Twenty-seven Christmases and just one gave up a Replogle globe—and believe it or not, that was where I met Dad, Sonboy. The globe factory. In the globe factory on the actual manufacturing floor there are many mansions. Many golden mansions out the lanes all branching up the hills past Peter’s gate. Past the big throne that is similarly situated as the statue or Walt and Mickey gob p’shawing out ta the castle they piled there. That kind of a figurehead. Once you are there there’s no more need to kiss. What’s kissed, you guess which. I for my sake cannot say—but up above the sedimentary clashes on clashes of machinery noise on the Replogle corporation’s factory floor, out of the war-fog of the shackling and clashing whirring and ripping globe wrapping gluing forming and mapularianity-coating the cardboard spheres with the latest imaginary multicolored geopolitically transected beautifully presented scale-model fake planet Earths, the procession of them up fifty feet drying moment over moment the thousands of them not just being fifty feet up all together, but each one separately being up fifty feet which means—and get the pith of this magumoidal number about to be generated that no one—no no one—ever in the history of our race—has calculated, that’s—in just one of the thousand and five Replogle globe factories extant in just this here one single hemi of half this whole planetary hipposide, my sweet—if there are a hundred globes winding their way out around and back and around and the other way then a-this-away with each being fifty feet above the earsplittingly loud factory floor, that is five thousand feet which is ninety-four hundredths of a mile in English; noventa y cuatro centésimas de milla in Spanish; and aŭdek kvar centonoj da mejlo in Esperanto. The guide that took us through the factory, having told us all these facts and these figures, then put us against the wall of the factory. He went down the line and pressed lightly down on the left shoulder of about ten thousand of the one and a half million applicants for the job of quality control inspector at the out-shoot off the back-end of the fifteen inch diameter Replogle Imperial series V8 powered medium-strength superfast cooler than shit whisper-quiet space age assembly line—acquired used from the matchbox racing car knockoff North Korean faux-petroleum based hemorrhoidal cream and other assorted pain relief products—related to end-to-end management of the garden variety twenty-first century alimentation and other crapshot picklemen’s afternoon delight tracts soothable ailments store, eh eh eh—eh; and she did indeed say, ah yes she did, you—have no right calling me by my first name—ah mean, you lookin’ et me? You can’t see me. You don’t know me—et al.
So after I lost the job at Replogle I went out a’wanderin’ their parking deck for several years and my head and my head and my—head, to keep the panic filling me at bay, took me back past the manufacturing line on the way to the wall where they’d stand me and ultimately pronounce and execute the sentence of rejection on me—and the fact that there were ten thousand others receiving the same sentence that day made it not on milli-nit easier to gnaw back—the loud rude filthy stinking globe manufacturing machines passed me by again and again until the seventy-fifth time through the search for my car I beheld a single human man standing at his post by the side of the fully automated line of cold icy logic-driven dispassionate Krupp-steel panels of the line, his hand poised over a big red button. The first time by him it was just a big red button and my car was still lost. The second time by him it was a big red plastic button and my car was still lost eh. The third time by him it was a big red plastic button with the words EMERGENCY STOP embossed into it and my car was still lost eh eh, but—the fourth time by it was pushed—his hand had moved; the earsplitting assembly line noise-curtain dropped—and my car was around me. Eh eh eh. He was beside me. Eh eh eh eh. He said I feel your pain. Eh eh eh eh eh. And we drove off and then, though you were nowhere near actual birth yet, you had at last found a Father. And the you which was born at the same moment as me was relieved of its first outer layer of smothering pap applied in the effort to smother it away. But now you had a Father. This put you halfway there Sonboy.