“Hey Steve, I think you should come over here.” “Where you at, kid?” “Back—back in the bedroom here—by the closet.” “Alright, I’m a come-in. What’s hap-nin back here?” “Look at this. Is this a swastika?” “I think that there is a sauwastika kid.” “Yea, that’s what I said- swa-sti-ka.” “Nah, kid: Sauvastika. It’s that left face-in gnat-z one, you know, clockwise turned one. It’s a Buddhist symbol or some-en—I think. See them dots there in the centers. Hindu garbage.” “Look: they are everywhere. All up and down the wall.” “Put yer flashlight up there to the ceil-in, kid.” “Jesus. Is that blood?” “Nahhhh. It’s just some deep red paint pigments. Blood don’t stay bright like that long after hitten oxygen. This fella sure did a number on this here place.” “How do you know so much about this stuff?” “Oh, you know, just hearing things here and there—you know how people are. They love to talk, and talk bout stuff they know bout. You just get dem going like start-en a lawnmower, and they won’t stop run-in they mouths till they run out ah gas. Easy way to gain someone’s trust too—just let them talk their little hearts out. Also, an easy way to learn who not to trust. See. There I go blab-in on just like-em. But really, I heard mostly from the history channel. You ought-ah try watch-en some-in educational every once while kid. You’d be surprised how enrichen knowledge can be.” “Wait. What do you mean about ‘not to trust?’ How’s that?” “Well, people that don’t wanna talk, dey usually try-in to control the conversation. Dat way, dey get some-in out of it. Well, not the shy ones but the strategic ones. You ever find yourself talk-in someone that keeps ask-in questions, and you just keep talk-in and talk-in more and more?” “Ahhhh, Yeah.” “Hand me a light bulb here, kid, so I can screw it up in the closet get some photons go-en in here.” “60 watts good?” “That oughtta be fine. Anywho, you are likely be-in manipulated for their own personal gain of some sort. Keep an eye out for question-askers. Easy way to spot-em is when you find yerself blab-en on and on, and in the middle of yer blab-in, you think to yerself ‘Wow. This person really likes me and is interested in me.’, they ain’t. No one in they right mind gives a hoot bout what anyone else has to say less they married and wife-E is trying to nag some-in outa ya.” “Wise words, Steve – wise words.” “Yeah, but the wise are lonely, kid. Very lonely. Best to tuck yer pride deep up yer butt less you want to lose dat pretty young gal you always toat-in round. Arrogance will get you nothing but a bottle of lotion. Just remember: Whenever, and I mean whenever you is having a conversation with a woman, you are always wrong—especially when yer right. This why ain’t nobody wants a woman in office—they is prone to communism—got to control everything.” “So, what’s the deal with this place?” “Oh, some old professor lived here. Physics, I think. No one knows where he went off to. He actually had some help in the design of this building—I think, back when he was still working at the campus. They say he lost his marbles and then went looking for them.” “Alright, then. What do you want me to get started on then?” “Suppose we should replace this drywall here first and then put new drywall up on the bare studs. We gonna have to rewire the whole place too. We’ll have to get the maintenance to turn off the power for the build-in fore we do that. Kid, why don’t-cha run on down the lobby and ask that pretty little brunette—what’s her name again? Lay-Na?” “Lena, I think.” “Yea, Lena—that’s it. She ain’t gots the best for look-in, but her back ends like a crisp apple. Go on down there and ask her to get them to shut the power off for this unit. Also, tell her to tell the maintenance fella I may need the whole build-in or neighbors units shut off too. We aughts fix up the electrical first while the walls are all exposed, and I gotta figure out where the currents come-in from.” “Anything else?” “No. I think that should be about it for now. I’ll start pull-in down this here closets walls—get rid of all these back-faced gnat-Z mark-ins fore someone gets the wrong idea. You gets all these scraps off the floor and sweep up good after you get the electrical shut off—if it ain’t been already. Hard to tell- the way olé professor here reworked everything. He has some backup flow of electricity come-in from somewhere in these here walls all up along the studs. Weird looking studs, though—never seen anything quite like it outside of this building. I have to locate the source fore we fry ourselves.” “Sounds good, Steve.” “Okay, Billy. Let’s get to it then.”
BANG-BANG-BANG – BANG – BANG-BANG-BANG
Jolted awake from a deep sleep, James’s heart felt as if it were given a shot of adrenalin. BANG-BANG-BANG. “Huh. What is going on?” BANG-BANG-BANG. The muscles in his body stiffen, and his eyelids stretch to the back of his head. He sees nothing but darkness, and his mind runs without brakes. BANG-BANG-BANG. “Christ! I’m coming.”
(Oh, God. Jesus. What did I do? Where am I? Is it dark outside, or am I in a windowless room? We need a drink. Is there any alcohol here? Wait, I must be in my bedroom; there are no windows in this room. Yes, this is my mattress. Thank God. Last thing I need is to wake up in a stranger’s home again or on the street again. No, we drank all the alcohol. What time is it? Where is my phone? Shit – did I lose my phone? It must be sometime after midnight by now. Crap – where is my phone at? What time did we fall asleep?)
His eyes close back shut, but he feels them wanting to pop back open, the same sensation one has when they are tired but cannot sleep. The release of chemicals in the brain increases his energy, but his body is so fatigued, just rolling over is a struggle. BANG-BANG-BANG – BANG-BANG.
[18 | History]
“Hey Siri, search Google ‘construction 53703 Metropolitan Place’.”
“I found this on the web:”
Google- Construction 53703 Metropolitan Place
madison.com › news › default-claims-filed-on-condos…
DEFAULT CLAIMS FILED ON CONDOS TWO BANKS ARE …
Feb 6, 2008 — The fate of the newly completed Metropolitan Place II, a 164-unit … Construction of several ambitious condo projects and conversions of …
www.madisoncampusanddowntownapartments.com › …
Metropolitan Apartments | Madison Campus & Downtown …
Metropolitan Apartments located in Madison, WI offering FREE HEAT!, FREE … Great location walk to shopping, entertainment, campus, State Street, dog park, … Intercom Access Building; On Bus Line To Epic; Some Handicap Accessible …
October 22nd, 1909 – Journal: Today, I traveled to Madison to attend a physics colloquium and inquire about studies. With good news, I am accepted into the graduate program. It was easier than I thought. I suppose not too many people are anxious to spend the better half of their life studying theoretical physics and advanced mathematics topics. I am thrilled to begin the program. While I was there, I also acquired a small plot of land right on the isthmus. It was a stroke of luck, I suppose. A man had recently built a small cabin on the ground and then unexpectedly passed away. I was able to purchase it for a very reasonable price from his brother. I travel back to Milton tonight to gather my belongings and will be returning to the cabin shortly.
When James gets home, he doesn’t hear anything. He sighs in relief and says, “Thank you, Jesus!”. He then maneuvers down his little hallway that stretches more than half the length of his tiny five hundred square foot apartment into the kitchen.
He opens up the cabinet, takes out a bottle of Tanqueray Gin, and pours a few ounces into a Collins glass over a golf ball-sized sphere of ice. He then grabs his notebook and ballpoint pen and retires to his rocking chair. Before sitting, he angles the chair next to the window for maximum exposure to the city.
He sips on the Gin for a few minutes, thinking, (Life is good. The universe will give you what you need if you ask for it, and what I need is some quiet time. The time-wave equations are almost complete. I just need to make the one last connection for them to be finalized. Once I find this connection, I can model them to show that my findings are what is needed for time-displacement to be feasible in our lifetime.)
Once he finished the Gin, he gets up and pours another few ounces over the shrinking sphere of ice. He returns to the rocking chair and takes his notebook off the windowsill. He opens it, and the moment the pen hits the paper, eight rapid thumps radiate from the half-broken ceiling.
“The noise. It has to stop. Please, God, make it stop. I cannot live like this. I need it to stop. Why. Why do these people have to keep moving like this? They won’t stop moving. It is driving me crazy. I am going to have to kill them. I tried to leave this place, but I cannot seem to break free. It is like some sort of sick twisted joke being played on me. Apparently, no one else in this building has had any issues with the sounds I am hearing. I have to have quiet for my work. It requires deep concentration without interruptions, and all I hear all fucking day long is these psychos and their nonstop activities. I swear to God, I won’t lose a wink of sleep if someone murders the shit out of them. I pray that they die. Just die. Dear God, please take them out.”
James wakes up – and to his disbelief – he doesn’t feel any effects from the night before. A soft light seeps in through his eyelids, and everything comes into focus. He then sees a girl sitting at his side, on the bed. She is gently filtering his hair through her slender fingers while gazing into his eyes. She has a look a teenager has when falling in love for the first time. He can immediately sense the passion she has for him, but he isn’t quite alert as of yet. As his brain renders consciousness, he realizes he recognizes her. (It’s Ella. Oh, my sweet Ella.)
Her soft and sweet voice drifts through the air and into his ears, saying, “Happy Birthday, James. How does it feel to be an old man?” with a slightly sarcastic tone. James pushes himself up and rests his back against the headboard. “Old man?” He then, without thinking, instinctively looks into a vanity mirror positioned across from the bed and notices that he looks younger. “Yea, silly. The big two-five. You are twenty-five today! I fixed you some breakfast in bed. Lookie here: Italian Espresso, Cream Cheese Danish, and some freshly picked cherries from the tree out front. They just turned red and ripened overnight. I suppose you’ll be spending the afternoon harvesting them, won’t ya.” James replies with an agreeable smile, reacting again without hesitation.
“You know me and foraging. We have the fresh butter we just churned in the icebox, right? It needs to be cold to make the pie crust best.” “Of course, sweety. You know I have your back when it comes to cooking. Been waiting for your cherry pie all year!” She then leans forward and presses her lips against his.
The moment their lips touched, nothing in the world seemed to matter anymore. Wherever or whenever James had been the night before faded from his mind as if it never happened. He begins to feel something he thought he would never feel again. A sensation of purpose and belonging flows through him like an electrical current.
He embraces Ella, firmly positioning his left arm around her shoulders, and maneuvers his right hand to cusp her bottom. He lifts her up and swings her around, laying her back on the middle of the bed.
“Gaawwwwwddddd!!! That fucking noise. Why won’t it stop? I just want to sleep! PLEASE, for the love of God, LET ME SLEEP!”
(a few seconds pass)
BOOM-BOOM-BOOM – BANG
BOOM-BOOM-BOOM – BANG
“What the hell happened last night? I feel like I was pummeled with a sack of potatoes. At least I am still at home. I hate waking up in strange places. I think it’s time for me to get my shit together. Maybe even start hitting the gym. I’d like to learn more about that woman anyway—see if she may be the upstairs neighbor making all the racket.”
An unbroken seal twists and cracks.
“Father, it’s been 12-weeks since my last confession.”
Ice cubes clink as they are dropped into a ceramic coffee cup. Liquid then surrounds them, shifting the miniature bergs into equilibrium.
A fresh bottle of seltzer is opened then poured atop the liquor. Tiny bubbles fly every which way as the soda mixes in.
“It has been too long, my love. The mere scent of you gives me goosebumps. Come. Sit with me. Let’s pray together.”
James sits down in his rocking chair and sips his cocktail. He uses his top lip to filter the cold liquid through the ice cubes. While swaying back-and-forth, he gets a glimpse of himself in the mirror on the wall across from his chair. Before taking another sip, he raises the cup to himself to say cheers without words.
[11 | Faraday Cage]
James finally breaks free from months of repetitive nightmares only to find himself living in a reality he doesn’t recall. It is unclear to him if he is still dreaming. For a moment, he thinks he may be, but his senses kick in, and he sees he is in his condo staring at the lone rocking chair. “What did I do all summer? I really need to get back to work. Enough drinking; the spring semester is afoot.”
There is much work to do to prepare for the semester, and James is still a bit shaky from the alcohol leaving his system. He picks his notebook up off the rocking chair to start prepping for his fall course. He flips open to the most recent page and reads some gibberish scribbled into it. The writing makes no sense, and there is text that doesn’t look like his handwriting. Being ambidextrous, he assumes he must have been writing left-handed, and as he became more intoxicated, it got sloppier. He moves past it to a blank page and begins his work, but, again, the instant the tip of his ballpoint pen presses into the thick notebook paper, a succession of thumping shakes his ceiling.