‘Round Midnight (52. What goes on in the mind of a God?)

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Rainbow shaker
On a stallion twister
Bareback rider
On the eye of the sky

Stormbringer coming down
Meaning to stay
Thunder and lightning
Heading your way

Am I evil? I’ve been asking myself that all day. I don’t want to know what she says. I am cast in the role of The Tree of Knowledge, the tree that represented corruption in Genesis. Technically, the Tree is what she is, but I, as Eve, am inseparable from her.

The Truth is the arbiter. The arbiter should be impartial. Am I? I’m just a musician, a composer, a creative. How am I supposed to judge between good and bad?

You don’t have to.

Shut up! I need to figure this out for myself. I just keep myself to myself, and do my own thing.

In a very public way.

I said shut up!

I’ve been angry all day. Thunder and lightning isn’t coming. It’s here. I’m here.

Thunder and Lightning very, very frightening …

DeRon informed me this morning that we were also playing Remember Me? tonight. I wasn’t in the mood for it, but maybe my anger fueled it. I was volcanic at the gig, and that inspired the whole band. I played, shimmied, twerked, and toyed with the audience. I’ve never sung like I did tonight, and I’m sure I’ve never played like it either. I was on another plane.

There is some truth in that.

Shut up, I said. Your input isn’t wanted tonight.

The sky outside is like my mood: turbulent, high winds and heavy rain, some flooding inland. I want to go home. I hate this place. I hate the neighbor next door panting, gasping, grinding, and making a racket. I hate that The Truth pesters me every night. I hate … I just hate everything right now, even all the things I love.

A blast of lightning between the clouds with an instantaneous crackle of thunder.

Did I do that?

Yes.

That was a timid response. I know what’s coming, though. I don’t have to see the future. It’s another early night so let’s get on with it.

I’m alone in the void. No planet, no sun, no Truthy. I know the Truth is here, but she is afraid of me tonight. How can a God be afraid of a human? And before you make a snide remark, I know the answer. The God and the human are inseparable. I can make that sun or that planet.

I could go to my private moon, but that doesn’t do anything for me right now. I’ll get sucked into sex with my plant-people. I’m not really in the mood. As I said before, my last visit has left me sated for a while. Why so sated? I just don’t know.

I am in the void for a reason. She wants to teach me a lesson, and I’m mad at her. Stalemate, although she has the power, or at least she knows how to use it.

OK. Big sun. There it is. I’ve done it, but I don’t feel any satisfaction. It feels a little weird having the sun there, but nothing to stand on.

I haven’t got a leg to stand on, or really, I’ve got the legs but no ground. Bye-bye sun.

That’s better. What does a God think about when they have nothing to do? That’s easy. A God always has something to do. I guess that means I’m not a God or Goddess. Maybe I should do something useful and practice my trumpet. It’s now in my hand, but the sound is puny, since there is nothing to echo off of. I could create a concert hall around me, but that isn’t what I’m looking for.

I could look at the future. It’s forbidden (who forbade it?) according to Truthy, but if time flows through me, what is the future? What significance does it have?

Gaia would think about her people. She would create. She would love them in spite of their faults. She wouldn’t judge them.

It’s in my nature to judge. I would guess that Gaia was a musician in many of her lives, but rarely a composer. She would like everything she wrote, no matter how bad it was. She wouldn’t be very successful.

I don’t give her enough credit. Her horn tune was sublime. She’s a fabulous player, too.

She peeks at the future, I suspect. Who is this Englishman she wants me to meet? Someone who will reveal something unexpected to me. I don’t know how to peek at the future. The past is easier. Pick a point in time, and place myself there.

I was there.

Is this void even real, or is it an elaborate dream? Cassandra dreams and prophesies, but nobody believes her. Shakespeare certainly thought I could see the future. Did I know him? Truthy is quiet. I knew him. Perhaps I was him. Surely, some of my lives were spent as men. Maybe I’ve even slept with Gaia as a man, or as a woman while she was a man. Plausible. If I knew when I was a man, I could check it out. I could ask her, but she wouldn’t remember.

All I have to do is just remember what I remember.

What does a God think about?

Truthy isn’t going to tell me. It’s probably too big for my tiny human brain, if it is indeed human. Or tiny? Hmm.

I wonder what Maria’s painting is going to look like.

Whoa! That is a big audience, and I’m very naked in front of them. Oh, the panties, they are there, but I can barely feel them on me. Maria dribbles a blue pigment down the center of my back and spreads it around with her fingers. It’s a cerulean blue. It’s interesting that she thinks blue when she sees me. She smudges a little yellow on my cheeks.

I watch both as an unclothed audience member and her subject. It’s odd how I can feel both bodies. Now that tickled, and my nipples harden. Careful, Maria. You don’t want me aroused on stage in front of you, in front of an audience. Well, I sense that you do want me aroused in front of you. You paint me with your hands, and you are spending more time working on my breasts than other parts. Swirls, snakes, a tree.

You know me Maria.

Oof! You didn’t tell me you were going to paint the panties. Oh, that’s not fair. Not in front of 417 people. How do I know the crowd size?

A yellow sun. Two figures on my belly holding hands, or maybe something else. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. More swirls, a diamond, cut, between my breasts. How can it look so perfect, while she is only using her fingers. Stars. Moons. A balance. Judgement. The Zodiac. The colors blend, suggest. The figures are in the eyes of the beholders. What they interpret.

I should stop now. Leave the finished product for fresh eyes. But what is Maria wearing? A knee-length, thin white shift. Nothing underneath. With the stage lighting behind her, it doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. The pigment splatters. Part of me has rubbed off on her. She wipes her hands in strategic places. Images appear not unlike those on my skin. The pigment alters the fabric, condensing the fibers. Where the pigment has touched we can see through it. Magic.

That’s it. I’m stopping there.

Big sun! Rocky planet. Big stone to sit on. The book? There is some writing on the cover.

THE TRUTH

I’m awoken out of my dream by a loud wail from next door. Did they hurt her? No. A customer must have wanted it. She cries, but it is fake crying. She calls him Daddy a couple of times. He’s consoling her now, but he’s touching her, exciting her. He’s a pervert. The Truth will take him.

It already has.

‘Round Midnight (47. Symphony in 3 Movements)

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I awoke with Maria draped over me. About 15 of us had spent the night in her gallery, and many of us walked to the cafe next door for breakfast. I practiced at Maria’s piano for a little while in the morning, still in my dress blacks.

I had an audience .

Akira, Maria, Tammy, and a few others hung around. I had dreamt of Stravinsky overnight, specifically playing the piano part in his Symphony in Three Movements. I had played it in college, but I was principal trumpet. Nobody seemed to notice that I was sight reading and naked, not even Maestro Stravinsky, who was conducting. I’m too young to have seen him conduct, although I have seen films.

My private audience was surprised to hear me play it. None have heard me play classical music on the piano. It’s one of my favorite pieces. I’ve never played the part, but I’ve seen it, and heard it, of course. Perfect recall comes in handy sometimes.

Maria has an empty loft apartment upstairs. It’s mine when I’m in NYC. The hotel is paid for the week, but when I’m here in May, I’ll bring some things to keep here. I can practice up there and use the piano downstairs in the mornings.

No charge. I’m family. She doesn’t need or want my money.

I haven’t had an ordinary dream in such a long time. Yes, an ordinary dream is me playing in an orchestra nude. It was remarkably comforting.

Akira and I were able to get back to the hotel for a change of clothes after the roads were cleared. I seemed to be possessed by classical music today. My piano solos in rehearsal were an odd mix of classical and jazz, and stretched the limits of tonality more than usual for me.

My gig was much the same. I wore Tammy’s red bottoms with a white silk spaghetti-strap top, and my hair down. It was oddly freeing. More skin than last night, but no hecklers. My trumpet solo at the beginning of Firestorm (my feature), was longer and more technical than I’ve played. I was still in that classical zone.

DeRon wants a new chart from me for next week. I think he just wanted an arrangement for his band, but he’s getting a new one. I’m so full of new music that I need to let it out.

Thank you Gaia.

I’m back on my own in the hotel tonight. Akira’s at LaGuardia, about to fly back to Chicago. Asami and Aoki have a string quartet concert tomorrow at Symphony Hall, and she wants to be there. I could have gone, too, since I’m not needed back here until Tuesday.

I need my space.

It’s a clear night and I can see every spec down below. It would be a good night for the distant peepers to have their telescopes out. My lights are out, but I’m up against the window panes surveying the city below.

They are going at it again next door. No banging, but heavy panting. It sounds as if she is actually enjoying it.

We could check it out.

Gaia? On a gig night?

Don’t look surprised. You are usually too tired after your late gigs at home. Finishing by 11, you have the whole night free. I was always really wound up after gigs. I couldn’t sleep until very late.

So you are the horn player.

I was.

What do you mean?

I’ve lived many lives, but that is the only one I remember. I forget everything when I am reborn. I’ve been putting it off, but it will have to happen soon. I will say goodbye to you first, though. I wouldn’t leave you hanging.

I won’t be able to see you anymore?

Everything that you see is me, unless you are visiting your own universe. Even that is inside me, unless you take it elsewhere.

So you are just here to visit? 

I never just visit. You have such a loose hold on your body, she said, pointing to my sleeping form draped on the bed. You don’t even know when you are out of it. 

She’s gone.

I walk through the wall to spy on my neighbor. She looks up at me and smiles.  What does she see? Tonight she enjoys herself. Her customer is attentive to her needs. I stare out their window, half looking at their reflection, as they climax.

I think of Stravinsky. I sit at a piano, playing a symphony, just a bit part, anonymous except for my nudity. He conducts and smiles at me. The room is gone. The glass is gone.

It’s 1961. He stops the orchestra. What do you think this is, a concerto? He asks in his thick Russian accent. What would you like it to be? I counter. It’s now a concerto, but I’m not at the keyboard. I’m lounging on top of the piano, directly behind him.

You play or you get out of my orchestra, but sit where I can see you.

I’m sitting in the trumpet section, playing the trumpet solo in Petrushka, but he isn’t happy with that. I can’t quite see you, he says. You should be playing the piano.

Now, I’m conducting, and he’s playing the piano, but not his music. Mine.

Keep going, he says. I’m interested, besides, I’ve never seen you conduct without any clothes on before. (He’s never seen me conduct with clothes on either.) He struggles with my difficult passages, even though he is a better pianist than I am. Are you kidding? He says, you’re just distracting me. Anyway, I’m just a composer who plays piano.

What am I, if not the same?

You are a Goddess.

I almost miss a beat. This piece is almost as hard to conduct as his Rite of Spring.

Le Sacre du Printemps, he corrects, and it’s harder, he says. He fumbles a few more notes, but now we have changed places, and I’m playing it perfectly, while he conducts.

I like this part, he says. He’s in his thirties now, and debonaire. We’re in Paris.

I want to write a symphony for you, he says. It will have three movements. It will feature the piano, and maybe a harp. I like the harp. Lots of brass.

Do you mind?

That’s my neighbor. Her customer is gone, and I’m still staring out her window. Does she really know I’m here?

Write me a piece, Stravinsky says. He’s still in my head.

I roll over and look at the clock. It’s 3 am.

‘Round Midnight (34. A Midsommer Winter’s Faerie Tale)

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Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.

There are dreams, and then there are dreams that stay with you forever. While I was working on my charts today, I transcribed the piece from my dream. I concentrated on my version, but I tried to included the harmonies from the main chorus of the her version. I wanted to name it after the woman from my dream, but I couldn’t be sure what it was, so I resorted to the murdered horn player. Maybe that’s her name, but even that left me with a quandary. She was known by her middle name, but since her first name, Gaia, is the mother of the God’s, I sprang for that.

What you do
Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet.
I’ld have you do it ever: when you sing,
I’ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs,
To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you
A wave o’ the sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that; move still, still so,
And own no other function: each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you are doing in the present deed,
That all your acts are queens.

Stacey dug my harmonies when we rehearsed it this afternoon. It’s a strange tune, but I like it. We try it out tonight, and I might program it for the Blue Note next week. It’s a ballad, and it doesn’t really lend itself for me twerking my bare buns for tonight’s crowd. My last Commando night, maybe.

Jimmy’s swinging the back door regularly. I’ve already mooned Vic twice.

I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went

My modesty, perhaps. I’ve been delving into more obscure Shakespeare lately, when what I really need is a trashy romance. Maybe not the novel – living breathing male flesh – not Akira, who’s in poll position below me. She’s caught the commando mood, too. Not a pantyline amongst the women tonight. All three of them.

If Jimmy doesn’t stop opening that door, we’ll all catch a chill.

A sad tale’s best for winter: I have one of sprites and goblins.

Gaia seems like just the ticket, a little sad, a little bittersweet: a goblin to some. Those that like my atonal wanderings love it. The others – meh! We love playing it. Jimmy likes it and one of his guests. I recognize him. A jazzer, is it? No! Chauncey Webb, the legendary trumpeter, and he’s got his axe. I’d love to play a duet with him. Geez, he must be 80!

Time for some bebop? Vic launches into the bass riff for A Night in Tunisia, and I motion Chauncey onto the stage. We vamp a little bit to give him time to get ready. He’s played with everybody, and now he plays with me. We solo, trade fours, and duel. He’s still got his chops. I take Stacey’s seat at the piano and accompany him in his signature ballad, Redemption.

O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
The untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up
Of this child-changing father!

Be I a changeling? Do I serve the Faerie Queen?

For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,
And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds;
Whose prayses having slept in silence long,
Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds
To blazon broad emongst her learned throng:
Fierce warres and faithful loves shall moralize my song.

We finish the set with a couple of Parker standards. We exchange niceties backstage, Jimmy opens the door, I flash everyone. It’s a blustery night. Chauncey is gone after my parting gift. Oh yes, back in the day, he had a reputation.

And I have one now. Does it have anything to do with my playing?

A soft hand caresses my bum. Akira, reminds me it is time for the next set.

A lovely Ladie rode him faire beside,
Upon a lowly Asse more white then snow,
Yet she much whiter, but the same did hide
Under a vele, that wimpled was full low,
And over all a blacke stole she did throw,
As one that inly mournd: so was she sad,
And heavie sat upon her palfrey slow;
Seemed in heart some hidden care she had,
And by her in a line a milke white lambe she lad.

We begin the final set with Breathe, with lust burning in my soul.

Gaia save me from myself, my needs.
Please forgive my filthy deeds.

Mere mortal so white and pure,
A soul so dark she must endure.

Akira drives me spare tonight. I fear her lift home may end in disaster.

‘Round Midnight (33. Sister)

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She looked like she could have been my mother in her younger days, well, around my age, although she didn’t look at all like her. The only features I shared with my mother were her blond hair and blue eyes. My real mother was a big-boned Swede and built for mothering. I took after my father’s side of the family, physically and intellectually.

This youthful Goddess had the authority of a mother, my mother. There to teach me.

She played an eerie melody on her French Horn, eerie but exquisite. She had the most beautiful tone I had ever heard. Unseen strings accompanied her chromatic utterances. She was a red-headed angel, not much taller than me, also with blue eyes, thin, but not as emaciated as me. She was dressed as I was, that is totally nude, bar the horn. She was as comfortable with it as if it was part of her body, as was the trumpet in my hand.

She stopped and gestured towards my trumpet. Your turn. I played her melody back to her.

Ri Mi Do Fa Dooooo Fa Dooooo Fa Mi Do Ri

That’s how it began. Instead of strings, a jazz trio accompanied me. I finished her melody and improvised a little on the harmonies.

She looked so familiar.

Eat sister, she smiled and gestured towards the table laden with all sorts of food that had appeared in front of her. I took a slice of pizza, of course: food of the Gods. She chose the same. We drank and ate together. We sat side by side. She put an arm over my shoulders. Everything about her said love.

How could she be my mother and sister, I wondered, as she looked like neither? That would mean …

I am your father and brother, too, she said, as you are mine.

Come with me, she said, taking my hand. Instantly, we were somewhere unnatural. Standing on a verdant moon, looking up at Earth. Well, not Earth, a sister Earth: similar but different. Light gravity here. There was a small clear pool in front of us, and she led me in. It wasn’t water, or so I guessed. It was alive and warm. But it was there for us.

We sat and bathed each other in it. We laughed and talked, I don’t remember what about. I’m not meant to remember that, but it was ecstasy.

You will find him, sister, although he may not be what you expect. Then she kissed me. I knew that kiss.

3 am, my usual wake up time after a dream. This one was different. It was so real. It engaged all the senses. It was contiguous. Mother AND sister, but she insisted on sister.

Who was she?

I recognized her. She was that horn player who was murdered in St Louis a few months ago. I hadn’t noticed our resemblance before. It was almost like looking in a mirror. The article listed her in her fifties, but in the picture she looked in her twenties. If the former were true, she was indeed around the same age as my mother.

How could we be related? I was almost the image of my father, and my mother reminisced about my delivery. She’d had a C-section, and it was like I didn’t want to come out. My parentage is definitely not in doubt.

The kiss was the same as the one I imagined, but without the whiskers.

This was the first time someone other than me was naked in my dreams.

I’ve never felt so awake, but I need to get back to sleep. I’ve got lots to do tomorrow … well, today. I need to have all my new charts ready for next week. They won’t be expecting us to play standards at the Blue Note. Then we rehearse for tonight. Stacey is joining us for Commando Night and the remaining nights at Jimmy’s this week, before she takes over. I’m playing mostly trumpet, since I’ll have two weeks away from it before rehearsals and a pair of gigs with DeRon. I need to keep my chops together.

This may be my last Commando Night, too. If I hit it big, I won’t be able to do that anymore. The excitement of my dream has quickly turned to the sadness of leaving my old life.

I don’t understand it. He won’t be what I expected. That must be my Englishman. My dream-sister had the same accent.

Cassandra doesn’t need to understand her dreams to prophesy.

Planet Ezzie (46. Polychromate)

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I was asked not to come to religion, come … um, come to rehearsal today.

But that isn’t how the day began. My front garden … (sorry, American English) … yard was full of journalists, TV crews, photographers, and the day started with a ring on the doopsnik … err, doorbell at a preciously … precisely 8 am.

Being a fraud, frog, … erg, night-owl, you know I didn’t appreciate that. (Not that I had slept anyway.)

“Fo Guck yourself,” I shouted through the door. That wasn’t what I meant to say, but you get the idea.

The personnel manager from the orchestra phoned at nine. There were already press outside the hall awaiting my trivial, travel … arrival. Stay away until further notice.

Have I lost my job?

In case you haven’t noticed, I sent Laura and Leane home. I don’t want them exposed … err, exposed to the press, who are still outside. I know that only their spirits are here, but it is the principle of it. I also have to remember to be dressed at all times. I think they caught me early this morning. I can’t even bare … (well, yes I did) … bear to look at the Internet.

I was shut in all day (physically, at least), but one good thing did happen. Deep in my avalanche of email today, I found a massage … message from the German composer, conductor that I mentioned a few days ago, bassist … basically begging to write me a concerto. The news about me yesterday fired his investment portfolio … err, inspiration, and he was up all night sketching me … a piece. Apparently, it is more than half baked … finished. Hell … he’s going to email it to me tomorrow for my approval.

After lunch, I’d had enough of it. The doorbell ringing instantly … incessantly, so I blinked out. I spent the afternoon with Laura II and Tom II in Tess d’Urberville … erg, in Orbville. I’ve been negligee … neglecting them. They are up to 6 children, and the older ones are sleeping on the patio. I think I (at that time) decided on four different genders, as well as 3 different skin colors. I hadn’t noticed the subtle differences before. It wasn’t until the youngest were born, identical twins, with identical skin colors that I noticed the differences between the others. OK, I’ll divulge, the twins are azure blue, indoors, and more greenish in the sunshine. I won’t go into the others.

In that world, I am tetrachromate, and my own skin color changes a subtly with my surroundings. Now that the eldest are more verbal, drink … think young teens, I notice how different I am from them. I think they might be quintachromate, as they have repainted my house a pale olive that I find slightly degenerate … disgusting. Laura and Tom’s room is a sort of crimson brick red with a yellow ghost – that’s the only way I can describe it. In private Laura calls it “cumguzzler,” meaning that it is a sensual color that elicits an almost hypnotic coital desire in them. That might give a clue to how they copulate there, although I haven’t witnessed it. She added that most colors there are packed with extra-sensory emotional content.

The color of my hair reflected in my skin tone inspires worship. She said that it is difficult for her to resist kneeling before me in certain light. That would explain why the eldest keeps bowing before me in the dining room. Indoors, my hair is more burgundy, but in the sun it is a vibrant crimson. Laura admitted that it is actually very close to cumguzzler on a sunny day. That might explain why I didn’t see much of them after I went outside. The eldest hasn’t quite reached puberty yet, or I don’t know what he would do.

I probably shouldn’t have ventured out of Oz … Eden today. I suspect there will be a population spike soon. The nearest city was quite close. I could easily walk there. I forgot about clothing, so it’s a good thing that it is clearly optional there in the summer. Nevertheless, I couldn’t escape the stares, and the occasional procreation … err, prostration. Five genders, maybe, and a rainbow of skin tones. Lot’s of French kissing, or well maybe that is … you know, sex. I couldn’t be totally sure, at least not until I asked for directions to the city center. He (I say he, but I don’t honestly know. He is the same gender as Tom.) embraced and kissed, and I had a great white whale of an orgasm – a big sloppy spurt down my legs – yes, I didn’t know I could. I think it might have surprised him, too, but only a little. He smiled and pointed directly ahead of me.

The city was much more than I imagined. They were technologically advanced, perhaps beyond Earth, but different. No obvious devices were carried, but there seemed to be some extra layer of communication. Some appeared to know I was coming before I arrived. Strangely, there were no vehicles. Everyone was stunningly beautiful, at least to me. The buildings were subtly colored, a pale cream with lots of secondary blues and pinks in it.

As I strolled towards the city center, I felt different, heavy, but almost as if I was floating. Those who I passed fell in step behind me. It seemed I was in for a greeting, but what I received … or what took place, was totally unexpected. Arriving at the Octagon (that was its shape, of course), everyone prostrated themselves. I assumed that it was the light, but looking down at my belly, I found an almost transparent layer of skin containing … a baby. Furthermore, my feet weren’t touching the ground. I really was floating. It wasn’t just a sensation.

The man who had apparently impregnated me, guided me to the center of the Octagon, and then also prostrated himself. I felt sick for a moment as the sac burst releasing the baby delicately into my arms. Aside from lacking a belly button, she looked exactly like me, well, an infant version of me. The crowd applauded loudly for an extended period of time. My guide implored me to name her.

“Kyra” I said. I don’t know why I chose that name, but the man seemed pleased.

“Ah, first born,” he whispered approvingly, taking the child from me and holding her for all the crowd to see. “Come,” he beckoned, leading me all around the Octagon, so that anyone who wished to touch the child, or me, could. Most did. Many kissed my hands, or licked them, depending on gender. It was a gesture both sensual and reverent at the same time.

As we returned to the center of the Octagon, my guide asked, “will you return?”

“Yes, someday,” I replied, but I added, “my time is different than yours, but I will return when I can. In the meantime, I will send my people to live amongst you. Please treat them as equals.”

“We already know your people,” he answered. “They are one with us, and we look forward to their coming.”

“Thank you,” I said and kissed his hand.

He bowed and spirited our child away.

It was time for me both to leave and release Laura and Tom, as well as their family, from my Eden. They would not, could not, go back. That Eden was mine again, and the world was born. Laura and Tom were excited to leave. I was the only one who was sad. They would live in the time of their people, and I might never see them again.

At moon-rise, I left to visit my moon womb to reflect on the day. My body had already returned to normal, but the inhabitants there sensed a difference. One reminded me of Leane, although they looked nothing like each other. She seemed to have a perpetual question on her lips, well, figuratively speaking. (She didn’t have a mouth.) She moved like Leane even in the low gravity environment, and she was a thinker.

Her thought formed in my mind: Mother.

Of all the times I had been there, no one had dared touch me, but this time she brushed my cheek with a wispy frond. It was the gentlest, most loving of touches.

Daughter, I thought. This pleased her.

It was time to go. I held out my palm to her, and she stroked it with what I could only call a branch. It, too, was as soft as baby’s skin.

Now, I’m broke … back. I had a baby. I made contact with both my legacy worlds. They embraced me as one of them, even as I was clearly a dud,  … err, different. I need to face the reality of Earth again. The TV vans lit up the street, the journalists surging every time I peeked through the curtains. The Internet buzzed with an illicit nude picture of me taken before I knew they were spying.

What am I to drink … do?

Planet Ezzie (45. Woman Freezes Pool, Flees)

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Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Why did I go to the pool today? I thought I could use some exercise, and it was a bit cold for a run. I thought I had become used to nudity, or near nudity again. My scars are still there, but are almost invisible, except in indirect lighting.

Or when I’m wet. I hadn’t thought of that. Water beads on ordinary skin,but not on the scars. That left a strange pattern on my body, one that I can’t really describe. Someone made a comment, and soon I was surrounded by acquaintances asking me about the lightning strike, before someone mentioned that they read my blog.

“Oh, you’re the one who thinks she’s God,” she scoffed. “Prove it.”

I demurred. She insisted. Then the others tried to pressure me. I was surrounded, and the woman was turning aggressive. I had to think of something fast, something I could do that wouldn’t catastrophically change the universe. The problem was that I didn’t know what would and what wouldn’t. I tried to leave, and I would have appealed to the lifeguard, but he was part of the crowd. There was no one left in the pool. It was escalating out of control. I thought about dissolving someone’s bathing suit, or changing its color. I didn’t think anyone would notice the latter, which was the safer option.

Backed up against the edge of the pool, I froze it.

You read that right. I froze it solid. Not just the top. I froze it all, the entire depth. I turned, ran, and splat. I fell flat on my face, sliding almost to the middle. The more I tried to stand, the more I slid around.

I unfroze it, swam to the opposite side, and ran … all the way home through the cold slushy snow in my one-piece. A mile, barefoot. Fortunately, I had a hidden key. Luckily, nobody followed. Shivering, I ran straight into the shower, not waiting for the water to warm. It didn’t matter, everything felt boiling to my hypothermic body.

I had to go back. I left my keys there, my clothes, my car, my phone. I dressed, walked back and waited outside until I knew it was relatively clear to get to the locker with my clothes in it, pleaded with the person at the desk to let me in. She had seen me run out, but was unaware of the reason, so she let me in. I was able to get to the locker room and retrieve my belongings without going through the pool area. That was the last of my luck. As I was leaving, one of the persons who had been by the pool harrassing me noticed me and shouted out.

Again, I ran, but this time straight to my car, yet they surrounded it, so that I couldn’t move. Fortunately, my intervention at this point was more subtle. I was terrified, and that seems to always affect the weather. This time it was heavy thundersnow. A nearby lightning strike chased everyone indoors, so I was able to speed away. The storm was widespead, causing the cancellation of my afternoon rehearsal, due to heavy snow, six inches locally.

That left me at home all afternoon, too frazzled to practice. I could see tomorrow’s headlines all too clearly.

WOMAN FREEZES POOL, FLEES

I couldn’t imagine what the tabloids would say. Do the tabloids monitor suburban St Louis? Was there CCTV footage? Surely, there had to be. Will people believe it?

What can I do?

Both Laura and Leane are here to comfort me, and Laura says that it has already hit the web. Yes, there is footage. The memes fortunately concentrate on me sliding around on the ice. There are two videos on national news sites, one grainy CCTV clip of the whole affair, but someone had closer color video from their phone. They slowed down the moment the water froze, catching me stepping towards the ice before it actually froze, arguing that I knew it would freeze before it did. Somebody has also connected me with the snowstorm. Only a light slushy drizzle was forecast for today.

Was that any better than me walking on water?

I’m fucked. I don’t expect to sleep tonight, but I think Laura and Leane should go home.

Planet Ezzie (42. Back in the Saddle, on my own)

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Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

At the cafe today, I heard an old Aerosmith tune that I used sing in the shower (on manic days). I’m Back in the Saddle Again. Am I back in the saddle? Truth be told, I was never a horse person, never learned to ride like my friends, and was never interested. In fact, I was anti-hunt, which wouldn’t have endeared me to childhood friends.

I ordered a new deck of Tarot cards today. Finally. Well, I say new, but they are really the same deck that I’m comfortable with. I kept looking at all these shiny new decks, but none spoke to me in the same way. I may buy a second deck at some point, maybe something with Goddess connotations, since I’m not just a goddess, I am The Goddess, the Creator. Why then, should I need cards at all? Comfort. I need to revisit my comfort zone.

I don’t wish to seem vain or cocky about being a goddess, but I’m starting to think that it may be so. I can’t find anything to contradict my blog posts from before the lightning strike. My out-of-body experiences and my Orb fantasy world may be just that. If I believe them to be true, that doesn’t hurt anyone.

I just wish I had done a better job at creating this world. It’s hard to create and then let it develop itself. I don’t interfere. I can’t. There are too many things to micromanage.

By the way, Laura found it. A pendant that Jem gave me while we were at the Whorehouse. I never wear it anymore. I’ll post a picture of it sometime. Not now. She emailed its precise location to me this afternoon. That is the secret she couldn’t have known.

I visited my new Adam and Eve. They seem well-suited to one another. They have taken over the house, albeit leaving my bedroom for me to visit. Time within the new Eden seems to fluctuate. Laura has already had her first child, basically a day of Earth time after they were created. They seem to have been there a couple of years. They don’t question where the electricity comes from or the water, but they know they will have to leave at some point, and are preparing themselves.

They are beautiful beings. I won’t describe how they are different. They are mostly the same, but with some subtle variations. They also know that someday they will need to clothe themselves, but are enjoying their current freedom. There are no Trees of Knowledge and Life, and no serpent. They know the scoop, but none of us know what kind of society I will unleash them into.

I also visited my moon womb. It has become my sanctuary, the place in all of my universes that I feel most comfortable. As far as I can tell the planetary society hasn’t yet developed space travel, as it seems undisturbed, except for its own indigenous population. They are curious about me, but haven’t approached. They communicate, but silently. Again, they haven’t tried to communicate with me. They are very tall and thin and like the foliage, have a green tinge. Are they mobile plants? Perhaps. One day, they will tell me. For now, they will just create lore about this red and white creature that must seem like a ghost to them. They don’t swim in my pool, but they do in the others.

In case you are wondering about my lack of slips tonight, Leane is silently sitting here with me. I think she is a little jealous of Laura. What do you want from me, Leane? I have given Laura something that she may have wanted herself. She shakes her head. I have given Laura something that she cannot personally benefit from. Something is eating at her, and tonight is not the night for her big reveal. The spirit-me has seen her future, but I can now only guess at what I saw. Even though I have come to believe, I do not remember. I am not allowed to remember. It seems to be one of my rules.

I am her mother … her spirit mother. That is all I know. She is one of my first-born. Laura is her spirit-twin, and they may have been twins in all of their past lives, but that is something that Thaddeus would know, and possibly Tommy, but he no longer speaks with me. Is Leane tormented by something? Again, she shakes her head, but this isn’t quite so certain.

Why does she not speak?

She shrugs. She is not in the mood. She’s a teenager.

She didn’t like that, but she remains there, watching me.

Anyway, I have decided to explore inside myself, looking for other Orbs. There are many. Countless. Some are dead, charred almost beyond recognition. Others glow with light. Which one am I in now? (Obviously not a dead one.) I’m afraid to look inside any of them. The dead ones make me sad. I have failed. I am not the perfect omniscient Goddess that everyone assumes. I don’t know the future, at least not enough to be useful. I don’t make the future. I don’t punish. I don’t elevate. I observe. I live my life, however wretched it may be.

It just started to snow outside.

Leane has just sat down next to me on my bed, resting her cheek on my shoulder. She senses my depression.

A kiss on the cheek and she is gone. I’m a lizard, a turtle … um, alone.