The Right Hemisphere

The history of Rudi and Spider.


Characters: , ,


Genre: ,



Length: words

Notes: About as slashy as the episode.

The Right Hemisphere by prairiestar

To understand his destiny, a man must seek to understand himself.

This was what Rudi once believed, long ago when he was young and foolish and still wore trousers. He played jazz then, esoteric, indefinable jazz melodies that looped around on top of each other and brought little surges of quiet, elitist applause from quiet audiences of jazz elitists.

Rudi smoked back then. He polluted his body with many evil things; women, drink, and tobacco being the least of them. He always left the club between sets to smoke and be alone, to brood and reflect. The alley behind the club was cool and dark, much like him. It was the perfect atmosphere in which to collect himself. It was also the perfect atmosphere for a moment of destiny.

Rudi didn’t notice the man until he melted out of the shadows nearby. Then, Rudi couldn’t imagine not having noticed him before. His filthy mane of straw-coloured dreadlocks bobbed as he sauntered over, and what teeth he had shone bright in the darkness.

“Hey man, wassup with you? You got a match?”

“Indeed,” Rudi murmured. “My arse and your face.”

The man grinned. “You mus’ have a pretty gorgeous arse then.” He turned his head then, treating Rudi to a view of his ridiculously pointy, grizzled profile. “Gotta be lucky to look as good as this!” His lazy maniac laugh bounced warmly off the bricks and down the alley.

Rudi frowned. “What do you need a match for, stranger?”

“So’s I can light the cigarette you gonna give me.” He held his hand out, palm up, backlit by his presumptuous grin.

Rudi sighed, exasperated. “I have no cigarette for you. Make yourself scarce. I am a jazz guitarist, and I need this time alone to meditate and reflect upon the night’s improvisations.”

The stranger spat on the ground alarmingly close to Rudi’s feet. “Meditate? Reflect? Shit, maybe you are not as much fun as I thought.” He scratched his head, and Rudi drew back to avoid any fleas that might leap out as a result. “I like your licks though, man. If you ever wanna rock, you gimme a call, okay?” And then, as Rudi looked on in shock and disgust, the man reached down and adjusted his crotch not just once, but several times, in a series of motions that looked for all the world like someone trying to solve a Rubik’s cube one-handed.

“My God…” he muttered, thoroughly put off.

“Oh yeah, I guess you recognize me now, eh?” A wink and a knowing nod. Rudi shook his head, clueless.

“Spider Dijon!” The man, Spider, gestured to the bulge (bulges? Rudi squinted in the dim street light) at the front of his jeans and laughed. “You know I got a reputation that precedes me… by about ten inches in every direction! Well, not every direction. ‘Cos at least two little Spiders is always pointing north, know what I’m saying?”

“I… don’t.” Spider Dijon, Spider Dijon… where had he heard that name? Ah yes! “You’re… the drummer. That one. From New Mexico?”

Spider beamed, pleased to be recognized. “Yeah man, that’s me.”

“I’ve heard of you. You’re good.” Rudi thought for a moment. “Do you play jazz?”

“Fuck no, man. You ever rock?”

“I can be persuaded into jazz rock fusion. If the mood is right.”

Spider shook his head, snorting with laughter. “The mood…? Man, you never gonna rock thinking like that. You oughtta jam with me. Loosen you up, get you feeling the music instead of reflecting it or whatever. You come over to the Hoo Doo Club, we’ll kick out some wicked shit, eh? Next Tuesday?”

Rudi considered. “Maybe.”

Spider nodded, grinning again. “A’right, Rudi-Rudi man. Midnight! See you then.” With that he turned and strode off down the alley without looking back.

“I said maybe!” Rudi called after him uselessly. “I don’t even…” he sputtered, and then sighed just to make himself feel more useless.

“Who was that?” A creamy white hand rested on his shoulder.

“No one. Just a tramp.”

“Come inside, we’re almost on again. Howard’s gone home for the night, he said he was tired. So it’s just you and I.”

There was a stirring in his loins then. Remember, this was a time when Rudi Van DiSarzio was still susceptible to the frivolous temptations of the fairer sex.

“Alright, Gideon. If you think you can trade fours with the likes of me, you are welcome to try. As long as we start and finish with the head.”

Mrs. Gideon laughed, and purred another, even worse jazzy double entendre that stroked his swollen ego just right, and the night went on with Tuesday’s jam session already forgotten.


Some men are simple. Others are complex. But women are only one thing — evil.

“You know what I mean, don’t you Spider?”

“Sure, sure, Rudi man. Have another drink, I got this round.”

“Because you care about me. Yes. Unlike that betraying harpy. Herpetology?! How can this mean more than music? I feel as though I never really knew her.”

Spider clapped him on the shoulder companionably. “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. This time in Mexico City I remember, I got three kinds of crabs and had to shave my balls to get them to surrender and leave me in peace, you know? Fucking Mexican crabs, they like to hold on to the finish. It was these two sisters, I fucked them on the bus to-”

Rudi waved his hand in disgust. “I do not want to hear about your venereal pests, my friend! There are some stories which do not need to be shared.”

Spider shrugged. “Whatever. You drunk enough yet, or we gonna close this bar out?”

Rudi sighed. “I… I do not know.”

Spider grinned. “We’re gonna close it out. You and me, my bongo brother. Come on.”


Music is a door between men’s souls. Play the music and the door opens.

The first time Rudi jammed with Spider, it was as though he had opened a door to a room where the ceiling was the floor, light made noise and he could smell other people’s thoughts. He played notes he’d never felt before, and every bong-tap-bong of Spider’s congas made a cloud of orange butterflies explode gently in front of his eyes. It was truly the best he had every played, the most terribly beautiful melodies he had ever strung together. Never had Rudi been driven by such primal, visceral rhythms. The soul of the Earth came into his guitar, and his amplifier expelled the blissful, post-coital dreams of a thousand mating eagles. His ears buzzed with it, and his fingers ached.

Then they tried playing together without dropping acid first. The results were pretty good.


Some things are easier to understand if you stop trying to understand them.

“What the motherfuck is that?!”

“It is a door.”

“I can see that. Of course it is a fucking door.”

“They why are you asking?”

“Oh I don’t know, Rudi. Because it’s on your fucking HEAD. And what the fuck are you wearing? What is this?”

“It is a robe. The holy garb of my teachers, the psychedelic monks.”

“I thought you was going to learn to play the sitar and bring me back some Himalayan grass. Or go like the Beatles to India or somewhere and then find a kinky performance artist to lay around with naked for photographers. But you got a dress and a door-hat thing, man! What the fuck did you do in those mountains?”

“I… learned. I became wise. And I passed many, many tests.”

“What kind of tests?”

“Tests of wisdom. Tests of fortitude. And other… things.”

“Man, the guys in the Mahavishnu Orchestra know all the monks up in the mountains. You got to watch out! They say if you get the wrong monks, they try and trick you into sucking on their balls and shit. It’s a bad scene. You didn’t get the bad monks, did you?”

Rudi’s face went blank for a minute, then twitched, then twisted up in a scowl. “It does not matter which monks I studied with! I earned the Door of Kukundu when I attained a level of wisdom beyond the reach of simple men. I found a door within myself, and went through it towards my destiny.”

Spider was actually listening now. “You got a destiny now? What do you think it is, Rudi?”

“To make music that has never been heard before.”

“But what if it’s a little bit derivative? You got to be realistic you know. Within our genre there is only so many chords you can play and still hit a solid groove-”

“I know this!” Rudi shushed him with a wave of his arm. A rather majestic, sacred sort of wave. “But there is a new sound. And we will find it, Spider Dijon. We will find it.”

Spider shrugged. “Okay. As long as you drive.”


Love and music are not the same thing. A man can play music, but he cannot play at love.

“I think she’s gone, Rudi-Rudi.”

Roger Daltrey was making a second pass over the whole plaza with the hoover. The humming was quite soothing, Rudi thought.

“I suspected as much. She has gone to seek her own destiny. Betamax is gone, and she is free now.”

“Eh… sorry she took off on you, anyway. Little monkey girl seemed like a good match for you.”

“And how would you know what a good match for me would be?”

Spider actually looked affronted. “You think I don’t know you? We are bongo brothers! My congas and your guitar-”


“-whatever! They been talking to each other for ten years now, you know? More than that! I got a pretty good idea who you are, you and your door and your robes and your complicated, sanctimonious kinda words and shit.”

“Sanctimonious. You have never used a word that large before.”

“Yeah, well when I heard it I knew it was the perfect word for you, so I remember it and save it up to throw it at you when the time is right.”

The moon looked down just then, and mumbled something about a giant fish finger the size of a garage.

Rudi sighed. “The moon. He sees the whole planet. We can only see what is present, what surrounds us, but he sees everything that happens for miles and miles. Who knows what kind of patterns he can see, or how we might fit into them? Do you think we could understand this world a little better if we were up with him?”

Spider reached up and scratched his head, careful not to disturb his Door. “I don’t know, man. You are always so confused. Why you got to always worry about trying to look like you know everything?”

Rudi’s eyes slowly widened in surprise. No… in amazement.

“You want to know your destiny?” Spider continued, oblivious to Rudi’s reaction. “It’s pretty fuckin’ simple. We play our music. We go around, we play it some more. Maybe we get into a little bit of wild times in between. Then we play more music, until we finish and we play it all.”

“And then?” Rudi stared at his friend, waiting. Spider thought, and then his face split into a glowing grin.

“I don’t know, man. Maybe it is all just un jornada del muerto, but… I am not so worried about that part. I got a LOT of music.” He threw an arm around Rudi’s shoulders and laughed. “You know?”

“Yes, I do know.” Rudi found himself smiling. “You know that that was not my destiny you described. It was ours.”

“Oh yeah. Well, it is the same thing I think.”

“That door has made you truly wise.”

“It’s pretty freaky though, Rudi. Whose hand is that, anyway?”

“I do not know. Perhaps it is Kukundu.”

“You think Kukundu is a lady?”



“The Door of Kukundu is not for you to get hand jobs.”

“You do not know that for sure, Rudi!”


That night they left the town. They could have stayed for days, weeks if they wanted. But it was time to go. Betamax was dead. The story was over.

They camped in the desert. A rabbit played a Spanish lullaby as the sun set. Exhausted from battle, celebration and drink, they slept like the dead. The moon watched them for a while.

The shadow of a cloud passed over them, and Rudi’s Door creaked slowly open. He groaned a little in his sleep as the Hand emerged, stretched almost as far as it could reach and rapped gently on Spider’s Door.

“Who is it?” Spider muttered, coughed and pulled his blankets up around him.

Rudi’s Hand knocked again, a little louder. Slowly, its hinges still new and stiff, Spider’s Door opened and a Hand came out. It did not belong to Kukundu.

Rudi’s Hand stretched just a little further to find Spider’s, and folded around it in a gentle clasp of reassurance. The cloud glided away, and as the moon and the jackrabbits and the coyotes watched, the Hands dipped carefully into each other’s Doors and began to feel around. It was a strange sight, but not the strangest that the moon had ever seen. The jackrabbits were a little bit freaked out. One of the coyotes found it oddly arousing.

Sleeping beneath the stars that night, heads together near the dying embers of their fire, Rudi and Spider had the same dream.

The dream was a sound. The sound was new.