Kevin savors every bite, every morsel. Tabitha, without all the rigmarole of her prior manifestations, instantly creates a giant cooler filled with ice, and ice-cold Coca Cola. No drawing, no hand waving, no words — the cooler filled with Coke just IS. The cooler appears on the beach, within arms length of Kevin. One moment it was not; the next moment it IS. Puzzled — he looks at her with confusion, raising a single eye-brow, in his best Mr. Spock impersonation.
Tabitha explains, “I created the sandwich for you for two reasons, the first obviously was to feed you; the second was to demonstrate some of the processes involved in creation. I create with a single, powerful thought. It’s taken years of conjuring to build the psychic-muscles needed to create this easily. But, if I just did it for you, without showing the steps, you wouldn’t be able to learn what happens in my divine mind. I opened the curtains for you to take a peek at what was going on inside MY kitchen.
I’m gonna go play now, call me over if you want to talk.”
Satisfied with her answer, Kevin expels, with his mouth full, “OK.” Takes a long swig of Coke, feels the crisp bubbles. Finishes his sandwich. Gabs his Mont-Blanc pen, begins to draw 100-dollar bills in his journal. Tabitha returns, “What are you doing?”
“Magick; like you.”
“You can’t do magick like that.”
“I’m doing exactly what you did.”
With apprehension, Tabitha sternly replies, “I told you to be careful with your questions!”
All the others — the kids sharing the beach, begin laughing at Kevin again. They encircle him now, Tabitha is pushed outside the circle. Again they begin running at a blurred speed around him, kicking up a cyclonic wind, pointing at Kevin and shouting and repeating in unison: “Lamer!” “You’re not connected to source!” “You have no faith!” “You’re afraid!” “Your pipes are clogged!” “You’re worrying!” “You’re a damn! Not a waterwheel!” “You’re outside The Kingdom!” “You have doubt!” “Sinner!” “Idolator!” “Money! Your money’s no good here fat man!” “Too-greedy!” “Not greedy enough!” “By the sweat of your brow!” “You’re covered in filth!” “Eat another baloney sandwich!” “Pig!” “A pig returns to his own vomit!”
Kevin begins transforming into a swine, the beach surrounding him transforming into a large pig pen. He’s covered in his own pig shit. His stomach contracts, his throat expands, his sandwich and Coke spew violently from his mouth; fluid and particulate chunks clog his snout. He’s squealing to express his discomfort. Greedily, the pig, formerly known as Kevin laps up his vomit.
Tabitha booms, “Shut up you guys! Leave Kevin alone! Quit it! Were any of you any different when you first came here?” The pig formerly known as Kevin hears her words — but doesn’t look up. The vomit is voluminous, never ending, far more than he spewed out — and so enticing. The vomit’s his entire universe.
All the kids scatter after hearing Tabitha’s thunder; they go back to playing. Kevin, the pig version, continues lapping up his vomit. Tabitha shouts, “Kevin, you are a man!” The pig hears Tabitha, but ignores her. The pig continues enjoying his vomit as the sounds, not words, sounds — ‘Kevin you are a man!’ — continue reverberating and repeating inside its small pig brain. The vomit lapping and her words, ‘Kevin you are a man!’ — continue in a stalemate for pig’s focus. With every lap of vomit — pig hears the sounds, ‘Kevin you are a man!’ Pig wishes the sounds would end, but pig can’t tune the noise out completely — the pig hasn’t the brain capacity to focus exclusively on the vomit, even though that’s what pig would like to do, would it?
Does the pig want to ignore the sounds? The pig doesn’t want to consider this, the sounds are there, but the vomit is infinitely more real to the pig, and infinitely more enjoyable. So the pig slurps and listens to ‘Kevin you are a man!’ For a while. At least till my belly’s full. The pig tries to rationalize. Wait. My belly will never be full. The pig thinks. ‘Kevin you are a man!’ Pigs don’t think.
For a split second, the pig does not slurp.
‘Kevin you are a man!’ Now, the pig stops eating completely. ‘Kevin you are a man!’ Those are words. The pig thinks. Pigs can’t think. Pigs can’t understand words. The pig backs up from the vomit, just a little bit; a few inches. ‘Kevin you are a man!’ The pig continues backing up. The pig can still smell the vomit, but it’s not as irresistible at this distance. ‘Kevin you are a man!’ The pig closes its eyes. I am not a pig — the pig thinks. ‘Kevin you are a man!’
The pig looks up at her, this strange creature — this — this — this — this — this girl — this god — the pig tries to process her strange speech. The vomit looks so appealing, he’s so tempted to dive right in again, continue the lapping which had been so enjoyable to him just a moment ago. It was so delicious. Pigs don’t say words like delicious. ‘Kevin you are a man!’
The pig remembers vaguely, he is a man, was a man? No. The pig thinks, I am a man! The pig attempts to expel the sentence from its lungs, ‘I am a man!’ — but only a loud continuous squeal bellows. The pig repeats with emotion, ‘I am a man!’ This time four intense, equally-timed squeals howl forth.
Tabitha has mercy on the helpless pig, sheds a tear — says with compassion, “I’ll take it from here.” With Tabitha’s words and mercy, Kevin, the man, is back on his blanket, the vomit and pig-feces IT was luxuriantly wallowing in are gone. His human brain, memory, and senses are completely restored. It’s a warm August day on Nantasket Beach, the waves are crashing, the salt air is pleasing, seagulls are making their raucous calls, the kids are back playing by themselves, and Tabitha’s smiling warmly at Kevin’s restoration. She says matter-of-factly, “Almost lost you there, Kevin. What was that like?”
“It was kind of —“ Kevin searches for the right word, “addictive. I mean, as a pig, the vomit was my entire universe. The smell was so appealing, so enticing — it tasted so good! Better than the fried baloney sandwich you made for me! I mean, I know that sounds strange, but the vomit was delicious. Although my taste buds were not as refined as a pig, every slurp was pleasure. Liquid pleasure. I couldn’t stop eating it. Even with your divine voice calling to me, the vomit seemed more real. My brain was unable to process your words, as even words, they were merely sounds at first. You were practically speaking a foreign language. How long was I a pig?”
“You do not want to know. Time does not matter here anyways.”
Kevin insists, “Please tell me how long?”
“A thousand years.”
“How is that possible?”
“So many answers to your question, so many spiritual truths, so many lessons. Do you really want to know the answer?”
Kevin ponders her question carefully, a few minutes later he replies, “Yes, with all my desire.”
Tabitha smiles, “Good. That I can work with.”
Read more: PRIONS