The Thin Purple Line
Upon the recommendation
of a Deity, I am about to fulfill my destiny.
Not so long ago, I had a mind-blowing vision. Fortunately, this time I wasn't
driving the car; I was sleeping rather soundly in my own bed when a blinding
light awakened me.
I sat up, startled. The clock read 1:11AM.
silver glow, spinning like God’s own disco ball, hovered
above the foot of my bed. From it, a female voice asked, “Fernando
Suzuki?” I yanked the covers to my chin, not out of fear,
I sleep in the nude and I didn’t want to get slapped. Plus I had
just woken up and, you know, the wood was a branch…
Suzuki” repeated the voice like a thunderclap.
“My n-n-name is Gordy Grundy”,
“Sorry,” said the now-velvet voice, “Suzuki
is my 4:20.”
the light before me exploded like a thousand roman candles. A sound, a crash,
both frightening and comforting, was so loud that I knew the neighbors
would be calling the cops again.
From this radiating light, a woman began to appear. At first I thought
it was the Statue of Liberty. She was robed, sandaled and her gaze was
Instead of a torch, she held a down turned sword that was emblazoned with
the word ‘Fortuna’ on
the hilt. It was then that I realized she looked just like Angelina Jolie.
“Yes,” I replied, “Yes!”
I didn’t mean to sound eager, but it was obvious that my time was up.
Not that I was looking to check out, but I was grateful to go in my sleep,
pain, without scandal nor humiliation. I’ve lived a good life. However
short. Why not now?
seen Beauty go in and out of fashion, and back again. I remember art before
it had issues. I’m sick of hearing
about the Middle East, hurricanes and the box office slump in Hollywood.
My regrets are
few: Not enough sex. Not enough dough. I’ve never been to Tahiti… I
raised my arm and extended my hand. Without a quiver in my voice, I said, “Take
me.” With the speed of the ethereal, Angelina slapped me upside
the head with her
sword. The blow made a loud, hollow thwack, but it didn’t hurt.
“I’m not here for that,” she said tiredly. “Besides,
you’re not gonna die painlessly in your sleep.”
I started to get
hysterical. “Then how am I gonna…?”
“I won’t say,” she snickered, “But it’s
a good one.”
I yelped again like a scared puppy. Angelina just shook her head, and
wiped an eye as if she were recovering from a laughing jag.
“Oh! It’s nothing you can’t handle,” she said. “You’re
an artist. You already know about destitution, ridicule and insignificance….
Relax.” Her glow seemed to burn a little bit brighter as if she
were getting down to business.
“I’m here with a message,” she said. “You’ve
been chosen as a Messenger. You must bring peace to the world.”
My pause was long.
I couldn’t help but reply sarcastically. “World peace?
How the hell am I gonna do that?!”
whacked me again with her sword. “Stop swearing so much. Your art. Use
your art to prove that religion is fashion… We figure, if humanity
realized that religious affiliation is no more important than the label
in your collar, then all of you might stop killing each other. --- It’s
a last ditch effort. We’ve tried everything else.”
“Last ditch—What?!” I
done anything interesting since you nailed Christ. Just-- Just
use your art.”
“Art?!” -- Lady, my art dealer’s in jail!”
“I know,” she said apologetically, “That’s why I wanted
someone else. Unfortunately, I don’t manifest destiny; I just swing
The room was silent
except for the quiet “But… But… But…” which
was coming from my mouth like an Evinrude outboard motor.
glanced at her wristwatch that looked like a sundial on a strap. “Hey, I’ve got a 3:15 in Philadelphia,” she said, “You’ll
have to figure it out. You’re a smart ass. And you’re lucky. And
now -- you’re the Messenger!”
By then, my morning
erection had all but vanished. And so was she. Her sharp features began
to blur and the light began to intensify in the room. I called after
her, “Messenger?! Why can’t I be a
spokesman? ---You know what they do to the Messenger...!”
it was too late. She was gone. The last thing I saw were those fleshy
lips fade into the light
-- And the room fell dark once again. I couldn’t sleep after
that. It wasn’t the cover girl
vision or the alarming message that kept me awake -- It was the
on the door,
trying to break up another party.
The next day
felt like a bad hangover. It wasn’t the usual “Another
round! Another round!” thundering in my head like two trashcan lids
banging together. It was “World Peace! World Peace!” Damn.
I wish she said “Lottery Winner! Lottery Winner!”
I must follow the Vision of the Goddess Fortuna, Creator of the Universe
of Luck. I must fulfill my destiny to bring peace to the world.
Naturally, I cancelled my weekend plans.
I can say is, the Goddess Fortuna had better be a Vision.
Because I’ll be really pissed off if I find out she was
merely another hallucination--or is that the razor sharp edge
of the Thin
FADE TO BLACK; MUSIC
ARTL!ES Fall 2006