Virtual Bohemia

Blognovels by Anonymoses Hyperlincoln

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Chapter 16 - The End

November 21, 2004
False Confession Day
World Hello Day
Magritte, Voltaire and Bjork
Sunday. It’s the birthday of Magritte, Voltaire and Bjork. Must be something in the water on this day, to have birthed such creativity.


This month we have tried to get out fill of the myriad holidays that are celebrated in the festive month of November. And now, I must confessed to being a little bit burnt out on celebrating. Sort of how Peter Pan must have felt upon getting sick of Daily Christmas. And yet, Thanksgiving, beyond the myth, is a time for fellowship, sharing, aring, looking out for your fellow man and woman. A good thing. Something we would do well to consider and act upon on a daily basis.

And I know that this year, I am not going to touch politics…unless, of course, it is brought up, and even then I promise to be a paragon of charm, taste and wit.

Election year Thanksgivings leave a lot to be desired. It’s as if, every four years, we have to go through suffering in order to atone the sins of our vote. And this year there should be guilt aplenty. I would often respond to someone who was essentially canceling my vote by saying: “I didn’t realize you were so cruel!” or “What a mean thing to do! Have you yet no decency?”
And yet I realize that half of America is going to take a virtual mirror image view of the other half. It’s the very nature of Reaction.

And this election was perhaps the most contentious in a lifetime…yet Thanksgiving is not cancelled. It’s stands poised like a tiger ready to pounce. And pounce day is upon us.

But, as I said, not unless provoked.

Alas, this seems to be the tactic of the day. Wanna hit somebody? Provoke them, and when provoked, do what you wanted to do anyway. Seems childish, doesn’t it? And now I hear even FDR may have provoked the Japanese. Enter Pearl Harbor. And just before 9/11 the US told the Taliban “a carpet of gold, or a carpet of bombs”. Is this not provocation? If not, provocative, for sure.

And so maybe, on second thought, I won’t even do battle, even if provoked. Maybe the setiment will ripple, and fill the globe, so that one day, as Dag Hammerskold once said, we can forgive, and break the chain of causation…which leads to this endless and deadly tit for tat.

The Meaning of the Holydays

I should have known that the book would bleed past the official stop date, and that I would have to continue on the see how things unfolded. But now that I think about it, it seems only natural to allow the year to end as the book ends. A nice sort of symmetry there, although the book does not begin at the beginning of the year.

The Preantepenultimate

The blognoscenti had convened at Camp Dave. The holidays had brought everyone to town, and to retreat at Camp Dave had, over the years, become a holiday tradition. Iddybud was there, as was Judicael Wren, Maria Magndela, Surreal McCoy, Garrick Ammonium, Ra Bourbon and the lovely Ginger L. (Ginger K could not come because she, like Jesus, had to get her nails done.)
Each year, they would agree on a theme, and this year the theme was the 2004 election. Judicael suggested that we brainstorm and compile a speech for the President. A majority agreed this would be a fun task. Perhaps even useful.
“Given the current state of affairs, what should the President say…even if it completely goes against his nature?” Jude inquired, as Ginger L. was passing out punch.
“Maybe we can sell him the speech, take the hundred dollars and retire to West Virginia.” Oliver Sutton, who was not even there, blurted out. He sat crocked in a booth at the Penguin, and so relaxed, would let others people’s thoughts pass through his mind.
“Maybe we can sell him the speech, take the hundred dollars and retire to West Virginia.” Garrick Ammonium said, with a snide look on his face. A New Yorker with aristocratic pretentions, Garrick relished every opportunity to poke fun at plebes, hoi polloi, the subproletariat. And Appalachia was among his favorite targets. A shame really, as West Virginia was once just a part of Virginia, and no one would think to make fun of Virginia, as it is the cradle of Presidents, and setting for much of America’s historical treasury.
“Say something nice about the South, Ammonium!” Surreal McCoy, a native Southerner, challenged.
“OK. I can do that.” Garrick fell pensive, silent.
“Waiting!” Surreal loved to unnerve people. He made it a science.
“OK. I never had a hard time finding ketchup in the South.”
“That’s because you are smack dab in the middle of ketchup country. You can do better than that.” Surreal egged him on.
Ammonium began to twist his moustache, squint his eyes, and pivot his head in a manner more proper for the eating of a taco. This was an indication of deep-brain mining. Suddenly his eyes light up.
“The Golden Latitude runs through the South.” Garrick was defiant.
“Golden Latitude? What the hell is that? No points.” McCoy feigned condescension.
So Garrick Ammonium pulled out a pen from his shirt pocket, and a piece of folded paper from his back pants pocket, and began to draw a map of the earth. Peters Projection. Garrick had a photographic memory, and his ability to translate his memory onto paper, using his mind and hands was impressive.
He drew a line, right to left, which spanned the entire earth.
“Here is Charlotte.” He showed that, indeed, Charlotte was but a hair’s breadth from that line, which apparently was the Golden Latitude. “Yeah, it goes right through Green Witch Village…which is in the South.”
“I know where the Village is. I live on its outskirts.”
“Ooh! Sounds sexy!” Ra Bourbon, who was in the kitchen, blurted out. “Now what about this speech?”
“Yeah. Come on folks. Let’s do this thing, then we can Saturnalianize.” Judicael was anxious. He had to run out soon, for what reason he would not say.
“I’m in!” Ginger L. said, as she too emerged from the kitchen, where she was stirring the Matso ball soup.
“That’s my line, baby!” Ra Bourbon, who was particularly randy that day, interjected. Iddybud, who is almost seven feet tall and has an IQ of 190, just gave Ra an intelligent stare, to which Ra responded, “What?”

The Antepenultimate

I have a little time to ruminate over my life, and I don’t know, maybe it’s the smoke-filled room, maybe the tulips spilling over the vase, but my mind is suddenly transported to the presidential suite at the Grand Hotel in Amsterdam. Princess Diana had just died, and a bunch of us were heading to Paris, but were going to hang out in Amsterdam for a few days before heading down.
The occasion was the birthday of Ra Bourbon, who was living in Prague at the time. Or maybe it was Moscow. Yes, I believe he and Ginger L. had already moved to Moscow, where they were co-bureau chieftains for a major newspaper.
It’s amazing what you could get in Moscow for 5 grand a month. Louis XIV would feel right at home. But now we are in Amsterdam, Ginger L. looks smashing in her colorful sundress, and Thomas Bleever was no where in sight. He was, in fact, in Charlotte.

Tom Cook of London was there, as was Catherine Smith, who too, was living in Moscow. Nils and Marta were there from Copenhagen, and Kevin O’Brien had flown up from Frankfort. An international motley crew we were, there, at one of the best, if not the best, venue in town…and the cabinets were stocked with drink. A few dozen bottles later, I was told they weren’t complimentary.
“Not c-com-complimedery? Well oh shit, I s-say.”
In fact the little bottles were as expensive as big bottles back home. Who did these people think they were? The Dutch?
And yet we drank anyway. We drank through Diana’s funeral, through Elton John singing “Goodby England’s Rose”, or whatever it was called. Beautiful song. Always was.
Let’s go to the Van Gogh, Ra, who was always planning this or that, and thank God, suggested. “Fine with me.” Tom Cook said. “I so no realson why this would be a bad decision.”, Kevin complicitized.
And before long we were all on our feet, trundling down the little sidewalks that pass over and alongside the pretty canals which run down every other street. Or so it seemed.
The streets were full of bicylists and pedestrians. Passenger trains move slowly but deliberately through some of the major streets, nearly missing the pedestrians and cyclists, which filled the streets, but moved than amoeba when parted by the trains.
An occasional car, usually a small car, about the size of the first Honda Civic, would appear, as it would down the streets and sidewalks. But by far the most numerous mode of transport, if not legs, was the bicycle. Not the bright shiny new bicycles one more often than not sees in America, with its bizarre downward-curling handle bars. No, these were old as the hill, and upright. A lady’s or gentleman’s bike.
In some places you would see them piled up, by the hundreds, each indistinguishable from the next. The Train Station housed the largest collection I had ever seen.

Every so often you would see a policeman, who was basically there to give directions. And most of the people you’d see, seemed calm, collected, contented, even happy, if not blasted out of their heads.
Although I must say, I don’t recall every seeing such a sight, except, maybe when I went into that little room behind the curtain.

“That was a mirror, moron!”

Well, let me continue.

We got to the Van Gogh Museum, went in, came out, partied in Amsterdam a few days, drove to Paris, drove back from Paris, took a cab to the airport, arrived in Detroit, took another flight back to Charlotte, came home, fixed coffee, listened to my answering machine messages, got on the Internet, checked my email, went to the bathroom, peed, shook, flushed, turned out the light, shut off the computer and most of the lights, pulled back the covers, climbed in, read from a book, got drowsy, reached up, turned out the light, fell asleep, dreamed I was floating off the bed, and that I could feel my body fill with energy and light and I knew I was Jesus, and that Iddybud was standing behind my head saying “you ARE Jesus”, and then I had to pee again, then got up, went to the bathroom, peed again, shook again, went back to bed again, dreamt again, of standing on the edge of the ocean, mushroom cloud, skin blowing back like burning clothes in the wind, scared, awoke, got up, turned on the microwave, looked in…

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Cal Watkins, Haj Ross, Steve Reich, Dalai Lama, Yehudi Menuhin, Peter Gomes, Sankai Juku, Tom Trainor, Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton and the Toy Soldiers crew, Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Kelly DeMarce, Jen Harris, Bob and Chris Proost, Liz Lee, David Shockley, Chogyam Trungpa, Allen Ginsburg, Dai Rakuda Kan, Chivas, David Foreman, Carolyn Soto, Percy, John Jones, Lucy, Maria Robbins, Bob Brustein, Joe Campbell, Wilma Wetterstrom, el BJ, Dave Funder, Dave Buss, Ryni, Bubu Yaggers, Ginestera, Teddi Scobi, Jan Brown, Ricardo Guillermo, Berio, Mort Subotnik, Zhoodah, Bucky Fuller, Brian Silver, Morton Bloomfield, Nancy Reinhardt, Petra Hesse, Jeff Heath, Hugo Bedau, Norm Daniels, Vineyard Vanderbilts, Joe Cook, Dick and Jeanne Williams, Sam Osherson, Ken Phillips, Gary Wells, Tom Hansen, Steve Zocchi, McLeods, Rachel and the Ferrier, Jack Saunders, The Urbans, The Zelenkos, Jonathan McVity, Lexi Boris, Megajesus, MrWondrous, Yokel from the 8th Dimension, Buckwheat, Ialdabaoth, Microjesus Adamant Steve, David Beckwith, Ashiata Shiamash, Moby K. Dick, Darryl Parker, Ortolano, Lance Gargoyle, Mark Lemaire, Jennifer Nodine, John Hall, Scott Huffman, Kevin Finucane, Javed Sultan, Gary Wells, John Giere, Monty Allen, the Spectors

The Penultimate

In the first week of September, 2001, I was doing everything I could to keep from going the Manhattan…even though Ra Bourbon had already purchased my plane ticket. What was the problem?
The problem was that I was having a bad feeling about things, and I felt that Manhattan was particularly vulnerable to attack. I was supposed to fly to New York on the 5th, and return on the 10th. But my return flight was cancelled.

The Ultimate

What Laurence Sterne said back in 1759 still holds true today. At least in some quarters. Writing is conversation. But conversation has been shattered, or has evolved rather, into a ma ultitude of myriad forms. E-mails, Instant Messages, telephones, blogs, vlogs, dogs, moblogs, flashmobs, I-Pods, MP3s, Net Phone, WebTV, as well as phone sex, cybersex, and metrosex. But also conversations with God, ancestors, angels, kindred spirits, gurus, and even distant suns. Sirius shines on the rich and poor alike. All these form a great chain of conversation, and we exist as in a great confluence of strings which bind of each to the other, past, present, and future.

Bla bla bla…[refer to the fact that the story doesn’t close, it is not a finite game. Make them want to come back for further adventures…]… the end.


As the great chain of conversation binds us, each to the other, and each other to others in the past, and the future, we should take heart in our interdependence. We could be adrift in a sea of alienation, but we really are not monads, even though our brains may be in our gonads.

As the year winds to a close, I think back on all the pain and suffering, but also the surprises and joys, and hope that next year brings less of the former and more of the latter. Not just to me, but also to those who most need it. And may we all be good service providers to that end. The End…


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