Where I am, it is Monday always.
When a newcomer arrives, they are greeted by Sivad. Sivad is the ruler of this place, which has no name but many call Mondays. It is always Monday in Mondays.
Sivad has told me that Mondays is not infinite, but it is large enough that I no longer see purpose in making the distinction. It is a plain of small green hills which continue on in each direction longer than anyone has ever traveled. Sivad claims that four impassable perpendicular walls lie at the ends, which connect at the corners to create the massive square of land in which we reside. I often ask him if anyone has ever reached the walls, and no one ever has. I have also asked to know in miles the distance it spans, and he will not answer. He does not often respond to questions with numerical answers: the number of people in Mondays, the amount of towers spanning all of this place, the eons that have passed since my death, these are mysteries.
The hills are repetitive: grass, people, towers. There is nothing else. Grass is everywhere, it grows back as soon as it is pulled, most people remain in towers. I am a continual traveler, which is uncommon but not rare enough to draw interest. The majority remain in the same tower or group of towers for centuries or millennia at a time. I have rarely stayed in one for longer than a month.
There is night and day, but no sun. Light slowly and inexplicably ebbs and flows from the clear sky. Days last exactly nine hundred hours. I have counted this and heard it corroborated by thousands of others who have done the same. There are no stars at night, and then it is only possible to travel by the glow of the towers.
The towers are arranged in a uniform grid. They are similar, but each has differences in construction, some more than others. They are all concrete, tall and unpainted, between forty and one hundred and forty stories tall. Each floor on each tower except for the first floor and the roof has thirty rooms. Twenty-nine of the rooms are undecorated identical bedrooms and the last is a library which is normally the room closest to the building's staircase. The arrangement of any floor's library is unique, but every library in every tower has the same content: several thousand copies of the same indestructible book. The book is unchanged at every tower. It is over twenty-two hundred pages long, bound in orange leather. It has no title or author inscribed on the front or side, but four thick black stripes run horizontally across the surface.
If one runs in any cardinal direction from a tower at a fast pace, they will reach another in about four hours. No matter where someone is standing, if it is day, it is always possible to spot exactly one tower. This shouldn't be possible, as taller entities can normally be seen from farther distances than smaller ones, but it is natural in Mondays. As soon as a traveler crosses the halfway point between two towers, the one that is farther away will vanish from sight even if it is being seen by someone walking backwards. I have conducted this experiment on countless occasions. I stand still and push my head forward and back at an invisible border, watching a tower reappear and disappear with each movement. It is impossible to see two at once from the same location. If two people with towers behind them stand at the opposite side of a border and face each other, neither will be able to see a tower, but if they each turn around they will notice what the other could not.
I came to Mondays in my early thirties. I died young. My husband had picked up baking as a hobby during quarantine, and I stole a taste of raw cookie dough, which killed me.
There is an area of towers in the center of Mondays, a twenty by twenty square where newcomers arrive. Immediately after death, they always wake up in a bedroom, alone, in one of those four hundred center towers. Sivad greets them as they wake and offers to answer the questions they may have. I should say that he greeted them. Sivad has told me that no one new will ever come to Mondays again. Humanity has died out, and everyone has either been sent here or elsewhere.
Everyone sees Sivad differently. I see him as a flat humanoid shadow moving through the walls and floor, except for his hands, which stick out from the wall and are made from moving sand, the fingers of which snap repeatedly whenever he answers a question. I have heard descriptions of him as a man made of grass, a living gold statue, a talking hat, a perpetually bleeding horse, a small sun, a collection of colored pyramids, a suitcase with teeth, and a lizard which vomits glowing images of numbers whenever it speaks.
I once met a woman who said that her Sivad was Jon. I am certain she was lying.
My first question when I came was where. Sivad does not call it Mondays, this is only the name that those who stay at the center have agreed on, which has spread through slow osmosis over time. He told me that we are in a place where it is always Monday, and I asked for him to explain further, to provide me with reason, and he did.
Measurements are not a human construct. They are implanted inside us by the Kings, who Sivad will not elaborate on beyond the cold statement that it was they who overthrew and consumed the Creator. Some measurements used by humans obey the desires the Kings have given us, and some rebel against these natural instincts.
Sivad calls it obedience or rebellion, but he has never dictated either to be positive or negative. The words are only explaining if we are living in accordance with the Kings' measurement systems. Metric is obedience, imperial is rebellion. Denary numeral systems are obedience, all others are rebellion. The Gregorian calendar, or any calendar with a repeating seven day structure, is also obedience. Monday is the human name we give the second day of the obedient week.
Only time of death determines where we go. It is not a punishment or a reward, only how it is. Each day delivers everyone to a separate afterlife where obliteration is impossible, and from each of these seven afterlives it is possible to escape to a final destination which is said to be a shared eternal paradise, free of suffering. This paradise is not us ceasing to exist, it is a place, I asked. No one who is there would ever want to leave.
There were never children in Mondays. Those who die before the age of sixteen are sent immediately to the shared paradise.
Five of the seven afterlives have been collapsed, as everyone inside them has escaped to the shared paradise. No one has ever escaped from Mondays, and no one has ever escaped from another day, although Sivad will not tell me which one it is.
Naturally I asked Sivad how I might escape. Everyone in Mondays can only escape together. There is a question which Sivad provides us. It is a binary question with a correct solution and we can only answer yes or no.
Whenever we are alone in a bedroom or a library with a closed door, we can summon Sivad by calling for him. It does not matter if someone has summoned him elsewhere. If we are not alone he will not come, and if we are speaking and someone opens the door he will leave until we call him again under the correct conditions. Whenever we call Sivad we can change our answer, and he will remember it until we change it again. We begin with no declared answer, but once we answer for the first time we cannot go back to being undecided, only switch between yes or no. We can change it as many times as we wish. We can also summon him to answer questions for us, many of which he does answer, many of which he does not.
In order for us to leave, we would need to all, everyone who is in Mondays, what is likely about one-seventh of all humans who have ever lived, need to at the same time have registered the same answer to Sivad's question, and this answer would need to be correct. If we all provided the same incorrect answer, our memories would be erased and we would be sent to random towers throughout Mondays. This has not happened before.
I asked what the question was. Sivad told me.
"On the 30th of May, 1990, did Jon Arbuckle drink dog semen?"
The first time I heard this question, I asked him to repeat it. This is all he will do. He is the most strict about questions which attempt to clarify his question, which is a terrible problem for us. We cannot ask for definitions or clarifications, so he would not tell me who Jon Arbuckle was.
When I realized my attempts at clarifying the question weren't going to work, I moved on.
The next questions I had for Sivad was about myself, and he answered. Our minds and bodies are changed when we arrive in Mondays. We cannot die again, we cannot be hurt or experience pain, we cannot eat or drink, we cannot make waste, we cannot sexually pleasure ourselves or others. My penis now has as much sensation as my toes and nothing can motivate it to rise. My prostate, once a trusted smile provider, now grants me only indifference. We can sleep, but we do not have any physical need. We never physically tire, even with severe exertion. It is impossible to lose or gain weight, but it is only cosmetic. Everyone is as strong and fast as everyone else. We can run for years without needing to stop. Our memories are improved, and we have an immeasurably greater, but finite and imperfect, ability to retain information. I can remember everyone I have spoken to since I have come here and all the conversations I have had in enough detail to recreate them perfectly in my head.
We do not and cannot speak any language from Earth. I once knew English and some Portuguese, and I cannot remember how to speak either. The language on Mondays sounds similar to German, I am told, but it involves frequent purring, which we are all innately capable of. Strangely, it often takes newcomers minutes or hours to first notice the switch.
We cannot touch others. If two people attempt to shake hands, they will phase through each other as if they are ghosts. It is possible to interact with another through objects, but not harm someone. If someone were to throw a book at my head, it would connect, but there would be no pain or injury even if they had dropped it on me from the roof of a tower. It takes us several minutes, but we can travel through walls of the towers and most objects, so it is not possible to be trapped.
After I learned this I decided that I would leave the tower and seek help, reasoning that others who had been there longer would be more knowledgeable than I and that I could call for Sivad again later. I left my bedroom and ran into a woman immediately in the staircase. I told her I was new, and that I didn't understand the question, and she brought me to the floor's library. There was a small crowd gathered reading and chatting, and she ordered that everyone be quiet. She explained to them that I was new, then she thrust one of the books into my hands and had me read silently. They all watched me. I noticed many of them smiling.
The only book inside every library is a complete collection of every nationally syndicated Garfield comic strip published daily from 1978 to 2038, one month short of sixty years. They were ordered by publishing date, and there were on average ten comics on each page. When I read it for the first time, I discovered that Garfield's owner was named Jon Arbuckle. Garfield was not a significant factor in my life prior to my death. I had read less than ten of the strips and had never purposely sought them out beforehand. I once as a child won a keychain with Odie's face on it for a subpar performance in my school's spelling bee, which I lost and had not missed.
I read enough random strips to grasp Garfield conceptually. Jon Arbuckle was a lonely young cartoonist who lived with his dog Odie and his obese tabby, Garfield. It is not always Monday in the world of Garfield, but time does not seem to pass. No one ages, the status quo is rarely harmed. Their dimension is encased by a bubble of slow, invisible lasagna which weakens the damage time would otherwise inflict.
The punchlines came as I read, universal truths which I was made to recognize. Jon was lonely. Garfield was lazy. Jon was geeky. Garfield loves lasagna. Jon, despite his best efforts, was not skilled when it came to attracting women. Garfield was a poor mice catcher. Jon's optimism was rarely awarded. Garfield bullied Odie. Garfield bullied Nermal, a small kitten who annoyed him. Garfield bullied Jon. The universe often punished Garfield for his cruelty, laziness, and pessimism.
It did not take me long to find the strip for the 30th of May, 1990. It had three panels, as do most Garfield strips.
In it, I saw Jon, Garfield, and a female veterinarian I would later learn was Liz. For more than twenty-five years of the comic's publication, Jon attempted to unsuccessfully seduct Garfield's veterinarian, a sardonic woman who most often displayed apathy and occasionally open contempt towards him. In 2006, they began dating, although the apathy remained. In 2032, they wed.
Garfield was the ring bearer. He ate it. Garfield is fat.
They were not dating on the 30th of May, 1990. In that day's comic, Jon had taken Garfield to her office for a physical examination. Liz and Jon are standing, and Garfield is watching them from the examination table.
In the first panel, Jon notices an unidentified cup of liquid on the same examination table Garfield is sitting on. He looks satisfied with himself. He imitates Liz and declares in her voice that the cup is filled with coffee, which she has left for him. He thanks his crude emulation of her and reaches for it. Liz appears shocked, and most readers before reaching the second panel understand that something is wrong. It does not create the expectation that what Jon is drinking is what he believes it to be.
The cup is blue and opaque. The reader cannot see the color of the liquid inside it. One recurring point of debate is whether the cup is a mug or not. The cup appears to resemble, in thickness, a mug more than a disposable or plastic cup, but the reader cannot see any handle in any of the three panels, and Jon does not pick it up by the handle when he drinks it in the second panel. It is theorized by some that the cup is a mug and that it is always positioned in a way where the handle is hidden from the reader's perspective. I disagree with this idea, but I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter. The mug theory is only important to the rare individuals who seriously contend that Jon is drinking coffee, and these people are hated by almost all others in Mondays.
In the second panel, Jon raises the cup to his lips and drinks, his eyes closed. He is still smiling, and we understand that he has not tasted it yet. Garfield is apathetic, but Liz's face has changed. She is herself again, sarcastic and unsympathetic for what Jon's hubris has brought him to do. She congratulates him, but does not say for what.
In the third panel, our earlier suspicions are confirmed. Jon was not drinking coffee, as evidenced by his face which is wrinkled in disgust. He may vomit. Liz smiles cruelly and tells Jon that he is going to give birth to a fine, healthy litter of puppies.
Garfield hears this and his eyes widen. He exclaims that he hates puppies. With this remark, the strip is over.
The first occasion I saw these three panels, in the library in front of the crowd, I read it almost ten times and then dropped the book on the floor. I had accepted my death, it had not been difficult. This was harder for me to come to terms with, that my salvation would depend on my understanding of whether or not Jon Arbuckle had consumed dog semen.
I looked at the ones who had been watching me. I said nothing but hoped for reassurance, and they laughed at me, the hopelessness obvious on my face.
They weren't trying to hurt me. It was funny, and they had all gone through it themselves. I had died early in human history. People had only been in Mondays for at most several hundred thousand years, when the first Homo Sapiens died. People were more friendly then, as a whole.
Most of the crowd ignored me after that, but a small group including the woman who greeted me sat down with me and explained the known history of Mondays and the basic arguments of Sivad's question.
People arrived in Mondays long before Garfield was created, I discovered. The first ones discovered they could read despite having died before the creation of the written word. This is not because Mondays is separated or disconnected from time in our universe. The comic strips were transported from the future to the past so that the first arrivals at Mondays could begin to think about the question, although they were not allowed to answer until there was a population exceeding five hundred million.
The first problem the question creates is that we cannot know what it is truly asking. We do not know what it means when it is asking whether Jon Arbuckle has consumed dog semen. Presumably Jon Arbuckle is fictional, and does not exist. When we want to know if he has done something, what are we appealing to? Is it asking what the artist of the comic believed Jon Arbuckle was drinking, or what Sivad thought he was drinking, or what the Kings thought he was drinking, or what the majority of people who have read it thought he was drinking? Or is it that Jon Arbuckle's dog semen consumption is an objective universal truth or falsehood? Or is it that Jon Arbuckle does exist in a physical reality we cannot visit but that comics allow us to view, and that in that reality there was something liquid in the cup he was drinking, which was or was not dog semen?
Whatever the question leads us to conclude, we only have two answers.
The first is yes, it is dog semen. Yes explains why Jon is disgusted and why Liz would connect it with a hypothetical canine pregnancy experienced by Jon. Yes is appealing because it is intuitive and seems to connect with the original intentions of the comic the best. Yes Men often are more focused on the conditions around the comic instead of the comic itself. They think about who the comic may have been intended for and how people tend to interpret it contextually. They primarily rely on a perspective that takes our own world into account and focuses chiefly on how the comic suits it.
There are actually some outside conditions that would suggest no, but Yes Men ignore them or have invented counterarguments, some of which I think are excellent. The largest of the outside conditions against them is the word of the author. Some people have reported that while on Earth they read about an interview with the creator of Garfield discussing the strip we are tasked with analyzing, and this rumor which by now is impossible to prove or disprove is accepted as fact across Mondays. When asked, he supposedly stated that he did not intend for the drink to be seen as dog semen. He grew up on a farm, and he said that pregnant cows would be given special formulated supplements to improve the health of them and their calves. When drawing the comic, he said that he assumed a similar formula might exist for pregnant dogs, and that it is this formula that Jon is drinking.
The Yes Men have multiple responses to the word of the author. The first is that he is lying. Garfield is a highly commercialized family-friendly comic which intentionally avoids politics and inflammatory controversy as much as it can, and the artist clearly has a strong financial motivation to refuse to acknowledge that the deuteragonist of his story swallowed a warm cup of dog semen.
Another answer is that the word of the author is unimportant to the question, and that the art itself informs us of the truth we choose to accept, not the artist's attached statements, especially ones made decades after the fact. It is or isn't dog semen, but this is not up to the artist to decide.
One last response, which I do not care for, is that the artist's opinion can be ignored because he is incorrect about the existence of a supplement formula given to healthy dogs. I do not know whether it is real or not and I do not care. I have spoken to many experts and many others have claimed to speak to experts and have heard it said with absolute authority that it does or doesn't exist. I do not think it concerns us and I refuse to carry on conversations about the scientific accuracy of this detail. When I meet people who are concerned with this issue I immediately leave them and move on to the next tower.
The other real world factor which goes against the Yes Men is that, Garfield being the safe and commercialized property that it is, it would not make sense for the author to have written a comic that intentionally implies that a character has downed a shot of dog semen. This is often challenged with other examples of Garfield comics that go against the trend and show us that even Garfield can break the rules. There exists a small series of comics in October of 1989, less than a year before the strip Sivad has asked us about, where Garfield awakens to find himself living in an existential nightmare, where Jon and Odie have abandoned him in an empty house and he is starving to death. Instead of accepting his situation, he denies it, imagining that Jon and Odie are still with him and living happily with his delusions. There are several other strips with minor sexual references, although there are none that can be charitably read to imply that Jon Arbuckle, Garfield's human owner, regularly drinks dog semen.
No Men are generally more focused on the comic itself, and our natural reaction is an afterthought. We may think initially that Jon is drinking dog semen, but logic makes it clear that this cannot be true. Most No Men subscribe to the dog pregnancy supplement formula theory, but not all. Some believe that it is a harmless drink that Liz had concocted to taste like dog semen in order to prank Jon, some think it is something entirely fantastical and futuristic, and others contend that it is actually coffee. The only common explanation more disliked than coffee is dog urine. I share this dislike.
The No Men ask questions. Why would Liz keep out an unmarked, unprotected cup of dog semen on her examination table during Garfield's checkup? Whether it is going to be used for eventual insemination or for testing there must be some refrigerated storage facility for dog semen at the clinic for her to use. She does not appear to be incompetent at her profession.
The Yes Men mostly answer to this that the same question applies to a formula for dog pregnancy, or any other proposed liquid that can be connected to Jon's theoretical dog pregnancy. Why does it make any more sense for dog pregnancy supplement formula to have been left on the table in place of dog semen?
The No Men are not bothered by the answers the Yes Men give them. There are always more questions.
How would Jon not notice that it was dog semen before drinking? Shouldn't the smell or feeling of the cup have alerted him that he was not bringing coffee to his mouth? Even if she is not fond of him, how could Liz act so horribly smug after seeing Jon drink dog semen? Why does Liz, a trained animal expert, suggest that Jon, a human male, would become pregnant after drinking dog semen? If she is only kidding, isn't her joke nonsensical?
The Yes Men are not bothered by the questions the No Men give them. There are always more answers.
Jon did not notice because he was not paying attention. His eyes were closed and he was focused on impressing Liz, not the dog semen he was drinking. Liz hates Jon more than we realize and put out the dog semen intentionally because she knew he would drink it without thinking. Maybe he has come into her clinic and stolen her coffee in the past, perhaps from the same cup, which she poured the dog semen into in order to trick him. Liz's joke is nonsensical, but only because she is shocked that her plan has worked.
These answers are always different in small ways, and they can travel back and forth endlessly, creating abstract hypotheticals too complicated and ridiculous for anyone to actually view as a correct solution. These are argued anyway as a game which both sides enjoy.
This game can be fun. Many of the proposed solutions are delightful. One of my favorite scenarios has Jon and Liz portrayed as bad actors. Liz is a saboteur who has put out the dog semen intentionally to deceive Jon, and Jon is a secretive pervert who is aware of her trick but who also happens to love drinking dog semen, and he pretends to be a fool who thinks it is coffee as an excuse, so he can drink the dog semen. They are both liars and each of them has won. It's almost romantic. Past and future comics are used to bolster these fantasies with loose evidence, which no one actually thinks is connected but everyone involved pretends to.
I also enjoy the schemes which appeal to science fiction or magic. I once encountered a trio of No Men on the roof of an otherwise abandoned tower who theorized that Liz was a scientist who had created a solution which would permanently alter a person's sense of taste to make all liquid taste like dog semen, and that she had added the solution to what was otherwise an ordinary coffee. This is the rare variety of coffee theory I enjoy. Another No Man I met suggested to me that Liz had actually engineered a way in which she could make Jon pregnant with dog spawn and that her remark at the end was completely serious.
These are only games, and while I once enjoyed them, time has worn at the novelty. Our existence is mundane and torturous, and I long for paradise or even true death, though I know we will never make it there. Our test is impossible. We are too spread apart and have no way of coordinating our answers, and there is great disagreement among us. With eons behind us and our original universe having descended into the final stages of heat death, I still encounter optimists. They are never itinerants. Being a traveler, it is possible that I meet fewer travelers than those who remain in one or a few towers for long periods, but never, never have I met another who told me that they thought we could do it. We can't. Anyone who travels knows we can't.
I only stayed in the center towers, which are emptier than most newcomers expected, for several million years, which is when all of humanity died and Sivad told us there would be no more newcomers. I left and went north, and I continued north until I decided to go west, and then I went south again, and I have gone south since.
I have seen everything.
There are towers with lone individuals spouting out nonsense. Pretenders. They are not crazy. It is not possible for us to go completely insane in Mondays, Sivad changes our minds so that we cannot. We cannot help but remain sane. Many refuse to accept this and pretend to be insane in hopes that they someday will be. I used to pity Pretenders, but I do not anymore. It is meditation, and I may decide to join them one day. It may be the closest I will ever come to peace.
There are the organized communities filled with Yes Men or No Men or both, towers with between hundreds of optimists, who argue with each other with the serious attitude that once they can agree they will be able to convince others and finally free us. Often these communities will be divided and floors devoted to different purposes. They will have a floor for serious intellectual debate on the dog semen comic and on how to convince others of their view, another for the fun game scenarios, more for casual socialization, and often a floor or floors for discussing other questions presented by Garfield which may help to answer Sivad's question. It is often debated whether or not Garfield can be understood by Jon on these floors.
I once liked these communities and I admire them, but they sadden me. I wish I could express to them how vast it is and how hopeless their efforts are. We will never find everyone, we will never coordinate, we will never agree. If they traveled more they would know. I am sure I have seen so little compared of Mondays, but it was enough to make me understand. I both want them to understand and want them not to, since I do not want to disturb their innocence. When I visit these communities, I now only visit the floors where the games are played and people relax.
These communities are easily destroyed. One motivated enemy can destroy everything. There are travelers who go around, both alone and with others, who look for these communities and enter them and scream whenever people in the most active floors try to speak. We cannot touch each other or trap each other, so these people cannot be punished or forced to leave. The Screamers will not be reasoned with. As they never tire, they can scream as long as they need to without end, and the community cannot leave to escape since they will be followed. Discussion ends and members leave slowly, and the community ultimately falls apart. The Screamers almost never lose. They will only stop screaming when people part ways.
Sometimes individual Yes Men or No Men travel and seek out towers where they share the minority opinion, viewing themselves as messengers for the truth. These people fascinate me. When they do manage to convert a tower, which is rare, they immediately leave. They are unhappy anywhere where people agree with them. I always ask them if they think we can do it when I meet them, and they say no.
There are towers with smaller communities which do not argue about Garfield anymore and have accepted what is our fate. Sometimes these communities spend most of their time sleeping, sometimes they stay awake and spend time together, trying to entertain each other as they burn through eternity. I agree with these towers and have fallen in love with the people in them, but I never stay. When I become comfortable with a tower, I soon start feeling like there is somewhere else I should be instead.
There was one tower with only ten people like this, and I stayed there for several million years, which I have never done at any other single tower. They were lovely people led by a psychologist who had died at old age from a terrible degenerative illness. She was healthy in Mondays but still had the appearance and body of an extremely sickly woman. I have never met anyone as compassionate and caring in my life or death.
After I was there for about three thousand years, a group of sixty Screamers came and entered the tower. Screamers love dramatic power disparities, both when they are in the minority and when they are not. They saw us eleven as easy pickings. I did not think we could beat the Screamers and I was still not attached to the group, but I resolved not to leave until the first of the original ten had, not wanting them to think less of me.
It took over one million years, but the Screamers all eventually left, which I have never seen happen anywhere else. I have come to the conclusion that smaller towers without dog semen debate are best suited to dealing with the Screamers. The members of the traditional communities are there to achieve a goal, and when the Screamers come and attempt to prevent that, they eventually decide that it will be easier to fulfill the same goal somewhere else. The only goal of the ten was each other. There was nowhere else to go, no reason to leave.
I stayed with the ten but eventually left and continued north. I avoided friends or traveling companions for a long time, but I made an exception for an old mostly bald man named Thomas, who was living together with a large tower community of Pretenders but was not one himself. In life, he had written about politics. I liked speaking to him because he would take anything as seriously as anything else, except for Garfield. He loathed Garfield. He would rant for hours about anything and I would listen to him. He liked talking and I liked listening to his talking.
He spoke about the Kings sometimes, who Sivad tells us devoured the Creator. He would call them fools and rant about how they were wrong to have disturbed the universal hierarchy. This always made me laugh, because he would admit that he didn't know anything about the Kings or the Creators. He just hated anyone who broke up any hierarchy.
He did not feel real to me. I would talk to others we would meet during our journey, and they would rarely acknowledge that he was beside me. Everything he did and said felt meaningful to me. We spent hundreds of billions of years together and I thought we would be together forever, but as we were leaving a tower he stopped me and said that we would only spend one more year together. I asked him why and he told me that he had said everything to me that he wanted to.
One short year later, he left me. He went east and I didn't follow him, as he requested. He said he was going to go exploring. I never saw him again.
I have been alone since, other than my brief visits inside of towers. I have seen the rise of the Cult of Lyman in the area of Mondays I have traveled through, who believe that Lyman is the Creator that the Kings replaced, and that he will return to save us. I have met a group of redeemed Screamers who try to convince other Screamers to change their ways, and a different group who were convinced that if every book were destroyed, we would be freed. I am still baffled by the amount I meet that are hopeful. I was asked today by an optimist at a debate tower why I think, with eternity on our side, that we cannot do it.
I told him this. I think maybe the Pretenders could be convinced to stop pretending and the Screamers convinced to stop screaming. I think perhaps with organization, I do not know how, but perhaps all the Yes Men and the No Men might agree to give in and submit to one side. It is unlikely, but it is possible. I think it might be doable to convince all the hopeless not to be hopeless and to try, to deconvert the cults, to stop playing games, to make progress. But with all that still we cannot do it, and I know why.
There is one tower I visited soon after Thomas left me, while I was going west. It was a small tower of forty floors, and there were seven people there who never left the second floor library. They sat and read Garfield together, but did not debate it. I asked them why they would read it if not to find the solution to the Sivad's question, and they replied without looking up from their books that they all just happened to enjoy Garfield. They would occasionally smile as they read, soft puffs of air gliding down from their noses.
I wanted to know if they were optimists, so I asked them if they would tell me what they thought about Mondays.