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.”

6.13 – The Ceremony

I went back to Wings in the parking lot and took off my jacket.  Old Wolfy was right, it was just way too stuffy, whether I looked like The Professor or not.  It was nice back at the car, a perfect Alone Reality hideout where no one could find me, and I hadta fight the urge to just stay there and not go back to The Wedding. But I knew I still might have a chance at some MeToos when the music part happened.  And I knew The Ceremony was coming up, and I did want see the exact moment when Wolf&Lamb became married.

The hardest part was gonna be how to sit down.  I knew I didn’t wanna sit next to anyone else, and I noticed a lot of empty seats in the back where I might be safe.  Emperor Penguin was in charge of it tho, and it seemed like he was probably going to seat me in some MeNotzie kinda way.

I watched him from a safe distance. He was good at seating.  His motions were smooth and effortless, and he would put his hand gently on a Reality’s shoulder or back and guide them ahead with a clear voice that never um’d or stuttered.  He knew each Reality’s unique needs, whether it was going extra slow for a really old Adult or kneeling down and high-fiving a little kid. Most of the Realities laughed at something he said.  It started to seem like his ‘chaperone’ comment could’ve just been some kind of fluke or misunderstanding, and he was a true Reality Traveler who would be gentle and MeToo with me.

I walked up to him and took a chance.

“Hey,” I said, “Can I just seat myself?”

“No,” he said.

Then he put one hand firmly on my back, while the other one pointed.

“I’ll seat you right here next to these fine people,” he said.  “That way you don’t have to sit alone.”

They were a couple of younger looking Adults.  I couldn’t remember who they were at all.  It was possible they were imposters out to destroy The Wedding for the fun of it.

“But I want to sit alone,” I told Emperor Penguin, but he didn’t listen.

He used his usher hand to force me ahead just like the Planner Ants.

“This is So&So,” he said and pushed me down into the chair.  “So&So, this is Colorado.  He’s got some nice sneakers on, doesn’t he?”

I looked down at So&So’s shoes and theirs were both black and shiny, and then I looked at mine, which were all scuffed up with holes in the sides and the laces unraveling, and I realized I was Sticking Out Like a Sore Big Toe.  Once again Emperor Penguin didn’t even say,“I’m just fucking with you,” and when I looked back up he was gone.

Then So&So tried to start talking to me.

“So,” So(Female) said, “do you know WolforLamb?”

“I’ve never heard of WolforLamb,” I said.  “I only know Wolf&Lamb.”

“Oh…” she said.

“So,” So(Male) said, “you’re The Guy Who Came All The Way From Colorado.”

“No,” I said,  “all the way from Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains.”

So&So looked at me like they wanted me to say more, but I didn’t want to cuz it would’ve taken half a book to explain everything the right way.  Instead I just froze up and stopped talking to them, and eventually they got the picture and left me alone.  I could still feel them right next to me tho.  Sometimes So would accidentally brush me, and I would hafta inch my seat over a little, and I would wonder why they got to sit there instead of BigFoot, or the Iowa Goldfinch, or My Mom, or Kat, or El Puma, or The Goddess of Faith or Nobody.

After everyone was seated, The Ceremony began by playing The Wedding Song.

The Wedding Song is a song about being played at the beginning of every Wedding.  It starts off “Dun-Dun-da-dun, Dun-Dun-da-dun,” and when you hear it you know a Wedding is starting.  It keeps repeating until all the Important Wedding Realities march down an aisle between the Wedding Guest seats and take positions in front.

Wolf&Lamb soon took their positions right next to the Queen Planner Ant who got to be Ceremony Leader.  No one knew her before that day or what her knowledge of The Gods was, but apparently she had the power to legally marry you.  The Queen then made a big speech about Love, but it was all about hard work and hivemind and digging, and there was no talk of SoulMates or Cupids or sparks or crazy magnetic forces in The Other World, and I eventually tuned out.

I started thinking about The Goddess of Faith and wondered if she was watching the whole thing at that moment.  I thought about if we had a Wedding, and how we’d make sure there’d only be our favorite Realities, and no one would be a New Reality for anyone else, and everyone would get to be one of the Important Wedding Realities, and The Ceremony Leader would be The Professor, and The Ceremony would just be a recap of The Story of How We Met, followed by us forming Bluebird’s Alright, Baby!!for everyone.

Then I finally heard Wolf&Lamb talking for themselves.

“I’ll Love you forever no matter what,” Wolf told Lamb.

“I’ll Love you forever no matter what,” Lamb told Wolf.

“Alright,” The Queen said, “you’ll be married now as soon as you kiss each other in front of everyone.”

Then Wolf leaned in and put his mouth on Lamb’s mouth, and I was sortafar away, but I think I did see a fiery little spark or two fly out from their faces, and it gave me The Chills.