(30) "Beyond Life and Death" (II)

"I dread winter because it's so coddling!"

- Arthur Rimbaud, "Farewell", A Season In Hell

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by Jim Post

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Alternate Ending

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A long story involving an alternate ending explains that the original television pilot for "Twin Peaks" is not commercially available (according to a web site which explains the complex situation: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/agill/tp/altend.htm. After reading that page, I'm extra glad that I have the original episodes on tape directly from TV.

Yet, this is not the ending that I envisioned. ("All plotting is vulnerable to change.")

I see no harm in confessing that I am really Jim Post. Greg Baysans and Edward Lacie are freshly bleeding in the hallway, killed in that order.

Yesterday I lost my part-time job after eight years of service. The owner merely wanted to make a few changes. Since I can no longer support myself, Edward and his pipedream project, they had to go.

(The Prozac and sleeping pills mentioned so long ago would be candy compared to the chemical concoctions I'm really taking. Magic cocktail of modern science, indeed! 

I lost track of how many personalities I've bumped into in this fun house mirror since beating Sybil's record "so long ago." I lost my [at least one of us did] last [second] copy of Sybil and won't bother to footnote it. I forget who wrote it, but I read it at a formative age, I guess.

Asked how I like living with a schizophrenic, I reply, "I do get a different masseur every day!")

(Duluth, by Gore Vidal, is another book of which we've lost multiple copies. I read today that Paul Zindel died, only 66 years old, of cancer. We used to love his books when we were young. The Pigman and My Darling, My Hamburger weren't mentioned in his Time obit.)

Edward Lacie is a poem of his own now. I will write poetry as "Luke Edwards," an inversion of sorts of Ed's names. Ed Lacie will have a "dark half" much like Cooper ended up with in "Twin Peaks". 

I am watching Iraq rebuild after war: It's what happens in Vonnegut's Player Piano, a world where machines do all the work. "'These kids in the Army now, that's just a place to keep 'em off the streets and out of trouble, because there isn't anything else to do with them. And the only chance they'll ever get to be anybody is if there's a war. That's the only chance in the world they got of showing anybody they lived and died, and for something, by God.'" Fodder.

Blaise Cendrars, the writer Edward claimed to have invented, is an actual historical figure. Always has been, always will be. Hence, there are web pages (in English and in French) with info about his life and written works. 

How do I explain the parody of "A Real Education" ("Surreal Education")?

Edward installed links to his "poetry version" of this narrative which includes extensive excerpts from the Gnome notebook, much referred to in the preceeding narrative. For that he invented an alter ego, Lucas Edwards.

Those links (portals) can be found in the Episode Titles "Laura's Secret Diary" (the first such link), "Masked Ball" (links to a specific episode of the "dark version" rather than the overall table of contents), and "Path to the Black Lodge". (The "next" link below also provides access to Luke Edwards's "Taken to the Twin Peaks of Harrar."

Yes, it's a Moebus strip of an ending, I know. But this Moebus strip really does have two sides!

Like Cendrars in Moravagine, I, Jim Post, write the ending to Ed's novel and deliver it to myself. 

Luke Edwards is a fictional professional computer hacker and wrote the alternative version of Edward's narrative. 

Already he seems real to me. I'm reminded of a character in Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut's first novel, so unlike any of his later works. Workers, like piano players, are being replaced by machines.

The main character, Paul, is a manager, exempt (for now) from such displacement. In an early scene, he goes into a bar in a part of town where the former workers live. An as-yet-unnamed character ("sitting by Rudy Hertz - the man whose son had just turned eighteen." p. 87) tells Paul that his son needs a job and is good with his hands. Paul says he'll talk to a hiring manager.

The next night Paul is again at the bar and the unnamed character tells him, "My boy's all set. He hanged himself in the kitchen this morning." A few paragraphs later, after Paul expresses remorse, the unnamed character says, "I haven't got a son."

Is this just bad writing on Vonnegut's part? Why would the character lie for no real reason to a stranger one night and then so easily give up the lie the next night? Or is he lying on the second night?

Why am I asking these questions when I've got bodies to clean up after and dispose of? They're the stuff of legend now, in their own dead minds.

There has to be some other way to settle this. 

Why is it such a threat to reality to acknowledge severe cases of abuse of trust? This is the sort of hollow helplessness that cripples this hopeless endeavor.

- Jim Post, February 16, 2003.


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