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.

8.16 – Retreat 

“What the fuck?!” TheGeneral&TheAdmiral said.

But before they knew what was happening, I just shoved them out of the way and started running.  I ran thru the living room and out the front door and down the stairs and out the building door until I got to Wings.  I dug my keys out and started the engine and squealed the tires as I backed out and sped away.  I didn’t look back, and I was crying the whole time.

When I got back to The Smaller Nest all the doors were locked, and I didn’t have a key.  I had to ring the doorbell a bunch of times, and then Dad finally answered in his underwear, and he looked like he didn’t want to be awake.

“You’re coming home late,” he said.

“I gotta throw up,” was all I could say.

Then I went straight to the bathroom, and everything was spinning, and everything in my stomach wanted to come out, and I pushed as much of it as I could into the toilet in huge bursts.  I couldn’t stand up anymore and hadta just lie there on the floor close to the bowl so I could throw up into it when I needed.  Dad came in to check on me.

“What happened?” he asked.

“War,” I said but I was too sick to explain much else.

“Is that a Reality Travel term?”

“I’m not sure Reality Travel’s even real anymore.”

“Our minds can create powerful stories that seem very real,” Dad said.  “They try to protect us by covering up the painful past Wounds on our Spirit.”

“Maybe my mind did do that.”

“But you can Awaken and see the truth like you are now.  You can choose to let go of the story and face the Wounds and then Forgive others and yourself for them.”

All I could do was throw up again.

“Remember this feeling,” Dad said.  “You don’t have to harm others or yourself like this again.”

“I won’t,” I said.  “I’m not Reality Traveling anymore.”

8.12 – Track #17 of The Great Trip Mix: Radiohead’s “High and Dry”

I knew TheGeneral&TheAdmiral would still be tough to MeToo, but I didn’t know much about Red.  I waited for them to go to the balcony to smoke, and then I went up to talk to her.

“Did La Renarde ever tell you about Reality Travel?” I asked her.

“Who’s that?”
“Your sister.”

“Oh you mean Fox.”

“Yeah.”

“Oh my god, she usta be so weird,” she said.  “I’m glad she’s finally starting to get normal now.”

“Reality Travel isn’t weird.  It’s all about the best thing in the world, MeTooing.”

“Oh my god, my sister usta say that word all the time.  I hated it.”

“You don’t like when someone relates with you about something?”

She shrugged.

“Wouldn’t it make you feel good if I said something like I’m getting kinda drunk too right now?” I said.

“Oh my god, you must be a Lightweight,” she said and poked me.  “I’m not drunk at all!”

“You’re on like your second huge vodka and cranberry tho, and you have a pretty small body weight, and I just saw you stumble over the couch a minute ago.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Red, don’t be a MeNotzie.”

“I hate that word, too.”

“It’s a good word, cuz you’re not supposta be one.  Especially a HighNDry MeNotzie, just like in the Radiohead song.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Radiohead’s “High and Dry” is a song about The Worst Kind of MeNotzie.  One who could easily MeToo a Reality, but chooses to lie about it instead.  Like you might both be low and wet, but they’ll say they’re high and dry, and then you feel all Alone when you didn’t even have to.”

“Sounds boring.”

“It’s not at all. You just hafta listen to it.”

I’d made sure to bring The Great Trip Mix in with me just for this kind of MeToo opportunity, and then I played it for her.

“This is old and depressing,” she said.

“Do you really think that, or are you just lying and leaving me HighNDry again?”

“I never lie.”

“Every Reality lies sometimes.”

Just then The General&The Admiral came back in.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “music.”

“Sounds to me like another futile attempt to MeToo,” The General said.

“It’s not futile,” I said.

And then I started singing along to the song, so at least the highness and powerfullness of my voice could MeToo them.  It turned out my Dead Voice from the night before had magically worn off.  I was back to full strength and nailing it right away.  It raised all of their eyebrows, The Admiral didn’t laugh, The General nodded his head and went,“Hmm,” and I noticed Red was even rubbing her arms.

“You’re getting The Chills aren’t you, Red?!” I said.

“No, it’s just a little cold in here.”

“My Gods!  It’s alright to tell the truth.”

“Ah, yes,” The General said.  “The Gods.  The ones you were chosen by to become this Reality Traveler thing.”

“That’s right,” I said.

“Tell me, how do you know if they’ve chosen you?”

“You just know.”

“How do you know it’s not just all in your own head?”

“I’ve seen them.  I’ve spoken to them.  I have a Guardian Angel who’s my girlfriend.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Imaginary.”

“She’s completely real.  I could summon her right now.”

“I would love to see that,” The General said.

“Alright,” I said, “but first I have to make a sacrifice.”

Then I took one of the bottles from The Stash and dumped it in the sink.  Everyone cringed for a second, but I motioned for them to trust me.

“Goddess Faith,” I said, “Now is the time.”

But after a couple minutes nothing happened, and she wasn’t there before us.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “no Angel.”

“As predicted,” The General said.

“She’s just slowed down for some reason,” I said.  “She’ll definitely be here soon.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Don’t hold your breath.”

“Wait,” I said, “I have another way to prove The Gods exist and are on my side.”

Then I pointed at The Mix.

“I’ve been touched by The Goddess of Music,” I said, “and she’s been helping me on the Great Trip by serendipitously playing songs from this Mix when I need a MeToo.  If we turn on The Radio right now, I guarantee one of these exact 18 tracks plus bonus track will be playing.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Apollo.”

“That’s no proof of anything,” The General said. “That could just be a coincidence.”

“Sometimes the odds of something happening is so low it has to be The Gods,” I said.

“The only way I’ll accept this challenge is if I get to choose The Radio station,” The General said.

“Alright,” I said.

The General had a Super Radio that had every different kind of station on it.  A lot of them I’d never even heard of before.  He started to go thru them all.

“90’s Suburban Hits,” he said.  “I bet you’d loveme to put that one on, wouldn’t you?  But for this to be a true test of The Gods, I think it should be a station you’d never ever listen to.”

“I listen to lots of stations,” I lied.

“Is that so?  Because I have a feeling you wouldn’t listen to something like… New Dance Hits.”

“Oh my god!” Red said. “I love that station.”

“Alright,” I said, “put on New Dance Hits.  The Gods will still come thru for me.”

Then The General put it on, and the first song playing was Radiohead’s “Creep.”

“Creep” is not a New Dance Hit at all.  It’s a 90’s Suburban Hit about wanting to be Special but actually being a Creep.  Everyone can MeToo with a Special Reality, but a Creep Reality is so different from everyone else that no one can possibly MeToo them.

We double-checked to see if the station was right, and it clearly still said “New Dance Hits.”

“It’s a Goddess of Music miracle!” I said.

The General, tho, was looking closely at the Mix’s track listing.

“Yes,” he said.  “Except this song isn’t on there.  You lose.  As always.”

“But Radiohead is on there,” I said.  “‘High and Dry.’ We were just listening to it.”

“I see that,” The General said, “and this is some strange anomaly I will agree, but the deal was it had to be an exact song on your Mix, and the fact is this is ‘Creep’ not ‘High and Dry.’”

“Isn’t it close enough?”

“Close only counts in hand grenades.”

“Oh my god,” Red said, “this is even more old and depressing than the other one.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Creeps.”

“What are you laughing at?” I said.  “You’re a Creep.”

“Hahaha, you are.”

“No you are, you drunk.”

“Hahaha, I’m not drunk at all.  I’m a sober skipper.”

“Shut up.  We’re all drunk.”

“Oh my god,” Red said, “I’m not even feeling a thing yet.”

“She’s right,” The General said.  “We’ve barely drank anything.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re already drunk tho.”

“I am drunk.  I’ll admit it.  We all wanted to get drunk, and now we are.  We did exactly what we wanted to do.  Why lie about it?”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Lightweight.”

“Stop leaving me HighNDry, you Creeps!”

“The only Creep here is you,” The General said.

“You’re the biggest Creep I’ve ever met.  I bet you’re actually miserable inside and feel like there’s nothing special about you.”

“No, I’m a very happy person.  I have a lot of money and people like me.”

“I don’t like you.”

“That doesn’t sound very MeToo to me.  What do you think Admiral?”

“Hahaha,” he said, “me neither.”

“I mean, what must The Gods think of you right now, Hippie Dippie?”

“I know what one God thinks of me,” I said, “and I’m going to get her right now.”

8.8 – Applebee’s

TheGeneral&TheAdmiral wanted to meet at the bar at Applebee’s.

Applebee’s is a restaurant found in every city in America about having the most average food possible.  Often in Suburban areas they do not have real bars, and Applebee’s is the closest thing to one.

I didn’t even shower first, I just left on my Wedding Uniform cuz even tho it had a little Travel stink on it, the Professor-like tweed jacket still gave me the best chance of getting taken seriously.  When I got out to Wings I was hoping The Goddess of Faith was gonna be there waiting, but she wasn’t. I guessed it wasn’t the right key moment yet, and I hadta go to Applebee’s by myself.

TheGeneral&TheAdmiral were already there sitting at the bar.  The General was wearing a suit and tie Adult Uniform, and The Admiral was wearing some kind of workman’s jumpsuit Adult Uniform.  They looked like they’d just come from their jobs even tho it was the middle of a long holiday weekend.  The Admiral laughed as soon as he saw me.

“Hahaha,” he said, “what are you wearing, Hippie Dippie?”

I looked down.

“You mean my jacket?” I asked.

“Hahaha,” he said, “hippie jacket.”

“What are you talking about?  This jacket was very respected at the Wedding I went to yesterday.”

“Hahaha, why’s it got a sticker on it?”

I quickly covered it with my hand, so he couldn’t read it.

“Easy, Admiral,” The General said.  “Let him sit down at least before you start busting balls.”

“Thanks,” I said and took a stool next to them.

“So where are you living these days?” The General asked.

“Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains,” I said.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Never heard of it.”

“It’s many states west of here,” I said.

“So when did you fly in?” The General asked.

“I didn’t,” I said.  “I drove.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “but you don’t know how to drive.”

“I do now.”

“Hahaha, but you didn’t at as-soon-as-you-were-16 like you were supposed to.”

Then The Bartender came over and asked what I wanted.  I noticed TheGeneral&TheAdmiral were drinking beers, and even tho I didn’t like it I knew we hadta be in Common Perception, so I got one, too.

“Let’s do a toast,” I said.

“Nah,” they said. “We don’t do toasts.”

“Whatever,” I said and hadta say “GAM-BAY” quietly to myself.

ThenGeneral&TheAdmiral started catching me up on what they were doing in life.  The General worked at an office that designed rubber for weapons, and he was making a lot of money.  The Admiral worked at a factory that made rubber for weapons, and he didn’t make as much money but still a lot more than me.  Then it was time for me to tell them what I was doing in life, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “I know what Hippie Dippie’s doing.  He’s The Bluebird, a MusicMan Reality Traveler who flies to all Realities and sings to them.”

“How did you know that?” I said.

“Hahaha, why are you wearing a sticker?”

“Sounds like nonsense words,” The General said. “What does ‘Reality Traveler’ mean?”

Then I didn’t know what else to do but try to explain.

“A Reality Traveler,” I sighed,“is chosen by The Gods to Travel to as many Realities as possible and prevent War by MeTooing them.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Hippie Dippie did become a hippie!”

“No surprise,” The General said.

“Hahaha, The Admiral said, “peace, man.”

And then he mockingly held two fingers in the air like a Golden Age Reality Traveler.

“I’m just curious,” The General said.  “Who’s paying you for this Reality Traveling?”

“No one,” I said.  “I do it for free.”

“Then what do you do for money?”

“I deliver pizza.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “but you can’t drive!”

“I can now!”

“So a Reality Traveler is called upon by The Gods to stop War,” The General said.

“Yes,” I said.

“There are so many flaws in this, where do I begin? First, War is necessary. According to you we were supposed to just let The Axis Powers win World War II?”

“We should’ve MeToo’d them,” I said. “Focused on what we had in common.”

“What do you mean?  You think we could have stopped the War just by agreeing we both like sauerkraut or sushi?  That’s ridiculous.  We had to annihilate them or else they would’ve annihilated us.”

“But The Great MeNotzie Army wouldn’t have even formed if at the end of the First Great Reality War the winning Realities hadn’t blamed the losing Realities for totally starting the War.  They needed to say the Eleventh Hour MeToo that they were all being MeNotzies.  Instead it just made the losers feel more different and alone and afraid of all the other Realities around them.”

“Let’s say that’s true.  How are you personally going to stop War.  As we’ve easily predicted, you are not in any kind of influential position in the U.S. government.”

“War is happening all the time in little ways tho. Just Realities arguing and making fun of each other and wanting each other to change.”

“How can you possibly stop that?”

“Every Reality Traveler has a MeToo Specialty and mine is The Great List of Old Songs.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “Sunday Bloody Sunday!”

“How is a song going to help someone if they’re getting robbed or raped or murdered by some psycho?” The General said.

“Maybe if someone had MeToo’d them earlier about a song, they wouldn’t feel like doing that stuff,” I said.

“What if you can’t find a song you both MeToo?”

“There’s always gotta be at least one song.”

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the only songs you know are the ones you heard on The Radio as a kid. How could you ever MeToo an inner city black guy or a foreigner or someone much older or younger?  One day in the future only a few people will ever have even heard of your favorite songs.”

“Then maybe I’ll start my own band and always be writing new songs Realities can MeToo.”

“What about people like me and The Admiral who don’t even listen to songs?”

“Then maybe I’ll write a book about trying to MeToo about music, and readers will at least MeToo about that.”

“How will you get us to read it?  We only read books about War.”

“Fine, if all else fails, there’s always Alcohol.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “I can actually MeToo that.”

“I’d still go to War with someone I drank with,” The General said.  “They’d let their guard down, and then I’d strike.”

“Or maybe your guard would be down, and you’d be easier to MeToo,” I said.

“How about we test this out then.  We’ll get drunk together tonight, and we’ll see whether we MeToo or go to War.”

“You’re on.”

 The General was about to order another round, but I stopped him and told him about The Stash.

“There’s still enough to get half a Wedding drunk,” I said, “and the best part is it’s free.”

“On my salary I can afford to drink all night at Applebee’s,” The General said, “but I can see how a pizza delivery driver would need that kind of break.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “minimum wage.”

Then they agreed to just go back to their apartment they called The Barracks and drink The Stash there.

“Only thing is there’s no mixers,” I said.

“We don’t use mixers,” The General said.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “what about Red?”

“Oh yes,” The General said, “our friend Red is supposed to hang out with us tonight, and she’ll need her cranberry juice.”

Then he started giving us orders.

“Hippie Dippie since you apparently can’t handle your alcohol straight, you drive to the nearby gas station and get your mixer plus cranberry for Red.  Admiral you go with him to make sure he doesn’t screw up.  We’ll rendezvous back at The Barracks when your mission is complete.”

“Alright,” I said.

 “Hahaha,” The Admiral said when we got in Wings. “I hope we don’t crash.”

“Dammit, I’m telling you Admiral, I can drive now!”

8.6 – Memorial Day Weekend Dinner

Suddenly I was back in the traffic jam at the modern day Valley Forge.

“Dammit,” I said, “back in Alone Reality.”

Everything moved slowly.  Eventually The ShortCut took me to Road-76 Pennsylvania, and it was also full of traffic desperate to get to their Memorial Day Weekend plans.

Memorial Day Weekend is a holiday weekend about how you’re supposta be remembering past American Reality Wars, but you actually just go outside and have a barbeque with your family.

Even I hadta get back to The Smaller Nest where Mom and Dad were having their own traditional barbeque.  The Road ended up taking a long time, and I got sleepy, and my hangover came back, and my butt hurt, and I’d even heard The Mix so many times by then it had stopped giving me The Chills very often.  I was so Road-Weary all I could think was please just have at least something from The Great List of Food there when I get back.

When I finally pulled into the driveway I hadta go up and ring the doorbell cuz I still didn’t have a key. Dad answered.

“You’re just in time!” he said.  “The food’s all ready.”

Then he led me to the back porch, where there was a sizzling grill with meat smells and an umbrella table filled with platters of creamy mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, sweet rolls, a pitcher of homemade lemonade, and even a whole just outta the oven StrawberryRhubarb Pie.

“Oh my Gods!” I said,  “This whole barbeque is full of food from The Great List of Food.”

“Did you see what was on the grill?” Dad said.

Then he opened it up, and my nose hadn’t tricked me, it really was the grilled pink meat of a big salmon.

“Is this some kind of mirage?” I said.  “What bout Spiritual Growth and toxins?”

“It’s all alright,” Mom said. “It’s all organic so it has less toxins.”

“And the toxins it does have we can overlook because it’s a holiday,” Dad said.

It was great.  I didn’t feel any TimeFuck swirls, and even The Buddhawg wasn’t biting me for some reason.

“Where’s the dog?” I said.

Mom pointed, and he was just laying there on the porch quietly with a little pant-mouth smile.  Then he noticed me watching and got up and sweetly licked my hand.

“What’s going on here?” I said.

“Oh, he must be getting used to you now,” Mom said.

Then we sat down and started eating, and it was just as good as I thought.  My mouth didn’t want it to stop going in, and there was more than enough to fill my plate twice.  It was like I’d just TimeTraveled back to some perfect year from the very center of my childhood.  Eventually tho Dad did remind me I was on The Great Trip.

“So,” he said, “I hear you’ve been doing a lot of driving lately.”

“Driving?…” I said, but then looked down at my Bluebird sticker still right on the front of my jacket.  “Oh yeah.”

Then I told him all about it, like which exact Roads I’d taken, and where the worst traffic jams were, and how long it took to get from one city to another, and how many miles per gallon of gasoline Wings was getting.

“Wow!” he said, “you’ve really come along way. I remember when you wouldn’t even get on the tricycle.”

“He’s just like you now,” Mom said to him.  “All those vacations when we used to drive as long as you could without stopping.”

“Well, you can rest up here tonight before your big drive West again.”

“Actually I have to go out tonight,” I said.

“Tsst,” Mom said, “Why?”

“Reality Travel.”

It was hard enough explaining Reality Travel to Mom, but whenever I brought it up with Dad he always seemed to argue with me about it.

“Where are you Traveling to now?” he asked.

“TheGeneral&TheAdmiral,” I said.

“I didn’t know you were still friends with them.”

“I’m not.”

“Then why go?”

“Because I have to.”

“So Reality Travel means you have to spend time and energy on people you don’t care to be around?”

“Sometimes it does.”

“How will that make you feel?”

“I’ll feel great if I can MeToo them.”

“So you still need their Acceptance?”

“Look, Dad, I don’t know all the Self Growth Terminology, but according to Reality Travel not MeTooing could mean War, and that’s the worst thing that could happen.”

“What does War mean? The Pain of not being Accepted by them?”

“No, War means War.  Realities getting destroyed forever by guns and bombs.  By MeTooing them tonight, I’ll actually be saving The World.”

“Oh, so it has nothing to do with still feeling Wounded by their past Criticism?”

“Nope.”

“Or getting devastated by Criticism of any kind because you believe other’s opinions of you, and your self-esteem depends on it?”

“I know you’re trying to Self Growth me, Dad. But I don’t need it. I’m Grown enough.”

“Is it really Grown to feel terrible about yourself over something as small as someone not liking the same song as you?”

“You’re not getting it.”

“All I can speak from is my own experience. I’ve discovered thru my Self Growth that I have Wounds from long ago that make me Fearful of other’s Disapproval.  I became a doctor because I wanted Approval.  I built a big house because I wanted Approval.  I held back my Authentic Self because I wanted Approval.  But it’s only made me suffer.  Now I’m trying to Heal my Wounds, let go of the need for Approval, and learn to Follow My Heart.  I believe if you truly Follow Your Heart it doesn’t matter if anyone else MeToos you or not.”

“Well, me, The Professor and every other Reality Traveler believe that MeToos are everything.  And we’re not supposta stop until we MeToo every Reality in The World.”

“Supposed to? Who says?”

“The Gods!  I know you don’t think they’re real, but they are.  I’ve been to The Other World and seen them, and I’m even in Love with one.  She’ll probably even be coming here right now to prove it to you.”

We waited a few minutes, but The Goddess of Faith didn’t show up.

“Sometimes,” Dad said, “what we think is a Higher Power is really just a part of ourselves…”

“You don’t understand at all!” I interrupted.

Then I got up and grabbed a slice of pie.

“I’m going to my room to eat this and play Stuffed Animal War!” I said.

“We put all the stuffed animals in the basement,” Mom said.

“Then I’m going down there!”

8.4 – Track #10 of The Great Trip Mix: U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (Live)

One time La Renarde took me to the DowntownOIC(R) Music Store.

“This is where you get music so you don’t have to listen to only The Radio,” she said.

The store had a lot of music in it, but most of it came in outdated forms Realities hadn’t bought for years.  Many of them were out of their original packaging and looked pretty scuffed up.

“They’re not new,” I said.

“Used things are very Reality Travel,” she said. “Reality Travelers are supposed to be poor and not be able to afford new things.  Besides,they’re all still perfectly alright and may even sound better.”

I looked thru the racks to try and see which albums had the most Radio Hits.  U2 had one called “Greatest Hits” that was made of only their Radio Hits, and I knew like every single one of them already.

U2 is a band,from the far off and exciting Realities of Ireland,about causes.  Their songs are always trying to cause Realities to care about other Reality’s problems like starving, getting sick from diseases, unfairly owing money, or dying in a War.

“Hey,” I said to the La Renarde.  “Are U2 Reality Travel?”

“Yeah,” she said. “I mean, before they got on The Radio obviously.”

“I think I want to get this one.”

Then I showed her the Greatest Hits album.

“Greatest Hits albums are not Reality Travel at all,” she said.  “Here, let me pick out one for you.”

Then she picked out one that said “WAR” on it, and it had a black&white picture of a little kid with angry eyes and a bloody lip.  It had the Hit “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on it.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday,” is a song about blood.  The best way to win a War is to remove the blood of the other Reality cuz they won’t be able to be alive without it.  Sometimes a MeNotzie will use a gun to make big holes in a Reality that removes a lot of blood all at once.  Like one weekend in The Northern Ireland Front of The Catholic vs. Protestant Reality War, when the Protestant Army shot a bunch of Catholic Realities even tho they didn’t have guns themselves.

“Alright, I’ll get it,” I said.

“Actually…” La Renarde said.  “You know what would be even more Reality Travel?  The live album.  The songs sound slightly different than the studio versions, and there’s crowd noise and stage banter.”

Then she picked out another album called Under a Blood Red Sky, and that cover had the black silhouette of a singer surrounded by the blood red sky.  It also had “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on it, and it said it was recorded in the far off and exciting Realities of Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains.

“Ooh,” I said, “I’ll get this one then.”

Then we listened to it, and La Renarde was right, the live version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was actually better.  At the beginning lead singer Bono goes,“This song is not a rebel song,” and in the middle he yells,“I’m so sick of it,” and you know he’s talking about War and really means it.  The guitars and drums are fuzzier and louder and you know they really mean it, too.  And then at the end there’s an extra round thru the chorus, and by the end you’re really pumped up to stop War forever.

I took the album with me everywhere after that, even when The General would drive me and The Admiral to school in his old minivan we called The Tank.  Usually we’d just talk about War the whole way, and the only Radio on would be an AM station that had The News.

“Hey,” I said, “how come we never listen to music in here?”

“Music is mostly pointless,” The General said. “While we’re over here listening to songs, The Chinese are building a huge Army to destroy us.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “General Tso.”

“Some music is tolerable I suppose,” The General said.  “Marches and National Anthems and that sort of thing.  But most of them are just Love songs that make us soft and vulnerable, and don’t think our Enemies don’t know this.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Emotions.”

“Well,” I said.  “I just got this new album, and it’s so great that even you won’t be able to help liking it.”

Then I showed The General Under a Blood Red Sky.

“The album title does sound promising,” he said.

Then he put it on “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and Bono screamed, and the snare drums charged, and the electric guitar fired right at you.

“Listen to this!” I said.  “It sounds just like a battle.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

And then he sang along, but it was not so he could get The Chills, but in a fake voice so he could make fun of it.

“Hahaha Bloody Hahaha,” he sang.

Then The General suddenly just turned it off.

“I’ve heard enough,” he said.  “Listen to these lines.  ‘I can’t close my eyes and make it go away,’ ‘I won’t heed the battle call,’ ‘there’s many lost but tell me who has won.’  Ace, this song is disgustingly Pacifist.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Peace.”

“What’s so funny about peace,” I said.  “I’ve been thinking lately War isn’t so great. I mean people die in War, and I wouldn’t want to die.”

“I knew it all along, Ace,” The General said. “It was only a matter of time before you went Pacifist on us.  You’ve finally realized you don’t have what it takes to be a Great War-Man, so instead you’ll cowardly try to oppose War all together.”

“No, it’s cuz War is really bad, and it does more harm than good.  La Renarde thinks so, too.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “She’s weird.”

“Admiral’s right,” The General said.  “She is very unconventional.  I assume she thinks more with her heart than her head, and she’s inventing fantasies because she feels insecure.  You can’t let her influence you just because you want to kiss her.”

“It’s not just her,” I said.  “There’re lots of other people who don’t like War.”

“Hahaha,” Admiral said.  “Hippies.”

“Maybe Hippies are alright,” I said.  “They stopped Vietnam, and everyone knows that was a bad War.”

“The Hippies would like to think they did that,” The General said, “but it was really President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger.  You can’t stop a War unless you’re actually in power.”

“Then maybe I’ll become a Diplomat,” I said.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Dippie.”

“Really,” I said, “I’ll become a powerful diplomat, like the Secretary of State or maybe even the President, and America will never go to War again.”

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Hippie Dippie.”

“How are you going to do that?” The General said. “You can’t even drive yourself to school.”

“Hahaha, Hippie Dippie can’t drive.”

“Shut up,” I said.

“Hahaha,” The Admiral said.  “Let’s just call him Hippie Dippie from now on.”

“I’d have to agree,” The General said.  “In light of recent developments, Hippie Dippie seems much more fitting than Ace.”

And that’s what they started calling me, and that’s when I kinda stopped hanging out with them.