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Man! It has been awhile. I really appreciate your looking after the place while I've been gone. Everything looks terrific. Seriously - the chrysanthemums would have been withered shadows of their former selves in my care. Even my goldfish seem perkier. I can't thank you enough.

So take a load off! Make yourself comfortable! I'll make coffee.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

my bad epic poem, part one

I had that same dream the other night.

The one where I had gotten involved in a mass marriage in a park the year before--
One of the ones with hundreds of people marrying each other under the auspices of some cultish leader on a dais,
Only my wedding hadn’t been that successful, and there were only dozens of us.
And I ended up wed to thirty-seven men and sixty-eight women,
Each of whom turned out to be nearly twice as desperate for affection as any of the men.
That’s almost one hundred and thirty-six units of desperation.
We kept most of it in bottles in the garage.

So anyway, my dream started a few months after they all divorced me.
A mass divorce--
One of the ones with hundreds of people divorcing each other under the auspices of some cultish lawyer on a dais,
Only my divorce hadn’t been that successful, and there were only dozens of them
And one of me.
They got the houses in the divorce,
But they all ended up paying me alimony.
I was getting over a million dollars a year.
I quit my job
(I was a dancer),
And spent my days pursuing my one true love:
But just for the art,
Not for the money.
I’m no whore.

So my dream started one night when I was bored
Because I didn’t have a job
And I had entered a dark period in my art
And developed cartoonists’ block.
And I was sitting in my flat
Sniffing magic markers and feeling conflicted about the fact that I hadn’t yet given my ex-wives and ex-husbands back
The one hundred and five keys to their one hundred and five houses,
When I looked out the window
And saw a drunk Irish priest staggering up the street.

So, just for fun--
I was bored, remember--
I decided I’d steal his wallet.
But just for the art,
Not for the money.
I’m no thief.

I went outside and then realized
I hadn’t brought a mask.
So I hid behind a hedge and set it on fire instead
And when the priest walked by, I bellowed in my best Charlton Heston voice,
“I am the Lord your God! Avert your eyes!”
And he was so drunk he did it,
And when his eyes were averted,
I got his wallet,
Although he did see me.

I had a great time.
I spent the money on Simpsons DVDs and keychains.
But then I started to feel guilty and to question why I’d done it
(this turned out to be all a part of a dark period in my art).
I figured I should go to confession,

Because even though I had joined the cult,
I had held onto my love of Catholic confession--
The face-to-face kind.
I loved it.
I loved telling the priest the sins I’d committed
Right to his face
Just to watch when he winced
Because then I knew
He’d committed the same one.

But I couldn’t go to face-to-face confession,
I realized,
Because if it turned out the priest was the one I’d mugged,
He’d recognize me,
And he might beat me up
(he looked like one of those violent kinds of priests).
So I had to go into a confessional,
Which I also loved,
Because I’m a claustromaniac.

So I’m in the confessional
And I’m telling my sins through the screen,
So the priest can’t see me,
When all of a sudden I notice
That there’s a fake screen
Superimposed over the real screen,
Like at cash machines when smart criminals get your card details and password as you slide your card into the slot.
I raced through my sins
And bounced up and down nervously while the priest absolved me
(God he took forever),
And I got permission to do my penance in installments,
Although I had to make a downpayment of five Hail Marys,
And agree to a lousy interest rate which basically tacked a Nicene Creed and a decade of the rosary onto a principal penance of less than half that.
So I got outside
Just in time to see some guy racing out of the church with all my soul’s details.

Naturally I panicked.
You hear all these horror stories about people having their soul’s details stolen.
My worst fear was that he’d sell my soul to the devil
In order to finally launch his career as a cabaret poet or
Internationally-renowned Cajun chef or something.
But at the least I figured he’d be going out and committing terrible sins
Like embezzlement
Or heresy or coveting
Or desecration of holy relics
And charging them to my soul
So his soul would be clear of wrong-doing.

I had to find him and stop him.
It was time for some soul-searching.

But first I called the Vatican’s emergency 800 number
To report my soul stolen.

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