at the tequila bar the fifth waitress in a week is trying to handle her patrons and her patience. she manages to calm everybody down with her calming voice. she soothes with a song, an impromptu off-key version of "Something There" from Beauty and the Beast.
waitress: i even managed to add that little half-laugh quirk when i sang "no Prince Charming."
crowds: yeah but next time where the poofy yellow dress.
the bar is broken from the stormwater but there's nothing anybody can do. this is their sanctuary when times were okay. so this is their home away from home, cos many don't have a home to return to, or never had a home when it was sunny out. they had a house complete with a fitted SunSetter but not a home.
ironically the waitress is most genial when she's preparing glass upon glass of Angostura bitters.
crowd: we want something to drink!
waitress: you've come to the right place!
crowd: any coffee?
waitress: no sorry, Starbucks drowned.
crowd: you're genial. ow, too sour. don't add any more bitter. what's your name?
waitress: it says on the nameplate. Carolinny.
crowd: make it weaker, less strong.
crowd: it's the same strength only waterier. the last thing we need is more water. make it sweeter.
waitress: that's my middle name! we need warriors is what we need. they're sending Comey's Cavalry to help us! here are two packets of half-cane.
crowd: Comey? is he from New York, too? another bastard from New York! cancel the Coasts we say! let us hem ourselves in, the heartland hem.
waitress: insulate, cooperate, navigate.
crowd: well now it just tastes weird. it's like unnatural. its inherent amaroidal is pushing through this invasion of its privacy, no way it's gonna let some temperate toothsome get in the way of what it's always meant to be, disgusting dishwater.
waitress: hey! i paid a lot of money for this Dragonfly Chai. show some respect for the American worker. the reason you don't like it is cos you don't like to try new things. you've preconditioned your mind to reject it. so of course you spit it out. if i've learned one thing in life is that you should always swallow.
crowd: the fact that it's stored in those weird heavy lugubrious wide brown glass bottles with the thin spout glass so thick you can't see its contents that you think it stores experimental anti-syphilis powder from the 1920s makes it worse.
waitress: relax. there's nothing you can do anymore. there's nothing we can do. there never was. this was inevitable. all you can do is close your eyes and take a drink. it will seem like a sip but it's really a swig. think about your deepest desire. if you believe hard enough, if you truly believe, it will come true.
the crowd holds hands with their thoughts. the piano by the side which rusted shut begins playing "Saints". it only needed to be plugged in again. man those jazz pianos sure sound different when they're playing Mozart as opposed to Bach.
the bottle turns into a giant dragonfly which flies freakily around the mirror in the back of the bar and takes down all the streamers into its buzzer. it spits at the crowd.
waitress: relax, spit is just water. i knew that would work. collectivism is cool. it especially works when you got a crowd.
crowd of patrons: hey, why is my Spanish omelette blue? what's your name again?
*group crowd cough and sneeze*
crowds: we feel drowsy, like we could sleep forever...
waitress: Coysheena. gotta love Seuss. Seuss is soothing.
at the Vatican, Bump is getting ready for his audience with the Pope. she signalled to him that she liked him by putting up the American flag on the Holy See pole. in one of the many gilded mirrored halls Bump gets lost and is confronted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Bump: *hands in pockets* gotta go, Bob, hot date. i respect you but you're a Wiccan. and you look like a witch. a female witch.
Mueller takes Bump by the hair and caresses Bump's face, hands, and oily feet. he takes the dollar bill from out of Bump's pocket and caresses his own pocketed face with it.
Mueller: Mickey, Mickey, Mickey. it's over, Mick. you slipped, Mickey. as they say in my tradecraft, you're dunzo. oh darling Mick it's over, i'm Mueller. everybody likes me. Mick my poor fool. baby i'm Mueller. i'm Mueller baby. the buck burning a hole in your pocket stops here. i pee on it to douse it. there's no escaping me. i am the wall you always wanted, the wall you can't penetrate. i'm Mueller and i love you and you're going down and i'm unimpeachable.
Bump: stop touching me it's weird. you're the first person in the world to ever creep me out. stop holding my hand we're not in grade school anymore! *fixes long tie* you ARE impeachable, Bob. i've got evidence. i've got tapes. i can fire you. in fact *points long finger* YOU'RE FIRED!!!
Mueller: this isn't a tv show.
Bump: yes it is.
Mueller: on what grounds?
Bump: for cause that's what. you colluded with the Russians.
Mueller: i'm sorry, baby, do you forgive me? make it go away, baby, and i'll make it up to you. i'll make it worth your while, like you'll get first dibs at the prison caf before general population streams in for lunch and some guy gets killed by a tray to the back. baby baby baby. this is a lover's spat, a pal quarrel. tis a budding bromance.
three old-as-fuck gentlemen with kindly eyes and puffy pizza-filled lips approach and shake the Special Counsel's hand. they look as if they had never left the walls of the Vatican since toddlers.
Bump: no, where're the guards with the halberds and colorful yellow chessman skirts and weird hats that look like Swiss Miss braids?
Gentleman Guards: *in Italian* you made fun of soldiers and they went to Baby Jesus Hospital to cry. you call them pansies.
Mueller: okay, okay, i'll leave. but i leave you with a gift. i don't want sex, sex is the very definition of lying, i want the truth. here, take my balls.
the Special reaches into the front of his pants and pulls out two balls where his balls are, two bath balls.
Bump: no thanks.
while a man with a strange tan takes a vacation, the real President is busy fitting his dress blues on and ordering the first battalion of the Naval Fleet to attack the Zard. he tapes a fake beard onto his cleanshaven chin and kicks up his legs on the Oval Office desk and breaks down the far door with his feet in the process.
Comey: attack the South!
all ships around the world heed this call, not just America. do you know how frightening it is to receive a call from the President of the United States when you're an ensign sleeping in a makeshift mosquito-net hammock of banana leaves on the deck of a clunky wooden Philippines submarine woken up in the dead of night? especially since Comey tends to blow into the mic when he calls.
Philippines soldier cleanshaven with last name Pacquiao: i thought we were gonna destroy Venezuela in a surprise ambush.
Comey: no this is the world leader, not your puny leader we don't fund. your leader is lying to you. lies cost lives. equipment is not excess. lines of open communication are better than lines of open attack. preferable even. enough with the games, lives are at stake. i've always said, do nothing and institutions will crumble on their own. this is a global pandemic!
all the ships from all the Navies of the nations converge at the spot where the Zard is still doing his darndest to spray water on that poor house. what did Ari and her family ever do to deserve this divine retribution?
the sky is at that point where it's difficult to see but it is decidedly more blue than black. dark blue. the time always seems to like to get stuck on midnight.
the Navy of the Unification begin firing their torpedoes at the Zard.
Comey: SUPPRESSING FIRE!!! CONTEMPORANEOUS FIRE!!! why is the White House Phone still a landline?
Wolf: it's safer. can't get hacked by Apple.
Comey: and why is there a speed-dial button that says Washington-Moscow Hot Line?
CNN Camera Guy: the red phone is currently being used by Batman.
the Navy fills up all the little bogs acting as arms of the cajun swamp. they look like little hotdogs in boiling cold water. their sizzling firecrackers do nothing to the Zard of course. He doesn't feel them but their lights distract Him. they also distract all the coyotes on the hill and the coyotes become jealous.
the Zard stops for a miraculous moment and points His wand inward. He points the Sword of Saad into His mouth and blows......
the music created sounds like panpipes. the coyotes snarl. He plays another note. the coyotes howl.
the Zard picks up one of the submarines and rolls it, twirls it around on His two index fingers, which are just two lines. the sub is desperately firing all its load onto His face. the Zard puts the submarine into His mouth and blows. He smokes the sub like a cig. the submarine explodes in a blaze of yellows, reds, and glorious oranges and forms a ball of thick heavy black smoke which the Zard spits out.
the Zard slightly cocks His head back, nods His neck in approval, makes a "huh, tis good" look and continues with His waterbombing.
He picks up the rest of the submarines one by one and smokes them all till there are no more.
Mike from the top of the last mountain in the town city limit: looks like your pack is empty. the store's closed. you closed it. y'know you know we're fucked when the Devil is an addict.
the Zard: that's why the Devil is evil, cos he's an addict. but i'm not the Devil. the Devil's a good fiend of mine.
the Zard points his water wand at Mike on the mountaintop.
the Zard: you know the problem with you is, man? you should have never quit smoking.
at the Vatican, the flashbulbs are popping like an old Hollywood red carpet in the '40s. glamour with a u. the Pope makes her grand entrance in nothing but redbottoms. she sashays around her desk, which has no phone.
the Pope: okay, guys, i know i'm hot but i gotta take this meeting now. let's hurry this up, bud, i got my Wednesday general audience in like five minutes.
Bump: i'm thinking maybe not all the frenzied interest is for you? maybe some for the leader of the free world? the two of us strong personalities who butted heads before?
the Pope: you wish.
Bump: so what i'm staring at right now i'm thinking it's time for bathtime?
the Pope: is that a rubber duckie in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Bump: yes it's my rubber duckie.
the Pope: okay. let's go to the Papal Bath. no robes required.
Bump: ZIPPETY DOO DAH!
the Pope: did you bring the bath balls? the fancy ones full of five different colors of essential oils? i'm really in the mood for some bath balls. i could get loose and do god knows what if i had my bath balls fizzing under my vulva.
Bump: damn you, Mueller!
in a separate room in the Vatican, Mueller looks at the camera, forms a fist and hits his balls hard. they clang cos he has metal balls. Mueller smiles.
the Pope: get in.......whoa whoa whoa! no, you're too big to squeeze in with me. this wasn't a sex thing. i get naked and take a bath so i can have some precious quiet free time to think and meditate. this bathwater is the perfect temperature for meditation. sometimes i do yoga when the Cardinals aren't watching. this was meant to be a meeting of the minds, a coming together, a commiseration, a reset after all the unfortunate things you said about me on the campaign trail. you were very unfair to me. i'm the Pope, im not used to being treated unfairly.
Bump: i can stand over the tub until i finish. let's see what dat mouth do.
the Pope: no you don't get it. tubbs. listen to the words of my mouth, dat what it do. you know why this bathwater is so special? it's the last remaining rainforest water on this planet.
Bump: where's your friend Hilary?
the Pope: no idea. she could be living in the bowels of the Vatican unseen for all i know, the point is did you read the environmental encyclical i sent you?
Bump: i don't know what that is.
Bump becomes frustrated and bodyslams the Pope.
the Pope: what the fuck, man. on the eve of the election? i'd call my guards but they're useless. you really need to control your temper.
Bump: YOU SAID THE TEMPERATURE WAS FINE! i already lost. sorry. i don't know what to do with myself when i don't get my way. i was expecting an accidental threesome like i read about in Marie Claire.
the Pope: you won't be surprised to learn i prefer the angel's threesome to the devil's threesome. luckily water is water. water is scarce now as you've no doubt been seeing in these recent events. one more thing, want to know my real name?
Bump: the sex is better when it's anonymous.
the Pope: i am Pope Joan. yes THE Pope Joan. the legend is real. i am her in the flesh. i got pretty good skin for being from the Middle Ages. the secret? bath balls.
Bump: i don't know what any of that is.
the Pope: i know, that's why i'm telling you. my secret is safe with you.
at Okefenokee the pale green sickly swamp waters rise to welcome their newest guest, a permanent death guest named Chris Cornell. the beautiful man waves his black curly locks around and rubs the crucifix around his neck. he is shirtless, wears shorts, and glorious. even in the night sky the sun shines black around his aura.
Cobain extends a grunge-sleeved arm to welcome him over that first lilypad. all the frogs dot the landscape with their loud ribbits.
Kurt: so sorry to hear. come walk with me. no not on the muddy banks, you can walk on water now. straight path through the swamp, that's one good thing.
Chris: never meant.
Kurt: these things happen. so quickly you never knew what you were doing. it's unfortunate that yours seems to be a one-day story. fucking social media. mine was more of a prolonged media event.
Chris: i thought i had conquered my demons. but it seems no matter how much adulting i did i was always that scared 12-year-old child who picked up a guitar in my uncle's basement and strummed to cover my tears till i fell asleep.
Kurt: it's a cloud you can never conquer. hovering like a real horcrux, not caring when the suicide comes just that it does. it's got all the time in the world to make it happen. demons. like snakes in the grass. you write about snakes a lot. but they don't live here anymore. they were cast out by songs. i know you've just come from the Superunknown and been through a lot but please don't use the word adulting. check your hand, the stone is gone and rolling into the calm waters. light this Roman candle, the swamp's got high banana leaves for a treeline going forward covering us. behold, the one wave!
Chris: just say hex, don't say horcrux. life isn't Harry Potter.
Kurt: sorry. something i've been reading since i got here. i missed out on so much.
a calm wave fans across the surface of the swampwater and rises high to meet Cornell's feet. only one wave. Kurt stays behind and waves.
Kurt: can drugs really cause you to kill yourself?
Kurt: sorry that wasn't worded properly. i've brought some rations for your journey. foodstuffs and some such.
Chris: bowls of blue jello? and a thousand spoons. what, no trail mix and thermos tea?
Kurt: no it's moss mud. only natural food for you from now on, from the veins of the roots of trees, of the groundsoil and earthen. no more drugs. of any kind.
Chris lets the early-morning breeze filter his hair and mustache hairs.
Kurt: you know you have one of those unique voices. it's a growl full of grit and grime and terrifying tremor. i could never achieve that, i sounded more like a frog most days. it's the perfect complement to the bald heaviness of your music. those licks crushed bones as they healed them. you guys were more metal than grunge, admit it. but you are part of our special family and i love you forever. you just happened to be from Seattle but you were meant to be from London.
Chris and Kurt hug and Chris smiles for the first time in a long time. all the frogs are blue. the green moss and brown mud are all blue.
Kurt: your voice has the power to change the world. let the wave carry you to the east lilypad. there, step off and yes this time get onto the muddy banks. climb to the highest peak, the mountain at the edge of town. there let the current swirl into your soul. it will come to you in a voice which will reverberate throughout the painted desert striations of the colorful canyon slabs of perfectly-smooth water-beaten rock. you will know what to do.
at the house the family is setting up and down for the last supper. Ari is in a mood. so is her husband.
Ari, unusually chipper: fam i've cooked us a grand ol' meal! we've got some taralli and some etouffee...
the husband: WHAT THE FUCK IS TARALLI?
Ari: taralli crackers, toroidal. i love the torus. and our Taurus.
husband: where have you been hiding the etouffee?
Ari: in the oven. i was saving it for a special occasion. cooked right straight down Nawlins.
husband: and that occasion is our death.
Mike Manley opens his eyes. he is at the street corner he had spotted for so long. his breathing matches the same sound a pouring sheet of rain would make. he gradually gets up and walks around the area. he walks and walks and walks in the night trying to clear himself up.
Mike: just realized this is a cul-de-sac and i've been walking in circles. what else is new. this is Ari's street. i don't need to read the signs, i feel it. i'm gonna do it. i'm gonna do it if it's the last thing i do. what anyone does. i'm gonna march right up to her door and knock it. down. and i'm gonna run into the living room carpet and interrupt her dinner and take her by the skirt and twirl her over the chandelier, one of those big bombastic Hollywood hugs. i will declare in the South. i will tell Ari i love her. i'm wearing my blue jacket cos i need something to rip off my chest dramatically as i'll have to inevitably fight the husband with bare punches.
Mike makes it to the house, the one besieged by a neverending torrent of tears. he smoothly picks the lock and enters. he notices the two bushes by the sides of the door are now blue. he spies over the fence the husband's garden in the back is blue, too.
there's one more squirming little submarine struggling to stay above water in the swamp! it's Comey! he's driving the last sub of America. the last sub of the world.
Comey, soused but not the drunk definition: see this light, Zard? attached to the stern here? it's a searchlight. it's HUGE. it's YUGE. it's got slats to normally reduce the light. but i'm taking the slats off! i want you to get the brunt of the entire light. I WANT THE WORLD TO SEE YOUR COWARDICE.
the Zard: what is this cowardice? more like compliance, you of anyone would appreciate. you still don't get it. you are all so sadly mistaken.
the last bridge has given out. the highways and freeways and country toll roads are all flooded now, streams of trucks and semis and sedans floating ass-up on the one global river.
Comey turns the light with all his might towards the Zard's face. the Zard instantly disappears when the light is on him.
Chris Cornell ascends to the summit. he smells the clean early-morning air and plants a cornello pepper in the ground up there. he assumes the Jesus Christ pose and screams that Chris Cornell shouty yell of his as loud as he can into the last cloud in the sky.
the screen fades to blue.