The WolfDen was right by the caves on the side of TheMountains of Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains. On the outside it blended in with the rocks and shrubs, but on the inside it was a total Perceptionist Lair. The walls were covered in tapestries of Yin Yang symbols and posters of Perceptionist heroes and scrolls from ancient Chinese WiseMen. It smelled like the burning of multiple, possibly illegal, flowers and leaves. There were bottles and pipes and candles and ashtrays and plants and chemistry apparatuses bubbling away. And oddly in the middle of it all was a girl with the fair and innocent looks of a baby sheep, and you just wanted to squeeze her at a petting zoo.
It seemed like Wolf would leap out at any moment and tear open her wool and rip her meat out for dinner, but instead he came in and hugged and nuzzled and kissed her.
“Welcome, Jonathan,” he said. “This is my fiancée, Lamb.”
She came over and gave me a little softsoft hug, and they invited me in. I sat on their big comfy bean bag chair but was a little nervous I might get accidentally Perceptioned by anything I touched. Lamb noticed and started reassuring me.
“Oh, Wolf and all his stuff look ferocious,” she said, “but he’s really just a gentle sheep in his own clothing. And not everything he makes is a hardcore Perception. Like he’s making his renowned General Tso’s Chicken, for us tonight.”
“I love General Tso’s Chicken,” I said. “I usta get it all the time with my ex-girlfriend in Just-Outside-NewYorkCity.”
“Excellent,” Wolf said. “We’ve Me-Too’d right away.”
“Wolf actually learned the recipe from the far off and exciting Realities of China themselves,” Lamb said.
“It’s true,” Wolf said. “It was a Perceptionist’s dream. In China all their advanced Perceptions come in the same mysterious white pill, and you never know which it will be and how illegal it is. To make things more interesting, you don’t know if the strange Reality who gave it to you is actually an undercover police officer. I was nearly imprisoned or killed several times. It was thrilling.”
“Wow!” I said.
“First thing’s first tho, everyone,” Wolf said. “Let’s get some Recreational Perceptions going. What’s your preference, Jonathan?”
“Well,” I said, “my favorite Perception is probably Dr. Pepper.”
Dr. Pepper is a drink about combining Sugar Perception, Caffeine Perception, fizz and a great but hard to pinpoint flavor made up of 23 secret ingredients. Together they slightly elevate your mood and energy. It is a very legal Perception available in every store in America.
Wolf laughed at me.
“I know,” I said. “It’s not a very advanced Perception.”
“No, no, no,” Wolf shook his head. “Don’t be sorry. It’s not the Perception that matters but Common Perception. Therefore we can’t discount anything that isn’t lethal. And even tho I personally find Dr. Pepper to be unsatisfyingly tame and potentially unhealthy due to its addictiveness and the increased risk of diabetes thru prolonged use, I am willing to adventure with it so we can more easily MeToo.”
“I like Dr. Pepper, too,” Lamb said. “It tastes good.”
“Yes,” Wolf said. “Then it’s decided we shall have an Adventure in Perception: Dr. Pepper.”
Lamb and I went out to the nearest convenience store to buy a two liter, and when we came back Wolf’s authentic Chinese Reality recipe General Tso’s was ready. Before we ate, Wolf carefully prepared tall glasses of Dr. Pepper and ice.
“It’s very important,” he said, “that we all have an equal dose so we’re in as close to the same Magnitude of Perception. I’m assuming, Jonathan, you drink this on a regular basis, therefore I’ll have to adjust for your caffeine and sugar tolerance, while also making considerations for each of our sizes and weight.”
He handed each of us our custom glass.
“Now,” Wolf said, “we’ll raise a toast which establishes our intentions for this Adventure. I suggest we use the mildly energizing properties of this Perception to facilitate getting to know each other.”
We all agreed and raised our glasses.
“To meeting New Realities,” we all said and clinked together.
“Excellent,” Wolf said. “Now one final thing… During an Adventure in Perceptionism it is important to observe even the subtlest change to our bodies and mind.”
We each took our first sip and thought about it.
“I’m feeling slightly happier, and my leg is twitching,” I said.
“Excellent,” Wolf said, “My leg is too.”
“So is mine!” Lamb said.
Then we ate the meal and it was even better than the General Tso’s I usta get. During the whole thing we noticed our minds becoming slightly more alert and the volume and rate of our speech increased. We ate fast and soon were too fidgety to sit down anymore, and we got up and paced around the room and made large frantic gestures with our arms as we spoke. We caught each other up to speed on who we were and why we were here. And we listened and responded with “Yes!” and MeToo!”
“I came here to be The Greatest Reality Traveler of all time!” I said.
“Yes!” Lamb said.
“MeToo!” Wolf said.
Then after a couple hours came a sudden and sharp decline in energy, and we all had to find a couch or beanbag or floor to lie down on.
“Hmm…” Wolf scratched his chin while lying flat on his belly on the floor, “I’ve gained a new respect for your Preferred Perception, Jonathan. It has allowed us to socialize in a simple and non-overwhelming yet effective way. Now it seems we are friends.”
“I know,” I said slouched into the deep valley of the beanbag chair, “Dr. Pepper’s great.”
“I wonder if that crow came so you and Wolf would meet each other,” Lamb said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Wolf said, “Let’s assume it wants me to take Jonathan on many more Adventures in Perceptionism.”
“I will if they’re all like this,” I said.
“They are,” Wolf said. “They’re all about MeTooing.”
“Alright,” I said, “and then maybe I can MeToo you both about The Great List of Old Songs.”
“Excellent,” they said.