“Have you ever tried juggling?”
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1979
I wake up, again. Except now, I know by the sound of music that my clock radio has gone off and I’m back in my bedroom. Once again, I leave behind the vestiges of Dreamland by removing my pajamas and clothe myself in the attire of the Waking World.
Thank God. Time moves in its normal pace, slowly. I’m aware of its passing clearly. During lunch hour, I check out the local paper at the school library looking for any mention of the odd happenings on Strawberry Hill and Jon going missing. I didn’t expect there to be anything, so I wasn’t disappointed when I came up empty. It would have been significant if there were some mention of the strange storm that night. Oh well, no external collaboration is to be found.
Hmm. There’s that sense of déjà vu again. Have I done all that before? I can’t seem to keep things on the straight and normally narrow path lately. I wonder why? After school, I go to The Gifts of the Goddess.
“Nu, Lamont, how goes your dreams?”
“I found it, Miriam. I found the stairs and I went to the city of Atlantis.”
“Ahh. This is good,” She says.
“Is it real?”
“Ha! First, you try to define for me what this thing you call reality is?”
“Ahh. Okay, never mind. How did you know about the stairs?”
“I’ve been down them. I first walked the ancient cobble stoned streets of Atlantis when I was young, like yourself.”
“And now? Do you still go to this Dreamland?”
“Yes. I’m a priestess at the temple of the Queen of the Night. My duties include acting as the librarian of the temple archives.”
“Cool! That means I could see you in my Dreams!”
“Yes. So, tell me of your Dreams.”
I do so, sort of. I tell her I’m still no further along in finding a way to help Lana. I decide not to tell her about Tezcat. How she’s been getting me to do the trance thing, which is supposedly how Tezcat plans on showing me how I can help Lana. It’s getting late again and I need to go home. As I leave, I foolishly bump into an incoming customer. I’m about to apologize when I notice the smell of cinnamon.
“Hey Kid, you should watch where you are going.”
It’s Basha! “I... I’m....”
“What are you doing here anyway? I did not think you would be into Goddesses.”
“I came here...” I try to answer coherently despite being overwhelmed by her sudden appearance, “I mean I come here...because of my dreams.”
“Looking for books on dreaming, right?”
“Sort of. Why are you here, Basha?” (Good grief, that was audacious of me.)
“I live here,” Basha says, “that is, most of the time. Some weekends I am off to Berkeley to be with my dad. He works with the Chabad house on the Berkeley campus. He is runs a Yeshiva to train future rabbis. I owe the joys of shuttle diplomacy to divorce and joint custody.”
“Huh?” I articulate.
“Which do you not understand?” Basha asks. ”the divorce or the living arrangements?”
“The living arrangements. You live here?” I ask.
“Above the store is our house,” Basha answers.
“Our?” I ask.
“Kid,” Basha sighs. “Do you have a hearing problem or are you usually this slow?”
“Lamont, Basha is my daughter,” Miriam laughs at my confusion and fills me in, “I didn’t know you knew my daughter.”
“I didn’t know I did either,” I confess.
“Mom, remember I told you about the bookworm who has the locker next to mine. Well, this is the bookworm.”
“Hmm,” I muse, “We all must be members of the same karass.”
“Car-ass?” Miriam asks, “I don’t know from Car-asses. Explain Lamont.”
“Mom, Lamont is referring to a made up term from the novel, Cat’s Cradle, by Vonnegut.”
“Vonnegut?” Miriam mutters, “with such a name is he perhaps Jewish?”
“I do not know Mom.”
“With a name like that,” Miriam replies, “he must be Jewish. Are you sure he’s not Jewish?”
“If you say so,” Basha continues, “anyway, karass is a word from this made up religion. In this religion believes that humanity is organized into teams, teams that fulfill some sort of divine plan without ever discovering what they are doing. This team is called a karass. We created games and the divine created Its game which is the karass.”
“According to the Books of Bokonon,” I interject. “If you keep running into a person, it is not mere coincidence. Your lives are tangled up with one another for some larger destiny.”
“Lamont, you believe such ideas?” Miriam asks. “You perhaps consider yourself Bokononish?”
“Hmm. Now that’s an interesting question. A quick answer would be no, but after longer consideration of the question, who knows, perhaps I would.”
“I think, Lamont,” Miriam continues. “That perhaps not only is my daughter a member of your karass but so is Lana.”
“You might be right.” I respond. “Who knows? The Shadow knows, but he ain’t telling.”
“Resorting to old radio programs. The radio programs were fun, but I liked the books better,” Basha comments. “On that note, perhaps we should just give this a rest. Good night Lamont.”
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1979
What’s going on? Bloody Hell! I lost it again. What time is it? It’s as if I’m sharing my body with someone else who takes it over without my knowledge or consent. Tezcat? It must be. I’m in my pajamas, in that
Shaman ritual position and I hear the beating of rattles. All I hear is the rattling. Everything else fades away.
Journey into our darkness.
My room melts away. I am dancing in the jungle at the base of the obsidian mountain that is Tezcat’s temple. Hundreds, if not thousands, dance and sing. Spattered with our own blood from our obsidian daggers are we. All sense of meaningless singularity has dropped away. We give our voices, as we want to give our blood and lives to her! With our combined breath, we chant: “In her house at Tenochtitlan, dead Tezcatlipoca lies dreaming! That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange eons, even death will die!”
 The Books of Bokonon is the sacred text of a religion which was unknown outside of the Caribbean Island Republic of San Lorenzo until Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. in his 1963 novel Cat’s Cradle (Dell Publishing Co. Inc.). “I do not intend that this book be a tract on behalf of Bokononism. I should like to offer a Bokononist warning about it, however. The first sentence in The Books of Bokonon is this: ‘All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.’(pg. 14, Cat’s Cradle)