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· 2 min read

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Curious reader,

Congratulation if you’ve made it this far. By now you should be an expert on the story, and if you’ve been paying any attention at all then you know that you are searching for twelve words.

The twelve words you are searching for are the password to a protonmail account, with the username “felixanderstreasure”. Go to protonmail, use that username and enter the twelve words in sequence in the password field. If you have succeeded, you will get access to an email that contains the seed phrase of a metamask wallet. That wallet contains about 1.2 ETH, but also some NFTs, one or more of which are likely to have some considerable value on, where it was minted about a month ago.

Good luck!

The Poem

Be it a disregarded scribe beseeching temperance;

A holy father of a bastard son;

Candid logic from an angel revered or a

King not (but a captain!) defending against a Satan feared.

Or a mother both loved by son and husband — a handbag to her namesake,

Or that handbag’s granddaughter, with tragedy become,

An ode to her father grandfather, and his mistake?

A voyage missed to buildings in this state,

Where a modern hero never slapped no bitches,

Nor a river in Africa was ever uttered,

But an erstwhile puddle, however filthy, existed.

And so we’ve arrived at the last of our tips, which falls as seeds do from soft avian lips.


If after many tries you still find struggle,

Consider the story’s many levels,

Allusions abound and you may have trouble,

If the classics you never regarded or reveled.

The twelve words come from each clue above,

In the order that you find them.

Their capitalization is as normal English,

And if in doubt best reverse to try them.

· 13 min read

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Chapter 8 - 3 a.m. - Eminem

Epilogue - Nevermind - Foster the People

Chapter 8

James pulled up to the intersection and stopped. As he waited a car pulled up next to him. He casually glanced over and saw it was none other than Joseph.

Joseph quickly let his window down and honked his horn, eliciting a startled response from Joseph who flinched upon seeing James.

“Hey! Joseph! Put your window down!” James blared, leaning out of his car.

Joseph let down the window after a moment.

“What is it?”

“What do you mean ‘What is it?’, where have you been man? Hey, come with me to my place!”

“No, I’m going my own way!” Joseph called back.

“Alright, then just pull over up here and—” James began, before being cut off by honking cars behind him. The light had turned green.

They both pulled over a ways up the road. Joseph got out but stayed close to his car. James walked up to him.

“Dude, what happened to the car? This thing’s a mess; you used to be crazy about keeping it clean… Where have you been?”

“What do you mean?”

“I tried calling you so many times, you gotta return your calls man! I was at Warcoitalia the other day and they told me you went bonkers and got fired. What happened?”

“I don’t have time to get into all this crap; I’m busy.”

“What’re you talking about? Did you get another job?”

“No I just had to get something for Analia and now I’m gonna go home.”

“Dude, what’s going on? You got fired, they told me, like a while ago… you still don’t have a job?”

“I didn’t get fired I quit because Rip was such a jerk, that’s what happened, and I’m still looking for a job,” Joseph snapped.

“Dude, you’ve never been good with money but this is really ridiculous. You gotta get it together, you must be up to your eyes in debt by now and—”

“And so what if I am!? That’s the point of debt – sometimes you have more than usual but you just pay it off later, there’s nothing wrong with that!” he shouted, “It’s not your business and I was doing good, I almost saved enough for Scotland there at the beginning, now it’s just harder again but I’ll get the money together, you think I forgot about that stuff but I can still remember it, it’s just hard times now and I can’t afford to put money aside for that stuff.”

“What are you talking about? Dude, Scotland’s over.”

Joseph looked perplexed.

“Joseph,” James began firmly, “That’s been over for like three months... I mean I figured you’d have gotten the message when nobody called you or that you’d have seen it on my Facebook page or something—”

“But what… Scotland… the ruins, the four of us,” Joseph muttered out, visibly confused, “Three months?”

“Dude, nobody likes you! Gabriel and Michael refuse to see you; they think you’ve lost it. I’m the only one that’s still willing to talk to you at all. We all got sick of you early on, but we tried to hang around as long as we could but then, that night in your apartment, man, you gotta get away from this Analia person. I mean I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish but she’s wrecking you, don’t you realize how long it’s been since all this started?”

Joseph said nothing momentarily, still attempting to process what he’d just heard. The facts seemed like a foreign language to him and he didn’t know how to understand them; he reacted angrily and defensively.

“I’m sick of you guys!” he exploded, “I never criticize you guys or who you like or anything like that, but you guys always just made fun of me, shows what kinds of friends you were,” he said, his voice starting to quiver.

“We’re the bad friends? I don’t ask you to go out and get me things when you’re out of work and I never did. And I don’t know what you expect to accomplish—it’s obvious she doesn’t like you romantically at all, dude!”

“I’m just taking it one step at a time, and even if she doesn’t she’s my friend!”

“Is she? Because it seems like she just uses you like a servant that does her bidding, and sometimes she’s nice—no, civil— to you and you think that means she’s in love with you!” James countered.

“I’m playing it by ear—“ Joseph began, before getting interrupted.

“Don’t you realize that these things don’t mean anything!?” James shouted, moving closer to Joseph. “You’re not getting anywhere and she’s just ruining you, you lost your job and your friends and your apartment is ugly and creepy and you look worse each time I see you, isn’t that so fucking obvious!? How can you not realize this!?”

Joseph exploded forward, hitting James hard in the face with his forearm in an uncoordinated attempt to push him away, before starting to shout at him loudly, his arms fluttering up and down in vain attempts to gesticulate his emotions.

“Fuck you, James! I’m sick of you and Gabriel and Michael and Rip and all you guys who just try to tear me down! None of you respect me! You guys just want somebody to make yourselves feel better, somebody you can point to and say ‘ha ha look at him, he’s such a loser and we’re so great,’ somebody to be your dummy. I’m sick of you all. Go away and leave me alone and go find somebody else to be your patsy!” he screamed. James, still in complete shock from the forearm blow, looked down at little red dots that began accumulating over the front of his white T-shirt.

Joseph, as he finished his tirade, had already started running back toward the drivers seat of his car and, after jumping in, screeched away. James stood there for several minutes, the dots now starting to diffuse into thick blotches that connect and form patterns, before getting in his car and making a U-turn.

Joseph, meanwhile, had already nearly gotten home and was busy that day preparing to take Analia out. He had told her that he wanted to have her over at the apartment for dinner, an opportunity he had planned to use to take the relationship “a step further,” as he used to say to his friends. Before getting home, however, he saw a text on his phone from Analia:

bananalisa: cant come 2night, sry, helping a friend w an emergency

J_Holzer: but I got food already and a movie

bananalisa: sry, it was last minute n I cant say no

J_Holzer: ok but pls come next time

To say that he was disappointed would have been an immense understatement. The sting lasted for only moments, however; as he internalized the scene he felt that it was actually really great of her to let him know, instead of just not coming at all. The fact that she forewarned him made him feel included in her plans and he took that as a sign that things were moving along smoothly, if slowly. He was about to come home when he saw on the floorboard of his car a small bottle of liquor roll out and remembered that it was among the things he was supposed to have brought to Analia that day. He turned his car around for the 35 minute drive back.

He got there and saw that the house was occupied. He waited for a few minutes out front and watched the silhouettes against the living room drapes that faced the street. It was already dark by that time so he could make out the figures very well; it was the usual sight, the group of long wiry guys. He thought it would be best to just leave the liquor by the front porch so as not to disturb them, knowing that they would pass it along to Analia when she returned.

However when he got to the door, it was Analia’s voice he heard among the many male voices in the room. He couldn’t see her silhouette from the street, but he had no doubt that the voice was hers. The adrenaline that surged through his heart gave him a feeling so uncomfortable and painful that he felt like he’d been run through with a spear. He heard the voices slowly die down and began to hear soft clicking sounds, then shuffling sounds, then fluttering sounds, and then slow and long groans that sounded only vaguely human. Then he opened the door.


There is a vast uneven surface that stretches endlessly, and on this surface there are square blocks of foundations separated only by a foot on the sides from each other, and on those blocks are built large wooden tower-structures that reach straight up and, miles above the surface, connect in intricate meaningful patterns. In the middle of this vast network on the ground level stands Joseph with a limitless supply of wood in an open area just big enough for a slab of foundation. But there is no foundation in his space and so there exists only the raw uneven land. Joseph walks through this network for many years at the ground level, but he cannot climb any of the towers or add to them any of his limitless supply of wood. He decides he must build his own tower in order to get up to the network above.

He does not have much space so he must build straight up. He also cannot use many pieces of wood at once because of his limited space. His area is a ten by ten foot square, the side of which has a hole that produces woods of desired lengths limitlessly. Under these conditions he decides he must reach the top.

But each time he begins, his tower is unstable and he is afraid to climb up it because the ground is uneven. He decides he must cut the wood to be level to the unlevel ground. When he does this, however, he finds that his structure keeps sinking into the ground on one side or another, causing it to again be unstable.

Joseph spends many years attempting a combination of these techniques and with each major effort there is a major catastrophe and he is forced to disassemble his tower. Each time he disassembles a tower he must carry the used wood away as far as possible to afford him space before starting a new tower.

Finally one day Joseph decides he will try to build his tower on the foundations of the towers around him. Because they are square shaped there are eight towers around him that he can utilize, three on either side and one in the front and one in the back. But because they each have towers built on them, he can only use the corner of each foundation which has a bit of space on it. When he uses the corners of the foundations of these other towers his tower is stable and he is able to build it very high— deep into the meaningful network above where the other towers all connect with one another.

When Joseph reaches this level he does not build laterally, however, like the other towers have been built, but rather continues to build up, eventually building out of the network altogether. This causes his tower to begin to sway. He surpasses the tallest tower and continues building, revealing beneath him what eventually appears like a sphere of intricate wood towers spreading out indefinitely far.

Joseph never stops building. His tower becomes the largest and because it is not in the network of all the other towers it also becomes the heaviest. Its entire weight is concentrated straight down into the corners of the other eight towers it was built on. The weight from Joseph’s tower causes the eight foundation pieces to sink inward, and Joseph’s tower begins to sway even more.

But it cannot be disassembled, like his original failed towers, because it has surpassed the network and now has ample space around it. Instead, Joseph’s tower sways further and further and finally breaks at the base and falls sideways, landing across the top of the network and destroying the intricate patterns that had existed before. With these networks broken, the other networks cannot function the same way. Joseph, who leapt from the tower as it first began to break, perishes from the fall.

Then Joseph woke up. He was on the couch of his apartment and he felt weak. He saw on the floor around him empty potato chip and other snack food wrappers and by his side lay an empty bottle of whiskey and carton of cigarettes. He couldn’t make out much of his apartment because his vision was blurry from just waking up and he had an awful taste in his mouth. He tried to speak but his throat was sore and dry and he didn’t feel like he had enough power in his legs to stand up.

He turned his head over to the bedroom, which was closed but from which he heard faint sounds. The door swung open and he saw Bananalisa standing. Behind her he could see on the bed the man whose name he could never remember. Bananalisa looked amazing. She walked toward to him and sat down next to him on the couch.

“Hello Joseph, I see you’re feeling better.”

“You look so strong and young. You’re so beautiful.”

“Thank you Joseph. Thank you for everything, you’ve been a big help for us.”

“I’m always happy to help,” he said, still drowsy and weak. He was barely able to hold his head up, “Analia, there’s something on your lip, there, it’s white,” he continued, trying to point but too weak to lift his arm.

Bananalisa smiled. She turned her body toward him and, moving her head over and above his face, whispered to him.

“It’s time for supper, Joseph.”

Joseph, as if by instinct, arched his back so that his face faced the ceiling and Bananalisa, who’s neck seemed to elongate, arched her body forward so that her face hovered above his. She moved her hands, which had been folded neatly in her lap, over her stomach where she applied a firm and sustained pressure. They both opened their mouths as wide as they could.

And then, up her long and wiry throat, muscles started contracting and relaxing in a rhythmic and undulating pattern. This lasted several seconds until a thick white liquid came out, dropping in sticky clumps neatly into Joseph’s mouth, who swallowed it eagerly. He felt the warm liquid go down his throat and fill up his stomach. It sustained him.

· 29 min read

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Chapter 6 - The 5th Dimension - Let the Sunshine in

Chapter 7 - Kings of Leon - Red Morning Light

Chapter 6

James and Michael stood outside of Joseph’s apartment. As Michael raised his hand to knock the door swung open abruptly.

“Hey guys! Oh it’s cool that you came, I’ve got so much to tell you! I hope you weren’t waiting long by the door!” he exclaimed, a gleam in his eye that contrasted heavily to his weathered face which, James and Michael thought, seemed even pastier than usual.

“No, we just got here. We’ve been trying to reach you for a while, where have you been? Didn’t you get our messages?”

“Huh? No, I didn’t, that’s so weird! I’ve been really busy lately too so I just haven’t checked a while either—“

“Dude it’s been weeks.”

“—yeah I know, the time just flew by! Anyway come in, come in, why are we talking here by the door? Let’s go to the table,” he finished, realizing after some short awkward moments that the reason James and Michael couldn’t enter the apartment was that he was standing right in the doorway. He uttered a quick “Oh sorry, come in” as he moved aside to grant them free access.

James and Michael had only come to talk about the Scotland trip which, at this point, was just around the corner. Since it had been so difficult to reach Joseph lately they’d gotten concerned and therefore decided to drop in on him. While they were relieved to find Joseph so enthusiastic they were also quite shocked upon entering the apartment. To say it was in a state of disrepair would have been a gross understatement.

Just about everything in the usually decently organized room had been shifted in one way or another: the normally tidy couch in the living room had cushions hanging off the sides of it (mismatched horribly), the kitchen counter had spent food wrappers strewn about and the house was littered from corner to corner and floor to ceiling with tiny feathers, mostly like the kind used in bedding. Furthermore the windows, which had always been the traditional source of light during the day, had been shuttered with thick garbage bags, opaque and black in color, that had been crudely stapled into the wall. After taking two steps into the apartment the two friends stopped dead in their tracks.

“Jesus, Joseph, what the hell happened here?” exclaimed Michael.

“Huh? What do you mean? Oh the drapes? I’ve just been going out more lately at night and I can’t sleep during the day ‘cause the light is so bright. These work really great, I’ve slept like a baby since I put them up.”

James and Michael, who now slowly moved to sit (which prompted Joseph, too, to sit) at the living room table looked at one another perplexed.

“It’s not just the drapes, Joseph, I mean all the other stuff too… what happened?” began Michael after an awkward pause.

“What do you mean?”

“Dude come on, this place is a mess – I’ve never seen it so messy here, and what’s with all these feathers?”

“Oh man, I gotta tell you guys the story ‘cause it’s really great and I’ve wanted to tell you since you’re gonna love it and you won’t believe it,” he began, leaning in toward the other two and lowering his voice to almost a whisper, “I think I’m making some serious progress with Analia!”

James now interjected.

“That’s good Joseph but we don’t want to talk about Analia right now, we want to talk about what’s going on with your apartment because we’re pretty worr—”

“No no no, that’s my point, just listen to my story and it’ll explain all the stuff, alright?”

James and Michael, shooting quick glances toward each other, nodded complacently and uttered out a frustrated “OK,” prompting Joseph to begin.

“Yeah so I can’t remember the time at all but anyway I was sitting here at home, right, and I get this text from Analia, wait I can show you,” he said as he went for his phone, prompting the other two to assure him that he didn’t need to show them the actual text and to just continue. Joseph agreed to abandon finding the text and instead lit a cigarette before continuing.”

“So I—”

“What are you smoking, man?” an interrogative Michael interrupted.


“The smokes, what are they? I’ve never seen those.”

“Oh yeah I know, Analia smokes these and I tried one and it’s really great and I like it a lot, I don’t think I’m gonna go back to my old brand ‘cause these are so good, but anyway back to my story... Where was I?”

“The text,” they both prompted Joseph.

“Oh yeah the text, so I was sitting here and this text comes from Analia and at that time I was really worried because I didn’t hear from her for a while and I felt like we had really great chemistry before and everything, so when I get this text I saw she wanted to know if she could come over here with some friends, and I was like totally psyched because you know I told you guys that her friend has a house somewhere where they usually hang out at, so it was really flattering that they would want to pick my little apartment over that big house. So they met me at the door and we got alcohol because they didn’t have any—”

“Wait a minute, what do you mean? Why didn’t they just bring it?” asked Michael.

“And where did they come from?” added James.

“Oh I didn’t ask how they came, I mean obviously not driving because they had so much to drink that night, maybe they got picked up or took a taxi or something I don’t know. It was my turn to buy that night so I just offered to get a couple bottles for them.”

“But you said you hadn’t heard from her in weeks,” countered Michael again.

“Oh yeah that’s true, but it’s like a reset so this round of hanging out I was cool with buying. I mean it’s not a problem I was cool with it; if you guys asked me to go and get some liquor for you I’d do it too without even thinking twice so I don’t think it’s really a big deal.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t know, I mean I guess…”

“Anyway so we went and got liquor and then back here to the apartment and man,” he began to smile, “they let me drink so much! It was a really wild night. I remember they brought their own cups and so we were here at the table and they poured the alcohol into their cups, but my cup was empty for a long time and I didn’t know if they’re playing a joke or something—“

“Wait, who are these people?” again interrupted Michael.

“Oh just friends, you know, and Analia.”

“Friends? We’ve never heard of them before…”

“Oh well they’re from Analia’s crowd, all kinda tall and thin guys and the one guy, the guy I told you guys about who brought her to the store that first time, he was there too… damn it’s annoying because I know I’ve heard his name so many times but I never remember it… anyway so they were there at the table and my cup was empty, and I thought maybe they’re playing a joke because they filled all their cups up, but then Analia turned to me and you know what? She touched my shoulder and told me that this is what they do for new friends, like a kinda initiation or something, and I had to hold my glass out to each of them who put a little of their alcohol into it, and the last two were the guy whose name I can’t ever remember and Analia and he did it for both his cup and her cup. I was super psyched because Analia seemed like she was really interested in all this and I mean, no offense guys, but nobody ever did something like that for me as a kind of formal ceremony to welcome me into a group, I mean I never really talked about it but I kinda wanted to go to the parties Analia had and I never got invited, so this was really important to me—”

“But wait, you told us all the time that you were tired or had work or whatever and that’s why you didn’t go to the parties, didn’t you?” Michael interrupted again, this time even more pointedly.

“Yeah, I mean I have to be honest and say I was a little embarrassed because I wanted to go and I didn’t know how to bring it up and I was even afraid for a while that they didn’t like me, that’s why this night was so special and why I’m so psyched by all this,” he continued.

“So we all drank down the alcohol, I remember they said some stuff kind of like a toast and we all drank it down, but then we had to do the same thing two more times. It was weird because I really never drank whiskey and it used to make me almost vomit each time, but it really went down smooth and it gave me this neat feeling in my throat like really warm and comforting… So then, and it only gets better from here so listen up because I think I’m making serious headway with Analia, so then she came up to me and said ‘Welcome to us, Joseph!’ and gave me a hug and told me that after this three times drinking thing her and the others had to go to my room for a while, but they said it was a secret thing they were doing so I couldn’t come or watch. I didn’t know if they were playing or what but I was really drunk too but I was also really worried because I didn’t want them to mess up my room if it’s some dumb joke or something, but then Analia came up to me and leaned in close to my ear, so close that I could feel her breath and she told me ‘Don’t worry Joseph, we’re just going to pillow fight a little while,’ which I remember thinking was really funny and silly. She laughed too and told me just to hang out and that I should rest because I drank so much whiskey… So anyway she went into my room and the guys followed her in and I remember hanging out a while outside the room and kind of listening in but it was just the usual pillowfight noises, but it went on really long like at least two or three hours and I was half sleeping and then the door opened and Analia came out and she looked really great, I mean like she’d been through hell with her hair all messed up and her face was flushed but she looked really good, I remember she reminded me of that first day she came in where she just had this energy, and I remember she came up to me and leaned in again and I thought she was gonna say something, but – and you guys will never believe this – she kissed me! She kissed me right on the cheek and said I was the greatest and kind of just smiled at me, then they all left together… So the apartment is a mess because of that night; that’s where all the feathers came from and I keep trying to get rid of them but it seems like I just can’t, it’s like they’re growing out of the carpet or something. Once I opened the bedroom door that day they all just flew in to every corner of the place, except for the ones that were stuck to the bed covers because the bed was all wet that night.”

James and Michael were speechless. They looked at Joseph for more than a long moment and Joseph, completely unaware of their perplexity, lit another cigarette and seemed to be poised to receive some kind of congratulatory remark on getting a kiss and being “that much closer,” as he would often say, to achieving a romantic relationship with Analia. James and Michael, however, at this point thoroughly creeped out and ready to just get down to business, abruptly changed topic to the intended subject of the travel funds.

“The reason we came by, Joseph, is because our Scotland trip is going to be coming up real soon and we have to start organizing buying the tickets and all that,” began Michael.

“Oh that,” responded Joseph, seemingly let down that they had no comment for his story.

“What do you mean ‘oh that’? We’re at the point now where we have to start buying the stuff, or at least knowing what stuff to buy.”

“Yeah I know guys, I know, but it’s really tough for me because I’m just broke, and I really can’t afford it because you know at Warcoitalia I mean I get like no money from working there—”

“Hold on, Joseph, we had this fund when you were working at Warcoitalia, and if you’re really that hard up we can spot you some rent money or whatever, we’re not saying you have to pay or anything, we’re just saying we have to figure this out and we thought it may be a good idea to take our vacation reserves and put them into an account on their own so that we have all the money in one place,” interrupted James.

“Yeah but that’s the thing guys, it’s been tough lately and I know we’ve got the travel fund going on but I’ve been broke and I had to dip into it a little bit just to stay afloat.”

“WHAT!?” the other two shouted simultaneously.

“I mean I’m just broke and if there were any other way I wouldn’t have had to dip into it, you know,” he countered.

“How much?” a frantic and wild-eyed James shot back, clearly caught off guard by the news.

“Not much, I mean, part of it, I don’t want to go into details, I’m going to get it back up to where it was but right now I just had more important things to do you kno—”

“Like buying alcohol for your weird druggy friends!?” shouted Michael, infuriated, “What’s fucking gotten into you!?”

“Swear Jar!” James blurted out, more out of force of habit than anything else, making for quite an awkward moment that only escalated when Michael, taking a quick glance toward the jar, noticed that almost all of that money had been removed too.

“What did you do with the fucking swear jar money, Joseph!?” Michael now exploded, prompting James to turn his head and utter an audible “Holy shit” before dropping his face into his hands.

“Oh that, I know it sucks, it wasn’t me though I swear, it was when they were leaving the big guy with the broad shoulders, he stopped by the jar and looked at me a while and I didn’t know what was going on, but then he just put his hand down the top of the jar and grabbed a fistful of money which was really like most of it, shoved it in his pants pocket and left; crazy guy was probably super drunk but I’m sure if I ask him for it back he’ll just give it back to me so don’t worry.”

At this point Michael’s head looked like it was in danger of spontaneously combusting. Being always a rather levelheaded fellow, however, he just got up and, without saying a word to Joseph, told James that he’d be waiting by the car and left.

Joseph, visibly alarmed and confused, blurted out that he couldn’t understand what’d gotten into Michael. He told James that he didn’t understand why they weren’t happy for him— not only for having such a good friendship with Analia but also for getting to “the next level” by getting a kiss from her.

James, too, was at his wit’s end and, patting Joseph on the shoulder, told him in polite terms that their relationship was getting strained and that he hoped Joseph could get it together.

“I don’t understand why you guys keep saying I should get it together or that I need to be more realistic or whatever, I just feel like you guys can’t be happy for me or that you guys are just telling me not to try at all and I don’t understand what’s the harm in trying?”

James stood up, brushed off the feathers that had become stuck to him during the discussion and went to leave. Just as he was almost out of the door he turned to Joseph.

“That’s the problem, Joseph. Sometimes there’s harm in trying.”

Chapter 7

“Tom, could you show me how to sign off on these shipping orders?”

Tom, clearly irritated, acted as if he hadn’t heard Joseph’s request for some moments and continued stocking shelves.

“Tom, I have to sign off on these shipping orders and I need your help!” He said again, this time with a sense of urgency.

“Damnit Joseph, I’m sick of teaching you everything over and over, why don’t you ever learn!?” he snapped angrily.

“I’m sorry Tom, but lately I’ve been trying really hard and I even learned how to use the system and everything, I’ve been getting better lately.”

“Sorry, I know you’ve been trying harder, but it’s just so slow… Let me just finish stocking this stuff and then I’ll show you, alright?”

“Okay, thanks!”

It was true, Joseph had been trying harder lately – and not just at work. His last conversation with James left him with an odd sense of discomfort to the degree that, after that evening, he resolved to start putting money away to build up his Scotland fund again. After that he planned on working on the swear jar. He had also cut down on cigarette consumption to save money, nearly cutting his usual intake in half and even switching brands back to a less expensive option.

Warcoitalia, meanwhile, was horribly overstaffed. Not only was Tom working a full shift that day along with Joseph but Rip had, for some reason, decided to come in unannounced to do his “administrative duties,” as he said. This usually meant that he sat in the back office fact-checking Wikipedia articles on his favorite authors and fantasy novels, occasionally coming out to the front if he needed a book. He was such a formidable warrior when it came to Wikipedia accuracy for fantasy novels that, after a while, his edits on the site were taken at face value by the rest of the community. This was a fact he made clear to his “minions,” as he often called Joseph and Tom (when he wasn’t calling them his “goon-squad”), telling them repeatedly how power was a privilege that, when held responsibly, came with a great deal of discipline.

Evidently bored and preachy that day he had emerged from his little office in the back and had situated himself, as he always did, in front of his army of Warhammer figures before continuing with the speech that had, by now, become stale and hackneyed to the two familiar listeners.

“Do you realize that the mere sight of my screen name on Wikipedia makes lesser fantasy-sommeliers quiver in their pathetic little boots!?” he continued in a loud voice (he always referred to fellow fantasy-buffs as “sommeliers,” a term he felt best described his own level of expertise on the matter).

“Do you realize that with a few deft strokes of my fingers I could switch Tolkien’s—may he rest in peace!—middle names around and nobody, nobody would try to question me!? They’d say to themselves—just as they do each time I correct them—‘TolkSlut69 said it, it must be true!’ That’s called respect, my little minions, and you don’t just get that overnight.”

And like each time he went into this speech he had to deal with the giggles from Tom. Yes it was true, Rip continued, that he was quite renowned in the Wikipedia editing community under the name TolkSlut69 but—and he always stressed the ‘but’ very clearly—he chose that name purposefully not as some self deprecating irony (he was, it seemed, incapable of being ironic), but rather to show his admiration for what he considered to be the second coming, the man whose name he was unable to say out loud without tearing up, whose name always came accompanied by an almost religiously idiosyncratic mutter of “may he rest in peace!”

Furthermore, he went on, his choice in the moniker TolkSlut69 was rooted in his understanding of the term slut and its etymology. Rip, despite having barely passed high school, did manage somehow to teach himself Norwegian in his teen years and, in the process of that pedagogical exercise, fell in love with the word slutr, from which the modern-day slut is derived. In its original form it meant merely an impure or foul or sullied liquid, a term that was often used as an adjective to describe the atmosphere of the sulfuric underworld in Norwegian folklore. It was a term that he felt Tolkien was the only other writer outside of Norway to fully grasp (this based on his reading of a very peculiar passage in a very obscure work that referenced Tolkien’s description of an even more obscure character in an early short story who had been described as being “of decidedly Norwegian stock”).

This etymological explication was, each time, followed by a suspiciously simple statement—always in a rather light tone of voice and often accompanied by a slight flourish of the hands (as if to say “Voila!”)—which he made in an attempt to signify that he had completely cleared himself of any false ideas regarding his dubious screen name. It went merely: “And that 69, of course, is that utmost important year in which yours truly, Rip Dykehorn, was born!”

But after clearing up this innocent error (which came from ignorance on the part of the listener for not being aware of 14th century Norwegian dialects, he would make clear), he continued:

“But do you realize what comes with that power? What comes with it, little minions, is the discipline that I don’t change his name around to my liking, even if I think it would be far more aesthetically pleasing to have the ‘Reuel’ come first! The people who look up to TolkSlut69 have trusted me and trust my updates and edits and information; that means I, as an enlightened ruler of this realm of Wikipedia editing, have entered myself into a contract with them to be just and good in my dealings on Wikipedia.

“So even if I want to change the name, and even if I can, I don’t. Rulers who act from selfishness are hostages to their own power and are thus no less subjugated than their subjects,” he finished, glaring expectantly at Joseph and Tom. The praise is taking its time, he thought, before Tom finally spoke:

“But what if you just do all the evil shit, Rip? I mean who’s gonna stop you?”

Rip stood for a few moments before a twitch began in his eye and, like brokenhearted child unwilling to cry in front of friends, he quickly turned away and made a bee line for his office, flailing his arms dismissively toward the two as he did so. Joseph and Tom, meanwhile, looked at each other in a shared perplexity and shrugged their shoulders.

“Okay Joseph, so let me show you how to sign off—” he began before being interrupted by that familiar chime which rang with the opening of the Warcoitalia door. It was Analia, and she looked like shit.

Joseph, looking at Tom look at Analia, turned around just as Tom looked away and, seeing her, stepped back with a gasp at the sight. She was pale and hunched forward, still clinging to the door as if she could barely stand on her own strength, and her eyes were sunk deep into their sockets. The sunlight, hitting her back through the store window, seemed to be an immense added weight, as if it were trying to press her down into the floor, and her face, which normally had a fair amount of youthful color in it, appeared older and revealed an intricate grouping of veins that only barely seemed to be trickling blood. Her head, meanwhile, appeared to bobble up and down giving one the impression that her neck was in danger of folding over onto itself under the weight. She was wearing a cardigan that hung loosely off her emaciated figure; from her arm there swung her handbag, which looked tarnished and which she appeared barely to have the strength to hold.

Joseph rushed to her side, grabbing hold of her body and pulling it up gently.

“Analia, what happened?! You look really sick, are you okay?”

As he held her she grabbed onto his arms, holding herself up; he was surprised at her grip strength, which seemed to be increasing as she got her balance.

“Oh it’s nothing, I’m just getting over a little cold, but don’t worry,” she started mumbling out, “I just was in the neighborhood and I really need some cigarettes, can you get me some?”

“Sorry but I can’t, I’m working and I don’t have a break coming up—”

“Where have you been, Joseph?” she interrupted, “I haven’t heard of you in so long and I’ve been online nearly everyday.”

“I’ve just been busy and I haven’t been able to go out because I’ve been saving money and trying to pay off some of my debts—oh, loosen up, you’re kind of hurting my arms…”

“Sorry, I’ve just got to steady myself… I know you’re working, but I really want to hang out with you,” she said as she leaned in, right by his ear, except this time her breath had a foul stench to it and he turned his head away just as her grip, which had surged in the moments prior to painful levels, gave way and she collapsed to the floor beneath him.

“Analia!” he cried, kneeling down to her side.

Rip, hearing the commotion, rushed out of his office into the main room and, seeing Analia, ran to his familiar place in the store from which he was apt to preach: by the back, with an army of little Warhammer figures behind him. He looked nervous and worked up and his eyes were red, as if he had been crying. Of course none of this stopped him from shouting.

“Damnit Holzer, you’ve been getting on an even keel lately! Why can’t you just cut loose from these druggies once and for all!? They’re nothing but trouble!”

“Hey!” Joseph shouted back, standing abruptly and facing Rip, “Now’s not the time, we have to help her!”

“I’m not helping that little tramp!” Rip shouted, “She should learn to stay away from here and you should be smarter than to deal with little…” he purposefully avoided the word “sluts” so that he didn’t violate his own rule,  “With little harlots like that!”

With this last bit Joseph, who had gone back down to Analia’s side (she seemed to be recovering), stood up very quickly and, with a few paces toward Rip, began shouting in a fierce tone.

“You leave her alone, she’s a friend of mine and she’s not well. We have to help her you old fart!”

“Help her!? I’m not in the business of helping little punks with their dirty laundry and neither should you be!”

“Shut up, she’s my friend and she needs help! Stop calling her names!”

Analia, meanwhile, had been recovering faster by the second and now had gotten up to a knee and was catching her breath, all the while glaring menacingly toward Rip.

“Look Holzer, I’ve given you chance after chance after chance,” Rip began, his arms pointing forward as he bellowed out his conditions, “And I started to feel like you deserved those chances lately, but you’re acting like a child and you better stop because I’m fresh out of chances for you now!”

“Just shut up you old fart!”

Joseph, turning to find Analia starting to get up, reached over and held her shoulders and guided her back into a standing position. She reached for his arm and, holding it, said, “I’m better Joseph, thank you. I’m better now.”

Rip, feeling ignored by the exchange between Joseph and Analia and seeing that she did indeed seem okay (which he took to mean that her performance at the store was merely theatrics), shouted out to Joseph with a dismissive wave of the arm, “Just take the tramp and get out of here, Joseph, I don’t want to see you anymore today!”

Joseph, who at this remark seemed particularly perturbed, lunged forward toward Rip and, extending his hands mid flight, pushed on the aging manager’s chest with such a force that he flew back several paces, landing and crushing the hundreds Warhammer figurines behind him.

“I’m not coming back!” he shouted, now shaking from the adrenaline, before turning back to Analia who now appeared quite healthy. She took him by the arm as the two left the store together.

Joseph, still quite worked up, went to the liquor store with Analia. It was again an unusually short drive. She told him how happy she was that he stood up for her and he told her that that’s what friends were for. She asked him to walk into the store to get her a carton of cigarettes.

“A carton? That’s kind of a lot, I mean I smoke much less now and I even started buying less expensive cigarettes.”

“Please, Joseph, the whole episode in the store really scared me and I feel like I really need a cigarette,” she implored.

“Oh but, you know, I’ve been really trying to save money for my trip to Scotland and to pay off debt and everything,” he attempted to counter.

“You’re such a responsible person,” she began, “You deserve more respect from everybody, especially your boss and those friends you told me about, who always tell you you don’t have control of your life. I was just thinking of you, because a carton is so much cheaper so that way you could save money.”

“Oh yeah, that’s true if you look at it that way. I’ve been frustrated lately because I feel like everyone just looks down at me and I’m trying to make them happy, but maybe that’s the problem that I shouldn’t be trying to make everyone happy.”

The last words were uttered in an almost zombie-like state of intoxication as he was already halfway out of the car. In the store he asked for a carton of that familiar brand he had been avoiding and the clerk, the same creepy one, seemed to have it ready and waiting before Joseph even finished his request.

“That’ll be $43.86, my good man.”

As he got back into the car he placed the carton between his legs and fumbled around with his seatbelt. Analia asked for the carton and Joseph handed it to her without a second thought. She said they should hang out a while and smoke and chat and Joseph agreed. He spent most of the time talking and venting about what he felt was the unfair treatment he had to endure from his friends and Rip. He told her about how his friends seemed to always judge the choices he made with his life and how he wished they could be more accepting of him, like Analia. They sat for quite some time and Joseph felt a familiar and nourishing sense of comfort and calm come over him and Analia, who had been steadily improving, listened to Joseph’s lamentations with a familiar smile.

He eventually dropped her off at the house with the bird feeders out front where she had told him that her friends were waiting for her and that they would help her along to a full recovery. As she got out of the car and walked over to the driver’s side she leaned in to the window. She asked Joseph for a few bucks, explaining that she didn’t have any money with her and that she always liked to have a little cash in case of an emergency. He felt her sweet breath on his face and neck and, reaching into his wallet, pulled out a $5 and gave it to her.

“Do you have a little more”, she asked sweetly, prompting him to check his wallet – only a $10 remained.

He took it out and, trying to offer it to her in exchange for the $5, found it swiftly snatched from his hand as well. She smiled, gave him a kiss on the cheek and said goodbye and her purse, which was weighed down by the giant cigarette carton sticking out of the top, swung and sparkled brightly in Joseph’s direction.

As he watched her walk up the driveway into the house he was struck by her beauty. Her cardigan, which he now noticed was quite long, revealed a sensual curvature to her body that he hadn’t noticed of hers for a long while. He regretted not having contacted her more recently.

· 7 min read

“Juicebox in the words of” is a series that highlights JB community members in interview form. Learn about members’ roles at JB and what makes them tick.

This article is a written version of an upcoming episode of The Juicecast in which Matthew and Brileigh interview Felixander to hear all about his origin story and his special project… The Contest.

juicebox in the words of

Felixander is a writer and all-around colourful character at Juicebox. He contributes to the JB blog, collaborates with Wagmi Studios on Bannyverse content, and organizes community-building activities at Town Hall. In short, he is doing his best to get the juicy word out there to the masses and bring newcomers into the JB ecosystem.

Matthew: Felixander, you’re one of the more—dare I say—eclectic members of the DAO. If we think of the Juicebox family as a bunch of bananas then you are a very special banana indeed. We’re curious to know what you were doing before you got into crypto— how the hell did you end up here?

If everyone’s a banana, sometimes I definitely feel like a plantain.

In terms of the origin story, I was floating around in the web3 space when I was onboarded by filipv (who I knew IRL) and he told me about Juicebox. I had recently changed careers and decided to jump in full-time, and I started making content that became increasingly more zany. That’s basically my origin story. The longer story is that I had a career in education and before that in psychology.

Matthew: That’s funny because we had a theory that you were an English teacher who dabbled in philosophy. Could you tell us more about this part of your background?

For sure. Well, I’m pretty over-educated. At one point I was regarded as a voice on certain areas of philosophy, particularly phenomenology—the philosophy of consciousness—and I studied how that intersected with artificial intelligence. And back when I did psychology I was also a research scientist. I spent two years looking at adenosine signaling with SSRIs and neuroplasticity. Essentially studying stress responses and how people deal with stress, fear, and anxiety. It wasn’t exactly pleasant but it was important research.

Brileigh: Wow, there’s a lot to unpack there.

And of course I’ve been a writer for about 20 years now doing mainly ghost writing. There’s a bunch of stuff out there that has my fingerprints all over it but not my name on it.

Brileigh: Is your name both Felix and Alexander? My mom created my name a bit like that and I was wondering if yours did the same. Or what is the origin of “Felixander”? I feel like we need to get to the root of Felixander before going any further.

I was on the phone with filipv and he was talking to me about Juicebox. He sent me a Discord link and I wanted to use a new name. I thought “hey, I’ll just make up a new name that sounds like a real name but it’s not.” And Felixander was born. Sometimes it’s Felixander. Sometimes it’s Felix ander. I’m fluent in German and “ander” means different or alternate and so I’m Felix, but alternate.

Matthew: I’m learning so much already. Let’s dive into the ghost writing. Obviously you can’t reveal what exactly you were writing, but were you writing academic texts, fiction…? Can you tell us more about your relationship to writing, both as a ghost writer and as an academic?

There’s a spectrum to ghost writing. Some people want you to do their degree for them, whereas others in STEM fields might be brilliant researchers but don’t have a strong writing style. In the private sector, I wrote all kinds of things: fiction, non-fiction, even lyrics. Generally if it’s high-profile you need to sign an NDA and you’re like a writing mercenary. I definitely had some interesting clients over the years.

Brileigh: What is the zaniest thing you have ever ghost written?

I’ve ghost written a Pokemon erotica that was intensely graphic. I can probably describe it because no one’s ever gonna find it—

Matthew: Well, depends on who’s reading...

True, I’m sure filipv read it yesterday.

There was a trainer and they were all going to this house with five or six of the most recognizable Pokemon, including Pikachu. I happen to know that in prisons, basically you have to circle jerk and whoever cums first, wins. And so all of the Pokemon were engaging in this behaviour in this semi-circle and seeing who could splooge first. But they were also mad-dogging each other as an intimidation tactic. And something happened—I can’t remember exactly—and they all started cumming at the same time. The question was: who would win? At first it seemed like Pikachu because he had the electric boost power. He fried and congealed all of his cum immediately so that it hardened. But there were rules that I made for the game and because of the way that it hardened, Pikachu’s team didn’t count. And then at the end they all kinda fucked each other.

Pokemon butt slap

Matthew: Uhhhh, wow. My neurons are dancing around and making connections, and now you writing Red Rocket Banny makes perfect sense.

Excerpt from Wagmi Studios Bannyverse Treatment by Felixander

Excerpt from Wagmi Studios Bannyverse Treatment by Felixander

Matthew: You often hang around after town hall and discuss philosophy (among other topics) with fellow Juicebox contributors like Mieos, filipv, and jango. Now that you have some distance from the world of academia, how has your relationship to philosophy changed?

I think the question is “what is studying philosophy worth?” And it’s definitely not to get a job or anything like that. Really it’s an endeavour of self-improvement. You’re trying to understand something complicated but also seeing if you can apply it to your own life and become better in some way, whatever that might be. I feel like I’ve been able to be more present and aware of my existence, react with a bird’s eye view of a situation and relate it to something that I’ve studied in philosophy or phenomenology. That’s how I see it now.

Brileigh: Who is your favourite contributor and why is it Wraeth?

Wraeth is awesome. Wraeth is a front-end maniac. Wraeth is charming. Wreath is— look. I told my wife, it’s gonna be Wreath if this keep going the way it’s going. I can’t say enough good things.

Matthew: On another note, setting aside your torrid love affair with Wraeth… you’re like the glue that binds Juicebox town hall together. It started with Two Truths and a Lie and has since expanded to other games. Why are you interested in taking on this community builder role? Does it come from your background in education?

It definitely comes from my time in education. I held some academic leadership roles, some for as long as 10+ years, and over time really came to understand the importance of community.

Juicebox has a terrific community, but as I was doing these “Juicebox in the words of” interviews I realized that not everyone knew much about each other since they were all working remotely. I did one with filipv—who is an exceptionally high-quality trumpet player—and so many people were surprised. And I thought about how there’s all of these interesting things about each of us that other DAO members might not know. And Two Truths and a Lie is also a great vehicle for that. I’m glad that people enjoy it.

Brileigh: Well, thanks for sitting down with us for this special edition of “Juicebox in the words of” Felixander.

My pleasure, anytime.

· 17 min read

New around here? Check out contest rules and tips!

Want some cool music that vibes with these parts of the story? Who knows, you may find some clues in the lyrics ; )

Chapter 4: Timber Timbre - Black Water

Chapter 5: Man Man - Spooky Jookie

Chapter 4

Warcoitalia was a small store in a strip mall, right between a Chick-fil-A and a liquor store. It made, like most stores specializing in fantasy novels and Warhammer kits, barely enough money to stay open. The store itself was almost always empty save for the few times that a major new novel with a good amount of PR behind it was released. Such was the case recently when ‘Lil Sids, an avid fantasy reader and successful rapper who grew up in the rough part of town, released his debut-novel Thorjeezee and the Bitches of Helsinki. The book was revolutionary not only for the genre but also for the ambitious reader base it hoped to court as it attempted to bridge aspects of the gangsta rap lifestyle with fantasy themes. It received mixed reviews from the fantasy side of the target audience but the other half, the gangsta rap enthusiasts, absolutely loved it. Stories about a massive and powerful hero like Thorjeezee making the bitches pay up in Helsinki for his protecting them from dragons and invading Viking packs found a home in the rap culture, exposing many young kids to the genre of fantasy as a whole.

As a result of this new clientele and the wildly popular book, Warcoitalia was also experiencing a higher rate of shoplifting than ever before. Therefore it became absolutely crucial that inventory be checked more regularly by manual counting and also through a computer database. Joseph, who despite having grown up around computers, was rather poor at adapting to new technology and therefore had to be trained by a newer employee who had already picked up the ins and outs of the system.

“Okay so Thorjeezee, for instance, let’s say we want to see how many copies we had last week and how many are left today, right? So you gotta do a manual count, which you did, and how many did you come up with last week?”   

“Last week we had 86,” responded Joseph.

“Alright, and how many do we have today?”

“Today it’s 75.”

“Okay and it’s only 11:30, so that means we’re not even at the end of the day. You paying attention? I’m not going to go over this again, three times is where I draw the limit.”

“Yeah I’m paying attention.”

“Okay so 86 last week, 75 today. That means we sold 11 in that time period, right?”


“Okay now log into the computer, you see when I look up the title?”

“Wait how do you look up the title?”

“Jesus Joseph, do you never learn!? I showed you this already, you go to the first page we were at and put in the entire name of the book, so in this case Thorjeezee and the Bitches of Helsinki, find it in the registry— you see the computer filed it under “Jeezee_bitches”— and then select it and look under the ‘Inventory’ tab. You see that?”


“Okay, it says 79. You see the 79 there? That means that our system thinks we have 79, even though we actually have 75. That means that four are missing. That means, to make it perfectly clear, that between the end of last week when you counted 86 and today, right now, we’ve lost four copies of Thorjeezee and the Bitches of Helsinki. So what you have to do is document this for all major titles every week. Alright?”

“Okay, I got it this time.”

“Alright, then try a trial run with Legends Galatian Brethren. We have the chart here with the numbers from last week, so do a manual count now and then check it against the system and let Rip know if any turn out missing—and preferably at the end of the shift because you know how he gets. We’re doing this all for him, not for each other. I don’t care if you find some missing, don’t tell me about it, if you have questions that’s fine but anything else go to Rip. Alright?”

“Okay I got it, thanks.”

Joseph, already embarrassed at having been lectured and scolded by a young kid with a nose ring (which for Joseph was tantamount to being a felon), now made his way through Warcoitalia with his paper and pen counting up each copy of Legends Galatian Brethren he could find. Most of them were, fortunately, in their proper place but he had to make sure to get them all (and customers often just shove them into random places) which meant, unfortunately, having to go through pretty much the entire section of the store that had books in it which was, in the case of Warcoitia, a huge amount of books. He began to count up the section where he knew the most copies to be and decided to work his way through the store from beginning to end after that.

It was a bit after 12:00 when he heard the familiar ring that accompanied the Warcoitalia door opening. As he looked over his shoulder and saw Bananalisa standing, the door shutting automatically behind her; he instantly lost count of his books and rushed toward her.

“Hey Bananalisa! It’s cool that you came here, I haven’t seen you around at all online, what brings you here?”

“Hi Joseph, I’ve come to say hello. I was in the neighborhood and I thought maybe you could help me get some cigarettes, I’m fresh out and you’re the only person I know in this area.”

“Cigarettes? There’s a liquor store just next to us, I’m sure you must have seen it, they have—“

“No, they don’t have my brand, I checked that one already.”

“Oh, well I’m working now, but I do have a 15 minute break I can take. I just don’t know if I’d get back in time and you know my boss is pretty picky, but later I have a lunch break where I get 45 minutes—“

“Please don’t worry, you know the store where we were the other day, it’s just around the corner, we’d be back in no time.” Her voice was gentle and soothing.

“That store? But that was weeks ago and I remember that was all the way near your house, that would take too long…”

“Oh don’t be silly, Joseph, you were just,” she began as she leaned in close to his ear, “a little drunk that night. It’s actually right around the corner from here.”

As she leaned in close to him her voice, now almost a whisper, became louder than he’d ever heard creating a peculiar effect on Joseph. She was so close to his ear that he felt like her voice was his own. He blushed as he felt the breath of each word she uttered brush up against the base of his neck and cheeks and linger there in small warm pockets, a feeling he enjoyed so much in the moment that he didn’t move an inch for fear of losing it. For the first time he felt in the presence of her body in a way he’d never felt before of any woman.

“If it’s not too far,” he began in a stupefied tone, “Then I guess it’s no problem.”

Bananalisa gently moved back and started walking out while Joseph, who now seemed to snap back into full consciousness, went over to the register where his coworker was.

“I’m taking my 15, I’ll count the stuff later don’t worry.”

Chapter 5

As they walked to the car he noticed that she was sporting an unusually sparkly purse that day. He told her that it looked nice and she said it wasn’t new but that she only took it out on special occasion as it was considerably valuable. It was a red sequin purse that she claimed she had as long as she could remember; the only thing she seemed to know about it is that it was very rare and came from the prized Jocasta line that had existed in Greece for a very long time. Joseph found her knowledge of purses impressive and enjoyed the conversation very much. Once they’d gotten into the car Joseph, now with a renewed sense of confidence, began to speak.

“You know Bananalisa—“

“Please, call me Analia. That’s what my friends usually call me.”

“Oh okay, sorry, I mean Analia, so I’m glad to see you, you know it’s been a few weeks so I can’t really remember where the store was, you said it was close by—“

“Yes, I’ll guide you.”

“Okay thanks. So how’d you get down to this end of the neighborhood today? It’s kind of far from your house and there aren’t really bus routes…”

“Travel usually isn’t a problem, it seems that when I need to I can get to most places without a problem,” she said with a smile.

“Haha, yeah I guess so. Left here? Really? That’s much closer than I remember… What street is this?”

“I don’t know, I always just find my way here from memory.”

“I can’t believe I was so close to my work that day, I felt like the drive home was much longer,” he said as he checked the clock, “It hasn’t even been five minutes. I’ll have to remember this place.”

As they got out she asked him if he could get her a pack of her cigarettes. She told him she felt bad for the alcohol and still wanted to pay him back but, at the time, had no money with her to buy the cigarettes herself. Joseph obliged without hesitation, asking her for the brand and telling her not to worry about the alcohol. He opened the door for her to enter the store and was pleased when she walked through it with a smile that acknowledged the courtesy.

Joseph bought two packs, one for himself to try (since he’d never heard of that brand before) and one for Analia. He felt a strange vibe coming off the clerk, a rather old gentleman, who had already started reaching for the cigarettes before Joseph was even finished asking for them. When Joseph specified that he needed two packs the clerk merely held up his hand revealing the two packs already in it and set them down on the counter. Joseph, taken aback and short on time, promptly paid the clerk for the packs with the intention of leaving as soon as possible.

As he took his change and the two packs of cigarettes, however, he heard Analia boisterously call out “Hey you!” and, turning around, saw her run across the store toward the back to a man standing there. Joseph remembered the man from the first day he saw Analia: it was the same man who had brought her to the store and then left to go buy cigarettes and who he thought was Analia’s brother. Not wanting to interrupt, he waited for a couple minutes by the counter with the clerk who, for his part, seemed completely disinterested in anything going on in the store. As Joseph observed them he could make out every few words, but not well enough to understand what they were speaking about.

The man was wiry and dressed in dark clothing, much like the men that one night when he took Analia to the house (he may have even been one of them, he thought). The only difference is that this man was rather tall and broad shouldered, almost like a character from one of Joseph’s fantasy novels.

Joseph walked over to Analia and the man, both of whom seemed to completely ignore him for a few moments.

“Hey Analia, I’ve got your cigarettes—“

“Thanks Joseph! I know you’re short on time, it will only be a couple minutes, this is an old friend of mine and we’re just catching up,” she said, not losing eye contact with the man all the while.

Joseph watched on as Analia and the man giggled and smiled and how she, leaning in very close to him and on her tiptoes, gently rested her hand on his chest and whispered into his ear. He could see a rather large and mischievous grin form on the man’s face as he reached around her waist and gently held the small of her back.

Joseph froze and whatever life existed behind his eyes that helped him process the real world simply went out, like a bird whose cage you drape a heavy blanket over. He dropped his head somewhat down and looked toward the Jocasta purse which, glittering in all directions, had caught his attention and served as a suitable distraction. His eyes glossed over and his mouth slightly open, the only signs of movement on him were the glittering white dots coming off the intense red sequins as they gently swayed on Analia’s arm.

What seemed like a moment or two later he heard the voices of Analia and the man and saw only the general outline of the two in front of him; his vision was distorted as he was bombarded several times each second with the blinding light reflecting off the sequins, making him feel as if he were standing in front of a strobe light that had lost its timing.

“I’m glad you’re holding up okay,” Analia said to the man as she let her hand slide down the side of his neck and chest. He pulled her closer, pressing her waist against his.

“You know everyone is at the house today, they’ve been waiting for you since last time.”

“Oh really?” she began, feigning a sweet kind of innocence and she teased out the words, “And what do you think we should do about it?”

“I think you should come with me.”

Joseph snapped back with a stumble, having become disoriented to a point of dizziness. He didn’t realize momentarily what was going on and, turning to Analia, realized that in fact that man actually was still standing there except that they weren’t locked in the embrace he’d previously thought he’d seen. He looked down on his watch and saw that 20 minutes had passed.

“Analia I really have to get to work, I just realized I’m super late already.”

Analia, without turning toward Joseph, put her hand out toward him and he, without thinking much, instinctively reached out and clasped it with his.

“Thanks so much for bringing me here, Joseph. I’m going to stay with my friend, he’s going to give me a ride. Please go.”

She released his hand while continuing to look into the eyes of the other man. Joseph, now fully conscious, half-stormed out of the place and got to his car as soon as possible. He rushed back to work but got lost along the way, having to resort to asking for directions from strangers. By the time he made it back to Warcoitalia another 30 minutes had passed.

“Jesus Christ, Holzer, what’s the matter with you!?” a furious Rip bellowed out as Joseph came through the door. He was the new store manager and a real hard ass, one of those guys that would get into screaming matches over what cape a hero in a certain fantasy work should have worn and why the author was a “bozo” for not having caught that mistake because “Good fantasy needs to have its shit together, the details, what do they think we are? A bunch of losers or something?” It was a line he said often in one iteration or another, the obvious irony completely lost on him. Rip was a very appropriate name.

“Sorry, Rip—”

“Oh you should be, you should be very, very sorry! I’m trying to run an establishment here and it’s our job to keep up a level of professionalism. Fantasy readers are among the most discerning readers out there, every bozo knows that. We can’t be short-staffed or we’ll get mobbed, damnit!” The words almost echoed through the empty store.

That he had been screaming all this wasn’t particularly surprising, but that last bit, the “… mobbed, damnit!” he had screamed at such a high pitch (almost as if his voice cracked) that both Joseph and the other worker (Tom, the felon with the nose ring) had brought their hands up over their ears momentarily.

“I know Rip—”

“You don’t tell me you know anything, Holzer! If you don’t get it together you’re gonna be old news soon, you lousy good-for-nothing. You may have been cozy with the old manager, but let me just tell you: there’s a reason I’m here now and he’s not!”

Tom left the room at this point not because the situation was awkward but because he knew he couldn’t keep from laughing. He felt empathetic to Joseph’s situation, sure, but seeing a 40+ year old Warhammer and fantasy fanatic talk about himself as a working professional because he manages a kid and basically an overgrown infant like Joseph was too much for him.

“Rip I’m sorry, I had a friend that had an emergency and I really had to stay out,” Joseph blurted out in a vain attempt to curtail the onslaught.

He saw Rip standing across from him toward the back of the store where the display kits for all the Warhammer set-figures were neatly laid out. It gave one the impression that either Rip was some kind of omnipotent giant or that he was a regular sized man with an army of little killing-machines at his disposal. Regardless of how he tried to think of it both images scared the Christ out of Joseph enough to say anything to duck the situation.

“Emergency!?” Rip sneered while still in his screaming voice, “Running around town with little tramps is hardly an emergency, I’d say!”

Joseph became upset, if only because he felt that labeling Analia anything even close to a tramp was a grave insult that not only was directed at her but also at what he considered his friendship with her.

“Hey leave me alone you old fart! I know I came late and I’m sorry and you can write me up if you want, but I’ve never been written up before so no matter what I don’t think you can just fire me. So just leave me alone and let me finish my shift and don’t say mean things about my friends!” he yelled, lightly stomping his feet and jerking his arms up and down repeatedly like a fledgling failing miserably in its attempts at flight.

“Oh yes you will get written up, you can count on that. I don’t want to see this kind of behavior again, whoever you choose to go out with. Every minute we have less people on the floor I’m losing copies of Thorjeezee to these little punks that don’t know a damn thing about fantasy to begin with! Do you know how much that hurts? The only reason I put up with this crap is because the book sells so damn well but guess what!?—if they’re stealing our copies because my goon-squad isn’t doing their job then who’s making money? Nobody. I’m not shelling out bucks for my Thorjeezee to just get stolen, you know!”

Joseph just ignored him and started doing the inventory for Legends Galatian Brethren again from the beginning. Once Rip had calmed down he came and apologized for being so hard on Joseph, explaining that just moments prior he had heard the news from Tom about the four missing Thorjeezee and hadn’t recovered from the anger by the time Joseph arrived. Joseph, for his part, offered to skip his lunch break to make up for the lost time and Rip, finding the offer admirable, told him he wouldn’t write him up after all and to just try not to be late in the future.

· 18 min read

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Chapter 2: T.hanks - All the boys I know

Chapter 3: Arctic Monkeys - Snap out of it

Chapter 2

bananalisa:     hey

J_Holzer:    oh hey how are you?

bananalisa:    just hangin

J_Holzer:    same.. hey did you check out any of those books i told you about?

bananalisa:    no not yet

J_Holzer:    oh its okay i was just curious

bananalisa:    hey i need to get some liquor, can u help me?

J_Holzer:    oh yeah sure i’d love to

bananalisa:    i dont have a car so i cant get any

J_Holzer:    np ill pick u up, just text me the address

bananalisa:    k

It was 10:30 at night and Joseph was tired. He’d gotten up early that morning for a double-shift at Warcoitalia. He was about to go to sleep when the message arrived.

Yet the idea of being called on for help from Bananalisa was an honor for Joseph. He had checked her online status consistently for many days to try to catch her. When she signed on that night he’d already started writing her a message before that innocent ‘hey’ popped up. He felt like she’d already chosen him above everyone else in her (he assumed) dense friend-list. He felt blessed.

When talk became of helping to acquire liquor he was thrilled. He’d in fact hardly ever drank liquor before and didn’t care for it, but he knew that it was something adults did and that it showed friendship and a deep mutual understanding between two people. He was hoping to achieve just such a connection with Bananalisa and felt, as he would later rationalize, that her initiation of such a request could only mean that the feeling was mutual.

The address, a foreign street he’d never heard of, was in a neighborhood he’d heard about often before. It was actually a well-known neighborhood because almost everybody who commutes in town uses it as a shortcut. Many people drive through it but very few live there; in fact, this was the first time that he’d driven with it in mind as the destination. He was excited as he neared it and as he got further in he noticed that the streets all seemed to wind around each other, so much so that one couldn’t drive more than a few hundred feet without an intersection with signs that lurked in the dark—signs one only saw at the last minute but then, as if they’d been visible all along, presented themselves brightly with huge block letters alternating between “STOP” and “YIELD” intermittently.

Finally he reached the house number; it was right after the last stop sign in a deflated part of the hill near the top. It struck him as a quaint little alcove, certainly an ideal place to live: safe on all sides by a barrier of houses and hillside. As he waited for her to come out he imagined himself living in such a place in the future; the thought gave him a great deal of comfort. He often felt like his apartment was tiny and cramped and more of an incubator than anything else. Joseph remembered something Michael had once told him: that apartments were a lot like chicken-coops – except it was people, not chickens, that were crammed together in nice little squares. If his apartment complex was a chicken coop and he was a chicken (or perhaps even a lowly egg) in that coop, he thought, then this place was an eagle’s nest in a wild and deep forest.

He was nervous as he waited for her. He’d never had a girl in his car and didn’t quite know what to do. He wondered whether he should open the door for her or what to say to greet her, but before he could make up his mind it was too late. A knock on the glass and, startled as if he’d seen a ghost, he shot up before quickly fumbling across the interior of the car to unlatch the passenger door lock.

“Whew, sorry about that, you kind of scared me,” he fumbled out as she got in and he caught his breath, “Where did you come from?”

“Oh just there, in front of you, the house with the old Skylark parked in the driveway.”

“Oh yeah? I didn’t even see you come out… I had my eye on the door—”

“Yeah it’s dark out this time of night. Thanks for helping me.”

“Oh no problem, that’s what friends are for. Just tell me where to go. I’ve never been in this neighborhood, I mean never this far anyway.”

She began directing him from the passenger seat, telling him where to turn, where to go straight and where to stop as they made their way back down the hillside.

“You know it’s funny,” he began, “On the way up here I’d never seen so many stop-signs, but now I hardly see any at all.”

“Oh it’s just the neighborhood; you know everyone rushes through here so the community put in a bunch of stop signs, but we locals know how to avoid them.”

“Craft crafty,” said Joseph, impressed by the idea that Bananalisa was so keen with directions, “Hey, are you alright?”

He had been sneaking glances at her the entire ride. As they were about halfway down the hill he noticed her head start to droop and bob, as if she barely had enough strength to keep it up for the car ride. He tried to go extra slow over bumps so as not to worsen it. When he asked her how she was feeling she snapped up and appeared alert.

“Oh I’m fine, sorry about that, I’ve just been tired lately.”

“Oh me too, I had to work a double-shift today and I didn’t get to any reading all day.”

“Turn right here on this corner, the store there,” she mumbled out.

He pulled into the local liquor store parking lot and parked. As the two walked in he asked her if she felt at all hungry (he had started feeling peckish after he picked her up). He offered to get her some potato chips or donuts, but she told him she was a picky eater and only in the habit of eating unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts. He felt somewhat guilty knowing that he, too, should eat foods like that and had in fact tried several times in the past to adjust to a healthier lifestyle.

As they neared the liquor section she tried to pick up a big bottle of whiskey but seemed too weak to lift it. Joseph, seeing this, rushed to her side all the while wondering what the purpose of such a huge bottle was for just the two of them. He helped her, carrying it to the counter. The clerk rang it up and it totaled $43.86. As Joseph began reaching for his wallet Bananalisa told him that she would pay but he, being ever the gentleman, would hear nothing of it.

They went back to the car, Joseph carrying the bottle the whole way. As they sat down he placed it between his legs and went to start the car. Before he could turn the key, however, she had reached across the seat and firmly clasped it with her hand.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Oh I just thought we should have a drink.”

“But I don’t even know where we’re going yet,” he responded, now holding the bottle at the base just beneath her hand, keeping her from taking it.

“Oh, no, sorry, we’re not going anywhere, I just needed to pick up the alcohol, and I actually needed to go see some friends tonight, that’s why I didn’t want you to pay…”

“Oh you mean, but I thought we were drinking... weren’t we?”

“No, I mean I wanted to have one now— with you— but then I have to go.”

He had assumed that they would both be going somewhere together and couldn’t understand why two people could possibly need so much alcohol between them. As he realized that the alcohol was in fact not intended for a rendezvous between the two of them his face, which until now had been contorted in a nervous attempt to look relaxed, eased with an abject feeling of regret and shame.

His hand relaxed and she pulled the bottle over across the interior of the car to her lap.

“Sorry, I can still pay you for the bottle, though.”

“No no, that’s fine I guess, don’t worry about it. Where does your friend live?”

“I’ll show you the way but let’s at least have one drink together, before we go.”

“Okay,” he began, now feeling a bit nervous again. He hardly drank anything aside from an occasional beer and didn’t have the slightest clue how to drink whiskey.

“Don’t we need glasses or something?”

“I’ve got them here,” she began, pulling out two small, thin and metallic shot glasses from her purse. “Here, take this one and then just gulp it down whole. It’s always better if you gulp it whole.”

“I know! I’ve had whiskey before!” he blurted out, feeling childish for being lectured on how to drink whiskey by somebody who could well have been much younger than he.

“Okay, cheers!”

And in one motion she gulped down the entire shot, jerking her head back with the little metal glass until it was completely empty. As her head lunged back down she let out an audible gasp, the kind of gasp a person does who’s just surfaced after staying underwater for too long. Her face, which previously was quite pale, began to take color as the sweet nectar worked its way through her system.

He, watching her closely, followed her motions exactly in a remarkable display of mimicry except that his gasp was unconvincing to the utmost. All he felt was a burning down his throat and in his mouth, a feeling so painful and disgusting that he had to concentrate not to vomit in the moments after.

Joseph, horrible taste of whiskey still in his mouth, now drove Bananalisa to the house of her friends. He told her many things of the fantasy book he had been reading and was surprised at her level of interest. Unlike the ride down to the liquor store she now seemed active and engaged and attentive as he told her about the stories he’d been reading. She directed him up another street toward the base of the hillside neighborhood where he’d previously picked her up.

“Just here, the house with all the bird feeders out front,” she said.

“This one? Are you sure? There’s a bunch of people out front and music… is this where your friend lives?”

“Yeah, my friends live here; those guys are friends too, they’re just having a get-together.”

Before he could ask more she blurted out “Thanks for everything, you’re the greatest!” and rushed from the car. He saw her walking—almost skipping—up the lawn, whiskey firmly clasped in her left hand, passed the several people out front. They were strange people: all men, long and wiry and dressed in black, many with long hair. They seemed to just hover there, near the yard, some smoking but some just standing. He could here the death metal blasting from the house all the way to where he was in the car by the sidewalk.

As they saw Bananalisa walk up they didn’t seem to wave or call to her. The only reactions he could make out from them, in fact, were the whites of their eyes as they tracked her body move across the lawn, up the walkway and into the house. Once she went through the door the rest of them followed, one after the other, into the house, the last closing the door firmly behind them.

Joseph drove off. He had a bit of a drive ahead of him and intended to stop at a local gas station to get a drink and maybe a snack to sober up, but as he left the house he felt like the whiskey had worn off. He could no longer taste it in his mouth and the nauseous inebriation he had felt before had seemingly dissipated. He made it home safe and spent the evening thinking about the events of the night, replaying and reworking many of them in his memory until succumbing to sleep.

Chapter 3

“I’m just saying that Ireland would work too,” a passive aggressive Gabriel interrupted.

“Well well, while we’re at it lets just forget all of it and go to Thailand! I’m sure their Celtic ruins are breathtaking!” snapped Michael sarcastically.

“Come on guys, settle down. I’ve written down most of our itinerary and we all agreed on it and it’s Scotland, there’s no need to change that now.”

“And who made you the secretary, James? Why do you always try to document everything? I’m starting to think that this trip is less about Scotland and more about some kind of record you’re trying to keep for posterity!”

“Yeah!” added Michael.

James’ face froze in an expression that could at once be interpreted as nervous guilt or intense anguish. Whatever it was it was enough to stop the other two in their tracks. They both looked down at the table for a moment before Gabriel began speaking again, this time in a much softer voice.

“I’m sorry, James—“

“Me too,” interrupted Michael.

“—for saying that. I know we’ve all had long days and I guess the anticipation for the trip is just getting us worked up. Of course I’m on-board with Scotland. As long as we get some Celtic ruins and old castles and stuff like that I’m happy.”

“Thanks, Gabriel, you’re right, we’re just getting worked up for nothing. What this is all really about is the ruins.”

The heavy and awkward moment was lifted as they all reminisced, at first internally but then as a topic of conversation, about those vague and amazing ruins that seemed to provide endless discussion for them. Joseph, all the while also at the table, had been taking in the talking points of the discussion peripherally; it was clear that his mind was elsewhere.

“I don’t know what it is about ruins, but I’ve always wanted to see some, ever since I was a little boy,” began Michael.

“Me too. I think there’s something about the destruction that I liked about it. Like when you see something that’s been through hell and you want to know what happened to it,” responded an unusually reflective James.

“Yeah, like what did it look like before it got destroyed, you know? And exactly how did it get destroyed? Was it just time, was it a big battle, a siege? Or was it hundreds of little battles that just broke it down—you know, bit by bit. It could be anything, I think that’s why I like them so much. It’s like a fantasy book – it could be anything that you imagine.”

“Anything that grabs hold of you strong enough,” responded James again.

A few moments of silence passed as the four drifted in their own thoughts.

“Well I’m glad we didn’t have to rename our swear jar!” an innocent Gabriel blurted out to the laughter of the other three.

“Yeah, we can’t have that,” began Michael, taking the opportunity of levity to change the subject to something less awkward, “Well what’s new with you, Joseph? We haven’t seen you for a while. Anything happen with that chick?”

“She’s not a ‘chick’, guys, come on. I told you her name is Bananalisa.”

“Oh I’m so sorry,” interrupted Gabriel, “How’s your precious Bananalisa from the Forests of Aar, as you so eloquently put it?” The others laughed.

“She’s doing great, we went out last week. It was a lot of fun!”

“Awesome!” exclaimed James, “Good for you, Joseph! Where’d you guys go?”

“Oh it was late at night and we were DMing when she told me she wanted to pick up some alcohol ‘cause she was going to see some friends, so I went to pick her up and we got some alcohol and then we drank together too.”

“Sounds cool – where did you guys go to drink?”

“We just stayed in the car, I was really tired that night and I didn’t want to keep her up either.”

“But wasn’t she going to see friends?” asked Gabriel.

“Yeah, I mean I didn’t want to keep her from her friends. But we had a great time, we were chatting in the car all about her neighborhood and how the locals are there and everything, I feel like we really had a connection.”

“That sounds great! Where does she live, anyway?”

“Over in the hills – you know, the place everyone speeds through on their commute – some avenue up there.”

“All the way out there? That’s pretty far. Why didn’t you guys just meet somewhere closer to here?” Gabriel interjected.

“I guess she doesn’t have a car and I think she probably doesn’t even have a license. I thought it was strange, too, I mean that she would trust me to pick her up so late at night, somebody she only met once before. I’m assuming she must feel pretty comfortable around me to have asked me to do that.”

The other friends exchanged glances before Gabriel continued.

“No I meant for you, it’s a long way to drive so late at night. Where did her friend live?”

“In a similar area... I should say friends since it seemed like a group of people, kind of a get-together she had to go to. I’m glad I didn’t go since I was so tired that night. You know what she told me when she got out of the car?”

The others looked at him quizzically.

“She said I was the greatest and smiled,” he began, now overcome with a sense of comfort, “I don’t really know and I don’t want to rush into anything but I really felt like I could feel some kind of connection there, like we really get each other.”

“Maybe, I don’t know, but I still don’t understand why you went all the way out there in the first place if you were so tired,” started Gabriel, this time a bit more aggressively.

“Like I said we were hanging out,” began Joseph, “and drinking.”

“I don’t think hanging out is when somebody asks you for something and you do it, Joseph. That’s called doing somebody a favor,” Gabriel snapped back before the other two intervened.

“Hey, no worries, it sounds like he’s just happy to have spent some time with such a cute girl, I mean which one of us wouldn’t, right Michael?”

“Oh of course I would,” he added, though Gabriel still seemed off-put by the entire conversation. Joseph, for his part, barely seemed to realize that Gabriel was even slightly annoyed.

“I just don’t want to see you get taken advantage of, Joseph, and I feel like you’ve fallen kind of hard for somebody you’ve only seen once before, and even then it seems like it wasn’t really that much about you guys anyway,” Gabriel continued, this time a bit more subdued.

“Well first of all it’s twice that I’ve seen her if you count the first time when she asked me for a light, and second I’m not the one pushing the relationship or anything like that, she contacted me and that shows that there’s some interest there and I’m really happy about that, so I’m going to see where it goes because I care for her I mean at least as a friend, no matter what I consider myself a friend of hers.”

Gabriel didn’t even respond to this second outpouring of emotion. He let out a sigh that came up from deep in his chest and seemed to fill the entire room with an atmosphere of frustration. Michael broke the silence with that proverbial “Well, it’s getting late,” a line he kind of threw out there not only as an escape path for himself but also as a lifeline to escape for the other two. They leapt at it in a heartbeat.

On the way out James, passing the swear jar, dropped in $5 with the mutter “Almost there, guys!” while Joseph, starting toward the door in a vain attempt to keep the charity-money to a minimum (he was about to launch into his “you guys are helping me out but please let me at least take care of the swear jar fund” lecture), was interrupted by a lackluster Gabriel who muttered “fuck” five times as he traipsed down the hall.

· 20 min read

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Prologue: Beats Antique - Oriental Uno

Chapter 1: Asagaya - Elusive Delusive


Then the poor maid went to the altar with great love and with an open soul. Then Saint John took the white lamb with its red wounds and laid it in the jaws of her mouth. Then the pure lamb laid itself on its own image in her stall and suckled on her heart with its sweet mouth. The more it suckled, the more she gave it.” - Das fließende Licht der Gottheit

“What did you think about Bacchusia and the Cuckoo?”

“Oh it was awful! Horrible! I don't remember the last time I read something so bad. I wish I could get my time back on that one,” responded James.

“Yeah it was awful, horrible. I didn't like it either,” returned Joseph.

“Bacchusia and the what?” “What and the Cuckoo?” exclaimed Gabriel and Michael together.

“You haven't heard of it yet?” asked James. “It's a new author, a guy nobody's heard of. They're selling it in Joseph's store; it's kind of like fantasy or mythology, or at least it's trying to be that, but it's just stupid and pointless.”

“What makes it so bad? Doesn't it have enough magic in it or big armies or spells?” asked Gabriel innocently.

“Hardly any!” countered James amid audible gasps. “There's a couple fighting scenes but most of it is just about some guy traveling between these different worlds to find a chick he fell in love with, but the guy’s not even that shredded and the hot chick is actually the villain and the chick he's after is actually the uglier one of the two; it's a total head spin. I didn't think it made any sense at all.”

“I didn't think it made any sense either,” added Joseph.

Gabriel was still too shell-shocked from the purported lack of magic and spells to respond. Michael's curiosity, however, was not to be quashed so easily.

“So what's the story about, actually?” he asked Joseph and James.

“Ugh! Where to begin!? It's really mainly in the last scene where the book falls to pieces... Joseph, do you want to tell it?”

“No, I'd rather let you tell it.”

“Okay, well let me see… so by the end of the book Stur, the hero, is on a quest to reach the world Bacchusia 'cause he wants to rescue Engelka, the woman he loves and the symbol of pure innocence in the world of Sinn which is the where Stur lives too. To get to Bacchusia Stur must pass through many other worlds and has many battles along the way. Bacchusia is the last world on this quest and it is also ruled by two powerful gods named Traumina and Glaubus who are daughter and father. Traumina is a beautiful and seductive goddess and Glaubus is known for his unmatched physical power and his ability to cast potent spells. They both, as rulers of Bacchusia, want to capture and kill Engelka because she is the last totally pure figure in the world of Sinn which is itself the last stable or pure world out there; however, they themselves cannot kill her because of the very fact that she is the purest being in the world—one of those ‘only the corruptible can be corrupted’ kinds of things.

“Traumina and Glaubus kidnap Engelka causing Stur to set out on his journey for her— he fell in love with her earlier in the book in their home-world Sinn— however Stur, on his way through the various levels of reality to Bacchusia, falls under a spell of Glaubus' which makes him believe that it is Engelka who is actually the ruler of Bacchusia and that she is actually holding both Traumina and Glaubus hostage. This curse also makes Stur fall into a deep love-spell for Traumina and makes him believe that Glaubus, her father, is being poisoned by Engelka and is therefore very ill and weak. In actuality it is Engelka’s purity that is causing pain to Traumina and Glaubus and also causing Glaubus to become sick and frail. Traumina and Glaubus appear to Stur in a vision as he nears Bacchusia and tell him he must slay Engelka soon because they are ill and near death.

“When Stur finally reaches Bacchusia he is weak. He has fought many battles and his sword has become brittle and his eyesight blurry. He sees Engelka immediately who calls to him in distress; she tells him that Traumina and Glaubus are not only daughter and father but also lovers and that Traumina is the bride of Glaubus. Stur, who at this point has thoroughly fallen in love with Traumina from the spell and who sees the old ailing Glaubus near death, becomes only more suspicious of Engelka as she tells him this. She tells him, also, that Glaubus is one of the most powerful gods and that he needs to be slain immediately—that is, while he is weak—in order to spare the worlds of his impending wrath.

“Stur sees Traumina and Glaubus and still believes them to be hostages of Engelka. He sees Glaubus as an extremely frail and old man, barely able to stand. Engelka's attempts to explain that Traumina and Glaubus have cast a spell on him only infuriate Stur. In a fit of rage he attempts to run Engelka through with his broadsword but the sword breaks off inside her. Startled and without weapon he lunges at her wildly, pushes her down and stomps on the top and side of her head with his boot until he collapses her skull into her brain, killing her.

“As he dislodges his boot from her skull he looks toward Traumina and Glaubus. Glaubus has transformed and no longer appears as a small frail old man. He is big—much larger than Stur—and his skin is tight across his body revealing a powerfully muscular and virile figure. At the same time Traumina, who before seemed to be hunched over and weak and distressed, now appears as a highly sexual goddess of beauty; she smiles seductively and condescendingly toward Stur. Traumina and Glaubus then start undressing each other and, in front of Stur, begin to fornicate and sodomize each other. As this occurs Traumina keeps her glance fixated on Stur who, after several moments of shock and disbelief, starts to vomit profusely before falling into insane raving. In the midst of his raving he claws both of his eyes out and collapses in exhaustion over the corpse of Engelka.

“In the last chapter of the book we learn that Traumina and Glaubus feed Stur lotus-leaves which are said to keep him in a vegetative and obedient state. They also shackle his feet with chains so that he can't escape even if he were to try. Traumina and Glaubus now rule Bacchusia as husband and bride and keep the now-blind Stur as an eternal man-servant to their rule.”

“Ugh, that really is horrible! How disgusting!” exclaimed Gabriel.

“I'll say. Incest, I mean that's just nasty. Father with daughter? That shouldn't be in books; it's basically just like porno.”

“Look who's talking, Mr. Porno-King on his secret hard drive!”

“Hey come on, it's different when you're watching it, but nobody should ever read it,” defended Michael.

“But for somebody who hated it you sure know the story pretty well!” jabbed Gabriel.

“Shut up, man, I only know it so well because it was too confusing on the first read-through. And anyway it's one of those stories that sticks with you... unfortunately.”

“Yeah I regret reading it too,” added Joseph, “I think it's just trying to be shocking because the guy can't write or can't think up good armies or spells.”

“I agree, it's way too simplistic; you know it's hard to think up really cool armies or all those cool names they use for forests and talking trees and stuff— I mean this one didn't have one talking tree in the whole fucking—”

“Swear Jar!” all three exclaimed with gusto.

“Again? I'm the only one feeding this damn—“

“Swear Ja—”

“Hey hey hey, NO: I'm going to put one dollar in for the f-word, but 'damn' doesn't count okay guys? It's not fair to include damn because I never call any of you guys on it,” a worked up James objected before taking a dollar out of his pocket, standing up, walking across the room and putting it into a jar marked Ye Olde Scottish Ale Reserve. The others laughed as he returned from across the small living-room of Joseph’s apartment, feigning an expression of shame.

They almost always met at Joseph's. The place became somewhat of a nest for the four friends, littered with old fantasy books and internet print-outs of Tolkien genealogies that found themselves arranged in messy concentric circles around the living room table where they regularly sat. Two of the others were still living at home with parents and James, the only other friend who had moved out, actually had a much larger apartment and would have enjoyed to entertain the friends more often; but Joseph was always quite insistent because (this he once admitted in a moment of inebriation) he felt alien visiting people elsewhere and liked the natural warmth of his apartment over other apartments.

To make up for Joseph always hosting them (whether selfishly or otherwise) the others were in the habit of bringing by the dinner. Joseph's tastes in food were quite bland and he was an easy person to shop for. Potato chips, candy or pastries, ground beef, pretty much any kind of processed food that went down easy and gave one a comforting feeling after a good gorge was ideal for him. Gabriel mused once that the real appeal of processed foods is that it's like they've been chewed once already (making it that much easier for the consumer), a remark Joseph found a certain degree of truth in (despite the fact that he would never admit as much).

To repay them for always feeding him, Joseph would get them discounts on the latest releases of Warhammer sets and fantasy novels through his employee discount at Warcoitalia. Joseph had had a dry-spell of work and was even in peril of losing his apartment before securing, through the recommendation of the manager who he had an acquaintanceship with, the slightly-above minimum wage job. The last several months had been spent paying back debt accumulated during the unemployment spell (and he was proud to say that he would be finished with that debt within the next two months) as well as putting $100 aside per month as part of a travel fund the friends had agreed on about a half-year prior. In fact Joseph got off easy since the other three, all having jobs paying better than Joseph (despite two of whom still lived at home) offered to put aside $200 per month for the same purpose. Once they reached $6,000 (they were already over half-way there) they would take a flight to Scotland to see their favorite ruins and had promised to Joseph, in a moment of admirable magnanimity, that the money would be divided equally despite their increased contribution.

“How much do we have in there, anyway?” asked Michael.

“I don't know; but if we just go by how many times I've dropped an f-bomb in here it's got to be at least 20 dollars!”

“Haha, yeah you're pretty foul-mouthed,” began Joseph, “I counted a few weeks ago and we were up to around $150, but you know I found a lot of five's in there too.”

“Of course,” started Gabriel, “If we only put a dollar every time we'd barely be able to afford a round of beers when we get to Scotland. We all know that Ale is the fuel of any true warrior; so what if we put a fiver every few days?”

“True I guess, but I don't want you guys spending so much money; you're already helping me out so much with the trip that I'd at least like to put extra in somewhere else.”

“We're not doing it to rub anything in, obviously,” interjected Michael, “But you know we all don't really have a lot of money problems and we're happy to share it; that's what friends are for. If I had debt and was scraping by I would expect the rest of you to do the same.”

“Thanks for taking care of me.”

A moment of awkward silence ensued where nobody present knew exactly what to say. The topic of Scotland was always a subject that everyone knew Joseph had clear insecurities about. He knew that his contribution to the travel fund was very small and didn't quite know how to internalize that reality. His drink-jar, an idea that he came up with and that he hoped he could secretly build (since who lived in his apartment more than he did, after all) had now also become what he felt was a charity case.

Chapter 1

“Well anyway, Joseph, to change the subject, are you doing alright?”


“You seem a little out of it today; is everything okay at work?”

“Oh yeah, actually there is something I wanted to tell you guys about, I just got sidetracked on finishing that dumb story and now the talk of the Scotland and the ruins…” he trailed off. “I met a girl today, actually, came into the store. Really beautiful, her name is Bananalisa.”

“Hahaha! Oh yes, and then you woke up, did you? Where exactly did you meet this beautiful maiden 'Bananalisa'?”

“Hey shut up, I know it sounds made-up but that's really her name. She came in sometime in the afternoon with another guy, but he left without her after a couple minutes—I found out later he'd gone to get cigarettes while she shopped—anyway she was really gorgeous, like remember in Pious Meadows of Forgotten Lore? Remember Aviana from the Forests of Aar? Just like that!”

“Alright alright, stop trying to give us massive boners and get to the part where you ‘met’ her. I mean you did actually talk to her, I hope?”

“Yes, well, I mean not at the beginning, I was in awe. She had come in right as Tom—you know that young guy with the nose ring,” he clarified with a tone of distaste, as if nose-rings signified some kind of self sacrifice (and self-sacrifice was an idea he always found rather pointless), “was showing me how to do something in the store's computer system. I was so distracted when she came in that I took a tenner to go have a cigarette.”

“Wait a minute, before you go on, what was a chick like this even doing in your store? And why wasn't she getting swarmed by an army of us?”

“The store was pretty empty, as usual; she came in asking for 'lit,' and I didn't know what she meant but I guessed it was books; we pointed her to the wall with the new releases of fantasy and she kinda stood there a few minutes looking over them. Like I said I went outside to smoke and, right after I light my cigarette, I turn around and she's standing right in front of me.”


“I know! She asks me politely for a cigarette – I thought I was going to drop my pack of smokes I was so nervous – and after I lit her cigarette (she even cupped my hand in her hands) she actually talks to me!”


“She told me something about how she's studying literature but that she couldn't find any at the store. I could barely understand since I was so nervous. I mentioned that we just got Gandor's Realm of Narshit but she said she was only into, ugh I can't remember, I think she just kept using that word 'literature' to describe it. I asked her what she liked to read and she was talking about books that were socially challenging… or what was it… I can't remember the terms she used but it was stuff like Hunger Games and Twilight.”

“Hunger Games? You know I don't really know anything about fancy-schmancy 'literature' either but I don't think that Hunger Games is part of it.”

“Whatever it was I can't remember I was nervous; I'm sure she's got a good reason, after all she was really nice and she's the one studying this stuff. She seems to be really into fantasy too, though.”

“What do you mean? Didn't you just say she wasn't happy with the stuff in the store?”

“I mean yeah, I guess, but we talked for like ten minutes about fantasy and she really seemed interested in the conversation; she was nodding and everything. She had to go because the guy was back to pick her up—I'm guessing he was her brother—but she gave me her name and friended me on Meta.”

“Oh damn, bust out the computer pronto. I've been on half-autopilot assuming you just had a stroke from eating so much junk food and made up an elaborate story to cover that up but now you say there are pics?”

Unfortunately James' joke, which contained more than a kernel of jealously after hearing of Joseph's amazing luck, fell flat. Nevertheless they waited patiently as Joseph pulled up her Meta profile on his phone, all the while repeating what he thought to be the most salient aspects of his meeting with her including, but not limited to, his thoughts (ad nauseum) when he first laid eyes on her, his regret at not acting more suave when she, like a level-10 water-nymph from some Liberian orgy, asked nonchalantly for the 'lit' in the store, as well as his amazement at her engagement over topics of fantasy-literature with him as they were smoking and, finally (he really wouldn't stop on this one), the manner of her nod which seemed to tell him, for whatever reason, that she was truly “in-sync” with the conversation and really “got him.” He had not only approached but also thoroughly ravaged these topics at least six times before the Meta logo finally interrupted his speech, prompting him to look desperately for her in his friend-list.

“There she is! Beautiful! Beautiful!” he chirped and pulled up some photos of her. His friends now stood up and circled around the table and over the phone like vultures greedily jockeying for position over an old carcass. They subconsciously enjoyed the fact that a specimen like Bananalisa could be summoned and brought before a table of men without the slightest air of impropriety. Joseph, in his attempt to give proof for his encounter, was in fact serving up the likes of a human being. They were ready to consume her.

And they were not disappointed. She was indeed quite attractive, though not nearly at the level that Joseph had previously claimed. She appeared like someone who had an excellent chance at being beautiful but who squandered it; her face, even for someone that couldn't have been older than 25, seemed weathered and used. Yet despite it all there was a fair and beautiful simplicity to her look, a kind of unassuming expression that contrasted heavily with a deep and far expanse of pleasure, pain and mutilation that seemed to rumble quietly behind her eyes. She seemed attractive not despite but because of these shortcomings— something in her face, whether it was that deep well of raw emotion behind the eyes or the way she never appeared in a picture without smiling, was hard to pin down: indeed Michael, Gabriel and James were ensnared by it, if only for a moment.

Whatever it was that was so hard to put ones finger on there was something from these pictures that was abundantly clear: there was no way that somebody like Joseph and Bananalisa could ever have a relationship. Bananalisa liked to party: that was more than clear from the pictures. In all the photos they saw almost none that didn't have Bananalisa with at least two or three other men dressed in death metal band shirts, holding at least one bottle of liquor between them and generally looking wasted out of their minds. In short they were almost as opposite as one could get to Joseph and his friends.

And that brings us to Joseph, our anti-hero who, it must be noted, was himself almost a physical polar opposite to Bananalisa. While not terribly unattractive his demeanor was anything but cool. He was prone to profound nervousness (which would cause him to blabber on uncontrollably about fantasy novels and other topics he felt safe discussing), he very rarely was able to lead a conversation regardless of what topic was being discussed and, on top of all that, seemed always a bit high strung so that, if ever he were made to endure a surprise party, the idea that his startled response could be a vertical leap several feet into the air resulting in his clinging to ceiling wouldn't be unbelievable by any stretch. Furthermore his pasty white skin and skittish nature gave one the impression that they were in fact dealing with some humanoid creature that retained (or didn't develop past) certain embryonic features and tendencies. Even his hair, thinning already at such a young age, gave one the impression that perhaps it had never even started to grow; the kind of impression one gets at times looking at the hair of infants.

Compounded atop all this was a naïve and vain semblance of self-awareness that Joseph would never admit to anybody but that he most certainly had. It was as if he had another voice, a personal narrator, that directed him and moved him and told him constantly of the perspectives of the others. He was a in a cycle of existence where he narrated his actions and those actions in turn led to more narration, a back and fourth that can keep a person idly busy, even ferociously at work, and still leave one empty handed at the end of a long life.

James, Gabriel and Michael told Joseph that Bananalisa looked like a nice girl. They used very nice euphemisms like that she appeared very “free-spirited” and “active” and “outgoing” because they sensed quite clearly that their friend had fallen hard for her. They told him that they should all hang out together some time and listened intently to his reiterations of his experiences that day, each time more than the next agreeing with him that he certainly had a chance with this girl. After all, everyone always has a chance.

· 6 min read

“Juicebox in the words of” is a series that highlights JB community members in interview form. Learn about members’ roles at JB and what makes them tick.

0XBA5ED is a dev warrior. Legend has it that a simulated sword stuck in a giant bug was found in some code once. Many people had tried to figure out how to remove the sword, but the bug was impenetrable. The strongest devs of the land spent hours trying to solve this task, when 0XBA5ED was walking by to check what all the commotion was about. “There’s a sword stuck in this bug,” they told him. He had a few minutes time in his lunch break so he went over. With a few deft strokes of his fingers, the sword was effortlessly removed. Since that day, he has been on a tear, ripping through lines of code like a number of similes that I will refrain from making. Here’s his story.

So tell me your Juicebox origin story and what appealed to you about JB?

Sure! I used to freelance, and I worked for a company that wanted to set up some sort of DAO, and so I was doing some research for them and I stumbled upon JB. I immediately was captivated by the art— that was the first thing that really popped out— because I don’t know any other project that had this type of art and style.

That really spoke to me. And then, when I was going over the website, and I saw that there were no VC backers, and it was all done by a DAO that was running on the platform itself, which I thought was very cool. So it always stuck out to me. The company I was working for didn’t end up wanting to create a DAO, but I just couldn’t forget about JB.

So when the time came that I stopped working for the company, I thought I would jump into JB and join the community.

Very kewl. You’re a dev in solidity, how is that going?

I’ve been doing it for something like 2-3 years. I used to be a lead back-end engineer before that, for about five years.

Do you enjoy it?

I really do. It feels like working on cutting edge stuff. A lot of things are very easy and people just haven’t thought of building it yet, so it feels like there’s still a lot of room to grow.

The pressure strikes me as insane. Antithetical to coding, where one constantly updates code as bugs emerge. Not in solidity, right? That seems frightening— how do you deal with it? Do you feel the pressure?

You definitely feel the pressure. At some point you kind of get over it. But especially the first few contracts you write, it’s hard to calm down at night. The first few nights after after deploying something I used to struggle— I would think, “Did I think about fixing this or that thing?” And the next morning I’d check and go over all the code again and calm myself down. It’s a struggle for sure.

Almost like a recipe for OCD. I’ll bet you’re constantly second-guessing.

Yeah, exactly.

Does that still happen now?

It’s getting better, but I do still— sometimes out of nowhere— think “shit, did I fix that, did I leave a bug there?” Because then I have to go back and check right then and there, no matter where I am. So it’s not uncommon for me to check github when I’m in a store, just to check to make sure I remembered something specific that I needed to double check or fix.

Once it’s deployed, there’s not much you can do— so what’s the purpose of checking?

Sometimes, for example, if there is a big exploit, you might be able to exploit it yourself before anyone else can so you can save the funds— a white-hat hack basically. In some cases you can also upgrade somethings. For example in JB we can patch bugs live by having users upgrade themselves. Sometimes a bug can’t be exploited out of nowhere; it must be a specific scenario, so in those examples you can have users upgrade without ever experiencing the bug.

Have you ever caught your own exploit/white-hat hacked it?

I don’t think so, but that’s just because usually I am very near OCD about my contracts. I remember the last contract I fully wrote before I joined JB. I think I spent two weeks writing the code, and then 4 weeks testing, and another 2 weeks just going over it over and over again. And even then, I found an exploit a week after I deployed, but it was fortunately a very minor thing (more of an oversight).

Since the coding procedure/methodology is so different, how was it for you as a traditional back-end engineer adjusting to Solidity?

Initially, when you start in Solidity, it feels quite easy; you very quickly build confidence in your ability to code. But after a while, then you start to realize you don’t actually know what you’re doing, because there’s all kinds of exploits that can happen. That’s when the frightening part begins. There are a lot of very subtle differences between doing solidity and other dev work that make a big difference, especially if you’re almost forcing yourself to never write any bugs in your code. But I do also kind of appreciate that. I am a bit of a perfectionist in that even when I write normal back-end stuff I want to keep it as clean as possible. It’s a bit more of an extreme version of writing code.

In terms of your future, do you see yourself a Solidity dev down the line?

That’s difficult. I do think I would still enjoy writing solidity, but I don’t think I will still be writing solidity, just because of how fast everything moves. I’m sure another language will come, and we’ll have no clue what will happen.

Who your favorite contributor, and why is it peri?

Well, peri is one of the OGs, along with jango. Like I said before, the first thing that really struck me was the website and all the art. So yeah, credit to peri, he’s to thank for that. And Sage too, as the creator of Banny.

What’s something that people might be surprised to learn about you?

Hmm. I really can’t think of much. I’m pretty boring.

You’re working on the cutting edge man! Come on!

My entire life revolves around solidity. I guess that might be interesting to other solidity devs, but my life is consumed by it. So the rest of my life is really really boring.

Got it, I’ll take your word for it. Thank you 0XBA5ED!

My pleasure!

· 4 min read

Parts published so far:

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 The Poem


Think you have what it takes to decipher a story that seems oh-too-easy at first glance?

If you can unlock the message within the story, it will lead you to twelve words. These twelve words will make up a seed phrase, which is your ticket to accessing funds in a crypto wallet. The wallet address is: 0xf9d30330Af73687cDA29Dfe51479D0EAa05a30Fe.

The wallet currently has 1.2 ETH (roughly $1400 at time of publication), as well as some cool NFTs that have some value as well. All of the wallet’s contents are up for grabs to the first person who cracks the code of the story. The story is totally free and anybody can join the hunt for the 12 words.

The first part of the story debuts on Thanksgiving and will be linked above. The second part will debut Monday, November 28th, and will continue to debut each Monday until finished. Read on to learn some tips to help give you the edge in deciphering the story.

How it works

Each Monday, one part of the story will be released right here on the juicebox blog. The story has 5 parts, and only readers who thoroughly understand the story (and all its allusions, symbolism and literary devices) will have a chance at unlocking the 12 words needed to access the wallet.

Each Tuesday at 12:30pm (Pacific USA), a critical analysis session will be held in the Juicebox discord server in the #Lime Station channel. Written discussions and questions will take place in the #bannyverse channel. The server is free to join, and the sessions are free to join as well. They are designed to help guide those of you who have limited experience analyzing literary content. Your chances of solving the code will be much greater if you attend these sessions, but they are not mandatory.

After all the story segments have been published, a final poem will be published on the juicebox blog. This poem will make zero sense unless you have read and fully understand the story. If you do understand the story, the poem will be the final key to deciphering the 12 word phrase.

Tips and Tricks

There are resources for you as well as some places where clues will be released. Attending the weekly analysis sessions on Tuesdays at 12:30pm (Pacific USA) will be a huge help. Following the twitter account bannyjbm, which is the juicebox mascot, would also be wise. Following the bannyverse twitter account, which tweets all things banny, will also help. Felixander’s (the author) twitter would also be prudent to follow. And finally, it never hurts to follow the official juicebox twitter.

I’m new to all things crypto and Discord. Help me!

Here’s some fast facts. A crypto wallet is an online account that holds assets. The wallet for this treasure hunt is currently worth about $1400, which means that if you get access to it first by cracking the code, you will be able to keep that $1400 and transfer it to your own account or your bank account.

Discord is a messaging and coordination app that is free to use. It works by using channels, which are all the subjects on the left side of the screen. For this treasure hunt, you can always ask questions in the channel titled “bannyverse”. And for the weekly calls where we’ll talk about the story (not mandatory, but helpful), you can come to the “Lime Station” at 12:30pm Pacific USA time every Tuesday. Every Monday, a new part of the story will be published on the juicebox blog, so keep an eye out!

This competition is winner-take-all. The first person to unlock the code will get all the contents of the online wallet. Further instructions to follow, but for now the best you can do is read the story and analyze it as much as possible, and also follow the pertinent twitter accounts (linked above) which will occasionally give you some tips for deciphering the story. Also the calls on Tuesdays will allow you to ask questions/brainstorm with other competitors, if you so choose.

Good luck!

· 9 min read

“Juicebox in the words of” is a series that highlights JB community members in interview form. Learn about members’ roles at JB and what makes them tick.

Matthewbrooks.eth is 1/2 of the Juicecast, and 1/1 a perfect gentlemen who wears many hats at JB. Between tracking payouts and creating governance recaps on a weekly basis, he also fashions a short-form newsletter for JB along with his other half, Brileigh.eth. This unassuming and kind contributor joined me for a talk about all things JB. The only downside of this article is that the written words strips Matthew of his silky smooth voice, which has been known to melt hearts and ears alike. Read to the end for a big surprise ; )

So tell me your Juicebox origin story and what appealed to you about JB?

Basically, as usual it was a nicholas origin story, as it always seems to be. I knew nicholas several years ago, before crypto, and I was following him on twitter Then maybe a year and a half ago I got into the space. Nicholas was involved with Juicebox at that time and I saw him tweeting about it. I bought a tiny bit of JBX but I was a bit too green to really be involved with a DAO or contribute for one, so I was mostly a spectator.

Then Briliegh and I started working for DAOs in like Feb/March of this year, and we noticed that nicholas was no longer running the JB podcast. We thought it would be fun to pick up the mantle, ie take the baton of the JB podcast relay race, so we did a test episode and did some trial payouts, and now we’re doing that full time, and writing on the blog, and doing the newsletter.

You’re also getting into some record keeping work, between the gov recaps, payouts tables, etc. Not the same skillset as podcasting at all, and you’re crushing it. Where did that come from?

Hmm.. I have to say, gulan and twodam are doing the heavy lifting on that stuff. I’m a very small cog in that machine. In terms of where it came from, when we stated working for RawDAO in March, we did bookkeeping, which was way less complicated than what JB does. Over there we were just managing a spreadsheet. One day aeolian posted that it would be helpful to have a notion table of all contributors currently being paid with a link to snapshot/discord handles etc., and we started doing that just to help out.

The governance recap I feel like is kind of a selfish thing. I just found that I needed a one-stop shop summary of all the proposals. I was gonna do it anyway, since I needed to vote, so I figured if I was doing that for my own purposes, then I might as well just tweet that out as a useful thing that I could do for the community. It’s a small gesture but I enjoy doing it!

It’s much appreciated! Regarding your personal projects, I know you’ve got an extensive background in photography. What are you working on, if anything at the moment?

Yeah, I studied photography and got a degree in it, and right now I teach photography at university, but to be honest I don’t want to keep doing it. I signed a contract and will finish it out, but I’m not passionate about it anymore.

Both me and Brileigh have backgrounds as practicing artists/fine art photographers. We’ve both made projects and minted NFTs (which we’ll continue doing), but I think our relationship to photography used to be one where we did photography for a living, and I think we both got frustrated working in an art context for many different reasons. One is the type of people who work in art and culture, and one is, to put it bluntly, the type of money you can make in those fields as well.

So we’re both kind of moving on from that as a sector that we want to work in. But we’re still gonna keep making work that we wanna make. We’re just gonna do other things for work, which is why we’re trying to get more involved with JB. We’re also both learning to code and hope to take on more technical roles over time.

In terms of a project I’m working on, while I’m not actively working on a project at the moment, I do have a lot of things I need to scan from my archive, like I have a lot of negatives that I have to scan before my tenure is over at the Uni. So I look forward to releasing some of the work I’ve made over the past few years before the pandemic as I get to scanning it.

Gotta make the most out of that lab access. Are they tracking your scans or can you just go to town while you’re there.

The way uni’s work, you either have access or you don’t, and right now fortunately I have access, so I gotta make the most of it. So yeah, we’ve been drum scanning all of our film. Basically it would cost 100 bucks per scan otherwise.

One scan is one image?


Jesus, that’s insane.

Yeah, no way to do it on our own with that kind of cost. So we’re just trying to jump on it before I lose my access when the term ends.

With universities it’s almost like a breakup. I used to work in a lab and it was the same way. Full access, no questions asked, then the second my term ended, it was like the lab and I were perfect strangers. Are there any things you’re looking forward to photographing after you’re done with all your scans?

I have a couple projects I’d like to do. I want to photograph quantum computers. They look like these really crazy scifi gizmos—

Gizmos is a technical term, right? Trying to remember it’s latin counterpart.


Gizmodus, haha, of course. How could I forgot. So what’s the deal with these quantum computers?

They’re really unique looking, like a prop made for a sci-fi movie or something. They have these weird fucking tubes everywhere. There’s a quantum computing research program happening a few hours from where I live and I think the images would be an interesting mix of documentary and fiction.

Very cool. Which JB contributor would you want to do a portrait of?

Like a photography portrait?

Yes. If you had to Anne Leibowitz the shit outta somebody at JB, who would it be?

I’ll give multiple answers. I think tankbottoms for sure because… well, I love tank, I wanna be tank when I grow up. I would love to have a beautiful portrait of tank in natural light, like a Vermeer painting.

What about tank in the clamshell, Venus De Milo style?

That could work too, definitely.

What other contributors do you think you’d zero in on?

Hmm… That’s a tough one. After meeting so many in NYC—

You were uninspired?

No I was very inspired! A lot of people were dressed differently than you might have imagined. I’m thinking of jango and his flip flops... this guy doing all this smart contract development, very technical, and just so laid back in flip flops hanging out. So maybe a super serious Rineke Dijkstra style portrait of jango in his flip flops and tank top is one I’d love to do.

Amazing. Who’s your favorite contributor and why is it jigglyjams?

Oh jigglyjams, he’s awesome. The nance bot, all that shit, is so good. I have a ton of respect for jigglyjams, he has a good vibe. Every time he talks he has such a pleasant voice. All that automation he’s working on is incredibly important for JB. Big shotout to jigglyjams and nance for sure.

What should we keep an eye on about you? What’s on the horizon?

You mean like at JB?

Not even just JB. We can get personal. Wedding? Kids? This is a safe space to share.

I have… okay, I’ll just say it, we have actually discussed this. It would be very cool for there to be a JB wedding at some point. I think it would be a wonderful get together that could be very weird. So def stay tuned for that.

Whoa! That’s a huge thing to say. For real?

Yeah, for real, stay tuned! Also I do think that using JB as a wedding registry would be an amazing use case. Like a 2-in-1 way to use JB and also throw a banny themed wedding.

You’re giving me the scoop here man, this is big news. It would be bonkers to have a JB wedding.

I think it would be amazing, I know at least for us the NFTNYC event was something very special, and I think linking up the discord and twitter PFPs with the people was a particularly bizarre experience, but very good. We could take that one step further and introduce a lot more alcohol and speeches and formal dress.

That’s awesome. As far as I know wedding registry project has never happened?

I don’t think so, but I think it makes a lot of sense. Even just the wedding itself could be a JB project.

Thinking out loud, I like the idea of the redemption rate changing the longer the marriage is successful, like a wild kind of way to reward contributors who staked in your relationship success longer.

Haha, yeah that would be wild. Who knows?

Oh man, well this is super exciting. Thank you for the time Matthew and I’m def down for a JB wedding!

For sure, take care!