Chapter 13: The Room
Are you Ellen one, two, or three? What do you think? I have no idea. Look into my persona. I can’t. I’m not a mind reader, you know, especially not a reader of female minds. You really have no clue what I’m thinking? No. That’s strange, given that you created me. So what? I created my daughter and I have no idea what she thinks about. You don’t have a daughter. Yes, you’re right. I forgot I didn’t. Still, I might have had a daughter and then I still wouldn’t have known what she was thinking in that pretty little head of hers. Just because I created you doesn’t mean I control or read your thoughts. You have your own life, quite independent of me. Not quite. If you were to die, I’d die with you. You’re being melodramatic. No, I’m being practical. My existence is dependent on you. I suppose so, but in the same way my life is dependent on this world. If it were to cease to exist, I’d die with it but the world doesn’t control or read my thoughts. How do you know that? Well, I suppose you have a point there. My eyelids are so heavy but I don’t want you to leave just yet. Do you want me to sit beside you while you close your eyes? Yes.
She slid the loose robe off his thin shoulders. His chest was pale white and almost hairless. He lay down next to her. She leaned across him and untied the loose knotted belt. She eased the robe from under him. He listened to her breathing and the silence.
I don’t care which Ellen you are, I love you all, the whole trajectory of you.
She shushed him into silence.
There was a faint warbling somewhere in his pajama bottoms.
Chapter 14: The Weird
Exim was the Thot’s name. It had always been Exim, as long as he could remember. No, it’s not a typographical error. No matter how many times you go back to the beginning to look for his name, it will always have been Exim. Paper, after all, is not memory, malleable, liable to forgetting. So what, if the first few pages say his name was something else? They lie. Exim looked through the window at the parallel white lines whispering across the fluent metal glass. The thin halo of red droplets was only in his memory. Exim had been more fortunate than Asil after the translation. His offset had only affected his memories. Half of them had been sheared off and were rolling away in another direction like a hubcap in an automobile accident. He tried to remember the taste of her mouth, the warmish feel of inside her, but it was no use. Those memories were in the part that had been sheared off. Only the halo of red droplets had been left him.
Chapter 15: Session
You seem well rested this morning. What makes you say that? You don’t seem as world-weary to me as you did last evening. I had a visitor. You had a visitor? Yes, I had a visitor. Do you find it so hard to believe? We have no record of anyone signing in to visit you. We would know if there were someone who wanted to visit you. Nobody could enter the building without our knowing about it. Well, you must have been breached. You had better look for a jimmied lock or a hole in the wall because I had a visitor and she was the Schroedinger’s meow. Oh, I get it. Schroedinger’s cat, cat’s meow, a good looker… Maybe you had and didn’t have a visitor. Maybe you would see the visitor and maybe I would not. What was your visitor’s name? Ellen, Ellen Morningstar. Was she one of your characters? Yes, I suppose so. I really should read one of your books. I don’t want you to read my books. You don’t want me to read your books? No. Why in the world not? Because you are too analytical and you have an agenda. Don’t we all have agendas? Yes, but yours conflicts with mine. What’s your agenda? No. No, what? Do you really think that what you can’t obtain by analysis you can get by subterfuge or by wearing me down? I guess you’re just too smart for me. Not really. Intelligence really has nothing to do with it.
Let’s go back to what we were talking about last evening when you were too tired to continue our conversation. What were we talking about? We were talking about where your stories came from and you mentioned something about Plato’s triangles. Plato talked about the ideal triangle as opposed to a material triangle. You can draw a material triangle but, no matter how hard you try, how true your ruler is, how sharp your pencil is, the material triangle will never have three perfectly equal sides like the ideal triangle has. The ideal forms of Plato are universal. They always existed and they always will whether or not we exist. We did not invent them. We discovered them for ourselves as other beings throughout the Universe either discovered them or didn’t discover them. It’s the same with my stories. I don’t follow you. My stories are ideal forms. They are universal. Nobody can invent them, not even me. They’re just floating around out there waiting for someone to pass through them, like a cloud of points, lines, or triangles. Some people pass right through them without a second thought, but others become so entangled in the story that they adapt their whole lives around it. Then it becomes a material story. Most of us live some story or other. I see. Do you live your story? Well, yes. I suppose I do. What is your story? Ah, yes. You almost had me there.
Am I boring you? No. Why do you ask? I noticed you staring out the window. It’s just that I have no window in my room and the world outside is so strange to me. What is so strange about it? It’s the world into which you were born and the world in which you have lived every day of your life, until you came to stay with us. Really? I don’t remember it being this way before, certainly not yesterday when I looked out your window. Really? What is it that you find so strange about the world outside my window? Well, for one thing, those people are walking down that sidewalk perpendicular to it, as they should be, but the sidewalk is 70 degrees off the plane of the floor in your office. It’s as though I was looking through your window at another dimension, offset at a strange angle from our dimensions. Well, I’m no expert in hyper-dimensional geometries, but shouldn’t higher dimensions be perpendicular to our own four dimensions? I don’t know. Maybe our dimensions are spherical, rather than cubical, and the perpendicularity can expand at any angle. In any case, that has always been the view from my window and always will be. I rather like it. Kind of quaint, don’t you think? No, I don’t think it’s quaint and it definitely was not like that yesterday. And another thing. The sequences are getting shorter. What do you mean by the sequences? Sequences. You know. I look at something or I think about something. It is. A moment later, it still is, and a moment later it still is. Then, at some point along the way, it’s not like that anymore, or it’s not at all. Those are sequences. They’re getting shorter. We’ll be talking, like we’re talking now, or I’ll be looking out the window and suddenly I’m in my room writing in my notebook. Then I’ll get a call from Vitruvius on my STU. What’s an STU? A Secure Telecommunications Unit. Is it like a telephone? Yes, somewhat. But you don’t have a telephone in your room. You know we don’t allow them. Of course I do. You just can’t recognize it. Anyway, I get this call and I’m in a cabin on a mountain overlooking a violet sea when I hear a knock at the door. It’s like the whole universe, my sense of reality if you will, is going along in a straight line and then it turns inward, going on some other tangent, and then turns inward again, and so on. My whole sense of reality is spiraling inward like a vast whirlpool.