the rains have done a number on the fields, you can't tell if the bananas are browning or it's just the mud on them. the sky is only slightly browner than the rows of brown on the ground, which helps the eye separate the two and determine which is up.
Cotard's wheels got stuck in the mud far ago so he hops a ride with Erneste on a hay ride that isn't the fun variety, at least not for Erneste, the poor dude is pulling the carriage of haystacks with Cotard in the back and the horse seated in the driver's hayseat. the horse is whipping and steering with the reigns.
Cotard: you okay, fam?
Erneste (panting heavily): it's okay, i need the exercise, it's a long way away so i'm gonna get a lot of exercise from this. always look on the bright side of life.
Cotard: not in this weather, my favorite weather.
the horse's eyes are doing something funny. the horse puts Erneste on cruise control and takes the opportunity to take out a long bulbous carrot stick from the back, moving Cotard out of the way. the horse smokes it. well the horse tries to smoke it. the flame goes out in the rain.
Cotard: i'm too tired to think about this. i'll ask my kitten about it later.
as the troupe approaches the rainy ranch, or The Ranch as it's known in the area cos it's the domineering one, nobody is taking a day off.
Cotard: who's the taskmaster in charge of all these poor folk breaking their backs pulling out soaked weeds in the rain? i bet he has a dry hat. the mark of a greedy, hands-off boss is a dry hat.
a woman with bleary eyes approaches the human/horse caravan. her step is in step and knowing.
mulher: sirs, abandon all hope ye who enter here.
Cotard gets out his pocket translator. all the pages get wet and ruined.
Cotard (background thunder clap): i bet that rhymes or something cool in Portuguese. buenos dias, mamacita, which way to the farm? el farmo? fazenda? it's mine. it's my mother's. it's my mamacita's.
mulher: oh yes, mamacita, i understand that as i am a mamacita as well.
you can tell the woman has straight hair normally in dry heat but the rain is making it all frizzy.
Erneste (pulls out something from his coat): i know how to get there, remember? here, mama, take my dry hat. it's not dry heat but it's a dry hat.
the woman gives a sign to our three as she returns to her drudgery in the dirt. a well-timed lightning bolt illuminates her hand gesture.
Cotard: i couldn't make hers out, could you? a triangle or something? Illuminati?
the horse: everything means the Illuminati. chaos reigns.
Erneste: flick off, flicka. no time for making out, you need to be at your top physical and mental condition when you face Berte. the spiritual trails at a distant third. when's the last time you voluntarily did a sit-up?
Cotard: the last time i had sex. let me try something:........................stop.
the drops do seem to fall less. there is actually a break from the heavy rains. a little yellow peeks from behind the brown.
Cotard: see? the power of belief or positive thinking or this is paid for by the Vatican or i'm Supermonk or something. bottom line: it worked.
Erneste: coincidence. coincidence is the devil's favorite toy.
Cotard: i'm gonna take advantage of the window here and do my morning meditations out here in the open mudfield. it's a new ceremony i created when i was bored out of my fucking mind in the town sanctuary all day long. care to watch? you, too, Erneste.
the horse plops down on top of Erneste lovingly.
Erneste (gasping for air): your love will kill me.
Erneste squeezes out of the horse's stomach cos the ground is nice and slippery. Cotard disrobes his enormous gallant shiny faux-fur monk's robe with many important badges pinned on it and throws it into the mud. what the two see before them is a man completely stark raving nude wearing nothing but a rosary.
Cotard (posing): Peter Griffin, eat your heart out.
Erneste: it has to be like this? whatever happened to the vow of chastity?
Cotard: it's not naked if you're a monk, it's nude, tasteful, artistic, temple of God.
COTARD PERFORMS THIS CEREMONY FREE, FLOWING, AND FLOPPY. ALL THE FIELD WORKERS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO TAKE BREAKS BUT THEY CAN'T HELP BUT DROP THEIR HOES AND WATCH THIS, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
everyone's mouth is open to agape. the women and some men curl their lips into a smirk. Erneste's shock turns inward into an inside smile as he recognizes the specialness of this particular man of the no cloth and laughs in out of warm resignation and the general ribaldness of humanity no matter what hat one chooses to wear in life.
Berte: that must be like early early Catholic, Flintstones times.
but Cotard is not joining in the smiling.
horse: mine's bigger.
Cotard: my brother Ernie, i felt some pain in my palms as i performed this dance.
Erneste: the stones littered all around this place crack and spill milk as they turn into the Beige Stones which will line this place and help it, i've seen it now for awhile, it's natural. never pick up a stone in heat.
Cotard: no i looked at my hand for the first time during the ritual. i mean i really looked at the miracle that is the hand, my hand. the fingers, the way it's all set up with the nubs and joints and tendons and muscles and bone and the all-important thumb to help us grasp things and ideas. we didn't have to have hands, we could have had no hands, or appendages that look like octopus arms with suction cups, we could have had six fingers, but five is mystical. it's a beautiful instrument. will you read the lines on my palms?
Erneste puts his shoulder around his and everyone's brother, he shows his muddy hands to Cotard.
Erneste: when you look into the face of your hand, know that it is your precious mother who gave you this hand, these fingers which so often close into a fist, so tight are we to keep something for ourselves and not shine the light of the world on them, keep them hidden in our palm. it's all in the palm of our hand, everything we do and touch affects who we are as sentient beings. we are not aliens, we are humans, we just happen to be humans with this strange hand of five digits. we are these creatures.
horse: all great and small.
Erneste: this is what grants us the life we have. and we share. will you punch with your hand? would you punch another who had this same strange device of the five fingers? in memory of the mother who gave your hand to you? for her?
Cotard gently says "no" and cries into his palm. his tears are a brighter blue than the opaque clear filthy rainwater, that's how you can tell and separate the two.
Berte (yelling through thunder claps): get the fuck back to work all of you! you don't know anything. slave wages save. slaves solve. slave salve is rain. hahahah. and you, how dare you desecrate a rosary like that. get off my property, bicha!
Berte's big black real-leather hat is sopping wet. his triangular goatee is dry. he carries with him a long coiling hard real-leather whip that seems to have a mind of its own, its stacked triangular design is eyes doing something funny. he goes to whip the monk. it's not Berte's hand that drives the whip, rather the whip holds and controls Berte as it sends Berte over to Cotard to attack him, so in this reverse way Berte whips Cotard.
Berte uses the palm of his hand to slap Cotard's penis.