P R E V I O U S L Y I N
S P I D E R F I N G E R S
I close my eyes to well, the weight of its just too much you see – this hyper reality causes my brain to skip and play out its debut memory: Summer nineteen ninety nine. Here is where John Clay and Boleraam fuse together to become me - the demigod of chaos. This would be a fine track to keep on repeat forever. But No. Really, we're here: it’s early August, over a decade later and I’m in this breezy place, very, very, very far away from home. London Camden is a grand distance away, a transatlantic stretch from this crater that used to be the mouth of a tunnel - till Gaia filled it in with her roots and soil. Kurt’s lion roars have risen in their ferociousness - they’re downright unhealthy, and the day itself has risen up against me.
Considering how long he’s taking to crawl into his dark cocoon, Saturn's day must surly know that I’m a killer. See, inside today’s pupa of nightfall there waits a minion willing to lion tame Kurt’s wail. So Saturday takes his sweet fucking time in delaying my inevitable salvation. Under fading Californian light, the ‘blood’ that dribbles out my nose and down my mouth and chin sparkles like the stars appearing in the darkening above.
I’m pleading skyward for silence when I hear it - the rattle of something heavy and metal.
Whose body has Kurt possessed? Does he wanna start a band?
A street sign says Rooenn and I are on Melrose Avenue, kind of L.A’s answer to Old Compton Street except here I struggle, I can’t point out even the one exception - no one here’s even vaguely heterosexual.
On this street, as I trek, my eyes occasionally latch on to sleek predatory cars stalking the wrong side of the road, and through a herd of hookers a night jogger in a smog mask glides past, nearly collides with a dwarf waddling behind the overflow of his belongings - they’re reaching out of his lopsided shopping cart. By chance I walk through a wave of song hailing from a parked car’s stereo. It’s that new pop song by that toddler made good. I walk faster as my mind seeks to protect itself from Biebers’ saccharine synths and robotic harmonies. The world forgot Rock and Roll for this.
And why bust out of Aphrodisia Kurt? Why Hollywood? I wanna know and thankfully, I think I can track you. When we’re heading away from wherever you are, your growls fade to near silence. I need only stop, change direction and I can hear you again. As we close in on your location Rooenn won’t be enough of a lion tamer. Your sonic jaws will free themselves and vice my head again till it splits from the fury.
The solution to my problem is like a fart in the face and my mouth opens to command Rooenn to join me in the unthinkable,
‘...gimme your hand.’
And boom! I’m holding hands with a gimp.
Rooenn’s grey hand in mine mutes Kurt’s howling. I can only imagine how his hopping along beside me looks like to passersby.
The inherent campiness of my Superman gear becomes painfully apparent as I suspect the locals take Rooenn and I to be flamboyant lovers. My lover the gimp, he has a whisper, not a singing voice,
'Come come, time to go below,
My options are limited and I even permit myself to contemplate arranging for old allies to come to my aid. Luckily I get a hold of myself. The depth of manipulation I'd have to sink my hands into stinks with the dried blood of relationships long slain. My team - The Discordians - they're far from here. They are simply the Buchanan's now, a family that barely survived being my clergy. And I just don't have the desperation in me to resuscitate the trust they had in me. I'll handle Rooenn alone.
'Grows on trespassers, will swallow you whole.’
Time to block him out. Time for some singing of my own. Time for Bowie,
’I am a D.J, I am what I play.'
I’ve many memories of John Clay using music to block out reality. There was his circumcision; why he wasn’t under anaesthetic he can’t remember. I was...he was nine.
Ha! To think, that I’ve had my whole life to grasp the idea of mosaic memory. Well, I’m not the god of order and clarity am I? No, no, there isn’t one. All the bullshit that Zeus had his Pseudologoi feed Homer and Ovid just doesn't compete with the real deal. Hmph. Such cosmic oversight, such grandiose evil...shit like that often frightens a god into more favourable imaginings, get me? A perfect time, one where your deity is relaxed. No need to constantly stand battle-ready.
Ah, the perfect fantastical event yet to pass...
All pathetic, she tries to edge herself and all that eighties ‘electric shock’ makeup into shot. This priestess, she belongs to me, me, me, a globe spanning religion of which I’m a life-long member. One of its holy-men saunters up. He has pigtails - shit I know this fuckers face from somewhere? In Camden, the face of a recent trash mag. Man’s an actor but I forget the show.
‘I love - I mean, I absolutely adore your style.’ says the guy with the pigtails orbiting round me, 'Superheroes will never be passé.’
Pigtails runs his manicured palms over my untouchable stinking chest. He massages the material feeling it as though my obvious homelessness is an interactive museum exhibit. The man’s thinner off screen but yeah, this is Mick the informer from Those Men in Blue. I disgust myself at my D-list celeb knowledge, that this fuck recently made the obscure leap from celebrity chef to American cop show sitcom. I'm so close to violence because celebrities aren't what they used to be. The process is cheap and without true cultural merit. Talent? Pah! It's about who you know.
I wanted to when I saw his face on the cover of Last Week magazine.
Me scrunching a good five copies of Mick’s photo shopped face into my shopping bag/pillow case because I had to replace the George Clooney Papier-mâché in there. I almost come out with it: 'Mick my man, you make sleeping rough easier', but then Rooenn looks up at my face with a pleading in his arctic stare. If I don’t feed my minion, he’ll leave my side. Kurt’ll charge back into my brain screaming.
Mick crouches down, faces Rooenn at eye level and says,
‘Nice chain. Actors or singers? Is this a performance? Omigod, those nails!’ Rooenn has talons, not nails. Inches long. Hard to ignore. Thanks Mick,
'I’ll bet my long lost virginity you’re rock stars,' His hand shoots out. 'Hi! I’m Stan!’
I keep my hands by my sides. I give him a little wave from the hip saying,
‘Nice to meet you Stan.’
Here I am forcing myaself not to call Stan by his character's name. I turn to leave snatching at Rooenn’s chain as he starts hissing a word.
To which Stan replies, ‘Children? Well I love cock but honey, we’re moving too fast.'
Rooenn’s a performer, so it matters that an audience has gathered to watch him launch up off the ground into Stan’s face. Holding onto Rooenn’s hand as he maims Stan is difficult. But hey, treading water for hours must be difficult, but you still fucking do it till helps arrives. Oh man, the crowd roars with rhythmic horror, every flesh swipe is their musical cue.
Stan’s career on earth: celeb chef/actor/meal/rotting corpse.
I catch myself gawping at the wisps of smoke funneling out of the heavens. My eyes are locked upon these strands of sentient guff as they enter through the nostrils of each and every bystander. From this moment on their lives will belong to the High-Father in accordance with a rule that Gaia is keen to support. No human must ever realise my existence. And so, there are no human witnesses, no potential worshipers of Spiderfingers, nope - not today. Me pulling Rooenn away from Stan's cadaver is an event effectively torn out of history's tome.
Up I struggle, awkwardly heaving Rooenn along, crashing us through a gym door. We burn along the lavender carpet on a sparkling spill of jagged glass.
'One rule.’ I spit, shaking glass shards out of my hair, 'You don’t kill anyone unless I say so, clear?’
Rooenn nods smiling as I pull us back on our feet, zip through the gym foyer and blast down the metal bar of the fire exit to the cool outside. I use the relative privacy of this back alley to conduct a quick splatter check and I’m lucky – not a drop of dead actor-blood on me.
Kurt’s shrieking is drawing sweat from me now as we enter a trailer park. The winds died down considerably, and I can hear the odd distant car off the main highroad, the constant choir of an invisible cricket army, crick-cricks on.
We’re hiding behind a large solitary tyre and I’m still pissed at myself and the fucker I have to hold hands with to survive. Gaia's told me enough stories about this creature and yet I've still managed to make the same mistake as so many travelling heroes and their squire's. Wrong words knight monsters and chaos shouldn’t be knighting anything. Now we’ve a relationship and all Rooenn’s relationships end in ruin. I push the hate down into my gut as we continue eavesdropping on the screaming woman who’s come out of the trailer.
‘...You should play bad-guys. Fucking monster!’
Her voice is raspy; probably a smoker, definitely drunk, I AM NOT A GROUPIE.’ she hollers. I have to put a face to the drama. I edge up and peer over my tyre and find my drunk is a blonde, about 5ft and cute. She’s pixie-like with ample hips to snuggle between and get lost in.
Strawberry lips part, ‘What’d Kurt do now, huh Lance?’
She said Kurt right? My Kurt? What’s going on here?
‘Don’t know, do you?’, she wails,'This movie is soooo fucked. You can spend another month in there; you’ll NEVER get Kurt Cobain right.’
A-ha. I see. This Lance guy is playing Kurt in some movie. A biopic. Universal, Paramount, whoever, some film company has bought this actor guy some state of the art recreational vehicle to stay in. I amaze myself at the speed my brain takes to comprehend the scenario and formulate a plan to get me past this woman. I pull a pair of glasses out of my pocket. What can I say? I don't need glasses worn by John Clay, but gods are inherently sentimental creatures now, aren't they? I abandon the tyre-hiding-place with Rooenn in tow – its confrontation time. When she sees me she yelps and backs away a little, half stumbles into that massive trailer.
‘What the fuck?’
She shouts this whilst staring at Rooenn’s hand in mine. If I let him go at this distance Kurt’s bellowing will kill me.
‘Oh, he’s what we call a tool, Lance’s emotional trigger. Lance your pal? He’s my client.’
I push intellects totem up the bridge of my nose and continue,
‘Sorry, I’m Dr. Finger from Meltdown L.A? My P.A called ahead right. Marcia?’
‘Marcia?’, she repeats shaking her head,
‘I don’t know a Marcia. Who the fuck are you guys?’
She spits the words as if she has armed personnel on call. Like the finger she points at me is primed with lead. She struts up, all the Dutch courage in the world. She waves her accusatory finger at me.
I bury the pride. I need information.
So I retreat, of course. A courteous back-step as I say calmly, all matter of factually,
‘Lance’s management got in touch. Said there was a problem?’
Let’s have some fun.
‘Didn’t say.’ she says this looking at Rooenn’s hand in mine.
‘This guy here?’, I say all this gesturing at Rooenn,
‘He’s Lance’s Emo-trigger. Man, when I was doing the Stallone gig, the trig we had to use? Christ. I wheel this big fat melon onto the set of the last Rambo movie see, cos Sly won’t leave his trailer till they green-light the use of real bullets!'
I chuckle scratching my forehead in disbelief,
'Method acting taken to a whole new level of crazy! But after he sees the melon, his Emo-trigger, Sly’s outta the trailer. Cool job huh? Hey, and I get to wear costumes to work.'
My free hand taps my chest.
‘The thing is...er?’ c’mon, c’mon, gimme your name. Put your faith in me.
‘Lissie,’ says the blonde, ‘Smoke?’ a small hand holds out an open pack.
‘No thanks. So yeah, the thing is Lissie, a client’s trig has to be linked to something the client’s told nobody, I mean not a soul.'
Lissie doesn’t take her eyes off Rooenn as she sparks up.
‘Lance chose a gimp?'
I nod slowly, cos nodding is all you can do when you've nothing wholesome to pray to.
'So, Mr Fingers...you some super shrink huh?’ she sucks some life out of the cigarette.
‘Childr-.’ I swiftly cover Rooenn’s hissing mouth with my free hand.
‘As I said, my name is Dr Finger, Stephen Finger, from Meltdown L.A, but hey, wanna know Richard Geres’ trig?’
‘Don’t tell me. Hamster right?’ she says killing the fag some more, coughs a little as I laugh correcting her, ‘Gerbil actually.’
I’m her friend now, this is like some office gossip swapped over lunch. So, imagine my surprise when Lissie blocks me as I make a move for the trailer door:
‘No way you n’ gimp boy here’re for real. Accents soooo bad man. English? Lance, you gotta come out and see this! You got some English stalker guy out here!’
‘I'm a doctor. I was raised in the U.K. Listen Lissie, be a pal to Lance and -‘
‘This is Hollywood asshole’, she flips a dirty pink mobile in her hand, ‘Pals don’t exist.’
Whips of my fringe blaze bloody, the lashing streaks stretching, engulfing Rooenn. They engulf my knight.
Some life insuring advice: never piss off anything that can flood a world or turn disobedient wives into salt.
‘Yes Rooenn, she's yours. You get to fuck her. Make her cunt catch fire,'
John hates the word cunt,
'She won't forget what happens to those who forget their station. Give me blood.’
But I'm not John.
The correct pronunciation of ‘Rooenn’ is ‘ruin’, its most formidable weapon sways between its legs. Kettle-whistle-weather shrills the word Terrorsmith whilst I nod Rooenn's barbarism to commence. Lissie is right. There are no pals in Hollywood, only monsters.
The trail of snaking smoke sifting under the door of his trailer will keep his mouth shut forever. I ought to feel guilty about his life being hijacked because of mine, but there's no time for guilt, only curiosity. I step into the mouth of Lisse's trailer and I can’t help but feel I’m walking into a dragons lair. The chain that yanks repeatedly away from me, the one attached to Rooenn, its maybe nine feet long now, snaking away back outside, under the Winnebago I’m entering. But I must grip on to it tight. I let go of Rooenn’s chain at this distance from Lance and, well...
Kurt’s scream is making my nose bleed again. I’ve no choice but to ignore it because it’s not like Rooenn’s gonna stop raping and maiming what’s-her-name back there to come hold my hand, right?
I inch forward clutching at Rooenn’s chain tight and it suddenly occurs to me: my relationship with the Terrorsmith is mightier than physics. Oh yeah, his chain lengthens so that I may walk further into Lance's den, to near the figure on the half-made bed. He’s lying foetal and wrapped round a teal green Byzantium Fender Mustang.
Hovering the bed, I reach down to touch my god in his motionlessness. And for my trouble I’m blasted back, my head bashing the floor, my hands virtually glued to Rooenn’s chain as the white heat that assaulted me melts the glasses off my nose.
The face at the heart of the lightning storm above me snarls with a parody of viciousness. It appears Kurt has a dragon.
Kurt Cobain's spirit has possessed an actor called Lance, an actor playing him in a Nirvana biopic. Kurt, why?
I’m a street orator, checking and double-checking my last draft as the boy whines in the background. He’s crying now, coz I’m holding him back – stopping him from waking his mum, from rousing his Matryoshka.
WARNING: THESE COMMENTS INCLUDE SPOILERS.