Thursday, May 29, 2008
Detective Neptune in "Christ, the Screaming Avenger" VII
CHAPTER SEVEN: I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP, MR. DEMILLE!
Clutching my Lazy Susan to my chest, I made my way across Centinela to the Pacific Area Jail. It was slow going as the sidewalks had buckled and vaulted, the road was bubbling and swallowing cars and people. I stopped to help a woman slumped in front of a shoe store. I picked her up and set her on her feet, but she just fell over again. She was dead. Blood trickled from both of her ears. It was as if she had been screamed at to death. Around her neck was a small, delicate necklace with a crucifix on it, and the face of the savior was contorted beyond belief. That must have hurt something fierce.
I covered the woman with some shoe boxes and continued on toward the jail. Behind me: no sign of Amphitrite or Artemis. Above me the sky was tearing like a wet paper towel, and behind it was a gathering void, so deep and oppressive and hollow my chest convulsed looking at it. Man I was hungry.
I could just hear the screaming ahead, coming from the jail. If that son of a bitch Jesus woke up Vishnu I was never going to get to eat, not lunch, not dinner, not breakfast, inbetween meals snacks, that fourth meal I've been hearing about. Never going to get to eat again. Not ever. That just sucks so hard I could punch a baby.
My legs were killing me but I began to run. I’m coming, Jesus, you son of a bitch. I’m coming!
THE THREE HEADED GOD CAME DOWN AND UP AND ACROSS. THE THREE HEADED GOD OF ANCIENT DAYS WAS THUS COME. THE THREE HEADED GOD: YAHWEH/GOD/ALLAH DESCENDED, ASCENDED, MANIFESTED, APPEARED, ARRIVED. THE THREE HEADED GOD IN THE VOID AND OUT, THE LOWING OF ATOMS, THE FLAMING BUSH, THE GOLDEN HEART, THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. THE THREE HEADED GOD LIT THE SKY ABOVE BURBANK, AND BELLOWED AND MADE QUAKE ALL HOPE AND BANISHED ALL REASON, UNTIL A MRS. VELMA STUBBLEFIELD APPEARED BELOW THEM: SHE STOOD IN HER BACKYARD AND SHOOK HER FIST AT THE THREE HEADS OF MONOTHEISM AND SAID “THINGS ARE BAD ENOUGH AROUND HERE, ARE YOU IDIOTS SURE YOU WANT TO WASTE YOUR TIME IN BURBANK?” AND LO, THEY REALIZED THAT THEY DIDN’T NEED TO BE IN BURBANK, THEY NEEDED TO GO OVER TO THE VENICE AREA. IT WAS A MIRACLE. ALL PRAISE THE ONE THREE HEADED GOD.
The screaming, the screaming of the damned, not from hell but from the messiah, from the bringer of light, eternally suffering on the Cross, the center of flesh and spirit at war with the impenetrable mystery, the raw exposed nerve of God. Screaming, screaming to the Council of Bishops, the architects of the tortured Christ, the supplication of fallen man unto an image of destruction and violent hatred. For two thousand years the Followers of the Stories of Christ had kept the Messiah on the World Tree, hung there with nails forged in hatred and malice, the spite whose gift is hopeless agony. It was time to end this nightmare. It was time to vanish the dream.
The van pulled up in front of the jail. Christ gasped for air. The sky became black as the Three Headed God of the Middle East peered as One upon the land. Christ threw his head in fury and cranked the van’s stereo. Nothing came out. The CD was upside down.
Goddamnit, said the Christ. Goddamnit!
At the jail, the Various Gods were being sucked out of their cells and into The Nothingness by a wormhole. Tammuz: gone. Mithra: adieu. Queztacoatl: adios amigo. Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite: gone, gone, gone. The fabric of the universe was unraveling. I was close to the jail now and looked anxiously behind me, but did not see my ex-wife nor her girl-friend. That was good because I lost the receipt to the Lazy Susan and if they wanted to start some more shit I was at a disadvantage. They both knew full well I had purchased my little Suzy legitimately, but without a receipt they could really make trouble for me. Petty people. Petty gods.
Across the globe, world leaders and world citizens watched the sky, the land, the oceans being torn apart: all were powerless, speechless, in shock. Who do you call when the world is ending? My cell phone rang. Funny, I don’t have a cell phone. I answered anyway: it was my brother, Hades.
“Where are you?”
“Well,” he said, “come on inside.”
“The jail,” he said.
“I have your wallet,” I offered.
“Never mind the wallet. Get in here before the world ends!”
“Are you sure you’re not mad about the wallet?” I asked. “I mean, I know the world’s ending, but brothers can sometimes hold grudges and…oh, shit. Here comes my ex and her monkey bitch. I’m coming in, I’m coming in…”
I ran inside the jail. Everything was chaos. An enormous black hole was sucking the last of the gods into the void. Hades looked at me with exasperation as he hung on to an exposed joist, his legs flying up in the air in front of him. The ceilings had vanished and the sky was visible. The bare bones of the building lay naked like a naked corpse-style building laid bare. Yeah, it was that bare naked. Vishnu, unmoved by the ruckus, lay asleep in the last cell, but began every so slowly to turn over as Lakshmi cried and moaned. Women! What is it with all the crying? Sheesh.
What was needed now was action. And action is what I am all about: I made for the cafeteria. I’m not that choosy when it comes to lunch, maybe a little sandwich, some fruit, a piece of pie for desert. I’m low-maintenance. If there’s espresso, that’s nice too.
THE THREE HEADED GOD OF THE MIDDLE EAST: YAHWEH, GOD, ALLAH, LOOKED DOWN INTO THE JAIL, OR WHAT WAS LEFT OF IT. IT LOOKED DOWN AND GIGGLED, WHICH ANGERED LAKSHMI. SHE WAVED AT THEM SEDUCTIVELY, AND THEY DESCENDED, UNTIL THEY WERE CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH INAPPROPRIATELY. SHE SMILED AND REACHED OUT TO THEM AND THEN WITHDREW, AND DOWN THEY FELL INTO THE VORTEX OF THE WHORLING VOID. DOWN THEY FELL, AND WERE NO MORE. THAT DENOUEMENT WASN’T NEARLY AS HARD AS SOME FOLKS HAD EXPECTED IT WOULD BE, WHAT WITH THE THREE HEADED GOD BEING SUCH A PROFOUND CONSTRUCT, BUT THERE IT IS.
I rummaged in the cafeteria, but things were disappearing faster than I could make them into lunch. As soon as I put margarine on my bread the bread would vanish into one of the space/time lesions that were popping up everywhere, not to mention that really big vortex in the main hall. I managed to find some cottage cheese, but it smelled a bit off. Don’t you just hate that? All of the manifested world vanishing, and the last bit of cottage cheese has that skunky aftertaste that stays in your mouth and it's just, well, sad really. I looked into the parking lot, not with x-ray eyes but because all the walls were gone, and spied crazy Jesus staring at the jail. Uh-oh. He had that I'm going to drive my van into the jail and wake up Vishnu and end the Universe look on his face that I so very much dread.
The last minute of the third hour on the cross. No release, no Balm in Gilead--just frozen shock, just agony on acid, agony beyond what a man can endure, agony that filled the messiah with the last awful truth of humanity, the truth of suffering: I come to release you from agony, and instead it is pure agony that I become. The CD lay on the floor, shattered, done. The recorded voice of the screaming Christ was no more. Jesus looked up and stared at the jail: the last minute of the sacrifice, the last measure of the heart of God, the last of the last. He pressed down on the gas: time to wake up Vishnu. Time to end the suffering for all time, for all worlds, for all life. He opened wide his jaws and formed His Final Bellowing Howl: the tires spun and smoke poured out and the van raced into the jail as the Christ screamed and screamed and screamed…
Back in the cafeteria I was lucky to find some tuna fish and crackers. Now I had to find a can opener: there was a big opener attached to a cutting counter thingie, but it looked too big to be of use. I gave it a go though: lunch is lunch, as somebody used to say. I heard a terrible screaming as I rotated the can: for a second I thought the can was screaming. That would be horrible! Imagine living in a world where cans screamed when you opened them! It would probably mean the end of an entire industry. The upside is you could sit in your living room and watch a ball game and when you heard ghastly screaming coming from the kitchen you'd know lunch was on the way.
It is coming. I am the way. The nails are flying, the boards are shattering, time is gone, the great wall of death is built upon my bones, and the scream is the cry of perfect agony. I am come. I am come. I am come.
I could see that Jesus was driving through the jail, or what was left of it. He looked really intense, you know? Really intense. I was going to look for some mayonnaise when it occurred to me he was going to kill Vishnu if he wasn’t stopped. It also occurred to me that the mayonnaise I found wasn’t a brand name, which is very disappointing. I know that these jails have tight budgets, but come on. I grabbed the jar and made for Vishnu’s cell. Oh my god: I almost forgot the crackers!
The old gods knew something. They knew the mask was the key, for what sounded through was beyond all measure. The old gods were the stuff of dreams. I was the stuff of the dreamer. I was the Lord thy God made Flesh. Ahhh! Ahhhh!!!
One of the things about structures are the foundations and the way the walls are erected. Often one sees the “cross” theme as boards intersect at ninety degree angles. It is perfectly natural to have these cross beams and support positions. Having hustled down the remains of a hall, I set the crackers on an exposed beam as Jesus drove straight at Vishnu’s cell. I guess you could forgive Jesus for not thinking about putting his seat belt on. Or you could ask God to forgive Him for not putting on His seat belt. Address the Deity Seat Belt issue as best befits your own personal belief system.
The van rocketed flush into a concrete support, and Jesus flew out the front window spread eagle, screaming like a banshee. Again, this was a seat belt issue. Sigh. His body was flung onto an exposed cross section of beams, and He had done to Himself what He hated humanity for: He was back on the Cross and Looking Down On Eternity. I ran over to him: He lifted His bloodied head, looked at Vishnu stirring in his cell, raised an eyebrow and said these final words: ”I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.” After all he had been through he still managed to make a little joke. That guy had some class, but I was so caught off guard I didn’t notice my ex-wife and Artemis standing over Vishnu, staring at me, their ire the wild fire at the end of desire.
I picked up the Lazy Susan and said I had lost the receipt, but they weren’t buying it. They said to hand it over or pay the price. I had already paid the damn price, even if it was with my brother’s cash! But I didn’t care anymore. I learned a long time ago that principles are something for losers with principles.
“You want the Lazy Susan? You got it!” I tossed it over, but my arm struck the lower beam of Christ’s new Cross, thus altering the flight and sending it toward…Vishnu’s head. I think it hit him on his temple. Gongggg! Oh, the irony. Whee. The last thing I remember is thinking, “Uh-oh” and “I never got any desert” which was two things, actually. Imagine that.
I awoke face down at water’s edge, the way I always do. I never know what the job is, but the job will come to me. It always does.
Special thanks to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for not spilling sauce all over this tale of madness, suffering and yet more madness and suffering.
Alright, I'm outta here...