An Artist Goes to Hell – Excerpt 3

4 Nov

‘Now, there’s a lot of paperwork to go through and there’re a lot of things to discuss, but I think we can at least get your sentence cut in half. I really think that because of the nature of your crimes, even as decadent as they first appear, are certainly not as bad as some other crimes for which guys a hundred times nastier than you got one-forth the sentence, you understand?’

‘Uh … my charges? What are they?’

Sintek slapped his hands together. He flung them into pointing indexes at Pensivemo and said, ‘Right! Oh, how silly. How absolutely silly of me! I need to read you your charges before we do anything else.’

He went to the U where all the knobs, touch-screens and buttons were. ‘Come here,’ he said, motioning with his finger, not looking at Pensivemo. He came to him and looked down at a document Sintek had pulled up.

Sintek read it aloud for him. ‘Well let’s see … Oh, well, the charges are listed in such a funny place and there aren’t any character spaces between them and their penalty number codes … But your charges are, as follows: one charge of Scatological Turpitude. One charge of Suggested Nymphet Obsession in the Second Degree by way of Poetic License. Two charges of Racially Oriented Fetishism in the form of Viennese Waltz Patterns, again, by way of Poetic License. Three charges of Manipulated Translation Stress on the AB-AB Rhyming Schemes of Rilke. Nine charges of Barthelmismo—Jeez, man! One charge of Transgressional Distillation in Light of Interpretations of Works Including But Not Exclusive to Irish Plays Based Around the Architectonic Symmetry of Immanuel Kant’s Vocabulary. One charge of Vocational Blasphemy. One charge of Poetic Blasphemy. Two charges of Libel by way of Implied Philistinism. Four counts of Malicious Intent to Facilitate Insanity in the First Degree for, one, Not Resolving the Subdominant, two, Constantly Vocalizing Melody Lines One Quarter Step Below the Key Signature While Feigning Naivety—the music ones are mostly technical, it seems. Ah, and here’s another aesthetic one: two charges of Over-determined Anti-Schopenhauerianism by way of Pansexual Rectitude in the form of Wagnerian Dramatization. And lastly, at least in this particular document, one charge of Localized Cognitive Dissonance in the Company of a Celebrated Dignitary. Oh! It looks like two counts of Scatological Turpitude since Gnostic Turpitude is no longer tenable but still appropriative to the specific vulgarity of the former. None of this’ll wash, Pens, I can guarantee you.’

‘Are there dates listed?’ Pensivemo asked.

‘Not here, but eh … I’m sure I can get a hold of them.’

‘Are there witnesses?’

‘Yeah, I can’t seem to find the reports.’

‘You really don’t think any of that’ll wash?’

‘Sure, it’s a lot of seasoning for one big piece of punitive pepperoni but I think we got something to work with.’ He smiled and wagged his finger. ‘This is where your condition comes in.’

‘Right, right. I meant to ask you about my condition.’

‘Well, I think we can push for the insanity plea.’

‘Oh, well—’

‘I’ve seen your medical records. You take meds.’

‘Just insulin.’

‘But that’s it! Over a long period of time, right? I’ll have my doctor look at you. Certainly, with that much insulin getting pumped into your veins all the time, you’d have to be a little nuts, right?’

‘I don’t know, really, I just—’

‘I’m gonna get you out of this place. I can get you out on bale, see. I can put you up in a place with full immunity too, see? No freaks bothering you for a piece of your royalty checks. And you do have a lot of royalty checks, which only gives me full faith in the existence of those same freaks, see. But I can put you on a beach! Girls in bikinis serving you martinis all day and everything they feed you tastes like coconut and even the cheese’ll get you drunk. You’d like a place like that, yeah?’

‘Are you my lawyer?’ Pensivemo asked.

‘Yeah. What a question! But I guess you’ve been out of it for a while, right?’ Sintek brushed his hands through his hair and widened his eyes. ‘I got to get out of this dump. They’re coming down on me pretty hard. Every time you turn a corner or look at someone wrong, they charge you. Last month, for instance, I got charged for turning a corner, you know: Failure to Assume Democratic Demeanor When Turning thus Emulating an About-Face Step in Keeping With the Tyrannical Aesthetic of the Enemies of Democracy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century. Second charge for turning: Instigating Optical Confusion in Sight of Parties Appointed to Preemptively Determine the Intent of Motor Functions.’

‘So how’d you get out?’

‘Hey, it’s politics, kid. Let’s not start a basic class discussion just now. But certainly, I do think you could pass for crazy. Just the combination of your eyes and that sort of crater-ridden face of yours. Do you smoke? Look at you. Of course you smoke. You smoke, right?’

‘Absolutely, I thought you’d never—’

‘Great! I mean, I’m sorry, I don’t have a cigarette on me. But my point is, I think it would be good for you, you know, to shake a little bit when you smoke in front of people.’


‘Yeah! You know, like someone with a psychological malady. You probably twitch when you get upset, yeah?’

‘A little in the eyes, sure.’

‘Great! All you have to do, is you have to keep from stopping those basic functions and we’re already off to a good start.’
‘You think it’s such a good idea that we’re talking about this stuff right here … right now?’ Pensivemo said, brushing the back of his neck.

‘Caution, sure. I understand. But you can’t be too cautious. My ex-wife got charged once with Lateral Ethicism with the Intent of Direct Negation of Primal Inclinations. See? You can’t win.’


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