There is a carnival brewing in Nelson tonight, a queasy convalescence. People walk around with purpose. There will be parties, dangerous reveries, domestic disputes, sirens in the night. There’s a feeling in the pine-fresh moist air, a hint of ergot, fungus infections on the fringes. The Elysian techniques are long lost and will have to be slowly and painfully reinvented, truths discovered through the terror of delirium tremens. This will be a bloody testing ground, subsidized in strange and untraceable ways by Paul Martin’s government. The Welfare Cosmos will allow such loopholes as long as the surrounding woods is sufficiently unspoiled. The tipping point will be reached in 2010, at which time, the Nelson area will cease qualifying for protection from the Space Brothers. At which point, guerilla fortifications will be set up, and the contrails will become active chemical agents instead of placebos.
Tonight, one of many focal points in town is the Anglican church, lit orange by streetlights with the kind of tastefulness that only comes through accident. Robert Ashberry is “preaching” on the steps of the church, to a gathering crowd, a carnival crowd. He is speaking as the head of a group of orange-suited weirdoes, a mass spectrometer of humanity. A man in a crowd of less weird people smirks and asks Bob, in mid-rant: “Is Dali in there?”
Bob replies earnestly: “I wish you could see that Dali WILL be in there!”
There is uproarious laughter. Bob didn’t understand how he came off. Bob’s gnosis says that Dali will indeed figure eventually in his understanding of the mystic politics of things, God’s cruel love and empires of evil’s necessity, because Bob knows Dali is a part of the grand plan, like every man. But what the crowd hears is Bob obliviously admitting his own schizophrenic tendency to tie every bit of stimuli that crosses his ear canal into a cosmic conspiracy.
Bob goes on to reference Jonathan and the Christian Empire resurgence of dubious authorship. Is it Jonathan’s? As spectator, I’m surprised to find I might be the author of a Christian Empire, but then life turns out to be stranger than I imagined every second Sunday, and, case in point, this is not traditionally a party day, and the AM that would make it Monday is upon us, an even less traditional party day. Maybe I forgot I forged an empire, or at least “authored” it, whatever that means. Bob has windows so esoteric and brilliant that I’m not one to discount the theory. Of course, to Bob it isn’t a theory. It’s not “reality” either, that pedestrian word, trampled to death in disaster-panic history. It’s information. And he can use information. Many of us really believe he made MDA. There are probably documents to prove it, but investigative journalism is another skill we’ve lost in the new age. We’ll leave it to future scholars. Burn back up discs, what a treasure hunt they’ll have!
Bob is ranting about something else now. We missed the turn if there was one. Where’s the worm? Slurms MacKenzie knows not to ask about the secret ingredient. Bob says he was once a frequent flyer – but now he’s banned from Mexico. Though we’re not totally sure of the relevance of this statement, we pay rapt attention. Save for the smirking man, who has left to watch a DJ spin records at the Royal. Bob says he doesn’t go to New York much anymore. Implying he does occasionally. I want to ask him where New York figures in his present ideas about the world, but the setting isn’t appropriately intimate, and besides, I’m just a floating awareness here anyway.
Someone asks: “Is there any weekend around here?”
I don’t know. They shut down the show because of the Moonbag kids, street urchins who drank from infancy. You can still see them chomping on calflegs of mushrooms, silently, in the dark. They’re more than happy. After I saw them, I took a bird’s eye flight far above Nelson, wonderfully distorted, more than ever, psychological architecture reflecting and riffing on my yearning, my anxiety, my ignorance, my sanctity. I was taffy pulled through several novel dimensions, I soared across the lake and over the shoreline, beside railroad tracks, over a Grohman like area, finally arriving at a beautiful peaceful pool of lakewater and woods. I can’t remember what I did there.