VERHEIDEN: Even the most oblivious to the skies would guess Jupiter hangs on your walls.
FORHEISER: ‘Course he does.
FORHEISER: Floating the highest, after Mars, above the Sun.
FORHEISER: I even got the inclination right, ya know.
VERHEIDEN: Not quite a challenging feat, I’m afraid. It is almost parallel to its…

I’ve listened to my favorite song of all time for the first time. Could I have known I could feel like this? For the second time, I listen; did the world had these colors? Could it ever had? And the third. Had I this piece of me? The fourth and I found it, a version of “me” comes up. Was it the favorite song, the spotlight to this dimension of me, this world within me? The song echoes within me and a new piece is molded. The 200th time. Doesn’t matter. I want to live some more, ‘ til the next play, the next, and so on — as the music echoes, I echo, we all echo.

Max houses a lot of stuffed animals. His precious ones are a grumpy cat, a white rabbit, and a cute smiling elephant. He asks me to tell stories about them before he sleeps, so I’ve given them names. The elephant’s called Tobias. His smiling, cute, cluelessly friendly and overly amicable face just tells me: Tobias. The bunny’s called Roger, because of Roger Rabbit. A memory, perhaps a retrieval of my own. The grumpy cat’s called Felix, from the Felix Legions. Because it just made sense to mix Tobias, Roger, and the Legionnaires. They must make great imaginary friends and feed lots of stories together. Max stares very attentively at the ceiling when he listens about Tobias, Roger, and Felix. I know he can see them somewhere within his childish mind, and for a glimpse our fantasy is real.

I’m rolling down the grass in the nearby cliff. It’s sunny and chilly. I feel clean, although I’m almost on mud. I go back up to roll down again, but there’s no fatigue; I could go on forever. Raw laughter, pure childhood joy. There’s no load, no scrutiny, no noise. I’m a 9-year-old monk, enlightened, not knowing so.

I am playing Ocarina of Time. I am playing Final Fantasy VII. I am playing Shadow of the Colossus. I’m opening the N64 for the first time. I’m in the magazine store, trying to read a PC Gamer piece on Diablo, in full-blown English. It doesn’t matter; when the understanding fails, I create the words. Nothing is lacking; the world is complete, always. I sleep, I recreate the world; I wake up, the world is renewed again. I’m walking on real streets, virtual streets; then they’re the same, then it doesn’t matter. I am an actor that can do any role, live any life, be anywhere, feel anything. I’m powerful; I’m sublime; I’m a child; I’m playing, I’m living.

VERHEIDEN: If I recall correctly, you did purchase Mars.
FORHEISER: ‘Course I did.
VERHEIDEN: Let me guess. Mars is red.
FORHEISER: Reddish red.
VERHEIDEN: Mars is bright.
FORHEISER: Brightly bright!
VERHEIDEN: Mars is blood.
FORHEISER: Bleeding blood!
VERHEIDEN: Mars is might.
VERHEIDEN: Holst used to call it the “Bringer of War.”
FORHEISER: Mars is kind, you know.

- VERHEIDEN: If I recall correctly, Earth is also missing from your collection.
- FORHEISER: She’s too complicated.
- VERHEIDEN: Why is Earth female.
- FORHEISER: Well, there’s life in her.
- VERHEIDEN: Indeed.
- VERHEIDEN: Maybe too much.
- FORHEISER: Like I said…

I’m on a train. Hills are bursting behind her as light caresses her lips. I sense her breathing. The motion of her lips, her soft skin. She raises her hands toward me. Her hand blocks the sunlight, whose beams leak in between her fingers, them glowing in crimson. I touch her as if harping her fingers one by one. Time is meaningless. The whole and everything are her lips and fingers, bathed by gentle northern sunlight.

VERHEIDEN: Mercury would not have been a wise acquisition, indeed.
FORHEISER: The scrubby guy?
FORHEISER: I’m picky about what or who I hang on my walls.
VERHEIDEN: Venus was also missing if I recall.
VERHEIDEN: A striking absence, I would say.
FORHEISER: Why should I own Venus.
VERHEIDEN: You would own love.
FORHEISER: There’s no…



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