On Hold

smoke in color 3      Either the lines had been crossed, circuits overloaded, or I had been put on hold. Who knew what when? Complex variables in my experience tended to rule with an invisible claw. That’s the quasi-free market for ya. Many twisted positions require numerous adjustments within yin superficial meridians. My major stresses can be predicted to pop up most glaringly on my left side but impingements on the right side usually hurt worse. That’s facing backwards, of course. Transitions must exact tolls to proceed. That ancient Karl Marx dude really knew some base materialistic shit. Who among us has not paid a loud mariachi band to get lost? I prefer to endure my variable suffering quietly, though.

My Chinese overlord in Shanghai was busy manipulating currency exchanges in Antwerp, Frankfurt, and Buenos Aires while I gamely held on. He was an ace multi-tasker on Skype. It helped to possess literal slaves to do the hard work digging diamonds in Botswana. All I possessed was an idea that had popped into the back of my head from the front of my head over elapsed time. But, Skype was there for me too, holding rock steady.


I believed I had found a solid niche with my Chinese overlord in the design of helmets to distract subject heads from what hurts. Backs and other spinal related tissue, too. The yang superficial meridians were one tough nut to crack no matter which way they flexed. You’d better believe it on faith. I consider myself a respectable authority in my obscure field, sort of. But still. Stretching helped some. I was merely having a few issues with the piping of subliminal messages. Otherwise, my head was perfecting the backstroke swimmingingly.

sun bath

Finally, upon hearing a crackle and pop that was not coming from my head, I said, “Finally.”

My Chinese overlord said, “What have you done for me lately?”

I said, “I’m getting my head up and started as we speak.”

He said, “Talk to me when you’re finished.”

“I’m really getting raring to go.”

That was all the motivation I needed. The evidence was coming in fast and furious. My head was flying, but in a good way. I disconnected and thought intermittently over more elapsed time. It was starting to look pretty good.


I used to accept innocently that tao was the way, no biggie. I used to believe, not with any foolhardy brand of faith exactly, not like some violently dumbed down and retarded religion imploded in a black hole that knows nothing of the multiverse, especially one with a jack booted army falling on scabby knees and frayed wings all day long, but close enough perhaps in an eerie, disconcerting sort of way, that consciousness was, and is, and always will be, all there is, where there is no beginning and no end. Like, duh. But that only worked until my Chinese overlord remarked to me one chill evening in San Francisco while savoring a bite of buttery Kobe beef, “Gimme a greenback dollar.”

I asked, “Is that supposed to be a tip? It’s not even ten percent.”

He replied, “In Shanghai, no tipping.”

shanghai skyine2

Days later, the teen twins showed up according to a weekly schedule imposed by an evil, unfeeling judge from the Municipal Court of Santa Cruz County. I had worked up a lather in my work, but needed to dial it down to froth. Their mother dropped them off in her raspberry red limousine. She honked and gunned her massively entitled engine as the teen twins lammed out of there. Then she opened the window a sliver and screamed at me but I didn’t hear. Or else I don’t remember. Or else I am lying. I do remember, however, that the final words to me from the foul mouth of that judge were, “or else.”

red limousine

I still don’t understand how any sincere third person could truly look askance upon any innocent singular first person who may be merely attempting to do whatever, whenever. That judge undoubtedly worked for the man. She was all covered up. Who knew what secrets could be uncovered beneath the darkness of that robe? If I had the time I could seriously get a clue and look for the proof under her cloak to nail her ass but good. I consider myself a serious threat to the man. I’m no slave in Botswana, literally.

When the front door slammed, however, I remembered how it was supposed to be best for my karma to forget all about revenge. But, still.

The yin twin usually greets me with a perfunctory hug but she ran for the nearest clean toilet. According to the evidence, she found one on her second try. The yang twin usually feels as if it must be beneath his dignity to greet or acknowledge me in any visible way. That’s one source where the true give-and-take jockeying of economic demand really begins. He dropped his backpack and shattered a fragile object inside. Before he could lam out of there, I asked for his opinion of the new helmet.

“It still looks the same as the old helmet.”

astro monkey

“I know I’ve mentioned previously that mere looks on the surface may be deceiving.”

“Yeah, right.”

“But, would you buy it?”

“I’ve already told you a zillion times. No way.”

“It might still need some tweaking.”

My deep belief in my firm niche with my Chinese overlord is boosted by my formerly firm faith in the infinite way of ways. I know it will carry me away as it has previously. Now I understand better how and why it must be that I ain’t gonna study tao no more, no more. Contradictions, the second most basic building block of the mulitverse, abound.

Once Elon Musk demonstrates how volatile the bad ass boom of the hyperloop will be in the void where only nothingness can stop it, and flat out so fucking rules all the faithful dudes and dudettes standing in line to suck down liquids through tubes on the long voyage to Mars, helmets will become commoditized in currency manipulation in the same way of ways as an archaic greenback dollar. That’s where faith can really add up. Like, duh.

I asked the yin twin what she thought and she said, “I smell skunk.”

“They’ve been coming around.”

“I don’t feel so good.”

I said, “I feel your pain.”

She said, “No, you don’t.”

I said, “I’m just saying.”

I called my Chinese overlord in Shanghai the next day, which turned out to be the day after that in Shanghai, sort of, and asked, “What if the helmet coded its own attention grabbing algorithms and squeezed quasi-tightly, in a pleasurable sort of way, sort of, no holds barred for the wearer going up or down? How could the educated consumer pass on an entertaining new category like that?”

He said, “Talk to me when you’re finished.”

After I disconnected, mine turned out to be the only voice left in the wilderness to step up to the plate and speak aloud in the important give-and-take dialectic guaranteed within normal bounds to answer my own question.

I said, “No fucking way, that’s how.”

All that travel time on the way to Mars has to be filled somehow, right?



About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
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