470. Development (XIII)
The room is in southern France. You will find it in blanched terrain, long-baked by the sun—goat terrain, hardscrabble terrain. The place where peasants in blue overalls root around for a spring to keep their goat farm in operation, often they never find it; even the subsidies from Paris are not enough, and all that remains is a little shack where once three generations lived; round the back is the empty rabbit hutch with a little straw at the bottom—some newspapers, L’Express from 1995, yellow in the sun.
I say this place is a room, but it is better described as a chamber; it was built, so they say, to support some nuclear program in the 1950s; built, then abandoned—they moved the project off to Algeria; and then when it got too hot there, off somewhere…So you have to be lowered down into the room on a little sling, so make sure you bring company—someone with strong arms to pull you back up; or someone who knows how to rig for mountaineering, a real guerrilla Archimedes.
In the 1970s, a former Gran Prix racing driver set up a little commune nearby. Did he visit the room? I like to think so. They called him Chal then, his new name—the name the saucer people gave him when he made contact with them in Marseilles. He had been in Monaco—for the races, of course—and had come to Marseilles to relax; for the mussels, for the women. Did you ever look at a mussel in its shell? I mean, did you really look? So fleshy and moist. Anyway, he swam way too far out—still in some Pernod haze—and he thought he was for it, heatstroke then death in the azure sea. Down, down to where St. Exupéry lies in his little photo-reconnaissance plane—down in his watery desert.
That was when the saucer appeared, along with the androgynous people from Exelion V. They sucked him right up from the Med, right up. He came back on some beach farther down the coast, around midnight. And that was that, he went back to his team and quit and set up the commune. Of course, it all went wrong—just like these things always do. There were accusations, rape and drugs and hypodermics and a dentist’s chair with straps. All-night interrogations to see if you really “got” Chal—really got the message. Concerned parents—some connected with the Marseilles mob—trailed out to recover their errant daughters from “the farm”.
It was a long time ago—it was all rolled up in the 1980s—and yet, when I camp out there, just before I go down to the room, I sometimes watch “the farm”; and, amid all the broken shutters and peeling wallpaper, sometimes I see blue orbs rise up and float through the windows. Go look at any trashy magazine in the Carrefour and you will see the pictures.
I sat in the room for three days once. “You’ll go mad,” said my partner. But no, I am still quite sane. I saw symbols on the wall, symbols that dissolved into the sandstone. I had visions. You want me to tell you? Ah, nobody who sees real things tells. You want me to post on a DMT board? Do a YouTube livestream? Nothing. These people have never seen anything. Perhaps, if you meet me in Marseilles…I always stay at a certain hostel; one with a blue sign, one where the dizzy seventeen-year-old German girls go for “their first experience abroad”—so if you are in Marseilles and ask for it, people will show you. Make your way down there and perhaps you will find me—perhaps I will have just come back from the room and will be in the mood to confide, to confess…The room is a weight, actually. You think it blesses you, you feel excited, and then you realise that you have to come back, again and again…