Excuses Are For the Weak

Featuring: Lid for (B 63.)

Alexia Beasley (Lexie) wasn’t going to take any more crap off of anybody any more. She had gotten free of that cult named “Gathering of Sacrifice” after seven years by not believing in excuses as she used to. Now she knew: Excuses Are For the Weak and she had been weak for far too many years.

She had only the money she had stolen. The last night at the Gathering she had been in bed with Teo and three other women. She was lucky and he fell asleep before he got around to her. She’d been in his room enough times that she knew where he kept his walking around money. There was five thousand dollars, drugs and a gun. She left the drugs. She blew a kiss to the other women. They envied her but were sure she’d be caught and dragged back like they’d seen it done before. They would all say they’d been asleep. Oxy ya know.

She had also stolen a cellphone confiscated from a new “recruit”. It was the first “sacrifice” every new sect member was required to make. She had the password for the phone. This also was a required sacrifice.

Lexie was one of the few allowed to use the one computer in the compound. She kept the website up to date. She knew there was a thing called Uber and that it had an app.

So for a while she was “Sarah”, but not for long. They’d be onto her soon. Teo had a private eye on retainer.

Lexie uber’ed back to the town she’d lived in before. Sarah’s card was billed. The gathering hadn’t maxed it out yet. As part of the onboarding, Sarah would then declare bankruptcy. In that town Lexie owned a house that the Gathering had never found out about. She was going home she guessed.

And in that home she found: Adam French her old boss! She looked in the window and there he was sitting on a new chair in her old living room. He was right by the window she was looking in. What a weasel, he took her house because she had disappeared. Her table, her lamps, some of her curtains.

It was more than she could stand. Men, men, men. Teo and now Adam. She had liked Adam. She had that gun and she was going to make this right. Adam grabbed his chest and fell to the floor. Lexie moved on.

She managed somehow. It is not as easy as it looks in spy novels to get a new identity. Lexie had to work as a housekeeper at a motel. They didn’t ask any questions and paid in cash.

The murder stayed unsolved.

She picked up a newspaper in a room. It was folded over and this headline was visible.

“Adam French Murder Still Unsolved.” She figured she had better read the article.

As advertised she had apparently got away with murder. Teo had bought a stolen gun, so it traced back to a dead end. No motive. She kept reading.

“French left his house and a good sized inheritance to one Alexia Beasley. She was rumored to have joined a so called cult named “Gathering of Sacrifice”. When that organization was contacted they declined to comment on any membership issues. A subpoena has been issued but the executor of the estate Jelena Tudor states she expects a long court fight based on the past actions of the Gathering.”

“French had begun to “squat” on the property soon after Beasley disappeared. The title for the property reverted to French after five years. Acquaintances said that French expected Beasley to come to her senses and return. He waited in vain.”

“What am I gonna do?” thought Lexie. She moved on to the next room to clean it.

Here we see Adam French. He’s going into his grave with so much unfinished business. He was carrying a torch for Lexie – that’s the yellow rose.

All the things in his beard Santa Claus, Garuda, the Fishes, the snake and Venus are going with him to his grave.

Claus: What he gave to and would have given to Lexie.

G, Fishes, Snake: All the time he spent at the office when he could have had a rewarding life instead.

Venus: The love he felt for L. never requited, the death of him.


Charles Canmore == 113

 Featured ware (B. 33)

He knew what he had to do. It all depended on the delivery. He approached Astrid as she was finishing meditating. He knew he could approach her because she had opened her eyes.

“Dear, I’m thinking I need an office or workplace or studio. My novel is kind of stalled and it might help.”

Astrid said “Of course honey. What are thinking about where it would be?”

“I think over in Newcastle.”

“Oh really? That’s a little ways off.”

“Indeed. Part of the process would be to make a break with my normal routine. I’m betting that the change would do me good.”

He knew what the place would be like. Plants everywhere spilling out of pots on the floor, pots hanging from the ceiling. Where ever one looked there would be green. Could he grow grapes there? Indoors? They’re just another vine, maybe he could.

Charley Canmore could it seems. He found an apartment with copious light to grow all sorts of greenery. He moved his desk from the house and had high speed internet. He kept no books, no music nor magazines there. The place blazed with light. He had extra lights added to the ceiling and had many floor lamps in every room. He bought a small bed. It wasn’t much more than a camp bed, but he wouldn’t be entertaining visitors of that sort anyway.

In fact, Canmore wasn’t interested in any visitors. He went to the apartment (by now he was calling it his ashram) alone by intention. It was a strong intention. The novel he was writing was galling him.

In the novel the protagonist was becoming more involved with the glass bead game – it was a prequel to the Hermann Hesse book. The protagonist Coale was more mystical than H.H.’s Knecht. Coale (named after the fire elemental) was deep into alchemy like H.H.’s fellow expat Carl Jung. But the material of the story was not lining up right for Canmore.

He started invoking the elementals earth, air, fire and water. He needed more time.

He was back at Astrid’s and his home.

“Honey are you sure you’re all right? You seem distracted all the time. I suspect the novel is not going well, but could you write something else for a while? As a creative break? Maybe we could travel and you could write dispatches from where we go. Sell them to a magazine.”

“Hush.” said Charley. “It is water rushing through me. I need it to cleanse me of my defilements.”

“You’re starting to scare me.”

“There, there you know how we creative types get.” He was silent for a long

He was silent while at his “ashram”, too.

No one ever saw him except when he was coming or going. While inside his room the only sign that someone occupied the room was the smell of incense.

Just like the original by Hesse, in Charley’s story nothing was happening or had ever happened. By now this was starting to bother him. He wanted a breakthrough, not a continuation of some imagined Western culture. Just as the glass beads were appropriate technology for the time of the music masters cited in the text, Charley wanted a superior choice. His story had changed and now included time travel, so that he could write a prehistory and a post history for Castalia.

The technology of our time stood in for the tech of post history Castalia. However Charley had a odd idea of what passed for today’s tech. He only used the internet to keep up with a few chat websites about the occult, and to get random numbers from . He was starting to use analog numerology as well. The secret code contained in regular text.

C. P. Canmore == 616
Charles Canmore == 113
Charles Peter Canmore Esq == 468

Nothing was working out.


Meanwhile the police sergeant was telling Astrid: “If he doesn’t want to be found, that is not a job for the police. You can hire someone to find him. Don’t use craigslist.”

She could sense the pity in his voice


Just as the nymph’s gift, she whom Apollo transformed into a fountain at Delphi, Charley was aching to taste that sacred water. Debased water was not piquant any more. Less and less bitter food.

An excerpt from [Title to be decided]

“Why did they leave? They were as strong a student as any other. They chose, Bob and Fred and Nathan to go to the fleshpots of the world. When they could have had the bliss of the weakling and coward. We….
Hey Luciana cut it out, 0kay?
You shut up, Philostrate! This is feelings we’re talking about!
High or low on the Salomon-Adam scale?
A 6 or an 8? 67590294
“Luciana you’ll probably be next”, said Philostrate

Charley was starting to include numbers into the main line of the text. The illumati would know how to decode them.

81114174 67015977 47248757 35089571 55800765 62922194 79129452 47171959 65381926 73469294 11075288 12900220 30453604 53947179 10862465 19269867 5004477 64109002 51428408 28698713 94917203 550052

When they found the body the house smelled, but not of incense.

Here we see Charles asking Astrid about the studio. He has a turtle on his back that will grow larger and larger until it takes over his whole life and death.

That turtle is of course numbers not a ninja. It does ninja him eventually to death.

He is trying to mollify Astrid with the offering of a dead huge thistle head. What does she think of that? Her familiar is doing a headstand and has not noticed the thistle yet.

Look closely – is Astrid pregnant? There is a little baby’s head just behind the thistle. Does Charley know? I bet not. If he did it would disturb him but probably would not deter him from his fate.

That would be another story.

Behind them is (B. 33) whispering “may we be peaceful”. Charles gets his peace, what about Astrid? Or maybe Charley is reborn as a hungry ghost? He certainly fulfilled the hungry ghost role in this life. Rehearsal?

Above (B. 33) is of course Charley’s ashram. And what a place it is. In his imagination there are indeed grapes or currants or something growing purple and untouchable. Inside is light more light and more light

(Thanks to Grego for the plastic leafy construction.)


Back in the studio

School’s in. These pieces continue from last quarter.

Veronica from “Ernest Here is a Poet”