4.1 - More bleedthrough.
A new player enters scene.
He calls himself Psycho Ra.
I shouldn't have read that last entry aloud.
He has too much on me now if he didn't have it already.
I will alternate pages for dummy/decoy entries from here on out and keep the real entries coded.
I'm willing to grant the possibility that what he read in group comes from a genuine struggle of his that mirrors mine.
Losing the light,
I'm also willing to entertain that the shit he said didn't have anything to do with Dad.
It's one fucking word,
and a common enough one at that.
why the flashback alongside it?
He's acting as a lightning rod or antenna,
unwittingly transmitting my torment from the ether,
enacting their will below his awareness as a Manchurian candidate.
He is an agent of the ghosts who come for me,
with full knowledge of what he is doing, and who he is doing it for.
There is no strategy right now.
I am both repulsed and fascinated with what he seems to know.
The shock is wearing off.
Track 9 on this album?
I've been sitting in my car for half an hour now.
More as it comes.
(Transcribed and decoded from “Crow Journals” by Tesseract Agent Codename: SignalSam)
5.2 - A new fragment falls onto the table.
This fellow we call Judas has joined our group.
Here's what I know about him
(other than that he,
a new inductee into our bellyaching-over-notebook-pages group,
bellyaches over notebook pages):
He made allusions to some organization shady enough to require NDAs and is a good enough boy to obey them.
Maybe if I could find some pretext to get him liquored up or high and steer the conversation there,
some light might come to the subject,
but that'd be something of a long con.
There was a bit of the old "sell your soul to the devil for the sake of your art" stuff too.
Is he just an insufferably flowery writer or is he testing the waters to refer to some genuine contact?
Neither of these mean much to me right now,
but these seeds may take root in time.
The heart of the matter:
He knew my father.
I didn't press him on the subject or introduce the fact.
My plan as it stands is to mention this to him after a few more meetings and search his face for genuine surprise as opposed to a pantomime of it.
This actually leads back to my suspicions vis a vis Psycho Ra insofar as I couldn't get a clear read on whether or not they know each other.
If they do
(and I suspect they do),
they make a point of minimal acknowledgement.
The thread of possibility splits here.
1 - They both knew my father and are circling me like patient sharks, or
2 - I am an obsessive who could stand to get more sunlight and exercise.
On second thought, these are not mutually exclusive.
(Transcribed and decoded from “Crow Journals” by Tesseract Agent Codename: SignalSam)
6.2 - Uneventful group this week.
I was having some technical problems with the oscillator box when Judas walked into the coffee shop.
He talked about my father as if they were acquaintances at most.
The only thing I can make of that other than the face value of it is that he knows he couldn't hide having met him/being aware of him,
and is going for a safer bet.
He flirted with breaking his NDA by way of reading his entry,
but that is outranked on the List of Things about which I Am Curious.
Psycho Ra seems to be dealing with beings who I'm increasingly convinced are non-metaphorical.
This has nothing to do with me.
it probably doesn't.
Speaking of dream-tricksters,
I was brought back to the shrine last night.
It's been -
has it been twelve years? -
a long time,
but the icons didn't show the age they should have.
More than none at all though,
which means my mind produced an image it did not witness,
or at least allowed this update safe passage.
I am fashioning a sigil from stick,
A [redacted] appears in my awareness where once there was only stone wall.
I lose any sense of having been in this place before,
then regain it as I recognize the door as the intruder,
an invasive species.
There is then the intuition that I have to chase this thing immediately after noticing it,
as if it's shyness would lock it up,
or disintegrate it back into the wall.
I'll never know if either of those scenarios would have come to be,
because it opened smoothly,
without sound nor friction.
In the darkness,
I hit a walking stick in front of me to test the ground.
All of the shadow unites and pulses until I fear the possibility of its sentience.
Sentience finds me.
The Man in the Long Coat.
His back is turned to me and his [redacted] runs along a [redacted] in the [redacted],
like fingers in a lovers hair.
I don't know if he hears me.
I don't think I want him to.
My next step reverberates.
He turns around with surprising swiftness.
Though his face is pained,
I don't think that had anything to do with me.
It must have been carved that way for years.
Suddenly the [redacted] widens.
His body is sucked out,
as if the cave were the fuselage of an airplane.
Throughout all this,
the air feels no different.
I don’t know what’s to become of me.
I awake to a piercing sound,
its pitch at the outer limit of the ear.
My box was right at the frequency it went out on.
There must have been thrashing in my sleep which knocked a loose connection into place.
Scrambling into wakefulness,
I swat at it crudely.
This distorts the low-end.
Without looking back on the dream as I normally would,
I take this thing forward and further.
Before I knew it I was recording.
Something lives inside this,
and it could end me.
I want to delete it.
I want to replace all the wires in the hardware.
I am aware that this is not an option.
Parasitism wouldn't be the best metaphor here,
but it's not too far away.
The ghost in the noise needs me,
and I need it to not kill me,
in order that I can live.
It seems to know what I want
(in terms of the whole "being an artist" thing)
and it is letting that flow through me to convince me of its power.
If given the choice,
I would not have accepted these conditions.
By the time I'm dressed,
it's about 10:45 pm.
I walk along the bus route.
Most every stop is vacant.
Five blocks from from a small park,
an academic-looking man is trying to light a pipe.
He's using matches in the wind.
It isn't working.
I muster up a boy scout-like cheerfulness to offer him the use of my lighter.
He smiles at the help this is.
What angel could have sent me his way?
Taller than I am,
he hunches over to receive the flame.
I enter my blade just below his floating ribs,
then bring it down diagonally.
Three inches of metal go a long way.
The bus would arrive in,
I break his shin with my lead pipe,
then kick him still spasming into the street.
At the trunk of a nearby tree,
I change my hoodie.
His blood on my black jeans loses its warmth and I feel a ghost smile.
this specter promises me sweet things.
I feel so full inside.
A freedom brighter than sunlight bursts within me.
If only I knew the terms of this contract.
I have no desire whatsoever to share this control.
7.2 - I've been buzzing for the past week.
The feeling's somewhere between falling in love
and having had too much coffee.
Sometimes it feels like I'll vibrate right out of my skin,
like I'm moving faster than the time around me
and can perceive the frequencies of the molecules that make up the material world.
The fear of this intensity,
when it does cross my mind,
only comes as a muted abstraction from time to time.
There have been moments where my awareness would return to my body only to find it doing things I couldn't account for.
In one instance,
folding a receipt for batteries into an origami pattern I have never learned.
dancing in the median of the road to songs from car radios.
In yet another,
reciting the opening of Group to,
That one caught my nerves particularly off guard,
but I let the muscle memory carry me through it all.
Though it wasn't an option,
I wanted to wait until last to read my dummy entry since it dealt with actually creating and not nail-biting over how mean my internal editor is.
Perhaps in the next I'll feign some of these struggles to maintain whatever appearance of being relatable I might have left.
While I was reading,
some very clear impulse inside of me wanted me to read that dream aloud.
I (who most decidedly did NOT want to share that)
had to wrestle with this internally as the dummy words kept flowing from me.
When I came to,
Judas was reading.
As far gone as I may have become,
I'm assuming these things occurred in their usual sequence -
without any sort of quantum skip -
a brief scene is missing in my mind.
What the fuck is this I hear from Judas?
A [redacted] is suddenly and inexplicably there in a place familiar to him?
He fears it will lock or disappear if he doesn't open it immediately?
Endless [redacted]? [Redacted] in [redacted]?
THE MAN IN THE LONG COAT?
Running a [redacted] along the [redacted] to inspect it until it opens up to swallow him?!?!
I come to,
pretty (seemingly) nonsensical and obscenity-laden stuff,
my right hand at his throat,
my left hand reaching for my knife.
It isn't there.
Psycho Ra is holding me back,
talking me down.
It probably all looked like pure anger,
but there was confusion and terror mixed up in there too.
As much as I'd like to form some kind of Order of Those Chosen by The Man in The Long Coat with this fellow, there's too much between us.
There are too many possibilities as to how that story came out of his mouth,
and every single one of them means he has to die.
If the impulse jumped from me to him,
he can't be trusted knowing this.
Did he read my journal?
He has to die.
Did he read my fucking mind?
He really has to die.
Did he actually have that dream?
if he drew again like he said he did,
he's already killed to get that piece,
and I have no reason to consider myself in good standing with him.
There is no scenario in which he does not have to die.
It takes me three days to learn his schedule.
I was prepared for this to take weeks.
He gets home from work at 6 and his lights are out by 10.
I use a screwdriver to unlatch his back gate,
which I reach through a back alley.
The crudest part of this operation was wrapping a towel around my hand and punching through a pane in the door's glass to reach the knob.
I cough as I do this to cover this noise.
It mostly works,
if it doesn't,
no one does anything to stop me.
He's in REM sleep when I tie his wrists to the bedposts,
and his ankles to each other.
The noises he makes in his sleep sound more and more wakeful as I tighten the ropes.
After stuffing the towel,
shards of glass and all,
into his mouth,
I break his fucking knee with the pipe.
His screams muffled between bleeding lips,
he looks up at me through tears.
He starts babbling,
and seems to think I'm someone who he answers to. In the flood of excuses, there's some mention of something called Tesseract. I didn't correct his impression in the hopes he would go on about whatever this is, suddenly he stops.
His eyes locked on mine.
The fear is briefly replaced with a hysterical confusion.
He suddenly realizes it's me and asks what I'm doing.
I hit him for saying my name.
even my group name.
When I ask what my dad had to do with this,
some of his bed-wetting terror is replaced by a smugness in knowing things that I don't.
His words devolve into sounds bubbling the blood,
I put the towel back in his mouth and reach for my knife
(which, by the way,
I found next to this journal and cannot explain the movement of,
but there's a lot I can't explain these days).
Shielding my clothes from arterial spray with a blanket,
I stick the knife in his jugular and stand there watching the blood geyser out until it loses its pressure.
Catching my breath,
with the flashlight at my right side,
the left side of my field of vision is made faintly blue.
It’s the phone in his right pocket,
its vibrations wildly out of time with his dying spasms.
I silence the call,
making sure not to hang up on it
(which would leave a trace of my being there).
Beyond the password protected front-screen,
I don't have any sort of sense of what to do,
having entered through this threshold.
As if flooded with DMT,
I'm sent into one of the dreams I once thought were specific to me.
I'm on a subway train,
(a living Judas)
only two rows of seats in front of me.
He's either writing or drawing into his notebook,
but I can't tell which.
I crane my neck.
He feels my eyes.
Though he's looking around to trace his sensation of being watched,
I have the certainty of knowing-in-dreams that all I have to do to avoid detection is to look away.
his attention moves on.
Something in the special combination of rapture and unfocusedness in his gaze tells me he sees a [Redacted] I cannot see,
a capital-D [Redacted].
He approaches and reaches towards a wall,
and in this metal tube,
a wooden [redacted] appears as he opens it.
Beyond the threshold,
I am suddenly draped in black feathers.
Though it would look to an observer that I am wearing a cloak of them,
I have the distinct sense that they are caked onto my body with dried blood,
which is too specific of a thing to be mistaken about.
In the absence of light,
and the dream-certainty of my invisibility to him,
I match my footsteps to Judas's,
two paces behind.
Judas enters the [redacted] of
The Man in The Long Coat,
the same one I had met him in before.
The Man in the Long Coat is inspecting the same [redacted] with the same [redacted].
I brace for deja vu,
but the script is broken.
He looks past Judas,
into my face,
tilts his neck sideways like a bird,
This was all it took to break whatever spell of stealth I had entered this dream with.
Judas snaps backwards into eye contact with me.
We hold this as the veil lifts
and I gradually transition back into the material world,
where he is safely dead,
and I am holding his phone.
The screen has not re-locked,
which tells me no time had passed at all here,
or at least nowhere near how long it would take for that sequence of events to occur.
I have the sense that I can use my pocket synth whose circuitry I formed into a personal sigil to communicate with The Man in the Long Coat if I play it into Judas's phone,
this technological extension of him)
as a conduit.
I hit record in his voice-memo app,
no longer concerned with whatever trace this may leave.
After fiddling with the LFO a bit,
I am able to match it's pulse to the rhythm of the way-too-much blood moving in and around my brain,
or at least that's what I think is going on
(I am no longer able to distinguish my body's response to stress and adrenaline from the activity of astral beings,
which is really an awful way to be).
What I try to get across psychically in this noise-piece is a sort of planting of an American flag on the Moon.
Though I am still not exactly sure what response I expect this to elicit from The Man in the Long Coat,
I am basically happy with the texture and feel of the whole thing.
There are several browsers open on his phone,
which could well provide some fucking answers.
I change his front-screen password,
wipe the blood off with the bottom of my t-shirt.
I walk to my bicycle which I had parked half a mile away and go home.
When I get home,
it takes me several hours to even consider sleeping.
Too much adrenaline.
By the time I can,
the same dream comes.
It had been happening every night since.
This time however,
I lost the feeling of being stalked prey.
I am now the apex predator of this world,
with fear unknown.
four hours of sleep between all this and the next group.
There is no time to process any of the night before,
let alone investigate these new leads.
I sip a full pot of coffee put into a thermos and give myself internal pep-talks as I recite the opening,
at this point,
I can't even recall outside of the situational muscle memory which summons it forth.
Psycho Ra is not here.
No one is here.
I read my dummy entry.
Group goes on without incident.
I’m even waiting in case he is somehow both very late and unaware of the time.