His Lordship

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I’m Jason L. Secrest, an aspiring author and impoverished college student. Sometimes I blog. When I’m being real about real world things that other people also believe are real I post at wiseyetharmless.bogspot.com. Then there are the moments that I’m also being real, but in regards to a different real world where there is a real annoying talking demon in my basement and where my non-fake butler/valet/gentleman’s-gentleman knows Jujutsu. In those moment’s I’m Jason L. Secrest, Lord of the Manor, and I blog directly to you from my mansion study at whathowadsworth.blogspot.com.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"I Beezle" or "The future is a delicate thing, Sir. Do try not to break it."

If you haven't yet read the previous post, I recommend that you peruse it. It contains facts and terminologies that I are slightly relevant to this post. I've moved the most important fact to this one though. Actually now that it's done and I'm really thinking hard about it, if you get this one fact you may not really need the rest, but maybe you'll understand a few more of the inner workings of the story? I certainly hope so after taking the time to type all that out. There is a story about a fire breathing opossum in the previous post if that's enticing to you at all...

I learned a new verb recently through the power of Google. I performed a search on Beezle, trying to decide how seriously people have been taking his newly formed e-cult, and this is what I found:
(http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Beezle). Of course, I took immediate interest. It's important to me to know if the things that Beezle sees on the internet can impact me negatively. As of the time of this posting, the most upvoted definition of 'beezle' on Urban Dictionary is as follows:
This term is used to describe any activity done for its own sake/pleasure. People seeing someone/something beezle will likely not understand why that person/creature/thing is doing whatever he/she/it is doing. Examples include: frolicking, climbing trees, most things done while stoned/drunk. Baby animals (and for some reason, squirrels, dolphins and whales) naturally beezle all the time. It's generally considered complimentary, but just a little confusing...
I had several reactions to this. First I had a good laugh at the image of Beezle romping playfully with aquatic and woodland creatures. Then I realized with shock that the term is accurate. If anyone beezles, Beezle does. What do you suppose he accomplishes by hypnotizing me at night and making me sleep dance? Or by pretending to be "The Mummy" and swallowing me with swimming pool water when I make use of the high dive? (I don't think I've ever mentioned it yet, but I that's actually how the Mansion House Wars started. I nearly drowned. Maybe I'll remember to tell you the story one day.)

Finally, I realized that if anyone else besides Beezle beezles, it would probably be me. I'm easily entertained, and I was actually glad to have a word to put to the group of actions that entertain me. Any word is better than "dinking around." However, to be honest I was a little terrified to learn that I do yet another thing that Beezle does. I don't like feeling similar to Beezle, but as time rolls onward my list of like traits keeps growing. I'm writing them off as meaningless - I'm not damning souls after all, but I've got to watch myself. Having more common ground makes it harder to keep my guard up.

That's not the point of this post though. The point is that I beezle, and that I need to be careful when I do it because there can be consequences. Here is an excellent example:

I rent an apartment in Provo out of necessity. I work and go to school at BYU and there are rare occasions when I can't quite seem to abstract* back to the mansion house. If those moments happen to come at night, I don't much like competing with Riverman Johnson for park bench space (or bridge space when the weather is foul.) I mentioned at one point that he told me he was going to acquire a sword and Chinese stars with which to defend his multiple forms of literature, didn't I? I can attest that he has acquired these, and that he is more than willing to defend his territory. His weapons are of poor quality and very dull, but they still hurt quite a bit when he manages to land a hit.

*(I've covered abstract travel recently, but here's the gist: to get to the mansion house I have to be both distracted and in motion. It's really not that hard, it just doesn't always work as advertised. I don't do magic, remember? It just happens to me when I'm not paying attention.)

I also like warm water. If there is time and hot water enough, I like to take long showers or baths. Even when I don't mean to take a long time, I loose track of time in the shower. It's because I relax and let my mind wander. Since I first came to the mansion house, I've spent inordinate amounts of time in the natural hot-spring cave that the mansion is built around. When I'm stuck in Provo, I can do almost as well at the outdoor hot tub behind the complex's clubhouse. The hot tub in question is large by apartment standards, and can accommodate perhaps twenty people if all of those people don't mind literally rubbing shoulders. When it's empty it feels spacious.

A few weeks ago on a thursday I was stuck at my digs in Provo. Feeling active I decided to have a short swim and to then enjoy the hot tub. When I got out of the pool the tub was empty and I was happy about that. I try not to beezle in public - it feels awkward. I eased into the tub and let the jets work on my back. As always my swimming trunks filled with air and I became more buoyant finding it harder to stay anchored to my seat (I am a very light person.) On this occasion however, I had a beezeling epiphany of sorts. I wondered If I could float on my back and drift about the tub in whatever direction the currents took me.

No sooner did I start my experiment then two very muscular guys and their girlfriends splashed into the pool. (I didn't actually see them because I was staring up at the stunningly clear big dipper. I just heard them through the water.) I sat up quickly to move out the way and to appear less silly. The thing is that sitting up while floating makes a person sink. I sputtered back up to the surface and took my original seat. The other four had the common decency to keep their chortling to a minimum, and for that I was grateful. I wondered how long they would be there and I busied myself by playing subtly with the flat leaf-like elm seeds that had fallen into the water. They floated nicely like little boats and I sent them off on excursions in the eddies.

When I was bored of sea seed missions I had another swim until the group left. I then I hustled back to the hot tub. I laid out on the water, puffing my chest out and tucking in my legs so that they didn't touch the bottom. The currents did the rest. I only bumped into an edge once and I was kept in a continual counter clockwise rotation with my head at the center. It was enjoyable and relaxing. The whole time I watched the crisp stars above me rotating. More than ever, the big dipper appeared to me as the turning hour hand of a giant clock. (It really is one. See the companion guide to this post). I must have made at least three full rotations before I realized that I had abstracted to the mansion house hot tub. (Not the hot springs cave. It doesn't grant an open view of the stars. There is an actual man-made hot tub outside, close to the pool and conservatory.)

Pleasently surprised and done with sailing about on my back, I toweled off and went into the kitchen through the servants door. I grabbed a roll from the constant supply Wadsworth keeps there, and pulled on the light fixture that opens the hidden door to the hidden passages behind the walls. (I like using the secret corridors every so often despite the fact that the standard hallways are much more comfortable. It's a beezle thing.) I walked happily toward the Master's Chamber until I heard Wadsworth's pleasant voice saying, "Will take your supper here or in the dining room sir?" I stopped dead in my tracks. I was at that point, just above my study. The secret passages are designed for eavesdropping (hence the clarity of Wadsworth's voice) and I unstopped a peephole in the floor. There was Wadsworth, and there was me. I was saying "No, the dining room will be fine. I'm nearly done reading this entry in Uncle Nick's journal and then I'll be in. What's for dinner?"

"A salmon steak with steamed vegetables, sir. What would you like to drink? I suggest that something citrus would complement the fish very well."

"What about that lemon orange concoction you put together? I like that."

"An excellent choice sir. May I help you in any other way, sir?" As he made this last remark Wadsworth's eye roved up to my peephole, and I had the distinct impression that he was talking to me, besides talking to me. Nothing gets by the man. He's as much ninja-sleuth as he is butler. I stoppered the hole and tried to comprehend what I had just experienced. Seeing myself wasn't totally new. I'd seen transparent and barely detectable versions of myself in many places in the mansion, doing different things without acknowledging me. I'd also seen gruesome figures in my image march happily to a joyful death in Beezle's fireplace. (These later were a demonstration to show me how easy it would for me at payment time, if I ever felt I wanted to buy something with my soul.) I had, however, never seen Wadsworth offer dinner to one of my  dopplegangers, and I was heavily disturbed that he should do so now. And hungry. It didn't help that I remembered having a similar meal three days earlier. It was phenomenal - the fish was moist and flaky with subtle interplays of spices and herbs.

As I thought longingly of the meal and made way for the kitchen to intercept Wadsworth I had a sudden more revealing insight. In the many years that I have eaten at the Mansion House, Wadsworth has never repeated a meal exactly except by special request, and he has certainly never cooked the same kind of fish twice in the same month. He would probably faint at the thought of it. I'd been reading my uncle's journal three days ago too. I had traveled time! I yanked the door open and launched into the kitchen.

"Good evening, Sir." said Wadsworth. To someone who didn't know him, he would have looked and sounded like nothing but pleased to see me. I've known him for long enough that I could tell he was annoyed as he continued, "Will you also be having salmon this evening? I regret that it will be a duplicate of something that you have presumably already consumed. With more notice I could have easily compensated."

"The salmon was excellent three days ag-- er.. today, I think it will be just as good.. um.. today. So, I'll just have what he's - er... what I'm having."

"Very good sir."

"I'm sorry about the short notice. Is there enough? I didn't exactly realize that there would be two of me today until just now."

"I am always prepared for unexpected guests, sir. There is always enough. May I offer a word of advice about your current adventure, sir?"

"Yes, please. That's why I came down."

"It is not well known what happens when one's past self comes into contact with one's future self. Theories range from nothing to a universal Armageddon. The current middle ground of the debate is that the person fades from existence. While scientists and pranksters alike might appreciate one's rushing in headlong to see the look on one's face, I suggest that the action would be inadvisable at best, Sir."

"Right. Well. I guess I'd better stay out of sight then."

"In that case, sir, I suggest that you make yourself scarce. I think I hear you coming."

"Oh. Distract me." I said, and I dived back into the passage way. I went up a floor and unstopped a peephole for the kitchen. I really didn't need to. I remembered the upcoming conversation, now that I had a clear picture of the day. As I'd placed a bookmark in my uncle's journal, Beezle had announced that, "THERE IS SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING TO SEE IN THE KITCHEN. I THINK YOU'D BEST HURRY OUT AND SEE WHAT IT IS BEFORE IT'S GONE."

Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to something like that coming from Beezle, but the kitchen is next to the dining room and I happened to know that Wadsworth was there, so I didn't even feel the need for too much caution, just a bit of caution. I watched through the hole as I entered the room and said, "Looks like the kitchen, Beezle. An interesting kitchen, to be sure, but nothing I haven't seen."


"Have you seen this interesting thing, Wadsworth."

"As far as I can tell, sir, there is nothing out of the ordinary behind the afore mentioned door."

I can't help but marvel sometimes at Wadsworth's ability to misdirect without telling lies. I've only witnessed it on a handful of occasions, but I still marvel. On this occasion I wondered if he meant that I shouldn't be behind that door anymore, or that it wasn't out of the ordinary for me to be behind it. Knowing Wadsworth he probably meant both.

I watched myself open the door, see nothing, and say, "Nothing to report here."


"If you will pardon me sir. Your salmon is approaching its optimal temperature for consumption. You may either have a meal that boarders on perfection or go chasing 'interesting things' through the passage ways; possibly with apocalyptic consequences, given Beezle's definition of the word 'interesting.'"

"I choose dinner," I said happily and I strode into the dining room with Wadsworth close on my heals.

I, the me upstairs, went back to the kitchen and waited for Wadsworth.

"HOW DOES HE DO THAT?" Beezle asked. He sounded genuinely interested. I could also hear him pleading me urgently to come back into the kitchen from the other room. I knew I was safe. I remembered being annoyed and shutting the dining room vents three days earlier so that I could eat in peace.

"Do what?," I responded, "Look so good? It's because he's me."


"He didn't lie. He told the truth."


"Wouldn't that be nice. The problem is that you'd start by telling me to come look at something that might make me fade into oblivion, and I would believe you."


"No thanks. Knowing you they'd probably try to eat me."


Wadsworth came back and put together a to go box for me in preparation for driving me back to Provo. (Even distracted, Wadsworth is a competent and safe driver.) Before we left I had a final epiphany.

"Wadsworth, I failed a cleaning check tomorrow because I couldn't get a stain off of a wall. Do you have anything that might work?"

Wadsworth handed me a spray bottle of something green that smelled like minty lemons and said, "Try this Sir. And do be careful, Sir. The future is a delicate thing. Do try not to break it."

That was that. I left the bottle in a conspicuous place with the label, Care of Wadsworth, and avoided myself for three days. I passed my cleaning checks without breaking the future (finding myself 20 dollars richer in the process) and made sure to position myself for watching Jones crash into the conservatory. I figured if someone was going to demolish the side of a glass building I owned and I wasn't able to stop it, I'd at least better watch.


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