Weird Memes Inside a Coal Mine

Milo rose slowly from fragmented slumber, like a miner coming up the shaft after a twelve hour shift tunneling through his own tortured soul. He clawed vertically from the subliminal bedrock of his subconscious, through a mile or more of cold, layered strata, onto a hardpan of stark daylight.

He didn’t open his eyes right away, and was surprised to hear his own voice muttering at intervals.

It caught him off guard.

When, out of the blue, the words "I'm an asshole" echoed strangely off the badly wallpapered walls of his two-dollar room, he snapped fully awake, opening his eyes to see who had spoken. It was becoming a too-common occurence.

No one else was there. The room was so small that no one else could fit. He concluded it must have been his inner self-loather, and, struggling to roll onto his side without falling off the narrow bed, tried to fall back to sleep. Instead, he kept thinking about women, and why he didn’t have one.

"Lime jello, that’s why," spake the voice.

No, no, that wasn’t it, he thought. There was something else. He remembered his own words from a minute or two before. He pondered them briefly, sinking down and down again, without knowing it, back into the Land of Nod.

"Where do you think you’re going?"

A finely-sculpted azure-tinged hand trailed a lacquered red fingernail over his grizzled chin, then stopped for a few seconds, tauntingly perched on his lips. Milo jerked his eyes open again, groped for the half-full, paper-wrapped bottle at his knees, lurched to a half-sit, and took a long, desperate pull.

Thunderbird had actually worked the first few times. But Milo had realized, soon after the first such episode back at Grace’s apartment, when he'd considered it wise and prudent to kill off a large heel of sangria, that soon he might need something stronger.

Now that he'd made it to Mexico, he favored the local bootleg mezcal for its cheapness. He could always crack into his absinthe if that didn’t work for some reason. Usually, his surroundings' dank reality would return as the sudden wash of raw spirits cauterized his gullet and dropped into his stomach like an exploding depth charge.

Without alcohol or some other mind-altering substance, he’d very quickly lapse back, reliving those nightmare moments in Heinie’s lab again. And again, and again, and again....

Predictably now too, whenever the waking nightmare of that strange explosion recurred, usually at inopportune moments, Callie would appear and start grabbing at his ass with at least three perfect blue hands. At the same time, about half of her other hands would massage additional parts of his anatomy, muss his hair, pull his shirt tails out of his trousers, and untie his low-top sneakers.

When he'd asked her name, she'd told him 'Callie', which seemed a very ordinary, middle-American, Hardy Boys kind of name to him, for an exotic blue beauty with a large number of nonstandard arms. But Callie it was.

Her unbidden appearances had been plain scary at first. Then, actually, sort of fun for awhile. Now, they were just downright annoying. Milo couldn’t get a hair cut, or sit peacefully in a coffee shop or a movie theater, or even on a park bench, without it happening.

"Leave me alone!"

"But baby," she breathed throatily, "I’ve got a dish of peach cobbler juuust for you..."

Milo, resigned, sighed deeply, and took another deep pull from the bottle, trying hard to lose consciousness. It was impossible. Several pairs of sapphire-tinted arms busied themselves about his person.

"Why? Why me?"

"You just had to know, didn’t you?" Callie's voice cooed.

"Know what?" Milo whined, exasperated.

"Whether or not it would work. You wanted to unlock the secrets of the universe, didn'cha?"

Milo thought about that for a while. She had a really annoying way of being dead right.


"Think of me as a totally unexpected fringe benefit," Callie murmured, giggling a little as she gently licked alternate earlobes. She cradled his head with one pair of immaculate hands and stroked his forehead and hair, all the while grinning at him like a perfect, blue Cheshire Cat. One with a helluva lotta arms...