Come November, from The Book of Pat

The soft muzzled cough brought Alice back from being lost in her usual daydreams.
It had been months since she had walked freely about the streets. Even longer since the blind run through the dark forests of another world.
If this insane self-imposed quarantine had to continue for very much longer, Alice was going to leap back through into the brightly lit hall beyond. Once there she was more than willing to try her luck at some other random doorway.
“What then?” muttered the low voice of the sage.
Alice could tell he was talking more to himself than to her.
Alice replied anyway, “Anywhere but here.”

The look of the old mages floor length beard partially muzzled by a soft swath of mask looked ridiculous. The rope ties for the ears could not reach so Alice had helped him braid the ends into the facial hair just beneath the cheeks.
The effect gave the ancient librarian a hipster grunge look.
The ink stained hands of the sage had been hard at work rubbing his face again. Either an allergy from the ink that now tinted his nose or from the dreaded Covid virus had been making the elderly gentleman wheeze and cough. He had coughed enough times that Alice had demanded the face covering.
The sage grumpily complied just to silence her complaining.
The whole request struck him funny since it came from a woman wearing no clothes at all…

The doorman had been busy hanging invisible signs about the hall. Each had been hung so that an individual entering could see them with little effort. He was certain when the complaint department was called he would be found blameless in the spread of such ignorance. Each entry had been clearly marked with a request for a mandatory fourteen day quarantine, and each infectious destination properly marked.
The Gatekeeper had even replaced his usual Welcome mat with one that read, “Masks Required”.
“Yes”, he thought, “in a reality of inexistence the flattened curve wasn’t going to catch him in another surge, hoax or not.”

Pat sat watching the falling leaves. The peace autumn brought was a welcome change from the dry hot days of summer. Still the thought to lay naked in those golden rays made his pulse quicken with youthful memories.

“The seasons change with the turn of a word,” he whispered to the quiet room. Though there was a large crowd, no one heard him.

Pat was aware that the sentence could be thought of as political, as well as environmental.
Opinions were changing. Impatient populations desperate for a miracle.
Come November another four years of greatness would be chosen. Hopefully one that meant the destruction of a party founded in racism. If not then things weren’t going to look too good for the home front.
It had been bad enough that this man-made virus was unleashed by corrupt policies of the criminal elite in the attempt of a one-world-order coup.
To have to suffer under the heavy-handed tactics of the cosmopolitan could lead to an actual armageddon between good and evil…

Pat watched the falling leaves. The beauty was not wasted on him. The mix of yellows and reds drifting down. Sometimes in soft spirals, sometimes in a direct glide. Individual leaves and groups all randomly blowing about with a kaleidoscope of color.
None of the meaning was missed.
Everything had a purpose;
Pat just had his own preference in how things should end.

All this change from the green leaves of one tree. Nothing was ever missed…

10:30

I’ve been here before. I’ve sat in this dust filled room watching the same spider weaving her web. Sitting slouched with the wait of eternity perched cumbersomely upon my eyelids. Through the haze of blurred vision I have been witness to a life time of war and decay. Still the day is not over.

Time wanders independent of reality. Change only the product of some other force combined, separated, absent.

After all I exist as a simple closed system. Only one has ever been able to open the door or close it when through. The one is, that’s all anyone need know.

You and I live connected. Forever entwined even during the trials where effort is wirepulling or sanguineous. From the salt of the sea, and water of the heavens, you and I are. That’s all eternities secrets told upon a gentle breeze.

Rambling on, two old souls… (Here the sage began singing in his head. A song about fish bowls and endless calendars. – the author)

Invisible hands scrawl out variations of lines. Words both cryptic and plain fill margins and footnote. The simplest thoughts hidden in the most compounding phrase. Only the distracted eye can see clearly the misspelled word while the clearest mind reads on.

I know.

A tale of two, you and I. A circle folding in often looking out. Neither seeing the end nor ever beginning the race. We chase the clouds as a dog chases it’s tail.

A rambling of time ticking out life with everything existing as fundamental interactions balanced upon a needle point tip.

Pat sat patiently in his garden. The watcher was in no hurry to get anywhere.

The soft buzz and fiddle of insects drifted about on the sweet summer air.

There were birds singing and calling back and forth. They too appeared in no hurry to fly off to some distant place.

Here the rose and columbine flowered amongst the ironweed and goldenrod. A clash of season mixed with the pastel colors of the sweet pea vine.

Eden.

Only Adam strolled these garden paths. Lost in wonder. Idling away the moments… (Here again the sages attention drifted of into another song. Something of dull days and thinking that he has something more to say. – the author)

Alice sat perched high upon a stack of books. She had been busy thumbing through a few of the older ones trying to look interested.

Ever so often she felt the need to put the book down and gaze out the one window of the sages library.

It was a beautiful day outside.

Alice had asked the old grumpy man if it would be okay to throw open the glass. With a distracted angry scowl the sage had signalled a stern no.

Alice had went to the window anyhow. After a Herculean effort she had found it impossibly stuck.

The old mage laughed quietly beneath his beard. Since the change of humidity and weather he had been unable to open the window himself. Alice probably would contrive some mystic use of magic to the sage preventing her from doing what he said no too. He laughed again a little louder.

Alice had stalked angrily back to her stack of books. Secretly cursing the old mans powers over nature and time.

With a fish eyed gaze out of the window, and a pleasant tune in his head, the sage went back into his trance. ( It was at this point I, the author, came to the conclusion the sage was going to be absolutely useless today.-the author)

And time flowed on…

Wednesday of the fifth month, the one hundredth forty-second day, year two thousand nineteen a.d. of the Book of Pat

The traveller gazed up at the midday sky. Overhead two blazing suns burned down to earth. This was the first time he had ever seen such an event in his lengthy lifetime. For the traveller to acknowledge that fact was a scary thing. He had thought he’d seen it all. Now here he was stranded in a reality of time that quite honestly looked to be the end for his career and the rest of creation.

The only intelligent voice in his head was uttering the word fuck, fuck, fuck. At the moment all the other voices seemed in agreement.

Fuck.

After an eternity of quietly contemplating the situation one of the voices pointed out that as the earth rotated only the larger of the two orbs seemed to move in the arc. The other seemed to become more of an oddly formed orb which reflected more than it seemed to be burning. A few other voices began to chime in with agreement, and after a lengthy discussion it was agreed that fact was true.

“So we’re good then?”asked the traveller.

“No.”said the leading authoritative voice. “It’s probably a massive meteoroid. Even the fact that there still isn’t a visible smoke trail may mean it’s further above the stratosphere than it looks. We are screwed.”

The sound of sneakers running away on smooth concrete and then the loud slamming of a metal door was what Pat heard first.

It was a familiar but funny sound to hear over the speaker system. It reminded him of his high school days and the loud racket one could hear over the public announcement system will the principal was going over the days events. Those were the glory years for sure.

On this occasion though, Pat was a good twenty years older, and working in a tower miles away from the originator of the sound. As a joke Pat was buzzed up on the speaker. A familiar voice on the other end began a rant that unless privy to the joke itself would sound very offensive to the receiving party. The joke would have been hilarious to Pat, but as fate often intervenes it was not Pat that first answered the call… It was Pat’s boss

After a three sentence rant of blasphemy and expletives Pat’s boss began shouting expletives back and yelling “Who is this!” back over the speaker.

The only reply was “If you don’t know mother-fucker”, and the sounds of tennis shoes running on concrete right before the slamming of a door.

Pat tried not to laugh. He knew that the anger would soon enough be turned towards him.

“Do you know who that asshole was?” the boss asked.

With the straightest face Pat could muster, “No sir. I’ve never heard that voice before.”

Alice slowly slide through the small sized opening. At first what she thought to be only a thin gap she had discovered to be a hinged door. With a little coaxing the portal could easily be made to open out wider.

Alice thought how odd to have a door hidden inside a tree. Even odder was the fact she knew it couldn’t have been there before. The door opened into an immense room with vaulted ceilings that the tree she had sheltered in could not have held.

Cautiously Alice looked out into the room. Fully aware of the funny old man that even at this moment was busy wolfing down strawberry treats and having some sort of discussion with the thin air about him. Perhaps if she kept in the shadows and used the massive stacks of books between the two of them as cover the old man wouldn’t realize she was in the room. By the way the food was being consumed Alice knew speed was going to be of the utter most importance.

The doorman was partially surprised. It wasn’t a frequent thing to see the sage away from his writing. It was even less frequent that the sage would share a tasty strawberry glazed donut. Later the gatekeeper would blame those events and the sudden sugar rush as the reason he was surprised for a third time.

Even as Alice stretched out into the room she realized something wasn’t right. Where shelves of books and piles of scrolls should have been there was suddenly nothing.

Nothing was actually not quite right. There was a brilliant white, a worn mat, and a strangely uniformed man eating a pink colored pastry that at the moment was shedding rainbow colored sprinkles about the area.

Both Alice and the doorman stared blankly at each other. Neither seemed to know exactly what to do at that moment.

Alice was the first to take action. In a dead run Alice leaped past the uniformed man and on into the doorway behind him.

As quickly as she had come the trespasser disappeared into the next. In all his lifetime the gatekeeper never had this happen to him. He was pretty positive the Author would already know. What that meant wouldn’t become clear for a great while.

“Oh well”, he thought.

The gatekeeper scarffed down the last of his donut. There was going to be a long wait until the next one…

Idle Times

Had it been seconds or a lifetime of ages since the last time a visitor had past. The doorman was starting to wear thin like the door mat he had been gifted by an old travelling salesman.

At first he saw the humor in the gift as a poke at his own purpose in being. Often the thought had been contemplated that his only purpose was to keep the mud and dirt from getting through the door. Even though the wording and color was beginning to wear away, the doorman still felt “Welcome” in the stylized flourish of flowery writing. After all it never rained or snowed here in his land of make believe.

After all, in all the land of entrance and exit, only he had a comfortable mat to stand upon. Without a doubt a true gift to someone bound to stand until forever ends or begins. Whichever came first no longer mattered to him.

On some occasions the doorman would move his mat down the white halls of light. In picking a new place he had hopes of changing the view for a time. Nothing ventured, nothing gained was the latest saying he had heard. It made perfect sense to him. Of course the only change was in the mind of the doorman. A cityscape of blinding white never dimmed or changed in contrast. In truth the only purpose in seeing at all was his purpose as watchdog. Never open, never close, never allow another beyond the threshold. Absolute and uncompromised in that one task this whole time… Orders he never did really understand. Why have a door then?

The rules never applied to the Author, or Dreamer, nor even to himself should he venture beyond. Somehow they were the same as he or she depending on your train of thought.

Another was someone like the man in the grey suit, but not like the traveller. As hard as it was to tell the two apart only the traveller could gain entrance while the grey suit would just fade away into the darkness beyond the portal.

The thought of the grey suit saddened the usually cheerful doorman. “Could you imagine being aware and completely capable of communication with another sphere of being? Only unable to bridge that short distance of understanding to join. It could drive a being to do horrible things, all the while thinking you had a purpose in stopping something.”

The doorman stared out into the white patiently waiting for an answer. After what seemed an infinity to him he heard a reply.

Some days it felt that it was a wasted effort to take the time to go to work.

And with that the doorman moved his mat once again.

The Nightingale Calls

There is a time when the stars all align
Showering the heavens glistening crystal brilliance down

And the blue sky turns to blackened velvet
Sparkling with the light of an infinity of diamonds

Green oceans with frothing white capped waves
Become pacific and restful
Mediterranean mixing with a Persian hue bringing with it a deeper calming blue

The once tempest winds idle into a soft southern breeze
Blowing tropic scented fragrance to allure the mind

And all this beauty is here just for you

A paradise lost to a wanderers sight
Remembered only in silent pools of memory and regret
Not nearly forgotten by his heart
Those binding devotions of words and emotion

This love I still have of you

Wearing the Grey

For as long as he could remember, the man knew he was different. Not a visible defect or an observable point of perfection or beauty. Even his test scores blended in seamlessly with the upper portion of the bell curve. Not in the middle, mind you. He was always just above average but off a mark for honor roll.

The boy he was and the man housing still those childish ideas still could blend into the population. He could excel in any field if he chose to. That’s where the special and different was. The boy and man never needed to. Never had to bother with choice. The path he walked was already lined up. Lined up not in a material or financial way. Neither was it a hereditary or surname position in life that granted such a privilege. And it was definitely not a thing of chance or luck. Through out life that theory had been tested. No, luck and being blessed by the Blarney Stone never entered the equation.

As long as the man did what presented itself and tried his best, life was good. The Golden Rule of do unto others being the biggest lesson he ever learned. Many of those times and lessons administered across the palm with the ruler.

I would like to point out that the ruler used was not golden and being the other never was given the chance to do unto the other. Lesson learned, those who control the gold control the wood. Since the boy nor the man were destined to have control or the gold it was best to tend to the business at hand, never draw attention to yourself. Good or bad, attention was only trouble in the end…

The sage blinked away the cobwebs of his Irish coffee. With a quick read of the words before him he was once again up to speed.

The Man in The Grey Suit was a fitting title for him. More fitting than calling him John Smith, or Joe Bloughe, and even thinking Steve or Martin was just humor gone bad. So The Grey or The Man was a good enough fit.

The background of growing up was new to the sage. Very rarely was information like that provided by the Author. The Author usually leaving off the less important details on first read, leaving those details for the magic and dreams which filled each page, newspaper, magazine, and book.

The sage was fully aware of the fact it was his hand that did the work. The staining of his hands provided plenty of evidence of those marathon journalism events. The thing was he was never fully there when it occurred. By the size of the library and piles of written material that gift of trance was definitely a blessing. If one cared to gather more evidence to prove or disprove who truly was doing the work, the comparison of hand writing and style changed about so much that one would think a legion of writers were at the task.

A Legion was not far off the mark either.

A Night of Long Knives

The dream stalks me into the wakeful world. Glimpses from the corner of the eye confirming what the unconscious mind knows.
They are all here. Shades waiting for their chance to overpower, to overcome me in my own passive inattentiveness.
Quickened steps echo from out of darkness. Fading into the quiet with each hesitant breath the faint movement mimicking the rustling of wind.
But I know and in an instant of white rage the invisible horrors show that they do too.
Blinded by blood and pain that race through mind and body like burning streaks of lightening. I weaken and tire

A wounded elk staggers beneath the burden of the wolf packs extra weight. Muscular limbs and tethered tendons rip free with the jagged sharp bites of death.

With one final attack to the exposed throat their prey topples to the pavement. Liquid life in fleck and splatter now pools a thick crimson about it’s dying host.

The traveller’s day passes into the night; the dreamer slips deeper into sleep.

The sage awoke to the pounding pain of a migraine. Eye sockets feeling ready to shoot out the orbs they protect. The stiffness of age taking second place to the extreme torture of joints enflamed with arthritic swelling.
The thought of an alcohol or a self induced drugged comma crossed his mind in a neverending dialogue of desired relief.
The morning also brought with it a sharp pressure building up in both ears and joining the blistering agony that was currently burning in his throat and chest.

This and the gruesome vision of the Travellers ending was nearly to much.

Being near immortal as in the concept of time often had it’s benefits. Sadly living for infinity also offered up it’s own punishment. One being he still aged. Time waits for no man, it drags him along in a riptide. And still being human the same sickness and diseases could and would often infect him. The only difference between his life cycle and those of other humans was simply their difference in opinion about time.

The seconds trickling by actually didn’t. That’s the misconception about time. One second referenced on it’s fluidity and the next laid out flat like a tape measure. In simple math the blissful people of the world never realizing they had mixed up the units.
Even the simple concept of trying to place time to a line was ludicrous.
Next the world would be demanding equal rights and free speech as seen on a bell curve or slide rule.
No, such a thing was functionally incorrect and impossible.
Try and explain and the doctrine educated book smart population would always shout you down. They had to of course. If not they’d have to admit to being idiots. That is something only the wise and enlightened were ever able to do.

As the Sage finished the first cup of coffee he could feel the long day ahead was to lengthen into another all nighter at the desk.

The Dreamer tossed restless in a emptying abyss of black. Random images and short lines of text drifted in an out of existence.

At times the dreamer felt his boundaries limitless only to suddenly see them explode into a new world and lifetime. A resounding blast of sensation and experiences flung upon the blank canvas of perfect zen. Then in the next instant to be drawn off in a predetermined fashion to a stranger place of a dusky, dank, must filled room. Here time was lined and stacked, shelf on shelf, into infinity and then back again to the start with pi. There nothing was forgotten, every moment documented in the very black that filled the Dreamers slumbering world…

And under its own pull bent back upon itself infinite.