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.”

7.14 – The Bluebird Show

“Alright, everyone,” I stood up and said.  “I’m going to sing now!”

But no one was paying attention.  Wolf was in an almost total Vertigo state while Lamb tended to him.  The Baby was playing peek-a-boo with Lamb’s Younger Sister.  Wild Fucking Turkey was hitting himself in the head again in the kitchen.  Emperor Penguin had gone looking for Scorpion and Lamb’s Youngest Sister was tagging along.  And the Penguins were putting away their instruments and talking about leaving the AfterParty all together.

“Hold on guys,” I said, “can you do just one more song with me?”

“Eh,” they said. “This party’s kinduv over…”

“Springsteen.”

The Penguins eyes widened.

“You know any of his songs?” I asked.

They came closer and whispered to me.

“We love him,” they said.  “Everyone from Jersey does.  Except Emperor Penguin.”

“Why not?”

“We’ve never been able to figure it out.”

“Well, he’s not here right now,” I said.  “Do you think you can do ‘Thunder Road?’”

They simply nodded and got their instruments back out.  When they were ready I looked over at them and said “Alright, hit it!”

The Penguins didn’t have all the instruments they needed, but they knew the chords and rhythm and started nailing it right away. Then I came in and was high and powerful right from the start, and whatever audience was around started taking notice.

“Hey!” the Baby said.  “Is this Springsteen?  I love him cuz I’m from Jersey!”

It was adorable, and soon the other Realities started coming back in the living room.  Emperor Penguin came back and had a surprised look on his face, and Wolf was even able to lift himself up off the couch again.  I was just about to hit the high and powerful,“Sit tight, take cover, Thunder Road!” part, but then it started to happen.  One by one the spots on my throat rapidly went numb, and nothing happened when I vibrated air off them.

“No, not now, Dead Voice!” I thought to myself.

But there was nothing I could do.  I realized I’d been singing at the top of my lungs in the car for several days straight.  I could soon only speak the words in a low and unpowerful rasp that wasn’t even worth it. The Penguins looked up in confusion, and when I eventually just gave up in the middle of the song, they hadta give up, too.  No one in the audience got to Woo! or clap,or say where they hit the Thunder Roadfrom, and it was like we never pulled out of The-Town-Full-of-Losers at all.  Soon Realities started leaving again, and Wolf collapsed back down on the couch.

“Pfft,” Emperor Penguin said loudly so everyone could hear.  “The problem with Springsteen is that he tries too hard.  The music tries too hard, the words try too hard, the stageshow tries too hard, and the the themes especially try too hard.”

Then he started singing to Lamb’s Youngest Sister in a mock Springsteen voice.

Come on, baby, hop in my ride and all our dreams will come true,” he made up.

Lamb’s Youngest Sister started laughing hard, and the Emperor Penguin got on his knees in front of her and reached out his arms.

I just know we can make it to the Promised Land!” he made up.

Lamb’s Youngest Sister started laughing even harder.

Everything’s gonna be Alright, Baby!” he made up.

And then Lamb’s Youngest Sister laughed so hard she had to fall down and start hitting the floor over and over with her hand.

“There is no Promised Land,” Emperor Penguin said. “There’s nowhere to go.  Life sucks everywhere.  Just deal with it.”

I wanted to shout out “Damn you, you MeNotzie Penguin and your pffts!”  right at him, but The Dead Voice would only allow a ‘Dff’ to come out, and it wasn’t powerful enough to put anyone in their place.  I hadta just get outta The Throne in failure and try to get to Alone Reality as fast as possible.