I know it’s unprofessional for the stenographer to speak in her own voice but I wanted to make clear that I’m typing in the blog while Doug recuperates. Most of the time, I’ll just transcribe his words for him. Oh yes, in case you don’t know, it’s me(I?), Zawmb’yee, posting this stuff for a while. Actually, I guess it’s OK to speak in my own voice for a while, because I’m not a professional. It’s good that Doug tripped and fell, because the bullet just grazed him. If he hadn’t blocked the gun, I’m sure Zusoiti would have killed me[stenographer pauses]. (Yeah. I know it’s silly but I’m trying to be like the court reporter who puts everything in the transcript like “cough”, or “indistinguishable”, and all that…
Geez, I know I could never be a court reporter because you have to record every word and sound that anyone says without getting emotional, which reminds me that I can’t get through Doug’s steno poem without flooding the paper. It was horrendous for me as an adult being violated by the gods for their genetic experiments, but I can’t imagine the unbearable trauma for a child violated in any way. Well, I guess you don’t know what I’m talking about, so, be careful: this poem I’m going to show you I find disturbing. It’s fiction but nevertheless…
My Poem For Mommy Steno
Mommy, a Lady’s writing
big hand for me with commas.
Did you write me down, and
everything? Ok. Here goes:
No wait a second. Ok, umm
Mommy don’t let me cry too much.
I didn’t mean to be mean
to Daddy when he yelled
Didn’t want to make you
go to jail
Mommy, I’ll let him
touch my breast again
if they’ll let you out
Has he gone to Heaven?
Foster people say
Mommy, forgive me.
Didn’t want you to kill Dad.
Mommy, don’t let me cry too much.
My poem. Is it good, Mommy?
Lady don’t cry. Make it good? Ok?
Make it pretty on good paper.
I’m sick. Doug writes such dark poems, and I’m not sure how he connects to what he writes. I’m so glad he and Utcoozhoo are OK, but still, Zusoiti did escape. Oh yeah, more about that later…
Because Doug is still too fatigued to write the blog, I’m going to continue. I don’t know how Doug and I expected to stop Zusoiti in her War Room without weapons; it’s just that we were the only ones in position, and time was running out. I was trying to run up the stairs in the War Room when Doug and Zusoiti got shot. By the time I turned around, all I could see was the FBI surrounding Zusoiti on the floor. I don’t know why they took their time, but a trapdoor opened under her, letting her disappear, and then it snapped back up. The whole task force, it seemed, took turns pounding the door with sledge hammers. Just as they smashed it open, there was an explosion. Smoke, dirt, and choking gases filled the air. Putting Doug on a stretcher, shouting into their radios, they moved en masse to the stairs, pushed me up the stairs, helped me put on a gas mask, and we all ran out of the library through the main ballroom, and out past the statute “Aphrodite Foaming At The Mouth,” when the entire Mansion collapsed into a pile of rubble. They never did find Zusoiti’s body. They assume she escaped.
I could not get to the hospital before they started interrogating Doug. I’m so glad he had sense enough not to tell them everything. I mean, what if he had told them that not only was Zusoiti running for Mayor in the village but also for high-priestess of the Grand Council that governs a secret cave society? Had they heard that, they would presently be tearing apart the “apparatus of the gods”, trying to reverse engineer everything.
I’m sprucing up Doug’s apartment, or I guess at this point I should say “our” apartment. He did leave most of my decorations intact from the last time, as he said he would, which leaves just a few final touches — the major thing is that I’m going to put up my paintings. This time it’s really going to feel like home. My quarters in the Cave I’m going to think about as “school”. I want to think about it this way: Doug and I will have a sanctuary here, and our cave apartments will belong to the adventures of childhood.
Knowing how I am, Doug set up my stuffed animals on the bed to greet me as soon as it seemed like I might be coming back. I felt so comfortable coming here, having my things, but Utcoozhoo says I should wean myself off ebben (I think they call it transitional objects in English). He says teddy bears are like amulets and should not be overused.
This writing of the blog in English is so tedious — laying out all the pieces of events, each a section of canvas difficult to imagine from the sound of the blind letters. I much prefer the seeing of the Utd’mbts even though I’m just a beginner at it.
I’m chattering away here, and I haven’t even written about Utcoozhoo’s escape on the thiktdi. I’m going to mount my paintings first.
Well, something good came of all this. There is a new tunnel in the sacred quarters. I should have known Utcoozhoo wouldn’t allow himself to be trapped anywhere as he knows more about the gods than even Zusoiti. I’ve always wondered how great an emergency was required for Utcoozhoo to utilize the power of the gods, to embrace his prerogatives without shame, neither shaman nor king, an executor of the ancient endowment. Sometimes I think he is too humble for our good, should use his powers.
Yes, the tunnel is a good example. He and the elders were trapped in the Tzvaleubhoi while Zusoiti made havoc. Finally the legend of Tpiqlat’ng was vindicated when Utcoozhoo declared pcapdyntpa. It must have been a shock when Utcoozhoo and Naztko, from the Forbidden Zone, reactivated the Thiktdi, “the flying mole in fire tube”. They loaded up 500 elders into the Thiktdi that looks like a jet plane without the wings. No one knows how, but it vaporizes rock in front of it, and compresses it off to the side into a kind of slippery glass. At the right moment, they flew through the rock into Utcoozhoo’s anteroom in the sacred quarters. Utcoozhoo got them all accommodations, and the next day, they stunned the Registrar when they marched into his office and registered to vote. That’s one step.
With Zusoiti away, Utcoozhoo now thinks he can push through a Magna Carta in the Grand Council, but I’m not so sure how many supporters Zusoiti still has.
So much has happened since the FBI went after Zusoiti — I don’t mean that they caught her, but her fugitive status has been a blessing. Utcoozhoo found her secret interface between the ancient technology and the modern. The good news is that he has developed his own interface device and has hooked up the gods’ grp’nl system to the Internet. Now, I can do my homework for Utcoozhoo from here, and actually, I’d rather do it here then in the cave. The bad news is that there may be other hidden interfaces that Zusoiti is using.
I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get my last assignment exactly right. I logged into the grp’nl with Utcoozhoo’s new password and went to the language practice page, thinking it would be easy, because I’ve done pretty well with his meditation exercises. The Utd’mbts language, in its full form, is much harder than I thought. I went to the first vocabulary word exercise all excited and confident. I was to simply learn one word that would be displayed on the screen. I stared at the screen, not consciously perceiving anything as I was told to do, and let whatever it was sink into my subconscious. Then, I lay down on the bed and meditated to await a vision. I saw an angry parent scolding a child, a rampaging gang of kids, a marauding group marching with a flag, heard a National Anthem of some kind, saw the construction of buildings, of supermarkets, of trains, of planes, and of ships, saw all of them blown up and destroyed. I was supposed to say what this word meant in English. I said I thought it meant that “the displacement of anger from family to ethnic group to country, over generations, was the cause of war.” Utcoozhoo said, no that’s not it. He said it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I didn’t allow myself to absorb more, that I was suppressing most of the important elements of the word. That was very discouraging because I thought I had already learned many Utd’mbts words and he said I had only learned a few of the beginner’s training subset language — the baby-talk babble of the beginner.
(Because Doug is still too sick to write the blog, I, Zawmb’yee, am going to continue to write this blog)
I’m worried. I think Doug has lost the will to live. It’s odd but I don’t think he ever thought about his own mortality until Zusoiti fired her gun at him. It seems as though he thinks he will go out of existence at his death, and he will not be aware that he had ever existed. He is much too logical and analytical to be happy. I do think that Utcoozhoo is right that he has the curse of the eokxavexa. Utcoozhoo is all mystical and vague, but I could put it bluntly: some of the gods’ genes have been quite destructive to our people.
Doug has been just moping around, doesn’t want to get out of bed, doesn’t want to eat.
The other day I said to Doug, “I know you’ve been hurt because most people find it very hard to talk to you, don’t want to hear your ideas, can’t wait for you to gather your thoughts… But then, you hate what you are — you can tolerate neither kegmn, bsoer, bsoei, nor veb.”
Doug said,“No, that’s not it. I can’t understand how people can talk, talk, talk, chatter, chatter, chatter, on and on, without saying anything. By the time they’re finished, I can’t remember what I wanted to say.”
“See, that’s the thing: it’s not just chatter to talk about how you feel…”
“What’s the point of talking about problems, if you don’t have a solution?”
“It just feels good to vent,” I said, but I could see he was clueless.
“Yeah. I know. You tell me everything, and I understand how you feel and you always say you feel much better after telling me. But I feel much worse. I don’t know how to solve anything.”
“You don’t have to solve… just listen… You are a comfort to me…”
“That is a mystery, but I love to see you smile, hate to see you cry…”
“That’s empathy, isn’t it?”
“For what purpose? It’s emotion without solutions, without goals…”
“There you go again… Y’know, you haven’t seen this because you haven’t left the apartment, but I’ve seen quite a few people on the street wearing royal purple uniforms…”
“What is that — the latest fashion? You’d look good in purple. You could get…”
“No, no, no. It’s not fashion. I think it’s Zusoiti’s followers. I think she’s building a secret police. It’s the beginning of a movement. You know, like the Nazi ‘brown shirts’, except it’s the ‘purple shirts’ . ”
“Oh come on. You’re just being paranoid. Enough already with all this cave culture stuff. Could we just join the mainstream for a change, just be normal people?”
“Oh hell, you know what I mean.”
“So, anyway, you should see this… they’re holding rallies and meetings. I just know Zusoiti must be behind this.”
“Uh huh. Zawmb’yee, could we do a joint painting — you could do a sketch and I could paint over it. ”
“You see — that’s kegmn. You weren’t listening while I was talking. You were just thinking about what you wanted to say. You couldn’t wait for me to finish, and then you plunge ahead.”
“No. You just keep talking and don’t say anything.”
I was so mad, and almost started a tirade, but I don’t know, Utcoozhoo keeps telling me it’s eokxavexa. Yeah, but that’s no excuse for bad manners. Is it?
I’ve been losing my temper a lot lately, but its just that this place is such a strewn-fest, my things scattered, boxes falling, hell, I can’t find anything, and Chloë’s driving me crazy with hassle, hustle meetings — I’m sick of the damn Moose Café project: I tell her it’s done, it’s done, I’m done — cash the check. An avalanche of building plans and escaping wardrobe snow are burying me in a shoe storm and fashion disasters, even though Doug gave me my own bedroom in case he snores, but the bed is piled high with my dresses and shoe boxes, and the carpenters are just leaving.
Out, out, damn Carpenters, leave the spots — the painters will do it — give me my space, my closet… I must go on stage in a gown without sneakers if I can finally use the “closet organizer” right.
I haven’t even used my bedroom yet and Doug doesn’t snore. Actually, I’d rather be with him for the snuggle factor, and getting my feelings onto his hairy chest. Oh, maybe I’m the one who snores. I’ve been angry so much, so often. OK, I’ve got the closet organizer, and Doug gave me his project room for my work. I should be able to bring my furies to the clothes. Where, the hell, are my Viwwa shoes — Chloë’s going to be envious, and I look gorgeous. It’s got heels like stalactites. No one could run around in the cave wearing these if they didn’t want to fall into the K’ut’mbletaw’i. But who would want to be well-heeled in the cave anyway. Chloë says I have to dress well for business. Somehow I have to mix and match, or match and mix, or match and match, put on the make-up… which reminds me. I should go yell at Doug before we make-up. Just kidding. Yeah. I don’t know what I’m so angry about. Utcoozhoo says I should work on my anger. But I don’t know. I think my anger was justified when Doug dismissed what I was saying. But there’s this thing — oh hell, I can’t remember the word for it in any language. It seems I forget because I don’t want to let go of my anger — for some reason I want to keep it. Um, well, the thing was something like “firm assertion that cajoles attention for loving reprimand(is this an oxymoron?).” Oh geez, even if I could remember some level of an Utd’mbts word for the thing, I bet Utcoozhoo would say I’ve got that wrong. Yeah, I’m lost — certain concepts I have a problem with. Yeah, maybe that’s why I can relate to Doug sometimes because we’re both lost souls. I really hate what Doug’s father did to him: made him repress all emotion and even forced him to show no facial expression(said, “Don’t look at me that way), and he remembers his Mom always saying, “That can’t be…” — I bet he had extraordinary abilities as a child and I bet they were frightened by how much he knew their thoughts. That’s why he claims he has no talents — they’re all suppressed or repressed or you know. Damn, I have to work on vocabulary. His father was incredibly destructive. Doug was already born poor at reading body language and he could have used some compensating skills.
Doug needs to develop at least one skill. As Utcoozhoo says(don’t quote me), “If you can close your eyes and get into someone’s mind, you don’t need to read body language…”
OK, I think I’m getting my closet more organized. Well, not exactly; I’m getting good at organized tossing and throwing: I tossed some of my shoes onto the racks, threw some onto the lower shelves, but I don’t know what tier a teardrop buckle shoe should occupy. Chloë says there’s a style for every occasion, but should I have a shelf for cocktail parties and gallery openings? I’ve had a pair of Wymucen “Ballerina” shoes in black patent leather that keep pirouetting around the racks and shelves and won’t let me toss or pigeonhole them. Do I have to dance if I wear them — no, I guess, if they’re not red, I don’t have to. Doug heard me mumbling and said I should get an automatic transmission and pump the cheap gas. I thought, huh-what, but then I realized I was mumbling about my flat open-toe PUMPS, and my evening CLUTCH bag. Now, I’m in the clutches of unforeseen consequences at the Moose Café, and we can’t seem to finish.
Angela had to have the marble slab countertops for her transformation: she wanted an elegant design to scrub out the “Moose” image, but now, we’re on the antlers of a dilemma. She’s all hysterical because she read in the newspaper that some marble is radioactive. She’s the one that insisted on richly grained burgundy countertops. The technician went over it with a Geiger counter and it was fine, but Chloë wants me to get my own Geiger counter because Angela only trusts me. It’s ridiculous. Now, I have to learn how to use this thing. Some granite has uranium in it. I’m trying to tell her our granite slabs don’t. I mean, ours are not even from Brazil or Namibia.
I wish I could just negotiate on the phone and send another technician, but Chloë says the “customer is always right.” The more I think about it, the more it gives me the creeps, because I’m remembering that Angela was going to vote for Zusoiti for mayor just because she had purple hair.
Doug loves my long blond hair when I use the Gecmen Creme conditioner. He doesn’t know the trouble I go through — he thinks it’s just always soft and flowing like a self-washing river.
This morning, I thought Doug’s mood had improved. When I came out of the shower, he said, “Y’know, you’ve been wanting to have a party in our remodeled dining room to show off the crystal and the chandelier you designed. Why don’t we do it tonight. Call everyone and you can invite Chloë and mix business with pleasure and …”
“You want me,” I said, “to prepare everything on such short notice? How do you know everyone can drop everything and come over?”
“Well, Chloë will come and…”
“Uh huh. Yup.”
“What do you mean uh huh?”
“It’s not that you really want me to have a party to show off the chandelier. It’s just a little bsoei on your part, but it’s no mystery to me.”
“So why can’t we keep it a mystery? I mean, isn’t that what romance is about: mystification?”
“No, Utcoozhoo says bsoei is a form of manipulation,” I found myself saying, but actually, I have always thought that this sort of thing was harmless play and romantic(How did I change sides on this issue).
“No, not if we agree to it,” Doug protested.
“He says bsoei…”
Wait just a second… Um, what exactly does bsoei mean?”
“It means when one person is masking his true intentions in order to manipulate the other to get what he really wants. He wants it to be a mystery as to what he wants and um…”
“Are you sure that’s exactly right?”
“Well, you know I can’t always explain it perfectly,” I said, “and I’ll admit that, as usual, if I gave this definition to Utcoozhoo, he’d say ubemuwx.”
“Oh geez. Now what does ubemuwx mean?”
I laughed. “It means, ‘That’s not exactly it.’”
“Are you sure,” Doug said with a sly smile, “that ubemuwx means that?” Doug was moving in for the coup de grâce. “What would Utcoozhoo say if you gave him that definition?”
“He’d say ubemuwx to my ubemuwx definition.”
“Ah ha. I know this one: you’ve made the uxomexn,” Doug said triumphantly.
“Oh yeah. Well now, YOU define uxomexn!”
“Um, it’s, um, ‘The spiral of the mirrors — the nested paradox,’ the um…”
“Ubemuwx!” I said.
“Now, I forgot, what were we saying before?”
“We have decided to have a mystery party for no purpose, but for the benefit of our friends, and then somehow we’ll be surprised when we end up having sex for purely noble causes.”
“Don’t you think I deserve to share the Nobel prize with you for deception if you’ll switch back to your old naïve romantic self, so we can both be foolish and playful?”
“Ubemuwx. Love is better.”
— by Zawmb’yee Nuje