8.3 – After the AfterParty

When I woke up I was surrounded by Realities passed out on the floor and Perception debris of every kind.  My whole body hurt, especially my head, which was spinning around like I had The Vertigo, and every time I tried to get up I felt like throwing up.  Wolf&Lamb, however, were somehow up and smiling and full of energy.

“We’ve gotta go to The Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania) Convenience store just like old times!” Lamb said.

“Yes!” Wolf scratched his chin, “nothing like greasy food and coffee in the morning after getting Shitfaced all night.”

“Hey,” I grogged to them, “how come you’re not sick or unconscious?”

“We’ve taken a guaranteed Hangover cure,” Wolf said.  “Let me make you some.”

“Great. I’ve gotta Hit the Road to Ohio like right now so I can Travel to TheGeneral&TheAdmiral Reality tonight, but all I feel like doing is hitting Scorpion’s toilet.”

“Hold on one moment,” Wolf said.

Then he shuffled around in the kitchen for a minute. When he came over to me I thought he’d have some cool Perceptionist potion, but instead he came back with a full glass of JacknDrPepper.  Just sniffing it made me gag.

“No,” I said. “I need to get less drunk.”

“Trust me,” Wolf said.  “It’s an age old Perceptionist trick called Drink-Whatever-You-Had-TheNight-Before.”

“Isn’t there a not gross cure?” I asked.

“No,” WildFuckingTurkey grogbbled from somewhere on the floor. “He’s right.  It’s the only way.”

“It’s best to drink it in one gulp to get it over with,” Wolf said.  “GAM-BAY!”

“GAM-BAY,” I said and then I poured it all in at once.

My throat didn’t want that much of anything at once going down it, and there was a second when I thought it might all come back out. But suddenly I had the strength to hold it in, and the spinning stopped, and I was able to sit up straight.

“I think it’s working,” I said.  “Thank Gods, we’re in Wolf Reality!”

“No,” Wolf said.  “Thank Gods we’re in Bluebird Reality.  You saved me last night, and as a token of gratitude I want you to have what’s left of the Alcohol Stash.  There’s still plenty.”

“Wow, thanks,” I said. “I might not be able to MeToo tonight without it.”

Wolf&Lamb weren’t the only ones up.  So was Scorpion, and he wanted to help me get on The Road, too.  He gave me directions for a ShortCut I could take out of town and then handed me a little plastic baggy with one large black&white pill in it.

“I imagine you have many hours ahead of you on The Road,” he said.  “This should help so you don’t get too tired or crazy with boredom.”

“What is it?” I said.

“It’s an old Weight-Loss Perception banned from the market for decades due to possible undesirable side-effects.  But I’ve Adventured with it before and found it to be completely harmless.”

I looked over at Wolf.

“That’s a very rare and powerful Perception,” he said.  “I’m jealous.”

“Thanks Scorpion,” I said and put it in my pocket.

Then me and Wolf&Lamb went out to Wings with The Stash, and there was The Goddess of Faith waiting there in a jean jacket and jeans.

“My Gods!” Wolf said.  “Is that really the Angel?  Did you sacrifice and summon her just now?”

“No,” I said. “She just comes now cuz we’re in True Love.”

“Oh my Gods!” Lamb said. “She’s breathtaking.”

“Oh my Gods!” The Goddess of Faith said. “Is that really Wolf&Lamb?  I watched your whole Wedding, and it gave me The Chills, and made me want to have a Wedding, too.”

“Thanks!” they said.

The Goddess was really excited, but she was also holding her head and stomach, and you could tell she was kinda sick.  I asked her if she had a hangover.

“I don’t know,” she said.  “Every time I fly I have to come back down and throw up.”

“It’s Alright, Baby,” I said.  “Wolf’s got a Perceptionist Cure.”

“What were you drinking last night?” he asked her.

“All of them,” she said.

Then Wolf went back and grabbed a glass and made an AllofThem drink for her.  She held her nose and GAM-BAY’d it down, and soon she was back to normal.

“Thanks so much!” Faith said.  “I know we have to go now, but I wish we could just hang out as couples today.”

“It’s alright,” they said.  “Today we have to go to our Honeymoon in the far off and exciting Realities of Jamaica.”

“Yay!  I’ve been there many times giving It’s Alright, Baby songs to the MusicMan Traveler Bob Marley.  You’ll love it.”

“Wow, Bob Marley?!”

“Yes, now let me give you both a Wedding present to help you enjoy the trip.”

Then she reached out and pushed them both together and gave them a huge It’s Alright, Baby squeeze at the same time.

“Mmm,” Wolf said. “Angel Hug Perception.”

“I feel like we’re already on a tropical beach with white sand and teal water and a gentle breeze, and everything is gonna be for certain Alright,” Lamb said.

“I’m so happy for you!” The Goddess clapped.

Then it was time to go, and we finished loading up the car, and we all hugged one more time.

“Be brave, Traveler,” Wolf said, “and you clearly don’t have to remember The Gods are very on your side.”

“You, too,” I said and then me and Faith hit the Road on a beautiful Sunday morning thinking nothing bad could possibly happen…

7.16 – The Concert to Save Wolf

Emperor Penguin &The Penguins were in the kitchen when I got back in, but they were busy and didn’t seem to notice me.

“I can’t take it anymore,” Emperor Penguin told them.  “I mean, a Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania) community center basement? Our gigs just keep getting shittier and shittier.”

The Penguins nodded.

“We’re just going backwards,” he said, “and we’re not getting money or recognition.”

“But aren’t we in it for the MeToos?” the band said.

“Even those are fewer and fewer.”

“What do we do tho? Give up?”

“It may be time to face the facts.  We’ve gone as far as we can go with this band. A Reality I know says he can get me a fulltime job in an office.  I think I’m going to take it.”

“I don’t know, man. That’s sounds pretty Adult.”

“Maybe we should’ve just tried to be Adults all along.”

“What about Reality Travel?  I heard if you quit The Gods will make you depressed.”

“I’m not sure I even believe in Reality Travel or The Gods anymore.  Maybe it’s just something we made up to feel more important than we are.”

“So we’re breaking up?”

“I think so.”

Just then WildFuckingTurkey came in.

“Hey,” he said, “Lamb just sent me.  We need your fucking help.”

“We’re in the middle of something,” Emperor Penguin said.

“Okay, but Wolf’s apparently got some fucking Traveler Vertigo thing, and he’s pretty much passed out cold, and doesn’t even know who he is anymore, and she doesn’t know what to fucking do.”

“I don’t know. I’ve never even heard of ‘Traveler Vertigo.’”

“But you’re a fucking Reality Traveler, right?”

“Not anymore.  Ask that Colorado kid, he’s actually Trained believe it or not.”

Then I came forward.

“You’re a fucking…?” WildFuckingTurkey asked me.

“Yeah,” I rasped.

“What happened to your fucking voice?  You sound like my hangover tomorrow.”

“Pfft,” Emperor Penguin said, “he blew it out over-singing that Springsteen.”

Their comments knocked me back for a moment, but I was able to easily look down and see My True Traveler Name and it helped me keep going.

“Enough!” I rasped.  “I’m the Bluebird, and I have The Dead Voice just cuz I’m too passionate about car singing.  But none of this matters right now, cuz we all have to work together to save Wolf.”

Then they knew I was for real and listened up as I explained how Vertigo worked and how we needed all the AfterParty Factions to come together to end The Schism and MeToo.

“How are we going to do that?” Emperor Penguin said. “We can’t even find half the party.”

“We can lure them in with music,” I rasped.

“We’ve been playing music.  No one’s into it.”

“We’ve only been playing for ourselves tho.  We need to play one that MeToos everyone.”

“There’s no song that can MeToo everyone.  That’s a myth.”

“Bob Marley’s ‘One Love.’  I know for a fact it was written by The Gods themselves, and it’s got as good-a-chance as any.”

“That is a good song,” The Penguins said.

“Yeah it fucking is,” WildFuckingTurkey said. “Getting together and feelin Alright is actually all I ever want.”

Everyone looked over at Emperor Penguin and waited for his ‘pfft.’

“It’s probably not going to work,” he said, “but it is a good song.”

“I can’t sing,” I told him, “so you have to lead the sing-along.”

“Alright,” he shrugged.  “Let’s play some Marley.”

Then we gathered everyone we could find and led them back into the living room.  Everyone in there looked completely bored or Vertigo’d.  Wolf was on the couch with his eyes shut and his mouth hanging open, while Lamb wiped off his drool with a napkin.

“Hey!” Lamb’s Youngest Sister looked up. “Are you going to play again?”

Emperor Penguin nodded and Lamb’s Younger Sister wheeled the Throne over to him.

“Wait a second,” Wild Turkey said.  “This is Wolf&Lamb’s fucking Wedding night, they should be sitting in The Fucking Throne, right?”

We all agreed and then worked together to lift Wolf’s Vertigo’d body up from the couch and stuff him in the seat, while Lamb sat on his lap.  Then Emperor Penguin stood in front of us in a RockStar power stance.

“Alright,” he said, “it’s time for the Concert to Save Wolf.  Anyone here dig Bob Marley?”

“Yes!” everyone said.

“Alright then,” he said.  “Let’s do a little number called “One Love.”

Then he nodded to the band and The Penguins came in and they knew that one cold,too.  Then Emperor Penguin came in and started nailing it with his high and powerful voice, and it made everyone sit up in their seats and start clapping to the beat.

“Alright, everyone,” he said when he got to the next chorus.  “You all know the words.  Sing along.”

One Love, One Heart, let’s get together and feel Alright,” we all sang.

Many Realities in the room could not sing. WildFuckingTurkey continued to gobble off key, and The Baby sang nonsense goo-goo-ga-gas instead of the right lyrics, and I could only sing in a whisper.  But somehow it all sounded good and much more high and powerful than any one Reality could sing on their own.  It felt so good we just kept singing the words over and over.

One Love, One Heart, let’s get together and feel Alright.”

 And then we saw a Reality peaking their head up from The Hole.  They started creeping forward to get a closer look, and we waved them towards us.  Then other heads peaked out and followed.  And when they got into the living room they couldn’t help but to sing along, too. Finally Scorpion came out and had a suspicious look on his face and pointed his stinger at the Marijuana MeNotzie, but the song soon calmed him, and even he ended up getting swept up in the sing along.  I looked over at Wolf, and his eyes were now open and alert, and his body was upright, and he was howling the loudest out of all of us.

 One Love, One Heart, let’s get together and feel Alright.”

7.15 – Drunk Angel

It seemed like the whole AfterParty was a Lost Cause, and I just wanted to go find Wings and hit the Road straight back to Ohio.  I went thru the first door I saw, which was the screen door in the kitchen, and I slammed it shut behind me.  But then I was trapped inside the backyard, and there was a high fence around me and no way to get out.

“Dammit,” I said with my scratchy voice.

I wasn’t even in Alone Reality cuz there was someone else out there.  They were trying to hide behind a tree, but you could see their dress waving in the wind.

“Bluebird? is that you?” she said, and when she turned around you could see it was The Goddess of Faith, and she was holding a big bottle of Alcohol Perception.

“Faithfully, what are you doing here?”

Then she stumbled over and tripped and fell on me. Her touch felt like It’s Kinda Weird, Babe.

“Are you drunk?” I asked her.

“Yass, Bluebebby,” she said.  “I swiped this when nobody was looking, and I’ve never been drunk before, and I love it.”

“Gods drink?”

“Yeah, when they wanna be your girlfriend, your human girlfriend, or probably your human wedding wife, and wanna go to fun drunk parties with you, but I can’t, and hate it, and this whiskey is the only thing that can lube up the machine of my broken-hearted sun.”

“Trust me, you don’t really wanna be in there. All that happens in there is you try to save everyone, but you just get your ass kicked, and your Traveler Allies are doomed to get the Vertigo.”

“I know, Bubbabird.  I’ve been watching.”

“If I had only just Rocked Out a little less on The Great Trip.”

“But you hafta Rock Out, you’re the Rockblockbok.”

“But my voice is too important.  It’s the only way I can MeToo anyone ever.”

“But you know songies. Maybe you can still find one everyone can MeToo, even if you can’t sing it.”

“Who’d sing it tho? That MeNotzie Emperor Penguin?”

“I knowww.  I couldn’t believe he’s actually a Reality Traveler, so I looked up his Angel Corps File.”

“And you found out he’s a fraud, didn’t you?  I knew it!”

“No he’s a Real Real, but he’s never actually Traveled outside PhillyDFeely cuz he’s too afraid.”

“So that’s why he hates Springsteen.  He’s never actually hit the Thunder Road, and he’s jealous.”

“Yes, he’s really just a fly-less bird.”

“Yes!”

“No, Blueblueblue, we have to MeToo him somehow. That’s what ReAlrighty Travelers do.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“We hafta make him and Wolf and everyone else in there feel Allllright, Baby!”

“But how?”

“I know how exactly.  I’m gonna just go in there in there with you, and be a Reality Traveler, too, and then we’ll gonna get them all to play “One Love,” which is a song I actually made and gave to Bo-baby Marley, and then we’ll MeToo everybody with a sing-along.”

“Wait, wait, you can’t just go in there.  One false move and we could both be Eliminated, remember?”

“Blah, blah, blahbird, I don’t care anymore.  I hafta help you.  Too in True Love.”

Then she started kissing me all over, and she even slipped her hand below my waist and tried to touch things in there, but I hadta brush it away.

“We can’t do that either now,” I said.  “What if Wolf just called in his Guardian Angel, cuz I didn’t come thru, and they’ll catch us red-down-the-pants-handed.”

“Oh this is so stupid and dumbbb!”

Then I hadta put my arms around her tight.

“I know, Goddess,” I said, “but It’s Alright, and the Perceptionist Professor told me how we can Love together in total secret later.”

Then I explained his idea about The Past World.

“Alright, we hafta do is make it thru tonight,” I said.

“Aww, Bluebird, thats gonna work perfect, I Love your Alright so much.”

Then we just held each other close and wanted to stay like that the rest of the night, but we knew we couldn’t.

“Alright, I’ve gotta go back in now,” I hadta say.

“Yes, Baby, do you know what you’re gonna do?”

“I’ll try to do the sing-along, even tho it might fail.”

“Yay! I’ll give you some It’s Alright, Baby so you’re so strange-strong.”

Then she gave me a kiss on the lips, and it was great and not weird anymore, and it made me feel like was a Bob Marley song myself.

“Alright,” I said, “I’m ready to make everyone get together and feel Alright.”

And then I started to head back in.

“Wait,” she said and stopped me.

Then she went to grab something in the backyard and came back with my tweed Professor-looking Wedding Uniform jacket.

“I love this and you need to wear it again,” she said and gave it to me.

I put it on, and noticed she’d found my Bluebird sticker and stuck it right on the front of the chest.

“I didn’t want you to forget who you are,” she said.

“Thank you,” I said.

“And don’t forget that I Love you more than anyone Loves anyone anywhere.”

“And I Love you that much,too.”

And then we kissed one more time before I went back in.

7.7 – Track #5 of The Great Trip Mix: Bob Marley’s “One Love”

Bob Marley was a ShaMan and a MusicMan Traveler, from the far off and exciting Realities of Jamaica, about MeTooing via Preferring Marijuana Perception and also songs about everything being alright.

I remembered I’d had a dream with Bob Marley in it the night before.  It started off in the furthest thing from Jamaica, Valley Forge.

Valley Forge is a historical site aboutthe beginning of America.  One winter during the America vs. Great Britain Reality War, General George Washington and his Army were getting their asses kicked by the British Army and hadta retreat into the wilderness outside Philadelphia.  The only place to stay was at Valley Forge even tho it was just a little iron forge covered in snow and didn’t have houses or meat or boots.  It caused the Army to start dying alot and start thinking about maybe just stopping the War, but their leader The Great Warrior George Washington wouldn’t let them.  They made it thru the winter, and they ended up winning the War eventually.

The Goddess of Faith was there in the middle of all the dying soldiers.  She wasn’t a Guardian Angel tho.  She was an Angel of Death, and when they died she hadta take their souls out of their bodies and carry them low into the ground thru the center of the earth to a part of The Other World known as The UnderWorld or Land of Dead Souls.  It was a total drag and the only way she could deal with it was by making the song “One Love.”

“One Love” is a song about The Dream of One Reality. Every Reality at some point imagines every Reality in The World MeTooing over the same thing at the same time, and then it not feeling like billions of different Realities anymore but like one single Reality and then everything finally feeling Alright.  MeNotzies want it to come true by Domination and War, but a Reality Traveler like Bob Marley wants it to come true by Love.

The song was the first time The Goddess of Faith had ever used the word “Alright,” and it made her feel Alright even tho she just carried dead souls around all the time.  She was so excited she actually broke The Angel of Death Corps Rules and went straight up to George Washington himself, even tho he wasn’t dying, and told him to sing the song to all his men.

“I don’t understand,” he said.  “We can’t Love the British.  They’re too different from us.  It’s like they come from a whole other bizarre Reality, in which forcing someone to pay slightly more taxes without representation is alright.  We have to kill as many of them as we can until they stop Dominating us.  Besides, I can’t sing.”

“Oh,” Faith said.

Then the dream skipped all the way ahead to the 1960’s Golden Age.  Bob Marley was there, but he did not have his big black dreadlocks or a huge rolled up joint of Marijuana Perception.  He was working in a factory, and he was sneezing a lot.  It sucked because product parts would come down an assembly line, and then he hadta put them together with other parts, and they’d keep coming like that all day even if he was bored with it.  Finally he took a break and went outside and cried out to the sky about how he didn’t wanna be an Adult anymore, and he hadta be a MusicMan Reality Traveler but he had too much doubt and didn’t know how.

Then suddenly the golden-winged Goddess of Faith came swooping down, and she was a Guardian Angel now.  She gave Bob Marley a big It’s Alright, Baby hug, and then the whole song of “One Love” suddenly went from inside her to inside him.  And then he knew what he hadta do to make life better for the Realities of The World.

“Thanks and praise,” he said with a huge smile.  “I feel Alright.”

“You’re welcome,” said the The Goddess of Faith.

And then I woke up.

 

7.6 – The Common Perception

I made sure I talked to Wolf before we went down the Hole.

“What if I can’t take this Marijuana Perception,” I said.  “I think it’s my Perceptionist Edge.”

“Of course Always be your own Reality,” he said, “however, sacrificing for The Common Perception would go a long way right now.”

His face was already getting pale, and his eyes seemed more hunted than hunting, and I could see the first signs of Vertigo.

“It’s alright,” I said.  “I’ll do it for The Common Perception.”

“Thanks,” he said. “I think I’m going to need you tonight.”

“Don’t worry, Wolf, I’ve Got Your Traveler Back.”

When we went down The Scorpion Hole it felt like we suddenly left an Adult Condo and entered some kind of secret Perceptionist Lair. It was very dark except for a dim bare lightbulb, and everything was made of concrete except for a couple ratty looking mattresses.  Against the wall was a shelf of containers and tools and contraptions and lights and plants used for Marijuana Perception.  Everyone sat down in a circle on the floor, and I tried to sit right next to Wolf, but I was quickly butted outta the way by Scorpion’s tail. Everyone seemed to want to sit next to the bride&groom, and in the commotion I ended up on the other side of the Hole from them next to So and So.  There was barely enough room for everyone, and your leg hadta touch the leg of the Reality next to you even if you didn’t want it to.

Then Scorpion took out a baggy of green plant residue and a large black glass sculpture that looked like an octopus.

“Octobong!” someone said.  “Nice!”

He put some of the marijuana in one of its tentacles and passed it and a lighter over to Wolf, who knew just which of it’s other tentacles to start burning and which of it’s other tentacles to put his mouth around.

“It’s good,” he coughed and everyone cheered.

Wolf then passed it to Lamb.  Since she’d been living with a Perceptionist for so long, she’d gotten usta Marijuana and took a hit without any problems, and then she passed it to the Reality next to her.  After that The Octobong moved quickly around the circle.  Soon it got to So (Female) right next to me, she took a good long hit and then passed it and the lighter to me.

The sculpture was heavy and hard, and it’s red eyes looked demonic, and I could almost feel NOT ALRIGHT, MAN just from touching it.  I couldn’t figure out which of its eight tentacles did what, and I hadta study it carefully, and it was way longer than anyone else had taken.  I looked over at So (Male), and he was waiting.

“You gonna smoke it or stare at it?” he said.

I almost wanted to leave the room right then, or even just pass it over and accept whatever MeNotzie reactions followed, but I told myself again I hadta do it for Wolf.

“Smoke it,” I said, “but I don’t know where.”

So (Male) looked at me like was the strange looking deep sea creature.  Then he sighed and pointed to which tentacle was which. I also hadta flick the lighter to make a flame come out of it, but I’d never done that before either.  Then So (Female), who was watching the whole thing, sighed and lit the lighter for me while I smoked.  I felt like the biggest amateur, but I knew the alternative would’ve been worse. I finally passed it over to So (Male), and he nodded.  Soon I could feel the Marijuana getting inside my body just like everyone else there, and then sat back and waited for it to kick in.

I actually felt alright at first.  My skin was a little tingly and my eyes felt fuzzy, but The Marijuana Perception kinda did make the Hole seem a little greater.  It at least felt like maybe the greatest cobwebs, mildew, and torn mattresses I’d been around for awhile. But soon Scorpion was packing the Octobong again and sending it around the circle another time.  When it came back to me I didn’t know what else to do but smoke out of it again.  I tried to take the littlest hit so not too much more could get inside me.  After that I was still feeling alright enough, and wondering if maybe my Perceptionist Edge was just three hits, and I could handle anything below that.  But it didn’t take long before Scorpion had taken more Marijuana, rolled it up into a huge piece of paper, lit it on fire, and passed that around,too.

“Whoa,” someone said, “that’s like a Bob Marley joint right there.”