To look at/buy, first two books in series go here:
I was standing on the sink and my jeans were rolled up. Our ceilings are arrogantly taller than necessary, so even at six one I don’t have to worry about getting my head chopped off by the ceiling fan.
And maybe I shouldn’t have been…but I was—I was smiling and by now the heart slowed down and the dial tone had stopped laughing at me. Its cry faded and I just shook my head and that’s all you could do after you forgot about these so called anger problems—it was nice to be me again. There was a hum coming from the kitchen but the static was gone and the blue tiles are a perfect choice—I was calm and no longer criminally insane and yeah it was nice and the drags of my smoke were satisfying but then no I’m sorry it wouldn’t be true if I told you otherwise because I didn’t stop after I broke the phone against the tile floor. And maybe it was possible that I lost my mind when I walked to my tool case and grabbed the hammer and five minutes later walked back into the bathroom and flushed the fragments of nothing down the toilet. Now there’s a chorus that explains you can only laugh and it was a pretty crazy scene but luckily the girlfriend was gone and that reminds me…so did you know that the basic yellow number two pencil without an eraser at the bottom can be used (during war time) as a weapon? Remember that and let’s move on. Let’s get back to the investigation: The next call was the worse dead-end yet and I was real pissed and here I was. I was back to square one and there wasn’t any sign of my agent. It just didn’t make any sense and the storm of everything was out of control. I couldn’t find J.R anywhere. He was gone just like the numbers and like everything in my life—everything was gone—it felt as if he never even existed.
Weeks went by and more phone lines no longer were in service. The web page from the agency was gone and like always J.R covered his tracks like a spy and finding his location was impossible—I always knew that—and I mean this guy (my damn agent) even set up his social networks to display status updates with automatic and prearranged messages. Nobody knew he was missing in action and I was alone and completely disregarded by everyone I trusted—but it still didn’t matter and from there the story was about the great hunt. I became the man I lost in the south. This is when Henry Oldfield was back in business and like the old days I became obsessed and didn’t stop. I kept with THE GOING and I kept digging and based on the evidence of looking at things well… it looked like the world ended and as if even the leaders were jumping off the boat without saving the women and children. Who knows why the nice and normal acted this way and it’s my guess the boiling water looked better than the sinking ship—that’s why I kept working and I called and messaged and nothing. Nobody knew a thing about who was in charge anymore, and so basically I was told nothing and I knew nothing. Like everyone else in the world I only wanted to know what was going on, but like so many others who ask I couldn’t even find out how to talk to the right person. I was on hold—while I was on hold I thought about suicide and about the different names of the shades of green that are used to stain refurbished bookshelves from the mid nineteen thirties, but still…nothing…I waited and I thought about good sex and bad sex and the upcoming basketball season…still…there was only a ringing dial tone….
“Hey, this is Henry Oldfield, do you know this man? His name is J.R… he knows…”
“Can I talk to them?”
“You can talk to me” they said.
“Well then who would know about this?”
“Mr. So & So.”
“Sir, I think you’ve been misinformed.”
“That’s very possible and if so can you tell me more about what’s going on?”
“THE GOING. Sorry for yelling but I’m frustrated WITH…”
“Alright so can I talk to Mr. So & So?”
“You can talk to me. I’m the one in charge here….”
“Alright… so can you tell me about this?”
“Mr. So & So.”
I’m waiting again and there’s only the sound of smooth jazz mixed with new age bullshit, and it’s horrible and I’m on god damn hold again…
“I’m sorry Henry but before you hang up would you mind taking a short survey for the constant improvement of customer satisfaction?”
“What? I’m not buying anything. HELLO? This is crazy talk. You don’t even sell things. I’m sorry for yelling… Hello?”
“Hello Mr. Oldfield. Would you like to take a survey for the sworn declaration of the constant improvement of our customer satisfaction? It will only take five minutes of your…”
“STOP and listen alright. I don’t have time for a survey. But seriously can I?”
“Sir I’m sorry for the inconvenience. You’ve been very rude to our employees and are you happy? Look at what you’ve done. You have a young man crying here and he might quit and end up the streets. I heard about you…just please call back and talk to a supervisor during proper business hours. It’s the weekend. Good bye and have a happy day.”
This above conversation didn’t go exactly like that—but that fact doesn’t really matter because the phone is a mother fucker and it happened almost like that and it was always strange and generic and I’m only giving one example of a talk that I had with basically everyone in my life for a very long time—and especially when I was trying to find J.R—and I didn’t like any of it— and from one day to the next I thought I was about to have a nervous breakdown… but no…I didn’t do that. I kept my cool and there were two choices: I could live or I could die and my life was another bad word. I’m just saying that the experience was frustrating and it took many calls and many hours and cost me many good times and in the end I learned that nobody knew a thing. There’s wasn’t much to go on and even though Mr. So & So was a billionaire it doesn’t seem to matter to anybody that he’s dead. His history lasted less than ten years and then it burned quicker than the Library of Alexandria. His information was gone forever and there weren’t any bones left and not even one single follicle of hair—and I’m pretty darn sure about one thing…and that is So & So can’t help me find J.R. because what their obituary said was true: THE WORDS READ DEAD!—but not so fast…
This troubling fact that informed me that Mr. So. & So was dead didn’t help because I needed them alive and I couldn’t make sense of the situation because the person who had the information literally led into a dead end. The newspaper print stated that Mr. So & So fell from a horse in the Ozarks and bled from his head and was dead on arrival and this isn’t a happy story—it’s just the truth—and it was sad and nobody cared and even the people who worked for Mr. So & So refereed to them as “boss” and “Mr.” and they told me once that they mailed So & So his letters and messages—and how was the possible I thought. They didn’t know. Come on. But it’s true. They didn’t read the paper and nobody bothered to tell them—to them it didn’t really matter that their boss was dead—they still got paid—and so before the line was disconnected one employee said…
“I know nothing.”
It wasn’t their fault. Something big was going on here and I didn’t know what and for all I know they could have been robots and it wouldn’t have changed anything about the past because for some reason they never realized that their boss was dead. But still it didn’t matter and everything kept chugging along and nobody was held accountable for much of anything other than a time card. And nothing could help me and nobody had the information, at least the information that I was trying to find. So that’s why I didn’t know what to do—because it felt as if I was a dog chasing his tail—and I should have called it a day but I didn’t. I went mental and then I remembered a person from my past and how back in the day it got rather ugly: Graduating before my masters with a criminal justice degree I had an old pal who now worked in the F.B.I. We both played baseball and liked to drink beers and both of us liked to…let’s say…’party hard’…. you know…young man college boy in the Midwest of America types of things…
And so during the very beginning of the twenty first century this guy was a very loyal comrade—he was basically just like a brother and for confidential reasons I’ll give him the name:
It was just another day. I felt terrible and I still hadn’t discovered anything about Mr. So & So—I needed to come up with something…wait a second…and then it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps an old friend could help me. He could say no but I didn’t think he would because I remembered that he owed me a favor for bailing him out of jail when he was caught by the police back when we were students—and it wasn’t a good situation because they were in swat gear and he was dancing on the top of a car and the car just so happened to be on fire during a riot after the big football game…I think they won…and please note: Some people don’t realize that I have a very good memory. I never forget and as soon as he was out of jail I told him, “one day pal, I’m going ask you for some help”—and so I wasn’t joking and now almost fifteen years later I needed that help.
Before I called I was in complete denial. My life seemed good. Pel and I forgot about our problems and it seemed as if we were in love again—and for some reason this happens with adult relationships. They go back and forth and it wasn’t bad… no… it was good and I’ll save the suspense because as you already know it would get bad…it would get very bad—but not now—because it was good and there was that high before the low and it’s difficult to explain—and even though it’s there well I don’t know how to explain it really—it’s just that some kind of delusional euphoria takes a hold of you and that’s what it did to me—American Love once again grabbed me with a coat hanger and I was blinded by it—it’s what I wanted. I wanted love because she was (I thought) my true love. I forgot about everything that happened and I was happy and at this point of my young idiotic life I was hopeful about everything—and the outlook was unnaturally optimistic—I was still looking for J.R but this game was different than before, because this time he vanished without a trace and I was having fun with the pursuit. My old pal…well… I still had his contact info and so I messaged him and he said,
“For you old friend…why not. I got nothing else to do right now. It’s been pretty dead around the office lately. Send me what you got.”
“I’m actually in town for a conference. How about some drinks” I said.
“Alright, sounds good… meet me here.”
It’s strange because for slightly less than seventy two hours the F.B.I worked for Henry Oldfield. Damn…what a story, and it only happened because DarkGizmo1983 was my friend. Back then he was a smart kid and now a decade later he was a real working man, and here we go here’s the scoop: Looking like an old black and white movie that ol’ dancing criminal cleaned himself up real good and found himself a job. He worked for the United States of America in some grey building located in Washington D.C.—and while I was in town we got some steaks and talked about normal things and it wasn’t until after dinner that we got another round—and pulling up my sleeves well that’s when we got down to business.
“I have to get home to the ol’ ball and chain. No more gin. You drink that like its water man. I guess writers are writers and writers are some mighty fine drinkers. Anyway, so I’ll get to this so called Mr. So & So….just… first thing tomorrow. Is that cool Henry?”
“Thanks man. It’s kind of like I’m your boss now.”
“You haven’t changed a bit, you know that pal…”
And I was pretty drunk and talking to a lady with my eyes. He reminded me I was engaged and after he said that to me we both shared a good laugh and then he left and I sat for one more round…alone… and then later on when I got back to my hotel I was feeling pretty darn good about life. I was thinking I might get some clarity concerning this Mr. So & So—and I say that because I knew that if anybody could find some evidence it was DarkGizmo1983. He was paid to do exactly what I needed. He was paid to do official dot connecting for a living—his normal position title was: Special Conduct Data Mining—and I didn’t know what that was and I didn’t want to know—and the very next day I woke up in a good mood and the phone rang and it was nice because the sun was out. But I overslept because I drank too much at dinner and…
As it turns out he couldn’t do a damn thing either. And He tried. And He wasn’t a slacker. No. DarkGizmo1983 did the best he could and even He couldn’t find the information.
“Hang on Oldfield…”
But there was more to the story because before he hung up the phone He said he only found…
“That makes no sense…”
“I know Henry…”
“So nothing writer man. I have to go back to work now. Peace…”
“Yep… that’s it.”
The truth is my old friend wasted tax payer’s money doing my research—and during the early hours of the forth day The Federal Bureau of Investigation severed all professional relations with Henry Oldfield—but needless to say it was interesting when DarkGizmo1983 told me,
“I don’t know. I’ll send you what I found. I don’t want anything to do with this…”
So alright…stay with me—what happened next in our story is that the story itself got even crazier when I was informed that during the research phase he ran into a strange anomaly, an empty pocket of mass, a cluster of dark information that resembled a fundamental property of the Natural Universe…
“What is it?”
“Man like I told ya’ I don’t know… probably a screw-up.”
After he said that we had a good laugh—and if you have real good friends that you’ve known for a very long time—then you know that you can speak over the phone without proper words using a sort of silent slang called tone— and the reason that we laughed was because right away we both knew that it wasn’t a screw up because as it turns out in the future all of society will learn that what DarkGizmo1983 stumbled across had yet to be named—but it’s now recognized as…
“The Free Forming Digital Black Hole.”
“I don’t know… that’s what science calls it. I have to go. I’m thinking of quitting soon and moving back…”
“Back to where…”
“Don’t do it…”
“Don’t tell me what to. I don’t work for you anymore.”
“It wasn’t a joke. Bye.
And like I said, I’m a writer, and it’s a very weird job.
The truth won’t be written because it’s gone—or it never happened—well it did—it’s just that there’s no paper trail to follow—And so who was Mr. So & So? I don’t have a clue. I don’t think anybody does. Are you confused? I am too but don’t skip that big problem—but at the same time don’t bother with the confusion because there’s not enough time—we have to keep on with the story and so here’s more of the scoop: My friend had an office staff of five working on my investigation until they called it off. I asked why they stopped and was told,
“We have to do some real work now.”
“Real work? What is…real work?”
“Shut-up. I don’t know Henry. It’s weird. I can’t find anything but conflicting general details of normal things. Your Mr. So & So is officially both dead and alive. He has an active bank account and flowers are placed next to his gravestone by his grandchildren on the date of his birthday. It’s actually very troubling and a bit creepy that nobody has fixed this glitch yet. I don’t think anybody but you and now us knows a thing about any of this nonsense.”
“OK. But…what is… THIS?”
“That’s the thing pal. The internet was so new back then that our databases and search queries were either not backed up properly or have been moved around to another branch, probably Salty City or Roswell, but I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter. But I don’t have time to do your research because… you know… I work for the Government and have to keep my job…”
“But come on man, I’m THE PEOPLE” I said.
“No Henry. You’re not.”
And what a letdown—it was the same old thing. I was handed another defeat. But what I knew was what was stored in the skyscraper wasn’t there anymore. The record vanished off the face of the organized planet and me and my friend—we didn’t know what to do so we went to the bar and talked about college and got drunk, and after that we went our separate ways.
DarkGizmo1983 is now a family man. He moved from Washington back to College Town in Michigan. He quit his data analysis job and no longer works for the government. I call him The Information Man. He calls me Idiot….
I only know what he tells me, and as a hobby once and a while he’ll send me new scoops that he thinks I’ll find interesting—other than that we have a normal social relationship. The same as you would…and my old pal currently teaches classes at a local community college and the last time I talked to him I asked him why he left such a nice stable position. He told me he got depressed during his time with F.B.I. He then told me he didn’t want to talk about this anymore and asked if we could talk about the Detroit Pistons. I said “sure”.
The Information Man calls me about once every six months and we discuss what aging men discuss. We talk about writing and books and how much he hates his wife, which is now his ex-wife, and for less than an hour we discuss modern day problems of modern day America, and every ten minutes or so there’s a good chunk of silence and after that one of us laughs and says… “And so yeah…”—and then a couple minutes later the conversation is over—and so I thought the investigation was over too, and that’s because for a long time we didn’t talk again about what he did while he was working for the government, especially during those three days I had him looking for background information concerning my mysterious Mr. So & So—and these days He’ll send me emails and that’s about it—we do this because both of us thought it was better for the overall story to…you know…just let things quiet down a bit—and that’s what happened—we grew up and talked liked pals talk….nothing too serious and even though it happened we waited for the right moment in time—and after the death of history we became good friends again. The information man even asked me to be the best man in his second wedding but regretfully I declined because I was going to South America to get some research done for my next book. He thought it was over but no. It wasn’t over. Not for me—the investigation carried on and the midnight oil became an inferno, and from that point in our story nothing would ever be normal again because when I get bored I’m a determined man—I had to know—I had to talk to Mr. So & So. The reason for this was because whoever this guy was—he was the one person I thought could tell me where and who MacArthur really was. It wasn’t easy and once again I ran into the same damn problem… which was nothingness.
There was this empty voice and the scoreboard went dark. I was stuck and there wasn’t anything left. I didn’t have any leads and I didn’t have any help. There was nothing and I was back to where I started…nowhere.
J.R was still missing and what I knew didn’t matter—what I know is this: THIS (confusion) is normal, because what the rest of the population of the United States didn’t know was that very small seamlessly insignificant fragments of three years in the overall history of everything was gone, and you couldn’t go back to where the problem started because there was nowhere to go back to anymore—My pal knew this and I knew this because THIS was the anomaly we discovered—but it didn’t matter and so the only thing we could do was give up—there was only the nothingness of confusion and THIS—that’s when the case of history went cold.