time after time to live with the beloved, to die every day to live and living we have something to give: sometimes in an acceptance of the moment, and sometimes as the perfect expression of love.
Many clowns were coming to accuse us of being reticent and failing in our duties in the lifelong battle to become higher than a toad. But it was so hard not to be down all the time and suicidal.
Somewhere inside we knew how it could be and that happiness was available somewhere, perhaps the next book or sweet smile that came our way.
There’s always a lizard that crawls up the wall of this though and holds there looking at us as if we could find a way past the dark spirals of digression to become so much more.
A child at play gave us a clue and an idea formed that we could become what we wanted to be and all we had to do was to be it.
But we only had one day, for every night when we slept, everything re-set and we were back where we started from in the new day.
“Such a fine romance we’re having; oh if only the wheels wouldn’t keep falling off,” we said out loud as if there was someone to hear us.
“When you pull your wings out by the roots don’t expect a free pass.” The déjà vu daisy said this.
“Who said that?”
We said that.
The thing is, every man Jack and woman Jill owns a piece of the mystery and though some piece it together brick by brick, others tear it down faster than it can be built.
So on the one hand there’s a lot of bricks stacked for the building, and on the other there’s a lot of rubble.
All those who live in the middle of this, depending on which way they’re looking, are either looking up or looking down, if they’re not looking over.
For more than a few years the old man on the hill kept his silence about it all until one day, with all the noise going on, he just had to speak up and say something about it. But try as he might no words would come out. He’d been silent for too long, and anyway, there was too much of a din happening for him to be heard.
Joan on her wireless could have told him this, but he was wireless and so had to chill out on his own.
A thousand years in the other direction, as the balloon is blown, a ruckus was blowing up over a cautionary expedition that was making little progress on how to build the wall to keep the hordes out; so men in black coats were hired to draw up plans to make things go faster.
For more than a few years they drew their pay and drank a lot of beer and on Sundays they went to church to pray for inspiration.
When the times changed, as times do change, they became redundant and all to a man sighed in relief and went off to find other work more fitting of men who wore black coats.
The déjà vu daisy, high up on his cloud, who’d been formulating an inspired design for the wall, gave up on it when he saw he was no longer needed.
When ten thousand tons of bricks were delivered everyone was kept busy for another few years or so, and in this way life carried on.
But outside of the gates the hordes were chanting: “We want fair play,” over and over, and as the hordes chanted, up went their socks and they became ever more determined to not take anything less.
The white coated inspector on the sidelines was recording it all to make sure they didn’t overstep the boundaries set up to make it all seem fair and above board.
Later, as the crow flies, the massage parlour would open to ease their aching pains at discount, and a free cup of tea thrown in to boot.
Number 5 and the X-ray dog were taking it in turns to row their boat across the vast ocean of this story and had got as far as the edge of Thailand where they got out and began to fry in the hot heat of the bright sun.
Quite how they got into this story can’t be said at this time, but no doubt it will come as a stretch of the imagination that will come sideways from somewhere exotic, and if it doesn’t then what does it matter?
“Are we using the old ways of thinking to plot our way forward in a world that is rapidly changing and finding the old ways of thinking are becoming obsolete?” said Number 5 out of the side of her lips.
“I don’t know,” said the X-ray dog to itself so that no one heard it say a thing.
THE ZEN CAT
When the seven pillars came down all the deities merged together to become one which was excellent for a few but confusing for all the others.
The suicide lines were long of those who couldn’t readjust their thinking and were unwilling to live without their paper the déjà vu daisy.
Linear thinking was no longer possible, in fact only a few could think two related thoughts in a row. But mostly it was madness for seven billion, and it was getting worse.
So those few survivors that were still sane enough prepared to take to the sky to escape the planet and find a home somewhere else.
The mad could keep their world.
It was a big ship that was made, a quarter of the size of the moon and held a million, give or take. Spinning on its axis gave it gravity; food was grown on one level; everything was recycled; oxygen came from plants and energy came from the sun.
But, the aliens had got to the skies first and abducted the survivors by beaming them aboard their space ship, and of course they then turned them all into cats and then beamed them all back down to Earth where they wandered around confused.
“What’s that then when it’s at home?” asked the X-ray dog.
“It’s a short science fiction story,” replied Number 5.
“Meow,” said the Zen cat from the bushes.
FALLING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
In the bare fields of a camp no longer there the distant call of an echo from around the daisy tree came at last to speak to us wrapped up in all that had been lost along the way.
“If you lose this you lose our love,” she said as she invited us in. Love was that simple.
And we never did lose it, we just fell off the end of the world, but perhaps that was the same thing; and time goes fast and of course we tried to walk backwards but all things move on and in moving leave no path to return.
So love came and we embraced it fully and for a while it was all we wanted, but one of us wanted it all and so became obsessed and love flew away and left in its place a stone that became our heart and our world was pain and we fell a very long way and none could pick us up from that.
It was our own doing that caused the fall and though we beseeched for a return with all our heart, and maybe we were heard, but there was no return, for having moved on it carried no reprieve, and like the executioner is remorseless that way.
Time blunts the edges now of that and new paths come, but the darkness of that loss is a barren place to re-visit and what cures there are fall into that pit and shine no light there; and yet love abandons not the heart that is in love and so little by little the stone that was our heart cracked open and some laughter grew there again.
Love has secret ways in and out and shows that nothing can be broken that much that love can’t repair; and so like a child we came back to the world.
But there was a shadow that weaved its possession through all our doings and though we would fly, an unnamed sorrow kept us earthbound and from this came thoughts that twisted and turned their way into being and we entertained them in that place, and such dark thoughts they were, and when voiced shrivelled up all hope.
A second despair then beset us and we fell even further than before and surely from this place there was no way back, so all we knew and all we could be, fell into ruin and none could help and what light there was, was pulled down to the darkness from inside.
Were we learning to un-fly?
Our heart was an ogre, a shrivelled thing in some dark corner, and foul were all our utterances.
The world prayed for us and sent blessings yet all blessings fell to dust and became a part of the doom.
Yet still love raised us up, but like a puppet on strings we shuffled to love’s urgings and we could not take heart and all we did and achieved was coloured in a vain building that crumbled as it was built.
The years passed and we deceived our-self and built our world alone, and at the pinnacle of all our achievement the third darkness came and everything we knew became tears shed to puddle on the floor in front of us and we renounced all we believed in and said to love to leave us alone and that we would never ask from it again.
But love hears not the pain talking.
The time came for us to die and so, sinking down through the layers we left our life and gave our-self to whatever there was that would take us. We had had enough and would pass on.
In our death we came to nothing, but it was a nothing of joy; there was nowhere else to go, and questing into that nothing we found life and our heart was whole again and joy streamed to join with that; but some vestige of thought came between and we were dragged back and cried out: no!
But back to the pain we came.
For an uncounted time we cried in anger until once more we came to that joy and once more it was pulled from us, sabotaged by our own suffering.
Let go. How could we let go of the raging demon? How could we surrender when all goodness has been torn from our soul to be replaced by a squirming toad of despair?
But as we’ve said: love has secret ways in and out and it seems we were destined to learn the hard way how to fly.
Love sent us ten thousand messages, at least, and all of them said: relax, you are not alone, you are not abandoned.
And so slowly we came to see the love revealed to us and we have no fear of the darkness now for we know what is at the heart of it.
When we fell off the edge of the world we were caught, and though our suffering was our own we were not alone.
We looked into a dark place and found pain but when we looked deeper we found love.
HAPPINESS IS AN EMPTY SHOE
Gurgling Pete kept a square diamond in his shoe and walked around funny and singing crazy songs and every morning he’d wake up dreaming colours in his blue eyes.
Then one day he found seven chickens in his yard and his diamond was gone. “Oh woe oh woe is me,” he cried.
The chickens clucked and ran around in circles.
“A clue,” he thought and went in search of his lost treasure.
Round and round he went following the chickens until he was quite exhausted and then he sat down in the dust and cried his eyes out and knew his diamond was truly gone forever.
But he did had seven chickens who were good layers and so every morning he had eggs for breakfast and when his friends came around they had eggs too and of course he wasn’t singing crazy songs anymore and his foot didn’t hurt either now that the square diamond was no longer in his shoe.
But he did still see colours in his dreaming, but that had nothing to do with diamonds or chickens but was probably to do with something else entirely. And now that he didn’t need his shoes to hide his diamond in anymore he could grow things in them, like flowers and rainbows and weeds. So all in all he felt a lot happier.
We were wondering how high we could get in this place; and then she said to us: “look at all those erections so high in our morning drive.” Half a love later we were both lost with never a way back.
“But this is art, this is love, this is the wind in our hair,” we cried.
“Oh really,” she said.
“Yes and it has eight eyes and grows caterpillars by the dozen,” we said.
Time moves too fast for our possession so we drove all day and then we drove all night. For many days we drove in the looking for that place we would find. Driving into the dawn and passing Lorries on the roundabouts, going, just going.
“How long will you sit beside me?” we asked.
“Forever,” she replied.
So we drove all night long again, for us, for the love, for the driving because we had to.
And then one day we found we were older and still driving and we remembered there was once a time when we were younger and we had time, but now we burn with all the time that has gone.
“We wanted to be so huge here where we can’t bring a thing,” we called, “into this with all our powers from the gone we had gone for.”
We closed an eye and became the wind and battered upon the gates that were closed.
“Let me in,” we cried and cried again but we could not tear the gates down.
“I would invite you in but I have no explanations for this that would see into here,” she said. “No place for you to be.”
“Do we dream too big for this then?” we asked.
“No, you dream too small,” she said.
“Will you leave us now?” we asked.
“Come now,” she said, “am I some drop of perfume to linger yet fade? Or some blossom to wither and die?”
“At least tell us where we are,” we said.
“This is your passage to the other side,” she said.
“Oh,” we said, “but how can that be?”
“Look inside now and leave all words alone, there is nothing more to be said.”
“One or two pieces of eight madam… yes I’m sure we can accommodate you,” said the X-ray dog from out of the blue.
“Where did all these words come from?” said blind Sue 97
“Well, from five clouds of course who had a huge ear and liked music and played dice every chance he could get, not that it did him any good mind you,” said the X-ray dog.
“No, no, no, we are not hearing this,” said blind Sue 97 shaking her head until it wobbled.
“The triple effect will make you breathe faster but you have to throw them away first,” said the X-ray dog looking at the ceiling silently.
“Shut up,” said blind Sue 97 from behind her eyes.
“The fierce shark gives you the eye to bolster up all you are, he-he,” said the X-ray dog smiling now.
“We don’t hear anything. There is no voice in our head,” said blind Sue 97 holding her head.
“Oh don’t be so upset, in a week you will be free in a shot of going down easy and there is a surprise in store for you in the enlargement, so expect this to happen soon,” said the X-ray dog turning back the clock.
“Who are you?” asked blind Sue 97 quietly now, standing on one leg with a finger on her nose and the other hand pointing away somewhere.
“Some kind of something will turn up eventually and take you away, perhaps to the next turn of the wheel and if you do not turn up you will not be there,” said the X-ray dog beginning to sense something was amiss.
“Ok, there’s a voice in my head telling me things that don’t make sense. How can I make it go quiet?” said blind Sue 97 looking around as if she could see something.
“And all your bags will be lost and soaked in the rain,” said The X-ray dog sounding final.
“Oh dear,” said blind Sue 97, that does sound final.
And that is the end of the Monday play…RKA radio, over and out.
“Ah, so it was only the radio. Well that’s ok then, I was worried there for a moment,” said blind Sue 97 smiling.
“Did someone say the radio was on?” asked the X-ray dog looking around.
“Don’t look at me,” said Number 5 sliding past on a block of ice in the heat of the hot day.
As far as we know we all have a lot of thoughts running a constant stream in our heads caused by our surroundings, emotions, other people and things we have to think about to do.
Sometimes we worry on something and our thoughts are made more on that subject. Some people are aware of their thinking and don’t associate it with being them but rather for what it is and can stand back from this constant stream and even decide what they want to think.
Somewhere in it all is a thread of truth and being aware of that, and finding the centre of that will bring a feeling of joy and peace.
Sometimes in our most dire moments there is severe pain or trauma or even extreme depression that can leave us debilitated, and recently when we have been in this drama of exception we have chosen to go within into the centre of our being to find there a truth most profound.
But this peace can be felt in the good times too and this is what the wise ones say: that the truth we are looking for is already inside us.
If we lose you in the stream will you find us again? If we go too far will you bring us back? When we call your name will you answer?
But then, what need have we to worry, you are closer than close and we are inseparable.
When we were lost you bent the stream to take us home. When we cried out for you your answer was immediate. And in the silence of our being you were there.
You’ve always been there, there’s nowhere that is without you.
No name can describe you yet there are so many. There are many ways proscribed to follow you, yet there is no following you, we are either in or out and when we’re in there’s no out.
And now, look at all these clumsy words that say there are many callings but only one centre to be called from and why would we leave that with you there?
Academically speaking about that we came up with this: When rearranging the mind to suit a new purpose, a certain amount of practice is needed to gain excellence and the more practice put in the more excellence is gained.
So when practicing enlightenment this should hold true; but it seems the opposite is so.
Enlightenment is like the ocean and you are either practicing diving into the ocean, or you’re in the ocean. Practicing diving doesn’t always lead to enlightenment.
Mindfulness on the other hand can be practiced so that perseverance will bring much mind to be mindful of.
Mindlessness is different; the argument being that with mindfulness you become more aware of your environment and your thoughts, whereas mindlessness is impossible.
Enlightenment is both of these in a heart based experience where you are one with the love that you are. Being total love, thoughts come from that feeling as breathing comes from the body rather than separate entities of energy that influence you in a haphazard way that is most of the time random and uncalled for.
You are it, and call it what you want but the result of enlightenment is a feeling of complete joy; and as is said in the book: we are made in the likeness of the creator and the creator is pure bliss.
Knowing this as opposed to belief can leave a lasting impression in your make-up to give you a whole new perspective on life and the living of it.
Your mind being the great deceiver, will try to pull you back in to fear based thinking where the mind is in charge and the heart is down there somewhere.
This leads to doubt and is not to be believed; we’ve all been pulled along that road and know where it leads.
And from a wise one called Buddha: ‘Believe nothing, not even me, unless it strikes a chord of truth in your own heart.’
Unless you’re a small breeze waiting for the rain: From somewhere a little breeze comes and finds us looking up from our coffee to see the smell-less lady arriving with her man arm in arm.
Without any fuss whatsoever they glide across the floor and sit in one of the armchairs together and giggle at each other.
Well that’s a good start to a new story we think and go back to our coffee and wait for the rain that’s due.
The page flutters in the breeze of a revolving fan, the radio on silently and small talk here and there in the cafe.
A taxi splutters by with two tourists on their way back to their hotel, clutching their shopping tightly.
Ringo Starr saunters by incognito while some men at a table out in the narrow road play cards.
A small breeze in between the electric fans sends a faint smell of patchouli past us and we are reminded of the sixties when everyone would wear it with their sleeveless fur coats or kaftans and dangling beads and toe bells.
It was just a small breeze that blew a memory our way for a moment, evocative in a timeless way and without any need of explanation to let us know that life is as long as it lasts and there’s no other deal but that and that thriving is no more than a moment of joy lived.
The fortune teller in his turban offers a card to the hapless backpacker and follows him up the narrow road; but there is no fortune but this, that we all come and go on a small breeze and there’s no telling of what will or will not be but where the breeze blows us.
We think the fortune teller is in the wrong business as he wanders around the narrow road looking for just one who will go with him to tell of things that need no telling.
The tee shirt says: same-same and hangs to be bought in a stall of many, all covered with tarpaulins and the sun is out to make everyone hot and now no one knows if it will rain or not except maybe the fortune teller, but no one is asking him.
Some languages almost have a secret way to learn them and the more you listen to them the more they remain a mystery. Money seems to be a language everyone understands for the sellers and buyers alike to settle on an agreement yet it seems such a foreign concept to sell yourself for paper and coins while the heart remains un-aroused; but for now it seems it has to stay same-same until all can agree a better way that is more equal for all and not just for the elite to benefit.
But we digress into a dark place to talk about such when the day is so magical.
Everyone has a gift and a purpose to live it and we see in the narrow road so many passing by who search among the trinkets for some clue to their desires as the card players play and the fortune teller calls for a client constantly walking up and down and the tourists keep coming and the foreign language is still mysterious to our ears and now the Beatles sing: we can work it out from the silent radio’s speakers, hidden somewhere in the open air cafe.
A taxi pulls up just outside and a woman in a thin cotton dress, blown by the breeze gets out and pays, then walks off into the narrow road to become one more tourist looking at all the things for sale.
Maybe we’ve had too much coffee for we find our-self running to take off with this story in the breeze as a kite to soar but we are entranced in the moment of being here and find the here is everywhere of where we are so we drink coffee and wait for the rain as a man wearing a baseball hat comes along pushing his cart of fruit and ringing a bell a ding, ding, ding and passes right on by down the narrow road into the far distance of the little breeze of this story.
It’s funny how it happens, and you never see it coming where the one thing merges with the other to be but a grain of sand in the blowing winds of time, but oh what music can be made then.
“We have much to learn,” said the words of wisdom to us where the winds were blowing many things our way again.
“Do not read this or else,” said the sign swinging back and fore in the wind.
The heavy doors of a hard place were closed against us as is the way of heavy doors; but we were not in a panic, not yet awhile, and maybe not at all…it was old news that we were breaking up from.
So we broke the bridge back, because we’d almost made it out of there and found our talking not so pure to break free of what we were trying to talk our-self out of.
How many circles must we endure before we can escape? We wanted to know.
We’d gone through most of the stages: anger, depression, acceptance, brown rice and free speech and now we were working on our wings and wondering how many innocents must die for this war.
The outline of darkness is a distraction and is not easily seen naturally, but it can come when you’re looking the other way.
Light on the other hand is deep and after the veils have been released it becomes available, though sometimes you have to fight your way to it, that is, you have to focus away from the distractions to accept it.
The innocents of this war are the things that get left behind so you can travel easily and not be weighed down; so that when you get there you’re ready.
It’s always a good thing to be ready, for things can change in an instant and if the tendrils of things are still attached to you then you can only go as far as they will stretch and then you will bounce back.
The epic turbulence of this is exhaustion when you’re in the fight and so a good supply of endurance is needed to keep going until you’ve made it.
Turning back is not really an option for if you’ve made it this far then everything behind you will be but a shadow of however you dreamed it, and in the constant changing only the thirst will be real.
Or so the book of enlightenment would have you believe; but if it is all an illusion, then what’s there to believe that’s real?
As we said this out loud while sitting on the steps in the square a crowd began to build up to listen and form around us.
Maybe they were interested in enlightenment, or maybe they had nothing better to do and wanted to see what we were selling.
The thing about crowds is that they can turn on you. So you have to be careful of what you say; but if it happens the free flow can stop and you’re left making a speech or preaching which we really weren’t interested in doing.
So we slowly backed up towards the gate in the wall and the crowd followed us.
They say there’s seven billion on the world and half are women, so when one woman came up to us we thought: “Ah, one of the three and a half billion.”
So she said to us: “What are you running from?”
This seemed most profound but we had not much time to dwell on it as the crowd pressed in and began murmuring the usual things that crowds murmur: “Give us our money back, pay us what you owe.”
We didn’t owe them anything because we hadn’t taken anything from them, but a crowd is a crowd and as crowds go this one was not untypical of them.
So we scarpered, again, through the hole in the wall and dashed into a temple to hide and found Ganesh covered in flowers. We left a coin by his feet, as you do when meeting Ganesh and continued on.
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Up in the rafters where the shadows danced their merry dance and could be likened to souls communing and interlinking and merging, the sound of the roof could be heard groaning under all the weight and as more snow fell the groaning became more pronounced until eyes began to glance upwards in concern. The landlord was unconcerned and carried on passing out beer over the bar, the roof had survived a hundred winter snows so one more was not to be worried about. â€œAwaken me from the dead so I may join the living,â€ said the voice that no one took any notice of; the ancestors were gone now and were to be ignored when they called to come back. â€œI cannae weep no more,â€ said another, fresh in the grave. â€œThis number multiplied and multiplied again will make us strong to break out of here where our souls rot in the ground,â€ said the rotting bones of a mathematician long set in the frozen earth. When the door burst open, all eyes turned to the distraction as the snow whirled in a bundle of rags that collapsed to the floor shivering.