It was under zero degrees, Fahrenheit, outside. There were blizzards all night.
There was a new HATE therapy group being started at the city square building.
Albert wanted to sign up for it.
He scrambled to put his pants on, over his long Johns.
"Don't forget your rubbers dear." Charlene his wife called, from the other end of the apartment.
"How could I go anywhere, without my rubbers?" Albert thought to himself, putting his shoes on.
The apartment they lived in was much like a, "railroad flat". It was the first floor, of a, three story,
building, in Ottawa, Ontario.
"The snows about five foot deep, in places."
Charlene broke crackers, into the baby’s soup, as she spoke.
Albert wrapped a long scarf around the collar of his navy pea coat. He had two sweaters underneath, on top
of a shirt and long sleeve under garment. He wore thick corduroy pants. He pulled a black woolen thick stocking cap over his
head, of long hair, over his forehead and over his face. A set of eyeholes permitted him to see.
Albert's beard popped out, of his scarf, as he pulled it away, to speak, to his wife.
"I'm going to Allen's place."
Allen had expected a visit.
Suddenly Albert remembered something.
"Where did we put that HATE mail subscription blank?
Albert was astounded with the progress in psychological therapies since 2025.
"Oh Albert, I threw it out."
Albert paced up and down a bit; he thought to himself but said nothing, to upset his wife. ‘God damn,
that was a half price subscription offer, I hope I can get another one.’
"Albert it was too expensive."
"Expensive-expensive? Wait till I come back from the HATE meeting I'll bring you some folders.
"Albert, you shouldn't go there."
"You won't come back."
"But I always said Charlene, what we really need is organized Hate therapy groups. You would expect it couldn't
be too expensive. I mean a thing like that should have government subsidies."
"I heard it's a very expensive proposition Albert.”
Albert smiled. He kissed the baby and Charlene then stepped through the kitchen door into the long hall before
the outside door.
The cold hit Albert as soon as he stepped into the hallway. Before he opened the final door he bent to put
on his rubber boots. Then he put on his heavy mittens.
He stood before the outside door in a second or two of peaceful meditation, much like a prayer.
Inside the apartment, Charlene put a log on the fire in the fireplace.
As soon as Albert opened the door the cold, snowy, wind, hit him square in his face and blew him about, as
he struggled to be on his way, down the path from his door, to the snow covered streets. He was lucky to be well bundled for
The last time, Albert had spoken to Allen; he had been close to committing suicide. A mess, near death, repeated
in Albert's head as he managed himself over the icy snow covered streets.
Albert nearly slipped and broke his neck twice on his way to Allen's boarding house. Albert couldn't wait
to hear the next installment in the life of his friend.
Allen thought his watch lost track of things.
Couldn't he understand it was this way, he thought, as pulsing energy rebounded in combinations of rapid
and slow waves?
That's the way it really is, he thought, reaching his hand out, among the colorful waves about him, as if
to grasp them in his pleasantly sensitive and somewhat inflated fingers. It was wonderful to see and feel so comprehensively.
Albert knocked on the door, outside Allen's apartment, in the hotel, that was actually an old inn.
Opening the door, Allen recognized his friend, with a greeting, "Oh Al, I hardly recognized you.
"I guess my watch was in my shirtsleeve."
He pulled the sleeve from his watch and looked at the time.
"Just on time." Allen continued, hardly aware of the actual time at all. "Come in Al."
Allen felt almost like a murky lake, suspended in some gaseous compound, some how buoyed up, as if he was
Albert came into the space, removed his heavy overcoat and moved toward the electric heater, in a corner
of the chamber.
"It's nice and warm in here, Allen."
"Oh yeah." Allen arched the lake as he spoke, with a broad gesture. Meanwhile, he floated closer to the easy
chair; he intended to deposit his, apparently liquid self, into. He turned and slowly descended, back end first, into the
padded landing spot. He noted his activity, though interestingly colorful, was probably as human as it ever was.
Albert pulled the coffeepot from the burner and poured a cup in a mug he had rinsed in the dwelling’s
”Cup of coffee?" he asked Allen, inquiring.
Allen’s eyes opened some more and he bent forward in a friendly way. “This could be interesting.”
Albert proceeded to prepare a cup of coffee for Allen.
Meanwhile Allen had regained some solidity and was caught up in the visible spectral emotions that swept
about him, in energy patterns. He forgot where he was and even what he was, enjoined in the celebration of colors and energy
fluxes that filled his senses.
"Allen, you can come over to the house, to see Charlene and my daughter Sheri, if you promise to behave yourself.
"What did you say, Albert?"
"How are you doing, Allen?"
"All right Al. I'm all right. Very high. Mushrooms."
"Direct from moon base three's fungus garden.
"A fresh batch. Real high."
Voices sounded to Allen as though they came through a long tunnel and originated from a great distance, echoing
in the space about him and colorful in multiple waves of many different patterns and velocities.
"Albert, I think I've found it. I know now what it's all about; it's so simple."
"It was that way all the time; you just couldn't see it."
"That's right Al."
Allen sipped on his mug of coffee.
His eyes saw colors running together like pools of liquid, as the usual realities of his existence continually
slipped from his perceptive capabilities. To Allen it appeared that Albert too had turned into some kind of puddle of shape
and color that hung suspended magically before him.
His cup of coffee hung in space on the edge of a larger mass of liquid color. The whole vision presented
the cup to his face where his mouth should be.
"I'll bring you home with me." The other colored pool appeared to say.
"I didn't want to do anything wrong, I don't want any one to suffer, Albert."
"Allen you're not doing anything."
Albert dried Allen's tears with a paper towel.
"Come on; let’s go Allen."
Allen put on his over coat and boots.
Albert looked so different, but he was still a good guy.
There were color forms on a light machine that illustrated the movement of music playing on the little DVD
machine on the boarding house dresser.
The lake that was Albert helped the other puddle of liquid color get into his clothes.
"That's great music Allen."
"Thanks Albert, I got it in New York the last time I was there.
"Did Charlene cook anything?"
“She will, if you’re hungry.”
"That's great, I love her stews."
"You know Allen you look damn high. Are you ready?
The two murky pools of liquid moved toward the door.
"Are my rubbers on Al," Allen asked?
"Yes." Albert answered as he turned the doorknob. He held the door open.
Two puddles floated out of the door to the, freezing cold, street two floors below.