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I know not who I am

But I talk in the mirror
To the stranger that appears.
Our conversations are circles,
Always one-sided,
Nothing is clear.
Except, we keep coming back
To this meaning that I lack,
He says the choices were given,
Now you must live them,
Or just not live.
But do you want that?

the hour is getting late

Koala stretched lazily and made himself beautifully into a koala. He reached for Fuck’s pipe, hesitated at the distance, and finally rolled on his side and pawed the pipe into his hand. He was small and slightly fuzzy and charming in a heavily drugged way; a perfect specimen in my eyes.

The last I heard from Icarus was the night he found my love letter from Alice and to Alice.

One letter, one love…we shared a paper and wrote sentence for sentence nonsense love, much like what Icarus wrote that night after the hospital in the shed on his jeans:

Grail love almost within reach. A piece from the heart of anti-America bleeding out running free out into the bright sun Light is shining pretty pretty soon… --

He didn’t know Alice was the sun to my sun in a distant galaxy, he found my letter/his letter and brooded over it quite expressively and impressively, and I was both embarrassed and flattered.

Alice looked like an Aryan Bob Dylan with large eyes. His nose, his facial structure and proportions…

He used to look much more effeminate, back at high school, in an all-boys Catholic prison.

Alice spent five years rotting in Catholic prison in Detroit, drowning out frustration with pot.

When Alice was in high school he was beautiful, and I think that might be the only reason his mother kept him around. While he was in Catholic high school prison he became a tattoo artist for all the other miserable prisoners. He gave himself a couple tattoos as practice. He gave me my first tattoo, a pair of bat wings, small and black, one on each ankle.

Now his whole face looks like a young Bob Dylan, big blue eyes and blond hair aside. Even his hair is wild and unruly and Bob Dylan now. I think that might be the only reason his mother tolerates and supports him at all now.

Alice never told his mother he didn’t need her help anymore because of the thieves. He never told anyone about the thieves because that would be suicidal stupid.

They drove to where Chief and I and everyone else were staying.

I saw Icarus for the first time in over a year.

He had the same lazy eye as me, the right eye that never quite opened. Mine was on the left.

Wheezy was there, along with Jack-Jack.

Jack-Jack was Meow’s dog. Meow was our reluctant mama bird. She was the only person who truly seemed to understand my aversion to having a
bellybutton.

She thinks the reasoning behind it may be that as infants our umbilical cords were torn off rather than falling off after being removed.

Icarus thinks it’s because I’m an alien and not meant to have a bellybutton.

I got out of the car and looked at everyone waiting outside. A black car rolled by as I walked and rolled the window down. The passenger on the left side in the backseat fired a handgun and shot me in the back of the head.

I had never felt so relieved. All the pressure and tension and fever building up constantly scattered on the parking lot pavement.

And when I woke up I felt a reverse vacuum collect all the matter and frustration, sucked it back in and sealed it tightly.

It took less than a second. I was awake.

Alice looked at me concerned and held my hand. I was sitting on a hotel bed. I passed out in the parking lot. They carried me inside.

Jack-Jack was crying. He curled up next to my face and cried quietly. I tried to assure him that I was alright. He was half poodle, half dachshund and blond. I had never met a dog that cared so deeply for people. Jack-Jack was one of my favorite people.

My anemia made me very tired. I tucked my chin up in my knees, head heavy with the weight of living. Everything was dimmer than it should be. The synapses were firing erratically and explosively and slow.

A mushroom cloud rising and billowing out at the top. If the thieves could see the nuclear warfare stirring in my head it would be cinematic.

I wondered what Icarus was doing working at a bakery. It was not where I imagined him to be now. I found out his grandfather owned it and Cydne was working there too. He said they needed to lay low for a while and mesh into society. He went home to go to school for a year and he and Cydne had become good enough friends that they decided they could tolerate working and attending school and living together.

They had been back in the States for a few days staying at the hotel grandfather clock owned, without me ever knowing until now. He named it after the way I described it, A Strange Middle Place. It was built along the coast.

Grandfather clock retired from architecture after the resort was finished and bought a house nearby with his old love Maxwell. After my grandmother died he met Maxwell and finally came out of the closet.

My grandmother was a harsh woman. I don’t remember her too well, so most of what I know about her was told to me by my grandfather. He sometimes would refer to her as a Nazi, with equal parts affection and bitterness. She had my mother put me through prep school, which was strange. I was rather grateful that at least it wasn’t a gender segregated religious prison. I couldn’t imagine what poor Alice did to deserve that, but then I tried to and I imagined quite a lot.

He started being a significant burden on his mother and father after about twelve Earth years. He made hard cider in his bathroom sink and started smoking cigarettes. His family was unhappy. A year later he started smoking pot, and a year later his mother sent him to Catholic high school, all boys, The Prison. He was a closet atheist and unhappy. He polluted the school. Two years later he started growing mushrooms in his basement.

Two years later he graduated and moved north to go to culinary school, and I met him. In the winter, where he spent most of his time in the throes of pot and LSD.

holy grails

And for all that Icarus seemed to know me, he didn't guess how much love for Alice...I had, and still do.

The Chief, however, was aware of it before I was.

One night he gave me a feather he picked off a falcon he found next to the fence at his father's house. I loved it;

I told him I would love a bouquet of feathers picked off of fallen birds far more than flowers bought from an arrangement shop, or anything else for that matter.

That night we didn't sleep. Alice, Chief, and myself, along with a fourth boy whose name I don't recall right now all smoked outside of the coffee shop well after it closed. We were wearing bowlers. I don't remember why or why not.

At about six in the morning the nameless boy went home. He was a regular at the shop but not one of Chief's thieves. We three remained for at least another hour and then Chief made his exit. I sat in Alice's car and shared a cigarette with him. I had his sweater from high school on he and told me to hold on to it for the day as I went to remove it.

I later found out that Chief gave Alice a feather from the same falcon that same night, right in front of me.

One night Alice told me it had been a full moon cycle since we first shared that falcon, night of the full moon.

I first discovered that part about myself that Chief already knew on 4/20. I was, surprisingly, not with the thieves at 4:20 AM on April 20th of that year.

I was with Alice and the Viking.

The Viking was a pilot, hilariously. He was staying at a hotel on a business trip or convention of sorts. He didn't partake in any 420 festivities, regardless of the day. Of course.

Alice knew many of that night's tenants, and at 4:17 he asked me what time it was and I told him, and he said "I'll be right back."

Thirty seconds later he came back and said he found some green and proceeded to give the Viking and I a piece of mint chocolate, then rummaged through the Viking's suitcase insisting he was holding out, and approached me and proceeded to pull a bag out from behind my ear.

We ran outside like excited little children running out a candy store, which is what we were and continued to be. Alice rolled outside of the hotel and we smoked in the area designated for smokers. On our way in a hotel security guard asked us about our smoke break. The conversation went as follows:

"Have you guys been smoking?"
"Yes, we were having a cigarette."
"I saw you rolling something earlier, didn't smell like a cigarette."
"Well, it's an American Spirit organic blend, it doesn't really smell like regular tobacco."
"...That's true."
The guard hung his head and desperately wanted to believe Alice, or at least not report him. So...he didn't.

"I saw you guys passing something back and forth."
"Tobacco's expensive these days."
"That's true."
That's true, that's true. All lies, but there was truth to it.

"Well, I have a job to do you guys. That's all."
"I understand, sir. Gotta keep the campus safe."
"Right." He didn't want to intrude upon Chief's family.
"I don't smell it anymore."
"That's good. Have a nice night."
"You too." And we parted ways.

It was then, or not so long after that I begin to drift into dreams, which I refer now to as melodic bliss. I thought of Chief and Alice... but I was going home. One thought resonated.

When my companion's memory faded, there was nothing but illusory, holographic pools of chaotic energy.

Is it that we descend into darkness voluntarily. In such a strange incoherent village of gunpowder, poison and glass smiles.

I was walking in a cave without walls, the prosaic patterns of Earth life somehow


Dots.

And every time I would dream it would become less worthwhile to wake.

I don't want to wake up. I heard these slanted words from some outside voice and agreed with them and decided they must be my words too.

But when I awoke my grandfather clock stood over me grinning madly. I asked him if he was on the Jew clock, and he asked me what time it was.

7:00 AM. Not yet. My grandfather's Jew Clock was an erratic schedule varying from day to day. I asked him what sort of things he did on the Jew clock.

"Jew things, mostly," he told me.

Icarus was there to visit. Wheezy was with him. This time he meowed appreciatively as he looked up at me.

I don't want to wake up. I heard these slanted words from some outside voice and agreed with them and decided they must be my words too.

But when I awoke I had a terrible headache in the hospital.

The Thief reeled in the bed The Joker sat in a chair next to him, smiling.

"What did you do to me?"

The Joker laughed. "A tree branch broke and hit you on head."

The Thief looked vaguely towards the ceiling and brushed his hair with his fingers. "And that's what's up."

His other friends were there too. Koala, and another person The Thief hadn't seen in a long time. No one knew his real name, but for some reason he was known among the old thieves as Fuck Blueberry, something he wrote on the inside of The Thief's windshield.

Fuck Blueberry was the most serene young gentleman The Thief had ever met. He was the very picturesque ideal of a Vietnam era hippie.

When Koala got high everyone became popsicles. He was very high at the hospital.

"You're looking very popsicle today."

"I don't feel very popsicle," answered The Thief.

Koala wanted to fix The Thief's anti-popsicle feelings, so when they left the hospital, Icarus, Cydne, and Koala rode in Fuck's blue truck to the shed behind Fuck's house.

"What are you punks doing in Paris?"
"Chief wanted to see you."
"So it's not just you guys here."
"No, Alice is here, everyone is here to see you."
"Is Pachelbel here?"

Koala stared at him blankly. "Yeah, Pachelbel is here."

I had been avoiding Icarus prior to his move to France, back home. He told me the scariest thing I had ever heard, that I was his Holy Grail.

God forbid he should ever find the Holy Grail. I felt it was my age-old duty to hide from him and retain some shred of elusiveness.

a graveyard gray and a garden green

I looked down at my grandfather's notebook. Two little insects were socializing on the open page. He brushed them off and I sat next to him on the park bench, and the sleazy thirty-something year-old man standing and staring from a small crowd of people across the park turned slowly and walked away. He had been pushing through people to watch me. I was meeting Icarus there, and soon after the shady man in his swanky Armani suit disappeared, Icarus sauntered happily to his Pachelbel.

I asked him why he was wearing yellow galoshes, and he said they were not a gift for me, but they were for me. He wore them for me. They looked like some big squarish colorful boots from out a carton. A cat stood at his side.

"This is Wheezy."

The cat gave a friendly shrug and flicked his tail beautifully. I smiled, tilted my head and told Wheezy it was very nice to meet him. He seemed pleased. He was a beautiful calico, black and orange and deep brown with orange eyes. Luminous oranges.

Icarus knew my grandfather because of Chief.

I learned that who I introduced my grandfather to Icarus. They smiled at each other.

"I know Icarus," Grandfather said.

"Yes, I know Adam," Icarus said.

I learned that they knew each other that day.

I also learned that my grandfather had a steak dinner camping with a relative of Chief's last month that gave Chief's relative Mad Cow disease but Grandfather insisted he was fine. My grandfather, Adam, knew Chief and his whole crew.

He had the honorary title of "Colonel" from Chief. He called me Sarge, which everyone deemed a special name Chief had just for he and , and everyone else still called me by The Thief's name for me.

After the park we had tea. My grandfather stared idly into his empty teacup, at the white tea leaves resting at the bottom.

"My future consists of...a pile of soggy tea leaves."

Much later my grandfather would die in a car chase involving a fire truck while driving a stolen truck transporting tea leaves, only to end up in the lake.

But that was much later.

Not so much later I met The Joker and Alice. Alice was on five hits of acid and in the middle of it. He was passed out on a sofa in a coffee shop, or he wanted to be, but he kept squirming and tossing from side to side and Koala sat next to him, trying to reassure him it would pass. The first time I met him I never actually saw his face, because his arms covered it the whole time.

The second time I met Alice I got to see his face. He had the widest eyes of any boy I'd ever met, but for the next couple of weeks they were only half open. They were blue, and when he bothered to open them they were frighteningly beautiful, with the tiniest specks of pupils...

I cared for Alice right away.

the story is in the soil

"In the history of the world, you came first," said The Joker to The Thief.

Two young men sat delirious on a dead tree, watching hikers pass by on the trail through their smoke, scornfully.

"I wish I were born a Koala," said The Joker.

"I desperately want to be a Koala," said The Thief simultaneously.

One grinned at the other. The other blew smoke at one.

"You look like a porcupine with a hangover," The Thief finally spoke. He passed the pipe.

"You're a freak of nature, teetering on the brink of idiocy," The Joker replied.

He passed the pipe.

"You fucked Alice in the broom closet."

He passed the pipe.

He passed the pipe, but The Joker hesitated to take it. Alice was a sweet, dreadfully blond boy from the southernmost part of Detroit. Once upon a time, The Joker and The Thief had crossed paths in the United States, and now they worked for the same bakery in Paris. The Thief was a Parisian. The Joker was some guy from some part of England. The Thief thought Alice was simply a visitor to The States like himself. The Joker guessed he was Swiss or perhaps German. The Joker also thought Alice was a somewhat androgynous young lady with the haircut of a confused, crazed, and clearly delusional young man. As it turned out, Alice was a disconcertingly androgynous young man with the haircut of exactly what he was.

He was a gardener. He grew mushrooms in his closet. The Joker had wandered off, telling The Thief he was going to eat Alice's mushrooms, going pleasantly out of his mind. Four hours later The Thief found The Joker in Alice's closet sitting on top of him, insisting he was the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen.

Alice was the most beautiful girl The Joker had ever seen, with no evidence of being female whatsoever.

"I swear we didn't have sex," The Joker choked on a fit of laughter.

"I don't trust mushroom memory." The taste of lighter fluid. "It's cashed."

The Joker pulled a cigarette from behind his left ear, then reached out to The Thief and pulled a cigarette from behind his right ear.

"If you did fuck him, he doesn't remember it, or he's denying it too."

"I didn't fuck Alice."

"I really hoped you didn't fuck him." The Thief's phone rang, an unnatural sound in a supernatural place. "Hello--"

"I didn't fuck Alic," The Joker insisted.

"Yes, this is he..." The Thief went on into the phone. With his fingers so close to his face, he discovered there was no escape from the smell of flour and tobacco stained into his hands. He watched a new and unfamiliar pair of eyes watching him from under the dead tree. A squirrel. He listened to the grating filter of the phone destroying the speaker's voice. Then he listened to a terrible crack, snap, break, followed by a panic-stricken "Oh shit!" and then he listened to nothing at all.

words, words...they're all we have to go on

I have met both The Joker and The Thief. The Joker's name is Cydne. The Thief's name is Icarus.

I met Icarus first.

I met Icarus through a friend, a man with a glass eye. I called him Chief. Chief ran a small squadron of men who would earn their living by breaking into houses in the inner city, whether people were inside or not.

He was a master of not getting caught. Icarus was his top boy. He looked delicate and beautiful, but everyone called him The Thief, and everyone's consensus was that he was the best under Chief.

One night I gave The Thief a ride to the liquor store. He was seventeen years old at the time, and I had been on Earth for twenty Earth years, still underage in America. He stood outside of the entrance and stopped the first person to walk in, bowed his head close to the other man's, and said something low in his ear. He gave the man his money, and the man would enter and then leave the store with a large bottle of expensive absinthe. One day I went back to that store and asked the owner about it, about the brand. he gave me a concerned look and said "We've never carried that label, it's illegal in the US."

Chief housed his thieves. I was never one of his thieves, but he took me in anyway. I guess he took some liking to me, and I didn't want to offend him. I needed the connections. I didn't need the enemies. I appreciated him too.

And the parties were fantastic. I happened upon a notebook belonging to Icarus at a particularly good party. We were staying at a seaside resort on the west coast, and Icarus was passed out on the balcony, bottle of absinthe in hand. I found his notebook on the beach with the tide coming in. I brought it up to the balcony and looked through it. Pages and pages of sentences, running on endlessly. One sentence ran on disjointed and garbled for eleven pages, and I still understood his idea.

The last page he wrote was about me:

"When I came to I found a girl I met this girl really, strange and lovely everywhere she went Pachelbel's Canon sounded after her soft thunder I called her Pachelbel

Pachelbel. always made the strangest noises, whirred and bleeped and clicked pleasantly a visitor to our mother."

That was the author of this book, that was me. They called me Pachelbel because The Thief called me Pachelbel, and The Thief's word seemed to be gospel to the lesser thieves. So I was Pachelbel for a while, and that was fine by me, because they didn't really need to know my name.

Eventually I found out The Thief's real name, or his first name at least. I trust that Icarus is his real name, because I trusted Icarus and I trusted Chief, but I can never really know.

Icarus always insisted that I packed our bowls. When I would show up at the door of their suite he would greet me with "Pachelbel, pack-a-bell, back the bowl Pachelbel." His voice was musical so that every word he spoke was a song, a ballad compressed into two or three syllables. He said I did it best.

Icarus was seventeen, the baby thief, but he was also The Thief. He has his teenage boy vice. In every suite he had an X-Box, he played Halo. He was the only theif to refer to Chief as Master Chief.

I think Chief thought that was pretty damn funny.

Icarus said I made crop circles. He took me to the park and pushed me on the swings until I would stop for a cigarette and walk in small circles, spin a little. He told me my head was a small satellite that my people must use to transmit signals to Earth and he was picking up white noise from me. Mostly it was music. The day he took me to the park it was Bob Marley's Jamaica Rum. He was my heart for a while. I was his "canon ball," as he wrote it.

The Thief learned everything he knew of pyrotechnics from Chief. He put his own spin on it. He was a musician.

I told him I would be his groupie when he became a famous musician. His native tongue was French, which made me think maybe Icarus wasn't his name. He knew enough English to make it by just fine across America, which is more than most Americans can say, he said. He was French and bitter. I'm not sure if he was bitter about being French or just bitter. I believe more in the latter.

He said if he became a famous musician he would revert back to French completely and never speak a word of English again. I was fine with that. We would communicate through sex and explosives, I would say. That's how I became his "canon ball."
I didn't even realize we'd already sauntered into March. I always like looking at my last post to LJ and trying to remember what I'd been feeling and what has changed since then. I'm amazed at how much can change in a month.

For the past week or so I've mostly been hopping from place to place, avoiding going home I guess. For no particular reason. It's been a wild ride of meeting more new people than I've met in a while, but it's been fun. I've answered a few of my questions and raised many more, naturally.

Right now we're watching City Of Ember, which of course I have mixed feelings about, having read the book first.

Ashley and I were hit with some cresy inspiration for a novel at Espresso Bay a few days ago. That's gonna be interesting. We also managed to go to Meijer and leave before getting thrown out. 9_9
It rained last night. This being Michigan, my automatic fear was that it was going to freeze and give us a road of ice. Not so. When I woke up it was sunny and the snow was melting. I tried to control myself as best as I could with cautious optimism. "If we get hit with a terrible storm soon, I'll be expecting it because we're still in February and this is Michigan. If the snow decides to stay away and we get an early spring, that's great." Yes, I realize I'm negotiating with the weather. I'm desperate.

This morning I woke up with this overwhelming sense of dread. What a way to start the day, I know. I don't even know why, I guess it was just normal human paranoia about the universe and things going awry. Or something. Whatever it was, it was annoying and making me nervous and a little butterfly-y. When sleepiness finally managed to overcome this weird feeling, I didn't wake up again until 1 or so in the afternoon. Watched two episodes of Family Guy I've never seen, one of which was the episode where Stewie and Brian go back in time to the day the Nazis invaded Poland. Anya and I were really hoping for a Springtime For Hitler number, because the opportunity presented itself SO OBVIOUSLY and everything. But they ended up not doing any sort of charming musical number because Mort was with them. *shakes fist*

After that we went to Craig's place, and packed up a lot of stuff. I still don't have everything out, but tomorrow after work I plan to meet my mom there to help me grab some more stuff. (Or should I say today after work since it's now 1:32 AM.)

After that, we proceeded to Serenity's, where we coincidentally met up with Jackie and Chelsea. We got some tea, some food, and then walked around with Jackie and Chotz for a while checking out what shops were still open. We went to What To Wear, which is a radically expensive store, but I still walked out with two pieces of clothing that were 70% off ticket price. I'm sure they were ridiculously marked-up in price to begin with. There's no way the dress I bought was worth $84, nor the shirt $70. I seriously doubt I'll ever go into that store and buy something at regular price. That aside, I really like what I got. I also rediscovered how much I really do like Jackie and Chelsea, and it is a shame I didn't get to hang out with them more in the past.

When we parted ways, Anya and I mosied into Horizon Books for a while and looked at art magazines and the art on the walls done by local high school students in the basement. Then, not sure how else to avoid going home, we tried Jacob's Well, which I'd never been to, but they were hosting a NA meeting. Later we found out Jacob's (or is it Jakob's??) is only open between from Thursday to Sunday. Ah well, another day. We decided to try the college to see if we could find someone we knew. Wandered and waited around for a while until we ran into someone Anya knew, who signed us in to the dorms to get to J Dub's room. We loafed around there for a while and then took off; I took Anya home so she could go to her big meeting tomorrow (today....) and I get to work. *shrug* So here I am, back at my dad's place. Pretty tired but felt like typing this up before sleeping. All in all it was kind of...a weird day, I felt very lost in my own thoughts and just kind of gone to the world, I couldn't really get out of the initial weirdness I felt in the morning.

Tomorrow promises nothing exciting with work, it's pretty much the same routine every time. But it's money. And after that and more moving out, I'll probably go see Anya depending on how the day plays out, of course. I'm trying to get in as much Anya time as I can, partly to make up for lost time, and partly because I plan to move out of state and I don't know what her plans are.
I saw Coraline Saturday. Of course everyone in the theater (including us) awed at the 3D-ness of everything because it's still fairly new in common mainstream theater usage, at least around here. I was expecting flimsy paper 3D glasses with a red lens and a blue one, but instead we got these hilarious pedophile glasses. Kinda like Trav's pedo glasses, actually. We kept ours.

After that we went to Fazoli's for food, where there was much shouting and revenge havoc-wrought feasting. And plenty of bread sticks. :D

As far as an adaptation of a book goes, Coraline was pretty typical. It took the general idea of Coraline the book and plot elements and then just kinda did its own thing. They added a character that was completely new, never showed up in the book at all, and he wasn't just a silly little character that made things more amusing but didn't contribute much to the plot. They pushed him right into the plot itself, and I'm not exactly sure why. Of course, they toned down a lot of the scenes from the book too. You can always get away with more in books than movies and target to the same audience, it seems.

I was supposed to go to the apartment today and grab what I could manage to grab of my things, but Craig got called into work all day and I'm still locked out. I hope Newton is getting by, I've been locked out all weekend. Dx

Plus Anya can't pick up her thing until I take her up there but I'd rather not make a special trip to TC just for that.

So I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow. Oh well, what happens happens. Right now I'm reading the RP between Thalo, Anya and myself from waaay back in Chicago. Oh, sweet nostalgia. I wish we could be in Chicago right now, all three of us, just picking up where we left off. ^__^

Honestly, I don't think I accomplished a single thing yesterday. I didn't wake up until 3 in the afternoon. The first thing I did was watch episodes seven and eight of Six Feet Under. That filled up two hours, and then I picked Anya up from her house. And then I pretty much dicked around online for the rest of the night. I rp-ed with Thalo and Anya via meebo chat room, but it was a new RP, not a continuation of the Chicago one. This one is a lot more...er...light hearted than the Chicago one? I guess that's one way of describing it. I'm looking back and reading this and I can see where we must have been on a train or a bus or a subway, because the handwriting gets all shaky. ha... I would like to paint a picture today, not sure what of yet, but I've got a vague idea. I told Oz last night and he told me he hoped I developed psychic powers from it. I was really confused and upset until he reminded me of Duma Key. XD It was really late, in my defense, I don't think I got to talk to him until midnight, and the subject of painting didn't come up until later.

Le sigh.

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