July 8, 2009

Genesis Two

One





Two
Voices

It is not in my nature to talk to invisible beings that no one has seen before. I just try to avoid the stigma of mental illness. These voices, they have no body, and thus people have attached a stigma to anyone who might acknowledge the fact that these voices are in fact, very real. We have all seen people on the street, in the monotony of every day life, turn and jerk their head, looking as if someone yelled to them from a passing automobile. That is not “weird” if you have seen an automobile pass within the past few seconds, but it is entirely “weird” if you have seen nothing. You probably didn’t hear anything, because in fact, whatever or whoever was speaking to that person, the one who turned their head, and not you.
Now, most people, on hearing one of these voices will simply shrug their shoulders upon hearing that voice, go about their day, and move on as if nothing happened. This is, of course, the rational course of action, as we have all learned, a rational person does not hear voices. Those who hear them are locked up in hospitals for the safety of themselves and those in larger society.
We can all nod our heads at this fact, as we can all agree that what I have written if completely true. At the very least, our collective nod must mean something, meaning that we have been conditioned to believe that it is true. Crazy is a strong word, but we would not hesitate to darken our image of a person who hears these voices by calling them precisely that.
CRAZY.
I wish I could continue believing something like that. To be reassured that rational people don’t hear these voices, and that I am a functional member of society. Heck, my entire life has been based around the assumption of my sanity. However, three months ago that view of mine changed, as the voices became louder, and deeper and harder to ignore.

Three
The Great Akron Monorail Project

I was working as lead engineer on a project for my firm, Love & Zippo, LLC. We were designing a giant monorail that would connect the heart of Chicago to the grand city of Akron Ohio. Now, you have to understand that Akron was, and still is on the verge of becoming a burgeoning metropolis because of its newfound prominence in the production of anti-gravity technology. The Goodyear Company was in fact at the forefront of this revolution in transportation technology. Our monorail was going to be the first major exhibition of this exciting new technology. Our firm, after winning the contract, was treated to starlight galas and performances from Akron’s well-intentioned, albeit sub-par city symphony.
The great Akron monorail project was to be the jewel in the crown of my as-so-far undistinguished engineering career. The city fathers of Chicago were at first very receptive to the idea, and they thought, as I did too, that the monorail would be a very good idea. However, the looming election made the monorail a make-or-break issue for some politicians. It was seen in some circles as superfluous and a waste of money. I think that there was animosity towards Akron too, as they had come up with the idea, and they were the lucky benefactors of chance, being the home of the Goodyear Company. Chicago had been in the decline since the cattle yards shuttered their windows, and they didn’t like the idea of another midwestern city taking its title of “Most important city without a real beach.” All that remained unspoken, and the election of our supporters was lost on the idea that funds could be better appropriated. This was stressful, as millions of dollars had already been spent on my project, and ground had been broken in Akron. Suddenly, we had a monorail that had nowhere to go.
I wish that was all the stress I had to put up with at that time. My best friend from middle school kept trying to get in touch with me. It would be so bad, to get together and talk of the old days. It is fun to recount your youth with people who you shared it with, but he wanted me to recount it under oath as a character witness at his sentencing. The police had picked him up. He was passed in a Camry out with a Bic lighter in his hand and a decapitated woman lying in his lap.
Also, my friend Pamela, a local pillar of the community, had recently divorced and was making come-ons to me, challenging my devout bachelorhood. She saw us together forever, and said that no one in the history of this earth could be a greater couple than us. I just attributed it to her looking at forty and being oddly alone after 15 years of fruitless marriage. I loved her to death, and she’s a great woman, but I couldn’t be tied down by relationships. I was married to my job. I couldn’t give her any part of me, so I wanted to give her part of what I created. That why the “Great Akron Monorail Project” was subtitled “The PDQ Monorail.” The PDQ was for her initials, Pamela Dawn Quixote.
With all the stress in my life, I had to find some outlet. Cooking classes and yoga were a drag, so I finally found a solution that appeased me. I decided to self-medicate. It was the easy way out, the path of least resistance, but I returned to my trusted old friend, the bottom of the liquor bottle. I caught, if you could call it that, the habit during college, as we made excuses to drink at first, but eventually, I had to have a good excuse not to drink. I took most of my finals, buried both my parents, and spent my wedding day under the velvet fog of an alcohol-induced euphoria. It wasn’t until my left me three years later because of it that I decided to seek help.
I kicked the habit, but the temptation was always there. Without such a hindrance, I was able to throw myself into my work. I had spent three long years on design teams, used mostly to check certain figures for the third time. I was always fearful of losing my job. After becoming sober, however, I became relatively successful and respected. Plus, the new prominence was also financially remunerative. I had a nice house, and a nice car, but no time for really enjoying anything that I had earned. For fourteen years, I was sober, but the stalling of the “Great Akron Monorail Project” was too much to bear. A failure here could mark me for the rest of my life. I was helpless as a child, and at the time, it felt good to reunite with my old friend John Daniels.

Four
You Are the First of the Supermen

I have always been skeptical about religion. It is an opiate of the masses, a crutch for feeble minds. God has always been a great abstraction, even in my times of need. Even an agnostic prays sometimes, when he wants something so bad that he will try out various deities and see which one might help him. Or maybe that is just my way of coping with the great unknown. As a child, I prayed that Santa would bring me what I wanted. Teenage me wanted to win football games. College me prayed that I had remembered to wear a condom with that girl from the other night. My faith in a divine power dwindled as I got all the wrong toys, our football team suffered through defeat after defeat, and my genitals grew to become red and scabby.
The last time I prayed, the last time I tried my hand at the roulette wheel of god’s favor was when I was married, and I could sense the decline of our relationship. I prayed to a just and understanding god that perhaps my wife could love me, who was the same me that she fell in love with, and quit, for the love of, well you, expecting me to change. She left, and the idea of god drifted away from being an weird abstraction, to being what I thought of it a couple of months ago. God was a myth. No more real than the gods who perched upon the lofty heights of Mount Olympus.
This myth was shattered one day, a glorious morning. I was driving to work in my newer model Jaguar X-type, with the windows down, drinking my breakfast of Mr. Pibb, munching on the required Hostess Cupcakes. I was listening to WKLN, the local rock station, and the antics of their esteemed morning show anchors, The Pigman and Tom. They were on one of their usual misogynistic rants. A woman driver on her way home apparently had cut off Pigman in traffic yesterday, and he was advocating stricter licensing requirements for women drivers. Tom was agreeing with him, saying that these new requirements should extend to all drivers younger than 25 and older 65. They segued into the new song by Hatred Profound and I started bobbing my head. I keep thinking of twenty years earlier, when these guys were first around, and marvel at how much they have, well, sold out. As I do this, I notice a woman in the car next to me. She is younger than I am, I would guess in her early twenties, and a very radiant flower. She smiles at me, and I think to myself that this moment might be the high point of my day.
I smile back, and she starts laughing. Or so it seems she was laughing. She had the corners of her cheeks turned up as far as it seems they could go, the muscles straining to pull them further up the side of her face until the corners of her mouth meet her ears. Her teeth are bared, and her head thrown back in the laughter that we might associate with the insane. I am befuddled, but as I turn and glance in the rear-view mirror, I know what provoked her maniacal laughter. I have a smear of cream funning from my lower lip to the terminus of my chin. I am disappointed, but I assuage my self by saying that I am at least ten years removed from carousing with people her age.
As I turn my attention back to the road, I prick up my ears to catch the rest of the song, but oddly, there is nothing coming from my custom 600 watt, twelve-speaker Infinity audio system. From out of the silence, comes a tiny voice.
“You are the First of the Supermen.”

Five
Questioning

I find this weird, but as I have been taught, it is a mere abnormality that can be thrown out with the rest of the mental trash when it comes to pass that I must throw it out. And throw it out I do, even before I pull up to work, and ease my car into the employee of the month parking spot for the last Monday before I will have to abdicate my throne.
Work that day was uneventful. We were on the horn with Chicago all day, getting the run around from the new administration. We were trying to sell them on this idea; the grandiose thought that a monorail would be the assurance of future prosperity. All that we would need from them was a couple of acres of downtown real estate, a couple million dollars, and some favorable re-zoning. Our former connections in the town, all the higher ups, had been replaced with less receptive individuals. We had been trying to get at the very least an apathetic answer from these people, but we weren’t getting close. I knew was all we had to do was pitch the project again, as we did 18 months ago to the former administration, and they would open up. I had been in a picture on the front page of the Chicago Tribune a year ago, and now the secretary for the assistant head of housing was ignoring me and not returning her phone calls.
It seemed that the project was hitting a wall, and I knew that my name would be besmirched with the aspect of failure. People weren’t just investing in the project, they were investing in me, in the fact that I was the point man, and I would be responsible for the success or failure of all of this.
I called Pamela after I got home and turned on the television. The hockey playoffs were on. I am not usually a big fan of hockey, but it was either watch that, or partake in some inane sitcom on the networks. I chose hockey, and dialed up Pamela. As usual, since her divorce, she only wanted to talk about herself. That’s ok, but something was bothering me. I couldn’t really define it, but to listen to Pamela describe trying to return an ill-fitting blouse at Nordstrom’s took all my energy. Its usually easy, as all the women who have ever been in my life, all they want is some attention. I’ve gotten used to this. It was much harder this time. I’d been able to avoid it all day, but now, home, talking to my friend, drinking an Evian on the couch, I realized what was bothering me. I told Pamela that I loved her, but I had to go. I flipped the television off and started pacing around my loft apartment.
“I am the first of the Supermen? What the hell does that mean?”

Six
Going Crazy

Perhaps The Pigman and Tom have some reason to make me think that I am going crazy. If that were an isolated incident, it could be attributed to the tomfoolery of highly sexually repressed individuals who had been born with the faces perfect for the radio business. But the Pigman and Tom do not know me. They have never met me. I have never even called the station to request a song. If I like a song, I buy the album. I have enough disposable income to be able to not worry about the financial drain that buying a couple of albums a week can be. Less affluent people might have to worry about such a thing, but my job allows me a few pleasures. One of these is the ability to turn off the Pigman and Tom, and putting in any of the thousands of albums, I own into my custom 600 watt, twelve-speaker Infinity audio system.
For a week, all I could listen to were the outrageous shenanigans of these two fools. However, I never heard a replication of the first day. I only needed to hear it once, and I could feel better about myself. I needed the assurance that I was not crazy. Somehow, that was an isolated incident, and I attributed it to the radio. I listened to them for all six hours of their show, for the next six days and their little joke on me was never mentioned.
It was a week later that I learned not to attribute such voices to the radio. I was on the phone with a New York lawyer, representing my friend Ryan. I hadn’t seen him since middle school, or heard from him since high school, and now the first I hear of him in almost twenty-five years is his lawyer, pleading that I come to New York to be a character witness in his sentencing. He pleaded guilty, but he desperately wants to avoid the stigma of dying on a gurney at the federal prison in Indiana. Thus, his layer has tracked down everyone he was ever close to, in attempts to paint a portrait of Ryan as a good guy who just had some problems.
I had some problems of my own. During the phone call, as I was being attentive as I could, I couldn’t help but notice an undertone that’s not usually there. It was as if my phone was picking up another call, crossed lines or something of the sort, but these undertones were aimed directly at me, or so I felt. It bothered me so that I had to interrupt the lawyer’s monologue and ask him if he heard what I had heard. Naturally, to my chagrin, he hadn’t, and he gave pause to my comments, and ended what he was saying rather quickly.
“I hope that you will consider it.”
“I will. Thanks for your call.”
The fact that an old friend was up for a ride on old sparky was disconcerting, but I kept going back to the voice that I heard on the undertone. “I am your one and only true lord. Apocalypse is near.” This kept repeating over and over all through the call. For twenty minutes, all I could think of was how much faith I should put into what I have been hearing.
If I should believe it, what does it all mean? I can’t be going crazy.

Seven
Embrace Insanity

Every Monday I have been learning more. Since the first two weeks, I have been hearing him speak to me. I am a general on the dawn of apocalypse. I have been entrusted with an engineering project of even greater magnitude than the Great Akron Monorail project. I have learned to listen to the voices. My calling is not to love, or to be loved. It is not to be financially successful. I am to be the father of all the future humans.
Don’t get me wrong. That may sound a little fanatical or dare I say CRAZY. Think back to all the religious figures that we look up to, all that we aspire to be. We once called these people crazy. I can imagine eons ago, Jesus, walking the lands of the holy land, saying, “I am the son of god.” The same glances that you give me now would be also for him. He was doubted then but revered now. That too, will be my legacy.
The messages have become more and more clear. I can now talk to the voice. And the voice responds. The origin of the voice we cannot see for it lies in the spirit realm. Mere mortals cannot see into the vast infinity of this realm, but the inhabitants of this realm can communicate with us if we are receptive enough. The people on the street, the ones who look at a voice they could swear they heard, they heard a voice. We may laugh at them, and doubt how rational such a belief is, but I believe them. I also know that if they wanted they could talk back. I know this because I took the initiative and tried. It only took that one attempt, and I knew that I was not being deceived. I asked for a sign of my voice’s divine power, and my television turned on and off without outside influence, or to better state, without any apparent outside influence.

Eight
Ark

“You shall build the greatest space ship ever built.”
“I can’t. I can’t even get a monorail off the ground in working order, how can I build a great space ship?”
“You will, you have me behind you at all times”
As much as I appreciate the ability to converse with God in an open forum, he always chooses the worst times to do it. I’m at the mall, trying to find the perfect gift for Pamela’s big four-oh bash, and he’s telling me about the future destiny of mankind. I mean, he’s a nice guy and all, but he could be a little more understanding.
“What should I get her?”
“She likes plush animals, but that is not important, listen to me. You will become Noah and Adam balled up into one individual. This spaceship will house all the animals that you can amass in the world, and from them, and from you, will spring forth a new civilization. You have to listen. You are the salvation of mankind. Apocalypse is near on Earth, and time is short.”
“God.”
“What?”
“Nevermind.”
I pick up a cute teddy bear, and I pay the teenage sales clerk the fifty dollars, and head out to my car. On my way home, I realize I know the perfect gift for Pamela. If I am to be the salvation of man, she can be my Eve. Once home, I throw out the cheesy card I bought for her at Hallmark, and I sit at my typewriter for fifteen minutes telling her about the wonderful thing that I have come across. Not only will she join me in the salvation of man, she is the first to know about my conversations with the voices
Birthday Wishes


Happy Birthday!

Today, in this parade of days, you have reached a day that is unmistakably your own. In this culture, our culture, we try to mark this day with celebrations and exhalations and wishing the beloved with many more of these fine days in their future. I have thought of a gift for you that would put you in the pantheon with the rest of the immortals that you deserve to reside. I thought of a gift that would be from the heart, though expensive enough, that it would show that I cared through my wallet and my heart.
I was to build you a monorail. It would have been a grand monorail, a monorail worthy of its name, the Pamela Dawn Quixote (PDQ) Monorail. However, I had no idea what kind of red tape that they make you go through to build a monorail of such epic proportions. Sadly, now I am stuck without a real present, and I could not be more chagrined at this fact.
To rectify my mistake, I will now let you in on a little secret. I have been working on a large space ship that will eventually house two of every species of animals on the planet as we fly away from this damned rock on the dawning of the apocalypse. This “God” fellow and I have become close, and he was warning me of the antichrist is amongst us, and he leads our people. Yes, you heard right. President Donald Chesnev is the antichrist. But, all this somehow flew under “God’s” radar, as he was too busy fixing football games to worry about the presidential election. So now, I have been given the task to build a new ark, and to lead the human race to continued prospering. I think that because of the lack of the monorail, I should offer you this, a chance to rise along with me, to be the prime female of the human species that we save.
With this gift, I give you the chance of immortality, to be the Eve of a new generation as it dawns. I hope that the future of humanity will spring forth from your loins
Love,






Author’s note self: To note, the first eight “chapters”, on reflection, are a little brief, and they lack a continuity of time that I would like to have in a finished first draft, but that is perfectly ok to me, as it was a first draft written in a furious night that involved the consumption of alcohol as I sate here at my computer. I have been less than productive the last two and a half months, content to living a few well-placed nights, and working to party the other few. My senseless desperation is still in effect, so I think that I could continue this without much consternation. I have laid a nice plot that I would like to advance much more and there are some details that need to be either changed or revised. January 2, 2003

Big note to self :TENSE


Chapter Next

PAMELA

“Well, shit.”
John comes waltzing in, fifteen minutes late, blubbering some sort of excuse that I have no choice but to dismiss. He’s always full of shit about something. He has teddy bear in his arms, one of the bears that a kid might win at a fair to impress his girlfriend, and a huge smile on his face.
Author’s note again. I’m really not feeling this story. It just not in me or something, I actually have nothing to say. That’s not good if I want to be a writer for a living, and support myself by sitting behind a computer and creating things. I’ll come up with something, I know, somewhere, I have the middle section outlined, and I liked the way it was going. Maybe I should try some third person or something. I don’t know, thankfully I am still young, and I think that I could live a while longer. Anything over another 40 years would be a surprise, anything less than twenty more would be an even bigger surprise, but I’m not at that bridge yet. Its coming, I know it will happen, but I won’t begrudge the fact. The leading cause of death is a live birth, and the society we live in is toxic enough to strike down even the hardiest individual.