DAY ONE: SPIT PROPHECY
It seems pretty harmless at first. Little fortunes nestled in spittle, or lodged in early morning pillow drool. Good advice will come your way. Do not ignore it. Loogies glazed with contrived nuggets of wisdom. Your aura will inspire those around you. Pretty soon the Prophet becomes an involuntary response. Hcwwak-THUUP! This is the sound it makes.
I wake up on train tracks, moaning and hung over. Bruised and missing a tooth. Hcwwak-THUUP! 99.9% chance of precipitation tonight. Sitting at home, listening to the thwack thwack thwack on the window. I step outside. It is hailing. The ground is littered with teeth. Hcwwak-THUUP! An opportunity wasted is the relinquishment of rights. I pick up a random tooth and place it in my vacant hole. It fits perfectly. It doesn’t need any adhesive, it just sits there. “But whose mouth goes without?” I ask no one in particular. There is no answer.
Hcwwak-THUUP! You will sew the seeds of misery.
“Don’t you mean ‘sow’?”
Hcwwak-THUUP! Wrong again.
Down at the fabric store I ask, “What kind of thread should I use when making a quilt? It’s a gift for those who need it.” Frightened glances dart in my direction. “The, um…prophecy,” I mumble.
“Are you alright?” asks the cashier.
“Sew-sew,” I chuckle nervously.
No one is amused.
DAY TWO: THE V-WORD
“Sway” is playing on the radio when the alarm goes off.
I can hear the sounds of viol[ence] long before it begins…
Hcwwak-THUUP! That which lacks physics infests the physical.
I happen upon a secret room. The door reads “For Writing Instructors and Literary Critics Only- All Others Keep Out.” Inside there is a scoreboard which reads: Use of the word ___ (I can’t even say it because it makes me physically ill). “I knew it!” I say.
Hcwwak-THUUP! vis.cer.al [vis-er-ohl] adj. Describing a raw, internal feeling, often a reaction.
vis.cer.al [vis-er-ohl] adj. Of the guts.
“Adjective!” I continue, “Pertaining to anything which takes up space and has mass, or anything which does not! Adjective! Frequently used to define what is art in relation to non-art! Addicts of the adjective believe it paints them in an intellectual light! But in reality it tends to have the exact opposite effect!”
Hcwwak-THUUP! Tell us how you really feel.
“If this word was a living entity I would choke it to death and laugh at its corpse.”
Hcwwak-THUUP! Oh my!
“Confidence eats us alive.”
DAY THREE: HOMICIDAL RIDDLES
Hcwwak-THUUP! I’ll give you three guesses.
“You are a gourd whose core has been infested with hungry insects. You are a glory hole. You are a human head.”
Hcwwak-THUUP! I am a tangible construct. My insides are designed such that, if you were to split me open, they would cease to exist.
“Don’t drag me into this,” I say. I take a drag of whatever I’ve been smoking for the past couple minutes.
Hcwwak-THUUP! Don’t be such a drag.
“Drag? Like those long old-timey dresses that drag across the ballroom floor?” I watch the NHRA drag race on the tube.
Hcwwak-THUUP! Like being dragged into the streets and beaten to death.
“Okay.” About five minutes drag by.
Hcwwak-THUUP! There’s a hatchet in the corner.
The Prophet is incredibly well-organized.
DAY FOUR: GUNFIGHT
Competition is healthy.
I sculpt a Jesus Christ from prepackaged dough and the cheapest red wine available. Bread-and-wine Jesus is a disaster. He flakes apart at the slightest breeze. His blood oozes from cracks and crevices. He is a sad pile of mush. “Kill me,” whispers the poor creature. Whoever heard of a prophet who can’t stop bleeding all over the place?
I build a moderately successful Muhammad, but he disappears immediately, into thin air it would seem. I ask if Invisible Muhammad is shy. “Just tell me when it’s over,” says a soft voice.
Finally, I construct a balloon animal in the shape of the Buddha. “Life is dukkha,” says Balloon Buddha, that big, shit-eating grin plastered across his face, and for a moment it’s just too beautiful.
Hcwwak-THUUP! Cute. A spoon.
DAY FIVE: CIVIC DUTY
Dear Madam Chief Justice,
I applaud your decision to uphold the ban on same sex marriages here in Washington State, and I am in full agreement with your reasoning. The fact that your decision to deny same sex couples the legitimacy of legal matrimony enjoyed by heterosexual couples is based on your hesitance to “discourage procreation” is not insulting to the intelligence of your constituency in the least. If there’s one thing that the human race doesn’t do enough, it’s making babies.
(At this point the Prophet grabbed my wrist and forced me to add the following…)
To rectify this debacle, it is imperative that we end the debate on abstinence vs. safe-sex education, and abolish both. If you’re old enough to walk, you’re old enough to copulate. The lack of reproductive capabilities is no excuse; the pianist must practice for many years before a proper concert recital. How many potential new lives are we losing to the hopes, dreams, and insecurities of adolescence? If you are serious about encouraging procreation, then you will endorse the change in policy I suggest: we must teach sex education to our children from the book of Caligula. Teach them truth: that abstinence is a derelict of duty, and that condoms kill.
A concerned citizen
DAY SIX: FELO DE SE
As the Prophet grew stronger, saliva became an increasingly depleted resource until one day the prophecies came in full-on regurgitations. BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! This is the sound it makes.
I attend a party, although I have no idea how I got there.
The party is dull. The guests are intolerable. I start towards the door. One of the guests stands in my path.
“So you think you can just leave? What if you end up somewhere worse?”
“I’m willing to take that risk.”
“Some of us don’t have a ride. Besides, the host will be offended. The host threw this party for us! For you!”
“Doesn’t that make us parasites?” I ask, completely serious. I continue toward the door.
“Selfish prick,” someone mumbles.
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! You have it so good. At this point I choke and hack up what appears to be an insurance policy, should I leave the party.
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! For those who need it.
“And then what?”
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! Get drunk and dance near the door. Convince someone to push you out. I don’t have all the answers.
I tear the policy to shreds, and regret it immediately.
I’m still here at the party, spending far too much time contemplating how to shove the other guests out the window and make it look like they’ve left of their own accord.
DAY SEVEN: ONES AND ZEROES
I take a tour of a history museum along with a camera crew filming a reality show.
The tour guides smack and poke me with boards and sticks as they regurgitate repellent facts. The film crew is very detached and professional. Here comes the curator with a shovel.
“Wait!” I say. “Hang on! My descendents were laborers! Servants! Not one of them ever owned slaves! They worked the fields and the houses…that’s where I got my name!”
“What are you saying?” asks the curator.
“I ought to be exempt from this!”
“Then you’re not even listening.”
And she swings the shovel at one side of my face with the force of a freight train.
The pain is unreal.
“Wait!” I cough up some blood. “I’ll cut it off! I swear I don’t even use it!”
“You’ll do no such thing. The villain must be intact.”
“But…I’m on your side,” I grovel.
The cameraman points his weapon at my face. “Could you look here and say, ‘Hail patriarchy!’ Or, say ‘The fatherhood will never die!’
At this point I’m blubbering like an infant.
“And if you could make use of a hateful slur, that would make my job a little easier. The C-word would be ideal,” he says.
“I’m a human being,” I say to no one in particular.
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! Expectations are filthy, disease-guzzling jizzbags.
“I guess that’ll do,” says the cameraman, but he sounds disappointed.
DAY EIGHT: SOAKING IN IT
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! You know, it’s just…the symptoms of an unrequited lust. The money shot: coiled like a rattler in the dust.
I crawl to the surface to speak, scrubbing, always scrubbing.
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! Never be clean.
A crowd has gathered, holding signs that say “DEATH TO FALSE PROFITS” and “PEOPLE BEFORE PROPHETS,” and so on.
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! My gag reflex and bowels release at the same moment. Snot, earwax, urine, sweat, feces, they all fly, pressurized streams churning in overdrive like a foul sprinkler system, burying spectators in heaps of waste. I try to make sense of the fluid-drenched crowd.
Burn your car. Burn your degree. Burn the petty semblances that comprise your so-called identity. Burn the screaming paranoia steeped in the swamps of conspiracy, and burn the sick perpetual fiction bellowing utopian prophecy. Burn it all.
“You, sir,” someone is shouting,
“Do you fuck like you’re bored?
All violent and numb?
Do you ever pray she’ll bite open your jugular
Just as you’re done?”
Another angry mob-fraction chimes in:
“Do you love like the widow?
With its mind in the grave?
Would you end it all
To give this world one more
Autopilot sex slave?”
“If that’s what it craves,” I stammer.
The crowd closes in.
BLEUUGHCT-GHACK! When they bend to the water to drink, they’ll be kicked and beaten. When they beg for a morsel to eat, they’ll be ripped to pieces. All of the optimists will say, ‘Welcome back to zero.’ But as we sweep all the bones underneath, we’ll cry….
And the crowd does it for us…
This is the sound we make.