Fibbin' to Satan
By ice rivers
Somebody told me that as part of our rebuilding of Pakistan or Afghanistan or Afghanapakistan, we constructed the first mall that the native nomads had ever seen and nobody showed up to use it because they didn't know what the escalator was and they were afraid of it.
I remember way back before Snaps and Buster Brown, when I was pretending to be like three or four and had never been downtown, I heard my parents talking about riding the alligator at Sibley's from one floor to another.
Around this same time, I was hearing about a gorilla war in Korea. I kept asking my parents if there really was a gorilla war going on and they kept saying yes.
It was very discomfiting to know that we were fighting against monkeys somewhere far away but comforting to know that right here in my hometown we could ride alligators.
And the friendly gators were downtown.
Or were they uptown?
Some folks called downtown uptown and other called uptown downtown.
I wanted to know the difference.
My aunt Rose would say "I went uptown last night" and I'd ask her why she didn't go downtown.
She'd say, "I went downtown when I went uptown"
I couldn't figure out how downtown and uptown could be the same place. It made me wonder if there was a difference between down and up. I was no Isaac Newton.
Later I learned there was a big difference between down and up. Down was hell and up was heaven. Hell was Satan and heaven was God. God was old and white. Satan was red and had horns. God was good. Satan was bad.
One day a few years later, Satan appeared in my room and asked me if i had been a good boy. I started to say "yes" because i had been a good boy but I didn't want to irritate Satan who obviously was hoping that I was bad so I lied and sad "no, I'm not a good boy.
Satan seemed happy and went away.
I wondered if I was now bad because I had told a lie. Granted, the lie was to Satan but a lie is a lie isn't it?
Maybe Satan knew I was lying and that's how he knew that i really wasn't a good boy because I had lied to him and that's why he smiled before he disappeared.
Although when he disappeared it didn't look like he went down.
It looked like he went up.
Or maybe he was just pretending.
Like I was.