Methuselah's Daughter

Musings of an immortal being

Saturday, August 30

A conversation between Loren and me:

I have allowed Loren’s words to stand uncommented upon by myself for a pair of days, waiting to see if anyone else had something to say. The silence is deafening, but not entirely surprising. In the end, this is my forum and hence the responsibility for all posted on the open pages is mine and mine alone, as is any obligation for response.

I must admit that when Loren and I began correspondence I was relatively dismissive of him, as was he of me. In my position I am not permitted the luxury of trust. As open as this forum is it is still fairly secure in its own right as I can expect everyone who views it to see it as fiction at best, delusion at worst. I am satisfied with this.

Loren has a keen mind. He delves beneath the surface of the accepted reality and produces insights both exceeding strange and tantalizingly familiar. Despite this, I had not even begun to entertain any kind of hope regarding him. Time and patience are my most potent tools and I abandon them for no one. Still, my heart sank when I read the post he submitted to me and encountered a key phrase: “inverted faith.”

I have encountered such notions before. Where they are the musings of individuals they are mostly harmless, though they often lead to much personal horror and despair. Where those in positions of power propagate them the result has always, I repeat, always led to widespread and indiscriminate death and destruction. The assorted Heresies of the Catholic Church are but a taste of the wreckage foisted upon humanity by the idea that what is accepted as good is actually evil, and what is feared as evil is actually good.

This actually corresponds neatly with my own problems with organized religion: that any one faith could be so arrogant as to claim that it alone has intimate knowledge of the mind of God would be hilarious were not so many graves dug as a result. Take the word of one who has lived through such times- there is no greater horror than finding oneself in the midst of two religious ideologies at war. Anyone paying attention to the on-going slaughter generated by Islamic reactionaries should have at hand the barest hint of what I mean.

So, I reject the notion that what passes as religious faith today is some perversion of the true relationship between Man and his Creator. It may be wrong, if you choose to be vituperative you may wish to call it ignorant, but to suppose that is in and of itself evil is… arrogant. Forgive me, Loren, but that is what I taste in your words.

Over thirty-five centuries I have listened as one faith after another, one civilization after another has prophesied the immanent End of Days. This is what Loren apparently refers to in his closing statement. I have no foreknowledge of such things, but I can say with some certainty that the ever-upward progress of humanity since descending from the trees can come to a halt. After that halt, there is only one direction in which to go. Humanity has suffered many setbacks throughout its history, but there has always been some culture, some civilization waiting in the wings to carry the torch of cultural progress forward. With the growth of an increasingly interconnected global community the danger is of a collapse from which nothing can arise but anarchy and despair. I personally believe the chance of such a collapse is relatively lower now than it has been in several decades, but that is no guarantee. I am no Oracle. The End can come, but it does not have to, and I reject categorically that all of this is the work of some benevolent (or malevolent) alien race.

Loren's reply:


You're being harsh? There's nothing here to be offended about as far as I'm concerned. My use of the word "inversion" with respect to Christianity has little to do with religion as a concept and much more to do with litteral fact within the given context. Allow me to explain: Judaic religions are by definition inversions of the religious systems and belief-structures of elder times. In no negative or positive sense.

Your comments are perceptive in every way, but you're sort of making a mute point since I simply don't disagree with you. I don't think I do anyway.

Human history at a social scientific level is, among other things, a series of revolts against past established orders - within religion as within politics etc. So it happens that (for the sake of our subject) older Sumerian faiths are sort of "up-side-down" as compared to the faiths of today - i.e. the entities praised as good before are today litterally held as "the devil". Names are different, naturally, pluralistic states have become singular (and vice versa) but the underlying themes remain.

I hope I have at least clarified this. As for them "aliens" and so forth, I think it's safe to say that only that which has been verified is worth believing in. The term itself is hampered by the perspective of those who coins it - wouldn't you agree?

Imagine humanity leaving this planet a thousand years from now, how do they deal with the somewhat more developed lesser primates upon stopping by in a million years or so? I'd be pretty faced if a gorilla in a suit ran away screaming "impending doom!" upon seeing me walking down the street - I would also be rather numbed by historical lessons posed by such folk, and I think I would laugh myself to death at their half-blind half-guess theories regarding who I was.

But that's just me. And I know I'm a pretty bad guy. Sorry for any disappointment I have caused you.

I think those are the relevant perspectives here, for whatever reasonings such as these are relevant at all - since the only interesting perspectives would be unknown ones. Essentially, the scope of those that simply "know better" beyond reproach or discussion.

"Our" perspective, if you will, regardless of our life-spans and the finer details of our existence, is all but too well known to us - anything superior to us (be it by age, technology, or even divinity for lack of better words) must be met in its own light for dealing.

Everything is relative, no? A demonstrating question to pose is whether existence is manufactured as a scientist would pet a herd of rats in a laboratory, or in the ways parents would nurture a group of children, or the manners by which life-forms usually Seem to be alone at the whims and chances of chaos-math and basic universal physics.

In my experience, one not seldom finds exactly what one is looking/wishing for in conducting investigations such as these. Which is why one so rarely hear of devout religious people "changing their minds".

So you do not believe in "aliens"? Good for you. Neither do I. I find it pointless to name things for which one has little or no conceptual understanding. Hell, as I've made clear before, I'm having a hard time fingering a definition of my self - let alone you yourself. Still, for the sake of argument, with your accutely original qualities (for which the only verification to date is my own) let's look at the possibilities here:

Would a singular mutation randomly grant an extreme minority of a given population such extreme qualities as the ability to live virtually forever?

Maybe. Why don't you ask yourself. Experience is something you've got and experience counts a long way when it comes to wisdom.

So what seems to be more likely here?

A vastly more advanced race (that's really all we're talking about here, "aliens", "gods", "demons", are just examples of rationalized words used to describe things for primates when "spelling everything out" would just be futile or even destructive to the 'cause of the explanation) gives evolution a little nudge and then lets time take its part in the process - or genetic mutations spawn a species big-headed enough to argue existence into serious questioning simply because "the real world" didn't seem to offer enough stuff to be remotely interesting.

From Sumerian gateways and lengthy incantations using cannabis and self-starvation as boosters, to Christian angels with flaming swords and golden trumpets, I sometimes sit back and marvel at how incredibly bored humanity must be with herself on a cultural collective level.

I find my misanthropy warranted. We have dwelt on this before.

As for pretty much everything else you mention, I'm right with you though probably a bit more extreme. Religion is protection for slaves and petty masters - synonymous to the word stagnation and yet none the less crucial for keeping order in less than educated collectives.

And I do agree that Christianity's notions are amongst the more insane ones. The very word "catholic" translates "universal" - I'd say they are destined to take water well over their heads (again, again, and again...)

Still, with the clarifications and ramblings above taken into account I sense nothing in your comments that doesn't fall to my liking. You are after all the one individual on this forum who has both the authority and the alledged experience to separate the weed from the crops, in a matter of speaking.

Finally, whether your faith in me as a person is restored or not, everyone is cursed with their own opinions and ideas. I for one think the medium of our correspondance does much more to confuse things than the other way around - be it secure or not.

Security is not really the issue, by the way - the issue is mostly dealing with at least half-serious topics in manners that easily puts them on the same level as all the other mindless gibberish on this global network of ours.

Then again, you're correct, the diffidence with respect to truth and verity amongst mortals certainly serves as our protection. As long as I don't exist, I can say whatever the hell I want - and so can you.

Best wishes,

And finally, my reply to Loren:

Consider this matter closed between us. I believe I committed the sin of allowing my own past experiences too deeply to color your words. Modern science refers to this as projection and it occurs to me that they may indeed be on to something. I spent a large portion of my life in thrall to the adherents of the Christian and Moorish ideologies. I witnessed vast slaughter between them, as well as the internecine warfare and purges within the Christian faith as various heresies were propagated and brutally suppressed. Prior to those times the clashes of cultists were only lesser evils for being smaller in scale, not for lacking fervor or blood lust. When I read your initial offering it brought those times front and center in my mind. I sent my message to you because I felt that I was indeed missing some aspect of your analysis and I was hoping for clarification. You delivered an admirable recapitulation, such that I rather enjoyed being shown the error of my analysis.

I dislike the written word for correspondence- my forte is the interpersonal, close physical contact, and the ability to discern an individual’s internal dialogue through body language and intonation. The written word lacks this entirely; however, it is useful in that it forces me to be as precise as I possibly can as I attempt in my own meandering way to tell the tale of my life.

As to your misanthropy, I may yet come to rely upon it. I certainly do not hold it against you and I do not think of you as a “bad” person. I do look forward to conversing with you again.

It is an interesting world out there, even for one such as I.

Wednesday, August 27

My new email address is available at the right. My thanks to Isabella for the suggestion. Hushmail has problems, particularly the plug-in they always insist on installing, but it is workable for my purposes.

The following is a letter from Loren, whom I have mentioned tangentially in previous entries. He and I have carried out an interesting, though somewhat one-sided of late, correspondence regarding who and what I am. We are wary of each other and he has requested that I respect his wishes not to have his true name or e-mail address posted. Regarding his true name, I am certain I do not possess it, but Loren is simply another layer of anonymity I have layered upon him. His address shall remain secret. Have you any desire to respond to him I am certain the comments will do. All that being said, Loren has proffered the following in response to the conversations I have posted between The Yeti and myself:

This time I actually have a comment of quite a precise nature. Eyed through the last entries on your forum and the careless ramblings of "the Yeti" truly caught my attention. This is with regards to his theories regarding the origins of present day humanity, the artificial breeding of such as imposed by "aliens", and how this commonly ludicrous though perceptive "mix" of facts and fiction seems as the most plausible explanation to these questions.

Sadly, I must confess that the Yeti is on the money in his conclusion - my stated sadness relates to my extreme skepticism about dealing with these matters on a public forum, as I have amply explained to our hostess privately.

Without going into too much detail, I can verify the Yeti's conclusion by stating the following: After conducting studies similar to his and cross-referencing with material both uncommon and widely used by historians and archeologists etc. I soon came to an identical conclusion.

At this point, I will point out that I have not gone into detail when it comes to the Yeti's presentation in this forum - not for lack of time ;) but rather because the nitty-gritty details of what diety was called what in Sumer is of little or no relevance to the greater scope of things. In my opinion, that is.

These "aliens" we so ignorantly call them are named "the liars in wait" in some old (partly reproduced) texts. Naturally, the inversion of faith that modern religion represents deems them as "demons" and so on.

This is all very interesting. It is always nice being further verified by others making sound conclusions on forlorn subjects.

Excuse my satire on the subject. It's a pesky side-effect of things I'd rather not go into publicly.

Perhaps the Yeti has come far enough in his understanding of things to comment on the following: As far as my investigations has taken me, it would seem likely that the activity of these "aliens" stretch for purposes far beyond just mining - everything I've found actually points to regular primate life-forms being "test-subjects" of theirs. Put on a time-line granted the correct perspective, and starting at the point where monkeys were upgraded to "being aware of their own awareness" (i.e. homo sapiens sapiens) the next INTERESTING step in this species evolution clearly seems to be the point where this awareness also begins to incorporate knowledge/understanding of their veritable creators.

The pointless side-tracks of this perticular subject are many: The converging of Armageddon-theories in inverted modern faiths with the progress of the "educational revolution", for example, not to mention the "eternal reoccurance" noted in certain Eastern creeds. It is not for such reasonings I find all this interesting, however.

Given my circumstances, I've spent a few decades plowing though everything I have been able to find regarding this civilization's past.
With all this lore and symbolic gibberish put into perspective compared to its singular source one is provoked to emphatic laughter.

What we're dealing with here is wisdom beyond the whims of most human scholars, which is why I find it questionable to deal with it at a site as open as this one, but while the above stated (whether one is educated enough to grasp it or not) is as truthfull as can be, what I'm about to linger on below is nothing but my own theories.

I both suspect and hope that these fabled "liars in wait" are nothing but waiting to reveal themselves to the primates on this rock. They are waiting for time to take its tool on the fallacies of common man of today, primarily religion and other pipe-dreams, since their appearance in public would cause too much fuzz around Jesus-shouting mobs and vagrant flower-power-alien-lovers.

The world we live in today is for the most parts uncivilized, ignorant, stupid, religious, and really quite primitive (something PC-progenies often forget) - pretty much where they left it back in the days. If modern civilization overcomes the problems it faces today and manages to sort out the petty struggles of monkeys else-where I for one find it perfectly within reason that the rewards bestowed upon our hosting species will be far beyond their highest notions of fiction.

Having said as much, I would just like to extend a greeting to all partaking in this forum - keep your heads down and your eyes open!

Our noble hostess will surely explain why.

Monday, August 25

I am flattered when anyone takes the time to speculate rationally regarding the nature of my existence, particularly when one goes to the lengths The Yeti obviously did in his missive to me. That having been said, I hope he does not take what I have to say about it as dismissive or disrespectful.

I have several problems with the theoretical premise and it begins in the very first paragraph. Cro-Magnon man likely did not suddenly arrive 35,000 years ago. The same mitochondria DNA evidence that excludes Neanderthals from the ancestry of modern man also pushes the emergence date for modern human beings back to as far as 200,000 years ago

Ignoring that for the moment (because evidence of this type is still in a state of flux) we have to understand that none of the “facts” are fully established. What archeologists present for both peer and public consumption are at best highly educated guesses and attempting to draw hard conclusions based upon those data, or for that matter attempting to categorically refute such theories is an exercise in futility.

Given the above, I am not going to argue the scientific merits of what The Yeti has proposed. I will point out that he and the authors he references seem to suffer from the common human predilections towards compression of history. “Suddenly, civilization appears in Sumer.” While Sumer and Pre-Dynastic Egypt certainly pre-date my memories I can assure you there was nothing “sudden” about their rise. Modern humans’ major advantage over Neanderthals seems to be an innate ability to deal in abstract concepts, particularly numbers, symbols and historical trends. When these abilities developed and were honed, the rise of civilization would seem to be a natural consequence. But it did not happen suddenly, of that I am certain.

The point I am attempting to make with the verbiage above is that the entire record of evolution and the birth of civilization are still too rife with holes to be bent to any one purpose or another.

Whenever I am confronted with theories about anything to do with human beings, or theoretical intelligences, I always fall back on a basic tool of analysis: motivation.

What motivated the hypothesized aliens to come to Earth? Mining metals is suggested, but it seems to me that any race capable of space travel, even if only within the Solar System, could much more profitably mine metals from the asteroids. Consider: once out of the gravity well of their own world, why descend in to another just to collect raw materials that are so much easier to obtain in space? If they can travel from their planet to Earth they can travel to the asteroids and reap the cornucopia of materials available there. As such, the idea that such beings would go to such lengths solely for metals seems unlikely. If they desired a race of slaves it seems to me they have been dangerously neglectful, as their beasts of burden have developed some interesting habits and abilities likely to make them unsuitable for coerced labor.

Perhaps these aliens acted out of mere altruism? They came across proto-humans and saw potential there, so they meddled in order to give them an evolutionary nudge in the proper direction? There is little to be gained in speculation on this point as we can easily imagine that such actions were taken and the theorized benefactors of humanity then moved on to let Homo Sapiens find its own way towards full sentience. Unless we uncover 100,000-year-old genetic laboratories buried under the ice cap of Antarctica (or elsewhere) there is no empirical method of proving or disproving such a theory and no profit in debating it.

But where does this leave me?

Am I a failed genetic experiment? A pet left behind and forgotten by my masters when they left this world? An autonomous monitor, unaware of my underlying purpose? I am viscerally inclined to reject all of these possibilities; however, honesty requires that I not do so. By my own admission I have no knowledge of my origins, or even of my true age. I claim thirty-five centuries, but this is merely an informed guess- perhaps I am far, far older, but my memories were erased when I suffered that head wound so very long ago? Short of submitting to full genetic analysis I am unlikely to come to any definitive answers in the near future.

Sunday, August 24

The Yeti writes, offering the following theories and speculations. The links are my own, just to provide some background. I have comments to make; however, I will offer them seperately.

Man's ancestor apes are now placed at a staggering 25 million years ago. Hominids appeared about 14 million years ago. 3 million years created the first Homo species, followed by Australopithecus. 1,000,000 years later, we have the first evidence of Homo Erectus. And finally, after another 900,000 years, primitive man, known as Neanderthal. The difference between Australopithecus and Neanderthal is noticeable only in evolutionary terms. They used the same crude stone tools, and had no civilization that we would recognize.
Suddenly, Cro-Magnon man appeared 35,000 years ago. Discoveries in the last two decades have shown that Cro-Magnon is a different offshoot than Neanderthal. Originally, it was thought that Cro-Magnon was our progenitor. Now we know that there truly is a missing link.

And then suddenly, civilization appears in Sumer. I've been reading a lot of my old texts and some of the new articles out. There's a lot of study that simply does not make sense - and can't be fit into the accepted view of civilization. So why did I bring this up.

Because the accepted views of mankind’s origins are not complete. And you maintain that you truly do live a different life than any we've heard of.

If what you say is true, perhaps so is some of the research done by Sichin and Velikovsky and Fromm.

Allow me to throw something out there. Ralph Solecki had evidence that man had actually entered a regressive period through time. Then, inexplicably, "thinking man", Homo sapiens sapiens appears, with a high level of cultural sophistication in relation to what had been a regressive culture. Almost as if man had received a boost.

Do these names sound familiar? Anu, Enki, Enlil, Ninlil, Ea and Ishkur. They're the name of Sumerian Gods. They also have a significant role in what I'm going to suggest.

The theory is that real live aliens came down and utilized prehistoric man as labor to mine metals. They used their knowledge of genetics to create "man" in their own image, using the "clay" of prehistoric man.

This would explain the regression of man, as different types of men would procreate like animals, and be abandoned by their creators.

Enki was the God if the Underworld, and it seems he was in Africa working the mines, away from the original landing places in Mesopotamia.

We know that every culture has Gods and Kings, and all of the ancient literature, from the Iliad, to the Egyptians, to the Bible, to the epic of Gilgamesh to the Indonesian legends all talk of Gods intermarrying the females of man.

Even in Genesis, the sons of Adam left the Garden and went out to procreate with men.

Anyway - that's a lot of information. But the specific understanding, is that Enki was the great protector of man. And also responsible for disobeying Enlil, giving man the secrets of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which were assumed to be increased intelligence and the power to procreate.

Some texts, including that of Berossus, talk of genetic manipulation that included men with two heads, with animal parts, and also, something that we could easily describe as cherubim and seraphim. Manlike creatures, created to serve the Gods, without the power of reproduction, but with other skills according to their need. Say, recreation and a gene that prevents the aging gene from turning on and destroying cells?

Sumerian texts describe men created by Enki and Ninhursag (a type of Female mother Goddess), including one that could not hold back his urine, a woman who could not give birth, and four others, including those who were old too soon, and another with neither male or female organs.

The animals did not work well, but perhaps this explains the artwork and statuary of the time. The Gods realized that they had to mix the ape-men of the time with their own genetic material. And this was Homo-Sapiens created - millions of years ahead of when evolution would allow them to, and without branches leading from Homo Erectus to Homo sapiens.

Straight forward readings of the Bible, the Greek legends and the Egyptian ones actually make sense. It's only when we claim that they had to be myths and legends that they suddenly become convoluted and no longer fit the historical record.

Knowing that this is possible, or probable, or at least no more strange than a woman who claims she is 3500 years old - could it be that you are literally a creation of the same gods that created man, made in their image (God always seems to speak in plural), but bred for a different purpose? The Nefilim, which is the name Sitchin gives them, return every 3600 years, based on the non-elliptical orbit of the Twelfth Planet. In the last six months, we have confirmed the existence of a large body in an non-elliptical orbit that affects Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Now - obviously this is pretty far out. And it is not "accepted."

Then again, how would the human race react to finding out we domesticated pets and workers? How would this affect our religion, and our government?

This is the information that is supposed to reside in the secret societies of the Masons.

Interesting, No?

Try finding a copy of the Twelfth Planet, by Zecharii Sitchin. Then look into studies of current astronomy on Planet X, theorized in the 1980's, and recently in the news.

Fascinating. I eagerly await a reply.

Saturday, August 23

Let us assume it is late spring. Morning comes before the sun is above the horizon. Usually the adults rise first; however, in short order the children are up as well. Breakfast is simple and seldom hot- bread, fruit or nuts, dried meat (jerky, if you prefer) if there is any about and perhaps the milk of goats or cows, depending on the time and location. It is a quick meal for there is work to do. Always.

The men head out to their chores, be it in the fields with a plow or other tools, or in to the wilds to hunt, or to the river or the shore to fish. It hardly matters for the type of work is merely a particular iteration of the uniform struggle to wrest the essentials of life from the world around them.

Back at home, the women and children are just as busy. Carefree childhood is a modern construct, in these times any child who can walk and carry is put in to service, perhaps to gather fuel such as fallen branches or animal dung, or to tend to livestock or to whatever garden plot may exist. There is wood to be moved, water to be hauled, feed to be poured, bread to be baked. There are always things requiring mending: clothes, tools, dwellings, and even weapons. Often the older men remain behind to handle the heavier work while the women do finer tasks, but all are hard at work long before most modern peoples would have stirred from their beds.

Food storage is primitive. Human beings are ingenious and bend all sorts of knowledge to the task of taking what is in hand today and storing against need for tomorrow, but it is all labor intensive. Drying, smoking, salting (assuming you happen to have salt), mashing, cooking, preserving… as the technology grew more sophisticated the options grew broader and more effective, but not particularly easier.

Midday often produces brief respite. In warmer climes it is best to stay out of the sun if possible. The concern is not skin cancer; rather it is simply the heat. Chores that can be attended to indoors might be left to that part of the day. Perhaps a midday meal, usually more substantial than the morning meal, is prepared. It depends on the nature of the village or clan, whether the men will return to eat or will take whatever food they might need with them so as to remain at their own tasks.

Afternoon progresses and it is time to finish what tasks must be completed before nightfall. There is a constant bustle to get things organized for the evening meal, see to it that the animals are secured, sort through whatever has been gathered and see that it is properly stored. If the men are hunting or fishing there will be the day’s catch to be properly dealt with, and whatever was gathered fresh for the day must be prepared.

Evening is the only regular moment of respite, and it is brief by comparison to the day. A meal is taken- perhaps large if times are good, but more likely simply adequate. Sometimes, in bad times, it will be desperately sparse. As darkness closes in perhaps there will be rituals to whatever spirits your people pay homage. The hope is always essentially the same though: “Dear Lord, please keep the monsters at bay.” When it is time for sleep it settles quickly, the reward for a hard day’s work.

The routine varies with the seasons. Harvest time means twice the food, but four times the work. Winter in the cooler climes means cold and darkness and often worse. A bad harvest means deprivation no matter where you may be- not losing the farm, but perhaps losing your life, or the lives of your children. In my case a poor harvest almost always meant I was on my way out, either driven away or sold for whatever value I might bring. Summer in a farming community means pleading with fickle deities for rain. Everywhere summer means fear of disease. Spring means you have survived long enough to start this all over again.

One constant companion is death. Throughout the years babies are born, and babies are buried in the ruthless calculus of reproduction and mortality. Adults fare only slightly better. Once past puberty life is often just a span of thirty years or so. Hard living breaks bodies so that a man of thirty would seem far older to modern eyes, and in a relative sense that judgment would be accurate for at 45 years most are facing the end of their days. Some live far longer, but most do not. Burying the dead is a regular part of life and death is not so much a spectre as an accepted fate, surcease to the struggle of carrying on from day to day. There were times when I saw death as immensely desirable.

Of course, random events can break up the routines of life, forcing people out of their accustomed rut (random events being war, plague, disaster, and the occasional celebration). It was not all toil and drudgery, but the vast balance was and that made the bright spots that much the better, while placing the darkness in some kind of proper perspective. Still, all in all the routine remains constant, day in and day out, with minor variations as the seasons progress.

The paragraphs above are a fairly complete description of the first ten centuries of my life.

Just to restate, since I have received a number of inquiries:

I have no secure channel for outgoing mail at this time. It has nothing to do with being “hacked” or any such thing; rather I lost use of the machine I used to send mail. I am naturally quite paranoid regarding my privacy, and until I can parse through the arcana of mixmasters or find some other suitable alternative, I will refrain from sending mail to anyone.

So Loren, Joe, James and those who desire to remain nameless: stop fretting.

Monday, August 18

In the end the crisis point of my latest little misadventure stole up behind me on quiet feline feet. Several days had passed without any activity, meaning that none of my few very modest “monitors” had detected any action regarding inquiries in to my name, or my finances or my history. So of course early Saturday afternoon my doorbell buzzed.

I regarded the intercom for a full minute, fully aware that if the person who rang the buzzer was truly looking for me my days in this city, in this identity, were quite likely over. The buzzer rang again.


“Miss Baker? I need to speak with you. My name is Roger Travis.” There was no anger in the voice, perhaps just a trace of apprehension. With a heavy sigh I triggered the latch for the security door and then opened the door to my apartment. Mentally I checked the location of my pistol, then examined myself in the mirror- I was wearing a light white sun dress as I had been preparing to go for a walk and enjoy the summer heat after so many days of rain. I was not made up. I appeared painfully young.

The man who arrived at my door was nearly forty, tall and in good condition- barely breathing hard after climbing four flights in the heat of this summer day. He bore a strong resemblance to his father, handsome in that square-jawed, steely-blue-eyed quintessential American Cowboy way, all of it accentuated by blue jeans that had obviously seen their fair share of hard days’ work and a crisp, clean khaki shirt open at the neck and sung about muscular biceps. There was the scent of fresh hewn cedar about him, enticingly masculine.

He introduced himself again and I invited him in. We exchanged pleasantries and he commented on all the boxes still stacked in the kitchen and the hallway.

“Moving out?”

‘In, actually. I’ve been in Colorado for several months- I only returned two weeks ago. Everything was in storage so I’ve been sorting out what I need and what can go. I just made a pitcher of iced tea, would you care for some?”

“Yes, thank-you,” he smiled then, put at ease by the nicety of domestic hospitality. Just as I had intended. It was a dance, each carefully feeling the other out in a game both ancient and tantalizing. I poured a tall glass over fresh ice cubes and handed it to him. He took it in his left hand and I deliberately noted the lack of a wedding band, allowing my index finger to trace the length of his ring finger. I produced a bowl of sliced lemons and sugar and we fixed our refreshments to taste then took our leave to my living room. There we sat, and an uncomfortable pause stretched out for several seconds.

“I hope your father was not terribly put out by my behavior the other day. I’m not normally so easily flustered.” That drained a great deal of the tension from his face and I began to hope just very, very slightly, that this might turn out well after all.

“My father…” he began, and then hesitated before starting again, “It’s been a very tough year for him. For all of us. Four months ago my mother passed away- she’d been sick for nearly a year, bone cancer.”

Oh! I’m terribly sorry.” I did not have to feign sympathy- mortality always strikes a chord within me and I let it show clearly. I have seen so many times where death has wreaked havoc in otherwise normal, happy lives that it always leaves me feeling at least a little compassion towards those left behind. It is odd, but it is innate. Furthermore, I had suspected this was the case. “You all must miss her very much.”

“Yes, especially my father. They were inseparable…” he caught himself then, unwilling to offer any more to this stranger than he had to. “When he showed up at my place last week he was so badly shaken I thought he was sick. He wouldn’t talk to anyone about it, he just said he couldn’t be home alone.”

“He did seem very distraught.”

He ignored me and went on. “That night, he told me about Claire. Mind you he’d never mentioned her before, I don’t even think my mother knew about her. It’s not like it’s some giant scandal in the family or anything like that. Hell, it’s just something he never, ever mentioned… ‘til he ran in to you.”

I could see everything coursing through him: concern over his father’s reaction to me, relief that I was so obviously not some youthful-looking sixty-something, an uncomfortable and titillating awareness of how thin my dress was and how neatly I curled in to my chair. I drew him out with a dangerous and carefully applied mix of genuine concern for the words he spoke, inviting sexuality, and open friendliness. It was an elixir he was ill prepared to resist, assuming he had cared to. Men cannot be badgered in to opening up, instead they must be invited, seduced.

“He had a photo album, pictures from his racing days I’d never seen before because all of them showed your mother. You really do look exactly like her, you know.” I nodded and he went on. “I can see how he might mistake you for her at first glance, from a distance… but after he introduced himself? What happened?”

I recounted the meeting in full factual detail, only prevaricating where my own internal reactions were concerned. Roger nodded and I knew he had already spoken to others about it, ticking off facts in his head as I replayed the scene for him. I could sense his concern deepening and once again I had to review my own impressions, but I saw nothing beyond what I had originally surmised.

“Damn,” he sighed, “I don’t know what to think. I thought he’d bounced back as well as anyone could expect after ma passed away.”

“He still thinks I’m Claire?” That thought disturbed me immensely, not so much for its implications for me, but rather for William.

“No… at least he understands that it’s not possible that you’re her, but…”

“He knows it up here,” I whispered, touching my head.

“But not here,” he finished, touching his chest, “exactly. I’m not sure what to do. Hell, I’m not even sure why I’m here, telling you this. I have to wonder if there’s something wrong, something psychological…”

He said psychological, but he was thinking Alzheimer’s. It was a possible out for me except that it was absolutely untrue, and I knew that for a certainty. I could have let Roger continue thinking that, perhaps go and convince his father that something was wrong… and curse him as fully as were I some ancient shaman of myth and lore. Such doubts could become self-fulfilling prophecy. No matter how much I desired to see this episode filed away as something innocuous I simply could not purchase my security at such a price.

“You said yourself that your father has been through a lot. What if he actually was sick that day?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, his eyes looking directly in to mine, piercing, searching. It was all well and fine for him to privately consider his father’s mental state, but he would brook no disrespect from me on that topic.

“You said he looked ill when he got to your place. What if he was? Has he been sleeping well? Has anyone been looking in on him to make sure he’s taking care of himself? What if it was just a long day and he was coming down with something? He saw me and got one shock, then was told something he certainly didn’t want to hear, that had to be another blow, and then I got all defensive when he wanted to meet again. So for a moment he thought he saw something that he knows he couldn’t have seen, and now it’s something that he can’t let go of because it upset him so much.”

Roger was nodding because it had a certain consistency about it, and because I was prodding him as hard as I possibly could with body language. No man truly wants to be in disagreement with an attractive woman, particularly when she is telling him something he desperately wants to hear. He mulled it over for all of thirty seconds.

“I have a favor to ask…”

“Of course. I would be happy to meet with your father again.”

“Thank-you,” he said, smiling. I felt myself blushing. This was growing more complicated by the second, but I did not let that stop me from returning his smile.

Sunday, August 10

Fate smiled upon me: the bus was preparing to pull out and I caught it just in time. Even then I was soaked to the skin from the downpour. The weather fit my mood perfectly as I took a seat in the back to wait for my stop and attempt to sort out what had just happened. I wanted to believe I had not seen what I had in William’s eyes, but I am far, far too old to deliberately deceive myself.

Throughout the ride I went over the events in the restaurant, assessing what problems I could expect, drawing out every shred of information I could recall. Part of me was screaming to drop everything, take the thousand dollars in my purse, get out of town and never look back. This was actually the most reasonable part of me. The colder, more calculating, more selfish part of me wanted to stay and tackle this head-on. That part of me could be quite dangerous and had to be held in check.

I do not remember getting off the bus. I became aware that I was standing in my apartment, staring out the front window with the lights off. The air conditioner was running and my clothes were becoming clammy from the chill. I undressed in the bathroom and turned on the shower as hot as it would go, but before stepping in I went to my bedroom and took my pistol from its drawer. Nothing fancy: a model 1911 Colt .45. Large, unlovely and utterly reliable it had been my companion on and off for over eighty years. I loaded it, chambered a round, verified the safety was on, and set it on the vanity in the bathroom.

The scalding spray cut in to my skin, shocking, invigorating… cleansing. I flipped the control over from full hot to full cold, turning as liquid ice coursed down my back, then over my shoulders, across my breasts, down my belly. It centered me, driving away the uncertainty as I let it cool my scalp and my face. Five minutes was all it took, five minutes to bring logic and order to the chaos that had forced its way into my life unbidden. Even then, it was too long.

I slipped into my bathrobe and took up the pistol. I felt silly now for taking it out- by any objective measure I had little to fear tonight. I secured it and slipped it back in to its holster, but I did not put it away. I had to consider- instinct made me take it out. Instinct told me to run in the restaurant, I ignored it, and that turned out quite badly. I am no huge fan of guns, instead I accept the basic truth about them: when you need one nothing else will really do.

What course to take? The encounter in the restaurant could conceivably turn in to nothing, depending on who and what William was today. Both the hostess and the manager of the restaurant had recognized him and from their reaction I knew he was more than just a regular customer. As chaotic as things had been that still came through unmistakably. I went to my computer and called up a search on the mall- I did not dare to search for his name, but instead began methodically browsing through the information on the web site. I found it almost frighteningly fast.

General Manager: William Travis

I began a mental inventory of my visits to that particular mall; when, what stores, what purchases. I always pay cash so there was no easy way for anyone to come up with my name… I nearly laughed when I realized my largest problem was sitting directly in front of me: the cherry wood computer desk. Paid for with cash, of course, but delivered and assembled in my apartment only a week after I returned from Colorado. The panicked voice that wanted to run began piping up again, and this time I listened a little closer, but still…

Running posed a problem, just as it had in the restaurant. If William did search for me my disappearance would make the mystery more intriguing. Furthermore it would mean leaving the country, for I currently have no new identity prepared that would allow me any degree of security. I do have an escape route prepared against need, but… I do not want to go.

With that decision made I began to prepare for a confrontation, should it come to that. The story regarding “Claire” was verifiable- it was how I had transitioned from that identity to the one I currently wear. The best lies are always spun about a framework of truth, after all. I could produce everything short of a grave to prove that Claire had lived and died in Guatemala and that I was her daughter. My financial records would hold up to an audit, but not a criminal investigation, at least not a determined one.

The time I spent in Colorado could be problematic, but a phone call or two would help to close any holes in the time line. Once again I was forced to confront my foolishness: what had ever possessed me to go skiing? It had not been a bad fall, but I fractured my left leg in three places. I can only imagine the perplexity of the doctors when I failed to follow up with them or anyone else- hopefully they were used to injured vacationers going home to their own doctors. Perhaps those doctors sometimes failed to request records and X-rays. It was plausible, but I should have been more diligent.

Of course the problem was more complex than that: the injury had healed rapidly, but I had also dropped a number of years in appearance as well. It happens and I have no control over it. While my birth certificate and driver’s license said I was twenty-four, without make-up and a conscious effort I looked all of eighteen. Not a huge difference, but enough that the last time I presented an ID to someone he had looked twice.

Despite the cumulative effect of these issues, I felt I had a very good chance of defusing this if I held my ground. Most in my favor was that no reasonable person could seriously entertain the idea that I was over sixty years old. Most likely William would wake up in the morning feeling foolish for having accosted that girl in the restaurant, for thinking even for a moment that she might be other than she claimed.

It made sense. All I had to do was sit tight and most likely this would pass.

Still, I slept with the .45 under my pillow.

Saturday, August 9

It was a chance encounter, all the more unnerving for that. I was at a mall shopping for some replacement items for my wardrobe. Since returning from Colorado I had been feeling an urge to make a change in my daily attire and I finally decided to indulge it. As it was well past dinnertime I decided that I could stop for a bite at one of the restaurants just off the food court. I am not terribly fond mass-produced food, but this mall is rather upscale and the dining options were fairly attractive. I took a small table looking out upon the mall that allowed me to engage in my favorite hobby: watching people.

I was waiting for my meal, sipping at my tea, casually looking over the passers-by while avoiding any direct eye contact. It actually works better if I have a magazine or a book, but I can put forth an expression of bored indifference well enough to convince anyone that my gaze in his or her direction must be nothing more than coincidental.

I spotted him as he left the food court, and he instantly made eye contact. His reaction was so startling that I nearly reacted myself, but I let my eyes slide off of him as if he had not come to my attention. Still, in my peripheral vision, I saw him stagger over to a bench and carefully take a seat. Alarm bells began ringing in the back of my head after another pass revealed him to be sitting, staring at me intently. Then I recognized him: William Travis.

William and I had shared one very short, exquisite year of hedonistic pleasure together in Southern California on the cusp of the 1960’s before I had ended our relationship for his own good. He had promise, and he wanted children, eventually. It helped that I only liked him, I was still too deep in the grip of my last true love to be foolish enough to let it go any further, but he had felt otherwise. Or at least he thought he had. How could he love me when he knew only what little I had been willing to show him of myself?

Our eyes locked. I gave him a “confused, why you are staring at me?” expression I hoped would convince him to move on, but as he rose to his feet again he made straight for the entrance to the restaurant. For a brief moment I considered fleeing, but I knew that might make matters far worse. I pretended not to notice as he came in, waving off the hostess who addressed him by name, saying he was here to meet somebody and, oh, there she is right over there, thank you very much.

He came to my table and I looked up in to his earnest, questioning face.

“I’m so sorry to bother you like this, miss, but… you wouldn’t be related to Claire Simon by any chance?”

Lie? Or deny?


“Claire Simon is my mother,” I replied, smiling, “and you are?”

“Will, Will Travis. I knew your mother many years ago- I would have guessed you to be her granddaughter, rather than her daughter, but the resemblance is… striking.” He gestured to the empty chair, “May I?”

“Please, yes,” I smiled at him. This had the potential to be very, very painful for him, but once begun there was no way to stop it. “My mother was forty when I was born. It came as quite a shock to her, or so she said.”

“I’m sure it was. Your mother and I… Claire was very important to me. We were very close…”

He seemed at a loss for words, trying to put it in to some sort of context he thought I might understand. I had to help him out, so I offered, “Mom always thought she was sterile. She said she had ended more than one relationship because she couldn’t have children…” His eyes were still so very blue, and the way he looked down at the table, the set of his jaw, was the pain still so sharp? How deeply had I wounded this man? And I was about to multiply it, for there could only be one answer to the obvious question he was about to ask.

“How is your mother? I would love to see her again.”

I let my face tell him before I uttered any word, waited for him to see, and to draw the obvious conclusion. “My mother died several years ago. She was doing medical missionary work in South America at the time…”

We had dinner together and talked about Claire as I tried my best to ease his pain, but there were problems. He kept coming back to how uncannily like my mother I seemed to be.

“I noticed you in the window here, but it wasn’t so much your appearance at first, as what you were doing. You were people-watching, weren’t you?”

“Well, yes, “ I smiled, letting a little blush show.

“That’s what startled me so- Claire used to do the same thing, sometimes she would be very dramatic about it, telling stories about people who passed by, stories that you always had a feeling just might be true. When I saw you, the way you were sitting and looking over the people walking past… it was such a shock of recognition… though Claire usually had a newspaper or a magazine in her hand when she did it. At first I was sure you were her, then I realized how young you were…” but he was looking in to my eyes. Always in to my eyes.

I could see the wheels turning inside him and I knew this was becoming more dangerous by the moment. William was never stupid, nor was he given to flights of fancy, but at such close proximity, the two of us talking about my “mother”, his senses were picking up all sorts of signals from me, unmistakable signals that kept drawing him towards a conclusion that his rational mind had to deny. Suddenly he inhaled deeply.

“You wear your mother’s perfume,” he commented.

Oh, Dear Lord, if you exist, please, you have to help us both! Right now!

The check arrived and he insisted on picking it up. He wanted to continue our conversation, but I pleaded other commitments. I tried to make it clear that I had enjoyed meeting him, but that there really was no reason for us to make plans to meet again. He became insistent almost to the point of rudeness. I could see the turmoil inside him, the certainty that there was something more he needed from me, the inner shock at his own behavior and the irrationality it bred. Every attempt I made to circumvent, to handle and direct him, was overwhelmed.

It was becoming a scene; people in the restaurant were turning to see what was going on. The hostess and a man who had to be the manager were approaching, discreetly, but deliberately. William was known to them- the hostess had greeted him by name. It was time to leave.

“Mr. Travis, I’m certain that your memories of my mother, and the news of her death have upset you, and I am very sorry for that, but I must be going.”

I snatched up my bags and rose to leave, but the manager was in the way and as I tried to brush past him he caught me by my arm.

‘Just a moment, miss…” he stopped in mid-sentence because I had his wrist in my free hand and had twisted it from my arm, turning it just enough so that he knew another inch would make it quite painful.

“Jack! No!” William cried out, “Let her go… let her go.”

I released the manager, and the tableau froze- William’s eyes and mine locked for the second time that night. And he knew. The manager made no move to stop me as I sped out the door and made for the nearest exit, fleeing in to the rain-soaked night.

Monday, August 4

What destiny awaits mankind? This is a question that often occupies my mind and I can see no purpose to avoiding it.

Destiny and spirituality seem to be linked for most people. If one contemplates fate, one is often drawn to further consideration of the nature of God, or the problematic existence of any deity or deities. I have commented upon this before and I restate here that I fall firmly in to the camp of “I Do Not Know.” I have no intention of abandoning that position here tonight so please understand that what follows is nothing more than rambling.

Honest atheists understand they cannot disprove the existence of God. With that in mind I have to wonder if we have not all been somewhat misguided regarding the plan of some theoretical supernatural being. For instance, why would a creature capable of creating all of what we know to be reality care one whit about the morality or lack thereof of any given act? What motivates Him? I know that the devout response is to admonish, “Who are you to question God?” but that tends to offend my critical nature. I do believe that this incongruity often precipitates questioning of the existence of a deity- once the question is asked it becomes increasingly clear to those so predisposed that God seems to be standing by whilst all sorts of chicanery is propagated in His name or against those who believe in Him. Once that becomes firmly entrenched in the mind it is a quick step to rejecting the existence of any God on strictly empirical grounds and coming to believe that whatever destiny awaits a man it will be one of his own making and not the result of some divine plan.

This is always where I begin to have questions.

I do not believe that God, if He exists, takes a personal interest in me; however, if God does exist, perhaps He takes an interest in mankind as a whole. In this case God has no interest in men. God’s interest is in Man, the complex totality of humanity. In that case the destiny of Man would be tied to the future progression of the species, rather than to the subjective successes or failures of its individual parts. This is essentially what I was referring to in an earlier post when I mused on the existence of a “racial soul”.

Let me be perfectly clear on this point: I do not expect anything I might say here to be taken terribly seriously. I am no theologian.

That said I do not come to such speculation lightly, instead it is the result of three-and-one-half millennia of observing the human condition. Mankind has shown a drive to expand, to improve and to manipulate that is so innate that it moves me to speculate it is by design. Of course there are examples of human cultures that do not appear to be driven in the manner I describe; however, said cultures appear to have no part to play in any grand scheme of overall human development. Just like myself, they are an evolutionary dead-end.

The judgment that some extant cultures are essentially “dead” may seem harsh, particularly if one is deeply ensconced in the “equal validity / equal value” meme that defines part of the multicultural values craze currently infecting the west, but one must understand that reality usually is harsh. Ask any existing members of the homo erectus branch of hominids what they think of homo sapiens sapiens… but of course, you cannot: homo erectus was an evolutionary back water once the new hominids arrived in town. Cultures locked in stasis face the same fate. They may totter on for decades, even centuries, but eventually they become extinct.

My take on all of this is simple: cultural evolution, just like species evolution, is not about fairness and equality. Instead it is about progress towards a goal, a destiny. It is quite likely that when humanity makes the next great evolutionary step, be it as a species or as a culture, only a portion of humanity will actually be involved. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how it could be any other way. When that happens, the remainder will be as homo erectus: obsolete and left behind.

Of course there is a corollary position to be argued, that being that cultural evolution does not always have to produce something better. Evolution of species is rife with examples of plants or animals developing in to specific niches in the environment, becoming tightly bound to the conditions that drive their evolution. When sudden change comes the highly evolved species are suddenly too specialized to adapt. The niche disappears, and with it the species. Specialization equates to rigidity, which in turn seems to limit adaptability, or as author Robert Heinlein so aptly put it: “Specialization is for insects.” The same is true of cultures. New cultures can arise which at first appear to be an improvement, but eventually prove to be unsustainable for being either too rigid, or flawed in conception, or both. Old cultures that have endured for centuries, even millennia, can also be shouldered aside by changes to which they cannot or will not adapt.

What has all of this to do with destiny? Humanity seems to have some greater goal in its collective future. What that goal ultimately is cannot be known; however, some of the upcoming steps can be seen vaguely. One thing is certain: to remain tied to this globe is a dead end for the race of Man. This is not a matter of resources, or environmental degradation or any of the assorted causes of the day embraced by one activist group or another, rather it is a question of probabilities. Any number of calamities might befall the Earth, all having absolutely nothing to do with the presence of human beings. I will name just three here:

Impact of celestial debris
Solar Irregularity

We know that large asteroids have impacted this planet in the past, the most popularly known instance being the speculation that an asteroid strike was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. While many see this threat as the province of fiction any person whose worldview is rooted in reality knows that the possibility is quite real. Solar irregularity would be things such as flares, or sudden changes in the sun’s output- I include this only because I have seen it mentioned from time to time both in fiction and in science journals, most of which would put this threat far below that of an impact event, at least over the next few million years. Supernovae are a problem in that the energy output by a nearby (in celestial terms) exploding star could very easily sterilize this solar system.

All of these scenarios are predicated upon very low probability events; however, if you project out past the foreseeable future and in to the very far future the chances go up measurably. Proceed far enough and you come as close to certainty as the assorted theories of probability will allow. Hence the determination that to remain tied solely to planet Earth is to accept a racial death sentence.

The ultimate destiny of Man may be shrouded in mystery, but I am certain that God, if He exists, expects Man to reach for the stars.

Minor administrative toothache: my outgoing channel for e-mail has been compromised. (Compromised. Sounds so mysterious, yes?) This means that while I can read e-mail I cannot securely send it for the foreseeable future. Those several people who regularly e-mail me: I have received your messages, but private replies will not be forthcoming. My apologies.