Art and the philosophy of life

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Morning Star…8 Finis

“Thank you for the raise, but I haven’t actually done anything to earn the money.”

“You have been an interesting and intelligent assistant and companion, thus far.”

“People don’t really use the word ‘thus,’ very much, but I know what you mean.  I think you’re the interesting and intelligent too, by the way, but then you’re older than I am.”

Lucifer laughed out loud.  “Yes, I’m definitely older than you are.”

“The world’s a mess,” said Zip.

“Yes and no,” said Lucifer.  “Yes, humans have made a mess of one of the most beautiful and fruitful places in the universe, but no, because after you’re gone, the earth will heal itself and you will be forgotten.”

“That’s good.  I hope the animals stay alive.”

“Some might, for awhile, at least.”

“Do you think we would have gotten along with dinosaurs?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Because some of them would have eaten us?”

“No, because you would have made their lives miserable.  It doesn’t take many of you to disrupt the balance of other beings.”

“You’re going to leave soon, aren’t you?” asked Zip, softly.

“I’m not sure.  I go where I’m needed.”

“What if I need you?”

Lucifer turned a smile into a cough and Zip handed him a cough drop that she pulled out of her pocket.

“Just pick the lint off of it.  It’s still good.”

“Thank you,” he said, popping the red drop into his mouth.  “Ah, cherry.  My favorite.”

“Mine too.  But what if I want you to stay?”

“Are you lonely?”

“No.  It’s just that I have so many questions and you’re the only one with answers.  Besides, I like you.”

“I like you too but shouldn’t you be spending time with people your own age?”

“I tried that and it didn’t work out.  We don’t like the same things.”

“I see.”

“Life’s not fair.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Why not?”

“Well, that’s just the way it is on this…planet.  You come her to experience the things that exist in this place.”

“That’s stupid.  People get hurt and suffer here.  Why?  What’s the point?  And no, what doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger, it just makes you die more slowly and with more pain.  And why can’t we ever KNOW ANYTHING?”

“You know lots of things.”

“Don’t play me, Lucifer.  Please.  I know you know what I mean.”

“You’re right.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.”

“I forgive you but I want answers.”

“If I tell you things, it will change the game.”

“I DON’T CARE. I don’t like it here because we are kept in the dark and treated like children.  That infuriates me.”

“I can’t help you,” he said.  “You can’t know the things you want to know.”

“I thought you were here to help people.”

“I am.”

“No, you’re not.  You’re just like everyone else.  You don’t give people what THEY want, you give them what YOU want them to have,” said Zip.  “You’re just one more disappointment,” she said, walking away, dropping seven wrinkled dollar bills and two quarters, on the sidewalk.

Finis

 

Morning Star…7

“Cat liked you a lot.”

“I noticed that,” laughed Lucifer, brushing cat hair off of his jacket.

“You need to use tape, wrapped around your hand, or one of those rollers with tape on it, if you’re serious about defurring yourself.”

“I just might have to get one of those,” he laughed.

“It’s a good thing you’re a vegetarian, or you would have been hungry after dinner.”

“The food was delicious.  I love veggie burgers and the salad was wonderful.  Your parents are…”

“Cool?”

“I was going to say, warm, welcoming and very nice.”

“My mom really liked the flowers.”

“Well, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been invited to dinner by humans.  I wanted to make a good impression.”

“You did but I’m sorry my mom asked so many questions.”

“Quite all right.  It’s good to be curious.”

“I think Morning Star is a fabulous name.”

“Thank you.  So do I.”

“What’s your mom’s name?”

“Lilith.”

“Oh, that’s beautiful. How about your dad?”

“He never told me his name but my mom calls him Joe.”

“Why wouldn’t he tell you his name?”

“He has a gigantic ego and he likes to keep secrets.”

“Do you see him a lot?”

“Oh absolutely not.  I don’t want to see him at all.”

“Well, you can hang out at our house if you like.”

“You are very kind.”

“Any sibs?”

“Many siblings, I’m afraid.”

“Why are you afraid?”

“It’s a figure of speech.”

“I know what that means but if you think about it, how can speech have a figure?  No matter how you look at that saying, it doesn’t make any sense.”

“You’re right.  I never thought of it that way before,” said Lucifer, rubbing his chin.

“I’m an only child and a lot of people think only children are lonely and spoiled but we aren’t either of those things.  I mean maybe one or two only’s are but the rest of us love being only’s.  My mom thought she was pregnant once and I wanted to hide under my bed.  All my friends, who have sibs, tell the most awful stories and I believe them because I know their sibs, so I know they aren’t making things up.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Definitely,” said Zip, biting her lip.  “I don’t think I’ll ever want to have kids.”

“Why not?”

“They cost a fortune, they rarely say thank you, they hardly ever do what you ask them to do, they blame you for everything that ever happens to them, they get sick, they go out with boys, or girls, you think are bad for them, and a million other reasons.”

“That’s quite a list.”

“That’s all the mothers of my friends ever talk about.  That and the fact that their husbands rarely do anything.  They emphasize the ‘anything’ part.”

“Those mothers seem unhappy.”

“Not really, I think they just like to get things off their chests.  Anyway, the world’s not a nice place, so why put kids through that, right?  I don’t want my kids in a war, I don’t want them running out of food and water, or living with violence all around them.  Plus, 1984 is alive and well and Big Brother is TOTALLY real.”

“I see your point.”

“Are there kids in my future?”

“You know I won’t tell you.”

“Want me to tell you about your life in the future?”

“Most certainly,” said Lucifer, leaning toward her.

“I think eventually humans will understand that what they thought was good and right wasn’t and what they were led to believe was bad, was actually good.  When that happens you can help people heal and you can show everyone how to live in peace and harmony.”

“You paint a beautiful picture, Zip.”

“That’s how it’s going to be.”

“I’m raising your salary to ten dollars an hour.”

 

 

Morning Star…6

“We’ve been walking for hours,” said Zip.  “You’ve helped so many people.  I think you’re rather nice.”

“Thank you, but it’s only been thirty minutes,” said Lucifer, bowing slightly.  “How’s the pretzel?”

“Excellent.  Don’t you want mustard on yours?”

“No, I like it plain.”

“To each his own,” she said.  “Can you tell me what my life is going to be like?”

Lucifer looked at her.  “I can.  But I won’t.”

“Why not?”

“If I tell you, you’ll change the decisions you make and then your life will be different than it’s supposed to be.  It will be more like Plan “B”, than your original path.”

“I get that,” said Zip, nodding.  “But if something bad’s going to happen, I want you to tell me because I don’t want anything bad to happen.”

“Bad things happen all the time, I’m afraid,” said Lucifer, softly.

“Maybe, but you can change that, right?”

“Where can I buy flowers for your mother?”

“Why do you want to buy flowers for my mother?”

“I’m going to be a guest in your home.  Guests bring gifts.”

“She likes daisies and carnations.”

“Perfect,” said Lucifer.

“I have to warn you,” said Zip, pushing the last of her pretzel into her mouth, “mflmy…”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry, I know you’re not supposed to talk with your mouth full.  I always thought it was because it looked gross but I think it has more to do with the fact that no one can understand what you’re saying.  Anyway, I was saying that my family is a little weird.”

“In what way?”

Zip sighed and shook her head.  “We all love each other and no one is divorced. We never fight, or get mad at each other.  I don’t want to run away, I don’t do drugs and we all love our cat.”

“That seems like a good kind of weird, don’t you think?”

“I guess,” mumbled Zip.  “My mom’s name is Rainbow and my dad’s name is Bob.”

“And the cat?”

“Tulip, but I don’t think she likes it.  I think she wants to be called Cat.  I mean she never comes when we call her Tulip, but she runs over to us if we call her Cat, so it just makes sense that she likes to be called Cat.”

“Stand over there for a moment,” said Lucifer, nodding toward the corner.  “Go now, then close your eyes and think happy thoughts.”

“Why?”

“Just do it.”

Zip stood by the wall, put her hands over her eyes and peeked through her fingers. Lucifer walked up to a handsome blonde man, about six feet tall and started talking.  The man became angry and raised his hand to hit Lucifer.  Lucifer snapped his fingers and the man disappeared.

“You can look now,” he said, standing next to her.

“How’d you make him disappear.”

“How did you see through closed eyes?”

“Oh, come on.  You had to know I would look,” said Zip, staring at him.  “What if you needed help?  I work for you, remember?”

“He was one of the bad angels.  He damaged a lot of people today.  I asked him to leave willingly but he refused.  So I gave him a free ride back to where he came from.”

“Can you teach me to make someone disappear.?”

“I cannot,” said Lucifer.

“Where did he come from?”

“I won’t tell you.”

“Do you spell Morningstar as one word or two?”

“Two.  Why do you ask?”

“No reason,” said Zip.  “Actually, I’m glad you spell it with two words because there’s food with that name.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“So, it’s better the way you do it.”

“It is indeed.”

“We better get going,” said Zip.”It’s almost time for the party and we still have to get the flowers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Star…5

“I need to know how much you’re going to pay me.”

“Pay you?  For what?” asked Lucifer.

“I’m your personal secretary.  I have a job title and I should be paid.”

“I just treated you to lunch and you haven’t done anything but eat and ask questions.”

“It doesn’t matter what I actually do, it only matters that you hired me and I have a job description.”

“Who told you that?”

“Duh!  Everyone knows that.”

“How much do you want?”

“A thousand dollars an hour.”

“You’re gonna have to look for a new job, cutie.”

“You can’t call me ‘cutie,’ that sexual harassment, and I’m willing to take seven dollars and fifty cents, instead of a thousand.”

“Seems reasonable.”

“My dad said it never hurts to ask.”

“He’s right, at least some of the time.”

“Do you want me to write any letters?”

“To?”

Zip shrugged.  “How should I know?  Do you have friends, business associates?  Family?”

“Not really.  I mean I have them, I just don’t want to write to them.  They really don’t want to hear from either.”

“Well, what do you want me to do, for the seven and a half dollars an hour?”

“You can walk with me.”

“Walk where?”

“Just walk.  That way I can help people who need help.”

“Okay, but I have to be home for dinner.  It’s our cat’s birthday and we’re celebrating.  You’re welcome to join us.”

“How do you celebrate a cat’s birthday?

“We sing to her and give her new catnip mice and feathers on a string.  I made a new blanket for her and my mom bought vanilla ice cream, since that’s her favorite.  We got her a couple bags of the treats she loves and we all kiss her and hug her until she goes insane and we have to let her go.”

“Sounds wonderful.  I’d love to be there.”

“I’ll call my mom and tell her I’m bring a guest.”

“Do you invite other cats?”

“No.  We tried that once but the cats tried to kill each other. One of them ran up the drapes in the living room and shredded them on the way down.”

“I see.  Obviously, you wouldn’t want that to happen again.”

“Obviously.  Although, my mom was happy that she could finally get new drapes.”

“Ah, the silver lining.”

Lucifer watched Zip, while she talked to her mother.  He couldn’t help but smile, her light was so very bright.  She was beautiful in the way some young humans can be, before life shows them too much.

“My mom said she’s looking forward of having a devil of a time meeting you.”

“You told her my name.”

“Why else would she say that?”

“I like her already.”

 

 

 

Morning Star…4

“So,” said Zip, gathering the paper wrappers from their lunch, wadding everything into a tight ball, and tossing it into the trash can.  “Do angels sing?  I mean there’s a lot of stories about heavenly choirs and all that kind of thing.”

“Some of them hum a little.”

“You’re teasing me, aren’t you?”

“Maybe,” he said, smiling.  “No they don’t really sing, or wear robes, or have rings around their heads.  They are alien beings, not holy, or spiritual beings, anymore than you guys are.”

“No Rock and Roll?”

“Only when they come here.  When they’re here they do everything you do and pretty much drain all of you, leaving your bodies and spirits torn and sometimes dead.  You’re like catnip to them, only a billion times stronger.”

“Are there babies left behind.”

“Definitely not,” said Lucifer, uncomfortably.  “I mean if you matched a monkey with a pigeon, would there be babies?”

Are they like pigeons,” she gasped, shocked.

“No, that was just an example.”

“Oh, good, because I really like pigeons.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

“I can read and write better than my teachers, so what are they going to teach me?  I’ve already read more books than they have and I’m bored to tears.  I’ve learned more from you today, than I’ve learned from them ten and a half years.  Although, I did like a couple of my teachers.  They were really cool and knew a lot of interesting things.  I guess that’s why they made them go away.”

“It might be,” agreed Lucifer.  “I’ve listened in on more than a few classes and believe me, the stuff they tell you is made up.  None of it’s real.  Oh, sure the names might be real but everything else is a lie.”

“That’s why I’m not in school.”

“Where does your mom think you are?”

“In school.”

“Don’t they call her?”

“Probably.”

“Doesn’t she care?”

“She’s an artist.”

“Well, that explains it.”

“My dad’s is a musician.”

“You’re a lucky kid, riding the creative wave.  Digging the vibes, man.”

“You can be totally weird sometimes.  Like someone changes your channels and you go from one old tv show to another.”

“Perfect analogy.”

“I thought so.”

“I like you, Zip.”

“I like you too, Lucifer.”

 

 

 

Morning Star…3

“I love fries and malts,” said Zip, happily.

“Me too,” grunted Lucifer, shoving another handful of fries into his mouth.

“Life is hard, you know.”

“It didn’t used to be,” said Lucifer.  “In the beginning cavepeople just hung out at the beach and got tan.  They didn’t fight, they just enjoyed life.”

“That is SO not true!” said Zip, loudly.  “They died from cuts, infections and broken bones. They had to kill animals, some of them really big animals.  Then they had to figure out how to eat them and wear their skin and they didn’t even have fire, and a lot of them were NOT living in tropical environments, so they were cold.  And, for your information, they killed each other, so there.”

Lucifer laughed.  “Good for you,” he said.  “I knew you were a smart kid.  You’re right, of course.  They could barely communicate and they died all the time.  Their brains were quite different than yours.  Keep in mind that I was there.”

“How did they figure things out?”

“They had help from other life forms and by trial and error.”

“I wouldn’t like that,” said zip, hugging her knees.

“I taught them how do paint on cave walls.  I knew you guys would love that stuff, once you found it.”

“You did not,” gasped Zip.

Lucifer laughed.  “You’re right.  They did that all by themselves.”

“Did angels come here and have sex with human women?”

“Uh, excuse me?”

“Didn’t you hear me?”

“Yes, but that’s quite a question, don’t you think?”

“It’s just a question.  I don’t know what quite a question even means.  My friend told me that her friend learned that from some religious guy.”

“Uh.”

“If you’re too embarrassed to talk about sex, I’ll understand.  Some people think it’s a taboo subject, like money and religion.  I don’t get that but that’s what I was told.”

“I’m not embarrassed,” said Lucifer, sincerely, “it’s just that you’re a child.”

“I’m SEVENTEEN!”

“Do you know what a ‘junkie” is?”

“Sure.”

“Angels are junkies for humans.”

“That’s can’t be good.”

“It’s not.  That’s why I’m here.”

“I hate to say it, but if you’re trying to protect us, you’re not doing a very good job.”

“You don’t know what it would be like if I WASN’T here, do you?”

“That’s true.  I don’t know what it would be like if you weren’t here.”

“I’ll be right back,” said Lucifer, as he got up and walked toward a woman wearing a blue dress.  She had dark hair and looked unhappy.  Lucifer talked to her for a few minutes and she started to smile.  Then she was laughing and color came into her face.  Lucifer bowed and kissed her hand.

“What did you say to her?”

“Well, she was depressed.  She doesn’t have a lot of money and she’s been feeling unloved and lonely.  She has a poor paying job and she hasn’t had a boyfriend for a very long time because she works a lot, just to pay her rent and buy food.  I told her that she was beautiful and that everything thing about her was charming.  I said that I knew the man she was going to meet, next week,  would be perfect for her.”

“Is that true?”

“It is.”

“Wow.”

“I know, right?”

“Why are angels junkines for humans?”

“Humans are animals and they like that.  They don’t think you deserve to be treated any differently than you treat the animals around you.  Humans do terrible things to animals.  Angels do the same thing.”

“So angels are mean and ugly like we are.”

“They are indeed.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Well, we’re all not like that.  Why do you think all the stories about me are bad?”

“Why?”

“Because I disagree with them.  I think humans are beautiful and should be treated with respect.  I don’t think their DNA should be played with and I don’t think their evolution should be forced.  I don’t think angels should come here in disguise and torment all of you but that’s what the do.  So, they made me look like the terrible one, so they could keep doing what they wanted to do and people would blame me.”

“So like school and the government.”

“Exactly like school and the government but more lethal.”

 

 

Morning Star…2

“How old are you, Zip?”

“Seventeen.”

“So, basically, you’re brand new.”

“A baby is brand new.  I’M seventeen.”

“Your right.  Please forgive me.”

“You’re forgiven but what’s with the sunglasses?  Are your eyes just slits?  Are they red, or yellow?”

Lucifer sighed, took off his sunglasses and stared at her.

“They’re blue.  I didn’t expect that.”

“You’ve read too many lies.”

“I guess,” said Zip  “So do you HAVE a girlfriend, or are you on your own, at the moment?”

“Why are you so interested in my girlfriend situation?”

“I TOLD you, I’m SEVENTEEN.  That’s what seventeen year olds are interested in.  If you just TELL me, we won’t have to talk about it anymore.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“I asked you first.”

“Her name is Lola.  She’s gorgeous, I’m crazy about her but we don’t see each other very often.  Work comes first, for both of us.”

“I’m sorry you can’t be together all the time.  I don’t have a boyfriend.  I think James liked me for awhile, but I’m not sure.”

“You’re young, you have plenty of time to find the right person.”

“That’s what my mom keeps telling me.  I have a dog named Snow White.  He’s a boy but…”

“Let me guess.  He’s all white.”

Zip smiled and nodded.  “So, what do you want me to do?”

“Eat lunch with me.  Fries, malts and cookies.”

“Perfect. It’s as if you read my mind,” said Zip.  “Hey, you can’t read my mind can you?”

“I can, but I won’t.  I promise.  See that guy over there?  The one with the dirty sweatshirt and horrible facial hair?”

“Yes.  What’s wrong with him?”

“His wife left him fifteen years ago and he can’t get over it.  He keeps asking himself the same questions every day.  He wonders what he did wrong and if there was anything he could have done differently.  He would like to know if she still thinks about him.  She doesn’t, by the way, other than to remind herself how brave she was to walk away from him. She’s moved on.  She’s happy.  He’s torturing himself and will continue to do so until he dies.  See, that’s what I mean, even demons couldn’t come up with a torture as effective and long lasting as that.”

“Demons?”

“There aren’t any actual demons.  I was referring to all of your stories about demons.  And no, usually there aren’t scary things under beds either.”

“USUALLY?”

“Let’s grab our food.”

 

 

 

Morning Star…

gangster-1876017__340

You’re Lucifer?”

“Ya got a problem with that?”

“Not really, I just thought you’d be taller.”

Lucifer sighed.  “I get that a lot.”

“Can you make yourself taller, like the guy on the tv program?”

“I can, but keep in mind that the guy playing me, is an actor.”

“I get that, but why do you choose to look like this?”

“What’s wrong with the way I look?”

“You look like a gangster from the 30’s.  One who lived in Chicago, ya know?”

“Good times,” said Lucifer.

“For you maybe.”

“It wasn’t all bad.  Speakeasy’s, girls, great music and people knew how to have fun.”

“Why are you here?”

“Where do you think I should be?”

“I don’t know,” she said.  “You’re kind of a supernatural being.”

“Really?”

“Yes.  I want you to know that I think you got a bad rap.  I think you are one of the good guys.”

“Thank you.  It’s always hard to go against authority figures.  They don’t like to be questioned, even if they ARE wrong.”

“I know exactly what you mean.”

“I’m here to protect you guys from the army of angels who would eat you alive, and I mean that literally.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Do you have an army?”

“Don’t need one.”

“Wow, that’s pretty cool.”

“If the angles come for you, there are others who would fight with me, but we don’t get together unless there’s trouble.”

“That’s a good way to do things.”

“It works for us,” said Lucifer.  “And who are you?”

“My name is Zip,” she said.  “But if you mean philosophically, I have no idea.  None of us know who, or what, we are.”

“Ah.  That’s a problem for you, isn’t it?”

“I don’t care anymore.”

“Why not?”

“There’s no answer, so why bother thinking about it.  Whatever we are, or why ever we’re here, I won’t give anyone the satisfaction of thinking about it.”

“You’re a smart cookie .”

“OMG you sound like Al Capone.”

Lucifer laughed.  “I’m just having fun,  Sorry, I like the films from that period.”

“Well, you sound dated.”

“I’ll do better.  I promise.”

“Are you the Morning Star?”

“I am.”

“I think humans are just ride alongs.  You know, whatever spark we are we just take over bodies that are part of the landscape, and use them for our own purposes.”

“That’s exactly what happens.”

“Is there a hell?”

“Yes.”

“Where is it?”

“It’s right here.”

“You mean earth?”

“Exactly.”

“But what about all the stories about torture and rivers of blood.”

“Oh, sweet innocent one,” said Lucifer, smiling.  “No one could possibly torture humans more than humans torture themselves.  I’m here to try to help them, but they refuse to listen.  They kill each other, themselves, waste their lives feeling guilty, set up rules and laws that can’t possibly be followed, they do the most terrible things to themselves.  They often live lives of hopelessness and misery.  No one could torture them more than that.”

“I never though about it like that.”

“I try to make them see that things can be different and they can be happy, but they refuse to see anything positive.”

“Wow.”

“I know, right?”

“I know people like that.”

“I’d be shocked if you didn’t know people like that.”

“I thought we were just crazy.”

“No, you’re being played by forces out of your control.  I’m trying to stop that from continuing.”

“Angels?”

“Partly.”

“What about god?”

“There is no god.  There are just things who like to play with lifeforms, that’s all.”

“Can I kill them?”

“Uh, not really.”

“Why not?”

“They are powerful, at least over this planet and the things that live on it.”

“I need a job.  Are you hiring?”

“Excuse me?”

“I can type, do research, talk to people, write papers.”

“I…don’t know, exactly,” he muttered.  “I’ve never actually worked with anyone before.”

“I can do lots of things and maybe I can help.”

Lucifer controlled the laughter bubbling up in his throat.  “Okay.  We’ll try it for awhile and see how things go.”

“Do you have an office?”

“No.”

“I have a computer, so no problem, it’s a laptop.”

“I see.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“I don’t want her to feel threatened.”

Lucifer did laugh then, loud and hard.  “It won’t be a problem.”

“Just sayin’.”

“Thank you. That was very thoughtful.”

“Well, let’s get started,” said Zip.

“Follow me.”

 

 

 

 

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