The Participant.

''In the ultimate sense, everything is as it should be...or rather,
there's no such thing as 'should be', there just 'is'.
And there is always at least the potential for an explanation
of why our notions of what should be
do not correspond to what is.
''Our choices are indeed real, and yet...we face our destiny,
and find it to have been inevitable.
For our autonomy as individuals is inextricably bound up in a vast process,
now and forever unfolding throughout existence.''

(Larabe and his colleague examine a quarter on the rail of a bar.)

So what?! Everything's decided with a flip of a coin...Larabe - - Larabe, are you alright?

Hmm...? Oh, nothing, nothing...I suppose that provides a convenient excuse for Shoemaker-Levy.

It all depends on who's doing the flipping.

I trust in God to do the flipping.

That's probably why they took you out...there is really only one solution to a given problem. Inevitably, it comes down to a simple choice: heads or tails.

All my coins seem to be standing on edge...

Nothing ever happens without a choice.

(The coin is tossed and as it lands spins on the rail of the bar, rotating on the radial axis. It dissolves into the rail of the subway tracks, still spinning - the headlights of the oncoming train - the water - the symbol of Pisces, the trinket which he had taken from the dead woman's apartment - the headlight, in closeup - Larabe's tentative eye in the same light - the loud round tone of the engineer's horn - the eye - the headlight - Larabe beyond the point of no return; the coin must be flipped - the Pisces key chain falling to the water in slow motion - Larabe's eye following, then his hand; the body is committed to the act - a scream of bloody murder - bits of phony comet shrapnel penetrate Jupiter's atmosphere - images of the rape - the moon, the menstruation, the elliptical thrusts of the imposter comet, the helpless death throes of Jupiter at the climax of penetration - enormous jellyfish as far as the eye can sea, stacked ten or twenty feet high, the Jovian defense against intruder comet - the fish key chain, the key to the chain of events - Larabe's subway token/fish, slipping, slipping away into the murky depths - the subway train, carrier for the underworld - bishop's cross thrust in Uranus - Uranian and Martian invaders flipping coins of their own, in the realm of pure possibility, and in the NYC subway system - C.'s words about the possibility matrix - is that what he said, or just what he was thinking? - the matrix of the chess board at the crime scene - the bishop leaving the church across the street, letting God do the flipping - Uranian hit men - black pawn takes white bishop - your move - the cross he bears: co-ordinates on the matrix of possibility - the train is nearly exhausted; comes to a screeching halt - in time? only the coin-flip will tell, and it's left spinning there, obstinately - who will decide? the Martians? the Uranians? Larabe? or are they the same? - Larabe's corpse rotting on the beach, turning to jelly, the moon is in Jupiter, the fish key chain washing up from the surf to his hand, the hand that reached out with every last effort of his mortal life, the hand that flipped the coin - his mind locating the ground C. was talking about - consciousness projected to infinity - never realized that only by dying could he fulfill his self-appointed mission, as far as the I can see...)

"The Participant" created by A.M.H.

The Participant on Thin Disc        The Participant at Mount Palomar

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1997 Thin Disc