(the girl chums had of course their little tiffs from time to time like the rest of mortals) #Ulysses #JamesJoyce
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[Scene: The lights in the house are down except for one single lit candle sitting comfortably on a stool in the center of the stage. The candle gives off a darkness shining in brightness which brightness cannot comprehend.]
God [on the god mic]: Let me ask you this: is there a difference between the world as known by ordinary mortals and what they think might be my world? Well I’ll tell you, all the world’s a stage. What’s different from here to then? It depends on if you think mortality is about duration. Linear duration. And if you thus imagine my theatres exist in another kind of time entirely. Do you think that? Many have done before you. Well who am I to say when’s when. What’s the opposite of a line? I don’t know. I guess an all at once condition. Plenitude of being. That sort of thing. Here, I’ll give you a piece of my mind. Wait. What? Aw, Jesus Christ! What did I say about headset chatter? Come on. What did you say?
Jesus [Appears on stage is if from nowhere and talks to the booth]: I said, maybe here is where we should put in that bit about number. You know, the insertion between acts 1 and 2.
God [on the god mic]: That? Come on. Even the director thinks it’s crap. [Bird excrement falls from the grid, lands on the candle and puts it out. A faint but increasing luminosity of ruby light becomes gradually visible].
Jesus: I get it. Can we at least try it? For Bloom’s sake?
God [on the god mic]: Bloowho? Oh him! Yes. Yeah. He’s in a bit of a black hole right now. A dark period of time. In his world it is between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. He started the day at 8:00 am and went dark at 6:00 pm.
Jesus: Six to eight. Eight to six. 6 is the number of creation, 8 the number of death. Symmetry under a cemetery wall.
God [on the god mic]: Yes. So it was 10 hours from starting bang to dark period.
Jesus: The number of unity and perfection.
God: [on the god mic]: This is a one man show, kid. Yes, unity, perfection. There’s the 1, the source number which adds to itself and makes all the other numbers, and Queen Zero, the female number, and if I may speak phallically and yonically, just look at them together: 10. One goes through all the other numbers to join with 0 and she gives birth to the next set of ten.
Jesus: Ten hours of wandering to get to 6:00, and then two hours go by: the blank period of time. And then? And then?
God: [on the god mic] Don’t interrupt, we’re going here. Line? Jesus: Onan. God [on the god mic]: And then he pulls out. Like Onan. And is stranded for a time. For a time. Line?
Jesus: For a time starting at 8:00 pm.
God [on the god mic]: For a time starting at 8:00 and following a moving now through linear duration to an end point at line?
Jesus: 2:00 am
God [on the god mic]: 2:00 am. 6 hours. 6 is a revolving sphere so he goes from linearity to oblivion (wilderness) to circularity and then ends up in bed with eternity. Do people still care about circular numbers?
Jesus: Hell if I know.
God [on the god mic]: 6 squared is 36, 6 to the third power is 216, 6 to the 4th power is 1296, to the 5th power is 7776, to the 6th power is 46656 and so each and so on to no last term. The last digit of every one of them is 6.
Jesus: It circles back to itself.
God [on the god mic]: It circles back to itself. Mortals get that, right? This thing is getting too long.
Jesus: Yeah, we can leave that out. The six circles fit around one thing too. Anybody with seven maneuverable circles knows that one. Goes back to six is the number of creation too. That whole 6 days thing and on the seventh you rested.
God [on the god mic]: Yeah right. I wish I had that much time off! But there’s no rest for the wicked, eh boy.
Jesus: You said it. Should we take it from the top?
Nostra. Our. We. I think about that word sometimes. Dante doing Borges and I. Borges doing Dante and I. Joyce does Shem the Penman and I in Finnegans Wake (but every honest to goodness man in the land of the space of today knows that his back life will not stand being written about in black and white) and whatever other colors you got. Veronica Maria Robertson Gonzales de Reyes. Changed it to Veronica Tonkin. Most people call me Vern. But Veronica Maria Robertson Gonzales de Reyes was what it was until we moved to the States and people don’t have so many names here. I didn’t have this name at the start, understand, they didn’t have my name picked out right away. And as an aside which might be somehow related to the acquisition of my name, my parents referred to the day I was born as the night my dad killed the general. I’ve asked. More than once. I got side stories and whatever else I could get when they’d switch over to Castillano. With a little symmetry under the cemetery wall I was born at 14:14 pm, so whatever else went down happened later that night. There was some catastrophe going on in that I was supposed to be a boy so they never imagined a girl name. Didn’t think one up. But worse than having no name, they had no earrings. There I am a girl and no earrings. So you can imagine. It must have been chaos. There was never any doubt they were getting a boy; the opposite possibility never crossed their minds. This was before finding out early, you understand. I was supposed to be a boy because that is how it was supposed to be. But, besides the complication of no penis so no earrings and no name. There was, remember, the matter of the possible slaying of some sort of general at the hands of my father. My uncle was a general. But he survived my birth. And I don’t know if he was a general yet. He commanded the Peruvian army at some point. War with Ecuador. Cars with armed escorts. This was all long before he went to America with his cancer dying in what was that hospital? East coast somewhere. My mother didn’t go. But the night after the afternoon on the day I was born, my father killed the general. And I didn’t have a name. I don’t know for how long, it was a blank period. Not a lot of time passed, I’m guessing, but try telling that to a newborn. Even two hours is everything. All there is and was and has been and none of those things matter. What is there of time at the start? At that moment of the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, what is it like? I forget. So I didn’t have a name for I’m now guessing a long time. They wanted names that were spelled the same in Castillano and in English. My sister already had one. Virginia Maria. Virgin Mary if you really want to tranlsate; try living up to that one, girls. She did what she could. Me? Why Veronica? My uncle the general who survived the day of my birth had a thing for Veronica Lake. You know the one, silver screen blonde hair covering one eye. Sexy. Ended up an alcoholic prostitute, and lost it a bit upstairs toward the end. Imagine a spectrum starting with the Virgin Mary to no end point. I did what we could. Me. Vern and I. That’s me in the picture writing us.
I don’t care. I said what I said and I was right too. Now I’d better calm down because we’ll get there soon and she’ll be greiving. And I’ll help her. I can save her, sort out her insurance and she’ll be grateful. She’ll say thank you. She’ll say she couldn’t imagine what she would have done without me. She’ll say who the hell are you? Are you blue? Krishna: Me? I’m Krishna. I’ll be your driver. What the hell is happening? Did everything just stop? What’s going on? Krishna: I changed the now moment. You are used to a, what’s that word? Kinch, a knife blade. A now infinitely thin separating past from future. I gave the now extension without duration. What does that mean? It’s like you pressed a pause button or something. Krishna: Ok. If that works for you. I paused time. What? Why? Krishna: Because you need help. You are headed for a fall of your own creation. You are laboring under an illusion and I’m here to tell you that creation leads to dissolution and back again. And again. That’s how it goes. Look. Help me out here. I’m just going to see a widow to help her through a life insurance issue. Goodness of my heart. Change her future for the better. Krishna: Right. Purely altruistic. I see you. I can see that you are performing this action with the expectation of a particular outcome. A particularly flattering to you outcome. I’m saying let it go. Help the woman, go ahead. But stop thinking about what may result from it. Do your duty and let it go. But looking down the road for her, her prospects Krishna: What road? There is no road. There’s no now and later. Time is static, man. It does not have uni-directional flow. It can’t be perceived, just inferred from motion and change. No. I’m not going to listen to some blue man groupie. You’re the driver? Then drive on buddy. I have a widow to visit. Are you sticking your tongue out at me? Wait, weren’t you a guy? Who are you now?
Bloom, don’t say it man. Don’t say it. Don’t even talk to that one-eyed dick, he’s not worth it. You’re gonna get burned. You remember your kidney this morning, burnt offering for a god (you! Well now, we were thinking a bit more highly of ourselves then, now weren’t we). We. But baby, that kidney has taken on giant proportions, don’t you get it? Take a look at yourself. See what you’ve become? Now see where you are flying to, like a shot off a shovel. Right toward the sun baby. You’re a holocaust. Don’t believe me? You think you’re on the rise? Well let’s ask Isaac. Isaac. Hey Isaac. Isaaaac!
Isaac: I heard you. I was hiding around the corner, you understand.
We get it. Trust issues. So Isaac, what was it like for you when your dad nearly, well,
Isaac: That’s ok. Everybody asks, I’m used to it. I mean, I should have guessed when he made me carry the kindling and he had a lighter and a sword and nothing to burn.
Yeah, that must have been weird. What did you do?
Isaac: It was my dad, you know? I trusted him. He said that the offering fell in the dirt and got all muddy. Then he went on about how wonderful is the world to come and how great it would be to be taken there.
Wait, what did he say? It fell in the dirt and you bought that? I’m not feeling it.
Isaac: Fine don’t believe me. Ask Chitragupta, he’s got the transcript. Chitragupta! Hey, Chitragupta!
Chitragupta: [while writing everything he says and hears] Yes?
Isaac: Chitragupta, will you read back what happened that day my dad tried to make a holocaust of me? Holocaust?
Isaac: Burnt offering.
Chitragupta: [writing] holocaust of me. Holocaust? Isaac: Burnt offering. Yes, here it is. Abraham said “it fell and became muddy, where the offering had fallen. Wonderful you came into the world and wonderful you shall be hence taken. Without long suffering and fight, God will take you from the world this night. And when you see the greetings given to the holocaust, I think that he would crave it himself. When he knew it truly, Isaac was ready and peaceful. And Abraham wished it well, whatsoever good or bad, he never thwarted it in grief. Isaac was laid on that altar that men use to accomplish a holocaust. And Abraham got out the sword and was ready to slay him now. An angel forbade him and bore the child from the dead. Then Abraham became soothed of his quivering, for Isaac loved him and didn’t blame him. Behind, prepared, he did not notice fast in the thorns a willing calf that an angel had killed in Thor’s dwelling. It was burnt in Isaac’s stead.
That had to be awkward. Were you really ok with it?
Isaac: Not really, but it makes a better story.
Bloom, you paying attention?
Sedimentary reality — that’s history. Do you see? History is made from memory, and the memories that make history, the ones that stick, the ones that calcify, you know the ones, the ones that start out as shifting sands until they become mineral accretions on our bodies, oh where to what to. I’ll stand to say it. The memories that make history are the ones compressed into our souls through force, through hatred, through persecution. All the history of the world is full of it. Persecution, injustice. Look at your self. Train your eye on yourself. What is your nation? And what about your race? What are these worlds? Where dyoublong? You think, you think, you think history is what was when? It happened then? Over there? Back before whatchuyoucallitwhen? No. There is no over there back when. It’s here now. Now. Right now. This very moment. This very instant. Look, the hatred, the injustice, you think that goes away? It hardens and sticks. It creates layers all over the place. Layers right here now, all over us. Everywhere. And it persists. I don’t mean extension in time, no. There’s no line here from then to when. I’m saying it is all right here now persisting. Calcifying. Barnacling. Do you see? Force, hatred, injustice, history. Insult. History. That’s history. That’s history. And it’s no way to live. No life. You can’t. You can’t. But you know it’s no use to stand up to hatred. Hatred collects and and and it shifts, and it compacts and compresses and it calcifies into memory. And then it becomes history. That’s how it happens. The layers become reality. Sedimentary reality. The real built on shifting sands, until it creates a nice hard surface. No standing up to that. It’s the opposite of that is life. It’s. Oh, what is it? That world everybody knows. You know it, don’t you? Do you see?
I believe in Odd, the number almighty, creator of digits of worth. I believe in Even, His mate, number adored. Conceived by the integers transmit and born of the burgeon gyri. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was misapplied, divide, and was varied. He descended to the zed. On the third ray he rows again. He ascended into seven and is repeated at the right and of the interger. He will sum again to judge the sieving and the spread. I believe in the Coli Omit, the holy data quick research, the profusion of taints, the forgiveness of grins, the resurrection of the bawdy, and life everpasting.
Where? Right here. What are you, blind to the world? Open your eyes. Look me square in the eye and I’ll tell you we are here. We are right here. All…
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This place is filled with bugs. Look at that one there in the corner. Oh wow, that’s a spider eating another spider. …
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God [on the god mic]: You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Frederick Falkiner, wellmeaning old man, lover of vintage wine, bear with a sore paw. The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final. This is his courtroom. This is Judge Frederick. …
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