7.11 – Wolf&EmperorPenguin

“Emperor Penguin,” Wolf said, “was my best friend in HighSchool.  We met in Health class.  I’d just started experimenting on my own with the basic Perceptions like Alcohol and Marijuana and discovering their many benefits.  Health class, however, was trying to teach us that any Perception was a dangerous and unhealthy mistake, which could only destroy your life.

‘Marijuana is a gateway to all the other drugs,’ the Health Teacher said.  ‘It may seem harmless, but before you know it, you’ll be dying of a heroin overdose.’

Everyone in the class was listening closely and taking notes so they could get a good grade on a test.  But there was one lone voice in the back of the class who went “pfft.” I looked back, and it was Emperor Penguin.  I didn’t know much about him, but he seemed cool and well dressed and wasn’t afraid to speak out in class.

‘That’s bullshit,’ he said, ‘I know lots of Realities who smoke Marijuana, and they don’t die.  They just think everything is greater for a little while.”

The Health Teacher wouldn’t listen to him and scolded him for swearing, but I was intrigued because I hadn’t met anyone else in person who’d had Perceptionist experiences yet.  I knew I had to approach him after class.

‘Oh yeah,’ he said, ‘they’re just trying to Train us to become Future Adults, and you can’t get a good Adult job or something if you don’t do the ‘right’ Perceptions.  I’m not going to be an Adult tho.  I’m a Reality Traveler.’

I’d never heard the words before that and asked him what it meant.

“It’s about calling people out on their bullshit so we can all MeToo over the truth,” he said and then explained the rest of what he knew.

He was young and misunderstood some things about Reality Travel, but he had the basics mostly down.  He also mentioned he was the lead singer of a band that Traveled to Realities all over Philadelphia Suburbs, both Jersey and Pennsylvania, to musically MeToo them, and he invited me to their next show.  I was scared because I’d only really Traveled to family and school Realities before, but there was something about the words “Reality Travel” that lured me in, and I decided I had to Get Out There for the first time.

Emperor Penguin picked me up and took us to the show in the close by but exciting Realities of DowntownPhiladelphia, where I’d rarely been before and never without my parents.  They were playing in some old shabby music club, and I got to hang out with the band backstage.  It was dingy and dark, and there was a pungent yet familiar smell in the air. When I met the band they were in a circle passing around the Marijuana Perception.

‘Is he cool?’ one of the band members asked Emperor Penguin about me.

‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘he’s a Reality Traveler like us.’

‘Cool,’ they said.

And then I got to join them, and as the Marijuana Perception went around I realized that it was making everything greater for all of us at the same time.

“So,” one of them asked me, “what do you MeToo via?”

I knew almost nothing about Reality Travel until that day, but somehow I knew the answer and responded right away.

‘I MeToo about Perceptions like this one,’ I said.

‘Cool,’ they said.

And that was the moment when I received The Calling.  Emperor Penguin and I went on many Travels after that and have been friends ever since.

2.3 – La Renarde

I first heard about Reality Travel from La Renarde, this girl in my HighSchool French Class. We hadta do a presentation in French on one of our heroes, and I did mine on Le Rouge Baron, known in English as “The Red Baron.”

The Red Baron was a fighter pilot about being the best at killing other fighter pilots during The First Great Reality War.

La Renarde did her’s on Holden Caulfield.

Holden Caulfield is a fictional teenage Reality Traveler in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, which is a novel about going on a big Reality Travel Trip to NewYorkCity but failing to MeToo anyone, saying “dammit” a lot, and then going crazy. Almost everyone who reads it MeToos it tho.

I was not that good at French cuz everyone around me spoke English all the time, and I figured they always would, so La Renarde’s report was hard for me to understand. But I did hear the words “Moi-Aussie” and “Voyage de Realite” a lot, and they had a certain unexplainable ring to them.

La Renarde was a very foxy redhead girl, who always wore black boots. She was crafty and cunning and could always solve our French class assignments. I was afraid she’d outwit me if we ever spoke, so I usually stayed away from her. But she actually came up to me after our hero reports.

“Le Rouge Baron?” she said. “Why do you like War so much?”

“Cuz I hate Bad Guys, and I like how War gets them,” I said.

“War is so not Reality Travel tho.”

“I don’t know what those words mean.”

“Really? I thought everyone did.”

“I don’t.”

“Well, a Reality Traveler is the best thing a person can be. I’m one.”

Then she started explaining it all. She was incorrect about some things, but she had the basics down.

“Holden Caulfield is so Reality Travel,” she said, “but J.D. Salinger, who wrote him, was not. After the book became a hit he went deep into TheWoods where no one could ever find him, and he just stayed in Alone Reality and never Traveled to another Reality for the rest of his life. A real Reality Traveler has to Get Out There tho.”

It made me realize how I wasn’t Reality Travel at all either cuz I was almost always in Alone Reality except for at school.

“Hey, you know what would be so Reality Travel?” she said. “If we Travel to Downtown Ohio Industrial City (Rubber), and I teach you more about Reality Travel.”

My family lived in The Suburbs and almost never went to Downtown Ohio Industrial City (Rubber). It seemed like it was a wasteland full of poor and desperate criminals, and the only time I’d go was with my parents for the 4th of July fireworks when there were tons of police around.

“Do we have to Reality Travel there?” I said.

“Downtown is very Reality Travel,” La Renarde said. “The Suburbs are not Reality Travel  at all, and they suck. Everything interesting happens in Downtowns, especially the ones in other countries. Like Downtown Paris, France is the most Reality Travel place in The World. But Downtown OIC(R) is the closest place we have to it here.”

“Alright, I guess so.”

“Awesome, do you wanna drive or should I?”

“I don’t know how.”