Having my way with Ulysses

In the Star and Garter: reflect, ponder, excogitate, reply.

Kyrie eleison12:26 pm

Virgin Mary:  (On the God mic) Welcome everybody, thank you all so much for coming today to the Star and Garter ballroom here in the Empyrean building.  We’ll get started in a few moments and as you can see we don’t have an equal number of men and women, so if you find yourself waiting, please form an orderly cue here near the front and we will direct you where to go next.  Please write your names clearly on your name tags and make sure they are visible.  You will only have eight minutes for each date so please make your time count.  No time to be shy folks, really put yourselves out there.  So.  Right.  We’d like to ask the women to choose a table, whichever one you want, it doesn’t matter, and the men will rotate from table to table when you hear the bell.  Please do not linger as there will be time during the mixer for follow-up conversations and you will not want to take time away from your next date.  Are you ready?  (off mic) Joseph, did you prep Helen?

Joseph:  As well as I could boss, but she doesn’t seem cooperative.

Virgin Mary:  Stuck up bitch.  Nothing but problems since we took her on.  Well, we need to find her a man she won’t want to run away from, even if she didn’t actually run in the first place.  And that blind date with Adam Kadmon went nowhere.

Joseph:  Not each other’s type.

Virgin Mary: No.  He wants more of a viper.  Ok here we go.  (On the God mic).  All right everybody, relax, have a good time, and remember with only eight minutes there is no reason to have anything but a fun conversation.  Stay on neutral subjects, in other words don’t talk about sex, and remember that our policy is no sex before monogamy.  Ok, Bell!

Bell: Heigho! Heigho!

Garrett Deasy:  Hello pretty lady.

Helen:  Hi.  So, what should we?

Garret Deasy:  I brought a writing sample in case you.

Helen:  You want me to read this?

Garret Deasy:  Maybe later.

Helen:  There’s a bit torn off.

Garret Deasy:  Metaphor for my life, I’ve been a bit short taken.

Helen:  So have you ever been married?

Garret Deasy:  Still am.  The bloodiest old tartar God ever made.  She once threw soup in a waiter’s face.

Helen:  Great.  What’s that on your face?

Garret Deasy:  Foot and mouth disease.

Bell:  Heigho! Heigho!

Helen:  Thank God.  Hi.

Vampire:  Hello.  You are a creature beautiful.  Want to put your mouth to my mouth?

Helen:  Not really.  Sheesh, age preceeds creepy.  Let’s not talk.

Vampire:  Yes, yes.  Your foot, allow me to put it in my mouth.  You look like the sort who could bring sin into the world, ships to the seas.  Um.  I don’t want to be rude or anything, but aren’t you going to say anything?

Helen:  Nope.

Bell:  Heigho! Heigho!

Helen:  This is already looking like a lost cause.  Hello, I’m Helen.

Napoleon:  Napoleon.

Helen:  Well, when you sit down you pretty much disappear, don’t you.  So what do you do?

Napoleon:  I am an Emperor, undefeated.  You?

Helen: Kyrios!  Lord!  That is impressive at least.  I think the last guy was a cloacamaker, woof he stank!

Napoleon:  Nature has endowed me with a virile and decisive character.

Helen:  And your other, endowments?  Judging from your stature I think it fair of me to wonder.

Napoleon:  Hasn’t it been eight minutes yet?

Bell:  Heigho! Heigho!

Helen:  Oh lord what now.  Hi I’m Helen.  What’s wrong with your head?

Pyrrhus:  (sniffing, wearing a bandage wrapped around his head with dried blood showing through the gauze) Got brained with a brick.  Saw it coming too.

Helen:  You ok?

Pyrrhus:  Yes.  No.  I’m sorry, I’m not very good at this.  I’m just feeling so, I don’t know, so overwhelmed.  I think it is some sort of existential crisis.

Helen:  Oh honey, please don’t worry about it.  You’ll be ok.

Pyrrhus:  You are so sweet.  I guess I was a bit misled in the past and now I feel like everything is a battle and I always fall.

Helen:  Oh poor, poor, poor Pyrrhus!

Pyrrhus:  My analyst says I shouldn’t just dump this all out when I first meet somebody, I should highlight the radiance of my intellect, the language of my mind.  But I don’t know.  I think I’m a lost cause.

Helen:  Poor, poor, poor Pyrrhus, I am loyal to lost causes!  I’ve never been loyal to the successful.  Success for me is the death of the intellect and the imagination.

Pyrrhus: You mean it?

Helen:  I do.

Pyrrhus:  You are a rose!  A rose of Castile!

Helen:  Of where?

Bell: Liliata rutilantium. Turma circumdet, Iubilantium te virginum.

Virgin Mary:  [On the God mic] Ok, nice speed dating people!  We’ll take a short break, have a brief mixer, then do another round.  That was great everybody! I feel so optimistic for all of you!

Joseph:  You do?

Virgin Mary:  Oh lord no.  This was supposed to help Helen’s image and who does she like?  Boohoo Pyrrhus.  Well, time is money.  Let’s get on with this travesty and have done with it.  These are disappointed people, but we mustn’t make a mockery of their disappointment.  And Joseph?

Joseph:  Yes Holy Mother?

Virgin Mary:  I am not your mother; I wish you wouldn’t call me that.  Joseph, find Jesus.  We’ll be needing lots more wine.

They are not to be thought away

10:06 am

Scene: [An endlessly large room once belonging to to all the infinite possibilities but now cavernously empty save for two people, Caesar and Pyrrhus.  They have iron clamps around their wrists and ankles which are connected together by a series of chains.  The symbol Ψ has been freshly branded onto their foreheads.  Pyrrhus has an enormous lump on his head, bleeding].

Time: [speaking through the god mic]  Nice work gentlemen, well done.  You ousted some stubborn possibilities, but they are gone now to their own places.  And here you are.

Caesar:  Who said that?

Pyrrhus:  It came from everywhere.  What is it talking about?

Time:  Everywhen.  So let’s see, Caesar you are the Caesar whose wife felt there was some bad juju afoot but you ignored her and chose to go to work.  Tough call that one.  You had lots of other selves to boot out of here.  Good ones too.  I’ll be talking to them soon enough.

Caesar:  What other selves?  I’m here.  This is me!

Time: [suppressing laughter] Well I say that, but I am talking to all of your other selves at this very moment.  I say moment!  I crack myself up sometimes.  And Pyrrhus I see here that you also ignored a perfectly good prophecy and got yourself killed in Argos.

Pyrrhus:  I’m dead?

Time:  You are both dead and alive until somebody checks to see.  Then your chances of one or the other are most likely 70/30.

Phyrrus:  What?!  70/30 which way?

Time:  Both.  This is both/and, honey.  Oh wait, look who I am talking to, you are the Phyrrus that came to pass in this universe, I forget that you think you are unique.

Caesar: [Voice trembling with outrage] Listen you, I demand you release me at once and return me to Rome.  I have legions at my command and I will set them upon you with all force!  Tell us no more of your insanity; I refuse to believe another word.

Time:  Travel to other universes is strictly forbidden.  And you will believe what you wish to be true.  Isn’t that so Caesar?

Caesar:  Humph.  Rings a bell.

Pyrrhus: [Sobbing, snot dripping from his nose uncontrollably] But I am unique!  Aren’t I?  Can any other Pyrrhus be possible seeing that they never were?  And what about me?  I am here.  I must be the only Pyrrhus possible.  Right?

Time:  Oh, you sweet thing.  Here, blow.  [A tissue drops from above, another floats up through the trap door].

Pyrrhus:  Thanks.  I’m just.  I don’t know.  I’m just upset.

Caesar:  Candyass pussy.

Time:  There there, honey, it’s ok.  In another universe you feel perfectly happy.

Caesar:  What are you talking about!  You had better explain yourself or I’ll

Time:  You’ll what?  You are chained here.  You live here now.  This is it for you, you chose your part, this is what it is and for you this is the only is.  Finito.  There is no other option.  Well there are infinite other options, everything that is possible happens, but this is the configuration of reality you chose.  This particular you, that is.  The moment you decided to ignore Calpurnia (not to mention that psychic who said the 15th would be challenging) and head off to the Senate, you split into copies of yourself.  You do it all the time.  Brush your teeth starting on the left, one copy of you is off to its own universe, start on the right, another copy of you in its own universe, etc. etc. ad infinitum.  You are legion.

Pyrrhus: [Tearful]  But I don’t feel myself splitting into copies.  Wouldn’t we know?

Time:  Do you feel the Earth rotate?

Caesar:  It rotates?

Time:  Bad example.

Pyrrhus: [Sniffing] Where are these worlds?

Time:  Right here sweetie, all over the place.

Pyrrhus: [with rising panic] But, I’m confused.  If all possible choices are always made, nothing left unchosen, then what about free will?  Do we still have free will?

Time:  Shh shh shh.  There there, now.  Just relax.  All in good time.

[Time hums a lullaby from The Wind WeaverPyrrhus curls up on the floor and pats himself with smooth caresses.  Caesar wraps his chains around Pyrrhus’ neck and pulls]