Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Protagonist

((A Short Novelette) (in Non-traditional Narration; Poetic Prose))

by Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. h.c.
                        Poet Laureate, Peru
(The Narrator)


First vignette is of the Narrator, the second of the Protagonist, and the third is of Empsey. The three main characters in this story,

In the beginning, when Empsey Marduk was born: He, Empsey, told his second self at the age of twenty-five, that voice deep in the crust of the mind that influenced him secretly or would, and did— “Leave me alone” (there in his mind’s eye, the voice of his mind making him accountable: he no longer could stand the reverberation of that voice, that stammering, repeating voice… trumpeted voice), that hidden voice again whispered back: “Oh how you love to violate your own kind, with violence,” his speculative self, told his expressive mind, as if he had second sight, —yes that voice again: with a most disdainful tone, Empsey said: “Leave, leave me alone! Be gone, gone, gone, once and for all be gone you’ve been sent by the devil, the devil, the devil…!” and he shouted this for hours, like a madman, until his voice was hoarse. How untrue this was, but that was the trying and tying connotation, suggestion, the most nearest unforgivable blasphemous sin, sacrilegious word he had ever spoken to him, about him, to him, and for his own safety, ere, God banishing him, banishing the speculated self—That hidden voice again, allowed himself to be entombed, he had to go, for had he not, had he stayed, having been sent by God, not the Devil, what would Empsey say next, he would condemn himself, he would commit the unpardonable sin, and accuse, or curse the Holy Spirit direct, and God would not overlook that.  And thus, he would for forty-years remain voiceless. Yes voiceless, but he could re-wind old film, old events, a wasted time perhaps, but something to do, other than listen in on his so called radio waves, those electromagnet earthly forces, figuratively speaking to get an update of his once partner’s debauchery, which he didn’t care to listen in on; perhaps not, perhaps he’d come to his senses, surely there was no way now for him to get him to admit the truth, the literal truth of his ways, and perchance he knew them anyhow, and didn’t care, didn’t care one-way or the other; he simply wanted to get rid of the eye of the mind—by and by, otherwise known as the voice of the brain, psyche, reason—so he could sin freely, without his conscious needling him every moment of the day and night, over this and that, over his desired ways, that was not wholesome for him, you know what I mean: adultery, false witness, stealing, and all those other Ten Commandments, and those so called Seven Deadly Sins, you know what I mean, like those called: greed, and sloth…etc., and once all compacted to be put  into a wineskin and drank down like cool refreshing water, and so the only choice for Empsey was to make his voice like stone, and the one sent by God was willing to allow it, for his soul’s sake, for the sake of Empsey’s soul, and perchance a second chance of redemption, rescue, emancipation from his towering heap of sin.

For to be out of one, and not out of the other was cleaver, so Empsey figured; if not cleaver, then foolish, which of course he did not take into consideration.  But I may be wrong: there are many windows that open in a person’s mind. In spite of him, no longer whispering to Empsey, he knew nonetheless, Empsey knew nonetheless, that he was there, he was still there, the Pest: thus, Empsey marveling how he sent him away. But I will not dwell on this aspect; it is ludicrous to do so. Now he churned his own words over and over—like milk to butter, like butter to ice-cream, no one anymore to judge them, that is to judge him on the spot, to whisper in his brain—“Stop, you are doing wrong.”

       Empsey was free to do whatever his heart’s desired—the voice that tells one to stop, would not tell him to stop anymore, hence, he would no longer be preoccupied with the emotion, or fully captive of it, to endure guilt: he would not have to endure confusion, awkwardness, embarrassment, he would be one of the primitives from the mythic external garden.

He, like all men was going through his cycle of: birth, life and death (and in-between imitating, as most people do, love to do, do and do, to get approval, not because they want to do but because imitating is what they do, we do, you do, we all do, and do well…): death being closer of the three, I don’t count the forth; if I may say, not looking at it at all, or if so, looking for it as if it had disappeared, and hoping not to find it reappear.

If perhaps, had he asked the Pest, had Empsey asked the Pest, his second self, had he taken the time to ask him, after forty-years—deliberation, after the Protagonist had lost the battle to save him— possessively wanting to remain with him through thick and thin, had Empsey not a propensity to win the battle at any cost, and he did win, and had you asked the Protagonist, the next worse thing to losing a battle of such, the next worse thing would be winning one of such, as Empsey did: the consequences of his win, one must count the consequences you known: was to lose his soul, or at least if not his soul, if one does not believe in a soul, lose the only threads one has (as Empsey had said: “It’s too much, and too much drives a person to drink, no matter what happens, too much of a good thing is too much… if you don’t understand, then go through it, it’s called degradation of toil or of the mind,--I gave him blood for blood, that’s the message here”) lose the only threads one has and one only has a few of them, of biopsychic feedback, that is to say, in a more clear way: the full relationship between psychological and biological feedback, that is to say: the capability of maintaining; monitoring automatic body functions that is: brain and heart and blood pressure, the whole gamut.  This was also part of his win: more complications; consequently, if you can call it a win that was his win, and now no methods to compensate that so called loss of those threads. It was as if he ripped out his spinal column to straighten out his thinking—his stinking-thinking,  his muckheap of a mind, and in the process ruptured his behavioral functions, once fine toned… well, you’ll have to read the story complete, to get the full picture, and still you may not get the full picture, and if this is the case, let me explain:   the brain, the heart, all persons is quite a phenomenon, most all this will come to light as you read on, most I say, but if not, perhaps you took the wrong turn, or wrong side.   The other choice you have is to be bleak and still, and reread it again, the whole book: for it is not unlike ‘a night winds’ tale.’   

 The Narrator

 The Protagonist
            (In Poetic Prose) 

The Monologue

 I say, I, I mean me.  I feel condemned to life rotting in this dungeon, walled by fiber, bone and flesh— it kind of rhymes that is why I said that, it’s not true; no, better said: I’m really locked up as if in a room with no doors or windows in stygian darkness, maybe once about a time long ago it was fiber, bone and flesh, not sure why I even said that in the first place, it just came to mind, as often it does nowadays: I just up and form things in my mind and say them, not sure why, even if they make sense, or don’t make sense I say them—: not a coincidence, I doubt that—things said come from the head, you see no one can look inside this room, and no one can look outside of this room once in it, a room of darkness, meaning to me, hellish darkness, infernal darkens, meaning I’m in a room of gloom, I can’t look out of: me, I can’t see out of this room, whoever might be trying to look in—I’m boarded up, windowed in and whoever brought me here can’t look in I presume, and being here, before I came here, before I was put into this room that is, I must have succumbed, and having succumbed, he must have figured what need has anyone to see me anyway, anymore, anyhow; no one even knowing who I am, where I am, always midnight, —for me it is always midnight in here; it wasn’t always that way though: here is a poem I wrote:

The Protagonist’s Haiku  

This is the house of thought
With windows and doors boarded up,
And I’m the shadow caretaker!

5-1-2014 (4328)

       It appears to me it is just the beginning, when in reality it is perhaps closer to its end, although I’m not sure of the beginning of what, or of the end of what. It appears to me, the Ghost wants to speak, he told me so, but he can’t, and that is what drives me mad, the Ghost, I call him the Ghost in lack of a better term or name for him—although Empsey is his real name, and he calls me the Protagonist, why I don’t know—I mean he’s the main character isn’t he? Or if not, I just don’t know; or perchance unconsciously I’m withholding that reasoning for some reason—he really can be a pain. He says he hates disrespect it’s all gibberish!  I hear him. He is searching, as I am, but I am right here, and he is right here—over there somewhere, —wherever, wherever is—and how silly, we are searching for each other, or at least me, I’m searching for him: and here we are but a few millimeters apart is my best guess, and here we are searching, as if we are oceans apart, and we are not oceans apart, and we are searching—does that make for any sense, any logic? He is searching for what? Me? And I am searching for what, him? I already don’t know where he is. He says although, he can’t find me either. That means he can’t even see me in a mirror, he’s blind, I’m part of him. I know—for the most part I know I’m talking to myself, and that’s even in question, or questionable, not for me, but for him, am I not talking to him? Or is he not talking to me; thus, if this is so, if this is truth, then we are both talking to nobody, but our true selves? He says this is all a delusion — I suppose who doesn’t think like that at times, when they don’t want truth.
       But he knows I’m not a delusion, all in all, once put to fact, point of fact, he knows I’m here. He can’t prove evolution but he calls it a fact, he can’t see God, but he says He’s there. He can hear me, and he says I don’t exist, but he knows I do, because he put me here. If that’s the case: if indeed I am not talking who is, and who is listening? Who is, and who is not? You got it, me, him, and where’s the 3rd party in all this, where is the narrator? You see the narrator must be listening in on all this, as he is writing as I am talking, otherwise he’d not have a thing to write on us; the narrator’s like Faulkner, he listens to the gossip of the townsfolk, and writes his novels accordingly, or did. Otherwise he’d not have anything to put pen to paper. Let me talk on, perhaps I will figure all this out in a jiffy, as he continues to listen and write. 

       The pupil-less eyes of the devil are fixed upon him—fixed upon Empsey, like stone, he can’t see me, I’m not physical like Empsey—I can sense him though, sense the eyes of the devil when he’s close, too close, it is to say: silence bears a physical force, that is, I can feel him, when he’s close, way too close for comfort; he can’t fool me, I flatter myself with this privilege, even though I am speechless, incapable of talking, or taking full advantage of language per se, any situation but I can stir him I can stir Empsey away from the eyes of the devil if he lets me, with burning oratory… a rush: if only he’ll plug me back into  his mental circuits of his brain—
       Undeniable, night time is the best time for me, I visit the past and present, even a tinge of the future, Ah yes, sometimes the other me plays out the future while in the neighborhood of dreams—or, nightmares.
       If I bring something to his mind in the day, he’s of discontent: not so receptive—as in the night when he double-binds my ideas with his thinking, thinking it is his way of philosophy in the first place, not mine; on the other hand, I need to empty him out, without complaints, without him knowing, this is my mission, the reason for me being me. In the morning, with these new so called fresh ideas, his eyes become like Chinese lanterns: that’s how I think it used to be; of course it’s not that way any longer.
       Life for him has little to do with gravity, believe me, it is more towards carrots—mine being, wishful thinking. Funny, he looks for the ‘self’ and does not see me, do or die, he does not see me, and he never selects me, as being part of him, not anymore anyway. I am not even a capital letter to him. If I died he’d not be annoyed, this is not possible though. In that moment, when that short day comes, I still will be no more than a melon or pineapple, with a little turf in his brain, better still, in memory on a lonely lane, of me, a perjurer—
       The so called main character, the one the narrator calls the main character, the one I call the third person in this account: he thinks, the main character thinks, he will never be able to explain me to himself, so he doesn’t try, he does the reverse of the truth, that I am not there: I do not exist, in pretense, I do not exist. But I am part of the equation, like it or not: like God is part of the equation, take him out, you have no equation, and if that is the case, you have isolated yourself to unreason. Give credit where credit is due! But he never will.  I suppose you might say he doesn’t favor that I have a life, anymore. If God is my witness, I cannot figure this out.  I mean finding me, me, little ole me is simple, I’m right where he put me. God is three people in one—he understands that, like folding out a blanket in three folds, and what do you have—one! But here I am an illusion. Perhaps he thinks I died all on my own or will. Not possible.
       Matter of fact, the narrator, cut this book down into half it size, no, more than half 77%, because he got bored with Empsey: I don’t blame him, he rambles on like a chipmunk eating a twinkly-donut roll.
       He has reached a ripe old age; I can say that for him. He has perhaps senility, if not it’s on the way, then perhaps he will find me to be his delirium, his agitation, his disorientation: I get blamed for many things, why not this. During his last heart attack, I perhaps was a delirium for him, but I had to open up doors to allow air to circulate throughout his body, and tranquilize his thinking. Out of unconsciousness he came, but that was not me, it was an angelic being who brought him forward, what might be called in the Heavenly World, a ‘Power,’ such beings have a lot of supremacy, just like at Sodom, one Power blinded all the human eyes within the city, that is power under control, in another incident, an angelic being killed 100,000-enemies, that would seem like power out of control, like atomic bomb, kind of power, but then it is a matter of opinion, what is right for one might not be the rule for the other; and I saw him, I told him so, I told my so called Master, the main character so, I told him thus, and guess what, he needed verification from others who had not even seen this angelic being: so this Doubting Thomas, having seen the Angelic Being standing at the end of his bed in that hospital room, yes, he needed confirmation from people who never ever had even seen this angelic life-form, can you beat that; believe me, that is one hard coconut.
       Therefore, thereafter, came a stroke of all things, right on the operating table of all things, now with all his systems triggered, he beat the odds of being forevermore a Fruitcake—he was a fruitcake for three days you know, he had been paralyzed on his right side, and his mind was a Fruitcake, he was howling like a hyena, convulsions—but like I said, he beat the odds, yes, even me: he was no more than that, and that being understood, night and day a Fruitcake, right at the end of the bed the Power stood, looking at the Fruitcake, said to me, with his eyes, “Wake him up,” and I did; and he was no longer in a delirium: he was whole, in three days, he became whole, and not so unlike the dead;  —well  not quite, but almost, because he was ‘a Fruitcake,’ and near like Lazarus who was three days dead, total dead, and woke up, was awaken. Then I heard the nurse Mary turning the light off, and drew the curtains down, creating a sleep-friendly atmosphere. That helped him heal faster. He also had his oxygen by his side—lucky we have a lot of trees to absorb all that carbon we, in this case he, put out during those thirty days in the hospital—so a form of psychosis would not damage him; we of course, are glued together for a lifetime, like it nor not, if I ever succeed in melting this into his head: as a result, I will no longer be marooned.

       No longer dismemberment that is my goal—: like China is to Taiwan, or North Korea is to South Korea; like West Germany was to East Germany, or South Vietnam was to North Vietnam—not  so long ago: the natural transition in blending into one sum, like Europe has done; no longer given me up for dead. I would say if I could say: “Let me out of here!” maybe he’s my hallucination. It’s a joy I might never have figured out… But it is a clang. Every time He breaths in, I breath out and murmur: here comes more oxygen, perhaps I should just finish dying and leave it at that, if only I could, but somebody went to a lot of trouble to bring me back to life, back to life, remember, the Fruitcake.
       At night I hear everything. He doesn’t realize he has three parts to himself: the physical that is his part, solely; the spirit that is he and me, and the soul. And the soul has three parts: the Personal Soul: it talks, it tells him nice things, and it sees things. The Pure Spirit: it has no pretense. And the False Arbitrator: it can be destructive. It questions everything. I am glad I am not part of that part of him. I have told him once, if not a thousand times, some of the parts of his makeup are in a charade. I think he thinks I am part of the Arbitrator—how silly.

      He saw Christ five times you know and Mary once, everyone, preacher and relatives, everyone but his mother, thought him to be a little psychotic, a little bent in the head. Time after time his mother boasted of it, figuring: there was no reason for him to lie, and he must have seen him if he said so, if he said he did, what little gift this might of God to him, to show up, I mean, just because his relatives said, “Why him,” why would that statement, stop Christ from showing up, and his mother said, “Why not?” and he thought as I thought, “What’s the big deal here Aunt Ann, if he can die on a cross and resurrect and walk the earth soon thereafter, what’s a little thing to appear in the whole to whomever he wants to. I mean, does he have to go by a certain row call, a list, at a specific time, for a specific person, can he not appear to a: bum or a tramp or the Pope or Elvis, whenever, to whomever he wishes? Is he accountable to Aunt Ann?”
       I mean, He’s a God of sinners and I was, still am, a sinner when God appeared, and he was a God for sinners in the past, as well as for the present, and future, and we all are sinners so He’s a God for all mankind, and we all are sinners are we not, and if not, if indeed you can keep the ten-commandments, you are not a sinner, you are something else—and that something else is not human, and I’d bear in mind, perhaps you are more angelic, than a human being, and you don’t need his blood to wash away your sins—but I do, or he does, we both do.
       Perhaps he said it too lightly; nothing over dramatized. Well that also was a longtime ago. Everything is becoming to be a long time ago, nowadays. Perhaps we do not have all that much time left, much time left for this world per se. He has lost heart; he takes everything as either too lighthearted or too serious, which is too stressful, or gets sick too easily, because of his getting too angry at times, over trivialities. Even I am not the person I was before—(one year ago, five years ago, ten years ago) I suppose nobody is today the person they were yesterday, or a year ago, or ten-years ago, or will be five years from now. After thirty years of life we all diminish, slowly diminish, going downhill, me and him and you and the narrator, we all are going downhill, some of us are already are as far down the hill one can go, with no place to go, sorry to say. We all get tired of the Devil chasing us; it takes a lot out of us.
       And Mr. Death, a vague monster that lives in the deep, and never sleeps, peeps, is indifferent, and seeks people to gobble up, and vomit out. He just keeps on waiting and waiting, he’s in no hurry, and he’s no friend to anybody.
       His son, Empsey’s son, told him not long ago: “You live the quiet life…” And so he does—or does he? If that’s the best he can say about his father, I hate to hear what his heart would like to say, if indeed that is all he can say about him, all he will say about him, all he knows about him, and all that I’ve ever heard him say about him is that, —then it isn’t much he knows about his father, nor is it much to say, nor can there be much love, and if you can love your neighbor, your wife, your dog and not your father, then you really can’t love at all it is less than love we are talking about then, even if he thinks it be love, it isn’t, it is at best, pretense, one’s own invention of love, not God’s kind of love: “You live the quiet life…” that is what he said, that is all he said, where is his peep hole?

       But that is just me talking, not him talking not his son talking either, me, it is me talking to me, about me—I mean me is at the beginning and end of this monologue, and they, everyone else, are in-between, and how do I know it is me talking to me: is because there is no one left to be me or to talk to me but me, other than me, not one soul left to talk to—he made sure of that, never was for a long while, never has been for a long while, so whatever I’m doing to him, it is less than what he is doing to me, actually, I am perhaps doing nothing to him, and that is what he wants, is what I am doing: I am just pretending to talk to him. 
       Anyhow, I feel it is about me. Just to give you an idea, about this: I can’t be talking to you—directly, you are not here, I don’t know where you are, if you even are, actually you don’t even exist for me, although you may be reading my so called diary here—thus I am talking to you then, indirectly, my last words, my essay, my epistle is what you are reading and that the narrator is narrating, as I tell him what needs to be written, except for that cutting out of over 30,000-words, he thought frivolous. If you’re asking ‘…how then can the narrator hear me to write this down,’ it’s a good question:  it’s like trying to get a baby giant into a fox hole I suppose. Is it ESP? No, I don’t think so. Second sight? Perhaps. Electromagnetic forces in the atmosphere, pulling at my inner thoughts vibrating by way of osmosis, out of this skull? Why’s to say?
       Let’s begin again: if only there was a thing called you, but there is nothing in my state of mind, called you, so again I say, you are made up, and perhaps me, anyone but me, but made up by me nonetheless. It is me calling me—you see, that’s one way to think of me; like looking in a glass window, what one sees is a reflection of himself: me vs. me, but in a different molecule state.  I invented you, to be part of me so I had someone to talk to, if that makes sense, and if it doesn’t well, what can I say, that might be what is taking place here. Consequently, it leads one to think, who invented who? I invented Empsey or he me, or the narrator both of us. But I believe I am not an invention, that all humanity has an ‘I’ or ‘me,’ like figure inside of them. 

       Now back to him.  He has many faults, but all the same, he will not change his tune about God, Christ, and his experiences with God and Christ, and even one with the Virgin Mary. You don’t have to be a saint by the Catholic Church, or a Holy Elders of the Baptist Church, or a sanctified Rabbi, or Sheikh in the Islamic Court, or a Rajah in India, to see God, or for God to see you, to visit you. You don’t have to be a head of the Vatican or even a Christian, or Muslim, or the Guard over the Holy of Holies (the Arc of the Covenant) the Devil sees God now and then—still sees God now and then, remember, he was once a star in the heavens (like Michael Jackson, Elvis, the Beatles, here on earth)—thrown out head first, taking nine-days to land on earth,—the Devil being Lucifer, the Accuser, the Coming World Dictator, the Antichrist in disguise, Satan, oh yes, he has so many names to remember, to count, he visits him up yonder in heaven, still does now and then, when he can, and Christ visited Him, or was it that he visited Christ; how do I know, I read the Bible?  And as for Christ visiting Him, Him being my Master, I was there I can attest to that, it is true, crisscross my heart: I would even add hope to die if I lied but not knowing for certain my situation, I’ll leave that blank.
       Well, I have been able to speak my mind for once, that is in itself, something. Perhaps I talk too much, or he talks too much. Perchance he knows me better than I’ve figured. To be honest he knows more than me, he knows at least his next step.  I live in a world of complete silence, or near complete silence, I do now and then hear whispers, as if they were soaked through the pores of an egg—it is harder to hear than licking honey off a thorn, and not getting pricked. I’m half blind and deaf—figuratively speaking, in that I see nothing, it is all black, as if I’m in the coldest part of outer space, floating.  If I try to be him—this just suddenly comes to mind—if so, if I really try to be him, life will not be as rosy as it is in here I suspect, but neither will it be so boring. All his doings per near makes me feel, for the most part makes me feel, superfluous, surplus: if not a little supercilious, scornful; I know I must have more discipline in this matter, and for this I apologize—if I seem not to, or am too negative, but we all want to be useful: the old man the old lady, like the old horse, compatible for so many years and perhaps at one time even prizewinning, does not want to be put out to pasture staggering in the open field, awaiting death.

       I would be, still be his page, as in the old days, and was once his so called page—in a figurative way of speaking, as if he was a knight in some far-off land. And at one time he could do no wrong. And I would follow wherever he led.  Now in this dingy room the air is like sucking in old steel, old rusty steel from the air with an irrevocable degree of fluting residue that never settles. And so I gaze despairingly inside of you Empsey, along with this thump feeling inside my heart and soul, heart, mind, spirit, and soul, as though all hope and happiness has died. Here I ponder as a hashish-eater, heavy with obtruded vision.

But putting all this aside, all this jibber jabber, I need to get back to where I was heading, where I was going with this, I got lost in some interlude thought: where was I going: what is the question, or is it what is the answer? On one hand it is to be quite truthful with you, I don’t know, I simply don’t know, perhaps I want to give Empsey new amino acids, perhaps something into a longer chain that will produce more proteins, and make him wiser. You do know these proteins get together by the millions—or the hundreds of thousands, I think; this all creates a cell if I remember my biology correct, or is it zoology? Anyhow, symbolically speaking that is, his thoughts are like old amino acids trying to bind with new amino acids, but to double-bind, the wrong way: to create a new atmosphere, reducing the old one: God for Evolution; not much different than believing in the old Greek gods, like Zeus, or the Roman god Jupiter, or no God at all, will do for the likes of Lucifer: in other words, he’s living in that old non-oxidized atmosphere tens of millions of years ago, that now our school teachers teach the children all over the world, that back in the old stone age, and before the stone age we all developed, stage by stage, and the first stage came from some fungus off of some stone, from some germ or bacteria from outer space, perhaps Mars, a rock or stone; and this is what I was trying to stir him from. He’s back there, back to where he started from, back to learning old gobbledygook, in a new gobble way. I was trying to stir him right, and he got rid of me, that was one of the reasons. As the Bible says, “When you become a man, you must put away childish things,” and that means put away this fairytale, if only this would ring a bell for him? As Poe wrote: “To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells from the bells, bells, bells… What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!”
       But again I must apologize, I am not trying to push a religion or a poet onto Empsey, rather my useful function for him—is to bind him with God, which he feels is no function at all; then why should it irritate him?

Here is a tribute for him, by me, to him from me, and by all reality, to both of us I suppose:

‘I was born in a womb and I’ll die in a tomb;
like a beast, such as a beast, in a cage!
Born in a womb, to die in a tomb:
and to each: every day is the same…’

Perhaps everything that needs to be said has been said now—I’m to be put into some celestial library, or thrown in some infernal waste basket, filed and stored for a later date—to be taken out on judgment day, and once dead only to be looked up by file number #1071947-Empsey- North America-5th World Order; it will say, Empsey and I lived once, if indeed this person can find the file amongst over a hundred billion. And all it will read is a few bits and pieces of data I’ve already shared with you.   And that will be surely a boring account, amongst the many.   Perhaps dropping off into my silence as he had me do was a good step, I’d not have to watch him physically rot—but at length we have gone over this, we can’t go on like this can we not forevermore. 
        And so now I must let the narrator tell Empsey’s story, because there are always two sides to every story, as they say.  Lest you are one sided, and the narrator is not of that caliber; but if you are you need not read Empsey’s Monologue, it is just as well either way with me.  Adios…

Empsey’s Monologue


Yes, I know I have sinned, greatly shinnied, without remorse so some say, sometimes; I call it a fault, more like a fact that I have a fault that I  sin on top of sin, but normally they are just little white sins, more of a fault-sin, and that is a fact, but surely a sin if you know what I mean, that’s not just  any kind of sin but a  little white sin, those kinds of sins I’m talking about, that I have committed are no more than mosquito distortions, deletions, generalizations, those kind, those ordinary venial sins; on the other hand, some may say, akin to the seven deadly sins, somewhat: some virtuous  sins could be involved, added to the list, all mild sins for the most part, no unpardonable sins I do believe; sins I’d say that are not even worthy of mention. Sins people would laugh at. Those daily white sins; some hourly sins, not the big black ones, that really count, that drag you through the hellish fire of damnation. Actually, most people all around me are pretty much decently proud of such sins! Some of my friends even boast of them, why, because they are no more than funny sins, not sad sins, and not terminal sins: but sins that make a man a man, manly sins, yes that is what they in a phrase: manly sins. Why should I be different? Yes, yes, I am one of those: monkey see, monkey do, and I like to imitate, follow the crooked line, and be accepted. Are we not all inclined to submit to them, born sinners,  we are going to die sinners, we all know this, we all don’t acknowledge this out right, so why should we expect less of ourselves, pretend we don’t know it, but we know it, and we know God knows it, and pretend God doesn’t know it, nor can see it, waste his time, looking for them, that is why he has  sent the pest, the Protagonist, to remind me of them, even when I’m trying to sleep. But we all know, we can simply go to the Priest, and say a few prayers, a rosary once or twice full of beady prayers, and go on with our daily lives. So, forget the Pest, he’s too much of an argument and the Priest, simply says: Say Ten-Hail-Mary’s and a few Our Fathers, and bingo, our sins are washed away like ‘Spick and Span’. Why do you think God gave Moses the Ten-commandments in the first place, Mr. Narrator? To remind people of what they are not supposed to do!  But will do anyways. And what was Jesus’ principle dealing with sin: he tells us what we should do, not what we shouldn’t do. But either case we can’t wish it anyway.  So what do you think: someone sends me the Pest to remind me of what not to do and what to do? And what does the Pest do, I mean really do: he goes too far, that is why I call him the Pest. He’s an overlord. He never rests, never wants to rest. All he wants to do, all the Protagonist wants to do,  is show me my sins, for me to stop them, to give the Priest a break at the confessional booths; he’s already made me suffer  worse than the Priest would have.  We should call the Protagonist the Antagonist, I mean the author or the narrator or whoever is the scribe here on this  manuscript, perhaps to be a book, should give it a title called: ‘The Antagonist’ not the ‘Protagonist,’ because I’m the star of the show, not him: I know, that`s vanity talking: but the Protagonist says, has said, anyone who has two portraits of himself hanging on his walls, has got to be the most vain in the world, a supper ham: okay, I say, I’m a ham, so I ham it up. You see, even the author takes the side of the Pest, God forgive him for taking his side, which I believe to be his own little white sin; so what does he do next: he takes the byline, or Title from me, and gives it to the Pest, it should read “Empsey”. Because he would have never wrote what he just wrote otherwise, but what does that make him, a ham also, so we got two hams for the price of one?   Plus I already know that I have sins, we all know our daily sins, we all know the Golden Rule, we all know  the ten-commandments, sins are just things we do, that hurt other people, hurt ourselves, we like pain, we like to conquer others—why go to Hell by ourselves, take a few friends with us! To be honest, I don’t want to go to Hell, but I like being a human-ham, and that’s part of a daily sinful life: King David and King Solomon hammed it up, why can’t I!  We like power and war, we are like Darwin said, in part, the part that says: from the monkey we do what he does—monkey see monkey do, and we’re a little on that Monkey-doodle side of life too, in that we doodle around too much with our neighbors wife, like Plato said we’d steal our neighbor’s wife if not a laws!    One sin, then two sins, and over and over and over it gets actually boring to sin the same sin day after day, until we find something better, a bigger sin, a more intriguing sin, we get accustomed to boring sins, we want higher degree sins; we just have to avoid the unpardonable sin. It is like drinking, one day one beer, and you drink one beer and get drunk, or get a high. Then you drink two beers another day, and that is now what it takes to get you drunk, and finally you are up to a case of 24-cans of beer and still not getting drunk, that  is called building upping your tolerance, that is also called a chronic alcoholic, or alcoholism: you no longer get a high like you used to, you pass out, with long hangovers thereafter, you lost the high somewhere behind you, left it behind you, well, likewise, we got chronic sinners, and the Protagonist calls me just that. But he’s exaggerating I do believe.  And the Protagonist all he wants to do is bring light on something I already know, but he won’t give me something better than sinning, I need a high, like traveling that is a high, but I got no more money to travel with. How do you stop a drunk from drinking? Give him something better. How do you stop a sinner from sinning? Give him something better, or a pretty wife that doesn’t drink, and keeps you busy! Simple as baking a pie; anyhow the Pest, set me in motion by telling me over and over like I am a fool, that being: this and that and this and that, is and isn’t a sin, he’s dogged me down with manure— 

So now where are we, still in the valley of sin? Just talking about sin has worn me out. The Pest, I mean the Protagonist, he is powerless to understand, he lives in a perfect world, and perfection is not of this world, the one I live in anyhow, and hope to die in, and will die in, as everyone else breathing air, will die in sooner or later, as he, the Pest laboriously leads me to the perfect world, that isn’t here yet. Matter of fact, we are still waiting for the Antichrist to arrive are we not? Until he comes I’m pretty safe. No there isn’t any good way but one; I got to get rid of him. It doesn’t matter how; he’s just got to go. And to be honest about it all, and frank, I’ve read what he’s said, and he’s told the readers some really big stretchers, and the scribe is guilty of believing in his dodo stuff, but then, he’s been wanting to talk his head off for a long while now, and  you know,  he doesn’t take holidays like me.   

  —The    Narrator

I went over the Protagonist’s monologue a few times reading it and rereading it, trying to figure out what he didn’t tell, that he knew, you know his deepest fear, thinking he missed something. The thing he wouldn’t tell Empsey, and perhaps didn’t have words for, but sensed. No I might be wrong in this conclusion, and the Protagonist will never tell, and Empsey, is not of mind to absorb, but is what I get out of what the Protagonist would have said, had someone fed it back to him, kind of like counseling feedback, and keep in mind this is my theory:   Empsey’s been in a spiritual plague, was anyhow, and the Pest knew this, and there are those sins that not  only have a consequents, but dark punishments: this might have been a concern for the Protagonist, for he intrinsically felt, sensed: this brings dissolution upon them— his doom, was his doom, closure; thus, God hardens their hearts, allegorically speaking, he was afraid God might do this to Empsey —by running into one sin after the other— and then simply running deeper and deeper into darkness. This is what the Protagonist was trying to tell Empsey I do believe, but couldn’t find the words, and even if he could have, how to tell him.  Self-preservation. And the older you get, the less time you have to iron out things with God.
       And even though Empsey is correct in saying the nature of man seems to be sinning, it none the less is a departure from God, and depraves the mind, and in his case, the Pest was trying to tell him, the priest does not give out licenses for compulsive, addicted sinners.
       Anyhow, I do believe Empsey would have said, I’m sure of this, he would have said to the Protagonist, had he the gull, or better yet courage to confront him: God made me this way. And the Protagonist would have said in response I do believe:  A reprobate mind is not made by God, yet he may order the effects of a reprobate mind as a punishment for those that have done evil before him time and again, and this was the main point with the Protagonist. But of course none of this was ever said.
       On another note, God is not the author of sin either, and that would have been Empsey’s next argument, with the Protagonist, how can he be if he can’t even look at sin. He that hates sin cannot create sin. In a like manner, He that hates drinking cannot become a drunk—; figuratively speaking.
       So you see, we are speculating what they both would have said had they decided to meet shoulder to shoulder, but this didn’t happen of course.   
       And so where is Empsey and the Protagonist? I know, and I know you know!...


       The Protagonist / Copyright © by Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. h.c./originally written in August of 2013; reedited May of 2014, and a second time in: 12-2014   (was: 42,000 words, shortened to: 7991) Front cover photo of the author at his home in Lima, December, 16, 2014


By Rosa Peñaloza

 One of  the main objects of Dr. Siluk’s new work, the novelette: “The Protagonist,” is his non-dramatic form and non-traditional narration style; this being a central idea in this work. The Protagonist and Empsey are one of the same: an old man speaking from a questionable location someplace. It would appear the two characters are in conflict, yet separated. To a certain degree it all sounds a little like philosophical jargon, but at a closer look it is really much more: inferring, something can be more real than nothing, a dimension  unknown if not perplexed within man. The Protagonist knows this, but Empsey doesn’t, or if he does, does not care to belabor it. The narrator intercedes. The novelette has lyrical inspiration, thematic thought, and scheme: what can we really know, and what really do we not know, want to know, but dare not venture too fare from what is known? Faced with faith and God and humanity, life and death, what really matters? Is everything too close to a disillusion? This reserve in part a flashback— and in part, present; each reader will find his own arrival. For the author, “The novelette, sweeps into the nothingness from which it leapt.”