Man In Picture v2.0

I  know things you don’t.

Things you can’t.

Things you would deny.

Things you would refuse.

I know things.

Things that would change everything you do and everything you might know or want to know.

Things you wouldn’t want to know.

I’ve suffered because of what I know.

By the time I’m done telling you this, you’ll understand that there is no such thing as a Jesus.  Or Allah or whoever the fuck.  I’m merely a man and certainly not here to disabuse you of any notion you might see fit to cling to, yet the idea of a benevolent savior is so absurd…..  yours is not my problem.  Your God is yours.  Rest your head on your pillow and be the best you can with that.  My object is not to wrest it from your panicked fingers and the peace you enjoy in your own bed, between your own sheets, on your own pillow.

Or maybe it is.

I’m going to tell you what I know.

It’s awful.

Thick black with ever more and stumbling heat.

All so sweaty.  So moist and cloying and pervasive.

I am trying to tell you there is no God.  It is what I want to tell you.

There is no room for one.   No God to mitigate our suffering or advance our joy.  God is not real.  The universe does not suffer one mad fuck at all.

You’ll see.

The Devil however, is on Holiday.

Satan.  Lucifer.  Beelzebub.

I don’t name him any of these.

Lollipops and necklaces of candy.  Chocolate eggs at Easter and bicycles at Christmas.  That’s all there is.  That is God of  the contemporary.  The God of goddamn fools.

If there  is a God it hates me.  I imagine it always has.

Seriously.  Even though I doubt it’s even there.  Or if it can do a single thing.

All human beings serve at the pleasure of evil no matter what name they give it.  I’m going to show you that with my own example.  I have lots to show you.


I first noticed him rather casually.  Yet he was the Devil and I knew it.  He had no horns, no bifurcated tail, no cloven hooves and no aroma of sulfur.

He kept coming.

Sometimes, I smelled cloves.

Sometimes, I smelled pigs.  Dirty.  Porcine.

Why he came to me, I can’t know.  But, I saw him and I knew what he was.  I tell you this and I’ve never been religious.  I’ve never even worshiped.  I’ve long been suspicious of those that do.  I am and  have been an atheist my whole adult life.  I never bought any of that crap.  Jesus was Santa Claus for adults as far as I was concerned.

But I prayed before it was done.

I came to know him because he kept coming.  Even in a vacuum, He kept coming.  He, the Devil.  That’s how I knew what he was.  He kept coming.

There is no God but there is Hell and it can be in your backseat or your backyard baby.  Ever feel it tap you on the shoulder?    I have.  It fucking banged on my back those first few days.

He keeps coming.

I had fun with it.  For awhile.  It’s true, I did.

I wasn’t afraid at first.  Not really anyway.  I was cocky.

But,  there was his emptiness and viciousness.  A terrible course without relent.  The malignancy of his breath, the toxicity of his purpose.

Still, I didn’t think he was all that.

I was wrong.

At first like picking at a scab, scratching at a wound, tongue constantly probing and prodding a sore in the mouth.  I couldn’t stand it.  But I liked it.  I was infected the first time I laid eyes on him.  I knew him to be a pathogen incarnate.  Yet I revisited and reappeared.  No worries.  I liked his disease.  It’s how evil works.  It’s cancer seduces you and before you know it, you’re complicit.  You are black.

Like heroin or meth.

Not this though.  Not this at all.

This was entirely different.

Within the cage of a single season I was neck deep.

Still,  he was an enigma in the most consummate of ways.  Odd, kinda funny.  My lack of fear was my demise.  My skepticism.  My naivete.

Entertaining the notion someone was only fucking with me.


All this until he stood over my bed on a windless night, when some sense caused me to open my eyes.  He inhaled and it rattled.  What he did was suck back mucus, blood and drool collecting in his cavernous, lantern jawed mouth.  He sighed then, as though he lamented being so disturbing.  Like he was sorry for just how horrific he was, lit only by moon, breaking through a window behind him.

He paused while he vibrated over my bed.

There were instances when I would be confused and empathetic.  Such instances didn’t last.

My mortal enemy.  My terror.  My waking and sleeping nightmare.

The bane of my everyday and everything.


I believe I first noticed him on a movie poster. Outside of a shopping mall in the Valley. One of those faux shelters for public transportation.  Then maybe on the side of a bus.  Yep, the side of a bus, looking right the fuck at me as I drove along side.

I laughed at it.

Disturbing but compelling.  Some new model,  fifteen minutes of Madison Avenue fickle.  Maybe only disquieting to me.

In no time he really was everywhere.  Nefarious grinning.  Mirrored sunglasses concealing what I somehow knew to be bloodshot eyes.

My own personal goblin all at once in perpetual ubiquity.

He just kept showing up in everything I looked at.

I remember thinking once, after clocking his countenance out of the corner of my consciousness, one of thousands of times, that he was one creepy motherfucker. At the periphery of one of those visually exploding advertisements for some insipid action movie.  Mouth open in mock terror, fingers scraping at the air, clawing with phony panic, volcanoes or aliens in the background.

Sometimes, he registered only after the fact, in my mind’s eye.  Clear as a bell.  Even behind his chromium lenses I knew his eyes were bleeding road maps.

I knew it from my dreams.

Weird.  But still.

I pondered my sanity.

Doubted my senses.

Nobody seemed to see what I did.

It was impossible to tell.

Time passed.

I swear I saw him behind mirrored cop lenses in a potato chip ad on the back of a comic book.  I don’t really read them anymore, but I thumb through them when I come across a display.  I still love their smell.  Inky industrial.  I collected them back in the day.  I have thousands.  Organized, alphabetized, bagged and boxed.  My girl and I sweated over them for a week or two in the dead of one summer.

Not long after, he was an extra in a cell phone commercial on TV. I wondered at how many times I’d watched that one before I noticed him.  I’m almost positive he wasn’t there the first few times I saw it.

Tall.  Pale. Gaunt. Always staring right at me.

There he was pictured on packaging for disposable razors at the 7-11 as sort of a cartoon.

Then again, in the very back of an advertisement for a new amusement park ride on a plastic fast food cup. I’ve always kept those cups. They hold a lot and it doesn’t matter what happens to them. They make excellent mini trash receptacles for a coffee or bedside table in the apartment of a single male.  I tap my pipe into them after the hit is gone.  My toilet paper, once I’ve blown my nose or spanked the monkey.

Didn’t hang on to that one.

Didn’t remember it until after I’d thrown it away.

I could only imagine all these companies hiring him for these ads must have thought he was kinda goofy and cool somehow, they were infusing their shit with character or quirkiness, or something.  Not unlike the concept of “heroin chic” from the 90’s.  How could they possibly entertain the notion that such a brutal and ugly countenance might possibly promote any product or cast it in a positive light for the great unwashed?

Or was it me?

I’d been genuinely spooked by the faces of actors or print models as a young boy.  I was freaked out by everything when I was seven.  Sometimes even the women in the ads were a hair across my ass or a frost across my shoulders.  But they rarely recurred and were never so consistent.

I checked myself.

This was entirely different.

This was insidious.

Was it me?

If it was, it meant I was crazy.  Delusional.  Certainly paranoid.  Schizophrenic maybe.  Fucked up.

I didn’t really think so.

But I didn’t know.

Now I know.

Still, it was my own private mystery.  I coveted it in a way.  I’ve always liked secrets and I keep many.  I never share my first sexual experiences or some of my darker urges.  I’ve seen people do things when they weren’t aware of being watched.  I often know when people are lying to me and pretend that I’ve no idea.  I’ve done things.  I’ve done some unspeakable things.  Seeing him everywhere made me, made me, think of those things.  He sought my worst and brought it out.

I did bad things.

He was mine in a way.  I owned him, he was exclusive to me.

Exactly what he wanted.  Precisely what he intended.

More time passed.

He became three dimensional.

He came to occupy space and time.

My space and time.

He became actual.

I would catch a glimpse of him walking opposite me while driving.  I’d  look back and check my mirrors.  Rubber necking like a stupid tourist, my stomach sinking and rolling.  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  I’d be gassy for the rest of the day.

Not fun anymore.

The rest of my day all pensive dread.


Oversized front teeth, buck toothed.  Yellow.  Incisors. Carnival red hair. A crew cut flat top. Pale blue eyes that were unbelievably bloodshot when not concealed behind mirrored lenses.

Get this, he always wears brown corduroy pants, blue suede Puma Clydes, a maroon t-shirt with a breast pocket under a leather biker jacket, sleeves up and he’s pigeon chested. Yeah, he’s all lopsided and the fit of his leather coat emphasizes it. His shoulders are narrow and he’s very tall.  Six Five at least.  Sinewy and long limbed.  Veins in his forearms and neck. A glance at his hands corroborates each could kill if it got you by the throat.  Acne scars and purple lips.

Giant fucking teeth.  He likes to smile.  He drools.

Bear in mind that by now I’d seen him in almost every pose, glimpsed him in dozens of televised commercials.

My man.

Scary as fuck.

He began to appear in my dreams. Pretty innocuous, cameos, but more overt than waking life.  At least thus far. Winking, whispering hello to me.  Hey buddy.  What’s up?  Walking by, pointedly somehow, a little wind as his wake, corduroy pant legs shrieking quietly with the fierceness of his gait.

That sort of thing.

He kept showing up in different places.

My dread swelling as he grew bolder.

In the audience on a talk show waving at me I was sure.

Ever more ominous and foreboding, as a blackjack dealer in Vegas once.

I nearly dropped to my knees on the colorful gaming floor carpet.  Clacking and ringing and shouting.  There he was, out of his usual attire, a green translucent novelty visor, clove cigarette in a holder cocked to the side of his pale yellow tombstone grin, red satin shirt with ruffles, a black vest and garters around his biceps.  Tight black disco pants betraying an enormous package.  He nodded at me while barking instructions at the gamblers with teeth clenched on his black plastic smoking appliance.  The sweet perfume of hams baking, courtesy of his clove cigarette.

Burgess Meredith as The Penguin.  Less comical.  Far more sinister.  The horror of violence promised by a relentlessly crazy countenance.

Just a nod and a cup of his enormous crotch when he saw me.  I swear he hissed.

Blood rushed from my head and face and my legs went all bobble head, cheap thumb toy.  Walking with a group of business associates and struggling for composure.  I reeled.  A bar just around the corner.  Double Bombay Sapphire and excused myself for the Men’s.  I’d started choking.  There I crapped and sweated.  My hands shook and I wiped my sweaty head with toilet paper in the handicapped stall.  I cleaned myself up and summoned some amount of game face.  I ambled unsteadily to the bar and my drink.  No one seemed the wiser as we were all an evening’s length into cocktails already, thank God.  I sucked hard at my glass and raised my hand for another.

And another……

By the wee hours, I’d nearly forgotten except for a carping perspiration.  A subtle but almost cloying sense of desperation.  Low but nattering panic.  I thought I slept well but there was a whiff of barnyard in my room that morning.  Who knows what had occurred there before me after all.

Slowly owning me.  Relentlessly taking possession.  I was his intended.  His object.  His device.

One day, weeks later, he was pumping gas a couple islands over at a Shell station right next to where I live.

Early seventies GTO.  Dual hoodscoops and dual exhaust. It was a metallic lime green with whitewalls.  Wire spoked hub caps, not rims. He pulled out very slow.  It throated like a Harley but with more sinister a baritone.  He never even looked at me.  I heard him accelerating a half mile away.  Ripping down Ventura Boulevard.

In a mall I saw him going down an escalator on a lower level grinning up at me before he looked down, sprinting the last few moving steps before disappearing.  Agile for his size.

Days ago, I was at Starbucks waiting for my unsweetened iced crack and he was backing out the door and firing a gun at me with his thumb and index finger. I pissed my pants. I’d like to believe no one noticed.

I had to go home.  Change my shit. I was late to work. My boss gave me the look and some voice to my performance of late. I nod and apologize.

He always bolts or turns away when I see him. He knows me.


Is he afraid?

I am.

I’m fucking petrified.

He’s huge and supernatural in some way or another.  This I own.  He’s no clown.  I know people.  I could have his legs broken.  I know that’s just not an option.  It’s not on the menu.  I don’t understand why, but I know we’re nowhere near Kansas anymore.

He’s capturing me.  Trapping me.  I understand I am prey.

For whatever reason the universe has, he’s mine and I’m his.

I understand.  I realize we will share doom.  No matter what.  I can’t help but know this.

It’s not just some puzzle for me to solve.

I’m in real goddamn trouble here.

I was frozen.  Paralyzed. The sliding door to my balcony was open, some breeze clattered the vertical blinds, bringing the odor of gasoline and animals.  Pig shit.

He said nothing that night.  That first night he came.  He placed his index finger on my sternum ever so gently as he towered over my bed.  I smelled dirt and grease under his long chipped nails. He said nothing but he looked right at me.  Not through me, but straight at me.  He smelled of swine.  Of their food and their waste and he smelled of an old garage.  He stank.  Things rotting and seething in dark places.  He fucking stank.

He grinned; a rictus affording massive and misshapen incisors. He began to drool a syrup of dark blood and mucus, his breathing was labored and it rattled.  His chin shook some and his sputum quivered a little.  He chuckled and stabbed a little harder with his long dark finger.  Still gentle.  He sucked back violently through his teeth.  His giant head whipped back. He blew air past his lips and he laughed like a lion, so loud I pissed the bed.  Seriously.  It happened before I knew it.  He turned and walked away tapping the walls as he went, away from my bed and out my front door. I heard him close it quietly behind him and somehow lock it from outside.  He tapped the walls with his knuckles all the way down the hall.

I don’t sleep much anymore. I’ve begun to obsess about pigs. They scare the shit out of me. Are you aware of how smart they are? They will eat any motherfucking thing. And we eat them.

I was left in my own piss.

This is bad.

7 Responses to “Man In Picture v2.0”

  • Misty:

    Volcano’s aren’t the only things I’d like to see captured on YouTube. We can post pictures in the comment section you know. Up on my mighty horse here, I’ve researched man’s knowledge of God, and there is no evidence that God, in itself takes our needs and wants all that personal. My description of God is Love. Man nor woman. The creator of a complicated universe. Basically I think we form, and worship Gods, as befitting our conscious of belief system. There is plenty of powerful spirits and entities out in the universe, especially in the lower worlds, where God gives freedom to all. Your truth is unique to you. Drooler been around much lately?

  • tacohead:

    Wow. You’ve added some intriguing depth to this.

  • admin:

    Ya think? does it work?

  • Hey Jackalope, did you get the email I just sent you not two minutes ago? My computer spat back a message to the effect that I need proper authentication and relaying denied. I don’t know if I should believe it. Let me know If it got to you. All I did was hit reply to yours. Authenticate this, toad licker!

  • admin:

    nope. send me a number!

  • Jana:

    I’m here to tell ya that not all pigs will eat anything. Maybe starving pigs. My pig would take a sauce-doused broccoli floret and leave it on the floor intact and licked clean and she positively sneered at the site of summer squash. For example.

  • admin:

    I was kinda hoping you’d tell me how scared you are. Oh, well, thanks for reading.

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