Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Come Hither Part I

By Redphantom Xenpsychous

I was sitting at my computer at about seven in the morning. I was tired, having spent the entire night reading articles on the Internet, and coding for a website. The old dusty stereo in my room was hooked into my computer and blasting the song Goldilocks by Remez. I was enjoying the sound of Goldilocks, "And papa bear arrived home, to find Goldilocks in his daughter's bed, bound with bowstrings, one by one the strings came undone, Goldilocks looked up at him, and he said, 'Die!'"

I was browsing an online bookstore, looking at a book called the "The Anatomy of Fascism”, and feeling disappointed that I could not afford it. That's when I heard someone behind me, "Man, Ruby Drip, you've been strung out on that computer for days. Drifting through the ether of bits and bytes, flying through lands of pure information and pornography. Navigating through the maze of egotistical teenaged woman, hacker gnomes, Trojan worms, and swamps of liquid spam covered in the fog of email scams. You need to go on outside and cut some grass, boy."

I smiled, I'd recognize that distinctive deep bass voice anywhere, I turned to him and said, "What's up, Pekoe?"

Pekoe replied, "How can one with the sacred instrument of astroprojection which allows him to communicate telepathically with friends and enables him to know of events on the other side of the planet not now what is up?"

"I'm using it to shop for books right now."I said.

"The magic box can be utilized to mobilize the mover drones to deliver onto you the package which holds the food of the mind and soul."Pekoe chanted.

I laughed, "I pay them for it."

Pekoe sighed, "Chives always dreamed that one day boys and girls would wake up to a world where the sun shined bright, trees danced to the soft tune of a gentle breeze, and knowledge was free."Pekoe paused, looked at the stereo for a moment, and then asked, "Who is this beating out this tune?"

I smiled, "That's the Remez song Goldilocks, about the biblical character Samson."I paused and then explained, "Remez is a Jewish metal band."Then I asked Pekoe, "Who is Chives?"

At this question, Pekoe gave a broad smile, "Chives Chowder, the man who taught me how to play the blues, and gave me my magic harmonica."Pekoe proudly held up his harmonica and added reassuringly, "I washed it."

I rubbed my chin, "So, Chives taught you the blues?"

Pekoe nodded, "Yes sir, I was just about eight and three quarters the first time I met Chives Chowder. I was black, living in the Hicksburg, Louisiana with four brothers and three sisters and none of them had the same daddy as me. Never did I meet my real father. I did have a step dad. He was a mean spirited old man. He used beat me and my brothers and sisters with an old rusty metal flag pole. That's why whenever I wasn't having old cranky hoes shove redundant facts down my throat, doing my parents cruel slave labor, or being beaten by my step dad, I was off in that old vacant lot, listening to Chives. Chives standing on his soapbox, playing the blues, talking about life, love, loss, war, peace, sin, pleasure, death, and all the secrets of the universe. Sometimes Chives was mad as hell. Sometimes he was bluer than a frost bitten Eskimo. Sometimes he was happier than a AP English teacher in a bookstore. Most of the time, he was just Chives. Sometimes he'd be drunker than a recently laid off drunk sailing in a raft through an ocean of whiskey. Sometimes he'd be so high he could touch the moon. Sometimes he'd be sober, and hearing the words flying from his mouth like flaming chariots of truth and wisdom, seeing the knowledge on exhibit in his expansive mind, seeing all the spectacular paintings of the truths that Chives bore witness to, seeing all that, it would feel like he was the only sober man to walk on the face of the entire world. And no matter what, Chives was always surrounded by an aura of pure magic."

"It was rare that Chives would ever get violent physically. Chives was always there on his soapbox throne, surveying his kingdom, available for all who needed his bluesy ballads. Chives always would listen to everybody's issues. Never taking out his meter stick and measuring them, and never putting them on scale to compare them to other problems. Chives would just brew some tea over his everlasting eternal bond fire and listen to you. Chives liked his tea, drinking it like he belonged at King Arthur's noble round table. I never knew where he got all that tea, I never did see Chives work at a genuine job. And yet, whatever your worries would be, Chives could recite to you a little incantation you could scrawl down on a lonely piece of paper which would blow all those troubles away. Hours upon hours I spent with Chives, having him help me unlock all the wondrous mysteries of the blues. Whole seasons Chives spent with me, passing along his sacred heavenly knowledge of how to take jet black ink, moldy yellow paper, old rusty strings, long brass tubes, beats on a membrane, brisk whistles through bronze rods, inventive cerebral torridity and turn all that into the blues. My first ever song was entitled Mean Old Miss Becket. When Chives heard it, he chucked me up onto his grand stage, gave me a microphone, put the spotlight on me, and had me sing my song for all the townsfolk gathered in his lot. Over time I reached a place where it would be common for my name to be on the massive lit up now playing sign outside Chives' lot. Sometimes he'd even get up and start clapping his hands along to my beat, singing the backing vocals, and playing his instruments of bewilderment to my rhythm. Just like Alfred Hitchcock sticking himself in the background of one of his proud works. One day, when I was about eighteen and half a quarter, Chives was talking to me backstage after an electric funky show. Chives told me that I needed to leave town and go out to see all the wonders of the world."

"That's just what I did. For a decade, I would walk thousands of miles, traveling the globe, seeing all of it's wonders divine and wicked. Meeting all kinds of people white, brown, black, yellow, and blue. Picking crops from fields of every continent, nation, and state. Meeting all kind of creature of land, air, and sea. Learning from the kings of the monoliths of glass and steel, to the masters of cows, grass, corn, and wheat, from families grilling a magnificent slab of meat out back, to the lonely scribe feeding on noodles in his run down quarters, from the houses of parliament, to the witchdoctors in the backwoods of Africa. Finally, after all my wandering, I arrived back at Hicksburg. I went to find Chives. I wanted to tell him all my tales, how I became Pekoe, all the great and terrible things I had done, I wanted to show him how I had grown. The trouble of it was though, Chives had grown too. Excessively. He had cancer. Chives set me down with some tea, he explained it to me. He gave me his magic harmonica. And then a few days later, his spirit emerged from it's rotten earthly cocoon, and flew away to the great heavenly promised land to join the divine choir of angels that sing their unimaginable song for all eternity. Never did I ever know why God let such a terrible, cruel thing happen to a man like Chives. Before it was laid to rest in the ground, I stood over his empty shell, using it's leftover magic to play a peaceful melancholy melody in Chives' memory. As I played I looked out into the mass of colors of people Chives touched, so many that not even the biggest nation could sustain them long. I saw Chives brother in the crowd, uncomfortable, wearing the same authoritative suit he always did to work. He was holding in his lap a mind with all the righteous mighty power of Chives', but with none of that great intangible insightful wisdom. The brother of Chives sat throughout my sad song, wondering how his worthless vagrant brother could draw in such a mass of souls in mourning over his movement into the great beyond."

"Never did the sun ever shine on Hicksburg again. The clouds of despair and grief gathered above the city and brought down one thousand years of constant freezing glacial rain. Every blade of grass in town went brown, the trees shed all they leaves, the flowers shriveled into the deep dark void of nothingness, the farmers woke up to find all they crops gone. Never has a crop grown in Hicksburg since the day Chives died. All the roads became worn, cracked and riddled with potholes. All of the homes experienced two centuries of violent rapid decay. Not a single drop of food ever tasted the proper taste inside Hicksburg again. When night fell, not a soul could get the lights to work right. The city had lost the man who put the Cannabinoilis in they tea. I left Hicksburg the night Chives died, and never have I ever gone back. I decided that I would go out into the world, wondering through the lands of forlorn, sinister, desolate sadness, and try to bring a little of Chives' magic to it's denizens. And so I have."

"Choke on toxic fumes until you die, feel shards of glass remove your eyes, turn to slush and fuse with molten metal, or fly into pieces of flesh and blood to land where your remains will settle."was the sound that came from my stereo to break the silence after Pekoe's story.

Pekoe nodded his head, "That there is a fine song."

I stared at him for a second, and then said, "Yeah, that's Babel. It's a modern version of the story of the Tower of Babel. It's about God destroying our decadent modern society and then confounding the languages again.”

"Who did you say this band was?"asked Pekoe.

I replied, "Remez a Jewish metal band. They have some less heavy, more musical stuff later on in their career."

"How about that?"Pekoe replied.

"Yeah..."I said, "This is their second album, Nephilim. It's more unpolished than their other stuff and much more heavy. It's not their best, but I still like it. And it's good when you want bone grinding heavy music."

Pekoe shrugged, "That may be so, but it still sounds pretty good."

I nodded, "Yeah, Remez is good. They've been around for a while. They're getting ready to release their seventh album, Tetragrammaton. They're really good, but they never caught on with the mainstream."

"That's a damn shame."was Pekoe's response to this.

I looked off into space, "Yeah, I wish that Remez could have commercial success."

Pekoe chuckled, "Boy, you living down in the valley which lies next to the mountain from which the wicked feudal honky lords chuck all their decadent waste. You roam around the town all day like a rigid laboring machine, doing the tasks programed into the white pagan corporate demon that's been possessin' your mind. Then you come home and numb the pain by tripping out on cyberspace for hours at a time before falling into a deep depressing coma for five hours and going over the cycle all over again, just like you a hamster on it's diabolical running wheel. Why you all concerned with getting other people out the valley?"

I thought about it for a minute before mumbling, "I don't know..."

Pekoe smiled, "Come on now, Ruby Drip, you ain't had your pass by over the dark forest of life on the back of a scaly yellow metallic eagle?"

I probably looked confused as I said, "No."

"Damn straight, Ruby Drip,"Pekoe quickly responded, "There ain't no pass overs of the dark forest. And they ain't no map either. Still, has Ruby discovered what direction he wants to go?"

I paused, " I mean, I hate being a laboring machine and doing redundant stuff that doesn't help me but...I'm caught in a system. I don't know how to get out. I know I often think of leaving town."

Pekoe said, "And just like the slaves of Jefferson Davis's wicked kingdom of cotton drones, Ruby Drip is dreaming of his promised land. Where is this promised land?"

"Oregon."I said, and quickly defended my response, "It just seems like a nice place to live."

Pekoe nodded, "Oregon is a fine place to make your place, but just like the old sturdy slightly faded brown basket of sweet young pale faced tight pussied little red riding hood, a life don't do you much good with nothing inside it. What do you put in the basket of you life, Ruby Drip, will it be pork or green beans? Children or bitches? Red blood or black ink? Books or paintings?"

"I don't know..."was my reply, "I guess I just want to go around having adventures...and trying to learn what I can."

Pekoe smiled, "Well shit, Ruby, just jump on the purple dragon and take a ride."

I heard the sound of explosions and screaming outside. Pekoe gestured at me to go to the window. As I went, I heard the sound of gunfire and more explosions. When I got to the window, I looked outside and saw a giant purple dragon in the middle of my street. It had destroying four houses across from mine and was battling with an army of lawn gnomes armed with military riffles. "Go on then..."came Pekoe's voice behind me, "Get on that purple dragon."

Small tanks about the size of a tricycle piloted by lawn gnomes stormed onto my street. More lawn gnomes ran up to the dragon as their comrades were consumed by it's flame. They held rocket launchers and began a deadly assault with them. Miniature jet fighters about the size of foosball table, again, piloted by lawn gnomes flew up to the purple dragon and bombarded it with a barrage of hellfire. With three passes through the sky with it's mighty fire breath, the purple dragon caused all of the fighter jets to come crashing to the ground.

One of the gnome fighter pilots crawled out of the twisted remains of his fighter jet, pulled out a bag of potato chips, and went up to a gnome soldier on the ground. The lawn gnome whispered, "Give these to my son."and then he held the bag up to the gnome soldier.

The gnome soldier took the bag and said, "I will."As soon as the gnome pilot's life expired, the gnome solider opened the bag and ate all the chips.

A second gnome soldier noticed this and said, "What did ya do that for, ya greedy bastard?"

"They'll be plenty of chips for his little yelp when we win the war."the first soldier replied.

"Aye,"the second soldier said, "But what if we don't win this war? What if that be the last bag of potato chips in the country?"

The first solider looked angry, "That's crazy talk, you defeatist lawn jockey. You treacherous bastard."The first soldier then shot the second one, and yelled, "No dragon will take my potato chips away, and no dragon is going to stop me from sitting on the couch for days on end watching my Television."Upon chanting this, the lawn solider fired several shots into the air and then was promptly crushed to death by the dragon's tail.

Pekoe walked up behind me, and said, "Do not pity them, Ruby Drip, for they are the denizens of the land of fear and ignorance."Pekoe took out a pair of sunglasses and put them on, "Now, come on Ruby, let's go."Pekoe jumped out of the window and onto the street, I followed his lead. The lawn gnomes turned on Pekoe and me and tried to shoot us. I went for cover behind some rose bushes Terry had planted, Pekoe just stood in place, but he didn't get shot. Then he took out a book and opened it, and instantly all the lawn gnomes evaporated into nothingness. I emerged from my rosebush cover.

"What the hell is that? The Necronomicon?"I asked.

Pekoe shook his head, "Classic literature, it's like atomic hellfire from the highest tier of angel to the denizens of of the land of ignorance and fear."Pekoe walked towards the dragon. I heard the door to my house open behind me.

I looked back and saw Teaspoon on the porch, with a shotgun in his hand and looking furious, he said. As Pekoe was getting on the purple dragon, he asked, "Boy, what have I told you about fighting lawn gnomes?"

Teaspoon looked a little embarrassed, "Classic literature, sorry I forgot."Teaspoon looked at the purple dragon and asked, "What'cha all doing?"

Pekoe smiled, "Going on an epic wild adventure and taking a ride on the old majestic faithful freedom train to escape the decadent waste and cold rigid iron changes of the wicked honky feudal lords."

"That sounds like fun."Teaspoon replied, "Mind if I come along?"

"Yes, but you all better hurry up and get on this purple dragon."Pekoe said, prompting Teaspoon and I to climb onto the dragon's back.
Just after we did this, a car pulled into our driveway, Terry got out of it.

"Well, if it isn't the Epicene Machine."Pekoe said at Terry getting out.

Terry frowned, "Hey guys...epic battle in the front yard again?"

Teaspoon shouted to be heard by Terry, "Yeah, and now we're going on a quest."

"Yeah..."Terry said uncomfortably, "Yeah, I really don't need all this crazy shit today,guys. I've got my son with me, Temperance..."A five year old boy got out of the car, "You remember Temperance? He comes over often."Terry looked down at Temperance and said in a low voice, "Please, don't go home and tell your mother about all the lawn gnome guts you saw here."

Pekoe exclaimed, "Well look at that, the Epicene Machine got laid."

"Yeah, that was back in high school before he was openly gay."I said, "It was back in high school. When he was in the closet and over compensating for it by having wild crazy sex and riding motorcycles.”

Terry looked indignant, "I'm not gay, Redphantom, I'm just in touch with my feminine side."Terry glared at me before adding, "At least I didn't decide to get in touch with my crazy side after high school."

I felt shocked, "Just a joke, man..."

"Mine wasn't."Terry replied with scorn, "You've changed. I don't even think I know you anymore. I go out and I work and I come home to epic battles and all this crazy shit. I'm tired of it.”

I mumbled, "I'm the same I've always been...I've deepened my world views and stuff but..."

"I'm seriously tired of being your roommate."Terry said angrily, "All you ever talk about is politics, philosophies, jokes, your stupid dead end projects, and yourself. Prick. Get a life and watch more television."I didn't reply, and the words stung. Terry might have been an unstable drama queen asshole, but he was my friend, god damn it. And a close one. It bothered me that he suddenly seemed to dislike me, and that I had somehow become a major annoyance to him. I did not understand what had changed. I had always been into politics and talked about it often. I had always been a little more crazy and gotten involved in twisted crazy situations. It had gotten worse lately, but, I was getting better at creating crazy situations. I was getting better at being a crazy rebellious maniac. And it seemed that the more I developed as a person, the more people hated me for it. I just sat in silence on that dragon and took it all in.

I missed most of the conversation which was between Pekoe, Teaspoon, and Terry. I caught the end, which was Terry sighing and then saying, "Fine, I'll come along. Come on Temperance, we're going on a trip."Terry took the boy's hand and the two of them started walking towards the dragon when Terry said, "For the love of god, don't tell your mother we went on a trip over the weekend."After that, Terry and Temperance got on the dragon and it took off into the air.

Five minutes went by before Pekoe asked, "What's the name of Remez's latest CD of beats?"

"Aron Habrit, their sixth album."I replied.

A stereo appeared next to us and began to blast the riff to the opening song of Aron Habrit, Kneel. Pekoe said, "I wanted to hear some of their more polished records."

I did not say anything to anyone for the rest of the trip on the purple dragon, I just sat silently and took in the music. All the things Terry had gotten angry at me for, earlier and recently, were only my natural tendencies. If he had a problem with what I like to talk about, or how I do things, then I would just cease speaking to him at all. Maybe the next time I hopped on a purple dragon, I would do it alone, and never return. Just like Pekoe never went back to his home. During the ride, I took in all the nice scenery below us, and the music I loved. At track number 9, Jericho, Pekoe turned to me and said, "Blow my saxophone Ruby Drip."

"What?"I replied, confused.

"Blow on my saxophone."Pekoe repeated, and suddenly I was holding a saxophone in my hands. I blew into it just as Pekoe asked, and immediately afterwards, the stereo and the purple dragon turned into a haze. All five of us began to plummet to the ground. An inflatable raft appeared magically below Pekoe and Temperance, and they fell into it which ensured them a soft landing. Teaspoon, Terry, and myself however, fell flat on our asses. Pekoe laughed at us, "Back in ancient times when man first discovered the esoteric mysterious secrets of birds and found out how to replicate it, there were no airports. When you wanted to land, you just took a deep breath, put your jumbled fried nerves back in place and took a magnificent plunging leap. Your generation is soft."

A horde of pale people dressed in black carrying long swords surrounded us. Their leader, a short man holding a human skull who had red eyes, fangs, and long black fingernails stepped forward. He laughed maniacally, and said, "Now we have more blood for the sacrifices."

Pekoe calmly got out of the inflatable raft and said, "Those sure are some nice nail files you boys got."

To be continued...

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