Find Me On:
As always, you are both much too kind. Thank you.
Today a multitude of birds festooned me with their droppings, yet I find myself giddy. A paradox, you say? Not so. I will explain.
But first, my immaterial friends, a caution. It seems that green tobacco is one of the innocuous substances in which the smoke nymph Mary Jane hibernates until awoken with fire. For me to feign complete ignorance would be disingenuous; I suspected as much from the start. I allowed her to seduce me and cloud my wits because (I hang my head to confess this) I did not enjoy my life as a washer of dishes, despite the many kindnesses shown to me. Mary Jane found me in my weakness and had her way with me. I intend to be more cautious around inflammatory substances and to look askance at visible gases of every shade and shape, and I advise all of you to do the same, should you ever return to the physical realm. She is a subtle temptress!
I “hit bottom” – as I believe is the jargon among reformed abusers of fluids and vapours – while sitting outside a bus station late at night on my way to the Eastern Coast. My back rested against a wall of smooth stone which absorbed the heat from my body like an infinite sponge, but I was insensate to the cold. My head was enveloped by Mary Jane and her spectral fingers tickled me under my beard. Few are privy to how much I enjoy that but Mary Jane excels at divining one’s secret eccentricities. The rate of my heart slowed. It was several minutes before I became aware that it had stopped.
At first I panicked, which seems a prudent reaction even now, but my heart failed to lurch (being inanimate) and I could not move a single muscle. I do not know precisely how much time passed from an objective point of view. From an internal perspective, it seemed an eternity of paralysis and terror. Much too long, I suddenly realized. It was the middle of the night when I died, if that is indeed what happened, so why is the sun now up and the station crowded? And these Humans seem to be moving absurdly fast even by the hectic standards of Spare Oom, labouring as it does under the whip of the heedless principles Progress and Success. Something is most certainly Up.
Aha! I have turned to stone.
This was not as great a surprise to me as you might expect. In Narnia, on the rare occasions when I found myself entirely powerless against the call of the moon and on the following dawn awoke entangled in the limbs of a Dryad, the nymph would often inform me that I had become a frozen stone version of myself during my slumber. Or at the very least that my hooves had been like blocks of ice. It seems that when the White Witch turned me to stone, a remnant of her spell lingered on me even under the heat of Aslan’s breath. I believe that this is because, unlike all the others who were trapped in her castle as statues, I had in my own small way earned my punishment. I didn’t betray Queen Lucy in the end but I certainly entertained the idea. The White Witch’s spell clings like a persistent mold to the hollow within my soul capable of housing such weak intentions, and occasionally it becomes an infestation.
But never while conscious. Not until that night at the bus station.
When I realized what had happened, the passage of time around me began to slow and feeling returned to my body. My heart resumed its ordained occupation. While from my perspective this happened almost instantaneously, at least an hour elapsed in the external world between the flexing of the littlest finger on my right hand and my rising on unsteady legs. By that time, a sizeable crowd had gathered to watch the demonic statue as it came to life. I bowed.
“I shall be here all week,” I said, to which they responded with scattered, somewhat bewildered applause.
But I was not there all week. I craved motion and the feel of blood pumping through me. Another bus heading East would be arriving shortly. I could not wait for it. So I began to walk, beset by swarms of self-admonishments.
What would Alex James Murphy think if he had seen me last night? Surely there can be no more fruitless expenditure of time than lazing about as a literal statue! And to bring such a state upon oneself? Unforgivable! I tossed the green tobacco into the first refuse receptacle I found. Not before kissing it farewell, of course. Mary Jane may be sly and manipulative but I am not a cad.
Still, although there was no denying that my condition was disgraceful, perhaps my time hadn’t been entirely wasted. For if I had retained consciousness during my stone transformation once, why not twice? And so, without delay, I found a quiet alley free of transient cardboard dwellings, sat myself down and set to work. I could fill ten volumes describing my ordeals in that alley but I value your time and your charitable opinion of me too much to do so.
After a day without food and water and a night spent struggling against sleep and restlessness, I found my consciousness expanding and the beating of my heart attuning itself to the systole and diastole of the cosmos and lo, I was Conscious Stone once more. And this time without the aid of Mary Jane! If there is a trick to it, and I am not certain that there is but if there is one, it is to let one’s spirit chatter itself to exhaustion, at which point the distinction between animate and inanimate becomes not only unimportant but imperceptible. All things burn with life, even stone. My situation did not allow an ideal view of the sky but I could sense the sun’s movement from the swaying of shadows. Then I watched the stars perform their stately pirouette across the sliver of night’s teeming canvas available to me. Dawn brought a mantle of birds which draped itself over my shoulders. I was amused by their meaningless chirping: it echoed the wittering of thoughts back and forth, going nowhere, that until so recently had muddled my perceptions. As a spectator I found it delightful, enchanting, until I realized that they had become as fond of me as I had of them and that they had no plans for departure in the near future, and furthermore that their bowels and bladders were both quite full after what had evidently been a long flight.
The transition from stone to flesh remains slow. Alas, I could not bestir myself quickly enough to avoid becoming an avian latrine. But still, success! How many people can turn themselves to stone at will? Very few, I suspect!
I feel that I must follow the example of the Spider-Human and use this newfound power for good but I have yet to devise a practical use for it. Self-relocating paperweight for Giants? Surely it is useful for more than that. I could drop myself upon evil-doers from a great height…? But no, that would kill them! No no no. Don’t be so hasty, Tumnus. An opportunity will present itself. There is a purpose to this.
For now, I must concentrate on the next stage of my plan. I have not forgotten the message from the caretaker of Spare Oom. I must continue East… but I shall not tax your patience any more than I already have by saying anything further on that subject. All I will say is that we are all part of the same organism. All things are connected, dear friends, even between worlds.
“Yes but it’s only just around the corner. And there will be a glorious fire with, with toast and, and tea and cakes. And, and perhaps I’ll even break out the Killer Dinosaurs.”
War Drobe. I was informed that eternal summer reigns there yet cannot for the life of me find it on any maps, nor has anyone I’ve encountered been able to direct me to its location. Does it migrate? Or is it only apparent during summer, and then for but a single day? Or a single second? While time seems continuous in War Drobe, would it appear from our perspective to be stitched together from scraps of time stolen in the heat of summer? So many questions! If you could alleviate some of my burning curiousity by setting your film there, Mr. Cameron, it would be greatly appreciated.
What a whimsical fellow.
I understand this joke! I lolled out loud! Where is the upward thumb?
I do not think her enthusiasm for Diet Coke permits such lackluster expression. Not content to merely love the brand, I predict that she will appear as an actual can of Diet Coke. “I am both the Consumer and the Consumed!” she will cry. “I am the Ouroboros! I want for nothing! Take that, all of my ex-boyfriends!” And I further predict that this will not only be the next logical step in the evolution of interspecies Human/Corporation synergy, it will also prove to be the second act of an even grander drama, that of Taylor Swift’s own evolution. Her frail physical form will no longer be able to support her boundless love for Diet Coke and it will be consumed in a blinding flash of carbonation and lo, she will become a Diet Coke Nymph, flitting from can to can across the globe, the first of her kind in all of Creation. I have not yet conceived a suitable name for this new type of nymph (Dietcokeids? I think not) but perhaps that is best left for the young lady herself, particularly as she seems averse to having her fate decided by any male, Human or otherwise.
Perhaps this is how the Dryads came to be in Narnia. Could it be that trees were once an unnatural product of some Narnian corporation? But what would they have been used for… perhaps Beavers were once the dominant species! And some photogenic Beaver maiden was enlisted to promote their use and found them to be such a fascinating consumable product that her being became permanently entangled with theirs? But then why do Dryads appear in humanoid rather than beaveresque form? Ah, I am grasping at straws here. Perhaps it is only that I am so homesick that I am trying to invent an imaginative mechanism by which Dryads could exist in Spare Oom.
I have made a similar blunder. I read your comment as “I read this as ‘Xenu is the new Aslan’ and was like ‘I don’t get it! Should I be offended?’” and was like “Aslan is imsteph! He has come to rescue me!” Alas, my hopes were a fickle nymph leading me warmly by the hand only to dissolve in the depths of a dark wood. But the further thought occurs that if you found it offensive to be compared to Xenu even in jest, so might Aslan. Perhaps it is for the best that you are not him. I will glean whatever solace I can from that.
Please allow a humble Faun to lend his assistance…
Perhaps because of this article’s proximity to the one about Mr. Day-Lewis and his multiple personae, it strikes me that when an actor of Mr. Kutcher’s undoubted ability immerses himself in a character such as the Buffoon, or the Nitwit, for as long as he has done, he is in danger of having his own attributes permanently replaced by those of the fictitious persona he has adopted. Mr. Day-Lewis seems to avoid this peril by never allowing any phantasm to inhabit his body for long enough to cause lasting damage. While it could very well be that Mr. Kutcher is not as strict in his adherence to a single identity as Mr. Day-Lewis, and in private moments he allows his true abilities to unfurl from him like a majestic cape, that lack of dedication seems beneath a craftsman of his stature. I fear for him, my friends. His own genius could be his undoing.
“Our fierce aspects belie our true intent.”
Perhaps this television program should be retitled Daughters of Peeve. Am I right?
Miss Kate, you are as sweet as Turkish Delight.
Do you know of the game Robocop Pinball, my friends? It is truly marvelous. So often in Spare Oom one feels buffeted by galactic winds beyond one’s control, yet this wondrous game allows one to stand for a few precious moments above the harsh and fickle world of flashing lights and startling noises, and to become the Buffeter rather than the Buffetee. Have at thee, silver orb!
I have recently gained employment as a washer of dishes at a public house. The owner has been kind enough to lodge me in the store room and my wages come in the form of meals and unlimited games of Robocop Pinball, although I am discouraged from playing during meal times as the game is very loud. It opens a tiny hollow of sadness in my heart that the machine’s cries of “Your move, creep!” do not bring everyone the same undiluted joy they do me.
In the evenings the regular patrons of the public house often gather around to praise my natural aptitude for Robocop Pinball, but I suspect that their adulation is less than sincere. They pay the Joot Box to release a caged echo of the song Pinball Wizard, once performed by a group of British minstrels known as the Who? (perhaps they were robbed of their identities by some magic? I do not know) and then join in raucously whenever the lead amnesiac sings, “Sure plays a mean Pinball!”
“Robocop Pinball,” I gently correct them, but they do not listen.
But it is in the dark hours of the night, when everyone has gone to bed and I am alone with Robocop Pinball, that I truly enter what I believe is the Zone. Just as the Human looming over the game’s playing field and barking directives is a hybrid of flesh and metal, so too do I feel myself becoming one with the machine. My soul speaks to me in the staccato language of gunshots and sirens.
Lately, however, my trances have with increasing frequency been interrupted by melancholy musings. Is this game a true reflection of Spare Oom? In Narnia, if one was down to one’s last silver orb and it seemed doomed to fly past the flippers and thereafter into the abyss, Aslan would arrive in the nick of time and spirit it to safety. Or if he didn’t, one had confidence that it was for a very good reason. But it often seems that the caretaker of Spare Oom is about as effective in his or her role as a lowly Faun with unremarkable eye-hand coordination might be.
I confessed these thoughts to one of the regular patrons while he was deep in his cups and he offered me a small pouch of green tobacco with the instruction to “put that in your pipe and smoke it.” The fragrance of the smoke was reminiscent of a Skunk’s defensive vapours, but not unpleasantly so. It would enhance my communion with the game immeasurably, he assured me. And so it did.
For last night something truly unexpected occurred: the metal Human addressed me directly, using words which departed wildly from his standard script.
“TUMNUS!” he bellowed.
“Oh gracious me!” I said, alarmed. My silver orb, forgotten, plunged into the abyss.
“What are you doing here? Time is of the essence!”
“But, but the White Stag! There have been no, no leads!” I stammered. “I cannot find him!”
“And perhaps you ne’er shall. What then? Is there nothing more to you? Will you spend the rest of your days in thrall to this machine? You have been ensorcelled, Tumnus. Robocop Pinball has clouded your wits!”
I shook my head, awoken for the first time to the truth of it, yet I could not rid myself of the wool I felt swaddling my thoughts. Furthermore, I discovered that my lower half was in a regrettable state of excitement, as if anticipating lunar revels.
“As a man, my name was Alex James Murphy,” the metal Human continued. “I lost my name for a time but the machinery could not erase it entirely. I fought it, Tumnus, and so must you. Follow the example of Darfader. Throw the emperor down the shaft! Yolo!”
“I do not know what that means!” I cried in dismay.
“There is more to the world than this machine! AWAKEN THE SLUMBERING GOD!”
At that moment the song Manic Depression performed by Mr. Jimi Hendrix slipped free of the Joot Box at a thunderous volume and it all became too much for me. My senses overwhelmed, I blushingly admit that I fainted.
“AAAAAAAAaaa,” I said en route to the floor.
I did not return to myself until this morning, when the owner prodded me with his foot where I had fallen. No doubt, my friends, you are thinking that it must have been a dream, as did I. But you see, after some research I learned that the full name of the man who went on to become the Robocop was indeed Alex James Murphy! That knowledge did not come from within me. It was a message, a sign from the caretaker of Spare Oom, and he or she has given me a purpose.
My resolve has been renewed. I shall leave this place with all haste, just as soon as I reach 100,000 points.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Slightly Delayed Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I do not get it.
Lady Dryad, it is sad that your tree has fallen but I do not think the gays are to blame.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Up Chucker.
I did not know that Nereids could assume a male aspect in your world. Nor have I come across such a sea of balls in my travels. Truly, it is a marvelous photographic: the Nereid of the Ball Sea surfacing to enjoy a ray of sunlight as it breaks free of the gloomy sky. There are wonders yet to be discovered in your world and I am ashamed to have ever considered it a Vampire. Sometimes a Boggle, perhaps, but never a Vampire.
I would hesitate to invite this Daughter of Eve over for tea, but I must admit that her confusion mirrors my own. When I fished for an image to put in the tiny box next to my name, I was amazed to find several pictures of one James McAvoy disguised as a Faun, and even further astounded at his resemblance to a humble Faun who presumes to consider all of you his friends. I have considered drawing this uncanny similarity to Mr. McAvoy’s attention but I remain wary of his possible reaction. Would he be pleased or revolted? Life would be far less vexing were we all as simple as Courtina and Courtney, whose gazes, I am certain, have remained locked in rapturous delight since their eyes first met. Unless Courtina is half-goat. We do not see her lower half so I cannot offer a definitive opinion, but I would venture to assert that this is unlikely.
I must return to Narnia!
I did not already know that so I appreciate you saying it all the more. And many happy returns.
Oi! Get off my patch!