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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Strange Conversations

    Last night I had a strange dream, for once -- just once -- it would be nice to have a decent night's sleep without waking screaming from a bad dream at four AM.

    A disc turned, the symbol in the centre shimmered red and blue. Two dragons carved on the edge of the rotating disc "chased" each other, eyes aglow. Suspended in a beam in a chamber, a man awakened, his eyes reflecting the eery glow of the beam before turning into the normal eyes of a human. The beam faded away as I was gently lowered to the ground. As I left the chamber, the symbol faded to grey.

    I found myself standing on a wide ledge, near the edge of a cliff.

    (The land stretched out to the horizon. Tall spires of rock and crags loom, turning and twisting into all shapes. Stars twinkled and gleamed in the sky as the setting sun on the horizon casts its last warm glow. It looked postcard pretty but then real life never looked that good. I looked cautiously over the edge of the cliff and could even begin to guess how far up I was. In the distance, a large dark cloud loomed It looked like there was a storm heading his way. Even the weather sucked in my dream, I felt so charmed. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled loudly. The storm was coming and that should really have been my cue to wake up. But it did not look like my wish would come true any time. Getting stuck on a high cliff in a storm was asking to be electrocuted, I had better looked for a way down. As I walked towards a solitary tree growing out of the cliff, the ground trembled. I stumbled as I tried to keep my balance) What's happening?

    Paladine knew she was not in Kansas any more !

    (There was a cry. An enormous egg rolled down from a nearby pile of stones to rest perilously on the tips of the tree roots protruding from the edge of the cliff. The cry sounded again) Oh ... perfect. I guess if I don't do something to save that egg, I'll suffer seven years of bad karma or something. Lucky thing the egg got caught between those roots. It's a long way down.

    (Paladine took a closer look at the egg. It looked reptilian but it could not be. It was much, much too big and besides, I did not much care for reptiles. The cry resounded once more as I gingerly touched the egg) Did that sound come from the egg? Boy, that's some chick. I don't think I can get a good grip on it. It's too big and slippery and I might drop it by accident.

    (I looked around for something that I could use to retrieve the agg. The tree seemed withered. Not much I could get from it) I'm an artist, not a botanist ... but I'm pretty certain this tree is dead, or close to it.

    (The pile of stones next to the tree seemed to be the nest but constructed strangely.) It's a nest, padded with large scales. Very large scales. For some strange reason, I have a feeling I should get the hell outta here before the tenants return. (I picked up one of the scales) This is interesting. I've never seen a scale this size before. I'll keep it as a souvenir.

    (The bubble of running water drew me to a brook flowing down the side of the cliff near the tree) Fresh mountain water. Back in the real world they'd probably charge fifteen bucks a bottle for this. Something happened to this rock quite recently and it probably altered the course of the stream. Hey, maybe that's why the tree is dying.

    (I returned to the tree to see a twig sticking out from the trunk) It's as dry as bone. It'd probably snap right off in a second. (It looked too fragile to help me in my rescue mission but it was better than nothing. I reached out and broke it off. At this, the tree groaned and a ghostly green visage appeared in the withered foliage of the tree)

    Conversations with a spirit

    Wood Spirit : Oh, the suffering we must endure.

    Paladine : (gasps) Wh .. what?

    Wood Spirit : Why do you take such pleasure in torturing us?

    Paladine : Torturing you? Who are you?

    Wood Spirit: We are the voice of all trees, the Spirit of wood and leaf.

    Paladine : You're a talking .. tree?

    Wood Spirit : No. A tree does not talk, at least not in your tongue. The tongue of trees is the language of wood, root and leaf.

    Paladine : Who are you then?

    Wood Spirit : Like we said, we are the voice of all trees. Whenever an injustice is done, we must speak for the tree, if we are present.

    Paladine : (realises the cause) It's the branch. I shouldn't have broken the branch off.

    Wood Spirit : Oh, what does it matter anyway. There is nothing more to be done for us. We are simply here to provide comfort in the final passing to earth.

    Paladine : (confused) "We"? I only see one of you.

    Wood Spirit : We are one with our host, as we are all one Spirit, but legion.

    Paladine : (dubiously) Yeah, uh, thanks for clearing that up.

    Wood Spirit : We do not expect you to understand. You are human.

    Paladine : What happened to the tree?

    Wood Spirit : Oh, the pain! As the battle raged, we --

    Paladine : Battle?

    Wood Spirit : Between the Mother and black chaos. She was only protecting her child, but it would not back down and the force of their battle shook the mountain. The brook that fed us was led astray and without water, we began to wither and die.

    Paladine : What's the deal with the egg?

    Wood Spirit : Egg? What e -- oh, of course. The child. Whenever the Mother was absent, we were entrusted with the safety of the child. But now, withered
    and without strength, we can do nothing to help. We have failed the Mother and we despair. Our shame knows no bounds.

    Paladine : Who are you again?

    Wood Spirit : We are the Wood Spirit. We come to all trees in the hour of great need to provide comfort. Our time is running out as we speak. The passing
    to earth is about to begin. Leave us, now.

    Paladine : What about the egg?

    Wood Spirit : Oh, it is too late. Without sustenance, we do not have the strength to bring it safely home. We have failed and the earth will know our shame
    for all time to come.

    Paladine : Isn't there anything I can do to help?

    Wood Spirit : Oh, we do not expect a human to come to our aid.

    Paladine : Lose the attitude, okay? Just tell me if there's anything I can do.

    Wood Spirit : It is futile. We need water but there is none, not after the brook changed course.

    Paladine : I'll find a way. Don't panic.

    Wood Spirit : We do not panic. Unlike you, we accept our destiny. If, however, against all odds, you do succeed, we will carry the child safely back into its
    nest. Do not make a foolish attempt on your own. It would spell certain misery.

    (The Wood Spirit vanished. Paladine returned to the brook and re-examined it carefully)

    Paladine : According to the, uhm, "Spirit", there was some kind of battle that split the rock and changed the course of the stream. (I combined the twig and
    scale I picked up) I think I just made a funnel. Cool! I'm so proud of myself. (I placed the funnel so that the brook was diverted to the
    withering tree) This should do the trick. (A rush of blue light engulfed the tree, it sighed as withered leaves sprang forth lush and green on
    the branches. I wass impressed) Talk about instant rehab!

    Paladine : Hello? Hello!

    Wood Spirit : Leave us be!

    Paladine : Are you okay?

    Wood Spirit : We find our strength returned and so we have no time for idle conversation. We must drink and rejoice.

    Paladine : Aren't "we" forgetting something?

    Wood Spirit : Hush. Listen. The song of the ancient wood. Is it not sweet?

    Paladine : Sweet, definitely, yeah. The baby's probably ready to boogie down as well.

    Wood Spirit : The baby? The egg! Thank the earth, we almost forgot! (The roots move and the egg rolls out of sight)

    Paladine : (gasps) Uh-oh! (I rushed forward anxiously but I need not have worried. The roots lifted the egg safey back to the nest. As I checked that it was all right, another trilling cry came from the egg and it was answered. A large glowing silvery-white winged creature flew past)
    Last edited by Paladine; 04-25-2007 at 08:46 PM.
    The internet is the last light of truth and hope...it is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. We must not let it be subverted for any purpose other than the truth. And that truth shall spread to every man woman and child across the globe. No longer will those in power carry the sole means to decide for us, yet we now shall have the power to decide to tune them out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Strange Conversations

    The White Dragon

    Paladine : (frighten) What ... what was that? (I retreated as far as possible from the nest ) Uh--oh ... (A white dragon appeared beside the nest)

    White Dragon : It is you. You have come.

    Paladine : You know me?

    White Dragon : Paladine. daughter. I have been waiting for you.

    Paladine : Waiting? Why?

    White Dragon : Because it begins here, with you. As it always has.

    Paladine : What do you mean?

    White Dragon : The breach and the mending, the pain and the joy, the end of the old and the dawn of the new. A different world. I am the mother of what is, but you -- you are the mother of a future that may yet be.

    Paladine: How will I know? How will I know what to do?

    White Dragon : I will guide you and I will protect you, as much as I can. But in the end, you are on your own.

    Paladine : I'm afraid.

    White Dragon : You always were, my child, my daughter.

    (As Paladine moved towards the White Dragon, a rumbling howl was heared)

    Paladine : (anxious) This is probably not a good thing.

    (The White Dragon lifted her head with a sound of anxiety. She curled herself protectively over the egg as Paladine ran to the edge of the cliff. A black shiny pulsating amorphous cloud with a dark aura and flashes of light hovered into sight. As I backed away, it shot forth a streak of bright light at her. she screamed as she fell off the cliff )


    What a nightmare. I was completely exhausted. I must've been tossing and turning all night. It was so hot in here too. No wonder I keep having these weird dreams. I've
    basically been simmering in my own sweat every night this past week. Doesn't look like it's gonna cool down any time soon either.

    (Reluctantly, I got to my feet. It was a good thng the studio had got proper air-conditioning. I had promised myself I was gonna spend most of the day working and I did not intend to break that promise, not this time.

    I contemplated on making my bed but it had been too hot to sleep with a cover so I did not. I dismissed the idea. The bedsheets were barely rumpled anyway. I looked out the window and wished there was something nice to see but as it was, dull brickwork was what I had to face everyday. my room was just as dreary, the only bright soothing spot in the room was the plant on the windowsill. It had been there ever since I moved in. I was not good at taking care of living things but the plant was doing just fine despite months of neglect. I had tacked some posters to the wall in an effort to bring some colour to an otherwise dull surroundings. And it was depressing to think that I had to borrow some from the cafe because I just could not afford to buy any of my own..

    A gentle breeze, bringing along the odour of the canal, blew into the room as I opened the window, rustling the papers on the desk beneath the shelves. my desk at which theoretically, where I was supposed to do my work. However, I suspected my muse had departed me for greener pastures, because lately, inspiration had been fleeting at best. As if to commiserate with me, the ventilation fan in my room clacked as it spun erractically. For some reason, the fan kept switching off and on all the time. The thermostat must be broken. Like everything else in the room.

    It was still way too early in the morning...and I couldnt stop thinking about the dream I had. Like enough with the fairy-tales already! I need to start dreaming about guys

    ...you know, the important things in life.

    It just dawned on me that the student exhibition opens in less than two weeks! My 'painting' - and I mean that in the broadest sense of the word - is not even close to
    being presentable. Even that's an overstatement. All I have is a blank canvas and while that may fool SOME people (like in "whoa, what an expressive statement of
    NOTHINGNESS"), it won't fool my teachers.

    So today I have to put in a solid six hours of work at the studio and just hope that inspiration will strike me like lightning from the sky. It could happen.

    Dreams of talking trees and dragons aside, I really need to get a good nights sleep once in a while....
    Last edited by Paladine; 04-25-2007 at 08:47 PM.
    The internet is the last light of truth and hope...it is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. We must not let it be subverted for any purpose other than the truth. And that truth shall spread to every man woman and child across the globe. No longer will those in power carry the sole means to decide for us, yet we now shall have the power to decide to tune them out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Strange Conversations

    I don't know why I have nightmares. I guess they could be stress-related. After all, the exhibition is right around the corner.

    Okay, so I'm, like, I'm half asleep, I'm hot (the weather's been unbearable these past few days, to say the least) and I just want to get to the studio as soon as possible...and then this guy Cortez, who's sitting outside the house like he does EVERY SINGLE DAY, calls me over... Fine, okay, I got nothing against the guy,
    personally. I make small-talk about the weather, just trying to get it OVER with, and then...

    Cortez : Oye, senorita!

    Paladine: Yes?

    Cortez : How are you this morning, senorita bomita?

    Paladine : Hot.

    Cortez : Ay, si. The summers here are never pleasant and it will get worse before it gets better. They say there's another heatwave headed our way...

    Paladine : Yeah, so I heard. So...you gonna be all right? You don't look dressed for the weather.

    Cortez : Si Dios quiere...Sunshine and pretty senoritas give an old man like me the blues. I like my days cold and rainy. In fact, I think I'd prefer the world to be in black and white.

    Paladine : Like an old movie.

    Cortez : Like all good movies. But tell me, senorita Paladine...how would you describe your perfect day?

    Paladine: Cold and rainy, like yours.

    Cortez : Esta bien... We are alike, you and I. But this heat is not why you're unhappy, no? You are troubled by nightmares.

    Paladine : (taken aback) What?

    Cortez : You are afraid of them. You even fear your dreams may be real.

    Paladine : I'm sorry, but I have to run.

    Cortez : Espera! Hold on. Even if you keep running all day you'll still be just as unhappy. You are troubled by nightmares.

    Paladine; ?

    Cortez : You are afraid

    Paladine : (angry) Who told you about my nightmares?

    Cortez : No one. I can tell from looking into your eyes. I see the ghosts that haunt you.

    Paladine : I don't know who you've been talking to but from now on, stay the hell away from me and my personal life!

    Cortez : No puedo, senorita. You have a destiny.

    Paladine: Destiny? I don't care what you think, just...just leave me alone!

    Cortez : If you don't face them, I'm afraid your nightmares will continue. Soon, they will appear to you when you're awake.

    Paladine: You need some serious help, you know that?

    Cortez : We all do, Paladine. That's the reason we are here, you and me.

    Paladine : (angrily dismissive) That's it! I don't have to listen to this.

    Cortez : Perdoname, I've upset you. We didn't think you'd react this way. I hope we can talk again soon?

    Paladine : I don't think so, no.

    Cortez : Please, think about it? And senorita? Cuidado. Be careful.


    How would he know I've been having nightmares? Unless one of my freinds told him -- and I know they wouldn't have -- how could he know?

    He said something about destiny
    but to think that I have some kind of "destiny"? The guy's been too many Raptures or whatever they popped back when he was double-digits.

    I made my way up the path to the academy ; the Academy of the Visual Arts.World renowned. Prestigious. Expensive. And my future alma mater.

    I made a quick glance through the official VAVA noticeboard where only registered students were allowed to put notices up there.

    "The Annual VAVA Summer Exhibit, May 11-18". Oh God, I'm actually expected to be ready by then.

    (I hurried into the building and to the studio.

    I stopped to admire Emma's sculpture twirling brilliantly in the light ; it looked like some winged creature. It was her contribution to the exhibition. Emma was really good with the sculptor, and her imagination was so vivid. She had no idea, though, what it was, and neither, apparently, did she but it looked absolutely beautiful! Good thing we were friends or I might be jealous.

    No point in putting off the inevitable, I picked up the palette and paintbrush from the sink ; the tools of My trade. The best thing about working up there was that nobody "borrowed" my stuff. I looked morosely at the canvas The fruits of my labor amounted to nothing at all. I could only think of two things more depressing than a blank canvas. Death and taxes. Dipping my paintbush into the paint, I began my work.

    It's Friday afternoon, and I actually got some work done on my painting this morning! What a shocker, right? What triggered this avalanche (okay, it was more like a light drizzle, to be honest) of creativity? The cup of cocoa I had last night? The weather? My pent up sexual desires? My dreams?

    Sure, a nightmare about a talking tree -- wait, no, a "Wood Spirit" -- a female dragon, and a ...what, a Chaos Vortex?...that's sure to release SOME kind of creative juices.

    Yeah. Right.

    Okay, so I work on my painting for a few hours and then Emma (freind) drops by and drops a bomb on me. This...person. Cortez. He wants to meet me. And not only that, he
    doesn't just come out and say WHERE he wants to meet me: no, he gives Emma a riddle for me to solve. "Where kids visualize their dreams." Oh boy. The guy IS nuts.

    He can wait "where kids visualize their dreams" for the rest of the summer as fas as I'm concerned.

    So I've finally snapped and gone off the deep end. I just knew my nightmares would fry my brain cells eventually, but I never imagined I'd start SEEING things.

    But there it was, as clear as the day, and I'm thinking, should I go get myself committed now or after dinner? Because Paladine, girl, I gotta tell you, what you saw today is not
    exactly the product of a healthy mind. sculptures don't just come to life without there being drugs or plain, old looniness involved.

    But then again, if I AM insane, why aren't I seeing fluffy pink rabbits right now? And how come nobody has noticed anything weird about me?
    I think maybe...and I hate to say this...I think maybe I gotta talk to this Cortez guy after all, because he did say something about my nightmares coming to life...

    Okay, now I KNOW I'm going crazy!
    The internet is the last light of truth and hope...it is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. We must not let it be subverted for any purpose other than the truth. And that truth shall spread to every man woman and child across the globe. No longer will those in power carry the sole means to decide for us, yet we now shall have the power to decide to tune them out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Strange Conversations

    Today I went to the cafe.
    I also work here at the bar, I keep studying and I'll keep working as a waiter to support my studies. But I get to hang out with my friend
    If it wasn't for that, I don't know if I'd be able to do it. Hard work and lousy pay. But the hours are flexible.
    Out here, everyone's got their own dreams and people are supportive of each other no matter how crazy those dreams might be.

    I asked my freind Charlie If he thought Cortez was crazy and he said ' No, he's not crazy. Just a little eccentric. He doesn't give a donkey's ass what people think or say about him and that's cool. I don't know, I have the feeling there's a lot more to Cortez than what he wants us to believe. That man has had an eventful life, I'm sure.'

    When he's not talking about books, he talks about old movies. He loves the classics. Calls them "real art".

    The temperature in the cafe was a stark contrast to the heat outside. my good friend Charlie, behind the bar polishing glasses, had not noticed my entrance. He was the first person I met when I came to here, and I loved him dearly. As a friend The smell of imported draft beer hovered strongly around the bar. I am not a beer person, though. I prefer a glass of white wine or a cup of steaming mocha. I debated on snitching a few candy from the jar of complimentary assorted colorful candy on the bar top.. No doubt also extremely toxic. For paying customers only. Stanley (the boss) had a habit of taking it out of anyone's salary if they got the munchies. I decided on getting a couple although Stanley was sitting at the other end of the bar, near the jukebox. But his view was blocked by a burly man drinking his beer. I was sure Stan would not notice if I dug gently into his supply. He had got crates of them in the back. Still, I waited until Stanley's view was well and truly blocked before pocketing a few of the candy

    (The jukebox by the wall was playing techno jazz music According to Stan, it was an original. It took some convincing but Stan finally agreed to put the jukebox on free play. I would just choose a track at random. Recalling Charlie's words on Cortez's interest in the poster advertisement by the jukebox, I scrutinized it as a new track began to play) "Roma Gallery present 'Growing Pain' -- An exhibition by and for kids and teenagers".

    (Could this be what Cortez was talking about, where kids visualized their dreams? It may be it. But where was the Roman Gallery located? I noticed a ticket pinned to the poster. "Complimentary student pass". Cool. I liked anything that was complimentary. I never said no to a complimentary ticket. To my delight, an address was printed on the ticket. The gallery was located near the Watertown Bridge. That was all the way over West, if I remembered correctly. I would have to catch the Metro Line subway to get there)

    It turns out that "where kids visualize their dreams" is an exhibition called "Growing Pains" at the Roma Gallery. That's down by the Watertown Bridge, too far to walk, I have to take the subway. It's an exhibition of work by inner-city kids, and I guess the theme is "dreams". Which, by some strange twist of fate, is what EVERYTHING's about today.

    So the Roma Gallery it is. Can't say I'm looking forward to it. Senor Cortez is just a little too creepy for comfort. But I'm in desperate need of some answers, so it's bye-bye to choice, hello "destiny".

    The gates chimed as I passed through them. A sqeaky voice announced the arrival of a train over the P.A. I hurried into the train. The carriage was empty except for an old lady sitting aft. I was not inclined to sit as posters and litter were scattered on the seats and floor. Graffiti had also been sprayed on the wall. One in particular spelt out the word RAD. The ubiquitous screens were also mounted in the carriage. There was no escape. Anywhere..I looked at the subway map overhead and wondered how long the journey would take ....

    Loud music and the beat of a solitary drum greeted me as I exited from the Watertown subway. A dazed looking woman stood rocking unsteadily on her feet next to a busker outside the building next to the subway. The source of the loud music blared from the small portable boombox at the busker's feet. It was amazing that such a small box could emanate so much noise. The busker was hitting his drum to the music but he was sadly out of sync. It was not surprisng really, the poor guy was drugged out on XXX. They said the first motor function to suffer was always rhythm.

    A man looking through the glass panel of the building seemed to be enjoying the music as he tapped his foot. Or perhaps he was merely waiting for someone. I looked around for the Roma Gallery and realised that it was right in front of me. As the door of the gallery closed behind me, the blaring music was cut off abruptly. In its place was the stentorian snores of a napping attendent seated by the entrance.

    Paladine : Sir? Excuse me, sir? (The attendent snored on blissfully) I'll just leave my ticket here, then, shall I? Yes, I guess I'll do that... (I slide the ticket under the green folder on the table)

    (I glanced through the glass panels and the sight is a little depressing. There was absolutely nothing out there. There was a city, an entire world, even. But to me, it meant nothing. On display were statues placed around the gallery. The one near the table was an atypical pointy-edged swan, the second statue stumped me, I did not understand what it was supposed to represent ; a short, nude creature with a snout. All sizes of various paintings were mounted on the wall . As I looked through them, I spotted Cortez at the end of the gallery. For the life of me I could not figure out why Cortez wanted to meet me. Come to think of it, why did I want to meet him?

    Cortez at the gallery

    Cortez : About time you showed up.

    Paladine : About time? I spent more than...

    Cortez : -- this painting, right here. Look.

    Paladine : About this the other morning ...

    Cortez : Apology accepted, It's a hot day, and tempers run high.

    Paladine : But I wasn't --

    Cortez : Just look at the painting.

    Paladine : It's nice work.

    Cortez : It's very nice. But there's more to it than "nice" Keep looking.

    Paladine : Who's the artist?

    Cortez : A boy named Warren Hughes. Not so long ago, I knew him and his family quite well. But he doesn't paint anymore...

    Paladine : What am I looking for?

    Cortez : What do you see?

    Paladine : I see a statement on loss. The guy, he's hugging a girl, and by all rights, he should be happy. But he's not. He's probably already mourning the loss of her, even though that's still somewhere in his future.

    Cortez : Statements! Who cares about statement? Tell me what you see!

    Paladine : I see a guy hugging a girl.

    Cortez : And?

    Paladine: They're probably boyfriend, girlfriend, and she's dumping him. He looks really depressed.

    Cortez : Yes, yes, forget the story -- what do you see?

    Paladine : I see an oil-painting of two humans locked in an embrace.

    Cortez : That's all you see? But there's so much more. Look. Look!

    Paladine : I see art.

    Cortez : Art, yes. And beyond that? Beyond art?

    Paladine : Illusion?

    Cortez : Skill and imagination allow the artist to create an illusion, but that is only skin deep. Beneath the illusion, what else is there?

    Paladine: Technique?

    Cortez : Technique is what enables an artist to create art. Beyond technique, beyond artistry, what else is there?

    Paladine : Truth?

    Cortez : Truth, exactly! A deeper truth. This painting, this particular work of art, speaks of a deeper truth. It has a soul.

    Paladine : How can a painting have a soul?

    Cortez : It has a soul because it has an identity, it has a heart. The memory of this painting will survive beyond this moment, it will linger in your mind, become part of the tapestry of your subconscious. It has made a lasting impression on you, and you're not quite sure why.

    Paladine : It's just a painting by some kid. It's not as if it's a Picasso or a Monet.

    Cortez : Now you're arguing technique. Not every painting by Van Gogh or Michellangelo is real art either, although they all demonstrate great technique and craftsmanship. And the scribbled drawings of a five-year old child are rarely technically impressive, but they may still have a soul, they may still be real art.

    Paladine : So you're saying "real art" is not defined by the skill of the artist? Then what is art, if just anybody can create something more "real" than artists who've spent their entire lives developing their skills?

    Cortez : Art is still the work of artists. And skill, craftsmanship, technique -- those things are critical to the success of the an artist's work. But alone, those things are merely pretense. For something to be real, to be truthful, the artist must transfer -- shift -- part of him or her into the work to transcend the illusion and reach for the truth of art.
    The internet is the last light of truth and hope...it is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. We must not let it be subverted for any purpose other than the truth. And that truth shall spread to every man woman and child across the globe. No longer will those in power carry the sole means to decide for us, yet we now shall have the power to decide to tune them out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Strange Conversations

    Paladine : And what is the "truth of art"?

    Cortez : Who knows? I've been asking myself that question for years.

    Paladine : Excuse me? You don't even know? Then what's all this about, all the questions and lectures on "truth" and "illusion"? For that matter, why did you ask me to come down here in the first place?

    Cortez : Because --

    Paladine : (interrupting furiously) Actually, you didn't even ask me to come down! I spent my entire afternoons travelling all over the place, deciphering a cryptic message, spending money I don't have on a subway ticket, only to have to stand here and listen to...to...

    Cortez : You saw something this the yesterday afternoon. A waking dream. And you can't explain it. That's why you're here, isn't it?

    Paladine : How the hell do you know these things?

    Cortez : It's as plain as the day. You're under a lot of stress. My point about art and truth is this, Paladine. Some things look real, but are not. And other things may appear to be of no consequences at all, but are, in fact, invaluable. Like Warren's painting here. And your dreams. There is both truth and illusion in dreams, and in the images they create. The problem is in sorting the one from the other.

    Paladine : You're telling me my dreams are true?

    Cortez : I'm telling you there are things afoot, and that you need help in sorting the truth from illusions. My help.

    Paladine : Well, that figures.

    Cortez : Good. I was hoping you'd understand.

    Paladine : (angry & frustrated) No, actually I didn't understand a single word. You talk about art, and truth, and dreams, and illusion, and I still don't understand what it all has to do with me. There are things happening, yes, and I came here because I thought -- maybe you're crazy enough to believe me to help me...I don't know...sort through the debris and come up with a plausible explanation. But no, you tell me my dreams might be true, that I need your help and that there are things "afoot". I mean, who says
    "afoot"? I've never heard anybody use that word before."There are things afoot".

    Cortez : Esta bien... I understand your reluctance to believe me. But I cannot convince you here, now. Meet me tomorrow.

    Paladine: (disbelieving) What?

    Cortez : Meet me tomorrow, and I will tell you...everything.

    Paladine : Not again, no way.

    Cortez : But your will. Because you are compelled to do so by your own curosity. Because you are drawn to mystery. And because, despite your scepticism, you believe I have the answer to all your questions. Yes?

    Paladine : No. No, I don't care. I just want to have a normal life, no nightmares, no visions, and no strangers telling me that "things are afoot". Comprende, amigo?

    Cortez : Ay Dios mio, is that the time? I've got to run. I see you tomorrow then?

    Paladine : I said...

    Cortez : Goodbye.

    (With that, he walked away, leaving me feeling worst off than ever)

    What a busy day, a busy and WEIRD day, late afternoon ...

    Cortez is...how shall I put this nicely?...completely and totally out there. I mean, he goes on and on about the truth of art, and then it turns out that that's NOT the reason he wants to talk to me. But does he tell me why it's so urgent we see each other? No, he says, that'll have to wait till TOMORROW! Right, yeah, as if.

    There's something strange going on, I know that. And it's obvious that it isn't me losing touch with reality...why would Cortez be involved if that's the case? So what the hell IS happening? And does Cortez actually have some answer? I SO don't wanna hook up with the guy again. He freaks me out, big time. But I'm getting to the point

    where I'm thinking, do I have a choice? Do I?

    (By the time I returned, it was almost dusk and time to begin my shift at the Fringe Cafe. Stanley was already waiting for me)

    Paladine : I'm all scrubbed and ready to work

    Stanley : You'll be on the floor tonight, honey, Start taking orders!

    (Customers began to trickle in. The cafe hummed with the sounds of voices, clinking glasses, dishes and the techno rock playing from the jukebox. Sometime near midnight, as I was taking down the order of a customer, the music from the jukebox fluttered into noisy static before dying away. Streaks of running lights on the jukebox coalesced blindingly, conversations and all movements in the cafe came to a startled halt. Everyone's attention was focused on the strange phenomenon. I gasped and Emma surged to her feet as a strange creature suddenly popped out from the light. Lilting piping music issueed from the flute it held in its hands. I craned to see more clearly as the creature which looked like a mole with a luminous green aura danced merrily. It became aware of its surroundings and faltered to a stop, looking with wide terrified eyes at a place it no longer recognised)

    By the time I returned to home , it was late and I was weary by the events of the day. A couple out for a jog rest at the bench as I crossed the bridges to Border House. I was astonished to find both Mickey and Fiona sitting in the common room. Mickey was not usually the sit-in-front-of-the-Screen type of gal. Unlike Fiona, she was always working on something around the house. I guess that was why they were such a great couple.

    Paladine: Have you been sitting here all day?

    Fiona : Pretty much, darling, I feel like a vegetable. How was your day?

    Paladine : It's been a weird day.

    Fiona : How so?

    Paladine: Well, you know how some mornings, you wake up, but you're not sure if you're really awake or if you're still just dreaming?

    Fiona : I feel like that every morning, darling. A pot of black coffee cures that in a flash.

    Paladine: That's how I've been feeling all day. Like I said, it's been a weird day. How was yours?

    Fiona : Exceedingly ordinary. Almost depressingly so. I poked my head out the door once, for about a second, but thought better of it.

    Paladine : What are you watching?

    Fiona : Nothing special. We were thinking about watching a movie later, though.

    Paladine : Yeah? Which one?

    Fiona : They have quite a few new releases out. Did you ever see "Victory Hotel"?

    Paladine : No. Is it good?

    Fiona : That's what they say. So we might catch that one.

    Paladine ; What do you think of Cortez?

    Fiona : I'm not sure what you mean, darling.

    Paladine : Don't you think he's a little creepy?

    Fiona : Oh, he's harmless. That old hippie's been drugged up for fifty years, and he's not likely to come down any time soon. Mickey likes him, but I'm not a big fan. But what can I do? He just sits outside the building smoking or reading a book. He doesn't harm anyone.

    Paladine : How long has he been around?

    Fiona : Oh, I don't know...a year, maybe? He just showed up one day, and he hasn't left since.

    Paladine : He never leaves his spot?

    Fiona : He sleeps and eats, obviously. And sometimes, he goes to some revival cinema uptown. Says that, second to reading, old movies are his greatest passion.

    Paladine: What else can you tell me about Cortez?

    Fiona : One word I wouldn't use to describe him is "lucid". He's always on about some bollocks idea, and you'd never know from listening to him that he's got any sense at all. People say he's quite sharp, though, quite intelligent. Well read, multi-lingual, and he's travelled all over the world, apparently. But still completely bonkers, if you ask me.

    Why don't you sit down and watch a movie with us, Paladine?

    Paladine : You know what, that sounds like an excellent idea.

    (As night fell, the air became cooler and more bearable. The Screen flickerd in the dimness of the common room. Feeling the pangs of hunger, I helped my self to the bowl of popcorn Fiona had prepared on the coffee table. Sounds of tribal chanting and drums fill the room as the movie scene moved through a forest. As I was reaching for another helping of popcorn, I fell to all fours to the floor with a yelp as brilliant light glowed from the screen and suddenly the four walls of the common room disappeared. Fiona, who had fallen asleep, was startled awake as Mickey jostled her as she leapt to her feet. Smells and sounds of the jungle surrounded us ; an isolated island of carpet flooring, sofa and coffee table. We looked around in shock and bewilderment. A bird warbled as it flew overhead, the leafy green canopy overhead rustled in the wind. The vision did not last long. As abruptly as the snapping of the blinds on a shade, the walls of the common room rolled up and the forest vanished. Stunned, Fiona dropped wordlessly to the sofa as we stared at one another)
    The internet is the last light of truth and hope...it is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. We must not let it be subverted for any purpose other than the truth. And that truth shall spread to every man woman and child across the globe. No longer will those in power carry the sole means to decide for us, yet we now shall have the power to decide to tune them out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Re: Strange Conversations

    Are you smokin' your socks?

  7. #7
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work...
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: Strange Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by 6seven8
    Are you smokin' your socks?
    That question doesn't really address what this person is getting at, but it is still funny! :D

    By the way... what we consider as REALITY everyday is just the present circumstances as we visulaize, see, experience them. If you are in a crowd of people, not ANY ONE of those individuals will be having the same experience as you are.
    Last edited by coontie; 05-02-2007 at 09:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Re: Strange Conversations

    What a great imagination, Paladine. If these are really dreams, I wonder how you are able to remember them so vividly. I never can.


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