Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Nataraj Mundunga

Still working on the story off and on this edition has had some editing and pictures added

The Mundunga

We aren't raped in battle.
We either come out the other end with our foes spirits in our service or we leave to join our ancestors.
So, what is this person doing inside me shaking me? Am I awake?
What is wrong with his color?
He’s not wearing a paint people like my sisters and I imbue with knowledge and power. Why is he so pale?

I remember now the glance.

Something hit me and it had a very powerful charm attached to it because it went through not just my own charm but my sister’s defenses.  There were three others with me  who had the power of scores of ancestors behind them,
Something, one, all, very powerful put me here wherever this is.

The rocking it’s more than this man inside me we’re on the water.
I look left to a warrior laid out chained feet and hands and I ask him.

“Brother where we are what is this place?”

He was just a baby barely old enough to have his penis cut in the tradition of the male conspiracy we women were not a part of, but he was old enough to recognize what was happening to me and what I was if not who.

“A ship Mundunga” he grunted through broken teeth and dried blood.
“We lost we’re headed across the middle passage”
“We’re all fucked just like you”

A very concise report of our position for someone who had probably only been in a few battles if any. He did know enough to use the title of my position, but he didn’t know if I were healer or mover and that made me react.

I whisper the syllables that make the vibration that make the wood of this place embrace the water with the love absent from the thing that is performing on my bound body. 

The water on a molecular level  recognized the 99% of the wood that is just air and as I embrace the idea, the ship we’re on with 30 of these White things I sense and 400 defeated warriors I feel in various stages of disrepair, dives for the bottom of the waters like a raptor bird after a very fat rabbit.

I look left and the young warrior is smiling

“Thank you Mundunga” he mouths

It was the least I can do how we got in this position, defeated broken with me here just.

“Intolerable” I mouth.

The thing on top of me him I have clasped in my legs like a crab. I’m watching him scream out the bubbles of his life, but I’m not done with him even as his lifeless penis is done with me.

I think at him with much intent

“Welcome to eternity”

With the last thoughts on this plane of existence I show him what’s in store for him for we are Mundunga we know the pattern and are in contact with what is was and will be.  He will go in service of those to come and until then he’s going to service the ancestors.  They hold games that last millennia just torturing the souls of people that cross over with the vibration I’m imparting to him now.

Oh look it’s hitting him now game on.

I’ll make sure to ask him about it if it hurts in the next world.

When I’m sure I've seen the warriors I should of protected in battle over the trial of the water I’ve started I’ll go myself.

I think of the ancestors my direct line of warrior sisters and sages. Will those behind me hear my stories? Will they accept me?

Will I get to play when I get there or will they reject me or put me through another trial, Oh our Creator will I be forced to come back to live another life on Earth even having achieved Mundunga.

The ship has been on the bottom some time now.

The time for daydreams of what will happen are over and its time to face what will with the dignity of not just my office but my ancestors.

My warriors are asleep forever to this plane and at last I can think the words that make the vibrations that end this understanding of time.

The Scientist

The only person who calls me Algebra consistently is Motherdear my Grandmother who the rest of the family calls “Muhdear” but if I were the type of brother to say it like that I wouldn’t have marched across the floor in the 10th grade to bow before Chris the prettiest girl ever and say.

“Milady wouldst thou care to dance”

It was loud enough to make sure the laughter and the teasing sent me to the library the last two years in High School. I thought I was being so cool, but that was OK, if I were to be honest I’d say I fell in love with Tolkien before I fell in love with girls and I was and am far better with him than I ever was with them.

My name is Dr. Algebra Perry Davis III and says my title please at 27 they don’t give em away in Cracker Jack boxes and I’m proud.
I asked Motherdear once why the men in my family were named Algebra she told me in her Alabama patois she hits me for trying to imitate that they wanted us to be “smaht lil niggas” she can call me anything she wants including any flavor of nigger and besides whoever named us knew what they were doing.

When the nice White lady sat and tested me she didn’t understand what I meant by I can see functions and numbers. I think now she was shocked a 10 year old Black kid could describe what a function was, but she didn’t say it out loud or anything.  

I didn’t mind taking the test again when she didn’t believe the genius it said. I didn’t even mind taking it again for the State and again for someone else. Heck it got me out of class and it was summer. They didn’t let us play for the smog alerts wouldn’t let us outside to play on the concrete grass they didn’t need water the air was too bad.

My first orgasm came when someone showed me a fractal it was so pornographic it told me her name was Chaka and she wore shiny tap pants like the real one.  I still keep the equation next to my bed and before I TMI let me just state that since im going to be calling women “Milady” in the Information Age its nice math makes me happy.


They’re beautiful and loud with their red heads over vibrant green.  They’re wild and free they fly all around Pasadena. Somebody a long time ago brought some in as pets and they escaped. The climate around here must have really been to their liking.  They must be on their 100th generation of freedom and God has let them in from the desert and given them Pasadena as their Israel.

Pasadena was built by the kind of wealth so vast it doesn’t need to wear a watch because it determines who is late.  Let me set the environment for you.  It is linked to Los Angeles by California and the west’s first freeway what we now call the 110 or Arroyo Seco Parkway, but when it was constructed was known as the Pasadena Freeway.

You might wonder how having the first freeway in America means time waits for you, and let me tell you.  They built it purposefully with looping curves and lovely parks surrounding it. No engineer’s straight line efficiencies for these people.  Driving into Pasadena was meant to be an event and one you went to through beautiful environs and narrow lanes.  Consequently when I was a lad growing up just about every school in the San Gabriel Valley had a missing person from the graduating class who went to fast and plunged into the LA River or missed a curve and slammed into a tree. 

The blocks on this street are wicked long and are an artifact of it’s beginnings as one of the Southlands first millionaires row built by easterners one upping each other in their western retreats.  The names on the mansions read like a who’s who of early 20th century mega-money.  Busch had his first gardens Gamble had a mansion that used no metal fasteners, Wrigley chewed up a huge chunk with a lovely house that’s used as the parade’s headquarters today.

I’m lucky.

The house at the top of Fair Oaks was built like Pasadena was, by money. To actually buy a spot up here like this is way more than my salary or 10 times it can buy.

It has a granny flat I inhabit. The trust that now owns it seemed to die with the old lady whose’ father invented a new way to twist wire hangers. Maybe he was the chemist that made that boom go that much faster. I never hear from them.  I kept meaning to look him up on the net but some new Math article was always more interesting and sometimes scantily dressed.

It began its life after World War I as a horse barn attached to a car’s garage but its location high in the hills of behind Pasadena was choice.
I’ve never had a car and riding a bike downhill to class or downhill to my job was advantageous.
You’re way less tired in the morning when you have to ride your bike around than you are in the evening in hilly Southern California.

“Squawk”, squared even,  from the parrots. It looks in my head like a pointy triangle that calls itself Lenny because I thought of it as squared, and the avian New Israelites wake me from my morning reverie.

I grab my coat, grab my under bike coffee carrier full, and my ultra light racing bike off two hooks on a wall that probably held tack back in the 20’s.

It’s a beautiful day.  Most days are here even when the clouds are cold and grey against the mountains my pad is situated on. I look south and head into Cal Tech where I not only graduated but teach undergraduate mathematics.

Not a bad way to start the day at all.

The Drake

“Don’t tell me Motherfucker I was there” 
Said The Drake in a long distance phone caw to an OverSoul far and near away.
“The Drake threw down all day, fuckin eyeballs, didn’t fuckin have to shake my glass for that sweet eyeball juice to fill my beak, and I got high yes lawd. I was fucked up!” 

“Genghis Khan set out the best feast tha fuck evah!”

“Hey let me hit you back” someone hit a deer, and someone dropped a French fry and a dead fish and someone threw up and spicy Thai food. It’s all so good to The Drake.

Schwartz Malamud one of the few Motherfuckers The Drake can Caw a friend. That nigga was there too at Hurtgen Forest. Oh shit we got high guts all over the place they kept stacking that shit up.  Maybe my nigga had a point the US ARMY puts out some good eats true.

“I know Motherfucker I was there” The Drake Cawed

Hummingbird The Drake stabs it cause the motherfucker thinks he’s so smart.

The Drake is the agent of Karma, The Drake was there when those fools made the Dharma. The Drake got a special dispensation from the Creator when he got here The Drake has always been here.

The Drake is all about that Law.

The Drake aint no Lawbird.

Nawl motherfucker that’s so raven, The Drake is that Black sinewy Mandingo Crow joint.
My nigga Schwartz got the Talmud tatted on all his feathers gives no fucks who thinks its wrong.

Caw a nigga bout to go Jay-Z give me a motherfuckin beat.

There is only one Creator man,
Don’t go fucking around making idols and shit worship the One, damn.
Love that creator cause guess what that fool is you
Don’t use God’s name just keep it holy in all you do,
Every tick tock keep tight one day not enough for you,

Honor your before,
Don’t murder motherfuckers out da door,

Don’t cheat motherfucker and you know what I mean
or want the shit that go to a different team,

Prime Directive, Yo
you reap what you sow,
have some fucking integrity and do unto others G.

You’ll know your opponent they gotta wear the colors of their dream
You can’t enslave a soul know what I mean?

“Don’t tell me Motherfucker I was there”


Motherfuckers I hate them more than I hate those fucking hawks they just talk shit never do shit. 
I fly a symphony beating my wings that starts a party in hell.

The Drake would Caw a posse for a hawk maybe see if Schwartz wanna ride shotgun, but for one of those motherfucking little heads below? I could just shit on them or that little nigga on the bike.

The Drake motherfuckers recognize.


“Pops Maxie is hot again” I said into my 2 generations old smartphone
“No I don’t, and I’m on New York Dr., No Pops the freeway part!” to the questions Pops had about the Triple A and why I didn’t ask someone for their hose and some water for my overheating Nissan.

Glancing right I can see good Ole Pasadena High School by looking across a golf course and the idea of the 10 year reunion approaching in a few months filled me with as much loathing as the idea of walking half a mile back and forth to the gas station I can see If I looked in the other direction.

Just when I was about to get up a full funk of steamy Maxie here comes 30 colorful shirts a flight of high speed bicyclists swept by chasing me up on the curb and out of the bike lane. Out of the pack is a man not dressed for a work out but like a Black man that uses Steely Dan to outline the contours of his life.

It took him more time than the racers to get to me, but he did pumping with a look on his face like he didn’t have a care in the world or maybe something was tickling him.

“Algie” I said out loud as I thought I was thinking it.

It was nice as a woman to see someone you know pedaling at you on a lonely piece of street, but even more. He likes me, I can tell.

All women have men who want to like you. My mom’s Black lady ass and the breasts I have to supplement my bra’s engineering with arm crossing when I run make sure to that. I’ve never weighed below 200 (shh no one knows that) in my grown life.

I guess he sees or the wide brown eyes and perfectly oval hair follicles the Korean ladies sell I got from Dadaji. 

Funny I don’t think of getting my hair from my Dad but his. 

Maybe if I had known him better or at all really. 

Algie is getting closer not close enough for conversation but I hear him

“Natarsha Miladay your steed seems parched and dry”

God he’s corny but he’s cute.

He looks at me though I watch him never too long, but I know what he wants.

“Oh parched steel Equiis
I have rode miles her service
Perhaps for a kiss?”

“Haiku and Rennassance fair Algie? You’re so corny” but I smiled and hoped it didn’t hurt his feelings.

The enthusiasm he ripped the liquid carriers off his bike and dove under my hood let me know I hadn’t .

We met as grad students when we were both teaching a seminar to kids at the local City college just a block from Cal Tech. 

He would explain the math in my Astrophysics program like he was watching a movie.  Sometimes he’d get so engrossed it was like he was. I showed him something I had been trying to figure out since my first competition he said it was beautiful and reminded him of Kandinsky and he looked at me in the way that scared me to be alone with him.

We should have met earlier there aren’t that many field medal or Westinghouse winners in the country let alone two minorities kids from the same little cities in the San Gabriel Valley, but somehow he managed not to hear about the time the entire PHS senior class ditched and went to the beach, where I started my period unprepared in the one swim suit that held the girls and none of those bitches would give me a plug.

I got to visit Dad’s family in India in the summer a few times before I was 12 and Dadiji Dad’s Mom passed away. I’d tell her the same joke when I’d get off the long flight from LAX.

“Hi Cube Batman.  NaaNaa, NaaNaa, NaaNaa Batman”
“Yes, Nataraj that is indeed very funny, but I am not your mother’s mother I am your father’s” she’d say in the Indian patois that got me teased when I tried to imitate it in the 6th grade. 

She also called me Nataraj not the Nararsha that was Mom and Dad’s young lover’s compromise, but the Natarj I would have been had Dad not crashed with his Black girlfriend on the 110 freeway 6 months after I got here.

Maybe she wanted me linked to her even though I lived far away.  I don’t know.

Mommy was a song girl I still have tape of her dancing in her USC cheerleader’s getup those tits and ass looked better with the hourglass shape gene cut out by the part of the Sub Continent Dad’s family was from.

I think she would have wanted me to call her Mommy.

Pops calls her that he’d say

“You look like your Mommy doing this” or “Your Mommy sure would eat”
I don’t know I’ve lived 8 years longer than Mommy and he’s way less protective cause Algie is fixing the Nissan and he’s not already here.


Nice day though. the parrots roosting on top of a row of Deodar trees brought in among the many plants not native to Pasadena seems to agree, and Algie is coming to out from under Maxie looking successful.

1st Gear

“Walk like an Egyptian”  
Algie thought drowsily incompletely from inside a sleeping bag on top of a waterbed. “Walk like an Egyptian”
Something repeated from the one other room, and then
the music that compromised Natarsha’s ring tone started another day for Dr. Algebra Perry Davis III but this a full hour before the 6:00 am I’d usually get up.

I picked up my phone and called Natarsha, she must have left her phone over I thought  as the sleep rolling from my brain allowed me to recognize the ringtone. 

“Walk like an Egyptian”
“Walk like an Egyptian”

From the other room and  I hang up my cell letting my brain return to yesterday evening.

Natarsha actually got out of her car and came in further than she normally did.

“Step into my lair” I said hoping she would like to have a seat

She didn’t seem on edge when I invited her in, there were a few moments I thought I had a chance, but she didn’t stay long.  Just long enough to take 4 sips from a bottle of water that was the only beverage I could offer, and before I knew it she had to get back to something I couldn’t get her to explain.

So, I spent my night like so many in the past doing iterations my computer can do way easier, but they help me get over. I developed an variation  that was the spitting image of Mae West.

As I step out the front door to admire my view of Los Angeles proper the early morning reveals and the pockets of darkness of the money that doesn’t need street lights showed.

This huge crow started screaming at me from under the roof. He did it 3 times then 6 and 9 and it sounded like Monsanto or something to my mathematical mind as it tried to equate it.

Glancing to where he flew over The House I notice that the door to one of its wings was hanging wide open.  It’s not in my lease to do maintenance, but I couldn’t just leave it hanging open I thought as the Crow flapped from one tree to another.

“Who you tellin?, who you trying to help? The Drake? Motherfucker don’t you know I was there?”
Said The Drake on a very important long and short distance phone Caw.

“I seent the shit, shit was funny, bitch is dancing around enchanting incanting I am Mundungu, you will make it, I am Mundungu and nothing will touch you
and BANG.
Blue Eyes busted them tricks.

“He put two in the head and one off the dome that fool made motherfuckers turn dead cold”
Thought she was slick all on that ship
and another sailed her people on a cotton pickin trip”
The Drake cawed in his best Nate Dogg imitation.

“Raccoon on the road smashed out” the awareness tickled a piece of The Drake’s awareness, and The Drake beats wings down down between the cars to nibble on fingers.

Coon have declared Jihad been throwing gang signs for weeks.

“Well won’t be throwing up any signs with these digits” The Drake giggled enjoying the moments.  

Me and that nigga Bilal been rollin on that ass but I’ll be damned If I caw over a down soldier.

Bilal down too you can call that nigga 5 times a day and he’ll get you high.

“But who you tellin I said I seen all that shit I see it all I’m the Drake” Cawed The Drake but without too much chest The Drake been there The Drake ain’t no Duck this ain’t no fuckin Aflac.

After a shower and shine and tossing on some jeans and a purple
T-shirt reading Black UFO Hippies featuring a picture off a Parliament album and  uniform teachers tan corduroy jacket that young ones hadn't worn since the 60’s I noticed the hooks that hold my bike were missing the front wheel. 

Before I had the chance to walk like an Egyptian and call Natarasha’s phone again, she pulled up from behind one of the huge bushes the Trust doesn’t want to maintain smiling and waving.

“Exchange of prisoners my phone for this” Natarsha said holding out an ultra light front bike tire.
“Shibby, it was going to be hard going downhill doing the unicycle thing

 I was just about to go” I told her.


“The door” I mumbled absent mindedly yelling “hold on let me go close the door to the house” over my shoulder. As I turned to go close it I was really happy that Natarsha hoped out of the car and followed behind me.

We walked over to the door and going through it noticed  that a window high above the library the room was open across the room.

Santa Ana winds do blow” I crooned at  Natarsha surmising why the door was open in the first place.

I hadn't been in The House too many times before, when I signed the lease as an undergrad maybe a few times around holidays visiting the Old Lady. 

 It was as impressive as Pasadena was 100 years ago, almost like the stately Wayne Manor a bit in miniature that was also in Pasadena, but the intervening few decades were less than kind with the old lady old then no one in it and only me behind it.

The library was full but the books seemed like they had been hit with water a few times with boxes all around the floor from where the Trust must have gone through for anything of literary or monetary value.  Natarsha sat on a stack of 3 of them as opposed to the dusty chairs in the room.

I don’t know why I thought it would be rude looking at the things of people long dead, but I did, so I only caught glimpses as we began to put the papers away. Names, columns, ledgers, film tapes, a pink hat, all manner of things and as we almost had things tidy enough to close the door and leave I saw it. 

Elena Mumford said the name on the box, and Natarsha said “Hey she’s one of my heroes the one Rocket Girl!”

Sumina Corp! she explained and the outlines of the story returned.

Pasadena is anchored on one end by the Jet Propulsion Lab and the Sumina Corp was the home of the rocket boys and Sumina comprised the private part of the lab as well as a whole lot more.  They do everything from engineering to manufacturing these days and they have one of the few buildings the City fathers let grow taller than 15 stories right at the end of the freeway. 

They offered me a money job the moment my doctorate was accepted and I still might take them up on it now that I think of it.

"Who was Elena? The daughter" I ask Natarsha.

No silly she was the girl don’t you know her? She was brilliant she deveoped the patent on the radar that made Sumina what it was during WWII she married Sam Underwood, but before she could finish telling me about Sam I saw it.

 The tip of an equation.  It was a simple thing but it was so elegant so beautiful.

I had never seen an equation that hadn't introduced itself to me immediately before in my life but this one didn't it felt upset. It felt like it owed me something I couldn't tell what, but the longing in it felt like making me cry and I guess I must have been because it was Natarsha’s hands on me that broke me from sobbing.

Before the hug I'd suddenly hoped would come to Natarsha’s phone went off.

“No, Pops I’m not" she said into the phone, followed by "sure on the way down and in a few.”

“What time is it” I ask and she tells me from her phone 7:00 and I know there is no way I can make it for my 8:30 seminar even pumping downhill.

On the walk back to my little house I start dropping little hints about how late I’ll be and sure wish someone would give me a ride so I can be on time, and by the end of the walk she smiles and tells me as long as I didn't mind stopping by her Pop’s house and waiting for her to finish her class then she’d give me a ride back and forth.

“shibby” I tell her again making myself the only person to say that twice before 8 and think to myself how this going to be yet another beautiful day in Southern California. 

I hardly even notice that I put the Elena box in the back of her Maxima like it's mine.

2nd Gear

The next few months went by as if in a dream.
The days were as lovely as Pasadena, but for Algebra at least the nights were fraught with as much unrest as a pack of squirrels on methamphetamines.

It turns out the Elena box was Pandora for Algie and his sleep. After opening it and   seeing the sad equation and not understanding its nature Algie didn’t see Chaka nor has the bag that serves as his bed clothes seen much in the way of sleep.

Thankfully teaching undergrad in the math department at Cal Tech is a lot like teaching a group of violinist born with the skills of Itzhak Perlman Twinkle Little Star.

Not only was Algie content to let the 12 year old genius so ginger that 10 minutes of direct sunlight made him physically sick handle his lectures he almost had to.  He was used the result of any equation becoming instantly as familiar as the opening lines of Happy Birthday and without that ability finding the inadvertent sign changes and lack of mechanical rigor in his student’s work had become a trial.

Thankfully the nights of discontent were made shorter by all the evenings spent over Natarsha’s house, but not with Natarsha as Algie’s heart desired, but with her father Pops.

By the 3rd day of the sleep trial Algie was able to convince Natarsha that he couldn’t ride his bike and was a danger to society on the roads.

She didn’t complain about having to drive out of her way. It was a solid 5 miles north from the Bungalow Heaven portion of Pasadena where she and Pops lived to pick Algie up from his hillside perch before he taught his classes and she worked on her dissertation and completed her seminars for her doctorate in Astrophysics. It was as if they were a couple in all ways but physical and acknowledged.

As for Algie he didn’t mind hanging out at her house before being taken back to the barnarage he lived in.

Human eyes are naturally blue and any color the result of pigment. Natarsha’s Pop’s eyes looked like Frank Sinatra’s which belied the rest of his coloring which could best be describes as Mandingo.

It was uncanny how Algie felt like he knew him.

“I wish it was because I was spending so much time with Natarsha” Thought Algie, as he danced down to the basement of their home, to spend another evening with Pops, but it wasn't for Natarsha too had been bitten by the Elena box.  No, Natarsha had her own trial outside the equation of ultimate sadness that stormed Algie’s dreams.

“369 All Set”

Said the cover along with diagrams and Natarsha speak. 

The few equations in it were sullen unspeaking to Algie, but after Natarsha examined it she took ownership of the collected papers as if they were part of her diary exposing the most intimate secrets for her Pops to explore.

Algie found it hard to consider the writings and graphs as a gift as it had Natarsha running up to the clean portion of the house her room at the top of the bungalow that looks like a fairy house smashed on the 2nd floor from the street and a land where Algie was forbidden to go.  More like a curse because since finding it no dreams no deep sleep.

It felt like time would hardly pass before Natarsha would make an excuse Algie couldn’t get the explanation for then leave Algie with her Pops for the evening before she’d stumble out of her room looking either in rapture or upset to take Algie home for his bout of wall staring.

Outside the mission control center of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a fairly long hallway where there is a mural that contains art by the mission. When something on the Lab was completed a representative would paint on the wall a family picture so to speak of America’s success in space and there looking like the very Black dude in Django clothes on the back of the 2 dollar bill was Pops for 25 years of those trips.

By the end of the first month why Pops was so initially familiar to Algie hit the sleep starved thing his mind had become.


Algie yelled as he hit the bong passed to him made from the shell of what had been a light bulb costing $10,000 before blowing while testing spacecraft vainly attempting to imitate the sun, and taking 15 of its brothers with it.

The realization exploded into his consciousness.

Pops was Bugga Bear!

He had one line on a show Algie had caught all his life on TV Land the nostalgia network, but there he was forever Algie’s  age 28 but trapped in 1970 amber confirming the big Hollywood star’s every cute thought.  

Pops went to Harvey Mudd,  and JPL for years working in the public sector of the lab before retiring to Radio Shack’s American Pickers wet dream in the basement of the bungalow,  the Star of the show went onto multiple rehabs but he seems to have had a great life.

Natarsha’s Grandmother had left many years before unable to live among the clutter Pops collected, he  couldn’t stand to see the tools of the programs thrown away or sold for scrap that helped throw RVs of Science all the way to Mars and helped him fill other things.

As Pops tried to fill the holes in his life left by his beautiful daughter's death on the curves of the 110 freeway with the clutter and oscilloscopes that pushed out his wife, the weed was medicine.

Yeah medicine, and as for Algie not only was it nice to be social with Pops it gave him an excellent excuse to be near Natarsha plus Pops assured he would sleep with the shit he smoked.

Then Algie lost Pops too.

It was so thin that when it initially fell out of Natarsha’s journal Pops just grabbed it and placed it on top of a shelf to fall into the truly lost his realm could produce. 

It was a figure made out of a metal that nothing in the 25 years of engineering tools and devices in Pops bungalow basement could even scratch.

The best way to describe it would be an electric purple 2 maze

It got to the point where he didn’t even hit it when Algie passed him the bong made from the sensor that didn’t go to Titan because NASA didn’t think in the same units of measure as its European partners.

Pops had prodded, poked and was currently spinning it suspended between two magnet looking devices hooked up to more electricity than a suburban bungalow should have as Algie bounded down the stairs to the basement and noticed the clock that apparently was tracking the length of whatever experiment Pops was conducting on the thing.

The clock was calibrated in seconds then fractions of them, and as Algie noticed the clock tick away he noticed Pops staring in to the spinning top.  When the clock struck 22.140.000 it appeared as if the symbol inhaled ever so slightly and adopted a crystalline appearance.  Pops saw it for he startled which made Algie drop the bong.

In that moment in the bowels of the City of Pasadena Power department an urgent and unusual request was made by the computers that modulate the flow of power to the City. Pasadena was built by the kind of wealth that doesn’t depend on the vagaries of a national power grid it had its own generating capacity that could handle many times the load of a town like Pasadena, but now it was as if every electron in the system had been drained to the point the computers running the systems themselves had a headache. Out went the electronic call for more help which was answered by the browning of the San Gabriel valley then the Southland then the state and beyond.

The Mundunga came to awareness in the middle of a vision.  She was puzzled looking up at a sky that was crazily criss-crossed with thick black strands of things that looked like a giant spider had laid webs in impossibly straight lines, and insects that glowed in colorful and blinking patterns on the sides of what looked huts that stretched to the sky.

“Strange way for paradise to look” she thought to herself and then with intention she thought

“I am Mundunga”

“Yes Dear”, replied a presence that made the Mundunga drop any pretenses of her title and training.

“Mommy?” asked the Mundunga as a little girl named Nnede.

“We don’t have titles here” answered the presence and “Yes”.

Just then a small murder of crows landed on the strands of the web of the Nnede’s vision.

“You fucked up” said the biggest most magnificent crow Nnede had ever seen.
“who told you to leave your warriors?” The Crow accused

It then came back in horrifying detail what had transpired in some other understanding of time and with the memory came new understanding.

“I sent the warriors in my charge forward they are playing with the ancestors I could tell from the Young one I sent first I was successful I sat on the bottom of the sea for a long time I know” Nnede spilled the guts of her excuses and at the same time knowing them to be incomplete.

“You fucked up” said the crow again looking to his friends and laughing

“Why did you think that was the only ship to sail that day with your line?” and with that the Crow and his friends ended their conference Caw and Nnendi could feel the pain of her error.

“How many generations unreleased?”

“So many souls you’ll be busy baby” said the voice

“Do I have to go back as human Mommy will I know you again will I have to go through the Training am I Mundunga?” that and a million questions flooded Nnede’s conciousnss

“No thing is ever the same” answered Nnede’s mother and not Mother.

It was then the lights in Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley and then Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County and beyond went out as Pops spinning devise appeared to take on an entirely different hue.

3rd Gear

Natarsha dreamt fitfully.  She danced with her father wearing her mother’s old USC uniform, and she danced with Pops and she danced with Algie  she even danced with her 4th  grade teacher Mrs. Lackshmi.

She might have danced forever but then she heard “Walk like an Egyptian” and the ringtone of her phone awakened her to a completely dark room.

The first thing she thought about upon waking was the journal she had been captured by belonging to Elena Mumford, but she quickly detected its presence on her belly after having apparently slid off her chest.  The second thing she noticed was the time.

It was past 2:00 in the morning and she hadn't taken Algie home and as she jumped out of her bed to turn on the lights to the hall outside she noticed the lights weren't just off in her room but out in her house. “Pops experiments she thought” until she went outside to see if Pops Lincoln was in the drive way.

Natarsha was met by a sight that had not been seen in Southern California since Edison won.

The Milky Way revealed itself in all its glory incredibly bright overhead.

Natarsha obviously loved space she had spent her life so far studying the intricacies and fabric of the cosmos like a monk in cloister. Natarsha had traveled to telescopes and seen a dark sky, but never from Pasadena.

As Natarsha looked North towards Mt. Wilson and the observatories constructed before Los Angeles county became awash in light  to orient her tour of wonder she became even more delighted that she couldn’t find the big dipper among the riot of stars.

“Powers out, not just here everywhere, all over the state!” said Natarsha and Pops' sweet, friendly 13 year old neighbor kid Richie.  He and his father had apparently decided to take real advantage of the black out. They were currently in the front yard of their bungalow with one of those telescopes that come with 20 eye pieces but are impossible to point.

“Yeah Richie its lovely isn't it” Natarsha said holding her robe so as not to scandalize the child.

Natarsha then noticed that Pops’ Lincoln was still in the drive way and remembered Algie and Pops in the basement.

After pointing out a quick tip on some things to look for and confirming that their cell phone app that finds the stars was indeed accurate Natarsha excused herself and went to go see what Algie and her Grandfather were up to.

After securing a flashlight and the beam of safety through Pops world it provided Natarsha went through the kitchen and down the little hall to the door and then down to Pops basement.

The first thing that met her was the smell.  Natarsha was used to forms of combustion caused by Pops but this smelled totally different, and then she saw Pops sitting over his work bench with his head in his chest looking as sweetly sleep as she had been just 30 minutes before, but Algie.  He looked as if he had been knocked off the stool he normally sat on when he visited with Pop by a bag of angry sledge hammers.

Natarsha felt a pang in her womb as if she were heading down the world’s steepest roller coaster as Algie sat up to reveal that on the left side of his face was Mike Tyson’d an impression of the Elena symbol.


Natarsha exclaimed loud enough to wake the dead but not Pops for it was then that Natarsha became really concerned that her first impression of peaceful sleep might be wrong and went over to touch the neck and chest of Pops.

“Ow ow ow” Algie moaned coming to, and the roller coaster in Natarsha’s womb took another dip as she noticed the symbol had the same unearthly hue it had exhibited to Pops and Algie before the surge.

“Algie get up Pops is passed out I can’t wake him up help me” Natarsha said with mounting alarm.

As Algie seemed to be gathering himself he said simply “it hurts so bad” then he began to cry, but this time not like when he met the equation this time it was with the weight of generations of sorrow.

He felt the roads of the South after the Civil War and the pain of looking for ancestors long sold away.  He felt the waters of Ebenezer Creek and the cries of the drowned and he moaned.

Algie was no help to Natarsha in getting Pops up the stairs. The trip to Huntington Hospital and getting them both up the stairs seemed to Natarsha almost impossible at first, but she managed to wrestle them up the stairs, and into Pops 1967 Continental. Thankfully Maxie wasn’t behind it because unlike Natarsha’s Maxima. Pops Continental was kept in top mechanical shape.

After assuring Richie everyone was going to be alright and turning down the offer to call an ambulance Natarsha put Pops in the back with an assist from Richie and Algie stumbled in the front of the suicide doors, and Natarsha headed for the hospital.   

The Drake cursed loudly

“Bitch I don’t know this Motherfucker”
“This motherfucker wasn’t there and I was” said The Drake cawing excitedly over a crash nest he shared with His main squeeze Mary. “Who you callin a Bitch?” Mary exclaimed ruffling up her feathers as just as an impressive creature.

Mary was The Drakes Cawgirl they were tight been together forever like Crows do “shit she was there with me” The Drake thought

“So, who is this motherfucker where did he come from” The Drake cawed accusingly at Mary “he kind of looks like Sid Harta that pretty motherfucker with the high voice.

“First of all you ain’t shit, were never shit aint gonna be shit and couldn’t make shit if they filled you full of Ex-Lax, and just who the fuck do you think you are?” She caw louder than the last and then “he came from the same place as you”

“immaculate egg my ass” said the Drake losing some of his anger and then “What’s the little nigga’s name” The Drake asked Cawing down even more.

“Shit nigga I don’t know I just met him myself” Cawed Mary back shrugging her shoulders as if Crows had them.

Just then as if to test him The Drake vomited up some juice from a possum  he had  seen fall from a high branch and lain dead for two weeks “stupid motherfucker” thought the Drake “Fuck him shouldn’t climb if you can’t hold on” then as the little bird snorted it up he exclaimed “Hey! My nigga hit it tho. We gonna get high as giraffe ass together” and with that he and Mary cawed it a day.

“KNX 1070 News Radio” sang the am radio in Pops Continental as Natarsha drove west down Colorado Blvd toward the hospital. The reports however were not full of people enjoying the new view of the universe the blackout provided like Natarsha had only an hour before, but talked of people taking advantage of the fact the closed liquor stores were without power.

The reporter was discussing the sight of a man pushing  a powered forklift full of brand new high definition television up Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles when Natarsha banged into the wrong car full of young Black men.

“Let me handle this milady” said Algie stirring from the passenger seat and using the same Renaissance corny Algie had shown those months ago before the Elena box.

Algie hoped out the car with the bundle of insurance information Pops kept handily under the sun visor.  

Natarsha smiled at him, and smiled even more to hear Pops coming to in the back seat, and as Algie talked to the man even throwing in some kind of bow to the young man whose car she hit she truly wondered what Algie must have said to make the young man hit him.

It felt like he was hit by a battleship as the young man who identified himself as “Frankie..Cuz” slurring out the Cuz part with menace that showed he didn’t intend on being family smacked him. Frankie reached back and slapped Algie right on his freshly made and still quite painful Elena mark with a sound of a bat breaking. “Oh shit” exclaimed Frankie’s friend from his passenger seat “slapped the soul out of that motherfucker” and cackled in a poor imitation of Morris Day from the Time.

“It’s crazy what happens”  then “wow im a grown man” thought Algie as well as “how am I gonna get out of this” but upon contact Algie was surprised to find that it didn't hurt, not only did it not hurt, but the Elena mark didn’t hurt anymore. Just when he heard someone laughing from Frankie’s car the part of his mind that had not had sleep for so long woke up. 

The ability he had as the friend in the library and next to the bed woke up and he knew the nature of the equation.

“Mundunga” He thought.

It said it’s name was Nnedi and as he considered the prospect he thought about loss and obligation, but even as his mind made acquaintance with Nnedi his body continued to stand with the mark on the side of his face now glowing in the same eery black lack of color the Elena Symbol and Algie but not his essence stepped to the gangbanger appearing to the world as if lit by strobe lights.

Algie’s opponent took on the aspect as if he were moving underwater.  Algie easily saw the next fist and he grabbed it easily effortlessly. Then the essence that controlled him interlocked his fingers with those of the gang banger and broke them.

As Frankie screamed in agony his friend came out from the passenger seat of the car armed with what looked to Algie a pistol.
“I’m going to die” thought Algie as the second gang banger leveled the pistol and fired.

“The Glance” thought Nnedi and then so did Algie and as the bullet approached Algies head without conscious thought the molecules of Algies head made the vibration which caused the 99.99% of his head that is air no longer recognize their counter parts in the lead of the bullet coming at his head and it bounced of his cheekbone making a sound like a a curious tink as it bounced off the ground.  The same thing happened to the other 16 shots in the clip and as Algie and not Algie stepped to the gangbanger he smiled.

“You Aint Never Lied Homey”

Pops voice pulled Algie from the strange duality to find his hands squeezing the gang banger's face.  He was screaming loud enough to have gathered a crowd as if the gunshots and the man with the mangled fingers hadn't been and bleeding through his nose.  "Algie let him go"  said  Pops "Yeah jive turkey" said Algie just like his old star had.


Frankie and Cuz were hurt and bleeding but not damaged beyond repair after the
altercation  Pops and Natarsha had no problem getting Algie to Huntington for although he had come through the fight unhurt there was still the Elena mark to have examined. Pops assured everyone he had his medicine at home.

When the Physician Assistant’s curiosity at the shock the Mark gave when probed with any metal threatened to keep all 3 there all night they beat a retreat out a back door when she went to go find superiors.

When they returned to the Bungalow the sun was already shaking the parrots that called Pasadena home awake, and a flight of them screeched overhead as Pops pulled his Lincoln into his driveway with Natarsha and Algie holding hands in the backs seat.

He barely said goodnight and leave the keys on the hooks if you take Algie home with everyone taking a mental stutter on the if in the sentence. As Pops walked through the living room and down the hall to his bedroom where he closed the door silently Algie said  “I’m so tired wanna ride me to the pad?” Algie asked Natarsha “No, she answered” and with eyes he knew he could never refuse said “come on Algebra” and she led him upstairs to her fairy sanctum that had been forbidden to Algie.

Eventually Algie was able to sleep. A true sleep refreshing like Algie had never experienced, but before that sleep there was dancing. Punctuated with sighs and the repetition of names and the whispering of secret oaths only known to lovers who had held each other away for too long “Algebra” she said.  When her bra fell off on the accent of his name he knew he would never be able to sleep in his sack alone again and they flowed together.

In their explorations they found that Natarsha too had an Elena mark, but in a very secret place.  Algie placed his own mark branded on his cheek on hers which made Natarsha know that she too would never be able to sleep alone again, because when they made that connection even the house itself came, and they danced together.

Algie dreamt. To the rest of the world he was snoring with a sound that made the rockets that sent Pops old work into space sound like gentle waves with Natarsha similarly asleep snuggled under his right arm. Algie talked to a little girl in a meadow.  She told him about a big mistake made in another understanding of time. How the vibrational energy he used while under the spell of the Elena Mark opened a portal that let ancestors through.  She told me about “The Line” how it had been so spread across the “Middle Passage” that even the White men with the strange hue now carry it. 

He can’t kill with all that energy no matter how high the crows get. Especially his own blood line the Mark could detect as that makes the work harder stacking souls in limbo for eternity. He was a word from an African language Algie’s mind couldn’t understand, but sounded a lot like Dogon and the name of what had been the sad equation Mundunga but how somehow nothing is the same, so many souls to release but he dreamt he would try.

Algie dreamt further of a beautiful young man maybe 15 years old with the most radiant smile he had ever seen, and as he smiled and waved he yelled thank you and joined a game of other 15 year olds, and with the emotion of satisfaction the young man was finally home Algie knew he would do more for Nnedi than try he would do.