You ever get that feeling that you’re way over your head? You know what I mean? Like everything you are, everything you know, your life, is in someone else’s hands? It’s funny how being around insane people makes your life insane. When you think about it, you should be able to see that coming.
“So let me get this straight,” I said. “You’re THE Jack Parsons.”
“In the spectral flesh,” He said with a smile. “Mind if I smoke in here?”
“That’s not possible. You know it isn’t possible right? Spectral means you have no flesh.” I said.
“I was attempting to engage in witty banter.”
“That cigarette isn’t real either.” I said. “What the hell is going on here?”
“What’s going on here is atonement.” He said. “You must atone for your past in order to progress. Face the darkness and the unknown, only there can we find wisdom. This is called shadow work.”
This brought me back to Amsterdam when I was hanging out with Ben and Rob Rider Hill. Rob, looked at me at some point because of all the partying I was doing and said, “You’re like shadow work.” I should have been offended, but instead I felt bad. Then I thought, “I’m in Amsterdam, I was told only a week before that I was losing my sight, and only four people had shown up to our gig in holland and I had brought two of them. If I can’t chill now, when can I chill?”
So eat a dick Rob.
“A true initiate looks into the shadow world and faces the darkest aspects of their own humanity. Freedom is after all, a dangerous and terrifying intention. Shadow work provides this opportunity.” Jack said. He spoke with the tone of a professor who took the lecturing aspect of their job way too seriously. Whenever he spoke, I wanted to punch him. He seemed a lot like Ben.
“Why the fuck would I want to do that?” I said, “I’m fine with my humanity. I don’t need to do an ode to my regret to feel better about myself. Self introspection is an evolving part of a personal journey. It shouldn’t be forced on you by some spectral aberration.”
“Aberration? I’m real as real as you or anything else.” Jack said with anger. “And as for completing your shadow work, you choose to be a slave to your own devices. Slavery is not made possible by the slave owners, it’s made possible by the people who allow themselves to be enslaved.”
“Nice try, Parsons, but I’ve been gaslit by the best and you don’t measure up. And stop doing that! Stop teaching me! Why do magicians always try to teach you things? I don’t even know what I’m doing here, Parsons. Talon tricked me!” I said.
Right there, the attic door creeped just open enough for Talon to reveal his middle finger rising from the gleaming light below. “Fuck you dude.” He said as his finger disappeared back into the light, the attic door slammed shut.
“Look, if you’re going to try to use this as an opportunity to impart some ‘knowledge” upon me. This isn’t a good time. I will slap you with my dick. Also, I would never take advice from someone who had a threesome with two gingers. And someone who, allegedly, had a threesome with threesome with their mom and a dog as well.
Jack’s confident grin disappeared. “How did you know about that?” He said.
“Someone found the film in your magick box after you, the great explosive genius, blew yourself up because you were mixing combustible chemicals with the same care that a person has scrambling eggs.”
“Everyone makes mistakes, Jose.”
“Yeah, but I can’t get over some of yours. Sorry to bring this up again Jack, but why did you have a threesome with two gingers? How was that a good idea? I can’t even call it a threesome since it’s two dudes and one girl. Yeesh! What do you call having a threesome with your mom and a dog?”
“See Jack. That isn’t funny. Why do all magicians think they’re funny? Not even every comedian is funny. Just focus on the questions I’m asking you. Why would anyone make their mom fuck a dog and record it? That something I feel that you should have to explain.”
“That’s it? The fact that you’re willing to do it is what is special about that? That is a really fucked up answer.”
“You could never understand.”
“No. I do understand. You want to be the person who is beyond sexual hangups. The person who brings their entire family to a swinger party. Everything is cool unless someone is physically hurt. But what about the psychological damage that you do to people? I could only imagine the amount of PTSD that you either caused or took advantage of with your mother.”
“A person like yourself could never know what it feels like to be free! My mother loved me!”
“Yeah. She clearly did!”
Jack stomped his feet. The candles shook.
“Enough of your narcissistic, bloviating pageantry. I will not stand here and allow you to ignore all of my accomplishments due to your conditioned, feeble mind not being able to recognize the honor you’ve been bestowed upon by being in my presence.”
“Will you stop trying to teach me. I’m here! What do you want? Please, just say something that I can understand. Talk to me like a person. Stop trying to NLP me. It’s so obvious, it’s sad. Yes, you use transparent and not very interesting techniques. It must be killing you that you can’t do anything to me from that triangle, isn’t it?”
Jack, raised his open right hand to the sky and screamed out, “Io Pan!” And just like that, a hairless chihuahua appeared cradled in his fingers. “Either you come over here into the triangle, or I fuck the dog, which is it going to be?”
“What’s wrong with you? What is it with you and dogs? No. You can’t fuck that animal you disgusting overrated junkie degenerate!”
“I will if you don’t come into the triangle.” Jack said. “Stay in the circle, I stuff this dog with some man meat. Come into the triangle, you’ll find yourself in hell. Make your choice Jose Atiles!”
I didn’t have much time to think, so I did what I could from the safety of the circle. I remembered I ate asparagus earlier in the day, so I pulled out my goo bazooka and aimed it at Jack. “You touch that dog, I rain down on your head.”
“You pee on my floor, and I’ll kick your ass.” I heard Talon say from below. So I put away my custard cannon and did the only thing I could do. I took a deep breath and jumped into the triangle.
I managed to wrestle the chihuahua away from Jack immediately, it tried to scramble out of the triangle but dissipated in a puff of smoke before it could get its paws on the ground. I then started started punching that self indulgent, arrogant prick in the face until I dropped him.
“Yes!” He said “Do it! Punish me!”
We were immediately transported from Talon’s attic to another place. We were now under a grey sky. Clouds formed to infinity in each direction. In the distance there was a castle with seven gates.
“Where is this place?” I said.
“It’s hell,” Jack said. “How does it make you feel, Jose? Tell me.” But something didn’t seem right about Jack. Being this close to Jack and wanting to hit him this much, didn’t seem right. Even for me. Sure, Snowfricans are annoying creatures, but why did I want to punch this one so much? He was much more annoying then your typical Snowfricans. Also, Jack didn’t know NLP. Not like in textbooks. Why was he NLP’ing me this hard? That’s when I realized it.
“You’re not really Jack, are you?” I said as I stood over him and pulled out my banana rocket.
“What are you doing?” He said. I then proceeded to pee on his face with a strong rope like stream that splashed violently over his checks. “Stop it!” He pleaded, but I had a ton of water before I’d left the house, and I was going to leave as much as I could on this demon’s face until he was ready to talk.
“Reveal yourself to me, demon,” I said. His face was now soaked with my piss. He started to convulse.
“Hey! Stop! I’ll talk! I’ll talk! Please! Stop pissing on me!” He said. I paused my stream for a moment.
“I know it’s you, Ben,” I said. “No one else I know can be this annoying.”
“You’re right and wrong again little acolyte,” He said. Jack suddenly became Ben. There was still a lot of piss dripping from his face. He put on a pair of glasses and a fedora. “It isn’t Ben. It’s me. Simon Solomon Faust.”
I just stood over him with my man-cream hose still dangling from my hand. I was in no mood for this so I zapped his face with a couple of more streams of piss.
“Benjamin, can we have a real conversation, please?” I said.
“Sure. Would that make you feel better? From a scale of 1-10, how much better would that make you feel?”
I was so angry that I didn’t notice that hell had disappeared and me and Ben were now in what appeared to be some kind of pawn shop. “At least we aren’t in hell,” I said.
“Are you sure about that? Tell me Jose, how does that make you feel?” Ben raised his eyebrow like Dwayne Johnson, looking intently into my eyes.
“Ben, I feel…”
“Better?” Ben said. He was still looking into my eyes.
“Stop finishing my sentences! That wasn’t what I was going to say!” I said.
“But it was what you wanted to say?” Ben said.
That was it. I put away my steamy goo-shooter and started wailing on his piss riddled face. This didn’t stop him from talking the whole time.
“Give me some feedback,” Ben said. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“You talk a lot of shit.” I said. “Autistic differences?” I continued to wail on him. “We stopped working together because of “autistic differences”? You’re telling people that? I gotta say, if you were that funny on stage we would still be doing shows together.”
“You annoyed me,” He said.
“Yeah, it was annoying helping you get to Europe and then helping supplement your lifestyle while you were there. I’m sorry, were you talking about the show? I’m sorry we couldn’t snap our fingers and have a full audience at every live appearance. Perhaps if we’d taken a couple of years to build an audience that might have happened. Also, a simple podcast might have helped build that audience instead of the self indulgent audio sigil NLP-fest you decided was the way to go. But hey, you want to control the file we record, when to upload it, and talk 80% of the time on the pod and in live shows, you might want to find better reasons why things aren’t going your way than “autistic differences” and I “annoyed you”. I have way more important things to worry about than indulging your messiah complex, as entertaining as that can be sometimes. On top of all that, we didn’t stop the apocalypse like we planned. We might have made it worst.”
“You still don’t know how to apologize,” He said.
“Fine! So be it!” I said as I stood up to try and piss on him again. That’s when I heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun pumping a shell into its chamber.
”Halt! I say!” the voice was one I could recognize anywhere. It belonged to one Poke Runyon. ”If anyone is to urinate on Snowfricans in this abode, it will be I, or Mr. B, not you!”
Poke was decked out in redneck chic gear, with torn jeans and lumberjack shirt to go along with his ”make America great again” hat that he probably wore every day, even when he was sleeping.
”Poke, this isn’t any your business!” I said.
”Thank you my fellow mage, ” Ben said. ”My name is Simon…”
”Silence. Stay right where you are.” Poke said. He kept the gun resting on the counter, but still pointing at us as he pulled out his iphone and made a call.
”Yeah. It’s Poke. The spider just caught two bugs in its web. When do you get here? Ok. I’ll be waiting.”
Poke hung up the phone and put it back in his pocket.
”Stand up boys, ” he said. ”We are heading out back.”
Next: The Conclusion of our story with TWO surprise guest stars. Stay tuned for, ”Poke Fiction”