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STRAIGHT LINE | PART XIV | CHAPTER I-V


PART I


A means to an end, a way to get from point a to point b. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but remember that may not always take you where you need to be.


I know not, from whence or where I have come. I know only that I am and I am in all. I can see into lives, and inside thoughts, but I cannot control. I observe. I think of myself as such, the Observer. I feel this is what I am. From time to time, it seems possible that through the strong feelings that I have due to a thought or action of the one I am observing, that I can change an action. This however, could be, only a flight of fancy from one that controls nothing but sees all. Perhaps, I am the river that the philosophers are forever speaking of, the one that you can never put your foot in at the same place. The ever moving coursing reality. I seem to be everywhere. No one touches me and I touch no one, yet in all places at all times I can be.


There is only one friend of mine, if you can call him that. His name is Jason, or that is what I call him, we have never formally met. He seems to be like me in some ways but he can influence things in a direct way that I cannot. I follow him, like a teenage girl follows an idol. He does not know that I exist, yet he is the most fascinating thing to me. Everywhere and when I look things can always be done again, I can watch the landing on the moon a million times in a row, if I choose, I can see the first colony on Mars, or watch the first tomato form, this is just how things are for me, except for the places that Jason has been. When he walks into a room all bets are off, the course that things were to take are altered, once and for good. The extraordinary happens, things that have not been seen before even by the likes of me and for no reason that I can comprehend. Not to toot my own horn, but things that I cannot foresee let alone understand are rare to say the least. He is rare, one might even say unique in the true sense of the word. He is the only one that can do the things he does. For that matter so am I. For I am and that is all I know about me. There are no others like me, that I am aware of at least. Jason may know others, for all I know, but as he seems not to notice that I am here, who can say. Jason has not always been here either, of this much I am certain. Though I am equally certain he would think otherwise. Don’t ask me where this certainty comes from on my part. He has never shown me anything except his ability to change what should follow. He has not always been here though, and I should know, because I have. I am not sure he even knows what he is doing or why. It does not stop him from doing it though. I really wish I could get inside his head. Please allow me try to explain why he is so fascinating to me.


Jason walked through room 431 only a little while ago. I was waiting for him in the chair reserved for overnight visitors in the hospital. I knew he was coming because what was supposed to happen didn’t. The flow of the entirety of every connection, that this man struggling to survive his battle with cancer touched, has changed. His son, Rob, not having lost his dad at a young age, never developed his intense drive to succeed so that first tomato on Mars was never grown. Jason did that. He just walked into the room, ran his hand through the man, then walked right out the window. I tried to follow him but as always he just slipped away.


Then there is this moment where a very interesting guy I was observing from the inside of his thoughts was about to have a very profound moment of clarity that didn’t happen. He was calmly talking to himself. “Have you ever had those moments that you know are real but maybe they just happened in your mind? Like that dream where you need to pee? What about when you thought a situation would go a certain way and then when the reality came it was nothing like you had thought it would be. Then years later you find that your thought of what should have happened is more vivid than the actuality? I wondered what it would be like at the end of a life when it flashes by you. Some people say that you live your whole life again. I wonder if you live your whole life over the way you want it to be and that is what they call heaven. Crazy thing is if you ever find out you never get the chance to tell anyone. If I ever get the courage to pull the trigger to this gun that I put to my head every evening before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up what I find out when the bullet goes in, goes out the other side with it”. What I knew was supposed to happen was that he was going to accidentally find out all those things that he would never be able to tell anyone. I had seen him have this type of conversation with himself for years. Not because I went to him that one time he went through with it, but because I found him to be interesting on other matters and visited him many times.


Jason walks into the room and moves the gun so that he misses and keeps walking.


The bullet intended for his head goes into the wall at the angle of the ceiling. The noise attracts a neighbor, that this guy has never met. He cries into her arms as he explains the noise. They form a bond and soon after a family. It just so happens that she is the daughter of the man that had cancer. Her listless brother and her new husband became friends and eventual business partners creating “manna” the food source of the world! Jason, fascinates me.


I can remember clearly those events in time that I followed, yet they did not occur. All the events that I follow after Jason has been involved become fixed to the course he sets. I can see I need set a few things straight, for those of you that live inside of time.


This is the way it works, for one such as I. Every possible scenario is available for me to view, I can follow the chain of events forward and backwards. I am fixed only by the person I am using to observe. Think of a concave lens touching a convex lens each at the center. )( The point at which they touch is the part of time I am currently observing. If I were to move backwards or forwards along any different vector the possibilities change as I move. You can think of this like a line that extends forever in either direction from the point at which the two lenses meet. That then, is the present moment of time I am currently viewing. When Jason has made no changes or movements, then I am free to explore whenever, wherever, with whomever I wish! If Jason has been involved, then many, many, many, possibilities are cut off. I can no longer view a past that would not lead up to the moment that he got involved! There are no more futures that do not represent the one that he set in motion!


I can see that did not clear things up for everyone. Perhaps, I should just continue to tell you the story of this family that now has a more direct path, a sort of straight line through time, thanks to Jason.


...


CHAPTER I | PART I


Finding the beginning is a strange concept for one that moves outside of what you call time.


I have been sidetracked by so many interesting things!


You won’t believe where Jason seems to have started his, “stroll of destiny”, as I have come to think of it. It was such a minor thing that I almost missed it. Jason’s first foray into the lives of this very strange family seems to have occurred in what you might think of as Pakistan just after Alexander and his Macedonian army conquered it defeating King Porus. Having watched many possibilities from this turning point in the time of Alexander, I know the city Jason choose and its people well, even if not his exact reason for choosing it. Knowing this point in time so well is how, in fact, I was able to find this change. It is now stuck in history that Alexander won the battle, spared the kingdom, and even allowed Porus to continue to rule as well as helping him conquer and rule the next kingdom over! Quite remarkable in and of itself. It is also well known that Alexander loved beautiful things and Porus was generous with his gifts. It was through one of these gifts that I was able to find the little thing that Jason changed.


Arsam, the old majordomo had been gone for days leaving Sura and her maid as the only inhabitants of the house aside form the kitchen of course, but Sura never considered them part of the house if she considered them at all. She had heard the news of the loss by King Porus to these, if the rumors were to be believed, pink men. She had wept and prayed for her father and brothers, it was during the mourning time that Arsam left. Sura had been sending out the maid alone to get news of the city since that time. So, again, if the rumors are to be believed, the king of the pink men allowed Porus to remain on his throne and they are now allies! There is to be a feast in the city to honor the occasion and the two armies are even now making camps on the plains. Sura had been bathing in the garden pool daydreaming about the coming feast and praying that with the return of the army it would mean the return of her father and brothers as well.


Stepping out of the pool naked and clean shining with the water on her body in the sun she looked to the dressing table for her robe. The silly maid had forgotten to put it in reach, silently cursing Sura, walked around the garden looking for her robe and not finding it or anything at all to cover herself with in the garden!


“Dasi!” Sura screamed as she got back in the water, “Dasi!”


“Swamini?” The maid asked as politely as she could.


Sura, once again got out of the pool and walked naked and dripping to where the robe should be and gave the maid a look without saying a word. The maid registered the problem but was very confused as she had placed the robe on the divan before she went to prepare the dressing room. Knowing better than to question her mistress she apologized. Running back to the house and quickly returning with a robe.


“It seems with all of the excitement we are all prone to loosing our heads.” Sura said to her maid as she wrapped herself in the fresh garment. “I wish to be properly dressed for the feast, with Arsam gone we can not be certain when I will be called to attend my father at the Palace.”


“Yes, Swamini. You will be the most beautiful jewel in the crown. I have everything you asked for ready for you.” The servant told her as she moved out of her mistresses way.


Just after Sura had placed her final jewel in her hair a man arrived at the front gate announcing that Sura should come with him to the palace and prepare for the feast of King Porus in honor of Alexander King of Kings. The man was dressed as a royal herald and had two guards with him as well as a litter. Sura went out and got in the litter knowing better than to lower herself by speaking with the herald. The way to the palace was short yet the time it took to arrive seemed to stretch forever. Sura, could not imagine why her father would not come to her himself or at least send someone she would know or her brothers. The fear that they had died in battle or were gravely injured gripped her as she was lead from the litter to the palace garden of the women. She was too afraid to speak out, to ask any of the other women there what was happening. Thankfully, they were not left alone for long. The Majordomo soon arrived and explained the situation.


“I would like to welcome you all. As some of you may know but others may not, you have been brought here at the request of King Porus, now Satrap of Alexander. Your fathers died in glorious battle defending the King. You are to be presented to Alexander in honor of your father’s bravery. The great king shall decide your future at that time.” That was all he said before turning and leaving them in their fear and grief.


It has been three days since the feast where Sura was given to Alexander, who subsequently gave her to Seleucus. Sura had only seen her new master on that one occasion having since been in his harem tent. She had learned that he was a distinguished warrior that was instrumental in defeating the elephants of king Porus. Now, having been informed that she would be expected to attend the dinner that evening she hoped to learn more about him.


Sura waited patiently behind Seleucus as he and his friends ate and drank wine. She did not understand what they were saying but had been able to find out that this would be the last chance to make an impression as they would soon be on the move. There was an announcement that a countryman of Sura wished to make a present to Seleucus as well as a request.


A well dressed young man with the markings of a jeweler walked into the tent and presented Seleucus with a beautifully crafted ruby ring. Seleucus was well pleased with the gift and asked the young man why it was being given.


“Honored Sir, I give this gift in order to gain your favor in a proposal.” Said the young man, presenting a jeweled box finely carved from ivory. “I hope that you will look with favor upon a trade of my most precious possession in exchange for a young woman that has recently come to you. She was a gift to Alexander from Porus and from Alexander to you, my greatest wish is that you will accept this and allow her to become my wife.”

Seleucus, looking over the beautiful box smiles as he responds, “A box no matter how beautiful is little compensation for a gift directly from the hand of the King. I can see a way that I may be persuaded however, I will take this box to Alexander as a gift. If he finds it pleasing, then you and your new wife will follow along with the army and you will become my personal jeweler in the court of Alexander. Is this acceptable?”


“I had hoped for a simple exchange, but will be grateful for the chance of having my hearts greatest desire fulfilled.” Said the young man.


Sura, being able to follow this exchange through the interpreter was in shock and horror! How could this lowly jeweler presume to know her at all! She had certainly never seen him before, but he could only be speaking about her.


A very short time later she and her husband were on their way to wherever this army might go.


Did you catch what he did? Poor Sura! The young woman was just bathing in her pool preparing for the festivities that would soon take place to honor Alexander. That crazy Jason moved through the garden and removed her robe that had been set out by her maid. Not only that, he took everything that she could cover herself with and disappeared. That was it! That’s all he did, yet it changed the course of two lives irrevocably. I’ll keep looking out for all the possible changes that this might have altered, but so far it seems to have only really changed these two.


As you know, I was only able to find Sura because when Jason changes something it closes off billions of other possibilities from that point leaving a sort of hole for me to find. Full disclosure though, the further away from the event we go the more tangled things become again.


If you find yourself wondering who the other person is whose life was irrevocably altered, it was of course the jeweler. A very curious thing happened when I tried to go and see through this young mans eyes. I wanted as I am sure you want, and as Sura certainly wants, to find out what brought this young man to act as he did in order to have Sura become his wife. I found that before Jason made his change this particular possibility was extremely unlikely to occur. When I attempted to go inside his head in order to observe this bit of curiosity and find some more clues connecting what Jason might be doing, an even more curious thing happened. I was not able to enter his mind! This has never happened! Being everywhere and when at the same time, I only have to focus to see things from a specific point of view, yet it seems I was not there. Remarkable twist, I wonder if it is also connected to Jason? I would love to know if this is only a one off type of thing but sadly I have no way to know where I am not, as I have never not been there. Have you ever tried to prove a negative? It is a daunting task to be sure.


So if this search does not lead to any answers I will move us along to the next moment my friend Jason gets involved. He, after all, is the one that makes this all so fascinating!



CHAPTER I PART II



Looking for evidence of one altering time irrevocably, when that one operates outside of time is both annoying and thrilling!


I have occupied myself with following the time lines of the newlyweds and their progeny. Finding that soon after they were married, as they were traipsing through the Gedrosian desert on their way back to Babylon before the thirsting and starvation started, I was back inside of the husband and able to see through his eyes and know all his thoughts.


Remarkable!


You would not believe it, but, he had no idea where he was or how he got there! The time that I was not in him it seems that he wasn’t either. I know it was not Jason that took over this poor souls body and mind, Jason was busy moving the clothes of Sura at the time. So what did happen? I don’t know! Isn’t it wonderful! This means that not only is Jason out there doing whatever Jason’s do when not altering the universal paradigm, but there is also some other force or being that is also able to effect me directly.


You cannot imagine how much this discovery means to me. Since before time all the way until after time, there has only been Jason that I was not able to access. Only Jason, that came into being in the middle and started meddling. Now, to find that there might be more that I don’t know is just, well, fascinating.


After Sura was able to explain all that had happened to him during the time he was blank, the two started to have a much more harmonious union. They laughed about all of the ridiculous things he had said and done, and did not remember. I believe it was the strength of this new found love for one another that helped them to survive that desert crossing that took the lives of so many before the ordeal was at an end. It should have been able to go many different ways but the effects of Jason’s meddling, (and whatever this other force is that can lock me out as well, for all I know), they continued on the only path that existed for them. They finally settled in Babylon and witnessed the death of Alexander. They became upstanding members of the merchant class after putting the final touches on Alexander the greats, great funeral transport that was meant to take him all the way back to Greece in a long procession through lands he conqured. They were respected and gained more respect with the birth of each son. Sura was the proud mother of five strapping young men at the time of her death. Four of these son’s stayed in Babylon and had rather dull lives. None of those four had a lineage that spanned more than a few generations. The middle son, however, ventured off to Alexandria the place where Alexander's body eventually came to rest. He started off as an artist but ended up as a grain merchant. He married but had no children with his wife, but he had five sons with his slaves. The middle son became a soldier after being recognized as his father’s legitimate heir. He too had five sons again only the middle son’s children continued to have a longer legacy no matter which path I followed.


There seems to be a pattern that emerged after Jason altered that very first course. There are many different possibilities available, as I explained before, the further we move from a Jason event, the more tangled things become. I have decided that the course to follow is the one that endures. This pattern of five sons and only the middle son leaving a lasting legacy is the only one that holds. It is the only thread that seems worth following as we wait for the next Jason event. So far there have been no other black out events as occurred with Sura’s husband or any other Jason events. Only this pattern. Since only this pattern makes the original Jason event seem relevant we will continue to follow it.


The middle of the soldiers five sons taking over the grain enterprise with his oldest brother after the other three died, was again the adventurous one. He moved to Rome, the capitol of a growing empire and the largest market for the grain. He had his five sons the middle one becoming a Roman citizen. He used the family wealth and his citizenship to full advantage positioning his only surviving son, the middle of five boys, to become a senator! The senators father retiring on the island of Sardinia where the bulk of his shipping empire was stationed. The senator had many children, eighteen in all, five of which were boys, two of which were legitimate and both of those were girls. The mother of the middle son moved with the blessing of the Senator to Sardinia where the boy became the heir to the grandfathers shipping empire.


I thought for sure Jason would show up and change everything after there was a Roman senator in the line, but he is a curious one indeed! Here they stayed for some time. The linage carrying on in the same pattern on this island in the Mediterranean sea. They had their ups and downs for the next 1000 or so years. Then it happened. Jason stepped in just as the pattern of five sons was broken.


This was a bit of a down time in the long history of this family that traced back to Sura. They were now sheep and goat herders on ancient family land in the hills that boasted a modest vineyard and olive grove as well. This family had five children, a girl of fourteen followed by three boys and another girl. The oldest girl was to be married and the man taking her to her soon to be husband was sitting in the shade of an ancient olive tree eating breakfast when it happened. Jason moved a butterfly onto the table just as the youngest boy David was coming back from the night shift of goat watching. David walked up to the table to greet the men and take some food. It was just as he reached for the bread that the butterfly, fluttered up and landed on top of his perfect nose drawing the attention of the guest.


I looked into the the thoughts of this man as he watched the smiling boy with the butterfly on his head. He got the idea that this beautiful boy could be profitable if he could talk his father into "selling" him. Technically the young boy would have a paid apprenticeship, but the father would get the money.


Trust me when I tell you that this idea was not in the mans head before Jason moved that butterfly! So it was that the line of five was broken by a butterfly and I still don’t know why. It also seems as if I must untangle the mess and try to find the thread I should follow now that will lead me to next time I can catch a glimpse of my Jason.




CHAPTER II | PART I


I know I have said that we would just be following Jason. We are, from a certain point of view, but I cannot tell you only about those things and have this make any sense for those of you that are challenged by time. I will have to go back and explain a few things for your benefit.


The movement of that butterfly closed a billion doors!


It also opened just as many!


Before, when Jason has intervened to alter things, I observed that there were in fact fewer possible outcomes to follow. The butterfly was always a possibility but the likelihood of it taking place was so small, the act so insignificant that I never bothered to follow it before. Once it happened the world you, dear reader, take for granted came into being.


David is the key it turns out.


Oh, what a life this man led! I won’t go through it all in detail but some of the highlights are inadvertently modeling for Michaelangelo, which in turn saved him from being killed in the quarry accident. That meant that Leonardo di Vinci stayed in the North when he otherwise would have died in Rome! David then went on to become a traveling merchant visiting all the courts of many lands. He also became quite the cade, fathering children with married ladies of courts throughout Europe and the near East. You, as you read this, will have no knowledge of David. He was not deemed important by those that wrote the history you know. Yet, without David and his many offspring filling the halls of power throughout much of Western Europe and the change of the Ottoman Empire that they brought at just the right time, well, the diversity of the world as you know it would not exist!


When the butterfly first moved and the idea sprang into the head of the that merchant messenger, all of those possibilities suddenly slamming shut and so many more suddenly springing into very clear focus was astounding! Perhaps I will tell you in detail all that occurred with David when Jason’s destination has been reached. It is amazing to think that those two artist remaining alive, somehow, gave the right impetus, to the right people, at just the right moment, in order to hold off the Ottoman conquest. That allowed these children of David scattered throughout the world to grow up and make the Western world as you know it today.


Now, back to Jason.


He did not make another move until one of the distant offspring of Sura, by way of David, had blundered his way to Australia curtesy of the English crown that saw fit to have him removed from sight this way, instead of his head removed in a different way. As the lineage tends to do, he survived, married, and started a family. He had acquired a small sheep farm two years before his son was born. He was over joyed at becoming a father, setting about industriously to prepare a prosperous future for him. It was in the middle of the boy’s 16th year in 1840, (for those of you interested in timelines and dates), that the father lost his joy with his son, his wife and his life, all thanks to Jason stepping in and pulling the ear of a dog!


I was simultaneously keeping track of all of the possibilities of all of the descendants of David in order to watch for the next appearance of my only friend, as illusive as he may be. When the possibilities for this one, in far off Australia went to zero, I knew it was him. Tracing it to the exact moment was stranger than you might think. Jason did not even have anything to do with the father. He just pulled on the ear of the son’s dog and ran toward the small lake with the dog chasing him. The son called for his arrant dog to return but the normally obedient creature would not refused. Coming within view of the small lake he stopped as what was also in view was a perfectly formed young woman that had been bathing and washing her clothes. She had come out of the water to chase away the dog that was in the process of soiling her freshly washed garments that were laying in the sun. Jason of course was already long gone at this point, apparently satisfied in his handiwork. The young woman upon seeing the young man retreated back into the water much to the young mans delight. He whistled and his once again loyal obedient companion returned to his side. The young man then proceeded directly toward the young woman stranded naked in the water.


I found this behavior suspect so attempted to see what it was the young man was thinking, and it happened again! I was not in the mind of this young man behaving in such a peculiar manner.


It so odd this feeling, this not knowing. I really do admire all of you, all the more, for continuing on in your lives this way. I have discovered a little not knowing is all I can take. How you all do it every moment of your awareness is impressive, or sad, or both, but not something I would wish for myself.


Sorry, back to the story, yes? I had to just accept this not knowing in any case.


The young man walked to the shoreline where the now dirty clothes lay trodden in the mud, then stopped. There, in the water, was the naked young lady. They each were staring at the other waiting for the other to speak. The mind of the young lady, (that thankfully I was still inside), was racing. Part of her wanted to scream, another part of her wanted to boldly walk back out of the water and kiss this handsome young man.


She knew him as the son of the owner of the farm next to the farm she and her family worked. She had no standing in the world being a half-caste. She was acutely aware of that fact as well when she dropped her hazel eyes from the young man to her soiled clothes on the ground. Still in what seemed like shock, (I have no way of knowing exactly), the young man reached down and picked up her things.


“Looks like you will need to get this stuff clean again. I don’t know what made him do that.” He said gesturing to the dog now perfectly still at his heel. He then handed her the garments and sat down on a nearby stump.


“What’s your name if I may ask?” He asked.


Not really knowing what to do in her state. The lovely young lady had taken her clothes and gone a little deeper into the water for some degree of modesty before replying, “Lily” she said shyly.


“Lily, you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” He blurted out with an earnestness that was endearing and absurd in equal measure.


Lily, giggled in the most charming way one can imagine. It is a sound only a young lady falling in love can make. She then turned and slipped on undergarments and proceeded to wash the newly soiled dress.


This started the secret love affair that lasted until it was no longer a secret. Lily was discovered first, by her mother. Her mother warned her of the consequences of such an affair and pleaded with her to “walk off”, or she would surly be killed. This is what Lily did though not as far as her mother would have wished. After hiding for a few days, surviving on love and fresh water, she and her lover had all the plans in place. They were to escape on a boat bound for America and the Gold that the young man was sure would be there. A place where she could pass with her hazel eyes and light skin. A place where they could love and be free.


I could see that this was not a likely plan, possible of course, but not likely. The young man's mother was gravely ill, his father highly suspicious of his son's activities. Enter Jason yet again to steer the course on the line only he seemed to understand.


I caught Jason digging a hole on the morning the young mans mother passed, setting the course about to transpire.


The moment his mother passed, the young lover stormed out of the house, ran into the barn and got onto his horse with a pack already prepared for a journey. His father yelled at him but got no response. The father, at first, dismissed the behavior thinking that it was on account of the passing of the boy's mother. All too soon the suspicion rose up in the father along with his anger. He proceeded to leave his newly departed wife, mother of his only child, lying upon the bed. Rushing to the barn he readied his horse, and at a run, went after his son.


What do you think the chances are that the fathers horse found the hole in the ground Jason had dug?


That’s right the poor animal, as soon as Jason began digging, had no other course available to him. He made a straight line directly to that hole breaking a leg and launching the poor man to his death, his part to play now concluded.


I know what you may be thinking, “Jason, how could you!” Please don’t think too poorly of my friend.


You see before he started digging that hole and creating this one straight line, another possibility was that he found his son with the half caste girl and in a fit of rage mixed with his grief, killed them both. Another, possibility was that the boy was quicker to his rifle and killed his father in self defense never to recover. So, from a different perspective, perhaps, Jason did them all a kindness, and that does not include the horrors that were instore for Lily had Jason not pulled the ear of the dog!


The young couples plan was now perfectly set in place. The young man sold all he could, took all the money he had and his beloved Lily off to Sydney and onto a boat bound for San Francisco. It was five days into this journey that I was once again inside the young man. He lay sleeping at that moment, but, abruptly sat up in a start, this shocked the naked beauty Lily who lay beside him. He was at once confused and mesmerized. They found their way in the end, after Lily slowly explained all that had happened. The voyage became once again like a honeymoon.


Patterns, seem to emerge if you look hard enough, for my part, I am enjoying trying to discern what they might mean!



CHAPTER II | PART II



When our young couple had arrived and settled into rooms the young man went to the claims office to see how he should proceed with his goal of gold.


Jason once again appeared, pulling a paper from the stack of papers and waiting until it was our young mans turn to speak with the clerk.


“I’d like to purchase a claim!” said our adventurous newlywed Australian lad.


“Don’t work like that.” said the clerk looking him up and down


“I read I could stake a claim for a dollar, so long as I worked it?” ventured the young man


“Depends on the camp.” said the clerk saying no more.


“I am newly arrived, you see..” he started


“I do.” interrupted the clerk “Look here young man, almost everyone is as you say 'newly arrived', so here is how it works. You head off with your tools and a mule if you can afford one. Get out in the wild country, see if you can find a dig that seems to be paying for the camp that is sure to be around it and stake your claim according to the rules they have and get to work. The only hard rule is one claim per person and you have to keep it active with the sweat of your labors. Best of luck to you.” Said the clerk before looking past him and yelling “Next!”


A bit distraught, head hanging down staring at his boots, the young man turned to go. As he opened the door a breeze seemed to blow a piece of paper directly under his right foot as it crossed the threshold.


We, of course, know it was no breeze but our good Jason that had placed the paper there. Just exactly where the downward gaze of the young man could not help but light upon it.


He reached down and picked it up and shoved it in the pocket of his coat. The young man then proceeded to find a reasonably busy establishment to purchase a drink before returning to his rooms.


There were a few people gathered around a table as one man was extolling the virtues of being rich and the fortune he had found just laying in the ground! Speaking with the barkeeper and a few of the other patrons that did not seem so interested in the tales emanating from the table with its crowd of eager listeners, our young man duly learned that this was the same spiel that was recited every day and he always had a few fools that would pay him for the location. “He found the real gold rush, selling hot air.” said the barkeeper.


The young man, through the overhearing of tales, and through speaking with other patrons, nevertheless, returned to Lily with all the information one could need to start out on life as a prospector.


It would not take much money for him to be able to gather the necessary things for his new profession and upon learning that women in the camps could cause a great deal of consternation they decided to set about finding a suitable home for her to make while he went off in search of fortune.


They settled on a small house with just enough room to rent out space to boarders and acquired it using almost all of the funds they had been able to raise before their quick departure from Australia.


It was now late Autumn in the year of 1850, though not relishing the thought of setting out in the winter the news that he should hurry back with their fortune inside of seven months if he wanted to be there to greet his first child, spurred him on to the goal.


The goal he had decided was the area of map that had been on the paper he had stumbled upon when leaving the clerks office. It was some 300 miles to the North through wilderness in winter but he would not be deterred.


Two mules and a horse, with the young man upon it, set out and eventually discovered the Yreka canyon. It was a hard few months of winter but as things began to thaw the amount of gold he was finding was beyond any dream.He cursed himself for eating the second mule instead of his horse as there was no way his horse could carry it all.Fashioning two sleds he loaded up all he could and made his way back to Lily, marking on the map the places he had hidden parts of the treasure but managing to keep most of the hoard all the way into San Fransisco.


His daughter was born in the little house where Lily had spent her first winter. Soon after they moved into a rather impressive estate, setting about making enough children to fill the mansion to capacity.


Two generations later and they had spread all over the United States of America.


The third generation out from the arrival of these descendants of Sura and David saw the influence of Jason coming so fast and furious that even I had difficulty in keeping up!


We may have to come back to that place where we seem to have started in this telling, the man that didn’t have cancer, the movement of the gun. The lack of tomatoes on Mars, but the abundance of food on Earth making escape to the stars unnecessary.


I was not inside the son of the man that missed when Jason moved the gun, not ever it turns out. This was, yet again, a new sensation for me, brought upon me by my dear Jason.


I have, however, found his journal. I think, at this point, it is time he told you things from his point of view. It may just clear up a few things for you as it did for me.



CHAPTER III


To whom it may concern,


You can call me Adam. No, Adam is not my real name. Why should you call me that? Because just like that other famous guy named Adam, the one tempted by Eve in that far away place. I can fuck up paradise. Not only that, I can fuck it up for everyone. This is not a sad sack that is wallowing in self loathing. That is not me. It is just that I have found that through this new spiritual world we are all awakened to that my every move effects everyone else.We are all interconnected! Turns out though that I may not be ready for such responsibility. Sorry. Adam it is, ok?


So now I guess that you want me to tell you why or how I am fucking with all of you. As I suppose that is the purpose of this, hopefully, cathartic diatribe, here goes. Pretty sure that by the end you will probably call me another name that starts with an "A" and is not Adam. What do I care though, you don't even know my name. I should begin at the beginning, but as you are sure to discover, I really don’t know when to say that is. So, I just jump in where the words start flowing, letting them flow out in whatever fashion they choose. Let's see where it takes us, whoever you are.


A musty yellow light came into my eyes as I opened them to a room that I did not recognize. There was no panic, of the kind you get when you wake up in a hotel room on vacation and cannot figure out where you are or why you are there until you are able to come out of that last lingering dream into a state of complete wakefulness. This seemed normal. I did not know where I was but at the same time it was all familiar. More like spending a night in your parents house, in your childhood bed, one that you have not slept in for years but you are perfectly comfortable with it and all that surrounds you.


I however, was not in my childhood bed. I had no idea where I was, just that feeling that all was well. This was the start of another day in life. It is a bizarre feeling to be so lost and still feel so comfortable.


The yellow light was of course the sun coming in from the half open window that had an old plastic shade giving some protection from the bright light it would have been had there been nothing over the window. The lamp was still giving off its small light sitting on the desk across the room from me. I must have fallen asleep with it on. I look to my left and there is a novel on the night stand. I pick it up to see what it was that I had been reading. It is a Conrad novel “In the heart of darkness”. Searching my mind for the plot I cannot seem to come up with anything. As far as I can recall I have never read this book. Maybe, I was going to start it but decided I was too tired? Who knows, certainly not I.


The universal need to pee upon waking comes over me and the mystery of the novel becomes secondary. Slipping out of bed naked I walked over to the chair and grabbed my jeans pulled them on, opened the door to my room and walked down the hall to the toilet. After the necessary was done I once again wondered where I was.


How was it that I knew where everything was without thinking about it? How could I grab my jeans and know which door was the one for the toilet? Walking back down the hall to my room I look up at the other doors and realize that there are numbers on the doors. I must be in a hotel or a hostel with a communal toilet, but I don’t really question anything. I just sort of know it.


Now back in my room I finish getting dressed so I can go out and grab a cup of coffee. I very much want a cup of coffee. Who knows, I might even need one. Maybe a good jolt of caffeine will get the juices to flow and I will understand what is going on. Yet, there is still that feeling that I have done this a thousand times before. The feeling that just says, “All is well, and right in the world.”


A shirt now on my back and shoes on my feet, I again, go out of my door and follow the hallway this time to the exit sign. Down the stairs and then through what passes for a lobby in this dump. Bars like a jail cell between you and the front desk. There were two chairs backed up against the opposite wall from the desk with the bars on it and a dirty carpet underneath it all. Yet, I do not pause as I head for the dirty glass door with the sign reading closed facing me. My feet are just taking me. I am thinking that I want coffee and my body goes. I am on autopilot now. I take a right turn out the door looking down at my feet. As I look up trying to find out where my feet might be taking me I notice the architecture. Grey tops to all the buildings. All of the buildings made of stone. All the windows are large and most have some sort of ornamental bars with enough room to have some flowers on the ledge. Only a few of the ones in my view have such adornments on them. I am the only person out it seems. There is not another soul in sight. I am alone on the street. Even as alone as I am on a street in what must be a city of some sort it does not seem to bother me. I still have that feeling that all is well. I continue on my path. I cross a street and make another right turn.


Halfway down this new street is a little green awning and one table with one chair sitting outside. I walk up to the door without hesitation and grab the golden handle and pull. When I step through the door the first thing that I notice is the smell of cigarettes, which makes me realize that I want one. Reaching into my left front pocket my hand produces a pack with the lighter tucked right inside. The next thing I notice as I put the butt in my mouth is the smell of coffee. Walking toward the little bar I see that just in front of me there is a steaming little cup of espresso. Well, that is why I am here.


I light my butt while taking the next few steps to the bar. The sugar is in little packages in a bowl to my right next to a little pot of cold milk. All is right in the world.


I take a sip of the coffee after I put the right amount of sugar and milk in my cup.


I take another sip.


I take a third sip and it is gone.


Turning from the counter, after this little jolt of caffeine, I have the feeling that something is wrong.


The best thing I can think of is that I need to have another coffee, so I turn back to the bar only to find that the cup I had just finished, is once again full of the black liquid of which I was thinking. It was just there, same as it was before.


The cup was clean. As if it had never been used. Perfect.


I try not to think. I try, only, to enjoy the perfect cup of my desire sitting just in front of me. I take a sip hoping that the feeling that all is right in the world will continue.


After the second cup of perfect coffee, I turn away from the bar to face the world. Nothing faces me back. There is nothing there. The coffee in me I now realize that this is not right. I can smell the perfume of women when I try, even over the smell of the cigarettes. Looking around the bar I find that I am still the only person present.


While I am looking around the place I notice a book on a table. I walk towards the table tossing my smoke to the ground. Just before I pick up the book there is a motion outside the window. I look up and see the most beautiful woman I have ever seen walking on the opposite side of the street naked as the day she was born.


Why is she naked? Why is she the only person in the world that I have seen?


I look again at the book on the table that I had just approached and there she is on the cover. It is a romance novel. The kind of book we all see every day. The kind of thing that lets you know when you are in the supermarket that everything is okay and there she is on the cover. She has on a red dress in the picture I am looking at and in the view from the window she is naked but from the look on her face as she stares at me from both vantage points, it is clearly the same woman.


I run after what, I think, is real.


As I step through the door she is gone. The lovely woman I have just seen on the cover of a book and walking naked down the street is just gone. I want to go back to my hotel. I want to leave wherever it is that I am and go back to wherever it is that life makes sense.


The problem is that after I walked out the door of the empty café everything changed. The surety that all is right with the world is well and good gone. The feeling that I need to find the woman, however, is almost a panic in its strength. As I turn to walk back into the bar I see that it is now full, just as it should be on a sunny mid morning in Paris.


Walking back up to the bar to order another coffee fishing another smoke out of my pocket. The man to my right offers a light. Accepting the light, then turning my head to the left, to blow the smoke politely away, I see an older woman reading a book. The picture on the cover is of the woman I have just seen walking naked down the street. Only in the picture, she is wearing a red dress looking over her shoulder, it is her though, no mistake. I cannot help myself I have to speak to the woman reading this book. As I approach the woman with the book I have just seen on the table, with the picture of the woman I have just seen walking naked on the other side of the street, I break out into a sweat all over my body. The kind of sweat you get when you have a one-hundred-fifteen-degree fever. My feet were wet. I am standing in front of this woman reading some cheap romance novel and yet I cannot help myself. I manage to squawk, “Who is that?” The woman who is “French-ly” perturbed by this interruption in her reading on this fine morning promptly replies with the name of the author. Information that I do not care about and the only information that I can plainly see for myself. For my part I am now annoyed.


I have just come to realize that I am in a bar in Paris. I have just found a room full of people in place of a naked woman across the street. So, at this point I let her know what perturbed actually is. This woman thinking that she had dealt with me tried to return to her reading just as I placed my hand in the middle of her page and asked, as politely as I could with my painted on smile, if I might see the book for a moment. Without waiting for a response I took the book from her hand and tried to find out if I could discover anything about the woman on the cover. As I expected, she was shocked by my action and I had a moment to look before she could react. All I discovered was that this was as cheap a romance novel as a romance novel can come. This was probably the same picture on a thousand covers and no one cared. No one, that is, except me.


Before she could muster a complaint that would draw any attention I had already taken all the information I could and gave her back the book, with the same smile, thanking her. This was just as surprising to her as the fact that I had taken the book from her in the first place. She just sat there as I walked away. I went back to the bar and found another coffee waiting for me. It sat in the exact same spot as the one before. This one I drank slower.


So as we are all connected this must mean that we are all crazy. That is the best thing that I can figure. Now on top of that I find that I am obsessed with this girl.


How do I find her? I suppose the same way I do everything. Money. (I did get one thing right once. I’ll tell you about that later but you’re really going to hate me when I do. For now we go back to the premiss that we are all crazy and connected leaving it at that). When I get back to my room at the Plaza and look out over this beautiful city through the big open windows covered in silky gauze, I call my attorney. What the fuck do I care what time it is in NY. Hell I don’t even know what time it is here. That done, there is really nothing left for me to do on this fine day except wait for him to call back with all the information that I asked him to get for me. Let him deal with finding her. I just want to see her again.


I turn around when I hear the bathroom door open.


Forgot about her completely. No idea who she is anyway. All I know now is that I am as horny as I have ever been.It is only a quick call down to get them to bring up some food. Poor girl must be starving, standing there naked you can see how skinny she is, not that it is a problem but, she should eat. As for me I just need a drink and a fuck.


Needs fully met and whoever that was now out of my way, I found I was depressed. It always happens this way. It’s the ones that have it all that feel the worst. Those that to have to struggle for things don't have time for this sort of depressive shit. Now, I wait for a guy on retainer to do whatever I ask to get back to me. Was any of that actually real? Is any of this? How are we supposed to be able to tell the difference? Have you had those dreams that make you feel a certain way even after you wake up? You feel so bad about the dream, it effects everything you do that day. So which one is the place where you actually exist? Maybe I live in an empty world with a ghostly figure of a naked woman walking around. Maybe the Plaza is a dirty little place with half broken yellowed shades covering the window. Both seem likely to me. Thus the depression, the confusion, the heartbreaking longing to have some idea what I should do.


There are three moments that I am sure are real in every reality inside my mind, or out. Those are as follows; The moment of climax. It feels the same in every dream even the ones that I think I am living. The second, flying. The third, and this one happens a lot, death. My memories do not follow a linear path. Everything is mixed up. I have felt my death a thousand times yet here I still sit with my wilted cock waiting for a phone call. Go figure.


So the first and third both leave you with that same sense of loss. The impending doom of all things. The second one is just freedom. Freedom smashed up in a sandwich of dread.


Now since I have been here many times before, I get my shit together and go out for a walk.


Out on the street I hail a handsome and have him take me to the boise de Bolonge. My cell is still in my pocket but the streets are all cobbles. There is no doubt in my mind that one of those aforementioned things is about to happen. The street lights were being lit, it is the city of lights after all.


Now you’re thinking this is very strange. I am thinking, it’s probably Tuesday. This sort of thing almost never happens on a Monday.


What is happening? Well, that I am never quite sure of, to be honest, it might be some sort of really vivid hallucination brought upon me by some sort of crazy new drug that someone discovered. All I know for sure is that it happens. It is as real as anything else I go through in this life, as real as that guy in New York I called earlier.Don’t get me wrong when I was a kid it used to really freak me out, but now, it just feels like life. It has always been hard to explain so I just stopped trying. It’s better to just go with it, wherever you are, and see where it takes you. I have found some really interesting stuff this way. Had or didn’t have my first orgy this way, sort of depends on how you want to look at it. Either it was real or all in my head but as far as I can tell it happened. That is what counts right?


I often wonder about the connectedness of us all. You know if this stuff happens to me does that mean it happens to lots of people? Do you have to be really in tune with the world to notice it? Or does it make you an insane person.


After I got the call from the attorney’s assistant in NY, I stepped out of the car. This is such a pretty place to have a glass of wine and watch people ride their horses. Turns out that the girl on the cover lives in L.A., that naked streetwalker of this morning. So I had them get the jet ready for the long slog out to the land of Angels. I told you I had the feeling that the second was about to happen.


So looking around the address in L.A. that I have for the naked wonderer, I have the distinct feeling that she does not live alone. No, she is not some old house wife now, more like she is living in a commune of some sort. Its like Melrose place but on a different street and without the money. It crosses my mind that I might just be in luck, and she is a whore. That would be easy enough. Speak to the pimp, take as much time as I need with her. You never know, perhaps, I am the person on whom that stupid pretty woman film was based. Could be. It just depends on how solid you think this life is.


Snooping around is not my thing. I just have the driver wait, unfortunately I got drunk and passed out. Shit happens.


On the second day I spotted her, was a shame she had some clothes on, but at least it was not much. It was around 9pm. She and three girl friends were about to pile into a convertible mustang. I am guessing that it is now Thursday night. What is there left for me to do but step out of the car and talk to her. Then I notice that I pissed myself when I passed out so, maybe not the best move. I just tell the driver to follow the car. I call New York. So someone will bring me a fresh pair of jeans from my house and a suit, you never can tell where scantily clad ladies in L.A. might be going.


Turns out that they were heading to Malibu. How cool is that! When they turned into the drive I noticed that it was in fact my house. So I had unknowingly just busted my house guy! Quelle chance! This should be fun.


He was blocking the drive with my car as he was supposed to be bringing me some clothes. He tells them that they are all idiots that he texted the whole group! What the fuck were they doing? I laugh, then I realize that I am out of vodka. So out the car I go, piss pants and all.


“George, ladies. Don’t you think it would be better if we all just continued this talk inside”?


Then I simply walked into my house, at least I a am pretty sure its my house. I know where the bar is. After filling my glass and dropping my pants I scamper into the outdoor shower, just getting the worst off. George and the ladies, (using that term loosely), find me bare ass naked.


"About those clothes George, just bring me some shorts and a t-shirt and let’s get the party started. I would love to see what you had planned. Helen, can you get his phone and text everyone that he disinvited and re-invite them for me?"


As you can imagine everyone is a bit confused at this point. So everyone just does what I say. It is strange how that happens. Why did she not at least stop to wonder why I knew her name? I would have had I been in her place.


Well, the universal cure for an uncomfortable situation is of course cocaine. Just so happened that I know there is a stack of the shit in the false bottom of desk drawer. As George has not returned with my clothes yet, I walk out naked and get the stuff. After a very healthy bump for me, I walk over and through it on the table. It is only the “ladies” and George’s phone. Hmmmm. Where is that George? I am still naked, swinging around with a pile of coke.


“Help yourselves please, I assume you know what you’re doing. I’ll be right back”.


What am I going to do with that George? Oh wait I know! A quick text to New York and he is fired and cannot even come within five hundred feet of the property. I love this country.


Now with a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt, and a good amount of wake up powder in the nose I am ready to meet Helen for real.


"So, Helen, who are your friends?"


Her response of course is,


"Who the hell are you?"


To which I respond, "The owner of this fine place but let’s not be rude. Once we are all acquainted we can get into the particulars."


They had quite a few lines laid out so I took the liberty of one or maybe two of them. Shook hands with her and her, then turned my attentions back to the object of my quest.


For some reason I wanted a coffee?


"So Helen, what is your story? No, I really want to know! You have no idea how long I have looked for you!"


You don’t either, whoever your are reading this, we will get to that. Don’t go getting all cocky. This is just the only way I know how to start.


“sniffffffffffff, well you want the long version or the short”?


Direct and to the point, I like that. I don’t like that she has still not realized that I have known her name all along nor do I like that she is not naked.


“As you wish, as far as I can tell I have nothing but time”.


“The short one then, as you need to tell me your story before I either O.D. or leave”.


"Fair enough I guess, but of the two of us, I think, I would hit my limit first."


You should see the rails she is running!


“I’m from the Valley. I go to USC, math major. I am a Junior. I plan on getting my doctorate in theoretical physics”.


HAHAHA!


“You just do the novel cover modeling thing for fun I guess”?


“No I do it for money. At least I am not naked for all the world to see! Fuck, that is how most my friends pay for school. Not that there is anything wrong with that”.


HMMMMMMM


“Is that what they do?


“Among other things, girls got to make her way in this world.“


They of course took a bit of offense to being called they. But as I refused to acknowledge them and they were doing piles of free coke, they let it go.


“So what else do you do? I mean aside from working on your future career as an astrophysicist or whatever”?


“Nope now its your turn. What do you do? Where did you come from?”


Well as I am not really sure how to answer that, even to myself, what the hell should I say to her?


“Helen, why do you care? What difference does it make? I’m here. This is my house. I am just a man, albeit one of infinitely good, bad intentions. Just relax have another line, I’ll make some drinks, roll a joint and you can tell me all about yourself”.


“As soon as you tell me how you knew my name”.


Yes, she did catch that, took her a while, but at least she is not a complete idiot, unlike her friends that have not been able to unlock George’s phone to get the party started, but are still all chattering about it, punching in numbers like apes with a computer, it would have been more amusing if it was not so sad.


“Well, we will get to that but I can do you one better. I can tell you about the mole on the bottom of you bottom. Or the new tattoo you seem to have gotten sometime in the last few months, the little dragon curled up in the place where your pubic hair would be if you had any. That is if you want to know about those things. And before you say it, I have not had you followed it is just that somehow you have been following me and this is the first time we have met! It is also the first time I have seen you attired. Every other time you haunt me you do so completely au natural. It’s a good look for you”.


“Lets take some of this stuff and go for a walk on the beach. I love the beach out here, we must have spent more time here than you have. There is a perfect spot for us just around these little rocks where we can watch the moon on the water. Bring the blankets and maybe we will moon bathe”.


Not what I was expecting her to say but, who am I to complain. So we left the monkeys that had finally figured out that there was still a party to be had calling and texting and whatever else-ing everyone they knew. Fine with me.So long as I actually get to figure out what in the hell this Helen has to do with me, other than inflame my mind and desire to a point of almost stupidity.


“Sounds good to me, have not had a good moon bath in ages”.


“I do it all the time”


It is interesting, that she did not even question anything. Obviously, she is not pulsed by my observations. This in an of itself is something that would cause concern in normal situations. Though who is to say what is normal? Me?I don’t think so. So out the door we go with a baggie, a bag full of towels along with all the things needed for a few joints. We opted for hash after a brief look exchange in which all was understood. (Hash goes better with blow, just like white wine with fish).


Once secluded on the spot just around the bend of an outcropping of rocks, it is a little alcove really. I think the guy that lives at the top is named Tom, but I cannot be sure. Does not matter in any case at least not right now. We lay out our blankets and she does the thing I was hoping. She removes all of the tacky clothing so she can moon bath in the buff. There is nothing else to do but go with the tenor of the moment. Quick as a flash we are buff bathing in the moonlight looking out over the great wide Pacific ocean. She soon rolls over to start the makings for a joint. I, in turn, procure the bag from the pocket of my shorts. She takes the bump I offer without looking up from her job. So intent is my little Helen. Waves are crashing but the silence is painful. Typical cocky me, I start chattering away.


The first time I saw you was in India, or present day Pakistan.


I think; it was just after Alexander came to conquer that part of the world. We were in Kind Porus’s capital. I, was some sort of advisor or apprentice to a jeweler.


The whole world was waiting on news of what was to happen now. There was such tension in the air. I was on a rooftop, looking out over the city to the camps of the armies.


Then, you where there, walking along in a garden having come out of the bath. Naked as you are now. All my thoughts of what was to come or what might be vanished. The only thing that mattered was you. It was also the most wonderful sight ever beheld by man. I wanted to call out to you from my rooftop vantage point but, I was called to from behind. I turned to answer my summoner then turned back to you, but you were gone.


That life was very interesting. From that moment on, there was the blessing of the gods upon me. Alexander, of course, had won the battle and was brought in to the city by our king. My master made the mistake of trying to cheat Hephastion. Hephastion had ordered a belt for Alexander of gold covered with big red rubies. My master thinking that these fools would not be able to tell the difference placed red firedems in place of many of the rubies.Sapphire I think is what we would call them. Hephastion, not being a fool had him executed. When I went to retrieve the head of my master, Hephastion stopped me. After a brief exchange he discovered that I could replace the gems and so my time as a royal jeweler started. I discovered that you had been given at a banquet to Seleucus, one of Alexanders officers. So I found a way to make you my wife, but unfortunately was then entangled with the army of Alexander and required to travel with the Greeks. It was quite a choice job actually, until we were crossing the Gadrosa desert. I had never been so happy to be back in my bed in New York.


Fall asleep in the desert with visions of you in my eyes, wake up and go down to Sullivan St. to have a wonderful cappuccino.


“Give me another bump would you”?


Helen was full of surprises. Or maybe she had dropped something I was not aware of before she came here and she is just strung out. Who the hell can know?


“Another bump for you, how is that J coming along starting to get a little jumpy”.


“Try the ocean, you could use a little freshening up. It’s very refreshing and should take that edge off while I get the perfect ‘share all‘ joint ready. Seems like we have a lot to discuss”.


She could not be more right about that. At least I needed to hear a lot about what or who this chick was or is or whatever. Really, it has been haunting me since before Christ for christ’s sakes!


“You’re right, that was refreshing. And very cold. I am normally not like this if you noticed before the ocean things were a little better down there. So you got that joint ready? Why don’t you sit on my lap and we share that thing, warm up and you tell me all your hopes and dreams”.


“That sounds great but, the hopes and dreams will have to wait. While you were in the water a few questions came to mind. You need to help me understand a few things about these, “sightings” of me that have put you in such a state.”


Sightings that have put me in such a state? Yeah, that is one way of putting it I suppose. The surreality of this situation is not lost on me. No matter what you have been through in your life or lives or whatever, you must realize that sitting naked, while high on a beach in the moonlight with a woman that you have chased for either a few decades or many centuries is on the strange side.


“Ah so you noticed that it is a bit strange? Thought that it had slipped your notice. How can I help you? What questions can I answer for you?”


“How old were you when you first saw me? How old were you when you first noticed that these slips were happening? Have I always been naked?”