The Orders follow Kervani. We follow them. We, being Doug and Armani and myself, chafed and sun-scratched and willing to tour Hell just to get a snap of Satan. They call us Iconoclasts but we’re really photographers, with every news outlet from here to Timbuktu willing to pay us the – eh? Doug just informed me that Timbuktu is a few nations over. Revise that to here to Guadalajara.
Could be a man or a six-armed cow or a twenty-headed sex goddess. We can’t tell. There are too many Orders in our way. Too many black-and-white cloaks crinkling like choppy seas of newspaper. The Orders go as follows: the Nine Apostles, the Elite Select, the Elite-Lite, the Demi-Elders, the Mystical Ring, the Phytes, and finally the endless serfs and smurfs and their bare-chested children and cattle.
I’m thinking the sun’s fried their brains. If I say the world is flat, that the earth is the center of the universe, that sins build up in the pancreas, that we should be bled from our livers to balance the humors, that a little man operates the brain, that animals compete to reincarnate into people, that blood makes the grass grow… But the masses follow Kervani’s farts likes they’re heralding in a new age. Tourists, too, in faded green buses. They take pictures of the shaking girls, skeptical of them, and complain about the heat. The guides lead them in spiritual songs, trying to connect them to the Order of Things. But mostly they can’t wait to return to their five-star mattresses to fuck.
Can’t blame them. Sometimes I’m tempted to follow along. Other times I have dreams of a different sort. I get the Cosmic Call. So does Doug. And the others. We all do. And we dwindle. I’ll find a camera, smashed, red dust on the lens. Another convert. Those of us who remain hope to sneak the Vanguard to the tent with the golden wool. An exclusive interview, or a photo-op with Kervani looking like a mystic hobo in his sack robes (or her, lovely, in her coral pink scarf; or it, bleating wisely). And maybe we have other reasons to make the hajj.
Instead, I take pictures, and wait, and wonder if God ever grew sick of Moses.