[Island 3]

[Transcribed Audio, Tape 02]

[Island 5]

The Cage of Erstwhile Continuum

[Wizened Temple Audio Archives | 1996]

S: "Let's say a person is working on an art piece of theirs. They are very excited about it, and as such, whenever they encounter hardship, they can become content
by bringing to mind visions of the project, the wonderful world they're creating when they visit home. But, their mood fluctuates regardless of this, so sometimes, when
darkness takes them, thoughts of their piece-in-progress cease to comfort, and they are prone before the winds of discontent. But this eventually recedes, and they can summon happiness again."

S: "It's why people become workaholics. They escape into the
sensation of continuous, exciting, comforting progress, invoked at any time."

?: "But it's more than that. When I'm here, I can feel an actual, physical sensation, there's no explanation for it. It's like being fucking electrocuted."

S: "Intense emotions can often be tributaries to physical sensations. Just ask the pop-star, vomiting, pale, and husk-like before her big performance."

?: "Those make sense though, they can be explained by science, they have... biological explanations... I don't think anyone's ever felt what I'm feeling right now."

S: "And to reiterate: You can conjure these feelings at any time, yes?"

?: "...Mostly. Sometimes I don't have control. But most of the time I do."

S: "Describe them again."

?: "How do I explain..."

?: "Like red. Like orange. Like plucking a turkey of it's feathers and heaving it into a pot of boiling vinegar.
Like sugar grains and burning pits of fire and maple syrup poured all over. Like sugary, sharp, angry, sweet, stingy, painful...goodness?"

S: "Would you say it could be aptly described with the word 'euphoria'?"

?: "...Somewhat. But it's not what you're imagining. It's not what you imagine when you hear that word."

[brief silence]

S: "I've reached a conclusion."

[brief silence]

S: "You are experiencing freedom from The Cage of Erstwhile Continuum, as facilitated by your new life,
here in the Gulch. You see, for most people, life is essentially a prolonged attempt to find and sustain contentedness.
They find it in relationships, and projects, and validation, and it survives them as they recall it.
Their memories create a continuum of bygone pleasures that satisfies enough to sustain,
but not enough to provide. Hence infinite dissatisfaction. Here at Lazar Gulch, we provide. And you are finally feeling the effects.

You're finally free.

Go enjoy it."

?: "I don't think I agree. I don't think you can squash the human condition into like a paragraph of diagnosis then just move on.
And I've felt content before. It's not like this. This is a controllable meth injection. It's... the most fun thing,
the most endlessly fun thing I've ever felt in my life. It's the stuff of dreams. And then sometimes
I can't control it and it's the most terrifying fucking thing I've ever felt."

S:"...Do you want to leave?"

?:"Fuck no. What I'm trying to say... I'm trying to say that I'm fucking addicted. It's an addiction. And I don't know what it is,
and I don't know when it'll go away but I'm sure it will. And then I'll be empty. And then I get paranoid about that, so I do it more to stop
thinking about it. It's too much. I'm gonna fry something, or start breaking apart,
cause there's no fucking limit.

S:"I assure you you're completely safe."

?:"Not if it stops. Not if..."