mad drunk genius

I used to have all sorts of problems. Now there's just the one.

Tag: mundane divine

I met a man with three eyes once, two on his face and one he called hidden

He said he’d show me the third in private sometime, if I liked and would ask him. I declined, but amiably so as not to offend him and his gracious offer.

He smiled and nodded knowingly, but what he knew, I knew not. Some things I don’t mind not knowing. The world should retain some air of mystery, after all.

He walked away and left me there, wondering, belatedly, just how he got to be so ocularly-endowed. Born or grown or added surgically, or even appeared one day to be discovered.

I tell people this sometimes and they ask me where the eye was, and perhaps I should have asked him. But I didn’t care then, and still do not. People ask how he looked, and I say, “Average.” Because he did, and if he hadn’t told me about his (…what’s the nice word for deformity?), I never would have suspected.

That’s the thing about the fantastic. It often travels incognito.

I came home from work and found the dragon lounging on the futon in the living room

She was watching T.V. — something about a little girl gone missing — and drinking beer, but there were only four bottles empty and one half-full sitting near her.

“You woke up late today,” I said. I went to the kitchen table to set down my keys, then looked through some of the bills and junk letters I still hadn’t gotten to. “Did you get a chance to check the mail?”

“Not yet,” the dragon said. She finished the fifth bottle and turned over. Her eyes looked toward me, but didn’t seem to focus on where I was. “Could you be a dear and get me another drink?”

“Sure.” I got one out of the fridge and opened the trash to throw away the lid. “I thought I took out the trash this morning before I went to work.”

The dragon said nothing.

“I said, ‘I thought I took out the trash this morning before I went to work.’ ”

“I don’t know.” She yawned. “Did you?”

“Yeah. I did. And now there’s at least a dozen empty Budweisers and a bottle of wine I was saving for something.” I dug it out and came back to the living room to show her. “I told you about this, goddamn it.”

She sighed and a plume of smoke left her nostrils. “I’m sorry. I guess I forgot. I had a friend over and we needed something sweet to drink. If you feel that bad, why don’t you drink that beer and get me another when you’re done.”

“You’re unbelievable.”

“Well I believe in me.” She got up from the futon and slid down the hall toward the bathroom. I could hardly see the futon’s fabric for the scales. “A shame what happened to that little girl,” she said after she’d shut the door. “She was so pretty, and she just disappeared. Her parents must be so scared. They’ll never find her, of course.” I heard the shower come on. Steam poured out from the under the door. “I don’t think they want to know what happened, really. They’re better off wondering than knowing. Some things people shouldn’t know.” A gargle. “That poor girl,” the dragon said again.

“I don’t give a fuck about the stupid girl or her parents!” I yelled, not because I was angry, but just so that she could hear me. “I want to know why you drank my fucking wine.”

“I just forgot,” the dragon said. “Like I said, I’m sorry. Go get some cash from my dresser, if you like. Take whatever you think is fair.”

I left the beer on the kitchen table and took the empty wine bottle with me to her room. I stepped into her room, dropped the wine bottle there, then went back to mine. I didn’t take any money. I put on my headphones, laid down on my bed, and waited for the feeling of nausea to pass.

I took a shower and met a nymph

She rose out of the drain. She kissed me on the cheek and waved, then disappeared again.

“What was that, dear?” I heard Jenny say beside me. I pulled the shower curtain back and saw her sitting on the toilet with her pants down and doing her makeup out of her purse.

“Nothing,” I said. “Hey, what time is it?”

“8:47.”

“Shit, I’m going to late for work.” I started washing the shampoo out of my hair.

“O, you’re always late. You know that.”

“I know that,” I said, grabbing my towel and stepping out as I dried off. “The problem is so does my boss, and I promised him I’d be on time today.”

I stepped toward her, still dripping and reached for the pair of boxer-briefs I’d sat on the back of the commode before getting into the shower.

“Ugh,” I reeled back once the smell got in my nose. “Why didn’t you tell me you were taking a crap?”

She looked down at the bowl between her legs and rolled her eyes, then went back to doing her makeup. I grumbled curses as I put on my underwear and went to my room to finish getting dressed. I didn’t bother brushing my teeth or combing my hair; a stick of mint gum and running my hands through my hair during the drive there would do just as well.

My clothes were laid out for me on the floor where I’d dropped them. When I got home today, I’d watch television in them, surf the computer in them, then climb into bed in them again. Every day the same glorious repetition. Sisyphus would be proud.

I grabbed the keys off the counter, said good-bye to Jenny, and went out the front door, already the nymph forgotten and the day’s magic used up.

This is her story.

She woke up one day and saw God. Then she went back to sleep, because God knows she has better things to do than talk that early in the morning. She woke up an hour later, showered, got dressed, and went outside to smoke. It was cold as hell, but the devil didn’t feel like talking, so she went back inside and made herself breakfast.

After another hour, she was at work, smiling at the people she had to put up with everyday while they smiled back and put up with her. Jesus came by to say, “Hi,” but didn’t have anything important to say, really.

At lunch she decided she needed to diet and only wanted to smoke, besides. Mephistopheles chatted with her outside about this and that, then told a dirty joke she didn’t feel deserved a laugh. When she finished her second cigarette, she went back to work until thirty minutes before she was supposed to get off, and she couldn’t help but stare at the clock and count down the seconds until she could leave.

The half hour passed slower the rest of the day had up until then and by the time she finally did get home, she saw God had tried to call her, but hadn’t left a message. She didn’t bother to call him back.

She ate a television dinner in front of the television screen until she started getting sleepy, then went and got ready for bed to go to sleep. It was another dull day ahead of her, and if she didn’t get her sleep, she’d get so tired she’d forget she was alive.

Better late than

I came into church late and found the preacher already in the middle of delivering his sermon. I’d overslept, but promised God I would come to church, so I felt obligated. I slipped in through the doors quietly and sat down on one of the back pews, trying to ignore the empty stares now focused on me. Eventually, they all focused back on the pastor and the angel of death passed me a piece of paper.

“Glad to see you made it,” it read, “I was afraid you weren’t coming.” 

“I overslept,” I scribbled back before adding, “Better late than never, right?”

“My thoughts exactly,” he whispered after I’d handed it back. I tried to think of something witty to say back to him, but an elderly lady on the other side of him looked at us sternly and I thought better of it. The angel of death smiled at her until she looked away, but he didn’t say anything more, either.

I sat quietly until it was time to sing, then I sang quietly until it was time to pray, then I prayed quietly until God told me to speak up. I didn’t, and he had other people to listen to anyway.

Prayers finished and I began to stand up, then quickly seated myself again. The pastor was up at the front again and had a few more things to say. I had forgotten that today was the Lord’s Supper and in the place of the usual ceremonies of handholding and God-singing to close out the service, we among the congregation filed up to the front to get our allotment of grape juice and crackers in order to reaffirm our religion. It was just the same as it had been since I was a kid, sans the gusto…..

“And to think, God had his people destroy my high places for this very thing,” Moloch said to one of the Baals behind me, far too loudly I thought. We were all near the back again, so I don’t think anyone heard. “As if cannibalism is only okay when he says so. Pfft.”

“I think it might have had something to do with preferring the flesh of children over bread,” I broke in, “Not to mention leading his sheep astray.”

“You didn’t become his sheep until the New Testament, darling,” the Baal said, “before that you were whores, lusting after stallions and things of similar proportion.”

“We were sheep, too-“

“Besides,” Moloch continued, “I gave up eating infants a long time ago. The blood of sons of men is nothing compared to that of the Son of Man.” He made a slurping sound. “Mmm. Goes down smooth.”

We were both up at the front by now, so my retort would have to wait. The pastor placed the cracker on my tongue and I drank from one of the plastic thimbles, then took the long walk toward the back, ignoring Moloch’s subtle jeers. I just wanted to go back to sleep.

[Original title: “Late Arrival”]

Behold! the firesnake slithers

With a grace and revolting cunning the serpent of the flames worms its way toward me and I look on with horror, recoil with amazement, turn away with curiosity. The firesnake is at my feet now, though I dare not look upon it.

“What are you doing, boy?” says it, and I cannot respond, mustn’t respond, will not respond.

“I am recoiling with amazement,” I answer, “For if I do not acknowledge your existence, you will not exist in my reality.”

“Such is the natural state of Man,” the firesnake curses with disgust, “To close his eyes and believe the rest of the world has gone blind.”

And off it goes.

Going toward the light

I was driving to work when God decided to have a talk with me. He seems to like it when I’m a captive audience.

“Hello son,” he said as he sat beside me, “What have you been up to?”

“You’re God,” I said, “Don’t you already know?”

“Yeah, but I like to hear you tell me.”

I sighed, and did. I finished about the time I pulled up to a red light and when I looked over at him, I saw he was unhappy. Considering what I’d said, I shouldn’t have been surprised. But he knew already and had watched me do it. I don’t see why telling him would matter.

“You know what you should be doing, don’t you?” he asked me.

I rolled my eyes. “Like you wrote the book on good things, anyway. How many people did you kill today, God?”

He didn’t lecture me on the foundations of the earth or the rings in the leviathan’s nose, he just sighed and looked out the window.

“You’d be better off if you just did what I wanted. I just want the best for you.”

“If you want what’s best for me, you could always make me do it.”

“I gave you free will for a reason.”

“You made me the way I am, set things up the way they are, and know everything I’m going to do. Next to all that, what does free will matter?”

“You can’t have love without choice.”

“What’s love got to do with it?”

He shrugged.

The light turned green and I kept driving.

[Original title: Here in my car I feel safest of all]

I had a conversation with the devil the other day

I sat down at my usual table and ordered my usual a drink. Orange juice, not beer, as it was still early in the morning. I saw him walking up the street towards me wearing a smile, and immediately I knew something was amiss. The devil grins, now and again, but to be happy with me? I had done nothing in his service, so far as I could recall, so he should have no reason for bliss.

“My boy,” he said, as he sat down beside me, “I just had the most wonderful dream, but I can’t remember what it was.”

“Well devil,” said I, asking the obvious question, “if you can’t remember, how do you know that you dreamed at all?”

“I suppose I don’t,” he said, but nothing more. He ordered a drink and I watched him closely for I could sense he was leading me to a place I didn’t want to go.

“You bring up a good point,” the devil said as his drink arrived, “What is the difference between a dream forgotten and one never begotten?”

“One happened, the other did not,” I replied simply. I wouldn’t allow him to lead me astray.

“But a dream is something that exists solely as a memory, that being yours,” he argued, “For you to forget it would almost seem to invalidate its existence entirely.”

“Almost seem,” I agreed, “but it wouldn’t.”

“In practice, though,” he continued, “would there be any difference between a dream that was unremembered and one that never happened?”

“In practice, no,” I admitted.

“Then did I dream last night, or didn’t I?” the devil asked with a grin.

“God only knows,” I said simply.

I had hoped to make him frown, but he only grinned wider. He finished his drink and left some money on the table, then began to go on his way again.

“God only knows, indeed.”