The Refuge of Light


Perhaps you saw what place our universe plays in the scheme of things — as no more than an atom in a blade of grass. Could it be that everything we can perceive, from the microscopic virus to the distant Horsehead Nebula, is contained in one blade of grass that may have existed for only a single season in an alien time-flow? What if that blade should be cut off by a scythe? When it begins to die, would the rot seep into our universe and our own lives, turning everthing yellow and brown and desiccated? Perhaps it’s already begun to happen. We say the world has moved on; maybe we really mean that it has begun to dry up.
“Think how small such a concept of things make us, gunslinger! If a God watches over it all, does He actually mete out justice for such a race of gnats? Does His eye see the sparrow fall when the sparrow is less than a speck of hydrogen floating disconnected in the depth of space? And if He does see… what must the nature of such a God be? Where does He live? How is it possible to live beyond infinity?

-The Dark Tower series, Stephen King

 

–November 17th is today. 9:03:09 Pacific Standard Time

SHE SEES THE MESSAGE:

ARE YOU SURE YOU
WANT TO BE THERE

he said wasn’t that a burn spot, baby, before he left all he had for her on the dresser, gently. He let her sleep peacefully and made sure she was taken care of til she was safely back home.

Only home wasn’t a concept that related to her.
Home was an absolute and utter mystery.
Home was the single most precious moving target.
She’d been cocooned by a butterfly, reading about cockroaches for a reason.

Dr. Zhivago, on somewhere in a little motel room on the edge of the outskirts of some shit hole town with a beautiful sunset and and even better sunrise. The blue ridge, places discovered with her mother. She had monster written all over her, but, like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, in the end we were just biding our time, just hiding the ghosts in our pockets.

 

And so, shall we begin? YES, she nodded.

let us go and make our visit

She’d half forgotten where she was. This was not a place you ‘ended up.’ No, you made the choice, to go. You would never say, ‘Oh I ended up here.’ But when she thought about it, she had had no choice really, and that was the wager. She would wager her life to prove life’s meaning.

Her right hand had dirty gauze wrapped around a slit that was trying to heal, but the dust and the dirt of her supposed moral duty kept abrading the scab. It seemed as though the mishmash of blood and puss was the only reminder she had of human form, so she soldiered on, wincing whenever she forgot about it and grabbed ahold of something she needed.

 

She smirked. Then scowled. Then laughed. Maniacally, feverish. It was through the forceful mocking of her own ridiculous insignificance and her glorious smoldering flash flood on an ember that never is extinguished goes right on in the DNA river flowing out into space. There is no way to prove otherwise.

She’d been trained, by default, to keep people’s most horrible secrets. Perhaps that is why it did not pain her to let the vile expire in their own mire. They had to be recycled to make some use of their meaningless bones. That was the dark. She knew it, she had seen it, had managed to run through it and get over the other side ’til morning, a few times, almost not quite sure.

Dark needed light just a little more than the other way around, she  always told herself. No one made you back up Pollyanna statements, they just obliterated you, so she figured why not try an experiment of positive matter being impenetrable to evil forces. It would be the size of a wildflower next to a glacier, but it would still be a wildflower.

She felt she had to choose the optimistic chant, no matter how macabre in the face of Queen Mab, how tragic ending to the absolute truth in the filed of  dreams made from carcinogenic poppies , brought to you by Dow Chem, Merck Med, Dr. Faustus, High Plains Drifter & the Sizzler Betty Ford Steakhouse Center for the Gifted, Talented & Exceptionally Fucked-Up.

SHE WAS IN THIS PLACE, FOR THE TIME BEING. :30 seconds

and counting don’t listen to the evil at the foot of the bed, listen for the silence

She checked the billfold with the rules. She knew she got that. No one had formally checked them off. The 18 rules of engagement.

The first began long ago and it was reading Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER, at a seminal time, whatever that meant, be prepared to defend, wryly, and move forth, she knew that much from her training with Wenchell Hoover, west of east side the nickel where neo was fabled to have been the man with the portal to the underground tunnels, before they were sealed for good.

The second was having read the art of war but having forgotten all the details, sort of adsorbing it so it becomes systemic, endemic, right action not clouded by second-guessing of over-rationalized thought.

One must pause to live in the times you find yourself appalled by, defenseless against with all your being (resist & die; tow the line & die later; what’s the logical third option, truly?) and decide of all the mush of literature and smut, slogans and old wives tales that were actually true could have saved some time imparting good info a while back not this propaganda handed down as if bequeathed from put upon martyrdom relegated mother handing a glove stained with blood saying well at least it’s not soaked in blood. Just do what you’re told, it’ll be better for you that way.

Only she never would have even heard that had it actually happened. Instead, she was borne free thinking with scientists who didn’t interfere with her lyrical math and supernatural ways in the wild. It was as if someone knew warriors would need to come from all over and have one thing in common and that is how they are raised or become despite their ‘upbringing’ and that was a basic love for this that is beneath our feet, that gives us life itself, this strange brew of perfect elemental windfall nitrogen oxygen argon krypton helium, our tissue and mass and matter and everything we are composed of 2 hydrogen atoms, and 1 oxygen atom.

Here, the women come and go
Begrudging Michelangelo

She scoffed to herself then realized this was not a dopamine dream from some kidney infection at Queen of Angels, nor the reverie of collapsing from hunger after some strange apparition of a beatnik woman promising pancakes lead to the grassy spot under the tree where she figured she could faint, not hyperventilate, but actually collapse from hunger – after rebounding twice already, getting knocked down this time, she had to take the bell.

Because it brought the sweetness of dreams

For 67 seconds and then the asshole paramedics taking you to cedar Sinai where they give you a sandwich, the cheap brand of Apple juice and an IV (at least they don’t just stick the fresh from refrigerated shelf electrolytes in your arm like they do in east Hollywood) – and a trip downtown.

The 4th was having either been able to play a certain game (she got lucky with gin rummy) or be willing to test your wits (she did both got some sort of double play she chose not to redeem just yet).

5 she failed twice.
6-10 were skills not involving language so animal husbandry, music with no lyrics, sports, dance, and in the ‘other’ & ‘miscellaneous’ columns, prayer, extreme sports, the toastmasters, relay swimming and morse code.

Luckily for her,  2 sports were required but they included chess and ping pong, so that was a bonus. Some form music and/or dance to identify sociopaths who had none. Most people will have a song or a dance that moves them, even the most hardened death row criminals, so it was obvious who the serial killers, mass murderers, religious extremist killers were, as the antithesis of everything.

She chose equestrian sports, ocean voyage navigating,  & the waltz. For extra credit, she memorized the 23rd psalm because somewhere in there seemed some good advice that could help her someday. In that valley.

11: the test on benchmark birthdays (again you don’t know you’re being tested, you just are & the ones who fail and then change for the better are the ones they let pass to the next level which is not necessarily for everyone so don’t be jealous).

12-what is your agenda
That is a 278 page novella set in a hut in Peru.

13-18: the remains of the day remain to be seen.

13: she opens the billfold, her initials that aren’t her initials but a code name in gold on the front, burnt etched in choke berry red leather – everything is significant, would whisper from behind her, she’d turn to watch it linger, wanting to say more but somehow being silenced.

That was something that took some getting used to. She had considered the fact that she might be going crazy. That pinching yourself in this universe or time dimension she kept finding herself in – but not in a linear way. She’d lost that a while ago.

Still, she had a toe in the pool of of real time, and reckoned she’d been going back and forth between dimensions rather quickly now for about 23 months.

She was the kind who liked to identify exactly when things went wrong – she would have been a great black box interpreter if black boxes were allowed to be transformed into metaphors.

She could interpret mystery with no elusive fanfare, accept what made sense and move on, quickly – why argue common sense? She thought to herself, and then doubted it could be that easy.

This was a final offering in the game of ultimate gravitas–your own mortal nothingness. Our sum of matter, mass, energy. What of synergy? Entropy? Apathy? Antiquity?

The loss of so many things, the birth of so much more.

 

13: THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT UP UNTIL NOW ARE MORE OR LESS COMPLETE AND CAN ONLY BE REVISITED IN MEMORY WHEN YOU ARE IN BETWEEN STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS. YOU MUST MANAGE YOUR OWN TRANSPORT TO AND FROM DIMENSIONS.

 

The room was light, she sat at a desk, the wind was faint, there were lilacs on the windowsill. The light had no feeling and in that she found great comfort.

RULE Fourteen was to write a short story.

Second semester she got all As when it was auto-biography. But she always felt it was for the freakish factor her childhood bore, and wrote obfuscation upon symbolistic horror redirect, turned graph of giraffe paintings her mother collected turned way-ahead-of-its-time award winning poem written in dialect from building the fences on the farm, this was the honest to god truth, beyond all the hateful talk that came later, the definitions and the bait, the silly, childish banter.

that restless breath in between waking and the dream 

The way the human race picks on those who are weak and exults those who clearly break all the ancient tenets of how to be in this place, the common thoughts of community being stronger than burn it down to the ground forever and ever like a replay from Wagner.

No, she was either hazy from the dope for the kidney infection – or was going to have to pay attention closely because when she did wake up back in or sideways on November 18, 2015, re-entry would be difficult.

Or so the Kahuna had forewarned. So far, he’d been 1 for 1, so she listened and braced herself. Tomorrow was a big day. For the rest of humanity.

WRITER’S NOTE:
this character is sick of waiting to be written, and is now barging her way out of my subconscious,
AROUND HER IN THIS APOTHEOSIS OF a simple premise: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD TO SAY ONE THING AND COULD ONLY SAY IT ONCE TO SOME THING THAT COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
That’s how the thought began, as a simple idea of a girl gunslinger, traveling through time to retell the story of mankind. No, maybe, I don’t know. I just know that the 18th rule is the one where…

 

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