The Thirty Seventh Tourmaline

How do you know if you’re in the right Universe or not? For all you know, you could go to sleep in one, the one you think is the right one, but wake up in an entirely alternate world. Or, at least on another planet.  Really, how do you know you don’t wake up on Neptune on Mondays and Saturn on, say, every other Wednesday? You don’t. I certainly don’t, anyway. I’m going to tell you a story that’s all true. Every single bit of it. It’s going to sound crazy, but it happened, and it’s happening.

I’ll begin by saying that this is Tuesday, December 43rd, 2017. I know. That’s part of the story. As most of you know, Chronos, the God of Time, has been lost for a long time. How can a God get lost, you ask? No one has the answer to that question. There are many theories, but not one has proved correct. Anyway, yesterday, Monday December 23rd, (i know, but remember what i said,) i set my alarm for 6 am. I wanted to drive downtown and do an errand at Alice Allison’s Vintage Emporium. I wanted to purchase a pendant i saw in there last week as a gift for my sister. I didn’t get it when i was in last Thursday, and i hoped the piece wouldn’t be gone two days before Christmas. I never made it. The pendant was delivered to my doorstep by one of Alice’s employees. When i answered my doorbell at 7:15, i mean, who knocks on your door at that ungodly hour.. ? .. the first thing Alice’s assistant said to me was, Kristine, you moved! Why did you move?

Obviously i was confused. I still am, but that’s part of the story. I said, moved?  I didn’t move. I’ve lived in this apartment for six years.  I started shopping at Alice’s the week after i moved in. Then i looked at my watch, and i said, i’m going to head downtown in about an hour. Want to be there when you open so i can purchase a necklace before it’s gone, a gift for Sabrina.

Downtown?  What do you mean, downtown, and who is Alice?

This isn’t funny, Farley. You work for Alice. Now, why are you here at 7 am?

It’s not 7 am. It’s 3 pm. And i came to deliver this. It’s a necklace you were looking at last week in the shop. The gold and pink tourmaline one. Jonas said he wants you to have it as a holiday present. You’re his best client, but then, you know that.

At that point, i began massaging my temples with my fingers. Big headache. 3 pm.. Jonas.. I moved..  What in hell is going on?

So Farley, you say i moved. How did you find me?

You left a change of address at the shop last week. I have it here on a slip. See?  He pulled a little yellow slip from one of his pockets. My heart lurched. It’s definitely my handwriting. It says, Kristine Dawson, 1155 NE Capricorn, Portland, Universe 14.

I felt dizzy. I wanted to slam the door in his face and run screaming around my apartment. I thought, this is an awful joke. What about Alice?  Farley is familiar. But who’s Jonas?  And Farley is always so serious. If this is a joke, he certainly didn’t come up with it himself. The guy is humorless. I’ve seen him smile maybe twice in six years. He’s not smiling now. I think he’s worried about me. I think i’m worried about me.

So, yeah, Kristine, why did you move? You had a great house over on Moon Unit 10.

Okay, Farley, i said, I think you should go now. I’m feeling shitty.

Okay, sure, Kristine. But first, make sure you take this. Jonas says you’ll need it. I can’t go back to work with this. He’ll be pissed. And don’t give it to Sabrina, whoever she is. Jonas wants you to have it. Only you.

I took the box so i could close the door and sit down. I left Farley standing in the hallway staring at me like i have three eyes. I looked at the box, and it was wrapped beautifully before i ripped it apart. I looked inside the narrow white box, and it’s definitely the pendant i wanted. The chain is gold, and from it dangles a gold and pink cabochon tourmaline, two inches around. It’s surrounded by tiny green sapphires.

I walked weak kneed to my couch. Yes, it was my couch. My lovely vintage blue and white couch in my apartment. My apartment at 2288 SE Virgo, Portland Oregon. Then i started thinking about the Time Troubles. I looked at my watch. It said 3:15. 3:15?  I left the pendant and the open box on my coffee table, and decided i needed a nap. I stretched out on my couch and drifted away.  I had bizarre dreams. In one, i was on Neptune by a river trying to find a lily that would tame the orange dragon. Orange dragon? I know, weird. In another, i was on the moon, camping in a forest in a tent. A tent? I’ve never slept in a tent in my entire twenty seven years.

Then, this morning, i woke up. Not on my couch, but in an enormous brass bed, in a room with many five foot tall pink tulips growing out of the floor all around. I’m still sitting up in bed trying to figure all this out. I’m sure i’m not dreaming. Thing is, what do i do now, and where am i?

I’ll tell you more of the story tomorrow, as it happens. Where am i? What happens now. You’ll find out when i do.

M. Raynes

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