And so, past meets present in this all-too-real spectacle; after the initial shock, the lighting scheme changes. They all gather around the wooden monolith...elephant? Not here, but right here.

"Apathy must be preferable to violence." --One of the specters ventures an opinion. "I can now see into the past as well as I can into the future." We can forgive him; he's been around so long he's but a slim skeleton covered in rags that only hint of the regalia that once echoed with his footsteps.

"We've all learned to avoid the pain." Says the grotesque under the fireworks display--then lights the cigarette.

"And it is so that the avoidance of pain is much different from the pursuit of pleasure." Thank you, good friar.

The barricade of digits gives way to the influx of water. "It will not submit, y'know" speaks the simulacrum. "It defies its classifications."

Not tonight. No free rides.

Huddled of numerous cigarettes. "The paratroopers of fucking death!" one spat at me.

"Try to be nurturing" says the corpse next to me...her brow is so cold.

For a moment I glimpse the collective and beg a minute of its time, just to talk. "No tricks?" No, perhaps not. "I know it inside me. The REAL me. Not the me I know, but the me that KNOWS." I pull the card from the slot and the line goes dead. You just can't get through to them all.

"A brilliant sense of paranoia...a flurry...a display of sorts" He will not tell me his name. It is a secret thought. "It comes in like a black arrow--like a worm" His words quickly shift to aggressive forms which I try to evade. My flight takes me into a store. They sell many things.

"Waiting in line to buy something? Really? You must assert yourself and your dominance when engaged in a mutually contested field..." I think this gruff shade in the hoplite armor doesn't wait for much. I search my pockets and look around at all the things. I seem to have very few things. So I resign myself to the wait. Twenty-three dollars? Seems a bit excessive.

150 seconds later, as an approximation, or so, the store is jettisoned from view. "Sometimes distractions are needed to help you focus, y'know?" An instant of rage subsides and all is quiet. Many of the night-time personnel have come on duty. A sultry crowd replaces the others.

Some distance away, I receive an instinctual gutteral transmission from Rob. From what I can gather, he is in good spirits and is not bleeding nearly as much as I. "Music as a distraction to aid focus" He's not through with me yet, so I must leave Rob to his own devices--one smoke and one smile richer. I must destroy the psychonaut. I do not know what that means, and it will make it all the harder.

"Everyone who gets high gets high in a slightly different way" I don't even know this one. Never seen him. He must be real. The trek to their van took hours. "Communication is to spread knowledge to all levels." What could I do but nod in acceptance. A renegade tree on The path assails me, like being caressed by hands made of algae. When the campsite is reached, everything moves from the obscure to the very specific.

Do I live in a world of shades? If so, am I not myself one? My apparent melodrama receives but one faint "Far out, man." "Tomorrow everything we know will change...slightly." These people make little sense. I argue with the woman with the panther tattoo on her shoulder..."Cats can never win because they never figure out doors! They never figured out the damn simple door!" I smiled politely and dismissed myself, staggering into a maze of RV's that was surely just erected to confuse me. This variety of extreme ocular confusion is best combated with another cigarette. I reach into the plastic bag tied to my belt and produce a loose square...

"Happy things always seem angry at night." This drooling boy stands almost my height! His twin, spewing a near venomous amount of sophist bullshit, again sets me in motion. Must get clear of danger.

"Our work here", says the thin one with the eye pain, "remains secretive only because of our fears that what we cherish most in it will to others seem as incoherent drivel." No matter now. Must get clear of danger.

Most of the shadows clear with the neon ahead, and there is someone I knew before all this leaning against a post. I mean to greet them, but instead I stand silent--they match it, word for word. I'm gonna be up all night...


The evening's lysergic dream:

On a cold plane of frozen marshmallows, the High Council of UberJesi meet to address the million fetal incarnations of the anti-christ in an attempt to dissuade another thirty-three year rampage...

Meanwhile, in upstate New York, the madman sits in his hotel room. His erratic scrawlings forming vipers that fall from the pages and squirm on the floor beneath him. All await the signal.

It is clear that the youth of tomorrow, not born unto us, must suffer for our lies.

--Letters from a Savior; Offer for a few--


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