Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Aprin Strings of Aunty Christ

It was a typical Saturday morning. My new housekeeper, Lyrrkvyntiaf and I were folding tea towels and listening to Bosnian folk songs she’d brought along on her portable music player. We were planning a lunch of mint, cabbage and sun-braised pine nuts with a Pyrrk Byon Dynasty hollandaise when the door bell rang.

“Any Spanish speakers,” I could hear a young male voice asking from the steps below as Lyrrkvyntiaf straddled the threshold mumbling, “No, no, tengo solo un poquito….

Ever anxious for adventure and always curious about this, the most curious of faiths, I raced down the hall and gently pushed Lyrrkvyntiaf back as I buzzed in the two red cheeked young men of 19 or 20 as they maneuvered their bicycles up the steep steps that led to my flat.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen, please make your way into our humble abode, “ I greeted them and learned that these earnest morsels were named Gabriel and Jacob. We stepped into my semi-formal dining room (the more grand room was filled with preparations for that evening’s dinner party). Almost slipping by wanting to offer them a cup of caffeinated tea, I was quick enough on my toes to, instead, summon Lyrrkvyntiaf to bring us a pitcher of lemonade which we consumed with coasters protecting the freshly polished mahogany table.

“Do you find yourself searching for answers in today’s world?” Jacob queried after a couple of hearty gulps of lemonade.

“No,” I replied. “I already know most of the answers but tend to have trouble seeking out questions.”

“Well, isn’t that just another way of saying you are seeking, searching for answers,” Jacob retorted, sounding a bit punchy.

“We are all seekers,” Gabriel countered.

Adjusting the paisley kerchief wrapped around her head, Lyrrkvyntiaf interjected. “Yes we are. I, for example, am always seeking cabbage without mold on it.”

“Oh, indeed I am,” I said earnestly. “But I seek questions not answers. I also seek out miniatures ceramic fawns and taro ice cream.”

“We did not enter this home to be insulted…or mawked,” Gabriel stammered.

“And I have no intention of doing that,” I said. “Let’s cut to the chase. Why don’t you boys pull out yours, and I’ll pull out mine. Then we can compare.”

Jacob made an audible gasp as I reached down below my chair, gripping Gabriel’s strong, shaking thigh to brace myself.

“I….I….certainly hope you don’t intend…” Jacob’s words sputtered into an incomprehensible shaking of his lips.

“Intend to what?” I countered defiantly as I pulled up a thick disheveled book and placed it on the table. “This is my book of revelations, and I’d like to compare it with yours."

The boys let out a sigh of relief, and each produced identical copies of The Book of Mormon.

We began reading aloud in unison as Lyrrkvyntiaf flittered around us with a feather duster. Having completed our matching recounting of the legend of Cain and Abel, I suggested that we skip to the New Testament where I suspected things might start going on divergent paths.

“I must clarify that ours is a Christ-centered faith,” Jacob cautioned.

“As is mine,” I said confidently. “So let’s all turn to the Book of Tlon and Uqbar, fourth chapter, second verse.”

Shaking his head, Jacob blurted out, “There is no Book of Tlon and Uqbar in The Book of Mormon!”

“Or the Christian Bible!” added Gabriel.

“Well, it’s in my version,” I clarified, holding up the book like a magician assuring his audience that his card trickwas no hoax. “And it tells of the confrontation with Aunty Christ in the desert in 1963.”

The boys’ faces went white. They took a deep breath together and then said it like a maddened mantra in unison. “The taking of Merman.”

Carefully dusting a lalique vase, Lyrrkvyntiaf turned and queried, “Merman? I thought you were Mormons.”

“We are,” Jacob said.

I lowered the book a few inches from my face and read, “And, lo, the angel Tertius appeared in the desert of Mojave at the winter solstice of 1963, having recently witnessed the assassination in the Kingdom of Dallas and the taking of Frank Sinatra, Jr. from the Fiefdom of Reno she knew the Triptych of Revulsions must be completed.”

The boys hung their heads in shame. “The Triptych of Revulsions,” Gabriel gasped. “Ten times worse than the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857. Forever a dark stain on our faith.’

“Exactly,” I said, as Lyrrkvyntiaf put down her feather duster and sat at the end of the table and listened with intent as I read on. “Stationed on the Isle Muraña while filming It’s a Mad, Mad World, Ethel Merman was kidnapped by five Mormons who threw her into a turquoise Studebaker Avanti and took her to Las Vegas where she was held in a cellar for 16 days and 15 nights, slathered in thick layers of Belgium mustard while questioned about whether or not she was Aunty Christ and how she had channeled the lesions of Avelino quod Undra. Upon the day of her release, after drinking from a granite chalice filled with sparrow gravy and hibscus juice, a covenant of secrecy was signed and sent back 134 years through an emotional portal that altered history and can only be unsealed from this chapter by unscrambling the embedded sacred letters in this very text.”

The boys sat, stunned in silence. Clearly no strangers to this story but unable to comprehend how it could be known by a lamb not from their flock.

“And so, you have obviously unscrambled the riddle,” Gabriel said.

After a huge gulp of lemonade, Jacob added, “And I guess you’ve also figured out how Suduko figures into the coming apocalypse.”

“Suduko! Suduko!” Lyrrkvyntiaf said jumping from her chair. “Let me go get my book now and we all can play.”

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At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in awe.
You have just won my heart.

Gavin Elster- (Currently stealing webtime at work)

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Thanks, Gavin. You're too kind!

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Bryce Digdug said...

Borges AND Merman AND an Avanti!Yes, it's a Mad, Mad, Mad World. Oh...I think Mickey Rooney plays someone who paints his floors a certain color in that movie.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Oh, Bryce. I knew you'd be the first one to pick up the Borges references. You know your pop culture but also your Southern Cone literature. Then again, Borges wrote some great pieces about Rita Hayworth. And yes, I think you're right that it's a three times Mad world. Though perhaps that was a literary device, no, since I was talking about a different Ethel Merman.

At 6:32 AM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

Dear sweet wounded christ, I can't stop from giggling...

More, please. :)

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Speaking of pop cultural references, naming the Mormons "Gabriel" and "Jacob" wouldn't be a subtle tribute to the classic film Buckleroos 2, would it?

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Salt: Wounded Christ? That's why he needed his aunty around to get him motivated by singing: "You'll be swell/you'll be great/gonna have the whole world..."

Dave: Buckleroos 2? Let's see now, I'm looking on my approved list of Netflix titles from Salt Lake. Not there...Oops, seems I do have a copy over in this stash. Hmm, how'd that get there? Must be my Bosnian housekeeper's copy! That gal is quite a card.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Scot said...

Wow, oh wow, oh wow. And I thought answering the door in cut-off jeans with 0" inseam was brass.
Also noting the beginning of the Ube Ice Cream theme (I know more Filipinos than Bosnians).


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