I Come Bearing Gas, Mylar and String.

Can't argue with a balloon.

Can’t argue with a balloon.

One of the cool side-effects of quitting booze is the increase of strange coincidences.  At least noticing them.  Some really mind-blowing ones.  Stuff that really gets your attention.  Stuff that makes you think.

Alcoholics in recovery call them “God Shots,” probably because it sounds like “Got shots.”  Jung called it Synchronicity.  Others say it’s just coincidence.

I prefer to call it “The Weird.”

Like I mentioned before, The Weird has followed me around my whole life.  My mom was open to some outside-the-box beliefs, and I think that helped my sister and I be more aware of the possibility that things were…maybe a little weirder than we gave them credit.  We learned early on to pay attention to certain stuff.  Because that’s where it all begins.  Once anything knows it might have an audience, it starts hamming it up.  Really tries to keep your attention.  With some real razzle-dazzle semaphore flagging.

That’s been our experience.  With everything.  Talk nice to something.  It talks back.  Nicely.

These days I’m pretty used to it.  It’s become a normal part of my recovery.  Don’t get me wrong, I still marvel at the show.  It just doesn’t upset the balance of my entire reality when I witness it.  But now and then, things will happen that take my wonder to a new level.  Like this balloon thing that happened a while back.

We have a housekeeper that comes once a week.  It’s nice because it forces you to clean the house, at least once, before she comes.  Anyway, very sweet lady.  Always feel guilty watching her work hard.  Make sure to pay her well and that the toilets are already cleaned.  Okay.

So on some special occasion, I forget what, she brought Lori some flowers and a Mylar balloon.  Okay, whatever.  I have nothing against balloons per se.  As long as they’re not attached to a clown.

Unfortunate association.

Unfortunate association.

But balloons by themselves don’t give me any especially festive feelings either.  No more than, say, looking at a soup ladle or half a bar of soap.  They’re just things that are there.  Things I wouldn’t care if weren’t…there.  Dig?

Very much don’t give a fuck about balloons.  Especially Mylar ones.  (they’re a little tacky)

Well, apparently something out there decided this was no longer a tenable attitude for me to maintain.  That instead of mild disdain, whenever I see a Mylar balloon, I should be filled with mystical reverence–to think of Mylar balloons as a most holy gift.  Nothing less than messengers sent directly from the gods.

And there was a plan for how this disturbing new attitude would evolve.

It started with You’re Special.  The very balloon I’m holding in the picture above.  There he is.  Miss you, brother.  That balloon might have said that you were special (and I’m sure you still are) but let me tell you, that balloon was too.

Miss you, too.

Right back at you, bro.

Right away it managed to free itself from the bouquet, but it didn’t rise all the way up to the ceiling.  Clearly it wasn’t driven by blind ambition.  I liked that.  Instead it free-floated mid-high in our living room.  For six weeks.  And not all around the room.  Just in one area over the couch, equidistant between the floor and the ceiling.  No joke.  This thing just hovered in place.  It never strayed out of a two to three foot radius.

Didn’t go up.  Didn’t droop down.  Doors opening.  Cats jumping around.  Didn’t matter.  Never wandered.  Stayed right there.  Hanging out.

For six weeks.

I think it was after the second week that it started to make me feel weird.  Seeing it.  Always over the couch.  Watching TV with us.  Constantly telling us we were special.  But I didn’t say anything to Lori.  Until after a month.

“I don’t know how to say this, but the balloon-being there all the time-makes me feel weird.  Like it’s somebody else.  Watching TV with us.”

“Oh my God, you too?”

That was good to hear.  At least it was weirding her out as much as me.

“It just floats there saying we’re special.  It’s…I don’t know…”

Oh, I knew.  Sometimes I’d look over at it and a strange feeling would come over me.  The surrounding environment would start to melt into one…thing, of which the balloon was only an outcropping.  Like a captioned cartoon balloon blorping out from the whole, in order to deliver a cheery message.  A loving little reminder from this big one thing.  To us.  That’s the best I can describe it.  It was fleeting but the feeling was that everything really was all one, and it was a nice and loving One.  Wanted us to know it, too.

Then everything would go back to normal.  Back to us just watching TV.  All together.  Acting like nothing happened.

If it happened once I’d say it was my imagination.  But it happened a lot.  More than I’d want to imagine.  I get bored imagining the same thing over and over.  Most guys do.  No, this balloon was trying to get into my head.  He was trying to tell me something.

I may be anthropomorphizing, but he still needs to get off the couch and look for a job.

I may be just anthropomorphizing, and I really appreciate the mystic insights, but you still need to get off the couch and look for a job.

Anyway, after two more weeks, the old boy finally started to deflate, slowly sinking, eventually coming to rest on the couch cushion he had been claiming this whole time.  I was disproportionately saddened.  I actually felt a sense of loss.  Over a tacky Mylar balloon.

Lori too.  Why wouldn’t anyone be sad?  It never bothered anyone.  Kept quiet.  Never complained.  Politely paid attention to your shows.  Always told you how special you were.  Fuck yeah, we were going to miss it.  It was a righteous balloon, bro.

I buried it in one of the planters.  The one I bury the dead animals the cats drag in.

The next week, Lori had a procedure done on her back.  The nice lady housekeeper brought some flowers and… three Mylar balloons.  Oh shit, was Lori happy.  New friends!

Just here to break yours.

Just here to break yours.

Alright, I think.  Here we go.  What now?  What are these three going to be up to?  The last tenant was pretty quiet and I’d like to keep it that way.  What’s the deal with these guys?

A yellow smiley face.  A red heart.  And a Get Well Soon.

Seem alright.  We’ll see.  We untied them and all three floated up to the ceiling.

“The last guy never did that.”

I didn’t know if I liked the whole new floating all the way up to the ceiling thing.  A little too ordinary.  Too predictable.  I couldn’t see getting any mystical impressions from it.

Well, I didn’t need to stress, because in less than one hour, all three would be gone.  Gone.  Gone.  Gone.  Out the door, and from what the nice lady housekeeper said, were last seen under our neighbor’s boat dock.  But not there now.  Now just gone.

So that’s their deal.  Not hover over the same spot on the couch for six weeks.  Very much the opposite of that.  A flee-the-scene crew.

Somehow they all floated under the valance, out the sliding door, then under a dock.  But only for a while.  Once nobody was watching they took off.  Where to?  Who knows?  On their way to Argentina.  In six weeks they can get pretty far.

Lori was totally bummed.  I tried to console her.

“Look, think about how happy they’re going to make some South American kid.  Maybe one that has nothing.  It’s going to bring a smile to some poor little salsa slum dog.  That’s a pretty good thing.  Right?”

“What are you talking about?”

I explained how Mylar being able to hold it’s gas in for a long time, along with a well-timed thermal current, could bring joyous blessings to some poor south-o-the-border urchin.  But I couldn’t sell her on it.  We both did agree that it was probably a corny little lesson in “letting go.”

“If you love something…”

“Stop.  I’ll throw up.”

Yeah, we both knew those balloons weren’t coming back.  Whether they were meant to be hers or not.  Hey, no great tragedy.  Still a little stingy.  Didn’t even get a chance to get to know them.  Hell, I could’ve lived with the floating all the way up to the ceiling.  I just needed some time to get used to it.  They didn’t have to bolt.

Fucking Smiley Face.

Escape threat.

Escape risk.

That was on a Friday.  On Sunday I go over to my mom’s to deliver some library books.  She lives across the little man-made lake from us, and then down about ten houses.  I give her the books and we’re standing in the entry talking.  She’s telling me about how a girlfriend came by but was in too much of a hurry to stay.

“She didn’t even want to take the balloons I had for the kids.”

“What balloons?”

“Those three.  One for each of them.”

I turned around.  Smiley Face.  Red Heart.  And Get Well Soon.

“Somebody tied them to my front door.”

WTF???

Everything started to melt into a single blob.  A blob made out of vibrating and shimmering multicolored fire. “We are you.  You are us.  We are one.”  The grandfather clock chimed.  Right on cue.

So much for not getting any mystical impressions from this gang.

They were the same three escapees alright.  I could pick them out of any line-up.  But who would round them up and tie them to my mom’s front door?  The neighbor on her left was the one who pointed them out when he came over to return a bowl.  “Are you sick?” he asked, pointing to Get Well Soon.  That’s when my mom immediately suspected it was her other neighbor, the one she’d recently had a fight with.

“I thought the bitch was trying to say I was sick in the head by giving me get well balloons.”

Of course, given the vast choices of possibilities, it would have to be a hurtful and negative one.  I get that from her.  We both need to get well.

Thanks, but fuck you.

Thanks, but fuck you.

“I don’t know about that, but I know these fugitives belong to Lori.”

I explained to her what happened.  Even she was impressed.  Tried to imagine what kind of odyssey brought them to her door.  She said they were all dirty and that she had to wipe them down.

“I didn’t understand why Sabrina wouldn’t take them for her kids.”

I did.  Because these three were coming back with me.

I came home, but Lori was out.  I picked a rose from the garden and wrote a little note saying “We’re back!” then tied them to the balloons and waited for her to come home.

While waiting, I thought about this bizarre series of events.  I mean seriously.  What the hell?   The whole thing.  Even if in every step along the way, there was a perfectly normal explanation for how those balloons wound up at my mom’s house, there’s the fact that they wound up at my mom’s house.  At all.

But especially after I was paying extra attention to what these balloons were going to be about.  Because of You’re Special I was open to any more possible weirdness floating our way.  They didn’t disappoint.  Very much the opposite.

I heard the garage door open.  Watched Lori walk in.  Watched her face.  You could see it register.  Smiley Face.  Red Heart.  Get Well Soon. They were back.  Oh the joy!  Oh the crazy mind-fucking mysterious, pants-pissing hilarious, heart-filling joy!

Not so much about the balloons being back.  But what it meant that they were.

What that said about stuff.

All this stuff.

This wonderful stuff.

This holy stuff.

This “They were at my mom’s house!” stuff.

This “No fucking way!” stuff.

This “Yes fucking way!” stuff.

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35 responses to “I Come Bearing Gas, Mylar and String.

  1. You had me at “got shots”. What a fun trip this was. Love that Jung got in on synchronicity because it makes me feel less crazy seeing it everywhere. Jung did a lot for us drunks.

    What a great story. Hilarious, heartwarming, a little spooky. We aren’t really allowed to have helium balloons in our house because the cats might eat the strings. It’s my husband’s rule and now it feels so unfair I want to shake him and scream “why? WHY?” but he’s sleeping so I’ll wait a bit. Anyway I do recall why in the form of an incident where our boy cat clutched one ribbon with balloon attached in his teeth and ran around the house with it. So cute how terrified he looked, yet he wouldn’t let go.

    • You had me at “You had me.” You can keep balloons in the house, if you have their strings clipped. It’s painless. No, I don’t think it’s because the cats might eat the strings. Not that I doubt your husband’s concern for the safety and welfare of your kitties. Perhaps in this case, that concern is secondary. To keeping balloons out of the house. Possibly so as not to trigger any buried clown trauma. I see it a lot in my line of work. If that’s the case, let him know that he’s not alone. There are people he can talk to. People who don’t judge. I should know. I’m a survivor.
      Ooeeh, I’ll say.
      Hey, thank you for the nice com. (That’s what I decided to call a comment. This is the com sec. Makes it sound more military macho) I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Can’t take credit for the story. Just the writing words about it part. And depending on what you believe philosophically, maybe not even that part.
      But thank you anyway.
      Sorry. It’s cat cage match night here at the casa. I can hear crashing sounds. Over headphones filled with Cake.(the band) I know I need to do something about it. Get up off this chair and wave my arms around. But if I do that, I run the risk of not coming back to the keyboard tonight. So I turn up the music and look away from the direction I hear the crash. Whatever’s broken will remain so long enough for me to see it.
      Where were we? Oh yeah, we were killing time until your husband falls into deep rem sleep. (Why does this sound familiar?) Anyway, when you start shaking him awake, try screaming “The clowns took the babies!” over and over. See if he reacts adversely. That would be a possible sign of buried clown trauma. If nothing else it’s a good start. Hmm… I’m thinking…I know…uh-oh…what if we hold off on this vigorous wake-up call. Monday morning is hard enough. Is there anyway we can get him to spend a Friday evening at the local roller rink? Marinate the subconscious so to speak. Then later that night you can give him the circus shake-to. That way he has all week-end to decide if he needs to seek help.
      Yeah. That’s better. Let’s wait.
      It’s not always the best answer. But when it is, you’re glad you did.
      Thank’s for being here.
      Marius

  2. You ought to have the X-Files theme song playing while reading this. Or maybe the theme song from The Waltons. I mean, either way, it’s creepy and yet not creepy at all. That pic of the balloon dude..now *that* is creepy in a Crispin-Glover-peeking-through-a-window kind of creepy. Nonetheless, you had my howling at the “clearly not driven by blind ambition” line. Woke the dog up with that moon river howl. I couldn’t help it.

    If you had finished the tale with putting Myles (that is what I named the balloon in my head) in the dead animal graveyard, I would have still applauded this post and though deeply about how The Big Dude works wherever his office is located (Tecomah? Dubai? Melbourne? He’s world wide!). But you had to do the whole balloons-at-mom’s-house deal and burn my preconceptions to the ground. Again. You do that a lot here, and that’s the mind blowing part.

    I don’t think you could have scripted that whole deal (which was amazing). The Great Author on does shit like that, and He’s pretty good at it. Should win a Pulitzer or something for that. But I also enjoy how you didn’t let mom get away with her Grand Helium Theft there, even though she was an innocent by-stander. Take those damn things back – rounding up the marked cattle by the riverside. Bring the big hombre horses for that task. Champs only need apply.

    And of course the payoff – where I think the Imperial Poobah was going with this helium-laden-course-in-miracles stuff – Lori’s reaction. Wasn’t that the whole point? that and telling you that you’re special. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Perhaps you and the lovely missus needed a gentle reminder. Like when the boss sends out a memo reminding them to use coasters at their desks for their latte’s. Too many ring marks. The tables in Cubicle Section Sector 7G started to look like Olympic markers. So The Headmaster told the pupils that they’re special. what a gas, Marius. What a way to have lived those six weeks with that reminder. But then again, we have that tatooed on our spirits already. This was just a physical manifestation for show. The Divine is nothing if not a showoff at times.

    Love this, Mr. G. This is how you operate, how you do this writerly thing. You can take the smallest thing and blow it up to a killer tale. That takes talent, sir. I always think that someone has to die before it makes a decent story (what a horrible reason to pass away)…for me. I have a hard time making good copy on the small things. I am learning from you in this regard. I had a friend who could make buying a peach a compelling story. no twists and turns. Just buying a peach. Insane. You go much deeper, though. A story of balloons. Special stuff. And it’s one of your best stories.

    Keep telling the tales, Marius. We’re here with bent ears and open minds.

    Cheerio, ‘ol fruit
    Paul

    • That is how I operate, Mr. S. That is how I do my writerly duties. One incomplete sentence. At a time. Chop the fuck out of them. In the back of my head I know some grammar Nazis are putting my name on a list. But care I too scant a whit. To stop. The chop.
      And so I write on. With all the crippling doubt, fear, second-guessing, and regret that comes with the turf. Hold on. Pandora is playing Cash. I walk the line. Love this song. Give me a sec.
      Wow. I never realized he tried to rhyme “tide” with “line.” Hmm. Don’t like that so much. I guess I can be as peevish and pedantic as the next guy. Oh well.
      You’re right, Pauly, about the lynch pin being Lori’s reaction. Not just the initial surprise, but seeing the realizations repercussioning through her expressions. That was Roundtine, Jerry. You know when you see somebody get hit with a love bomb. You’ve seen it around The Rooms. When some miserable fucker gets hit with a blast wave and starts rippling in slo-mo before dissolving into a blubbering blob. It’s the best, que no?
      It was kind of like that, but Lori wasn’t really miserable at the time. If I remember right, she looked a little harried coming through the door, an appropriate appearance for anyone returning from the San Fernando Valley. The balloons brick-walled her to a sudden stop. Took her to a different place. A magically delicious one. So yes big thank you to Imp-Poo.
      Some other bizarre-o stuff was going on around that time, but I didn’t want to try to cram them in. I get worried when my word-count starts to roll up. People aren’t reading by candle in some log cabin these days. They don’t have time for your miracles. Much less read about them.
      I know what they do want to read about. I look at the search engine terms. Jayzus. Tough crowd in the Warped Department. But that’s a whole nother post.
      Besides, I figured I could write about the other stuff in something else. It’s not like we’re up to our teabags in miraculous events around here. Gotta sprinkle that shit.
      Lace the whole water system.
      But it’s not like there’s a shortage of strange around here either. Lots of little things. Things you can interpret a bunch of different ways. But always adding up. Then there are the bigger things. Things that don’t lend themselves to any interpretation. Or words. Just understanding.
      You suss me, sonny? I knew that you could.
      Well, I’m going to start rolling up the cords. It’s 1:21 AM Pacific Standard Time. Sand is slowly forming in the corners of my eyes. Thanks again, for all your delightful commenting and such. And your blogging. Which you’re going to get an earful about tomorrow morning over my ninth cup of coffee.
      Oh yes. We need to talk, pally. You don’t think you’re going to ride of into the sunset without a little sit-down.
      I want to make sure you know what you’re doing. You prolly do. But I want to make sure like.
      It maybe more more e-mail thing. I’ll see how I feel in the morning.
      I hope it’s good.
      For your sake.
      See you in a bit.
      M.

  3. Glad to know my spiritual looney-balloonies are doing what I trained them to do. D’ya know how many weeks it takes to train a bubble-head like hat to float with precisely the right altitude?
    Anyway, glad you got it. Enjoyed it, and the message lifted you up.It’s mazing what messages can be sent using just a balloon – my only failure since opening the loon-balloon division was of course, the Hindenburg.
    Float on fella x

    • I thought I saw your ham-hand pulling those strings. Right out of your playbook. But I’m thinking,”No, Johnny’s got his hands full keeping the farm going. He’s not going to balloon me.” Of course, that’s exactly what you were thinking too. Played me like a bitch. Bravo and golf clap to you, old bean.
      What’s been going on? Since you dropped off the social media circuit I figured your life has to be thriving with rich, real-life experiences. I’d like you to post them here, on this sterile cyber-site. So I can virtually live vicariously.
      Does that sound too needy? I know it sounds needy. But is it too?
      Things here have been pretty okay. Taking a little train trip with Lori up to San Francisco this week. Got a music show I want to attend. Old Light. I’ll spend the whole time taking selfies to post. Not see a fucking thing the whole trip except my I-Phone flashing at me. Because that’s the thing to do know. People shouldn’t say they’re going on a trip. They should say they’re going shopping for selfie scenery.
      I know. I’m sounding old. I imagine there’s a good reason for that.
      But I feel youthful. Spry. Watch me skip across the lawn with these balloons, Johnny. How impishly innocent I look as I giggle and leap.
      Dude. You’re not watching. I’m going to do it one more time.
      You know what? Fuck it. I’m not going to do it again. You ruined it.
      I didn’t roll my eyes when you did gay stuff. I remember your Ziggy Stardust phase. There were plenty of times I wanted to let my orbs roll skyward. Into my mascaraed eye-lashes. Took a herculean effort not too. “It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase.”
      So I’m going to give you one more chance, to watch me fancifully prance with these inflated multicolored prophylactics. And I’d appreciate seeing some admiration and awe on that swarthy mug of yours this time.
      Ready, Steady, Go!
      Is this too needy?
      I love you!

      • Yes, I killed Facebook, Twatter and Linked-in. Just wanted a little cyberspace to myself. Facebook’s winding yellow-brick road, people with heartless, brainless idiots, left me wondering just what sort of wizard was behind it all? Of course, I eventually drew back the curtain and found Zuckerberk, pulling levers and honking horns while passing everything on us to the wicked witch of the west(ern capitalism).
        But hey, I’ve got better things to do now, like working for the karmic police force on their new offender rehab schemes – one of which is filling mylar balloons with the disembodied souls of sinners who volunteer to lessen their karmic sentence by bringing a little joy into the lives of people they’ve transgressed against.
        In your case it was a Nazi Commandant who murdered children in Lithuania who kept the whole goodwill message floating for six weeks in your living room. Which, believe me, if you’re a heartless genocidal bastard is a loooong time. In his next life, he’ll not only be a better person, but he’ll be a better runner – when he sees JW Gacy with a balloon.
        So yeah, I’m keeping busy, pumping gas chamber designers into balloons, which may seem a bit sick to some folk, but it’s a service I chose to perform to wear off some of my own sentence. It’s not all fun and games and wild parties here y’know. But I’m watching and smiling and enjoying your prancing about too.
        Gotta go, I’ve got an animal abuser to stuff inside a cylinder. He’s being picked by a kid’s entertainer who’s gonna use him to inflate his balloon animals. Boy, how every twist is gonna hurt that sick fucker back into a healthy next lifestyle. xxx

      • Oh shit. Nice. Very nice.
        And good score on your penal gig. There’s worse. I pulled Open Mike Night. While sleeping I have to leave my body, go to the 27th level of Hell, and emcee an open mike night for the captive and-soon-to-be-more tortured audience of souls. I do a little shtick to warm up the crowd, which never goes well. Never find my groove. I’ve got Stalin’s screaming face four inches away from mine. No mystery there. After ninety minutes of me trying to wing it while not feeling any genius, we bring in aspiring poets, songwriters, and stand-up comics from Los Angeles, and turn the mike over to them. With no time limit.
        It’s fucking brutal. Sure, it’s good to watch Pol Pot rub his forehead while looking at his backward-running Timex, but remember, I’m stuck there too. Calling names off the everlasting sign-up sheet. Tell you what though, that shit burns off Karma fast. I worked off the whole Aztec situation in a week. I’ve got a couple more big ones, then a few medium-sized, and storage shed of shorties. But I’m getting through it. Just putting the head down and eating it.
        I see my Purgatory Officer at the end of the month. He’ll decide if I get moved up to directing community theater. But he was talking some shit about in real life, not dream-state. If that’s what it is, fuck it, Johnny. I’ll violate right away. Get sent back. I told him straight up. And no fucking folksy Melodrama or variety shows, dream or real.
        “That’s not up to me,” he says.
        This shit is designed to make you think twice before starting a blood-thirsty gold-worshiping civilization, with some of the hottest women this side of Hell, again.
        I have to admit it does. Give pause.
        What are you gonna do? Hah? Take it on the snout with a snarl and move on. Hope they don’t find where you hid your balloon.
        Thanks for making the time go by faster.
        Marius

    • Haven’t found a lock it can’t pick. Acceptance is my number one key. And fun, well that one doesn’t get too rusty either.
      Most welcome for the post.
      Now, I’d like to thank you for thanking me. And will step over here, and accept whatever happens. From here.
      Wish me luck.
      Thanks, Allan.

  4. Most of the balloons I have receive never last too long because I cannot resist the “mutchkin voice” from inhaling the helium.
    When my eldest daughter, M.E. was around two or three we decided it was time for her to give up the bottle, something that took me 32 years to do. She loved that “baba” as she called it and we tried everything we could think of to wean her off of it. You know, changing formulas, only one bottle a day, only having a bottle at bedtime, hiding the bottles, things I later would discover never work.
    We came up with a wonderfully magical way that we thought would solve the problem and rid her of this obsession. We would tie the bottle to a balloon and have a ceremony in the front yard to send the bottle to heaven where neglected cherubs could make use of her “baba”.
    We found a balloon big enough to float the bottle and proceeded with the ceremony in our front yard on a beautiful sunny day. As we released the balloon and M.E. said “bye bye to baba” the wind took the balloon, with the bottle in tow, up and up and directly into the power line above our house. It looped around several times until it was securely fastened for good! Now her “baba” hung, day after day, just out of reach, right above our house indefinitely.
    M.E. would go out every day and say good morning and in the evening to say good night to her bottle that hung just over head feeling secure that it was still in sight.
    I try to keep my bottle in perspective, always being aware that it is still a threat. But knowing that if I continue to work my program, it will continue to stay out of reach.
    Thanks for reminding me of all the miracles that happen to us every day!
    Ace

    • Ha Ace! What a great story! How awesome was that? M.E. couldn’t have her “bada,” but the powers that be, mercifully made sure she didn’t have to fret too much. Made sure she knew that Bada was still there. Just up there. Like grandpa. Gives me a warm fuzzy. Like the first 20 minutes from a couple of Vicodin ES. Followed by three Heineken.
      Except “on the natch.” And much better. Because there isn’t all that icky time after the twenty are over. You know, the Mexican policemen roughly jostling you time. Which usually lasts longer than 20 minutes.
      You know.
      Ha-ha-ha-ha! Boy do you ever. (Ace used to be a bad boy)
      And now he’s a good man.
      One of the best, I’d have to say.
      Thanks for popping by. See you tomorrow.
      Your trudge-mate,
      Marius

    • Holy shit, what a great site! Thanks, Phoenix. The night snapshot of the one bouncing along Belsize Road really stood out. So obviously on a bender. You just know the evening is not going to end well for him. Or her. It’s hard to tell the sex from that angle.
      Anyway, we did receive the intended kick. So thanks for that. And the kind words.
      By the way, you’ll be chuffed to hear our colonial revolution has fizzled. Our freedom’s ring has turned out to be a watery fart. We’re actually more uptight now.
      Should have never broken away.
      Sorry ’bout that.
      Marius

  5. I was meant to read this today… as my perception of life has become a bit skewed. 

    I am quite familiar with the mylar balloons, having 3 kids, you get many balloons. And we have had few stragglers here and there. The last one was a 3 foot mouse better known as Chuck E. Cheese. That thing was up in the ceiling for 2+ months. Big, obnoxious, eye sore! I can’t really say that I enjoyed it’s company at all, yet my son who just turn 4 years old and got the balloon at his bday party could not part with it whatsoever. He said hello to it every day and treated it as his best friend.

    So I was reading your story here, quite content to be able to relate to the mutual hate for those damn  things…. and then… oh no!

    But it is all in he perspectives, isn’t it? I don’t think I will ever look at a mylar balloon the same way again!

    Thanks Marius!

    • Maggie. I’m disappointed in you. How could you not have been delirious with elation having a three-foot rat floating around your house for almost three months?
      What could be more fun than being constantly shadowed by a vermin dirigible? You’re no fun. Not anymore.
      Those suckers do last long don’t they? It can be irritating. “Enough already! Pop will you.” They never pop. Not Mylar. Those balloons don’t end with a bang, but with a crinkle.
      And maybe that’s better for the children. It lets them develop a close personal relationship with something that doesn’t last.
      I think it’s never too early for kids to learn that the transitive nature of form leads to sorrow.
      But that’s probably why it was decided I should never have kids. That I should die alone in a run-down hotel for men. A Mylar balloon floating around my neck.
      (made myself laugh there, good image)
      Anyway, it isall about the perspective, ain’t it? Took me a long time to realize how malleable perspective was. I knew of course how stretchy and foldy it was when you drank and used, but I had no idea it could be massaged into a more pleasing shape by things like gratitude or service. Faith. Forgiveness. Corny stuff like that.
      And not things I was particularly expert at when I got sober. I had a different skill set. So it was hard at first. Hard. And not like making strippers fall in love with you hard, but really really hard.
      Until it wasn’t. As I noticed how well that stuff worked, I found myself reaching for it more often. And quicker. Let’s put it this way, doing the most-loving thing hasn’t blown up in my face. Not yet at least. And I’m pretty pleased to report, it’s had plenty of opportunity to.
      So big shout-out and thanks to The Light That Reforms.
      And friends like you, Maggie.
      Marius
      PS I was kidding about you not being fun anymore. You’re plenty fun alright. More fun than a whole barrel of balloons.

    • Yeah, that’s noteworthy. Another convert. And of course the timing raises the brow a bit.
      If I remember correctly you’ve had a few interesting coincidences transpire before your peepers. Something or someone has tried to reassure you, through some razzle-dazzle, that the important things always come back to us. That the pain of separation becomes as nothing in the joy of reunion.
      That’s the big promise of Love.
      I may not always keep my promises, but I know Love does. Or it wouldn’t be Love. It would be a used car salesman in Reseda, CA.
      Here’s to Love keeping it’s promises!
      Okay, Christy this is the part where we let go of the balloons. Christy. Let go of the balloon!

      • Yeah, I’ve had a lot of strange things happen after my aunt and my mom died. The first few I wrote off as circumstance; the next really freaked me out; then now, I just find some comfort in them without trying too hard to explain them. Some things you just feel in your blood cells–like homing pigeons or something. Couldn’t explain it even if I tried, but it makes me feel small. Happy. Love.
        That’s why I didn’t (couldn’t) respond right away, I didn’t want my response to sound all kooky … but you get it.
        Letting go … one…. two…. THREE!

  6. Vacancy – community theatre director needed. Voluntary basis. Apply to L. Cifer. He’s already got your CV. Sounds right up your circle of hell?

  7. Pingback: Detect Magick: Addendum 1 | Project Etheldore

  8. Wow! This one culled a shit-passel of action. You KNOW I loved this. Detect Magick indeed! Will this be found in the fantasy section or references?

    Anyway – One reason people drop the ball in their DM spell is largely because of the ‘reasonable explanation’ clause. If an old-time classic wizard, peaked hat and all, showed up right now and got into the most pyrotechnical confront with the Wicked Witch of the West (not hating, wiccans…we get you come in all shapes, shades and sizes) by the time the whole thing was resolved… it would show up with it’s prepackaged, ready to fold everything back to normal – ‘reasonable explanation.’ The more outrageous the more stress there is to fold it back into the normal batter. That little mind-fuck pen that the MIB uses… no need, the human mind is better at wiping itself than anything technology has to offer. “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place…”

    I wondered why the scroll bar was so long… everyone has something to say about this gem. You have such a magnificent readership. Great people.

    Haaahaaahaahhaaaah!

    • So, it was great getting to hang in Half Moon with you. I loved what you did with the wizard’s cottage. Very cozy. Hope you enjoy the digs over here when you come through. It’s nothing too fancy, but we have a fake lake, which I like. Sometimes I pretend it’s a moat. Makes me feel better. Anyway, I think the vibe in the house is pretty good. We’ve worked on keeping it at Loving and Calm.
      Tomorrow I’m picking up my old NYC buddy, John Frankavilla–The Mystic Man. He’s going to stay with us a few days as well. Johnny Boy should know right away if we need to perform an exorcism on the place. But I personally don’t think so. Maybe one on the people living in it, but the house feels okay to me. Hopefully it will for you too.
      See you then,
      Marius

      • The house was wonderful. Warm and inviting…even in the presence of “personal weather” and its attendant AC.

        I love Moat Lake! When I first read this I thought it was to keep out robbers, brigands, Mongols, Vikings (they get feisty if you leave them out of these Blackwell lists) evil doers,etc… But it’s really just to get a warning before a landing by ‘someone across the lake’s’ suitor.

        Wow. That sound just as ominous as the brigands et al.

    • Franking clowns! Who in their right mind laughs at such!? Haha look am, a distorted mangled ied’d body…funny! Like most people I know, when I was a kid I needed a lot of distance between me and that manic maniac (is that repetitious?). But I did find the big cats oddly attractive.

  9. Thanks for that. I didn’t know that Recos had these experiences; certainly not to the point of having a name for ’em. Makes sense now that you say it. Like the ‘system’ gets backed up and just needs to be released. And the newfound, newly freed, awareness is kinda kicking up its heals like a puppy or dolphin or a kitten grabbing everything in its reach with those tiny needle-sharp teeth ‘n claws…just havin’ a great time and getting more of your attention.

    (Laugh goes here)

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