June 18th, 2023 8:52am pdt

If you are visiting for the first time, go to the beginning.




Door One

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"Tuesday, but does it matter? Does the changing of the calendar matter? Does my pointing out the day and time here matter? I don’t know. Sometimes they are important, I suppose. The habit of pointing out the date or time when I sit here has become commonplace. Whatever.

I can’t get her out of my head, nor can I forget where I was along with the idea that I will never be there again. Never. This is not good. The fact remains that what is missing from life will drive me in one of two directions – not the fucking two doors, either, so don’t get excited – neither of which is good for me or anyone who knows me. There are a few aspects of life against which there can be no saving throw. None. Today is Tuesday – another day has passed – and I am just a little bit further down. I am also a touch more angry. I can’t remember the last time my trajectory was upward. I need an elevator. This is not a good morning. At least the fundamentals are in place, such as a gray sky and quiet house. I have to think about everything today. My brain is still partially embedded inside her bra, meaning concentrating upon anything else is going to be tough. After all this time, I can’t control my thoughts very well, not to mention such powerful desire. Everything else in the world quickly falls away as if it never mattered. Power eludes; control may be completely nonexistent. I have control over technology, nothing more. This is not a good feeling. Saturday fucked up my brain so much that I may have skipped a few rungs on the ladder leading downward. I can’t stop thinking about her and the overwhelming need to be close.

I see something off in the distance, all hazy and distorted. Something... But what is it? A structure? The air is cool and dry; the sky very dim. Julia’s voice is now absent. Here we go again, damn it. What is this place? The negative material plane again? There is sand below my feet. I need... Something. Can’t put my finger on it, but inside me is a hole that simply has to be filled. There are no scorpions. Wait... Do I see rails off to the west? Shit.

‘There is a path...’

Damn it. There she is again. Just what I needed. I suppose my choice of door did not lead directly to death – do not pass ‘go’ or collect the fucking two hundred – unless the doom awaits my arrival elsewhere. I don’t see any indication of a direction here, no clear signs or treaded pathway. There is no road, dirt or otherwise. I suppose I can head toward the rails, yet without a train, what will happen? Sometimes I wish I could snap my fingers and be back in the luxurious caboose with Julia. That helped for a while. Well, until she disappeared. The sand below my feet is probably warmer than the air, unlike last time. No scorpions. I can feel the presence of whatever that structure is off in the distance, yet I am not drawn to find comfort. I need answers. One positive right now is that I feel as if I’ve been placed in another puzzle, meaning a portion of the fear I felt on the beach has subsided.

The clock never stops. I see 1056 down in the right-hand corner. I went to the market and took care of my daily routine. I also have laundry in the dryer. I have no idea of what the remainder of this day has in store for me, but I will say that my head cannot cease the swirling dreams of where I have been. I am speaking of reality; the past. There is no media running right now. No video, no music. I don’t know what to watch or what audio may help me out of this din. Uncertainty has traveled alongside my life for so long that it has become doctrine. It has also restricted so much potential wonder that the only result is me feeling as if I was destined to be in this place. The daily work only keeps me occupied for so long, and behind every step is a shadow of what I used to be. Also? A sliver of what I used to HAVE. What a fucking situation. I hate this shit. I turned the video media on again. Malfunction, but not like the rest. And the answer to the question I just heard on the show is a resounding ‘yes’. There is not one fucking thing I can do to alleviate the current situation. Nothing. I have to fucking sit on it like everything else. I have no recourse, nor are there any ears. Everything has to be just right, too. Just right. Not a Goddamned thing from this second to the day I am put into the ground will be just right. I am becoming very angry right now. I switched the media to music. The compositions remind me of fifteen. Eight years ago. They also carry flashes of the cave period when I was almost as fucked up as I am right now. I need to see her breasts. I really do. I never will. Nothing good is on my horizon. The prophecy is well underway, as evidenced by the decaying amount of caring I have inside for both myself and other people. This is not a good day. My apparent threatening manner went by the wayside the other day. I have no power. Maybe I never did. The dead soil around me pays no mind...

No scorpions. No little headphones. Maybe what I see off in the distance is a resort hotel complete with backward people, signage, and ideas. I have not heard Julia’s commanding voice for hours. The instinct is to kill myself, but as I recall, every time I did the result was nothing more than a reset, much like a fucking video game. You die, but there are more lives. Play well and those lives continue to rack. I suppose I am in the same soup. Does it mean I played well in the past? I hate this shit. Am I already dead? Still no words. I am very near to completely losing my mind in reality (this is not a fucking joke, either... I am talking about real loss here, as in something which will land me in a hospital), so maybe in this world I will find some measure of relief. I’ve lost my shit many times, and each was followed by a reset. That giant button in the sky does not only apply to science fiction media. Get it? I learned that I could do whatever I wished in the hopes of rattling something. Perhaps my path here should be one of damage and nothing else. I am going to walk toward whatever I see in the distance. Fuck the rails. Trains have only caused me pain. Off we go.

There is not one single fucking person in my life relating to me as they should. Not ONE. What am I to think? Am I really that unimportant? Something had better happen – and fucking soon – or I am going to provide everyone with the harshest, most difficult object lesson in existence. Try me. Onward.

I will reach whatever that thing is in the distance. I’ve learned that my time here is without recourse, meaning I can do what seems best FOR ME and ignore any possible consequences. The way I feel today is such that some reckless disregard and destruction may improve my mood. As an aside, part of me has been hoping for a boxcar full of explosives, much like that which Julie and I put to good use. I have to ignore the rails, though, and focus on possibilities. I can always blow shit up here, but the lessons must take precedence right now because the alternative is very bad. I can die over and over in this world, but when my feelings spill over into reality, others will be hurt and angry. As much as I’d love to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way I’ve been treated for more than four decades, the time has to be right for such actions. It really does, because otherwise I’ll be labeled as ‘crazy’, and I can’t have that right now. Wow... I can’t believe this current situation. Honestly, I can’t. As I make my way west, the emotions which rang so clearly during fifteen are resonating inside my heart, as if the Raven is still next to me with her huge eyes and heart. You wanna talk about recklessness? We nearly fled this area with no clothing or other staples and holding on to nothing more than a kitten. No... Not ‘the’ kitten. The one She clutched during a speech to Her mother informing her that we were leaving the Bay Area in favor of a place much more forgiving, and, more importantly, completely anonymous when held against the rigors each of us had faced at home. Pressures. Unfeeling words. Platitudes aplenty. Nothing real. I knew... She knew. No one else understood. Those desperate times created emotions I had never felt, but I will tell you at this very moment that such a mindset has returned in force. I am going to reach that structure in the hope that it will provide at least a temporary respite from the hell within which I’ve been mired for years. Walking. Sunshine? No. There is no sunshine to speak of, only a haze that I cannot describe. Walking.

I am so hurt right now, and still no additional words from Julia. If I see that cryptic beauty in person, I swear to everything holy that I will dive into her pants like a deranged pelican. Force threatens, force responds. What else is there? Life is forced.

‘A man either lives life as it happens to him; meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.’ – Dr. Phillip Boyce

Wednesday. 0813. Coffee. This machine is tethered to the phone because the main network went awry sometime early this morning. I don’t know what happened, but one way or another I will have media following me around the house today. This is my life, tiny as it has become, and I need what I need. Well, I need all sorts of shit, but... ‘I can’t go inta dat right now.’ Leave it. Anyway, I have the day to myself and a journey underway. The combination will probably take much of my time. Whatever is off in the distance has to remain my focus for the time being because I want to avoid the rails. Hmm... Maybe a locomotive will come out of the distant horizon at breakneck speed and take me out just as I try to cross the tracks. Heh. I need to reach that building. Answers may reside within it. Still no Julia since her information about a path. Something will happen, though. It always does during these crazy trips.

The rails are beginning to emit the electromagnetic signature that indicates voltage caused by a train approaching. I can hear it and feel it at the same time, the latter being quite uncomfortable most of the time. It’s like nails on a chalkboard, for the most part, but not as haphazard or grating. This is more like discomfort through vibration. Something is rolling on the rails and I intend to get closer. I have to see because anything can be a clue as to what I am supposed to do or learn on this side of the door. I will say I’m thankful to be here within the barren landscape because every single time I am close to a train passing by I recall that frightful incident many years ago when I ended up stuck in place and closer to the moving mass than I had intended. The sound is now closer. I can feel it in the soil, yet nothing is visible in either direction. North? South? How do I know that the structure is to the west? Instinct? I can’t see the sun’s position, nor do I know which way it is traveling across the hazy sky. Oh, the mass is ever closer now, but still nothing anywhere.

Shock. Flash!

Silver and red just appeared not a quarter mile off my right shoulder, traveling at maximum speed from north to south. One locomotive, six cars. And gone. Silence. The action was so quick that no sooner did the trailing car appear from... Whatever it was... The locomotive began to return to whatever must be beyond this place. I don’t understand. It’s like... Imagine two railroad tunnels joined by a short stretch of visible track and a train emerging from one tunnel and heading into the other. The entire works was visible for perhaps two or three seconds. I know that train. I know it by rote... The Caltrain. Remember me mentioning one of the worst days of my life and how it related to the train? That machine which flew by me moments ago was the very same. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, but for the time being I am going to head west to that building. What I need is information. What I definitely do not need is another reminder of that fucked up day. I almost died, and that is not a joke.

‘There was a definition inherent in that trip.’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘Do you know what you have to do?’

Ah... Shit. Here we go again with the cryptic messages and booming questions. I hate that shit. Why can’t the woman just fucking talk to me? I think I know what she was telling me. I made it through that horrible situation and as of right now it is eight years in the past. I am still alive. Well, maybe that’s her point. I can’t be certain because this place is strange to say the least. I need to walk away from the rails.

Back to the table.

Last cup of coffee. 0923 is what I see on the little clock. I’ll do something else very soon because I can only sit here for so long before I become antsy. The housework awaits.

1042. Across the rails. I need to leave that scene behind for the time being. The previous train rides were fraught with discomfort and fear, and the idea of returning to such reminders and dioramas is not terribly appealing today. I just don’t need it. One look to the rear informs me that this place is as odd as the rest... The rails are gone. What was that? The difficult past slapping me in the face? Thanks, Julia. I know she has her reasons, but the haphazard nature of the way images develop here is not helping me to concentrate on anything specific. I need to make my way across the sand and to whatever that building is off in the distance. Aside from the painfully obvious thought of shelter (if the time ever changes in this world), the structure exists for a reason. That much is certain, at the very least... Everything I encounter has a purpose, all the way back to the first horrible train ride. I saw the past; I saw myself. I really don’t want a repeat, although if I am to learn, the fear must be tempered long enough for me to continue the journey. I hear something. Another train? Ah... Yep. There it is rolling from the north, yet this time it is ahead of me. More rails? Shit. My life in reality – as well as all these fucking insane adventures – has felt as if the unmoving rails dictate every possible path; nothing I do is random anymore. The train seems to be moving pretty slowly, as far as I can tell. Keep walking. The fog may lift if I can focus upon the horizon. Maybe this will turn into something I need, such as a hotel with gorgeous little Julie waiting to care for me. And a nice, cozy bar? Hey, you never know. Part of that shit in the alternate goblet was full of comfort. I can only hope to find something meaningful. Rails behind me now, but rails ahead. Julia will not let up with this train business.



08

The train is slowing. Here we fucking go... I may have to board that fucking thing. The last one found me at the controls and IN control. Well, until everything went to shit in the snow. I guess all I can do is continue in the same direction because I fear no matter which way I turn she is going to place something in my path. I have little choice in this netherworld. Closer... Ever closer to the possibility that I will be forced to face a painful memory.

My daily routine is finished. I don’t know what to do for the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll just sit here and explore further. The days have been divided lately. Each evening, for example, I look at the following morning as peaceful and with room to relax and think. By lunch time, I find enjoyment in the food, whatever it may entail. The hours after lunch which lead to the evening are tough most of the time. Yesterday I finished my routine and then had something to eat. Afterward, I took care of the bike again. The spacers had arrived the previous day, so I had everything necessary for final assembly of the primary drive. Once that was completed, I ventured back to the kitchen for dinner preparations since the braised ribs required so much time in the oven. Once everything was in place, I cleaned the kitchen a second time and relaxed. When I say ‘segmented’, I mean that I envision the next block of time while working around the house or sitting here. Yesterday morning I was gazing upon the upcoming evening, which is often quite relaxing. During said evening, my brain is thinking of how comfortable the early morning can be. The only section that seems to be troubling is the period between lunch and evening. I’ve been fighting that set of hours for more than a year. Right now it feels stable. I hope the feeling does not change for the worse like everything else. Whiskey to my left.

A second train. Splendid. I have to do something, though. I can’t just walk around and expect to learn after choosing a door and proceeding to walk into this world. I already knew there would be puzzles and puzzling words. Oh, and speaking of words...

‘She is waiting for you.’

God damn fuck shit anyway. Here we go with another nervous stomach.

I don’t want to go near the fucking thing. Maybe I’ll try to circumvent Julia’s wishes and simply go around. Whatever that building is off in the distance is the only focus I wish to pull right now. Trains equal pain, and considering what she has shown me in the past, no good can come of another visit to the inside of my broken brain. I’ll just walk along as if the train is not there.

Nope. The closer I venture, the slower the huge mass of metal travels. I seem to be almost centered upon its length, and I now have zero doubt that I can make my way to the front or rear without the fucking thing adapting to my movements. Here we go. I am going to get closer and see what types of cars may be attached to that mighty locomotive – the only section of a train that I love anymore, the rest having caused so much pain. I have to see what the hell is going on here. The haze is preventing me from ascertaining the full length. Units? I don’t know, but typically one locomotive will pull no more than twenty five cars when they are loaded to capacity. Years ago, a group of twenty five cars was called one unit. Nowadays, I don’t know. I see one huge engine. Just one. Maybe the haze will subside and allow me to see whatever I am being forced to view. I am very nervous right now.

Stop. Air brakes. Idling. Can I board the engine and use my prior knowledge to drive the fucking thing? Julia’s lessons are not so simple, but perhaps I can try. I often feel as if I have plenty of free will in these places, but at the same time there have seldom been situations in which I have been able to fully control. That is one of my favorite words, too. I will approach the huge machine and see what’s what.

Time for music; results be damned. Certain tracks will cause me to cry, and the first one playing is high on the list. I have lived a long time, yet no matter what has resided inside my heart for the better part of half a century, I know that I will end as nothing more than a shunned anathema. Too bad. I had such potential. Fear destroyed it.

Fuck it. I am going to board the thing and slam the fucking throttle. I don’t care. In the past, as my train rolled along the rails at very high speed, Julia and I made love right there on the engineer’s seat, the rest of the world melting away as if it never truly existed. I loved her like no one else and would relish the idea of something similar taking place on the train standing tall right before my eyes. Will it happen? That is not up to me. All I did was step through a doorway, nothing more. I took a chance and this is where I am now. The more apprehension I feel, the more reckless the mindset. I have to do something, and I am tired.

Idling. The massive chunk of steel is idling and vibrating the soil beneath my feet. I love it so much that words fail, as they always have. There is no physical transportation power on this planet with so much wonder, awe, and sheer intimidation. When a loaded train is rolling, there is little that can slow it, let alone actually cease the motion. Too much mass. There is just too much, and knowing that I can control it and cruise at breakneck speed means I have to get aboard and operate the sonuvabitch as if the end of the world is coming. I don’t care. The idle alone gives me goosebumps from head to toe. I know how to operate this huge monster. I really do. Everything was learned through trial and error along with a bit of instinct. Keep it simple, stupid. Keep everything simple. Hey, what’s the downside? Julia’s interference? Bring it, please. I’ll roll this fucking mass until the end of the world or the end of myself. Either is fine. The decision has been made... I have a direction. The structure can wait. Let’s roll.

‘Back off, sweetheart. You cannot do this.’
‘Bullshit.’
‘Sheathe your knives, dearest. Trust me. I love you.’

Do I shove her aside and pilot the big machine anyway? I don’t really give half a shit of the possible outcomes.

I can feel the engine idling all the way through my entire being. The closer I step, the more I am reminded of the first trip some years ago when I felt completely intimidated by the huge machine swaying side to side just after learning how to unlock and move it. The rails seem as solid as hell, yet they immediately bend and give way to the mass of metal as it rolls along. Even the enormous ties yield under such weight. The initial trip was nerve-wracking, to say the least, but right now I do not feel so much apprehension because of the experience. I feel angry at having to plod through another odd universe where I expect very little to make sense. Julia said ‘she’ is waiting for me. Who? If that fast-moving train which passed by is any indication, the woman to whom Julia refers could be the Raven. I really don’t need that shit right now. Give me a fictional character anytime. Seeing her again could break me in half. The more I think about possible consequences of my actions and being treated as if I am even more unstable than in reality, the more I just want to slam the throttle and run this fucking thing off the edge of the world. All those cars, too... I’ll have to climb aboard and look over the top of those which are trailing. Maybe they are not empty. As I approach, the feeling inside of exercising power continues to increase along with the sound and effect of the idle. Those engines are enormous. Six thousand horses. We go.

And everything appears familiar, from the display to the control panels in front and to my right. Very good. I can probably move this train as I please. I need to take a stroll around the perimeter and see what’s going on with the gondolas. Ah... I see. They are all empty. Does that mean something in this world? Julia’s voice is conspicuously absent right now. Ever since I climbed aboard, I’ve heard nothing from her. Time to move this train. I return to the cab and select the necessary parameters from the menus and then switch off the lock. Nothing. Huh? This is what I did last time, and that locomotive bowed to my wishes. All of them. Within hours, I had become fluent in the language of the cab’s controls. None of them seem to be working here, though. And now...

‘Disembark, my love.’
‘Shit.’

I guess I’m not going anywhere with this train today. Damn. From several options a while ago, I am now reduced to one. Well, I could turn back, but in all likelihood, the doorway is gone. Two options, one probably leading to wandering this wasteland for the rest of my life. She has successfully directed me for the hundredth time. I guess I’ll continue on my way to whatever the fuck is off in the distance.

Another train behind me. By the time I turned, however, it was gone. I saw nothing. That makes two now, the first being a reminder of a very bad time, and the second nothing other than noise. I don’t see the fucking point of delivering messages with which I can do so little. Such behavior is not helpful. Whatever. I’m sure I’ll get jammed up with all sorts of shit I can’t understand, and likely very soon. The structure is growing in the distance. All rails have disappeared. This is Thursday morning and I don’t know what to think anymore. So lost in everything. So lost every day. Being out here in this netherworld is analogous to being at home and never knowing which way to turn. The structure in the distance may represent my attempts to find something each day which has the power to lift me, or at least provide some interest. I have to reach it, just as I have to accomplish something while home. Maybe I’ll be struck by the next train. She could have at least let me drive the fucking thing for a while. Walking is so boring.

1022. The au pair walked by, paused to peel off her sweatshirt (revealing a tank with nothing underneath), and then continued strolling in black yoga pants, effectively causing me to picture her in all manner of positions. I am a basket case of the highest order. For reasons of good form, I immediately retreated to the kitchen and proceeded to clean everything at high speed. The daily routine has been finished and I have the requisite glass of delicious depressant sitting to my left. No media is playing as of yet because I am trying to decide whether or not to allow music to further diminish my already darkened mood. I just don’t know. I have some dry cleaning and a few other chores to care for today, along with a little motorcycle work and organization, yet on the inside, a storm is brewing. This would be the ideal time for Julia to appear and allow me to melt into her slender arms. Nope. She is nowhere to be found, and despite her voice ringing for days, I have yet to see her in person. Fuck. Whatever. Nothing good is going to happen in my life.

Trains. Passenger cars? There were six which appeared and then disappeared just as fast. Those of the older days were very old fashioned in comparison to the gleaming alloy of the present. I really don’t want to see them, let alone be forced to venture inside. There have been two, neither of which really helped my head. I didn’t see the second train which rushed by to my rear. Maybe that’s a good thing. It could have been another Caltrain, or perhaps freight. I have to keep walking toward the growing structure in the distance. The haze is beginning to clear; details forming. It appears to be a hotel (naturally). As long as I can reach my destination without any harmful interference – such as another train appearing like in the past – I may be able to find some comfort. All this crap has been the result of just one door. The other? I might learn of its purpose soon enough. Still scared.

0812 on Friday morning. Coffee, but no media right now. I have been trying to understand two disparate dreams about the same girl, both of which took place early this morning, yet the hour was sufficiently late for me to retain quite a bit of imagery. I still see her and hear a question that emanated from her as she appeared embarrassed. Well, I misheard the words, yet my wishful mind immediately traveled straight to and all the way through the most wondrous situation imaginable. Shortly thereafter, a second beautiful sight opened up before me and almost mirrored something I spied yesterday afternoon in reality. My head is now very damaged because the stronger my feelings, the more I must close myself off to everyone else. My thoughts are not to be shared, possibly ever. Seeing the au pair twice yesterday was quite enough, and she is not even the focus of my desire.

I already have part of my routine finished because I was driven this morning. For whatever reason, I became highly motivated, most likely due to my need to sit here at the computer for quite a while today. Let’s just call it compulsive exploration. My typical morning routine now includes carrying the whiskey into the office once the kitchen is finished for the purpose of either gathering or typing thoughts. And? Deanne Pontecorvo is gorgeous. There is a very down to earth look that she carries, but I can’t put a fine point on it. Maybe it’s just the homemaker aspect. I don’t want to attach clichés to her because I feel they are overused and irrelevant much of the time, plus people unnecessarily ‘lump’ others into categories for whatever reason. The character is lovely in a real-world sort of way. Interesting. There was another from the first season, a woman in the wedding party who was most likely uncredited. And one more from the fourth season. I can’t explain the feelings, though. There is an attraction I often feel for everyday people, along with their very traditional, old world values and beliefs. Anyway, what was I saying? Ah... Sitting here after my typical housework is finished can be very comfortable and sometimes helps me to consider where each day should go from this point in time. I also have trains on my mind right now. Trains... Again. The woman guiding me through these worlds is not presently helping, however. I need her, but at the same time I want her to go away.

Also? I love her. Deeply. Maybe a caboose (not HER caboose, heh) will appear prior to me reaching the structure. The last caboose experience was many things, most importantly a respite from hell and some much-needed comfort. Julia knows me because she was created from the inside of my head. No one has ever known me better. I fucking love her. I really do.

A swing to the rear shows me that there is nothing in my wake. Nothing. The trains came and went – the first carrying a very painful reminder; the second appearing for the likely reason of showing me that I am not in control here – and I am hoping if another comes along, I will have the opportunity to operate the locomotive and flip the fuck out for a little while before Julia shuts everything down. She is the one with the power. I switched from video media to music, much like yesterday. Anyway, I see nothing ahead save for the building which is growing ever larger, yet sans any appreciable detail. I’d like to know what it is, so much so that the anticipation of another leg of this adventure is beginning to build inside me, just as before. The desert was not fun. Well, around me appears to be desert, yet there is sand instead of dirt. I am all alone out here. All I can do is continue to walk toward whatever awaits my vision. And there was just a sound... A ‘crackling’ of sorts, much like what emanates from rails mere seconds prior to a passing train. I learned decades ago that certain aspects of the rail line can be ascertained by reading electrical signals between the two rails, be it voltage, current or resistance. I know not which is true, but the sound cannot be avoided, especially as the train approaches within the space of less than a single block. Not a city block, a block of the line which is signaled and controlled through components attached to the inner workings of the entire railroad operating system. I hear it... For the second time in a day. Another look back tells me that my ears are deceiving me... Nothing. I see nothing ahead, either. Something is very off here. A train seems to be nearby and there are no rails or any other attachment. Snap! Rack! My feet have been immobilized by a switch. Yes, a railroad switch has been thrown as my feet stepped into the gap. I am fucking stuck here. There is no pain, but I can’t move. And now I see the rails. Three sets. Two in; one out. Possibly the other way around. What the hell is Julia doing to me?



09

The crackle is becoming deafening. Something approaches and I still can’t see it. Am I going to die stuck in the switch? That’s not her style. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Julia will kill me as she sees fit. Up to this point in time, though, nothing like this has taken place. I’ve been shot, burned, thrown myself off rooftops, etc., but never hit by a train.

‘Listen to me, dearest. Hear my words and shelve your anger.’
‘What are you doing to me?’
‘Be ashamed. See the rails as the fruit of your shame.’

A locomotive just appeared to the north; my right. It’s a fucking Caltrain for the second time, only now I am a little bit closer than I’d prefer. The last one rushed by, serving as a reminder of the horrible results of my unfeeling, desperate behavior eight years ago. I really don’t need to be reminded of that fucking day, either. Julia sees it differently, I believe, and there is nothing I can do about it. The train is running at ‘scheduled’ speed, something only seen while at a pretty decent distance between stops, perhaps fifty miles per hour. Closer. I am beginning to believe Julia wishes to either make an example of me or intends to pull the plug on this deathly hallow a split-second prior to me becoming part of the snowplow. Fuck. This is not good. Have I done something wrong? Uh-oh...

Smack! Jesus, I’d swear that the train’s velocity increased exponentially as I gathered those last few thoughts. Well, I’m fucking dead again. How many times has this happened? Never at Julia’s hands. I am dead. Now what happens? My brain is still processing information, and that means she has a lesson. Fuck, did that impact ever come quickly. For a picosecond, the pain was all-encompassing and worse than anything I’ve ever felt before. Now I seem to be fine aside from floating in null space. That woman had better explain, and I swear to everything holy, if her intention was to punish be for becoming angry, the fact that I was just hit by a fucking train is not going to help. Bitch.

‘Feel ashamed. Feel it. Or remain here for all time.’
‘Fuck you.’
‘Your decision has been made.’

Splendid.

Saturday morning. I suppose yesterday rolled by just fine. As for today, I have a much longer morning and less responsibilities, meaning more time will be available to analyze this shit. I guess I am going to remain in this netherworld until that woman decides that I’ve had enough. I suppose speaking to her the way I did was not a good idea. Julia has all the power. Damn, that train was rolling at a pretty decent clip. Unbelievable. I wish Jamie could hold me right now. Dead or not, I need her. No one is going to hold me, I fear, because I have been less than pleasant. Julia is likely trying to force my hand, and eventually she will succeed. I am not in control here.

‘Let me know when you can be civil.’

Yeah. That’s it. Oh god, Jamie is so fucking stunningly unique that sometimes I look at her and lose my mind for a few minutes. Where was I? Ah... I think I am going to remain still in this place and think about the possible reasons why I had to choose a door; the meaning of each will hopefully not be veiled as much as in the past. I don’t want to see all sorts of euphemisms and other puzzles. I’d rather face the problems straight away. I am here for a reason, and what little energy I have left needs to be reserved for learning. I need to know what Julia has in mind this time.

She is upset with me about something. Not only that, but I obviously need to look at myself and try to find whatever reason is key to Julia taking issue with me again. The past is always an easy target, so I will begin there. I have made a shit ton of decisions that negatively affected other people — mostly those closest to me – and as the last few years have passed, I am realizing those bad parts of time appear worse now than they did long ago. The first had to be just prior to when I left the Midwest and drove across the country. The second was nearly eight years later to the fucking month. Another bad situation that I created out of a desperate need to find the comfort I craved above all other aspects of life. The past kicked me in the brain and I ran away. Problems ensued and then eventually faded. Some years later, the entire shitaree was repeated, except on that occasion I did not head out of state until the following year. I realize all that crap was hurtful to others, but haven’t I already gone over most of it? There have been multiple mentions throughout the last five-plus years right here on the site, not to mention fiction related to the underlying causes. If this paragraph is not the catalyst for being tested like this, the reason may be whatever came along and changed me last year. Maybe? Or the damaging dreams? I can’t even get fucking started with that crap right now. You don’t want to know, but Julia knows everything, and every now and again she will take issue with me for the purpose of forcing me to try to understand myself. When she does, I have to follow along like a puppy. The truth right now is that I don’t know the reason, although I can think of a few items inside my head and a bit of behavior for which I should actually feel ashamed. I know how she thinks. At some point, Julia will state that there is nothing wrong with me other than what I’ve done to myself. Unfortunately, that is complete bullshit because I’ve been chronically damaged because of two key situations from the past and not even that beauty can change my mind. Let her be upset. I’ll probably be hit by more trains, but hey... Sometimes standing my ground and being killed because I believe in myself is more important than being alive in an alternate universe. Flash!

There is sand under my feet again, this time without rails. I did something, I guess. Or at least I may have begun to head in the right direction. That didn’t take long at all. I still see the structure off in the distance, but still can’t make out what type of building it could be. Rather flat-ish, with a peak in the center. It doesn’t look anything like a resort hotel in Vegas, damn it. I was hoping to find a nice room to clean up like that other place. Maybe a cozy lounge, too. That would be so nice right now. I’ve proven over and over for many years that I have a penchant for finding the most comfortable spots to relax, drink and often watch people. I could sure use such an atmosphere at this very moment. Damn. I still don’t know what that building could be, but whatever it is, I am slowly getting closer. My head is instinctively turning side to side and then to the rear quite often because I am worried there will be more rails. At least I am walking again and not floating.

I don’t know what I’m going to do around the house today. Yesterday I was able to attach a few more parts to the motorcycle, meaning it is ever closer to heading back out the door for electrical work. My workbench is nearly clear. I suppose I can work on doing some organization instead. Maybe I can toss shit in the trash, too. That’s always enjoyable. I am in the middle of the coffee at the present moment, but when it is gone I will probably move into my daily routine. The day is wide-open and subject to my whims. Very good.

All this walking is boring but allows me time to think. I have not heard Julia’s voice for quite some time now, and to be honest, I don’t miss it, either. I’d rather be all cozy with her in some random caboose like last time. Julia is very beautiful and understands me better than anyone in existence, so whenever I feel a certain way, she already knows what I require. Everything. She rode the rails with me for miles and miles, too. We were content in that cab and rode along as if the world was our oyster. The last train I just boarded did not move for whatever reason – probably some kind of lesson in ‘control’ – and I have doubts that she will allow me to be in any position to cruise the rails again. Walking may be slow and pedantic, but at least there is nothing harming me right now. And that building is beginning to take more shape than mere moments ago. Either it houses an enormous carousel, like those at carnivals and such, or it is a massive roundhouse. Oh, boy. Does that mean choices? Lots of locomotives? This had better not turn into a game. I am really not in the mood for games. Oh, Jamie. Hold me please. Or Julia. Or fucking someone, for Christ’s sake. Keep walking.

Wait a minute... What the hell just appeared to the south? Is that the other doorway from the beach? Ah, shit. Here we go with puzzles and decisions. Damn. Okay, one of two possibilities here... First, if I walk through that one, I may end up back where this began. Conversely, it could land me somewhere even more odd than where I’ve been wandering all this time. I have no idea where that door may lead, so I’m going to avoid it entirely and focus upon the roundhouse. I see windows now. The entire building is enclosed, meaning it is different from a typical roundhouse which is built around an exposed turntable. The locomotives are ‘filed’ and stored for repair, whereas the turntable is outside. Imagine a half-circle (or more) with a hollow center where the turntable resides. Ahead of me appears to be a larger roundhouse within which the turntable is included. Interesting. I still have no idea of why, but I’m going to head inside upon reaching the area. I don’t see a lot of choices, anyway. Oh, and the single door which appeared off to my left is now gone. Whatever. Focus. Try. Wait... The roundhouse seems to have a pedestrian door, and it is opening from the inside. Hmm.

0816. I don’t know whether or not I want that last cup of coffee. Sometimes it just doesn’t sound good. Hey... There is Father ‘sleepover’. Heh. Maybe I’ll open the garage and consider what can be done out there today. I’ve been at the keyboard nearly two hours and in need of a break.

Damn.

‘Do you know what you have to do?’

Ah... Shit. Here we go again. There is a good reason for her question, so I have to learn what it is, likely before something bad happens to me. The last thing I want right now is that fucking ‘reset’ button slash situation which sends me back in time to do something all over again after failing. Julia has proven very efficient with such behavior. I know she’s trying to help, but geez... Maybe at times I simply need more clues. Admitting certain truths to oneself is never easy. Do I know what I have to do? Nah. Not yet, anyway. I need information, and this time I believe the only path is to follow the crumbs. I will enter and see what’s next. The door just appeared again to the south of the roundhouse. Is that an exit from this crap? Does it mean I can either choose to face something difficult or use the doorway as a cop-out? I have to ignore it and continue straight for the entrance to the roundhouse. Part of me is dying to see what’s inside, the other part is frightened. There are no rails out here. How could locomotives have traveled to the turntable? Oh, boy.

Wow. The inside looks more like a posh museum rather than a working railroad installation. Everything is clean and shiny, the walls appear like they’ve been wrapped in lush fabrics just like the sound-deadening curtains in a theatre, and the locomotives – one on each of the six parking spurs – look like they just rolled off the assembly line. Holy crap. There are two Caltrain machines, one Amtrak, and three older UP and SP engines, all of which stand like beautiful examples of different facets of the industry. Geez Louise, I’ve never seen such clean railroad hardware. The interior of the roundhouse is not being lit by windows despite the brightness outside, instead glowing via chandeliers dangling from the ceiling in a circular pattern. This is very strange, yet wonderful to see. I love the appearance of the entire space. Off to the south seems to be a shop with double doors, the right side displaying a huge lounge a few steps up from the floor and jutting out near one of the SP locomotives. A lounge? Does that mean I can go get a drink? Heh. The entire floor is carpeted and flanked by a high step that is glowing from subdued lighting just under the edge. Gorgeous. Huge wood columns reminiscent of those I’ve seen within mansions in the City are holding up the roof, which is also decorated with very ornate woodwork. Is this a museum? No one is rebuilding anything in this massive room. That much is certain. Since I have no clue as to what I am supposed to do here, waiting in the lounge might be my only option. Well, I could check out the shop on the opposite side. I do love tools and machinery. Nope. After all that walking, I need rest. I’ll hit the bar and take a seat. There is a neon clock above the bar, too. The passage of time may no longer be a mystery.

Three hours; half drunk. Nothing has changed, not even the light outside. What is this place? Am I supposed to visit the shop? Board one of the locomotives? The lounge is pretty fucking comfortable and I don’t understand what I am supposed to do here. Ah, fuck... One of the engines just fired. At least something has changed. I’ll head over there on my goofy, half-tipsy legs and see what’s what. I’m taking my fucking scotch with me, too.

The idling engine is one of the big, six-thousand horse UP beauties. The sound is resonating off the large walls and roof, forcing me to cringe a bit due to it being inside the roundhouse. God damn, that machine is noisy yet smooth. I love the sound, just not quite so much of it. As I approach the running monster, I notice there are no ladders leading to the ground from the catwalk which encircles the locomotive. I can’t get up there without climbing. The fuck? Whatever. Maybe I should ignore it and head over to the shop I noticed upon first entering this mystery. I have little to lose. Rather than reversing my path to see the shop, I’ve decided to stroll around behind the row of engines for a change of scenery. Everything is so beautiful that I still can’t believe I am here. Of all the sights Julia has shown me over the years, this one takes the cake. Well, I guess to be honest, it is second to the appearance of Jaime and her color-changing eyes. I could use that most gorgeous of machines right now in favor of locomotives. Nope. I am still alone. The carved double doors await.

Strange. The shop is very strange. I am seeing a combination of the old RF and DC lab that my parents owned during that wondrous and very special period just after I returned from the Midwest, but there is more. A machine shop laid out like the one at the AVGR where I worked for eleven years and built much of my truck. Everything is shiny and new as if it’s never been operated. The mill, lathe, tool cabinets... All of it appears as if someone placed it here straight out of a catalog. The hoist overhead is also new. Holy shit, I know from where this scene was taken. A few years ago I designed a house which had a large garage that connected via double doors to two other rooms, one being the RF lab and the other the machine shop. It was my dream home. Nothing extravagant at all, honestly, but more like an expanded version of a simple three bedroom, two bath home. Rather the same layout of my house in the valley, but each room being larger and more spacious. I may know why I am seeing all this right now and the reason makes me very sad. Aside from some crazy windfall or lottery jackpot, I will never be able to build my dream. All I have are drawings and wishes. Marvelous. The big question is... Why did Julia fashion this amazing sight? Was it to make me regret all those paths I avoided due to fear? I could wring her pretty neck right now. Shit. I am going back to the fucking bar. Still no word from her in hours. Thanks, doll. I really didn’t need that kind of thing in my head. I’ve already got plenty with which to contend.

1127 is displayed on the three little clocks (one on each display). My daily routine is finished other than dishes being allowed to drip-dry for a little while. While taking breaks in the garage, I’ve been reconfiguring some containers that hold electronic connectors and such, the end result being more space. There are small parts in those boxes that have followed me from the valley to the coast, a period of time exceeding fifteen years. If I haven’t used some of that stuff yet, I really don’t see the need to keep it all. Little storage improvements lead to larger gains, so I’ll continue in such a vein until everything is in better order. Tomorrow is garbage day, too. Whatever can go out the door between today and tomorrow can be considered gone. This is very good and brings me a measure of peace inside. I have media running on the right-hand display and the trailing end of a nice, big glass of whiskey to my left. I have to think about the roundhouse situation because the number of facets related to my past is increasing as I sit here and breathe. Yep, I am sitting here but also inside that building with my head part way up my ass. Maybe if Julia appears I should jump her shit right quick. Heh. Eh... Not funny. I can’t have the mass of desire inside me merging with the situation inside the beautiful roundhouse. Ah, shit. There is Jamie again in one of the most stirring scenes of the entire series. Her smile and big, bright eyes make me want to get up and dive into the fucking display. I need her, now more than ever. Anyway, the rest of the day will probably not amount to much aside from the organizational efforts. I just don’t care that much anymore. Besides, I am most often finding the best comfort right here in this chair. Too bad I am also in the midst of a mystery. I hope things don’t go sideways.



10

The lounge is warm and welcoming, much like that place inside the Monte Carlo where Jasmine and I sat for a few drinks. That was more than twenty years ago and I still remember the artwork of a server, as well as the gorgeous woodwork and dark coloration of the entire lounge area. Wow. Wait a minute... Didn’t I revisit such a place somewhere in the fiction I wrote years ago? I think so. The point is, this is the type of warmth and comfort for which I sought throughout my entire adult life no matter the locale. I am going to fucking sit here and get swacked. Um, I’d say that no one controls me when feeling so fucked up in the head, but in this world I am most decidedly living sans any control whatsoever. At least I know it. The idling engine just ceased motion. A sound to my right...

‘Hello my love.’

Holy fucking shit in a cocktail dress, there she is. It is Julia herself, and looking even more striking than I have ever seen. Good God in heaven, what a sight. I immediately want to slap or embrace that woman. And two questions just popped into my tired mind... Do I slam her by asking the purpose of all this shit? Or do I run to that beautiful creature and hug her like the planet is going to explode? I don’t fucking know. Oy, here she comes, all lanky and stunning. Wow. Hmm... Maybe this is a good thing.

As I stand to greet her and sense if she is in a hugging mood, the woman approaches with a hint of a smile. Yay! I’m hoping she is happy to see me first, and ready to educate me with harsh, difficult lessons second. I really need a big, fat hug right now. And? Does she remember all that we shared on the trains? Does she really know everything? Julia causes me all sorts of anger and distress, but the bottom line is there is no one I’d rather see at this very moment. Even if she sends me into hell, I already know her intention is to help. I just have to visit one before realizing the other. Oh boy, we are toe to toe. Damn, Julia is tall and intimidating.

And there it was... The embrace I’ve needed above all other concerns in life. She speaks...

‘I love you my dear.’

That was an EXACT repeat of the Raven’s last words to me nearly eight fucking years ago. Shit.

‘I love you too, sweetness. Why am I here?’
‘You already know.’
‘Okay, then why are you here?’
‘Because you are already displaying that nonconformist behavior just like in the past, and I can’t have that right now.’
‘Ah... Fuck.’
‘You know what you are doing and what must be done. You also know that I’ve taken issue with you after all these years because I am trying to save your life.’
‘Ugh. I figured as much, but why all this showmanship?’
‘You live within fantasy; metaphor; analogy. I simply fashioned a world you would understand in the hope that you can find the strength to look deep into yourself in these latest of days. You are at risk.’
‘You killed me, loveliness.’
‘And I will do it again, if necessary. Just think... Please. Think about where you are as opposed to where you have been. Create a summation of everything, from that first train ride to this very moment. Try. I have faith in you.’
‘I need you.’ Tears are beginning to flow.
‘I know.’

Flash! Gone. More tears, and I have no tissue.

There is now a face visible in each locomotive’s cab. I need a fucking break from this shit. Immediately, that is. The faces are frightening and conjure difficult memories. I am out of here for a while.

1435. I booted the laptop for a change. I haven’t sat in the living room with this machine since building the desktop system in my office. The biggest difference I see right now is having my home theatre system in front of me while typing. This is rather comfortable. A little while ago I finished off the kitchen and ventured to the garage for a bit of organization. For the first time since the motorcycle arrived, my workbench is completely cleared off and clean. Wow. I organized all of the parts that are not returning to the bike and did a general straightening of the area. Now I need to be off my feet for a while. The first show is keeping me company right now. The rotation is as follows: Three, four, two, five and then one. Yep, I am almost completely out of order with this shit because I’m nuts. The specific episode right now is ‘Errand of Mercy’ and it is fucking brilliant. Just saying. For the remainder of the afternoon, I may stay out of the garage in favor of sitting either here in the living room or in my office. Tomorrow will be the big organizational day thanks to the garbage business, and I fully intend to pick up where I left off earlier. Sunday has become my favorite day of the week, followed closely by Monday.

The dialog between Colicos and Shatner in this episode is amazing and stirring. ‘Well... Have we a ram among the sheep?’ Fucking awesome. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Colicos reprised this exact role nearly thirty years later during the third show. Awesome? You fucking know it.

I just made a command decision to avoid saying or doing anything until I can have a conversation with Julia herself. The faces are scaring me, as are the past references attached to each of them. I simply must know what is going on with this diorama before attempting to formulate a plan, or at least react to what I am seeing. This is just too damned difficult. Wait a second... This is definitely a roundhouse, but I just noticed that the turntable, the main mechanism which allows for filing of locomotives for maintenance, is absent. No turntable. So, what does that mean? Did they all come in from the back of the building? In reality, this would make zero sense, but in the past I have learned to put reality aside in favor of embracing what lies before my very eyes. I guess I have to do the same right now.

Sunday morning. Sunshine. Coffee. Breasts in my brain. I can’t stop repeating the sight of her not far away from last week. I was pretty sure of what had been going on inside her clothing prior to that incident, but after? I know too much. Maybe something will remove my vision and leave me sans abilities. I don’t know. Or perhaps 0639 is too early for me to think clearly enough for being productive. Not a morning passes that I don’t recall that fateful day and the dreamy movements that I cannot adequately describe. And I believe part of this is Julia’s fucking point. I daydream all the time and none of it is good, although I will say that the ideas which permeated my consciousness some years ago – right around the time when I met Maggie – were far more damaging and even less available for discussion. I broached the ideas some time ago when I felt the atmosphere would tolerate and subsequently ‘release’ my fantasies of certain situations. Not long after, everything was forgotten and I ceased any further conversations out of fear. The current situation inside my head is most likely the reason Julia has taken issue with me... Again. I dream about her every single fucking day no matter what else might be transpiring. My thoughts are carnal in nature and I already know Julia is not happy about this. Remember from where that beautiful woman was created. The newest world she provided for my benefit is going to be tough to navigate. I’ve already been reminded of two individuals related to very bad parts of my life, plus an additional person who will be extremely difficult to avoid.

Garbage business today. Maybe a little more organization, too.

I never made it back to the bar. I was derailed (heh) by the appearance of that woman and caught off-guard by the faces. Once I realized there is no turntable, the ideas in my brain began to do flip-flops rather than remaining organized. Well, my first idea after the shop was to return to the lovely bar and try to think. Now I need it more than ever. Those six faces are inside locomotives, and if I am not a complete fucking idiot, the scene likely represents the six different journeys in life with each of those women. Maybe I don’t really need much help here. I can work this out. Cristin Milioti has big, beautiful eyes. I am talking... Huge. Yes, during the early aughts, she was VERY thin, meaning those facial features were subsequently exaggerated. But still, big eyes any way you slice it. I may have loved that woman for a little while. She reminds me of Jamie sometimes.

Those faces may not really be there. I mean, they appear to be still photographs propped up behind each windshield. Huh? To the fucking bar, please. I need comfort.

Why would she place those identities in the various trains? I see the Raven’s image inside the Caltrain cab and Julie’s face in one of the UP monsters. Who is that way off to the left? Is that Maggie? Jesus, I haven’t seen her in many years. I can’t immediately relate the other three faces to any specific situations or time periods, though. And why Maggie? She was never related to a real train during the time when we knew each other. I will say one thing, however, and that is the sheer level of... Ah, shit. That’s the reason. Not only did I figure it out, but face number five is someone I do not know, yet have seen plenty. This is not good. The locomotives have something to do with either unrequited desire or some other factor attached to the same. Physical desire, most likely. Fuck. At least I have a nice bar and something to offset the pain of this netherworld. I don’t need to be reminded of how vastly different my thinking is now as opposed to years ago. I think aside from Laura, during the years between my previous two places of residence, Maggie was the strongest pull I had felt up to that point in life. I sometimes recall her curled up in one of my recliners during an evening at home when we talked. Jesus. I never said a word and am still fucking proud of such a fact. The same with the other one, Laura. Not a Goddamned word. There is a huge lesson here and my past with those two may have something to do with it. I can’t really say whether or not my desire for Julie is anywhere near the same as the other two. She was (is) not real. That tells me that she must represent something else, possibly a different person. The list of those for whom I have felt the most powerful desire is longer than my arm. Four, right there. That’s four, two with whom I had been fairly close. Of those, I believe you already know how badly I wanted the lovely Laura. The Raven’s presence in this mysterious roundhouse is obvious. I need another drink. This diorama is going to make me dizzy.

Four. Maybe I understand those four. The possibility that Julia brought me here due to the overwhelming and unrequited desire I feel every fucking day exists, yet it is ludicrous. I still can’t accept such a thing, but at the same time I suppose something had to give considering my desperation lately. Julia will not go easy on me, either.

‘Do you know what you have to do?’

Shut up. I don’t need that right now. My head is already filled to capacity with imagery and difficulties the likes of which I can barely describe at this point. Julia is going to add to the pile to break me. I already know as much. She’s done it in the past. Wait... Where did she go? Now I get nothing but the voice. Splendid. Well, there does not seem to be a pressing time in this roundhouse, so perhaps I can relax here a while longer and piece together the other two faces, one being a person I can barely glean. For reasons of good form, I am going to refer to that girl as ‘that girl’. Heh. There it is. I will say without hesitation that there have been few in my life that caused more desire than the first three faces in those locomotives... The Raven, Maggie and Laura. Don’t even get me started on Maggie during the valley period. Jesus fucking hell in a pair of shorts, that girl was so amazing that words fail. And I believe on the heels of realizing that I had to keep my distance from Laura in order to avoid certain disaster, Maggie came along and slammed all that desperation right back into me at high speed. Holy God did I ever want her. Laura? The same. She knew about my obsession and the fact that she fit the fucking thing and was ideally suited to my mind. She knew all that because I confided in her. And then when she listened? Those huge eyes became even bigger and focused completely upon whatever I was trying to convey. I swear to Christ and everything holy, I very nearly destroyed four lives for the minuscule chance that I could end up with my lips pressed to her most delicate parts, if even for a moment. Honestly, she rivaled Maggie before the fact and due to the same reason. As for the other one, well... I am not going to describe my feelings here, nor will I discuss the Raven with Julia. She can kill me all she wants. Four of six. Number five is Julie herself, and she is not real. Maybe all of those faces are merely on paper to illustrate the unreal nature of my feelings. That is to say I have been grossly out of balance with respect to physical desire for so long that I probably don’t even see it. A facial expression; my eyes darting and then falling off the edge of the world with disappointment; more. I may not realize how I appear to other people and the truth may be that Julia showed up directly from my brain in order to force my hand. I don’t believe feeling so much desire and then lashing out at the world when nothing comes of it is the least healthy aspect of me as a person. How the fuck am I supposed to turn it off? And why is she still going on about something I have to do? What is it? The locomotives are not going anywhere, and my sorry ass is staying in this fucking bar for as long as it takes to learn more. I know my feelings are suspect. I already know, and I don’t need someone else throwing such facts back in my direction as if I’ve broken the fucking law. Shut up.

Even when the little Julie was lying on the floor of my hotel bathroom covered in blood, I still wanted her. Yep. Naked was key, forget the blood. Julia will run with that shit.

There may be nothing I can do here. I’m not in control of anything, really. Oh, I can get all pissed off and storm over to the bar, but the power of this diorama and what takes place in this world are both subject to Julia’s whims and completely out of my hands. All I can do is speak to her and try to understand the reasoning behind the faces and engines. And speaking of speaking...

‘Where are you? I need you here, now.’

Nothing. Wonderful. What the fuck am I supposed to do? Continue my analysis? If the way I feel is considered ‘wrong’, who can take issue with the idea besides myself? Am I supposed to sit here – half in the fucking bag, by the way – and run through my entire adult life to learn of why these feelings are so fucking strong? No answers. Julia left me. Holy fuck... The faces are gone.

The lights just went out. I feel a breeze. The light in the windows has expanded. The roundhouse is gone, and I am alone on the sand once again. The sky is dimmer. Maybe I pissed her off enough to remove any possible lessons from growing out of that scene.

Now what the fuck do I do? I can stand here and admit that my desire has spiraled out of control and been very disrespectful at times, but am I to suffer for it? I can’t help how I feel. Moreover, I’ve been told by some very emotionally intelligent individuals that feelings are never right or wrong, they simply ‘are’. They exist, and often people do not know why. Well, I know several reasons for having become so weak and desperate, but the problem is I can’t state them as if the knowledge is commonplace and acceptable. I have resisted societal norms for a very long time and even went so far as to embrace some very unorthodox beliefs as a result. Laura was the first example, Maggie the second. I nearly lost my mind for two hours doing nothing more than carrying on a conversation. All of the words were ethereal and I barely paid attention. Inside was a cyclone of need and imagery. I can’t even begin to describe the sheer amount of restraint I demonstrated that evening. I may have wanted to swallow Maggie even more than Laura, the latter being so kind and understanding that I felt about as bad as possible in the knowledge. The former was an object; a plaything of sorts. The subject of my strongest physical desire. To this day I feel anger toward myself for gazing at beauty and not seeing a person. Ah, shit... Now I may be getting somewhere.

‘Very good, my love. That is a step.’
‘Really?’

Flash!

Sand, sea, and two doorways. Alone again."



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