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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Yaw and Nothing More

Jess had been driving for hours, long hours, and the steady hum of the asphalt beneath the tires, and the endless, unchanging Midwest landscape, and the warm, stuffy air inside his late-model car with a marginally functional A/C began to lull him towards sleep, into an unblinking hypnagogic state of highway hypnosis.

He began to dream as he drove.

He dreamt of lazy summer stars falling through hazy, crepuscular skies, of chanting pilgrims in dusty robes and worn sandals on their way towards the sacred shrine of their god on the other side of the horizon, of inoperable problems, of photographic rotations and long-distance replacement parts…

…and all this was interrupted by a rumbling vibration and dull growl as he and the car drifted over onto the shoulder of the road at 80 miles per hour.

“Shit!” he shouted as he swung the wheel back to the left.

“Yaw!” squawked the blue-black raven sitting next to him in the passenger seat.

“Shit!” he shouted again. "Am I still dreaming?”

“Yaw!” the raven said again and Jess wondered if it was a response to his question.


Hours later, several long hours later, Jess had grown comfortable with the strange bird sitting next to him. The bird was a comfort. The bird was someone to talk to.

“There’s this guy at work,” he heard himself saying to the raven, “a real anus, a whoreson if ever there was one.” The raven shifted back and forth on his thin, scraggy feet, but didn’t judge. Jess continued, “I hate that bastard.”

The raven twisted his head towards Jess. “Yaw.”

“Yeah.” Jess agreed. “It’s something more than workplace aggravation, or interpersonal irritation.”


Jess sighed and then said, “If he hadn’t slept with my wife, then I wouldn’t want to kill him.”

“Yaw,” said the raven, and nothing more.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

(Not quite) New Christmas Music: Joseph Was a Good Man

Here is a (not quite) new Christmas song for you to enjoy. "Not quite" new because 1) I used a melody by Henry Richard McFadyn and 2) I wrote these words one year and one day ago...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I am the Tachyon Bombardment

This is my confession: I am the Tachyon Bombardment. I was born in 1975 – though that particular detail seems irrelevant to this story. Maybe this isn’t a true story, but it is a remembrance of time irreal. Or, to put it another way, maybe this is a true story, but only as a remembrance of time irreal.

I did it. It was me. I stole Philip K. Dick’s papers and blew up his file cabinet. I did it because Horselover Fat – who was PKD – told me I should. I did it yesterday, November 17, 2017. I stepped out the living room of my house in Newton, Iowa and into the study of his home in San Rafael, California in 1971, but don’t call it time travel.

“You’ll need these,” Fat said, “to open the time slippage.” He said to me this about a month ago, not long after he started showing up at my place.

“What are they?” The manila envelope of pills that he handed me seemed incredibly dubious.“I don’t take drugs.”

“They’re not drugs; they’re vitamins. Simple, water soluble mega-vitamins to improve the neural connections between the right and left hemispheres of your brain. Only when the two hemispheres of the mind are communicating perfectly is it possible to see the opening through the time slippage.”

Call it Time Travel by way of water soluble vitamins.

In addition to his own vitamin cocktail, Fat gave me recipes he copied from Psychiatry Today for homemade antidepressants and antipsychotics. Call it DIY Haldol. Call it 20 minute Lithium. He also gave me instructions for building a simple explosive device with items I could pick up at Wal-Mart. “I normally abhor violence, but the explosion will be small, and he [meaning PKD] won’t be home.”

Fat showed up, as I said, about a month ago. He was sitting on the chair on the front stoop of my house. “Hey, JC,” he said as if he knew me.

“Hey, Fat,” I said as if I knew him. “Do you want to come in for a beer?” And he said yes, but that he’d only recently started drinking beer. Until recently he’d only drunk wine. I told him that that was okay as I’d also only recently started drinking beer.

“What else can you do when the antichrist is returned?” he said.

There are many antichrists, of course. John’s first epistle tells us there are many. They are false prophets and completely without love. They lie. The liar lies. Richard Milhous Nixon is president again. The empire never died. The Roman Empire never dies. It comes to power again and again through legal means. Everything it does is legal.

“Why do you want to do this?” I asked him.

“I can’t remember,” he said. “It’s all gone. I knew it once. We all did. We knew the Truth – because the Universe is permeated by Truth. And Justice and Freedom. But the echthroi have trapped us in the chains of dokos. Maya. Illusion. It’s the Black Iron Prison of political tyranny and spiritual, moral, degeneracy. I need to remember what is forgotten. The forms are there, the remembrance of forms. I see them in my dreams. The pure core of reality. That’s how I can escape, how we can escape the illusions of this irreality, JC. We’ve forgotten all the important things. In the trauma of our births, we forget. We are made to forget. We are wounded by birth and bleed to death.”

So I started taking the vitamins Fat gave me. The DIY antipsychotics and antidepressants, however, I didn’t try. We went together to Wal-Mart for the items he said I’d need for the explosive device. “This place is scary,” he said.

“Tell me about it.”

“The echthroi are strong here.”

“Tell me about them, the echthroi.”

“They are the enemies, the spiritual forces of darkness. The Apostle Paul wrote of them. Authorities. Rulers. World Powers. They are organisms of spirit and plasma, evil intelligences that exist everywhere in the universe, invisibly. Though, as the connections between the hemispheres of your brain improve you’ll begin to see them. Usually they are somnolent. It doesn’t require much effort on their part to keep the world in chains. Most people are easily enslaved, willing victims. And so the echthroi sleep. Go through the time slippage as silently as you can to avoid awakening them.”

Gradually my eyes were opened, the scales fell away and I saw, as Fat said I would, the underlying reality. And soon I saw the outline of the opening through the time slippage. It radiated a pink light that felt warm, but not at all comforting. It felt precarious, like standing at the edge of a steep cliff, and dangerous like a surprised rattlesnake. Dangerous, but not malevolent.

“Are you ready for this?” he asked me.

“I’m not ready for this.” I said at the exact same moment.

“You’re ready,” he said. And I stepped through. It was that simple. One moment I was in Iowa in the year 2017, the next I was in California four years before I would be born. It had to be done this way; Dick had put multiple locks on the doors and had nailed the windows shut. So I had to enter from the inside. Dick had also bought a gun to protect himself from the forces that were threatening him. Fat neglected to mention this fact to me.

The police who investigated accused Dick of ransacking his own home and destroying his file cabinet for the insurance money, but Dick didn’t have insurance. The police did nothing to follow up. Soon after this PKD fled to Vancouver, Canada where he underwent inpatient drug rehabilitation treatment.  

It was me; I stole PKD’s files. I burgled his home, stole his papers and his checkbook. I blew up his fireproof file cabinet. I am the Tachyon Bombardment. The world is destroyed. They world is remade. I am not lachrymose; I lack remorse. This is my confession.

Horselover Fat hasn’t shown up today.  I don’t think he’ll be coming around anymore. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Smoke and Wax

His regular 5 AM alarm woke him and he sensed it immediately. No fog of sleepiness, no lingering dreaminess, he just knew it - fully and completely. The world was strange, stranger than normal.

He waved on the bedside lamp and dressed quickly, quietly in the clothes he’d laid out the night before, the clothes he’d laid out when the the world still seemed sane. This was the routine of his mornings. In the kitchen, coffee was already brewing and english muffins were toasted by automated appliances. In the bathroom, an epilatory laser mounted on the mirror trimmed away his facial hair with its regular precision.

“I am smoke,” he said into the mirror as he rubbed his chin and stared at his reflection. “I am smoke and wax. I melt and drip and dissipate. I disappear.”


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