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Ivan

The Right Idea

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I was thinking about the kind of stories we used to write here.  I wrote a piece of one today.  

 

There is nothing more dangerous than The Right Idea. 

Some folks- not very many, but some- are born believing they can kill god with a sword.  It is a stupid idea, but they don’t particularly care. They put a lot of energy into finding the right sword, learning how to swing it, perfecting the stroke, and practicing pithy murder quips.  Invariably, they die before they ever find him.  They look everywhere, but he is very good at hiding.  So they die, and sooner or later another dummy comes along to pick up that sword.  Like I said, it’s a stupid idea; they’ll never find him.  Thing is, he’s not hiding from them.  He’s hiding because some folks- not very many, but some- are born believing they can kill god with a song, and he knows they’re right.

It’s easy to assume that when you kill god things go to shit, but every god I know sets things up to run in their absence.  What’s the point of being god if you have to micromanage every little raindrop and volcano?  There are systems in place for the day-to-day, decade-to-decade business.  Some of them are so well-designed it’s a difficult for even their creators to disrupt them.  Such complicated systems aren’t efficient when fully automated.  Rather, most are overseen by a set of... let’s call them empyrean middle-managers.  These are folks who are terrifyingly powerful and prototypically incapable of thinking or feeling much beyond the scope of their duties.  You can think of them as angels and archangels, if you find that personally appealing.  You can also think of them as gears and springs set in place by a skilled-yet-easily-distractible clockmaker. 

Of course, even in this highly reductive cliche, someone’s got to wind the damned thing from time to time.  That’s me.  I suppose I am, to mix metaphors, the celestial checksum.  I monitor the rest of the systems, so the creator can make repairs and replacements if something goes wrong.  No, this doesn’t mean I know where he’s hiding, but I do have his email.  Most of the folks I observe- if they assign a name to me at all- call me The Audience.  It’s fine.  Most everyone else calls me Dex.  Lucas calls me “Oreo,” which is only funny if you’re bad at Latin.

Lucas Pastor is far too complicated to think of as a mere cog in the celestial machine.  He’s no angel, either, but that’s not really his fault: his species of eleven-dimensional… cog… always exhibits a tendency toward catechismic neuroses.  He’s a friend, and he has an important function: to follow the songwriters, and keep tabs on the ones born with The Right Idea.  It should be obvious this task requires a degree of nuance orders of magnitude greater than a task like overseeing the tides.  Not many cogs need to be eleven-dimensional, and only one has an existential mandate to parse the lyrics to Hallelujah.  The resulting hot mess is the only good friend I’ve got, and he’s been missing for 72 hours. 

 

He left me a note: 

Oreo-

I’ve got an idea.

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I don't know if you have more of this coming, but I liked that. And it's nice to read something here after all this time.

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