From Cosmo and His Garden Earth/ Brave New World

Late Devonian landscape. Artwork of wetland plants, and fumaroles during the ate Devonian Period (385 to 360 million years ago). The plants shown here include club mosses such as Aglaophyton. Bacterial mats (orange) surround the  hot pools. A large millipede is at lower right.
Late Devonian landscape. Artwork of wetland plants, and fumaroles during the ate Devonian Period (385 to 360 million years ago). The plants shown here include club mosses such as Aglaophyton. Bacterial mats (orange) surround the
hot pools. A large millipede is at lower right.

JT Hilltop
Kirk and Cosmo had been friends since Elementary God Training School when life was just about splitting atoms with friends, playing star toss, and studying to be a future cosmic gardener god of a galaxy. Through all the millenniums since they have remained close so it came as no surprise top anyone that Kirk would be with Cosmo in the creation of his second garden attempt. Kirk was well recognized and praised for his work in his Tiberius galaxy so he had quite an array of awards. Cosmo never gave jealousy a second thought. He was overjoyed to have Kirk offer his opinions in the new seeding of his garden. “Zoinks Cosmo this is like the old days. Man your fucking garden is so colorful and full of vegetation. Nicely done my friend it’s coming along really nice. So which species are you gonna hit up with brainpower?” The two friends surveyed the globe. “Doc gave me two types of seed. The AB seed which is just basic intelligence, and some CD seeds which is a slightly higher grade. With AB seeds the new smart species will be able forage, hunt and gather and build simple tool and structures. The lucky recipient of the CD seeds will be able to build more complex structures, and have the brain power to make not only tools, but weapons for more effective hunting. See those hairy things down there?” Kirk looked into the jungle Cosmo had pointed and saw a colony of Apes. “Is that gonna be your intelligent species?” Cosmo shook his head excitedly. “Yea. Well not exactly. Look closer over there. I have modified the apes to look like that.” He pointed to another small colony of apelike creature with less hair and a straighter back. They were almost godlike in appearance. Cosmo glowed with pride. “I gave them less hair so they could move faster. They will need to figure out how to make clothing to keep warm, but that’s why they are getting brains. I also strengthened their spines, arms and legs. Gave them strong muscles.” Kirk was amazed. “Deity shit Cosmo they look just like you man!” Cosmo laughed heartily at this because he came up with the design after staring at his own body in the reflecting material for over an hour. “That’s fucking funny as burning brimstone Kirk. I’ll call them you mans because that’s the first thing you said when you saw them. Meet my newest creation about to become knowledgeable. The You Mans.” Kirk loved when Cosmo was inspired right before his very eyes. “Good one buddy, you mans sounds great. Why not make it like one word though?” Cosmo rubbed his head. “Okay, yumans. The male one will call man, and the female ones will be what?” Kirk laughed. Man, that’s perfect. Whoa that’s funny.” Comos turn to laugh. “You are fucking brilliant Kirk. Whoa man. that’s the female, wo-man.” So Cosmo had man and woman and now it was time to drop the seeds of knowledge.
“First I am going to put some AB seeds around.” Cosmo took some sees and sprinkled them on some of his creations in the land down under. “This is where I will put the first AB seeds. I will call these people my ABoriginals since they are the first.” He then put the power of reason in both North and South Columbia and the islands around them. He was getting low on AB seeds so he put a mixture of AB and CD seeds in his continent of Afrika and Eurasia, and the rest of the CD seeds everywhere else. “Well that’s that Kirk, now just watch them grow and evolve. Hey listen Kirk, when I was at the District Doc warned me about watching out for jealous gods. Is he being overly worried?” Kirks face hardened. “I’m afraid he may have understated it my friend. Some guys like Simon and Lucy may play little jokes Like the time Simon gave some of my species pointed ears. Oddly I ended up digging the look an adopted it myself. Oh and the time Lucy snuck these furry little creatures in she called Tribbles. Fucking things were adorable at first but before I knew what was going on they had multiplied in the millions. Lucille still laughs about them. Dang the trouble with Tribbles was epic! But there is a dark side to the mischief as well. I can’t prove anything for sure but I think Micrighton or Botchie fucked up my garden and slipped in these evil shits named Romulans. At the very least some god planted a vegetation that spat out deadly spores on my creations. And either the same bastard or another saboteur place a number of dilithium crystals in a transporter and it cloned evil twins of any who used it. I didn’t even find them for two weeks. Let me tell you that was a mess and really screwed up the dichotomy of my garden. That was no accident. You need to keep your eyes open all the time. I don’t trust many gods, especially those two. But have no fear Coz, you have many friends and we will watch you back.” Cosmo felt a little better but that other person in the room feeling was still gnawing at him. Could Botchigaloop have been there with he and Mary Anne? Or Michreighton? He was certain there was a third entity in the room after their night of sexual rapture but wasn’t positive it was a god. He considered mentioning it to Kirk but opted to wait. Kirk had read Cosmo’s notes on his new cycle of life theme .He looked at his good friend admiringly, “Please Cosmo, tell me more about you cycle of life. I find the concept….fascinating.”
Cosmo was extraordinarily proud of The cycle of life and was more than happy to talk about it to his friend. “Here’s the real deal Holyfield. I have programmed all the creatures with the laws of life, or more appropriately ’cycle of life’. Every creature is programmed for a life span which is exclusive to their own species. For some its only days and for others it can be a hundred years but each has its own cycle. They are born, they live, and they die. The law is that once they die they must avail themselves back to the garden. I call it decay. Other creatures, or bacteria, or insects eat the flesh, organs, and muscles and convert it into organic material for vegetation. The vegetation gives off oxygen which allows the creatures to breath. So they have a life cycle and when they die they become part of a larger cycle. Each creature is responsible to formulate a strategy of survival. They must do whatever they can to make the chances of their species continue. Thus the cycle of life.”
“Fascinating! Cosmo you are a fucking genius. That is beyond brilliant. Everything relies on everything else. They know all this? What other life laws do they follow? Give some examples please.” Kirk was enthralled and wanted to hear more. “How specifically does this survival shit work? Fascinating! And remarkably logical.” One of the things Cosmo loved most about Kirk was how intriguingly organized and analytical his mind is. “Kirk, you are gonna love this.
Let me start with sea turtles. Every turtle knows it must run for the water upon birth in order to live. No one tells it to run for the water it knows instinctively. The very moment they enter the garden it’s a mad dash for the water because many birds like gulls view them as tiny shelled hors d’ouerves. So a female turtle lays like a hundred eggs and buries them because she knows many will not survive. Some become nourishment for birds while others reach the water where they will live. But even then not all will survive. They must now worry about becoming dinner for some smaller fish. The ones that live will reproduce and start their cycle over again. Since they were the strong and smart ones that survived they will have offspring with strength and smarts too. Like a natural selection. While alive they feed on poisonous jellyfish which they are immune to, hence giving something towards the betterment of the sea. On land my mammels know right away to look for the life giving teat of a mother. The mother nourishes them until they can fend for themselves. Lets take a goat as an example. We have a black goat and a white goat over on that mountain. Different species. Lets say the black goat’s mom dies and can’t feed the baby black goat so it goes over to the white goat. The mom refuses to feed it because that would be a threat to the survival of her own baby. See those huge majestic eagles over there?” Cosmo pointed to a tree with a large nest and four eggs. The mother has four eggs but only enough ability to feed two babies. Upon birth the ones born first will many times kill the newer ones as they are trying to leave the shell . That’s their strategy for survival of their species. Butterflies have to struggle out of the chrysalis to signal blood to flow to the wings to allow flight. Everything knows just what it must do to survive and if it fails to follow the law or gets lost or eaten it will drown in its own gene pool. Everyone for themselves within in the clan of a species for the better of the species.” Kirk stood mouth agape at the amazing creation. “Devine mother of Cronotitan! I bow to you my liege. This I nothing short of absolute.” Kirk bent down on his knees and offered his arms over his head. “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy.” Cosmo let out a long laugh. “If you liked that my dear friend, just light up a smile stick of cannabis while I tell you of my ants and graminoids. Two brilliant blueprints I left for the youmans.”
Everything in the garden has the power of some form of communication. This is the key to existence. Everything has the ability to communicate in one way or another, taste, sight, smell, touch, or sound I gave the youmans vocal chords similar to ours and various other forms. My snakes have forked tongues to push the air into a sensor on the tongue that acts as a nose and they communicate by smell. Some species are developing an ability to hide from predators using colorful deceptions to help insure the continuation of their own. Oh here, check this out. I have bacteria living on the water. By touching each other they gather information. Once they have enough bacteria together, they communicate by touch and all begin to glow like one big school of happy shiny fishies. Bioluminescence. Fantastic. The larger fish see them and eat them, and thats where they live, inside the fish stomach sharing the fishes food. When they die they become part of the big fish waste and give back to the garden. They all want to be part of the garden. It is truly an amazing thing to watch. However those little tiny things way down there are my ants. I have designed them as a kind of blueprint for the youmans. If the youmans are as smart as I hope they will be they’ll study these tiny works of creation art. They are the closest thing to a perfect species I have ever made. Ask me, these are the most intelligent thing in the garden except that they can’t reason. The very second they enter the garden the know their purpose and how to achieve it. Some are specifically born for mating, the ones with the ability to have the highest amount of offspring. Others are foragers that go out in search of food. Once they find it they communicate to the workers where the food is and the workers all get together and carry it home back to the colony. Everything is for the benefit of the colony.” Cosmo stopped to puff on the joint. “Brilliant Cosmo, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one so the colony may live long and prosper.” Cosmo let out a plume of sweet smoke. “Exactly my dear friend. All the youmans need do is observe how well they work together to build and feed the colony and they will be building cities in no time.” The two friends finished the herbal delight and surveyed the world. “It all looks great Coz, what about this graminoids you mentioned. What’s their significance?” They went down for a closer look and Coz showed him patches of green all over like area rugs or a green carpet on earth. “I call it grass for short. This grass serves a great deal of purposes. It serves as a food for many species, it retains water to keep the garden cool and moist, it can be used for so many things but it has one huge significant purpose. If it they study how it works it will teach the youmans how to grow all kinds of vegetation at their will. That knowledge could cause a revolution.” The two friends finished the weed and hung out trading stories for the next few hours but it was time for Kirk to head back to his own enterprise. “G’luck Cozzie my friend. I will wait with baited breath to see how your youmans turn out. Until then, beware of things unseen. Live long and prosper dear friend.” At those prophetic sounding words a cloud of confusion settled over Cosmo. He wasn’t especially good at being suspicious but he promised to take Kirks advice very serious. “And you as well my dear friend. I hope to see you at our next reunion.” Cosmo heard a “Beam me up Scotty”, and in an instant Cosmo was all alone again. Well not alone really, he had his suspicions with him as well. TBC

The Continuing Adventures Of JT Hilltop/Homeward Bound (part I)

Ben Gogna/Tempest Jericho, a drifter since June, sits off of Interstate 80 and waits for her adventure to unfold.
Ben Gogna/Tempest
Jericho, a drifter since June, sits off of Interstate 80 and waits for her adventure to unfold.

Halfway There And listening To A Prayer

I’d just spent two weeks in a blissful sexually charged romance that rocked the shit out of my world. Everything that happened after that just seemed boring and unremarkable. My new focus was to get back to where I once belonged, back to the place of my birth, Centerlawn. Why I’m not even sure but something was eerily drawing me back there. Maybe my hometown has some magic magnetic pull on me. Maybe this is just me exercising my masochistic self fulfilling prophecy of doom. I didn’t really have anything there other than some great memories, and as I‘ve learned you can‘t live off of memories. So the curse of JT continues. My best friends are gone, Carries married now, Tina is who knows where, Mom James and Kayla are dead, all my close friends with the possible exception of Patrick are gone, and Mandy will probably never go back to Long Island. Dad? Well he is another story entirely, not sure where he lives and don’t care. But Centerlawn has my old hang outs and the comfort of familiarity. Maybe what I desperately needed now was some mindless mediocrity. Shades of mediocrity. Clearly there is no greater purpose for me. I am as average and mundane as the town itself. But Centerlawn is also a town that had a dramatic impact on my life and my most recent travels have been……. Interesting. Mediocrity. That’s what I needed most. Go back home and just be boring.
Hard to believe I could take leaving Josie Rae so hard. I had only known her for two weeks yet I felt more empty and alone than any other point in my life. Maturity is bullshit. No one ever told me it could hurt so much. Pain is a state of mind and my mind hurts. “ I whispered my mantra “This too shall pass.”
When you’re out on the road hitchhiking you have a lot of time to think. Perhaps too much time because at times all you can do is think and thinking when you‘re alone and depressed is a Molotov cocktail. Still I reasoned it was important I figure this thing with Josie, love, and my sudden influx of maturity out before I get back home. Realistically I couldn’t have been in love with Josie there simply wasn’t enough time. She was beautiful, the sex was fantastic, laced with heated passion but that’s lust not love. True she reminded me of the best of the two chicks I had really loved and that may have had something to do with it but when it comes down to it I think I was just in love with being in love. After all I’ve been through, addictions, deaths, break-ups, jail, it felt really good to be in love. I wanted to love Josie but what I really loved was the feeling of stability she gave me which is crazy ironic because I knew from the start our time together would be short. A two week sexual fling. I just didn’t want to admit we were using each other. I gave her two weeks away from her life sentence with Randall and she gave me hope at having a real relationship. What puzzled me was what in the hell made me think I would find it back in Centerlawn?
Yet here I am out on Route 17 way down in Conway with my faithful thumb in the wind searching for a rainbow to take me home. I copped a ride with a fair haired young lady and if I didn’t know better I would have said Josie sent a friend to see me out of town. She gave me a ride clear into Myrtle beach and deposited me right at the boardwalk. I had one last look at the beach, The Gay Dolphin Store, the arcade, and the Magic Carpet where Josie and I had danced before doing the bedroom lambada just a week ago. I wiped a tear with my Harley Davidson bandana, wrapped it around my head, kissed my thumb for luck, and off I went. Point me north I’m coming home.
I had no idea how difficult it would be getting back to New York via the scenic route. Perhaps if I had gone straight to 95 it would have been a day or two but the scenic route was far less traveled and for much shorter distances. I was encouraged when my first ride took me over the border from South Carolina to North Carolina but after being dropped off outside Columbia reality would come back laughing its ass off at me. There are two things about Columbia North Carolina I will always remember. One, if you’re a hippie stay away from a military town, and two, Columbia NC has the nastiest bitiest god damn red ants in the world. These fuckers were so aggressive they jumped me like I was being mugged by a street gang. Out of nowhere I start getting these sharp pains first on my feet then quickly up my legs. When I looked down it was like red ant apocalypse. They were running up in flanks as fast as I could brush them off and biting the entire time. I jumped up and down and did a ninja spin while still brushing them away. I could see their faces, the anger in their eyes but kept the fight to them. When I saw what I had inadvertently done to their sand mound, their military base, I understood. I was the invader not them. They were defending. My only move was a quick retreat so off I ran hopping and slapping myself with a new reality and a few wise ass kids laughing at me.
So my visit here to Columbia was marred forever. I didn’t stay to look around which would probably only have gotten me an ass kicking anyway because the military school was full of testosterone driven young cadets with something to prove. I refused be their example so I made a bee line out of antville. My hitchhiker digit now in top form I got a ride in the first five minutes. As great as that sounds it was not without a downside. I was in back seat of a VW bug with what had to be the smelliest couple ever. Now I was probably a bit ripe myself but these two were downright raunchy. The stench had it’s own area code. It was horrible.
A most unpleasant journey but a journey none the less. I was on the move but the highway had gone from a three lane racetrack to a one lane road winding in and out around the shore. Between trying not to breathe and chatting with my body odor spewing taxi I ended up somewhere else in North Carolina. They were going west and let me out on what looked more like a local road than a highway across from some strange looking church. I was glad because I couldn’t take much more of a VW cockpit filled with what could be the steam of a decomposing body in it. Hell, maybe they were serial killers with a body in the trunk looking for another suitable toy. Either way, my joy of having escaped possible cellar torture and being able to discard the layer of stink was short lived.
As well tuned as my thumb was even the magic digit is unable to rustle up a ride if no cars come by. Hours passed and darkness crept in. The only sign of life was an occasional car, more often than not headed the wrong way, and the filling up of the church whose members found me oddly interesting. At least it seemed that way, they all seemed to look over my way, talk to each other, then honor me with a second glance mixed with an occasional surreptitious finger point. Just what I needed, some born again Christian cult members viewing me as a potential new sacrificial lamb. Seems the reed ant army has communications abilities because on top of the dark setting in they apparently sent an aerial assault via the mosquito squadrons. I found myself itching for one of the church goers to save me and if that’s what it takes to get me from this buzzing ghost town back to a real highway then praise the fucking lord!
As if on cue two parishioners ambled my way. It seems born again Christians never do anything strictly out of the goodness of their hearts. Every last favor entails an obligatory thank the lord combined with a slick segue into a preaching parable. But again, attitude of gratitude! So when the young black couple came over and offered me a ride I jumped at the chance. At least they smelled nice. I told them where I was heading and they informed me of the err of my ways. First directionally, then in my life choices. I was headed into a very coastal one lane highway which would get me nowhere if I kept on the way I was and a very downward spiral which already is nowhere if I didn’t find the Lord. Apparently he’s not on that coastal highway and thankfully neither would I be. The couple gave me a ride all the way to Interstate 95 and left me at a rest stop which gave them ample time to recite scriptures and generally make me feel inadequate in my faith. I thanked them reverently for the ride and direction. I knew they were disappointed I excluded to thank their lord but I was pretty certain they would thank him in redundancy for me.
It was great to be out of mosquitoville by the shore but it was now around ten o’clock at night and hitchhiking at this hour was a bad idea. Besides I was really tired here in Lumberton NC so I walked down by where all the truckers rested looking for a little alcove or something. Anything but an abandoned gas station or the side of the road which I swore was a thing of the past. The best I could find was an overturned wooden picnic table under some tree’s. It was like a wooden pillow fort so it would serve two purposes, giving me minimal shelter from the elements and instilling a bit of comforting childhood innocence. I leaned up against my wood fort, closed my eyes, and listened to the cricket orchestra playing stage right. I needed to take my mind somewhere else so I wouldn’t be surrounded in negativity. I couldn’t get the sex with Josie Rae out of my mind so I fell a sleep with a shit eating grin on my face. I did not however, wake up that way. Over the course of the evening the insect world mistook me for Gulliver and began exploring all parts of my body. ALL parts. I never had so many itches in so many uncomfortable places to scratch in my life. It was like the red ants of Columbia and the Mosquito squadron of No Sin City sent messages up about a delicious tasting human being headed their way. Ants, centipedes, some beetle like bastards that had hard shells on them, all kinds of creepy crawly critters claiming me as their territory. Having become experienced in insect warfare recently I took the battle right back to them. A few jumps, shakes, and then any stragglers were destined to meet their end in the great waters of the men’s room as I raced them to their doom. To my tiny enemies it was the great flood without Noah to save any of them.
It took me about ten minutes after being bug free to shake the feeling of their prersence. Phantom crawlings on my legs and arms still had me scratching but I was finally able to get hold of myself. (Not literally) I ventured back out to the truckers area and scoped out the truckers to see if there was anyone I could relate too that might take me north. The first ten or twelve I eyeballed appeared to be speed freaks who were strung out and skinny as hell. Not reliable and the last thing I needed was to be around drug users again. Then I spotted him, a normal looking dude around my age with long hair. He was driving a furniture store truck and from the looks of him I could cop a ride. I put on my lost puppy dog face before I approached him. After explaining my situation in which I stressed the “left abandoned and stranded by someone I thought was a good friend” He offered me a ride to Virginia. Hmmm. The place for lovers and Virginia Ham. Why the hell not? Next stop the State For Lovers…..TBC