I wandered over to the post office at Fort MacArthur to check General Delivery and found I had a postcard from Sylvie: Hi, G! With team in Japan 3rd day of 9 day whirlwind tour with 3 game series at the Hiroshima Stadium vs the Carp. Visited the Peace Memorial yesterday. Very sober. Team in good shape, but lost first game to Carp, 5 to 3. Got 6 ok innings out of starter Bell, who gave up 3 runs on 2 walks and a double in the third then a solo homer in the 5th, then bunt, stolen base, and walk off double off reliever Potts by Carp in bottom of 9th. Heading out to ballpark now for some publicity interviews, pics, etc. Hope all’s well w you! Love, Sylvie. Continued walk and from the views around Fort MacArthur I took in the ocean, thinking of the possibility of a neutrino like trip through the waves and I’d instantly be able to join Sylvie at the ballpark and take in the game in Japan with some salty peanuts and a couple of beers and maybe a sushi and rice bento. Instead, I found my way over to the harbor and walked down a ramp to check out the yachts, and there I found Cajetan who had found a job cleaning boats. We agreed to meet up for a beer later on the Rooftop. I walked back to Hotel Julian and pinned Sylvie’s postcard to the wall by the side of my bed, with the pic of the Peace Memorial facing out, and fell asleep and dreamed of meetings and presentations and trips up and down the West Coast thwarted by failed connections, ticketing issues, floods, and train wrecks, roads rising and falling like waves.
“Postcard from Sylvie” is episode 38 of Inventories a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads. (Click link for continuous, one page view of all episodes.)
Note: With episode 30, the title of the novel was changed from the original working title of “Ball Lightning” to Inventories.
Mistake of the gods. Changing size. Sylvie Storm. Neutrinos.
But I digress more maybe than necessary. Sylvie was calling. I was still dismounting my Vespa, emptying saddle bags, when my cell phone buzzed and lit up and I could hear the call was from Sylvie, my unfaithful half goddess psychotherapist and part time partner, probably calling to warn me off another one of my bad decisions. We shared office space in a little place I owned up on Queen Anne, a folk Victorian from 1907, inherited from my mother. Glaucus, Sylvie said, when we first met, fate is the decisions you make. Sometimes I think she remains my occasional companion just so she can restock this rune of hers into my road weary bag of regrets. Decisions I made? When was there ever a decision I made that was mine alone and not influenced in some way by the gods? And the gods make mistakes. In any case, and to bring to a close that business with Vettebug, and before we go on too much further here, I should probably make clear, I am not some comic book hero, or villain. I am a mistake of the gods. I am at least part human. The rest I’m not sure of, though certainly not from planet Earth. I am able to adjust my size at will, though at a huge cost of energy, and at risk of random results, coming and going. Having made a change in size, I require rest. Indeed, I am often near death. I prefer small sizes, the easier to negotiate and move about without attracting much attention, to move through crowds, for example. To explain in a way you might understand (indeed, in a way I might understand), I’m able to break myself down into an emergent group of neutrinos. Thus I’m able to move through solid masses – walls, mountains, trees, Corvettes. But I say emergent because it’s never totally certain what the group will reform into. In other words, I’m never certain I’ll be able to return to what you might call normal, that is, my normal size, the size in which I choose to live most of my life. I’m subject, then, to a certain amount of randomness, to noise, to use a word the actuaries are fond of. To bring to a close, then, the Corvette incident: I changed the Corvette to the size of a Matchbox toy car. Vetteman was now the giant he wished for.
“Mistake of the gods” is episode 4 of Ball Lightning a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads