His eyes were liqueur-filled chocolate truffles, melting in frustration. She was tornado pie, spun-pummel over his impending demise. Minutes earlier, she would never have imaged this. Minutes earlier, he wanted to tell her that even shadows roam realms parallel; that the orange was not orange.

In another part of the world, Tod Onta is sitting on a plumb-covered couch and across him sits Antigen, a glorious fern with whom he’s slowly developed a precise relationship. The streets below them wander through wild masses of people, at first resistant and then compliant.

“Think it will stop raining soon?” he says.

We’ve got a contract among ourselves, that we’re going to talk sense & that means specifying where the bodies are; if you have to count them more than you count on them, you won’t necessarily succeed. A contract was signed, beyond one point—that these things that we’re once in definition, oblong shapes and designs crawling toward meaning, would find those paths unobstructed.

That contract sits on contraband paper, a relative of which a horticulturalist friend minds with his son—they walk the red-dirtied plains of their acreage, swapping stories about abandoned memories and pensive interactions. They hadn’t talked for the past seventeen months. She had died, leaving him without a wife and his son without a mother.

“Sometimes I lay awake, alone just at dawn watching Her glorious fingers stroke the almost desert floor of the island I have wrought, and I hear her voice in every photosynthesizing plant of our garden,” his father had said.

“I wake up sometimes, in the middle of the night and turn into the dining room for some crappy-wappys, and there’s mom right there in a sullen nightgown, sipping coffee and watching the owls.

“I turn on the light but there’s no one there. I don’t even feel like cereal anymore, Dad,” the son shared.

Their estate was by no means vast, but within their location they miraculously managed to grow a copious amount of plant-life, including jasmine, turnips, parsnip, seventeen varieties of orchid, burl seedlings, desert sage, manzanita, salvia divinorum, watermelon (they were nuts about its sugar), carrots, and more. “You know, today would have been her birthday.”

“I know dad, I know.”

He stares off at the blue screen surrounding the horizon, waiting for someone to imprint the sky with a message that would let him know if it was going to be alright.

Of course it would, if you had a good captain at the helm, one who wouldn’t sink the ship before it ever left its dock. This is my twenty-third voyage through the visages of these people, and there’s more to come floating through.

To humor the man and his song, let us hypothesize that I place 'It’s going to be alright.' in the sky above him. The father, who I may as well tell you is named Peter, first looks up at the words in disbelief. This didn’t feel like one of those days, and it hadn’t happened to him before. He knew he should be amazed, comforted, maybe even intrigued at the spectacle in the sky. But he felt the message more so than he saw it. And it was gone as soon as it appeared, his subconscious quickly masking the memory deep within his cranial depths, disallowing its concrete distinction above the earth’s surface and yet, its positive message passes through his circulatory system as transmissions extrasolar to his container.

Peter and his son’s concerns are very different than those found in the city. Self-motivated domains of buildings building higher, co-intelligences and markers of height, the sky is a door by which this measurement made, can determine the identity of the thief. Who is as tall as the buildings?

There is a giant that walks between their blocks, and his back has broken but he continues. People don’t notice the giant, because the giant (though large) falls through the cracks of their perception. The giant’s name is Henry and his mother was also a giant. He has a sister named Patty who lives in New Jersey.

Henry’s purpose is to walk around the city for reasons that will later be explored.

I’ve been rearranged, and though once in a state of disarray, my rearrangement feels unassociated with derangement. Finally, I’m normal, and it comes to me in pulses and visitations. The reality never escapes my curious glance, and when I look deeper it threatens to melt away—but it can’t, it wiggles away from my intention; it breeds itself to an alternate destination.

I am not multiple solutions. I am not transient communication. I don’t sputter-muttle or warily walk. My teeth move like giant waves of static, piercing and flickering, blue pieces of fuzz stick to my sandpaper head. I am a man without a mouse. A piper without a Foust.

Antigen and Onta sit outside their house on a starry night, hand holding frond, emiting a withered song that escapes from them like steam rising from freshly nuked rice; empathic waves interchange, and the only thing they're talking about is the fucking war.

And Henry, oh my. I’m waiting for him to navigate those streets right to my door so I can fix him a cup of coffee. He needs it. I’d make some for my self, but I’ve got a stitch in my side that feels like hot liquid napalm, which I consume like jello because it’s what I’m programmed to do.

...continued...

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