Mashmallows are still on the lawn, even though it rained hot cocoa last night just like every other night.
I tell this to my neighbor. I say, “The marshmallows never melt.”
And my neighbor says, “Yeah, that’s how it is over here,” and a winged horse with a horn on its head appears behind him.
And I say, “Oh look, there’s a pegacorn.”
And without bothering to turn around, he says, “Yeah, they’re around.”
And she says, “It’s these kids getting into trouble and ruining the city.”
“And JC,” she says. “JC runs this city.”
I say, “Who?”
She says, “Jerome Corp.”
I say, “Jereme Corp.”
She says, “Jerome Corp.”
She says, “They run this city. And they don’t do anything for the city.” And she says, “You know how it says you can’t park in the streets between 3 and 6 in the morning? That used to be for street cleaning, but they haven’t done that in years.”
I say, “That’s unfortunate.”
She says, “In years.”
I say, “That’s very unfortunate.”
She says, “In years.”
I say, “That’s very very unfortunate.”
She says, “But it’s getting better here.”
I say, “In what ways?”
She says, “It’s turning around.”
I say, “How is it turning around?”
She says, “It’s starting to come back.”
I say, “What makes you think that?”
She says, “It’s in the news.”
I say, “What’s in the news?”
She says, “They’re rebuilding golly hi.”
I say, “What’s that?”
She says, “It’s the hi school.”
I say, “Ah.”
She says, “It’ll be ready next year.”
I say, “Great.”
She says, “And I was appreciating not having to deal with kids.” She says, “Once they reopen the school, you’ll see kids everywhere, breaking into property and getting into fisticuffs.”
I say, “That’s not good.”
She says, “There was a donnybrook at the concert a couple months ago here at The Park. You know they throw concerts at The Park. Like do you know the Beatles?”
I say, “Yeah.”
She says, “The Beatles perform every year.”
I say, “Are the Beatles from gollyland?”
She says, “No.”
She says, “And the Spice Girls. Do you know the Spice Girls?”
I say, “Yes.”
She says, “What about Cognitive Descendants?”
I say, “No.”
She says, “Average boy band.”
I say, “Are they from gollyland?”
She says, “No, none of the performers that perform in gollyland are from gollyland.”
I say, “I see.” And I say, “I’ve been around to Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, Chicago, and other cities, and I have to say gollyland is like no other city.”
She says, “I’ve been in gollyland all my life because I can’t afford to get out of this hellhole.”
“Well,” I say, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
And she says, “I guess it’s a convenient location if you don’t drive. Everything you need is within walking distance.”
“Which works out for the environment,” I say.
“Fuck the environment,” she says, “I’m freezing my fingers off. The other day, I came home with the groceries and I literally took my mittens off like this,” and you could see her hands convulsing. “Anyway, I have to go to my next appointment.”
I say, “How much did you say I owed you?”
She says, “Twelve dollars.”
I produce my check book, and she says, “Can you make sure to put the suffix on it? My mom has the same name, and she might think it’s her check and cash it.”
I hand Snowblowergirl the check, and I say, “Maybe it’ll warm up before Christmas.”
“It won’t,” she says on her way out. “But you get used to it.”
gollyland is a place where you can’t create and you can’t consume.
That’s where I am right now.
That’s where you are right now.
Void and static.
And for the longest time, this is all I can think.
I’ve started thinking of ending it with Phil for good because he’s a hack.
Not counting the fact, of course, that my five favorite books of all time are probably by him.
But in gollyland, you’re only as good as your last book I’ve read, which happens to be Transmigration of Timothy Archer.
And yet, when the library closed for construction and I had to resort to an ebook, I took it as a sign to pick up another of Phil’s, the hardcopy of which has eluded the LAPL database.
Get your shit together, LAPL!
About fifteen pages later, I like it, and I like it a lot. It reads like Phil actually gave a shit this time. I’m still keeping my expectations in check. You must when romancing Philip, and his other cajoleries in the archives of What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately-Cum-You-Call-This-Love? are Counter-Clock World, Game-Players of Titan, A World Jones Made, Radio Free Albemuth, the vastly overrated Valis, and Ganymede Fuckin Takeover – and did I say Ganymede Fuckin Takeover? – each of which once offered similar gold tin foiled Kisses that started as Hershey’s, ended as Judas’.
And stop blaming it on the drugs!
No more excuses, Horselover Fat. Not another misstep.
I can only give back what you give me, and it’s your move.