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Sixty-Fourth Sitting

Slowly, as We drove to the airport, We began to talk it out, to reestablish what might have been overlooked. All this weird behavior was perfectly understandable given the situation. She understood. I understood. She parked while I checked in My luggage; I hassled the woman at the counter about trying to get Myself on the flights that wouldn't require Me to sleep in any airports. She checked My bags on to them and put Me on the proper wait lists. We had about forty-five minutes to blow before boarding, but damn it flew by quickly. We watched as some little kid ran around bumping into things; he looked like he was having a swell time.

"So would you rather be like that," I said pointing to the kid, "or like that guy there." I pointed to an old grumpy-looking guy that was sitting nearby, just awake enough to snarl at the kid, who didn't notice.

"Is that supposed to symbolize something?" She asked musically, Her eyes looking as if over dark-rimmed glasses.

"Whatever. I will wait, you know..."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." She smiled and pressed My hand. Neither of Us let go. I took out My camera and used up half a roll, catching Her from a number of different angles, and Her catching Me, and Me catching Us both, though this last was much harder, as My camera is equipped with some kind of quality control feature that, among other annoying things, somehow senses whether someone's head is behind it or not. The thought of asking a stranger to intrude in Our fun did not even enter Our minds. Do I even need to explain all the emotions built up here, making their last ditch effort to exert themselves, but all wrapped over with a calm acceptance? I told Her again how I felt, or rather mentioned that She already knew how I felt, and clutched Her arm a little tighter. She smiled a fairly sad smile at Me and bit slightly at the back of Her lip. Boarding time came, and She suggested I wait until the last second before getting on the plane. I replied that I sort of had to go earlier to get my guitar into an overhead bin before they all filled. I held Her, or rather We held each other... At first only with one hand on My part, but I soon dropped My carry-ons and flung Myself into Her, kissing Her lightly again and again on the ear.

"Watch it," She said very lightly.

"I'm a good boy. Doncha worry." We moved apart slightly, but with one more look at each other embraced again. My lips found themselves again near Her temple, and then rapidly down and over in centimeter-jumps until one was planted, very lightly, on Her lips, or sort of teeth, actually, as She was totally unprepared. "I'm scum," I explained, and shrugged. With a last wrist shake I moved off to have My ticket torn. She stood there watching -- very, very, completely beautiful, standing up straight with one arm clutching the other, hair draped over the left shoulder, and the eyes locked to Me -- and I mouthed the three words that I had only alluded to earlier.

And though I couldn't see it at the time, She began to cry... wrackingly, tormentedly, wave upon wave, watching My plane take off, all the way to the car, all the way home, and then some... And so She will continue to do so until I am once again by Her side.

I'm lying up a storm, aren't I? With that very last part, I mean... No, I mean I am lying up a storm...

BLACK CLOUDS BEGIN TO GATHER, FIRST JUST ABOVE ME, THEN BELOW ME AS I SHOOT UP ABOVE. THE NORTHERN PACIFIC OCEAN GROWS RESTLESS AND BEGINS TO CIRCLE, RACING AROUND THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE, BARELY MINDFUL OF THE LANDMASSES IN ITS WAY. VOLCANOES SPEW OUT FROM THE GROUND... AND ERUPT TOO. A GREAT FROST MOVES DOWN OUT OF THE NORTH, CURVING ITSELF INTO A TORRENTIAL WIND THAT SHAKES BUILDINGS AND KNOCKS OUT LINES OF COMMUNICATION. PARAGUAY AND URUGUAY SWITCH PLACES. CATS BEGIN TO EAT THEIR YOUNG. ...THEN OUT OF THE BELLY OF THE EARTH COMES AN ENRAGED GROWL, AND THE HOUND OF HELL BURSTS OUT SOMEWHERE WEST OF SASKATCHEWAN, ROLLING OVER ICE CREAM TRUCKS, CHASING PEOPLE OUT OF LOCAL BARS, BEING EXTREMELY RUDE TO PIZZA DELIVERY BOYS. THE NORTHERN LIGHTS BEGIN TO GLOW AND SPREAD, FALLING DOWN OVER THE LAND IN THICK GLASSY SHEETS, SCARING THE CATTLE AND BADLY DENTING THE ROOFS OF CARS. AND I HEARD A BELLOW AS FOUR ANGELS CAME FROM EACH OF THE FOUR DIRECTIONS, WHICH IS STRANGE, AS I THOUGHT THERE WERE SIX AT LEAST... AND THE FIRST ANGEL BLEW UPON HIS HORN TO REVEAL THOSE WHO WERE SAVED AND THOSE WHO WERE TO BE CAST OUT, BUT IT DIDN'T ACTUALLY WORK, AND IT WAS SUNDAY, WHICH MEANT THERE WAS NO WHERE OPEN TO TAKE IT TO GET IT FIXED SO DAMMIT EVERYBODY WILL BE CAST OUT, WHICH IS MORE FAIR ANYWAY DON'T YOU THINK? AND THE SECOND ANGEL BLEW HIS MIGHTY TRUMPET GOOD AND LOUD, HIS CHEEKS SWELLING UP IN A MOST AMUSING FASHION THAT MADE THE HOUND OF HELL STOP FOR A MOMENT IN HIS PILLAGING TO HAVE A GOOD CHORTLE AND PICK THE LIMBS FROM BETWEEN HIS TEETH. AND THE SECOND HORN, WHICH WAS NOT A HORN BUT A TRUMPET, WHICH I GUESS IS A KIND OF HORN, BUT NOT A FRENCH KIND, WHICH IS WHAT IS USUALLY THESE DAYS DENOTED BY THE WORD "HORN..." WELL, THIS SECOND THING CALLED IN SOME HORSEMEN WHO WERE VERY POWERFUL AND SYMBOLIZED THINGS LIKE DEATH AND SEX AND GUANO AND SOMETHING I CAN'T REMEMBER, BUT THE SYMBOLISM WAS RATHER LOOSE AND REALLY ONLY SUGGESTIVE, SO THEY SORT OF IGNORED IT AND WENT ABOUT HACKING STUFF WITH SCYTHES, WHICH REALLY DIDN'T DO MUCH, AS ANYTHING IN THE AREA OF THE SKY HAD PRETTY MUCH ALREADY BEEN GROUNDED OR KILLED BY THE STORM ANYWAY. OH YEAH, AND THE STORM WAS REALLY GOING: 100% CHANCE OF DEATH, I'D SAY, NOT THAT YOU SHOULD LET THAT STOP YOU HAVING A GOOD PICNIC OR SOMETHING. AND THE THIRD HORN, WHICH WAS IN THIS CASE DEFINITELY A FLUGAL HORN, TRIED TO HARMONIZE WITH THE OTHER ONE, BUT ENDED UP DOING ALL THIS PARALLEL FIFTHS STUFF THAT REALLY DIDN'T WORK ACCORDING TO THE MUSICAL TRADITIONS THEY'D BEEN BROUGHT UP IN BUT UNFORTUNATELY HADN'T STUDIED ENOUGH THE PAST COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS TO PULL OFF DECENT COUNTERPOINT. AND AT THIS CACOPHONY THE SEAS BECAME BLOOD, AND NOT JUST BLOOD BUT HEMOPHILIAC BLOOD, WHICH REALLY DOESN'T RESPOND WELL TO HAVING ALL THIS FISH AND SHIT LIVING IN IT, SO IT SPEWED OUT ACROSS THE LAND, RUINING MANY A FINE PARADE AND CAUSING HER DAD TO GET PRETTY P.O.'D BUT IT DIDN'T MATTER, BECAUSE EVERYBODY HAD TO RUN TO THE ROOT CELLARS ANYWAY LEST THEY BE TORN LIMB FROM LIMB BY THE PLENTIFUL GARGOYLES THAT, WELL, DANG... WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? WELL I DON'T REMEMBER... THERE IS A LOT OF STUFF GOING ON AFTER ALL. AND DURING THIS GOD IS TREATING YOU TO THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD SO AS TO MAKE UP FOR SWEARING AT YOU AND KILLING YOU AND KILLING YOUR FAMILIES BEFORE... OH, DID I MENTION THAT THING ABOUT YOUR FAMILIES? SORRY. WELL, SMELLY UNCLE AL IS STILL ALIVE, SO YOU CAN STILL GO OVER THERE AT HOLIDAYS AND LOOK AT HIS CARPET SAMPLES. BUT MAYBE NOT BECAUSE SPACE AND TIME ARE NOW COLLAPSING INTO A SWIRLING VORTEXY KIND OF THING, LIKE A BIG SORT OF MUFFIN WRAPPER WITH ALL THE LITTLE MUFFIN CRUD ON IT, WHICH THE HOUND IS EATING AND FRANKLY ENJOYING NOW THAT THAT RAGING SEA OF BLOOD THING MOISTENED IT UP A BIT. AND THE FOURTH HORNIST ANGEL-PERSON IS BLEW OR IS BLOWING OR WILL BLOW DEPENDING ON HOW YOU LOOK AT IT HIS BASS TROMBONE, WHICH IS KIND OF A PECULIAR INSTRUMENT TO ROUND OUT THE COMBO, BUT WILL SUFFICE AND CAN ALSO DOUBLE ON TUBA PARTS IF NECESSARY. AND THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO REVEAL GOD'S HOLY CITY IN ALL ITS GLORY WITH SHINING PILLARS AND COLUMNS AND OTHER VERTICAL THINGS LIKE STALAGMITES. IT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE THAT PLANET THAT SUPERMAN WAS BORN ON, IF YOU SAW THAT MOVIE... AND EVIL IS CAST DOWN INTO A LAKE OF FIRE, WHICH FRANKLY HE DOESN'T APPRECIATE, BEING NOW ONLY A TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD AUTO REPAIR PERSON, NOW KNOWN BY HIS FRIENDS AS "MATT," OR ALTERNATIVELY "MEAN MATT," WHICH IS THE CLEVERER FORM. SO HE'S IN A LAKE OF FIRE, WHICH MAKES IT A LITTLE HARD FOR HIM TO REALLY GOVERN WHAT'S GOING ON IN HELL, WHICH PRESUMABLY IS ELSEWHERE FROM THAT LAKE OF FIRE, SO ALL THE HUMANS THAT GET THROWN THERE SORT OF FIX THE PLACE UP A BIT AND MAKE IT INTO A PRETTY OKAY PLACE WITH LOTS OF STORES THAT SAY "CARDS" ON THEM AND HAUNTED HOUSES AND DIRTY MASSAGE PARLORS, WHICH ARE NOW LEGAL, AS MORALS GET KIND OF MORE RELAXED WHEN YOU AND YOUR WHOLE RACE GET THROWN INTO THE PIT OF ULTIMATE DARKNESS. AND NOW THERE IS, OH JEEZ, WHERE'S THAT JUNG: I HAVE TO QUOTE REVELATION HERE... OH, I'M SORRY... THERE ARE SEVEN ANGELS, NOT FOUR. BUT THE FIFTH AND SIXTH SEEM TO BE AWOL FOR THE MOMENT... I THINK THEY WERE PLAYING SOME PAID SYMPHONY BAND GIG IN MIDLAND OR SOMETHING... SO THE SEVENTH ONE BLOWS HIS MIGHTY OBOE, WHICH IS I GUESS NOT A HORN BUT HE'S KIND OF BIG ON PROVING THAT HE'S COMFORTABLE WITH HIS MASCULINITY AND SO REALLY WANTED TO PLAY A SORT OF WIMPIER INSTRUMENT AND WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO AN ANGEL ONCE HE'S GOT SOME CRAZY IDEA IN HIS HEAD? SO HE BLOWS THE TUNING A, TO WHICH ALL EXISTENCE LINES UP, OR WOULD IF IT WEREN'T ALL BLOWN TO SHIT, BUT ALL THE SHIT, OR SHALL I SAY "CRUD" LINES UP IN A SPLENDIFEROUSLY SYMBOLIC ARRAY, AND THEN THE FINAL THING HAPPENED, WHICH IS ACTUALLY FROM REVELATION VIA JUNG, OR MAYBE THE OTHER WAY AROUND: OKAY... WHEN THE ANGEL... WE DID THAT... THERE WAS IN THE SKY A VISION OF A SUN-WOMAN! UM... "WITH THE MOON UNDER HER FEET, AND ON HER HEAD A CROWN OF STARS." (REV 12:1) SHE WAS IN THE PANGS OF BIRTH, AND THERE WAS A DRAGON THERE WHO WANTS TO DEVOUR HER CHILD. UM... ACCORDING TO JUNG, THIS VISION IS INTRODUCED BY SOME STUFF SYMBOLIZING THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN AND ALL THAT, WHICH MEANS THAT THIS SYMBOLIZES THE BIRTH OF A UNITING SYMBOL, THE FINAL FRUITION OF THE REUNION OF GOD AND HIS OLD (NEW?) CHICK... AGAIN, I'M REALLY SORRY IF THAT'S AN OFFENSIVE TERM; I ONLY USE IT `CAUSE IT'S IN SCRIPTURE, I.E. THIS TEXT. WHATEVER. SO... WELL, I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE DRAGON HAS TO DO WITH THAT, BUT IT'S PRETTY COOL, DON'T YA THINK? SO THE KID IS BORN, AND THOUGH THE WRITER OF REVELATION SEEMS TO CONSIDER IT JUST ANOTHER METHOD TO KILL EVERYBODY OFF, JUNG INTERPRETS IT AS THAT UNITING SYMBOL FOR THE TOTALITY OF LIFE, AND THAT IT "WILL REMAIN LATENT FOR AN INDEFINITE TIME AND THAT ITS ACTIVITY IS PRESERVED FOR THE FUTURE." (P. 614) SO THERE'S THAT. DID YOU ENJOY YOUR MEAL? WOULD YOU LIKE A TOY SURPRISE AS WELL? BECAUSE CONTAINED IN EACH OF THESE "MEALS TO MAKE YOU HAPPY" IS ONE OF A NUMBER OF CHARACTERS FROM EVERYONE'S FAVORITE MOVIE, ALADDIN, BUT I GUESS YOU GOT A WEIRD ONE BECAUSE IT JUST CONTAINS THE AFOREMENTIONED MUTANT HELL DOG WHICH IS NOW CHAWING ON YOUR FACE LIKE SO MUCH MAYOR McCHEESE...

Forty-What? Sixty-Fifth, Is it? Okay.

Wow, that was, uh... pretty lame. I guess I'm really just not repressing enough to be really violently hostile, because, yeah... I guess I've just reached My balance, and I'm trying to look at things the way She suggested in a recent letter. I quote (and here the ...'s are part of the quote, not an indication that I've left stuff out): "...Here's an analogy that might apply: dormancy... the thing trees do in the winter... they slow down all physiological processes to weather the winter and ready for the spring. They hang tight... hold steady... incubate. All their sap flows deep into their trunk -- they're almost entirely closed-down... appear dead... but as Spring nears they gradually divert energy into forming buds... they are revitalized and flourish again. So think this is very much how I regard the present -- a period of dormancy. Perhaps this is a way for you to think about things... or a way to explain the increasing distance you feel from me." And then there's a little picture of a tree.

Oh, my dear. You needn't worry about me feeling any more distant. You're locked up here very close in several dozen different ways -- if one should falter, others will move in. Yeah... It's the same kind of thing that does keep me from thinking seriously about suicide, or killing somebody in a fit of rage, or running off and joining the flea circus. There are quite enough fun insane things to do without undermining the purposes I do have... without raging against the things I really do value, whether I want to or not...

Um... Uh... This is sort of awkward. Um... You see, God has just entered the computer center, and He doesn't look happy. No, folks, I don't mean Him my rival, or another part of myself, or any of that crap. I mean the real Picard; I can tell by the beard. And though I'm kind of scrunching down in my seat, it's pretty obvious that he sees me and is coming over here to kick my butt... As totally improbable as this might seem, I'm just going to ignore Him and continue typing, taking dictation for whatever He might say. I do this because I care about you, the reader, more than I care about my own life, or afterlife as the case may be.

"HEY, MARK. UM... I REALLY DON'T APPRECIATE YOU REPEATEDLY MAKING ME LOOK BAD AND BEING GENERALLY DISRESPECTFUL. ARE YOU LISTENING? AH, YES, I SEE THAT YOU ARE. WOW, THAT`S KIND OF COOL; ANYTHING I SAY GETS PUT ON THE SCREEN, AND I DON'T EVEN HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. BUT WHAT MADE YOU USE A SEMI-COLON THERE, INSTEAD OF JUST STARTING A NEW SENTENCE? AH, I GUESS I SHOULDN'T POINT, AS YOU'RE ONLY TAKING DOWN MY WORDS... THREE DOTS... COOL... COOOOOOOL...

"OKAY, UM... DAMN... YOU'RE MAKING ME FORGET... OH, I CAN JUST READ WHAT YOU TYPED; MAN, THIS IS CONVENIENT! OKAY, SO, MARK. I AM VERY ANGRY WITH YOU AND WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO SEND YOU TO HELL, BUT NOT YET. I JUST DON'T APPRECIATE YOU DELVING INTO MY PRIVATE LIFE, AND THEN, LIKE, TELLING IT ALL WRONG, BECAUSE I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I WAS DOING, OKAY? I'M NOT STUPID, AND I DON'T NEED HER EVEN THOUGH I WANT HER. OH, SHOULD I SPEAK MORE SLOWLY? SO YOU CAN DO MORE ITALICS AND STUFF? SO, LISTEN, JUST STOP IT, AND... WOW, YOU'RE REALLY QUAKING IN FEAR, AREN'T YOU? LISTEN, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT; I'M AN OKAY GOD, REALLY. I AM. LOOK, I WAS JUST KIDDING ABOUT THAT HELL STUFF... JUST, DAMMIT... STOP IT. THAT WAS A REALLY BAD IMITATION YOU DID OF ME, ALTHOUGH THE VOICE WAS PRETTY GOOD, BUT THAT DIDN'T GET TO PAPER, SO BIG WHOOP. SO JUST ADMIT THAT YOU WERE TOTALLY LYING AND NO HARM DONE OKAY? JUST SO LONG AS YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY PUTTING MY NAME ON STUFF I DIDN'T WRITE, ESPECIALLY TRIPE LIKE THIS, WHICH FRANKLY I STILL DON'T REALLY SEE THE POINT OF. GOOD IS GOOD, WHICH IS WHATEVER I SAY IT IS, SO NYAH. AND THAT'S ALL ANYBODY NEEDS TO KNOW. JUST TRUST ME. HAVE FAITH. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK? I GIVE YOU ALL THIS STUFF, AND YOU CAN'T EVEN GIVE ME THAT LITTLE COURTESY? THAT'S OKAY, MARK... STOP QUAKING... I WAS JUST...

Dammit, Man... It was just fucking Las Vegas with a God costume, which I eventually noticed by a) the rubber band on the back of the mask, and b) the fact that the bib-thing had a full picture of God, including the head, which I don't think is what God usually wears. Damn cut-rate after-Halloween Halloween costumes. Look, I'm just... Aw, fuckit.

Hello, disciples. Mark has been kind enough to allow me to write something here, or rather he is not stopping me as he seems to be sitting with his head down on the table sort of moaning or something. wait moaning. That is so neat. I like to use the rolly thing to make italics. yes yes yes So now the happy play must end, even though it is not at an end, and (he's mumbling something now) he says that he dedicates this to Her and wants Her to be happy and stop banging Her head against the wall from all the most wearying ambivalence... and that He loves Her. Like that is such new news, Mister Giver of New Insights Man!

Now, kiddies? what have we learned? Or what have I learned at least, You being numinous... Well, I have learned how to choose a new font, but I have also and earlier learned that the REAL God did have every intention in the world of coming down here to kick Mark's butt (BUTT! this is fun!!!) But He was very satisfied with the sacrifice we performed for Him earlier of that cat whose name I can't recall at the moment, which brought Us All closer by affirming Our continuity of being. Yes, those things really do work. We also learned a bit about the romanticization of distance, which is only active when there is true distance; photos don't have to look like they're alive if you really have the missing, breathing person's gunk all over you; they can just be photos.[**] And We learned how to be cheezy and gushy without wanting to slap yourself, although others may still want to slap you. And we have learned all about the structures and patterns of mental health, or dialectics of thought or all that stuff, which is all the same and most cleverly and numinously described by Our author, who incidentally is not really that bad a guy and is not as generally insufferable as his writing style might lead you to believe. Everyone is wanting a eulogy, yes, Mark? ho ho ho. He cannot see what I write, so I can write anything I want, Yes? Yes!!! So I will write some appendices; you can go look at them if you like, but they are your appendix, so you will not need it, so you need not look unless it hurts...

Ah! That took far too long! I will not proofread another word of this, friend! Instead, I will go back and steal your woman, who is His woman! That would be an interesting twist of fate, yes? Ah, no worry. I have proposed to be married to Ms. Zelma, and I think She will ascent, though I must be careful, for She left Her last husband just because he watched too much TV! (<--This is true.) All of this fun is making me tired, so I'm going to go kill myself... Ah, I have made a joke, yes? It is okay if I die, honey, for I am only a minor character. So whatever... Maybe later...

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