Carol Silver, Master of Diversion

“Do you know what it means?”

“No.”

“Is it God talking?”

“Some people think so.”

“Was that the first time it happened?”

“No.”

“Are you mental?”

“Shut up.” “Is it hard?”

“No.”

“Could I do it?”

“Maybe, but probably not.”

“Does it hurt?”

Sigh. “No.”

“Does it tickle?”

“Fuck you.”

And that was all Linus had to say about speaking in tongues.

He has been even more withdrawn than usual since that night, but I can’t say I blame him. His little escapade would maybe be enough to embarass even Carol, and that’s saying something. While wearing red sneakers, a Yankees cap and waving flaming sparklers, Carol once streaked across Fenway Park, stopping mid-field just long enough to grin at the fucking jumbotron and be tackled by the cops. Asshole. That’s just how he is though. A self-centered, easily bored and recklessly optimistic con man.

Carol is about twenty feet tall, late 40’s or early 50’s, with snow white hair and an exuberant grin. Seriously. George Clooney wishes he had this guy’s smile. I’m not gay or anything, but wow–it’s hard to be all chill and aloof with Carol around grinning like a fucking idiot. And I suppose he isn’t twenty feet tall, maybe only six, but that’s just kinda how it seems when he’s in the room. Bigger than life somehow, like maybe every bad thing in the world is really just a massive joke being played on humanity and he’s the only one that gets it.

He owns the property on which the monastery sits and lives alone in a nearby cottage. We are apparently his preferred social outlet because it seems he’s here 24/7. Officially he is a guest of Father Mo, but I think Carol believes Father Mo is a guest of his. The truth is probably somewhere in between, because they are in a kind of fucked up symbiotic relationship wherein Father Mo produces bogus manuscripts and Carol finds a market for them. One couldn’t exist without the other, so Carol is part of our chirpy little mob.

The Monkey Monks, you know, the ones that really believe they are here to worship God or somesuch, treat Carol like a divine test of their devotion and spiritual fortitude. As in, if I can make it through this dinner with Carol without throwing him to the ground and kicking in his teeth, or even thinking about it all that much, it will be a victory of righteousness over temptation.

Personally, I dig the dude. He’s bent in all kinds of loony ways and is, at the very least, always interesting. And when you live in a monastery, trust me, interesting diversions are always welcome. Father Mo makes me go through the same daily routines as all the other monks. Up at o’dark-thirty in the morning, prayers in the chapel, singing, reading aloud during meals, blah, blah, blah. It’s all to maintain appearances.

I wonder what the Monkeys would think if they knew there was a heathen in their midst? Well, I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine because Carol is as worldly as it gets, and he’s around ALL the damn time. Maybe it would be different because I’m pretending to be a monk. I dunno. I guess it isn’t all bad. It’s sort of relaxing much of the time, actually. Praying isn’t terrible either, which brings me back around to the subject of diversionary tactics. When we recite prayers, I just silently do some stream-of-conciousness revisions.

Glory be to the Father Douche Canoe,

and to the Sunfunkle,

and to the Holy Spritzer,

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen. Over and out.

What can I say?  I’m easily entertained.

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