At the Court of Guadalupe
by Jaime Petrohl
In a town somewhere in the 21st century lived an unofficial court, with courtesans and couriers, knights, nobility, peasants, workers, professionals and military men and women.
The town, part of the world, had been transformed from the middle ages, to the neoclassical to the newly barbaric progressive in a short span of 500 years. Let this be the non-progressive, non barbaric, at least not totally barbaric, if it is possible, account of the town and the time seen from, from the 500 year transition from the artificial Athenian to the artificial Spartan.
The center of the town was a small cabal of an inner-circle of penis worshippers. Men and women who worshiped sex, worshipped it as if everything uttered from the penis worshipping doctor from Vienna were not mere Gospel, a story, and not merely a myth, debatable, but fact, progressive, barbaric, scientific fact.
The judge, Snowdon, was at the center of this circle which spiraled inward and outward. An unperceived insight by most. The odd, often grotesque and violent happenings of the town were attributable to this lack of perception, of this circle at once metastasizing outward and crumbling in upon itself. A failed logic as all logic is.
Could it be compared to the fall of Rome? Roma, amour, love? It could if that myth hadn’t been neutered, if the mind of the men of the town actually appealed to the imagination of history. Then they might see just what type of vacuum was created by a circle of unchallenged logic. Of consciousness without faith or imagination, without deterrence, without the atemporal.
Snowdon was famous for leading a double, triple, quadruple life. His home was called Guadalupe, he had attachments to Mexico, the source of some of his ancestral money. A minor celebrated myth.
Snowdon was attached to the Embassy of New Jersey Salem, the state within a state, one of many, which conducted national affairs on an international level. In a sense it was a new form of feudalism, the manor being electronic, digital, quantum, ethereal. All in the mind and the orgasm.
In the entranceway of the prefabricated mansion hung a picture of Count Bethesda, the patron saint of Guadalupe and the first ambassador to New Jersey Salem. The summers were hot. As the guests filed-in wearing nothing but short bathing suits, their bodies emaciated by their lust for sex and the caloric suppressing and burning intoxicant which fueled it, they dipped their fingers into the water bowl with said intoxicant and rubbed their privates with it. A sign of respect for the circle, for Count Bethesda, New Jersey Salem and the new feudal empire at once futile and empirical.
In filed Matchworth, Bombex, Neoplotinus, Tammy, Codarbia…These were the inner circle of Guadalupe’s world. Like most of the town their eyes bulged-out of their sockets, their faces pale, their hair thin, their torsos bone, their fingers long, their necks venous and blue. If they were thirty, they looked sixty-five. The pelvic area of both men and women were disproportionately large, while female breasts shrank in size. The intoxicant, known simply as Jetsum, after the company that created it, had hermaphroditic potentiates. Most of the new children were birthed on the outside of town, where ex-circled women lived on a farm to birth and birth again.
At precisely 6 o’clock the party began. Most of the guests milling about the pool. Sitting in the shade, looking blankly out across the expanse of the grounds, a few young men of court gathered to discuss local affairs.
Proxnus is back. Crampdon, a local druggist said to the group. Worm. Said the others.
Proxnus had a genetic strain that outlived combatants and the circle. Though the father was harmless the circle knew of the Proxnus son, of his inordinate size and intelligence, of his lack of Jetsum and commitment to the system. He had traveled to Asia to study. A fitting place. The banker, Hellpont said, he was getting a premature erection and the others noticed a bit jealously.
Twigs of the female sex passed-by wondering who would take. The group was in discussion eyeing the young males more than the twigs.
The Proxnus son was both intelligent and cunning. He had gone to Asia on scholarship, part of a media-judicial scholarship, in part paid for by Snowdon’s court. He had escaped a bombing in Asia because someone on the other side, Gateless, as they called it, had tipped him off. The bomb wiped-out a subway car with a few European-London Proxni types, future trouble-makers with high intelligence and imagination. Snowdon had received an immediate transmission of the near miss. Well, he is one-up. He thought to himself. To overreact would be to look bad. Churning inside without the slightest outward appearance was the modus operandi of all the inner circle. It made orgasm that much better and drove the circle like nothing else.
A nude waiter boy brought small food to the group. You’re disgusting. The group said to the boy in sonorous code. And he left. Proxnus has attached himself to a higher power. Fimbitch, the town priest said. I know, I could see it on his face when he walked past me a few days ago. Very confident. You know what this means? He looked at the group as if looking at corpses. He was young, the priest, and knew only with age could one really understand what was happening to them all but that if you didn’t start looking early, attaching oneself to older members of the circle, you would forget to look.
It means he will never find patronage. Fellbox, the local professor said, rubbing Jetsum on his testicles and exhaling. He was inordinately handsome, which meant grotesque to the nth degree.
Oh, I think he has already found it, that bright young thing. Do you know I have word that he vacationed with Spencerians in Kyoto? The priest aroused interest.
And what good will that do him around the Guadalupe? In this town and all the others like it? Crampdon asked. Are we not under a collective spell? He laughed a toothless laugh.
And the Fictive girl is eyeing him day and night. Said Fellbox, betraying an interest in a farmer.
They all laughed. She looks like a cow. Said Prepton, a budding lawyer. Fictive had old blood. She was intensely handsome, full-bodied, beyond repute. A real thorn in their bilious and blue sides.
And watch what they do to her family. Said Fimbitch, his eyes lost color and light. The Jetsum was working.
At 8 o’clock Proxnus rode his vintage BMW motorcycle to a hill South East of the Guadalupe Court. In the bag attached to the back of the cycle was a hand-held device, a book, three candles, water and volcanic sand from a well near Mt. Fuji.
Gemini had moved into Cancer. An astrologic monk near a temple in Nagano had traveled all the way to Tokyo to find Proxnus and had told him what to do. Before it could work however he had to do the impossible. He had to delineate the origins of the 46 katakana, find their Greek, Roman and Hebrew equivalents, translate this into pre-Peano arithmetic, and match the constellations without the Indian zero to find the right time.
The monk had seriously underestimated not only Proxnus’ abilities, but his will and the nearing cosmological implosion of world circular perversion.
Proxnus took-out his binoculars and eyed the party on the far hill. What a bunch of fucking hopeless perverts. He said out loud on faith. The local gendarme passed in a Buick, looking three-quarters dead above the waist. What a bunch of fucking lunatics. Proxnus said to himself. He reached into the bag and pulled-out the ceremonial tools. I do this without vengeance. I do this by the power of the white light of Kyoto, Hyderabad, Esfahan and the West of Ireland. It has the power to convert China, Russia and Mesopotamia. Proxnus tried to believe in the utterance of the translation. From the legs of Rimbaud, the ear of Van Gogh and the mind of Artaud, from the power of the hills of the French Monasteries to the desecration of Bacon’s London I will honestly cast the truth to the party. Proxnus had wished life was more normal. Was his translation correct?
At the appointed time, the sun going down and the planets and constellations in their correct positions obscured by light, the party ongoing, Proxnus lit the candles making sure one last time his coordinates were correct and uttered the words that defied language, math and time.
The sky darkened over the party. The Northern Lights could be seen in the distance. Heat lightning flashed on the opposite horizon and a traffic accident happened in the center of the town critically injuring the local hospetellier. Jesus I hope the monk is right, thought Proxnus, I hope he hasn’t set me up. It was going to happen anyway. He thought. They’ve just embedded my mind.
Within days the economy had collapsed, the supply of Jetsum run dry, the circle’s lungs so used to artificial dehumidity that most died within weeks of fluid asphyxiation. On the same hour that Proxnus had encanted so too had numerous sons of white bloodlines throughout the world. They too, maybe just positively embedded. The colony collapse and the new plague were universal. The farms were set free. There were reports of a second coming but Proxus knew if anything it was the first but not the last.
How did you know? Asked Fimbitch, looking ancient, from his deathbed, in the school turned mortuary.
Your mentor and I, Cannon, when I was very young told me. Told me you were all hopeless.
Cannon? Impossible. Said Fimbitch. He was a pervert par-excellence. I saw him eat the bowels of small children with his bare hands.
And you did. And he did.
Fimbitch noticed the strength in Proxnus’ forearms. Those arms, thought Fimbitch, were his secret.
And some men perpetuate evil for the sake of evil and other’s do it for the good, some knowing and some not knowing. Proxnus poured himself a glass of Irish whiskey and offered some to Fimbitch.
The taste. Fimbitch said. Alone it could bring me back.
Not alone sir. Said Proxnus. With heart and mind.
What will happen to us? Fimbitch was nearly to tears but all the salt and all the water was in his lungs and groins.
You’ll be okay if you think positively, forgivingly. Said Proxnus, slapping the pervert hard across the face and then turning him over and slapping him on the back with a maple branch from Kyoto.
What on earth are you doing? Cried Fimbitch.
I am just following the rubrics. Said Proxnus. You want to be saved and somehow it is true and humorous. Proxnus didn’t enjoy it beyond its humor. You’re the only one Fimbitch. Because you thought shittingly enough to fuck with the church. Why were you people such stupid assholes? I’m transliterating. Proxnus was consulting his own translations.
I don’t know.
Recant your penis. Said Proxnus.
What? Stop being so crude. Fimbitch was wailing a quiet wail. It was the Italians and the Jews. The Turks. Said Fimbitch. The doctor in Vienna. The television companies. The banks. We only wanted to live. He was almost crying and laughing at the same time.
You think this is funny? Proxnus was also laughing at the absurdity. I think you will be saved in the next energy. That’s what is says, energy. Proxnus looked at the text.
And Snowdon? Asked Fimbitch.
I don’t care.
And his estate?
Empty. Growing weeds. Going back to nature.
You fucking gardeners. Said Fimbitch.
Please don’t swear.
A cloud descended upon Israel. The plague had struck. All the major capitols of the world were decimated. The Snowdons and the black blood descended to caves and inner earth.
Get to a high point. The monk had told him. Proxnus’ father had bought a piece of land in the Canadian wilderness, north of Montreal. He rode his bike there all the way, passing burning buildings, dead bodies, empty strip malls, vacant petrol stations, banks and schools with broken glass.
An hour from Montreal an Indian woman stopped him on the side of the road. She handed him the antlers of a young deer, an arrowhead and spoke in artificial Iroquois which he understood.
In the West, actuality brings the sunon. She said. He kissed her on the lip and thanked her for remaining a woman on the eve.
Jaime Petrohl was born and raised on Florencia Street in Zona Rosa, Mexico City. He went to college in Connecticut and now lives and works in Rochester.