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Messages - Eater of Clowns

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61
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 11, 2014, 11:14:17 am »
Methinks you're drawing connections between stories...

Haha, it had to happen somehow. Was it too much? It's not exactly secret but I'd prefer if it weren't clumsy.

Also I planted the first major connection in both perspectives over a month ago. /adrianveidt

62
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:53:08 am »
He trudged up the stairs and found the same officer he’d left earlier in the day watching the door. Just to be sure he stopped in front of him.

“Did you go in the apartment?”

“No, sir.”

Mike nodded and stepped back into the old man’s place. He turned immediately to walk back to the bedroom and stopped. He wasn’t here to interrogate the portal again. Instead he strode back over to the entryway and, with his body just inside the door, looked around the room.

The carpet was dark brown and a path was worn from it over to the linoleum floored kitchen. Directly across the door sat a checkered couch with the cushion on the right side faded from overuse. A desk stood just to the left. Mike went over to it. It was an old style, a student’s desk, with a tiny leg space and plenty of drawers and deep gouges cut into the wood. He started into the drawers.

Sales receipts and old paystubs were shoved on top of one another. Mike looked through several of the receipts but found none out of the ordinary, none linking the old man to any bizarre place. The paystubs were all from the state of Rhode Island. Mike tossed most of those aside but kept one for his own records. The officers on the scene may have a file for the old man but that was something that he intended to check tomorrow.

He came upon bank statements and stacks of retirement papers, the title to the old man’s car and take out menus. The old man was a hoarder; it’s what got him into this mess. Mike pressed on.

A stack of birthday and Christmas cards were in another drawer. Mike opened them. Some were generic and signed by co-workers but a few odd ones had lengthy messages written in them in Spanish. In the final drawer an answer to that brief question, a stack of photographs, the colors faded and the edges ragged, of the old man as a young man.

He was sporting a wide brimmed hat and a workshirt remarkably similar to the one Mike had seen him in earlier, with boots and thick pants. He was smiling and leaning on a shovel, dirt smeared across his clothes and his face shining with sweat. Lush plants with huge broad leaves surrounded him and as Mike thumbed through the pictures a series of people appeared alongside him, other workers, smiling and filthy like him, but with darker skin and shorter in stature. Mike guessed South America, somewhere, as he flipped past.

The final photograph showed a different man. He wore the same clothes and he leaned on the same shovel but the smile was gone and the eyes were oblivious to the camera. The edges of the picture were soft and wrinkled and papery and thumbprints and streaks marred the surface. The old man as a young man stood next to a woman. Her hair was thick and dark and her eyes were huge and knowing and she smirked at him with her hands on his shoulders and he with one dirty hand on her hip over the white dress she wore and his other hand holding up the shovel and neither aware, neither caring about the camera.

Mike flipped the picture over but there was no writing, only more stains from the same hands over so many years. He stroked the photograph like he was sure the old man had so many times and placed it back on top of the pile. It was time to get back to his wife, to Karen. Gently Mike put the stack of photographs back in the drawer then, nodding to himself, pulled out his phone and took a quick picture of the worn shot on top and, satisfied, shut the drawer again.

The rest of the apartment would have to wait for tomorrow.

63
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:52:52 am »
This is how the world is, now, Mike thought. He was walking to his car back over near Prospect Park. Wounds in existence and old men trapped in nonexistence and dangerous Sid as some kind of harbinger of everything we do not know. He was going uphill this time and faintly he felt his thighs strain and his forehead sweat. If Sid didn’t know where he was going then there was no way anybody else could. Mike had to wait until his former partner resurfaced. He held no hope for trails or leads. What could any of that mean against the will of Everything Else.

As with any encounter he spent that walk thinking of a thousand questions to ask the old man, questions about his place beyond the Veil and how he started himself in Necronomicoin, questions about any family he may have left behind and how a person closes the portals once they’re opened. Or if they can be closed. He got into the car and turned the keys in the ignition, starting forward and letting the hill take him down it. Rolling back toward Wickenden he wondered if he should go back to the pub and ask the old man all the questions and finally decided the old man wouldn’t have much more for him. Though his apartment might.

It was nearing quitting time. The sun was sinking and there was so much to do. He was no closer to Sid but Sid was unpredictable and proximity mattered no so much as patience. He’d spent any number of late nights at the Warwick office poring over documents for the next case but that would do little here. What might do more is a quiet evening with Karen. Resting to keep his brain from overworking, letting his mind relax before the next great fury of new information.

Mike drove by his exit on the highway. There was one more thing, just another thing that he could do. An easy task that demanded little and was easily recovered from. He took Exit 10 and stopped and went with the increasing traffic and when he arrived where he decided to be he idled in the car for a minute before going up.

64
It's that wonderful time of year when financial aid glitches start raising their ugly little heads.  :lulz:

Back at UMass I used to call that "move-in day," or if I was feeling peckish, "annual we-cancelled-your-housing-and-unenrolled-you-from-all-of-your-classes day."

65
Cryptonomicon.

And he also wrote "Anathem", which is one hell of a book.

Is it? I'll have to pick it back up again at some point. After nearly 200 pages of what amounted to gobbledygook, I decided I was not in the right mood for it. That was about a year ago. I haven't quite given up on it though.

66
I love this thread.

TGRR is the drill sergeant to humanity's boot camp.

67
Twid as always I recommend mockery. Start telling your friend whenever you're together that you can't enjoy something because you like some arbitrary other thing.

"Ahh, sorry, I can't eat Mexican food; I'm an Italian fan."

"Can't read that buzzfeed article you sent; I'm strictly up worthy."

"I'm not worried about MRSA; viral infections are more my thing."

69
WELL THERE GOES MY MORNING

70
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 06, 2014, 08:56:22 pm »
I really enjoy these and try to read them carefully.  Should this be read I'm any kind of sequence with the Marrow Man posts?

I'm glad you are, and I consider them separate from Marrow Man.

72
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 06, 2014, 06:20:55 pm »
Fucking wow.  You've really got a talent for this.

Thank you for saying so. I had a hard time getting a flow going this week, only 350 words by Wednesday, then yesterday I just felt it and went all out, which is what the rest of those two pieces came from.

73
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 06, 2014, 12:41:30 am »
It might be too much to lay on a bartender on a Spring afternoon, he considered, pushing open the heavy wooden door to the pub. The day was bright and the inside was dim. His eyes took a moment adjusting but before that there was a smell. Mike knew it as soon as his hand cracked the door open a fraction of an inch.

He stepped inside, let the door swing shut behind him, his eyes closed tightly to hurry their adjustment and for that time, in two breaths, in a hundred thoughts, in a passing series of reactions, there was that smell. The smell of some weeks past, walking into a crime scene he was told would be strange but didn’t prepare him for the paled faces of the uniformed officers or the hole in everything he thought to be true. He opened his eyes.

A half dozen or so stained glass light fixtures hung down from wooden beams on the ceiling, big round bulbs poking out of them. They colored the gouged tabletops a shade of brownish orange and lent a bit of yellow to the green cushions on the chairs and booth benches. The hardwood floor below was warped and far in the back a scratched pool table held up a half finished game, the cues abandoned and rolled away from the table. The bar itself was a row of red topped stools and ringed stains and four beer taps and one occupant, sitting at the center of the bar. No bartender was in sight. The man before him was alone in the pub.

“Afternoon,” he said without turning. He wore a green quilted vest over a blue work shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His skin was flush red and he had a long grey beard and a bald pattern reaching back from his forehead. Mike couldn’t see his eyes and it bothered him somehow.

“Afternoon,” Mike said. He remained by the door then, resigning himself, walked over and took a seat by the man, one stool between them.

“You must be a friend of mine,” the man said, “been making a lot of those lately.”

Mike wouldn’t be needing that beer after all. On the far side of the old man, across the bar he spied a half empty bottle of Evan Williams. He got up, sliding the barstool across the floor, and walked around the old man. He grabbed the bottle and an upturned tumbler and poured himself a few fingers. The other man held his own glass out toward him, again without looking, and Mike obligingly topped the glass with the golden brown whiskey. He walked back around to the spot he’d first chosen. It was closer to the door.

Mike took a drink. He laid his glass down on the countertop with a thud and picked it up and took another drink. “I thought you were gone,” he said finally.

“Am gone.”

“I mean, gone gone. Beyond the Veil gone.”

“Ah,” the old man said. He inclined his head toward Mike and Mike got the impression he was looking at him with the corners of the eyes he could not see. “The Veil. That’s what you’re calling it.”

“Is there another word?”

The man pulled air in through his teeth. “Been a few over the years. The Beyond, the Great Outter Dark - fond of that one, myself, and so on. Nobody seems to want to call it what it really is.”

“And what is it?” Mike could hear a clock ticking away in the room and it was like a joke.

“Everything Else.”

“Everything Else,” Mike repeated.

“Yeah. There’s everything - you, me, this fine glass of whiskey,” he took a pull from his glass, “there’s the Sun and Chinamen over in China. And then there’s Everything Else. Most folks don’t know about everything else but you, you and I, we know about Everything Else. You learn about everything else and you can just tell who knows and who doesn’t.” The man looked at Mike again without really looking at him. “You knew who I was the moment you walked in here. I knew the same about you. Same about that other son of a bitch came through here a few hours ago.”

“You met Sid,” Mike said.

“Wasn’t like you,” the man was slurring his words. “Dangerous, like.”

“Oh I’m sure he’s not dangero-”

“I’m telling you,” the old man cut him off sharply, “I’m telling you he’s dangerous.”

“What did he say to you,” Mike asked him.

“He was excited. Beside himself. Practically giggling and thanking me, kept on thanking me for everything I done. Kept telling him I didn’t do nothing. I didn’t do nothing but get greedy and stupid and then I came to the bar and I ain’t left since.”

“You’ve been here the whole time?”

“Always been here. Only sometimes I’m in Everything Else but even when I’m there I’m still here. Never know which is which. Can’t see anything since it happened,” and the old man turned to look at Mike for the first time.

Mike looked him straight in the face and still couldn’t see his eyes. They were not closed, they were not missing. There was no hole but Mike looked at him right where his eyes were and he couldn’t see them. He shuddered deeply and drank the rest of his whiskey.

“Sid tell you where he was going,” Mike asked.

“Don’t think he quite knows himself.”

Mike absently threw a few dollars on the bartop for whenever the bartender came back. He stood up, scraping the stool against the floor again.

“Ever going back to your apartment,” Mike asked the old man.

“Not mine no more.”

Mike nodded and left the man to the pub he’d be in forever.

74
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: A new currency.
« on: June 06, 2014, 12:41:07 am »
The hills of Providence cast strange shadows in waning sunlight and here as the afternoon wore on the streets appeared darker than the day should allow. Trees lining the street had dreams of buds upon their still grey branches and the air held to the memory of winter chill. Mike’s heel slid forward in his polished black shoes as he trod down the sloping sidewalk. It was no wonder that this city acted a dreadful inspiration to generations of writers when even its pleasant spring days menaced. The hills were wrong, somehow.

Mike, with Sid, on their many fraud cases together would tell their quarry that there is nowhere to hide today, no escape from eyes that pried like his but it was a lie. It was the great lie of law enforcement, that the world was small and that their reach was great, that when you drink and drive there’s a cop waiting for you or when you cheat on your taxes Mike and Sid will be there, serious faces and clicking pens and impeccable ledgers. But if the world is smaller than it was it is also denser, it hasn’t lost any matter, and that which remains is infinitely more complex. There are too many systems to understand, too much knowledge to have, too many places to hide. It made Mike’s head swim and the terror of an afternoon in Providence was no longer what waited down the dark street out of sight but what hid in its innumerable corners, its myriad neglected facades.

He passed a three story white house with a bright red door and dark blue shutters, its hedges reaching easily to nine feet. Sid could be behind that hedge, Sid could be behind that door, Sid could be looking out from that window, Sid could have sauntered just over to India Point Park and drowned himself trying to spread the good word of Necronomicoin at the bottom of the ocean.

He got to the bottom of the slope and turned left. The police station was only a few blocks away, tucked into some mini-mall next to a bagel shop. In a moment’s thought he found himself on the sidewalk before it, a cramped parking lot with a couple of state vehicles between him and the door. Two transparent panels on the door, old and stained, allowed him a view of the bright young cadet staffing the front desk. Mike stood there on the sidewalk looking at the station. The police couldn’t tell him any more than what Dom had; Sid walked off and slipped away. They weren’t searching for him because, as yet, he’d committed no crime. And did he really want to try to explain what a Necronomicoin was to these guys?

He shook his head and continued on his way, in the direction of Wickenden Street. A block or so down there would be a pub he’d been to, possibly even with Sid at some point, the dark kind like Robowski’s, with dark wood booths and sad little light fixtures. This one got a little more attention from the college crowd, but at this time of the day it shouldn’t be a problem. He did some of his best thinking with a beer in his hand.

That was what he needed. A seat at the bar and a bartender who didn’t mind a little bit of rambling. Rambling would get his head straight. He turned the corner onto Wickenden.

Sid always believed in a moment, on cases, a moment where the mazes of figures and data came together, solved themselves on the page in front of him. Like learning math, back in grade school, when a problem clicked. Mike never saw those moments, he saw bends in the path far ahead that were solved when he came to them, however long that took. But now, with that maw back in Cranston, with the Great Veil, there would have to be a moment that clicked. Things no longer happened of their own accord. Sid would most likely make them happen himself.

75
WEEKLY JOKES JUST ARRIVED IN WORK INBOX FROM BOSS'S PA.

Q: What did the Hispanic fireman name his son?
A: Jose.

HARDY HARRRRRRRR. THIS HAPPENS ERRY WEEK. PAGES OF IT.

MY BOSS TEXTS ME PHOTOS OF DUDES HAVING SEX.

ISN'T IT A RIOT.

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