Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Anarchist, the Saint and the Foreign Visitor

A purple cloth, made from cheap and badly dyed material, is draped across the stone. Through it, one can see the outlines of a cross, perhaps a crucifix. Those lumps could be the agonized limbs and countenance of our savior, or could just be folds and imperfections. Who knows? Who knows?

The anarchist stands bowlegged before the saint's grave. It is he who has covered the memorial, as a sort of insult in drapery. His apocalyptic eyebrows follow a blasphemous arc across his buttery forehead. They are worms of corruption swimming in this wrinkled pool of pale ichor, whose wellspring must surely be his cancerous brain. He drinks a mixture of absinthe and mercury from a silver flask (the mercury as a vain attempt to cure his syphilis) and thinks about how terribly decadent and transgressive he is. How the saint would squirm if he knew the cloth had recently been the bed upon which the anarchist had violated a depraved prostitute in the most abominable way imaginable. She (she? Is he positive? So young, so young...) was vacant eyed and ready for anything. He is enjoying a private and sinister chuckle about the whole thing when he hears the voice.

"Wow, is this place classy! I mean we've got nice graveyards back home, but this place is just another....It's like a museum. Boy I tell ya, they do everything up real nice and beerokey over here."

The anarchist turns and has his senses immediately attacked by a lime green track suit that must surely be a representation of everything he despises.

"Oh HI!" says the creature inhabiting this crime against humanity disguised as a garment, "this a friend of yours?"

The anarchist smirks.

"A...friend? Ah, who can say? Our deepest enemies, somewhere within the crucible of our loathing perhaps become friends, perhaps through that alchemy that men call hatred, perhaps-"

"Only I'm not from around here, and I was wondering if you knew anything about this place. Figgered if you knew the departed here you might know the lay of the land so to speak."

"The gentleman who rests here was known to me, yes."

"Oh that's great, cuz I- Oh geezum, listen to me puttin' my foot right in it: I don't mean it's great that your friend is dead and all, but it's great that you know the place. So, this place is pretty old right?"

"It is the oldest cemetery in the country madame."

"See that's what I thought, but I wasn't sure cuz I couldn't find a info desk."

He allows himself a small smile. "Such things are not our way. We find them...lacking in respect." his glance wanders briefly to the purple cloth. "But yes, this place is very old indeed."

"So who's the oldest?"

"Do you regard that basalt monument there?"

"Basalt? What's that, hon?"

"A type of volcanic stone, famed for its tendency to be found in strangely regular fields of geometric forms. That large gray column is a fine specimen of the stone."

"Oh the tall one. Wow it's big!"

"Fix it in your mind. Beneath that column are the remains of a tribal chieftain who lived 2500 years ago."

"What, before Jesus? Goodness, I didn't know things over here got that old!"

"Indeed. What we know of his behavior shows he came before the gentle savior: the chief was know as Ludovico the Black-Blooded Kin-Rapist. By his friends."

"What did his enemies call him?"

"'That bastard who cut my tongue out and then used it do unspeakable things to my children while making me watch'."

"So he was a terrorist?"

"He was a sculptor whose medium was terror. He used the meat of humanity and the rivers of fear that course through it to create strange and eternal works, ones that echo down the centuries and millennia to bring their depravity and sublimity here to this spot, today, here now."

The track suit looks at him puzzled, smiling politely.

"Here madame. These feet in these blood red boots, support the spiritual heir of Ludovico. These legs, in these black velvet trousers, lift those feet above the faces of the innocent. These shoulders, off of which hangs this black silk cape with lemon yellow lining, go up and down when I laugh at the torments of the helpless. The sight of this profile, including this hair piled high into dizzying shapes using only the most costly of pomades, destroys the goodness in any soul and leaves it comatose in a puddle of its own fluids."

"Now is that your job, dear, or is it a, a, 'lifestyle choice'?"

"Madame, I am only as I have made myself."

"Well good for you! Everyone admires a self-made man! But look at me, jawing away, when you're here to pay your respects to your friend in peace."

The Anarchist looks at the covered grave of the Saint, remembering the look on his milk white face as the velvet rope pulled ever tighter around his throat, even as the detailed arabesques lovingly carved onto every inch of his flesh bled out a new alphabet of scarlet betrayals. He had seen peace there, a peace that said "I forgive you." He had rejected that peace, spitting in the Saint's blue eyes as light faded from them.

"You have a good day now. It was awful nice of you to point out that old grave."

"It was my pleasure."

Yes, yes, yes, it was his pleasure, as were all things in life. All was pleasure to him, from the deepest pain, to the sublimest ecstasy, from the gray mindlessness of a tedious afternoon, to the most violent cocaine-spattered wild night, all was pleasure, all was pleasure, all was-

"Oh, before I leave you in peace could you point me to the, well, um, facilities?"

He pointed a foppish finger towards the mausoleum of a family well known for decades of charitable works.

"you may do your business in there madame. I apologize if the fixtures are a bit...European for you, but I'm sure you'll adapt."

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