Monday, April 20, 2015

A Demon Is Summoned to Send Me Over the Edge.

In my ongoing study of the history of the "Human Condition" I was contemplating the spectrum of Consciousness, expanded consciousness of love and compassion for all things at one end, loathing, murder and destruction of the vulnerable and "the different" at the other. 

I was reading “The Damned” by J.K. Huysmans, set in late 19th century fin d’siecle Paris about a novelist who writes realist literature. He thinks constantly upon the philosophy of religion, the existence of both benevolent and renegade priests, involving the highs and lows of Catholic practice, transubstantiation and devil worship.

His protagonist, Durtal, is writing a biography of Baron Gilles de Rais, the notorious 15th century child murderer and Satanist. The Baron had earlier accompanied Jean d’Arc in her campaigns to rid France of the English and, unable to achieve her great heights of spiritual ecstasy, he went on to consider matching her intensity by descending to great depths of depraved rapture in orgies of cruelty. An intrinsic part of these orgies were rituals to summon the Devil who he believed would grant him power, riches and a deranged satanic enlightenment.

At the trial of the evil Gilles, he confesses his abominable crimes, is contrite and asks for absolution and, like all good Catholics, he is forgiven his sins and may still go to Heaven after he is executed. (Perhaps this is the major appeal of such a medieval religion, and why many modern villains convert to Catholicism, Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch among them, inciters of mass murder worse than Charles Manson: they have only to confess and they are forgiven their sins.) 

(Another major appeal is joining a powerful cult that secretly rules the world, and lets its members in on the action. Perhaps Satan is its real figurehead, for a vast amount of wealth and cruelty is passed around under its aegis. It stuns me that many of the worlds power-mongers are zealous Catholics, for instance half of our politicians here in Australia, including our Prime Minister. They must all get out the back of the Church and figure out how to carve up the world. Of course there are many quasi-secret cults carving up the world, the Jesuits, Scientologists, Masons, Order of the Skull and Crossbones. Even the Orthodox Churches are hand in glove with political power according to Russian movies like the Gothic Horror, "Viy" and Zvyaginksev's "Leviathon.")

To attempt to get inside the Baron’s corrupted head-space Durtal decides to attend a real black mass performed in his contemporary Paris. I’d been engrossed in this book for two weeks and, as night descended and a storm raged outside, I got to the climactic moment of the novel, to which all acts, speeches and thoughts had led: a defrocked priest begins his terrible invocation of the Devil, the dreaded Black Mass, with the words, “Lord of Misrule, Dispenser of the Wages of Sin, Master of Venalities and Vices! Satan We adore thee, God of logic and reason, just thou art!”

At the same moment I read these awful words I heard a light tap-tapping from the walls of my living room, that grew in amplitude, growing harder and faster, "tap-tap-tap-tap, boom-boom-boom-boom, bang-bang-bang-bang", the surging vigor of which made my skin goose-bump and hair electrify. Was a Succubi trying to break from his cage in the Underworld and claim my soul? As the words of the Black Mass seemed to reach across the gulf of possibility to aim poisoned barbs at my heart, the banging from the walls exploded into a frenzy of imprecations. "TAP TAP TAP TAP, BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM. BANG BANG BANG BANG... you fucking cunt!" all of it seeming to come from my walls.

“Thou art the champion of the poor, and the staff of the vanquished! Endow them with hypocrisy, ingratitude and pride, that they may defend themselves against the Children of God, the rich and wealthy! Suzerain of Resentment, Accountant of Humiliations Received, Treasurer of Old Hatreds, thou alone dost fertilize the brain of men who have been crushed by injustice; thou breathest into them the idea of premeditated crimes and vengeances which cannot fail…” "Tap tap tap tap bang bang bang bang" as if the walls were expanding and about to collapse upon my head.

As this text chilled my bones, the banging, thumping and cursing from outside reached a crescendo and, disobeying one of my cardinal rules of living at Northcott Tenement, never to go outside at night to confront alarming noises, I rushed to my front door and opened it to see what the fuck all the racket was about. And there, as if summoned up from Hell and kicking at Cursula’s door, was her sometimes boyfriend, junkie Mick the Pencil Dick, a poly-drug abuser of the worst kind, smack, ICE, pills, anything to pin his pupils to tiny black dots, his blue eyes glazed and sightless, the skin of his face covered in a red rash, his hair filthy, spiked, sticking up like demon’s horns, his body hunched over. He’d beaten up Cursula on many occasions, attacked me several times and now looked at me with utter hatred, a veritable demon summoned by those few words of the ghastly Black Mass.

And being a smart-arse I had to open my mouth. “You can bang all night, Cursula’s not home.” 
“Mind your own business cunt and go inside.” 
“This IS my business, you’re on my doorstep making a disturbance!”  
“OH fuck off, ya pussy or I’ll smash ya face in!”  
I slammed my door and yelled, “You drug-fucked zombie, let’s see you show your nasty face to the cops!”  
“Watch ya back, arsehole! I’ll smash ya next time I see ya!”  He kicked, punched and wrenched at my security door, the wrathful demon trying to cross my protected threshold and, not making it, howled in murderous frustration.

I heard him run off and went back to my novel, shaking at the synchronicity of his showing up just as I started the demonic invocation. Nogod, why am I tortured here in my old age, hardly a moment of peace and, worst of all, at the mercy of absolute imbeciles, who’ve done nothing but bludge, beg, steal and pummel others weaker than themselves, and then go unconscious for their dose of non-knowledge, for their entire lives. If only I had the strength to jump upon him and bang his ugly head on the concrete floor till it cracked like a rotten egg. 

But I don’t feel any rage, or even deep hatred, I feel numb, cold, not in the least interested in wrestling about on the verandah on a rainy night with an imp. I’m sixty-fucking-five, I’m too old, too wise, to fight like street thugs. I've done it many times and I'm over it. There was a good reason for my intuition to keep my distance: I heard on the grape-vine he's got three different strains of Hep C, impossible to risk getting his blood on me, still I can only feel deeply sorry for the poor cad.

Why have I been cursed with Cursula as my neighbor? The poor thing is so declasse, lumpen, struggling to rear her head above the flow of 21st century detritus and demand her humanity. The little power she maintains is to sick her deranged boyfriend onto me, all because I told her off for piling up garbage by my door. She's made a terrible mess out there on my veranda, coffee spills, cigarette buts, pot-plant dirt, crap from the dumpster in a heap, all rubbish thrown straight to the ground and I have to pick it up. Like an ogress in a fungal cave, she has a very limited life, Methadone and garbage, wow! 

She hides behind medical terms like personality disorder, sociopath, bipolar hysteric, as if she's possessed by various psycho-demons, in reality she's just a pauper human, with some cunning, the garbage from the dumpster her riches. She has a doctorate in manipulating everyone to get the outcome she desires: a flat to fill with crap, drugs, social workers to fuss over her, social services to get everything for free. She's 45 and never had a job, it's all arranged so she can lazily lie atop a heap of refuse, stoned, reading science-fiction and crime novels.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Satanist, ready to throw her to the flames, Devil worship is the flip-side to Christianity, both irrational superstitions in my book. If I have to use mythic metaphors, I'm a Luciferian, fallen angel of Light, belonging to neither camps, defying the tyranny of the Hebrew Overlord, purely human, of the Earthly realm. I must try to find some compassion for her. (Yeah yeah, Light has an opposite, Darkness, that's what Mithraic duality is about. It's all nonsense! Knowledge banishes darkness, Reality IS, and it's quite mundane though I do have my own dark side.)

I need to get out of here before my loathing of her drives me to do something I'll regret. After 25 years I’m thinking very seriously about putting into the Housing Department for a transfer, hopefully to somewhere safer and saner, and I’ll give THEM a long list of trespasses she is guilty of that no longer can be forgiven. Maybe... maybe not, I'm no snitch. Perhaps it's better to escape, disappear, get lost in cyberspace.

P.S. After flying freely in cyberspace to realms of wonder and enlightenment, past and future, broad Earth and interstellar space, I'm happy and resigned to my fate, forgiving Cursula yet again, as I need to live in an abode of peace and contemplation. Humanity is flawed, is folly, is awesome, is vulnerable, is as fleeting as the morning mist. And so are my temper tantrums. The best way to handle her is to be friends, smile, co-operate, share, all us poor are suffering variations on humiliation and starvation. Oh Humanity, I cry for you, it could've been so much better!

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.