I went to visit Steve a couple weeks ago. He is living in a building on a friend’s land, a Spartan existence of concrete floor, bare-stud walls, a sheet of heavy plastic dividing his living area from the wood shop. Like Steve – or me, or perhaps, even you – his place of residence is a work in progress.
Steve is not exactly of this world, or perhaps even of this planet. Had he been born in another time, he would be someone you would visit on the top of a mountain or somewhere in a cave. Steve’s got an incredible amount of patience as well as many, many answers, some of which could actually be in response to a question.
Steve’s not everyone’s cup of tea; but then again, neither am I. He’s a dear friend, and we “get” each other.
He’s also a source of devilment, however, the man who punishes any perceived misbehavior on my part by enforced watchings of “Apocalypse Now” (knowing how it freaks me out) or required listening of fire-and-brimstone preachers exhorting me to both “get right” and to also “dig deep” in my pockets.
Have you seen my pockets? I sold them to pay for the pants.
Still, Steve’s a happy person, a maker of hand-crafted electric guitars, funky high-heeled women’s shoes (which I’ve had the pleasure of modeling), a painter, a sculptor, and songwriter.
He is also a full-time god.
Just ask Pig.
Pig is his cat, a slender black animal with the sense to recognize and appreciate Paradise when he comes across it. Steve believes in a clean food bowl and a clean litter box, has taught the cat to “sit like a walrus”, and claims Pig once ran lights for that Australian Pink Floyd group.
I think he made that last part up.
In return, Pig worships Steve. The elaborate weaving about the ankles, the way the cat pulls his lips back in a toothy smile when he hears his master's voice, the seismic purring whenever Steve says “I taut I taw a puddy tat!” all speak to their mutual admiration.
It’s a simple life, a cash-and-carry life for a man and his cat; and I can’t help but be a bit jealous of their relationship.
I’ll bet it’s nice to be worshipped in such a way. And I’ll bet it’s even nicer to sleep at the foot of your god’s bed.
Chapter Six: The Adventures of an American Misanthrope
44 minutes ago