At the local farmers market, in Union Square, my girlfriend purchased a basket of plums. My sons usual dinner of puree pees and sweet potatoes, was now, happily interrupted. Cutting around the pit, she laid out the lumps of crimson on his green and blue plastic chair. Having just read another chapter of the History of the World, Early Indian Civilization, I entered the living room, where my son, sat, fingering the fat red slabs. His fingers were like the beaks of blood-fed gulls, the sides of his mouth were covered in scarlet stains.
What the fuck is he doing,” was the first thing that came out. Subconsciously though, I was reminded of battles fought with bronze, of forests raised to the ground, of sacrifices to Agni, the god of fire. I also read that some followers of this particular category of devotion, seemed to be at odds with themselves for performing this somewhat vicious act. I wondered, perhaps in another life, if that person was me.
Brahman stands above Elan, who is tying up the Sacrifice to a plank of wood.
Brahman: Oh, Agni, fire god.
Elan: Oh, Agni, how good you’ve been.
Brahman: Take this our blessing.
Elan: Take our blessing.
Brahman: We have carried him up the five stairs.
Elan: I carried him up the five stairs.
Brahman: Agni, Bless Us, because it doesn’t matter who brought him up, as long-
Elan: Yes, it does, bless us.
Brahman: …as he’s up here- Do you want to take over?
Elan: Agni, no.
Brahman: Good. Take this our blessing. Your thoughts are our doings. Pass me the flaming wood.
Elan: The flaming wood has passed.
Elan has not moved.
Brahman: No the real flaming wood, the one we light him on fire with.
Elan: Shit.
Brahman: You’re joking.
Elan: I thought you brought it.
Brahman: I am the Brahman. The High Priest of the procession.
Elan: Yeah, and I carried him and every single piece of wood, you see here.
Brahman: So it’s my fault.
Elan: You went up the five flights with a book in your hand.
Brahman: The book.
Elan: Please, look at all those empty pages; we haven’t even finished writing it. Just punch him in the face.
Brahman: Beg pardon?
Elan punches Sacrifice in the face.
Sacrifice: Hi. Can someone light me on fire?
Brahman: How dare you speak. Agni, forgive us!
Elan: Please, Agni!
Brahman: In all your holy ways.
Elan: We beg forgiveness.
Brahman: Forgive him for failing to remember the flaming wood-
Elan: Forgive us, don’t single me out.
Brahman: Do not destroy his land.
Elan: Don’t do that.
Brahman: Do not disease his children.
Elan: Again, not so good.
Brahman: Unmilk his cows.
Elan: Ok. That would just freak me out. I mean really.
Brahman: Oh, Agni.
Elan: Agni, oh.

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