“The squirrel is more of your frenetic, prankster god”

Continuing the conversation between Tim and Steve. Catch up on the first six installments via Steve’s author page.

 “So the squirrel, Tim…”
 “Yes?”
 “If I’ve got this right…”
 “Go on.”
 “Was the smartest animal you’d ever met.”
 “Bar none, Steve.”
 “You don’t think the ‘shrooms distorted your perception in any way?”
 “No.”
 “Sure?”
 “Absolutely.”
 “So you’re claiming this squirrel was some kind of godhead?”
 “My third eye had been wiped squeaky clean, indeed.”
 “What?”
 “A Bill Hicks quote, mate.”
 “Really?”
 “Yes. Explaining how hallucinogens can reveal a deeper truth…”
 “Uh-huh.”
 “Which lies beyond our humdrum reality…”
 “It does?”
 “And puts the petty nature of our everyday concerns…”
 “In the hands of squirrel gods?”
 “Not exactly, Steve.”
 “You’re saying that squirrel was like Buddha.”
 “Hardly, mate.”
 “Oh?”
 “The squirrel is more of your frenetic, prankster god…”
 “It is?”
 “A sylvan Loki, if you will.”
 “Right…”
 “Whereas Buddha is your standard, lazing under a tree…”
 “I see.”
 “Scratching your arse watching the world go by kind of a deity.”
 “Wow.”
 “Wow?”
 “I never realised you thought about these things, mate.”
 “Well, you never asked, Steve.”
 “True. But seeing as I am…”
 “Yes?”
 “If the squirrel was some kind of god…”
 “Yeah…”
 “Why were you hugging the tree?”
 “What?”
 “When I tried to get you back in the van…”
 “Yeah…”
 “You were clinging onto that tree for dear life.”
 “Frailty, mate.”
 “Nothing frail about it, Tim.”
 “No, I mean…”
 “I had to peel your fingers from the bark one by one…”
 “You misunderstand…”
 “And drag you away…”
 “When I say frailty…”
 “With the help of a passing dog-walker.”
 “I mean the frailty of the human condition.”
 “Eh?”
 “Our repeated choice of what is familiar and comforting…”
 “Hmmm…”
 “In this case, the tree…”
 “Uh-huh…”
 “Over what we know to be good and right.”
 “The squirrel, Tim?”
 “The squirrel, Steve.”
 “Blimey.”
 “I realise it’s a lot to take on.…”
 “You’re not kidding.”
 “If you’re not used to considering the fundamental nature of our existence.”
 “It’s honestly a revelation, Tim.”
 “You trying to be funny?”
 “No.”
 “No?”
 “I just mean…”
 “What, exactly?”
 “Still waters running deep, mate…”
 “And?”
 “And you being those still waters.”
 “It shouldn’t be such a surprise, Steve.”
 “Really?”
 “I live in a car, mate. It doesn’t mean I’m stupid.”
 “And how is life in the car, Tim?”
 “It’s OK…”
 “And Cassandra?”
 “Ah.”
 “How are things there?”
 “To be honest, Steve, they could be better.”
 “Really?”
 “Yes.”
 “How d’you mean?”
 “She’s being obstructive…”
 “Obstructive?”
 “Hygiene is something of a sticking point, I’m afraid.”
 “You’ve lost me, mate.”
 “Specifically, access to the shower.”
 “Right…”
 “Something so simple, Steve.”
 “Well…”
 “But now it’s a nightmare of timetables, availability…”
 “Thing is, Tim…”
 “Bringing my own towel, shower gel, shampoo…” 
 “Thing is, Tim…”
 “Paying for the privilege…”
 “Thing is, Tim…”
 “Yes?”
 “You did move out.”
 “And?”
 “Your cleanliness isn’t strictly Cassandra’s problem, is it?”
 “I see.”
 “See what?”
 “Here we go again…”
 “What?”
 “Steve has his head turned…”
 “Not at all.” 
 “By Cassandra’s massive hinterland…”
 “It’s not about her hinterland, Tim.”
 “Leaves his mate swinging in the breeze…”
 “Talking of breezes, Tim…”
 “Yeah?”
 “Would you mind standing downwind?”
 “What??”
 “I thought it was the trout, mate…”
 “Thanks.”
 “But you’re a wee bit ripe…”
 “Like I said, Steve, access to the shower…”
 “I know…”
 “Has been less than ideal.”
 “I’m sorry to hear that.”
 “Cassandra may have hinterland…”
 “She does.”
 “But she lacks a sense of compassion.”
 “Because you can’t get a shower?”
 “Exactly.”
 “Right…”
 “It’s really been bugging me…”
 “I can imagine.”
 “And then I realised…”
 “Yeah?”
 “She’s caught up in the everyday…”
 “She is?”
 “She needs to recognise the god within us all.…”
 “She does?”
 “She’s lacking an encounter with the divine…”
 “Please, no…”
 “So, I decided…”
 “Tell me you didn’t??”
 “Didn’t what?”
 “Have you given Cassandra ‘shrooms, Tim???”
 “What??!!”
 “Well, I thought…”
 “Steve, I sometimes wonder…”
 “You might have…”
 “If you have any ethical or moral compass at all.”
 “Sorry, Tim.”
 “Of course I haven’t.”
 “Don’t know what I was thinking.”
 “I found her a squirrel, instead.”
 “Oh god…”
 “Tell you what, Steve, they may be small furry divinities…”
 “Really?”
 “But they’re the very devil to catch.”
 “I had noticed your hands, Tim.”
 “The bites are mainly superficial, Steve…”
 “They look painful, mate.”
 “And the infection’s under control, more or less…”
 “Hmmmm…”
 “That’s if you believe the quacks, of course.”
 “So you caught this squirrel…”
 “Yep.”
 “For Cassandra?”
 “That’s right.”
 “Did she like it?”
 “Well, Steve…”
 “Uh-huh…”
 “I caught the squirrel…”
 “Yes.”
 “Wrapped it in a box…”
 “OK…”
 “Tied a ribbon round it…”
 “Round the squirrel?”
 “The box, Steve. Don’t be stupid.”
 “Sorry, Tim.”
 “Put the box in the porch…”
 “Right…”
 “Rang the doorbell…”
 “And?”
 “It didn’t go well.”
 “Oh dear.”
 “Life teaches us that the universe is chaos, Steve….”
 “It is?”
 “Filled with happy accidents, surprises, and unpredictability…”
 “Was this one happy, Tim?”
 “Not particularly, no.”
 “Ah.”
 “She opened the box…”
 “OK…”
 “The squirrel scratched her face…”
 “Oh no…”
 “Bit her ear…”
 “Christ.”
 “Trashed the houseplants…”
 “Oh, Tim.”
 “Then, judging by the noise…”
 “Yes?”
 “It ran upstairs…”
 “Of course…”
 “Into the bedroom…”
 “Where else?”
 “And it took her half an hour…”
 “Mmmmm?”
 “To shoo it out through an open window.”
 “Wow.”
 “She’s had to bin the bedding.”
 “I can imagine.”
 “My name is mud.”
 “Doubtless.”
 “And my shower privileges have been removed…”
 “Oh, Tim.”
 “Indefinitely.”
 “I don’t suppose…?”
 “No, Steve, I’ve no idea what happened to the squirrel.”
 “Right.”
 “The little bastard can fend for itself.”
 “Sorry I asked…”
 “Now, if you’ll excuse me…”
 “Yes?”
 “I’ve an appointment with an outside tap and a hose.”
 “Bye, Tim.”
 “I shall see you later, Steve. This is going to be bracing.” 

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