But this morning was different.
I woke up and realized Satan was sitting at the foot of my bed, reading the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"What the fuck, man...I'm trying to sleep."
"Dude, lighten up. I'm the Prince of Fucking Darkness... and I'm bored."
"No, seriously. What the hell are you doing in my townhouse?"
The Devil lit up a plump Honduran Maduro and sipped on the last of my Wild Turkey 101.
"Pfft...cable's out at my place," Mr. Morning Fucking Star explained. "Plus the old lady's got her Anti-Christian Ladies' Brunch this morning, the kids are screaming, and I think I've got hemorrhoids."
"Dude, I've got to be at work in, like, two three hours..." I explained. "And that is the cheapest smelling cigar I've smelled in years. Whadidya do? Steal that off a hobo?"
I quickly pulled on some underwear, not completely comfortable lying in bed naked with the Devil staring at my junk.
"Dude, where the fuck did ya get the banana sling there?" Lucifer said, staring over the Sports section. "The whole mankini thing is so not you."
"Oh yeah. I remember her. Do you remember when she used to --"
I interrupted him with a grunt.
"Dude, you were such a total bastard back then," Lucifer continued. "You used to ruin more good lingerie than a closet full of moths. C'mon... admit you miss me..."
"Dude, I really don't want to talk about it." I said. "Besides, don't you have something better to do than critique my choice of underwear?"
"Well, I do have that new Left Behind book launch later this morning, a couple of preachers to corrupt before 10ish, and my usual afternoon German scat porn viewing with my boy Karl out in Washington..."
"Oh you know I can't say. But, well...you don't think the political party goons have box seats in Heaven, do you?"
Satan winks. I hate it when he winks.
He follows me downstairs, through the living room, into the kitchen. As I'm fixing the coffee, Don Diablo's stealing Mp3s off my laptop. He walks over to the stereo and puts on Robert Johnson's King of the Delta Blues Singers.
I tried ignoring the motherfucker, but, well, it's damned near impossible to ignore a huge reddish man in a white suit, a virtual Tom Wolfe/John Waters clone who stinks of brimstone.
"So what the fuck do you want from me?" I ask.
"I want your first-born child's immortal soul."
Donnie D. just stares at me with this serious look on his face, then bursts into laughter.
"Dude, that's like so 1654. Besides, your soul ain't worth shit on eBay."
I'm not amused.
Lucifer walks into the kitchen, I hear the microwave door open, and helplessly watch as the Fallen One devours my breakfast.
"I need you to do me a favor"
"Oh, for fuck's sake...what? I'll do whatever you want...just leave me alone already."
The Devil picks up my coffee cup and takes a big sip of my first cup of the day. When he sits the mug down, I notice chunks of food floating in there.
Hell hath no fury like the Devil's backwash.
Satan let loose a ferocious belch before he spoke again.
"I need you to go back to being that fucking asshole we all knew and admired down in the Pit. We had so much hope for you, actually. You used to be such a fun guy."
I got up and poured myself a new cup of joe, in a clean mug.
"Remember that girl with the George Clinton dreadlocks in the port-o-john in Morro Bay? That hot waitress in Baton Rouge?
"How about that 43-year-old? You totally knew she was married, man - don't lie. The tanline on her ring finger, the "you're my son's age" slip-up, and, oh yeah, how can I forget, the fact that you'd just been shot down by her daughter...that was VENGEFUL SHIT..."
I turned on the T.V., put on Headline News, and tried to ignore Old Scratch.
"C'mon. Remember T__? The hood of that old Dodge pick-up you had? Back in '97? Right on the corner of 23rd Avenue and 12th Street in Greeley, all those people watching... that was pretty cool."
My ears perk up a bit. Recognizing this old trick, I get up and change the CD in the stereo. Good - the fucker forgot to take out Live at Folsom Prison.
Don Diablo stretches out on the couch, relights his Maduro, and stares at the television.
"Oh, and we can't forget about M____. Man, talk about a firecracker. I still can't believe you're STILL embarrassed that your roommate caught you guys using HER fuzzy handcuffs in HER bathroom....that was almost ten years ago, man..."
I can't take it anymore.
"Dude, either tell me what you want or get the flying fuck out of my life. I lived it and I don't need a history lesson from a wannabe antagonist. Go bug John Milton or something."
The Devil just laughed.
"You know, I laughed when you told that girl a few weeks ago that you don't really care about sex anymore," Donnie D. said. "That was the funniest damn thing I've heard come out of your mouth in months.
"Clock's ticking, my man. You're closer to 40 than you are to 14. And I know your sorry ass...."
I finally decided to do what I usually do when the Devil comes a-callin'. I picked up my mankini-covered ass and left him flipping through the channels, trying to decide between watching infomercials or VH1.
I went up to the bathroom, took a shower, intentionally forgot to shave, and went to work. And it was a very good day, actually.
Cross-posted at The Troll Potty Reader - One of the online homesteads of Stephi, winner of the 2006 Barbara E. Nicholson Prize for Best Undergraduate Essay in Gender Studies. Congrats!
Her choreopoem is found here.
Anyone wishing to join the TPR blog...er...cross-cultural brainfuck...um...blournal..., drop me a line.