I become St. Francis and he’s a cow. Then I’m St. Anthony trying to find two lost brains, his and mine. After a passing and less kind Shiva phase where I cut off his parents’ heads before they can pair, I’m me again and just say:

“They don’t demand as much as they used to. To graduate college, for instance. To be president. Gradually over the last 60 years. Nobody knows how it’s happening, I mean if it’s a plot or just natural. In the States, they used to print the whole presidential news conference in the newspaper, every single question and answer. Not a century ago, just 30 years. Now look, they just abbreviate. No one knows if the papers started it first, giving less and less, and people were less stimulated and slowly got dumber, or if people got dumber for some different reason, and didn’t want to read it as much, so the paper stopped printing it. Well, that’s an example. You can compare textbooks.”

His eyes are glazed. He’s picking at a callous on his hand. The magazine has fallen onto his crotch. How appropriate.

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“So you think I’m dumbed down compared to you because you’re older?” His lip curled a little. They hate not getting laid a second time worse than not getting it at all.

“Look. Look at it this way. I’m dumbed down compared to five or ten or whatever years ahead of me. And it’s all relative. We can’t help it. I can’t really talk, not as good as I do in my mind, I mean. As I think I do in my mind. So it’s not personal.”

But why let him off the hook?

"Though of course you and your fellow children of Reagan, Reaganism, you were hyper-dumbed, I think. With Reagan it became – dumb, and proud! It’s so deep inside you, you can’t even see it. It’s like this magazine. Like the infamous time they misspelled the word Prague, here the city, as P-R-O-G. Were they mortified? Or apologetic? No! They said ‘Our Czech friends say it’s no big deal, happens all duh time.’ They were defiant about it.”

He’s still doing the slouch down on the couch with legs spread wide, the I’m So Male I Can’t Help It thing. So few variations on such a limited theme. Goatee, piercing, baseball-hat, tattoo is about it for this one. Oh, white rapper frosted hair. Model boy thug chic.

He f*cked me once but didn’t get enough Control. That is what he wants. It’s cool to say b*tch and chick now and to control is the main part of sex for American males. “You’re in total control!” the exultant words of a young man telling his friends about going to a prostitute.

They like Getting Head because it’s subjugation, dominance, first of all, and last for the sensation. He’s trying to figure out how some of that might come off me.

Now he’s holding an arm over his head like a gibbon. I wonder if I could kill him. I know I could kill one in Prague and get away with it. “I think you’re harping too much on an incident that happened a long time ago.”

Harpy, I think he says. He’s still talking about the magazine but I’m thinking about a St. Harpy, I want St. Harpy to kill this Epoch of the Sheep the way Mother Mary killed the snake, standing there with a serpent KO’d under her feet. I want to stand on a hill of sheep all with red blood bull’s-eyes in the middle of their white fluffiness and me with a hillbilly shotgun resting on my shoulder.

“It takes a lot of balls to make this magazine, and it has a lot of readers, too,” he goes on. “They don’t just complain about things the way you do. With you there’s always something wrong with everything. They’re active. Like when phone calls were too expensive, they came out with their own phone cards. You know, at least it’s better than The Prague Post.”

“You call them readers, you should say lookers, they just turn to the back to see if their picture is in there. It’s their high school yearbook again, every month.” But I am losing steam. I don’t really care to explain. He’s proving my point even as he argues against me.

Lots of readers, phone cards, better than the Post, balls – financial success, majority rules, entrepreneurism, two party system, two balls system – these are the values embedded inside him. Like depleted uranium in a Kosovo veteran.

I lose all my steam. It floats up into a ghost; he sees it in the corner of his eye. Each drop in the vapor has a womyn saint of the future peering out. The land becomes desert for lack of moisture. Between the ever-shifting sands, temples are unloaded by airships shaped like vulvas.

They take it all far, far away.

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