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. How the exquisite beach had pure white sand,
and how clean that pure white sand was; free of debris, etc...

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 neighbor should
see us together, doing something inappropriate and decide to tell my parents upon their return.
I am 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, providing 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!

The same cannot be said for an unavoidable tragedy. For example, my mom decides
to get inventive by using a ladder to peek in the living room window and sees more
than she bargained for; now that would be cause for some real concern.

If on the other hand, my parents begin to hurt 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
would 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 you 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 dream of understanding 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, 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 minute 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 17th; 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 every day 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 room phone. 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
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 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, we 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 is 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 couldn't 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 walks into the kitchen
and swings around seductively; her face half covered by her long wavy hair.

“Happy birthday baby,” she announces 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.
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 stairstep 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
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 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
I 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 somehow 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 we 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 never 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.
rectangular squares with infinite depth, were actively
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
I looked up into heaven as the rain came down like a billion marbles, hammering the roof. 

Hey wait, if I'm in a dollhouse doesn't that make me about as big as a toy soldier, and if
I'm as big as a toy soldier, doesn't
that mean I'm 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 said she had 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
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 reason I just wasn't there.

I could now hear Harmony downstairs in the basement banging
things around, and t
o 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 to pop 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 as 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 pouring 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 no where 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 have 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?

Questions; 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 they do seem 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 would 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
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
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!
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 clouds. Wait, did the house just float away
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
almost feel us spiraling away into an immeasurable sky!

In my mind, I stood at the top of that beautiful ever ascending wooden staircase,
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 mind
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 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 -