Ok, here's a chunklet from the Crazy Mike portion of the novel, written today (mostly), about his reaction after he thinks he's Jesus and gets all his followers killed:
[starts tape recorder. Coughs twice]
I suppose this is to talk about the end of our relationship…
[stops recording. Stares ahead for several hours, then starts recording again]
Life is a series of mistakes, and each mistake, is like a small death. Is entropy a mistake? That would explain a lot. Now if that is true, I suppose we then all go through those, those “stages”, right? Denial, Pissed-off, Acceptance, Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, Dopey, something like that. Unlike death, we go through these damn stages and still keep living! (Wait – are those things for us, or the dead? I’m never sure) So, if the mistake is large enough, we have to still construct a self that we can live with, a bigger one, so the first thing that loses is memory, than other people who could point out our flaw, and finally reality itself, since it, well, stands in the way of living.
What makes it all worse is sometimes we don’t make a mistake; we see the truth.
In my own life, I would ponder the idea that I was chosen by God for some Really Important Thing, because, well, the idea of that is, er, ah, crazy, but I don’t ponder it because the reality is that knowing that, seeing that, feeling that Divine Truth is what’s made me crazy. And I’m really fine with that, all right? It’s cool. I mean, if God wants my past life, everyone I’ve ever loved, my rational mind, and any hope I might have had for the future, sure, he can have it! I mean, I’m as human as the next guy, it’d have been nice to get something like a Power Ring, or the ability to fly, or something in exchange, but hey, he’s God, so who am I going to complain to if I don’t think he’s being fair?
No, I know the truth – God wants me to stop the Evil. That’s what I call it, anyway, the Evil. I mean, it might not be evil, it just might be misunderstood. Maybe I’m the Evil. I thought about those last two sentences for a couple of minutes, and knew that was just crap. I just include them to let you know that I’ve really given this quite a bit of thought…..See, I know in the most profoundly human way possible – whatever it is I’m fighting must be the Evil because it’s not me! Got that?
It’s what I did with that knowledge that went kerflooy. Not that I’m blaming myself or anything; what did have to go on? Not having passed the aptitude test for “savior”, I looked around for a decent role model. I just couldn’t see myself with the body image of the Buddha, and I don’t that have that crazy atomic mad-on like I was taught Mohammed had, so that pretty much left Jesus, and I thought, well, I could do worse, right? So you go and do the walk-on-water-assemble-followers kind of thing. And you go forth and try to slay that bad ol’ evil. But all that did was get all of the followers killed, and you never really wanted that, now did you? It’s your mistake for thinking you can wear the sandals of William Defoe, and it’s their mistake for thinking you could as well. So I guess I could take myself off the hook by saying that it is their fault for believing in me, but even though that is what my therapist tells me time and time again is what I have to believe, it just doesn’t cut the mustard, the mustard on the Bratwurst of the Soul that I have to spread. The mustard that is, not the soul. ( sigh, I do miss Tony so…)
It was only right of me to go catatonic when I went got caused the deaths of other people, people who had faith in me. [ stops tape. Lies catatonically for hours on floor in their memory. Starts tape. ] Catatonia shows you really care, like a Hallmark card, like chocolates on Valentines Day. Now maybe I was wrong up there a few lines ago to blame people who followed me, but I think about it now after a good nap, and I think that I was correct in my judgement. Why did they need a savior so much that they would follow ME? What were they thinking?
You do kind of hope that they figured that out in the moments before their death, when the lights came on in the home just before it got blown to hell, but hey, I’m a positive person about that sort of thing.. I’m convinced that they were in as much touch with their angry, terrified selves in that moment as was possible. Enough about them, I’m the only one who really matters here. Still, you just can’t get people wasted, even if I’m not to blame, and even if it is really their own fault for being my stupid followers; there has to be some kind of atonement. And karmically atone I did, which we, you know, you and I, have gotten it down to a brilliant shorthand – any job which involves wearing a tie is atonement for some past life transgression. [stops tape] Even Mike knew what self-deceiving bullshit this was.
Then he knew what he had to do. It wasn’t what the Son O’ God Employee Handbook said you were allowed to do, but maybe this is how he was different, his sublime transgressive act, which I guess was just about right; either he’d come back in three days, or all the past accounts would be squared.
Again, how? There were thoughts of guns, one to the side, one in front, “his cross,” but Bob Vila he wasn’t so he couldn’t really set that one up easily. Ropes came to mind, but no matter how hard he tried his rope looked more four-in-hand than noose, so he reasoned he needed a bit of sancta simplisimus and recall those days when he felt that sailors in uniform with corncobs pipes would idly stroll down the street and make for him the things he needed to hang himself. But this didn’t happen either… He tried hanging around the docks. His encounter with drunken sailors didn’t “exactly go as planned,” to quote Mike, which is all he would tell me.
Ah, the oven…1st attempt, oh, yeah, forgot the pilot to the broiler, well…2nd attempt, right got everything squared away…but while lying there, all he could think of was…the smell of farts. And memories of childhood rhymes happened, and things got shut off, and besides Echo and the Bunnymen were playing in the background, and who could go out to that?
Now…what? He knew why he was here, just not how to be here, the day-to-day, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other plodding how, where he’d still have a purpose buried in the detritus of tax forms, and pedicures, and mocha lattes, and more ephemera than one man can stand. This was his cross to bear, being a creature of electricity in a world of wood. He would bring on the pretty in pink heavy horses, and find some way to do what he was supposed to do. He wisely decided not to destroy his terrifically written suicide note, which he passed on to an agent. Said agent sold it as a sitcom pilot, with a bit of re-writing, became a show about 6 people sharing an apartment and their wacky hijinks, which, much to Mike’s annoyance became highly successful and gave him even more of what he didn’t want, money. God may indeed have granted Mike the gift of reviving things from the dead; he just didn’t tell him what.