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Jan. 1st, 2014

starfishI did resolve a few days ago to move along the long-in-progress work-in-progress to a this-year completion. This afternoon I roughed out this scene that seems to solve a problem that I was having the last time I tried to get past a certain point. These are the new words of the new chapter, fresh and unedited...

The Starfish

Below lay the tomb world, the immutable cause-and-effect world of the demonic. At the median extended the layer of the human, but at any instant a man could plunge—descend as if sinking—into the hell-layer beneath.  Or: he could ascend to the ethereal world above…
--From The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick

So there’s two “yous” in these notes, Chris, you my traveling companion, my step-dad, and then there’s the you of this journal. That second you I don’t always use, because it’s dumb, like “Dear Diary”-dumb, like I am a girl on a twentieth-century TV show addressing in the second-person a cheap blank book with flowers on the cover and a chintzy lock that any mean brother or sister could easily break. But sometimes I speak nonetheless to this journal directly even though it’s dumb. Chris: you are taking me on a trip today for a reason that I can’t guess at and which I haven’t bothered to ask about because I really want to go no matter what your own motive is. Diary: you will suck up my thoughts when I have them and then recede like something dimly perceived in binoculars, moving away, when I don’t have them.
                 We’re in the base of the Ankh, that giant metal thing from the 1960s that towers over the downtown of Argos-Bellona, because it is the only local structure suitable to be retrofitted as a dock for airships. You texted me a few days ago that the airship Atreides was arriving in town, stopping for a couple hours to take on new passengers for a journey northward to Transcanada and then later to Gotham. You implied by the very act of letting me know about this opportunity that I would be excited about it because I would hope that an old friend of mine would still be among the crew of that ship and that I would reunite joyously with him. But you were kind enough to not actually say a single word about this possibility—that he would be there—because you are worried that it will break my heart—and then eventually yours—when we board the ship and discover that he is not there anymore. It will break my heart, but I am ready for it, and I am ready to let it not break yours. I will wear a tough guise, a face of great confidence, a mask that proves that I am still excited about this airship journey because I am doing it with you, and certainly not because I expect to see someone else. You will believe this because it’s what will make the first few hours aboard so much easier on us both. This is always how I’ve done it, Chris, even when Dad was still with us. It needs to be even more this way now that we are alone together. Believe me. I am wiser than your years.Read more... )

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