“It may be that that barrista, the one who is always working every shift, every day, no matter when you enter for your coffee, is actually a manifestation of the store itself,” said Jimmy Lanes to the woman sitting next to him at the bus stop.
“For real?” she said, her eyebrows raised.
“It may be the case,” said Jimmy. “It is important to consider.”
“Shit,” said the woman. “I aint never thought about it like that.”
“It would be remiss of you to discount the possibility.”
Jimmy did not know if the woman took his suggested explanation seriously. It was difficult for him to tell at the best of times, but the early morning light and modifications of the expressive quality of her facial muscles due to fatigue muddied the problem. She might take his suggestion seriously, or she might consider it sufficiently noteworthy to pass it on to her acquaintances, and one among them might take it seriously. That was almost as good.
The bus showed up, and the woman sat in a two-person seat already half-occupied by someone else. Jimmy grimaced. He had hoped to continue the conversation, and her action might be a social cue that she did not with further interaction with him. Instead, he sat on another seat, next to a tall man with a metal stud in his lip.
“This may seem confrontational,” said Jimmy when the man glanced over to see who took the other seat, “but have you encountered any strange phenomenon you find difficult to comprehend or explain?”
The bus arrived downtown six minutes later than the scheduled arrival. Jimmy pulled out his notebook and recorded this. This was the sixth time the bus had arrived precisely six minutes late this month, which also happened to be June. The sixth month of the year. He circled each occurrence, then pulled another notebook from his bag and marked the dates and times of each occurrence on a page in a section of the book marked “Numerical Occurrences.” That evening, he would perform various numerological analyses on the relevant numbers and run them through an algorithm that correlated historical incidents that coincided with the dates or times.
Then he walked out of the bus tunnel, and got to work. It was a productive morning. He succeeded in convincing the young couple walking out of the hospital together to divulge the date of their baby’s conception. They were not receptive to his suggestion that the indications were strong that the child was marked by the Pleiadens, and would likely be instrumental in the coming spiritual concordance that would usher in communication between human and extra-terrestrial. But they listened. The seed was planted, and might bear fruit.
On the other hand, the two pan-handlers on the corner of 4th and Market seemed nearly convinced of Jimmy’s theory that increased neomorphic incidents of predisposition to addiction in their generation might be due to fluoridation of the water supply.
“Is that why we all fucked up and shit?” said the short woman in the torn red t-shirt.
“It is distinctly possible,” said Jimmy. “Floridation has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the pineal gland, which is linked to altered states. Your diminished capacity to naturally experience these states may correlate to your brain’s need to achieve them through chemical stimulation.”
“Damn,” said the tall man in the Pirate’s hat. “That explains everything.”
Jimmy gave them sever copies pamphlet of his own design to read and pass out, with links to the relevant source material.
“Pass them to your fellow addicted friends,” he said. They agreed that they would, and he gave them each an extra dollar.
Jimmy had lunch at the sushi place near the stadium. He had to fight the urge to tell the other patrons about how the potentially mutagenic properties of the mercury in their fish could lead to an increased capacity for remote viewing. It was likely not all of them were aware of this. He did not do this. Lunch was supposed to be a rare moment of quiet, in a world begging for noise.
Next he headed off to the cancer treatment center. Receptivity in its vicinity was often high. He started soft, and presented evidence to a young girl with no hair that radio personality and conspiracy theories Alex Jones was actually deceased irreverent comedian Bill Hicks. She turned out to be a fan of both, and therefore receptive.
After that, Jimmy educated a small group of attentive individuals about the possibility that four pure bloodlines controlled the majority of the world’s resources and political direction. Some of them scoffed, and some of them nodded at specific logical points or pieces of evidence. But all of them listened.
As Jimmy finished his presentation and the group meandered off, one of them returned to speak with him. A girl, fifteen or sixteen years old, wearing glasses and a distinct look of self-awareness.
“You said your name was Jimmy, right?”
“Yes,” said Jimmy. “And your name is Angela.”
Her eyes widened in surprised.
“I overheard your mother or guardian addressing you as you came out of the cafeteria,” said Jimmy.
“That’s my aunt,” said Angela with a grimace. She stared off for a minute, then collected herself. “Listen, can I ask you a question?”
“Certainly,” said Jimmy. “I will answer to the best of my ability.”
“All that stuff you were talking about,” said Angela. “With the families and the Illuminati and all that. Is it true? I mean, seriously?”
“I do not know,” said Jimmy. “I merely gather and spread the evidence.”
Angela furrowed her brow. “Yeah, but, do you believe it?”
Jimmy smiled faintly. No one ever asked that question. “To be honest, the posterior probability of any of my suppositions being accurate in totality is passingly low.”
She gave him a puzzled look. “So…you don’t believe it?”
“I think it is unlikely, yes,” said Jimmy.
“So why tell people about it?”
“I relate the evidence as I find it.”
“Yeah, but why?”
“Because it should be true,” said Jimmy. “Because the world needs complicated explanations to produce sufficiently nuance and unorthodox thinkers. Because science increasingly demonstrates that everything we see is an illusion, and if people take the world they see and are told about by those in authority at face value, the search for anything actually resembling truth is dead in the water before it can even learn to swim.”
“Oh,” she said. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” he said. She wandered off to catch up with her aunt. Jimmy did not know if she understood him or not. But she listened. And maybe she would tell others.
It was good day, so far. But there was a lot more work to do.