She took the wheel, and We continued Our ascent. It was at this point that the previously-related verbatim dialogue occurred, during which We were obviously conscious that We were being taped, but this served only to exaggerate the aforementioned tendencies of showmanly self-parody mentioned earlier. How can I describe the ascent? She has gained Her voice, and the romanticization of distance is shattered, but I love Her nonetheless. I look at the way I've thrown Myself into Her... what I hold to be at stake, which is at very least the last breath of romanticism in Me... It's not that I'll never love anyone else, but after this there's no way I'll be able to pull it off wholeheartedly, without feeling cheap and DOGlike... there's simply no further room to upgrade toward My ideal... to act out of anything other than a sense of futility, of nihilism, of a battle against the immediate threat of anguish and pain. The fact that this sounds fairly irrational and stupid, and probably not entirely inaccurate in describing the present, does not lessen its grip upon Me in the slightest... When I think of this, and of Her analogous stake, which is all the greater for Her feeling less tainted than Me in the first place, that She's not used to having immense baggage from past relationships the way I am... I don't see how She can break it off, not seeing how much He loves Her, how devoted He is.
In short, I feel closer to Her than ever, recognizing as I do the agony of Her ambivalence, this weight that is now wearing Her down and deflating Her spirits... And what can I do? That part of Me that connects Me to Her, that God, that soul, that fricking miraculous connection between systems of teleology that simply don't connect... That string pulled Us up the mountain with a tremendous smooth and steady action (She did know how to drive on snow after all), and as said parenthetical snow shipped at the windshield and the roof and all, We felt quite safe and warm, though exactly how warm was questionable, as We kept resetting the thermostat when We thought the other wasn't looking... which We were always wrong about, seeing as there's little other place to look in such an enclosed space. I fed Her the remainder of our cookies and drank gallons of the nasty blue raspberry drink that would simply be wasted if I didn't drink it before I left...
We had a grand old time, She chanting Bob Dylan lyrics (not the social commentary ones, but the ones that came later) and I making fun of passing furry mountain forest creatures. Perfect complimentarity, if I do say so Myself. Finally, We reached a point where the trees on Our left were low enough that We could see the expanse of land beneath. Unfortunately, the snow flurries were so thick that visibility was about twelve yards. And a fine twelve yards they were, receding into a thick white mist...
Here's a question: Why am I God? Or why is God Me? And no, it's not (just) to gratuitously offend people more, or to facilitate an absurd climax and its aftermath. No, no, no... it's `cause I (God, that is) screwed it up the first time... this business of becoming Man, that is. `Cause you know why? `Cause you know why? It's `cause I came as a child of pure light last time, which is one-sided, and so obviously against My omni-everything character, which means that... well, you read the Jung stuff... because I so bonered, I'll probably also have to spring forth as an anti-Christ and lay waste to the cities and yammer yammer yammer blah blah blah gibber... That's sort of already started (though put at bay for the moment by Her sweet voice), at least within the confines of this book, which I guess must be Gospel in these-about sections, `cause, well, do I have to say it?
So I was trying to be like Job before, to be consciously and willingly moral, and not just a beast, but this, as you should know, is only the first step... Getting lost... heading in the wrong direction for a long time... all these things make the man consequently recovered that much more... well... wise?
I see clearly now the car heading up the hill, but frankly they weren't ready for what they'd find if they actually made it... And the government wouldn't allow it either. A large gate loomed, with a sign saying "Government testing site. No admittance. Use of this property may result in serious injury or DEATH." This last was in glowing red letters, and though the whole set-up looked pretty old and rusty, it didn't seem worth the effort to ram the Mitsubishi through the gate headlong or otherwise get past this barrier mutually confronting Us. Down again, down again, past the same furry forest/mountain animals, which I again cursed, recording now and again, singing now and again (though seldom doing both), pulling apart some of the same issues, further acquiring each other's mannerisms, breathing each other's air, and feeling very weird about this immanent Very End.
I have been trying... I put my retainer in for about fifteen minutes almost every day... but then it... well, doesn't hurt, exactly, though I can feel the increasing pressures as each root of each upper tooth tries to reassert its particular ideas about where it should be growing... It just feels wrong, and I can never fall asleep if it's in anymore, even though it was molded on those very teeth what? a year ago? So I always take it out, and use my lower jaw to push all the other teeth back where they were... maybe even further. And oh, that feels good. I can finally sleep.
We made some kind of wrong turn on Our way back, and ended up in an area We didn't recognize. A number of ski lodges appeared, and an `"Enchanted Gold mine" hotel (with Haunted House!). At least there were other cars here. We stopped at a cheesy gift shop and I bought X-She some sub-gifts: a button saying "High on Life" next to a brightly colored balloon, a refrigerator magnet (which I lost somewhere before it got back to the states proper), and another Alaska postcard. (Her main gift, incidentally, I didn't buy until after My return: I got Her an electric massager-thing with a head that vibrates at five different speeds! Share your revelations with your old flames, kiddies... It's just good manners.) I wouldn't have bought anything at all but for the social pressure I felt coming from the old man at the counter, who, obviously bored out of his mind and obviously delighted to at last have some actual customers who were not merely delusions of his most ancient and addled mind, but otherwise unfathomably scary, was obviously paying all of his attention to Us, immobile though He was, as he kept bursting out with answers to questions that we had not asked but were merely softly wondering about to each other. She laughed at Me a bit for reacting as I did, but not in a bad way, a way in which someone takes hold of the vulnerabilities you set before them and runs them through with multiple large blades while cackling uncontrollably, but in a way that caresses them, opening you up further for examination and cuddling of the internal organs...
Several miles past this, on a road that We could tell by Our map eventually led in some direction back to Fairbanks, fuel running dangerously low and no gas stations for miles and miles behind Us, We decided to stop for coffee and ask whether We were, in fact, traveling in the right direction. We stopped at a lodge of sorts, the only establishment We'd seen for three ski lifts, five hills, and two enchantingly beautiful valleys covered with a thick sheet of snow. It was very decked up... lots of dollar bills tacked to the ceiling, and license plates, and chairs carved out of tree trunks. It looked like it was all made up for Christmas already... which up here I suppose would come very quickly for one working in a bar day after day, with the seasons changing only in the duration of the sun's visit during these days... thankfully I would be safely away before the sun disappeared indefinitely. As I got Our coffee, She chatted a bit with the friendly bartender, who told Us that We were in fact heading away from Our destination, out into nowhere, certainly nowhere with gas stations. I daresay had We not stopped here, We would have been in a bit of a jam... Our closest brush with death, I suppose. Though We traded stories of people We had heard about freezing, some mere yards from shelter that the white mist made it impossible to see, I will downplay all that here, as real death of that sort had nothing to do with Us. We had made it to the last outpost before the end, and the Northernmost point of My travels to date. We drank.
I drove Us back, very slowly, being very gentle with the accelerator lest We run out of fuel in the fifteen miles before the expected station. We didn't. And We didn't even stop at that one, but ventured closer to town out of sheer arrogance and inertia... We felt that safe.
Ah! God fear even one more paragraph with cheezy chapter-ending sort of ending! Ah! God fear He must go for walkees now, lest He run out of fuel before finishing Book. Oh, Book! Oh, Reader! Will ya miss God when He gone? Or will You have acquired His mannerisms, His Tripe, His silly-butt delusions of grandeur? You cannot come into what will come after this book is over, whether orgy of despair or orgy... much too personal, too graphic... Stop You living vicariously through others and go do something noteworthy, will ya? Like a craft. Something expressing Universal Dram, unlike this, which is obviously only about lil' old Me and My obscure and puzzling intellectual/emotional reactions that probably have little or nothing to do with Yours.
Ah! If We can just get to the airport, I have all the rest planned out, for It is written, It is foreseen, It is obvious if You know the CHEMISTRY... the same goes for how We've been coping since separation... Initial sentimental bliss, slamming against those barriers that even a cessation of Our physical distance would leave intact, a wish to savor this time before New Years when all may change, despair and elation alternating until an uneasy balance is reached. Yes, this has been complicated by the idiosycracies of distance: Our different rates of writing, Her needing space and time and Me not being able to bear either, etc., but these have mostly resolved themselves and leave the circumstance intact. So I don't need to tell you how things will go in that Very End, because you can use your immense powers of abstraction to see it yourself. There will be no showdown, because there is no evil, just people doing what they think they gotta do... what? Did I just almost sort of quote Steinbeck? Shit. Can't even be original when yer God...
...But that is now and this was then, when the concept of villainy was ever creeping farther into My soul, when despite all My attempts to be understanding, to care about Her concerns through caring about Her, there was (and probably still is) a part of Me that just didn't care, that couldn't see all the barriers in the way of fresh meat, that would simply take if it could not effectively request... whether it be evolution, or the Book, or just Me bein' a jerk like normal...It was not appreciated.