Continued from previous weeks…
Everyone relaxes for a moment as they listen to the heavy footsteps recede farther into the forest.
Mona: “Did you at least make whatever that was go away, Gary?”
Gary: “No, not even that. Again, I can’t do any of this taking-something-different-out-of-infinity stuff now that I’m not high anymore. But maybe, just maybe, if we all believe in it together…kind of like believing Tinker Bell can fly.”
Ritchie: “Again, Gary, tell us what to do!”
Even the wino draws closer to Gary.
Gary: “First you’ve all got to understand…”
The wino’s hands shake violently as he reaches for his bottle. Mona spreads her hands out, palms up, looking a question. Ritchie throws his hands up, rolling his eyes skyward.
Gary: “Look at the sky…all of you.”
Gary: “What color is it?”
The wino, looking confused, scratches his head. Mona, looking helpful, and Ritchie, looking murderous, both say, “Blue.”
Gary: “Who says?”
They all look confused.
Gary: “Suffice it to say there’s a nice factual explanation. Now tell me what you see hanging over this forest.”
An innocent, hopeful smile blooms on all three faces as they look in wonder and speak as one: “Smog!”
The wino, suddenly sober, starts to laugh.
Gary: “Nice factual explanation for that, too. Smog is caused by cars…except they haven’t been invented yet.”
Steady now, the wino stops laughing, frowns and holds up a finger. “I remember reading once how the smog in L.A. is actually from natural sources…”
Gary claps a hand over the wino’s mouth, grabs the bottle he didn’t get to drink from before, and then pours wine into the wino’s mouth so fast that he almost chokes.
The wino frowns for a moment, but then blinks, sways a bit, and rejoins Mona and Ritchie in looking hopeful.
Gary: “Reality is in the eye of the beholder. How else could we see both a forest from prehistory and the smog from our own time? It’s only because we’ve all somehow agreed that both are here.”
They all look confused again.
Gary: “Go back to why the sky is blue. The only reason we think the sky is blue is because our mommies told us the sky is blue, and their mommies told them the sky is blue.”
Mona perks up. “And if we ever colored the sky a different color with our crayons, someone eventually corrected us.”
Gary: “Now, all of you, listen to me very carefully: The sky is orange.”
To be continued next week…