9.19 – The CrossRoads

Suddenly my head snapped up and my eyes opened and me and Wings were driving on The Road again.  There was a big bright sunrise behind us, and somehow we’d gotten all the way to The Plains of Colorado.

 “Am I in the clear?” I asked Wings.  “Did the Perception finally wear off?”

Wings didn’t answer back, and I took it to mean things were going back to normal.  Then I stopped to get more gas, and when I went in the station it was just a regular Reality in there, who wasn’t a psychic or a monster or a God, and he did the pre-pay for me easily.

I was almost to the Road that led to Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains, and it seemed like I was pretty much home-free.  Except when I got back in the car The Crow was there in the front seat.

“You’re just a Perception!” I yelled at it.  “You can’t last forever.”

“I’m not just a Perception,” The Crow said in a strangely familiar voice.

“Yeah you are, but I guess since you’re here and can finally talk I am curious who you imaginarily are and why you were imaginarily helping me when I believed in imaginary Reality Travel.”

“Alright,” he said.

Then suddenly it wasn’t The Crow anymore but The Professor.  He was almost too big for the car and hadta adjust the seat all the way back so he’d fit.  He also had his arm in a sling.

“Yes,” he said, “The Crow has been me this whole time.  When you become advanced enough at Reality Travel you can Shapeshift into your True Animal Spirit.”

I knew that humans turning into animals was another thing on The Great List of Things That Aren’t Real, but I decided to play along anyway.

“What about all that stuff about how I couldn’t call and hadta Travel on my own and get my ass kicked?” I asked him.

“As part of The Training, each Traveler is entitled to get secret help for their first Great Trip,” he said.  “You’ve seen how hard the Travels are now.  You still needed The Training Wheels but also to feel like you were doing it all on your own.”

“Well, you imaginarily failed cuz I broke the imaginary Vow and gave up.”

“You’re not the first Traveler to go to War or to have Big Doubt.”

“Big Doubt’s not real.”

“It is, and it’s time for you to Dig Deep and Cure yourself or else you’ll be Eliminated.”

“Even if it was real, I’d have no idea how to Cure it.”

“Yes, you do… Remember your Thesis?”

“Please, if a Guardian Angel can’t even save you, why would a stupid song?”

“Because stupid songs are your True Passion.  They may not work for every Traveler, but it can work for you and many others.”

“Even if it could, I don’t have The Great Trip Mix anymore.”

“But I do.”

Then I looked over, and it was right there in his hand.

“I knew you’d be in trouble last night after I found out your Guardian Angel had been detained, so I came in to wake you up and inspire you to avoid War with The Eleventh Hour MeToo, but it was too late, and the Big Doubt was already beginning to set in.  I predicted what would happen from there and knew to rescue your most precious item, The Great Trip Mix, before it was lost or destroyed.”

Then he put it on and started playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”  As soon as I heard the piano intro I could feel something changing inside my chest.  I tried to fight back tho and keep thinking about The Great List of What’s Not Real and the vision for My New Adult Life, but Steve Perry’s high and powerful voice came in and the feeling in my chest grew.  It was my Bluebird essence that had been pushed down into some deep corner of myself, and the song kept digging it out whether I wanted it to or not.  Then Steve Perry got to the line “looking just to find emotion hiding somewhere in the niiiiiiiiight,” and it was so high and powerful that some Bluebird got dug so far up it started coming out of my eyes as tears.  Soon the song got to its unconventional at-the-end-of-the-song chorus, and when I finally heard the words “Don’t stop believin’” I knew with total certainty that Reality Travel was real again.

“Oh my Gods!” I said when the song was over.  “I can’t believe I let that happen to me.”

“It’s Alright,” The Professor said.  “Now you’ll know how to deal with Big Doubt if it arises again.”

“But now what? This means The CrossRoads is totally real, and I hafta make the right choice or else!  What should I do, Professor?”

“I can’t make the choice for you, but I think you know in your heart the right thing to do.”

“Heart?  Does that mean choosing The Goddess of Faith because True Love is the most important thing even if we get Eliminated for it?”

“That would be a noble choice.”

“Or should I pick Reality Travel cuz that’s like the Love for all Realities in The World no matter what, and then neither of us will get Eliminated?”

“Also a noble choice.”

“But either way I’d be sacrificing too much.  I’m not sure if I can even handle Reality Travel without The Goddess of Faith.  I would just feel too Lonely, not Alright, and I’d get my ass kicked all the time. I’m not a very good Traveler, am I?”

“You have a lot of room for improvement.”

“What if I’m never that good?”

“Reality Travel isn’t about being good.  It’s about MeTooing in any way you can.  Maybe you’ll never be able to introduce yourself in person to New Realities very well, but you are good at singing, so sing to them.  Sing to them about getting your ass kicked and having the courage to keep going anyway, and believe me, Realities will MeToo.  Sing to them in every way you know how.  Sing to them with The Great List of Songs, with your own songs, and if that isn’t enough, sing a novel to them.  You have to trust me, if you just sing to them everything will be Alright.”

Suddenly I realized we were coming up on the point where Road-70 met Road-25, and where I’d hafta decide if I was going back to Where-ThePlains-Meets-TheMountains or not.

“This is The CrossRoads, isn’t it?” I said.

“Yes,” The Professor said, “and only you can make the decision about where to go from here.”

“But which Road means what?” I said.

But The Professor suddenly disappeared, and I hadta think about it all Alone.

“Alright,” I said to myself, “if I were still in Big Doubt I would’ve just gone North back to Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains, so that would probably get me Eliminated.  Going West will take me straight to the hard and treacherous Mountains where I’m terrified to Travel, and going South will take me to the Desert, which is also hard but at least it’s flat and the sun is always shining.  But I’m not sure which Fate is which.”

I was quickly approaching the exit when suddenly I saw The Goddess of Faith fly out of the sun from The South.  She seemed to be escaping from Guard Gods who were right on her tail, and I really wanted to try and save her.  As she got closer I could see her It’s Alright Baby glow and I realized how you only get one SoulMate and I would never Love or be Loved again like I am with her.  And even if we are both Eliminated at least it would be together and neither of us would have to feel the pains of Lonely existence ever again.

“Bluebird,” The Goddess of Faith yelled out, “I True Love you.”

“I True Love you, too,” I yelled back.

But at the moment it came time to change Roads I couldn’t do it.  I could only think about all The Realities of The World who might be destroyed by War and needed MeToos, and if I or The Goddess of Faith wasn’t there it would just make things a little worse for everyone.  It seemed too selfish to choose a Love that only we could feel for just one last second.  Even tho it would be hard, I knew I had to Love everyone in The World no matter what.

I kept driving down Road-70 right past Road-25 South and The Goddess of Faith and headed straight towards The Mountains. I didn’t know where it would lead, but as the Road started to go higher up, I started to feel so high and powerful.  I hit the gas down hard and pointed Wings to the sky, and soon we started flying above The Road, and over The Mountain peaks, and over the clouds, until soon we were so high we were in the OtherWorld, without even taking an outside Perception, and then there were just the feelings of high! and powerful! and I couldn’t help laughing and crying at the same time.

Just then I felt a surge of energy inside me start to collect and suddenly shoot out.  I let all my outer layers fall away, and I was pure Bluebird!  And The Crow and all The Gods were watching me, and The God of Judgment nodded his head, and The God of The Road was pumping his fist, and The Goddess of Music was leading the Other World RockNRoll Choir to sing for me.  And then I saw The Goddess of Faith in the rearview mirror, and she was smiling and happy for me even tho we wouldn’t get to be together again.  But suddenly all my Bluebird! gathered together and aimed towards her, and her It’s Alright, Baby! gathered together and aimed towards me, and in one swift moment they couldn’t help shooting at each other, and when they crashed together they exploded and formed Bluebird’s Alright, Baby!! and every one who witnessed it went,“Whoah we were all so wrong.”

And when The Professor Crow saw it he said, “Yes!”

And when The Goddess of Love saw it, she said, “True Love!”

And when The Goddess of Angels saw it, she said, “She must be his Angel forever!”

And when The God of Judgment saw it, he said, “Let The Record show that this is something beyond any of us, and we cannot stand in its way.”

And when The Goddess of Music saw it, she told her RockNRoll Choir to sing,“Here Comes the Sun,” and everyone in The Other World sang along, too.

And when we descended back to The World the Bluebird’s Alright, Baby!! finally broke apart, and we were The Bluebird and The Goddess of Faith again, and we were together in Wings driving thru The Mountains, and we were not afraid.  We were ready for the next Reality and everything was going to be Alright, Baby!

9.4 – Track #8 of The Great Trip Mix: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”

To Graduate Reality Travel Training you hadta write a long paper, called The Thesis, on something no one had ever thought about Reality Travel before.  Wolf was doing his on how important Common Perception was, but I didn’t know at first what I wanted to do.  It seemed like everything about Reality Travel had already been thought about by the Great Travelers of the past.

Then one time I was delivering a pizza to the Colorado Future Adult Training School Dorms, and when I got there everyone was singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

“Don’t Stop Believin’” is a song about continuing to believe in something. Like how a Small Town Reality, a South Detroit Reality, and a singer Reality in a smoky room all believe they can find Emotion hiding somewhere in the night.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe in something like that, but if they stopped and didn’t hold onto that feeling, then they would for sure never find it.

I listened to that song all the time, cuz I always wanted to stop believin’in things.  After La Renarde I wanted to stop believin’ anyone would want to kiss me again. After Driver Training I wanted to stop believin’ I would ever be able to drive.  After the first night of Artsy Lawless I wanted to stop believin’ in going to school there.  After Kat I wanted to stop believin’ anyone would want to kiss me again.  After Chick Hunting with El Puma I wanted to stop believin’ anyone would want to kiss me again.  After The Dead Voice I wanted to stop believin’ I could sing ever again.  After the first day of Reality Travel Training I wanted to stop believin’ I could take my ass getting kicked.  After Marijuana Perception I wanted to stop believin’ I could take any more Adventures in Perceptionism. After my first day at CFATTY’s Pizza I wanted to stop believin’ that I could work any job. But every time I listened to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” I couldn’t help but keep believin’ in those things.

I wondered tho what all the Future Adults at CFATS didn’t want to stop believin’.  It seemed like becoming an Adult was the easiest thing in The World for most Realities, but maybe they had other things that were harder to believe in.  Maybe some were actually really Reality Travelers. Or maybe some just wanted to find a certain Emotion like in the song.

I started noticing “Don’t Stop Believin’” played around more than any other song.  Realities would always be playing it in their cars as they drove down street, or it would be on when you went inside a store or a restaurant.  Whenever I watched TV it was on there, and when a sports team won a championship they’d be singing the song, too.  Sometimes random Realities would just start humming in public in front of you, and one time it was playing at CFATTY’s Pizza, and The Pizza Maker who didn’t know any English started singing along word for word.  It started to seem like it might be The Most MeTooable Song on the whole Great List of Old Songs, and maybe the song itself had been Touched by The Goddess of Music with its own Gift to heal Realities.

I came up with a theory that if it could cure moments of Little Doubt about so many things for so many Realities, then maybe “Don’t Stop Believin’” could also be a cure for the Greatest Reality Traveler BoobyTrap of all, Big Doubt.  I hadn’t gotten it myself yet, and I didn’t know any other Traveler who’d had it, so there was no way to prove it for sure.  But I studied every fact about the band and the song and every major personal and Worldwide instance of it being played, and wrote the required 25 pages for The Thesis about how if there was one song high and powerful enough to beat Big Doubt this had to be it.  I turned it into The Professor, and he read it and said it was a good enough idea that I could Graduate Reality Travel Training.

9.2 – The Professor’s Reality Travel Training Lesson: Big Doubt

“Beware of Big Doubt the most,” The Professor said. “There will be times when you get your ass kicked so badly from The Travels that you will stop believing Reality Travel is even real anymore.  I told you the first day how badly it would kick your ass, and how if you weren’t 100% willing to accept all the sacrifices of your Calling then you should leave The Training.  But no one ever listens.  They are too excited and think it won’t be hard for them, but as soon as they see how powerful The MeNotzies are, how hard The BoobyTraps are, how no one is grateful for the vitally important service you’re doing for The World, and how all those Realities who’ve never even heard of Reality Travel seem to be living such peaceful, prosperous, ass-protected lives, they just can’t take it.  Big Doubt can happen to any Reality Traveler, and it is the hardest BoobyTrap to escape.  Fellow Reality Travelers, including me, will not be able to convince you.  You summon your Guardian Angel for assistance during moments of Little Doubt, but once you’re in full blown Big Doubt they’ll only seem like a figment of your imagination. This is when a Traveler must Dig Down Deep, find a reason to believe, and try to save themselves.

9.1 – The Great List of What’s Not Real

When I woke up it wasn’t the next day, but the day after that.  I knew I was supposta be at CFATTY’s for work, and they were calling me, but I didn’t call back.  I was also still Hungover, and didn’t have any Whatever-You-Drank-Two-Nights-Ago to cure it, but in another way I felt kinduv alrightcuz I knew The Great List of What’s Not Real…

I’m not The Bluebird, I’m just Jonathan.

 I’m not a MusicMan who MeToos via The Great List of Songs.  I just get mad when people don’t like the same songs as me.

I’m not a Reality Traveler cuz Reality Travel isn’t real.  I made it up cuz I was an insecure kid who wanted to feel more important. 

Everyone else I called Reality Travelers were also just insecure people who wanted to feel more important.

Wolf’s name isn’t really Wolf.  He doesn’t even really look like a wolf.  I just like animals a lot.

The Professor isn’t real.  I made up all the concepts and terminology and lessons of Reality Travel.

Reality Travel Training isn’t real.  I really went just went to graduate school.

Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains is just a fancy way of saying Colorado.

The Crow repeatedly appearing inside places it shouldn’t have been was just a coincidence.

The Gods aren’t real.  Nothing created us and nothing cares if we’re destroyed. 

The OtherWorld isn’t real.  It’s just a hallucination caused by certain Perceptions, which are actually just drugs.

It’s impossible to TimeTravel.  You can only be in this present moment, which quickly vanishes forever.

The Goddess of Music isn’t real.  All songs from The Mix played during The Great Trip were just coincidences. I was not Touched and given The Gift, I was just naturally a good singer probably cuz of genetics.

The Goddess of Faith isn’t real.  She was just a fantasy of a woman who completely accepted me cuz no real woman ever has.

Because The Gods and The Goddess of Faith aren’t real, I will not get Eliminated for breaking God Rules and will continue to be alive.

Because Reality Travel isn’t real, I won’t even get The Malaise.

Because Reality Travel isn’t real, I didn’t break any Vow by going to War with The General&The Admiral, and they deserved to bleed.

The Professor would say The Great List of What’s Not Real is just a symptom of Big Doubt.  But like all other Reality Traveler BoobyTraps, Big Doubt is also not real.

8.2 – The Professor’s Reality Travel Training Lesson: War

“Beware of War,” The Professor said.  “There are times when a MeNotzie will try to Dominate another MeNotzie.  Neither will want to get Dominated, and if they’re evenly matched they’ll look for ways to gain the upper hand.  They may start with words but then turn to harming each other’s bodies.  If still neither has an advantage,they may try to build an Army of other Realities against each other.  And then if they still cannot Dominate the other, they will use weapons to try and eliminate the other Reality forever.  This is War, and it’s what you have been Called Upon by The Gods to stop.

You may believe as a Reality Traveler you are the furthest thing possible from a MeNotzie.  It may seem like you’re above that, you’d never stoop to that level, and others would because The Gods just made them from a different Other World material than you.  But I have a surprise for you…

Every Reality is a MeNotzie sometimes, even Reality Travelers.

There will be moments when another Reality seems so different, so wrong, and so dangerous that everything inside you will beg you to Dominate them, but you have to resist this urge at all costs.  War is a nearly unforgivable hypocrisy and the worst thing a Reality Traveler can possibly do.  When you find yourself on the Brink of War, there is really only one thing you can do. You must say The Eleventh Hour MeToo – I am being a MeNotzie too. And then hopefully all sides will be able to cool down.

Now we must all take The Reality Traveler Vow.  Repeat after me…

I will never start a War.

I will never participate in a War.

I will never advocate a War.

I will always do everything in my power short of War to stop a War.”

 

Then everyone in the class repeated The Vow.

7.13 – The MeToo Festival

Right away I told The Professor about MeTooing The Pizzas Boss.

“He’s not even a Reality Traveler,” I said. “He’d never heard of it before. He’s just some regular Reality who normally hides his deepest hopes and regrets.  He didn’t have to MeToo me, but I made him somehow.”

“Interesting,” The Professor said.  “So it was the song that led to the deeper MeToos.”

“Exactly!”

“You like songs a lot, don’t you?”

“They’re my favorite thing.”

“And I hear you have a very high and powerful voice.”

“The Voice Professor said it was a Gift from The Goddess of Music.”

“You know, Bluebird, every Traveler has a MeToo Speciality, meaning they MeToo particularly well via one thing.  You may very well be a MusicMan Traveler who MeToos via these old Radio songs.”

“Wow, maybe you’re right.”

“It’s time to put this to the test.  The big annual MeToo Festival is coming up, and many Reality Traveler Training School Alumni will be in attendance.  For entertainment we’ve assembled a band of Music Travelers.  I want you to sing this “Thunder Road” with them in front of everyone and try to MeToo us all.”

“I’ve never sung in a band before tho.”

“That’s great.”

“What if I suddenly get the Dead Voice and can’t MeToo anyone tho?”

Before he could speak I answered myself tho.

“I know,” I said. “It’ll be good to get my ass kicked.”

“No, Bluebird,” he said.  “There are times when you need to get your ass kicked, but this is not one of them.  This is one of those times when you need to kick some ass.”

Then I went home and dug out The Voice Professor’s Rules for Singing.  I still hated The Rules, and it seemed impossible to deliver pizzas without singing in the car, but I also knew they were the only way to make 100% sure I wouldn’t get The Dead Voice.  I started following them everyday, even tho they were boring and painful.

Then I hadta get together with the Reality Traveler band to rehearse.  They had a guitarist and a drummer and a keyboard player and a harmonica player and a saxophone player.  It was everything we needed to do the song right.  But I hadn’t been around many other Music Travelers and didn’t know if they would MeToo me.

“Are you guys alright with Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road?” I asked them.

“Oh my Gods,” the band said.  “Are you kidding?”

“Oh no, is it not advanced or Reality Traveler enough?  I know they play it on The Radio.”

“No, only MeNotzies hate songs just cuz they’re on The Radio.  We meant are you kidding, that’s one of our favorite songs.”

“So all Reality Travelers really do love Bruce Springsteen?”

“Yes.  He puts it all out on the line, and and goes for broke, and swings for the fences, and makes a stand, and plays for keeps, and beats the odds, and never surrenders, and makes it happen, and goes all the way, ya know?”

“Alright!  I love all those things about him,too.”

Then we started playing the song, and they knew how already, and they were all great at their parts, and when I started singing with them it actually sounded just like the real Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

When the MeToo Festival came around we felt ready. The Training School Auditorium was completely full of former and current Reality Traveler students.  First the band got up on stage and played their own songs.  They were all about Reality Travel, and they were good, but it still seemed hard for some Realities to MeToo songs they’d never heard before.

Then the Professor got up to the microphone.

“Attention please,” he said.  “Now I’d like to invite to the stage one of the Reality Travel Training School’s current students, The Bluebird.”

I liked the sound of it, and everyone clapped for me when I came out.  I stood up at the microphone, and they got quiet and waited for me to MeToo them.

“This one’s from the Great List of Old Songs,” I said to them, and then I told the band to “Hit it!”

The piano and harmonica started playing and there was no turning back.  They played thru the intro, and then it was time for me to come in and sing the first line…

“Screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves…”

At first I was cautious, low, and unpowerful. It wasn’t like Springsteen at all, cuz I was too afraid to go for broke, cuz I didn’t wanna be broke.”

But then I saw The Professor in the front row, nodding his head, and then some mysterious Reality in the back suddenly yelled out “Bruuuce!”

And then others in the crowd start following along. It gave me power, which I gave straight to my voice, and then I started nailing it.  The crowd started clapping to the beat, and you could hear some go “Woo!” and “I Lovethis song!”  And then they started MeTooing it.  One by one Realities in the audience start shouting out The Great List of towns they had to Hit the Thunder Road outta.

Philadelphia Suburbs (New Jersey)
Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania)
The Wilderness (Pennsylvania)
Chicago Suburbs
Baltimore Suburbs
The Middle-of-Nowhere (Massachusetts)
The Slums of L.A.
Arizona Desert Oasis
The Capital of America
California Agricultural City (Grapes)
Florida Future Adult Training Town
NewYorkCity
The far off and not as exciting as you’d think Realities of Paris
    France
The Badlands
Where-ThePlains-Doesn’t-Meet-TheMountains
Indiana Industrial City (Pollution)
Michigan Industrial City (Poison) Suburbs

“Ohio Industrial City (Rubber)Suburbs!” I added to the list.

And then I started going as high and powerful as I could go, and sweat started coming out of my forehead, and the Springsteen-style bandana I was wearing could absorb all of it.  I could feel every MeToo in the crowd turning into one big collective MeToo like a feeling from The Other World.  And it made me leap up and dive right into it and soar in flight right thru it. Finally I got to the last and best line and sang It’s a Town-Full-of-Losers and I’m pulling outta here to win with all the highness and power I ever had.

I used up all my energy and fell from the sky and collapsed on the stage, and when I looked up the crowd was standing on their feet and making a huge thunderous sound of clapping and Woos! and MeToos!  The Professor came up on stage and grabbed me and picked me up.

“Yes!” he said. “You just kicked ass.”

7.2 – The Professor’s Reality Travel Training Lesson: Realityfucks

“Beware of RealityFucks,” The Professor said. “Sometimes you will have to Travel to multiple Realities at once.  You may MeToo with each of them in their own way, perhaps even contradictory ways, in which MeTooing one means MeNotting another.  This is known as a RealityFuck, and if there are enough different Realities and enough contradicting MeToos it may lead to Traveler Vertigo.

To avoid this you must somehow find at least one common MeToo for all Realities present.  This can be one of the more challenging BoobyTraps, and you may need the assistance of a trained Reality Traveler or Guardian Angel to overcome it.