Yes, I’m a bank clerk.
My other job? Exorcist.
The first, I keep your money safe,
the second I cast out your devil.
I find the two balance nicely.
But it’s exorcism you’re interested in?
For example, take this woman.
Observe depression, hysteria, paranoia,
guilt complex - you name it.
I’m sorry for her so I pull on
my white surplice, my black gloves.
Her family, very concerned, bring her in.
I get to work with a lot of well rehearsed words
and my plentiful paraphernalia.
I hold my rough wooden crossver her breasts, lean hard, shout in her face.
I address her devil directly, I command!
Yes, of course it’s all superstitious nonsense;
reasonable chaps like you and me know that.
But she writhes, her face contorts,
she screams I shout louder,
not at her, but at her “devil”. Climax:
she screams as though ripped by childbirth
and I cry, “Look! There it goes,
back to burning hell whence it came!
You are free! You are healed!”
And truly she returns home to be
normally happy - or happily normal.
People forget our need for Ritual,
Drama, Occasion. I offer a service
with her at the core, at the centre;
She’s Hamlet and Ophelia in one.
You ask what I get out of it.
Well, it’s …..gratifying.
In a manner of speaking, it lets the devil out of me.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot. You said you need a small loan -
at low interest, of course.
Just call me at the bank tomorrow.
I’m there nine to five.
You know how you come across an article, a report, something someone says, and it lights up questions about life, people - that sort of stuff. The thing takes off. Then you drag it down, scrawl it, chop it about a bit till it finds its shape - well, a possible shape.
It started with something that I read about exorcism. I asked: why do people do it? How can anyone believe in such crazy nonsense? Why do I think it's crazy nonsense? How can it (how does it) work? Who gets what out of it? What sorts of people? Am I so far from these people.....?