On my sixteenth birthday, I received a most curious, wonderful gift from my neighbor, Adriano. He gave me guardianship of a wise, wish-granting counselor. The counselor was only 36” tall and immeasurably handsome, with glowing features, blonde hair rolling across his forehead as if without a care in the world, and a sparkly gold tan to his flesh. He always wore perfectly-tailored gray velvet trousers and jacket, with a living violet, which never withered, flourishing on the lapel. He spent most of the day in meditation on my mantelpiece, but when I returned home from my long, bitter days as a slave in the factory, he would spring up to greet me and give me all sorts of wise bits of advice and predictions, and occasionally grant me wishes. All he required for sustenance were four peas per day — simple, ordinary peas, the kind that grow everywhere in the countryside, even out of cracks in the sidewalk. By the power of his perfectly accomplished meditation, my counselor was able to subsist endlessly on this grub, only growing lovelier and wiser with each passing year, and never aging a day. He required feeding at the moments the sun made pivotal transformations in the sky, one pea each at sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight. Such was my devotion to my precious counselor that no matter the circumstances, I happily forced myself to his service, returning home from the factory at dawn and noon, and tearing myself out of bed at midnight each day to feed him.
“My love for my counselor grew deeper and deeper each day, as did his own beauty and vitality. Sometimes the inner parts of his eyes looked like green insects’ eyes, and from these came the boundless love that can usually only be found in completely dark places with nothing to cling to.
“He started answering my prayers. I discovered treasures, a little at a time, until I was able to pay off my master at the factory, and escape with enough left over to live a life of endless luxury.
“I bought a magnificent cruise ship with spires and towers, tethered it to the cliff just past Jade Bay, and hired the king’s personal architect and interior designer to completely gut it and convert it into a mansion. Only the 4 grand ballrooms remained as they had been, with their dashing chandeliers and scary endless views of water and skies. I even had a special chapel built for my precious counselor, with a throne for him to sit upon all day, a pearl and marble hallway leading nowhere, and pages to bring him flowers all the hours of the day. But for myself alone I reserved the task of serving him his four peas; and always on a platter of solid gold, despite his dear, modest protests that no such embarrassingly large and expensive platter was called for to serve such a simple fellow as himself.
“Slowly my empire-like home grew strong and populated. I grew accustomed to taking off daily for extravagant errands. Of course, nothing could keep me away from my counselor longer than six hours, so I would always be there to faun on him and feed him his peas. But I spent the rest of my time on expeditions with numerous friends and acquaintances, who had somehow arrived at my house and taken up residence in its generous apartments. Always, it seemed, some handsome, half-familiar, vague acquaintance arrived at my door in the middle of the afternoon to see if I wanted to accompany him to one of the islands in the bay, or to go collect hallucinogenic barks in the countryside of the mainland, and we’d happily throw away the afternoon laughing and playing and having hilarious perceptions, such as of our eyeballs, having become marble orbs full of gunpowder, ejecting from our heads and crashing all around the courtyards causing much havoc and spectacle.
“As the days and weeks got on, more and more impressive, unrecognizable persons presenting themselves as my dear friends and lovers came for me at all hours of day and night. My life became very difficult to account for, as the days sped by like insatiable burning suns, and I was always either dead asleep, drunk or drugged, or having an intimate conversation with someone I didn’t know, or off on some adventure with dear companions who laughed ceaselessly at my jokes, and in fact at every word I spoke, as if anything I could possibly say were the most brilliant thing in the world.
“This completely irresponsible lifestyle continued to the point that one perfect, most amazing day in the summertime, practically raining pollen from the soft blue sky, I was off on several picnics in a wild park on a nearby island, with some boys and girls who were exchanging witty, sarcastic commentary and wearing haplessly thrown-on brocade as well as magnificent jeweled earrings and gossamer capes as well, and I was listening to their entertaining banter and noticing how perfectly it blended with the gentle laughter-like roar of the brooke near our picnic blanket, as the water ran over the smooth pebbles that my friends were sucking on. And suddenly I realized with horror that the sun was well passed the midpoint of the sky, and I had forgotten to feed my precious counselor. I abruptly ended our outing and insisted that we return home immediately. My friends pouted all the way back, and a skinny boy with black hair in his face kept whining very self-indulgently. When we got back to the ship, they kissed me goodbye in a most careless and floppy way, then quickly disappeared into the mansion.
“Utterly alone, I ran to the little chapel, only to find my beautiful, most precious counselor dead. He was sitting in his meditation posture on the mantle as always, but his head was drooping forward, and his skin had already began to shrivel. I had killed the most beautiful person in the world, the one who knew all, and had given to me more generously than a pelican who feeds its young with the blood from its breast.
“So forlorn that life, whether as a slave or as a hapless prince, had lost anything resembling value, I left my mansion without saying goodbye to anyone. I left all those parasitic friends and lovers who were strangers to me. I roamed the country without eating or drinking for days, with the cruel sun beating down upon me. Each moment of internal pain was the most pathetic, insufficient form of retribution for the horror I had committed. I knew I would never be free, never repay this sin. I determined that I would walk constantly, without eating or drinking or sleeping, until I dropped dead. Even that would be insufficient punishment, but it was all that I could offer, for I had no implements with which to mutilate my body. I walked for seven great æons across the barren wasteland, the days were hotter than hell, and the nights were colder and more bitter than the insides of a hag’s intestine.
“Finally, I collapsed at the door of this palace. When I woke up, I couldn’t imagine how I had ended up in such a magnificent place, with such undeservedly kind company, except no doubt for the kindness of my wise, beloved counselor, generous as he proved to be even beyond the grave. This was the most beautiful house I had ever seen; the tacky ballrooms of my mansion paled in comparison to this palace’s yawning chasms of jewels and jagged windows into abysmal oceans.
“I vowed that in order to repay my debt, I would ceaselessly work in this house, cleaning and scrubbing the floors and walls, without sleep, until such a time as I am able to discover where God dwells, find him and murder him.”
In Adam Greenberg’s “My Best Friend Hildegard,” 12th century mystic Hildegard and her gay best friend escape slaughter, cavort with demons and discover love’s great Mysteries at Whole Foods in this charming, shocking and ingenious tale from dangerous angel publishing. You can purchase the book on Amazon.com