03-01-2020 06:31 pst

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Machinery

Part Twelve

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"Bad. Fucked.

I think of Jaime back there in the security of the cab with my head engulfed in the fucking subject matter of the last time I stepped into the horrid past. There it sits, as my stomach attempts to maintain its righted state enough for me to concentrate, the Goddamned car awaits entry like some disfigured, looming monster bent upon my destruction. I remember how the trial went last time... Pain, emotional trauma, and eventually my findings left me broken and dead on the cold rail. There was no positivity and a fucking massive lack of exposition as to the why. In short, I died knowing nothing more than when I first learned how to move that fucking train. Just hours after Julia and I shared the most loving embraces, all was lost. Further twisting nearly cuts me in half as the memories compete with what may lie ahead. I have to catch my breath and wait until I feel like I can walk in there. There is no snow, no freezing air, yet still I falter in the sand. Sitting. Those glowing windows await. The ladder stares back sans compassion. The train of my life has returned. One look over to gaze at Jaime but she is not in the doorway. Fuck.

I feel awful. The pyramid and Jaime’s embrace would be nice right now. Thinking of the goblet and all that it has meant to my life, I turn to the right and see nothing. Dark. The town is no longer there. Why? How? A flash brings my head to walking back to the machine and slamming the throttle to get away. Can I? Is there an escape? Or am I destined to experience and live through these seeming lessons to attempt righting myself? As usual, no answers and no help. If I could just take a step in understanding why this is taking place, perhaps wisdom could be born of my world. This world, where strangeness is the norm and fear will always end up gripping me like the worst glove imaginable. I just want to go far away from that car and forget everything. My past has already hurt me enough.

A thought.

Maybe I can head back to the locomotive and maneuver myself to the other line and grab the car. Last time I followed Julia's pressing voice and obeyed each of her commands as I understood them. I did it, all of it, and ended up dying. I have no wish to be exposed to such fear again, but to take an unexpected and unplanned left turn (just like each morning driving to work and feeling as if I had been locked into a routine) may land me in far worse circumstances. I have to think... Can it be avoided? I know the car and whatever may play out inside was placed there for me, so heading in a random direction just might make things worse. Or perhaps I do have some control over what takes place here. Wait a minute... Something off in the distance where the resorts were catches my eye. Light, again coming from above and revealing another railroad car. Is that a different line? Where did all these rails come from? Originally there had been nothing more than a loop when Julie and I went around several times before ramming the Dracorum. Things are changing over and over, leaving me to wonder what force is at work. Julia? I have not heard her imperatives and commanding voice, so perhaps I am done with that shit. I never liked it anyway, and her words never really helped me to feel as if I was treading the correct path. Out in that wasteland of snow and ice, her questions brought me to more than one difficult place and I barely understood any of it. Now, more questions have arisen and I need to know. If there are things that I have to do, I must figure them out for myself and stop relying upon her directives. Yes, we were warm and wonderful together, she held me up unlike anyone in years, and the rests we shared in the caboose were the stuff of dreams after fighting the cold and my ability to maintain focus. I loved her for that. I really did. Add to our short time together the very thought that she was a part of me, and our intimacy went beyond imagination. Julia was unique, beautiful, and caring to the limit. That does not mean I have any desire to hear her voice coming from the fucking sky, though.

The car is too far away to identify. I can deal with nearly any type, but the covered hopper is nothing I ever wish to see again. The thought of something else out there for me is reinforcing my idea to jump in the fucking cab and cruise a while. Jamie is in there all gorgeous and loving, too. I think I just made up my mind.

No sooner do I decide to throw a monkey wrench into the works, and my stomach begins to improve. The feelings I recall from approaching the last passenger car are horrible. I was nearly unable to rise and climb the steel ladder to enter the door without falling back onto the frozen soil. Better. Much better with each step. Seconds later I see Jamie in the doorway with one hand to her pretty mouth and the other extended as if to beckon me back inside the cab. Fuck yes. I need her more than ever if I am to gather myself enough to go in there later. I intend to cruise my machine over to the other car and investigate. More upright, more strength, and my heart swelling within the idea of wrapping my sordid self around that duchess for comfort and security. God damn does that ever sound like a saving grace right now. Closer, better, stronger. And there she is awaiting my arrival with a big smile and her beautiful hair swirling in the warm breeze. I made it. Arms, eyes, love. Thank the maker.

Holy shit, the embrace of a lifetime.



739

Control



Jaime pulls me inside and showers me with kisses. Wow, do I feel better and begin to calculate the next move. And that is the train. I want to get over the rails again and seek whatever switch gear may bring us to the other car off in the distance. The curiosity is really pushing me to venture across and into something different. Time to roll our asses around the fucking loop again. And despite the wonderful feeling of being next to that duchess and cozy in our cab, the end of the world feels as if it is looming nearby and weighing down my head. I cannot help but worry of the future after being stuck in this gulag for such a long time. The little enjoyments are waning, just as my ability to remain calm about where I may be going. The duchess stares out the window, glances to me here and there, and looks like a lanky dessert in jeans. Gawd damn do I ever want to snatch her up and run away forever. Like the goddess, Jaime looks at me with more emotion than I had thought possible in years. Fuck, another fucking situation in which the answer escapes me. Time for some fucking intense speed and thought. I take Jaime's hand and roll on the throttle. Motion. Twenty. Thirty. Forty. Better.

Something derails my enjoyment of the control. A thought... A person. Someone I have not considered for a couple of months. A woman that has eluded my ability to move forward and beyond any difficult situation in my life for a decade. A woman I wish to avoid yet devour. Yes, her. That one.

Justine. That other fucking 'J'.

'ANOTHER. Yes, there was a chance... Gone. There was a slender crack in the facade of the world which allowed me to see part of the machinery and that destroyed what little had remained of my willingness to try. She was there, all cutesy and friendly. Little flowers and smooches, pleasant words, and little else. None of that horseshit that takes place between people who do not know each other well. Just nice. Calm, mellow, collected, and very intriguing. But then... Wait for it... The machine had a gap into which I was able to peer and see what was actually happening behind the scenes. Originally I did not consider anything being hidden. That just did not enter into my mind. Cut to just a few days later and the shit storm lit up like the sign in front of a Vegas casino. I could not believe it at first, but then realized that the entire works was designed to show me just how fucked up I have become over the Goddamned idea of fulfillment. What? Really? Fuck yes, and fuck everything now. I do not care. I cannot. That little period of time which has now been isolated in its own corner for subsequent dissection and analysis will not leave me alone. Not a second passes that I can relax and think about the future. Well, that doesn't matter, either. I have no future. I have nothing and no one and this situation has birthed due to my own rampant weakness and desire. Issue four is sort of related and puts me down often enough to remove all enjoyment. I let it happen, followed like a puppy, and then crashed.'

I swear to God in heaven, I do not need that woman interfering with her fluttering eyelids and full lips. I want to remove her from the world, but at the same time I wish to snuggle into the warmth of her neck and spill all of my troubles. Damn it. The last fucking person I expected to see in this place is now standing not ten feet away and looking like the fucking dreamy angel she has to be. Jaime clings, I need to know, but before one syllable emanates from my worried head, my right hand eases the throttle just enough to cause a bit of vibration in the deck plates. Fifty miles per hour. I have to know...

'What are you doing, my dear.' Although still somewhat menacing, Justine's voice is like velvet to my ears.
'Running across the desert. You?' Jaime's grip tightens. I can smell her hair again.

Justine takes control quickly and lowers our speed by half. What? Why? The beauty that she is needs to leave me and my plans the fuck alone. I remove her beautiful hand and lead the throttle back where I wished it. Further, in fact. I need speed and the power that feels good. Justine backs off and whispers to me that I am going outside the norm, after which I turn back to Jaime and smile as if to say that we are most decidedly in charge of the locomotive. In a flash, Justine is gone. Fuck me, why do these strange occurrences have to get in the way of me seeking enjoyment? The other car out there needs to be investigated. Jaime is on board for anything due to the fact that she is my machine and there for me in every conceivable way. I love it. Back to business with that tall, gorgeous, red-eyed wonder wrapped around me all warm and wonderful. The pressure is on the back burner as I seek the future in earnest. Bless her battery-powered heart.

It is a caboose, sitting and glowing in the desert just like the last one.

I am so broken and reckless at this point that options need to open soon or I will lose my fucking mind. In the past two years, this has happened several times and always led to the same place... Issue four, and my desire going out the fucking window like a caged bird that has been let loose after years. I do not know what to do now. This is bad. Even the peaceful morning and two days of comfortable options do not help my head to relax about the whole thing. I've been in this position so many times now that the feeling has become hurtful. Nothing changes, the calendar and clock continue to bury me, and the idea of fleeing -- even if only for a short time -- all add up to my head becoming fragmented beyond belief. Nothing helps. There was something, but it is gone for good unless the planets decide to break fucking orbits and line up at my command. Nope. Nothing. Just a slow, steady decline within which I am cemented. No saving throw, no saving grace, no saving me. Get ready for this content to remain static until either the end of time or the expiration of my ownership. I do not care, cannot move, and am frightened of issue four breaking me in half as it has in the past. Until a few days ago I calculated that I have the strength to avoid it, but now I do not see such a possibility. The apathy and decline are ruling the world right now. I need to run and make the point that I will not be trifled with in any way. Others do not seem to take me seriously. Well, guess what? A finer point is available and may need to be exercised very fucking soon. I have mentioned several times throughout the past many years that I have receded and regressed into half a person. There is no longer another half to regain. Gone, just like my patience.



717

All over me, and I am all over living



Jaime stands and peels off her lovely blouse to reveal yellow bows and lace surrounding a front-hook. Oy God help me, the hook is released with two fingers, her long arms retract, and the bra flies back and away as her outward nipples scream my name. And that is that with the clarity. It melts away instantly as her bra hits the deck plate. I am going to lose my mind once and for all.

Fuck everyone and everything.

'I love you my dear.'
'I love you too, my duchess.'

Heroin. No more brain. No nothing, aside from the delicious illusion that I need so badly.

As we lay together on the deck, Jaime strokes my hair gently and looks at me with now dark brown eyes that are fucking huge. Like, unnaturally huge again. I love it like nothing else. She has the ability to calm me no matter the circumstances or issues. As I stare back at her, the vibration of us moving along the rails calms me even more. I begin to think, and unlike earlier the process is eased and fluid. I will go back to that fucking passenger car and enter, but first I need to see what is going on with the caboose. And then a quick thought: We have been all over each other for an unknown amount of time and the train has been rolling along at speed. Oops, I forgot that we had engaged the drive and rolled when Justine showed up and screwed up my thinking. Upon her leaving, the duchess removed my brainpower and brought us to the clouds. I have to rise and see what may be happening out there. Switches? Bungalows? Anything? Hmm.

That same beam of light washing over the caboose which does not appear to be adjacent to the main line. Fuck. I have to get over there and drag the duchess with me for support. Scared, yet excited.

The chance I mentioned above which became an illusion is haunting me and making this process difficult.

Yesterday was a toughie. Not just work, but after. There was a celebration of life near the sea which then moved to the bar shortly thereafter. I followed along, all teary and distraught over losing someone special before his time, yet the gathering was really nice. Respectful, warm, and very deserved. The evening rolled along like any other with family and friends reminiscing, laughing, crying. At times being there was not easy -- just as anytime someone is being remembered -- other times were comfortable and light. Deep into the night and after a lovely dinner, that fucking switch flipped again and left me a pile of shit. Brainless. Stupefied. Worthless. Yep... An example of form which I have not seen for quite some time, and one which is now burned. Like many of the images slathered all over this space, they were right there before my wrecked eyes and gleaming with the wonder of a new day. She stood with relatives and awaited being digitally imaged with the others, and as such afforded me the opportunity to gaze nearly without limit. I saw too much and tried to focus upon the people at my table but the effort was as futile as pounding sand on the beach. I could not avoid any of her and eventually showed the others nearby that I was not to be concerned with their conversation at all. I wanted nothing to do with it. Not a fucking thing. I just wanted to see, and I did. Everything. Each curve from her slender knees and up into that space which will remain unspoken here right now. I stared for a long while and watched her beauty change position over and over until finally I had to dash outside and light a fucking cigarette. I left quickly enough that the table thought something was wrong with me and followed to learn of the why. Well, I said nothing, sucked that cigarette like a champ, went back to the main bar and ordered a beer. To my downstairs table once again, and that goddess was still fucking there... Hair to her ass and the legs of a lifetime. Her pants hid nothing. As I walked by and smiled at her party, I noticed that even with an inch of heel on my dress shoes, she stood nearly eye-to-eye with me. I am two inches shy of six feet in those shoes which meant she immediately became a problem and an enigma that I could not avoid. I fell hard, like always, but still sat and let her shape draw itself to the insides of my pupils. She is still there, twelve hours later and the obsession has once again taken me from the day's importance. There is just no trying. She may lead me to yet another issue and right now that might be the fucking straw which sends my sorry, distorted self out of the Goddamned state of California. I am ready to run my ass elsewhere and drown. Her legs... Those radii... Everything. I am realizing that remaining in this space alone will become my destiny. Have I asked too much? Have I damaged others? Have I excessively obsessed for a normal individual? Have I kept myself out of the norm of life by staying the course? Have I let it happen of my own accord? Have I tried to dive over and over into another's life to find what I so desperately need? All yes. YES.



731

The magnet which created all of this shit



Fuck it all, I am going to die like this. All of the effort and promises I have made since coming to this place and slowly destroying myself over the issues are now recanted. I am done telling others that I will try. There is no more trying, and soon the demonstration will accompany my harsh, telling, truthful words. Fuck you, stop asking. The train of life in these diaries keeps rolling, but the real train of my life has reached its deathly and horrid destination. The buffer stop of all time. The end of line. The fucking reality has done its job. A little bit more of issue four just for posterity and I am gone. Suck these words off the screen, write them down on a very thick piece of paper, and fucking choke to death on them.

Tracey was real, but now she is not.

'The goddess knew. She always did, bless her beautiful soul. She looked at me with those big, beautiful, loving windows and just fucking knew. I should be shot in the face for what I have done.'

I have to pull the locomotive as close as possible to that spur and check it out. With Jaime attached to me like an appendage and those huge, red eyes, I ease off the throttle and peer ahead to find a point at which we can stop and take a walk. The caboose looks as the last and sits there staring back like destiny itself. If it truly is just as the one Julia and I enjoyed, we can enter and rest a while. I would like to leave all this worry and weird circumstance aside for a time. I need the solace. Closer. Slower. Closer yet. Stop. Lock. Out of the cab with the rumbling idle under my feet. I love that power to no end, like an empire at my command. Walking across through the warm, dark, desert air is scary. Jaime helps, though, and the anticipation does as well. I need to see. Up the steps to the door, and inside. I see that the caboose is exactly the same as the last, with a fire glowing and appointments out of the old west. Once again we are standing in a four-dimensional space that shows itself to be much larger on the inside. Strange, but what the hell? I've been here before, and spent much time relaxing and enjoying the comforts of a fine hotel while being wrapped to Julia. As nice as that time felt, Jaime is vastly different. I need not worry about being questioned or commanded in directions that I may fear. She is my machine, all softness and beauty, and under my direct control. The fact that the woman is an incredibly advanced piece of high technology does not matter in the least. Everything is there, just like a real woman who loves me. No concern, just closeness. And she knows me as intimately as the goddess. Almost.

Tracey might be real again. I just do not know for certain.

The caboose is beyond welcomed. I loved it last time and I love it now. Jamie strolls around smiling and taking in the sight of such a beautiful place as I take in the sight of her looking incredibly beautiful. To the bar, to the sofa afterward, and into Jaime's long, loving arms yet again. I cannot get enough of her, and like the goddess, she brings solace to my troubled mind each time. Those eyes... Deep and emotional. She is the machinery which is keeping me alive and on a path. I have no idea where we may end, however if I am in her arms at the time, I do not care. The gunman shot me, I jumped, stepped at Julie's prompt, slid down the glass into oblivion, and each time meant a beginning to try something else. I had to continue making my way despite the pain of not knowing. And I did, but now that path has eased thanks to the duchess right there for me. All mine, and unwilling to entertain anything or anyone else in the world. Either world, really. That means issue two is put to rest. I need not worry of her feelings, direction, or intentions as they relate to me. There is no possibility of anything bad happening unless I lose her completely. Just as my mind relaxes over the idea of staying all cozy with her in the caboose, those eyes change color. Fading, fading, black. No pupils. Jaime then takes my hand and states very clearly that I must consider going back to the passenger car after a period of rest. Ugh, fuck me in a gas can, I do not want to go over there anymore, but she is insisting. Like, strong insistence. Fuck. Whatever. I should have known that being pushed back toward the bad place was going to happen at some point. I grab hold and whisper that I need her near me, to which she professes her love, drops away from me, and indicates that her rest is just as necessary. Hmm... Plugging in? Yep. Right down on the settee, thighs screaming to me like the goddess sitting on a barstool, and she connects herself to the caboose. I drop a kiss to her warm forehead and relax myself on the sofa. Drifting, with thoughts and fears intertwining like blades of grass in a storm. Damn it.

After a long while, I see her picturesque legs twitch a bit, which pulls me from the din of worry over my passenger car and what it may mean. Jaime disconnects herself and comes straight to me with enormous blue eyes. I could swear that her hair is now darker, but what the fuck anyway. I stare. She is amazing beyond words, and reminds me of every single woman who took time out of their respective lives to be with me. Adventure after adventure, tens of thousands spent to be in the comfort I had so badly needed. Jaime gazes back at me with those windows looking like infinity defined. A little smile, and I melt into her arms again. God damn, if I could just stay here forever. Nope. Not a chance. The shit awaits me.

'We must go, my love.'
'I know.'

Sadness as everything goes away and the pain returns. We step together toward the door, I pause to look back at something I may never see again, and we are out. That is that. With each step toward the rumbling locomotive, my heart sinks further into a pit of despair. I know Jaime is right there to hold me up, but I also know that when I moved toward the car of hell she remained behind with a tear. To do that again scares the shit out of me, as if I do not know if that duchess will be waiting for me to return after whatever trial is ahead. My stomach is on a rollercoaster as we climb into the temperate cab and take to the big seats. God help me.



738

All gone



And there it sits, washed in light from above, like the end of me. Heaven? No... The other. Unlock, throttle, worry. For the love of Christ, please let me get back to the duchess after whatever the fuck I need to see in that place. Please.

As we roll the radius and look ahead, I see that Jaime's eyes are very dark, like gray, and bigger than ever. I love the changeable nature of her windows and the sight of her while emotional is enough to drive me out of my mind. The woman is so fucking beautiful, even without the color changes, that I cannot understand from where she could have originated. Just looking, watching her scan the horizon is unreal. She is not machinelike at all, but smooth and soft, with motions that bring me to a dreamy state, like being in a film of my own design. I simply love it to no end. If she is not in the cab when I emerge from the other car, I just might press the controls and dash out onto the rails to be free of the loss. Of course, and as things have transpired for days, I am certain I will wind up right across the street from the Dracorum yet again. I just don't know, but I need her like nothing else in the world. Approaching the situation I wish to avoid, Jaime takes my hand with a gentle touch and blows a kiss. Damn. I do not know why she is here, but fuck it all... I love her.

Stop. Lock. Big hug. Kisses all over my face from the duchess.

'Be careful, lover.'
'I will.'

Out the door and down the ladder toward nothing I want. Behind me is the universe, clad in beautiful clothing and a heart that just kills me every time I see those eyes. Fuck me.

Once again I am taken from myself as I try to navigate the roadbed and ties. The glow is making me even more nervous than before. And as overjoyed as I had been when we drove away from this place, all of that is gone. Hopefully not for good. I need her. Bad. Right now is not the time for me to be in pain, either. Enough of that has been thrown my way already. And here it is... Weakness, shortness of breath, knees barely holding me up. As I double part way over, I can reach the rails and pull up one rung at a time. I am reminded of the hopper and the hell I went through to get up that fucking frozen ladder. Two steps. Three. A pause. Another. In through the nose and out through the mouth, just like my grandfather used to teach. Damn it, the strength is waning badly, my nose is running due to tears forming, and my feet are feeling as if I am carrying a thousand pounds up that ladder. The top. The deck plate. The door... Right there. Glow, curtains, smoke above from the chimney. I am so fucking frightened that I have to look back to my duchess and see her eyes one more time. Turning, there she is, in the faint light of the cab and looking straight to me with both hands over her pretty mouth. I love her. She loves me. A hand to the latch.

Open.

Seven women standing in a half circle, all dressed as if they are attending a funeral. Black. All black, just like my brain right now, and each wearing the exact same dress and shoes. I have to take a moment and gather myself at the sight of all of them before I can even think of continuing to learn of the why. From left to right... Jessica, Julie, Jennifer, Julia, Jaime, Justine, and one I do not recognize just behind the line and dead center. That woman is towering over everyone. Sitting at an old table in the corner with his ancient bottle of whiskey is the gunman with a blank expression and one hand on his glass. Wait a minute. Jaime? I thought she had remained in the cab. Damn it, my insides are not good. Still unable to stand fully upright, I choose instead to sit on my feet and try to breathe. Nose, mouth. In, out. Nothing helps. I cannot believe those women are all here, and all staring at me with sadness in their eyes. Candles on a small table in the center, a wood fire in the opposite corner, and the smells of fall in the still air. To my immediate right, another old table with what would normally be a snow globe. This one is different. Inside is smoke swirling and a small version of the dragon writhing and spitting miniature flames which lick the glass and circle around behind him. It is kind of pretty, poetic, something.

Holy God help me, please. Nausea. Headache. Dry mouth. Flashes of seeing that boy, the man, his neck exploding, my dad lying there unconscious, and DeAnn’s little eyes running like a faucet. This is different, somehow not as frightening, but still my body automatically responds with wracking discomfort. The woman in the center speaks, and with the authority of God himself...

'We are you, and now you will know why.'

A touch of sweat on my brow, the room begins to tilt, and blackness. Thud."



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