Future Masquerade

Every century there would be a masquerade and the future people — aliens and robots and plants and fungi and slippery helices all, some of them in rowboats some of them in spaceships — would spend a century to prepare because it was at the masquerade that something surprising would happen that could teach you who you might be if you allowed enough space betweeen your ideas of who you already were for a little smell from the kitchen to get in the room, and you could do that by dressing up. I’m not kidding when I say it took a century to prepare for it. Awali spent a decade at her dress-maker for example. He was a spider with a billion arms, a billion spinerets — for so many colors — and a city-sized brain.

Alawi showed up as the Vampire. Across the room she spotted someone. Was it her young triple cousin Fernando? Had he grown up into a man since the previous century’s Masquerade? Why was he obese? What was that dusty, filthy threadbare suit he was wearing? Why that hat? Why that mustache?

She shot him a look — a sinuous look. All was sinuous and sinister and pale, the drinking of blood, an addiction to love, a love that killed — this was what she was portraying. A wisp of an idea from an ancient book — Dracula.

But who was Fernando?

Also an addict, also one who seeks a food that eats him, also someone who plays at the boundary between forgiveable and unforgivable sin. She loved him already and dropped pretense and dropped honesty, dropped everything, her nudity on fire with longing with lust with desire — I need him she thought and rushed across the ballroom. She had to know who he was playing at! Who is this being from the ancient tome.

Not the nightmare life-in-death was he but something stranger. He did not feast on blood but on meat.

My name he said Is Wimpy.

I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

The epic meeting of Vampire and Wimpy is immortalized on our bronzes and our amphoras, she chasing him, he fleeing, she hungry for his blood, he hungry for a hamburger.

I once asked my teacher “Why is that we place this image of vampire chasing Wimpy in our temples?” She said “That is not correct. Rather wherever we place the vampire chasing wimpy image, there it is a temple. There is holy ground.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s