May 8th, 2001


As Promised, the full explanation

M is for the many things she gave me. The Space Womb Quectzochotl, I mean. I never decided if she was more like a crystal, or a moon-sized amoeba, but in the end I guess it didn't matter. The things she gave me you cannot hold in your hand - you can barely hold them in your mind. They are ideas, but at the same time, they're places not bound by space and time. They're dreams that cannot exist without taking a real shape. Perhaps they're poems about space debris, or perhaps they're rituals, or perhaps they're algorithmic instructions. I cannot forget or understand them.

E is for the eyes of a panda bear. Apparently, the vitreous humor slows aging, or enough people wanted to believe it did, because there was a huge black market for it when my uncle first arrived in Hong Kong. He wasn't out to fight an endangered-species organized crime ring when he arrived. He was just trying to find out what had happened to his wife. Two years later, he was missing one of his own eyes, and owed over a million pounds to the City of Hong Kong, but he was a legend in the slums. He did finally find his wife, but once he found out what happened, he wished he hadn't.

R is for the reticular activating system. I'm upgrading mine to interact with my home entertainment system, which is vast and contains multitudes.

O is for old school gangsta. The Sugar Hill Boys needed some perl scripting done for them two years ago, and it turns out I had some free time, so I did it for gratis. In return, they told me something, and made me promise to keep it a secret until Cinco de Mayo year 2001. (Sorry to be keeping it from you for this long.) Rap did not start in the mean streets of the United States. The real Old School was over sixteen thousand years ago, in Antarctica. NASA is suppressing samples carved into caves there. They've been translated from a proto-Linear-B writing system:

---- (_ +.\ ^v^_=
---- Anh Pgeh-thso Hemut
---- ("The assembled will encounter me in the crossroads")

---- o/0 |~| (_ < <
---- Kabeh Routh Kle I I
---- ("I will have a buxom woman by [each] side")

---- (_ @. +/ ==
---- Anh Joh Tzer A-A
---- ("The assembled must not attempt to challenge my metric scheme")

---- #. @. _-= ((_ `.`.
---- Rodu Joh Kye-A Kluh Wikkity-Wak
---- ("Otherwise I will [hurl/scream] a harpoon into you")

NASA kept the information out of the journals, the crew told me, but the notes of the expedition came into the hands of urban youth, whose culture was rejuvenated by the ancient Antarctic secrets of these lost cities.

V is for The Void, an 18-and-under dance club some friends and I started in high school. We rented out an office complex during the evening every Friday. The sound system was improvised different each time, but generally ended up with higher fidelity and volume than commercially available systems. All in all, we had about a thousand attendees or so each week, but, despite out public success, the whole enterprise went under because our bank refused to deposit any checks made out to "VOID".

I is for icebergs. The crystalline structure of an iceberg is rigid but brittle. Sound imaging into icebergs is a rarely-pursued field, but glacier work lent some suggestions on how to do it. When the project was complete (this was during my internship in my undergraduate days, so forgive me if I get details wrong), a small pocket of non-ice matter was found in the center of most major icebergs. The original conjecture was that this matter was a "seed" around which the iceberg froze. When the geologists cracked open one of the larger ones, we found out that was quite incorrect. It was a small plastic decoder ring. Other icebergs, we found, had "3-d glasses", super-bounce balls, number puzzles, and jacks. The professor leading the research group resigned without tenure, and i haven't heard much about the project since.

N is for nets. When I was born, on the way to the hospital my father was stopped by a man with a big bushy gray mustache carrying hundreds and hundreds of butterfly nets. He was handing them to passers-by. Each had a name on it in cheerful letters, and people seemed quite eager to get them, if a bit confused about how the man knew. The man gave my father a butterfly net labelled "Nigel". My father explained that his name wasn't Nigel at all, and the man flew into a murderous rage, chasing my father several blocks, throwing butterfly nets at him.

G is for groovy underwear.

I is still for icebergs.

A is for arrest. When I was living in Texas, my elementary school had a big graffiti problem, so they brought the police into the classrooms, to scare us away from more graffiti. The first time, the police officer was friendly and paternal. The second time, after more graffiti appeared, the officer was stern but caring. The third time we were threatened with time in juvie, and all of us "got the paddle" because no one snitched on the person doing it. We all felt angry and betrayed, and so we snuck into the school at midnight. We all brought our paints, and formed six-year-old human pyramids, which I'm sure were simply adorable. By six AM when classes began, the wall of the main building portrayed a thirty-foot-high image of Officer Travis. Every pore, every hair, every fold and wrinkle was perfect. It was not a caricature, nor was it even unflattering, but the administration was incensed and outraged. We got into more trouble, and actually were put into the police station. The next night at midnight, we snuck in again and drew a huge red circle around Officer Travis, with a line through it. Officer Travis disappeared and was never seen again. The whole class was arrested for sympathetic-magic manslaughter and stayed in jail for two days, but the DA didn't have enough evidence to convict, and discovered furthermore that there was no such crime.

N, as I'm sure you'd know if you were paying attention, is for nets.

Put them all together, and unite the stories into a cohesive whole, then find the "trace" underlying the patterns of these past events which shaped my life, and you have Merovingian. The username which means the most to me.