Life as a writer in the Age of Gold, as the later half of twenty-first century was being touted, wasn't very taxing. In fact, I could barely remember a time when it was. Most mornings I got up to an already made cup of pre-stirred coffee with two hazelnut creamers, walked outside and sat in the world's most comfortable deck chair, watched as the sun rose over the Sierra Nevada mountains behind me, and gazed out upon it's dazzling, golden reflection upon Lake Tulare, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Life was so easy that I often wondered why it was that way, and why I possessed the myriad of privileges that I did. It was Ouzel, the artist, who kept reminding me of the truth as he knew it.
"THEY too get bored my friend."
A few creative friends and I were gathered around a bar named The Argo which was owned by another friend of ours named Miguel De Santiago, a tall, bearded, very handsome pianist from Barcelona, Spain. When Ouzel mentioned the word THEY, everyone at the table, Vesuvia The Sexy, a red-headed lounge singer, Gordon the All Knowing, an English historian, Ouzel, Myra Rosas, a poet of uncommon beauty, Leo, the bartender, and myself, we all looked over our shoulders. It had been over ten years since the events known as the End of The Bickering, and in many ways things were so much better. Still, that anxious feeling that someone was always listening was pervasive, and I wondered if any of us would ever have a day without its ghostly presence.
We all knew that the ominous pronoun was as close as anybody in human history had ever gotten toward identifying whoever or whatever was in ultimate control. The proper noun Antediluvian had appeared suddenly out of nowhere to describe a group that once been known, in the first part of the century as the Corporate Elites. Gordon, who enjoyed the privilege of access to the deepest historical archives ever assembled informed us that the term was first used as a joke in one those ubiquitous late night talk shows that were once employed as means of social control. The term went 'viral', a well-used colloquialism, and a word that we now know simply meant a concept that was used like an aerosol to fertilize the collective consciousness. Gordon's first book The Unturned Stone, the one that led to his invitation to sit on the Council, was a brilliant analysis of the events occurring in the last half of the Twentieth Century and which ended in the year 2030 with the Good Vibration (The event was actually named using the title of the Beach Boys song a group which had begin by singing music associated with the surfing culture of California). The more formal term for the period was the End of the Bickerings.
Everyone sitting at the table, and many millions of others all around the world had gotten up one morning and witnessed what looked and felt like a glitch in the flow of time. The sky suddenly shimmered, and our vision of the the world got blurry, and everything in it shook for exactly one second. Yeah, one second. Most of the population of the Earth and the majority of its man-made objects simply disappeared from sight. Things like houses, buildings, highways, cars, public schools, igloos, telephone poles, and planes were gone. Some things, a lot actually, remained it was true, and the main difference seem to be that the things that were left behind were the beautiful things, simple, of undeniable use and inspirational. For example, the Golden Gate Bridge still spanned the San Francisco Bay, the Statue of Liberty maintained its post in New York Harbor; the Space Needle in Seattle, the Eiffel Tower in Paris were still there The Cathedral of Chartres went one step further and actually elevated to a position five feet higher than the ground it once rest upon.
At the same time, all of the crime and drug infested housing developments, concrete banks, ugly billboards, the mansions of the greedy, fast-food restaurants, public schools, traffic lights, trash piles, the homeless encampments, and all of the graffiti covered, boarded up buildings in the inner cities were gone in the flash of an eye. One of the strangest things that had happened was although most of the homeless were gone, it was not all of them, some were still there. It was later assumed that it was the drug users amongst them who had disappeared, but not even all of them. The strangest thing of all was that Washington D.C., the U.S. Capitol and most of the people who worked there were gone along with the White House, the President, and his political staff. Wall Street at noon was strangely silent and it was later determined that ninety percent of the denizens of Manhattan were missing.
"Elaborate on the idea that THEY get bored too, Amigo," said Gordon as held up his empty gin glass so that Leo could see it. " I think there might be some truth to the idea, but also think it could just as easily be that they need someone to record the truth, lest they forget it.
Before Ouzel could respond to that, Myra took up the gauntlet as she usually did. "You are both partially right. They do get bored and in their idleness, they have chosen other people like us to find the truth for them. No more heavy lifting, for them. They are too powerful, too entrenched to ever be afraid of the truth again."
I loved looking at Myra when she spoke, her jade eyes lit up and her voice was like the smoke from burning incense. I opened my palms and raised one eyebrow to ask, "Well, what then?" She told me once that she loved the way I talked without using words (It's why I did it).
So she flashed a grin my way before she answered, "Haven't any of you ever wondered why they are on this side of the divide and still in position to call the shots? Maybe they need the truth we provide to sustain their position."
While the others oohed and sighed in realization, I quickly glanced at Gordon, and it was obvious that it was a subject he really didn't want to get into in this setting. We had discussed the issue somewhat the last we had went fishing. He had some very strong opinions on the matter. In fact, there was a passage in his book where he had discussed the Pilates (He pronounced it pill lah tez) a term he had he coined himself to refer to the political class of the first quarter of the twenty-first century). The name was a reference, of course, to Pontius Pilate the Roman governor of Judaea(36 to 26CE) who pronounced sentence on Jesus Christ. It was plainly obvious that Pilate didn't really want to condemn Christ, but willingly did so on behalf of the Roman Empire in order to maintain his privileged position as an interface. Gordon stated that the position was no longer needed as humanity on this side of the divide had "leveled up" after the Good Vibration. He shared that he had found evidence that the rest of humanity hadn't disappeared at all. They were still there with all their toys and tribalism where they always had been. It was the rest of us who had translated into a supra-sensible higher level of consciousness.
Myra had almost hit the nail on the head. Gordon had explained to me, that they, whoever they were, needed the truth that we mined for them from our own subconscious which was now pretty much exposed to the elements. He mentioned that many, many years ago the elite class had discovered the truths contained in the ancient wisdom and decided to restrict excess to those truths, distract the general population with banalities and half-truth and outright lies, keeping the information secret in order to gain advantage and power. Along the way, they realized they were missing out on advantages to be gained by the valuable knowledge they possessed. Some bright people amongst them realized they needed a lot more illumination to be able to forge portals through the dimensional interface large enough for them sneak through by hiding amongst the truly enlightened. The problem was that their oppression of the truth was working too well. So, in the middle of last century, they initiated a series of psychological operations designed to push the human evolutionary path forward at a rapid pace. They designed and propagated culture in a way that expanded the consciousness of some while continuing to oppress others. In their writings, they referred to those who didn't get it by the pejorative BREATHERS. The term was defined as being humans who were seemingly incapable of showing a positive growth in consciousness, people who could easily controlled, easily manipulated, and willing to believe almost anything, no matter how absurd, to maintain their position in society while never taxing their mental/emotional states.
We woke up in this new world like newborn babies, I mean, except for the fact that most of us were older, and even maybe, a little more curious about life than most of our missing neighbors had been. It was a context thing. For example, I had traveled to the bar on my new bike. When I had gone to sleep that first night I just lay down on picnic table that had been in my back yard. When I woke up, I was in a bed in my new house, the one above the lake, the one that floated three feet off the ground. The funniest thing about it was, it was the house I often dreamed about, a simple, rustic affair kind of like a cross between a mountain cabin and a beach house, but a little more luxurious than either. Everything I needed was there, yet it very uncluttered and clean. I had two simple bedrooms upstairs, a living room attached to the kitchen divided by a long marble counter with four chairs, and a library/office space which doubled as a reading room and place to write. Then there was the porch that surrounded the house with one side facing out over the lake and another facing the mountains.
That comfortable deck chair I mentioned earlier had no visible means of support. It looked like a little floating cloud and was as soft and fluffy as you would imagine a cloud would be. My bike had no wheels. It was silver and shaped like a fish; it had handlebars and a seat and pedals. It also moved very fast. The real crazy thing was that I didn't really need it. I soon learned that I could just close my eyes for a second and travel around as fast as I needed. It was decided by all thought to keep things kind of similar for while as the newness was a bit overwhelming. It was kind of like watching that old 200l Space Odyssey by director Stanley Kubrick where no one understood the ending because of the lack of context. A decision made to keep things the same for a while to orientate ourselves to this new and strange environment, thus the bike with no wheels. It was also decided that we would be required to use the pedals. Indolence was frowned upon above most things and many believed that we would get very lazy unless we participated in some mandated some physical activity. The bike actually had a device mounted that recorded every pedal we took. I didn't mind, and neither did the others; it felt good to stretch our legs, and we often went on group cycles.
Probably the weirdest thing I could mention was the only rule that THEY actually wrote down and distributed. It seemed THEY feared that we would close our eyes for longer periods, and they wouldn't know what we were thinking. Sleep as we once knew it was no longer required, yet we kept the night time with its procedures the same, with one big exception. We could not close our eyes for prolonged periods of time. When the lights went out, a camera mounted over our beds would activate and if we closed our eyes too long, or actually went to sleep (which was still possible, even if unneeded) an alarm would sound to remind us to keep out eyes open. We never knew if they could even enforce the directive, but we were not argumentative types by nature. I'm not sure if they ever knew that most of us had learned to day-dream long ago, and had we wanted, we could just easily sleep with our eyes wide open.
When I arrived home that evening, I was more than a bit troubled, more so than I had been since I had arrived on this side of things. My son Jason was still on the other side. Gordon had mentioned that there was a group left behind there who were referred to as the 49 %. They were the people who were so close to transitioning, but were holding on to something that kept them from achieving the 51% shift in consciousness that would have placed them on the other side of the divide. My son was very strong willed, brave and intelligent. So intelligent that he thought he was strong enough to doubt the existence of God. I suspect that was what held him back. Gordon also informed me that there had long been small portals which made it possible to travel between the dimensions. He explained that all of those ancient myths which talked about facing dragons and other such monsters in subterranean worlds had been about such traveling. He also explained that THEY were doing their best to get all of their own relatives out of lower depths before they shut down the portals. They assumed that shutting down the portals would guarantee their entrenched existence on the higher level.
All I knew, was I needed to reach my son and convince him of the foolishness of his war with God. And I had to do it soon.
I showered and went outside, sat crosslegged and meditated (with eyes open) on the porch facing a large new moon. I envisioned my daughter Julie rocking her nephew Billy, my grandson, to sleep on a hillside north of Fresno (babies were exempted from the closed eyes restrictions). I tried my best to manifest an image of my son being there in the morning when Billy awoke, but something kept obstructing the vision. Afterwards, I read a chapter from a book about Hunter S. Thompson, the man who created Gonzo journalism. I was researching to write a book on how the world of 1960's had opened the door to such a flood of lunacy, ignorance, and lies to where it had gotten to the point where you could not even acknowledge the difference between day and night without making someone angry.
When I arose from the cross-legged position, I got up to the thought of how my knees no longer creaked and my back did not need stretching. I went inside to my bedroom and thought about darkness and the lights turned off. I crawled into the most comfortable bed I've ever known, and keeping my eyes wide open, dreamed about a lady named Susie.