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Ravens And Crows: Three

Join me if you will for a stroll near The Edge.  A walk through the park of panting breathless needlepoint embroidery laced with terror.  Let us embark on a treacherous trek beneath the surface of Comprehension to the very bowelish sundered pinings and confinings of Unsanity.  Veer right below the Arc Of Apprehension.  Steer left toward the Brink Of Doom.  But don't hesitate there or you'll be lost.  Let us slog amid the sludge, jog across the drudge of wasted thought.  Venture beyond the dungeous drapes of the morbid mundane, into the hinterzone of unhinged reasoning.


Let's danse like numble bumble-gnomes across the sunken chest of the cadaveral spirit.  Welcome to my private parlor, the smoke-free hazied lair where too few dare tread.  Feel free to move about the cabin of my cranium.  And watch your step lest you disturb its deafening din of silent retrospection, for the walls are hard-of-hearing and the floors croak with seeing-eye frogs.  The ceilings bare rows of delicate toes; please do not stub them.  This is my intellect and you have crossed within its para-abnormal-meters, despite prior warnings to the contrary.  Alas for you, there is no way out except to keep staggering forth, navigating the nasal passages of nauseum — hoping for the best and settling for the worst.


Inside my inner recesses, bells ring constantly and it is always the time to rollick awry.  There are no rules except to leave your shoes and sanity at the door.  Despite my glib-tongued inflated inklings, however, this is no air-mattress jumping playpen.  It is an unhallowed hall of somber endeavor, irreverent revery, and dismal duty.  It is a ghoulery of grim exhibition.  Entering my upper cavity is like exploring a burial chamber of tooth-chatterous bonemen.  The solitary tomb of the undead soldier, his glow-in-the-dark atoms lying dormant until we least expect then uprising from the grave.  A resonant screechent bat cave of abandon.  The hut of a rabid zombie witch doctor who makes house-calls.  This is no habitat for humanity.  It is an isle of condemnity and forlornitude.


But let's address the true reason you are here.  And by address, I mean guess.


You don't have a suitcase filled with exploding Bibles, spare body or vacuum-cleaner parts, do you?  Religious pamphlets?  Travel brochures?


You're not from the Consensus Of Opinion, are you?


If it's Tuesday this must be Bedlam and you're here to wash my brain!  No?  Not even to examine my head and tighten my loose screws?  Draw foregone conclusions and map my neurotic impulses, then plant a flag in my cerebral goop?


It must be to conquer and divide the damaged cells of my gray matter for scientific research!  Or mess with me for your own bemusement.


You're the mental fairy and you're here to collect my lost marbles?


Wait, wait, I'll get it . . .


What?  I did not invite you!  That's a preposterous presumption!  If I said any such thing, I must've been thoughtlessly thinking in my sleep!  Babbling like a kumquat!  Exuding drivelent ambivalence like an untrimmed hedgehog!


Historical records will plainly imply that there have been many instances of Mankind crashing parties where they did not belong, invading the territory of others.  It was only a matter of time before even the regions between our ears would be intruded upon.  And here you are as a result, violating my most personal space.  You're awfully late if you're a conquistador!


I don't understand why stray persons keep sauntering in.  It's really quite bothersome and distracting.  How am I to get any work done with these infrequent interruptions?  Thinking up ghastliness takes a great deal of concentration and horribility.  Of course, I meant to draft an introduction for Tome Three of the first third of my oddball epic trilogy of trilogies, which no one in their right mind would or should (and possibly could) read.  Then you showed up.  Have we met?  Perhaps not.  I doubt you'd be back if we had.


So what do you want?  Did you think that because my mind wandered off and might never return, you could occupy my vacant skull like some hermit crab?  This is no nice sanitary sanatorium.  This is absolute madness, where there are no cheerful happy private rubber rooms in which to romp.  You will be treated with the utmost of indignity:  hogtied, lobotomized, scrutinized, and pumped with laughing gas until you bust at the seams.  Then you'll be siphoned out my nose and carted to a factory to fill jars of processed nut butter.  I'd be slightly careful if I were you!  In fact, I'd probably proceed in the opposite direction at a very brisk pace.


Still here?  You are a persistent trespasser, I'll give you that.  I appreciate your dogged enthusiasm, your houndlike endurance, your puppy-dog passion.  Just don't slobber or chew the carpet.  Also don't shed or dig holes or share your fleas please!  While you're here, I suppose you might help rearrange the furniture.  I'd like the bed of corpses shoveled over there.  The Federal Bureau of crypto cases scooted under The Looking-Glass.  That art-deco Ed Gein lamp placed on top of the dead-end table.  The arm-chair and foot-stool (yes, it's exactly what you're thinking) moved to the unliving room.  And those skeletons in the brume closet — oh, leave them where they are.  But clear away the skeinish thin skin of sneeze-inducing lint layering my fustian prose (it's overkill).  There, that's much worse!


Oh, forgot to let the bats out of the belfry.  And the flowers out of the attic.  And the beast out of the basement.  Yikes, forgot to water the gremlins and feed my fears!  I am getting so absentminded since my brain departed.  It all stems back to when it was dropped.  And then those electrodes spiked it in that thunderstorm.  Ah, and who can forget the electronic media reconfiguring how we think, subliminally eliminating deeper cognition in favor of shallow surface-skimming.  Or "progressive" neatly canned ideas and attitudes being blatantly promulgated by slanted journalism.  And the hulky skulkings of shadow corporations implanting suggestions, directing the flow of information and addiction and human traffic.


Wow, where did that come from?  You'll find I generally have very little to say of consequence, which may date back to being told as a child not to speak to strangers.  And not to speak unless spoken to.  Or was it not to speak with my mouth full?  And to hold my tongue (which never made much sense yet I did it anyway).  Maybe I'm not very adept at small talk.  Or tall talk.  I'm better at in-between talk.  Which is neither here nor there and not large or little and isn't medium or just right — if anything it is just plain wrong.


All right, I'll take a stab of the figurative feather-sword at uttering something profound so you won't feel this was a complete waste of your life.  When at your wit's end, don't let go.  (Hmm, maybe that has something to do with rope.)  Allow me to rephrase:  When at your wit's end, borrow another brain.  Yes, yes, that should do it.  You can run along.  Go back where you came from.  Although I'm not sure anyone can ever truly go back where they came from without a time warp.  Very well, wait for the next wrinkle and hop aboard!


Ahhh!  You scared me!  I thought you were finally out of my hair!  Yes, I have hair inside my head.  Doesn't everyone?  Okay, since I obviously cannot remove you without a pair of pliers, I may as well offer you a cup of tea.  Not that I drink tea, or generally host tea parties inside my skull.  But I can't think what else to do with you.  It's all pretend anyway, isn't it?  Life is one big pretentious gamble.  Or is it a gambol?  Whatever it is, I'll pretend you're not here, and you'll pretend to be sipping tea, and when the page turns we'll have cancelled each other out.  Although I'm not sure a book can be written without an Author.  Or read without a Reader.


An interesting pondery.  And quandary.  Methinks it will be interesting to test.


And so I am.


You're no longer here, by the way.  You might think you're still here but you're really not.  Therefore, I'm ignoring you.


(This is me ignoring you.)


(Some people just can't take a hint.)


I'm highly skilled at ignore-ance, you'll find.  No one is more ignore-ant than me!


This is getting creepy.  You're like some crazed fan.  I'm turning the page before you demand an autograph.  (As if my brain can write!  Hahhh!)


Okay, it's a wrap.  That should do it.  I'll insert some additional meaningless blather for the column, but you're free to go.  We're done here.  Seriously.  No need to stick around.


Look, I mean it.  I'm sure you have something better to do.  Everyone has something better to do.  Even I have something better to do.  I have plenty better to do!  So why haven't you left?  I'm not leaving first, I'll tell you that.  It's my column and my head.  After you . . .


Come on, we can't do this forever.  One of us has to take the first step, and it isn't going to be me.


Fine, we'll both leave.  At the count of three.  One, two, three.


You're still here.  I know I'm still here, how can I not be here?  I can't leave until you leave, and you haven't left.  Elvis left the building.  My patience is gone.  Print books could disappear any day.  Yet here you remain like a sore on my spleen.  A superbug pestering and infestering me.  A gnat that has flown up my nostril and nested in my psyche!


I figured that outburst would do the trick.  I give up.  I'm done.  Stay if you wish, but there won't be anything to read because it's over.


(See?  That was the end.  I'm not kidding.  That was it.)


(You don't believe me?  Okay, THE END.  Is that clear enough?)


(Thought so.)


(Hey, did you just read that?  No?  Okay then.  My mistake.  Pretend I never mentioned it.)

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