Thursday, May 29, 2008

Detective Neptune in "Christ, the Screaming Avenger" IV

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I waited for my brother, Lord of the Underworld, to take us to lunch. I have a soft spot in my stomach for lunch: sandwiches and soups and salads and iced tea…you know, the lunch munch bunch.

Lunch. Just say it and live it and love it. I wanted lunch so badly I could imagine going and eating some: yeah, my desire for lunch was really kicking in, big time. I was in the lunch zone and ready for grub. Not grubs, grub.

Hades appeared at the door and spoke:

“Someone took my wallet!”

“But what about lunch?” I asked pointedly, keeping on topic, keeping it real as strange, churlish children are fond of saying.

Haddy sighed. He can never tell if I am joking or not. That makes two or three of us.

“Come on, let’s go downstairs—I had it when I was talking to Demeter…” he said, and down into the detainee area we strode. I looked into the holding cells and asked why couldn’t we just let them go, why are all the gods—our contemporaries—still in lock-up?

“Because they’re suspects,” answered Haddy.

“What’s the crime?” I asked, just to pass the time until I would be eating lunch. Maybe a chicken salad sandwich, some iced tea…

“The crime of Spiritual Vagrancy, Loitering and De-mythification,” he muttered, then added, “Anyone here seen my wallet?”

Wotan shook his head really slow, like Lurch from the Addam’s Family. I liked the Addam’s family, almost as much as I liked lunch. Did Lurch like lunch? Yeah, my word, but I'm sure he did. Wotan looked at me and said, “Uhhhnghhh.” No wallet.

I got tired of the “who has my wallet game” and took it upon myself to YELL so everyone could hear me—remember, I can conjure waves and earthquakes (okay, I used to be able to) so I sure as heck can drum up my brother’s billfold. “WALLET: REVEAL THYSELF!” I screamed, and was promptly smothered with about twelve-thousand hands over my mouth. Twelve-thousand.

“Shh!!!” the hands exclaimed.

“Take your hands off…actually, some of you could put your hands…”

“Shh!!” the hands seemed to say a second time, confirming my suspicions about the first time. Talking hands. Ah-hah!

“What’s the big deal?” I said, though it was muffled by the multitudinous meat hooks on my face. I stopped struggling, and looked at the scene in front of me: A sea of gods parted, and there, in a fetal position in the last cell of the jail lay Vishnu, asleep, while his girlfriend, Lakshmi, slowly massaged his feet. She was beautiful, and I instantly wanted to offer her my feet as a gift, including as many of my toes as she could stand.

“What’s a nice avatar like you doing in a place like this,” I said, doing my best impression of a complete jackass.

She looked up with doleful eyes, put one finger to her lips, and said quietly, “Please to be shutting the fuck up.”

This was big stuff: I mean, I was quite the CEG (Chief Executive God) back in the day, but Vishnu? Vishnu dreams the world dream, baby--all of existence would vanish without him, and he performs this little trick while asleep and laying upon a coiled-up snake named Shesha. Sure enough, the little reptile lay underneath him on the floor of the cell—I could just make out his little tail, or head, or butt. But I didn’t get it yet: Vishnu dreams the world dream while floating in eternal waters. What was he doing here? We must be, gosh, five miles from the ocean!

Lakshmi continued to rub Vishnu’s feet. I leaned in to hear her speak: “Someone is trying to wake him up. Someone is trying to disturb him.”

I whispered back to her: “Would you like to go to lunch?” She rolled her eyes at me. She’s quite an eye-rolling gal, that one is.

“Why is someone trying to wake him up?” I asked, miming putting food into my mouth so others would get my hint about lunch. Did anyone get my hint? Did you?

“To end the manifested Universe and cancel the Cosmic Dance. He will awaken, the dream will end, we will all be gone, and what dreams He may conjure in his next round no one can say.”

“Keep rubbing his feet,” I said. “I have a plan” I didn’t really have a plan, but while she was speaking I was fumbling about in my pockets and I found Haddy’s wallet. Lunch was back on the table!


Saturday morning: gray clouds and cool air. The coastal fog envelops the western horizon, the great nothing of the sea. The streets of Santa Monica are quiet.

He walks east up Pico towards Lincoln. He walks but he does not see well: His eyes are failing. Each day is an hour on the cross. Each day is the torment. Each day is the sacrifice.

His wounds have begun to weep the sorrow of his blood, again as in an endless Passion Play. His head a halo of lacerations, He turns down Lincoln towards Rose Ave. The Rose is the flower, the beauty and the Thorn.

He must find the Romans. He staggered toward the new Golgotha.


I left the jail, and my brothers, to go and SURPRISE! get some lunch. I decided to tell Haddy about his wallet later on: good news ages like a fine, red wine. I think.

I walked down Culver to South Centinela, then north. I didn’t know where the heck I was, but I couldn’t go back and ask my brother: he might want his wallet, and that might affect my lunch, and then where would I be? Rose Avenue? I don't think so...

I walked briskly: no diners in sight, no fast food, nothing. Nervous about the possibility of missing out on lunch, I broke into a gallop until, quite unexpectedly, I glanced inside a storefront window as I ran by and saw it, the prize, the wonder, the greatest item ever called an item: She was everything and more. A Lazy Susan. Oh, Lazy Susan, you're not so lazy, you're just waiting for someone to come along and spin you, spin you, spin you…

I wrote a poem about a Lazy Susan more than fifty years ago:

The relish tray is in front of that guy
Across from me
But one spin of you, Sweet Sue
And the relish tray is in front of me!
I am Neptune!

Seriously, Lazy Susan is the Mack!

I walked into the store, my brother’s wallet in hand, and proceeded to buy the Lazy Susan. While handing the cashier the money I looked up and saw that it was my ex-wife staring back at me. My first thought was casually pornographic, but my second thought was flight. She spoke:

“Get a third thought yet?”

I tried to distract her by suffering a stroke, but she merely stood over my cringing form and grinned. Oh, she knew me. She knew me well.

“Hello, Mrs. Me. How have you been here thing going?” I asked, choking on a small chunk of chunk-style bile.

“Oh, you know, working in a thrift store, living the life. Are you still fucking that girl in Marina del Rey?”

There is no good answer to that last question. If I say ‘No’ that means that I was fucking that girl and if I say yes that means that I am fucking that girl. Women understand “Eternity” in a way a man never can: once put there by a Goddess’s anger you can never, ever get out. Ever.

Amphie (nickname, naturally) lifted up her foot and rested the heel of her shoe on my crotch. If I didn’t know better I was one non sequitur away from a penis lacerated by a stiletto-heeled Goddess. Just one away. Solamente uno.

I turned to look out the window, hoping that the world would end when I saw what appeared to be the Christ walking across the street, muttering to Himself, slamming his knuckles against a street sign.

“Hey, Amphie, look, its…uh, could you move your shoe? Thanks. Look, it’s Jesus of Nazareth.”

A sharp blow came down upon my head, and blackness followed, thick and dark and full of the helpless shadows of pure, uncut pain.





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