(30) "Beyond Life and Death" (I)

"I'm back to the dirt I started with...a peasant!"

- Arthur Rimbaud, "Farewell", A Season In Hell

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by Edward Lacie

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The End

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Greg Baysans has escaped! I am left with nothing!

No ransom, no dead body, no value to the explications I've spent a year writing. No job except a return to the burger place I was working at two years ago and quit because of an asshole supervisor. He said, "You can always come back here if you don't find work." I guess three years is long enough to have my pride.

And Jim Post has left me after I criticized an actress on "Murder She Wrote." 

The conversation ended in his saying that he's going to cancel cable since I don't like the acting on tv.

(Rewrite note: this brief chapter has been left unretouched. As I read over the narrative many months later [March, 2003], I see a theme that was dropped. Mentioned early on, the fact that I was wishing to create my own fiction like George Bush is able to do. I mention this here because, although I know I'm in the minority and may offend some and be judged by others for saying this, I agree with Michael Moore when he accepted his Oscar for "Bowling for Columbine" the other night: We are living in a fiction perpetrated by a dangerous incompetent. This project, this tale, my attempt at the same was not successful. What does George Dubious have that I don't? I won't begin to answer that.) 

(Edition names began after the above "final" note and are catalogued here. The Assasin Edition. Another Cigarette Edition. A New Footnote. In the Cab Edition. Tiny tweaks. Ever so tiny and so many forgotten. The Long Days Edition. The Quit Prozac Edition. The Moved Rain Edition. Fixed A Typo. Changed the Flowers Edition. The Anniversary Edition. 410 Edition. The If A Tree Falls Edition. Fairytale Presidency Edition. Tell A Phone Edition. Futility Edition. Second Viaduct Edition. Fasting Over Edition. Brr It's Cold Edition, Trip Odd Edition. Hmm Edition. The Agony and the Irony Edition. Twenty-six Aquamarine Edition. Coop Edition. Prozac Over Edition. The Holy Numbers Edition. 2005 Edition. The Oh-Oh Edition. The Disco Edition. Catalogue Edition. The Complete Edition. The Incomplete Edition. PQ Edition. They quickly became obligatory.)

(A character in Vonnegut says about war: "'And another nice thing about war [...] is that while it's going on and you're in it, you never worry about doing the right thing. See? Up there, fighting and all, you couldn't be righter.'")

(The Oscar ceremony mentioned, 2003, the 75th, was the one in which Roman Polanski won Best Director in absentia, Nicole Kidman won Best Actress and Barbra Streisand got a special Oscar as nose model for "The Hours".)

The only option other than mopping hospital floors would be to try and write something that describes it so expertly that I'd be acknowledged and paid thousands for book rights to what I know enough to write about: fries and entire shifts spent "on broiler."

Let me start telling those sob-stories of self-pity, quoting Baysans's "interp" of passages from "A Season in Hell":

Once, if memory serves me right, my life aspired to banquets where every whim was accomodated on an island in a sea of fine wine.

One evening I took Hope in my arms - the bitch bit me - so I raped her.

And braced myself for punishment.

Then ran away! Left the Devil Worshippers behind and began a miserable life putting Eden-feasts behind me.

I've burned the bridge of human salvation. I'm the instinct a lion uses to maul a lamb.

I've committed only crimes that result in the death penalty. I want to suck the barrels of the guns that make up my firing squad! I invented AIDS and African famine, Squalor my vital deity. I've lain in mud in gutters and dried myself in the gas of Skid Row. I've played the Fool everyone seems eager to take advantage of and it's given me this insanity.

Back in Spring I laughed the laugh of the dumb.

Now that it's Fall and I'm ready to have myself committed, I've decided to remember the days when feasts seemed so imminent I could smell them. I want my appetite back.

The secret is Charity! (Now I know I'm dreaming.)

"You can just laugh, hyena," taunts the Demon Muse Rimbaud who once sold me my drugs. "Seek death with every breath you've got. Consume everything with your greed. Explore all Seven Deadly Sins."

"Been there, done that," I respond. The look he gives me tells me he's disappointed. I'll have to try to gain his favor by telling some stories from my hey-day. Since he doesn't like fancy literary devices, I'll have to present them directly from my journal, the diary of a Damned Soul.

HIV Blood

From my Teutonic background all that's left in me is blue eyes and HIV, a narrow brain and awkwardness in competition. My clothes are no more evolved than theirs. Instead of butter, I use daily hair gels when I can afford them.

The Teutons were the most animalistic thrill-seekers of their time.

From them I inherit: idolatry, and love of sacrilege - lechery! anger! especially the ever popular dishonesty! laziness! (Great stuff that lechery!)

I have an extreme case of ergascophobia. Bosses and supervisors cause an allergic reaction in me. The hand that holds the pen is as valuable as that on the production line. (What a century for hands!)

Jim slaps me to my senses and offers me want ads. I close here.


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