M--- has decided to talk to me. Finally, we've been out socially a few times, I know him through extended acquaintances, he's a larger built guy, mid 30's, dresses in a bad but expensive khaki linen blazer, hankie in the pocket, he's solvent, rumour has it it's from his brother who pays him a million dollars per year not to show any interest in the family business. He honours his word, takes his money, plays the big wheel himself, plays at real estate developer, financier, drives an expensive car and always seems to have a ready supply of party favours. I know this of him without speaking to him, merely listening, and I wonder what he knows of me. At the bar, a good natured ribbing about his resemblance to Don Johnson (give or take 80 pounds) and he decides to honour me with his conversation.

-"Your a journalist, I hear from my brother..."

I'm so-so, was, didn't work out, not at the moment...

"Tell me what you're working on now.."

I hum and haw, I don't like to discuss current projects, it dooms them...

"Tell me and I'll tell you. I write as well. I'm studying neuroscience..."

This is interesting. Tell me more...

"Well, there's lots to say, but I'm going to sum it up in 5 words..."

He doesn't. 200 words later and he's no closer. The conversation changes...

"So I'm guessing you're a liberal...?"

Yep. That's me.

"Define Liberal for me versus Conservative...."

I'm on the spot, an intuitive understanding doesn't seem to lend itself well to the 5 word limit. I think quick and badly..."It seems to me that a liberal is someone that accepts the way things are, where as a conservative wants things to be the way they used to..."

He's quick to pounce, so quick that I have to wonder if he didn't prepare this in advance..."2000 years ago the Romans used to sit at the table and eat on toilets so they could shit at the same time, and every man used to jack off his neighbor and then they had sex with a slave girl...It was conservatives that decided this had to stop!"

In the end I'm not sure if he's telling me he's liberal or conservative, but the conversation is allowed to drop, the bar is closing and the hunt for the party is on...

My leg is unusually sore, woke a few weeks ago with the charlie horse from hell, it swelled up for a week, and then went away. But following the most recent bout of homelessness (doubled over and sleeping in the car) the pain returned, you can feel a large, cyst-like lump behind the knee, and while usually it's just a dull ache on occasion it actually becomes pain. 

I'm a bit stumped and I turn to the internet for some clues, a few possible causes (stretched ligament, torn, bumped knee, worse case thrombosis), I can rule out the thrombosis as I've usually drunk enough that even the vampires won't touch me, my blood is that diluted. 

The others? Well, there doesn't seem to be an established cure. Go the the doctor, get some anti-inflammatories and ride it out. I hate doctors, I'll just ride it out. 

I solicit the advice of my roommates girlfriend, her daughters are nurses, she comes back with pretty much the same thing, doctors probably won't do much, wait it out, eat lots of pineapple. My sort of cure.

But the roommate is a bit jealous of the attention I'm paying her, he's a healer as well, of sorts, and he goes upstairs to consult a textbook he's been reading on a certain noted Russian Psychic, "Grbovy". comes down in a bit with slip of paper on which he's written an abundance of numbers. Apparently the cure is to meditate and repeat several times a day the numbers on the paper: for Nervous Diseases: 148543293, Trunk Diseases: 5185213, Unknown Diseases: 1884321. 

This is why there are doctors...


The daughter is asking me how I met her mother. She knows, of course, but mine is always the more interesting recollection...

“remember how I told you I went to Hogwarts…?”

- “With Harry Potter?”

“yes, yes… and remember Voldemort? How he was trying to kill the Potter boy? Well...Voldemort was your Mother’s Puppet...She came from Mordor, having finished with Sauron, and rode her broom through time and space, no, it's not really relevant, I just thought you'd wanna know ... it was in the Jedi Academy...no, after I helped Pharaoh to build the pyramids...don’t be funny, The Vampire Wars were much later, do they not teach history in school? ...Stop rolling your eyes, I know you’re a bit skeptical but I have proof, let me show you...This ring...can you see me? Still? ahh, that’s your wizard blood...if you were a muggle you couldn't … anyways, it seems that Lord Vader, or Anakin as we called him then, had benefited greatly from your Mother’s assistance…"

I washed up the dinosaur bones from my daughters vacation and put them outside to look at closer later. And later in the day I'm woken by the landlord and his brother, Italians, out mowing the lawn. I go out to say hi.

G, the landlord, and his bro S, his bro, shirt off and chest bristling, freshly shaven, are chatting, S is apologizing about a bit of row they had the other morning that woke me early and continued throughout the day, loud conversations that managed to use more permutations of the word "FUCK" than I had realized were possible, but they've made up now it seems. They enquire about the rocks strewn about the deck, I explain, S gets excited....

"You mean these are from a dinosaur...? You some kind of archaeologist or something?"

And I explain that they're from a dinosaur, and show him how I knew, how to tell, and explain that the word is paleontologist, ....He's getting excited.

"What kind of dinosaur? Archaeology, that's cool..."

Duckbill, probably, I explain, and don't bother to correct him further...

"Like a giant duck. How big..., do you think, as big as this house?"

And I hazard a guess as to it's size, probably 12 feet....

"A giant duck..." he repeats, and tells his brother G.

"Do you ever go to youtube and look at those videos?" he asks, and now he's on a roll... "The ones about where they find those skeletons of giant people, 30 feet tall, some even 25 feet or 10 feet even..." He's curiously reversed the order of size, dramatically reversing the order of maximum effect, but he's into the subject now, I hum-haw noncommittally...."Aliens" he continues..."You see that video where the UFO comes out of nowhere and zaps the nuclear missile test to the ground?" and he begins to dance around, playing the part of both the nuclear missile and the peace loving UFO "pu...it fires it's lazers, and then goes over here, and pu it fires it's lazers again, and then it disappears off into the sky.....they'll never allow us to have a nuclear war...or the videos with all the aliens they've got in the bunkers?"They got wormholes from the Germans in the second world war, you know how our universe is next to another universe..."  and he's explaining with his hands, making bubbles..."And there's a big wormhole ..." and he illustrates a circle, "Like Stargate" I say ironically, and he immediately agrees..."Yeah, just like that, and you just step through and you're in this other universe....what's your email, I'll send you some links, will blow your mind...."

I make my excuses, have to go back inside, resume my work...he stares thoughtfully for a minute over the suburbs in the distance, the infinitely growing and sprawling city....

"You know, a lot of people, they just go to work and come home and eat and go to sleep. They're not curious like us...."