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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Kaleidogasm – Part One

Kaleidogasm – Part One

“Good ass keeps the world goin’ round,” Reed laughed hoarsely, “know what I mean?”

“Yeah, sure do boss,” Jimmy responded. He really didn’t give a shit; today he was a space druid, harnessing the spirits of the interplanetary space-whales. There were massive growths in space that he likened to fauna.

Reed kept on hammering away at the posts and Jimmy kept hauling them out and setting them until just before dusk. The long stretch of fence was quiet aside from Reed, who as an old hand insisted that levity was the only possible way to survive working on a ranch.

“Sex and laughing, son,” Reed would lecture, waiving a cigarette at Jimmy, “that’s the key to surviving this bullshit.”

And Jimmy would agree with him, but something in the back of his head scratched and writhed, scritch scritch while he slept. Pluto cascading, crashing into Neptune, the sky burning, women dancing underwater, and he would wake up sweating, aware of every molecule in his body, counting them as they left, shed by dry skin flaking off. There was an old barn cat that would hang around the bunk house, the only one bold enough to do so. One of its eyes was cataracted or mangled from a fight and it meowed with a deep rumble that made it almost un-feline. It got fed scraps and was thus, easily three times the size of any other cats that hung around the ranch.

Jimmy’s dreams were long and complicated. Sometimes old Indian men spoke to him, but they didn’t say anything but riddles. These dreams always made him wake up and think about leaving; it had been several years since he had begun working here and he was never sure when he’d leave. Where would he go? He had left Pennsylvania and floated into Montana by providence, finding work that he wasn’t half bad at, where he could dream and not worry about being murdered while he was orchestrating cosmic symphonies. He just moved along and labored silently, his expressions and reactions on autopilot.

He remembered back, when as a child his father would compress the world into a small wood-burning stove, and travel great distances by steam-power. He never took Jimmy, or his mother, along, warning them that it was too dangerous for women and children. He would always add that, “the president wouldn’t be too happy if I got my family killed on his top-secret missions.” Jimmy loved the fact that his father had been an agent for the reduction of psychic abuse in an agency whose name was never said and reported directly to the president.

One day, his father just hadn’t come back, and after a few days time, his mother sent him off to his Aunt Chelsea’s house to stay for a while. He never saw his mother again, either. While part of him was deeply saddened by this, another part of him was excited by the grand piano his aunt owned, and the folding stairs that lead through the basement into a strange market place that smelled like rich spices and was populated by negros that spoke in fantastic tongues. He wasn’t sure if he was also compressing the world to go there like his father, and he only went when he felt it was necessary to make an exploration that he couldn’t satisfy in the dark of night or couldn’t calculate using the clouds. Jimmy was cosmic and all events were ephemeral to him, extending into infinity only through memory. Moments were delineated by the ticking of the grandfather clock.

He broke the clock and went west. His aunt was probably furious, but he had gotten the idea that he would kill time. After it kept going, despite the clock being broken, he figured out that he would need to destroy all of the clocks. This, he realized was not possible. Still, he traveled west and found himself working on a ranch with men he found utterly insane. They smoked tobacco, drank whiskey and worried about their peckers catching the plague after every paycheck was spent. The routines never changed.

Jimmy was rarely around, eyes glazed and he was swimming with spotted, bulbous creatures in the seas on a far away planet. He tried to move like a dolphin and found that it just didn’t matter; he was moving with them no matter what he did. He was considering a search for another folding stairs that lead to some other place. He knew there had to be another one somewhere nearby. They criss-crossed the globe, and he had only ever encountered the one set of stairs, but knew there must be more, and that there were probably doors too.

He never knew how his father compressed the world, but that was something he hoped to find out one day. On a Tuesday that followed a particularly warm Monday and an even warmer Sunday (made even warmer by the preacher), he packed his sack and slipped out while everyone snored their twilight away. As Jimmy passed the gate, stars pressing down on him and igniting the pump, he was startled to hear a voice.

“Taking off, eh?” Reed’s voice was afflicted from years of smoking and sounded worse in the dark. A cigarette butt glowed just behind the fence. He laughed, “Well, good luck, son. Never thought you’d stick around this long as it was.”

Jimmy nodded and smiled into the dark, his feet spinning below him in succession. Jimmy flew through green clouds over white grass with extinct animals and spirits.

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