New Aeons Still Will Not Answer
I wish I didn’t remember this river. My mother and I used to eat here, sitting against a rock with cucumber sandwiches from her garden, eating the bread she baked. The courts allowed her to spend one day a week with me. Something is better than nothing. Across the river I see a man with a small boy, probably his son. But maybe it isn’t his child. Maybe they’re just there, the older man feeding the younger. Men think they love feeding, that they understand justice.
Men think their gray hair has something to do with honor, that using foundation to cover your skin cancer and red puffiness makes you as vain as a politician. I don’t want to remember this river but I’m walking alongside it for a very specific reason. After my mother entered a permanent state of departure my father took me here to fish. I refused and there are several places in the United States of America where refusing to eat an animal means Satan is speaking to you, much like the way Satan spoke to your mother. Parents and priests will tell you they’re concerned. These are the fathers who let physicians remove their wives and daughter’s clitori and are just thankful there’s something to be done, a way to help their families.
This river mouths out at the Catholic Church my dad always took me to. Last night I saw my father, today I am going to visit another father. There is something I want to tell him, memories I want to remind him of. I’ve finally graduated from college. I left my apartment back in the Twin Cities with my degree from U Minnesota and a plane ticket to Italy. The last paper I wrote was a personal one. I used to think nothing could be worse than Haldol. Then I read about one of the earlier treatments for hysteria. Patients were put in comas with insulin treatments. Force fed nothing but red meat. This is what happened to people who enjoyed having cocks inside of their mouth.
River towns tend to have a lot in common common. My father never thought anything was wrong with our community. He thought it was a place worth living in. Old women trying to control their children by filling them full of pie and cookies. Writing my research paper on the history of insulin treatments was very triggering. I had to stop, go for runs. I would come back to my apartment and drink glass after glass of water.
Walking by the river, on my way to the church, I pass a tree. When I was fifteen dad sat me underneath it so we could talk. He said that it was good that I loved my mother but that I needed to understand, she didn’t love me. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to love me, it was because she couldn’t. She was sick. I ran from him. He tackled me and pinned me down and started yelling that I needed to listen, that I needed to understand things were different, that it was good things were different.
He told me things needed to change. We were going to go to Mass every Sunday. If I refused to go, he would take me out of public school. Tough love, like a basketball coach. There are a lot of things to hate about highschool. But my guidance counselor promised to walk me through my college applications. She told me I could apply to as many colleges as I wanted, “They can be anywhere, in any state,” she promised. She said she could get money from the school district to pay for my applications fees. The school district got money from the state if they had a high number of kids enrolled in college. My father also had the legal right to pull me from the school and enroll me in a Catholic highschool. The Catholics wouldn’t help me get to the University of Minnesota. I had to play along. But after sitting in that fucking shit church, seeing those people sucking their dead god’s cock every fucking week, I began to snap.
One Sunday I spat the communion wine in Father Michael’s face. My dad took me out behind some bushes near the church and beat the shit out of me. I could smell the River from where we were. My mother always joked about wanting to spit wine in Father Michael’s face. He was her priest, too, when she was my age. The priest’s body was stuck to our town, a rot the diocese wanted to preserve. My mother knew how to transform rot into something holy, how to grow things in compost. “When people die we should feed the Earth, not be put in a box and prayed for.” She called Jesus a corpse and they said she was ill. She liked to grow things in her garden.
My father drug me back to his car, after beating me. Father Michael was standing outside of the Church, smoking a cigarette. Everyone else had gone. The priest saw me bleeding and he told my father, “Don’t worry, Jim, it gets better.”
I don’t care when they find either of them. I can move fast. And that hurts because the smell of the river still reminds me of my mother. I want to sit with the River, I want to sit with my Mother. But I have already committed to revenge. I need to be in Italy by tomorrow night, absolute latest.
As highschool crawled on, Father Michael offered to help my dad deal with me. One night Dad came home from work early and found me fucking a girl I went to school with. Allison brought a strapon and a harness that her older sister gave her. The dildo she brought over didn’t fit with the harness so I tried to ducktape the bright purple cock onto the harness. Mostly all we did was laugh while the cock kept falling off inside of me. Allison would try to work her hips, the tape would give and she fell on top of me over and again. We gave up on the dildo and just kissed and rubbed eachother’s tits. We were having fun, the way your first time should be. After my Dad threw Allison out the first thing he did was call the priest. Father Michael was the one who gave me a black eye, all my Dad did was scream.
I met Allison at the coffee shop she worked at. She was a senior when I was a sophomore. I talk as much shit about rural, conservative areas as anyone. But there are people who live in such places who are cool. Just like there are fucking idiots who live in the most progressive spaces. When I met Allison, when we scheduled our first date, I finally thought I could survive highschool. I spent the week before our date masturbating to thoughts of her slapping a dildo against my face, making myself cum thinking about the way her cum would taste.
I’ve avoided dating Catholics. I did go out with a girl in the Twin Cities who was still Catholic after coming out. The priests on campus weren’t that bad, she told me. She thought Pope Francis was a nice man. She didn’t understand why I wanted to fuck him up with a razor. I asked her why she thought things were getting better because Francis knows better than to give bad soundbites.
Sadly, Satanists aren’t much more fun. During my Junior year in college I spent some time with a Satanic Coven. One night we walked out to a lake wearing nothing but purple robes we sewed ourselves. We had to climb over a traffic barrier on a bridge and walk down a grass hill to get there. None of the cars driving by honked, no one even seemed to notice. These girls spoke their rituals in Latin. I’ve never understood why people think Latin is so Satanic. I mean, if your rituals were written by Roman Satanists from the fourth or fifth centuries, sure. Why not. But I don’t think Satanism should be so tied up to the Roman religion. Moving away from artifice would be a good tenant for contemporary Satanism. Feeling things with your intestines, learning to read the messages encoded in your shit, that’s where truth is. But I guess it’s also okay to want to feel sexy, to let someone spread your asshole wide the way a whore in Corinth would have.
But other than the ritualized group sex there wasn’t much else going on with their coven. Eventually I told them I thought LaVey was dangerous, his antipathy towards social activism dangerous. It’s fine if you’re in love with yourself but he isn’t trying to get people to fall in love with themselves, he’s trying to get people to fall in love with him. They told me I didn’t understand so I quit having sex with them.
My Mother dated a Satanist, once. He wasn’t so bad. The three of us came out here to the
River and ate lunch together once. He made these wonderful garlic and hummus sandwiches. I think he worked in a health food store or something. I thought of him later on when I read LaVey talk shit about people who shop at health food stores in the Devil’s Notebook.
We drank tea and ate his sandwiches and then he and my Mom went off to have sex in the bushes while I watched the water. I was so mad at my mother for fucking him while I had to sit by myself and wait for them to finish. Why could she have fun and not me? Why couldn’t I take someone from school behind the bushes and investigate them?
I did know enough not to tell my Father about the different people Mom fucked. I didn’t hate Mom, I was just jealous but still knew these are all things best kept hidden. Before my father had her institutionalized, one of my Mom’s other boyfriends gave me a hammer and a screw driver. He said tools are the instruments of curiosity. I used them to pull up a couple floor boards in my room. The same boyfriend gave me tapes from his old AV collections. I kept all of the horror films in the space I created underneath my bedroom floor. Last night when I snuck into my Dad’s house I pulled up the boards and they were still there.
VHS copies of Fulci, Bava, Rollin, Franco, Argento. Cinematic guides to perversions and the right questions to ask. Under the floor was also a tape I made of my Mom having sex with one of her girlfriends. When my Mom broke up with the AV boyfriend she stole abunch equipment from his car and then I stole it all from my mom. Late at night I would practice working the cameras and manipulating video on these old tape decks.
My Dad always worked the traditional first shift. When he was at work and I was at school my Mom usually had her partners come over to our house. When I filmed her it was summer. I was probably thirteen or fourteen. I didn’t hide the wireless camera very well, and I love my Mom, but she was never the most observant person in the word.
Last night, or I guess this morning, before I left my Dad’s house I plugged in an old VCR from the closet and watched the whole tape. My Mom looks great. She is propped up, sitting in a chair while her girlfriend slurps and sucks her. My Mother’s hair is long, her partner’s hair is the color green. They kiss, the green haired one uses her fingers to make my Mother cum.
I’m close to the Church and I’m looking forward to seeing Father Michael. I’m looking forward to the look on his face when he remembers me. Dad wouldn’t let me eat breakfast if I didn’t go to confession every Saturday. I didn’t have money to buy breakfast and lunch both at school. But if I was forced to go to confession, I wanted to have fun with it.
I started confessing things that I saw in porn videos. A friend and I were hanging out after school, walking around down town. Out of no where he jumped inside of a dumpster and after a second screamed, “Holy Fuck! There are a ton of fucking porn tapes in here!” At least half of the Where the Boys Aren’t series were in that dumpster. I started telling myself the things Janine Lindemulder and Dyanna Lauren and Jenteal did with eachother were things I also did, with the community college girls that worked at Target, with the older women who worked in the garage. Sometimes when I smell bad popcorn or gasoline I still get wet.
I made sure my Father knew it was me. He was just sitting in his fucking house alone, watching television. McDonalds wrappers on his kitchen table. I thought about him realizing he was hungry, driving to McDonalds, choosing what to order. I wondered if he ate his food in his car, if he was sad when he got back home because he already ate.
Sneaking in and out of my bedroom window is the first artform I ever perfected. I took my hammer and hit him first in his right shoulder, then in his left. He screamed and I hit him in each foot. He kept screaming and looked up at me and flailed so I punched him in the chest and he fell back. I smiled. I wanted to enjoy it.
I climbed on top of him, I wanted him to smell me. I punched him in his nose. I clawed at his face with my nails. He never even knew how many times Mom was raped inside the hospital. He visited her there just to make her suffer. He told her that he loved her, that she needed to get better for my sake if not for his.
I maintained my mount on top of him. I told my father one story that my Mother told me, how the night watch would flush her medicine down the toilet and tell the doctors she spit her pills in their face. Dad was about ready to give up. I punched him in his nose, again. I saw he had a cross on the wall and decided to improvise. I told myself to stay in control. I got up and grabbed the cross, I started sucking the tip of it. I wiped my ass with the long, wooden end. I stuck it in his mouth and pissed on my father. No one would find him for at least a day.
Father Michael will be found sooner, because people will look for him when he doesn’t show up for daily mass. And unless someone finds my dad sooner than I expect, I won’t be a suspect. I didn’t tell Mom my plan. I didn’t tell her she wouldn’t see me again. That would be too hard for both of us. And at this point, things are different. Most of the girls are raped and abused by the people who work at her hospital. My mother is a veteran of this system. She teaches the new patients things they need to know. She teaches them how to communicate, how to tell doctors what they want to hear. How to find friends once they get discharged, where to find good jobs that will keep them away from home or the books they needed to read while they spent their summers alone in their room at their parent’s house.
And besides, when she hears what happens to dad and father Michael, she’ll know. She’ll be questioned and won’t tell anyone anything. She’ll play the silent, mentally ill woman. She’ll be happy for me, proud. I’m an atheist but when I was in college a miracle happened. Her doctor let her take the bus to St. Paul and she spent a few days with me, in my apartment. We cooked dinner, we made salads, we drank wine and she met my current lovers. We traded stories. One night she went out and met some lovers of her own and I hung out at a coffee shop while they used my apartment. When I got back they were all curled up on my living room floor. I started to leave again but they all insisted I stay and watch a movie with them. I made a big pot of turmeric and ginger tea and we all got underneath blankets and opened my apartment windows and breathed the Midwestern October Air and watched Mario Bava’s film, Black Sunday.
The next day we were waiting for the bus and my Mother said, “Imagine that, Black Sunday coming out of you. It’s Mario Bava’s first film. Imagine writing your first book, making your first record and making Black Sunday.” She didn’t say anything after that. I told her goodbye when the bus came and she didn’t look back at me. I had on a black sweatshirt and purple leggings. My hair was down to the small of my back, my mother’s hair fell down on her shoulders.
God doesn’t understand justice and neither does Satan. Before my Father died he started crying. He was covered in blood, sobbing, and I knelt down and looked him in the eyes and said, “I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long.” I told him I dreamt about killing him while I slept, thought about it while I fucked. I told him I wished he had cancer and I could have came to his hospital every day to rip out his IV and whisper in his ear all of the pain he still hadn’t experienced from his chemo. But God isn’t real, Satan doesn’t answer prayers.
Father Michael is the only one in the Church. Back behind the altar he has a little office where he keeps his robes. Once in confession I told him that I had sex while ovulating. I described making the boy I was with eat my pussy, how I refused to kiss him after he was done. Father Michael took me back to this office and beat the shit out of me himself. He told me when he was first assigned here, fresh out of seminary, my mother confessed the exact same sin to him. He told me he still hadn’t got over the disgust he felt for her then. He said we must have had the same demon in us, a generational curse. He told me his only regret was that he wasn’t able to help my father lock me away in the same hospital my mother was in. He told me he was the one who convinced the judge to sign the papers my father brought him, signed by the loving husband and concerned family priest.
I told Father Michael it’s a terrible sin for a priest to break the seal of confession. He just beat me harder. I’m glad he’s back here, that this is where I find him. He doesn’t even turn around. He just assumes I’m there to ask about the schedule for Eucharistic ministry. He tells me he’ll be right with me. I close the door behind me and lock it. I hold my hammer in my hand and think of my Mother, I think about the joy she must have felt getting fucked at a time when she really wanted it, when she really needed it.