(as channeled from the late Jackie Gleason’s digestive tract)
After years of trying to sell the audio world on a new way to convert analog information into digital, our main character "Sri" (in this case let’s say a white American male in his late 30s) decides it is time for a much-needed vacation. He fastens himself into his reversed engineered (from UFOs) VW Beetle and heads for the hills to reclaim his sanity. Visions of gray pastures spewed upon with industrial waste soon transform into velvety meadows laced with quaint houses and cobblestone fences. Lots of wheat and the purple majesty of the thrusting mountains up ahead kiss the nebulous cotton balls.
TRAVELODIUM plays here :
Cut to Sri noticing he is low on petroleum. He checks his GPS for rest areas but none are listed. Frustrated, he pulls to the side of the winding road and closes his eyes for what seems to be about 47 seconds. The surrounding sky light suddenly grows dim. It is now dusk. Confused about this sudden change in ambient lighting Sri cranks up the VW and speeds toward whatever little sun is left in the horizon. He makes a quick left avoiding what appeared to be a very fast gliding gray cow. He’s suddenly awe struck by some glowing yellow lights up ahead. As he gets closer to the lights he breathes a sigh of relief realizing it’s just an elaborate neon sign that reads
"GATEWAYS" - Fast Gas • Fast Food • Fast Camping. He pulls up to a gas pump bearing some mysterious arcane symbols on it’s front panel. He sticks his credit card in the appropriate slot. The insertion of his card produces a quick iridescent blue light that nearly blinds Sri. He quickly pulls out the card that is abnormally hot to the touch. Apparently the card is accepted but just a series of dots come up on the gallon read out. Suspiciously, he removes the nozzle from it’s holster and pokes it into the Beetle gas hole. He can hear the gas rushing through the hose but he cannot smell it. "Must be a Y2k thing", Sri thinks to himself. The pump clicks. He’s finished refueling. He decides to enter the fast food joint for a little snack. Telephone wires sculptured into detailed moose heads and stuffed birds made of transistors (circa 1974 Honeywell advertisement) decorate the place. The atmosphere is abnormally still. No one is around. It’s dead quiet except for the low mellow rumble of one glass door refrigerator. A mannequin looking school girl is seated quietly behind the cash register reading a condensed comic book entitled "Man Out Of Time" about the great inventor / visionary, Nicola Tesla. Sri remembers this comic book from his childhood and finds it an odd coincidence that he was just thinking about that comic book this morning. Sri grabs himself a strawberry froze fruit and proceeds to the register. He makes small talk to the girl about the comic book but she says nothing. She exchanges the proper coinage and quickly goes back to reading. On his way out, Sri is accosted by three eastern European looking gentlemen, (Dexter / DiMauro /Tabacco). They greet him with a rush of enthusiasm that is strangely familiar and intoxicating. They tell him in broken English that they are refugees from Serbia who have miraculously escaped their downtrodden nation to seek peace here in the home of the free.
Thoroughly taken by their charming mid-eastern ways, they persuade Sri to join them back at their nearby campsite for some drink and roasted marshmallows. They begin to tell stories in a foreign tongue that Sri cannot make out, yet is entranced by.
CAMPFIRE CONFESSIONS plays here :
In the distance a storm is brewing. The fire is blazing with all kinds of colors and a cool breeze shoots through the camp. A puff of smoke bellows up from the flames and lo’ and behold a vision of Tesla appears before the men. Sri (an expert on Tesla) hesitantly tries to get up to touch the vision but is pushed back by an invisible force field. Tesla points to the Serb’s tent a few yards away that has begun to swell to circus like proportions. He levitates all four spectators towards it. Once inside the tent, the sound of thunder cracks and the three refugees fade into the background. Sri is left alone with a rush of strange existential feelings that somehow tell him he is re-living the frustrations and triumphs of Nikola Tesla (perhaps an actual extraterrestrial trapped in a human form).
TESLA’S DEMENTIA plays here :
As if in the Tesla book by Margaret Cherney, Sri whizzes by some key situations that made up Tesla’s amazing life. They swirl around him in a fade in / fade out montage, like a slow tornado. Harsh visions of Serbian warfare and destruction are also represented here. Eventually Sri feels his body being diffused and separated as the rain outside gets heavier and the tent melts away. His whole being is swished down a drainpipe that is glowing red. Suddenly Sri finds himself encased in a plasma gel, floating into a steamy batch of sewage and arcane pirate memories.
ALIEN SINK HOLE plays here :
As Sri is dragged deeper and deeper into this colostomy of confusion and disorientation he remembers being a child again and seeing three men peering down at him from the corner of his bedroom ceiling. Whale sounds and blurs only a baby in it’s mother’s womb could understand pound him into an unconscious state. Within moments all is clear and white (think THX-1138). A pure tone wakes up our traveler (now on a metallic table) and the faces of three aliens (Grays) focus into view. They communicate with him psychically. They tell him the story of their ancient history starting with a holographic presentation regarding one savior by the name of Herogi.
HEROGI’S CALLING plays here :
Sri is told that Herogi came from the Andromeda galaxy in a huge starship he constructed out of a rare element speculated on Earth to be element 114, to carry away a myriad of threatened races from the impending doom and indifference of a super nova. The story sounds a bit like Noah’s Ark. After loading Sri’s mind with this "IMAX™ presentation of another world story" they tell him that he has been chosen to introduce the Grays to humanity by subtly infiltrating their minds with subconscious pictures of them and their history through a new analog to digital process used in mastering audio files. Music will be the force by which the Grays will over take humanity. The reason: cheap human labor in the development and mass scale production of genetically altered foods and animals. One such animal that they are concerned with the purity of, (like the peoples of India): COWS. The Grays derive certain enzymes found in cows and use them to survive. Instead of clearly stating this, the grays make a case that humans are evolving too fast (technology wise) and that the spiritual side of existence needs to take precedence or else a quick annihilation of all human kind is imminent. Holographic propaganda showing current technology and it’s lethal consequences follow…
NEW WORLD ROBO JUNGLE plays here :
As this intense display of robotic activity comes to an end, Sri finally comes to his earthly senses and makes a move to find an exit out of this sterile alien environment. The mind power of the aliens is too intense for Sri. They mess with his emotions and basically cripple him with childhood melancholy situations and dreams.
POLARIZED EMOTIONS plays here :
The aliens, in haste accidentally activate a part of Sri’s brain where the concept of happiness is located. This triggers off Sri to dream of a "candy land" sort of world where everything good about what has gone before is portrayed. This ultra positive dream overwhelms the aliens and they quickly regain a sense of hope and compassion; emotions that they have not felt for millions of generations.
DREAM VACATION plays here :
Whilst in this stupefied state of hopefulness, Sri breaks free from the table he’s been confined to and runs like a gazelle on fire into what appears to be an endless backdrop of white. He soon finds himself outside the tent where all this alien mayhem has taken place. Instead of being in the campsite however, his VW is nowhere to be seen nor is the Gateways rest area. In fact, the entire surroundings seem foreign to him. Somehow he is in a forest and it looks like the sun is beginning to rise. A vague path in the woods is his only guide to wherever. Fuzzy images of bird / bat like creatures swoop over him. Nervous squirrels and unidentified four legged creatures scurry along side him through the dense tapestry of dead leaves and singed twigs. The whole scene is a bit paranoid but Sri (coming out of a dazed stupor) slows his pace and cautiously walks through.
THE LONG WALK plays here :
As the forest thins out Sri sees a hill up ahead. To his surprise he is shocked to see what’s beyond the hill. It’s the outskirts of his own neighborhood where his trip began! Spilling out on to a boulevard he breathes a sigh of relief and jogs towards his home in the sweet smelling, early morning peacefulness.
FORGOTTEN CORNERS plays here :
Cut to "David Lynch" like images of the Boson liquor store, a shadowy Club Algeria, a six fingered wino bleeding at the intersection of Walnut and Kemswick, the School Of Snack Rhythm Dancing, the huge A-Hole Foods Market opening up, the sky turning a milky shade of blue etc… All of this in synch with this ultra smooth adult contemporary, jazzy tune.
As Sri approaches his home, he notices his VW parked on a side street. He heads toward it and cautiously opens the driver’s door. To his surprise the keys are in the ignition. Mystified, he sits in the drivers seat and starts up the vehicle. A few tears of relief stream down his cheek. He takes a short cut through the town and in no time he pulls into his driveway. He turns off the motor and rests his head back for a second. He spies through his re-view mirror a figure in the distance. Turns out to be only Mr. Daddio examining a broken down glass door refrigerator a neighbor has thrown out. Phewww... Everything is back to normal. As Sri enters his home, he is washed in a warm flash back of the dream vacation he was hoping to have this weekend.
RE-VACATION plays here :
Disappointed, ultimately confused and exhausted by his apparent abduction, he stumbles into his bedroom; only his bedroom is that of his childhood. Too exhausted to think about this absurdity he plops himself face first on to his bed. A few seconds pass. Suddenly his mother (an older version of the girl behind the cash register at Gateways) comes into his room and reminds him the school bus will be here in 15 minutes. "Hurry up and shower", she says. Shocked by the existential tone of her voice, he knocks over his dusty clock radio and crashes bluntly to the floor. All at once he realizes he is only 8 years old and none of his so called life as a middle aged guy involved with a fantastic new way to convert analog sound into digital information exists. With tears of anger welling up, Sri heads off into the shower while the radio (which hasn’t worked in years) quietly plays a collage of all the music that has recently transpired.
SUSPENDED MEMORIES plays here :
Amazingly, three little grays come to 3-D life and bounce off the page of Sri’s comic book about Tesla. They proceed to get inside a tiny Hot Wheels™ model of a VW Beetle. The model starts to move on Sri’s bureau. Slowly it gathers up a sufficient amount of speed and smashes into a smooth plaster bust of Jesus Christ. The bust explodes into a thousand pieces forming a dense white cloud that quickly settles. The VW is nowhere to be seen.