He sleeps now, a teacher rather than a learner, while Mary Lou Servix awakes beside him and tries to decide whether it was just the pot or if something really spooky happened last night. Howard sports in the Atlantic; Buckminster Fuller, flying above the Pacific, crosses the international date line and slips back into April 23 again; it is dawn in Las Vegas and Mocenigo, the nightmares and anxieties of night forgotten, looks forward cheerfully to the production of the first live cultures of Anthrax-Leprosy-Pi, which will make this a memorable day in more ways than he expects; and George Dorn, somewhere outside this time system, is writing in his journal.
Each word, however, seems magically to appear by itself as if no volition on his part were necessary to its production. He read the words his pencil scrawled, but they appeared the communications of another intelligence. Yet they picked up where he had left off in his hotel room and they spoke with his private idiom:. In fact, I don't even know that there is a universe.
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More likely, there are many multi verses, each with its own dimensions, times, spaces, laws and eccentricities. We wander between and among these multiverses, trying to convince others and ourselves that we all walk together in a single public universe that we can share.
For to deny that axiom leads to what is called schizophrenia. Yeah, that's it: every man's skin is his own private multiverse, just like every man's home is supposed to be his castle. But all the multiverses are trying to merge, to create a true universe such as we have only imagined previously. Maybe it will be spiritual, like Zen or telepathy, or maybe it will be physical, one great big gang-fuck, but it has to happen: the creation of a universe and the one great eye opening to see itself at last. Aum Shiva! Sheriff Cartwright stood in the door, a monk in a strange red and white robe beside him, holding some kind of wand the deep color of a fire engine.
They were at the foot of the gallows. Yes: if the universe is one big eye looking at itself, then telepathy is no miracle, for anyone who opens his own eyes fully can then look through all other eyes. You can say I can't recall. I can't give any answer to that that I can recall. Numbly, George clasped the man's hot, reptilian palm. The monk walked beside him up the gallows' steps. Thirteen, George was thinking, there are always thirteen steps on a gallows… And you always cream in your jeans when your neck breaks.
It has something to do with the pressure on the spinal cord being transmitted through the prostate gland. The Orgasm-Death Gimmick, Burroughs calls it. George stared at the man dumbfounded. Who was Eris? Somebody in Greek mythology, but somebody very important…. I got some bad pot, George decided, and I'm still back on the hotel bed, hallucinating all this.
But he repeated, uncertainly: "Hail Eris. Immediately, just like his one and only acid trip, dimension began to alter. The steps grew larger, steeper-ascending them seemed as perilous as climbing Mount Everest. The air was suddenly lit with reddish flame- Definitely, George thought, some weird and freaky pot…. Each step was now higher than an ordinary building.
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He was near the bottom of a pyramidal skyscraper of thirteen colossal levels. And at the top… And at the top…. And at the top One Enormous Eye-a ruby and demonic orb of cold fire, without mercy or pity or contempt -looked at him and into him and through him. The hand reaches down, turns on both bathtub faucets full-power, then reaches upward to do the same to the sink faucets. Banana-Nose Maldonado leans forward and whispers to Carmel, "Now you can talk.
He gave his report in terse, unemotional sentences. The guy on the triple underpass was definitely Harry Coin. I recognized him through my binoculars. The guy in the window at the Book Depository very likely was this galoot Oswald that they've arrested. But I didn't get a good look at the gink on the County Records building.
One thing I'm sure of: we can't keep all this to ourselves. At the very least, we pass the word on to ELF. It might alter their plans for OM.
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The Boy Who Lived
The CIA would have our ass otherwise. Maldonado stares at him levelly. Bernard Barker, former servant of both Batista and Castro, dons his gloves outside the Watergate; in a flash of memory he sees the grassy knoll, Oswald, Harry Coin, and, further back, Castro negotiating with Banana-Nose Maldonado. But this present year, on March 24, Generalissimo Tequilla y Mota finally found the book he was looking for, the one that was as precise and pragmatic about running a country as Luttwak's Coup d'Etat had been about seizing one.
It was called The Prince and its author was a subtle Italian named Machiavelli; it told the Generalissimo everything he wanted to know-except how to handle American hydrogen bombs, which, unfortunately, Machiavelli had lived too soon to foresee. But only five years earlier Atlanta had a different message. When God's Lightning was first founded, as a splinter off Women's Liberation, it had as its slogan "No More Sexism," and its original targets were adult bookstores, sex-education programs, men's magazines, and foreign movies.
It was at that point, really, that God's Lightning and orthodox Women's Lib totally parted company, for the orthodox faction, just then, were teaching that male supremacy and orgasms were part of the International Kapitalist Conspiracy. I've been here nine days now and I am absolutely convinced there is not one Russian or Chinese agent in any way involved with Generalissimo Tequilla y Mota, nor are there any troops of either of those governments hiding anywhere in the jungles.
At the same time, in a different hotel, Tobias Knight, on special loan from the FBI to the CIA, concluded his nightly shortwave broadcast to an American submarine 23 miles off the coast: "The Russian troops are definitely engaged in building what can only be a rocket-launching site, and the Slants are constructing what seems to be a nuclear installation…". And Hagbard Celine, lying 40 miles out in the Bight of Biafra in the Lief Erickson, intercepted both messages, and smiled cynically, and wired P.
While the most obscure, seemingly trivial part of the whole puzzle appeared in a department store in Houston. It was a sign that said:. This replaced an earlier sign that had hung on the main showroom wall for many years, saying only. The change, although small, had subtle repercussions. The store catered only to the very wealthy, and this clientele did not object to being told that they could not smoke. The fire hazard, after all, was obvious. On the other hand, that bit about spitting was somehow a touch offensive; they most certainly were not the sort of people who would spit on somebody's floor-or, at least, none of them had done such a thing at any time since about one month or at most one year after they became wealthy.
Yes, the sign was definitely bad diplomacy. Resentment festered. Sales fell off. And membership in the Houston branch of God's Lightning increased.
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Wealthy, powerful membership. He lay on the floor of his cell in Mad Dog County Jail. His first frantic, involuntary glance told him that Harry Coin had vanished completely from the adjoining cell. The shit-pot was back in its corner and he knew, without being able to check, that there would be no human intestines in it. Terror tactics, he thought They were out to break him-a task which was beginning to look easy-but they were covering up the evidence as they went along. There was no light through the cell window; it was, therefore, still night.
He hadn't slept but merely fainted. Like a long-haired commie faggot. Oh, shit and prune juice, he told himself sourly, cut it out. You've known for years that you're no hero. Don't take that particular sore out and rub sandpaper on it now. You're not a hero, but you're a goddam stubborn, pigheaded, and determined coward. That's why you've stayed alive on assignments like this before. George started with an old gimmick. A piece torn off the tail of his shirt gave him a writing. The point of his shoelace became a temporary pen. His own saliva, spat onto the polish of the shoes themselves, created a substitute ink.
The message shouldn't land too close to the jail, so George began looking for a weighted object. In five minutes, he decided on a spring from the bunk mattress; it took him seventeen minutes more to pry it loose. After the missile was hurled out toe window-probably, George knew, to be found by somebody who would immediately turn it over to Sheriff Jim Cartwright-he began thinking of alternate plans. He found, however, that instead of devising schemes for escape or deliverance, his mind insisted on going off in an entirely different direction.
The face of the monk from his dream pursued him. He had seen that face somewhere before, he knew; but where? Somehow, the question was important.