Howdy wavelengths, welcome to the forty-fifth shade of HACK. If you’ve made it this far, each of us is somewhere on the spectrum.
Once again I must resurrect a piece from the past. This is one that few have read and even fewer have liked. But I like it because it’s a satisfying of blend of fact, fiction, and a few of my more farcical fantasies.
If re-posting this piece seems like some passive-aggressive need for approval, then you’re exactly right. However, keep in mind that it comes from a selves-published book. So while I may desire your approval, I’m sure as hell not going to wait around for it.
I Got the Blues
I woke up in a bathtub and everything was blue. For a few terrifying seconds there was only the sound of splashing in some kind of warm liquid. It wasn’t water. It was thicker, heavier and more viscous. My eyelids opened and nothing changed. I saw only a solid wall of blue. At first it seemed distant, then as if responding to my awareness, it closed within inches around me. A moment of panic dissolved into confusion as the blue void shimmered and new blues emerged, forming shadows and shapes of multi-shaded all-blue hues. It was really then that I realized I was in a tub made of creamy blue marble. I was nude, immersed in viscous royal-blue goo.
Golden blue light diffused through a frosted glass window. I stood up. My limbs felt light and warm. I grabbed the midnight blue towel beside me and started to wipe the blue goo from my face. I had already noticed the mirror, having caught a glimpse of a reflected arm before the towel covered my eyes. I hesitated for a few seconds, afraid of that first inevitable glimpse. I finally decided that whatever expression I saw on my face would be the emotion I’d convey. I lowered the towel, raised the eyelids and peered at myself.
I was blue.
My eyes fell to a cobalt wooden counter with a single piece of beryl blue paper. read the note which was scribbled in blueberry ink and recognized with ultramarine amusement a poem written by Robert Carnevale, my poetry professor from college.
And the blue flesh of the grasses
There came a rapid series of bangs. I startled backward into a door. A voice on the other side screamed, “Code blue! Code blue!” From my years of experience doing something I could not remember, the procedure for code blue ran through my mind. Lock the doors…check. Close the lights…check. Huddle in a corner out of sight… There came a loud crack and some kind of metallic object broke through the door.
Luckily, a pair of blue denim jeans lay draped over a window ledge. I hopped on one foot trying to get a leg on. The door flew wide open this time and before I could even glimpse who it was I stumbled and tipped backward out the window. It was a two story drop but I…stopped. My torso dipped, then lifted and hovered in perfect balance over a giant teal holly bush with prickly blue leaves. It was freezing cold. A quick glimpse showed a soft powder blueness covering the landscape around me. Snow.
My arms clung to the window-sill; I moved them and pulled myself up and around the edge of the roof. As I turned the corner I looked back and saw a shadowy blue figure in the window. It sighted me and reached a pale blue arm up to break an icicle that hung over the window.
The icicle missed my twisting spine by about an inch and crashed into the perfectly smooth side of the obsidian-blue building. When at last I turned the corner I glimpsed the sign on the compound I’d just escaped from – Azure Enterprises.
Then the chalybeous crystal spaceship arrived. Of course, I didn’t know it was a spaceship until after I had tried to swim away in mid-air, only to be pulled by its wavy blue beam into a spherical chamber illuminated by gamma blue frequencies. I hovered in weightlessness while watching a holographic image of the Earth receding below me, emerging through each separate shade of atmospheric blue into—the hologram disappeared.
“It is able to detect more and more frequencies along this wavelength. See how it correctly identifies each element of the planet’s atmosphere.”
“And yet tangential color spectrums remain unavailable to its perceptive awareness. Peculiar.”
“Show yourselves,” I said firmly, resolving to hold all other what-the-fuck-is-going-on questions until they met me face to face.
“Very well, but do not be alarmed when you notice that we do not have faces.”
Fuck faces, they had no recognizable biological features whatsoever. They were spinning mazarine merkabas surrounding wells of fractal mandalas. Shifting orthogonal patterns rotated and bled together in merging ripples. I sensed that I was communicating with one entity and many at the same time.
“Fear not. We are here to help. Ask your questions.”
Clearly these were superior beings. They probably knew all about me and the human species. They could tell me who I can’t remember I am, why I woke up in a bathtub, and…”
“Why is everything blue?”
“Did you bring your iPod?”
“Check your pockets.”
I obeyed. Sure enough, inside my pockets was my trusty iPod, Aoede.
I did so and suddenly a familiar song echoed around the chamber.
…I’m lonely / Want to die / If I ain’t dead already / Girl you know the reason why
That was ‘Yer Blues’ by John Lennon.
“Hit it again,” the entities said.
Cut the light on the kid, and turn the bright on / Supersonic waves combine and burn as brainwaves / I see the mascot of evil he’s not kneivel / Shakespeare’s gone don’t even think about it / Yes, as I’m going to the park, I see…blue flowers!
“OK OK, I get it, everything is blue! Just tell me why!”
The iPod shuffled on its own to a song I hadn’t heard in a while.
Lost my time / Lost my place in / Sky blue
Peter Gabriel. Well at least it was coming up with good songs. I scrolled through the playlists and noted that I had everything ever recorded by Bobby Blues Bland.
“Your culture once had something called a mood ring,” the crystalline voices interrupted, “It purportedly turned the color of the wearer’s emotional state.”
“They were a little before my time, but yeah, I remember,” I said, begrudgingly intrigued.
“You are like a mood ring. Except that you are, shall we say, stuck in an infinitely repeating series of quantum eigenstates—I believe your species calls it the blues.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I was starting to panic internally. I felt my cognitive processes shutting down, the slow realization of everything that was happening to me, the unreality of it all, overwhelmed me.
“Careful human,” the voices cooed, “Such meta-cognitive techniques will only increase your suffering.”
My attention suddenly returned to the entities who, if they had mouths, I’m certain would have been grinning at me.
“That’s better. Now, in answer to your question. Your contract with Azure Enterprises included a meta-subset clause which allowed for the reconfiguration of your identity matrix. This was accomplished via insertion of a gentian capsule into your neural systems. Spectrum inhibition is the targeted side effect, one that Azure has been trying to keep on the down blue.”
“I don’t know what in ice-blue hell you’re talking about,” I said flatly.
“Understandable. Unfortunately, we do not have time to enhance your what-the-fuck-is-going-on awareness. You’ll just have to trust us. Our species relocation program should provide you with enough inter-dimensional cover to prevent Azure’s egregious automatons from finding you while the effects of your spectrum inhibition wear off.”
“How long before it wears off?”
“We cannot make an accurate assessment of that datum.”
“You mean you don’t fucking know. I finally meet aliens and they’re morons.”
“Fear not young one. Your anger and frustration will be channeled properly.
Humans desire companionship in order to thrive, do they not?”
“Well, yeah, sure. But really you’re asking the wrong guy. I’ve been single a hell of a lot longer than I’ve been blue.”
The translucent blue sphere that surrounded me dissolved and in floated a beautiful naked girl. She looked perplexed as I stared in awe at her perfect periwinkle complexion.
“Why are you here?” she spoke flatly in a guarding tone.
Not, who are you, where are you from, or how did you get here? Why am I here?
“Miss, I couldn’t have answered that before everything turned blue. I certainly can’t answer it now.”
“What do you mean everything turned blue?”
And that was extent of our introduction because I immediately began telling her all that happened to me. When I was done she immediately began telling me everything that had happened to her.
“Every time I go into REM I have a lucid dream of my birth,” she said.
Holy fucking shit. I thought my experiment went bad! She continued to explain and I quickly realized that instead of being yet another infantile personality she was one of the most intelligent members of my species that I had ever met.
It’s no quantum leap to figure out that, since I was the only person in her universe and she was the only person in my universe, we eventually gave in to the cyaneous synchronicity .
The aliens were quite accommodating. They gave us our own private sphere that detached from their vessel and was pulled along by an invisible tractor beam. Inside this transparent globe we hovered in zero-g, surrounded by the universe. To have good sex in zero-g requires delicate muscle control. It’s the best workout. We would gyrate synchronously in the center, rotating at all angles thrusting gently in and out of each other. Then we would float upward and stick to the clear surface of the globe. I would press hard against her and lose myself while staring into inky-blue space as trillions of shimmering blue stars bled their opalescent light into my eyes.
We would push off in exhaustion, our outstretched limbs treading through the mist of sweat and heavy exhalations that formed a faint blue cloud in the center of the sphere.
Of course, even after we finished, my balls were still blue.
Our constant communion went on without measure. It wasn’t until we saw the familiar face of Jupiter that we realized our no-time was at an end.
“They told me it was some kind of Species Relocation Program,” she said, “After they’re done studying us, they’ll drop us back into our old lives. To us and everyone else around us, it will seem as if nothing had happened and that we had always been there.”
I’ll spare you the scenes of anger, depression, bargaining, and skip right to the acceptance part. We decided at last to leave it to chance. If the Universe wanted us to meet up again, it would happen. And if Fate wouldn’t have its way with us, then we’d have our way with whomever we choose. Of course I forgot all of this after the return.
All I remember is that I woke up in my bathtub and everything was blue. For the first three days I stayed locked indoors, convinced that I had been abducted. I found my signed copy of the contract from Azure Enterprises. Although it was clear I had agreed to partake in some kind of experiment, the legal jargon was so incomprehensible I still did not know what the experiment actually was. For a while I was terrified they would come for me. As the weeks wore on, however, I concluded that even if they were watching me, as long as I didn’t say anything to anybody they might leave me alone. Besides, there was a more distressing matter. Everything was still blue.
I didn’t know for sure that I had actually been abducted, but if my dreams were correct then those fucking fractal entities didn’t fix me. At first I tried going out. At bars or parties I eventually ended up sitting alone in a corner, slowly sipping Johnny Walker Blue. Work was even worse than before. Not only did I have to suffer the same soul-crushing routines as before, but the obnoxiously blue overlords came down on me harder than ever. I made it a whole month until everyone started to get suspicious. They thought I was losing my mind. I was. Next thing I knew everything I said was true-blue. Too true. Too blue. One night the police in their livid blue uniforms found me sobbing next to the stone blue marble corpse of Jesus in his tomb.
After that I became a hermit. Once in a blue moon someone would call or stop by and I’d welcome them graciously. It was easy to pretend I wasn’t blue for a few short bursts of time. Mostly they just looked at me with pity. I took ultramarine showers, made spicy blue tomato sauce, and watched the movie Blue every night before falling asleep. My cat Clemens was now a shade of cerulean. He brought me dead bluebirds and baby blue bunnies from the fields. My other cat, a Persian, was a shade I could not identify until I looked it up and chuckled to see that the color is Persian Blue. I found that things that used to be naturally blue had more tactile presence. For example, a navy blue turtleneck felt a lot more comfortable than indigo underwear.
The seasons came and went. The iceberg-blue of winter gave way to cornflower-blue spring, melted into sapphire summer and finally faded into those glaucous Autumn blues. I preferred stormy days, watching the glow of dark electric blue through the windows, while steel blue rain blurred like an ozone watercolor. Eventually I gave up all hope and fell into a deep blue stupor.
One day I was watching a SciFi Channel series about the Blueniverse. At one point a satellite view of Jupiter hung for what seemed like forever as the narrator droned, “Jupiter’s famous blue-spot finally has some company, a smaller but equally feisty storm named Little Blue.” It occurred to me suddenly that all of this meant something. It made my guts go hollow and hungry.
I decided to make a Wawa run for cigarettes and orange juice. At the counter I had the strangest sense of déjà vu staring at the girl who handed me 2 packs of American Spirit—light blue. She looked absurdly familiar, but she must have noticed my dilated blue-on-blue eyes because she said, “The spice must go.”
I hurried out of there and into the car, searched the iPod for a suitable song and finally decided on Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. At home there was mail waiting. I pulled the car over, reached into the box and pulled out a turquoise envelope. Inside was a letter with countless tiny blue pixels that swirled together to form the following words:
We apologize for the delay in your re-processing. A tangential meta-meme required our immediate involvement. We thank you for your patience and hope the delay has not caused any permanent feedback loops in your reality-tunnel.
Self Transforming Machine Elves
PS – Press shuffle!
Not knowing what else to do, I pressed it. A synthesized organ blast pierced the blue. I sat there stunned, shedding ever changing hues to Pink Floyd’s ‘Any Colour You Like’ from Dark Side of the Moon. Everything that was dead outside and inside of me came alive in bursting color.
The trees shed their dead leaves in a vibrant rhythm—ragged reds, ecstatic oranges, somber browns. The leaves fell upon rich verdant grasses and the stony grey street. I leaned upward at the soft yellow yoke of the sun, cotton white clouds, and the sky…well, the sky was blue.