Moog walked into the bar to meet his old friend Carlos. They'd for some time now been meeting on the odd occasion to discuss things - nothing world-shaking, though they would probably admit that deep inside they both wished to leave something of note to the world. They were still young. There was time.
Carlos was already there. There was a table that they liked to sit at. It was the nearest booth to the bar and it allowed Carlos, a bit of a bird dogger, to flirt with the pretty Estonian barmaid who'd started there that summer - probably a result of the opening up of the EU to those former Soviet republics. Moog, who was shyer than Carlos, would sit with his back to the bar and write his notes, hunched over in his dark linen jacket.
Today, Carlos seemed more animated than usual. He was good-looking and wrapped his innate shyness in an outwardly gregarious nature. Moog knew that Carlos was potentially one of life's talents. He had, though, an unfocused and restless nature that prevented him from choosing between his music and his writing. Moog himself felt a little bit in Carlos' shadow. He was perhaps Mole to Carlos' more expressive Ratty. Perhaps they needed a Toad in their life.
Moog nodded at Carlos to enquire whether he needed a drink. Carlos shook his dark curls, nodding at the half consumed glass (large) of Merlot in front of him. So fond of that particular grape was he that the bar's owner had taken to calling Carlos "Mr Merlot". Moog picked up his pint of London Pride and deposited himself on the bench seat, putting his dogeared "red and black" notebook down in front of him and slightly to his right.
"You know that story you told me last time?" said Carlos, leaning forward, "about the monk who cooked still births in his black magic rituals?" Moog nodded, wondering where Carlos tangential conversational skills would take them next. "How he'd use the untapped energy of the unborn child spirits to perform his spells?"
Moog nodded. In his head he was building a machine for catching those small flies that gather around the centre of your living room when you first open the windows in early summer.
Carlos went on, "I was thinking. Maybe every time we make decisions in life, whenever we change direction, a version of us dies, or goes into that same nether spirit world where those energetic foetuses live..."
He paused, taking a sip of his wine. "What if we could dip into the energy of those lost versions in some way, to enable us to live our chosen life with more vigour? Wouldn't that be... interesting?" He smiled.
Moog finished his pint. He had always been a fast drinker. "I don't think so Carlos," he replied in his quiet voice, "that sort of bargain never works out in the end for the recipient. You buy back that kind of balance and something huge will drop off the other end of your account. There's no such thing as a free lunch, as they say."
Carlos nodded. lighting a cigarette. He offered one to Moog, who shook his head, then changed his mind and took one. Carlos lit both with a flick of his golden Zippo lighter. "I don't know, Moog," he went on, exhaling a blue plume of smoke into the yellowish light of the pub, "I just feel that there's a huge well of energy building in me. My life's about to split. A big change is coming and I want to make sure it's going to finally place me on the path I want to take in the world. Maybe the energy of such a huge fork means that you get both halves to keep with you..."
Moog was already drifting off, seeing the complex internal mechanics of a new type of water-fuelled pulse engine in the curls of smoke drifting above them.
He looked up again, the light glinting on his pebbly spectacles. He gave one of his rare, shy smiles, "Carlos, you have more than enough energy to take you though any decision you seek to make in life." He inclined his head down at their empty glasses. "Another?" Carlos nodded and Moog rose, folded up ten pound note in hand. "Just make sure you don't make the mistake of thinking that life changing decisions are in some way revocable. You take one step down a chosen road, there's no going back. You retrace the path, you're on a brand new road that, while it might look like you're walking back towards a recognisable place, in fact takes you somewhere different and unknown."
Moog rose to go to the bar, leaving Carlos stubbing out his cigarette. Almost inaudibly, he added under his breath, "though I fear perhaps that I may already have made a similar mistake..."
This story about incipient change was written 23 August 2005 on draGnet 4.0, just after the death of Dr. Robert Moog, though the characters depicted bear no relation to the two inspirational people cited below...
- Dr. Robert A. Moog (May 23 1934 - Aug 21 2005)
This story is dedicated to his memory
- Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos, Nov 14 1939)
electronic music pioneer, trranssexual woman, friend and colleague of Bob Moog
This concludes the Transformer cycle
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