How my travel's through the 10 Dimensions Began
The man sitting across from me laid his arm along the length of the booth and gently tapped his finger on the pleather interior. He gave me a smirk from the side of his mouth, expecting that I would be dumbfounded by his remarks, and suffice to say, I was.
"So, in essence, though in every other universe you are incredibly powerful and rich, you choose to live in this dimension because of… the coffee?" I asked in bewilderment.
"Well, that's the main part of it, yes." he stated as he sunk deeper into the lush booth chair. "I mean, in all my journeys, the one thing I've learned above all else is that it is truly the little things that matter."
"But, couldn't you just buy the coffee here and then return to one of your other selves. Kind of like, well, a drive thru or something along those lines?"
"Well, yeah, I suppose I could, but who wants to make that much hassle?"
"For unlimited wealth and prestige? I'm sure there are quite a few people willing to make the sacrifice of a couple of minutes."
The man then began to rub the stubble of his chin with his bony hands and gave me a raised eye-brow. "I suppose for someone not versed in trans-dimensional travel that that would make sense."
I suppose most of you reading this inquisition are bound to wonder what in the name of OatenMeal I am talking… scratch that, I'm sure you have no idea of who OatenMeal is so I will simply say God for the sake of simplicity, is talking about. What is above is an excerpt of my first meeting with Grandola, vagabond traveler of the 10 dimensions. This meeting occurred about, roughly, 5 years ago when I was working as a clerk in my towns local Audiophile shop, something similar to a record store. One night, as I was closing the shop, I was throwing out the old issues of Talking Heads Magazine, when all of a sudden, before my eyes, a man appeared out of thin air. Now, being the first time I ever had a man appear out of thin air before my eyes, I was quite surprised, and as such, fainted.
When I later came too, I found my self seated in a plush pleather booth at the Yoko Canteen, the local town eatery. Sitting across from me was the man I mentioned earlier, Grandola. He was drinking a cup of Vienna Mocha coffee through a fram (straw to those from your home) and looking quite happy with the taste. He eventually came to notice that I had come too and greeted me with a large grin.
"Well, there we go now, awake and all is well, be seeing you," he said as he began to inch himself out of the booth. "Don't worry about the coffee, I already paid for it, and in fact, ordered one for you as well." Grandola then stood up and quickly started to walk out. Luckily, my mind was functioning at an almost normal level and I was quick enough to grab the sleeve of his bright red jacket.
"What are you?" I asked as I stared up at him and his scruffy appearance.
"Me?" he asked "Just a man like you. Ordinary in every way."
"But… you… you appeared out of thi-" Grandola quickly put his hand to my mouth and slid back into his seat at the booth.
"I would actually rather that we kept that little fact between the two of us, as is, ok?" I slowly pushed his hand from my mouth and firmly placed my elbows on the table, leaning forward to get a closer look at the man before me.
"Um, sure, but, how, um, how did you do that?"
"I sent a signal from my brain to the various nerves within my arm in the hopes of covering your mouth before you blurted out some secretive information. Is that all? I really must be going."
"No, I mean, how is it that you appeared out of thin a-" once again, the man quickly threw his hand to my mouth in an effort to silence me.
"Hush hush," he said as he waved his finger in front of his mouth in a gesture implying secrecy. Our waitress walked by our table, sliding my drink in front of me in a haphazard style, spilling half of the contents on the counter as she prepared to quickly seat another customer. "Now then, as for you question, I did not, how should I say, "appear." In reality, its more like I, hmmm, re-formed."
I once again pushed the mans hand from my mouth and continued my inquiry. "Re-formed?" I asked.
"Yes, such as it is, I've never appeared, or disappeared, but more so, kind of, dissipated into something like mist."
"Well, it has to do with concentration. Some people are able to maintain several versions of themselves all at once, I am not quite so talented."
"I think you've lost me."
"Oh, that's right, you're a local, aren't you?"
"Well, not really, I mean, I moved here when I was like 20. Before that I lived in San Alamo."
"Yeah… you're a local." he said as he rolled his eyes. "I guess I should introduce myself a little bit better." he quickly extended his bony hand to me as a greeting "I am Quakerlen Grandola, traveler of the 10 dimensions."
I slowly gripped the man hand and gave it a light shake. "Come again?"
"I'm a dimensional traveler."
"I got that much, but… huh?"
"I guess I should explain some things. First off, your world, it isn't the only world."
"Nope, you live in the 6th dimension. All in all, there are 9 dimensions, so far. This, of course, doesn`t include the main dimension though."
"I think you may have to slow this down for me a bit, I'm afraid." I said as I slowly slipped into the corner of the booth. Grandola gave a small sigh and adjusted his butt in his seat, preparing for what would obviously be a long story.
"Are you going to drink that?" he asked as he stared at my coffee.
"Um, no, be my guest." I don't think that I truly needed to respond to his query because as soon as he had finished speaking he immediately snatched the cup and began to savor the aroma of the drink. He took a long, irritatingly so, sip from the coffee and cleared his throat. He then looked me straight in the eye and began to speak.
"Ok, try and picture this. Suppose that time is kind of like a tree, it grows strait up, however, it has branches that head in different directions… on second thought, scratch that, time doesn't have that many branch's, and unlike a tree, time doesn't end." Grandola took another long sip as his scrambled through his mind for a better simile. He slowly placed the cup on the table again and then began anew. "Actually, pretend that time is like a never ending highway-"
"High what?" I asked, in obvious befuddlement.
"Oh, that's right, you don't have those here… hmmm… ah, I know, pretend that time is like a successful television sitcom."
"Now, as the length of a show goes on, and the popularity rises, it often happens that a person creator will try and maximize and the good and create a spin-off series. The Mary Tyler Moore show had Rhoda, Cheers had Frasier, Seinfeld had the Kramer-"
"Whoops, forgot where I was, omit that last one. Anyway, throughout the span of all time, every once in a while, some even occurs which could either work out to be maximally good, or maximally bad, at times like this, OatenMeal creates a-"
"Um, yeah, OatenMeal, he'd be something like an executive to the T.V. show. What he does is decide when would be the best time to try to take things in a somewhat different direction, and as such, he creates a spin-off. So far, OatenMeal has created 9 spin-off's from the original program, and you, you inhabit the sixth spin-off. Understand?"
I can't fully remember, but I'm sure that drool must have been leaking from my mouth because Grandola made me feel like a complete and utter idiot. "I'm drunk, aren't I?"
"Perhaps, I wouldn't know."
"So… I'm a spin-off of something big… and you have the ability to travel between spin-offs?"
"That's right," he said as he took another long sip from his coffee.
"So, when you appeared out of thin air… you were returning from another dimension?"
"Well, not all of me, just my consciousness."
"I'm not following you."
"Well, its like this, within each spin-off are similar characters. As one of these characters, I can only be one show at a time. The essence of my being is always present in each show, however, physically, you can't bring something from one show to another. In each show, I look exactly the same, but the situation in which I live in is different, as such, the matter that is me disperses when my consciousness is not present in one self. When I appeared in front of you, my consciousness was returning to this show, and my body reformed."
I gave Grandola a long, long stare, and slowly began to wonder what I had unwillingly gotten myself involved in. I then banged my head on the counter several times until the voices in my head stopped calling me an idiot.
"Um… are you ok?" he asked as he started to reach a hand to my shoulder. I quickly slapped his gesture of kindness away and ran my hands through my shaggy coarse hair.
"I'm fine, FINE!" I took a moment to compose myself and straightened myself up in my chair. "OK… so, why is it that you can travel between these spin-offs, and I can't?"
"Because, I'm from the main show."
"The main show?"
"Yeah. Its possible for anyone to do it. however, OatenMeal has only made the existence of the other shows known to the main show. As such, he's only given the ability to move from one show to another to the cast members from the original show."
"Wait a minute, are you saying OatenMeal is Yugo?!"
"Well, most worlds would call it God, and in a sense… sort of."
"What do you mean "in a sense sort of"? It either is or it isn't."
"Well, OatenMeal has never admitted that he is Yugo, or for that fact, ever denied it either. All I know is that he decides when to create dimensions."
"So, well… when exactally did all of these "spin-offs" occur?"
"As I said, whenever an event could either be maximally good or bad. The first example would be kinda towards the beginning of time. Dimension one was created around the time the dinosaurs all died out. In the spin-off, they didn't die out, and in fact, evolved into a state much like humans. As it is though, their all rather ugly and don't really like the outdoors that much. It's kind of like a world of shriveled up old people."
"You're kind of bigoted, aren't you?"
"I'm just trying to simplify for you, I could elaborate with specific details and the like, but I'd probably just end up leaving you more confused." Grandola then took his final gulp from his coffee and let out a enthusiastic "ahhhh." "Well, if you'll excuse me, I really must be running now." He then once again began to shimmy out of the booth in preparation of leaving. This time, I quickly jumped from my side of the booth and sat at the end of his side, barring his exit.
"I'm not done yet. I have more questions."
"Of course you do, all locals do. The thing is, sometimes you just need to find answers for yourself." He tried so slyly slip over my lap, but to no avail.
"What do you mean? These aren't things I can answer by myself!" I exclaimed as I banged my fist on the table. The man once again sank back into the corner of the booth and motioned for me to return to my original seat. I begrudgingly returned to my seat and once again leaned forward with avid interest.
"During my travels, I've lived through 10 different versions of myself. In one dimension, I was a tyrannical reptilian lawyer who controlled half of Pangae. In another, I ran the worlds largest chain of retail bowling stores. In another I mysteriously inherited a fortune when my great-uncle died after being run over by a Sno-lax. However, through all this, this universe remains my favorite."
"Why is that? Are you some sort of super-hero here or something?" I asked, stunned to realize that I was probably talking to someone the likes of Bret Gates.
"Well, no. In fact, in this world, I work as an garbage man."
"A… garbage man?"
"Well, a technition of mass waste extermination, truly, but that's not what I truly love about this place."
"I should hope not," I said as my jaw remained dropped in disbelief. Grandola gave me a quick tap under the chin to shut my gap and then let out a small chuckle.
"Ya see, what keeps me here is… well… the coffee."
"Coffee?! You stay here because of the coffee?! Are you an idiot?" I screamed in a spat, unable to comprehend what was so great about the coffee in my world so as to make a man give up all the luxury of the universe. Grandola let out a chuckle out how I lost my composure and put his hand to his shaking forehead, trying to steady himself from his hysterical laughing fit. As his laughing spell slowly came to an end, I attempted to once again calm myself. And this, of course, brings us back to what I told repeated for you earlier. At this point, Grandola took one look at the clock on the old oaken wall and a let out a quick "shit."
"Oh man, I've wasted more time then I had planned, I really must be running. Take care." He then jumped from the booth and ran to the door. I stayed in the booth a moment, trying to figure out what had just happened, and then leaped up from my own seat and rushed out the door after him. I looked both ways down Benedict Boulevard and attempted to see where Grandola had run off too. I looked left to find he had gone east toward Confederate Street and then craned my head to the right to come to the realization he hadn't gone west towards Lee Avenue.
"Grandola! Where ARE YOU?!" I screamed at the top of my lungs in frustration. I stomped my foot in rage and threw my fist up in the air, as if in the belief that by beating up on the street that I would somehow be able to make everything right again. "YOGO DAMN IT!" I paused a moment in my ranting to correct myself. "OATENMEAL DAMN IT! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"
It was at this time that a feeling came over meet like never before. Everything became blindingly light and I began to lose the feeling of all the limbs on my body, while at the same time, being incredibly sensitive, sort of like getting acupuncture. You know the needles are going into you, you just can't feel it. I felt myself being pulled elsewhere, while, at the same time, I didn't feel like I'd moved an inch. I made sure to keep my eye's open to the blinding light in fear that I might miss something crucial, but inevitably was forced to blink when my eyes dried out. After I'd blinked, I found everything had returned to normal. In front of me was Benediction, to my left, Conference, and to my right, Oswald. I turned around and began to walk back into Yoko's in order to use the phone to quickly find that Yoko's was no longer there. Instead, standing in front of me, was a large building with one word on it in large crimson letters… OatenMeal.
It was at this point that I first met with OatenMeal, and my troublesome travels through the 10 dimensions began. Looking back on this moment, I can only fondly remember one thought that had popped into my head.
"I could really use a cup of coffee."