Summertime, Part 6

Day 73. 70 pages, 33,036 words.

There didn’t seem to be much else to say, and the Saint was clearly ready to go back to berating the emptiness, so I emptied the jar of grit ceremoniously onto the ground and started back the way I’d come.

The Wasteland is a complicated event – for what it is. Getting there is easy, and getting out is easy too, unless you do it wrong. Then you’re apt to vanish there forever. You can get to the centre in a day, then die of old age without ever finding the edge. You can wander in the desert, the wilderness, the forgotten corners of cities, empires, worlds … and then look up and find yourself looking out on it. And if you’re not careful, you can turn around and see nothing else.

Some of the things you find out there, although saying it that way really gives the Wasteland more credit than it deserves for having things in it, are unexpected. They don’t make sense because they don’t have to. The idea that things need to make sense is an illusion very much limited to the extant and ongoing world. The Wasteland is a lot of things, but extant and ongoing isn’t … alright, I tell a lie. The Wasteland isn’t a lot of things. It’s the opposite.

Maybe the Saint, crazy old coot that he is, was right. The Wasteland was a state of mind.

State of mind, I can handle. It’s as if life with Creepy and Yool, the hilariously buff Christmas tree who has been here the whole time, has been preparing me to deny the Wasteland. That’s probably why it decided to start in our garden.

Decided? Sure, why not?

I checked the lawn on my way inside. There was no trace of white dust – not just yet. I looked up. Summer, however, didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I hadn’t really expected it to cool down and cloud over just because I’d emptied a jar of dirt into the big nothing.

That sort of thing was an illusion very much limited to the extant and ongoing world.


About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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