This is part four of the novel The Confessor of Littlefield. It is titled Bickering with the Shadow. Adam has been conjuring a character of fiction while symbolically associating with it through the chameleon figure of Edwin Umbrian; at once Adam’s homunculus, super ego, and the voice of authority in the foster homes of his childhood. The dialogue is meant to be the inner dialogue of the writer sitting in a chair in his tiny apartment across the street from the Cliffnuts; conjuring, scattering, arranging fragments. He is influenced by a gardener working for the Cliffnuts and living in the apartment above him, and other characters in his surroundings.
Through the inner dialogue he presents, he is coming to terms with his own psychological self. Part of this self discovery involves being aware of the differences between the self and others. It is also the writer aware of his own humunculus; a shell of created personas within the man.
Like the roots that appear from a plant clipping overnight were the three grayish ½ inch nose hairs clumped between Edwin Umbrian’s fingers.
Calvinist polemecist Calvina Crucifera Polezbosis: the female crucified in Calvin’s corn…er, form. (Calvina’s callused corns need caressing.) Calvina Cornolicious Confiscuss ConKisscuss.
David is an asswipe. David is beloved by God. Therefore, all asswipes are beloved by God.
Our kings are chosen by our God. We must obey them. Therefore, we must choose all gods whom we obey.
“God elects David, not you,” asserts Calvin Christian Dyme III. You elect your own humanitarians. Ours need guns because God’s got all the deputies and state patrol tied up with his titanic struggle against evil. The war against evil takes a lot of bullets. And walls. The Soviets were no problem to the Germans. But the Latinos boy, we need a Solomon-like wall of gold. Six billion dollars is only the spark to detonate the full scale production of a wall between the past and the present.
“Whaddawe need to even be teaching Latin anymore,” says Elaine Ditzintenz. “Nobody needs it anymore.“
“By all means,” I reply.
Ditz queen says “slice” and off goes all history up to this point for everyone in perpetuity and all understanding of the origins of our language are deemed irrelevant. I would try to explain despotism to her, how the human mind has evolved since the times of the Pharaohs but my dialog would be batted down with a snort and a look to others for approval. So I pass.
We like to live in a state of passive aggressive competition; like to snicker at another’s misfortune; denigrate others as of less significance. But no one person is in a state of innocence or has any significance over another. Having an entity we call God is each of us saying to the others, “I cannot be King, nor can I allow anyone else to be King over me if I have a choice, but I will agree to hold this my right of self possession, a small portion anyway, in a sort of escrow.”
By spiritual I mean being aware of something but not being able to order it into systemic intelligence. Awareness has more of a spatial quality than a linear one. To compute is to be aware. The mind not computing is dreaming, visualizing, relaxing its circuitry.
I have faith in scholars whom I can’t yet doubt because I cannot prove them wrong. I am too impressionistic to be logical enough for philosophy anyway. I am a child, a grass roller; content to a point, to be told what is true. Richard Dawkins I don’t like; Daniel Dennett I do. I would rather be in Daniel Dennet’s presence than Richard Dawkins’. I don’t have to meet them to know that, though both are good at explaining things.
“You can’t believe everything you read,” asserts a Catholic foster dad. He is a second cousin to Edwin Umbrian. Both seem to know a lot about people who don’t know a lot about them.
Bacon broke the yolk of knowledge with thesis and antithesis sitting on a trunk of timber and sawing, sometimes stroking against, sometimes stroking with each other. Their elbows are rough from hewing.
I don’t take pride in ignorance, Edwin Umbrian
Why would you make a mockery of God (not Gawd)?” demanded he, Edwin Umbrian.
Stop calling me Edwin, dammit. I tolja, my name is Halotosis Insufferin Psychosphinctorius.”
Edwin makes a cameo sneer and saws from his teeth, “yer goin’ tuh hell like allah the other idiots.”
Which? Which ones?
Huh? Take a look aray-ownd. You thinka innyone you see aroun’ ya goin’ to inny huh-were else but hay-ull?
Here, Edwin. Have a hit of hash oil. It will calm you down.
Ownt need inny calmin’ down. Who the hell are you innyway tellin’ me I gotta calm day-own? Ain’t nuthin’ I’m sayin is botherin’ you. Just lettin’ you know what I think is all.
Look at you. Smokin’ that stuff and thinkin’ you got it right an’ all that…
Gonna have to stop ya there, Edwin. I don’t mind spending a little time with you but this is all the farther I am going to let you go today, Chief. M’kay?
Edwin, to his credit, shakes his head and leaves.
Karen is a Christian who is getting an abortion. Therefore, all Christians getting abortions are named Karen.
The I speaks as the imaginary We in a colloquial I, a lowly ol’ parochial yokel I, sputtering a stew of “would be you, seen as a bunch of my I’s.”
“We don’t give a shit whatcha sing about.” The We are an animal species looking at the human with fascination, making all those crazy noises and occasionally putting together certain syllables for its own personal delight because it’s just how it is wired.
The creation becomes an element for the reader who often makes a relative psychological, sociological value of the writer, pouring the creation and the author together into one great big not so happy, not so sad degradation of vanilla; of one for all and all for one folk sayings. The kindergartner’s scribble is weighed alongside the lifelong literary laborers who have spent countless hours, days, years and decades looking for the child’s voice in the man that says, “big, stupid, rotten, old churchy daddy had a kindergarten baby.” Still, didn’t Alan Ginsberg see his inner child in the fucking produce aisle with the other boys bearing their breasts because he saw himself in Walt Whitman? Isn’t an I just made a We in order to justify our indiscretions?
Thomas Aquinas Adumbrian. Edwin Addendummian. Edwin Psychosphincteralus.
What did I tell you about smoking that stuff, ya dumb animal.
Stop it with the names, or we’re done for the day, Edwin.
All right, all right. But you started it.
Edwin’s dogma is dramatic as he disengages from parental programming (and self castigation resulting in a lifelong masturbation problem.)
Or not. He either does it too much or too little. Anyway, Edwin’s parental and regional religio/programming prevent him from parenting and peaceful cohabitation.
God governs through natural laws. He ain’t sent me a woman yet.
How do you know?
Ain’t none of ’em seem natural to me.
Maybe Thomas Aquinas in drag…
Don’t be talkin’ about no queers to me, their against God. God don’t do anything that ain’t natural.
Edwin, I’m thinking of Moses parting the sea or listening to a burning bush; Mary’s immaculate conception; Noah building an ark and housing a pair of all land creatures; the Walls of Jericho falling at the sound of a trumpet; Joshua making the sun stand still; the three wise men following an orb to Jesus in the manger; the three witnesses in the Book of Revelation; Jonah in the belly of the whale; Shadrack, Meshak and Abednego; Methuselah; Lazarus; Jesus Christ…
Virtue, compassion, forgiveness, caring, kindness, giving; can you maybe concentrate on some of that shit for a while? Empirical evidence is enough for me.
You sound cynical. Maybe the voice of God would…
I know we can do better. Now, thinking that we can’t; that’s what sounds cynical to me.
Two people talking; doesn’t matter who they are. Okay, okay, two fat white males in business suits, whom it is okay to hate as straw men because they symbolize all that is wrong with the world.
“Connie Cliffnut tells me that the gardener sometimes looks at her funny. I don’t even know why they let a person like that work for them.”
“What do you mean, “like what?”
“What do you mean, “a person like that?”
“Izzint it obvious? Just look at him. Who carries a bible around wherever they go? Who wears a suit when they are working in the garden? Who wears cowboy boots to church? And a clip tie?”
“I don’t know. Why does he have to be crazy? Why can’t he just be someone who is so fucking sane that he has to make sure everyone is on the right page?”
“But that’s exactly what he does; talks about how God is gonna condemn us all for not thinking the same way he does.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to see any harm come to him, despite his low opinion of everyone else.”
“He’s insane, stupid, primal.”
“I know. For now. Just for now. A million years from now we will be debating the precise point that man became immortal and I will say it was the moment Edwin Umbrian recognized it as fact. We will all be holding a holographic image of him in his Baptist get up here and wondering what it was like to be him. It will be our greatest amusement to be able to see what it was like to have been a this or that once we are immortal. We’ll each build a world, give it time and space, and spiritually impregnate a virgin to announce the coming of our own Edwin Umbrian. Edwin has no biological father; only a spiritual one, so he doesn’t know how to use his penis.”
“Sorry, Edwin. You shouldn’t be listening in.”
“I am one with you; I can’t NOT listen in. Together, we are We.”
“But who is you?”
“Who is Edwin Umbrian?”
“Didn’t you read this in a Daniel Dennett book explaining consciousness?
I may have read OF something, but not IT.
But what is IT?
What Daniel Dennett said It is.
What is that?
What Daniel Dennett says it is. I can’t say what that is but I can’t NOT say it. (I would have to explain Dennett’s book to an Edwin Umbrian. What was that the Professor told me? If a brat was convinced the Professor was just a dumbfuck who just looked like Einstein, even if he were Einstein he still wouldn’t be able to teach him.)
“Hmm. Okay. Sounds like you don’t know even know what the hell you’re talking about.”
“I really don’t care. You are a ditzfuck. And no need to go reaching for your pistol. I ain’t Aaron Burr.”
“Never heard of him.”
“Yes, you did. That is, unless you didn’t graduate the 7th grade.”
“You’re startin’ to piss me off!”
“Gee, and I didn’t think I was getting anywhere with you.”
“YOU getting somewhere with ME? I’m the one tryin’ to get through to you!”
“I know. That’s what I love about you, Edwin my boy. But for real, I gotta be going. See you around…unfortunately.”
The 45 year old guy with a full head of curly hair who always wears his cabbie hat –
The guy at the the end of the bar?
He is proof of the insufficiency of knowledge, of nature or God.
A guy I know who says he’s a Deist says God is manifested everywhere. One knows God by observation. Nature is God. The earth is God. All molecules are a product of divinity. How the human orders it all is his will, no good or bad, each to one’s personal choice. This doesn’t mean you are turning away from your weaknesses; it is simply a matter of nomenclature, our commodifying the world we live in because our minds are active. Edwin Umbrian says, “I don’t wanna know,” while deluding himself that he could know if he wanted to but doesn’t because by not knowing he is virtuous.
That 45 year old guy with the nice hair but wearing the cap isn’t seeing things from the context of our shit bum dialog; he has his own network of Umbrians on him all the time. He’s always alone, just like you and me most of the time. Anything I make of him is totally my fabrication based on appearance. Myself, I like to show my bad teeth when I talk. And I don’t care to have facile conversation. It’s not my thing. Since we are all imagining what we know, how about we imagine not knowing; like Socrates, only, not to prove a predetermined point, or to doubt everything. Debate cannot dispel reason. It is only a game of words being batted about.
Words articulate, they don’t dictate. WE dictate. I dictate what my words are supposed to mean. The words don’t dictate me. No universal persona is the I in each, reading our responses like a proofreader; a categorizer; one who is preoccupied with a passive aggressive competition for unknown reasons. The I takes shape without meaning or definition before he, the observer, assigns one. And he, the other, looking back at this ass wad who is sizing him up, fitting him into context, making believe he understands and doesn’t want to be told otherwise, and doesn’t care what you say. He has you sized up. Appearance, to Edwin, is a clip on tie, cowboy boots, cheap blue suit, and icy stares for all the sinners he passes by.
The forty five year old guy at the end of the bar just got up to take a leak. He left his coat on the stool when he went to take a piss. When he came back, for a split second as he was leaving the men’s room, he didn’t resemble the over weight guy with graying hair but stood tall and strong like he may have once upon a time, with his ears pointed up and his teeth pointed down.
Onward Christian soldiers, marching off to war, su’um su’um about Jesus Amurican forevermore.
Bitty bitty bum at the end of the gun go splat
Hey Edwin, it might be fun to be able to say you killed a thief for believing that he could walk on your property without being murdered because you have a legal right to possess a firearm. I think I get it now. You need a gun because yours is sure to to be one of those moments where someone is certain that God is a little tied up with Satan at the moment but he trusts you, Mr. Dude in a heightened state of anxiety and a thrilling legal right to satisfy the desire to shoot somebody. Go ahead, man. For all you know, he could be there to rape or kill yer family. Never mind the fact that psychological profiling data reveals that a thief is very rarely a violent criminal.
Oh, so you wanna take away my guns!
No. I just want to take the gun off your brain.
Who are you to question the Constitution? I got a right to my guns.
I don’t question the Constitution, I question your application of it.
Only God is going to judge me. Not you.
Not the nine people on the Supreme Court? Does God have a vote? Who is God to question US?
Get the helloffa muh propurty!
I agree with you Edwin, I am a blasphemer. For me, induction almost always trumps deduction. Deduction is already owned and assimilated, creators creating with their active minds, aligning the king at the top; network alive at once as cohabitant modules networking; the components all having no use whatsoever outside the network, the mechanism.
I don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Sownz like ya bin smokin’ that stuff again. Ya oughtta go tuh church once in a while.
As opposed to now? Isn’t that where I’m at right now?
No. You are standing here on the corner talking to me.
Seems like the same thing to me. I gotta go now.