Where there is more than enough of everything (episode one)
Svetlana TrummHow I could and so did meet the new spokesmistress for The Institute for the Study of Slightly Varying Circumstances
You have most likely never considered the importance of having a person, let alone the right person, to represent your positions and recommend them faithfully to the public regardless of their own opinions, but I have. It, as they say, “comes with the territory”, the territory that is my special domain, my particular field of thought, my province of action that I alone must patrol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week leaving me ‘little time and less inclination’™1 to mingle with the gawkers and busybodies who, having miraculously found their way through the dark wood which surrounds the Institute, and past the signs warning trespassers of “withering B.B. gun fire”2, then make camp in my fields, frightening the livestock and generally sullying my pristine private grounds. Some time ago, being in need of someone to mingle amongst the masses, or more specifically, to read, for the purpose of recording, a series of entries from my ‘Red Couch Diaries’3 I placed an advertisement for such a person, and, due to her being the only one qualified as well as the only one to apply, hired Miss Antonietta for the job. Unfortunately, Miss Antonietta, while taking her daily constitutional within the nearby orchard4, met a man who, through the ancient art of trickery, did lead her astray so completely that she did, during the hours of darkness, disappear, never to be heard from again. This, I assure you, was a devastating blow, resulting in the termination of ‘The Red Couch Diaries’ project as well as leaving me to only have myself as an audience, and a very poor audience at that, as I quickly grew tired of my shenanigans, which in turn lead to an almost complete ban on all forms of the audible human voice within the Institute. Those were sad days. Endlessly I searched the local big box stores for a replacement among the sales staff, watching them folding items of clothing discarded by shoppers, observing their comings and goings from the windowless break rooms, and, if they showed even the slightest potential, following them to their cars after work in order to approach them with my offer5. This did not go well, and soon I gave up all hope of ever finding a new spokesmistress6.
Grief stricken over Antonietta’s disappearance and without hope of ever replacing her I retreated into my private residence rarely leaving for weeks at a time as I obsessively played certain songs over and over again upon my portable record player believing a message was there waiting to be found between the lines1. After countless months of fruitless listening I, upon looking through the growing pile of unopened mail, discovered a letter from an acquaintance living in the city of San Fransisco. Dated some months before, his letter was essentially an invitation to visit him and his wife in the city as they were in possession of a spare apartment within their building and would gladly allow me the use of it in exchange for my company. Having not entered the state in which San Fransisco is located for more than ten years2 I immediately responded to the letter writing that the invitation was very kind and that they could expect to see me during the upcoming Christmas holidays as I began what was to be my California sojourn.
Once settled into my comfortable lodgings I was free to wander the city at will, and that I did, from one end to the other exploring its every street, and rediscovering all of its wonderful mysteries. On one of my excursions in an area of the city known as North Beach3 I, having drank a large cup of coffee, was in need of the facilities required for my relief, and, as this is no small task to accomplish on the streets of San Fransisco I soon became quite uncomfortable and more that a little anxious.
Finally, after resolving myself to purchasing another cup of coffee only for the purpose of using the restroom, I entered a small cafe on Columbus avenue not far from Big Al’s4, one of my favorite haunts, but unfortunately closed at the time. The restroom located behind the cafe and up a small flight of stairs was unsurprisingly occupied,and so, while waiting I amused myself by striking various poses in front of an extremely large mirror hanging on on one of the walls. While in a pose that has long been in my repertoire which I call ‘the concerned look’ I noticed a letter lying on the floor under a nearby window. Being naturally nosy, and ready at all times to observe trifles I picked up the letter so to examine it more closely. On doing this I was shocked, truly electrified, as if by some cosmic current5 , denied by science to exist, but there nevertheless running through all of humanity for purposes we can scarcely guess. The name on the envelope read, Svetlana Trumm, and though I did not know her I knew she was to be the new spokesmistress for The Institute for the Study of Slightly Varying Circumstances.
Half crazed by this revelation from circumstance, but not so crazed as to expose myself to charges of mail theft1, I took a picture of Svetlana Trumm’s address as it appeared on the envelope and set out to inform her of her new position as official spokesmistress. Oh, the joy that coursed through my veins, the fantasies of returned glory that ran through my brain, and the strain of running up the steep hills to be found everywhere in that city; others on the street, if there were any2, were invisible to me, I saw nothing, but only heard myself repeating again and again her name, Svetlana Trumm, Svetlana Trumm, Svetlana Trumm, spokesmistress for the Institute for the Study of Slightly Varying Circumstances! Out of breath, sweating profusely and dizzy I arrived in front of the home of Svetlana Trumm, whereupon, reaching my arms into the air and calling out her name as loudly as I could, I collapsed upon the sidewalk3.
The collapsing on the sidewalk, I can admit now, was simply a ruse meant to lure Ms. Trumm, who shortly before I called her name I saw gazing out from a second story window, to the street below where I could explain to her what fate had in store4. However, Ms. Trumm did not come to my aid, instead she stood in the window until I, realizing that she had no desire to involve herself with a strange man sprawled out in front of her home, rose to my feet and made my way to the front door. First, I knocked, then, I knocked once more, and then again I knocked quite loudly, but no answer came. Then, noticing a button, which I assumed was connected to a doorbell, I pressed it over and over, until finally the door swung open and I, for the first time, saw, in all her glory, Svetlana Trumm.
Now, I am sure you are wondering, especially with your knowledge of my stalking sales ladies in the parking lots of big box stores, and the creepy feeling that it no doubt causes you to have, why Svetlana Trumm would answer her door instead of calling the police around to give me a well deserved clubbing1. The reason is the cosmic current, the same cosmic current I experienced when I read her name upon the letter, the same cosmic current, as I have already explained, which runs through all of humanity. She was a little uneasy, I will grant you that, but if it was from fear, it was the fear of the connection she felt with me, and, though she was not yet aware of it, with The Institute for the Study of Slightly Varying Circumstances. Eternities passed in worlds unseen by man2 as we stood in her doorway unsure of words to say, unsure of what action to take. Then, abruptly, the spell was broken by the sound, not at all uncommon in the city, of a man arguing very angrily with himself on the other side of the street, and, perhaps afraid this man may wish to engage us in his discussion3 , we both stepped quickly into her front hall as she closed the door behind us. Inside Svetlana’s home I can only describe as like fabled Elysium, a place beyond all imagining so perfect was it, yet, though I could live there a thousand years, and she as well, we knew that something even higher was calling us. Days did pass without us leaving there wherein we spent every minute of every hour discussing the future which lay before us while listening to records4 and laughing at the messages we heard.
After discussing all of the various possibilities that may present themselves in the course of time as well as working out certain contractual difficulties, Svetlana and I came to the decision that she would keep her home in San Fransisco as a kind of Mission for bringing the Institute for the Study of Slightly Varying Circumstances to the barbaric inhabitants of the United States, and that we will, of course, travel back and forth as needed; both of us looking forward with much excitement to any and all projects we may undertake together.
Introduction1. The earliest occurrence of “little time and less inclination” I could find was “… and as there is little time, so there is generally less inclination, to call upon the Lord” on page 35 of ‘The holy Bible, with a comm. and critical notes by A. Clarke’ 1836. Its significance in relation to the ‘Little time and less inclination’™ of ‘The Contemplative Process’™ is not fully understood at this time, but will, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise”, surely be figured out in the future.
Interestingly the phrase “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise” is thought to originate from the Bible, James 4: 15 which reads “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” which itself can also be related back to ‘The Contemplative Process’™ in a way too frightening for us to contemplate. 2. The signs warning trespassers are quite large and easily read (see below). Though it is not uncommon for those from the land of the sandwich eaters to be poor readers it is not considered a sufficient excuse for saving one from the stinging of those copper plated steel balls. 3. The Red Couch Diaries, which went generally ignored by the public, was a project of The Institute for the Study of Slightly Varying Circumstances Audio Division whose motto being “Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat” was chosen without knowledge of the fact that there are a lot of people who do not possess any. 4. The nearby orchard is well known to most as the last line of defense for the Institute. It is regularly walked by me, and a few others, safely, although, as the example of Miss Antonietta points out, it is not completely free from the dangers posed by roaming sandwich eaters. 5. On most occasions I was unable to get very far in my relating to the sales ladies their good fortune at being considered for the position of spokesmistress, as my approach was usually met with the subject quickly getting into their car and locking the doors or my announcement of “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people” being interrupted when they began to scream. 6. According to ‘Your source for the truth and nothing but the truth’ Wikipedia “Gender-neutral language, gender-inclusive language, inclusive language, or gender neutrality is linguistic prescriptivism that aims to eliminate (or neutralize) reference to gender in terms that describe people” I am not sure what that means, but I am almost positive ‘spokesmistress’ does not qualify.
Chapter One1. I mostly arrived at the idea that there would be something to be found between the lines from listening to the Peter,Paul and Mary song ‘I Dig Rock and Roll Music’ which contains the following: “I dig Rock and Roll music
I could really get it on in that scene.
I think I could say somethin’ if you know what I mean
But if I really say it, the radio won’t play it
Unless I lay it between the lines” To this day I am still unsure of what exactly is meant by “somethin'”, but will resist the temptation to explore the possibilities at this time. 2. The reason for my decade long absence from the state of California was due to a series of visits which began and ended with my becoming very ill, or someone traveling with me, in a 1962 Volkswagen Van, becoming ill which then resulted in me having to drive for 17 hours straight on highways filled with Semi trucks driven by murderous speed freaks. 3. Though North Beach has been named by the American Planning Association as one of ten ‘Great Neighborhoods in America’ I, having not spent a sufficient amount of time there, do not feel qualified to comment, although I do find it hard to believe. North Beach is also where the Beatniks hung out,you know, like Jack Kerouac who I can say very little about except that ‘Jack’ is an awesome name. 4. Big Al’s was the first bottomless bar in San Fransisco, unfortunately it now sits vacant while just a few doors down “The Beatnik Museum” flourishes; what has happened to America? 5. The ‘cosmic current’ I mention here is not to be associated with any of those other cosmic currents you may come across in your studies of the occult which I remind you can lead to devastating consequences as Robert Anton Wilson pointed out when he said, “In researching occult conspiracies, one eventually faces a crossroad of mythic proportions (called Chapel Perilous in the trade). You come out the other side either stone paranoid or an agnostic; there is no third way…”. Consider yourself warned.
Chapter Two1. From what I can gather mail theft is mostly conducted by Meth addicts who want to steal your identity! 2. There were, of course, other people on the street, lots of them, I just said “if there were any” in order to suggest to the reader how focused I was upon finding Svetlana Trumm, which I was, I really wasn’t thinking of much else, not even using the restroom, which I had already done, but did not mention in the narrative above seeing no reason for doing so. 3. This can be a most unpleasant experience as the sidewalks in San Fransisco are absolutely filthy, and while I am only a mild hypochondriac my time with Svetlana in her home was troubled by my worry that I may have caught some horrible disease. 4. I, as I am sure you realize, did not actually have any idea whatsoever about what fate had in store, and am actually unconvinced that it exists anywhere except for in the mind of man, and as Cornelius himself quoted from The Sacred Scrolls “Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.“
Chapter Three1. According to ‘your best source for knowledge’ Wikipedia “Police forces and their predecessors have traditionally favored the use, whenever possible,” ( me in front of Svetlana Trumm’s house being a perfect opportunity) “of less-lethal weapons than guns or blades to impose public order or to subdue and arrest law-violators.” And then there’s this which has nothing to do really with the police giving me a good clubbing but is pretty cool anyway “In addition, Shaolin monks and members of other religious orders around the world have employed cudgels from time to time as defensive weapons.” I have no memory of Kwai Chang Caine ever using a cudgel, but I guess he did have that flute. 2. You may be thinking “worlds unseen by man” is a bunch of hogwash, but Bob Dylan himself mentioned the existence of these worlds when he said “On this earth and in the world we can’t see” So you know there’s got to be something to it. 3. For me personally the fear was extreme due to me thinking him familiar to me, perhaps having been a student at one of my Contemplative Process™ seminars. 4. Ms. Trumm has an extensive collection of records spanning a great many musical genres and is quite the audiophile, having each room of her home equipped with its own turntable and other accoutrements needed for hi-fi enjoyment.