Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Lohbado and Jane Romance
Semi-insane types are more difficult to manage than totally insane, said Ben. It’s easy for semi-insane to slip through cracks in the system, a cumbersome system with a code of normality and a protocol of rules and procedures. Ben explained to Jill how a nutcase like Lohbado could pass the tests. All the administrators could do for the moment was to gather information. Document incidents to use as evidence. With enough information, they would have a case for excommunicating Lohbado from their reality system. He would be permanently laid off for not conforming to the departmental tissue of lies.
The moment of layoff arrived. A security guard escorted Lohbado to the chief's office. Rex, head of human resources, spoke loud and slow, clearly pronouncing each word as if he assumed Lohbado was simple-minded and needed things clearly spelled out. Perhaps Lohbado was subhuman, halfway between ape and hominoid. The security guard allowed Lohbado enough time to gather personal items then escorted him out of the building.
Years later, this scene still surfaced from time to time in Lohbado’s mind, the moment when Rex told Lohbado the department was letting him go, a polite way of saying you’re fired. You’re no longer one of us. You’re a failure and an outcast. Please leave the workplace at once.
Once he was laid off, people could tell Lohbado to get a job. He was 55 and burned out. He qualified for an early pension, barely enough to live on. He accepted it. Nobody was hiring, least of all a 55 year old man from the Secret Desert. It took a while for Lohbado to adjust to life in the city after his ten years in the Cha Region of the Poh Valley in the community of the Ooo, hidden away in the Secret Desert.
The Poh Valley was a low stimulation environment. Except for frequent storms, which forced inhabitants to stay inside the dome, things were quiet. There were no trees, no highways, no signs. No buildings stood outside the dome, where one could find endless desolate desert plains of eroded rock and dunes. Sometimes the temperature went above 40 and other times plunged to minus 50. It wasn’t for the faint hearted. As a PBE (push button expert) Lohbado learned to deal with solitude. During storms, he had to spend two or three days alone in his housing unit. It was unsafe to go out during extreme weather events.
Lohbado thought about the past as he sat, years later, at a shady table in a park next to an old temple in Yamaville. He contemplated the limestone structure, the height of a five story apartment block. Rows of tall arched windows lined two sides. At the front, a huge decorative entrance porch shaded green wooden doors. A rosette decorated the towering tombstone shape above the entrance porch. The temple had been empty for at least three decades. It survived the bombardment during the Apocalyptic War. The city lacked funds to restore it. The basically solid structure stood in quiet decay overlooking a park of maple and poplar trees.
Lohbado felt a sense of refreshing coolness as he gazed at the temple. A light breeze blew up the shirt tails of his loose fitting summer shirt. It felt as though the deity of the temple was gently massaging his torso, right up to the neck and into his skull. He closed his eyes and had a vision of floating in cool water of a marble pond, bordered with plum and crabapple trees. This vision caused torment to dissolve into liquid which flowed as warm mucous from his ears and nostrils. The knot of anxiety in his stomach uncoiled. A soothing spaciousness swept over him as he experienced the spirit of the place.
A priestess in paisley silk robes and a brocade gown exited from green doors in the porch of the temple and approached Lohbado. She gazed directly into his eyes, as if they had been friends since childhood. An overwhelming love shimmered in his heart. A sweet tasting saliva, sort of like apple and cranberry juice, filled his mouth. Her speech melody came in waves of biofeedback, as if she deliberately projected her voice directly and deeply into his mind stream in a gesture of profound intimacy. He’d never felt so close to anyone as he felt close to the priestess at that moment.
She asked him if he understood the secret teachings of Plato, the ones that would make Socrates blush, in particular, the mysteries of the alphabet beginning with the letter O. As she came near, the psychedelic outfit rippled and melted into a flowery silk blouse and kaki shorts. Her long elegant legs and classical Greek proportions mesmerized him. As she spoke, it felt as though their arms were already wrapped around each other, her mouth pressed against his, their breath mixing, the essence of their being intermingling in ecstatic unity.
This was the first of many similar interconnections during the first phase of the romance of Lohbado and Dr. Jane Wormsly, before it crescendoed into the honeymoon phase awash in dopamine and then the ensuing long-term friendship.
A warm breeze woke Lohbado from his reverie. It occurred to him that maybe he was nothing more than a figment of Jane's imagination. Maybe he was Jane Wormsly. Maybe Lohbado was part of Jane's research into the nature of worms and their eternal struggle to climb out of the can.