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You make it to Central Park. As expected, you quickly encounter a person who may be crazy. You catch him mid-sentence, grumbling apparently to himself: “…But I live in hell anyway.” Kit is his nickname, though some people also call him Kit Kat. You know him somewhat, psychically. You don’t know him very well, but you know a lot of people like Kit Kat. It’s a big part of your job. Kit Kat isn’t exactly off the wall crazy, but he could be possessed by Andy right now for all you know (for all you can detect). You don’t think he is.
You approach him. “Mar Rooneg?” he asks you. “What?” “I asked you, sir, if you are Mar Rooneg.” “No. Never heard of him.” Kit smiles, says, “Heh, neither have I.” You stare at him vacantly. He responds: “I think you too high strung, ‘specially for someone dressed as a Santa Claus.” You contemplate some images flashing through your mind, seemingly at random — States, addresses, names, faces, dates, times of the day. So many bits of information come flooding to you. What’s the relevance? It makes you dizzy but you refuse to fall down. To any onlookers, you must represent raw, anonymous mental deviation.
You then look Kit square in the face, as if something changed in either you or him. “Kit,” you tell him, “This is the best Christmas you’ll have yet.” He looks at you, exaggeratedly shocked — pretend-offended. “What the fuck you talkin’ about, man? Ain’t no Christmas time no more. It’s February, dude! And how in the hell’d you know my name anyway?” You laugh. “It’s critical that I know as many names as possible, young man.” He shakes his head in disgust. “Who you callin’ young, MAN? See these here grey hairs? I even look older than you! I think ‘it’s critical’ that you explain how you know me, or we could have ourselves a little problem.” He is smiling, so he doesn’t seem too seriously threatening, but it still has you on edge.
“This works,” you tell him, taking out your Santa toolkit. “What’s that?” he asks, crouching down to see what you’d placed in the ground. Oops! This is apparently not Andy after all. If it was, he would have instantly been all over these smut mags you brought along in your toolkit, being a true-blue sex addict. Now you have a problem, and it’s not a minor issue. You — an active Santa Claus — have exposed Kit Kat to sinful literature. Now your brain is in full freakout collage mode, going through a massive supply of panoramic images, trying to find one which will inform you about handling this situation.
How are you to proceed? “My, my, my,” says Kit Kat, flipping through some pages. “I like internet stuff, but sometimes nothing beats the old-timey literature. Damn, man!” He looks up at you, smiling. “You sellin’ these here, man?” He chuckles, then leafs through some more. “Shit, ain’t that rich? Some dude in a Santa outfit out here sellin’ some dirty magazines. Shit.”
Would Kit Kat believe if you told him the truth, that these are actually from Jerry Falwell’s stash of confiscated porno mags? You’d sound weird. They write prescriptions for people like that — lots and lots of meds. These particular prescriptions would be written faster than a woodpecker could peck wood with his woodpecker. And, right about now, that’s how your senses feel — like a woodpecker with a jackhammer, pecking and hammering away at your brains. Even though it pains you, you have to go for the Average Joe Version of a way out.
You say: “You want to buy some of these, Kit Kat?” He smiles. “Seriously, which one you want?” He spreads the mags out in both hands, comparing and contrasting covers, titles, babes. “I like this one here, — ‘French Kissing French Maid Lesbian Lovelies.'” You smile a dirty, understanding smile. He opens a page. “Shit, they could do that on my living room floor any day. Mmm-hmm. How much you want for this?” For better or worse, park porn peddling isn’t your usual domain. You think back to years ago. What might you have paid for something like this? “A buck-fifty,” you blurt out. “Shit, Santa, consider it a deal!” He hands you a buck fifty, grabs the smut and turns away from you. Then, in afterthought, he quickly turns to tell you, “You know you got a bloody nose, right?” He is, of course, correct.
Consider it a deal.
This is not the intended story — not what you wanted to tell Falwell. Still, as you explore Central Park further, it’s kind of both disappointing and relieving. You realize you don’t want to find Andy or any other escaped elf. This is not how you imagined your life, after all. Now, as you sit on a bench, you ponder your next step. Suddenly, a disjointed, semi-staticky message booms in your head: “…The briars underneath my window to cave in…” It sounds like a psychedelic police scanner call, but that’s not the weird part. What the hell could that mean? Briars? Prickly bushes? Whose window? Why would they cave in?
Could these images be an aspect of some extraordinary things? An auditory glimpse of a gardening conversation picked up by your Santa sense? Why so strong, so overpowering? Is it a mistake? Crossed signals reaching your brain? Mixed messages? Maybe mixed metaphors, clashing together like mixed matadors? Bullfighting? Your brain is all over the place, and your head hurts accordingly.
Consider it a deal.
There’s no license for selling pornography in the park.