Cotard wants to take a victory lap but the swailing winds of salt keep getting in his eyes, he can't appreciate the surrounding vegeatation as he and Erneste walk around the grounds.
Erneste: the farm is yours. the big bad seems to have disappeared.
Cotard: i sure hope that isn't the case in this world. i mean i do want Manny to come back, i really hope he's not gone forever.
Erneste: life can never be gotten wholly, it must be savored in bites of distraction. for now, let's relax a little if nothing else.
Cotard: a respite free from spite full of LeBron's Mix Sprite, i'm down. told you i'd do it.
Erneste: it was the purple onions i keep telling you.
Cotard: nah man, pretty sure it was the Stones. it's all about the Beige Stones, they give you power but they change you, but they don't change you against your will, they seem to mold you into the type of person you are meant to be from jump, collecting from material deep down in your soul where you can't go, they reach to there and pull you back up from your internal roots.
the salt waves to and fro across the plains, i'm sure that's good for the banana crops somehow.
Erneste: as a reward we flew over your other cat.
Cotard: thank you so much my brother! it's been ages! i love them so much and it's rare to get both of them together with me to form the power trio. Kiss is always the troublemaker even when she doesn't mean to. the latest crisis is fleas, her whole body is covered in fleas poor thing. that explains everything, that's why she's been so jumpy since birth. how would you like it if all you knew of life is little bugs gnatting and gnawing their way into your skin, burrowing their way into your subconscious like an eternal stain you cannot remove with fire?
Erneste: metaphor for evil.
Cotard: so i've only just now begun ferreting those disgusting suckers out my kitty's body. i flea-comb her coat daily but it's never enough. they come back. they always come back. i wash her with special shampoo. she was terrified, never had a bath before. i relaxed her by reminding her that i had never been bathed before, at least not that i'd known of. we got through it with just a few scratches on me but the fleas returned the next day. her coat was nice and shiny for that one day, though, gotta keep it positive. there are expensive creams and pills i could buy but i have the feeling they would only work for a few weeks then back to square one. like humans. we have to bathe everyday. i don't but we have to. we can't stay clean forever off of one wash. we'll always get dirty again. being dirty is our natural state. we have to wet ourselves constantly, forever.
Erneste: we will never be clean.
Erneste picks up a stone pimp cup off the road which has been stained with Berte's filthily clean fingerprints and approaches a weeping willow whose hair is standing on end from the leftover crackling energy of the blast and maintained from the wind. he squeezes a knot in the bark---layers shed---and strains out some tree beer and takes a
SIP, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
Erneste: see, the willow's hair is returning to its natural state of sad and droopy. i wonder if that's our natural state as well.
he offers the monk a share sip but Cotard refuses instead opting to look at his red knuckles.
Cotard: my hair's always a bother. what is this? i don't remember this.
Erneste: you gave him a bloody nose.
Cotard: oh i hate the sight of blood. i want blood to remain inside the body and out of view. i abhor violence. but i thought i didn't touch him, i gave him an energy blast from a distance.
Erneste: you don't remember touching him before the blast? you scrapped naked. it doesn't seem to be that easy in this world. it's not a matter of doing things in the ether and forgetting about them. everything you do has consequences and you are connected to others whether you want it or not. you had to touch him if only for a moment for the attack to work, your hands with the five fingers caressed his face for a split second before the attack commenced, invisible to the eye but not to your subconscious. that's how this world has been set up.
Cotard: i'm having difficulty focusing on which things to remember. my body is naked, my mind fragmented in scraps. all glory. it's better this way. we have to be connected, otherwise what's the point? loneliness is a disease. it's like alcohol, it seems like a good idea at the time but soon the layers of quiet increase. the quiet is soothing at first but then it gets too quiet. man desires desperately for the silence to be broken with something glorious. mew mew!
the cats run up into the monk's lap. he takes out a block with letters and numbers on them and has them play with it.
Cotard: rudimentary language. it'll help them form words later on so they can tell me what they really are saying, what they want, what their cries and yowls mean.
Erneste: pretty sure they either want to get outside somewhere or they're hungry. that covers about 90%.
Cotard: but what of that magical 10% untapped potential? we need a new language over here on the human side of things. our problem is we've run out of words. maybe we need to go back and make already-established words mean something else. there are still feelings we experience that defy wordic description. and besides, my concept of a word isn't yours cos no two humans ever have the same experience. quick, when i say the word disarm, what do you think of?
Erneste: the drones of course.
Cotard: i of course think immediately to that black and white and color Smashing Pumpkins video with the squeaky toy at the beginning.
the monk gets out from his other cilice pocket a squeaky toy for his pets to wrestle with.
Erneste: i see. connection is impossible.
Cotard: yep, absolutely vital and doomed from the start. way of the world. way of this world anyway, the one we all seem to be in at the moment.
Erneste: i brought you here to this peaceful shed away from your adoring villager fans cos i want you to start sensing your sense memory again. i want you to think of your precious mother.
Cotard: why? burying the urn will be painful enough.
Erneste: but your mother brings you no pain, she's the only one who doesn't, she brings you life, unconditional love and happiness throughout. memories are all we have at the end. each one of her memories must be strong within you, it must take you to a place of strength. always, forever and always, no matter what, no matter what overwhelming thing happens.
Cotard: what's this all about? are you holding out on me?
Erneste: call it a hunch. okay, yes, i've watched a couple of online videos despite my mild disdain for it and general attraction to the open fields. i feel this is important. feelings, that's what it's all about.
Cotard: no, moms and i had our share of knock-down-drag-outs which i deeply regret. but that's the thing with regrets, they can never live in the oxygen of the present. when i was a boy she would lovingly lay my clothes out for the day on my little bed. i never appreciated it back then but like a stupid kid i deeply inhaled them because they were always so fresh and so clean, as if a new wave of sunlight had bathed the mud and grime off last night's travails and were anew again, strong in fiber and loyalty. the sniff and smell of care. i still do that with my clothes, lay them out the night before before sleeping on top of them all night.
Erneste: sounds a bit creepy.
Cotard: perhaps. but we really do need to understand each other, we need a new vocabulary to connect to each other again. one man's creepy is another man's misunderstood. is it creepy if everyone does it a century later? time is long and so are the rickety lenses we use to observe current mores. the only constant is change which is an impossible statement if you think about it. it was all fine and dandy when i was a beautiful little boy on my mother's warm shield but when the stupid world attacked and firearrowed our castle turrets, dragging us into their ill-conceived war, i became angry. i never knew i could get angry, never was as a kid, and the floodgates were broken open. on a typical July night i was mad and mad over something life-shattering that is now a drop of water on the Moon, i couldn't attend a party i had to go to for status but didn't want to. my friends dissed me making them not my friends the moment they dissed me. we had just installed a pool table where the dining table used to be with mom's second-job money giving injections which led her each night into the middle of dawn. instead of appreciating my mother's gift, i thought back to how i loved to eat chicken fingers on that table as a boy, i hated being a youth, i wanted my youth back. youth is wasted on the young, another impossibility. my mom never lost her spirit, her faith was rock-solid, not Stones solid. she patiently waited out my fumes and noxious diatribes against the whole of existence, especially her since she was the only soul in the room, mine was already gone. i was the only one in my clique without a girlfriend so the empty pool table stared at me, laughed at me at how useless it was being played on with solitary games, its balls were breaking my balls, the rack was hooked on its nail on the sidewall all Illuminati triangle before that was a thing. all i wanted to do was take a cue from other angry disaffected people in literature and smash all the balls apart with a pool cue, cut the pool table in two and poke a hole in the ceiling. mom draped her apron over the felt pool table, taking her time to deliberately round off the sidepockets tight with hospital corners. i could see myself angry like this and i felt relieved, i had gotten it all out and prayed my mother would forgive me like she had before, hoped she would always forgive me throughout all of space and time for eternity. i saw myself with red eyes in my own movie causing all this damage and destruction to our house that i hadn't paid one red cent for, i saw myself reveling in my righteous anger, but just as quickly as those feelings swelled up they let back down. it's as if nobody is ever bigger than the balance of the universe. i didn't do it, no no no no, i didn't actually do it, i just imagined it, it was all a dream, or a nightmare, thank God for nightmares, thank God for spaces which are not of this life and this life's consequences, spaces we can go to to work out our problems with air and pictures. i found my terrified face dug deep in my mother's apron, staining it with my wetness. the apron strings swayed back and forth in perfect time, both equidistant to each other, never touching, like a grandfathered-in clock. i was not in control, i couldn't control my hacky hackneyed breathing, but i could control one thing: what i thought, what i felt at that moment, i could turn a switch on my brain and force myself to think of happy thoughts, to realize that everything was fleeting, save for one saving thing: a clear picture of my mother which spanned the generations and was written in dripping stars on the unbound canvas of inner space.
Zach on tv at the hallowed grounds: i'm at a loss for worlds. i never thought i'd get another one. to do this at the birthplace of our sport makes it eternal. this game is full of people who are salt of the earth, who enjoy a drink with friends, who destress with divots and depressed sand. but they always replace their divots. they mark their scorecards with their little pencils honestly, fairly, they don't cheat by giving themselves an extra negative stroke, they use the stroke they were given positively and improve upon it, spit on it to shiny it up, to clean it up. then they all gather round the pub at the gloaming, never speaking out of turn, never raising their voice, making sure the legends get their iced-tea/lemonade before they quietly ask for a napkin. sippy cups and straws. the golf is the gateway, but it's the darts which opens everyone's eyes in the dimly-lit bar to what family is, of togetherness, of people with other people in a space enclosed from the harshness of whizzing cars outside, of the inside with a window to the rolling greens and perfectly-cut fairways, the daily cuts of life, ensconced in tradition as old as time. thank you from the bottom of my golf heart, my golf soul.
the crowds gathering for this speech break the silence of the sunlit hill with one layer above a golf clap, but it's still not as perfectly interspersed as the cries of the gulls from the beach.
tv: BREAKING NEWS...
Codrus: ...thank you for joining us today. we believe we have uncovered the meaning of the first writing on the head of the first tablet. it appears to be a title: RULES OF LIFE though LIFE could actually be FREEDOM. and the first line below it also has the symbol for RULES so i'm thinking it's gotta be some sort of iteration of RULE #1: THERE ARE NO RULES. that's what the Jeopardy! tournament will suss out: which man is smart enough to join my company. we need the best and the brightest here, people. think of me as Bill Gates only now it's REALLY important. life is not a computer game.