Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Rasputin Boys

I'm part of a triad: three sons on three planets. One of the Rasputin boys. Friends call me “Scary.” Scary Rasputin. It's not really much worse than “Grigorii,” now is it? Sure, that brother puppeteered an empire for a while and probably banged the queen or the prince (or both; he was a kinky preacher), but did he really deserve to name himself after a quire of angels? Our father doesn't even believe in angels. But Grigorii and I did get along well, abusing our immortality at the expense of astronomical bar tabs and the dumbest dares imaginable. From what I've heard he may actually have abused his immortality so badly that he's dead now. Really never expected him to outlive Dimitri. That’s our third brother. You wouldn't know him, since he's not earthly. Lived on Pangenia, one of those swords-and-sorcery planets the kids in the backs of libraries are always pretending to live in by way of dice and thirty-dollar hardcover manuals. I thought if any of us immortal Rasputin boys would die it would be Dimitri. He had the hero habit. Traveled up and down the coast of a continent for two hundred years straight without more than twelve hours sleep a month, always fighting trolls, stopping warlords, slaying dragons. I crap you not. Very macho. Very selfless, which is the ultimate macho, because while it never got him laid, it got him plenty of glassy-eyed applicants. Last I heard, he's still at it. Don't check in with him much, since we don't get along. We Rasputin boys drew our long lives from our pa, whose first name can't be pronounced by a mouth with only one tongue. He’s kind of different. We just call him “Pa Rasputin.” The original. I've only seen pictures of his homeworld, and while they were fuzzy, I'm pretty sure the planet was a triangle. He's a ridiculously powerful being, so much so that he could travel across dimensions and planes at will, and seduce any kind of creature he wished. Yeah, that kind of different: more powerful, with similar aims. He isn't a god, and I wouldn't call him one because if I did he'd materialize and whip the Hell out of me. He's an atheist, since he's never found proof of anyone more powerful than himself. He's superior to us, certainly superior to you, but still, not anymore godly to himself than you are to you. He’s just a great editor, capable of re-writing historical probability so convincingly that no one on three planets notices the seams where he edits their history. No one on your earth, for instance, which is a planet so cynical and skeptical as to discredit miracles as soon as they pop up, found it odd that Grigorii Rasputin could be beaten, stabbed, poisoned, shot and be okay. Dad wrote the rumors such that Grigorii was loaded with drugs, and everyone believes it, except the crazies, who think he was a mystic. Now that's a blast. Hell, "Rasputin" wasn't even indigenous to any of your planet's languages before Pa dabbled there. Pa embedded it, editing it into culture and history. It's his watermark. Your etymologists will actually defend "Rasputin" thinking it's part of linguistic lineage just because Pa edited time and space well enough. That's a skeptic for us; an ant proud of the seams it crawls across, often so proud it misses the seamstress. Even the most blind believer is skeptical of some things in her world, but only pride makes a man label himself a skeptic, rather than just being thoughtful and going on about his work. No offense intended, of course. Dad's a proud skeptic, too.

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