Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.4 – One Dream

Image result for kit fox


We dumped our gear all around the weird antique and set up our shade. The last few days were listless. Reading, dreaming, and silence, that was the trip.

We spent each night round the hole ridden tub. Impelled to be as near the thing as possible. Our four sleeping bags formed a neat little semi-circle round it.

I imagine that if someone had happened to fly by overhead they’d have thunk they’d stumbled cross some weird desert flower.

It was the whistling that did it. There was something in it. Some unspeakable allure.

We hardly ate and finished our daily assignments with desperate haste. All in the interest of laying round the brass flute and listening to its strange music. Drifting in and out of a bottomless somnolence that would take us from mid-afternoon on through to dawn.

I don’t remember what it was I’d dreamed. But I know it was profound. The memory of something monumentally important, something fundamental, still tickles the periphery of my conscience.

I do remember one dream, or whatever it was.

The fox came by on the second to last day just as evening had settled and just laid there a few paces off. Regarding us in its Sphinx-like way.

I don’t know if any of the others had seen it. As I’ve said we hadn’t spoken for days and seeing this familiar apparition was no cause for comment.

Then it spoke. It spoke as it had before, not aloud, but sort of in my head.

‘Pretty aren’t they?’

‘I suppose so,’ I answered. I knew the creature was referring to the chromatic light show that wove its way in and out of the holes with the wind.

Yea, one and the same.’

‘What?’ I asked.

‘Well, all of it really.’

‘O god, this old schtick! I thought I was past this mawkish infantile unity bit. Can’t I dream better?’

You really want to be original, don’t you? That’s the trouble with this crop. As if origin implies novelty. Does that make sense you utter pillock? Does it make any shade of sense that you should come up with some profundity – something you could call original – what does original imply? It implies origin – are you the origin?’

‘Well in some sense there is novel authorship. So I am the origin of novelty peculiar to me.’

‘And what made you capable of this then? You say you are the origin…’

‘No, I say that I am the origin of novelty.’

‘But then does novelty exist sperate from you? Did it exist before you existed? Or are you (laughingly) are you novelty itself?’

‘Yes, and no.’

‘Ah, don’t prevaricate. It’s all one and the same. Yes…in fact you hit it there. Yes and no. One and the same. Off or on? Hmm…?’

My mind was silent.

‘Lets have something different then. Something a bit more visceral a bit more limbic eh?’

With this, I was back in the dreamscape of that nap. There was the old man with his strings seated by the monolith in the jungle scene. Except this time I was not the sinewy youth. I wasn’t sure what I was at first, I knew that I was looking down at the pair, and I had a sense of great height.

After a bit, the youth and the old man’s chat ended. The former gathered up his strings and the pair disappeared out of my range of sight.

It was here that I’d realized I was a tree.

I spent some time musing about my predicament. I guess it wasn’t so bad being a tree. I felt solid. And despite being unable to move I had a calming sense of motion running through the ground beneath me, beneath the ground itself, my roots had inner motion, there was no need for an extrinsic walk.

Then she appeared. Her hair was such a raven hue that it felt in some sense blue. She was barefoot and quite devoid of clothes. I didn’t really feel any sort of lust. I was a tree after all. Though I did appreciate that she was beautiful and the flitting way she walked round my base was soothing.

She began to play a strange sort of flute. I later realized that the melody coincided with the whistling of the wind through the tub. But here in this place, it was not mere whistling but the sweetest music.

After the tune ended, she placed the flute on the ground beside me and disappeared back into the forest.

I was appreciating the warmth of the sun on my leafy crown and pondering what this all meant when I felt motion at my base. Then I had the impression of a vast speckled band writhing up my side. It wasn’t alarming, more like an embrace.

Suddenly, the scene shifted and I was in a very cold dim room in some rather itchy clothes. Graham was seated at a table next to a window through which some dwindling sunlight aided the candle atop an antique desk. He was wearing what appeared to be colonial garb. I was confused.

The man that looked up looked like Graham but wasn’t Graham.

All he said as he slowly raised his head was, ‘Hmm, looks like it’s some manner of vine.’

I don’t recall anything further.


1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

3.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust

3.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.2 – Loyola

3.3 Chapter 3.3 – High and Dry


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Chapter 3.3 – High and Dry

66" Donnelly Hammered Copper Clawfoot Slipper Tub - Bathroom


It had been a little over a week. Only five or so days of involuntary sobriety and contrived gravitas left. When we realized our predicament on the fourth or fifth day in, we were irrepressibly chatty.

Now, however, there was silence. We seldom spoke or had need of speaking. The food we’d been afforded was sparse and so plain as to almost be entirely unpalatable. Sardines, unleavened bread, wild rice, and water.The salty little fish though initially delicious quickly lost their charm. There was nothing we could do about it either. Even if we had been equipped enough to hunt, game here was so rare and flighty that it wouldn’t have mattered if we were.

True, we could trek the thirty miles back to Engmann’s house but that meant throwing away our jobs. None of us wanted to go back to living on base waiting for Uncle Sam’s next whacky adventure.

So it was that we continued our trek towards that little blip on our GPS. Forty miles from Engmann’s house, there was supposedly a tub just sitting out there. We could have already gotten there long ago. But we were required to stop and camp every afternoon, to read old dry philosophy, to copy passages by hand, and to record our thoughts and the time that they’d occurred to us.

We all started seeing and hearing things fairly quickly. That’s probably one of the big reasons for our speechlessness. We were rapt up in weird melodies, voices, and films. I knew why but it didn’t help to dispel the strength of the thing.

Going from heavy psychedelic indulgence to absolute monastic ascetics was a sure fire way to open doors best left firmly shut. Not that they’re necessarily all wicked or bad, but the strength of the things, whether fair or foul put us dangerously close to cracking.

I could swear that the little kit fox I’d glimpsed all those nights ago was following us. Most of the time I could feel it rather than see it. When I’d wheel around I’d see something matching its description but then it disappeared leaving me wondering if it was a trick of the light.

Each encounter was always paired with the thought ‘one breath, one pulse.’ There was nothing associated with it beside the memory of that critter, the words, and the profound blue of the desert sky.

We were within ten miles of objective. Not far to go at all. None of us showed excitement however. It was true that we were arriving ahead of schedule but we’d rather complete the rest of the ‘exercises’ without the monotony of walking. It had been a silent agreement. But we were far beyond excitement or anything save our own luminous thoughts; that glowed as bright as that fearsome, mighty sun, seated regal on its azure throne.

As noon approached I saw it. At first a distant speck on the horizon, with each step of my feet, or something that rather felt more akin to floating, it grew more distinct till I perceived the outline of a bronze coloured antique tub. Next to it was what looked like some sort of sign which I couldn’t read until we were right on the thing.

The thing was riddled with holes. Sitting there in the midst of absolute nothing was this antique rusted tub with its little Victorian feet.

The wind whistled strangely through the perforations.

The sign that had till now remained illegible was a rustic wooden affair, with a thin velvet scrawl that read: ‘Holy, holy, holy.’

None of us laughed.


1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

3.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust

3.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.2 – Loyola


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.2 – Loyola

Image result for ignatius of loyola


“That fuck!” I exclaimed examining the small note that had been stuffed at the bottom of the Vicodin bottle.

We were doing our mid-day reading and I was getting distracted by the gnawing pain in my ribs. It was sapping my will to live. There was no alcohol no balm save those little pills and now…

That miserable…Catholic…fuck….”

‘A M D G’ That’s what the note read. I’d been suspicious about the lack of efficacy. I was too clear-headed and too aware of the stabbing near my lungs.

This confirmed it.

“Huh?” Lucas looked up from his copy of Aurelius.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam,” I muttered ruefully.

Schmidt’s features contorted into a wry smile. “O Jesus! Christian trolling…that’s the worst…especiall Thornton’s brand of it.”

“These are fucking sugar pills!” I exclaimed downing the whole bottle.

“Hmmm…” Lucas said, “I dunno Baird, if your guess is wrong …what you did just there…”

“It’s not wrong! This is bullshit…this is his usual…Spartan bullshit….”

“Probably.”

“I fucking hate stoics…”

Schmidt laughed a hearty assent, “Dry cunts aren’t they?” He remarked tapping the ancient emperors ‘Meditations.’

“Repackaged common sense and humble bragging fucking ugh…dude fuck…two weeks of Lent….that’s what we’re doing out here. Dry was the right word…he wants to dry us out….”

Lucas drew in breath sharply, he wasn’t exactly thrilled either.

“Yeah…but at this point, the best thing is probably to just go with it. It’s a trip in its own right.”

“Easy for you to say,” I remarked as I ran my fingers across my bruised ribs.

“Yea, that was a pretty nasty kick…”

Just then I remembered Sam’s clavicle.

I looked across the shadow of the mesa. Despite this slight darkness, I could tell his face was contorted in unmistakable misery.

I threw down my copy of Arrian and trooped over to Monroe.

“Find anything interesting in your medicine cabinet?”

“To the greater glory of God!” He exclaimed sarcastically miming the sign of the cross.

Bastard…” I murmured.

It all made sense now. This was a monastic rite. Thornton often waxed poetic about the ‘exercises.’ He was a profound contradiction. Despite being mired in what most would consider to be occult.. even wicked – he remained a devout Catholic.

‘Inherit the wind.’ I recalled his cryptic parting words. I remembered where I’d heard that before. It was from the book of Proverbs.

I suppose we had ‘troubled our own houses,’ the project, our own bodies, had been terribly bothered. And this was a secularized reinvention of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. The isolation, the privation, the focus on abstracted philosophical reading, and the vision quest of ‘learning what it means to inherit the wind.’

This was going to be awful.


1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

3.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust


There were just four of us now. Pearce, Fabre, and Graham were gone. Pearce and Fabre’s absence made perfect sense. The NDA’s finalized, there was nothing more for them to do but go back to Kentucky. Honestly, I wasn’t sure why it couldn’t have been done on site, or at least closer than Phoenix. I guess it was more dramatic or something. Spook ‘em silent…

I was really curious about Graham though. Sure, we’d sort of grandfathered him in but he was part of the project now. Thornton knew that. He had no complaints, no grievances. It couldn’t have been cause he was a civ. Chuck was a civ and he was right beside me snoring loudly.

Which, really wasn’t an ideal soundtrack for stargazing on a desert night. Yet, despite that abominably terrestrial snoring, we may as well have been on another planet – The sky was so clear. It was exhilarating.

It felt like we were part of the sky. That it was enveloping us, embracing us, just like our sleeping bags. That’s exactly how it felt too. Rather than being frightening or lonesome or making one feel minuscule in the vast face of the cosmos – it felt like home, cozy, familiar, warm. We are stardust, after all, comprised at least in part, of the same elements as those luminous orbs burning their way through ether a billion miles hence.

‘What’s a billion miles?’ I mused to myself, my eyes drooping despite the obnoxious noise directly to my left.

“What indeed!”

‘Woah!’ I snapped my neck to the right.

At first, I saw nothing in the inky blackness. Then a faint glow made itself apparent. It wasn’t intrinsic to whatever it was. More like a reflection of the last dying embers of our fire bouncing off two dark orbs.

After a bit of squinting, I finally let my eyes relax.

Which is when I saw the outline of two outsize ears and a funny geometric sort of face.

“Come with me!” It was so loud. But I realized that it wasn’t actually sound. It was like a thought in my head. Very prominent.

The face turned and I saw the outline of a small fox.

“Well!”

I could have sworn that the critter had stopped mid scurry just as I heard this rattling in my head.

“Must be the meds,” I mumbled under my breath right as I fell into a deep dreamless sleep.


1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind


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The Wisdom of Grain (Vlog)


This is basically just a monologue. The video is of a recent hike that I edited to look kinda grunge rock in Kdenlive.

The discussion centers around why lower quality video may be a better stylistic choice. Having more real than real HD can blur the line between reality and presentation in unwholesome ways.

Here’s the link to the Lunduke video I was referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUznH_3kKHI

The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

Image result for mojave desert


I scanned the horizon, photons, a gift of the brilliant noonday sun bounded off a line of low gently curving mountains into my retinas. There was exhilaration in the deep blue sky as it contrasted with the sometimes sandy, sometimes brown earth interspersed by scraggly brush, and the occasional Joshua tree.

Two weeks, we would be here two weeks, and this was day three. At least it wasn’t summer.

I glanced over at my comrades. They were all wearing the same loose-fitting gray-blue tunics that I was. Long sleeves, long leggings, these things offered the best protection from the fearsome star, whose rays though now cloaked by a deceptive balm of middle march, were nonetheless profoundly hostile to European hides.

We looked a bit like Eastern Ascetics. This wasn’t an accident. Our clothes were Chinese. The PRC was leading the way in desert tech. It was surprising but true. Surprising because this would be the expected forte of the Emirates or Israel but no. The pioneers lay further east.

The popular western conception of China doesn’t include the Gobi. We are inclined to picture bamboo forests, bustling ports, and emerald mountains. China being just slightly smaller than the United States is just as varied. There are many landscapes, many ecosystems, with widely varying weather and temperature ranges. Though a great part of the Gobi lies in Mongolia, the Chinese portion isn’t at all negligible.

The bustling ports of popular imagination aren’t incorrect, merely incomplete. They are the reason that China is leading the charge on desert dwelling. The specific reason being that these metropolises are too bustling.

Malthusian fears are common among bureaucrats. Such fears of starvation, conflict, and epidemic often lead to atrocious policies but sometimes the results are less dystopian. The idea of relieving the pressures of overpopulation by adapting to hostile environments is a laudable one.

Desertification was another grim reality. The Gobi was expanding.

It is less surprising that our climate adapted clothes came from ground zero of overpopulation given these facts. Though for now such advances were reserved for the elite there was hope that they’d ‘trickle down’ to the general population.

I turned around. I could still see the faint glimmer in the distance. The faint glimmer came from solar panels which sat atop the subterranean compound that Thornton and a dozen or so other spooks were currently haunting.

We were not far from civilization at all. The nearest city was a mere forty minutes away. My drive to school from my rural Carolina backwater took longer. Though I am not at liberty to disclose the exact location even after all these years, in what’s bound by most to be interpreted as a story, I feel inclined to point out that weirdness is always closer than you suspect.

It was ingenious really. Hiding in plain sight. The Mojave desert and the American Southwest is renowned for eccentrics. The area has drawn crackpots with more money than sense since Europeans first brought manifest destiny to the unsuspecting natives.

There was a nice, albeit architecturally quirky and Mojave adapted, upper middle-class home right by those solar panels. I could just faintly make out the top of its low lying roof as we’d gained a few feet of elevation since departing.

The home was owned by a rich Swede. Eskil Engman was the wildly successful CEO of the technical fabrics manufacturing company Wadmal, which he’d inherited from his late father. Eskil was actually eccentric. With a strong interest in Shamanism and Indian culture, Engman had built the place as a retreat where he’d meditate, align his chakras, and engage in all the other tell-tale signs of so-Cal pseudo-enlightenment.

In his defense, he actually acted on his philanthropist inclinations. For most of the year, the outpost served as a place where homeless youths were housed in the twenty or so rooms, as they underwent training to be reintegrated into society as code monkeys and various other trendy professions.

He was perfect. The place was perfect. Who would suspect that a desert home owned by a secretive Swede full to the brim of Nordic reticence was a hub of black ops juju? Especially since the place was listed as a nonprofit, foundation, type of thing, so if anybody snooped, showed up physically, took aerial photos, all they’d find was troubled youths learning Java.

There was just one hangup, given his heavy leaning towards the passive-aggressive neoliberalism trend of recent decades, he was very leery of anything even vaguely martial.

Thornton, the archetypal mild-mannered deceiver had gotten round this hangup by lying. According to the yarn, he fed the impressionable thirty-something blonde hippy, we were codebreakers. We needed use of his grounds as a cover to fool the Ruskies, the Chicoms, and various other enemies of yuppie sensibilities. He was made to understand that his little academy was a wonderful front that hackers would stumble onto as they were trying to ferret out our algorithms etc.

He bought it. He had no reason not to. He was busy saving the world. The kids were too busy trying to sneaky in dope, and the instructors too engrossed by gaming to make much of the ‘maintenance crews’ that would occasionally stay for suspiciously long periods of time.

I really didn’t know why we were out here again. We’d already done survival training, team building exercises, and even engaged in our own classified brand of new age esoterica.

I suppose that judging by Thornton’s cryptic last words we were still in need of some of the latter.

Right as we were departing on our trek, I’d pressed him on the matter once more, all he said was:

“You’re back here to learn the other meaning of ‘inherit the wind.’”

‘K.’


1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus


Further Reading 

http://gobidesert.org/

 


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

Image result for apollo and dionysus

“In the ancient near east shaving, your beard was a sign of mourning.” Thornton’s reply was placid.

It took me a few moments to process the snark.

“Should we be mourning?”

“I’d say so, yes.”

“O?”

“You’ve suffered a loss.”

“We have?”

“Yes.”

“What have we lost?”

“The PLATO project has been terminated.”

I exhaled.

“The entire operation?”

“The Luckadoo Site is on lockdown.”

“Why?”

“It’s been compromised.”

“O?”

He nodded.

“How so?”

“Misconduct.”

“O? And what’s on the naughty list?”

“Admitting unauthorized personnel without clearance, misappropriation of funds, breach of trust, and worst of all shenanigans.”

“Funny,” Schmidt interjected. “I thought that was the whole point of PLATO…shenanigans.”

“That’s the problem I’m afraid,” Thornton responded.

“What?” I queried brusquely with undisguised annoyance.

“You don’t seem to take your job seriously.”

“The hell we don’t,” I said pointing to my ribs then looking at Hoyt, “He nearly lost his mind. Why…why would you even say that…? My exhaustion was getting the best of me, I seriously thought of strangling the man.

“Admitting unauthorized personnel without clearance, subterfuge, misappropriation of funds, breach of trust, general malarkey.”

“Ok, so we take a liberal approach to achieving core objectives.”

“It’s not liberality, not creativity that I find troubling, it’s sterility.”

I was getting dangerously mad. But this time I managed to control myself.

“Please explain.”

“All the crimes here,” he said tapping a finger against a stack of documents in front of him, all could be forgotten, if there was a sufficient yield.”

“You weren’t satisfied with our reports?”

“The reports are lacking and as your injury demonstrates you are clearly incapable of even basic security.”

I lost it.

“Holy shit! Holy fucking shit! Are you serious…the man fucking materialized….there’s zero, zero we could have done.”

Thornton’s milky blue eyes were fixed on me in that placid appraising way, for what seemed like hours, but in reality must have been mere seconds.

“And how did that boy make it in?”

I was embarrassed. I couldn’t even answer.

“The root cellar…” Lucas responded.

“Aha…” Thornton grunted, “and did you bother to shut it?”

‘Fuck.’

“So, you don’t even have the presence of mind to correct an obvious, easily mended mistake. If you were in my position would you entrust such people with a sensitive project?”

“Everyone makes mistakes!”

“Yes, but frequency and context matters.”

“Frequency! I just forgot to shut one of four fucking doors. One of four! Once!”

Thornton let me stew for a bit.

“Look, I know it’s easy to criticize as an outside observer. Especially as one after the fact, hindsight is 20/20, that sort of thing…however…I have to point out your trifecta of failure.”

“A trifecta is it!” I said flinging my water glass across the room. It hit the glass of the wall shattering into a million pieces. Fortunately, the wall itself was undamaged.

“Yes, yes, I’m sure it’s all sorts of frustrating but a trifecta it is. Three strikes. That’s why you’re out!”

“What…WHAT!”

“First, there is the matter of the officer and that boys snooping, second there is your incapacity to control your team and your fears leading you to breach protocol by seeking an outside physician, and third you can’t even shut the damned door.”

“Well fuck, I guess everything we’ve done is fucking worthless then, all the patents, all the strains, all the whitepapers! Two years of work! And you’re just gonna cut us off!”

Thornton sighed. “Temper, temper…that’s your problem..and let me ask you something….”

I raised my eyebrow in disdaining inquiry.

“What’s that in your jacket pocket?”

I hesitated.

“Come on what is it?”

I pulled out my flask.

“Tsk, tsk, well it’s not the worst of things. But I can’t countenance this sort of debauchery with this sort of operaiton.”

“Ah fuck it whaterver,” I said taking a swig.

“Vicodin and alcohol are a dangerous mix.”

“I don’t give a fuck Thornoton, I’m dead already, ya killed me just now, ya killed me.”

“Not quite, as I said this is…detention.”

“O?”

“You know who was also quite the drinker and revler.”

I just stared.

“Dionysus.”

I tried to recall my Greek mythology to no avail.

“He is the god of extasy and wine. Obviously right now you are under his sway. The pupose of the upcoming interim beside tying up odds and ends is for you to regain the favor of Apollo.”

Fabre and the doctor looked lost. But I understood why Thornton was talking all this mysticism. A large part of PLATO had to do with researching the psychological effects of archetypes. This babble was a good sign. It was a confirmation of Thornton’s ‘detention.’ We’d resume the project. My nerves simmered down a tad.

“That is why we’ve shaved you. For Apollo, the god of truth, appears a youth, and does not wear a beard.”

“K…” I said. Trying to hurry things along. I wanted out of this meeting room now that I knew we were safe. I wanted a nap.

“Impatience..you see…you must gain discipline…must let wisdom in…”

I just stared.

“You boys are going to spend a fortnight in the Mojave.”

We all groaned collectively, knowing exactly what that meant.

Thornton smiled.

He looked at the two burly aides at his side.

“Help these gentlemen finalize their NDA’s,” he said nodding at Fabre and Doc.

‘Heh,’ I chuckled internally. ‘Black ops JAG officers. Probably just got done presiding over some grim tribunal just off the coast…’

Officer Fabre’s and Doc Pearce’s prescence now made sense. This meeting now made sense. I was glad to be getting a grasp on the situation.

I really didn’t like these JAG guys…

‘Eh…o well…America is fucked…but at least I’m not.’

 


1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix


Image Credit – https://mythicstories.com/living-with-apollo-and-dionysus/

 


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