Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Can Someone Tell Me How to Turn This Thing Off?

I wish I knew how to deactivate the freak magnet installed in the foyer of Casa Dei Sogni because all I want now that I'm done with school, is just a little peace and rest before I go out to LA and meet the West Coast entourage I'm sure my parents have acquired by now.

The Former Mormon has been staying here for over a week and I'm not sure when he's leaving. Most of the time the Former Mormon (FM from now on) is my favorite of my parents' friends. He's quiet, which is more than I can say for any of the others, but he does have some unusual habits. Generally I like his unusual habits, but this week I'd love some privacy I guess.

My parents met the FM at least ten years ago, possibly longer, when they were trying to get themselves involved in a complicated bartering thing. They had bought a few loads of closeout crap that they couldn't sell and were stuck with so they got the brilliant idea that maybe they could just trade the merchandise for other things they needed and get rid of it that way. It was better than nothing. The FM was all about the bartering system, which he used to find places to stay in exchange for some pieces of hideous, reproduction artwork. My parents are huge fans of hideous, reproduction artwork and of people who need places to stay randomly and without warning, so this was a great match.

FM was a bachelor when my parents first let him stay at our house in exchange for a Botero print in a rather rococco gold frame. As a traveling art salesman, FM wasn't really from anywhere and didn't exactly have a home of his own. He liked to keep moving. He stayed wherever he was and lived out of an old duffel bag he got when he went on mission 20 years before. My parents' house proved the perfect place to stay for several weeks at a time. It was comfortable, no one noticed what anyone else did, the FM just blended in with the constant flow of people through the front and back doors, and my mother cooked good. Her meatloaf and fried chicken dinners reminded him of growing up in Utah.

Like the best former Mormons, FM is from Utah. Until he was 20 he was very serious about his faith but one day while in Los Angeles on mission work, the young LDS missionary was converted by another kind of missionary - a Scientology fanatic, and he had his first e-meter reading. FM became a Scientologist, but he still didn't drink alcohol or coffee. He got excommunicated from the LDS church, so he figured he may as well have sex, but he just couldn't bring himself to try a cup of Maxwell House. To this day I've never once seen him have anything in the mornings but Postem.

For some time, the FM practiced Scientology. Now those who know me in real life understand immediately why I love the FM so much. I am obsessed with cult-like bizarre religions. Mormonism and Scientology are two of my favorites so you can see where someone who has been BOTH of these things, a Mormon AND a Scientologist, would fascinate me beyond measure. The only thing that could have made him more interesting to me would be if he had also been a member of the People's Temple, but I guess that would mean he might not be here to tell me about it. The FM gave up Scientology because it was just too expensive, but he still believes that L. Ron and Joseph Smith are two of the greatest men who have ever lived. FM and I have had many debates about why Rudolf Steiner must also be included. For one, Steiner didn't try to impregnate any Whores of Babylon with the Antichrist, but the FM insists that this was just a big misunderstanding. Likewise the whole missing tablets from the Angel Moroni thing. Also - big misunderstanding. I think it's all pure insanity.

From Scientology the FM progressed into a more generic, less affiliated New Age spiritual path that involved things like meditation, sage smudging, misappropriated Native American rituals, goddess worship and astral projection, combined with occasional aura photography, wheatgrass juice fasts, tai chi and telepathy. He stayed in a lot of people's houses in California until he met my parents and decided to stay at their house more often than anyone else's.

The first time I ever met the Former Mormon, he was in the lotus position on our living room sofa, barefoot, yet wearing a suit, burning nag champa and chanting like a Tuvan throat singer. Well, he was attempting to chant like a Tuvan throat singer, I should say. He sounded like he had a terrible larynx condition. Also, his feet stunk, which I think may have been the actual reason for the nag champa, but the incense wasn't strong enough so the living room smelled like a combination of a head shop and a locker room. The best part was the suit, because all the FM is most definitely former in his Mormonism, he still looks pretty current in that faith. The FM looks extraordinarily clean cut and wears a suit (the same one), scuffy loafers and black knee socks even when it's hot. His light hair is cut short, parted and combed neatly to one side and he is always closely shaven.

I always enjoy the FMs visits. I really do. I love when he talks to my spirit guides on the other side and when he channels spirits in our dining room and flamboyantly does automatic writing while I'm trying to watch Seinfield reruns. I like all these quirks, but I have a problem with two things. First the FMis a terrible grazer who eats everything in the refrigerator, usually while standing in front of it. If he actually closes the door and prepares food he makes tremendous, cataclysmic messes in the kitchen which he does not clean up. He also refuses to shower and instead takes a bath every few days, leaving a dirt ring in the tub that turns my stomach.

The other thing about the FM that drives me insane is his best friend Claude. Claude is a total mystery. My dad calls him "that skinny guy" which is an apt description. Claude is so thin that he looks spindly, and he has long, wiry grey hair and a long, wiry grey beard to go with it. He wears beads and prefers to go around in a loin cloth, but when he must conform to society's standards he wears a tee shirt and a pair of khaki shorts tied together with a piece of rope. No one knows where Claude lives or is from or if he's a former or even current anything. He just appears out of nowhere wherever the FM happens to be, which is often, at my parents' house. It's like a New Age buy one get one free. You get the FM and Claude comes too.

Claude is far stranger than the FM could ever hope to be. Nothing he says makes sense. One day Claude was sitting in our backyard and I asked him how he was and he said:

"Purple like wild geese at sunset over the war torn hills of East Moravia, drinking mead under starlight, the wild mead of summer meadows. Hark, the snow colored buffalo comes."

Claude's big claim to fame is that he is a breatharian. He tells people he doesn't eat. He lives off of air. Clearly this is a whopping line of bullshit because you'd die if you lived on air and if it really worked every rich woman in the city of Basura would become a breatharian immediately. Claude just likes to brag to people that he is so enlightened that he doesn't need food, and yes, he is incredibly scrawny, so it's vaguely believable, however I have seen him eat on numerous occasions. The truth is that Claude does not eat...unless it's someone else's food and someone else is paying for it. That's it. Pure and simple. Claude is a mooch in the disguise of a yogi or a shaman or whatever he's calling it.

He's also wildly entertaining and the combination of Claude and the FM have brought me hours of weirdly funny conversation that actually manages to interest me and hold my attention. Because of this I can forgive the eating of all my snacks and the making of terrible messes. I can even forgive Claude and the Former Mormon for bringing down TWA Flight 800.

Yes, the truth is out and now we can all know what really happened to that doomed flight to Paris in July of 1996. There's been a lot of speculation and rampant conspiracy theories. Eye witnesses on the ground swear they saw a missile hit the plane. The FBI allegedly covered it up and said there was a spark in the center fuel tank. Readers, that's not at all what happened to that plane. Claude and the Former Mormon accidentally brought it down and they feel horrible about the whole thing and have repented.

In the summer of '96 the FM and Claude managed to score an empty beach house on Long Island where they were staying in exchange for some fake Chagalls. They decided to do an experiment wherein they would meditate and fast for three solid days until they opened up a vortex to a parallel universe, which they then intended to crawl through, enabling themselves to time travel and to harness the laws of the space time continuum, essentially making physics their bitch. They hypothesized that Long Island was the ideal location because they were close to Montauk and if you know any basic conspiracy theory you surely know about the vortex that some scientists accidentally opened there already, which supposedly allowed Big Foot to enter into our world. Look, don't ask me. I know this shit is ridiculous. I'm not making it up. It's on

Claude and FM meditated and meditated and that wasn't working so they ate some peyote and meditated for a few more days until finally one evening, just after sunset, the force of their combined psychic powers unleashed a great rush of energy which they had not foreseen. The vortex opened a rift in the fabric of time and space and a fireball rose up from Long Island Sound and ran straight into TWA Flight 800, causing it to explode. So what those people saw was not a missile at all. It was Claude and the Former Mormon.

They felt terrible. Their guilt was unbearable, and the worst part was that because of the bad karma left in the area from the Montauk project, the damned vortex they opened up refused to close, taking poor JFK, Jr. into it as well. You remember how for a while there were all those doomed flights taking off from JFK airport and crashing off of Long Island? Now you know why. The whole time Claude and the FM were working hard to close the vortex again, but this proved very difficult. Eventually, like a wound, the vortex healed so it's now safe to fly in that area once more.

Luckily, before any more people were killed, the FM was saved somewhat by the love of a good woman. He met a woman who is an artist and a belly dancer who spins fire. Their wedding was like a small Burning Man with cake and favors. My dad was their Best Man. FM's wife seems to have stabilized him a bit. They have two children too and one is named Venus Aphrodite Second Planet, which seems excessively redundant to me, but she is very cute and FM loves being a father. Next year when their son turns four he will start practicing Reiki. They still move around a lot, but a little less. The family is somewhere in the South West at the moment, Sedona perhaps, while the FM travels for business.

FM has developed his business considerably and has gone from bartering reproductions to selling and brokering actual artwork. I think anyway. It's still hideous and he still travels and he has still managed to end up at Casa Dei Sogni with Claude for over a week now. The other day FM had an almost life sized, bronze sculpture of a man on a rearing horse out in the front yard trying to sell it to someone. He's got a mother of pearl table stored in the garage too next to a bust of Paris Hilton hand carved from marble. It's very avant garde. Or something.

I guess I had better go check on Claude and the FM right now. I hear chanting and I don't want any plane crashes before Christmas.


Anonymous said...

LOL! I SO want to be your friend. Could you move to upstate New York? PLEASE?

Hilary said...

Wonderful story. For the few minutes it takes to read each of your blog posts, I'm totally captivated by the characters in your tales.

Anonymous said...

My head asploded. AGAIN.

MP said...

Wow..I think that there couldn't possibly be anymore casts of characters..then there are these two..and now you are going to California to meet the new group!? I'm so excited!
The tile is beautiful..and yes I thought you were full of poop..I was wrong! :-)

Eric said...

"Making Physics my bitch" is now going to be my watch word

Sauntering Soul said...

Oh my goodness am I glad I read your blog. My boyfriend has told me there are people who claim to live off the sunlight in the mountains of North Georgia. I've tried to google it to find out what he was referring to (he's Brazilian and sometimes there's a communication gap and I thought he might be miscommunicating this). I had never heard the term "breatharian" so now I can look this up!

I would love to live your life for just one day.

beatgrl said...

Oh my god this post was too much. Of the good stuff, I mean.
If that Paris Hilton bust is real, You have to post a picture of it, PLEASE!

Wide Lawns said...

Oh Sauntering Soul, you so wouldn't. I get anxious a lot. It's a lot to manage all these people.

Eric said...

Actually I bet JP over at all things bitter would be willing to buy the Paris Hilton bust.
Ironicly of course

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. WLawns, Nminds. Ran into your blog last week. Glad to know that you now have Rita, Rita, Meter Maid. We do not miss her here at all. Really. No wonder the GF left her. I hope she used RRMM to get to FLA and then..bam! out of here!. We do not want Rita back, for any reason.

Otherwise, you are so kind. FM and the other guy, they probably do believe exactly what you expressed. Live in the valley here for long enough and ANYTHING is possible. Mostly, we all are weird, or ordained, or "healers" of some sort or another. I have seen signs that say "will do reiki for food". Go figure.

Am glad to have found your blog, thanks.

Laurie B

Anonymous said...

I was going to expound on how to turn off the freak magnet, but I think maybe I'll just start a blog dedicated to blog physics rather than hogging comments pages.

I'll get back to you when I've finished writing up the mechanisms of a freak magnet and how to turn it off.

I like my initial idea where the force carriers are freakons, though.

Expect work on this after finals.

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