The audience too, swept up in the Dionysian orgy of sound and motion, cannot resist the urge to jump to their feet and wave there arms manically in time with the hypnotic afro beat. The pupils of their eyes seem to grow larger, perhaps in adjustment to the increased spectrum that comprises the spirit realm. Just when it seems that the performance has been lost forever to infernal cacophony, the performer suddenly seems to regain a purchase upon his composure, picking up the microphone from the stage floor and as the music is lowered somewhat, he addresses the audience in a deep African voice.
“Yeah, I got me somethin’ now Sir, I got me the truth. The Snakeman’s callin’ out in da 12th house and he says he is hungry, boy is he hungry! The Snakeman wants……… cake……. and he wants tea!”
“And… there’s somebody there with him. Who is that man there with you Mister Snakeman?...Mister Snakeman says the man’s name is John.
Does the name John mean anythin’ to anybody here?”
A fat man in the front row shouts “Praise the Snakeman!”
“Yes Sir, you there, I noticed you had a spiritual reaction to that name”, the performer smiles like a feral cat, “could you tell us what that name means to you?
“Well Mister,” shouts the fat man, “I was watching a movie on TV just last night and the man’s name in the film was John something or other!”
“Yes, Sir…….. It’s the truth and it’s for you. The Snakeman says it’s so. Come up here now Sir and spin that numbered disk back there. Which ever number you get fondle the same box there or take that mallet hammer and smash it into tiny pieces! Only then can you know what’s inside the box and inside of yourself!”
The fat man is so excited by the invitation that he forgoes the usual mode of passage when moving from the audience to the stage, namely the steps at each side, and attempts to climb to the level above, which he does, squirming and wriggling like slug on salt. Already, chants of “Snakeman! Snakeman! Snakeman!” are being heard from the crowd, keeping time with the omnificent beat of the still largely audible music of absolute madness.
Breathing raucously, the fat man makes his way to the back of the stage, in a half run; half waddle, crashing headlong into the silver disk, quite losing control of his motor functions in nervous sweat drenched excitement. Bending over to catch his breathe, he steadies himself on one of the four handles of the disk and wipes the sweat from his forehead with his free hand. After a number of deep breaths and a glance in the direction of the still smiling performer, the fat man suddenly straightens himself and without warning, delivers a violent jerk upon the handle, sending the disk into a powerful and prolonged spin. The fat man can only stare at the hypnotic spinning disk now and listen to the shouts of the hysteric audience, flabby arms akimbo, eyes burning as drops of sweat drip down from his eyebrows.
The disk spins on and on, through time and space. The chants of “Snakeman!” have either drowned out the music completely at this stage or perhaps it has stopped playing altogether. After what seems like an eternity, the spinning disc finally comes to a halt at that most ominous of numbers, the number four. The Fat man at first seems dazed and confused, struggling with the significance of that particular number, before turning to the performer, with the expression of a man that‘s been struck with some inner revelation.
“I spent four years of my life in the county jail for a hit and run while under the influence of alcohol, Sir” he cries above the chants of the crowd, “but I done my time and not a minute goes by that I don’t wish I never got behind the wheel of that vehicle”.
“The Snakeman hears that Sir” the performer reassures him, “he’s been calling out from the 12th house”
Snakeman! Snakeman! Snakeman! Snakeman! The crowd are working themselves into frenzy.
The fat man is reassured; his eyes again attaining their previous fiery intensity.
“I’ll take that mallet there”, his fat mouth cries, a stubby finger extended in the direction of the wooden table, “I wanna’ forget that number and smash it forever! I wanna’ forget those rotten years in that stinkin’ jailhouse.
This is perhaps the reaction the Performer/ Snakeman was hoping for. He claps his hands together in eager anticipation before addressing the fat man in a voice thick with barely concealed excitement.
“The choice, as always, is yours, Sir.”
The fat man however needs no encouragement and having speedily waddled back to the front of the stage; lifts the mallet from the table and in a dramatic, almost theatrical manner, and vents a tornado of blind, fumbling destruction down upon both box number four and the wooden table upon which it sits. Blood and what appears to be human tissue, spray everywhere. The frantic people in the front two rows of the audience are subjected to a torrent of bloody entrails.