What is Drastic + Dramatic

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Devil and I

Nothing terrible happened to me today, 6/6/06. Unless you count meeting the Devil as a terrible thing. It wasn't altogether pleasant -- I wouldn't choose for it to happen again. But, I escaped unscathed, so fine enough. Here's how it went:

I'm walking. It's a warm summer day and in the distance roads have puddles of mirage that cars swim through without a splash. I look at this for I rather like to, but it started pulsating like I haven't seen before so I stopped to see if it was my walking that caused it. No.

Like a lump of lava from the bottom of its lamp, a form bulged from the heat into an upright adult figure on the sidewalk before me. I gave it a curious stare and blinked, slowly one eye, then the other. When I snapped them open again it was advancing with a languid motion, enough to make me feel suddenly car sick without moving. He stopped (I could tell now the form was "he" if anything human) and said,
"Good afternoon, I am the Devil."
Good afternoon? What do you say to that?
"Hi," is all I came up with. He still had the look of a comic book fiend, slightly fuzzy around the edges and pouring heat insomuch that he appeared to be shimmering where he stood.
"I am aware that you silly mortals have superstitions with the number 666."
The formality of his matter of fact tone was quite chilly.
"Some do, yes."
"Yes, I know. I thought it would be fun to walk around today, cause a little panic."
As if he was shopping.
"What brings you to Provo...." (Sir? no, I wouldn't go that far.)
"Oh the Mormons, surely. So many around here that believe that I exist. Thought I'd do a little manifesting."
"I'm a mormon."
"Yes, I know."
I thought maybe now his manifesting might involve physical harm and was sorely tempted to see how much get-away time kicking his form might provide me. I imagined, though, that it might be as fruitful as kicking the flames of a fire--the chances were only I'd get hurt.
"So," I'm stalling now. "Does this mean I'm like...possessed if I can see you?"
"Oh, no." He said casually and with a slight hollow chuckle.
"Sweet." Pause. Not much of a conversationalist for how persuasive he's intended to be. I didn't know what to say to the Devil. I'd never thought I'd meet him, ever in person. Sure there's the crap he pulls on me where he's always behind the scenes: "do this, try that." But I mean, what do you say when he's right there in front of you?
"Well, I was on my way to work. I don't want to be late. If you'll excuse me." I said, motioning past him down the sidewalk. No "nice to meet you" would be necessary.
"Sure." He said, moving sideways so I could pass.
A little hesitant to let him out of my sight, I also turned sideways and scuttled past, close to the curb.
"I'll be seeing you." And he more or less evaporated as he walked away.
As warm as 90 degrees can be, my skin rippled as I watched him, glanced all around me and went to work.

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