Mom was very interested. She’d never been to the First Backstage, for instance, because non-regular AddVenture characters tend to lose their forget their identities there and start thinking they’re just actors. (As opposed to regular AddVenture characters, who really are just actors. Sort of.) I didn’t have to worry about that, since I had my foot in both Character and Author camps, I was immune. So I was able to tell her a lot she didn’t know, how the First Backstage is mostly just housing, and how the place has these really weird physics so that it seems to curve around the Centerlands and the Outside both at once, as if it wasn’t just part of the Backstage Ring but also formed an adjoining one all by itself. And how all the doors in the southern Ringwall led to just once place, a small round stage on which the actor/Characters enacted all the AddVenture’s episodes. It was funny, because what I’d thought she’d be interested in were all the entertainment spots and watering holes, like my own favorites, the Lack of Character and A Cure for Stage Fright.
Mom was interested in the other places I’d gone too, like the Dreaming Sector, where I got to meet Morpheus himself, along with several of the more prominent Wet Dreams, like Ayik, who looked just like Mom, and Eizzil, who looked a lot like Elizabeth Fruitbat. She said they sounded like some dreams Dad had had once when he was marooned powerless by Shackleton on the White Plain in the Outside. She was also interested in the Gates of Horn and Ivory that lead into and out of the Sector, and the Great Fall that pours out over the northern Ringwall, which Morpheus had told me was the source of the River of Dreams the flows around Mount Areola in the Centerlands.
Of course, some places I didn’t tell her about, like Relativity, the sector furthest west in the quarter, which is where Characters who are the children of Authors mostly live, free of both interference from their parents and having to play out masochistic scenarios in the AddVenture. I’d actually been there before, because Alvin and Cressie and Sensie had a flat there they used to let me visit. Again I was able to go there because I’m a Character and the daughter of an Author as well as being an Author myself. I think I might be the only real Author who ever has been there, except for Meiou Bunny, but he’s a weird case, kind of the opposite of me, an Author who’s the son of Characters (and Toon Characters at that). Relativity’s a nice restful sort of place, once you get used to the fact that all the political power there’s in the hands the children of Prolific. It’s a democracy there, you see, and Prolific’s brood makes up a strong working majority . . .
Anyway, then the conversation got too near places like that, which were supposed to be a secret, I turned it back to safer topics, usually the Toon Backstage. I had a lot of fun there, especially at Toonerism and Animo’s, two of my favorite bars in the Forum. And of course the Blow-Up Clinic, where most Toon injuries get taken care of using their favorite cure-all, self-inflation. (Naturally, I’d sent word of this place to Lord Ćthar, too!) Naturally there are other services in the clinic, too. Mom was the most surprised to hear about the shrink I saw there.
Tue Mar 18 01:59:32 2003