In The Bed of God’s Mother
Of course it’s sunday, and we were trudging towards The Holy Shrine of the Bed of God’s Mother for some mass or other. For no other reason than it was the quickest way to check out who was still awake or alive on this awful slippery autumn sunday afternoon drag-out, hung over and weak, all over aching for something. Sky yellow, blue, even green shading like a bruise, festering snow and sleet. A slow stroll as far as the railway. Exhaustion sunday cold turkey tucks us into the Penalty Bar, drink wine and contemplate the falling darkness. I could sit like this forever, now. As long as we wait. As long as it takes. Forever. A young poverty stricken woman shabbily drinks teary wine with a chain of dirty old men. People come and go. All action adventure TV clamours overhead. Watch, drink and wait. Evening falling black behind the glass door. Waiting for that sudden stillness, the chemical ability to just BE. Or even just wait to BE. People come and people go. Then white Formica, clean, clear, in the lavatory, destiny, my evil destiny…on the bathroom shelf. Shot and secreted, I drift out into the serene barrenness of the Penalty Bar. Luckily now the people have come and gone, and we’re ready to drift out into a harsh, but less-cold night.
On the steps of the grand gothic cathedral we met up with Mimi, Mary-Jane and Sonja, Flash bulbs were popping and the hacks were swarming like flies. The wise women were dressed like Barbie dolls and probably coked outta their many heads. “¡Hola!” one of them called over to me, luckily I remembered that I’d pretended to be Spanish last time I spoke to them. They said they were in a band now, called The Spike Girls, hadn’t I heard of them?
I shook my head a lot. We all agreed to meet up later.
I slipped into the cathedral.
In The Bed Of God’s Mother
The priest breaks the host and places a small piece in the chalice, “May this mingling of the body and blood keep me faithful and never let me be parted from you. With faith in your love, let it bring me health in body and mind”. He gazes out on Christianity Zoo; where stuffed, mummified and pickled saints howl behind rows of bars, caged and wailing, screaming through the candle light, tear their hair, bang their heads against walls and masturbate in corners like wild animals in captivity do.
The priest pours the wine into the chalice saying quietly “Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and works of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. How long does it take a shot of alcohol to get into the system? Ten minutes? 20? An hour? Or the time it takes to fill the first glass of the day? The day before he suffered he took bread in his sacred hands and looking up to heaven he broke the bread and chocolate spread gave it to the disciples and said :
“This is the most profound hunger, not just a hangover, but the shifting boneache of wasted muscle hanging, dripping in the transparent bin-bag of the flesh. The skeleton, its hard white shafts searing with bone bending bruises through liquefying pusy muscle. Some mornings I wake up dead. Take this all of you, and eat it, this is my body which I give to you ”
“When the supper was finished he took the cup and gave it to the disciples and said :
“Take this all of you, and drink deep from it. This is a cup of my blood, do this in memory of me”
The darkness deliberate theatrical shadows creating pockets of fearful night where unsightly demons wings flayed, crouching creatures, horned and hanging in the vaulted roof, peer out and piss on the repentant penitents below. “Let your spirit come on these gifts so that for us they become the body and blood of christ”. Horned and hanging, peer out and piss, lurking hunched grasping handfuls of their own brimstone stinking shit, dropping it onto Tinkerbell-type angels, who dancing to dodge demon shit, flit too close, burn endlessly in church candle flames.
The priest pours the wine into the chalice saying ‘On the night that he was betrayed he took the bread, he broke the bread and gave it to the disciples and said :
“Take this and eat it. This is my body which I give to you”
Grotesque children, matted hair and hissing shit smeared faces crash through he shadows, kiss arses vomit green slime with the devils. “When we eat this body and drink this blood, we proclaim thee dead, lord jesus”. Waiting for the decent time for the first drink of the day, aimless daily lethargy, hot wanderings futile ache of sober humankind slips away, liquid like as the last ruddy drop settles under the flat even surface of the full wine glass. “When supper was ended he took the cup, broke wind and gave it to the disciples and said :
“Take this all of you, and drink from it. It is a cup of my blood”
Tippling at the rim, sweaty decided fingers encircle the bulb, ballooning red in the neon glare. “We recall christs death, we take his body and blood an acceptable sacrifice, christ’s living sacrifice of death, into the body of christ, we remember that god’s dead”. Children attracted by the warm fetid shadows of hell, dance and play with the demons that delight them so all day long. The penitential rite invites the people to repent with these words:
“Brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins”. Men and women genitals bursting with pent up passion, cruise the labyrinthine corridors behind the altar, fuck blindly, randomly, gratifyingly. We proclaim your death lord jesus. Released from their realities, in the recesses they enact excesses on each other, any body, every body close enough to arouse “O We remember our sins!”.
“He shewed us the depth of his love for us after we’d eaten his supper”
“Take this, eat my body, drink my blood, see if I care, do what thou wilt.”
I shuffle my seat, light a cigarette and lift the first cooling sip to my lips, drinking time has come. The priest raises up a golden goblet, a sliver wafer and eats his god. Sleeping beauty raised from apparent death, the kiss-sip of my lover-wine fills my throat cold and hot, burning down to my heart, to set it on fire, waiting hard days dry tears wetted and loosened, unravel knotted chains in my chest. Drinking time has come.
Amid the fucking, shitting, pissing, hissing, puking, the priest consumes, envelopes and ingests his lover-god. Now in this first drink the long days waiting is justified in the acid sweet taint of biley ulcer ache. The earth spins to its collision, shudders in ballistic psychic love rushes and crescendos of sinning.
The priest washes his hands saying diligently ‘Lord have mercy, wash away my iniquity, cleanse me of my sin, the mass is ended”
And the people respond “Thanks be to god.”
The press were still waiting outside the cathedral for The Spikes, so I managed to slip away without having to speak to them again. I slipped off into the Doc’s Laboratorium, he was getting ready to go out. The radio droned on in the background, The Spikes were giving impromptu interviews on the steps of The Bed of God’s Mother Cathedral. “What is all this fuss over The Spikes?” I asked slumping into a chair.
Perhaps I need to explain here that for the past two years I have been withdrawing both from society and the evil drug menace. I haven’t seen a TV in three years, I have had no gainful employment in eighteen months. I exist in a state of self-imposed and DSS endorsed asceticism. I am pathologically shy and painfully difficult to know. My only activities are reading literature, writing fiction and fucking. I have no idea who the Spike Girls are. Why should I?
The Doc eyed me distantly, dumped a sheaf of newspaper cuttings into my lap and left without another word. I sat on into the failing gloom of twilight, reading about The Spike Girls until I was sick to the back teeth.
On my way home I decided to interview the Spikes at our next meeting.
Late into the night I sat perfecting my Spanish accent, and compiling questions.
A transcript of Bella Basura’s proposed interview.
Q: (In a faked Spanish/Mexican/Eastern European accent) It is common knowledge that you are ridiculous, but I’am suspicious that you have sensible as well, Do you think?
A: (There is a pause)
Q At all?
Q: I’am have knowledge of you very intimate of months past, and so do half of Camberwell. No word of a lie. We do not call you Victim Spike, Junkie Spike or Horse Face Spike here, as in the newspapers, not to your face anyway. How do you feel now?
Q: When I saw you in the woods, for the birthday drug-fest of the Doc. Tripp, you were with all your tits out covered in shite like animals touching each other up. Dirty Bitches. Do you know there were photographs? I’am’have seen them?
Q: There are much more questions, but now I’am bored with it. Can you please do that somewhere else. Fuck you very much. But first a last question. I’am without telly and eat only vegan, I reject your consumer culture. I’am not interested in your silly posturing. And you are very rich, you laugh at my poetry. The poetry of the gutter, I’am very poor. Do you have any wonder that I hate you so much, that I can cut ..here the tape fades out, A tearful cut-up wig-out fades in… But it never happened, I never got to interview you. I never said my piece. You never even read my ridiculous prose. You forgot that we had been friends. You abandoned me at the gates of heaven. The tape fades out.
Suddenly I was on a empty road at dawn, a red glow rising through the gasworks, the huge disk of the sun pulsating pulling hot into the vast blue summer morning. A plane inched its way across the sky. Orange light bounced across the metallic surface of the tarmac. I could hardly bear to look. Bright vivid. Bright vivid sun burned sheer orange smears into my flinching retinas. Red, orange, green kaleidoscope image burn, stippling path like into flickering neon – clear light. Eyes dissolving through melting blue and violet tears, running away into sharp morning. A dark sillouehette shimmered off in the distance, I walked towards it.
Frankie was waiting at the end of the street, he was holding up one and a half chicken pies he’d found in a skip. He chucked me the half-eaten bit. “You don’t like meat, You’re vegetarian” He explained.
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