Surrogate Episode V

NSFW.  There is no way it’s not.  In this episode – language and sacrilege.  If you can’t deal with it, you have no business here.

“Surrogate” episodes started in 2009 as a bit of irreverent humor to lighten the load carried by a young friend cursed with a cancer.  At least, I’d hoped to momentarily distract him from his struggle. 

Irreverent?  Yes.  My protagonist engages in conversation with God, a God he has been himself disappointed in, nonetheless petitioning for divine intervention for his friend, who oddly is also struggling against a cancer.

Lest you worry, my young friend today is in remission, has been for some time.  He has won significant normalcy and already now ten years of good health with promise of a full life remaining.

We pick up with episode V as I’ve not time yet to appropriately edit the preceding episodes.  Episodes VII and VIII are here too – check the “Conversations” page.  I apologize for not putting these out in order, but I’m busy.  Once you grasp the premise, each episode stands alone reasonably well.

Surrogate Episode V
Original July 5, 2009

“Because your last name doesn’t start with ‘K’.”

“What?”

“Because your last name doesn’t start with ‘K’.”

“Don’t do that!”

“     ”

“  ?  “

“  !   ”

“Sir.”

“Better.”

“Man, you gotta quit sneaking up on me like that!”

“Keeps the heart moving.”

“Mmmphf.  My last name?”

“Doesn’t begin with ‘K’.”

“I’m glad you pointed that out.  Whatsat supposed to mean?”

“You can’t play guitar.”

“Oh.  Hello.  I know that.  That I can’t play guitar.  What does that mean?”

“All the great guitar players’ last names start with ‘K’.  King, Kottke, Klapton, Knopfler.”

“So?”

“So you were wondering why you never could get the guitar down.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“And I’m telling you it’s because your last name doesn’t begin with ‘K’.  Like B.B. King, Eric Klapton, Mark Knopfler, Leo Kottke.”

“Clapton begins with ‘C’.”

“Not supposed to. Supposed to be with a ‘K’.”

“That’ stupid.  Lot of folks think Les Paul was pretty good. And whatshisname – Hendricks.”

“Careful…  Hendricks was a technician, mostly he just made noise.  He’d been any good his name woulda been Kendricks.”

“And Les Paul?”

“He was supposed to be an opera tenor.”

“Hell, he ain’t even Italian!   Unh, pardon.”

“Okay.  I do it all the time.  Les Paul was supposed to be Italian.  What it was, was, there was a guy in Palermo, Parmicci, took his amica out one night… too much Chianti… well, it’s sometimes a matter of timing.  Les woulda been the greatest tenor.  Better than Caruso.  You think he was a good axeman, if only… ah well.”

“Go figger.”

“Yeah. The kid, the Wop, moved to Venice and became a gondolier.  Wowed’m for a number of years, seen by a guy from Milan.  Like his dad, too much Chianti the night before he left to audition.  Slipped.  Well.  Anyway, Les Paul was supposed to be Leonardo Parmicci, got bumped outta line one spot, became Les Paul.  But he had an ear and a knack.  And, well, look, even then he was pretty damned good.”

“Damned?”

“It happens.  We’re buddies.  Cut me some slack.  Tenors, C’s and P’s.  Guitar, K’s.”

“So I should ditch the guitar?”

“I would.  I mean if I were you.  Oh, hey. You can’t sing either.”

“Well…  Make a joyful noise…”

“Bullshit!  Some of that caterwauling hurts my ears.”

“All those little old ladies and those men who flunked Barbershop…”

“I’d rather listen to the Village Smithy pound an anvil.  I appreciate you don’t sing in church.”

“I realize I can’t.  Sing.”

“You’re telling me.”

“No digs on not being in church more often?”

“Nah.”

“Why not?”

“Church is fairly well taken over by rig-a-ma-role.  Not much time spent ‘communicating.’”

“All this about ‘two or more are gathered…’”

“Crap.  Source.  I stick my nose in wherever, whenever I want.”

“You got a reputation for not listening.”

“Don’t you put a lot of stock in that.”

“Why not?”

“Just because I don’t answer the way you want doesn’t mean I don’t listen.”

“Mmm.”

“Well, sometimes you don’t even ask the right questions.”

“I don’t ask a lot.  Mostly I just say look in on so-and-so and thanks for the meal and the nice rain.”

“Not you, Nudnik; like you, you, like in you people – mankind.”

“Kind of flies in the face of free will and all that doesn’t it?”

“You know, sometimes you just wear me out.”

“My parents probably thought so too.”

“Yeah but they had tangible punishment and rewards.  Stuff you could see and tell right away it was them dishing-out.”

“You don’t?  I mean if you don’t, we really gotta spend some time kickin this around.”

“I have really good rewards and punishment, but you – mankind you again – don’t recognize them.”

“Like?”

“Like the time your Chevy broke down right after you replaced the starter ring and were driving to pick up Sue Wojowicz for a date.”

“That was you?”

“Yup.”

“Why?”

“I knew what you had in mind and it wasn’t time.”

“I thought so. Free will.”

“Yours, and Sue’s.”

“Oh.”

“Mighta been okay for you, not for Sue.”

“She ended up with eight kids!”

“See?  And that’s after a late start. Probably wouldn’t have been good for you either.”

“Maybe you’d get better press if you made it known it was you and not fate, or chance or dumb luck.”

“Or the devil?”

“Yeah, that too.”

“Him.  Like how, ‘Telegram for Chip Dingus: your leg was broken because you were thinking of tipping that outhouse’?”

“Well, no, I was thinking…”

“Clap of thunder, stroke of lightning?’

“Boy that’d do it.  Then a deep voice coming from mysterious crimson clouds…”

“Theatrics.  Crimson clouds?  That has possibilities.

“Man, there’d be a lot of wet britches.”

“And smocks.”

“Oh.  Yeah, I suppose. Women as bad as men?”

“Oh, you really don’t want to know.”

“Yeah, I might.”

“Nah.  Anyway, it didn’t work with Moses.  Well it did, but as soon as things got back to normal, couple hundred years – no recollection at all.  ‘Tradition.’  ‘Legend.’   Crap.”

“Moses was one of the really good guys!”

“Yeah, more or less.”

“Saul of Tarsus?”

“Thick.  You know how long I worked on that boy?”

“Maybe you just need to go with a good “Zap!” and then once you’ve got their, um our, attention, drop the bomb?”

“Tried it.  You are all pretty damned dense.” 

“So you give up?”

“Nope.  Just subtlety.  You can’t get the message, well…”

“Free will again?”

“Kinda.  Well, no.  Well, yes.  Intelligence too.”

“We try.  I try.”

“Besides, I have a sense of humor.”

“I always thought so.  I tell people, ‘You know, I’m sure god has a sense of humor,’ expecting them to ask me…”

“Did you see that?  No, of course you didn’t.  Well I’ll be.  That’s not right.”

“What’s not right?”

“    ”

“What happened?”

“     ”

“Nuts.”

© S P Wilcenski 2020

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