HOMO ZERO

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PROLOGUE: I am Born, Elvis Reports to Nixon, Primates and Bladder Infections, Fatidic Frank, a Schwinn is Taken, How Dietary Habits affect the Flavor and Bouquet of Mexican emissions, A Glimpse of the Primordial One in Pedal-Pushers, Hippie-Do’s Aflame

This isn’t one of those unreliable narrator jokes where the character talking thinks he’s god but really he’s some tragic sack in a coma. Really I am god and I am not in a coma. Really. I was a kid in a coma once, true. Well that was the age of the Jethro Tull being the greatest flute combo in Creation is all. Nubile groupies sucked beardy-cock and Elvis answered only to Nixon in the war on drugs. Sigh. I am God or a god. I am omniscient yet not omnipotent and await some important clarification on that. In the meanwhile watch out or I’ll wink that sneer off your face, fucker. I’ll turn the pontoon titties into wufflers on the wind. Water to piss and Big Macs to turds and raise a stiffy from the middle-aged dead in a trice. Based on a True Story.

Please note: I all-knowingly forbid myself from seeing into the future or reading minds. I hate spoilers.

Use tons of profanity, though. People averse on principle to the word “fuck” are ignorant, blue-nosed cunts, in my opinion. I can’t remember at any point in eternal existence actually opening my mouth and booming let there be fuck and shit and cocksucker but it’s obvious that the existence of these words is my (or someone’s) careful doing. Because everything’s is. There is no such thing as a bad word. There are only bad species. (You know who I’m thinking of when I say that. And you can’t even read minds).

You can’t read minds, see into the future, kill with a wink or fuck a fashion model in the guise of a goose or a shower of gold. You aren’t even as funny (or strong, or fair-minded) as chimpanzees. You’ve really only got one thing going for you but that’s just my opinion (it goes without saying that everything you perceive in this inter-dimensional communiqué is mitigated by the tacit qualification that it’s all just my private opinion; private opinion sprinkled liberally with omniscient fact. Ask me who really killed Julius Caesar and why and I will blow your little mind).

You know on Star Trek how some alien being with vastly superior power and intelligence is always opining (near the end of the episode), with loftily bemused wistfulness, that the human race has something going for it; some scrappy, indomitable spirit or je ne sais quoi which the various superior entities of the galaxy admire or envy and this is why they never just wipe the Universe with a dirty rag to get rid of you?

Ha.

What I like about humans (the only thing I really like about humans) is that you can’t read minds or see into the future. Makes for excellent fucking. Hey and you’re mentally retarded and spectacularly deranged, too. Every single one of you. That’s a big major plus in the sack.

Picture this for a sec: three bantamy white guys on LSD in space suits on a mountain in Southern California.

I have fucked chimpanzees in times of need, although I don’t recommend the pleasure. They are very strong and they stink and they like it just a little too fast. They don’t require sonnets. They don’t require reassurances afterward and, even worse, it’s impossible to hurt a chimp’s feelings. There’s something about having the power to wound and yet keeping that power in check that makes a lover feel sort of godly. It’s a turn-on. But chimps are impregnable as hairy pentagons, as far as that goes. Which is why you’ve never seen a really fat one.

I have fucked chimps and been fucked by chimps in turn and really couldn’t say which is better. What’s best is ejaculating in, on or at the strictly human. Needy, fucked-up, clueless little cock sockets in constant rage and tumult and froth that they are. Caveat: always fuck but never marry: I know that, now, since coming into my omniscience: do not even think of getting married. Especially not in the name of sex or companionship.

Before I came into my omniscience. An early scene from the pseudo-mortal life:

Fatidic Frank. It’s 1969 and I’m sitting behind the white bucket seat of Frank’s brown Buick LeSabre and we are hurtling so fender-smooth and heavy in the twilight down the Dan Ryan Expressway that it feels like a free-fall when I close my eyes. There’s the Magikist sign. The friendly brontosaurus of a Sinclair station up there on the surface streets. A billboard for Jet magazine.

My Auntie Antonia is in the cock-sucking seat beside Frank and the moon, supposedly, has two people on it. I assume it was whiskey-voiced Walter on fatidic Frank’s radio handling the narrative. I used to trust Walter. The speaker is right behind my head. The speaker is like a perforated manhole cover under the nodding dog doll that Frank keeps in the sloping Hispanic heat of the rear window. Frank is married and real fucking late getting home and even at ten-years-old and pre-omniscient I can read his mind and tell that Frank, for all his jokey-bravado, would weep like a grateful baby if we allowed him to pull over and let us out on the highway shoulder and save him that precious forty-five minutes getting back to the marital driveway. And it actually would have changed everything. There’s the John Hancock.

I don’t remember now where I picked up the adult intelligence that Frank was married and less than honorable in his intentions towards my Aunt but maybe it was my omniscience already kicking in a little. How did I know that nobody was actually walking on the moon? Frank was a Mexican with a Zapata ‘stache and a balding brown head. I assume he’s dead now (uncork the omniscience for a sec: oops, Frank’s still with us) and I think of his head (and of the moon and of the moon as a bumpy skull under his sweaty scalp) whenever I listen to Jose Feliciano’s cover of The Doors’ Light My Fire. Which is less than super often. He wore a cowboy hat when he wasn’t driving. He was a very tall Mexican. Good tune.

We had driven way the hell out to some traveling carnival or fun fair. We got to the fair, which was located in a blue cloud of gnats and diesel and Frank gave me a whopping five dollars to hit all the rides and buy sacks of caramel corn and generally comport myself like a medieval prince. Five dollars in 1969 for a ten-year-old was equivalent to fifty thousand dollars today. Auntie Antonia flanked Frank with astonished pride when he handed me that green engraving of Lincoln. No plan or instructions just git. Frank’s married arm around the unmarried waist of erection-red Auntie Antonia. The Aunt with the bottle-bottom eyeglasses.

Mommy would have connipted. Mommy would have gone nova. She referred to psychics as gypsies. That’s pretty racist. Bussed out to them religiously and some gypsy in a taupe beret told her with a Bela Lugosi voice when I was about I guess five: I see a bicycle and a milk truck and tire tracks of blooood and, voila, simple as that, I never had a bicycle. Not when I was a kid. No swimming or bb guns or summer camp, either. First bicycle I ever had was an immaculate secondhand fire-engine-red three-speed Schwinn when I was twenty-five and it was spirited away by Moorlocks with excellent taste while I in my innocence diddled an ex-friend’s ex-wife with bomb-defusing care under her kitchen table. Chain was still swinging when I ran half-naked out the kitchen door. This, too, predates my omniscience. Maybe my mother knew, on some level beneath even her useless subconscious, that she had provided the flesh for the incarnation of God (or god) and maybe she took the responsibility too seriously. I could read at five.

Officially, mother believes in the existence of a bearded, vaguely-Levantine, anus-free sky giant. She has Alzheimer’s.

I wandered alone through a rural-type fun fair Illinois crowd. People were clustered at tall, round, umbrella-shaded fun fair tables preying on corn dogs and caramel corn, ears glued to transistor radios carrying the ongoing narrative of the phony trip to the moon. Hot grease and cotton candy and cracker-sweat illuminated the olfactory vision of the long-lost Illinois air. Beehived moms in lime-green culottes being sent to metaphorical watery graves by husbands at the dunking tank. Carny barkers with cancer nose. The other-wordly (extraterrestrials hold the patent on this device but they won’t tell you that) genius of the cotton-candy mill. The milk bottle pyramid, the dancing chickens and lusterless ponies. The beautiful, foreign-looking, dark-haired young woman I kept seeing wherever I went, smiling like a sweet warm death, untouched by the vulgar dust and not flustered by the stinks or noise and standing at a fixed distance of about five meters away whenever I glimpsed Her. I was learning the metric system that month. But I’m not ready to talk about Her.

Fun fact: I think she was scratching at the kitchen door this morning.

Aunt Antonia re-materialized in line behind me at the dunking tank after a few hours of panic-tainted fun and led me back like a frazzled runaway to Frank’s car. Antonia was sheepishly defiant and pleased in a frustrated way, her pony tail crimped by Frank’s fist. The carnival lights had torched up and they glittered and stuttered and blinked hot golds in the ashtrays over Antonia’s eyes. Without the glasses she looked fuckably helpless and I can sympathize with Frank’s delight in de-glassing her. We drove towards the highway-centered moon and listened to Sly, the Doobies, Santana, Jose Feliciano, Grand Funk Railroad, America, Walter Cronkite, the roar of motor-maddened wheels and city wind. Antonia kept wiping her big lips. Where had her lipstick gone? God knows how much Mexican cum she’d guzzled. Well, I do, in fact. We were breaking the speed limit.

Thirty three cc.

We crashed into a van full of hippies doing 45. I was in a coma for awhile. Sued and won and learned, again, to walk.

************

That pigeon is pissing me off.

It explodes like an M-80. The other birds skip and hop into a vortex that rises and wheels in a tilted craze above the trees and folks on all the other benches around the fountain of nymphs flinch and look up. An old black guy lap-catches his red sherbet still clutching the swung cone. I’m good at pretending to be as shocked as anyone else. Like, what the fuck was that?

Bad stink of incinerated sneaker /black diffusing cloud of vile pidge while/ proximate ears go ringing. Only one witness actually saw that it was a pigeon-bomb and that the explosion followed a lunging wink from the hero of this tale. This will change the witness’ life forever. The pigeons come back to finish their crumb lunch. “Forever” seems kind of redundant there but it’s standard. One gray feather falls back from heaven.

Here he comes to talk to me. The bigger my grin the slower he approaches.

You probably already know that the phenomenally-successful creepo band of the late-70s, 10cc, was named for the average fluid amount of adult ejaculate. A teaspoon. It always feels like so much more, doesn’t it? Always assumed it was a pint. By my calculations, unmarried Antonia gave fatidic Frank three point three three three blow jobs on the afternoon of the day of the supposed moon landing. She swallowed, for sure, because that’s the thing about doing it in a new car in public in the middle of the day: you have to swallow. I once saw a whore shove open a car door in a dangerous neighborhood and cough the stuff out on sad grass but Antonia wasn’t a whore. She was doing it in the fun fair parking lot for free. For love.

She’s still paralyzed and now coolly blind as a refrigerated grape. She looks like a pile of old tits on a wheelchair. She claims to be psychic.

“Excuse me…”

“Yes?”

“How did you do that?”

“Excuse me?”

“The pigeon.”

“The pigeon?”

“The one you blew up.”

“Ah… Okay. That pigeon.”

This fellow sports preposterous facial hair. A van dyke! Early-to-mid thirties. Handsome in a little-eyed way. Wearing a t-shirt of a colorized photo of Carol Merrill under which is written, in italics, GO FOR THE CURTAIN. T-shirt under a corduroy blazer. Something of the hetero-queer about him: sure sign of a trust fund. They don’t want cock but they don’t need pussy either. Pussy embarrasses them. The umbilical was never cut. I gesture he should have a seat.

“If you promise not to blow me up.”

“At this range, blowing you up would ruin my new white pants.”

“That’s some serious leisure-wear you’re into there. Are those Aldens?”

I extend a tasseled loafer. He whistles and sits. His distance from me on the bench is perfectly-judged. He is civilized. I am seriously thinking about turning him into a woman.

“While everybody else my age was wrestling with the question,” he said, gesturing with a cup of coffee, “of whether there’s a God or not, I was wrestling with the much-trickier issue of how, exactly, the guy would prove it to us if he were. I mean, seriously. Think about it. Conquistadors were able to convince the Aztecs they were Gods and they were just greasy fuckers in tin helmets on dwarf horses with syphilis. They didn’t even have guns! Wait, did they? Okay, that’s not important. Wait, was it the Aztecs or the Incas? Fuck, it’s all a blur, but that’s not important. My point is, what’s my point. Some local super-being could land on Earth and do some miracle-type-thing like make the sky black at noon or levitate a skyscraper and if he or she claimed to be God, how would we know she was lying? Even if dude managed to pull off some truly astounding shit like Uranus disappears or he reverses local time for five minutes, how would we know where he or she stood on the infinite power ladder of the Universe? Maybe they’re just in the middle of a ladder we’re on the bottom of.” He sipped the coffee. “Even if we felt convinced, so deep in our souls, that we were finally being granted an audience with Yahweh, the one true God, the beginning and the end of Creation, how would we know that we weren’t just merely under the power of like a minor warlord of this corner of the Galaxy with some mildly-impressive mind-control powers and a second-hand teleportation device? It’s not even that hard for the CIA to totally fool people. In fact, if God came along, or came back, as the Christians would have it, you know, think about it, what irrefutable evidence would we have that it wasn’t a psy-op?”

“You wouldn’t know until a bigger God came along to kick the smaller God’s ass…”

“Interesting.”

“But the difference between ‘god’ with a lower case ‘g’ and upper-case ‘God’ would have to be the indifference. Infinite power must mean infinite indifference. A true God wouldn’t bother to manifest. It just wouldn’t care enough.”

Aha. In talking to this stranger, I have answered my own First Question. I am not “God” but “a god”. But am I God becoming?

“You look like kind of a successful guy in a creative profession who looks like he could be in the market for an assistant, even if he doesn’t know it yet. My name’s Mark.”

Marcy, I think. Marcy.

I’m going to put it in him now. The change will be gradual. His tits should push out and his dick should fall off at about the time I’m actually ready to fuck him. I can wait for the hair to grow a little. He’ll have to lose that van dyke. The bone structure is already good which is half the battle. Ugly guys can’t become women they become ugly guys with tits.

I reach to shake his limp white hand and I hide the trigger in what resembles a wink of harmless gregariousness. Mark already looks .005% less male when he disengages from the handshake. He’ll be one of those tomboyish women with big tits and a boyish ass. But I won’t fuck him in it: too disgusting to think it was a man’s, once. Or maybe I’ll get over that. You’re shaking your heads but hey it is so much easier to make an easy-to-get-along-with woman than to try to find one. I failed at that lottery. I’ve already mentioned I was married once. Went through thirteen years of… I almost said a Hellish marriage. More redundancy.

I’ll need a transitional gender-free pronoun for Marcy. For a year.

Herm. Shuh-hee.

Shuh-hee smiles when I wink at herm.

“That’s what you did when the pigeon blew. Are you a weaponized performance artist? Trippy. Or, oh wow, wait: CIA! How did you do that? Is that even legal?”

Shuh-hee accompanies me on the day’s errands, jabbering away.

************

Twenty years on we are ready to begin.

(In a nutshell, to catch you all up as you emerge from the figurative coma of convenient narrative elision: by 2030, five members of the Bush dynasty have been hung in New Jerusalem Town over war crime issues, Prime Minister Palin has cancer of the nose, Radio has come back in a big way [there being a glass ceiling on the possibilities of things-that-can-be-shown] and the masses are somewhat surprised to discover that they are still obliged to pay traffic tickets, library fines and Federal Incomes taxes after First Contact. In fact, Federal Income taxes went up an average of 15%, post-First Contact [owing to that unpopular First Contact Tax], causing Texas [an anagram of “taxes”] to elope with New Mexico from the Union during the bloody year of the so-called First Contact Tax Riots. Which sparked, in turn, two Civil Wars, the second of which saw the use of so-called mini-nukes. The upshot of which is that warmly fluorescent lake where Gary and Chicago used to be.)

Marcy has kept her faith for all these twenty years (twenty years this July, knock on wood) based only on the inspiration/evidence of that one exploding pigeon. I can barely remember doing it. She has devoted her life to the worship of me with only that carny trick to tie her faith to, answering my calls, transcribing my epistles and aphorisms and correcting my pronunciation of trendy side-dishes, etc., while I have been scrupulous in hiding the garish miracle-minting for the duration. I refused to gimmick-bully her into worship. I’m sort of proud that that pigeon and my cock sufficed. St. Marcy never knew I was manifesting vintage Oscars, Hickok Belts, Kennedy Halfs, Barbies in their original packaging and Mark Spitz Medals in the basement to pay the rent nor noticed she that the huge refrigerator I gave her for the 40thbirthday was stocked miraculous with eternally-supplied half-empty pickle, mustard, beet, Nutella and mayonnaise jars. I kept the magic away from her because I wanted her faith to remain pure. A rational faith (ie, based on evidence) is useless.

She has long-since lost any physical trace of male humanity and I often quite-thankfully forget, while doing her, that she was once a van-dyked page called Mark. Mark moved in when I gave his widowed father a heart-attack (this was no miracle) and his trust fund evaporated after the bulk of the puddle drained into bad tech stocks and first editions. I prefer a dense neat bush to the bristling horrors of waxed pussy and slender 50-ish Marcy’s is cherry-cola-red. At 70 my dick is unreliable and bendy as a month-old refrigerated celery stalk at its hardest so the sexuality has shifted almost entirely to the tongue and its savory kingdom of Marcy’s treasure of convex and concave and squishy and firm. This woman is a pleasure-cruise I pilot with my face. A ship in its own orgasmic waters. Her tits are half-size hairless models of my belly, with outies where my innie is. And remember because she was once a man she’s fairly rational.

The diminishing sense of smell of encroaching senescence is a blessing. Noshing away between her legs I often have the sense of a toy metropolis of biological commerce, a red Venice of kinked and webby canals, dark-luminous under humid skies of skin. My tongue a purple leviathan coming up through her grandiose sewers. Who says you can’t write about sex?

“Lord, my lord, my lord…” Marcy pleads and twists. “My God or god, my awesome god…”

On a spiritual level there is more pleasure given in giving her pleasure than I used to take in taking mine. Perhaps, I think, because the taking entails so much debt. I am finally, in this relationship, debt-free.

“…wonders to perf…”

Marcy is so oblivious in the shut-eyed madness of orgasm. I joke that I could burn the house down while she’s at it and she’d barely notice. Back away on my haunches and wipe my chin with a toilet-grunt and in celestial gush of petal-radiance become a 25-year-old, shaved-headed, gracefully-built black male with delicate features and a compassionate expression with a torso rigged to an erection like a pepper mill. Marcy’s eyes and mouth pop open one at a time and her legs cock far back and birth-wide as I plant ebon elbows in pillow-edges on either side of her cameo face and rock like I’m drilling for crude.

On the walk afterward (arm in my arm, her cut-glass features framed with silver auras of Farrah-do, eyes downcast, ecstatic devotion), I announce that we’re going on a trip. Picture us: me in khaki chinos, black espadrilles, white sport shirt… she in a crushed-velvet dress of purple, big silver ankh on a silver chain around her neck, barefoot. The Fortified Mall’s meretricious English-only food court. The long cold stares of rubes clock Marcy’s mature beauty and my youthful black strength beside her. A fat man with a fat family and a worthless degree in Economics mutters niggalova with onions and ojay on his breath and I give him cancer of the nose. I stop our progress across the two-acre court and hold up a Delphic finger.

“We are driving to Illinois.”

Marcy blinks through the sudden sunwashed windshield. We are. Driving there. A brown Buick LeSabre with Marcy in the role/seat of my Aunt Antonia and me in a cowboy hat, sleeveless black elbow out the window, driving. Plastic-wrapped Bart Simpson doll on the back seat standing in for the pre-pubertal/pre-omniscient me and no doubt as aware of its surroundings as I was back then.

It’s all happening so fast. The first twenty years: one miracle. The next twenty minutes: ten, twenty, one thousand miracles. Per minute.

CHAPTER ONE: Oh Fuck

I was having what my friend Fritz calls a Samurai (ie two-handed) wank when my wife caught me. She snatched the keyboard away before I came. She will use this as ammunition in the eternal battle centered around her complaint about needing her own keyboard.

“If you did your job I wouldn’t be doing it for you!” I shouted.

“If you had a job I would!” she shouted back.

I’d like to go back to the novel now, please.

CHAPTER TWO:

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