I’ve been lucky enough to get my own 3d holographic, VR experience with which to acquire my own expertise, the confrontation to end all confrontation$, squarely facing the Unspeakable.
Not only am I Jake Epping, George Amberson, Neo, Mr. Anderson AND Kyle, the Yellow Card Man who becomes the O-Ra-nge Card Man, but I am also Zack Lang, his replacement outside the ‘bubble.’
I am that
The Starvin’ King Card, the Author-ity, was so troubled and impressed by the synchronicity of the opening and contents of this here WordPress sight when he read it circa 2011- the year I began telling my life (hi)story in the form of Autobiographical fiction on this here sight- just at the time his Kingliness was putting the finishing touches on his first draft of the 848 page sprawling time-travel fantasy romance fiction ’11/22/63′, a nov-el he would publish the following year, 2012, the End of the Mayan Long Count Calendar and the year preceding the 50th anniversary of the ’63 event he describes as his gene-ration’s 9/11, a nov-el he had originally wanted to write in the early seventies, well, he, Starvin’ Marvin’ the Martian himself, was so blown away by what he read here that he had to include ‘me’ in the final draft. What he decided to do was encrypt ‘me’ (kylegrant76.com/ ‘Charlie F. Grant’) into several (if not all) of the characters in the novel. He felt I had fucked with him (which I most assuredly had NOT- consciously anyway- since I had no idea whatsoever he, King, was working on a JFK assassination, time-travel fantasy). Now he would pay me back (for something I never consciously intended). Or did the King stum-ble upon this site in early 2011 and that was when he was in-spired (in-spirited) to go forward with the novel? It doesn’t seem like enough time to whip up such a lengthy work, but maybe so.
Anyways, here’s how the King Card encrypted me in the script-ure of ’11/22/63′:
He made Jake Epping tall (6’5″) in reference to my characterization of my alter-ego, ‘Bananaman’ (Yellow & Tall, due to the H-eight extension of the Vertical Protrusion of the Banana Suit, the Girthy Stem above the H-ead) . . . And King made Jake/ George’s parents born the same years as mine, father in ’52 and mother in ’53. And he made Jake/ George the same age as me, 35 in 2011, born in the bicentennial, 1976, Spirit of ’76. Jimla. Genie. Gemini. Genius. Genuine. Gin. Jim. Gene-Isis. Jake. Jack. Jacob. Zack-ary. Genesis. Genetics. Eugenics. He made the ‘watchers and warners’ outside the time-travel ‘bubbles’ ‘Card Men’ in reference to the second post of 2011 I did entitled ‘Little Numerology Card,’ the card I purchased from ‘Pyramid Books’ and which used JFK’s birthdate of 5/29/1917 and full name, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, as the example of numerological derivation. And he (the King/ Author-ity) revealed the name of the ‘Yellow Card Man’ at the end of the adven-ture nov-el on pages 795-796, the name which just so happens to be ‘my’ name: Kyle.
‘After two or three days, almost all the carbonation is gone, but there are still a few bubbles left. What you call the rabbit-hole isn’t a hole at all. It’s a bubble. As far as guarding . . . no. Not really. It would be nice, but there’s very little we could do that wouldn’t make things worse. That’s the trouble with traveling in time, Jimla.’
‘My name is Jake.’
‘Fine. What we do, Jake, is watch. Sometimes we warn. As Kyle tried to warn your friend the cook.’
(turn to page 796 of 848):
‘So the crazy guy had a name. A perfectly normal one. Kyle, for God’s sake. It made things worse because it made them more real.’
“He never tried to warn Al! All he ever did was ask for a buck to buy cheap wine with.”
‘The Green Card Man (Zack Lang, Kyle’s replacement- you’ll notice Kyle’s last name is never revealed) dragged on his cigarette and looked down at the cracked concrete, frowning as if something were written there. Shat-HOOSH, shat-HOOSH said the weaving flats. ‘He did at first (try to warn Al),’ he said. ‘In his way. Your friend (Al) was too excited by the new world he’d found to pay attention. And by then Kyle was already tottering. It’s a . . . how would you put it? An occupational hazard. What we do puts us under enormous mental strain. Do you know why?’
“I shook my head.
Zack Lang: ‘Think a minute. How many little explorations and shopping trips did your cook friend make even before he got the idea of going to Dallas to stop Oswald? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred?’
I tried to remember how long Al’s Diner had stood in the mill courtyard and couldn’t.
Jake Epping/ George Amberson/ Mr. Anderson/ Neo/ The oNe: ‘Probably even more than that.’
Zack Lang/ The Green Card Man: ‘And what did he (Al) tell you? Each trip was the first time?’
Jake: ‘Yes. A complete reset.’
Zack (laughs wearily): ‘Sure he did. People be(lie)ve what they see. And still, he should have known better. You should have known better. Each trip creates its own string, and when you have enough strings, they always get snarled. Did it ever cross your friend’s mind to wonder how he could buy the same meat over and over? Or why things he brought from 1958 never disappeared when he made the next trip?’
Jake notes that Zack starts to smile, but it turns into a wince. The green once more started to fade out of the card stuck in his hat. He dragged deep on his sweet-smelling cigarette. The color returned and steadied.
Zack: ‘Yeah, ignoring the obvious. It’s what we all do. Even after his sanity began to totter, Kyle undoubtedly knew that his trips to yonder liquor store were making his condition worse, but he went on, regardless. I don’t blame him; I’m sure the wine eased his pain. Especially toward the end. Things might have been better if he hadn’t been able to get to the liquor store – if it was outside the circle – but it wasn’t. And really, who can say? There is no blaming here, Jake. No condemnation.’
Jake is glad to hear that, but only because it meant we could converse about this lunatic subject like halfway rational men. Not that his feelings mattered much to me, either way; I still had to do what I had to do.
Jake then asks the Green Card Man what his name is.
Zack: ‘Zach Lang. From Seattle, originally.’
Jake: ‘Seattle when?’
Zack: ‘It’s a question with no relevance to the current discussion.’
Jake: ‘It hurts you to be here, doesn’t it?’
Zack: ‘Yes. My own sanity won’t last much longer, if I don’t get back. And the residual effects will be with me forever. High suicide rate among our kind, Jake. Very high. Men – and we are men, not aliens or supernatural beings, if that’s what you were thinking – aren’t made to hold multiple reality-strings in their heads. It’s not like using your imagination. It’s not like that at all. We have training, of course, but you can still feel it eating into you. Like acid.’
Jake: ‘So every trip isn’t a complete reset.’
Zack: ‘Yes and no. It leaves residue. Every time your cook friend -‘
Jake: ‘His name was Al.’
Zach: ‘Yes, I suppose I knew that, but my memory has started to break down. It’s like Alzheimer’s, only it’s not Alzheimer’s. It’s because the brain can’t help trying to reconcile all those thin overlays of reality. The strings create multiple images of the future. Some are clear, most are hazy. That’s probably why Kyle thought your name was Jimla. He must have heard it along one of the strings.’
“He didn’t hear it, I thought. He saw it on some kind of String-O-Vision. On a billboard in Texas. Maybe even through my eyes.”
Zack: ‘You don’t know how lucky you are, Jake. For you, time-travel is simple.’
Not all that simple, I thought.
Jake: ‘There were paradoxes,’ I said. ‘All kinds of them. Weren’t there?’
Zack: ‘No, that’s the wrong word. It’s residue. Didn’t I just tell you that?’
Zack honestly didn’t seem sure.
Zack: ‘It (time-travel through the Ra-bbit Ho-le/ Bub-ble) gums up the machine. Eventually a point will come where the machine simply . . . stops.’
I thought of how the engine had blown in the Studebaker Sadie and I had stolen.
Zack: ‘Buying meat over and over again in 1958 wasn’t so bad. Oh, it was causing trouble down the line, but it was bearable. Then the big changes started. Saving Kennedy was the biggest of all.’
I tried to speak and couldn’t.
Zack: ‘Are you beginning to understand?’
Not entirely, but I could see the general outline, and it scared the living hell out of me. The future was on strings. Like a puppet. Good God.
Jake: ‘The earthquake . . . I did cause it. When I saved Kennedy, I . . . what? Ripped the time-space continuum?’
That should have come out sounding stupid, but it didn’t. It sounded very grave. My head began to throb.
Zack: ‘You need to go back now, Jake.’ (Back Jack-ob, do it again, w-heel turnin’ round and round/ p-age t-urner/ earner)
Zack (speaking gently): ‘You need to go back (to 2011/ Back to the Future, from 1963) and see exactly what you’ve done. What all your hard and no doubt well-meaning work has accomplished.’
I said nothing. I had been worried about going back, but now I was afraid, as well. Is there any phrase more ominous than you need to see exactly what you’ve done? I couldn’t think of one offhand.
Zack: ‘Go. Have a look. Spend a little time. Buy only a little. If this isn’t put right soon, there’s going to be a catastrophe.’
Jake: ‘How big?’
Zack (speaking calmly): ‘It could destroy everything.’
Jake: ‘The world? The solar system?’
I had to put my hand on the side of the drying shed to hold myself up.
Me: ‘The galaxy? The universe?’
Zack (Me T-oo): ‘Bigger than that.’
He (I) paused, wanting to make sure I understood (stood-under). The card in his hatband (Little Numerology Card) swirled, turned yellow, swirled back toward green.
Zack: ‘Reality itself.’