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, and whisked them away to
the airport. They would spend a week in Aruba, and call everyday to make sure I was okay.

My mother raved about how lovely the town and the people were, and how the
trade winds come blowing in to cool everything down, while my father went on
about the cultural scenery, and makeshift homes. How the exquisite beach had
pure white sand, and how clean that pure white sand was; free of debris, etc...

I was just happy that they were finally content with each other, and that when they returned,
to Staten Island, a new chapter in their lives could finally begin. Like a fairytale crafted
from hemlock, I could not have been anymore 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 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 figue out, and if a child can somehow
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 truly 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 no other man could ever 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 secure and safe,
which to my surprise came easy.

If, however, something did go wrong, and either of them began to hurt Harmony,
then I would have no other choice but to take appropriate measures to ensure the
safety and well-being of my beloved angel. In other words, commit the unspeakable.

If they had to hurt someone, then I would be there at the other end of the fist 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 somehow 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 loved, while they would
begin to remove things from my room. Things I enjoy like my turntable, etc. Then finally,
they would banish me to that room for months, probably 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 wrong to ever hurt someone in this manner! This life is not about them anymore,
it's about us! Our happiness and well being! 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 is they don't know, and they
are good people. At least to me. . . Just the same, they cannot be trusted until I come of age, and
no matter how hard they try to gain my confidence, they ab-so-lute-ly can-not be told of this!
No way!!! That 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 large "swivel milling vice" being slowly squeezed, while
my hands tremble so, I can hardly type these words and this is torturing me to no end.

                                                                             Pg 209

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 wonderful and
so perfect could ever come to this goes totally 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, trying to make sense of it all.
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 hope to 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 despair 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 the carbon
steel blades of a bone saw. . . Oh my love, how deep they wound.

Yet, I would not lose 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 be comparable to reliving the worst nightmare one can humanly imagine. Where
every waking moment apart from your sweet love becomes an insatiable yearning
that time cannot relate to; but for you my darling I will do this
, one  last  time

Most people live their lives burdened with 90% hardship and 10% 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 3 quarters,
you would find that most people spend 8 hours working, 8 hours sleeping, and 8 hours trying
to improve whatever social life they may currently have. For me, it was the other way around.

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 that 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 210

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 for someone else. I am more mature now.

If I have a problem, I tell her about it, which makes it go away. A woman more nurturing
than Harmony could not be real, and every day my love for her grows stronger. My
maternal grandparents who lived down the beach on Boehm street had begun to wonder
why I wasn't coming over to the pool anymore and slowly 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
taste 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.

Friday on the
morning of 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 if he fell out of 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 it
was just the opposite. For a brief moment, it kind of 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 a happy face mask on a stick! She was so out of character in stand-up comedy!
Trying to talk like an old Indian woman while throwing around an accent, that was thicker
than my grandmother's antique kitchen table! And believe me, that son-of-a-bitch is thick!!!

                                                        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 fervently 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 down the stairs
into the living room where my mother was seated, and she said I could stay. I was ecstatic!

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

                                                                             Pg 211

“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 for ten minutes. 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 proud bright orange car made its
way 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's all that really 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!” I was totally 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,
Harmony walks into the kitchen and swings

around seductively; her face half covered by her long wavy hair. “Today's the
day,” 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 that
suddenly 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 really don't understand it.

                                                                             Pg 212

At around three O'clock Harmony tells me she is ready to perform a sacred
ceremony. There was incense burning, soothing music playing and six strange
looking mushrooms in a dish. The stems looked really 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 have to 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 of 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 whole entire night!

Standing in the threshold of time, I found that 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 that 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? Absolutely 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 213

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 did not have
to put on airs for even myself, let alone Harmony or my new found friends!

                               I must admit, it felt really wild!

I knew these material 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 in 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 deficient, and would find themselves giggling at her antics.

No, it 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.

It felt like I had suddenly been thrown into wonderland
and would soon meet Alice and the mad hatter
! Overall,
there wasn't an ounce of anything bad in all the land

In truth, I would say I was surrounded by a feeling of peace and well being. I then
proceeded to close my eyes, and told God how thankful I was for blessing me with
someone so sweet and so kind. Most women that lovely would never have given me
a second look,
let alone a chance to win her 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 explain
it, I would have to say it was like two polar fields that were somehow working together to produce
something that the mind would never be able to grasp. Four
rectangular squares with infinite depth,
were rapidly 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 a nonforgiving shadow on the world, before the big boom could be heard!

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 really 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 around back for something.
She asks me if I would be okay within the confines of the house for a brief
moment, and that it would only take a minute. “You’re going outside, now?”
I uttered, with a wee bit of apprehension. “Don’t worry, I’ll take an umbrella!”

She said, smiling ever so distantly, 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 hard, and I felt as though I was beginning to get “hung up.”

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

As Harmony reentered the house through the back door and put the umbrella back in
its stand, I could hear her say quite loudly, “Damn-it” as she slammed the door with
force. With everything happening all at once, I was now feeling really “brung down”
over the whole estate of the matter. Life was growing around me, but I wasn’t there.  

Harmony then explained the situation to me, in words I could understand.
She said, I must concentrate on her voice and touch and that is what will
define me. After awhile, 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.

To go wandering about while your mind calculates the degree of time and effort spent on
a single emotion. Nothing remains, they must be created and built from atoms layered by
inconsequential matter harvested by machines. Machines that have the ability to transport
a human being through time and space, replacing the effigies left behind only in spirit;
from the primitive to the very advanced stages of life. 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. Through all the madness, I could somehow still distinguish the good from the bad,
however, we had changed. Our physical bodies were not the same, and the masks we now
used to communicate to each other have suddenly taken on a slightly new appearance. . .

                                                                 The Hobbits - Artificial face

                                                                                                Pg 214


I then began to think of my dentist appointment last week. 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 excitedly, 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. That awful smell of burning
tires pouring slowly into my nostrils, numbing my sensory perception. The only thing
I could ever think of was pulling it from my face! Strange muzak 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, he 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 ever 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, that I was elevated through
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.

There are presently no other life forms in this bizarre solar system, for all
I have
encountered consists of foreign matter, which has 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 is numb and airy and
my body is somewhere down in the basement of thought. Have I always been
here? What kind of life form am I, and where is Harmony? Even more perplexing,
where is my dad? Why would he leave me in nothingness? God, this is so strange!

                                                         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 where people never wander, I
found myself totally alone. Like a fun house ride through a haunted house that leaves
you stranded in the middle of darkness. Locked inside a metal cage, surrounded by
treachery! No one can leave that place! Suddenly, my neck was turned, and I began
sinking. “Wow,” I said to myself, “if this is the end of the ride, then I am knee deep
in the shit, because there is no way I can ever find my way back from here!”

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

                                                                             Pg 215

Sensing this, the galaxy chair must have known we were in a fixed position and soon
began to readjust 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.

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 sewing something in the visible stempole 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?

           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 isolate desolation that causes one to ponder not only
           the existence of man, but the relationship between man and eternity.

Every time I dream,
I am here. Oh my God, this must be purgatory because I have
always been here! I only thought I left! As Mocedades graces the airwaves with
Eres tú, I begin to think to myself,
what a wonderful life I once knew. Now I don't give
a damn about anything! I open my eyes to find they are unmistakably human and
that is a better sign, but their language is garbled and warped
unlike mine, but they
are surely 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 demon
dentist perform in this strange show, someone is building towns in my mouth.

                                                  Bad Manners - I am alone

Although he was very smiley and quite happy during the day, under the artificial
light, while floating in the vast obscurity of a darkened planetary void 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 this very day!

                        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 and bone that felt like hardened plastic. Stitching and snipping
closed, the wide open 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
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 216

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? Could we become lost in that terrible darkness
like at the dentist? Where the mere concept of walking while under the influence of sweet air
could be considered unfathomable. So 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 of
which they were being received, and I would process and attempt to interpret 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 forest, reacting on instinct while following the scent of
his 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

                                           She laughed and appeared star struck.
                              “Ask me that question in six years, and I'll say yes!”

                                                       Maywood - Dance with me

        Her eyes effulgently radiated a warmth of inner peace that caused the mask
           I was wearing to smile.
She then got up and gave me a loving embrace.

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

Harmony smiled gently! "Would you like to go upstairs with me?” “Yes,” I said without hesitation,
feeling like a book was being written about us, while 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 ninety story
tree house? The magic of the moment defied reason, and whatever it was, it was truly wonderful!!!

At that very moment in time, I began to feel like the man who lived in an apartment on the ninety
ninth floor of his block. He sat at home looking out the window imagining the world had stopped.
When in flew a guy who was dressed up like a Union Jack. He said he had a problem, so he gave
him his detergent back. I'm pretty sure you know the guy I'm referring to. In my mind, I stood at
the top of that beautiful ever ascending wooden staircase, that could have been an escalator to the
kingdom of Almighty God, and began screaming at a burned out world that appeared to be sleeping.

                                                                      The Rolling Stones - Get off of my cloud

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

Entering my lover's bedroom, I pause as I so often do to look around. Today, the room is alive
with energy and everything is so sharp and clear! Is it my eyes that have suddenly changed to
convert to their world, or is my mind processing my thoughts like it does in the land of 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 of 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 magic lies inside them!

Casually, 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 crept
up to her from behind and wrapped my arms around her waist. From there I start to kiss her arm,
but got distracted. There is too much happening for me to concentrate solely on her! As I slowly
begin to undress my lover, I let the articles of clothing fall to the floor, where the most interesting
things were beginning to happen! 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, and began to massage my neck shoulders.

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!

                                                                             Pg 217

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given unto the person or persons responsible. Whether it be an artist, photographer, cartoonist., etc.

PG 209) New years kiss by Neil Webb -

PG 209) Guten Tag
by Siegfried Zademack -

PG 209) The Eye
by Matthew Bradbury -

PG 210) Not simply beauty
by Gyuri Lohmuller -

PG 210) Old man in sorrow (On the threshold of eternity) by Vincent Van Gogh

PG 211) The New York Daily News
(Nixon resigns) -

PG 211)
*A drama icon*

PG 212) Walking in the rain by Peter Torrieri

PG 213) Having a night cap
by J. Slattum -

PG 213) Hidden secrets
Jon Krause -

PG 213) Moving on
by Matt Dangler -

PG 213)
Pocket jungle-room
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 214) Final cut
by Michael Cheval -

PG 214) Starman
by Zara Picken -

PG 214) Untitled
by Marcin Ko?panowicz -

PG 214) Schermata
by Matt Dangler -

PG 215) Deimos first step
by Don Dixon -

PG 215) Open wide
by Marshall

PG 215) On the edge of space
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 216) Invoking the seed
by Jason Limon -

PG 216) Comfort in the unknown
by Nathan Spoor -

PG 216) Dentis Maximus by R. S. Connett -

PG 216) Micronaut
by R. S. Connett -

PG 217) Angels of our nature
by Heidi Taillefer -

PG 217) Between two worlds
by Gyuri Lohmuller -

PG 217) Cousins
by Frederic Varady -

PG 217) Your last walk
by Xetobyte -

PG 217) Cloudbreaker
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 217)
Magic Mushrooms
by Philip Straub -

PG 217) Obsidian Champion II
by Steve Argyle -