Sunday, August 18, 2013

WHITE COTTON PANTIES (EPISODES ONE and TWO) ...written and illustrated by Jason Squamata



Dear Mr. Lonelyhearts... 
You don't know me. 
And the name they gave me has no meaning now.
My legal name, like yours, is now Julius Desmond...and I am a great admirer of your work. 
In fact, I would go so far as to say that I am your most devoted and passionate fan. 
I wouldn't say "fanatic". 
No, that's not a word I'd use, because that word might imply some "imbalance" on my part, some irrational streak, something dangerous in my character...and I don't want you to feel like you're in any danger. 

I know you've lived a long and eventful life, and you must have crazy strangers sending you things all the time, poking their naughty noses and filthy fingers into your business, begging you to come out of retirement, to break your long silence and perform your deja voodoo at their high school reunions, their high society sex parties, at farewell functions for their dying children (whose last wish is to taste your palpitating presence and to know your glory in the flesh before THEIR flesh festers into memory). 
That's what MY last wish would be, but I'm not like that. 
I don't want anything from you. 
I don't expect you to reply to these transmissions. I'm not entirely sure that you'll ever hear them. These are just things i need to say to you for the sake of saying them. This is more like a prayer, i guess...things a Christian mystic might say to Jesus in an intimate whisper after harvesting a crop of souls, before boldly stepping into the wheat thresher of sacred sacrifice. 
These are things i need to say out loud to your shadow because I know your shadow will understand. 
I would speak of things and feelings and happenings no soul who walks in the lacerating light of day will ever fathom. 
These confessions come from my deepest darkness. 
These words are made of moonlight. 
In this tender time, in tribute, I would sing with the voice my savior gave me... 

... 

"WHISPERVILLE" 
lyrics by Julius Desmond 
recorded by Mr. Lonelyhearts & the Soft Enigmas 
for Whisperville Records. November, 1963. 
b/w "Learning to Burn" 

i'm going down to whisperville 
where the living lovesongs grow 
they beat their wings and whisper things 
man was not meant to know. 
i'm going down to whisperville. 
don't know when i'll be back. 
while i'm gone leave the t.v. on 
and paint all the mirrors black. 

i'm going down. 
i'm going down 
to whisperville 
that city made of sound 
where the temples will burn themselves to the ground 
yeah, whisperville, that city made of sound. 

i'm going down in whisperville 
where the echoes never dim, 
every smile hides a broken heart 
and the good guys never win. 
i'm going down in whisperville 
where the sun may never rise. 
i'm half-sick of this shadowdance 
and the tear-stained midnight sky. 

i'm going down 
i'm going down 
in whisperville 
where the killers dress like clowns 
where the lost ones go and know thay won't be found 
in whisperville, that city made of sound. 

whisperville 
hissing whisperville 
where the only law 
is do just what you will, 
where every soul is free 
so have your fill. 
just don't shit where you eat. 
eat what you kill. 

i found myself in whisperville, 
hysterical and blind. 
i sold my skin to the big within, 
now i live inside your mind. 
i find myself in whisperville, 
a new self every day. 
a new song puts my body on, 
i'm the instrument it plays. 

i'm coming on 
i'm coming on 
in whisperville 
where every love affair goes wrong 
so the pain inside will grow a lovely song 
that will hold you when the you you knew is gone. 

... 
Dear Mr. Lonelyhearts, 
I've heard so many stories about you, the stories that detail your beginnings and your rise to fame 
and your troubled season of celebrity. These are stories I know by heart, stories corroborated by your intimates and you yourself in provocative interviews before your voice receded into garbled gossip and fuzzy black feedback. 
The tales that keep me awake at night pertain to what goes on in Whisperville, in your House of Soft Enigmas, now that you've escaped the unforgiving gaze of this wicked world, riddled as it is with parasites who still fiend for a fresh fix of you. 
They say you've slipped into a kind of sleepless coma, immersed like an Egyptian king in a menagerie of memories, mummified in tabloid newsprint, embalmed in a pharmaceutical stew of sedatives and hallucinogenic poisons, enmeshed in a nest of t.v. screens...an embryonic panoptikon where you survey every photographed fragment of your history simultaneously. Immersed in an intimate everywhen, your eyes never close and you never stop sobbing, you bathe in static and you speak in cryptic oracular mumbles and through the cracks in your past you see the future. 
You see me, maybe, in a roadside motel room, whispering this and scribbling, the me I've been since I came to know you, maybe the me I'll be when i come to see you. 
At long last, to SEE you. 
Just the thought of such a moment butterflies my belly with a mild ecstatic nausea. 
Maybe you feel it, too...if the things they say are true. 
I should tell you all about myself, I suppose. maybe where I'm coming from will make some sense of where I'm going and what I'm going to do when I get there. 
The truth is, Mr. Lonelyhearts, before you came into my life, there was nothing. 
I was no one. 
Just a flesh and blood echo of whoever they said i was. 
My own reflection was a stranger to me. 
I was a blank silhouette, waiting to be filled in by the big black crayon of your hideous strength. 
I did what I was told. I said what they wanted to hear. I pretended to be human, like we do, creatures like us, before an attractive alternative presents itself. 
I was always cold and lonesome and somehow naked, aching for a monster mask I could put on 
and stitch up so tightly that it eats who I was and becomes my face. And the monster made to mask me came, through the screen it came, hard and fast, and it was you, and I can taste the moment 
like I'm psychic and it happened tomorrow. 
Picture me, a child of nine, gaping mutely and numb before the flickering fishbowl blue of a prime time TV show. A slick and harmless variety program looked at and loved by millions (as if there are millions who know what love is). I was sharing air with the shaved all-american monkeys who engineered my meat. We watched it every Friday night, for lack of any good reason not to. My make-believe mother and my mother's husband chewed processed foodstuffs in synch with the themesong. They would laugh mechanically at the cloying host and his "clever" observations, 
like experimental puppies salivating when the bell rings. 
"Tonight's special guests... 
Funnyman Cecil Castrato, star of Something or Other. 
Caveman Abe Lincoln, who will juggle something and say something else, 
accompanied by xylophone virtuoso Somebody Von Something. 
Mr. Lonelysomething and the Soft Somethings, singing their hit single 'Something Skull Something'." 
Forgive my flippancy, my almost-imaginary friend. 
How was I to know that after just a few commercial breaks and a segment or two of sycophantic showbiz chitchat, my life would change forever? By "change" I mean my life was about to BEGIN. 
Directly after a commercial for delicious sugar-coated "nixons" (the essential antithesis of this nutritious breakfast), the program resumed with a shot of its host (who i remember as a disfigured mannequin with a crudely animated hole for a mouth), addressing his live studio audience and the folks at home (but mainly me, the TV. speaking always mainly to me), proudly presenting a new musical sensation. 
And then the camera careened from everything I knew and couldn't care less about to you on stage with your back to the crowd, flanked by your six sisters, lovely young women in black rubber bodysuits and silvery veils with painted skulls for faces. Each sister clutched a malignant instrument. 
the sound they were laying down was cavernous, slithery, and somehow filthy. The kind of sound designed to induce a premature puberty in the very young and a time-lapsed, perfumed corruption 
in those who have already bloomed. You were just a huddled, twitching mass of black in the foreground until your cue came and you wheeled fiercely to face me, your face a beautiful ghoulish mess of wounds and bruises and bulging blue eyeballs and sharply chiselled cheekbones, 
your pompadour shifting shape with every twitch like an oily black inferno. 
Your spindly limbs coiled painfully, it seemed, in a black lame spiderwebbed straitjacket and skintight leather trousers, fresh and hot and steaming from the slaughterhouse. You were lit from below, your seven shadows spasmodic and huge, cast on a cartoon backdrop. A Caligari metropolis of contorted spires and smokestacks, belching plumes of death under throbbing constellations composed of cackling baby skulls. 
"I'm a screaming skullboy!" you declared in that densely haunted house of a voice, every note all pregnant with echoes and delirious distortions. As the anthem unfolded, I was lost in you and your sisters, too. I was lost forever and loving it, knowing at last what it was to love. 
What it was for. 
What it meant. 
What it cost. 
The damage it could do and would do if the lover does it well. 
I wish I could say my owners were outraged, but, no, the tedium runs deep in normaltown. Every apocalypse can be passively digested into novelty. But little me, I was buzzing like my easy chair had gone electric. I was smiling sincerely for the first time ever. A smile slightly crooked from lack of practice and a little too wide to mean anything good. 
I knew I was learning a secret that night. 
A deep one, despite its disclosure in such a vulgar public forum. 
Between those lines, behind those veils, inside those trousers, was a secret that would transfigure me utterly and eternally, once I'd let it settle. Once my tight little mind had opened wide enough to grasp its implications. 
On the screen, at the number's climax, you tore yourself free of the black-strapped spiderwebs and went pounding into the audience like a rabid dog hungering into a chicken coop, still clutching the microphone, still singing with too many tongues. The crowd dispersing frantically, preferring to trample one another than feel the touch of this "new musical sensation". 
It looked like you'd pulled a pair of scissors from your boot, slashing madly at no one in particular, 
possessed by a song that wants to cut the whole world up into scarlet ribbons. and sheets of meat. 
The cartoon curtain was tugged and torn from its hooks, that scarred sky rippling and billowing and collapsing into an inky skull-studded heap. The camera toppled sideways, security scrambling to restrain you. The Soft Enigmas, your sisters, were laying down their instruments and methodically 
preparing an array of sedatives, Ophelia racing towards you with the red velvet pillow you like to clutch and huff when you're tranquilized, like this happens all the time in your world. 
I was just a kid. 
I didn't know exactly where that world was or how to get there, but I knew suddenly and with a spooky certainty that it's where i really came from. 
Another camera zoomed in on your drugged and drooling face, the ghoulish make-up smeared and dribbling, the eyes rolling back into your tormented head. Comforted by your fetish funeral entourage, huffing your velvet. The "technical difficulties" screen came on about eight minutes too late. 
"Well, for heaven's sake", said one of the monkeys. 
In the afterglow, I felt a little feverish. 
Mr. Lonelyhearts. 
I silently savored the name in the boiling depths of my mutating brain. 
"So that's who I am", I said to myself. and to you. 
I knew then, as I know now, that you're the self I never had. 

... 

"SCREAMING SKULLBOY" 
lyrics by Julius Desmond 
recorded by Mr. Lonelyhearts & the Soft Enigmas 
for Whisperville Records. November, 1963. 
b/w "The Scum Will Rise" 

i'm a screaming skullboy 
all the livelong day. 
unzipping my skin 
and screaming my troubles away. 
i dream in color but i scream til the film turns grey. 
i'll scream you sideways. 
i'll scream you inside out. 
i'm a baby skull-fucker and screaming's what i'm about. 
just try to stifle my scream if there's any doubt. 

(chorus) 
S.C.R.E.A. 
M.I.N.G. 
tell your friends "he's screaming for reasons of his own. 
he don't scream for you and me." 
S.K.U. double "L" 
and B.O.Y. 
if screaming don't stunt my growth, 
i'll become a screaming skull guy 
then the hooks in my scream will dig in 
and pull down the sky. 

you can poke my belly. 
you can poke my eye. 
this skullboy gonna scream, he ain't gonna cry. 
this skullboy baby gonna scream til the day he die. 
i can scream my own head off. 
i can scream you DEAD. 
you can't avert your gaze from my hovering skullboy head. 
i'll be screaming in my skullboy sleep when i go to bed. 

(chorus) 

i'm a screaming skullboy 
screaming all the time. 
screaming til my head pops off, then my head fights crime. 
screaming for a raspberry rickey with a twist of lime. 
i'm a screaming skullboy. 
screaming ALL NIGHT LONG. 
screaming cuz i know i'm trapped inside a song. 
it's a kind of hell, but i ain't done nothing wrong. 

(chorus) 

i'm a screaming skullboy... 
i'm a screaming skullboy... 

... 


...to be continued...

.........................................................................

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