Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 32 (1974) pt 7


As another year came to its end and a new one began, I wondered how long we could
keep pulling this off. Lucky for us, my mom and dad decided to try and reconcile their
faltering marriage by allowing me to stay with Harmony through the new year.

As I can recall, a limousine picked them up at the house on a Friday afternoon,
whisking them away to the airport. While my parents spent an entire week in
Aruba, they would call Harmony every day to make sure I was okay.

Also, to reassure themselves I wasn’t driving her crazy.

My mother raved about how lovely the townspeople were, and how the trade winds
came blowing in off the shore to cool everything down, while my father went on about
the cultural scenery, makeshift homes, and how uniquely different it was from our way
of living. He explained to me, how the exquisite beach had pure white sand, and how
clean that pure white sand was, free of debris, and other man-made objects.

Unlike in our part of the world where foreign objects lie scattered across
our beach and countryside, littering the landscape, making our native
American ancestors weep with a sorrow that is unforgiving.

I was just happy they were content with each other, and when they returned
to Staten Island, a new chapter in their lives could finally begin.

Like a fairy tale crafted from hemlock, I could
not have been more wrong in my assumption.

Aside from the dilemma my parents would face upon returning to the states,
Harmony and I had the time of our lives. I watched the ball drop for the first
time, and we welcomed in the new year holding hands. That was the first
and only New Year's Eve we would ever spend together.

Most of the time we didn't stray too far from the house, because God forbid
a nosy neighbor should see us doing something inappropriate and decide to
tell my parents upon their return. I’m sure they would be looking to retaliate.

Especially, if they came back worse than they left.

Maybe life is just a Freudian puzzle that adults have yet to figure
out, and if a child can manage to do it, then that would make them
look really stupid. And no adult wants to look stupid. I didn't think
it was insanely difficult to hold down a relationship, provided you
genuinely loved the person you were in the long haul with.

You did have to work on it constantly though.

You have to be a good listener.
You have to be attentive to her needs.
You have to make her feel like she is the only woman on earth,
and she will reward you for it, in ways you can only imagine.

You also have to be a good provider (which I wasn't yet)
but I knew one day, I would be.
And you have to make her feel emotionally secure,
which to my surprise came easy.

I was never a worry wart, because I trusted my own intuition.
When I felt something was wrong, then it usually was.
At which point, I would have to sharpen my instincts,
and prepare myself for whatever came next.

The same cannot be said for an unavoidable tragedy.

If for example, a judgment call had to be made, and my mom used
a ladder to peek in the living room window and saw more than she
bargained for. Now that would be cause for some real concern.

If on the other hand, my parents began to physically assault Harmony,
I would have no other choice but to take 'appropriate measures' to
ensure the safety and welfare of my beloved girlfriend.

In other words, commit the unthinkable.

If they had to hurt someone, then I would be
the other end of the fist or broom, bleeding.

That I could forgive them for, but the penalty for hurting an angel
is far more severe than I should attempt to bolster in mere words.

If let's say, for 'whatever reason' my parents did catch us in the middle
of a passionate tryst, I am sure I could expect those beatings. I would
then be forbidden to see the only person I ever truly loved, while they
begin removing things from my room.   

Things I enjoy such as my turntable, comic books, etc. I’d probably
be banished to my room for long periods of time, possibly without
supper. During which time they might even have the audacity to
tell me that they are
'only doing this' because 'they love me.'

       “People like that deserve to be put on fire.”

It is selfish, and it is wrong to deliberately restrict someone from communicating
with the person whom they are enamored to. This life is not about them anymore,
it's about us. Our happiness. Our future together. No one, and I repeat, 'no one'
is going to bring that kind of pain down upon us. Not if I can help it anyway.

But the truth of the matter is they don't know, and they are good people. Just the
same, they cannot be trusted until I come of age, and no matter how hard they try
to gain my confidence in life, they ab-so-lute-ly can not be told of this. No way.

would be the only fatal flaw, and believe me brother it is not going to happen.

There is an old saying that dates back to the time of Adam.
You might even hear it said today.

           "TRUST NO ONE"


As I sit shivering in a warm apartment, I can no longer control my emotions.
It's my fault for resurrecting her, I should have known better. Everything I tried
so dearly to keep buried has come back to haunt me, and I cannot get her image
out of my mind. My chest feels like it's in a milling vice being squeezed, while my
hands tremble so, I can hardly type these words. And this is torturing me to no end.

                                                                             Pg 213

Sometimes in the morning when I awaken, there is an interlude of silence, and
for that brief moment, I almost expect her to be lying near me. How something
so perfect could ever come to this goes beyond the realm of any form of reason.

Then in that instant of a heartbeat, I realize someone is taking her place.

During those seconds it begins to dawn on me.
She's just not the person I needed so much to be there.

                                             *Then it gets bad*

You start to regress until you find that it's actually worse now, than if there was
no one there at all. As you slowly fall victim to the memories, you find yourself
wading in a pool of tears, till you're nothing but a hand in an ocean going down.

Indeed, we are all born into despair, for the very moment we are slated to
take our first breath, we have already begun to die. When I look at myself
in the mirror, I do not see a person, but rather a conscious entity standing
inside a shell, masked in sorrow. I want to punch it, but it is not the mirror
I am angry with, it is time. Time has betrayed me in ways you could never
understand and filled me with a sadness beyond measure. Like waiting
for your wife at the airport and finding out that plane landed in 1974.

ou missed her.
. . You were sleeping.”

Now instead of reveling in each day, like each day was a precious gift
hand-picked by God, you look forward to trying out a casket while you
sit in mourning, watching your skin turn into that of a rotting prune.

I am not ashamed to admit I am frightened. In fact, I am terrified. 

Those wonderful memories have all become like steel blades of a bone saw.
Oh my love, how deep they wound.

Yet I would not trade even one moment we shared together. Harmony,
if you're out there, I can almost feel you by my side, guiding my hand
in the writing of this book. Oh Harmony, I love you more than anyone.
I always have. When it comes time for me to summon Dark Monday,
I will be prepared, because summoning that day again will force me to
relive the worst nightmare imaginable. Where every waking moment
apart from your sweet love becomes an insatiable yearning time
cannot relate to, but for you my darling, I will do this. . .

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((One - last - time)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Have you ever wondered what it was like for the angels to be cast out of the ceiling of
heaven? If so, then by all means read on. However, if you don't, I would strongly advise
you to close this book now. Turn away, and never look back, because it's coming.

Be forewarned, what you are about to read cannot be unread.

Most people live their lives burdened with ninety percent hardship and ten percent bliss.

They live paycheck to paycheck while they worry about bills, their health, and losing
what little they actually possess as they struggle to stay afloat in tumultuous waters.

If you separated the day into three quarters, you would find most people spend eight
hours working, eight hours sleeping, and eight hours trying to improve whatever
social life they may currently have. For me, every single moment was bliss.

In an age where freedom was embroidered in the soul,
rather than imprinted on the face of sweatshirts.   

What I wouldn't do in this life just to hold you in my arms once more.
I would gladly burn this book if I knew it would bring you back, but
what would burning the book do except have me lose you again,
and that is something I am not strong enough to even think of. 

In truth, I just wanted to tell the world about Harmony and wrote a few extra pages.
I got lost in a dream, and I never woke up. Who can say that each life is not its own
separate universe? A place of purgatory for past sins. A world designed only for you,
that will die when you die, only to become a resurgent force all over again in a new
body with new pitfalls. Can you tell me otherwise?

In the end, will anything really matter except the rejoining of you and me? I'm sorry
baby, but I refuse to be put into the ground knowing you will be forgotten. I need the
world to love you as I have loved you. To know you as I have known you. To remember
you the way I remember you, long after I have been discarded. Is that such a sin?

                                                                             Pg 214

For now, it's Wednesday, July 17. Summertime. School is over
until the fall,
but Harmony insists I brush up on my studies, and
so I do. If I have a problem,
she is eager to help me with it.

Overall, she makes learning fun.

Unlike my parents who say, “no one ever helped us
with our homework,” and, “do it yourself or fail.”

Most of the time, I tried to forget about them by simply living the
best way I knew how. In doing so, I enveloped myself in Harmony,
knowing she would always be there for me. Her door is always
open, and I no longer have that terrible fear of her leaving me.

I am more mature now.

If something is troubling me, I tell her about it, and it goes away. A
woman more nurturing than Harmony would be rare, and everyday
my love for her grows stronger. My maternal grandparents who lived
down the beach on Cedar Grove Avenue had begun to wonder why I
wasn't coming over to the pool anymore, and questions were being
raised. Why just this morning, I heard my mother on the dining

“Oh mom, don't worry. He's all right, and he's happier now
than ever.” 

Harmony's dwelling had become my haven, and we
were doing
everything together. Soon, we'll be able to flaunt our
love at will
for we will have won the game, and how great that
day is going
to be. I can almost see it.

Sweeter than anything known to man and twice as gentle.
This is my lover.

                              The Romancers - She gives me love

But the world was beginning to change in ways my tiny brain
would never be able to comprehend. Even after I went mad.

On the morning of Friday, August 9th, I awoke to find out that President
Nixon had been forced to resign. The news came as a shock to us all,
with the exception of Harmony who could have cared less had he fallen
from a cable car. For me it was the end of an era. I was getting older.

Times were changing.

That should have made me feel better, but for some reason it didn’t.
For a moment, it felt as if someone put a blower to my ear and blew all
the information that had been carefully stored in neat little boxes out onto
the living room carpet. I was stunned and disoriented, but would recover.

Before the evening twilight fell upon the trees, Harmony was making me laugh
by fooling around with dramatical masks used in theatre. The ancient symbols
of comedy and tragedy were the happy and sad faces she used to portray the
old Indian women of her village. Through impersonation she used humorous
anecdotes to critique while exaggerating between satirical jesting and ironic
misandry. Casually, she threw around an accent that was thicker than a
rolling fog. It was an accent I truly adored, and she knew it.

                                                        The Kirkbys - Bless you

Soon it was Friday, October 25th. My parents were officially divorced, and I insisted on
staying with Timmy while my mother courted her new flame. In celebration of my 11th
birthday today, Mother would allow me to take the day off from school. Walking upstairs,
I slammed the bathroom door before dropping the thick plastic cup to the ceramic tiles,
making it obvious I was in there. I then opened the door very quietly and crept into my
parent's room where I dialed Harmony's number. I told her I was being forced into
doing something I did not want to do and begged her to come over and help me
get out of it somehow. Because of the urgency in my voice, Harmony was outside
ringing the doorbell almost faster than I could get back into the bathroom again.

As mom opened the outside door, Harmony rushed in. I flushed the toilet and began
to walk down the stairs when I heard Harmony crying and thought to myself, “oh my
God, what happened?” I froze at the top of the stairs and couldn't move until Harmony
left. I then walked apprehensively down the stairs to the living room where my mom
was seated. She told me I could stay and I was ecstatic.

Until my mother told me what it was that Harmony said.

                                                                             Pg 215

“Charlie, I think you need to sit down.” The sadness in my mother's voice
made my stomach sick and my head dizzy. “I don't know how to say this
to you honey, (holding my hands) but your friend is dying.” I didn't even
need a minute for it to sink in, it was already there.

I jumped up hysterical shouting, “don't say that. How could you say that?”

My mother embraced me, and I wept like a baby in her arms. Two hours
 later at ten o'clock, Harmony and I waved goodbye to them as they left
that morning in my mother's brand new 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

As the bright orange car made its debut up the street, confetti
came raining down upon us in the form of a passing shower.

                             Like a ticker tape parade held in my honor.
                             I didn't care if they came back this Sunday,
                             or the following year. I would be alone with
                               Harmony, and that was all that mattered.

                                                Elton John - Strange rain

Upon entering the house, I confronted Harmony
about what she had said to my mother.

“Why would you say such a thing like that to her?”

“You wanted to get out of going, didn't you?”

“Yes, but not like that.”

“Like how then? How else was I going to do it? You tell me how.”

“I don't know how. I only know what they know.

Timmy is dying.

That's all they know, and if he dies, we die, cause then I can't stay here anymore.”
At this point in time, I was borderline hysterical and could not catch my breath.

“If you don't think for us, we're doomed, cause I can't do it.”

She held me in her arms and told me not to cry.

“I did a real stupid thing, and I am so sorry. Maybe with
chemotherapy we could keep him around until you're seventeen.
After that, no one will have any use for him anymore, so he dies.”

“You mean we just stop talking about him?”

“I mean, I go to my country for two weeks to bury my brother.”

“I wish I was as smart as you.”

“You are, or I wouldn't be with you.”

At approximately two o'clock in the afternoon, Harmony walked into the kitchen
and swung around seductively. Her face half covered by her long wavy hair.

“Happy birthday baby,” she announces in an unpleasant voice before turning herself
around and walking the other way. I have to admit, these past couple of weeks I've
been noticing a marked change in her behavior. A subtle nuance in her attitude. It's
just some peculiar flaw I haven't quite been able to pinpoint, that has imperceptibly
presented itself in her personality. Simple things that used to make her laugh, now
only make her smile, and when she smiles, she is not smiling with me, but for me,
like she has to because she doesn't want to hurt my feelings.

Lately every time she smiles, I get the distinct impression she does
not want to smile at all, but rather absorb herself in things that don't
involve me. But still, the way she looks into my eyes is more loving.

I don’t understand.

                                                                             Pg 216

At around three o'clock, Harmony tells me she is ready to perform a sacred
coming of age ceremony for me. There was incense burning, soothing music
playing and six strange looking esculent mushrooms in a dish. The stems looked
ugly, and I could swear the caps were beginning to turn blue in certain spots.

“Prepare yourself my love, for we are about to embark
on a transcendent journey through time and space.

We will always be together in both body and spirit,” she said to me in a low voice.
“Are you sure you want to go through with this? You must be absolutely certain.”

We will always be together in both body and spirit,” she said to me in a low voice.
“Are you sure you want to go through with this? You must be absolutely certain.”

“Yes,” I said in a strong voice, while trying
to command somewhat of an authority.

“I am going out on a limb here. If something should go wrong. . .”
“Nothing will go wrong, because I have you to watch over me.”

She smiled in that sad new way, and proceeded to light three medium-
sized round candles, before placing them in the center of the table.

One peach, her favorite color.
One green, my favorite color;
One brown. *Earth color - Stability*

Harmony then told me to eat three of the six mushrooms, chewing them as
well as I could until there was nothing left. This we did together. The taste
was a cross between moldy flour that had begun to progress into poison,
and unicorn excrement that was so old it lost its scent. Okay, maybe not a
unicorn, but if I say anything else, you may think I speak from experience.

“In but a brief moment my little prince, I shall walk with you
in the lair of the shadow dwellers, for I have found it is time.”

“What made you change your mind?”

      “My undying love for you.”

Within an hour, I began to see my own voice emanating in the rarest of beautiful
colors, while only a stair-step away stood the most exquisite, most enchanting
angel this world would ever know. The love I felt for her had far surpassed that
of infatuation and was now bordering on a point of worship.

All that which is beautiful, and all that which is pure seemed
to radiate around her, turning everything into a pool of love.

Everything was now beginning to live.

                                               The Mirror - Gingerbread man

The refrigerator was suddenly happy. The cabinet was boasting its doors and
trying earnestly to make me smile. Grass had started to grow like wildfire in the
living room, and the pied pipers down in the blue cavern were leading the band.

                                            The Attack - Colour of my mind

                            In my mind, I was no longer a boy, but a man.

As I stood next to Harmony by the kitchen counter, I realized my potential
in life was limitless. I could be anything I choose to be, and am I really her
prince? Toss a coin into the air. Should it stop in mid flight, then you will
know precisely how I felt for the duration of that entire night.

Standing in the threshold of time, I would find my lover had made me immortal.

I could do anything I wanted to do, and no harm would
come to me. I asked Harmony about this, and she said
what I was experiencing was a lot like a dream.

“Suppose you know you're in a dream, and you need to wake up.
Do you throw yourself in front of a moving automobile?
Certainly not, what if you're sleepwalking?

That would be cause and effect for your downfall.

The same holds true when you walk in the land of the Shadow Dwellers.
You now have to be more aware of things than you would normally have to be
aware of in waking life, so no my little prince, we have to be very careful here.”

                                       The Shady Days - That's how strong love is

                                                                             Pg 217

I wasn't worried about the material world coming alive and hurting me, for
felt very relaxed and comfortable in my new domain. Everything around me
was acting like it was my friend and accepting me for who I was. Kind of like
the way Harmony had been treating me all these years. Meaning, I didn't have
to put on airs for even myself, let alone Harmony or our new found friends.

I will admit in all sincerity, the illusive world in its mystique had covered me
in a brilliance 'no sugar coating of words' would ever be able to redefine.

I knew these physical objects had the power to destroy me if they so desired,
but instead, it was almost as though they were trying to uplift my spirit by
expressing themselves to me, the only way they knew how. Not in an overtly
childish manner, like Janine at the dentist's office who would make googly
faces with rolling eyes as she spoke. As if every child who entered the office
was mentally retarded, and that profound deficiency could be tickled.

From the time I was six years old, I knew she was hitting the laughing gas.
No, she would not find me giggling at her antics.

The effect of the curious mushroom was nothing like that.
It was more like a favorite toy that suddenly comes to life
and begins looking for ways of expressing itself to you.

That is the only way I can possibly explain it,
and of course, I could only sense this however.

To me, it felt like I had just stumbled into wonderland and
would soon be meeting all the characters from the book.

Overall, there wasn't an ounce of anything bad in all the land.

In truth, I would have to say I was surrounded by a feeling of peace and well-being.

I closed my eyes, and told God how thankful I was for blessing me with someone so
sweet and so kind. Most women would not have given me a second look, let alone a
chance to win their heart, but Harmony wasn't most women.

          (((((((((((((((((((((((((((No, Harmony was special)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Looking down at the kitchen table, I began to stare at the soft fabric place mats neatly
coordinated around a sterling silver centerpiece. From what I could gather, they seemed
to have merged into the grain itself, without altering any of the unique characteristics of
either entity. If I had to theorize, I would have to say it was like two polar fields that were
working together to produce something the mind would never be able to grasp. Four
rectangular squares with infinite depth, were actively dissolving into the wood like
ripples cast from within, opposed to an external ripple.

As I harkened to a sound beneath my feet, the color of the kitchen began to offset my mind.

Since it was a light pink, I kept feeling like I was inside a dollhouse. Lightning crackled in the
darkening sky producing a minimal light that made it feel like the sky was shivering. Ominous
tones of eeriness cast an unforgiving shadow on the world, before the big boom could be heard.

A sound so threatening, it partially cracked the main speaker located
directly above the eternal skyline. I looked up into heaven as the rain
came down in the form of a billion marbles, hammering the roof.

As the light flickered in the kitchen, the mystery of ages past would try to lure me
into the living room. I suppose it was all curiousity. There was something I needed
to see in there, but whatever it was, was going to have to wait a bit longer.

As I viewed myself in the chair from afar, I didn’t know my neck could
be that long. Looking down at the structure of my own body, I was both
elated and confused to realize just how lifelike I was as a miniature
Stretch Armstrong. Extending my arms from side to side, I wasn’t
quite sure if they would keep going until my hands touched the wall.

This was absolutely fantastic.
Little could I have known,
to what degree my DNA was being altered.

Hearing the sound of a toilet bowl flushing only seemed to amplify
the dollhouse effect. I then began to wonder a very strange thing.

If I'm in a dollhouse, and I am as big as a toy soldier, doesn't it mean that ‘in reality’
I am very small? Small enough to fall victim to a passing spider or carnivorous centipede?
The deplorable situation was becoming fragile.

Then out of the blue, Harmony returns, only to say that she has to go into the
basement for something. She asks me if I would be okay within the confines
of the room for a brief moment, and that it would only take a minute.

“You’re going down there, now?” I uttered, with
a wee bit of apprehension that was growing.

“Don’t worry, I won’t be long.”

Ever so distantly she smiled, while gazing through the complexities of a life that
had begun to live on its own. The day had not yet been created as normal days
are and so, I watched in animated wonder the great cosmic expanse that only
occurs when present time is exposed to both the past and future collectively.

I was now alone and the house was growing bigger, the rain
was falling harder, and I felt like I was beginning to get ‘hung up.’

An ominous feeling crawled up my spine, and I
knew something was about to go terribly wrong.

      The Seagulls - Don't go out into the rain (you're gonna melt)

With everything happening all at once, the whole charade was bringing
me down, and I was starting to feel most unpleasant over the estate of
the matter. Life was growing around me, and my thoughts were changing,
but for some odd reason, I just wasn't in the mood to be there.

I could now hear Harmony downstairs in the basement banging
things around, and to me it sounded more like someone who
was losing their mind, than it did of any rearranging of items.

Just then, I thought I heard a shrill scream,
but of this I could not be certain.

All that was missing was the horror music,
and I could almost hear it playing.

As Harmony entered holding her wrist, she appeared to
be spooked by something. I asked her if she was okay.

“I'm fine,” she replied in a faraway voice. “I
went to move something and hurt my wrist.”

That didn't register right with me, because it didn't equate
to the truth. I then felt an onset of panic setting in.

Why would she lie to me now? Why is she being deceitful?

“Are you sure?” I asked, but my mouth never opened.
Now I knew things were getting weird.

I could not continue in this manner without elaborating on
my thoughts. I needed to articulate my feelings to alleviate
some of the stress, which one could say had been attributed
to my newly acquired enhanced sensory perception.

Harmony then explained the situation to me,
in words I could understand.

“It is not uncommon to get hung up in here, or to feel like

you’re going crazy. I’ll need you to concentrate on my
voice and touch, and that is what will define you.”

After a while, I was free once more to explore the
labyrinth of time and an unbalanced fictitious world
that had rapidly begun to germinate.

To interpret and understand the mystical, is in a sense,
like popping out on the other side of a rabbit hole.

Indeed, we went on a trip without leaving the house, and would go farther than
the crew of Apollo 7. Harmony was seasoned in the art of exploration, but I was
simply a passenger who would accompany her on the arduous mission.

It is a dangerous journey for such an unadvanced society, but that is the game
our children play, and now we were playing it too. No longer were we in our right
minds, neither were we mad. However, we have changed. Our physical bodies
were not the same, and the masks we used to communicate to one another
have somehow taken on an entirely different meaning.

Into the depths of the unknown, I fell.
My familiar surroundings, now distant.

                                                                           The Hobbits - Artificial face

                                                                                                Pg 218


For no apparent reason, I began to think of my dentist appointment last week.
Everything was still so clear and vivid in my mind, and so I brought the scene
into focus, whereby allowing the story to form in my brain. Every time I found
myself in that waiting room with my dad, Janine, the receptionist would ask
me if I was ready to go to the moon.

Yes, I’d say, but would always regret it once the gas was turned on.

I knew what was coming and nothing could be more horrible, I thought, than
sitting in that chair while the nitrous oxide was being administered. Being fitted
with a small black rubber nose mask prepared me for my journey. As two valves
were turned, that awful smell of burning tires poured into my nostrils, numbing
my nasal cavity and causing my spinal column to float away. The only thing I
could ever think of was pulling it from my face.  

Strange music funneling into my brain would slowly assemble
the pattern
to a disturbing and dreadful hallucination.

After shuffling about the room and moving the instruments of torture around in
a straightforward fashion, Dr. Lee would pause to concern himself in my affairs.
With a dead tongue from the Novocaine, and what felt like an agglomeration of
fossilized stones in my mouth, I was able to utter, “I feel fine.” He would then leave
me to the quiet of my discontent. Disconnected and drifting apart from the world.

                                                            Help me.

When he left that tiny cubicle of a room, the lighted ceiling panels multiplied. The
chair then raised itself up into the grandiose shadow of this towering consternation
until my face was a bar of light. It was on the third floor where my face pressed against
them and stopped. My open mouth reaching the top of the ceiling had nowhere else
to go, and an uncomfortable pressure was now being exerted upon it from on high.

I later surmised this was when he brought the lamp to my face and
had already begun working on my teeth, long after I absconded.

The extraction of deep-rooted wisdom teeth can be a barbaric procedure.

There are presently no other life forms in this bizarre solar system, for all I have
encountered consists of foreign matter which have been displaced and dispersed
all around me, so I am only able to see and hear bits and pieces of what once was.

Soon these odd memories will be all I am comprised of. Have I been deposited
in Purgatory to be sorted through like old clothing? My mind and body had
become numb, leaving me somewhere down in the basement of thought.

“Have I always been here?
If I haven’t been, then how can I prove that I wasn’t?
Should I be worried now?”

So many questions fill my mind, but the answer is always the same.

“Am I dead?
Is this my new life form?

Where is Harmony, or was she only a test?

Even more perplexing, where is my dad?
Why would he leave me here in the bowels of nothingness?

God, this is so strange. Please tell me I haven’t lost them.”

                                                         Elton John - The scaffold

There was a loud jamming sound and a dull clunk. My vehicle of transport had
gone too high for it had gotten stuck. On a desolate avenue in an unfamiliar world
where humans never wander, I find myself alone. Like a funhouse ride that leaves
you stranded in the middle of darkness, surrounded by unequivocal treachery. 

No one can leave this place.

Suddenly, my neck was turned and I began sinking.

“Wow,” I said to myself, “if this is the end of the line,
then I am in some serious trouble, because there
is no way anyone is coming here to save me.

Where are you, dad?” I wondered.

I don't even know what planet my legs are on.
I need to get them back, so I can leave.

                                                                             Pg 219

The galaxy chair must have sensed that we were in a fixed position,
for soon it began readjusting its hydraulics. Then this lost barber chair
sped me down a long corridor, which was now longer than a hospital
wing, until my toes battered the heavy plastic doors. Judging by how
fast I was going, and the amount of pressure exerted from those
swinging doors, I would have to say they were packed with sand. 

In a very eerie room, the chair runs out of propellant
where some kind of activity is taking place. 

Why can't I see anything? Why is the universe so dark?

I fear I am in the clutches of monsters.

The voices I am beginning to hear do not appear to be threatening, and
that is a good sign. Though I perceive them to be studying me with the
utmost precision, and if I am correct, are hand sewing something in the
visible portion of my face. I can feel the invasive protrusion of a needle
and thread being twisted and pulled in and out of my right cheek, which
now feels like an anesthetized water balloon, and I'm frightened.

Why am I here?

When Time in a bottle by Jim Croce ended, the music stopped.
My brain then created its own melody.

Balls, Balls,

Beggars and Balls,

Terribly awful Beggars and Balls.

I see all the children,

they scatter and fall,

running away from Beggars and Balls.

The Muzak has returned to serenade us once more.

           It is a judgement. Not the “one judgement” pertinent to the afterlife
           which is most critical, for there is no returning to make amends. It is
           a place of such desolate isolation that causes one to ponder not only
           the existence of man, but the relationship between man and eternity.

As Mocedades graced the airwaves with Eres tú, I began to wonder
if Harmony, my father, and God Almighty, were nothing more than an
illusion. I open my eyes to find the wayfarers are unmistakably human
and that is a good sign, but their language is garbled, unlike mine.

Whatever the case may be, I honestly believe they are learning.
They are becoming intelligent like us, while I unrevolve.

                                                      Mocedades - Eres tu

Without warning this mad Asian, demon dentist shocked me by
dropping a metal object of deafening proportion on the iron table.
From there he would repeat the same phrase and follow the
same bodily movements again and again.

The phrase was, “pass the tool.”

While I watched him ‘in never end,’ I’d have to say my
brain repeated the function about thirty times to fade out.

As I watch my dentist perform in this strange show,
someone is building towns in my mouth.

                                                  Bad Manners - I am alone

Although he was smiley and quite happy during the day, under the artificial
light he was tricky, and I had to be careful. In that crepuscular world you
were completely at his mercy. With X ray vision and a tool that whizzed
by spitting air and water at me, I would slide deep down into the depths
of a murky illusion, and hide from an occasional piece of flying gum.

Often it would fly out of the trench and into the world of real time.

Where things dressed in black that have no faces slither down hallways, or the
Gaurntruffle's that gather about the room. How they always seemed to move
right before the dentist can catch them in real time remains a mystery to me.

                        I heard someone caught one last year while huffing ether.
                                            He talks to it all the time now.

Sometimes my dentist would crank open my wooden mouth,
carving and scraping all the shavings of tooth, gum, and bone,
that felt like hardened plastic. Stitching and snipping closed
the orifice of an extraction wound. Then he would sicken me
by dropping a pound of flesh into my lap.

That is the pure helplessness of life.

Where the downtrodden sorrows fester in splendid isolation.
That preposterous darkness. That thick soppy gloom is a
lifeline to the floating head, which is now all that is left of me.

As my hands approached a near rigor mortis state, I find them to be welded
to my own chest. My own heart. “I-need to go-now. I-can't open-my-hands.
 Get me out of here,” I screamed to no one.

No one can survive in that world without guidance,
and only a fool should wish to dabble in there.

That blackened void reeks of death.

                                                                             Pg 220

But being here with Harmony, I was safe for she had become my protector.
How could I be afraid of anything, knowing how secure I felt? Considering
I wasn't lost in terrible darkness like at the dentist’s where the mere concept
of walking while under the influence of sweet air would be considered
unfathomable. How much worse could these mushrooms really be?

The goddess standing before me who appeared to be dressed in fine webbings
was now an extension of my own self. The most beautiful part of living was life
with her. I cleaved unto Harmony as a baby would cleave unto its own mother,
and she guided me ever so gracefully through the experience. She would explain
to me, everything I was feeling in the order in which they were being received,
and I would process and attempt to decipher those emotions.

As she rose up from the kitchen chair and advanced down the hallway,
I trailed behind her like a servant following his divine master.

Without any question I was her myrmidon, and she was my muse.

I soon started to feel like an animal of the jungle, reacting on instinct while
following the scent of my soon to be mate. As she opened the bathroom
door and proceeded to tinkle, she asked me how I was feeling.

“Fine,” I replied, as the incandescent glow of candles caused the air to
flicker madly. “You never looked more beautiful than you do right now.
Will you marry me?” I asked.

Her empathic eyes gleamed with love, nourishing the foundation of my soul
while churning the hallow cistern that yearned to release the butterflies from
within the confines of my fettered being.

                                                        Click - Girl with a mind

                                           “I wish I could baby,” said Harmony.

                                                       Maywood - Dance with me

Her eyes effulgently radiated a warmth of inner peace, yet at the same time
I could denote an undeniable sadness to her voice. Six years was a long
time to wait for someone, and I just assumed the heavy heart meant she
would stay the course. This instructed the mask I was wearing to smile.

Harmony waited until I was distracted before pulling up her panties.

Clawing at the air produced a stairstep effect,
which in turn created a magnificent rainbow.
Then like a work of art, I signed it.

“It's so amazing,” I said, “how we look with new eyes.”

It enables us to see and interpret the spiritual side of life.
Would you like to go upstairs with me?” she asked, wildly enthused.
“Yes,” I replied, without hesitation, feeling like a book
was being written about us as we were living it.

As we left the stillness of the bathroom and proceeded
through the living room, it felt like we had ascended the
heavens and were walking in a lazy haze of clouds.

Wait, did the house just lift up into the sky, or were
we now in a towering high-rise? Damned if I know.

The magic of the moment defied reason, and whatever it was,
it was captured in a time frame that was purely mythical.

A land so surreal, neither man, nor beast,
could ever hope to fully comprehend it.

Climbing the steps seemed almost magical, and I could
virtually feel myself spiraling out into an immeasurable sky.

In my mind, I stood at the top of that beautiful ever ascending wooden
staircase, that could have been an escalator to the Almighty kingdom
of God himself, and began screaming a glorious tune to a burned-out
world that appeared to be sleeping.

                                                                      The Rolling Stones - Get off of my cloud

                                              "Hey-hey! You-you! Get off of my cloud."

Entering my lover's bedroom, I pause to look around.

The room was now alive with energy and everything came into
focus so sharp and clear. Is it my eyes that have changed to
convert to their world, or is my brain processing my thoughts
and emotions as it does in the unusual land of lucid dreams?

Strange mushrooms, they are neither vegetable nor mineral,
yet they cause the world to change.

In the most peculiar of ways, we come to the realization
that our lives are forever altered. Not only because our
environment has been compromised, causing our external
world to become grossly transfigured, but also because the
very center of our thought process has been hijacked, flooding
our comfort zone with demons on every spiritual level.

There is no time for me to dwell on edible
fungi now. One day perhaps, I will find out
just what kind of power lies within them.

Modestly, I advanced toward the canopy bed to find Harmony in
a seductive pose. To me, she appeared to be inspecting herself
for flaws. Believe me when I tell you, there were none. I creep
up to her from behind and slide my hands down her waist.

From there I start kissing the small of her back, while my fingers inch their
way up to the nape of her neck. As I begin to undress my lover, I allow the
articles of clothing to fall to the floor where the most interesting things were
beginning to happen. I soon become distracted and lose interest.

There is too much happening for me to concentrate solely on her.

The rug was now overrun with strange looking idiosyncratic goblins who
appeared to be dancing in a red forest while singing and bobbling their
heads merrily. For the first time, my thoughts were diverted from Harmony.

I left her standing partially dressed by the side of the bed, while I ran
my fingers through the compelling red hairs of this shaggy fabric.

“They're all over the place,” I said in a very impressionable state, while
getting down on my hands and knees to observe them. Upon witnessing this,
Harmony proceeded to sit on the edge of the bed. Watching me so intently,
as she continued to undo her bra, placing it down gently on the bed sheets.

She didn't exhibit signs of being disappointed in the least and was soon
down on her hands and knees as well. Harmony pointed to some, while
I pointed at others, and together we came to understand the improbable
notions which equated to being completely insane.

                          The Charles Pendelton Orchestra - Dance of the Balustrades

                                                                             Pg 221

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PG 213) New years kiss by Neil Webb -

PG 213) Guten Tag
by Siegfried Zademack -

PG 213) The Eye
by Matthew Bradbury -

PG 214) Not simply beauty
by Gyuri Lohmuller -

PG 214) Old man in sorrow (On the threshold of eternity) by Vincent Van Gogh

PG 215) The New York Daily News
(Nixon resigns) -

PG 215)
*A drama icon*

PG 216) Walking in the rain by Peter Torrieri

PG 217) Having a night cap
by J. Slattum -

PG 217) Hidden secrets
Jon Krause -

PG 217) Moving on
by Matt Dangler -

PG 217)
Pocket jungle-room
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 218) Final cut
by Michael Cheval -

PG 218) Starman
by Zara Picken -

PG 218) Untitled
by Marcin Kolpanowicz -

PG 218) Schermata
by Matt Dangler -

PG 219) Deimos first step
by Don Dixon -

PG 219) Open wide
by Marshall

PG 219) On the edge of space
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 220) Invoking the seed
by Jason Limon -

PG 220) Comfort in the unknown
by Nathan Spoor -

PG 220) Dentis Maximus by R. S. Connett -

PG 220) Micronaut
by R. S. Connett -

PG 221) Angels of our nature
by Heidi Taillefer -

PG 221) Between two worlds
by Gyuri Lohmuller -

PG 221) Cousins
by Frederic Varady -

PG 221) Your last walk
by Xetobyte -

PG 221) Cloudbreaker
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 221)
Magic Mushrooms
by Philip Straub -

PG 221) Obsidian Champion II
by Steve Argyle -