My Oldest Friend

My Oldest Friend is the youngest person I know. “Running Mates”, some people would call us. Partners (often in crime) in every endeavor for as long as I can remember, we were co-conspirators in every Dirty Deed I have ever done or been “falsely accused” since the beginning of Time. Taught me shape-shifting before I was five years old, and “relative invisibility” shortly after that. Went on every excursion I ever took from Astral Travel To Acid Trip from Santeria to Salvation.

Most of my other friends are afraid of him, and warned me that our acquaintance was conjured in Hell. You can see the terror in their eyes. So enigmatic that they cannot even tell if “he” is male or female…(When he talks to me, he sounds like Eddie Griffin…) and he always has enough Havana Cohiba’s for both of us…and Dark Rum from a bottle so old it was hand-blown…it has a cork that he pulls out with his teeth and it always looks about half-full.

“Mista Chazz…” he calls me through a smile full of long pearly-white shark teeth as the smile becomes a grin just a red cunt-hair’s breadth short of a sneer, “We sure do strike sparks everywhere we go. I wish they would let me take an assistant, but MANAGEMENT sez no…such a pity, but no matter, I go everywhere you go just because I like ya; I go everywhere else because I have to…even when you was a baby, you were never afraid of me, even though your folks couldn’t see me…funny thing, like that, ain’t it? Maybe they’ll let you be my assistant when it’s Your Time.”

I remember feeling him walking on my shadow that night in Pompano, as we walked through that apartment building, police everywhere…around the pool…chalk line around the stains that hadn’t even dried yet…cops hanging out on the stairs, smoking cigarettes like all the big stuff was over…the bust was over…now it’s paperwork and reports and debriefings…cops just milking the job…walked right in with me to that apartment on the other side of the building…a half-dozen detectives standing around, shooting the shit about the shooting…just walked right in and bought a forty-piece like it was fucking bubble-gum, right under their noses, and walked right back out…Holding…just like that. He’s always there with me every place I never should have been.

As I get older, I know there will come a time when MANAGEMENT will insist…retirement time…My Friend will come to take me to the other side…he says that what we don’t realize is that for the first six months, you can’t stop laughing, just looking back on it all, especially The Fear. He says that as long as I can keep up, then we’re cool, because I amuse him, and I sense a certain detached admiration…he says I make the time he spends on this side fun…for now.

This may be the longest introduction for The One Who Needs No Introduction. He is the Harvester; the Guy with the Clam Rake…the Butterfly Net…the Spear, the Lasso, or the Scythe… we have been friends since before my parents were born.

Some time back, I started to realize that my friend was with me even when I didn’t realize, but did that shape-shifting thing again, and caught me by surprise by coming to me as a woman…knew I wouldn’t be cool with that…couldn’t feature it…(especially thinking back on some of the things we did)…but really, that was my fault, because I made Everything in My Own Image….

Somebody like that doesn’t really need a body of their own when they can just act through the others that come to you from what seems like out of nowhere…and now here. So I told My Friend that when it was My Time to please come to me as a woman…she doesn’t even have to be beautiful…soulful will do just fine…It’s just not my nature to Surrender…willingly, except to a woman…something which I have been doing since before the first time I was ejected from the Garden.

This Is Nobody’s First Rodeo…but for the ones who haven’t realized it yet, it might as well be…everything that has or ever will happen is happening right now…Always…My Friend and I have been doing this ever since, and Your Time is Always Just Around the Corner. Every Day is Judgment Day.

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