2. On the Roof Again

2. On the Roof Again

[To the Rescue]

Bartleby: We gotta do somethin’

Amble: Like what?

Bartleby: Stop the evil.

Amble: Oh, come on! You know we can’t. The best we can do is hope we don’t participate too awful much in it.

Bartleby: Not with that attitude! With that attitude we can’t stop the evil!

Andy: Hey! No using that retort! Then I’m like back being seven years old in the thick brown-shag rowhouse living room being schooled by a father who’s ten years younger and a million miles more naïve (this being back when we all KNEW for a FACT that the United States of America would be a functioning democratic republic forever, and that the whole world was currently and would keep on forever following suit — since, I mean, democracy’s the best form of government, so it was only a matter of time … obviously! … ) than I am here and now in my lonely present.

Bartleby: Oh ho ho ho! Look who’s come in from his jet-set lifestyle financed by our irresistible prose, poetry, philosophy, and letters of deepest and most spiritually-refined love!

Andy: Actually, … about that, … uh, … never mind.

Amble: How did the copyright holder get here!? This ain’t no legal fiction: it’s a fiction fiction!

Bartleby: Whatever the magic, I’m glad you’re here, Andy. We need to do something about all this evil running roughshod over our shared destinies. And we you need to agree.

Andy: And I do. I totally agree. We have to stop the evil. We can’t keep slip-sliding every which way. The stakes have gotten too high. We’re going to have to learn how to actually help.

Amble: But how?! For that we’d need spiritual insight! And that’s just not happening.

Bartleby: Speak for yourself, tainted-love addict!

Amble: Like you’re the one to talk, Mr. “I’m Gonna Turn Into A Large-ish Sea Creature And Go Pout on the Bottom of Some Cold Dark Sea Whenever Things Don’t Quite Bend My Sulk-Whine-Pout Way”!

Bartleby: I never said that! That’s slander!, by which I mean “spoken defamation”.

Amble: I don’t care what you mean, and here I write it down within the idea-based space of this laptop I’ve got opened up here on a heavy-duty picnic table that looks suspiciously like one that used to be under the broad leaves of an old oak tree in Prospect Park! And, voila, call it “libel”, by which you’ll mean, “written defamation”, if you will, though we all know it’s the God’s Truth! You’re actions have time and time again bellowed, “Call me Mister ‘I’m Gonna Turn Into A Large-ish Sea Creature And Go Pout on the Bottom of Some Cold Dark Sea Whenever Things Don’t Quite Bend My Sulk-Whine-Pout Way’!” Again and again has your behavior chiseled this statement into the bones and marrow of human history.

Andy: All right, guys! Let’s cool it! We can’t stop the evil with internal strife.

Bartleby: I submit for your considerations: We start with a “Save Democracy” Lent. Like regular Lent, but instead of giving up something to be grateful to Jesus for allegedly saving our immortal souls by converting God-as-the-Son into the ultimate (“nuclear option”) sacrificial lamb, we’ll give up something until we’ve stopped Trump.

Amble: Yes! Until we’ve stopped Donald Trump from shoving his swollen certainty down our throats while whispering soft and smooth into our ears, “you know you like this, it’s okay, you can admit”!

Andy: Oh! OK. Give something up. Sure. Like what? Maybe I could give up meat.

Bartleby: You don’t even eat that much meat. Are you not aware where we are? We are the precipice. If there is a time to put the spirit first, it is now. How can we expect to interpret God’s guidance well if we don’t put the spirit first? And how can we figure out how to actually help without interpreting God’s guidance well?

Amble: Maybe I could give up info-harems.

Bartleby: Not good enough — especially now, as you’ve Susan to bleed your filthy passions into.

Amble: Oh?! Am I with Susan in this storyline? I was worried because she’s not yet been mentioned.

Bartleby: I don’t know. We’ll see. Let the moment and the Beauty percolate within me. And we’ll see. But in any case, TV-love is for you a side-weakness. You, Amble, need to give up tainted love. And, Andy, you need to give up alcohol.

Amble and Andy at the same time, loud and with giant terrified eyes: NO!

Bartleby: Yes! We’ll never be able to focus on the task at hand and God’s will for us and all the land unless we sacrifice vices we’re really attached to, vices that have seeped in and smashed right through, claiming us as their own, choking seed’s the spirit’s sown.

Amble: Hmmmm. Good point. So what’re you gonna give up?

Andy: Yeah, what?, and by posing this question I do not commit to giving up alcohol. I’m merely procedurally curious.

Bartleby: Ok, I’ll, I’ll …

Amble: You’ll give up turning into a sperm whale and sinking to the bottom of the North Atlantic, pouting in utter darkness, almost-freezing waters, and madcap pressure.

Andy: Yeah!, and by affirming this position I do not commit to giving up alcohol, which I clearly need to keep my brain lubricated and my heart open.

Bartleby: Do you guys want to stop the evil, or what?

Amble: Yes.

Andy: Well, I want it to stop. So much so that I’m willing to spend my spare time and energy helping to stop the evil, if there’s a way, a reliable path towards stopping the evil.

Amble: (to Andy) Same difference! (to Bartleby) That’s a, “Yes”, Andy’s in.

Bartleby: Okay, then I give up turning into sperm whales, Greenland sharks, and other large sea animals and sinking to the bottom of a deep dark frigid sea to contemplate the Forms.

Amble: You are the hell not contemplating the Forms down there! You are pouting!

Bartleby: Call it what you will, I won’t do it until US American democracy has fended off Donald Trump’s hostile takeover.

Amble: Okay, me too. No tainted love. No hiding in knowingly-twisted-up and purposely-misconstrued love.

Andy: Oh, fuck! What will I do? How will I cope? I’m so used to drinking on the weekend, so as to waste my life while pretending I’m alive and kicking. Fuck! OK, Ok, okay, let’s make a real effort here.

Author: B Willard
Editor: A Whistletown
Copyright: AM Watson

[To the Rescue]

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