Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Nurse the Hate: My Vision in Kankakee

I had considered moving to Kankakee, not for a tangible reason so much as I liked the ring of it.  Once there I would insert myself as the town religious figure, a powerful visionary which had arisen from the dust as if from divine provenance.  With soaring sermons and folksy wisdom I would enrapture the congregate until I could have them do my bidding.  I will give to them the greatest gift of all, that of a vision.  Our efforts would first be focused on accumulating the funds necessary to build a mammoth cathedral, multiple spires reaching into the sky at a height considered mathematically impossible by the engineers and architects who would gather in the dusk to shake their heads at the sheer folly.  Undeterred by logic or reason, the project will move forward.  There will be setbacks, horrible setbacks.  Yet the congregation would push on.  Driven like slaves they would cast off all other earthly ambitions to focus on this one goal.  Simple people united by this shared madness working like ants crawling all over the massive project.  Truckdrivers become masons, housewives sculptors.  There I stand waving my arms in direction, always pushing forward at a pace that threatens to break the physical limits of these believers despite their unbending resolve.  The vast building houses an immense common area for worship with catacombs of side rooms, crypts, chapels, galleries, performance houses all with secret passages and a pointlessly complex tunnel system underneath.  It is spectacular, beautiful and horribly grotesque all at the same time.  At last as it nears completion a dark series of clouds gather with ominous greens and purples on the horizon.  The clouds have colors that are not normally found in nature.  A massive funnel cloud begins to form as if God himself as decided to destroy the structure.  It is as if God himself has found this an affront, a monument to vanity. The realization will sweep over the crowd that all of their work, their lives, will be destroyed in moments.  The congregation begins to weep, some screaming to the sky asking for justification at this cruel punishment.  I struggle against the gathering winds to set up an old fashioned tripod camera, the curtain shielding the viewfinder flapping against my back.  I race against time to secure a record of the existence of this triumph over man’s limits.  I push the switch of the lens and hear the satisfying click of the shutter as the roar of the incoming tornado sounds like a freight train.  I scurry off to the catacombs just in time as cathedral fails to stand up to the circular winds, the sound of falling stone like explosions above.  Dust trickles from the ceiling of the passageway as the building falls.  As if the health of this landmark was somehow tied to my own, I collapse in the passage clutching the tripod of the camera.  A young parishioner, no more than a boy, takes to his knees and whispers “Father, are you alright?”.  No my son.  I am dying.  You must take this camera to a man named Unger.  He has a small space in Wapakoneta which is marked as a Slovenian Butcher Shop.  Unger is in a back room past a black curtain.  Inside he has the last of the chemicals which can develop this photograph.  He will claim to be a taxidermist named Felix.  Be firm with him.  Tell him you know his real identity.  Tell him you know of the chemicals.  You tell him to make only one print.  He must send it to my love.  Tell her I did this all for her.  Can you do this for me my son?  Then I will expire, my grip finally loosening on the antique camera.

Then again, that seems like a whole lot of trouble.    


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home