Autobiography of a Progi
Greetings reader! Welcome to this instance of Proga. It’s Old Ray. Don’t supose you remember me. No? Well I suppose that sort of makes sense. I mean, this is really the first time we’ve met. I’m sure you would have remembered me if we had met before now. You see, when you’ve been around the sun as many times as I have you get sort of dizzy. I don’t mean that you feel drunk or that you’re going to fall down any time soon, it’s just that things can get muddled up. I have come from the future on an errand of great importance. This isn’t the first time I have travel through time and as far as I can tell, it won’t be the last.
Just to save you the trouble, I would like anyone aware of this stream of conciousness who rejects its telling. What? I. what I mean to say is that you can save yourself a lot of heartache and pain if you would just put the book down. Of course, one may find that it is much more difficult for one to three four five…
I am going to start by explaining who I am and where I have come from. I am nearly fourhundred years old. I have preserved some of my youthful human body expression thanks to EugeniCorp’s leaps and bounds in medicine. Sadly, the government outlawed the nanoelectroneuroregenerativity array for the next fifty years. It’s a shame really. I had been on the list for quite some time. Anyhow, enough about me and the government, let us talk about who was it?
Oh yes, of course me. I got here in an invention of mine called the Bedevere “non-linear” cycleatron. Those linear cycleatrons are tough noogies on your bone structure. Don’t forget the bowel, and those teeth! I am saddened to report that I cannot tell you any details about my time travel device. You haven’t that long to wait. Yup, if you managed to get in good with the survivors of the turning and the worms then you will be traveling in time easy peasy. Diarrhea. Wait, that’s not how it goes. It’s easy peasy one, two, threesy POP! Then diarrhea. Almost every time, you can get yourself prepared if you are going to make a big jump but the good stuffs hard to come by where I come from. No white bread, none. None!
Where was I? HA! When was I? You get, do you get that? I sure hope so because I am not going to repeat it. So, when was I? AHHAHAHAHA! I swear, I wasn’t trying to fool you that time, it just came out. So I was in my Bedeve and I was coming here to tell you- to not to tell you about the machine… Spaceworms, no not yet. Ah, I am supposed to start by telling you about my life. I will tell you what I remember as a child. No, no strike that. Not you, I don’t mean to have you write in the book. I mean don’t write in the book yet. Oh, and please don’t mark the screen either. Those things are still kind of tricky to repair where I come from. When I come from. When I come. HAHAHAHA! That isn’t really going to make sense when they make the movie. Well, as long as it’s happening, I might as well go with it. Hey you out there! I’m on a screen! I can be seen, I can be seen, I am living in a screen. Oh! Its so flat, how do they get any air in here. Help me! . Don’t forget a book is sometimes flat.
My uncle’s tires sometimes get flat too. I’ll let you in on that later. It’s real important. What is equally important, or more important is… wait, it’s not more important. It’s just that the timing of the whole thing makes what I am about to tell you more pertinant. I am going to tell you about my parents. It might help to tell you a little bit about my grandparents too. At least that part about where my granny Eloise showed me that story with Superman where he puts a penny on his eye and Chiron comes and takes him down to… We aren’t talking about that. We aren’t even really talking. I am talking and you are formulating a picture with your reptile brain juice and some electroquantumdynamics. Relax, your brain is fully human or whatever you are. That wouldn’t be so much of a problem if they were actually reptile brains. The spaceworms were never seen actually targeting a reptile. You know, we were kind of busy fighting off the spaceworms to be oogling some herpetillians. Herpeszilla. Do you guys still have Sizzler? You should go. For old time’s sake.
Don’t worry too much about the worms, it won’t help anything. What will help is Proga. Like I say back home: Proga, its the only defense against the spaceworms! Besides, it’s the zombie invasion we want to stop. Or be prepared for, or at least make it look like we were not asleep when it happens. You guys still sleep. You don’t know sleep. Back when I was younger, right now I mean, Anestesiology was good and all but we were on the verge of the big stuff. Too many scientists devoted their resources to weponizing the flu from secret government grants and subsidising the education grants the way alfafa farms used to do. You know how they got paid to not to grow their crops? That’s how it was with the scientists. That and those piss-poor buggers who are under the lab. I mean that metaphorically, like as if the lab were on top of them. Not that they were literaly under under. Piss poor buggers… yeah, like those piss poor buggers who had just recently been working on our cure for diabetes. They got their funding cut so he could make them work on those godawful “projects” headed to Afganistan. The ones you don’t know about in Canada are really gonna jump your jet. Mexico? Mexico never really has been a threat. Mexico’s where Carlos got his mojo on. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, I am sorry Baba Dass. Dr. Baba Dass, Dr. Baba Ram Dass. Shit, I did it again. Okay, after the lavender flooded out the weed market and Palm Springs bourgeoned…
Let me back this up a little bit. We aren’t at neolavender yet. HAHA! The potatoes. He remembered the potatoes. Kinda hard to believe that I still remember the purple potatoes. Huh. You know, I never noticed that. How the first two projects were lavender and purple. Coincidence? Never! Unless you mean that the events coicide, because they do. Point in fact, the purple never would have come about had it not been for the Delta Nine neolavender. That’s trademarked by the way. Marcus made me do it. Marcus Christiensen was his name, Awesome was his game! We had been trying to find a way to give away Proga for free. Marcus had suggested that I register it, then dedicate it to the public domain. We would have done that but we found that your legal system would not support that. It’s a funny thing, laws. They can all be broken. They’ve been being broken since before they were made. That’s Proga for you.
The days were growing longer. Long days were spent by her lying on the beach feeling the radiant sunshine and cool ocean spray. Edith was a practical young woman. She had had her share of fun times at the discos in LA. She was a tough, self made, kind woman who wore her heart on her lips. She gave her first born son everything in the world she could give. Then she gave him a baby brother.
Edith was pregnant with Raymond in the summer of 1981. She had a two year old named James who was enthralled with his creation. Laying on his belly in the hot sand, James made piles of wet sand, cigarette butts and seaweed. Now and again James would hop up and run due west to the vast Pacific Ocean. Today the water looked grey. Not the shimmering silver shade, but the color of cold glass.
“Stay offa that dredge pipe James! James, you stay away from there!”
Edith pulled off her cheap sunglasses and used them as a bookmark in her news magizene. She had abandoned the article about the weather balloon crash in Alaska that April. She was tired of trying to read it anyway. The story made Edith clench. The author’s slant that Soviet spies were suspected to be involved scared the mustard out of her. Besides, she had bigger fish to fry.
Edith stood up, checked her head for her sunglasses, found that they were missing and gasped. She felt around for her keys and moseyd over to the water’s edge.
“Look mommy, it’s a staw!”
James danced with glee beside the drawing in the sand which very nearly represented the capital letter “A”.
“It’s a beautiful star dear. Are you ready to get dried off and rinse your feet? Go home and make a sandwich?”
Food almost always worked for James.
“I wanch you to bewwy me in the saaaand!”
James knew enough not to put his mother out when she needed to go these days. Her belly had become so big in the last few weeks that he began to miss his mother. For the first time in his life, James felt that there was a distance from his mom.
The rustbitten door to the yellow Volkswagen slammed shut. Edith cursed as the machine whined out that it was too tired to start. The bug liked the ocean breeze and sunshine even though they were wreaking havoc on its exterior.
“Momma, momma! What’s Gotamit mean?”
Little James knew to look at the shiny rectangle when talking to his mom in the car.
“It’s God-damn-it and we shouldn’t say those words.”
“Mommy, who is God?”
“He’s the one who made the world and all of us.”
The volkswagen gave in and teeted to life. It always wanted to take a shortcut home, but Edith wouldn’t let it.
“Honey, I’m home from work!”
An attache was laid to rest on a coffee table. The clasp was engraved with the initials G.A.
“Did you get those lottery tickets?”
Edith finished drying the plate and set it on the stack of plates on the counter. A muscular, red headed man with a pony tail loosed his tie. They kissed.
“Daddy! Did you get my letter?”
“I did. I wondered who it was from.”
Gary lifted his boy up to the ceiling and gently tapped his head on it. The boy giggled,
“Do it again daddy daddy!”
Gary obliged. He loved his son. He was so busy with his law practice that he felt cheated most of the week. He’d blow through mountians of files and paperwork in an hour then pace back and forth in his Carlsbad office, trying to solve the puzzle. He chewed bricks of Black Jack, black licorice flavored chewing gum. You weren’t supposed to be able to blow a bubble with it. Gary blew bubbles with his Black Jack all the time.
“Could you put those plates up for me?”
“Sure. How was your day?”
“Raymond is coming soon. I hope Dad gets here before my water breaks.”
Gary closed the cupboard door. He was going to shout something to James about a cartoon that was coming on the television later that evening. Edith’s head was bowed toward the floor. Her hands were gripping the countertop.
“Shit! Would you look at that?”
James’s dad pointed to a pool of fluid oozing across the floor.
“I’ll call the plumber. We’ve got a leak”
“Gary, that’s not the sink. It’s me. It’s Raymond!”