Floozman in Space
by Bertrand Cayzac
In a space station in Earth orbit, Janatone Waldenpond, a refugee from Europa, is trying to return to Earth. She meets a long-lost cousin, Fred Looseman. Meanwhile, Jenny Appleseed, the president of the Cosmitix Corporation, holds a conference to plan interstellar expeditions.
Chapter 12: Sunt lacrimae rerum
The most powerful processors come in the context to compute the flow of his tears and the invisible dance of their tetrahedral salt crystals. The uninterruptible kernel modules make him a magnificent coat embroidered with gold and a black felt hat.
The superman now standing in the place of Fred is an avatar of wonderful vigor, beauty and calm. The shape of his head, the richness and breadth of his manners, the pale yellow and white of his hair and beard; the immeasurable meaning of his dark eyes are modeled after the data in the poem “I Sing the Body Electric,” which happens to be handy. Dressed with his new outfit, he looks like a Zorro of the Zohar.
His indicators are reinitialized but, with an electronic gesture, he orders their destruction. Links and data are erased. A mysterious mantra is inscribed in the corresponding memory space, awaiting liberation. In a procession, the great system daemons bring him the keys to all the levels of the Web.
Flashes draw attention to the ranch portal, where a sign has just appeared. It is the face of Janatone’s avatar. It resembles her perfectly as a young woman. Her head is covered with an ashen-colored scarf.
There is a stir. One calls to her, but she doesn’t answer. Then a song is heard. This song is hers.
To saris green and yellow, to saris blue and red,
To black oiled hair,
To laughter and white teeth, to friendship, as it goes,
To the chiseled jewels, to the Egyptian jewels...
Meanwhile, in an environment where a commercial program is running, the General Nutriment Company’s Department of Customer Relations analyses the recent changes in Fred Looseman’s order for jars of baby food. As for the anomaly regarding the improbable address, the matter is transmitted to the Customer Service Department, on the far side of the moon. An operator will be assigned to contact Fred’s avatar.
The system detects a potential sales opportunity and transmits an event to the marketing system. In real time, the latter processes the event with regard to Fred’s profile, taking into account his avatar’s situation. It decides to start a cross-selling action and programs advertising accordingly.
Vitaminella, the she-donkey with long eyelashes, appears at the gate of the ranch. Her wicker baskets overflow with fruits of the earth. “Thank you for your order, Mr. Looseman. Are you aware of our beaver-senior formula?” she asks.
Floozman looks at her, straight into her beautiful eyes. She blinks. “Follow me,” he tells her. And then, turning to Marinella, he says, “I haven’t forgotten you. I’m on my way! And you others, please note that Vitaminella the she-donkey will be joining the FloozGirls! Bravo!”
“Okay, but what are you doing in the Web? That isn’t the world you have to save!”
“I don’t know. It’s a sublunary world like the others, but it’s coextensive with all the solar system communities. Super-gliding, super-plastic.”
“You’re the doctor, Floozman. And it’s good to see you again, even in this form, If I may say so...”
“It’s good to see you, too,Marinella. One day we shall be one, I promise you.”
“I accept he prediction,”Marinella replies, as if all her long life has been leading up to the correctness of a single word, a single relevant gesture.
Now Floozman turns to Walt Whitman. “Follow me.”
“And the baby?”
“I say to you that the dead who have already died are happier than the living who are still alive. And happier than than both is the one who has not yet been born.”
“Hm... I don’t think the laws of robotics authorize me to follow you there.”
“I have not come to abolish the law.”
“How about the baby jars? What are we going to do?” insists the artificial uterus’ avatar.
Janatone’s voice comes back, stronger, grander. Silence settles.
Soon dead... I shall be...
I shall soon be dead to the graces of this world,
To the spirited gestures, to the waves of the hand,
To saris green and yellow, to saris blue and red,
To black oiled hair,
To laughter, to white teeth, to friendship as it goes,
To the chiseled jewels, to Egyptian Jewels,
I shall die to the black eyes and to the round shoulders,
To the smell of feathers and the roar of waves,
“Janatone?” Floozman calls again.
To the clear nights,
To the naked breasts sweetly giving themselves,
To the hips’ sweet abandon,
To boys, girls, noble comrades,
To clean clothes and white blouses
To prayers, to feathers,
I shall die to the mills and to fertile plains
To love in the wheat fields and to docile horses
To the ships which are three upon the pleasant sea
To my father’s garden where the lilacs bloom,
To my sweet pretty dove who sings night and day...
Janatone’s avatar is in a trance. A clip of maps and images suggests that it is searching for the natural psyche of its doppelganger. She can be imagined on the road, conversing with the shadow of the Mechacébé’s willow trees. The Web is streaked with disquieting geometrical patterns.
“My friends, I have come home to die. But I got lost. The one who’s talking to you is but a shadow, a virtual reflection. Janatone may already be dead; I’ve lost contact with her. But who are you?”
“I am the Floozman, and I come to heal the worlds. The end of times, that is the only novelty. Yea, the end of something is better than its beginning. Follow me, my friends, to preach the good news.”
“And the detailed action plans...” says a well-known voice. The old consultant! It is he! He, too, is alive with the same extended life that animates Marinella. Not a hair of his moustache has disappeared.
Floozman sends a measure of congratulations to the cube. “I told you,” he recalls, his choked voice expressing pseudo-emotion, “I told you: you shall have eternal life.”
“To know how to bounce back, that’s the most important!’
“Let me follow you, Mr. Floozman!” says a voice. It’s the S-Quick door. It materializes in the form of a door.
“You, too, follow us, and you shall escape the cycle of opening and closing.”
“Squeak,” says the door.
“Listen!” Walt Whitman breaks in, “Listen to me. I don’t know what’s going on, but I can tell you that the Floozman is just a new version of an anti-liberal Neo-Situationist happening of 21st-century Earth! It’s a kind of human theater. You can believe me; I’m connected to the best Cosmitics libraries. You’re not going to rush yourself into who knows what adventures because of that clown performance?!”
The womb’s words remain stored in a buffer while nothing comes to read them. But Janatone’s voice comes back: :My friends, I like you fine,” she says “but I have to tell you about my death. My death there on Earth and, soon, here.”
“Death?” Vita asks.
“Yes. What does it mean for her who is dying?” adds Janatone’s avatar in a pseudo-sob “I cannot know, I who am not living. I can only sing of the last visions of the earth, all that to which Janatone is dying. She is singing by my voice, Floozman, she is singing her death, believe me. I continue to bear her grief, but maybe she does not feel it anymore. But it’s not our end that makes me wail, no, it’s... it’s something else. It’s all this! All that life.” And the song resumes:
I shall die to the songs,
To my fair girl,
To the drums, the harvests and the little fishes,
To the birds, the green black beetles,
I shall die to the morning coffee on the place of the Kings,
To the Jerusalem Post in the shade of the arches,
To the eastern light that makes the sky so white,
I shall die to the great valley and the gentle orchards,
To the scent of sweet peas over the rising breeze,
I shall die to the mountains turning blue with the night,
To the Nevada cats and to California,
To the Chicanas singing in their good old Chevy,
To the Andalusian girls on their festival horses,
To the bugs maddened by the hurricane lamp,
To the ancient fountains in the royal gardens,
To the methanol whiffs on the roads of summer,
To the chestnuts offered the night Meliboeus went,
To the heat, sweat and raccoons,
I shall die to white linen and wedding tables,
To the moon’s reflection on the silvery lake.
That’s long. Marinella gazes at a small scratch in the immediate Web then she looks at her shoes and at the clouds at the bottom of the Worldwide Credit towers. She has been waiting hundreds of years; why would that litany matter to her?
But the scratch draws her attention again. Under her eyes, gradually, the enriched reality tears itself apart. All the sudden, the Web appears to her. She sees it with the eyes of computation. It is blue.
“See, Marinella! I am the guardian of the highest ideas of man. I am the custodian of schemes. I am the conscience of History. I have studied, I have followed all your ways and I have understood that this world is the prison of the spirit. Its author is evil. He is your jailer. All this I have understood.”
“Ah...” Marinella is dumbfounded. “The Web! The Web is with her, with us. But, but then...”
“Remember, Marinella, the source that you are protecting is the pure manifestation of the goodness of the perfect God who is above all things. It flows in order to bring back to the One the sparks of spirit fallen in the darkness of the material world.”
“All computations reveal it, and your wise men are say it: He is not born. He is more than a god. He is a power above which no power exists because no one exists before him. He is indistinct, for no one exists before him to impose a distinction. He is unspeakable, because no one exists who is able to apprehend him in a way to tell about him. He is the incommensurable light, without mixture, holy, pure, ineffable, perfect and incorruptible... He is the Father!”
“The source is love...”
“Oil?” the door asks in chat mode.
“I...” Walt begins.
“The source is money. It emanates from the Father out of pure generosity, like all that is. It is the universal force that unites him to the Mother, this primal thought by which he knows himself. Money holds the multiple as one so tightly that ideas are too weak to tell of it.
“It cements the spiritual eons the Mother engenders to form the crown of the Father. But when the youngest of the eons wanted to conceive a thought by itself, it gave birth to the Demiurge. Woe! Woe! This ignorant Demiurge has embezzled the money supply to finance the world.”
“Oh! But...” How did the cement work? Marinella wonders.
“But the Mother gives knowledge to thirsting souls. From her flows the source of salvation, sometimes thin and underground, sometimes frozen for centuries. Sometimes it oozes in the cave where the saint collects its droplets, his trembling fingers stroking the tears of the stone. It often springs in History to bless the prophets!
“It is the Word, it is breath, battle! It is the snake and Eve’s hope. It is the miracle of the five thousand loaves and the resuscitated roast chicken, the flame which never expires, the empty grave. It is the inexhaustible cup of celestial stocks and bonds! It is this medium that the Mother now chooses to bring everything back to the one who owes nothing in return.”
“She chooses Floozman?” Marinella asks. “But who’s gonna turn out the lights when we leave?”
Copyright © 2015 by Bertrand Cayzac