Moses Sagas The Matchbook Diaries


Moses Sagas Serialized Pop Fiction Book Part 2

Chapter 2: Shi-hooHo- Biting Through: “The man who makes the decisions is gentle by nature, while he commands respect by his conduct in his position.” – from I Ching the 21st gua

JAMES

We all met in primary school, me and Andre, Rock, Johnny, the twins Jax and Wheezy, Simon, and Kinch.  Moses was always different.  Andre was the most polished, even when he was five years old – seriously, he wrote thank you notes, like, after sleepovers.  Jax and Wheez were the weirdest, Kinch always had a temper and broke a couple of toys that first year.  Rock was cool from the beginning.  His dad gave him stuff he shouldn’t have had.  Like that motorcycle when we were 12.  Even better, Rock had access to premium White Widow Supercheese when he was 16.  And Rock was the first of us to get laid, of course.  I guess I’ll be the last – besides Mo, I guess, unless he’s done it on the sly, which I doubt.

And Simon, we all love Simon because he’s kind, and we all knew he was gay, even then.  I think he came out at 14, which was kind of a nonevent since his family was absolutely on board and this is LA.  Our brotherhood is a simple one.  But Moses, Moses isn’t strange in the more easily defined ways – he isn’t gay, or a twin, or the really muscled kid of a famous person.  Moses is – private.  His momma loved him.  Most of us had drivers dropping us at school, but Mo’s mom took him to and from school every single day. We could all tell, not too far into it, that he wasn’t like the rest of us.  The way animals are nuts for him, that’s one thing, but, too, we all sorta felt like he was gifted, and not just in one area, but in every area.

We dig hanging out; it’s fun.  By the time we hit high school we took vacations with each other, spent summers together.  But the truth is, it was always Moses who drew us into what we became.  He is our leader, just as Rock is our guard, Kinch our warrior, Simon our caregiver, the twins our relief, John our strategist, and Andre our diplomat.  Our roles were defined early.  Like a miracle, Moses chose me as his best friend.  I never could figure out my place in our group, but no one ever denied me the place I was given.  I’m not ambitious.  Everyone in the group is, but not me.

I’m his best friend, which is easy, because I love him.  Moses likes to dance, that’s part of it, and I play guitar.  It should’ve been Rock, with his great genetic predisposition, who was the musician.  But instead it’s me.  I kind of fall into things.  I’m not driven like the rest of them.  My life hasn’t been hard, not at all.  It’s been easy.  I haven’t consciously avoided struggle, struggle just hasn’t sought me out, I guess.  I know this much, though, if I have to struggle for anyone, it’ll be for Mo.

None of us ever saw Moses get physically hurt.  Not one of us, during the many continuous weeks and nights we spent together, over the course of the following 16 years of school and vacations, ever saw Moses get sick, be arbitrarily mean, or even make a mistake.  He manages the shocking touch somehow; he shocked that girl last night, I think by accident.  The straightening touch, I call it.  Like we all are too twisted and contact with him is so pure, so straight, it feels like electric current.  The worst he does is curse; I actually think he uses profanity to mediate his crazy touch.  We have too much respect for him to ask him who he is, but it is obvious he isn’t just one of us.  I’m the one who started calling him Jinn. A god among men.

My dad’s smart; he sells rockets and shit.  Dad’s around, actually, a lot, though, for such a busy guy.  My mom is kind of a mystic; I guess people think she’s a freak.  Since she’s rich and this is LA, that’s like a fast track to being super popular.  My mom is, too, really popular.  If I ever needed anything, I’d have all kinds of fancy-pants folks lining up to help me because I’m Judy’s only kid.

My mom, Judy, has all these books in our house, and one night in the eighth grade, after Moses got in trouble for fucking up the computers, I started researching.  I tracked down information on beings similar to Moses: his odd ability to never be sick and to avoid injury, his incredible perception, and his apparent moral fortitude.  That’s when I started calling him Mo-Jinn, a lesser son of God, a sort of hybrid between an angel and a god.  My mom’s books told me jinns run around the planet – these little hybrid entities that are partly god and partly man, but have superhuman power.  Apparently they are not all good guys.  But Moses, he’s a good guy.  He’s a jinn.  He knows we know.  But it’s kind of the reverse of living with an alcoholic – he’s good news that we never talk about.  We kind of all just let it alone.  Kind of like you don’t stare at a celebrity here in LA; it’s patently bad manners.  Like that.

We teased him a lot for holding back, in the beginning.  But we all sort of knew, I think, in our hearts, that any one of us would lay down our lives if Moses needed us, if he asked anything of us, or if he was in any way in danger we’d be the answering army.  So when he asked us to join him in his production company last spring we all said yes.  I did not have huge plans, but some of our brothers would have, until Mo asked us.

Moses is connected tangentially to Abraham Deasy.  The rich bastard clearly hates his grandson, maybe because before Moses’ suptie duptie rich Jewish mama died she got his father Arthur to agree that her fortune would all go directly to her adopted son and skip Mo’s papa altogether.  I have to give props to Arthur for agreeing.  Poor Arthur’s seen no end of trouble in that Jerusalem Church since he allowed over a billion dollars of inherited money to slip through its coffers into the hand of the one member of the family who politely refuses to acknowledge, respect, or in any way participate in the family religious business.  I know, though, that this thing we’re about to do?  It’s got less than nothing to do with any of that.  Mo ain’t looking for a war.  He’s looking to build something, I can tell.  He gets this itchy expression all around his ears when he’s hatching a plan.

I knew it wasn’t over after high school, when we all went off to school, well, they went off.  As usual, I’m the least spectacular of our crew.  I went to USC.  They all went ivy league, I mean RISD is pretty much ivy league for art, where Jax and Wheez went.  All of them went that route except for Mo Jinn, who went to Oxford for linguistics.  He met Reno there, this weird British chick.  They’re pretty tight, I think, but I’ve never met her.  They’re just friends, and I think she’s more like a muse for him anyway; Mo does that, he collects people.  He collected us.

That’s the other thing about Mo.  He doesn’t do girls.  When the rest of us began whacking off and trying to learn how to make out, Moses didn’t seem to.  It’s like he’s got some kind of sexual inoculation or something.  I mean I’ve never even seen him look at a girl.

Elton would wear.  But Simon is skinny now, and he rocks the suit.  All of us get up for Simon; he’s our Queen Mother.

“You’re tan,” says Rock, grabbing Simon by his shoulders gently and holding him.

“Africa, you know, it’s sunny there,” said Simon.  “I saw the cutest giraffes!”

“And Michael?” asked Rock.  Rock’s always keen on those personal details.  Too keen.  Simon met an African man who has become the love of his life – I’m not sure where they met, and if Michael is American or from the actual continent of Africa, I’m not really much on deets.

“He’s here in LA!  We’ve just rented this fabulous place in West Hollywood, great kitchen, and a garden!  I’ll have a party for you, darlings.  He cooks!”  Simon looks at Moses, “Mojin, Michael cooks most divinely.  I’ll be fat again soon.  Oh, and we adopted the cutest dog.  Oh, Moses….”

Moses laughs his loose, fine laugh and releases Simon’s shoulders.  “I’ll be there.”

“I hear you have a girl?”  Only Simon could have said it that way.

Moses moves one half of his mouth upwards.  His cell is ringing in his pocket.  He ignores it.

“Wow,” says Simon, gently, “so it’s true!”  Moses doesn’t say more.  Simon slaps Moses on the butt and shoves him forward.  “I hear we’re getting Jimmy Dean’s BBQ today.”

“Yeah,” I say, watching the staff setting up our lunch.

Kinch bear hugs Simon, “You are the happiest homo-sapien on the planet you bastard.” Kinch’s war has been upended by Simon’s joyful arrival.  Simon is a happy ass, like, sincerely, like he’s never had a problem in his whole glorious life. Simon’s in a great mood all the time; he applies gay to every area of his life.

Kinch could never muscle Moses for long anyhow.  And now Simon’s taken the wind out of him.  His timing is perfect.

We swam and ate lunch, but Moses never told us anything more.  We agreed to meet him a few days later at our new office.  We were all pretty amused by his term, office.   Of course Kinch had to ask if we were all gonna get babelicious secretaries.  Moses built an office; this move of Mo’s is so – so provincial.