Let My People Go
by Michele Christopher
Please welcome another new addition to the FTTW cabal, Philbrick.
City Walk, 2005...The horror...The horror...
[Channeling Ezekiel through Saint Augustine and Hunter Thompson]
With mine own eyes I behold the City of Man, of lust, of intemperance, of cupidity. This is an evil place to which I have come, swarming with sin and decadence. I have been here before. Sodom and Gommorah. Carthage. Rome. Las Vegas, 1971. Los Angeles, 2005. All those around me wear the mark of the beast, though the mark of the beast be not one, but multiple. Snow boots and short skirts. Clove cigarettes. A drunken leer. I ask myself, "Do you too wear the mark?" Shamefully, I do. It is stamped on my right hand, circular, placed there by an agent of the beast, who hovers at the door of the piano bar where we have gathered for a co-worker's birthday party. I huddle next to a railing and a trash can, smoke a cigarette and tremble with fear.
A midget in a cowboy hat appears before me, with eyes of fire and hovering six inches from the ground. At first I think it is a vision from our Lord, but then I realize that he is just a regular at Saddle Ranch.
Suddenly, a giant turd descends from the sky, and upon it sits an enormous fly smoking a bong. The fly blows out a puff of smoke and says, "Verily, I am sent from the Lord, and ye shall lead your people from this wicked place." He reaches into his giant turd and produces an accordion. "Son of man, swallow this accordion that ye may speak the word of the Lord to your people." He shoves the accordion down my throat and it tastes like honey. I fall to the ground weeping.
An invisible hand pulls me to my feet and leads me to my people. I open my mouth and the word of the Lord speaks through the undigested accordion. "I the Lord say to you Israelites that you have come to a wicked place of sin and corruption and I will not tolerate this behavior from those whom I once have blessed."
"What the fuck are you talking about, we aren't even Jewish," replies one of my companions.
From my mouth comes, "Do not question me you smug little prick, for I am the Lord, and verily I say unto thee, get thee to the parking garage and do not look back. The end is nigh. Okay, so maybe not the real end, but things could get ugly around here, if you get my drift."
The fly on the turd says, "Lead your people from this place now. Do not look back on those you have left in the piano bar, for it is too late and they have designated drivers."
The voice of the Lord issues from my mouth: "I, the Lord, say unto thee, leave this place, get thee to the parking garage, from the parking garage to your cars, from your cars to your comfortable suburban homes. Verily, I am the Lord, and I have spoken."
"I don't know what the hell he's talking about, but he's right, this place sucks," says another of my companions. The companions debate shortly before agreeing that indeed this place sucks and we should all go home or to Denny's. It is agreed that those left behind will not even remember that we left without saying goodbye, as they were last seen gulping down shots of cheap tequila and crying on their cell phones. We go to our cars, and scatter like dust to our separate homes.
The voice of the Lord exits my body in a large belch somewhere on the 405, and I go home and sleep until 10:00 on Sunday morning. After all, why go to church after all that?
"The Lord" speaks through Philbrick quite often. Usually after chili.