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24. Not the Memphis in Tennessee


"Looks like youve got a little dandruff there." Izzy scattered slivers of limestone with a playful kick. "And one of us could use a shave. But my cork held, didnt it, bubeleh, in spite of all the bad-mouthing from various cosmic adventurers I could mention?"

He took a few snapshots of me?Click, flash!?mopped his forehead, downed a swig of water. The suck and gurgle of the water smacking back into the canteen when he pulled it from his lips. The distant murmurs of tourists huddling back as soldiers herded them with batons. Millennia whispering by: sand, wind, sun

"So, you like it here or what? Sarvadhukas going nuts in the novelty shops and brothels. I told him he doesnt get a disease or induce any pregnancies?Izzovision?so now hes taken out all the stops, if youll excuse the expression. He got so burned when he found out that the Memphis I promised him nooky in wasnt the one in Tennessee, I felt I had to share some information, to make it up to him.

"I like the weather station on your rump, by the way. Getty Institute, right? No, dont bother to answer. Thats all right. Dont exercise yourself, kid. That would really freak the tourists. As if it wasnt bad enough having a piece of your shoulder fall off and then seeing a lunatic like yours truly gabbing at Old Stoneface here as if he was an old acquaintance.

"You just take it easy. Shaman talks a good game, but he cant do nothing for a while yet. Ill come back after nightfall. Me and Sovereign Duchy was just casing the joint thisaft, bagging a few collectibles and that. Dont say goodbye. Dont say thank you. Dont say a thing, Great Abbadabba."

A moustached soldier in khakis and beret with a Kalashnikoff slung over his shoulder grabbed Izzys elbow to escort him from the Sphinx enclosure, the hollow I formed about me when I first crash landed on Earth and created human beings, a long, tiring process from the initial joining of nucleotides through the evolution of humans, through whom I could actuate my mental processes, and eventuating in the birth of Tuthmosis IV, on whom I believed I could rely, but consciousness has its own intrinsic imperatives, so here I was, anchored in this blank, vasty shoal, cut off from the stars my home, and utterly dependent on the ministrations of a punch press operator from Lockport, New York.

Somewhere on the wind a mite was buzzing: "Im you! Im you!" I felt so tired!


23. Abu al-Hawl | Izzy and the Father of Terror | 25. The Mysteries of Monophysitism