Tales From Wolf Mountain

4-1: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY UNENDING AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT YOU MAY EXPECT TO FIND WITHIN, INTENDED AS A GUIDE TO PILGRIMS WHO WILL SOON COME OF AGE AND BE CALLED WEST AND AS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF INTRODUCTORY LESSONS AND LECTURES

June 17, 2024 Wolf Mountain Workshop Season 4 Episode 1
4-1: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY UNENDING AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT YOU MAY EXPECT TO FIND WITHIN, INTENDED AS A GUIDE TO PILGRIMS WHO WILL SOON COME OF AGE AND BE CALLED WEST AND AS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF INTRODUCTORY LESSONS AND LECTURES
Tales From Wolf Mountain
More Info
Tales From Wolf Mountain
4-1: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY UNENDING AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT YOU MAY EXPECT TO FIND WITHIN, INTENDED AS A GUIDE TO PILGRIMS WHO WILL SOON COME OF AGE AND BE CALLED WEST AND AS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF INTRODUCTORY LESSONS AND LECTURES
Jun 17, 2024 Season 4 Episode 1
Wolf Mountain Workshop

Offer a message for your place around the fire.

In which our first Guide introduces us to The City Unending and shares the stories of an Oracle in the Borough Ethereal, a Worker and a Boss in the Borough Mechanical, and Patchy in the Borough Carnal. 

This episode was written by Monte D. Monteleagre (@mdmonteleagre) and performed by Joseph Sanford IV (@j4xiv). 

The City Unending is a collabrative project lead by Monte D. Monteleagre and produced by Wolf Mountain Workshop (@wolfmountainworkshop). 

Go West, Pilgrim.

Show Notes Transcript

Offer a message for your place around the fire.

In which our first Guide introduces us to The City Unending and shares the stories of an Oracle in the Borough Ethereal, a Worker and a Boss in the Borough Mechanical, and Patchy in the Borough Carnal. 

This episode was written by Monte D. Monteleagre (@mdmonteleagre) and performed by Joseph Sanford IV (@j4xiv). 

The City Unending is a collabrative project lead by Monte D. Monteleagre and produced by Wolf Mountain Workshop (@wolfmountainworkshop). 

Go West, Pilgrim.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CITY UNENDING AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT YOU MAY EXPECT TO FIND WITHIN, INTENDED AS A GUIDE TO PILGRIMS WHO WILL SOON COME OF AGE AND BE CALLED WEST AND AS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF INTRODUCTORY LESSONS AND LECTURES THE GUIDE

Young Pilgrim, I welcome you and hope that you will be able to give us your undivided attention for the short time that we lecture to you. As you know, soon you will come of age and when you come of age, the Setting Sun will call you West.

I know that you are excited, or nervous, or a thousand other things that you may be, but once this happens, you will pack your things onto your back and begin your long journey to The Horizon. You may reach the West by sore foot or borrowed ride or stolen bike or, perhaps, on blistered hands and knees gasping for breath as so many other Pilgrims have.

However, before you reach The Horizon and The West, there is another place that you must pass through. And you must pass through it alone.

On your travels, always sooner than you expect, you will see a skyline break over the trees and mountains of the terrain and you will remember the fang-like buildings biting at the clouds, not from any picture you can recall, but from somewhere else deep within yourself. These buildings are the first sight your will glimpse of The City Unending, and they will always wait in the distance for you, gnawing at the setting sun until you cross the City which bares them at you.

The City Unending sits between you and the West and there is no way around, only through, and even the Pilgrims who come of age and journey West together can only hope to see each other again if, and only if, they manage to reach the other side of the City.

But to travel alone is not to travel unprepared. I, and other like me here in the East, have gathered stories from those that have seen the many districts and boroughs of The City Unending. We hope to share these with you long before the Setting Sun calls you West. Know that The City Unending is as large and larger than its name implies, and that no people, even us, could ever hope to gather all the stories that it keeps inside its borders, we can only hope that those we have collected will be some help to you, Pilgrim, no matter how old you are when you come of age.

And so, without further ado, let us begin.

An interlude.

Deep within the Borough Ethereal, nestled neatly between the borderlines of The District of Bells and The District of Thieves, there is an apartment complex composed of a pair of two-story tall buildings set parallel to each other across a simple, well-groomed courtyard. A brick path winds lazily between the buildings connecting the empty parking lot to the concrete street polka dotted with potholes and weathered orange cones. A thin line of young trees keeps the encroaching districts on all sides at bay.

In this well-groomed courtyard standing slightly off the brick path, there is a woman, hose in hand, watering a small garden of herbs and flowers and peppers. Her thick hair is held loosely back by a bandana flashing brightly in the early evening sun. It shifts colors as the woman waves the hose back and forth. She greets you as you approach and welcomes you by name and says that, yes, she is the oracle and, yes, she knew you were coming, and yes, you may have one of the peppers and, yes, it is very spicy and, no, you will not like it very much because of that. You take one anyway.

Above the courtyard with her greying curls cut short, another woman leans over her balcony and nearly spills a mug of steaming tea onto her blue sweater.

“Are they from your year?” The woman in the blue sweater shouts just a little louder than she needs to, “Or do you need me to find someone for you?”

Another woman pipes in, older than the first and younger than the second, “They’re right there, you could ask them,” and then, setting her knitting aside, she turns to you, “What year are you from, honey?”

“I hope they’re from my year,” says the young girl with the braided hair sitting next to her.

“No,” interrupts the first woman, her bandana shifting again as she turns off the hose, “they’re from my year.”

“Everyone's always from your year,” moans the young girl, picking at her braids.

“Will you tell her not to pick at her hair? It took us so long to do it,” the older woman moans back. The young girl and the knitting woman both stick their tongues out at her and laugh.

The woman in the bandana finishes wrapping her garden hose and takes off her gloves and says, yes, you can come inside and, yes, I remember sticking my tongue out at myself and, no, she won’t tell me when I pick up knitting, and, yes, I have tried it and, no, I didn’t like it at all, and yes, I hated having those braids, and no, it isn’t always my year I was just like that when I was younger.

“Nobody ever wants to listen to an eight year old oracle,” she smiles as you climb the stairs together, “but when she grows up... well, you’re listening now, aren’t you?”

An interlude.

Somewhere in the Borough Mechanical, the largest and most productive factory in the District of Hammers burns. The workers in there denim coveralls and safety goggles stand across the empty street and watch the flames whip at the bricks from shattered windows. A few of them are eating their lunches, others check their watches once, twice, three times now, now four, and five and so on and so on while tapping their feet and checking their watches again.

Someone with a clipboard and nicer denim coveralls looks up from his watch in time to catch another window exploding and fire belching forth. He sighs and makes another mark on the form in front of him. Then he checks his watch again.

“Hey boss,” calls a man sitting on the curb with a couple of embers nested in his beard, “can we start bringing books or cards or something?”

“What for?” Says the clipboard man.

“The building’s gone up ever day this week,” says the smoking beard man.

“No, no you can’t bring cards or books,” sighs the boss, “it’s just allergy season. The building’s got an itch. That’s all.”

“Well then,” fumbles the bearded man, “what if we brought some entertainment that was a little less flammable like... hmm... guess all the things I like are pretty flammable.”

“It’ll just be a couple more minutes before the building burns the itch out,” says the clipboard watch man, “then back to work.”

“Sure, sure, except that this has happened every day this week instead of once a week like you told me when you hired me, and I’m paid for every tool I produce, and, well, I get less tools done when the building burns itself down every day. Does that make sense?”

A few of the other workers have set a hard hat in the center of the street. They’re taking turns pulling pebbles out of potholes and seeing who can land one in the hat from the furthest distance. One player misses, and the pebble lands in another worker’s sandwich. Everyone laughs when they take a bite and spit the pebble into the hat from half way down the block.

“That’s allergy season,” shrugs the man with the clipboard, “try to enjoy your break.”

An interlude.

We’ve come to the point in my lecture that I like to break up with a little breathing exercise. If you would indulge me, start by taking a deep breath in, hold it, and now release. Again, in through your nose, and now out through your mouth. One more time, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Now you can continue on your own if you’d like while I continue with the lecture.

An interlude.

All across the Borough Carnal in the District of Meats, the District of Spit, The District of Bodies, and a few Districts I wouldn’t want to name here, you can find someone who wanders around with no mouth. When you find them, they’ll be walking between potholes in the middle of the street, gloved hands stuffed into extra large jacket pockets and a ring of too many keys jingling with every step as they stroll.

They give off the impression of someone who would whistle if they could.

When you wave them down, they’ll approach and, as they get closer, the hundreds of colors of their jacket resolve themselves into a deluge of patches, each embroidered with letters, words, or phrases and then sewn into a specific place. They’ll point up at their hat and wait for you to read the embroidery.

“Howdy! My name is Patchy.”

Then their hand drifts to another patch over their heart.

“Are you trying to find a place, or is their something else you need?”

They have patches for left and right, patches for yes and no, patches for north, south, east, west, and a few other directions. Lists of pronouns, verbs, letters, nouns, and more litter the space between patches that read, “Turn right on Tavern Street, make sure you’re not turning on Tavern Ave, please don’t turn right on Tavern Ave,” and, “Just follow the birds. You’re going to do fine if you follow the birds,” and, “Wish I could help but that’s more of an ‘it finds you’ place than a ‘you find it’ one.”

One patch you see on Patchy’s sleeve reads, “Benny Benson’s Burgers and Brews is my favorite bar in the Borough Boastful, but steer clear of their branch in the District of Soft Light, they’ve got rats there and it’s chronic. I was eating there once and a rat came up to my table and said, ‘I’m taking some of your fries,’ and then did. I’m never going back to that branch and neither should you. Go to the original one in the District of Salt. I like the Benny Benson Burger and Brew-For-You deal. Tell them Patchy sent you,” and the patch directly below that reads, “Yes, of course I eat I know I don’t have a mouth please don’t worry about it and no further questions at this time if you want to know more later you can find some information on my blog you can ask any questions you want about my blog I love to talk about my blog almost as much as I love to talk about the Benny Benson Burger and Brew-For-You deal.”

When they turn to leave, they throw a thumb over their shoulder pointed at the large back patch that simple reads, “See you around, pal.”

An interlude.

The City Unending is comprised of an uncountable number of boroughs split into an even more uncountable number of districts, some of which are split into uncountable neighborhoods which are made up of uncountable streets each of which is dotted with uncountable buildings that are filled with uncountable rooms and, finally, each of those rooms has furniture in it, which is usually countable.

On your pilgrimage, you will never be able to visit or count all of the boroughs or districts. They exist on top of and below and within one another, sewn together by crumbling roads, overpasses, and tunnels. Even the amount of furniture will be daunting in some rooms.

But West will always be West, even in The City Unending where every other direction seems to wander from its post. The Setting Sun is as patient as the City, and the Horizon waits  somewhere on the other end of this labyrinth. Find rest where you can and directions you can trust, and go west, Pilgrim.

END

Podcasts we love