You couldn't tell him he was looking for something. He wouldn’t have believed you. He couldn’t have, belief wouldn’t have him – not in the marble house. I don't think anyone lived there. People came to visit though, stayed to visit. He would bump into them, not remembering “the death of masculinity”.
He kissed a ghost, at one point. It was passionate, and longer than their conversation. It was informed and deformed, a rare kind of love, caressing life into the face of a memory. It wasn’t his memory - he’d been fragged by his teammates and left with a hole through the hippocampus. He didn’t deserve any preserved memory, I don’t think. But he got some of her tongue, and that makes me happy, like the rogue jury that saved the scoundrel. Follicle filaments brushed his fingertips, and something began to foam out from their lip-locked intersection, a byproduct of sense-making propositions, a biohazard, but okay for ghosts, if dissolving, lysol-like.
Under the marble columns was a cubby, the place where his addictions tumbled out of pocket linings, the addictions that didn't really deserve the credibility of back alleys, but had greater mystique in sleep, a strong hold and a gentle release. Mummies controlled the release, their noodles would squirm and turn when it was time for a new term.
There was dust in the vial. He tapped out crumbs. Some old crusted powder. A ghost-grade kranque. He’d just gone through a suitcase that wasn't his. It belonged to a friend of a friend. It had things of value, but those things likely had tracking devices hidden on the molecular level. But there was also a hypodermic syringe with maroon stains on the inside and some on the lip, a forlorn residue. There were cobwebs and wormholes in that place. The tracking devices were sending signals via satellites, subspace, necromites, to Great Boys who might have been interested in his whereabouts, and/or the conjunction of himself with their dormant suitcase items.
They might have been interested or they have not have been, but he knew a secret about the hypodermic syringe in the cubbyhole that no one else knew, except maybe ghosts from the marble foyer who were neutral on the subject. The syringe could be used as a shield. Information could pass through with nothing incriminating escaping, only inconsequential discharge. A certain class of black hole.
Dust spun in whirls from the air ventilation system, wheezing drafts through a smirking duct. A rogue star above dropped a bit of cool shine through the marble foyer. Black holes were out there, but they could be almost anywhere. Black holes could suit a sunny afternoon, experienced on the microscopic level, or not experienced. There were supplies somewhere, weren't there?
He'd called Locin, and Locin had answered. Oh, just answering his call, all personal-like, made him feel so special. Locin, his Locin. He didn't think Locin had a heart, but he had gold somewhere. Not anywhere obvious, he didn't wear gold, but he thought Locin might have been one of those people who ate it in pills as a supplement. He might even have taken vitamine, which has snowberry extract in it, and can only be picked on doubletake pikeways in the dead of winter, deep in the forest of the super-rural sprawl, beware of gods... You're unlikely to ever taste vitamine unless you're high up on the supply chain, or you've circumvented the supply chain entirely, and unlearned many things, and picked a lot of berries, and fallen on many paths.
Locin's sweet deadpan had answered, denoting hard facts about inventory while connoting a friendly good-natured camaraderie in business, distanced by a thousand yard dissociation, the fifty yard wink, betraying no secret, but offering graciously his part of the agreed-upon information exchange. The voice was a rocket rush, and a plateau, but the man was not available. Oh, the heartbreak, all those chemicals revved up and ready to go, but the captain of the fleet wasn't around to lend a vehicle.
Well, time will parse his whine, taxes paid to the welfare cosmos. It doesn't help him now, it seems like empty words, whispering to columns of the marble hall, but - hey, blink, you're not paralyzed anymore. I don't know where you should go, but you might want to help me out by getting out of bed and going to work or you're going to be out of a job and I won't have any financial resources. Do it for me, buddy. We're in this together.