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Failing Upward Ch. 14

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I woke from a nightmare, finding myself wound up tight in the sheets– one of those bad dreams where your own cries wake you. Les knocked at my door, asking if I was all right. I kicked the sheets, uncoiling my body, and told him I was fine.

“To see the world in a grain of sand,” I said to myself. I knew what that meant now. William Blake was right.

God appears, and God is Light,
To those poor souls who dwell in Night;
But does a Human Form display
To those who dwell in realms of Day.

I stretched my arms and legs spread eagle, then kicked my feet, slap, slap, slap against the mattress. God, what freedom! I fluffed the pillow and smothered myself with it, then warmed my palms on the top of the quilt, rubbing them up and down, tracing the basket weave pattern in the quilt. All the simple tactile messages I’d missed, I now horded. The sun shining from the bay window baked me underneath like God’s toaster oven, and I relished it. I used to hesitate to set foot on a cold hardwood floor– now I couldn’t wait for the experience. It meant I was alive and moving.

It is true. I appreciated life more, after all my agony. “Joy and woe are woven fine,/ A clothing for the soul divine.”

While the pads of my feet were having their own little party on the floor, I heard the timid knock again and knew Les wouldn’t leave.

When I opened the door to go downstairs, I freaked– there stood Les with a dopey grin in pink bunny slippers, purple chenille bathrobe and orange polka dot flannels.

“You look like hell,” he told me.

“Me?! I guess I didn’t take you serious enough when you told me you wanted to run away and join the circus,” I laughed. “All you need is a red nose and a unicycle– “

He cleared his throat, raising his right eyebrow.

“I…” he began, bowing dramatically, “…wore this outlandish affair you bought for me in your honor–”

“But I don’t think I expected you to wear them all at the same time,” I suppressed a laugh.

“Yes you did?! Don’t you remember?!”

“Yeah.. er, well.. ok… I guess,” I stammered then turned tail and started down the stairs. He did the brotherly love thing– he yanked my hair and pulled me back.

I turned around to do the other brotherly love thing– tackle him to the ground, but I pulled back when he pointed down at his feet and leaned back on his heals, backing off.

“Hey, stop. See? Ah-h, the slippers are soft and squishy. You don’t remember saying that to me, do you? You’re the one who told me that! You can remember– just try harder. You told me, ‘These are the best– they’re soft and squishy and sure to make your toes curl.’ Hey, and look! I’m curling my toes right now in shear comfort, but you can’t see ’cause Mr. Bunny Wabbit’s in the way.”

I started back down the stairs. He followed behind me, saying, “Hop, hop, hop!”

“Back off Les! Shit, you’re scaring me. You keep watching me like I’m some magician’s white rabbit. I’m not going to friggin’ disappear!”

“Well, excuse me for caring!”

“I’m sorry, ok? I’m sorry I don’t remember. Pink bunny, white rabbit– I’m sorry! I’ll be better after I had my coffee and use the bathroom…” I yelled, throwing up my arms.

I felt awful when I turned and looked into his face. He had that damn pouty bottom lip quivering, turning my heart to raspberry sauce. But I was glad I didn’t take it back, especially after I heard him behind me in that lilting sing-song voice of his chanting, “Bunny hop, bunny hop, bunny hop, hop…”

Well, if you can’t beat– join ’em. I sang along with him on the way to the bathroom. “The Bunny Hop” echoed down the hall all the way to the bathroom. I turned around when I got to the door and waved bye to Les. At least he didn’t hippity-hop on my tail into the bathroom while I was taking a piss.

After, I dried my hands, humming, and inspected my fingernails (which I still had), then opened the door and found him marching back and forth like a sentry.

The mood had changed. I felt like I had a fuzzy, purple body guard–

I decided not to say anything else smart ass to him. Hell, he was just concerned about me. I kinda wished he’d hop on my heals into the kitchen–

“Smells good. I’ll have a cup of that,” I said to Glenda with a yawn.

I sat down to the table– and watched Les rub his chin and grin at me. Glenda sat down, warming both hands around her coffee mug. She looked at Les and smiled.

My coffee sat in front of me, and I stared down into it like it contained the mysteries of the universe.

“That’s coffee, ya know,” Les said. “It ain’t tea leaves.”

Maybe if I looked harder I could see my future.

Second thought, maybe I didn’t want to look…

“Um, I need cream and sugar…”

They both jumped. Les pushed the sugar bowl over to me. Glenda poured cream in my coffee. She even stirred it for me. Made me feel kinda goofy and safe with both of them hovering over me.

“Thanks,” I said. Glenda leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. Geeze.

“Hey, he’s blushing. bursa escort That’s a good sign, don’t ya think, Glenda?” I could feel my cheeks getting hotter, so I took another gulp of coffee to hide my face.

“What would you like for breakfast? I could make pancakes, waffles–” she bent her head to look at me. When that didn’t work, she slipped her fingers under my chin and tilted my head up, catching my eyes, “–or maybe a bowl of cereal?”

“Cereal would be good. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to take it upstairs.”

She poured my cereal and set it down in front of me. I hated the disappointed look on her face. I decided to compromise and eat my cereal at the table, but I took my second cup of coffee upstairs and went back to my room to research anew.

Les still followed me, but he got the message that I wanted to be alone when I shut the door gently in his face.

Sometimes you just can’t be too subtle.

My eyes were scratchy again, and I set down my coffee on my desk then, rubbed them with my palms until I thought I’d pushed them out the back of my head. I stretched out to press on the PC’s power button, then leaned back and took a sip of coffee. I waited for Windows to load.

God, I thought, coffee in the morning is almost as good as sex. How I missed coffee. How I missed the morning.

Almost as good as sex, but not quite.

Sid’s cock burns me; it’s that bright moment of pleasure/pain as he forces hard into that last tiny space. His heat is liquid, centering my groin, then spreading to my heart then face. He moves achingly slow, fingers digging into my hipbones, mouth teasing my earlobes with nips and licks. His hand achingly slow, skitters past my bellybutton, down, down. Firm and sure, grasping my cock as he bites my shoulder and thrusts harder. My thighs shake and strain to get more of him, everything he is, inside of me…

Stop daydreaming. Fuck! Now, I had a hard on. This wasn’t good. Even coffee was making me horny. I lifted it up and looked at it– must be fresh roasted.

I sighed and clicked on my bookmarks.

Shit.

How could that be? I scratched my nose. There was a folder titled ‘time travel.’ I knew I was tired last night, but I didn’t remember creating a folder.

I opened the folder. Inside were at least fifty links.

Not mine.

The Wes in this time did the same thing as I did. He’d researched the same subject. I checked My Documents. He (I) had mountains of research.

I’d been reading for almost two hours, and my mind was getting fuzzy. My God, I’d done a lot of research. The more I read, the more I realized I was over my head. Without a background in physics, I was lost. Some of it made sense, but most was too technical for me to even begin to understand. I’d found a NOVA site, which was a bit more my speed. Written in plain English so a novice (like me) could understand. It made me wonder, just how much did my counterpart understand? I know he didn’t have a background in science. He must have been as confused as me…

What was left of my coffee was long cold, but I swallowed the last of it. Then I noticed something most curious– I’d kept a journal– a live journal. Here was the link!

This was so fucking hard to decipher. And why would he keep a link to it for someone to find? Maybe I did want someone to find it. I wondered…

Fuck! I needed the password. What would I use?

I got it in two tries.

captaincrunch.

Shit, he was me. Maybe he did want the other me to find it. Maybe that’s why he left it in plain sight. Or maybe he wanted Les or Glenda to find it. Shit. But no way– he would have used a different password. One they would know. This is a password for me. Only me.

The inner thoughts of me– or not me– was incredibly exciting. It was like eves-dropping on your alter ego. Me and not me. Cool.

So much for having fingernails– I chewed them off one by one as I began to read.

———————-

19, June 2003 Decided I should keep some kind of record of what has happened to me. Have been reading much on time travel. Since I got into this place (new reality???) I’ve been confused, yet I know what’s gone on before which is pretty freaky to me. My family is much the same. Glenda is still uptight about mortals and can’t get over Peter. Lancaster (who keeps telling me to call him Uncle Dan) isn’t around much. Les is as kind and sweet as ever.

I tried hard to blend into this time and space. I think I’ve convinced them, but every so often I catch Glenda looking at me like she knows. Part of me wants to confide in her– in someone. But past experience tells me that’s not such a good idea. Last time I confided in Les, he blabbed to everyone. That was the last time line. Now I’m here because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Fucking Peter Deal. I can see why Glenda’s not with him (at least the Peter Deal I knew in the last time line– who knows what this one’s like). If he hadn’t told Trent, then the community would never have found out, and Shackleton never would have bursa escort bayan found me either.

The band is the same. Same members. Same groupies– Sidney Raymond included. What is it with him?

———————-

Damn! He was like me. Traveling in time! This was incredible. I wondered. Now I was sure. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that the Wes in this time line had the same ability and used it… And some of his experiences sounded similar to mine– like the off hand comments about Peter, Trent and the community. Sounded as if Les was my alter ego’s confident.

I scrolled down to the next entry.

———————-

06, July 2003 Spent the day at the lake with Alan, Lynn and Sid. Sunburned my back so bad I can’t sleep. Sheets hurt like a bitch even when I lie perfectly still.

Fuck.

Wish I would have learned to fall asleep on my stomach (at least in one time line LOL).

It’s all Lynn’s fault. She refused to rub sun block on my back after Sid offered to do it. Kept giggling and saying, ‘Make him happy; let Sid do it.’ Some best friend she is… I almost let him do it, then Alan made a smart ass remark about me getting a hard on. Shit.

Then to make it all worse, Sid had to go and get close to me in the water. Why doesn’t Sid just drop it? I’m not interested. I suppose I should be flattered.

The guy never gives up. Even after I pushed him away in the water, he still kept offering to rub sun block on my back when we went back to the beach.

11, July 2003 Is it possible I’m in an alternate universe? I think so. I’ve always had a problem believing I could change time. All the paradoxes and such. The more I’ve read on the internet and at the university makes me believe I’ve never changed time at all– just moved from one parallel universe to another. That way there are no temporal paradoxes. A person could go back in time and change history, killing their grandfather and still exist because by doing so they’ve created an alternate universe. No more paradoxes!

Shit, that means I’ve left some other version of me to deal with the messes I left in the other times. Not a comforting thought. I wonder if Les or other like me could alter time too? It would make sense.

———————-

If he’s right, then we must have changed places. And if that We was in the time I came from– he’d be with Sid..

With Sid.

———————-

17, July 2003 Shackleton is in town again. He’s bad news in any universe. Uncle Dan doesn’t want Les and I to leave the house. The band went to play at the Falls last night. When we got home, I thought Lancaster was going to kill us both. Glenda said she’d lock us in our rooms if she had to.

Christ, you’d think I was in high school again.

Seems I can’t escape Shackleton no matter what I do. I have no interest in becoming his personal guinea pig again, so maybe I better listen to them and stick close to home.

19, July 2003 I’ve been wondering if there are some things you just can’t change even if you’re in an alternate universe. Maybe there are some events that aren’t solid, and others that can never be altered. Maybe it’s inevitable that Shackleton finds me.

21, July 2003 Shackleton’s gone. Left on a jet to the other side of the country. We are released from prison.

Thinking I should get my own place. Or maybe switch universes (just kidding). Don’t think switching universes again would be a good idea. Not until I understand more. Maybe not ever. I don’t really want to try out ‘free will’ again, alter time or switch universes. It takes so much out of me. And what if I’m not really changing things? At least not in the big picture…

———————-

I was beginning to agree with what this Wes was thinking. Maybe there are some things which can never be changed. Still, I liked to believe in the whole idea of free will. All this reminded me of the conversations Sid and I had even before we knew time could be altered…

God, I was just running William Blake through my brain when I woke up. Now, it was even more poignant: “He who doubts from what he sees/ Will ne’er believe, do what you please…” Sid believed with everything in him that he had the power to affect his future. I wanted more than anything to believe the same. Still, some things are meant to happen. Like Sid and I.

As I read on, I was becoming convinced of it.

———————-

28, July 2003 The band was really on tonight. Had the crowd insanely dancing and screaming. Nothing better than the amps’ vibration and enthusiasm. I thought Smith was going to fuck Les on stage. Les told me, he thinks he might be gay.

Duh?!

12, August 2003 Went to the ‘after’ party last night. Think I may have had too much to drink. Sid kissed me, and I kissed him back. That’s never happened before. The worst part is, Alan walked in on us. Called into work sick today. Don’t want to hear Alan’s taunting.

12, August 2003 Sid called. Wants me to come escort bursa over. Told him I’m sick, and that’s why I’m at home. He said he thought maybe I was avoiding Alan and not really sick.

Part of me wants to go over to his place. But no good would come out of this. I’ve heard the lecture from Glenda and Uncle Dan too many times. No good comes out of a relationship with a mortal. Trouble is where’s a guy supposed to find a hot immortal piece of ass? Not like it’s so easy to find. Not like I can meet someone on the Internet. And Sid is always there. He’s starting to look good. I think maybe my brain got jumbled this last time when I switched.

Still, no word about where Shackleton is or what he’s up to…

28, September 2003 Avoiding Sid is becoming more and more difficult. The guy never gives up. At least when I told him not to call anymore, he listened to that. Still, he hangs out at the flower shop and comes every night to whatever bar we happen to be playing at. I tried being rude, but it didn’t work.

Kissing him was the biggest mistake of my life.

15, November 2003 A lot has changed. Went to party at Alan’s last week. Sid entrapped me on tire swing. Wouldn’t let me off. Not until I kissed him again. Did it just so he’d leave me alone.

Actually, that’s a big lie. I wanted to kiss him. I’ve wanted to since he kissed me the last time. I’m tired of being horny 24-7.

I went home with him. Guess who’s not a virgin anymore 😉

Had to tell Uncle Dan and Glenda I spent the weekend with some girl. They were pissed, but I told them she wasn’t from around here. That made Glenda a little happier.

I wonder… is it possible to change back to the previous time line once you’ve left it? Just wondering because if the Wes from this time line comes back, he might not be so happy I’m sleeping with Sid. Not unless, I am him, in which case, I’m ok with it.

I think…

01, January, 2004 I am most certainly and positively in love.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably would fall for him in any plane of reality…

15, February, 2004 Big trouble. Sid wants me to meet his parents. He thinks I should come out of the closet. The shitty part is that Sidney would understand if I told him the real truth. He’d probably give up his mortality like Peter did for Glenda. I’ve seen what it did to Peter. NO way I want that for Sid. Now I know why Glenda was so adamant about not getting involved with mortals.

I think I should break up with him.

16, February 2004 Tried to break up with Sid. I couldn’t do it. I started to tell him, next thing I knew he had my pants off. Afterward, I knew I couldn’t do it. Instead, I tried to explain to him why no one could know about the two of us. I let him believe that my family would never accept my being gay.

He thinks I should tell them. Says keeping it a secret is a big mistake.

(Found out today that I can move objects with my mind– fucking cool)

29, March 2004 Found letters in Lancaster’s room. He’s been keeping deeper and darker secrets than mine. For example: What I am. What we are.

I feel like I’ve just finished watching a marathon of The Outer Limits. Once Glenda told me we were from another planet, and I thought she was joking. This explains loads. Why some mortals can become like us… Where Mica came from and our interdependence with Mica.

We left our universe and came here. And we did it the same way I got here– by moving from one universe to another. In some plane of reality, everyone is like me…

But somehow we lost the ability. Or maybe coming to this time altered us so we could not leave. Until now. Until me.

It’s all in that flower. In Mica. It’s the same here and there (where ever the heck that is).

I think Glenda and Uncle Dan suspect. Uncle Dan must or he wouldn’t have left all the letters out for me to read.

I didn’t realize how much danger I was in until now. I know why Shackleton wants me. He wants to go back. What I don’t understand is why that would be such a bad thing?

08, May 2004 Shackleton is in town again. Last night we got a call from Uncle Dan at the club we were playing at. After our gig, I told Sid I couldn’t see him for awhile. He got really pissed off. Said I was denying what I was. I left with Les and went straight home. Sid called me later that night. Told me I had to make up my mind. Either I was with him and gay or without him.

I said, ‘I guess I’m without you then.’ He hung up and didn’t call back.

09, May 2004 Shackleton confronted me at work today in the back greenhouse. The sleaze pushed himself against me and said he was going to get what I had. Went home sick.

10, May 2004 Going to meet Sidney after work today. Am worried that Shackleton might have been following me. He might know about Sid. Decided I owed Sid the truth. He has to understand he might be in danger too.

11, May 2004 Sid didn’t believe me. Said if I wanted to get rid of him, I could do it without making up some big crazy lie. I almost slammed the car door on my hand just to prove to him I was an immortal alien life form. I said fuck it. Then said lots of hurtful things to him. With the scene I made, no way Shackleton would trouble him.

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