The spontaneous combustion gig, I promise you, does not arise out of any particular desire to avoid intimacy with my inherited family. If I am to compete with the two one-celled organisms for attention and obviously, food, going up in a momentary raging hellfire might preclude me from the usual disgusting, cutesy, infantile strategies designed to wrangle coos, goochie-goos and soggy snacks from gesticulating onlookers. My own personal summers singe my surroundings despite an internal temperate climate, and thing is, the accompanying emotional catharsis drains me of any perturbation. It’s a mood stabilizer. Added bonus, Jesus appears. I’m set. How to brand myself – that is the question.
The two standing before me in existential bliss, fail to connect the epic musical maelstrom to the cell phone in the couch. Moments prior, in the back of the car, while feigning newborn unconsciousness, I set the ring tone to Carmina Burana’s opening movement. Karma anticipating my birth, downloaded a Barnie-the-purple-dinosaur playlist, along with the top forty. “I love you, you love me..we’re a great, big, happy fam-ily..” Size challenged maybe, but love? Save me.
Jesus of the Shag delineates a perimeter in which I immediately designate as a personal bubble of safety. I piggy-squeal vault from Karma’s arms, diaper smoking, and claim my holy throne.
Shaking and plunging herself prostrate into a pile of pre-digested Pop Tarts, Karma attempts to speak in tongues and serendipitously creates complex, ancient Greek political rhetoric. In the other corner, Du remains upright, waits for Jesus’ ordinance, crosses himself with the cellphone and answers while looking ceiling-wise for a heavenly manifestation.
“Yes. This is Du. I have not had a drink in five years and I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”