I’ve always hated the night, especially when it thunders outside and the rain comes in cold, hard sheets...and when I am by myself. He always announces his presence when I least expect him to. And, when the lightning glaringly streaks across the midnight sky and strong gusts of wind eerily snuff out the cherry of my cigarette, I know he is nearby. He hates it when I smoke and never bothers to talk to me when I do and comes at the most inopportune moments.
His presence is calm and at once disconcerting. I wish I could say I like him and enjoy his company, but I would be lying if I did and he knows this. He is a very serious- minded individual and at once the most hysterical being you will ever come across. He doesn’t have horns, a tail, or a pitchfork. He doesn’t dress in a business suit nor is he preoccupied with fashion and trends. No...the real Satan prefers being discreet and subtle. He communicates through the gestures of nature and profound, mystical dreams. You have to pay attention to what he says and be cognizant when you’re in his presence. It is an error not to do so.
People regard Satan as an immoral, depraved being... far from it. He is one of the most puritanical beings you will ever come across. Sex disgusts him. Life disgusts him. I guess I should be fortunate that I am one of few human beings he ever visits. He is beyond the scope and understanding of anything mortal. He ignites certain fires within me and is responsible for my adulthood success. He is neither demeaning nor condescending and carries himself quite well I might add. I am indebted to him for my success, but he has plainly spoken to me that he wants nothing in return...not even my soul. He knows souls don’t actually exist and he believes the human spirit to be a very finite, mortal, and expendable thing. I’ve always called him uncle from the very first time we met and he wished me to do so...that was the only payment he wanted in return for certain talents and gifts he endowed me with.
Satan is the intellect of all intellects and that his domain. He is the genius of all geniuses and the creative of all creatives... a genuine, charismatic supernatural who could be your best friend or your worst enemy. Just, try not to piss him off. It’ll just make things worse for yourself if you do. Lying to him is impossible. He knows what you’re going to say even before you say it. He understands what’s really on your mind and if you please him the rewards parentless. He doesn’t like stupid people and he knows them when he meets them, even before they utter a single word. He knows all too well the shortcomings and drawbacks of the human race and regales it with sardonic jokes. Satan regards me as his personal emissary in this world and when he mentioned this, it became a beaming honor. I was drunk with ecstasy that I should be a favored mortal of his. He confides in me knowing that I would never spill any of his secrets to anyone or anything. He instructs and I obey for he is my uncle and unequivocal benefactor in this earthly realm. I must say that he is a non-sentimental being and quite matter of fact in his approach to life. Love to him was as meaningful as a gnat that lives only a day. It was temporary, expendable, and meaningless. An immortal knows nothing of love. To an immortal he was the creator of it. My face turns crimson red and my blood effervesces when I am in Satan’s presence. It is no secret that he can make one’s spirit leap boundlessly just from being in his company... from exalting fear to drunken ecstasy, commingled with unnerving discomfort.
He can give you anything and everything you desire so long as you understand where he is coming from. He constructs and creates, as well as destroys and tarnishes. He is ever present and knows no limits and knows no boundaries. He often said that when mortals step outside of a circle to gain perspective, they find themselves in another circle and loop...only to repeat the process until they expire from this world. ‘It is one of the chief causes of real insanity’, he once told me when I was in a deep reverie.
Satan constantly informs and dispenses sound practical advice. It is titillating to hear him speak and one’s lust and desire for the opposite sex can be realized if you heed his advice. He is not all sex and bacchanalian debauchery as myths and legends would make him out to be. He understands these things very well, but is beyond it...indifferent to it...not consumed by it as we are.
Satan’s views on god are pragmatic at best. He views God as a creative scientist that conceptualizes. God is constantly creating things in more or less as trial and error. Nothing pleases or displeases God. He just sees what works and what doesn’t. Satan said that God had no human qualities and that our perception of Him is enormously skewed and that our understanding of him is false. ‘God neither judges nor reprieves’, Satan once told me. ‘He just creates and destroys...not for his own amusement, but for his own private and selfish design.’ God is an authority on all authorities and even Satan must bow before Him. It was God that manufactured Satan and knew in advance that Satan would be his adversary. And God knew what Satan would really be like and become. But, not even Satan understands God’s ultimate design or purpose for him. Satan, often, wondered if God was just bored and just kept creating things to occupy Himself or if there really was a point to all this creation. The main fall out between God and Satan was when Satan disagreed with God on his creations.
Satan... the real Satan is not allergic to holy water crosses or Bibles-that is a myth we are taught in school. On the contrary, he adores those items as it justifies his own existence. ‘For there to be a good’, he once said, ‘there has to an evil. I am that evil. I represent everything that lurks back in the unconscious mind. Every hidden desire and every adulterous thought is what symbolizes me. it gives me justice and validity to my own existence. It is a form of worship and praise in its own right. I pass no judgment but he does.’ Satan said this with his finger pointing to the sky. ‘Now who is the better being, He or I. He who creates can destroy and destroy he does...with impunity; with recklessness; with absolution... with bias. I sit idly by and watch all these things occur and take issue with what he has wrought. This...this is our long-standing disagreement... our eternal feud; our own private silent war. A war, eternally engaged where neither side wins. ‘He has a habit of copying himself’, Satan told me. ‘He is constantly dissatisfied with what he does and remakes it...to make it better- when things are no better than before. ‘He must be very lonely and bored’, I said one languid day. Satan laughed. ‘Something like that... God is his own madman and cannot escape his own devices. It is an eternal loop with him chasing his own tail and a maddening, never ending tragic comedy.
Satan fancied me ever since I stumbled across him by chance when I was meandering the dark woods late one night ...not too far from my last home. It was frightening and disconcerting meeting him at first, but I gradually acclimated myself to this feeling, though not fully. It is always unnerving when being in his presence. He is considerate in his own way and will always send an announcement before he arrives. I prepare myself for these encounters, not knowing what to expect.
One, autumn, midnight the wind started howling violently outside my glass – paned, bedroom window. The rain came down as thick as lead and the thunder began to boom with a deafening noise. I sharply awoke from my strange, dreaming slumber and I knew he was nearby. I became distressed, but managed to utter a few coherent words. “Sure, I know that uncle”, I stammered, my voice becoming childlike, “let me go downstairs where we can talk in private.” I got out of bed and hugged the satin covers against, my wife, Vivien who was sound asleep. I crept downstairs, passing by my reflection in the gold plated mirror hanging in the hallway. My reflection appeared strange to me. I shook my head and laid myself upon a purple velvet couch that I had purchased in London on a recent visit and the rain began to pour heavily once more. The thunder began to crackle and snarl. “Your knowledge and wisdom are the only things I genuinely respect and admire”, I said. “Everyone else pales in comparison...you don’t have to terrorize me with your authority. I know my place.” The wind slowly died down. The rain gradually softened and the thunder became minute inaudible booms. I became more at ease and prepared myself for whatever was to come. He came to me in a benign, ethereal way, as was his custom and began to speak. “What have you been looking for all these years?”, he asked authoritatively. “Myself “, I slowly and seriously responded. “After all these years you still do not know who and what you are?” He asked seriously. “Everything I have accomplished and acquired is thanks to you”, I said respectfully. “I know it really was not entirely of my own efforts.” Satan nodded and agreed.
“Things are going very well for you. Have you ever wondered why I did not ask of any real payment for your extraordinary success?” “I have often wondered about that”, I replied. “You do not believe in souls nor do you care about them as we are taught to believe...you want no worship or groveling ...on the contrary this disgusts you...you have no use for materialistic things...quite frankly I am bewildered as to why you have chosen me to become your personal emissary and confidant...I am not the brightest of men ...I know this nor am I the most deceitful.. I am stumped as to why you chose me.”
“I chose you”, Satan replied, “Because you were convenient.” “That makes me feel very special”, I said dryly, becoming more at ease.
“Biting sarcasm will get you everywhere”, he responded. “That’s pretty much all I have going for me now”, I said. “That and your supernatural, poetic creativity.” Satan nodded his head again.
“What do you think would have become of you were it not for our chance encounter?”
“Most likely dying from malnutrition and from being an unknown.” I said. “Most poets don’t know how to make a living aside from selling their emotions and moods except by swooning a member of the opposite sex and these days no one is really buying your feelings for a lady unless you’re outlandishly famous.” Satan scoffed at this.
“Real poets never pined for a long lost love! They pined mostly for themselves! The subject of the poem is really all about the self-absorbed poet!” He exclaimed. This made unfathomable, glowing sense me. “That applies to my situation”, I said quietly.
“Of course it does.”, Satan said. “As I’ve reiterated before I was an ailing mediocre before your invigorating breeze brushed up against me. After you entered my life, my poetry became genuinely sublime in this world. I honestly don’t know whether to thank you or if I should have rejected your supernatural advances.”
“And why is that?” Satan asked with prescient wonder. “I wanted to believe that all of my work came from myself ...that I was, just, not another hack...that I could accomplish something of importance on my own. I guess I'm frustrated with my own genuine talent and that I have to rely on an outside supernatural force to gain worldly merit and acclaim on this earth.”
“Is merit and global acclaim that important you?” “It is”, I honestly replied. “Poets are anti-social creatures by nature and therefore the loneliest out of all the professions in its class. I need fame and attention because I was so deprived of it while growing up.”
“Fame and great standing with your peers makes life more bearable to you?” he asked innocently.
“It does”, I said. It makes life worth living... that everyone around you adoring your work proves that you really live; that you are alive; that you are something beyond; that you are genuinely extraordinary; that you approached the impossible and attained her.”
“Standing out isn’t always an attractive offer”. he said matter of fact. “It is when you never have stood out throughout your life and been brandished as a backwards dilettante. I can have any woman I desire and am married now to the most entrancing woman thanks to you .i can possess materialistic objects far beyond the grasp of many or travel anywhere to any remote exotic destination or locale, yet something still gnaws at me... some bleeding porous open gaping wound haunts me.”
“That festering, haunting wound”, he replied perceptively, “is your conscience and self-respect.” I sunk my head.
“I should have rejected you the moment when I knew I was being intertwined in your supernatural splendor.”
“You should have, but you didn’t. There is a difference between the two.” “I wasn’t thinking.”
“No, you weren’t”, agreed Satan, “you were feeling... which is what poets do best...which is what you do best.” “Damn feelings!” I exclaimed angrily. ”Damn them all!”
“Why?” He asked innocently. “I am not a happy man Satan”, I despairingly stated.
“That much is obvious.” A sudden, violent, frenzied rush came over me and in a panic I shouted, “Turn back time Satan. Please I beg you. I want to know if I could achieve something on my own...something of merit.... something without your help or interference.”
“No.” He replied. “You really are the Devil, aren’t you? You know, all, too well the weaknesses of the human race and you exploit them.” Satan nodded. “There is no real burning fiery hell is there? The real hell is getting what you desire and paying for it in some way...you seduce us with your charms tease us with your riches but in the end they are self-manufactured weapons to be used against ourselves.”
“You’re finally doing some real thinking”, Satan responded. “That’s unfair and strategic Satan”, I childishly cried.
“That is why I exist. I never said I was a benevolent entity”. I looked about the plush room with Satan’s gaze following my own. My eyes moved languidly from one lavish object to another. They finally rested upon a glinting, platinum revolver resting on a gold lining, cherry oak wooden chest.
“I could end it you know?” I said tranquil. “Could you?”
“Yes I can. I can end it right now.” I said even more serenely. “I severely doubt it”. He responded
“Just watch me.” I said confidently. “I'm watching.”, he said placidly. I skipped over to the chest, picked up the revolver, and caressed the ergonomic grooves of the metal grated handle. I flicked the cylinder of the revolver open and stared at the outer casings of 6 silver bullets. Flicking it back into its original state, I deftly put it to the left side of my temple, took a breath, closed my eyes, began to squeeze the trigger, and then sighed. I relieved the trigger after a long moment and then placed the revolver back down on the wooden chest.
“Not as easy as you thought it would be?” “I have responsibilities”, I replied sheepishly. My face was turning crimson red.
“Don’t we all.” He said impassively. “Responsibilities turn us into convicts. With responsibility comes lack of freedom-that, or you might be afraid of spilling your fragmented egg shells and red spaghetti on that nice Persian rug you’re standing on.” “This Persian rug is the least of my worries right now”, I replied.
“Then why did you buy it?” “-To make myself feel better.” I said.
“It doesn’t seem to have had much success.” “It doesn’t now that you’re here.”
“My presence bothers you?” I nodded my head in mute silence for a few moments. A long, awkward silence enveloped us. I broke the uncomfortable atmosphere and asked him randomly, “What is it like being an immortal? “
“What is it like feeling a constant, euphoric, waterfall breeze enfolding and swaying with you for eternity?” “It really must nice to be you”, I said
“It has its advantages and disadvantages.” “I don’t see any disadvantages being you”, I replied.
“Oh...there are but I am not at liberty to discuss them.” “What are you at liberty to discuss then?”
“Payment.” “But you said you wanted no payment for the gifts you endowed me with when we first met!”
“I lied.” My heart sank in trepidation. My mind reeled in agitated, diffident nervousness. “What is it that you want?” I bravely uttered.
“A poem”, he said...”from you, without my help...a spontaneous poem. I will give you a few moments to come up with something.” I struggled a bit and casually glanced outside my window. A lone moon was shining scattered beams of light beneath my feet. The beams of moonlight were wavy and carefree.
It was at this moment that some self, initiated, electrical force pulsated through me.
“Ok, ok,” I responded. “I have one for you.” I began to speak and this is what came out:
The Dance by Moonlight
“Parted, scattered, moonlight dancing to and fro amidst an autumn’s dry scented tornado coil...
...Enveloped and wrapped in this turbulent breeze I toil – to heights unknown.
O’ where did it go? O’ where did it go? God moments are all I live for now...
When will my God return?
He parts and comes again only to sour my remaining days on this earthly plane when he is away...
When will the shafts of beaming sunlight reunite me?
Earthly love is hollow and vain and I yearn for that which is absolute and truly reigns.
Religious poetic salvation comes and goes, like parted scattered moonlight dancing to and fro.”
Satan smiled when he heard this and said nothing for a while. “Why does God have to be in the poem?” he finally queried. “Is this poem some sort of weapon against me?” “Not at all”, I hurriedly exclaimed. “It just came out.” I said defensively.
“I see.”, he said. “I think I shall not be bothering you anymore. I believe I shall leave you to your own devices from now on.” My gut sank and then a renewed kind of excited spirit came over me. I mumbled something incoherent and stared at the mahogany floor shyly. When I had looked up Satan had vanished. Relief and fright crept up against me as well as soft footsteps that were descending the oak staircase .I turned around to see a half-asleep Vivien.
She was dressed in a maroon satin robe and yawned out loud, “John...who are you talking to? It’s 3.a.m. I heard different voices.” “Nobody, dear “,I said with airy relief. “I’m not talking to anyone.” I rested my hand on the wooden ream of the velvet couch and walked toward her. I stopped to pause in front of our large gold plated mirror hanging in front of the hallway and stared at my reflection for a few moments. My face slowly began to change into something recognizable and I smiled. “I was just thinking out loud, darling. Let’s go back to bed.”