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.”

7.6 – 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.”

7.3 – Hitting The Road with Wolf&Lamb

Me and Wolf&Lamb hit The Road from Philadelphia Suburbs (Jersey) to Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania).  It wasn’t a long distance, but we hadta go right thru the middle of a major city, and there was a lot of traffic.  It gave us enough time to catch each other up on our recent Travels and compare notes on The Wedding.  Wolf got more and more distracted as we went along tho.

“I know Bluebird and Wings from Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains,” he scratched his chin, “but we’re driving on The Roads I know from my hometown, and we’re on the way to Realities I know from Perceptionist Training, where I met my fiancée.”

“I’m actually your Wife now,” Lamb said.

“Oh my Gods, you are, and I Love you very much, but this is concerning.”

“What is?” she asked.

“I didn’t realize it until now, but we’re heading into a possibly major RealityFuck for me.”

Then he started telling us about all the different Realities who would be at The AfterParty, like his childhood best friend WildFuckingTurkey, his HighSchool best friend Emperor Penguin, and his Perceptionist Training School best friend Scorpion.

“I know it’s incredible,” Wolf said, “but they’ve never even met each other until today.”

“I haven’t even met them all yet,” Lamb said.

“Exactly,” Wolf said, “and then add in all their dates and wives and partners and our other friends and families and their dates…”

“Hmm,” I said, “that’s a lot of different Realities to MeToo.  What if you get The Vertigo?”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Wolf said.  “Yet, although it won’t be easy, we have to remember we’ve spent the last two years Training in tactics to deal with just these types of BoobyTraps.  This will be a perfect opportunity to test my Reality Travel Training Thesis on Common Perception.”

“That reminds me,” I said.  “There’s a whole Stash of Alcohol in the trunk as we speak. Me and The Perceptionism Professor swiped it from that bullshit Open Bar when they weren’t looking.”

“Good work,” Wolf said.  “That crooked bartender wouldn’t even serve us more than a Dixie cup at a time.”

“We don’t have to worry about rationing anymore,” I said.  “There’s enough Lubricant to keep the whole AfterParty in Alcohol Perception for the next week!”

“Normally,” Wolf said, “I would agree that Alcohol is the perfect choice for Common Perception in such a RealityFuck, but I’m not certain it’s the Preferred Perception for some Realities there.”

“Who could possibly not like Alcohol Perception?”

“Scorpion for one.”

 

3.2 – The Professor’s Training Lesson: Past Realities

“Beware of Past Realities,” The Professor said. “A Past Reality is a Reality you used to MeToo but haven’t Traveled to in a while. When Traveling to a Past Reality you will feel an overwhelming urge to MeToo in the exact same way you used to. This is known as a TimeWarp, and it will affect you no matter how long or far you’ve been away.

Meanwhile, Time changes all Realities, and you or the Past Reality may be very different now and not be able to MeToo about the same things. These changes are known as TimeFucks, and if bad enough, they can give you Travler Vertigo, a condition of disorientation and sickness which may render you bedridden and MeToo disabled. The Vertigo is difficult to overcome without the assistance of another Traveler or The Gods and must be avoided at all costs.

To prevent the TimeWarp/TimeFuck from kicking your ass, you must have on you at all times a Grounding Device, which keeps you connected to your present Reality and allows you to find new MeToos with the Past Reality.