I've decided this time to trek over to the AlternaWorld myself, to find out for real what is up with my book. To find out more about the wide-spread reach of my collection. Reports from Jupiter and the Ice Worlds out near Aldebaran, as well as The Bronx (?) of its existence Out Beyond really got me hyped, but what of the worlds that run right alongside ours? What of the Other Dimensions? Yeah, well...this time, I thought it best to slide into the interstellar slipstream via the Videodrome transport station in my computer screen myself and--what ? Oh, you've got it, too! We all do. It's just...let's put it this way. With the first step being "thoroughly oil your naked body," most interstellar slipstream travellers never make it out of their bedrooms, computer rooms and such, distracted by the process and, er...you might get my drift, but if not, well...think on it and get back to me the second Tuesday of next week.
Anyway, after doing that and not being distracted to exhaustion, ahem...press in sequence, Delete - Home - Esc - 2 - Alt - then pick the code of the AlternaWorld, or whichever dimension you want to explore...and step through the screen.
Now that I am here, a bit disorientated from the trip and being spat out like a hairball on the hard metallic road, I am immediately inundated with loud music adorned in raspy curls of feedback, and vocals that sound familiar. I shake my still wobbly head until focus is gained and I see to my left a tall man with an even taller afro and dressed in wild, tie-dyed colors bashing away on a flaming guitar that doesn't seem to be burning his fingers at all.
Then the words hit me, the end of a familiar song, but not so familiar any more. Different lyrics.
"The traffic lights they turn black tomorrow
And shine their emptiness into my dreams
Strange words float in my tattered subconsciousness
‘Cause the dark imagination tears at the seams
And the dark is light enough for me
Will the wind ever remember
The tales it has read in the past
With his nightmare stallions snorting gaily
It whispers yes, gleefully, they'll last
Because the dark is light enough for me
Bring on the darkness..."
I am stunned. "The Wind Cries Mary" lyrics twisted to fit my book, an homage forged in a haunting, feedback-swathed melody. I applaud loudly as I approach none other than Jimi Hendrix, creator of this mad mash-up, playing for spare change on this metallic street.
He turns to meet my applause and says, "John Claude Smith?"
At which point, with no author photo on my book--heck, it's not out in print on Earth for a few more weeks--and not even sure of internet access out here, I wonder how he knows who I am.
"Why, yes, Jimi. That was fantastic!" I am still in awe, but need some answers, such as: "How do you know who I am?"
He laughs, guffows tumbling as the guitar still whispers and wheezes, feedback lurking between the shuffling people and strange buildings and even Biblioteca de Borges y Café en el Borde de
Eternidad (Borges Library & Café at the Edge of Eternity), where my sources had the conversation with Salvador Dali about my book.
"It's your aura, man. No other resonates with quite the same dark aura."
I don't know how to take this, but continue my, er...research.
"You've obviously read my book. How did you get a copy...out here?"
"Out here? Way out here, you mean." More laughter as he lightly strums, "Purple Haze." "It was handed to me by the flowers. The words poured upon me as rain. I opened my inner eye and it crawled in and shook up my soul. It was beautiful."
"Beautiful? My book is beautiful?"
"Perhaps beautiful ain't the right word. It was groovy, man." Then he paused, that hiccuping strum before singing, "Excuse me, while I kiss the sky," and turned toward the heavens above, puckered his lips, and like mist be floated upward, becoming one with the rainbow colored clouds, saying again, "Groovy, man," and...gone.
Completely discombobulated and uncertain of what I had just witnessed, I wander on to see whatever or whomever is next. I need to know more, and all Jimi did was confound everything, no real answers, all riddles.
Of course, I can't complain since the book is out here in the AlternaWorld, but still...How has this happened?
Curiouser and curiouser.
If you are interested in the book Salvador Dali says is like, "Dark Chocolate for the Mind," and Jimi Hendrix has called, "Groovy, man," well...you can find The Dark is Light Enough for Me at Amazon.com, as well as Amazon in the UK, France and Germany, Barnes & Noble, and OmniLit.
Here's the Amazon.com link for easy access.
This surreal painting by Mark Ryden captures EXACTLY the Jimi Hendrix I met on the AlternaWorld. Really!