My cellmate, Meat Cutter, had been standing at the door looking out through the plexi-glass window for quite some time now as I lay on the top bunk with my novel in hand, one foot crossed over the other. His arms were clasped behind his back with his hands holding either wrist. On occasion he would rock ever so slightly back and forth on his heels. Now you see, the problem with me telling you this is the fact that you already have established the setting is inside of a jail cell and this guy’s name happens to be Meat Cutter which evokes a certain imagery of his particular physique. The Meat Cutter, to be more precise (but at this point he and I were on friendly-name-terms and what not) was not some seven foot tall, five hundred pound, tattooed monster of a human being that had been beaten into a life of wonton violence and crime who tore limbs apart before breakfast because he couldn’t figure out the Sudoku puzzle he had been working on for a week. Not by any means at all; this is county jail, not prison.
No, Meat Cutter was actually a little five foot tall guy with thinning, slicked back hair, glasses and a bad case of arthritis that made him walk in a fashion that resembled someone who had been on a horse way too long. He was probably in his mid-fifties and had a severe case of obsessive compulsive disorder in regards to sodium, heart attacks and nicking himself while shaving with jail razors. This compulsion obviously spilled over to me whenever he saw me putting salt on the only thing resembling food in this place, namely Raman noodles. I would have to listen to him rant endlessly that I was just pouring sodium on sodium and he was really worried that I was going to begin clutching my chest at any moment from a massive heart attack. This would come to an abrupt halt when I paused to ask him what he was in jail for and waited through the long, sheepish pause before he would reply “…crack cocaine.”
Other than that he was a really great guy. He got a shit hand tossed to him from the dealer though. As it would turn out, he did admittedly have a little problem with the candy cane and when you have a problem like that you are eventually bound to end up in a place like this; but his story was just a little shittier than that. After he had been pulled over and a few rocks or what have you were found in the floor board of the car, he wasn’t simply arrested. The local narcotics division proposed that in lieu of being in chains he could become a C.I. and even make a little money on the side for doing it. Like any good crack addict; he thought that was a pretty sweet job offer. So he took some cash from the po-po and went to his dealer’s place to make an official exchange. Though he was paranoid that while he was in the place all the doors and windows would explode inward, the glass and wood being destroyed by a SWAT team all dressed like the Punisher, and he would find himself in the fetal position while a gun fight happened around him resembling the Somewhere Over the Rainbow gun fight in Faceoff. He half expected somebody to come rappelling down the stove vent with a sub machine gun and his finga on the trigga. Yeah, Meat Cutter was a squirrelly little guy.
None of that happened and while Meat Cutter nestled all cozy-like in his double wide that night grinning and licking his lips while sitting crossed legged for the partaking of the pipe; little did he know the undercover narcotics guys would come a callin’ again…and again…and again. Ultimately this new “friendship” would come calling at his place of work winking and giving him head gestures to come over and talk while they stood there in civilian clothes and ear pieces they kept pressing with their finger. Fucking morons, I swear to God. But that’s okay because God and I are straight. Anyway, Meat Cutter finally told them he was growing uncomfortable with this little deal of theirs because people he had been buying from were all getting pinched shortly afterwards and …gee fellas…people are startin’ to think things, ya know? Now this little arrangement had spanned a few months you see, and Meat Cutter had thought little of his initial contact, so much to his surprise after breaking up with them and forgetting to send flowers a warrant was put out for his arrest in regards to the crack rock they had found in his car all those months prior. And that was the criminal career of The Meat Cutter. So how, pray tell, did he manage to get such a rad ass jail name you ask. He earned it from being the manager of the meat department at the local grocery store.
“Looks like your friend out there is trying to start a friggin’ cult, Jedi.” He said as his breath still fogged up the plexi-glass.
I continued reading my Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel because I refuse to acknowledge other life until I have finished reading the paragraph I am on when interrupted. I found it ironic that I had chosen a Star Trek novel from the book bin featuring Captain Sisko, one of my idols, and the asshole slit eye I was locked up in here with in both physical and metaphysical ways just so happened to look like a twisted, mirror universe Captain Sisko. At our first meeting he made no pretense about the fact that he wasn’t native to this plane of existence and up to things most naughty with me, and out of professional courtesy I didn’t fuck about with the fact that I too was a fellow traveler. He had taken a gamble after opening the floor to me that first meeting, not knowing that the knowledge he was dishing out to his captive audience; bit by bit mind you, could be matched and reorganized by this pasty faced Irish sumbitch or not. You see, that was his weapon over the minds he was trying to poison and recruit; knowledge. Having spent a great many years of his life in prison, Evil Captain Sisko didn’t have much more to do with his time but read and this resulted in a great wealth of knowledge ranging from the political to the metaphysical. When you are in a state run facility, believe me, knowledge very much is power. Granted the guy knew a lot of shit but it is one thing to have a head knowledge and something certainly different to have a heart knowledge in any school of thought. People who have amassed a vast amount of tid-bits of information and perhaps memorized a few five dollar words to intimidate and control never have impressed me much and I think that boils down to two principles; one was said by Dr. Barnhouse, a Christian apologist. He said “You got to get the hay down from the loft and put it on the ground where the cows can get to it.” So I never have and never will judge a person’s intelligence on the information they have in their head, rather the measurement of that information delivered to the heart. The second principle was from my dad who always said “Never be afraid of a man that talks all the time, he’s writing checks his ass can’t cash. The one you need to be afraid of is the one that warns you once or doesn’t warn you at all.”
Nevertheless, Evil Captain Sisko had managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the guys in that room where he held his “service” in regards to the “gods” coming down long, long ago in a garden far, far away and of course mixing in there with all of that the notion that the original humans were Africans… oh and let’s not forget anyone not of African descent is a devil but that just so happened to be incidental to his worldview so he wudn’t gone judge my white ass sittin’ all up in his sheeeeeeeeiiiiit. Sitting beside him was a guy slightly younger than he, bald with a cheerful face that I called Kemet the Frog. I called him that because no matter what type of conversation you were having with this guy he always jumped onto Kemet.
“Hey how’s the weather today?”
“Oh it’s great because Egypt was really called Kemet.”
“How’s that Kool-Aid today?”
“Really good because flavoring water was invented in Kemet.”
“This television show is really boring huh?”
“That’s because whitey is using inferior technology to make televisions than we did in Kemet.”
“Did you hear about that guard that got punched in the chin when that last inspection went down?”
“Yeah, but it was three o’clock and that wouldn’t have happened if he had been on his knees praying toward Kemet like the ancient Kemetan’s did.”
“Wait, if the ancient Kemetan’s prayed toward Kemet, but were in Kemet just which direction were they praying in?”
“Kemet…that’s all I got.”
Yeah, he was that kind of guy. Don’t get me wrong, he and I had a lot of good conversations during my stay but I always knew that no matter how long or in depth they went, somehow or another The Frog was going to land on the lily pad of Kemet over and over again. Now I really don’t give a flying fuck if Egypt used to be called Kemet centuries ago because now it’s called Egypt so if you tell me to meet you in Kemet I’m showing up for never and a minute ago. You say sandwiches in Egypt at six p.m. then I will bring the mayonnaise. I also really don’t give too awful many fucks if the place was founded by people with black skin either because the notion that your meat bag is superior or inferior to my meat bag because of its paint job is a little elementary now don’t you think? However if you really are insistent upon defining who you are based off of the miniscule amount of ethnic groups in the Universe that just so happened to be found on this planet and stake your claim to godhood because some guys with the alleged hammer and chisel of the pyramids also happened to be black, then by all means reduce the value of your very existence. On the other side of Evil Captain Sisko sat a heavy set younger black guy that never took his eyes off of his mentor and seemed to be the one going back for seconds and thirds at this buffet of bullshit. I was willing to bet that he was too far gone to be pulled away from the cliff of passing out pamphlets for this gold toothed fuck for the rest of his life while wearing a funny hat. The others were a plethora of different shapes, sizes and shades which was a testament that the for-profit police state we happen to find ourselves in discriminates very little when revenue generation is involved. Yay, we have evolved a lil bit.
After being offered the floor I took the opportunity to bring down some knowledge from the heavens revealing to those in the room that there was always more than one fount of truth to drink from and on occasion I would drop hints that some of those founts just might give you mind dysentery. Everything from ancient Egypt and the third eye of the pineal gland to chakras and how they relate to the planets with a little bit of Freemason knowledge mixed somewhere in the middle. It only took a few moments before the others were certain that I hadn’t come in here looking for answers at all and I certainly didn’t need the spiked staff of the gold toothed would be shepherd. This white devil had knowledge and was willing to spread it around like peanut butter which really threw a wrench in the machinery of that guy’s race war factory. For the rest of this little meeting Evil Captain Sisko was wise enough to speak very little and allow me the floor. He did this for two reasons really. One was to not appear overtly power hungry, cult leaderesque or being obvious about propagating hatred based off of ethnicity. The other reason was because he was clocking me. He wanted to know just how much I knew and how good I was at getting inside the minds of others to pick locks, open doors and escape through hidden passage ways before anyone knew I was there. When shifting from one mind to the other I took a micro second to observe how much his bottom eye was twitching as he tried to keep up.
From that point forward he knew that his best course of action would be the divide and conquer method. He would have to take full advantage when the upper level was released and my level was still on lockdown to whisper and back bite about the white devil infiltrator in their midst, conspiring to strip them of their blackness through cunningly, crafted words. In the event that we got some new fish in while Evil Captain Sisko was out of his cell he saw to it that the new, trembling inmate found their way into his circle as he waited with open arms to comfort and “protect” them from the system inside. I believe the way he saw it, this was a numbers game and if that were the case I was seriously behind in the notches on my belt which according to Meat Cutter, might be a problem that was increasingly growing. As I finished the chapter my right pinkie finger casually slid my make shift bookmark from the back page and into a position where I could grasp it with my forefinger and thumb. I brought it center to my sight and caressed the words “You silly boy…” with my eyes like a light touch from a velvet glove, then placed it in the book to mark my progress in the story of the good station, DS9.
“What was that, Meat Cutter?” I asked.
“Your buddy out there, Miami, it looks like he’s starting a cult. I know he isn’t really your buddy or anything. I just said that because I was trying to be humorous given the circumstances and all. Did you think that was funny? I thought that was kind of funny but what did you think? If you didn’t think it was funny that’s okay, man. I’m not going to take it personal or anything but I do want you to know that I did think it was funny and even if you don’t I’m just going to decide in my head that you have poor taste in humor and it’s not a reflection on my awkward attempts to be witty while in jail. I mean we all got problems, right? Life’s fucked up and all and I know that, you know it too. But man, listen man,…if you don’t take time to laugh at shit then you aint really lived I don’t think. I don’t know who said that but somebody famous said that and I guess that makes it all smart and shit…unless I am just messin’ that whole saying up and it wasn’t somebody famous that said it because now that you mention it I might have actually read that on a fortune cookie or something…” He said with full intent to continue before an interjection.
“Meat Cutter, hey man just tell me what’s going on out there if you don’t mind, alright?” I requested kindly.
“Well looks like Miami sent Kemet and Triple B (Big Buffet Boy) over to the new kid. Not the new guy that came in today, the new kid that came in yesterday.”
“The eighteen year old?”
“Yeah, that linebacker lookin’ son of a bitch.” Meat Cutter Confirmed.
I had talked to that kid not too long ago. True he was built like a brick fallout shelter but I could see in his eyes that behind his tough guy façade he was somewhere in there with a thumb in his mouth, a blankie wrapped around his head and through the stream of snot filled tears he was crying for mommy. I knew this because rather than going straight to sleep when he came to the block he opted to unbutton his jumpsuit and begin a series of push-ups in the middle of the block for everyone to see just how hard he was. I remember saying something to him about not watching Tango and Cash ever again and pointing him to the book bin as I passed by once because clearly this kid had watched too many Scared Straight specials coming up.
“Well does it look like that kid is on the hook?” I asked.
“I don’t think the hook is set yet, but he’s a nibblin’ motherfucker right about now. Maybe you can sway him away when they pop the locks for the evening.” Meat Cutter replied.
“How much time do we have, Meat cutter?”
“Locks pop innnnnnnn….oh….thirty five minutes, maybe thirty four minutes depending on Muppet Head’s mood tonight.” He answered after stretching his neck towards the clock.
“Did she have salad today for lunch or was it the roast beef sub?”
“Thirty four minutes then.” I said.
Thirty four minutes can be an eternity in two instances. One; when you are in jail. Two; when you astral project out of this space time continuum and into another where time works completely different.
“I’m going to take a nap, tap me in thirty three minutes.”
“You got it, Jedi.” Meat Cutter said.
I crossed my hands one over the other and placed them over my heart chakra as I began staring at the ceiling. I dilated my eyes with the ocular muscles behind them and began inhaling deep into my abdomen. With a few long and complete inhales and exhales I began tensing and releasing every muscle in my body as I lay on the bunk until fairly quickly I became completely relaxed. Soon after I could see in my peripheral vision the cinderblocks around me in this cell quickly vibrating one atop the other. The cinderblocks accelerated faster and faster and as a low hum built up into a sonic, underwater explosion the bricks shot out into all directions so fast that within a second they had traveled as far away from me to be perceived the size of an atom and shrinking by the micro-second. Meat Cutter was no longer with me. The steel door with the plexi-glass window had long since gone, the desk was probably in a different galaxy by now and that fucking steel toilet I hoped to God had found its way into oblivion, never to return. Now, around me, was only this little thing called the Universe. A 360 degree blanket of black embroidered with the stars of spiraling wonders of creation. As I traveled through space and time on my bunk I witnessed the supernovas of a thousand suns, the rise and fall of a million civilizations, and the great cosmic orgy that is existence jetting past at light speed. One cannot with muscle when out of the body but must succumb to the mind when trying to do anything worthwhile, such as moving. It is only when you are out of the body a few times before you realize how petty those things are and useful only in the densest of vibrations. In the astral, one is only as strong or as weak as their consciousness which is why the kingdom of the heavenlies is filled with children. In the realms that really matter, the mind of a child is the titan that hovers over many a shaman and sage.
I lifted myself up from the bunk and strangely enough didn’t feel wind as one would expect traveling so fast but of course in the astral things don’t exactly occur as one would expect them to occur. The pin pricks of light we know as stars moved around me so fast they appeared slow as they became lines rather than dots, yet I couldn’t feel one tickle of air rushing against my face. Simply stillness and silence. I looked down to my hands hovering in front of me waist high from how I was sitting and noticed that the atoms in the tips of my fingers were beginning to rattle and vibrate. It sort of felt like sticking your fingers in a glass of Alka-Seltzer while it’s still fizzing. Suddenly, like a sheet of paper that had been stuck to a windshield but found its liberation in a torrent of wind, the atoms in my fingertips ripped away and down my hands towards my wrists. What remained was what I would call an under-skin that was younger, smoother and devoid of scars from the physical world. The atomic fabric rip continued to the orange and thick jumpsuit I was wearing and tarried for a moment. I hoisted myself forward and onto one knee, leaning forward as the atoms of the jumpsuit peeled themselves off of me like sand in the wind. From the wake of their annihilation, particles reassembled around me into a wardrobe more fitting; complete with long, black coat swirling behind me and a newly formed skull cap with the golden bindi right where it is supposed to be. You see when you spend a little time in the astral it is inevitable that sooner or later you are going to run into your Higher Self and after all the arguing is done you will merge with them and learn to play pretty together. When this happens an astral self-image is molded, kind of like the residual self-image concept from the Matrix, which is a visual representation of who you truly are at your deepest and best potential. Clearly I am the mix between a Wachowski film and a pirate film of some sort when I am tapping into my deepest and best potential. Don’t judge because I have seen some people in their Higher Self Form that looked like they just stepped off the stage of Rainbow Bright the Musical with Jem playing the part of Rainbow Bright. So I am sure you won’t begrudge me my buckles, dangling bits of iconography, armlets and long, black coat unfurling around equally black pants and button downed shirt.
A distant star directly ahead of me began flaunting itself as it grew larger and larger within my sight. The jail cell bunk showed no sign of slowing down as I entered into the star’s system and began to be brought toward one of the planets spinning around it. At the current speed an impact would destroy the planet with me along with it, fancy new duds or no. Thankfully just before contact was made with the planet or the edge of the bunk, the both of us came to a sudden stop without a single sign of recoil. Once I finished the “Ohhhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiit!!!” in my mind I opened my eyes to see that the bunk had stopped smoothly to connect to a wooden bridge that arched over a small creek that trickled from left to right. All around was a sight that was basically Eden. In order to save me some time using a lot of fancy words to describe Eden, help me out and just imagine Eden, okie dokie? So there I was standing on a bunk from a jail cell about a billion lightyears away in this Eden like place with a humble, wooden bridge before me. Obviously I’m stepping off that bunk to venture into the Eden place; I mean this is a no brainer. After crossing over it and under what appeared to be a street light I followed the trail to a slight left and amidst the trees for as far wide as the eye could see rested a dome of what I can only describe as glass, water and light. This place is what many have called the Akashic Records, the Great Library of Light or in my case; The Bookstore.
According to mystics, The Bookstore is outside space and time and houses all of the knowledge, wisdom, history and anything else that can be recorded from every planet in every Universe from every plane of existence in any dimension ever. So they got a lot of fucking books, ya feel me? Now mystics also say that The Bookstore will appear different to anyone who comes based off of what incarnation, time or space they are coming from. What may look like the inside of the Library of Alexandria to one person could very well look like a cyber café to another. Some patrons might be interfacing with the knowledge they seek via holographic projections as another seeker is thumbing through scrolls. The Bookstore will also expand in size based off of a fellow traveler’s awareness and level of consciousness so as one patron is lost in the maze of book shelves another patron could be in a wooden shack with only a ten page pamphlet sitting on a stool next to an oil lamp. From time to time a NDE will accidently trip into The Bookstore from their plane of existence, look around really, really confused and quickly phase back to where they came from after the employees shine really bright lights into their faces and claim to be their Uncle Pete, Grandma Judy or their bunny rabbit from when they were six that died after having it’s throat ripped out by the house cat, Black Jack. The NDE then usually writes a book and hits the talk show circuit to reveal to the world that when you die there is a bright light and silhouettes of all your loved ones are waiting for you on the other side where there is no more sorrow and only joy but for some silly reason they didn’t stay. Regardless of how long anyone stays at The Bookstore however, the only instance a fellow traveler can take knowledge away is if they have a library card or in my case a Loyal Membership Card. After six uses you can pick up a caramel macchiato at the bistro for free. It’s a pretty beneficial rewards program and of course it allows you to retain what you have learned from the wisdom of the cosmos too, which I think is also an added plus.
As I made my way to the entrance which would take me into a nature trail, Paulo, the interdimensional key traveler stepped out from the bushes as he zipped up his Gucci jeans. Paulo’s Higher Self Form is a lot different than his earthly form. Rather than a middle aged, homeless, black man that lacked any form of hygiene and carried filthy keys around his neck on a shoe lace; Paulo’s true self looked more like Beyoncé and Drake had a kid and dressed him in clothes that cost more than most people’s mortgage and sprayed him with the nectar of the gods which just so happens to smell like love and jolly ranchers. The only resemblance to his earthly self was the connection to keys but of course here all those keys were encapsulated into one key made of light that hung from his neck on a golden chain. Thug life baby. Thug life.
“Took you a minute to get here, Ole Boy.”
“I was in the middle of a really good book.” I responded.
“Well I would say you are late but I think dat would be a little moot outside space and time and all. You ready to get up there and get what you need?” Paulo asked.
We proceeded up the trail and towards the domed Bookstore enjoying the view of a million constellations around us appearing and disappearing from one tree line to another. It was not lost on me that at every pinnacle of my life, every key moment in the thread of my existence I have always been drawn to books in some form or fashion. When the Universe needs to catch my attention and put me in training mode I always end up with a library card or membership card and my time is most spent within the shelves of books at the public’s expense or by the labor of my own hands via “work”. I am not sure if that was a foreshadowing of this place or that since this place is indeed outside of space and time it was calling to me across the veil for my eventual arrival. It’s best to only ponder such things once and a while unless you have enough tissue to cover the nose bleeds surely to ensue. The closer we got to the entrance of The Bookstore the more we could see the diverse crowd moving about inside. The doorway in between two pillars of light opened like a vertical whirlpool of water for Paulo and me to enter freely as the scent of caramel macchiato mixed with books rushed out to greet us. There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.
The two of us walked over to the glass display in the center of what I suppose could be called a lobby and glanced at the new arrivals and coming soon section projected outward by light. Everything You Know is Wrong by Jams Zinglespot, Gluten Free Transmutational Sex by Amy Celebate, The Gnat Revolution of 3772: Reexamined by Spleetok and of course The Bible Part 2: Existence after Religion by J. Hova were the obvious features and worthy of me jotting down somewhere on a notepad in the memory palace of my mind to be looked at later. In the reflection of the glass I could see that from behind a floating orb of multi-colored light was approaching us. I say orb but that is really just an approximation of a shape that has no name at all. It was more like a cloud that would hold geometric form for a split second then dissipate into no form; wash, rinse repeat. Her name is Echo and she is quite the female indeed with an interesting history that brought her to the level of shedding any physical body or appearance for that of light or energy.
In her first incarnation, Echo quickly realized that she was the messiah of her planet which happened to be in an era just prior to the emergence of artificial intelligence. This was a tough pill to swallow in her adolescence and naturally she fought against the prophecies of her people and the never ending adoration from the masses that she indeed was the one they had all been waiting for. Rebellious by nature (as all messiah’s are) she opted to lock herself away in her room rather than study the metaphysical arts she would need to fulfill her destiny and listen to Radiohead via ham interstellar radio. She never put too much stock in the culture or global belief structure of her people and naturally always felt like an outsider or an alien to them. After she reached what we would call her 20’s the first inversions began to manifest on her world which triggered a series of cataclysmic events very much lock in step with what we would call the vial or bowl judgments in the book of the Revelation. The inversions, as they were called, were rips in the time space bubble around her planet that allowed a species of mite-like beings to swarm around and down, eating up all the substance of Echo’s people and leaving devastation, famine and plague behind them. She then sought out the wise men of her people’s faith and intended to rise to her calling through vigorous training in the amount of time she had left but unfortunately all her training was for naught. Echo was too late and the mite-like beings (which actually turned out to be the negative unconsciousness of her people’s psyche manifested physically) consumed her world within a few years. She spent the following weeks walking her world reciting a mantra which would allow her to depart from her body without physical death. Once she had completed this task her spirit or soul was brought before the Celestial Inquisitors to determine if she was fit for reincarnation or reoccurrence or not.
You see, when her original people die they must answer three deeply spiritual and philosophical questions which if answered satisfactorily will ensure there is no discontinuation of memories from one life to the next. Rather than having her memories all scrambled and wiped for the most part, Echo achieved a state where all the knowledge and experience she gains per life stays with her in a linear and cohesive order so that her soul or spirit evolution happens much, much faster than most. Her answers to the Celestial Inquisitors were as follows; 1. The Butcher, 2. Inside My Head and of course the legendary 3. Lozenge of Love. These three answers allowed her to pop into the body of her choice anywhere in the cosmos she also would choose and determine her own soul path. For ten thousand life times she would continue to incarnate as the equivalent of a nun on every planet that existed on her frequency of reality; dedicating her lives to prayer, meditation, peace, tranquility, serenity and devotion to the Divine. Echo then spent three thousand lifetimes as a soldier, twenty two thousand as a healer or doctor, five million as an artist, three hundred thirty seven thousand a practitioner of the tantric arts and one thousand, nine hundred and eighty million as a prophetess. There aren’t too many planes of existence that Echo hasn’t been to and gained considerable knowledge in. The strange thing is that from the beginning she determined that no matter how many lives she chose to incarnate, they would always be female and made it absolutely clear that she had no desire to experience life or existence as a male whatsoever. The prevailing theory as to why is due in part to her conditioning from her original incarnation which happened to be in a world that was more matriarchal than patriarchal but nobody really knows her logic with such a choice.
Nevertheless, after gaining what she considered to be enough experience and temperance, Echo made her Crown Request before the Almighty which is a reality altering wish one could make if they earn it that is not to be taken lightly. For Echo, it was to be given the chance to return to her home world in her original body at the original time. When this was granted to her she went back as a mentor and teacher to her younger, unaware self. She was able to take herself by the wings in a different body and change the history she had always carried with her. Time and space unraveled and reweaved themselves as Echo changed her very fate from the beginning. Through her own, older and wiser teachings and guidance, Echo took a different path and embraced her role as the messiah of her world. Taking her unique character traits and hybridizing them with what her people expected from a religious leader, Echo rose to the challenge of the prophecies and embodied her role as the messiah. Her courage, compassion and wisdom allowed her to lead her people to a state of universal Zen so solidified that the mite-like manifestations of negative unconsciousness didn’t even have enough sustenance to manifest themselves in the first inversion. History had been changed and Echo had saved her people. This act of Divine nobility allowed her connection with her highest self which to us appears as shear intelligent light and the freedom to spend eternity as she saw fit now rested in her proverbial hands. After a day or two of thinking it over she decided that her days would best be spent as the assistant librarian here at The Bookstore. As I watched her reflection get closer I knew what was coming next and cringed before a zap of electricity would sear my right ass cheek.
“My man, my man, my meat of a man! Where in all of creation have you been for so long? You know I understand that making a girl wait is a part of the art of seduction but Mister D, you got this floatin’ ball of light about to explode with anticipation.” Echo she said with a dash of chastisement.
“You know me, Echo, running to and fro. Just been running to and fro.” I said, turning with a warm smile.
If I didn’t think it was so cute I would probably consider Echo’s treatment with me to be nothing less than sexual harassment but hey, how many people get sexually harassed by wise and ancient floating balls of light, right? I have always imagined her to be a strawberry blonde with a shapely figure and have on several occasions asked her to project herself from one of her previous incarnations but those requests are always returned with “I want you to want me for who I am on the inside.” For the record, Echo and I have never dated or entertained anything resembling a real relationship. The nature of our friendship is basically subtle and sometimes not so subtle innuendos of sex that are seeds which simply will not grow. The difficulties in expecting anything more should be self-evident considering the Kama sutra never tells you how to go about foreplay with non-physical balls of light.
“Well shift change is in an hour and the new audio/video room is still under refurbishment if you want to take some time from your runnin’ for a little while.” She said.
“Sweetheart, even with the acoustics back there, I still wouldn’t be able to get the right tones for the symphony I could draw out of you in a million shift changes.” I replied with a wink.
Her color dimmed, and then blushed.
“Fine, play hard to get all you want. Don’t be surprised when one day you come in here and see some other world walker with their arms around me. I’m a patient girl but a girl has to have some company from time to time.”
“Echo, if that were to happen this entire place would be awash with his blood.” I mused.
“You mean her blood?”
I had to pause for a second and unlock my jaw from a genuinely surprised reaction. Once I was back in control of my facial features I allowed it to evolve into a sinister smile.
“Oh…it’s like that with you is it?”
“You come around a little more, Mister D, and you’ll find I’m full of pleasant surprises. Now if you two would like to wait at the bistro, your Father should be out here to take you in to see Him as soon as he’s done with his meeting.” Echo advised.
“Sounds like a plan Ole Gal. I can smell me dat bean from all the way over here.” Paulo responded cheerfully.
Echo floated off as Paulo and I made our way to the bistro to find a seat. Even though my dad is the head librarian of The Bookstore, it still only gets me ten percent off of purchases which is kind of a shit deal. How my dad became the head librarian of The Bookstore is an entirely different tale which may or may not be fitting to tell one day, but for the time being the least you need to know is that he in fact is. The position is quite prestigious and well respected in all of existence but is by no means a cushy job. However, being his son, I am privy to a lot of material in The Bookstore that the average patron will never know so the ten percent horse shit isn’t enough to complain about because the way I see it, it’s a nice trade off.
After ordering our drinks Paulo cracked his knuckles and then steepled his fingers while he placed his elbows on the table between us. He locked eyes with me and proceeded to take on his mentor demeanor as I relaxed into my seat for what apparently was about to be another therapy session.
“Looks like we might be here a minute or two, Ole Boy. Seems like a good time to go on wit dat story about you, Red and Iris; from where you left off now, no skippin’ ahead.” Paulo said.
“Really man? Right now? What difference does that make now anyway? I mean it’s been nearly three and a half years since all that happened. Why do you keep wanting me to rehash it over and over again?”
“You know the answa’ to dat right dere, Ole Boy, and you knows you do. You might be fightin’ right now, but deep down dere in dat heart you got, you knows the answa’ to dat question.” He shot back.
I’m not a complete idiot and I knew exactly what path Paulo was taking me down and as it always has in my nightmares, the path ends with my death at the hands of my wife. Or rather the wife of the body I would come to inhabit. After all most of what I remember is actually his memories, not mine though they lease floor space together. I didn’t really understand what the point of that was though. I had spoken it out over and over again and had come to terms with the fact that though I survived that night, I actually died and both facts are equally true. This truly is a hard pill to swallow when you cross over but I had dealt with it and saw this little game of Paulo’s to be redundant. Nevertheless he is my guide in this whole shin dig of the Universe so many times I have to simply play ball to get to the next step. I pulled the memories up in my mind and prepared to tell the events which transpired from that day onward when a question suddenly popped into my head.
“Wait a second…who is my dad taking us in to see, Paulo?” I questioned.
“Do what now?”
“Echo said that my dad was going to take us in to see Him. Who is Him?”
“Oh. We about to go in dere and see the Good Lawd, Ole Boy.”
“You mean God is here? God is here at The Bookstore right now?” I asked
“Yeah, He say they got betta’ Wi-Fi here at da Booksto’. You okay wit seein’ da Good Lawd aintcha? I mean, da two of you is straight aintcha?”
“Oh yeah, of course. We settled all that stuff a while back over a game of five card stud so God and I are cool…but that guy does still owe me some money, man.” I squinted.
A SONG TO PLAY US OUT…