Now I’m really starting to worry: I think I’m having blackouts. I remember after leaving the Kmpamew that I gave Utcoozhoo my report on James Ziohat, and then I went to my old sacred quarters in the old main corridor that I was familiar with and that Doug had been to.
But something major is happening because I woke up in the morning back at Doug’s apartment with no memory of how I got there. Other than the missing time, I woke up in bed with Doug, feeling wonderful, but something is missing. I think I’m back to myself, but where was I and what did I do? I got dressed quickly, had some coffee to wake up, and went back to the bedroom. Still a puzzle.
I kissed Doug and he woke up smiling. I said, “Do I seem normal to you?”
“Normal?” he said, “When have you ever been normal? You’re extraordinary…”
“Yeah, right … um, how is your novel going?”
“Well, being absorbed in the world of my characters, feeling as if they actually exist and are real, I wonder what is real. Do we live in a dream? Is everything we perceive just our imagination? How do we know this is real and …?”
“It means something like, ‘Philosophers can say the world is unreal until reminded of pain, chocolate, and sex.’ ”
“One word for that?”
“Actually, it’s more than that. Most Utd’mbts words are symbols for concepts. There are different levels of sophistication for the Utd’mbts language. Utcoozhoo says I’m mostly at the baby talk babble stage where a symbol stands for a sound, but higher forms of Utd’mbts have nothing to do with sound. There is the ‘thing’, the actuality of what is referred to, and then different levels of symbolism which are to re-trigger the experience of the ‘thing’. ” I wiggled around in the bed and got up on my elbows.
Doug sat up and stared into my eyes. “Huh, what?”
“Oh, I know, I don’t know what I’m saying exactly. I’m just bluffing. But now I’m supposed to do better.”
“What do you mean ‘now’. Now what?”
“Uh, well, the whole Grand Council can ‘speak’ the upper levels of Utd’mbts and they’re probably maneuvering behind my back to keep control. I think only Utcoozhoo is watching my back.”
Doug put his head in his hands. “OK. Try this again. The highest level of Utd’mbts is what?”
I lay down and stared at the ceiling. “A word is a push-dream. The word is a trigger to a two hour movie that occurs in a second. It doesn’t have speech but it has music, vision, smell, and flavor. It has a meaning and a taste. To speak, one would push the vision of the singing pigeon that is to be eaten without remorse… you devour the thing and you can ‘have your cake and eat it too.’ ”
Doug bounced on the bed a little. “This makes no sense.”
“It is: a word for a thought as complete as a dream.”
“You have to do it to know it.”
“I tried a little of that sort of process but didn’t get far. If Evewapei then after death when the reality of the world stops for the individual, is there nothing? And if there is something, isn’t that more real or,… or, um, more permanent? Is anything real beyond the self… um, you’re giving me a headache…”
“Utcoozhoo always says, ‘Jipacy!’ ”
“Only love is real.”
“That doesn’t sound like what Utcoozhoo would say… he’s never definite.”
“OK. That’s what I say.”