6.16 – Hideout

“Thank Gods, I’m back in Alone Reality!” I said when I got back to Wings.  I wondered if I’d been at enough of The Wedding that I could just leave, or maybe I could just wait out the rest of it, come back at the end to say goodbye, and pretend I’d been there the whole time.

When I opened the door and tried to get in the car, The Crow was right there on the front seat.

“Ah, it’s my friendly OtherWordly helper,” I said.

But when I went to sit down next to it, the Crow took its beak and pecked right at my hand. I looked down and my fingers had a little bit of blood on them.

“Ow!” I said.  “Why?”

But The Crow just stared at me with its dark black eyes and went “CAW!”  It wouldn’t move off the driver seat, so I went around to get in the passenger side.  But then it flew over to that seat and puffed out its wings and started flapping them and going “CAW! CAW! CAW!”  It seemed like for some reasonThe Crow didn’t want me to be in Wings at the same time as it.

“Dammit,” I said.

Then I hadta just lean against the side of the car, and it was a bad Hideout cuz anyone could see me standing there like a Sore Thumb and wonder what I was doing.  It made me feel like a Bad Traveler.

“Can’t you just MeToo one New Reality here?” I said to myself.  “Stop being so afraid of getting your ass kicked.  You’re in True Love with an Angel for Gods’ sakes.”

Then I decided the only way I could feel like a good Traveler again was to introduce myself to the next New Reality I saw, even if they looked like a MeNotzie “Electric Slide” loving Adult, and try to MeToo them.

Soon a Reality wearing a white tuxedo with a black top hat walked into the parking lot. It made him look like a magic rabbit falling upside down.  Old Wolfy had introduced me to him earlier, but it was so fast I couldn’t remember who he was.  He was walking to his car alone, like maybe he was trying to escape to a Hideout, too.  I took a deep breath, told myself the Gods are on my side, and walked over.

“Hey,” I said.

He looked up from under his tophat and just as I was beginning to freeze he smiled at me.

“Hey!” he said. “You’re The Guy Who Drove All The Way From Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Man, driving that long is hard.  You get tired, and your butt hurts, and your mind can go crazy from boredom.  You must be a Great Traveler.”

“Thanks, what was your name again?”

“I’m The Perceptionism Professor.”

“You mean The Perceptionism Professor from Wolf’s Perceptionist Training School?”

“The one and only.”

“Wow,” I said.

Then we shook hands.

“So you’ve done every Perception ever?” I asked

“Yeah,” he said, “and somehow I’m still alive!”

Then I told him how me and Wolf met in Reality Travel Training together and had gone on all our Adventures in Perceptionism.

“Alright!” he said, “How bout an Adventure with me right now?”

“Like what?” I said.  “I’m still not that advanced.”

“How bout a little Lubricant Adventure?”

“Yeah, but they’re only serving it in little cups in there.”

“I know, that Open Bar is a Perceptionism tragedy.  That’s why I stole a whole bottle when they weren’t looking.”

Then he took off his top hat and like magic pulled a bottle of Jack Daniels from it.  He handed it to me, and I took a swig, and then he took a swig, and we kept passing it back and forth.

“Thank Gods,” I said as I felt the machinery of my mind loosen up.

“I was hoping I might be able to MeToo this with someone,” he said.  “My date had to leave, and everyone else is trapped in IceBreaker Hell over there.”

“That’s why I’m out here,” I said.

Then I told him all about The Wedding Mix and how, as a MusicMan Traveler, it was my only chance to MeToo, but it was ruined by their renegade DJ.

“They were supposta play things like ‘Magic Carpet Ride,” I told him.

“Oh yeah,” he said, “I love that song.  It’s about more than just a carpet ya know.  It’s about The Other World.”

“I know!  And when it came on I was going to tell everyone about that time I listened to it at Wolf&Lamb’s Den, and it led to us going to Karaoke for the first time and Lamb and I singing ‘A Whole New World.’”

“The song from Aladdin?”

“Yeah!”

“I saw that movie one time in Acid Perception.  The Genie was actually The Veil, and I had to go thru him to get to The Other World.  I asked The Gods if I could have three wishes, but they told me I didn’t need any, my life was Alright just the way it was, and that meant I was free. And it all made me cry and laugh at the same time.”

“Wow, you know everything about The Other World, don’t you?”

“Sure, it’s like my second home.”

“Then maybe you can explain The Crow.”

Then I told him my history with it and how it was inside Wings at that very moment.

“Oh my Gods, let’s see it!” he said.

But when we went over The Crow was gone.

“It was there a minute ago,” I said.  “I swear.”

“I believe you,” he said. “You’re not talking to just some Adult here.  I know Other World creatures appear and disappear whenever they feel like it.”

“Do you have any idea who The Crow is?”

“I’ve seen it before, but I don’t know much, other than it hangs out around The Veil sometimes, flying back and forth between this World and The Other.”

“Sometimes I think it’s trying to help me, and sometimes I think it’s just mean.”

“Maybe sometimes it helps you by being mean.”

“Ohh.”

“We could track The Crow down right now if you want to.  I have a couple Perceptions on hand that could take us straight to The Other World.”

“Actually, I don’t think it’s safe for me to be in The Other World right now.”

Then I explained everything that happened earlier with The Goddess of Faith.

“Wow!” he said.  “I’ve never heard of anything like that before. My Guardian Angel is called The Goddess of Manning Up, and whenever I’m in doubt she blows a loud whistle in my ear and tells me to get my shit together.”

“When I’m in doubt Faith gives me It’s Alright, Baby! and I don’t think I can live without it now.”

“It sounds like this is a True Love situation, and you can’t give up on it.  You just need to Love her where you can’t be caught.”

“We can’t be in The Other World, and we can’t be in this World. Is there another World I don’t know about?”

“There’s also The Past World.”

“You mean, like, Time Travel?”

“Exactly, your Angel can go back to any time and place she’s been before.  For the Gods it’s like watching a rerun of their favorite show.  But she could take you with her and Love you somewhere no one has been watching for ages.”

“And we can’t get caught by the historical Realities?”

“No.  The only way to get caught is if another God were Time Traveling back to the exact same moment in history at the same time as you.  It’s pretty much impossible.”

“Yes! Man, am I glad I introduced myself to you out here.”

“MeToo!”

Then there was a flash in the sky and a loud boom, and then it started to get dark.

“Looks like The God of Weather,” we said.