Josephine is talking about the ether. The ether. Words that represent all that is of substance and the infinite ways of sparse and unsolid nature.
This is the only life I know. These are the only places I know. Sometimes I have a glimpse of another time…
“There is the basis of things in the ether!” she says. Josephine was dumb as a box of rocks about most things, but the girl knew her ether and her spheres. She has 8 children and rarely thinks about herself.
“Microscopic bits and pieces. Molecules. Vapors. Frittery grits and grains, and swirls of chemistry that ebb and eddy around us all of the time.”
David joins in, shrugging and stretching as only David can do. He has a real talent for shrugging and stretching. He loves to walk the hallways of the great university and to peer through the doorways of the great classrooms. Now and again, he will speak.
“There are waves that pass through us completely, and there are heats and colds that fly right through our skin. They come and go from celestial and earthly senders and recievers, filled with matter and ready to cause effects.”
Others add to the conversation. One says:
“Sometimes the waves give joy. They are the music of the ether, twining and swinging with a be bop or a gavotte of their own making, not so completely accidental, but always divine.”
That is Orange Betty. She is on a perpetual hunt for joy. She is a joy addict and the emotion is like crack cocaine to her. You don’t want to be around her when she is tweaking, though. That is the truth.
The waves come from the spheres and travel forever. Sometimes it can be too much and the resulting music can be a cacaphony that gives us the emotion of orgasm.
It is beautiful I hear, but we are not allowed to be near such collections and concentrations of waves. They’re either addictive or destructive.
We have the emotion of seeing the collective waves, so it is not difficult to get away when they collect. They give off a negative light and we have the emotion of something that is stronger than ultraviolet light. Really bad.
“Sometimes the frittery grains irritate and need to be moved out of the way. Sometimes the chemicals meet, date and marry, becoming something entirely new in the process.”
David is easily annoyed by the frittery grains, those little bits of volcanic glass and sand that fly all through the thick air, mostly in the daytime.
We have to break up now. The Krankenmeikers and Mbutus are coming. They really have no name. We just made those up.
The Krankmeikers move us along so that we don’t get stuck where we are. The Mubutus make sure that we are not pondering useless things for too long. When we do, we attach to places, and make no progress.
I move away from the others and decide to go to town. Today the town is Los Angeles. It gives me a few glimpses of the other place that I cannot describe and don’t really know.
I get there in an hour or two and find that something wrong is going on in a house of cards that was built by a troubled man.
He is inside, beating his wife, so I just go through him. He stops, clutches his chest, and falls to the ground.
Don’t worry. He’s not dead. He thinks that he is having a heart attack. He will start to take care of himself and to depend on his wife, afraid to lift a hand in case his wife “gives him” another attack.
As with all other bad things, he blames her. Now, he will be afraid to hurt her.
I shoot up to the sky and over to Scottsdale to find some friends from Panama. The Panamanians love to hang out in the thunderheads. It is like living in cotton, with light that comes from all around at once. Beautiful.
The ice crystals are fabulous, now that I have learned to see them without a microscope.
Even though I do not feel it, I have the emotion of cold. So do several others. We go down to Vallarta and sink under the clear waters, going with the fish and through the fish.
We see two of us, Brendan and Louise, two of the Rememberers. They are skeletons now. They were killed by pirates and drowned. They are not missing life very much, but they remember.
I am not a rememberer yet. Neither are the Panamanians or the rest of my class.
Tomorrow, we leave for Mars. We cannot go alone or we would get lost and never find a way home. We will learn about vacuum and solar flares. The electrons give the emotion of tickle, I hear. Radiation gives the emotion of heat.
We will visit the inside of a meteorite. Sounds boring.
The magnetic fields give the emotion of sex. We have to take precautions or we might be irreversibly distorted.
Then we will come home to learn how to gather the frittery grits and molecules in order to make something.
I want to make a glass ball that lets the light shine through, then float it through malls and parties and troubled homes.
We may be dead to the world, but we are alive to the ether.
The full ether.
The beautiful and permanent ether.