You roll over onto your side. It feels like your back is on fire. Your head is pounding like someone is operating a jackhammer inside your skull. Even your teeth hurt, although it feels like they're not all there anyway. You feel as if you've been run over by a truck. Your eyes are swollen and sore. You gently shake your head in an attempt to regain your bearings. Things are still very blurry. The last thing you remember was Morris the mailman... or was it a glass of rum punch. Someone was calling you Susan, but that's not even your name... at least you don't think it is. Your ears are still bursting with static every so often. You bring your hand up to your mouth and notice that your lip is swollen. That's when you look around and see the mess... the room is in complete disarray, with the exception of a perfectly arranged set of metal cups circling a stainless steel flask with a picture of a pink elephant on it.

You start to realize that you're back in reality... somewhat... and that the last several hours (or was it days? weeks?) of your life have been a blur of subconscious images come to life. Or maybe this is just another one of them. Or maybe all those flashes of bizarre imagery were actually reality and now you're somewhere else... hallucinating or dreaming or imagining. Maybe they're doing tests on you again. Again? Did they do tests on you before? Me? Do you mean me? Yes, I mean you? You realize that we're talking in your head... or maybe it's just you talking in your head. Or maybe the TV is on and your eyes are closed. Are you listening to the radio in your thoughts? Or is the radio thinking about you? Maybe the DJ will get around to playing that song you requested. You know, the one that makes sense? It sounds like Elvis. Or maybe that's just a flashback. You look down at your body from above the room and see that you're dressed like Elvis... old elvis... the one made of bad plastic. Right down to the porkchop sideburns and the bloat... it's you... I mean, it's Elvis. You're trying to figure out if you're dead or if Elvis is dead. Or maybe both of you are dead. Or maybe one of you is only pretending to be dead. Or one of you is only dying to pretend.

I mean, as much as this doesn't make much sense, at least it makes much more sense than anything else has for awhile. You know what I mean? Am I being mean? Does this mean anything? Is it the mean, median, or mode? I mean, could it be worse, is this average, is this the best it's ever going to get? Are you getting too deep? You look down at your feet and notice your ankles are tangled up in a pair of fuzzy dice. There are piles and piles of pennies all around you on the floor. There are piles of floor all around you on the pennies. Piles and piles of floor. There is a lot of floor. You are floored. The carpet is your pet and you're petting it. It's a nice pet. It knows how to stay and it listens when you tell it to stay. Right now you're staying in one place and your body isn't moving. Or is it that you're moving so fast it seems like sitting still? Are you really in a car going 120 M.P.H. on the highway? It's so hard to tell.

It sounds like someone is playing piano down the hallway. Hallway? I thought you were in a room. You thought you were in a room. You realize you're in a hallway. It's a hotel. You're laying on the floor in the hallway of a hotel... paralyzed by your own mind... unwinding into infinity. Finding order in the chaos. Finding fractals in the ceiling. Making peace with the voices in your head. Running your tongue across your teeth and counting them. Are they all there? All you all there? Who's there? Where are they anyway? You think they're in Las Vegas. You realize you're in Las Vegas. What are all these ice cubes doing all around you? Piles of them are everywhere... pennies and ice cubes and carpet and fuzzy dice and teeth... back to counting the teeth. Where is that song you requested an hour ago? Last week? Ten years ago? Whatever.

What's with all of the words all of a sudden? Before it was just pictures, thoughts, memories... something... snapshots of something you either experienced or imagined that you experienced. Maybe you experienced imagining something. Maybe it was a horrible accident. Maybe it was bliss. Maybe you've just been born and somehow you're 26 years old all of a sudden. Maybe your false memories are a result of the time travel. Time travel? Maybe the travel is just a result of the false memories. Maybe false memories made you go all the way to Egypt in search of a professor who didn't exist... when suddenly someone at the hotel poisoned your drink. But it's NOT Egypt, it's Las Vegas. You already told me that. I mean I already told you. I mean, you thought it. Maybe I heard someone say it. It could have just been lyrics from a song. Someone left the radio on but it's only static... but there is a song in the static if you listen hard enough. There's something in the clouds if you look hard enough. There is a song in the clouds coming from the static on the radio. There is a hand reaching down to pick you up off the floor of the hotel. It's Morris. You're back in the courtyard. Or is Morris in the hotel? Or are you Morris, lifting yourself up off the floor? Are you looking in a mirror above the sink in your hotel room? Morris, are you okay? That's just Morris. He's our mailman. He's a little strange. You're a little strange, Morris. What is all this carrying on about? Why isn't the mail delivered yet? Why is it just laying in piles all around this hotel hallway? Why are you carrying a porcelain hand around with you? What happened to your teeth? Why aren't you answering me? Morris? I'm serious. The supervisors don't find this sort of thing amusing. Where is your uniform? Why are you wearing that ridiculous costume? Can you hear me? What's going on here? The manager of the hotel is on his way and he wants to know about the broken furniture and the things you threw out of the window into the pool. What's with all the broken guitars in the room that's registered in your name? You have a lot of explaining to do...

[an error occurred while processing this directive] please believe I'm only traveling bloated elvis - fat elvis - elvis dying on a toilet twisted torn and tied in giftwrap bows a river named insanity