While we were waiting for February, Commander 14 dropped some overt arrows on everyone via text messages:

ATTENTION! Nonchalance is on the move! Yet there are KNOWN VECTORS at KNOWN LOCATIONS, placed right under thine NOSE! Lose your nerve?

Refer to tomes: THE WANDERER and POLYHEDRON ENERGIES on pgs. of KNOWN VALUES. Revisit transcripts! And INVENT your trajectory. Over/out: C14.

February showed up right on time a day later. A new command appeared on elsewherepublicworks.com (“&_radio”) which described both the radio station details and “Faye’s Video, Shoe Lace Recycling Drop-Off & Espresso Bar” at 3614 18th Street where one could borrow radios free of charge. Jewel-encrusted radios.

So let’s pretend we borrowed a radio right then. And then we went to Dolores Park to listen to the new broadcast. Like this.

The program was most of the January broadcast with an additional 40 or so minutes added. Among the topics covered:

After listening to the entire broadcast, we tootled on over to Force of Habit Records to pick up a CD. At first the guy had no idea what we were on about but quickly glommed and dug up a copy. We then went to The Curiosity Shoppe, but the World’s Smallest Postal Service wasn’t around. We went to Paxton Gate, there were teeth there, but they were dinosaur teeth. Crumbly asked about wooden nickels. They knew nothing. After we had left, Crumbly said, “Well, do you think that was it?” because earlier I had said it was just a suggestion to pop in and look inside, not really understanding the gravity of the situation. “Yeah,” I said.

Back at Crumbly Donut’s place, we eyeballed the CD and some of the liner notes were about Peggy Lucien, Eva’s mother: “Among her many unfathomably unique qualities was the fact that she had actually joined and followed five out of the nine communities represented in this collection.” One of the tracks on the CD was created by Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released sarin on several Tokyo subways in 1995, killing twelve people. Let’s take a casual look inside the Global Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Hearings Before Oh Just Read The Photo book which contains an article on the beliefs and practices of Aum Shinrikyo. Appendix B features a list entitled “The Cost of Devotion”: training/items that visitors and followers to/of Aum Shinrikyo were/were ordered to undergo/purchase.

I like the “supposedly” weasel word, I enjoy pretending it’s a freaky variant of Pascal’s Wager. To approximately convert the list’s yenned items to dollars, just scrape off the last two zeros. For example, Bardo’s Enlightenment, a delightful series of injections of “unknown content,” would set you back about 3000 USD. That’s a bargain in any currency, though I’m a bit more partial toward the eleven-day intensive training course in “Madness.” Cheaper than the shots, too! But one shouldn’t be looking for a cut-rate path to enlightenment, oh heavens no. Cults co$t. Do not be poor if you want to join a cult. We are not interested. I mean they. They. They are not interested.

Then Crumbly found a seekrit hidden track on the CD (#62, duh) that was a 17-minute recording of a young Eva and her mother travelling to Elsewhere in REAL TIME. A sound engineer started the track off by giving the latitude and longitude of the start location, and then: “Tape is engaged at Chula Lane and Abbey Street facing Southwest.” A quick star wipe and we’re there as well, standing at a convenient road marker pointing the way to begin the journey to Elsewhere. The feet are facing the exact wrong way because ... well, I don’t know why. Anyway: REVERSE ONWARD!

Eva kicked things off by counting down with her mom (christened “Penelope”) and addressing “Brightwell,” the listener (you).

“Let’s start walking Northeast on Chula Lane. [...] You can see the old cemetery on our left. Thousands of Indians who died of Spanish diseases were buried right here. They’re underneath us, right now. [...] People think it only took a few days to make an Indian hut, but it actually took a few months.”

The fenced-in cemetery is part of Misión San Francisco de Asís (“Mission Dolores”), the oldest building in San Francisco, but it wasn’t open. It actually survived the big earthquake of 1906 whereas a building right next to it collapsed. The Misión is constructed of adobe. This bears repeating: the oldest building in San Francisco is made of earth. If you would like to work with adobe because of its low cost ($0), heat retention, cradle-to-cradle material properties and other reasons, go suck an egg because by the time you leap through the government’s pernicious permit process hoops of fire, you’ll probably pay more than you would for a “comparable” grossly inefficient typical standard American home that is built to self-destruct and burn like crazy. Weird how that works out, it’s almost like the government is more interested in generating income for itself than anything else (Cf. Garbage Warrior [1 2]). America continues to exhaust itself fighting the environment, fighting the land, because there’s a buck to be had doing so. Whoa, where am I?

We found some metal discs marked “PATENT PEND. CITY OF NEW ORLEANS U.S.A.” anchored in the ground, surrounding Mission Dolores and the church next door at regular intervals. I saw them in New Orleans awhile back and wondered what they were; my friend who had wondered the same thing figured it out during his previous trip and he wisely left us all hanging out to dry. I don’t remember if we got close or actually figured it out, but yeah, I’m going to leave you hanging as well. It is a puzzle that you can solve with your brain, not the internet.

Peggy at one point heard a noise, but Eva explained that it was Pomponio, a “mute ghost that talks to me sometimes on the playground.” Then they crossed 16th and onto the large landscaped median of Dolores Street. Peggy started counting the palm trees, and we ended up at one with some strange markings.

The fairies have visited this date palm! “They come and go as they please ... Elsewhere, in fact. It’s like a secret shortcut to Elsewhere, but we’re too big to fit in it.” I will now list major date shake purveyors, ranked in order of awesomeness.

Then Peggy started zoning out with semi-intelligible babble and Eva had to yell and clap her hands to get her to snap out of it. “See the lamps on those buildings? I hate those lamps. Remember the fairies I told you about? That’s the dungeon for the fairies ... they get stuck in there all the time.” “Here we are at Commander 14’s house ...” At this point Crumbly walked up to a guy tending the yard of the house and asked him if he knew anything about Commander 14. He did not. “... and right next door is our house!”

There’s an empty lot next door to the house. Later on, I accidentally fell into some research on the area. It didn’t make sense to me that the lot next door was a lot always and forever, I imagined (using the power of imagination) that Eva’s house was on that lot and it had since been scraped. You know, I’m always reaching for the bittersweet, though the other contending house wasn’t doing so hot either. There was a church on that corner lot at one time (which came from this 1956 v. 2007 comparison). The church was destroyed in 1993 in a fire. The home next to it was slated for demolition in 2008; there’s more about the church in this article. And ... I’m just noticing this now: there’s a photo of the church in one of the windows of the house. The mind ... a steel trap of trapping.

Eva dropped her books off with Blair at the house, and then exclaimed: “Let’s play hopscotch! [...] This is a game of Interdimensional Hopscotch. It helps you practice how to get to Elsewhere.” And right at our feet, there are some faded lines that look like a warped hopscotch board. Eva started calling out seemingly-random hops: “1 4 7 E triangle L blue 2” and then hit some sort of Warp Zone and called out from across 15th. “BRIGHTWELL! I’M OVER HERE!” After this, she recited Shel Silverstein’s “Where The Sidewalk Ends.” A little while later, as they’re walking by one of the horrible microwave harassment cabinets that plague the cityscape, Eva said “I always get headaches when I walk by these green boxes.” Peggy concurred and they walked faster to escape the awful emanations. On our walk, it was be-stickered, thus warning the populace at large about the danger. Then she asked Eva how she drew her hopscotch boards, and it was about then that we noticed a second Interdimensional Hopscotch board. They crossed Guerrero, ran into another hopscotch board and cabinet, a pretty bike with streamers and such, a tree, and pointed out a candy shop that made the best “toffee suckers.” Then Eva said hello to Mr. Books: “HI MR. BOOKS!!!!” He helped develop THE TIME CAMERA!

After a small walking interlude: “Here we are. Look down. [whispers] You can tell we’re getting closer to Elsewhere ... because things get smaller here and quieter ...”

I knocked on the door, no one answered. I checked the lock, but I didn’t want to get a tiny B&E so we left.

We all crossed 16th street and arrived: “And here we are! Adobe Books.” Eva then started reeling out directions to a specific area in the bookstore. “... turn in this aisle toward metaphysics and the occult. We’ll leave my mom here ...” Eva then led us to the children’s bookshelf in the middle of the store. “Kneel down and open the little door. Look inside, see, in the window? It’s me!”

We opened the little door and there was a miniature version of one wall of Adobe Books inside. Above the bookcases, however, there was an octagonal window. In the window was a display of Coit Tower and the surrounding area; tiny carspecks raced up and down a street (Kearny?). “It’s me”? Eva is Coit Tower?

Eva continued: “Now slide the door shut, listen closely. You need to look on the shelf for the book on Interdimensional Hopscotch. It will tell you what you need to do. Thanks for going on the walk with me and my mom. See you in Elsewhere! Bye!”

We looked on the shelf for the book on Interdimensional Hopscotch. We’re not SAPS. It was attached to the shelf by a wire, and contained pages and pages of a phrase, “5F-5@V@NT5.”

Crumbly immediately said “Well, you have to enter that somewhere.” I took the book and went through all 300+ pages to make sure there were no other hidden messages. I got dizzy and my head hurt. Underneath the copyleft declaration was a hidden message, ENTERONEPWASTE. ENTER ONE P WASTE? Well, if there was an “I” between the “S” and the “TE,” that would make a lot more sense. And sure enough, there was an “I” that we had missed. ENTER ON EPWA SITE.

So when I got home, I ENTERED IT ON EPWA SITE.

NONCHALANCE ASSESSMENT :: RESTRICTED ACCESS

And thus began a short volley of questions for which I had almost all the answers. The display read something like “How are you?” And I typed “&_Great!” and it said that that was good. Then it asked who the guy on the radio program was and I said “&_Commander 14” and it said “Of course.” Then it asked me where I got the CD and I told it and it said “Okay” and then it asked the title of the book and I told it and it said “Yes yes” and this is funny part. Then it said: “Did you pick up a tooth?” And I was sad then, because Crumbly Donut was right ... AGAIN ... and I had thought we had scotched the deal. So I typed “&_no” and it said:

Hm. I think you need to get yourself a transcript of the program.

Send an electronic message to C. Fourteen, and he’ll provide further
intelligence. His encoded secure address at this domain is provided below.
Remember to keep it A SECRET from those who might exploit true
Nonchalance for nefarious ends.

4.7.4 1.8.7 3.3.3 6.1.2 5.3.4 4.11.5 6.1.4 3.3.2 1.3.5 6.2.1 5.1.8

I had some crazy ideas how the code worked, but they were all wrong. After sitting on it overnight, I sent it to a cryptologically-minded friend of mine, who sent back the solution pretty much at the exact time I figured out that each triplet stood for [line].[sentence].[number]. I sent along an email to the decoded address indicating my desire for a transcript, and a little while later I got a response:

  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
                               ATTENTION!!!
  :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
                   DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SHARE
                    THE CONTENTS OF THIS MESSAGE WITH
                            ANYONE WHATSOEVER
  :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
               THIS IS A SOLITARY PRIVATE TRANSMISSION
                     INTENDED SOLELY FOR TUNGSTEN
  : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
                      READ THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
                           THEN DESTROY IT
  :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
                              COME ALONE
  :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
                      PASS PHRASE = HOLLOW EARTH
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
                              TIME = NIGH
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
                             c/o C14 [EPWA]
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::

The attached document was optical crazytime.

“That is the worst font ever.” Then I noticed the letters were actually composed out of bulldog clips, and I mellowed a bit on my initial harshing. Guess I forgot to destroy the document. The patch appears in I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me by Trevor Paglen. Near the appointed date, I got a confirmation email.

  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
                               ATTENTION!!!
  :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
                         CONFIRM: TIME = Y / N ?
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
                        CONFIRM: PLACE = Y / N ?
  :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :
  :  : :: : : : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: ::
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::
   : :: :    :  : :: :: : :::: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :
                             c/o C14 [EPWA]
  : :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  :
  :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : :: :    :  : :: :: : : :::: : :: :    :  : ::

While waiting for the day of the event, we happened to be randomly strolling past 580 California and asked a whole bohemian if he had any hobo coins on him. He spoke in a language we barely understood, though it was liquor-breath-accented. He was not a carrier. Some time after that, I was attending the The 2nd Annual NorCal Regional Grilled Cheese Invitational and noticed Frank Chu, who certainly qualified as a “local street personality.” He didn’t know what I was on about. He had no coins. Though he did have a card.

On the day of, Crumbly had an appointment around the same time so we teamed up. On the way, we ran into some street art that sounded familiar.

Pobresito? That was one of the posters in Cooper Alley. That little bastard shore likes boobies, I’ll tell you what.

When it was close to my appointed time, I went down to the payphones and had a look around for people who didn’t fit the landscape. It was raining. There was one guy with an open briefcase near the bus stop that I wanted to hover around for awhile, but it was almost three and [SFX: RING RING] no time.

I picked up the phone; it didn’t work. Then I got a call on my cellphone. It was Commander 14. “Now listen carefully. I am going to need your pass phrase.” I obliged, and C14 continued: “Attention! The green energy archons are thought to be affecting a class seven penetration across the secret frontier. The closure of a temporal vacuole is imminent, repeat, imminent! Without physical jamming to offset trans-neural interference, a negative loop cascade sequence could be initiated. Absolute concentration and elimination of lag time will determine the vectors set by this operation, concluding in decryption mode ’Chinchilla.’ Err wait! Did you hear that? This line has been compromised! Further communications must be re-initiated at another, more secure location.” C14 described where the second payphone was and had another code phrase at hand to prevent interlopers from horning in on this critical communique.

“When I say ‘ornithopter’ you say ‘jumpsuit.’ Ornithopter!”
“Jumpsuit!”
“Ornithopter!”
“Jumpsuit!”

Unfortunately I couldn’t quite make out the bit in which C14 indicated which way to go on 24th. West ... or East? He mentioned something about “cars and art” and there wasn’t much art to the West, so I went the other way and found some art in a tiny parking lot.

A nearby phone rang.

“Ornithopter!”
“Jumpsuit!”
“Now we can get this transaction rolling. The time is nigh. Now, listen quickly. Dance! You heard me, dance! I say, dance! It is imperative that you now dance, I hope you dance. This interaction can not happen without rigorous physical jamming. Now get off this phone, and DANCE, MOTHERFUCKER!”

So I danced a little peppy dance in the rain. A B-boy type carrying a giant 1980s jambox entered the parking lot from down the street. He was smiling at me, I was smiling at him, because we both knew something was going down, he was a part of it, and I was about to be. He set the jambox down on the ground. He started dancing. Music started up from a black SUV parked forty feet from the phone. The passenger door was open. I ... should go over there? I danced over there. A woman in the driver’s seat laughed and waved me back, I laughed and danced back to the phone. Then the sasquatch type appeared. First there was no sasquatch; then, there was a sasquatch. I didn’t notice where it came from. Seemed seven feet tall. It began dancing with us. We all danced in the rain. After the song ended, everyone stopped, a “heavenly chorus” started singing, and the sasquatch slowly lowered a flat package to me at arm’s length. I grabbed it, we stood there for a moment or three both holding the package, and then the sasquatch let go. I said thanks and waved to the B-Boy and the sasquatch as they rounded a corner or something. The phone started ringing again, so I picked it up and it was British Lady, followed by the sounds of chinchillas. Decryption mode: Chinchilla.

Omigod omigod omigod ... I was acting like a kid in a candy store, or really a kid who just got a transcript from a sasquatch. I tucked it in my jacket and checked in with Crumbly Donut, telling him nothing. The library is also where the copy of Magill’s Cyclopedia was that Blair used to leave messages to Eva. He showed me Magill’s Cyclopedia ... and the letter was still in the book. Crumbly left. He had the same “Instant Sasquatch” experience I did during his jamming session: first, no sasquatch; then suddenly sasquatch.

My gut feeling about the guy with the open briefcase appeared to be spot on, though I’m not sure how they got the second angle. Maybe they pushed the camera into a sturdy, friendly bush.

“With a danger of getting too carried away on our own pretensions we state that it is through dance music and dancing that we are able to get momentarily back to the Garden. Of course in the clear light of day this is all very silly.”
The Manual – Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty

After Crumbly came back, we looked at our transcripts for the first time. Right, like I had patiently waited for him.


Say, why not continue on to the next part: Transcript.