June 28th, 2023 9:18am pdt

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

Door Two

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"This is no way to live. And that last word is one letter away from ‘love’. Splendid. As of this morning, the little enjoyments are holding fast to my reasoning behind still drawing breath. I will say that the chances of finding what I need are so fucking slim at this point that not an hour passes without my mind applying a solution for consideration. I did not ask for this.

1022. I finished my daily routine and poured a drink. There is more to do, but for the time being I really need to sit here and think. Door number two is behind us. Christ knows what we are in for this time. After exploring the way I think, I am scared to death of the possibilities. I know Julia is aware of the restrictive nature of what I reveal here, too. Those processes must remain under wraps or this entire house of cards will tumble and burn. Thank God the booze is beginning to suppress my desire again. I need it. I really do. I am going to nickel and dime the rest of my housework for the next few hours. The notion of my free time coming in one large chunk is pretty scary. That’s when bad things happen. I also have to be careful with this cocktail. Drinking too fast will cause more problems and too much negativity.

I am so fucked up right now. And?

‘You are fighting with yourself.’
‘I don’t need reminders.’
‘Do you know what you have to do?’
‘Shut up.’

Julia is not going to let up, ever. That same fucking question, over and over, has plagued me for years. At first, I believed the point was to face the past and destroy it, effectively causing me to deal with what happened and try to let it go so I could find peace. Well, that didn’t fucking work, did it? Nope.

‘Can you leave me the hell alone for a while, please?’
‘Yes, my love. Take some time.’

Thank the fucking maker. I have to think about everything that has transpired recently because no matter what she is trying to teach me, the underlying desire still burns. As an example, the au pair walked by a little while ago and caused me (caused?) to imagine how she might appear on all fours. I have a decent idea of what is going on inside her baggy, torn jeans because I glimpsed a bit of her left thigh and began to picture the rest. All of the routing and squishing has left me so desperate that I can’t watch her walk by without dreaming. While in the garage (the entire neighborhood is aware of the fact that my door is open all day long, every day), she often looks toward me, smiles and waves. I return the gesture because I am a nice person. Today, for whatever reason, my mind conjured the idea that she may feel apprehension or fear while waving. I’m sure she’s very nice, too, but she doesn't know me. I can’t blame her for experiencing fear due to the way my garage looks, either. All those Satanic symbols are readily visible from the sidewalk even with the motorcycle partially blocking a person’s view. I would rather she wasn’t fearful, but I understand that society dictates otherwise. Yes, I’d like to pull off her pants and see everything in excruciating detail, but such lines of thinking will never see the light of day outside this fucking content. If I were to speak with that girl, nothing of my true feelings would ever be said. Nothing. She is a person, and the reasons supporting my weakness and desperation have nothing to do with her. Considering all of this, should I feel bad? No answers. At least I can take comfort in the fact that I can admit I want her without any of my desire coming to fruition, whereas I’ve seen others making their desire apparent, thus forcing someone to become very uncomfortable. I cannot make another person uncomfortable. That is unacceptable. They are not responsible for my current condition. I just switched from video media to the music of life. I need it right now. I need the music even more than I need to see inside the au pair’s pants. My strongest wish with regard to that adorable girl is that she be happy and find satisfaction in life. None of that has anything to do with me, so when I see her, one thought will outweigh the other, and for very good reason. I can accept responsibility for quite a bit, and often that means giving other people the benefit of the doubt and letting them off the hook. I know what I am.


She is over there. Not far... Just over there. I’ve seen her on many occasions, some more difficult than others. For reasons of good form, and due to the dire nature of my thinking after all these years, I have to say that I FUCKING HOPE I NEVER SEE HER AGAIN. I really don’t need any more of this shit, nor do I need to see her chest bouncing along as if to taunt me into suicide. There you go. Call someone who cares. Or, more pointedly, try to call someone who actually understands. Go for it. And remember the fucking caverns. Did you understand the caverns, wind and the dress? I didn’t think so. Try again. She is right over there and I need to see everything. Julia will kill me for this.

Thursday, 0702. I need some comfort. I have coffee. It will have to do for the time being.

I was right. The feeling is inside as if Julia has already chided me for going on about that girl again. Ouch. I’ll have to leave those visions out of this, I guess, or suffer the consequences. I know without any outside help that sitting here lusting over those two is not good (on some levels it is wrong, although nothing ever comes of my feelings), so if I can keep my trap shut and avoid more pain, Julie and I can work on whatever comes next. The dim nature of this passageway fills me with apprehension, meaning if I were alone right now I’d be pretty scared. The girl on my arm helps. Something will happen if we walk for a while. I know it. There will be a change. For the time being, I need to focus and keep myself in the fold of daily comfort at home. The alternative is looking more and more attractive these days because there are topics constantly plaguing me and I don’t see another way of quieting my head. I can’t do anything about anything. What does that mean? There is only one way of ceasing the issues. That is the reason comfort is so dire at the present. No, not that comfort. The real need is impossible. I’m talking about the little things. I hope we exit this tunnel soon.

I honestly believe that if I do no harm in reality, the only person who suffers is me. There is nothing wrong with such a stance, either. Shut up. On the surface, a person can behave as expected, while inside they may feel the opposite. Get it? I don’t care. There will always be thoughts and dreams that can’t be shared. Whatever.

There is a light up ahead. A pinpoint. And the temperature seems to be dropping as we move along. Julie is still wrapped around my arm and I fucking love it. I remember walking from Caesar’s (all the way from the lobby through the casino and then the mall) to the Venetian to have dinner, and the entire way found me in the exact same condition as right now in this passageway... She was wrapped around my left arm. Well, sometimes she ended up on the right arm, but the point is the contact. Julie is right up against me and she feels wonderful. The light is growing brighter as the mercury slowly falls. If the scene ahead is what I am recalling, there is trouble waiting for us. Damn. Maybe it’s just a coincidence? Julia doesn’t work that way. No coincidences whatsoever. Everything is for a reason. We will know soon enough.

Brighter; colder. I am concerned that we are going to end up on another train bound for nowhere; a straight line into some disjointed image of the past, and something I’d rather not face again. Uh oh... I see it. Julie clamps tightly to my arm as we realize I was right on the money. We pause for a moment and discuss the possibility of rolling through the same type of situation as years ago, even prior to us meeting in the hotel. There is a caboose directly ahead, complete with a flashing end-of-train device hanging from the rear coupling. Shit. We are looking straight-on from the back and I can’t see if other cars are attached. Maybe we should board the caboose and see if there is heat because the temperature continues to drop and we are not dressed for this shit. I’ll have to see how Julie feels.

Yep, we need heat. There is no getting around it. Out of the tunnel and into another wasteland we go. God damn is the weather ever cold. This reminds me of the first ever train ride through a different world in which I had to utilize the cab heat almost constantly. The only warmth was the caboose. I genuinely hope the car before us is similar. Julie is so attached to me that she feels like an appendage. I love it, yet deep down I know we are in for something very difficult. Up the ladder and to the door, which is unlocked. The small window reveals light inside. There is another plus.

Holy crap... This is not the same caboose, yet the interior again defies the car’s outside dimensions. The interior appears to be a fourth. Again. Julie’s face is all smiles now. The caboose is warm and welcoming, fire burning in the stove, and lights aglow. I see a small kitchenette forward on the left, and a big closet opposite that area. There is a door centered, forward of the salon, as if we’ve entered a luxurious hotel room. This is exactly what we need. Warmth, comfort, and a place to sit and evaluate everything. I am reminded of my second trip to the goblet back in aught-three when I had the big spa room way up one side of the pyramid. The expensive comfort and rich food were very important in keeping me at peace as I evaluated two possible outcomes: One, remaining there until I died, and two, leaving at some point to reenter real life and try to carry on while lugging emotional baggage. The latter won the competition, too. Part of me feels that living on high toward the top of that pyramid may have been better served had I never left. One hell of a lot of shit could have been avoided, both for myself and others. I have no idea of what is on the horizon right now, but for the time being, at least Julie and I can clean up and sink into the comfortable living area. As I recall, there will be warm clothing here awaiting our needs. Very nice.

‘Yes, please. We can warm ourselves.’

Curious, my first reaction to Julie’s suggestion is not one born of physical desire, but the need to drown into the caboose’s lush living space to consider what is happening. I know at some point I’ll be hit in the face with more questions, so taking advantage of the car’s facilities feels like the best idea. Well, before everything either disappears or changes, that is. We need to consider the weather outside and the eventual, forcible situation that will place us outside this beautiful railroad car. Nothing in these netherworlds remains stable for very long. As we move forward toward the main suite, I notice a lovely half-bar off to the right just like the first caboose. Oh, believe me, I’ll be imbibing as soon as we are clean and warmed up. I could use a quart of scotch right about now. Heh. Julie agrees that we will have to pour some cheer after dressing.

Oh, God, was that shower rewarding. We took care of business without a word and found some ideally-sized outfits in the big closet (not surprising), meaning now is the time for a couple of drinks and some time on the sofa. By the way, the walls are mahogany – much like the office of some high-level attorney or banker in a mafia film – and the furniture feels like velvet, all dark red. There are three banker’s lamps, one behind the bar, one on the desk just in front of the kitchen, and another above the door to the suite. They all have green shades, effectively turning this beautiful space into something I would have designed into a house, such as an office. Drinks. Comfort. This is very nice, but will it last?

‘I know why we are here, but not what will happen.’
‘Well, I figured as much since neither of us is in charge of anything.’
‘And I love you.’

Aw, geez... Julie is going to turn me into a puddle of goo. I am so glad she is here right now. She’s right, too, because I know at some point I will be forced into dealing with something by the lovely Julia. I know it by rote because this has happened too many fucking times to believe there is anything else possible. Fuck it... For the time being, I am going to remain curled up with the little beauty next to me every second until routed into doing otherwise. I can’t imagine what Julia has in mind this time. Wait... The train is beginning to move. Oh, boy. Here we go. Eh... I’m not going to do anything different until that woman directs me to do so. The sofa and Julie’s warmth are paramount right now.

The caboose is swaying slowly and the motion reminds me of that first ‘switch’ in which I was ever involved (the only one, really). We were at the yard in Grand Blanc, Michigan when a call came in for some work. All four of us went to the locomotive and boarded the cab as my heart nearly exploded from excitement. We rolled the engine roughly a mile or so – in reverse – and I remember holding tightly to the grab rail the entire time. The engine was backed into a BOC doorway, coupled to three boxcars, and then powered its way forward to the mass of switches that were positioned roughly halfway between where it was parked and the massive auto plant. We then rolled in reverse down one of the spurs, decoupled the boxcars, and then moved to another spur to pick up empties. After dropping them inside the plant, the locomotive was directed back to the yard and the tiny office where our adventure began. The maneuver took place nearly thirty years ago and I still get goosebumps during a recollection. That was the first and last time I rode a freight locomotive in reality. I will never forget it. The motion of the caboose is going to bring tears to my eyes very soon if I can’t swing my attention away from the past. Back to the present. I don’t know why, but something inside me is keeping any sexual contact with Julie at bay. This is very unusual, as the last time we were together I couldn’t get her physical appearance to let up on my psyche. Maybe emotion is the reason. I really love her and need to be close, but the truth could be that companionship is the main concern right now. At least our situation seems to be stable, the motion of the train notwithstanding.

Sarah Shahi is in this episode looking like every fucking definition of ‘dark beauty’, but still can’t hold a candle to the woman pictured in this entry. There is no getting around it anymore... I am completely in love with Jamie and obsessed with staring at her huge eyes, none of which is anywhere near positive in my life. The more time that passes, the more love I feel for her. Shut up. I need what I need and no one has the power to change such a circumstance. Without my fantasy world and science fiction holding me up, I’d be dead in the backyard. There you go. And? Such a situation may be destined to come to pass. Again... Shut up. Leave me alone, please. Let me sit here day after miserable day and stare at her. And there is Cara again. If there existed bones inside the human tongue, I would be happy to break every fucking one of them while trying to shove mine as far inside her vagina as possible. Worship, plain and simple. And if my words are demeaning in any way, keep in mind that I do not see her as an object. She is a person above all things. I just happen to want to please her until I die. Shoot me. I don’t care anymore.

1126 is what I see on the little clocks. The rest of this day is whatever I wish to make of it. The laundry from yesterday is languishing in the dryer because I have yet to pay it any attention. I just don’t care. Those are my clothes, anyway, and they need not look their best because I never do anymore. And? My mind is preoccupied with traveling back and forth between reality and that other world which requires much thought. I guess I’ll get to folding the laundry soon enough.

Maybe not.

Saturday morning and all is not well. I keep recalling years ago when I had some drive and ambition, hopes and dreams. I am now relegated and resigned. This is it. Nothing is going to change, nor is anything going to happen. I have a nice, long morning today. Time and space to think, as well. Plenty. The train has been commanding my attention quite a bit since yesterday, plus on top of that I haven’t seen that girl for some days and I miss it. And yes, I realize the sound of stating that I miss someone I do not know. Leave it. I already know the way I live my life is quite the reverse of everything which has been recommended for the last forty-plus years. I know. Fantasy, illusion, fiction; all of them rule me because there is no satisfaction otherwise, only sadness. And I know in advance that the train is going to be dreamy for a while, and the two of us haven’t even connected physically. Such a circumstance may not come to pass at all, honestly. There is no reason right now. I love her, and not being alone is much more important. Other than sitting at this machine (or possibly the other one later) and doing my usual work around the house, I’ll probably head to the garage at some point and run the oil lines on the bike. There is not much left to do with that project, either. Soon it will be out the door and my space will return to its previous state. I never folded the laundry yesterday. Maybe later. 0743.

Again we are rolling at speed, just like the previous ride. The caboose is so comfortable that I’d prefer to avoid a locomotive cab altogether if possible. I know the weather out there is cold, hazy and fairly dim. Not a good combination. On the other hand, Julie’s presence is very warm. Something will eventually happen, but for the time being I am going to relax and enjoy being close to her again. I have to think about the Maggie and Laura business, meaning I can bounce my thoughts of the woman next to me and perhaps gain some insight or see from a different angle. Julia really slammed me with that shit and I’d like to know if she truly feels that I am unfair. As of yet, Julia has not touched upon the other girl very much, thankfully. That will be a tough one to explain and I am nowhere near ready for such an admission. The most likely outcome will be me throwing questions at her, a few of which she is really not going to want to answer. The chances are thinner than Jolene’s fucking thighs that I’ll get any information out of that woman, anyway.

Routed. Driven. Manipulated? Probably.

Julie is so cute halfway off the chaise and twirling her long hair. I have to say that if our speed remains constant and the swaying does not cease soon, we may sit here and doze the hell off. For the time being, one tap on her slender shoulder informs her that I need to hold on tight for a while because something will eventually drive us right the fuck out of this comfort. Being up against her is so nice right now. Wait a minute... The light level outside is increasing.

What am I seeing out there? And the train is slowing. Ah, shit. I believe this is going to be like the circle some years ago when I rolled past sets of dioramas. Fuck, I hope the roundhouse isn’t in our future. That crap was never explained to me. Something will appear, that’s for sure. Julia is not going to let up on the past with those two women. And now I see colors as we rise and move to the window, Julie’s arms again wrapped around my right. Big windows. Plenty of room. Here we go.

The restaurant. A bar table just off center from the square which makes up most of the lounge. I always loved that layout because a person could literally sit to face nearly any direction, or none at all. It was beautiful. Wow... There I am sitting across from Laura and her huge, emotional eyes. This must be roughly the middle of our conversation from that day. I don’t understand why I am seeing this again. I will say that the third-person objective view of our lunch date allows me to see how amazing Laura’s form was; tiny white shorts topping long legs and a smidgen of midriff showing thanks to her height. God damn did I ever want her all to myself. More than that, actually. I needed to turn Laura into a science experiment so I could measure and see everything. Believe me, she would have been the ideal example of what I so badly sought during that period. Her eyes probably would have been a problem, though. Feelings had already begun to develop inside me, and prolonged contact most likely would have been damaging. We each spoke of the difficulties in relationships and connecting more deeply was dangerously close. Thankfully, that was the one and only time we met for any reason. And now the voice.

‘Do you hear your own thoughts?’
‘What are you talking about?’

Ahh... Shit on it. I knew Julia was going to take issue with me admiring Laura’s beauty from a different perspective. I fucking knew it. Of course I wanted that woman all over me. Who wouldn’t? Is it wrong to think of a thing? I didn’t act on it. I didn’t even broach the topic. I will say that I wondered what Laura was thinking during that lunch date, too. Maybe she was simply looking for a pair of ears just as I’ve been for a while. I was looking for understanding and she was the beginning of it. The problem was that I already knew if we were close for an extended period of time I would have been tempted to go even further because she was so fucking beautiful and aligned with every Goddamned aspect to which I was attracted. I don’t believe I was wrong for daydreaming about being closer to Laura. I really don’t. I think such things are natural. Maybe I am wrong. Julie is quiet. She probably knows as much as the other one because of being created by the same. This is very strange. In the past, Julia only took issue with my behavior when I grated against her lessons. Now? She wants me to revisit a time when I was almost desperate enough to ask Laura for much more. I am not proud of the fact that part of me saw her as an object, but the bottom line and most important aspect of that fucking lunch has to be me shutting off my feelings and leaving everything as well as could be. I didn’t bring up my true desire to slather her body. She was intelligent and likely figured I wanted her, too. Maybe she respected me a bit more for sticking to the reason for our date and not going further at all. Fucking hell, what’s the problem here? The more I think about this, the better I actually feel about myself for not causing any damage. I’m sure Laura felt the same. And the lights are dimmed once again. The stage? Reset. What’s next? Maggie all curled up on my recliner as I dreamed of applying my mouth to her labia whilst simultaneously carrying on a ‘normal’ conversation? The exterior is back the way it was at the beginning; the locomotive ahead now pulling us with increasing speed.

I don’t understand why the whole Laura situation keeps coming up. I don’t think I did anything wrong.

‘That day altered your thinking for all time, my dear.’
‘In what way? Why her again?’
‘The beginning of fantasy over reality.’

Ho-ly shit. Now I understand. Not long after that lunch, we moved to the valley. By the time the dust of the actual move settled, I found myself longing for more of the same conversation, yet not necessarily with Laura. Someone else... Oh, boy... I remember the neighbor right next door. She was outside caring for... The lights are coming up again. Fuck. I think I know where Julia is leading this time. Shit.


Nalini was her lovely name, and no sooner did we introduce ourselves after moving into the new house, my head was all wrapped up (and tangled) in her little shorts and tank top. Long legs. Dark skin. I wanted to screw her brains out every fucking time I saw her. Damn it. THAT is something I don’t feel good about because I knew at the time (and still know for sure) that given the opportunity, I would have connected with her as often as possible until everything in both our worlds blew wide open and ended up completely destroyed. The lights can dim now. I don’t need any more reminders about being so lustful when it comes to that woman. I knew eventually something was going to happen because she was unhappy in her marriage and needed nothing more than a nudge. Yep, not proud. The only good to come from that shit is the fact that we never connected beyond a polite conversation in the front yard. Thank Christ. And? Thanks, Julia, for bringing that back to mind.

‘Move along.’
‘Fuck off.’
‘Yes, I know.’

Ugh. I didn’t need that shit. One up, one down. But... What about the adorable little Maggie and her yummy rear end? Will I not be chided for looking at her as if she was dessert? Whatever. Maybe I’ll be left alone for a while.

‘None of the three is important anymore. You know.’
‘Yes, I do.’ And here we go again...
‘Do you know what you have to do?’

That is the first time I’ve heard the question and felt an inkling that Julia may be referring to something harmful. It could be a test, but I am beginning to see something else... Either to be avoided or simply understood and remembered. I’ll have to revisit this later. I hope I’m wrong. Julie’s grip is about to cut off the supply of blood to my forearm. Wow. We could use some quiet comfort right about now. And? A fucking drink for crying out loud. I have not considered the situations with Laura and Maggie so much in fifteen-plus years as I have during this adventure. And I know what Julia was trying to pry out of me, too. I know. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I just realized a larger and likely much more important correlation. Wow.

‘There you go. Now take a rest.’

This is not good. Just when I was feeling proud of myself for treating all three of those beautiful women with respect and never pushing further, I am thrown a curveball from Satan himself. The realization is something that I can’t detail here, but just know that Julia once again hit me in the psyche with a different perspective, the reigning theme so far on this train ride. I saw Laura from a different perspective (otherwise impossible), and now the way I feel outside this world appears worse than I had felt just an hour ago. I can deal with it, though. I really can because like the other three situations, everything would be destroyed very quickly if I were to approach this current period any way other than how I have been for a year. That is the plain truth of the situation. Every fucking day... I want her more than I can believe, yet underneath I know it is impossible. The problem inherent in almost constantly dreaming and obsessing over her beauty is the idea that since everything remains in my head, eventually will come ideas on how to turn the impossible into the improbable, and then, in turn, to a possibility. Not good. I believe the bottom line here is that Julia succeeded in guiding me into and through a horrible thought process that I have not wanted to face. That woman just saved my life. Not an immediate cause, but the future is uncertain to the point of knowing that my way of thinking was not going to stop until something horrible took place. Now I can see it differently. She saved me. From Laura to Maggie and on to Nalini... All three connections shared a common theme, and that was my near-willingness to throw my entire life – as well as that of many others – into the trash to find what I needed. Wait a minute. Didn’t I do it anyway? What’s the fucking difference? I guess this train ride is not over yet. Back to the chaise with my little companion. I need to think about this shit some more.

Ok, so I get one part of Julia’s point. I really do. The rest escapes me right now, unfortunately. And for fuck’s sake... I’d love it if she could correlate a few other fucking things, such as the shit situations from the past. Can I be held responsible for EVERYTHING? I hope not, because feeling as if this condition is all my fault is not going to help me in any way. I’ll end up a miserable pile of anger that no one will wish to be near, ever.

‘Don’t be so shallow.’
‘Hey... Fuck you.’
‘You know better, my love.’
‘Yeah, maybe. Leave me the fuck alone for a while.’

Slumped. Julie is again wrapped around my right arm with one leg thrown across mine. We are fucking slouched and I feel like remaining here for a long time. Refills are in order. Still no desire for Julie whatsoever. I just need her nearby for moral support and maybe lots of hugs. Honestly, and though this caboose is akin to one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever visited, there is a part of me yearning to be in the locomotive so I can at least affect the ride. Julie heads to the bar, bless her alcoholic reasoning. We may as well grab a snootful. I’ve had my fill of being reminded of who I am.

1005. I am sick of sitting here this morning. Maybe I’ll get away from the keyboard and take care of some shit. My head is filled with all sorts of images thanks to that woman pushing me to recall three fucking names (mostly two, actually). I can’t stop seeing Laura’s big, emotional eyes and Maggie’s little rear end all wrapped tight in black pants. Fuck. Julia had better offer more than regrets, I swear to Christ. Hell, if she doesn’t bend at least a bit toward my wishes I will force her into leaving me in that world and dying over and over forever. I’ve had about enough of this shit. I don’t need her making me feel worse than I already do. And I keep thinking that I was very nice and respectful to everyone. The correlation might be the key. You know, that whole ‘I told you that story to tell you this one’ bullshit. One leads to another and eventually I may learn something. Or maybe I’ll just die again. I don’t care. To be continued.

1141. My routine is finished and I have a nice, fat glass of depressant next to me on the table. The gangster saga is minutes from being finished, as well. I don’t know what to watch next, but something will come to mind. A story I’ve seen, of course, because when I watch new stuff, such as the show I began yesterday, it is typically on the big system in the living room. Anything new requires attention, and while sitting here my mind is all over the place. Sometimes it is on a train, like right now. Ugh. The train. At least Julie is with me again. As for the other one, well... She’s been dredging up feelings from the past and helping me to feel both good and bad about myself. There are still details I must leave out, too. STILL. Door number two, indeed. I both love and hate this process.

After perusing some discussion forums and printing a couple of diagrams, I believe I finally have the oil system mapped out. This will be the final step in rebuilding that motorcycle. I have the lines, clamps, and enough information to get it done in good time. There is a guy coming to pick up a small kitchen appliance that I listed for free, after which I will probably work in the garage for a while. Saturday is typically for either projects or relaxation, and my feeling right now is to get the oiling system finished prior to tackling anything else. By the end of business hours, everything should be in good order for a nice, quiet evening and some dinner. I will tire of sitting at the computer soon, I expect.

I can’t stop this train from the caboose. We are not moving very fast, so perhaps little Julie and I can dress warm and make our way to the locomotive from the outside. I put the idea to her and she immediately agreed. Well, this should make for some interesting storytelling. I’ve never tried to climb atop a rolling car and move toward the head of the line while a train is in motion. As I said... Interesting. At least I am not alone. We slam our drinks – a bit of ‘liquid courage – and move to the closet to don some warmer clothing. My head is all wrapped up in the idea of controlling this journey, although deep inside I already know there is no such thing in the netherworld. No matter what I believe nor how I may lash out in Julia’s commanding direction, I have to remain mindful that I am most decidedly NOT in control here. I just feel it sometimes. Regardless, we are going to venture out the forward door in the suite and climb to the roof to get a bearing on the situation ahead. I love the idea and can see the excitement in Julie’s eyes. I have to say this is vastly different than being on that balcony years ago, so fucking high in the air. Dying became an hourly situation. Heh. We go...

Holy shit is the air ever cold. I failed to consider motion and the resulting wind chill. Wow. This is damned cold.

‘You’re willing to leave the warmth and comfort of our little nest behind?’
‘My love is unconditional. Let’s go, my dearest.’

God damn, I love that girl. We make our way to the roof of the caboose and see that there are six covered hoppers and one boxcar between our position and the single locomotive. Nice. We have the benefit of rooftops for the entire length of this sordid journey. The train is rolling at perhaps twenty-five or so, meaning the wind is cold but not enough to force us to constantly hang on for fear of flying off and leaving the train behind. Not only that, but these old cars have grip-rails along the top for traveling in such a manner. This should not be terribly difficult, although I have to maintain one hand with Julie’s because I don’t want anything to go wrong, such as being split up. I fucking need her next to me, always. We move along, slowly. One car behind. Two. Three. And then a hiccup... The boxcar is taller, meaning I’ll have to stretch in order to reach the tail rail. Nope. No fucking way. Julie has to go first because I can shove her forward with less risk than trying to pull her toward me. Pause.

‘Are you ready for this?’
‘Just fucking throw me if you need to.’
‘That’s my girl.’

With my hands on her hips, Julie reaches forward in preparation for clasping the tail rail just in case the rest of her falls short. The girl is not six feet tall and will need a hell of a push. And? Weeeee! She is attached to the roof of the boxcar with her lovely little ass pointed right at my face. Oh, God. Focus, idiot. Julie turns with extended arms so I can follow suit, and within a fraction of a second we’ve succeeded in placing the toughest part of the journey behind us. Thank Christ. I have to get her ass out of my brain so we can continue, yet at the same time I feel compelled to break the tension with a bit of a compliment. Huh? She is overjoyed that I noticed her beautiful form once again. Unfortunately, this is not the time for a fucking rooftop encounter, so the words strike me like a sword...

‘Let’s fucking go, my love.’

How do I argue with that? She is smiling from ear to ear right now. We have to make it all the way to the engine, and soon. The cold is biting and beginning to remove dexterity from my fingers. Hers must be even worse. Further forward... And then there it is; the rear of the engine. We have to get the hell off the roof because diesel fumes are going to make me sick as hell. A few steps down the forward hopper ladder and the catwalk is right there for the taking. Yes! We made it. Now around the left side, to the front of the cab, and I have to pause. Holy fucking shit, the view forward looks raw and unbelievably clear without seeing it through a windshield. Raw. I am reminded of venturing along the promenade of the ship years ago during the early evening (no one else dared head to the bow of the ship in such cold weather) and the adrenaline rush at knowing I was standing with nothing in front, only a dim, unknown world which appeared alien. Julie grips me tightly and I see her eyes are as wide as mine. I have to remember this... I must file it away because the danger and wonder are peaking right now. Amazing.

All sorts of shit slammed me in the eyes yesterday and ended up followed by one of the most erotic dreams in memory. I was already having trouble maintaining my composure, too. I really didn’t need the fucking dream this morning. The girl with me was sort of a throwback to a dream from a few years ago. The operative word for the first occasion was control. The operative word from this morning is passion. I was taken aback by the feelings. The situation was very short-lived, though. Now I have to deal with the fallout. Wonderful. Between the shit yesterday and then the girl this morning, I believe today is going to be tough. Jesus fucking hell, that girl was adorable while smiling. I won’t even get started on the other one. Or the black pants. Or the tank top about to overflow from the sheer mass of her chest. Fuck me, anyway. Doomed. This is just a matter of time. Today is garbage day along with my usual stuff, plus I’ll have some hours to myself. I need to embrace the time and enjoy all of the quiet because I’m going to need everything in my head organized soon. Otherwise, I’ll be worthless. I keep seeing her walk over and over. Not good. Bouncing breasts. Stop.

We have to get the cab heat running. Like, NOW. The controls are very familiar, as if I was just here a few minutes ago. The only difference is a supplemental spotlight – to the tune of a million candlepower – just off to the right of the controls for the main searchlight washing the landscape as we travel through this world. That smaller spot could come in handy if we get in a scrape. Otherwise, everything is familiar; the typical mix of old and new just for character. And we were correct, the speed is thirty-five right now. Perhaps a bit of discussion is in order.

I switched programs on the right-hand display since the other one came to an end yesterday. I won’t say what I’m watching, but just for grins I’ll tell you that I’m already seeing her running through the cemetery and around the outside of her house in a bathrobe. Ugh. There will be lots more of the same before long. Eighty episodes and at least two dozen occasions of that goofy girl running through the woods in her robe. I need the familiarity, plus there are two characters who just happen to be the diametric opposite of me and cause me to think about myself more than I normally would (in a useful way). 0819.

I guess Julie wants to look around a bit. Good idea. I’d like to drop the baggage and haul ass, too, but she convinces me that the contents of the cars might be important at some point. Okay, my dear, we keep the cars. I toss the suggestion that after our walk we can seek a spur in order to rearrange the cars and relocate the caboose directly behind the engine just in case we’d like to move back and forth. The operation would take lots of time, though, and we have no clue as to what may change at any moment. Perhaps just a turn around the town first before deciding upon anything more dramatic. Um... That brings a question to mind. Who was driving the train when we were relaxing in the caboose? Knowing the strangeness of this world, probably no one was in the locomotive. Heh. Whatever. I will pull back and let the big machine coast to a halt and then lock everything.

Sand again. No vegetation, just sand. The haze will not allow much visibility, either. This appears to be a wasteland, so much so that I believe Julie is freaked a bit. She’s attached to my right arm again. Maybe we should board the engine and move along. There have been two dioramas, meaning there could be more. This journey will have a purpose, too. I need to find it. Another possible clue to all of this could reside in one or more of the cars. They are all closed and at some point I may need to know what’s inside. I am not terribly concerned about the hoppers, either. The boxcar is the one nagging from the back of my mind. Oh, hell... At least there are no passenger cars here. Nice. Another little conversation later, and we are going to board the train again and haul ass (slowly). I have to know if there is anything else for me to see, regardless of the difficulty.

Rolling. Julia’s voice is again conspicuously absent. I don’t mind. Thirty-five, just like before. The cab is warm thanks to the heat remaining on at idle. Julie is close. I love her.

Light coming up ahead. I’ll have to slow this circus. The girl attached to my left arm is apprehensive. I can see and feel her mood. Being in this netherworld together makes everything better, as does the knowledge of a warm, beautiful, waiting caboose should we need a respite. This reminds me of all the calm moments in Vegas from years ago. Dating back to aught-two, I had few moments with my mind quiet, and knowing that I could sink into some serious comfort saved me on more than one occasion. The caboose feels similar.

1115. The Sunday business is well underway. My routine is finished aside from allowing the dishes to drip dry for a little while. The next few hours are all mine, and I fully intend to maximize the garbage work prior to the afternoon.

Monday morning, 0811. After yesterday’s pitfalls, I am glad to have seen the calendar change. The same shit can repeat today, but so far I am fine. Most days I lament having too much free time, while during others, it’s a good thing. I tried to work on the bike for a while, and after a slow start due to lacking concentration, the oil lines were eventually completed. All I have to do now is further secure the new horns and I am finished. Oh, and the new derby cover is installed. I finally folded the laundry, too. I had everything completed and preparations made for dinner fairly early. That left lots of time for relaxing as my head began to return to the train and my little love, Julie. Pushing that story out of my head in order to watch some video media was not easy. Eventually I was able to relax, though. Disaster is always looming. I am tired of feeling this way.

A pull of the throttle slows us a bit, and I can see the light ahead is yet another scene from the past. Where are we? Julie is clinging again. Slowing; stop. Lock. The windshields are frightfully clear and provide an unobstructed view of the stairwell which led to the top-floor apartment in Dublin. And there I am... Heading down the two short flights toward the second floor. I think I may know where this is leading. Either I was on my way to Andrew’s door, or the opposite side, which was directly below where we lived. And? There it is. A knock. I remember the situation, too. We had been sitting and watching television with the slider part way open, only to notice the tenant downstairs was smoking on her balcony. Rather than closing the door, I decided to ask that she smoke elsewhere (on the inside I really didn’t mind, but the consensus was fair). When that girl answered the door, I nearly lost my mind. Of all the beauties in the leasing office – including Michelle and her big, beautiful eyes – nothing had prepared me for meeting yet another goddess living right downstairs. She was very nice, but I may not have heard all of her words because my brain stalled somewhat at the sight of her standing there in a tank top and shorts. Jesus. Our exchange was less than a minute, solved the problem, and I ventured back upstairs with her form spinning circles around the inside of my head. Damn. I really hope Julia didn’t show me this in order to force me to feel bad. I don’t need any more of that right now. Before she could appear or even speak, I knee-jerked the mood, slammed the controls to direct the engine in reverse, and grabbed a big handful of throttle. We are rolling once again, backwards. Fifteen... Twenty miles per hour. I can see the diorama fading just as Julie asks what’s bothering me. I’ll have to explain once we are clear of the fucking scene. I tell her to begin watching the rear camera for any type of fucking switch because I want the hell off this line. Now. More throttle. Maybe I can derail the cars. Heh. I don’t care. Julia has jammed four different past situations into my psyche and affected me to the point of feeling guilty for all that damned desire. Splendid.

Julie understands, naturally. She came from Julia, and Julia came from my brain. This is the type of realization I never wanted, yet at the same time I have always known it would hit me at some point. I was unfair and unclear, the combination being worse than either of those alone. The most important tool we have as human beings is language; the most critical use of it being communication. Any fucking communication. And I have failed. Thanks, doll.

We continue to roll backwards at the whim of my increasingly shitty mood, yet Julie is as cool as a cucumber. The fuck? I thought she mirrored my thoughts. Hmm. Very interesting. Julie informs me that because I’ve been hit with another wrecking ball, there may be a way to relax and regain clear thinking. The journey will require redirecting our train.

‘You’re going to need rest and quiet before the next step, my love.’
‘Ah... Shit. Okay.’
‘Keep rolling. We’ll get there.’

Maybe we shouldn’t have walked through the second door. This is fucked because I know in advance that there will be another test or lesson which will apparently be draining. Wonderful. Well, at least I have Julie by my side. She makes everything a little easier. I’m going to leave the throttle alone for a while, too. There is no need to rush into something potentially painful. Um... Julie knows what is ahead? Shit.

0930, straight down. I need to begin my daily routine very soon. The coffee is almost gone and I could already use a fucking drink. I don’t like facing this shit.

1034. The daily routine has been finished. For reasons of good form, I have a nice glass of whiskey to the left and vampires to the right. I need to have media with which I am familiar. My attention wanders quite often, though, even with my friends and extended family on the right-hand display, meaning sometimes I’ll pause the playback in order to think. That typically happens when the story becomes dire or painful (or both). Julie said something about needing some comfort – she is correct, as always – and such a musing is already helping relax me. Her version of comfort is a match to my own. Maybe we will end up somewhere other than the caboose. Maybe. I don’t know. The rest of this day is all mine aside from a trip to the small market in a few hours. I am in no mood for the big store. And now I’m mixing the netherworld with what’s real. Oh, boy.

‘I see a signal and switch. Slow this train, lover.’
‘Thank Christ.’

I pull the throttle and await Julie’s notification that we are clear of the signal. Naturally, the fucking thing is red. Nothing makes sense when Julia sends me into other worlds. The shit should be green, for crying out loud. Well, at least yellow. The blocks all belong to this train, meaning we don’t even need the fucking signals. Anyway, a few moments of slow rolling and Julie snaps her fingers. Stop. Lock. Out. I venture into the shed and, recalling that first trip from years ago when I had to decipher all of the power boxes and such, throw the switch without issue. Now we can steer to the west. I think it’s west, anyway. No matter. Of all the tidbits of what seems ‘good’ or ‘right’ in this place, I need to remind myself that I am most decidedly NOT in control here. So, we will cruise to the spur and see what develops. Damn... I wish I could control the locomotive from the caboose. That would be much more comfortable. Back inside the cab, I unlock everything and ease the throttle. Heading across a switch too quickly is rather ill-found. Any misalignment and we will not roll forward, but over. Not good. Once the engine clears the mating rails, I can increase our speed to something comfortable and avoid too much sway. Julie is so fucking cute right now, too. Damn.


‘I know this is difficult. I’m sorry.’

Julie has initiated a conversation that I thought was reserved for Julia. We discuss the first dioramas and the roundhouse scene, leaving me to wonder if the simple lesson here is to realize that my thinking in the past has been condescending and unfair. I honestly can’t argue with the latter, but the truth as I see it is that there is a massive difference between thinking about something as opposed to taking action or vocalizing my deviant feelings. I honestly don’t need my fucking condition being raised as an issue and then having past situations thrown at me as if I am nothing more than a target for a mistaken mindset. I did not fucking do this, yet a lack of control leaves me at the mercy of Julia and her lessons. The previous journeys taught me much but changed nothing. Julie knows me well enough to realize any alteration in the way I think is going to be met with resistance. As we speak, I can see the care in her eyes. The major difference between our past connection and the present is what took place last year. Oh, and she knows all about that shit, too. Marvelous.

Would I be any worse off right now if I had decided to initiate something between Laura and myself? I doubt it. Again, Julie already knows. I see light ahead. The atmosphere is hazy but there is definitely another structure increasing in scale as we roll the rails. I sincerely hope whatever is ahead will bring a measure of comfort. I don’t need any more pain. Wow... Whatever we are approaching is growing out of control. I grab the throttle to slow our journey as Julie again wraps herself around my left arm. I could use a break from this shit. Is it a resort hotel? Will I be forced to revisit that lunch date? I can still see Laura’s huge eyes welling with tears as she spoke to me all those years ago. Fuck. For the love of God, I hope Julia doesn’t provide a reminder of Laura walking toward her car when we parted ways after a beautiful embrace. I watched her long hair flowing in the breeze, short shorts gyrating, and those long legs coupled to clogs that made me want to swallow her in one shot. I still feel bad for staring at Laura as if she was lunch. I never said anything. I never ventured into questionable territory. I never had lunch with her again. I never did anything outside the realm of being friends. Nothing. I wanted so badly to be with her physically, yet the greater good won the war inside my head. That is the best part of the entire fucking shitaree. Well, the fact that after all these years she is completely detached from knowing me is probably even better. Maybe Julia won’t kill me for the way I viewed Laura in the past. Maybe.

Stop. Lots of light ahead emanating from a sunny sky. The rails seem to continue even though there is no station or buffer stop. I halted the big train roughly five hundred feet from what appears to be a set of gates, much like those in front of the backward hotel from years ago. No sooner do we disembark the locomotive, and Julie is once again wrapped to my right arm. She seems frightened, too. I ask about her feelings and she informs me that she is only worried about me. Of course. Julia would not harm an innocent person, nor would she place Julie in danger. I am the only one who needs to worry about being killed again. Or? Causing a situation that could harm my companion. We are standing in front of a massive resort. This could be good or bad, I guess, but at least I am aware that Julia’s intention was to give us a break from seeing ghosts from my past. We will walk toward the gates and see what develops. I sincerely hope this hotel is nothing like the last one. That was bad.

Tuesday. Drizzle. Coffee. Vampires.

Laura’s big, beautiful eyes are the main reason I held back and eventually tried to let go of my strong feelings for her. She was/is a person above all things and I had to cease my connection in order to avoid affecting her in a bad way. I believe I eventually would have leaped over the line. Believe me when I say that if the lesson is to feel bad due to the way I viewed Laura years ago, it is sinking in very well. I don’t know, though. I could be here for other reasons, not the least of which is what took place last year. That change in my thinking caught me off-guard and I’ve been concerned ever since. Julia knows everything, meaning she will eventually take issue with last year. Most of that alteration was born of the damaging dreams, and I have no control over them. None whatsoever. When it came to Laura, I controlled myself.

The hotel is getting larger as we walk. I mean to say that it is disproportionally growing as if Walt Disney himself altered the perspective. It is beautiful, though. The design reminds me of the old hotels on the west side of Hollywood that I’ve seen in pictures and old movies. Lovely. The sight is helping to calm me. Moreover, Julia is giving us a rest from the troubling thoughts, and my head can relax for a while. I turn to look back and see that our locomotive has not disappeared. Very good. I’d like to have a way out of here in case the situation goes sideways. The end of the line is just ahead. Interesting.

0859. I have the last cup of coffee next to me. I’ve been watching the auction because it ends in less than an hour and I’d like to be ready to ship the box today if the buyer pays right away. Once that is out of the way, I’ll probably list another item to keep the flow of cash moving. I have a few knives that were duplicated in the past and intend to thin the collection. I might even sell the big one, although that would depend upon the market.

The hotel is completely beautiful. As we approach the gates, they begin to swing outward, appearing to welcome us to the property. I am hearing subdued music, just like in Disneyland. Instrumental melodies, in fact. The garden is lush and sprawling, akin to a resort in Hawai’i... Palms, ferns, and much more. Running water, too. The pathway leading to what looks like the main entrance meanders here and there, across two short bridges crossing a crystal-clear brook, and then widening toward the steps. Beyond, the hotel tower reaches toward the sky, showing off mirrored glass and stonework accented with dark wood panels. This is nothing like the crazy hotel which held so many mysteries a few years ago. Julie is glowing with wide eyes and taking in everything. The threshold behind, I can now see yet another match to my taste in both architecture and decor... All dark and brooding, yet beautiful and inviting. The appearance is difficult to explain. Massive chandeliers glow above while the typical polished stone flooring reflects amber lights, rather like the lobby at Caesar’s Palace. Wood columns divide the entry into three very different sections; the reservation desk on our left curving from the front wall all the way to the rear, a huge, very dim lounge straight ahead (beckoning us to sink into the plush chairs for a rest), and off to the right what seems to be a small sundry shop opening into a wide corridor leading to other parts of the resort. Wow. Julie is clinging and smiling. Off to the lounge.

Ahh... Very nice. I already love this place and the idea of the second door being a big improvement over the first. In the back of my mind, though, is the idea that I am not here on vacation. Something will change, I'm sure, and soon. I'll have to enjoy the peaceful nature of the resort while I can. Julie has not ceased contact with me since we re-boarded the train after the switch. Bless her loveliness.

1105. The routine is finished and the laundry is waiting to be tossed into the dryer. The next time I take a break, I’ll head out there and finalize everything. Other than the laundry and putting away the dishes, I don’t know what the rest of my day will entail. Oh... Just now was a brief flash of comfort due to having almost complete control over the house and atmosphere during weekdays. I need to remain mindful of the positives these days. Also, my auction ended at a decent price and I had enough time to print the mailing label and hang it outside. It was picked up within half an hour. Nice. Fast shipping can equal positive feedback, something very important for selling on the big site. I am vacillating about what to list next. I have two other redundant knives, meaning one can go (the older, more used model), but two small handle parts are fucked up. I’d have to replace them prior to listing the knife for sale. I just don’t know if the cost would provide enough return to make the entire operation worthwhile. Eh... That one doesn’t really matter. There are other trinkets I can sell right now, like a titanium ‘drone’ carabiner worth upwards of a c-note. Later, I guess. Right now I need to focus upon what Julia’s intentions may be with regard to...

The gorgeous hotel and sumptuous comfort of the lounge Julie and I have been enjoying. I noticed moments ago that the bartender is the same man with whom I had a discussion in the other distorted universe. He is quite nice and very professional. I feel as if I know him after the last adventure. Julie and I discuss the place and possible reasons for the appearance of something so amazing in the middle of nowhere (is it nowhere?). I keep thinking that either Laura or Maggie will be thrown at me again, too. My feelings toward each of them seem to be a point of contention despite ever having acted upon any impulses or even speaking my mind regarding such desire. Julie knows this is both difficult and unnerving, so she only offers a few thoughts interspersed within my vocalizations. And I just thought of something. Maybe we should see about acquiring a room upstairs just in case the shit hits the fan on the ground floor. It’s happened before, leaving me running from the gunman and a fucking dragon. Who knows... Maybe Jaime herself is waiting in a room and plugged into a wall outlet. Heh. I need to stop and consider the lessons again. Daydreaming of a threesome with Julie and Jaime will probably land me in a grave. Laugh it up, fuckers. My head is beginning to heel over as if there is wind from the casino to our right.

Wednesday. What? Wednesday? I barely noticed. This morning while caring for the early business, I mused, ‘this is my entire life anymore’. Not good.

We’ve been relaxing here for what feels like at least three hours; discussing the other clientele, the decor of this beautiful place, and the possibility of heading to the train again just in case the shit hits the fan. What’s going to happen here? Will something or someone come along and inform me of a lesson or other significant point? Maybe we should explore a bit. And I am beginning to feel hungry. A restaurant, perhaps? Julia’s voice is absent, still. Thank goodness I have Julie next to me. Time to look around.

Ahh... There is a ‘restaurant row’ just like my two favorite resorts in the goblet. I could use a nice, quiet meal with Julie to extend this comfortable feeling of being in the fold of the gaming culture once again after missing it for several years. This type of atmosphere brings me back to my earliest memories of Nevada. A glowing steakhouse bar draws my attention and we veer straight into a cozy booth. I think I can do without any more trials or questions for a while. After a few drinks off the lobby, we need to consider rest after dinner. Wait a second, do I feel a key card in my back pocket? Oh, boy... Here we go with the otherworldly circumstances and ever-changing situations that came about years ago. The journey is adapting to our needs. Not bad, yet still mysterious. Dinner time.

The conversation once again heads into the past and my relationships with two key individuals, and then how they relate to the present mindset I carry every day. Julie is much more relaxed than the other one, too, meaning I can sit and quietly discuss these topics without worrying about being chided over and over. The feeling is comforting. I know that my thinking in the past was nearly always dictated by desire, and I also know the reason. But as I said, I do not believe it is fair to hold me responsible for daydreaming about something so important. I never acted. Well, not during the apartment period, anyway. Believe me, Laura and Maggie were the strongest pulls at my senses and I remained at a distance despite their power. Julie understands, so why must I go through all this shit with Julia? Am I missing something? Time to leave the restaurant and find the elevators.

0859. I’ll be hitting my housework soon. The coffee is waning. Plus, I had to endure watching Sookie run through the woods in her nightgown again. Ugh. What a goof. I need to list a couple of items for auction, as well, meaning some images are in order prior to getting everything listed. I hope I can continue to pull some money out of these trinkets for later options. I may also reroute two of the oil lines on the motorcycle for neatness and efficiency. After looking over everything yesterday, I believe I’ve found better paths for the hoses. The work is pretty straightforward and should not take much time. In and around whatever else I want to do today, I’ll probably get some things ready for the change.

The lobby staff are wonderful. Very helpful and kind. We’ve secured a room on high, much to the chagrin of Julie who would prefer to remain closer to the ground after all that balcony bullshit. I can’t blame her. Unfortunately, we are most decidedly not in charge in this world, so we must take what is given. I am looking forward to dim lighting and some privacy. No, not because I am feeling any desire for Julie; quite the reverse. I simply need to rest and so does my little companion. To the elevator, which thankfully is empty. The other hotel had an attendant just like what was commonplace decades ago, but he was as strange as everything else in that place. I don’t need any more weirdness, believe me. Julie is lovingly wrapped around my arm once again. Upon reaching our large room, I see that it appears completely different from that other world, thank the maker. Time to rest. But... I need to peek through the window and see what the outside looks like before anything else. We step to the curtains and see that this section of the planet is completely dark. Oh, well. We need to hit the bed.

Nightmares. Wonderful. Trains; the gunman chasing me between vintage passenger cars, and a dragon spewing fire from atop the hotel tower. Ugh. More shit on the pile. I awaken to feel Julie clinging to my back. Thank God she is still here. No light yet.

1039. The daily routine is out of the way. I still have a few tasks to complete prior to close of business hours, but there is plenty of time and I need to take a break. I have a nice glass of whiskey and my program keeping me company. I am also planning to have as much dinner prep out of the way before the evening so all I have to do is cook when the time comes. The first show will be in the background as I work in the kitchen. Very nice. I enjoy simple meals. Oh, boy... There is Amy. I’ll have to grab a screenshot of her from the next episode. I won’t say why, but trust me... The view will be amazing. Anyway, the weather is very cool and drizzly, meaning I may not work on the bike today unless the sun breaks through. Working with hand tools is often uncomfortable when the mercury is low. The inside of the house and my auction ideas will take priority and prove rewarding. The quiet is very nice right now.

Awake. Full light outside. Julie is still sleeping and looking completely adorable with her head resting on both hands. It is hard to believe we’ve been here for forty-seven nights. Much more of this and I’ll begin to put on weight. I wish that was funny. Julia seems to have abandoned both of us because I haven’t heard a peep since before our arrival at the Dracorum. I’m sure at some point she and her haunting voice will return and take issue with... Something. For the time being, all we can do is wait. A few days ago, Julie had the idea to break out of the norm and venture back to the locomotive (which is still there, as evidenced by the view from our room) to reverse ourselves the hell out of here and see if anything develops. I just don’t know, though, because whenever I’ve tried to color outside the lines, a situation results which has often been very uncomfortable. I guess she and I will have to talk more. For now, a shower is in order before we head downstairs to find breakfast. This is day forty-eight. Unbelievable. Will we be in this strange world forever?

Out of the elevator, and wait... Something is different. The lobby has switched places with the lounge, and the elevator vestibule is much larger and holds more sets of doors. Ugh... Doors. Anyway, Julie suggests that we explore since the resort has remained unchanged throughout all this time. I cannot disagree. One set of doors is far more detailed and ornate than the others. Maybe I should press the call button.

Ah... Fuck.


Desert. Scorpions. Heat. AGAIN. But something is different...

I see myself. Julie sees two of me, as well. What the fuck is going on here? I have to catch my breath and think for a moment because seconds ago we were in a very beautiful and comfortable resort hotel and now we are standing in what appears to be the same location within the negative material plane. The fuck? Julia did this, and I am beginning to think she is going to make some sort of comparison between the present and four years ago. I need a drink, pronto. This situation is going to cause my mind to falter. Julie suggests that we head north just as I did years ago and see if the hotel we destroyed is again standing solo in the sand. I suppose that’s the only real idea since we are here regardless of my years-long wish to never return. I take her slender hand in mine and direct us away from the scorpions and the earlier version of myself. I don’t know if facing my own being is supposed to cause some kind of revelation, but I will say that the instinct is to flee this place. Julia may have other plans, though. We can walk until something else develops.

There is definitely a hotel ahead, just like before. At least this time I have a loving companion who is on my side. Years ago I was alone and not enjoying it much. Yes, I met some people inside the resort, but I can’t always count on such situations coming to fruition. I have to put the well-being of Julie and myself before everything else. The heat is nearly unbearable and that fucking bitch left us out here without any water. Splendid.

Gates straight ahead, and rails to the left. I remember those rails, too. We rammed a fucking explosives-laden boxcar into the building and blew the whole place straight to hell, or so I thought. Here it is again looking mysterious and beautiful at the same time.

Thursday morning is here regardless of my feelings. I have coffee and my program. The house is nice and quiet right now, too. Very nice. The time is all of 0809 and I have only a few things to accomplish today. I am in need of rest, too. Yesterday kicked my ass for some reason. All I did was reconfigure two of the oil lines on the bike and then pull it off the lift. None of that was strenuous in the least, so apparently I am weaker and more sensitive than I had thought. Or maybe I just had an off day. I don’t know, but in any case I am going to take it easy today. I have to run to the market for a few items, as well. That will probably be plenty of work. The inside of my head is a combination of figurative and literal wastelands, not the least of which is in the next paragraph. I keep thinking of her and picturing what I’ve seen over and over and the result is me nearly losing my mind every day. I don’t know how much more I can take. She draws my attention like a gun. If I can keep the imagery and daydreaming to a minimum today, I might be able to improve this little house a bit. And I still can’t believe how many people were completely goo ga over Anna in this series. Not me. Not by a damned sight. Anyway...

Julie looks beautiful as her eyes dart back and forth between myself and my doppelganger. I sincerely hope this does not last long because I don’t need to deal with two versions of myself. That’s some fucking bullshit, for sure. Not fair. Oh... I hear something.

‘Toe the line.’

There it is. My mind is made up. I am going to ignore all of the little signs and clues in favor of heading straight for those iron gates. Nothing else is going to happen out here unless it is forced upon us. I take Julie’s hand and begin to step away from the old scene I never wanted to see again. Toward the hotel we go. To hell with the little scorpions and their headphones. One glance and I just noticed that everything behind us is now gone. Huh? Why did she go to the effort of placing the old scene before me only to make it vanish within moments? Whatever. We need to walk the sand once again to a different destination and leave everything else behind. All those weeks in the first hotel helped me to realize that we can find some comfort when necessary. No worries there. The gates are growing as we move.

I suppose I can look forward to more comfort in the hotel, much like the one in which we had been stuck for more than a month. I’ve always loved being on vacation, especially the past hotel trips as opposed to camping. Each helped me to appreciate the other, too. I need to consider if there is a larger problem inherent in Julia’s lessons, such as the way I think. Taking issue with my nature is not something to which I will respond well, either. I don’t believe I was wrong in mentally objectifying those three. Yes, three. Two have been mentioned and the third is most likely the girl over whom I’ve been obsessing for more than a year. As we walk hand in hand toward a place that could be wonderful or terrible, my head is continuing to research myself to learn of what that woman may have in store for us if I do not learn or understand her purpose in sending me through the doors. At least there may be some physical comfort at the end of this walk. Shit...

I just heard something from behind. Spinning a half-circle on one foot shows me that there are now hills, tall pine trees and a lake where the southern desert once was. Completing a full circle shows me that the hotel and desert are gone, having been replaced with a lush mountain landscape. Why did this happen? Memories of camping? Was it my head comparing the hotel and outdoor trips with each other? Could this world become a physical manifestation of all the science fiction I've been watching for decades? I don't know, but I will say that the influence upon me as driven by those stories is dramatic and stirring. I've been dreaming of those worlds for so long that to find the beginning would be an exercise in futility. Last night I was watching an episode centered upon one character stuck on an unfamiliar planet for two months. He adapted to the life, fell in love and was married, only to be ripped out of it and slammed with reality. I don't need anything like that right now. Oh, and the landscape is not the only major difference I see right now. My lovely little companion has changed, as well...

‘Julie, why are your clothes different all of a sudden?’
'I'm not Julie. I am Miramanee.’
‘Oh, fuck.’"