Monday, March 02, 2009

My Soul For A Burger

Nooo, can't let him have any rest...

"Harry over there says he's some sort of fucking prophet, let's ask him what for."

I groaned realizing my mouth had once more led me to a place I did not want to be. But I figured if I threw enough obstacles in the way they'd back off. God knows they couldn't be serious.

George was always the ringleader. He knew this ad hoc mob would cause me grief because he's just another conservative cunt lick and we instinctively hated each other. "Hey, Harry, tell us the future! You know so much, you're always spoutin' off, why don't you just set us right and tell us what will happen?"

George was a large man and his shit-eatin' grin loomed over me as I sat in the shade of the park bench. His true joy was in knowing that the mindless cast of thousands he'd whipped up would all be expecting some sort of answer from me for having previously painted myself into a verbal corner. I decided to exercise the Peter Principle and go with an unsatisfactory truth: "Because I could tell you and you still wouldn't know."

It's those kind of answers that piss George off the most. I knew that because he was the one who most engaged in happy talk for his life and that comment insinuated he was self-deceived. But he knew he held the trump card with the slobbering hounds surrounding him who wouldn't settle for less. "What kind of chickenshit answer is that? What are you saying? That we're too dumb to understand?" inquiring minds wanted to know.

"Yeah, pretty much," I nodded, bluffing his sorry ass out.

George figured he had me cornered with his line of inquisition but I gleefully noticed I was in possession of his goat. "You know what you are? A fucking fraud! All you do is bitch and everyone here is sick of it. You got nothing real to say. The only reason you're homeless is because you can't get laid!"

Goddam him! I didn't think he'd play the loser card. Maybe I was too effective. Fucking bastard has my goat now. "Look, Igor, I'm such a fraud then why care what I have to say? Leave me the fuck alone. OK?"

Here they come to roust me.
There's George on the end.

Stalemate. But then freakin' flowers-for-Algernon Charlie steps in. "Hey, Harry, some of us here really would like to hear what you have to say. I don't think you're a fraud. Stuff you say makes real sense sometimes."

Oh, for God's sake. Having cut myself off from my real life I'm stuck being beholden to these clowns. I can't take any more loneliness. Butthead George knows that. He's still pissed but I see a smirk out of the corner of his mouth. But I still have some artillery left.

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! So if you want me to go through all that grief I better get something out of it."

George, I knew, never gives up anything - just like the rat bastard greedy conservative that he is. So that just leaves Charlie to keep things going. "OK, Harry, whatcha want?"

Aw, fuck. A true believer. That's so suffocating. But I just can't keep quiet all the time. I can't! And I guess if you speak long enough with enough conviction you'll end up with some sort of following - no matter how full of shit you may be. It all came down to whether I had the integrity to let them see me as the fraud I really am and let it go.

"I want a Whopper and fries!"

Lovely, I sold my soul for a hamburger. Well, I figured since I wasn't getting anything for it before, that a Whopper had to be a step up, right? Who knows, maybe I could parlay my rants into being sponsored by Burger King like that fat guy did with Subway (or whatever that guy did).

Eh, maybe I don't want to be spokesman after all.

George was actually pissed that Charlie caved in to me until he noticed the pained look on my face and saw a fresh opportunity to inflict more misery. "No Whopper! But we'll get you a Big Mac," proposed the devious prick. He knew I hated Big Macs with their meat-like substance and day old lettuce. But this way he gets to appear reasonable while at the same time sticking it to me. Jesus, Middle East peace talks were never this complicated.

"No, man, I want a Whopper or the deal's off!" I couldn't directly attack the Big Mac or I would infuriate the Big Mac contingency. So I had to make out like I was a man of integrity who was sticking to his guns for what he wanted. With this crowd, that garnered great respect - if they believed you.

"It's OK," complied Charlie, "We'll get you a Whopper, just like you want it." Then I watched in horror as everyone - except George - pitched in money to get me a Whopper and young Freddie ran off to get it. Are you freaking kidding me? Now I was completely trapped. Charlie's innocence filled in where George's selfishness was lacking. One or the other I could have handled - but not both. Now all eyes were on me.

"Look guys..." I tried to squirm out of it, but no takers. "OK, the future is what I've always said it would be: love. Love is the only thing that is real. Everything that is unreal will pass away. It's like two trees" - an old analogy of mine - "one accepts water (love) and the other does not. For a time it doesn't seem love is necessary because both are alive, but eventually nature catches up with everybody. Simple as that."

Hey, that came out better than I thought. Whopper worthy? Probably not. But good enough to get them off my back? God, I hope so.

"I like that," smiled Charlie, and he was serene. He didn't know it, but he had just truly fed me. But others were mumbling, and catching on to that, my nemesis led the charge.


Here's what happens when you tell George
his kid sister gave you a hand job.

"That's all bullshit. We want to know what's going to happen now. Not ten thousand years from now. You gotta tell us if Obama's for real and stuff like that!" Igor's grin was in full bloom now, hoping to damn me with specifics. Well, reality is nothing is written in stone but the howling masses needed meat and that would sound like an excuse. I don't like sharing private thoughts, most people are closed-minded and hear something different than what you actually say. I tried to walk the tightrope.

"OK, it's like I told this other guy, Obama will fix up the house, clean out some dirt, make some improvements but all the while fail to put out its fire. In time, we too will learn to ignore the fire and falsely hope we can live with it and won't have to get a new house. For a brief window we'll think we can have our fire and live there too. There will be much rejoicing that we have "won". This allows the fire to rage out of control and at that point there's no stopping it and we'll all act real surprised we're fucked because we're such innocent sweethearts. The Bible speaks of seals and that's what that means: we are taking steps that seal our doom all in the name of saving ourselves. Funny, huh?"

I was expecting an uproar but instead got a quiet dispersal. Shit, by saying all that did I help make it all come true? The homeless are far more open-minded to change than most but even they like the idea of a happy outcome since they are society's most vulnerable members. I was just speaking of a logical progression down the road we're on, not some fucking mandate we do all that crazy shit. It's true, we are buying the stairway to heaven, but who says we have to? We might start putting out the fire tomorrow.

I sat alone in silence but with very loud thoughts. God, why can't I keep my mouth shut and not sell myself out all the time? When the burger came, I didn't want to eat it. (But I had to in order to be practical.)


Yes, there are two paths you can go by

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