When in confusion or doubt (which can, no doubt, be confusing), Allister tended to find himself in a seedy pub called Deke's. And it was not necessarily the call of scotch that brought him. And it was not necessarily the strong service qualities of the one-eyed bartender whose range of politeness leaped from savage glares at strangers to a lack of savage glares at regulars. No, those qualities-though intriguing-were not what drew Allister to Deke's.
When Allister's mind was a mess, he would push open the beaten wooden front door of Deke's and walk past the one-eyed bartender who politely held back a glare. The bartender would hand him a tumbler of scotch and Allister would reach back for it in mid-stride and continue walking. He would open the skeleton of a door, whose panels had mostly been punched or kicked out (or had chosen to leave for more peaceful settings on park benches and beach chairs). Three slats were all that remained and clung to the baseboards for all time. And, collectively, this communion held the doorknob.
Allister would walk down the steps to the basement where two lanterns made vague attempts to light the room. The smoke of cigars and pipes would twirl and climb and escape rather easily past the skeleton of a door. And Allister would submerge into the smoke, into the mustiness of the dim basement. And, here, he would find a collective of philosophers and idealists whose theories and hypotheses could not be found in any library.
There was Professor Faylag, still attempting to prove to anyone who would listen that perpetual motion machines could be made of any three objects. And Doctor Hale who, in his studies, was now on two years of forced insomnia in an attempt to prove that, with less sleep comes more life. And, of course, Leonard Who Has No Last Name whose bar tab, if printed would reach above the smoky depths of the basement and curl around the bar and past the glaring one-eyed bartender and out the door of Deke's, unrolling for miles and miles and perhaps miles more.
The tab was an example of Leonard's theory in a newly conjured field of study, evolutionomics. The main idea being that it was one's responsibility in life and for the universe to acquire as much debt as possible. For, when that large comet called The End hits the planet or when the planet gags forth all its magma insides, the only thing that will not be pulverized and/or magma-ized will be this debt. The debt will collect in the cosmos, a lasting memory to what we and the earth were. Eventually, what we have owed will swirl, will combine with each other and with space dust. And what was once debt will, then, wait patiently for the acquisition, for the nudge towards becoming a galaxy. This could be space dust, this could be floating single-celled organisms, this could be hydrogen or nitrogen or oxygen. But, something. Something to add to this negative collection of numbers and even it all out again-to form oceans and valleys and mountains that drip rivers. And, life would begin anew.
Allister would bake in this oven of cigar and pipe smoke and absurd ideas. And he would breathe in deep. He would absorb it all or as much of it as possible. He would sprout wings where his arms were and remove the top of his head, tilt it over, and let his brain spill out like yolk and sit. There was too much to think about. One needs to escape. One needs and must tip thoughts over. Like one of those glass globes filled with water and flakes. Where you turn the globe over and the flakes collect at the top. You set the globe back on its base, so that the city once again sits upright. And, just like that, it is snowing underwater.