Déjà visité

The moment the door squealed shut they got down to it, dispatching the fuming joint with long, hacking drags chased with giddy draughts of homemade porchclimber.

The roach tongue-doused and flicked away, the jug quickly forgotten, they proceeded to their animal task without a word. They bothered with no foreplay, no perfunctory kissing. They almost never kissed anymore, because it wasted precious hump time.

In a fluid motion, Milo rolled toward his stone-thrilled paramour, from practiced habit positioning his turgid manhood and grabbing and gripping hard as much as he could of her buttocks' glutinous rolls. She flexed her knee to let him enter, and with a practiced series of unsubtle lateral pelvic thrusts squidged her ass forward across the stained mattress to meet Milo's approach.

They docked, paused for a moment, feasting romantic eyes on one another.

"Goddam it, if she somehow hasn't gotten fatter just in the last couple-three days," thought Milo as he surveyed Lenore's puffy, stretch-marked thighs and midriff.

A breathless half-smirk of anticipation reserved for nymphomaniacs played on Lenore's lips. She and Milo seemed to float one above the other, as graceful as a KC-135 tanker refueling a Stratofortress high over the Mediterranean. That serene picture dissolved shattered as he dove all the way home.

There was cacophonous flailing, senseless, high-pitched jabbering and irregular, smacking cross-rhythms and possibly the sound of tortured aluminum rending as they collided and fell together into the sea, a ball of flames fed by high-octane aviation gas.

From without, the violently pitching laundry van sounded like nothing so much as a mob of half-morphed, lycanthropic asylum internees who had missed their morning meds, pillowfighting in the hallways with gigantic smoked hams instead of eider-stuffed linen.

It was then that Milo clicked out. The phenomenon was entirely usual, evidently the blessed product of a recessive gene whose sole function it is to initialize an automatic, primordial, Lizard Brain survival lockdown when triggered by egregious duress.

But this time, winding out of the booze-drenched, crystalline, LSD-encrusted, gangling mat of synapses inside Milo's prefrontal cortex, an ember of dread caught a chance draught, threw sparks and bloomed into palpable unease. Fanned by an electron wind blowing down from the Pleiaides, it boiled dark, foreboding, crimson-tinged cloudy with no apparent point of origin. And smack-dab in the dead-middle of his carefully damped, atrophied rational thinking module.

Where does premonition rise? The brain's primary somatic sensory cortex provides skin-crawling sensations, Wernicke's area processes them into something that can be delineated, and the parietal lobe can transmit whatever the cerebelum manages to bring to the conference table. But where is the prescience data pump located? To which macrocosmic neuro-network does it connect?

Milo already knew he knew things of which no other human on the planet yet had even a gentle tickle. 'Higgs boson' for instance. Just where did that sentence fragment come from? And why did Milo not have to query himself for its definition?

It seemed strange to him, in that nano-second of disconnected epiphany, that there would someday be stiff competition to discover an intangible, abstract thing so small no one had, or ever would see it. Yet now he was aware of it, though the necessary theoretical groundwork and research had not yet occurred. The race to find the God Particle was decades in the future; or at least, the attempt to discover if there actually is such a thing. He already knew about the inaugural, near-disastrous quench at the Large Hadron Collider, in a distant new century, too.

In that flash, Milo knew that high-level decisions on whether to confirm its existence/non-existence, and whether to cover up either eventuality would actually occur when would be passed his sixtieth birthday. Assuming he managed to live that long. His liver was complaining lately.

Does time just stream one way, swallowed eventually somewhere by a light-sucking wormhole, never to be seen again? Does it come back around? Or do some atypical events swim doggedly upstream against the accepted current like salmon headed to their spawning grounds? When - and if - they finally writhe up all the cosmic fish ladders and leap, silverbacked, over the event horizon again, omens, premonitions and the like would generally remain obscure to most people.

Milo also knew that CERN was not licensed by some nebulous galactic consortium of conspiracies with sole scientific presponsibility for probing for God's elusive key bit. It was open season. To legions of armchair headline scanners, CERN would seem like the only game in town, mainly because the good people funding Fermilab and the Tevatron project would keep a quiet lid on their research. Not being covert, exactly... but flashy press releases just weren't their style.

And who knew who else would look for the damned thing -- Indian shamans excused -- without making a peep? The Vatican; the Russian Mafia; the Carlyle Group; some people to do with the Bilderberg Conference -- hell, even the Hell's Angels would eventually have their own atom smasher, neatly camouflaged in a foreclosed shopping mall in a derelict suburb in the hills behind San Francisco.

"Tev-a-tron," Milo murmured, unconsciously.

"aarRRGGHH!!!!" gushed Lenore in response. She involuntarily lock-kicked her pudging ankles in the small of Milo's bruised back, lost in the throes of another epic kneetrembler.

About 150 milliseconds later, Milo's primary auditory cortex finished processing the episode and phoned it in to the amygdala in his temporal lobe, which immediately call-forwarded it to his Heschl's Gyrus. The Gyrus speed-dialed a conference call to his limbic lobe and his hippocampus, which recorded the sounds for posterity as a repeating loop. It was one more bit of litter in a stream of audible detritus, an organically-self-composing lyric and melody for a song that Milo could no longer drown out, from here forward wouldn't be able to stop humming, subconsciously, constantly, no matter how hard he tried.

It encrypted itself to express - exactly and relentlessly - as the definitive album version of the Grateful Dead's New Speedway Boogie.