Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tale 4 - Drink - Very Close to Final Draft

Father warned me every day of the demonic fluid. It is drink which unleashes man's evil and obliterates barrier from beast. It is drink which eliminates health and happiness. Drink is danger, drink is trauma, drink is obscenity and humiliation, blasphemy in the eyes of God and excrement in the windows of memory. Drink is serenity's eternal expenditure: instants of bliss for eternity of violence. 

Trauma is an all too common intrusion of another soul within your own that every day claims new sections of your mind, intrusion doubling upon intrusion, exhibiting with ever more mastery that he, not you, is the part of your mind that thinks. 

Perhaps this other soul is devil or dybbuk, or perhaps he's another person who deliberately lodged himself within you, or maybe he's another person burdened with his own dybbuk; but whomever he is, he, not you, masters the mind, and you become a spectator in your own consciousness. With every hour he determines more of your decisions, and with every new decision he makes, you wonder ever more if he was you all along.   

For centuries, father barely touched drink. He knew ecstasy and torment from it as as any man would, but he saw what drink made him and others, and its humiliations were repugnant. It caused a whole earth where man has neither self nor divinity; only sense - pleasures to drown pain, the pain of others to drown us in pleasure, a whole earth of trauma absorbed and trauma inflicted where man uses his divinity to inflict all the worse. 

Thus where the rest of Earth was wine, the House of Noah was water, fresh and pure in wells we cleaned every day along with blessings to a spirited drink in a second well; a spirit of drink whose name we never pronounced, perhaps we never knew. For an hundred years of our lives, Ham, Japeth and I knew no drink but water. 

All the while, as the temperature warmed and the Earth became fire and rain, Father communed with his holy spirit of the drink. Every day for hundreds of years, Father pulled a bowl from the well tied to a string, put a finger in the drink, touched its holy spirit to his lips and threw the bowl back. Every day he spoke with the drink's spirit, and the Drink spoke back. For seven hours every day, Father walked 'round the well, speaking questions and answers, and its pool told him all creation, of its trees and crowns, its spheres visible and hidden, and the Spirit of the Drink made Father the wisest of men. 

The spirit told Father to build an ark and gather every living thing that creepeth upon the earth, for the spirit was wroth with the world and would flood it. The flood would cleanse the world to begin anew amid a second Eden where would live none but the House of Noah's righteous offspring. 

And the Spirit was right, for lo, the sea level rose, and rose, and rose, until the planet itself rose up and murdered its unworthy caretakers. The whole earth became drink; not drink still and clear, but torrential and murderous, until again the world was without form and void, and all the Earth was but one large ocean, stewed in the iniquities of its drowned trillions and glazed with salt to parch any survivors. And within three days, all remaining life lodged within an ark of 300 cubits.

The invisible spirit told us of the flood, he told Father to build the ark, precisely how, and with what, and how large, and how many animals to gather, but he gave us no extra ration of fresh water. All we had was the water within our well, which when drawn must be fermented ere it turn to undrinkable slime. So there was only barley fermentation, and wine, and animals, and obscenity. There was not even water for the children. 

And yet the first thing we brought aboard the ark was Father's pool of drink, of which he made us carry pitcher by pitcher to a pool of stone he'd constructed without assistance.

Upon the ark it was only us and the wine. Father told us we had no extra rations of drink for the animals, but to allow ourselves twelve times an eleven month supply for four families - we asked why, he did not say. Surely father knew what was to come better than we.

It began not with agony but joy and camaraderie - days of merry work followed nights of fine wine and song and lying with our wives in tents at the Ark's corners. The children were so torpid they never wandered and fell to serene sleep after dinner. The House of Noah used our wealth to buy all the crops of nearby families to feed the ark's animals, and once aboard we pickled them within buckets of salt water procured from the outside deluge. 

Father had always been serene, but he was quiet and cryptic, and often warned us what sort of different man he was before encountering the holy Spirit. He took to wine immediately, and his serene self turned upside down to the most dreadful moroseness. None saw him eat and he said not a word as he fed the animals. Yet while Father submerged into drink, our work seemed as play. 

But at the cusp of manhood, no drink could torpor Canaan. In less than one year he'd have taken to wife, but what wife lived to take him? 

The noises began with sheep of course, then goats, then the dogs and cows, and then to the larger animals, and the smaller, until we wondered if any animal remained unsullied among the ark's 16,000. An animal would scream in that peculiar yawp, always the same in every species, and we knew what Canaan wrought, particularly as he'd return every morning bruised and scratched; but what mattered it were we all drink-soaked? The world was ending, boys will be boys, the animals too were drunk, and were we to believe Father, House Noah was the world's only family who did not enjoy livestock's company. 

Eventually the ark's loneliness grieved our wives, and so too we found it oppressive. As the drink increased,  revelries decreased. Never again would we see anyone but us, and the realization necessitated more drink. Every simple disagreement felt like a second deluge, which also necessitated more drink. Whenever the rain's humidity caused a sniffle, we feared the mortality outdoors would permeate inside, which necessitated still more drink. And whenever an animal fell ill, which was often, we were great with labor to minister them, which necessitated the most drink of all. 

All the while, father built a new cage; a large one. We wondered was there a flying animal we'd forgotten? Father would not say. 

Days grew to weeks, memory blurred day to day, until eventually there were no memories but wailing wives as dawned on them a world of loss, and mischief raging among children now tolerant to alcohol made us great with rage, which necessitated still more drink. We sent dove after raven to find and; but they only found drink until a dove finally emerged with an olive branch. The Lord spared us, and thus we survivors would multiply in a new era of favor and grace. 

But the very next day, a great human cry awoke us to find Ham murdered and Canaan locked in Father's cage.

"Canaan! What have you done?" 

Here follows the tortuous dialogue between father and grandson:

"I have done nothing! Ham was murdered by you Grandfather!"

"The Holy Spirit betided me something vile, but surely it would be less than this! Murder or defilement among us is what I expected. For crimes such as these the Spirit flooded the world! There is just punishment for such offenders, but what came to pass is so much worse!"

"Why have you murdered my father?"

"Your father tried to kill me before I laid my curse on you!" 

"Why would you curse me?"

"Gaze upon the chalky substance within the drink! The imagination of man's heart is evil from its youth! Canaan has gazed upon my spirit's nakedness and spilled into it his seed! He hath raped the holy spirit of the Earth! We shall never rebuild Eden! The whole flood has been for naught! Humanity shall now continue just as it has!" 

"But I did not...."

"Cursed be you Canaan! A curse you were upon Ham and this ark, and cursed shall you be upon dry land! A servant of servants shall ye be unto your bretheren! A blessing shall the Holy Spirit of mine be to Shem and Japeth, but the your house Canaan shall be a servant to the servants of Shem and Japeth all the days of their li..."

"Grandfather, that was milk." 


"It WAS milk."

"Did Grandfather really think fermentation and salt would keep a kingdom of animals alive for a whole year?"

"It is not for you to question what the spirit in the drink tells me."

"There is no spirit in the drink."


"If it's a spirit, then the spirit told you what your mind already saw."

"Indeed, the spirit tells me the world is fornication and wickedness. Just like y..."

"No, grandfather, the world was already flooding, the spirit only told you what you knew." 

"We do not see but with the eyes of our spirit!"

"No, our spirit sees with our eyes." 

"Profanity! You deserve to be cursed all over again."

"Curses mean nothing."

"You dare doubt my curse?"

"I doubt there's any point to us living now when everybody else is dead."

"Your sacrilege is ignominy upon the entire House of Noah! Is it not enough that you desecrate every animal aboard the ark night by ni...?" 


"You have done evil enough. Do not dishonor us further in the ark of the Holy Spir...."  

"I curse you too Grandfather."

"Abominable blasphemer! May you be known through all eterni..."

"May you endure your remaining centuries knowing nothing of life but this stupid spirit of the drink or whatever you call that liquid shit." 

"Outrageous infide...!"

"May your bullshit visions of the Eden we lost haunt all your days and creep all your nights. May you forever see in me your only impediment to paradise."

Noah immediately charged at Canaan to strike him down but the cage Noah built himself prevented it. He reached for the cage's key, but Canaan pulled Noah's key from his own tunic. 

"While you all spent your nights in a stupor I was milking the mammal females and feeding it to their children. I even fed the milk to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren and told them not to tell anyone, because children will never survive on just the alcohol you've spent your whole lifetime warning us against and then made us live on. Shem, do you really think Arphaxad could survive the whole first year of his life on nothing but alcoholic breastmilk?" 

Clearly in grief, Noah reached for his sword with a clear intention to fall on himself. But Canaan from out his tunic produced Noah's sword as well. 

"How can we allow you power of life and death? You murdered your own son because I drank some water from the pool and didn't wipe a little milk off my cheek!"

A great cry went up from Noah. 

"My father is now dead because his own father slew him, and you think the outside world was the iniquitous place? Fuck you!"

Noah exhaled a still greater moan.

"We have no idea why the world flooded, but you all kept saying the world was getting warmer every year of my childhood. Maybe it was from all those fires people light to worship their gods." 

Noah began to cry in earnest.

"And if the world was just a place of people killing and raping each other, maybe worshiping spirits by drinking and smoking made them act that way. Grandfather Noah is the same as all of them!"

The wailing and crying grew entwined. 

"And yes, when we were still on land I jerked off in your holy spirit dozens of times, but the whole ark is alive because of me. Me, not your crappy god. I hate the drink and everything it makes you all do. I hate the fact that we're still alive and everybody else is dead, and if there is a spirit who did this, I hate him more than anyone and I curse him forever."

"Execration! Astonishment! Reproach! We spit you out of the House of Noah for eternity!" 

"I was planning to run away from this pathetic house for years. Now I've got a whole new world I can start on my own!" 


We never saw Canaan again. Within two days he'd run away with Japeth's granddaughter Arsal. I've had half a millennium to think about that last horrible day on the Ark. There were details on which Canaan was clearly wrong: the animals were nearly as drink-soaked as we and so would be their milk. Doubtless he was wrong about other things, but it's hard not to wonder if Canaan's arguments were far more correct than Father's. 

Perhaps there are no spirits and the earth contains nothing but water, fire and air. Yet why did Father know to build the Ark? And why did we, out of all the world, survive when no one else did? Did the Drink's holy spirit know what was to come? And even if the drink has no spirit, did our belief in the Drink enable our survival when everyone else died? Even were there no drink to choose us for its terrific knowledge, could believing in the Spirit of the Drink let us survive through hardships no one else can endure? 

I had seen enough of the old world to know Father may have been right: drink may well be the cause for all  terrors which make the world fit for destruction, so many of which Father must have seen. Yet by abstaining from drink, did Father recreate all terrors from which he meant to free his children? Had he curtailed his drink intake to moderation, no spirit would speak to him, and he would have never known to build the ark; but is the House of Noah lucky for surviving when all others die, or are we cursed? 

We have no way to know what became of Canaan and Arsal. Were there truly no people on Earth but us, how would they survive without knowledge of where to find animals or arability? They have cut themselves utterly from their roots and all advantages therein. Were one of them to die, the other would be entirely alone upon the planet, with no way of knowing whither their family.  As current head of the House of Noah, surely I'd welcome them to return, but how can we ever find each other? 

Canaan and Arsal went alone into the world with no spirit to guide them and nothing to summon their willpower but a hot planet of death who washes away all things for no seeming reason. How could they summon will to life in the face of such indifference? Perhaps love of each other or children endows them succor, or perhaps they find sustenance in a vision of a more just world. Perhaps Canaan sees the world more clearly than his grandfather, and perhaps that clarity will heal the world, but surely he will commit errors as well, and when he does, what spirit shall comfort him? 

If Canaan and Arsal are still alive, they will one day die without belief in an eternal spirit to claim them. Can humans sustain themselves in a world where all things are flesh and dust, and even if they can, will they one day anger a spirit and cause another flood? 

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