Stepping out of the wall, the gentle gloop wobbling into silence and its waves momentarily distorting the blinking eyes that crowded around the edge of the whirlploop, a young boy with sad but attractive eyes took a small bow and signalled for his companion, now clearly revealed as a well-groomed and obedient black and white collie dog, to stop his excited jumping and to sit quietly at his feet.
“Hello Ado and Fefe,” said the newcomer, “my name is Melvin and,” he placed his hand gently on the dog’s head who turned her eyes to him lovingly, “this is Marigold.” He stopped and looked at the boys, as if waiting for a reaction.
“Get it?” he prompted, “Marigold’s a flower, right?” She’s a collie flower…”
Melvin’s smile upturned one side of his mouth, but his eyes remained sad as he gave up and after a quick glance at Glamorgonia, he said, “We are sad and happy, we are Melancollie.”
Glamorgonia raised her eyes skywards. Ado and Fefe looked at him, incomprehension pirouetting around their eyes like motes of dust at a counter-light boogie-fest.
“I understand that our problem is,” continued Melvin making circular-encompassing hand movements that seemed to include the three of them together, “we can’t get over the fact that we’re ugly; being stupid with it doesn’t help us, and the fact that we are a failure in everything is just not fair.”
“But, I’m here to tell you,” he looked down at Flower who started to lick his hand, “that, even though we humans are programmed to look on the dark side of life, and even if things get really tough, there’s always a bright side. It’s just as well that Flower has enough happiness and life for both of us, because left on our own,” he looked at Ado, “we would curl into a ball and give up.” He shrugged his shoulders, his bottom lip pouted and then trembled, a prelude to tears.
Glamorgonia reached for him, took him into her ample, shapely bosom and said, “Oh dear, Melvin. Nothing is as bad as all that. Keep Marigold close and cuddle her every time you feel down. That way, you will always consider that the world you have been slotted into is not such a bad place.”
Melvin let himself sink into Glamorgonia’s comforting warmth and, with his eyes closed, a smile of satisfaction spread across his face. The boys watched and Marigold came to sit between them putting her head on Ado’s shoulder and her lifting her paw to sit gently on Fefe’s leg.
Then, when she thought that everyone was getting a little too comfortable, she jumped up, stood with her tail erect, looked at Melvin then barked a high pitched bark that signalled she wanted attention.
“She wants to go for a walk,” said Melvin extracting himself from Glamorgonia’s embrace, “like I say, it’s just as well she’s around ‘cos I would sit all day doing nothing but wallow in my own unhappy-juices if it wasn’t for her.”
Taking a yellow ball from his trouser pocket he threw it into the bindle-wall where it disappeared with a satisfying gloop. Marigold hesitated just enough to see that Melvin was following then jumped with unbridled enthusiasm after the ball and soon their silhouettes had disappeared in the deep haze of the gently revolving fendle-cloud.
“Well,” said Glamorgonia contemplatively as the shapes of Mel and collie disappeared into the distant haze, “I wonder if we can notice a pattern developing?”
Instantly Fefe straightened his back and his hand shot up in the air, a big smile on his face, eyes wide with anticipation. Glamorgonia looked sideways at him but continued to look at Ado who was looking back at her with a blank visage, his eyes mutedly asking ‘Who? Me?’, his mouth slightly open again and his tongue lolling out in humid mystification.
“Come on Ado, what is it about all of these personalities that could make us think that some sort of pattern may be developing?”
Fefe was endeavouring unsuccessfully to remain seated, his neck disappearing in his collar as his arm strained in the air and his hand waved backwards and forwards. Ado continued to look blank.
“Could it be that each of those we have met are all the same but …?” prompted Glamorgonia hopefully; “they are equal and …?” she went on encouragingly.
By now, Fefe was jumping up and down excitedly, “Please miss, please miss, me, me, me,” in short breathless whispers, sweat breaking out on his upper lip.
Ado remained motionless, cross-legged, shoulders hunched, eyes half-closed, mouth catching flies. If she didn’t know better, Glamorgonia would have though he may have been lifeless.
“Oh well,” she sighed, “I suppose you will have to tell us Fefe.”
“They are all equal and opposite!!” Fefe squeaked breathlessly, “They are the same but different, chalk and cheese, prunes and custard, chicken and chips,”
Glamorgonia placed her shapely hand on her well-formed chest and sat up, her eyes wide with surprise, “My goodness, Fefe,” she exclaimed, “you are observant today, although I am not sure about the analogies you employ. Have you been eating more of those delicious observflavi pollypops again?” she quipped.
“No miss,” answered Fefe seriously, a beaming smile on his face, “my dada says I should always have my eyes peeled,”
“Yes, well, very good, ten out of ten, young man. You have obviously been keeping your eyes very well peeled. Some others would benefit from keeping the peeling mechanism sharpened, although I have a suspicion that we should perhaps be chatting to Petunia about this.”
She turned her attention back to Ado and continued.
“As Fefe rightly says, all the personalities we have met thus far have been the same, only different,” Glamorgonia elucidated, “In fact, you could say that these form the basis of your life experience to date in that they are the extreme ends of many of the character traits within your psychoswarm.
“Forgive me for permitting myself a petite asidie-burble Ado,” she continued as she observed the curtains of incomprehension drawing slowly across his eyes, “but luckily, you have had a very sheltered childhood and, from what I can determine, other than the usual tribally engendered conditionants – the subject of a wholly different process and a story that will not concern us here – there has been minimal evolution due to outside influence since allocation. Apart from some superfluous genetic contamination, that is,” she whispered under her breath.
“In other words, Ado,” she went on in her customary school-marmly tone and curtailing any questions that may have been posed concerning his hereditary extraction, “you are almost normal,” she looked at him sympathetically, “if possessed of a somewhat, err, ‘latent’ intellectual potential.”
When Ado looked askance at her, she responded, “But that is of no consequence. Well, it might be a little inconvenient but is not something that cannot, with a little collaboration,” she looked menacingly at the eye-cloud and was gratified to note a violet sheen of shamefacedness wash, like an effervescent Mexicarpian wave, across the assembled eyeballs, “be rectified.”
Glamorgonia looked at Ado thoughtfully for a moment then, looking back at the slowly revolving globularity, said, “Perhaps it is best to leave some of the more, how should I say – circumspectually reticent personalities, most of whom will undoubtedly be an integrally splendid, yet abstractly conceptual part of your fleeting yet intense time as a bipedally autonomous entity, until the appropriate moment. You may not realise it at the moment,” she paused and contemplated the vacant gaze then, with only a smidgen of contemplative hesitation, carried on, “but you are privileged to have a particularly rich heritage and, whilst some of the individualities you encounter will, of course, be forged independently,” she smiled briefly stroking Ado’s hair, “by your sublimely fertile imagination, others, being a fundamental fragment of your genetic composition, have been in existence for centuries.
“So, I think it might be useful, at this point, if we took some time out for a little, umm, exploration. Yes, how would you two like a little journey?”
The two boys looked at her wide-eyed as if seeing her for the first time, “Where to, miss?” said Ado respectfully.
“Come, both of you, join hands, I want to show you something. I am not sure you will fully understand it at first but perhaps it may assist in understanding a little of what this sensory jumblation is all about, and how it all fits together in the rich tapestry that is a conscious human existence.”