Over the past year, Reality Sandwich has been serializing Must Not Sleep, a new novel which takes place in shamanic space, a realm of shapeshifting and trance. Here we present links to all eighteen episodes in a single post. A free download of Michael Brownstein reading from the novel is available on Podiobooks.com.
Episode One: Waking Up to the Big Time
"Before I knew what was happening, my life buckled and warped and blew itself open. Isaac the son of Abraham. The implications of that. My impressive pedigree, going back to before Jesus even. A hill of fucking beans."
Episode Two: I Meet the Goddess in the Flesh
"Five minutes after sitting down in the noisy, crowded Thai restaurant we decided without hesitation not to eat but instead to go up to her apartment, which was nearby, and take Ecstasy."
Episode Three: Where the Political Collides with the Magical
"Omigod, there it was, smack on the front page. The lead article in the upper right-hand column read: ROCKET, NOT AIRLINER, SAID TO HAVE STRUCK THE PENTAGON ON SEPT. 11."
Episode Four: The Goddess, Osama, and the Cosmic Christ
"'I AM the Cosmic Christ,' I announced as I climbed onto the eagles dark brown shoulders, my newfound soul blazing inside me. Fearless and invincible, we returned to this world."
Episode Five: Aren't We Already Living in Paradise?
"It was like Mardi Gras on the streets, everyone giddy with the sudden release from winter's grip. After days of fasting we floated through the city, drifting without destination. Luminous beings, the light streaming from our eyes, we drew riveting stares from passers-by."
Episode Six: I Meet the Entity My Girlfriend Calls Papa
"'You and your tree hugger pals go on about economic globalization.' He gave me a long-suffering expression and rolled his eyes. 'It's as if you can't see what's coming. Have you ever heard of the Rapture? Try that on for size. Talk about globalization!'"
Episode Seven: The Real Power Behind President Butch
"I'll tell you, it was a lesson in humility for us to accept that for the really sexy stuff we needed to rely on stone-age techniques of barefoot jungle shamans. The little guys with the shiny black hair and plugs in their noses…. Clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, they're all transformations of energy. They can be used by whoever's sufficiently attuned."
Episode Eight: Janine and I Discuss the Nature of Love
"'What if you could open your heart, not only to me but to whoever's brave enough to let go of their need to own another person?' 'I'm telling you it's not possible!' she yelled. By now she was steaming. 'You're just living out some adolescent male fantasy,' she said, 'screwing whoever you want. It's a joke…'"
Episode Nine: The Veep is an Alien
The hair rose off the back of my neck as I blurted out, "Don't you get it? Dick is an alien. An extraterrestrial! Wow, don't you see? He's acting from a place way beyond vested interests or political agendas. He must be stopped before it's too late."
Episode Ten: Clairvoyant Visions of Vice President Dick
"The upcoming war in Iraq was just another red herring. The real battle came down to a struggle between light and dark. Between, on the one hand, whoever among us on Earth was still awake and, on the other, inhuman entities needing to take over the planet for their own reasons."
Episode Eleven: Dick ad Osama Attempt to Joing Forces
"Fundamentalism is fundamentalism, regardless of the fine print. . . . Combining two claustrophobic visions is a masterstroke. We'll come at the public from both sides. They won't know what hit them."
Episode Twelve: Buried Alive in the Desert
"All this is for your own good. You need to go on a vision quest, baby boy. You need to firm up, become a man. You've been coddled for too long."
Episode Thirteen: Teleported to a Secret American Military Base
"Stark naked, I wondered what would happen when I was spotted, but the military police made way for me as if I belonged. I paused, looking up at a banner which hung above the entrance: 'GRAB WHOM YOU MUST, DO WHAT YOU WANT.'"
Episode Fourteen: Georgia Comes into Her Power
"A lot's gone down since we were separated from each other. For one thing, I came across a very dark project involving humanity's future. The person — or entity, I don't know what to call him — who's at the center of it is the one you called Papa."
Episode Fifteen: Your Father is Dick
"In a way, you could say that it's impossible to know who Dick is, or how many Dicks there really are. Maybe there are endless Dicks in the universe, morphing from one tyrannical father figure to another."
Episode Sixteen: Georgia Learns About Hyperspace
"So it's all mixed up together," she said. "My father, 9/11, you, me… And Osama… Nothing comes before anything else, there's no cause and effect, it's all out there simulataneously. Everything at once. Throughout the entire universe."
Episode Seventeen: Dick is America, America is Dick
"Don't forget that Osama's a product of our greed. He and all his fabulously wealthy in-laws would still be herding camels in the desert if we hadn't upended their cosmos by grabbing for oil and sticking our air bases in their holy land."
Episode Eighteen: Dick's Shamanic Healing
"My mouth touching his chest, I started sucking out the garbage trapped in his heart. I sucked out one image after another and spat them into space until finally nothing remained."