Shit, this is crazy, insane, absurd, Goddamn it, just kidding Lord, I don’t want to get on your bad side too, but how did I get myself so fucking screwed up — Awww, my director says it’s time for me to put this show on the road. It is now and forever. God, help me please.
“Hello, my name is Zuma. I’m your host for tonight’s event. I will be conducting the interview that much of the world has been eagerly awaiting and many others have been vehemently opposing. Let me recap what has been going on for the last nine months, as if there’s anyone in the known universe unaware of these remarkable events.”
Yeah, an event I’m now dreading even though earlier I fought tooth and nail to make it a reality. We all should know by now that this is not going to end well. God help you all. Me, I have my exit strategy.
“In January of this year we, The Midnight Report, and Oprah’s Television Network both received an offer to interview Lucifer, the fallen angel. Now, this offer came with no preconditions, no request for payment of any kind and, most importantly, the offer of up to three months to authenticate the person, or I should say being, who claims to be the fallen angel.”
And all we have proved is that you are one really weird, weird amazing, sick, slick motherfucker. Shit, Mama told me to stick with straight news reporting. I should have listened.
“Now, we would have just dismissed this, out of hand, as another crackpot request, but the law firm representing Lucifer was and is Brown, Lupin and Celnick, one of the oldest and most respected law firms in North America.”
Respected my ass, they are as vapid a collection of legal loons and arrogant assholes as exist anywhere in the world. They’re respected only for their unmatchable international avarice.
“We met with Oscar Lupin, IV, and we were impressed and intrigued by what he told us. Oprah’s Television Network declined the opportunity for this interview and The Midnight Report took on the unprecedented task of authenticating the identification of Lucifer on the condition that we could record and broadcast the authentication process. Lucifer readily agreed to these terms.”
Yeah, we were impressed; impressed at the idea of making billions by picking the pockets of advertisers’ world wide. Fucking Lupin would sell his family to Lucifer for more billable hours. Fuck him and curse his whole fucked up firm for bringing this shit to us.
“It took us here at Midnight Report three months just to establish the authentication process and to gather the resources necessary to conduct a thorough evaluation.”
It took us three months and nearly ten million dollars to secure the stamp of approval of various academic, scientific and religious whores for this Super Bowl of media madness.
“And you, an ever-growing audience, have made the televised, radio and internet authentication process the most viewed and listened to events in human history. Until tonight. Tonight we have the attention of the world. The question tonight is not how many are seeing and listening, but how few are not.”
Tonight, The Black Report brings you the event no nation, corporation, organization or individual would ever dare sponsor. No matter the Network has made billions and I do mean billions just on the televised authentication process. And me, I stuck my greedy little lip glossed snout deep into that trough. Right now, I would give it all back and every dollar I have made and ever will make to get out of this… shit I fucked up so bad, so fucking bad. Mamma, please forgive me please.
“Tonight we are being broadcast live in 37 languages in almost every nation in the world. And as you are well aware, this broadcast has been twice delayed due to unrest, social and political upheaval, and a ton of lawsuits.”
“Unrest” my ass, that’s a euphemism for the riots that have left over seventy-five-thousand confirmed dead world-wide and maybe twice that many unconfirmed deaths. Most of the killings were by religious true believers killing in the names of their gods of love and mercy, killing each other and anyone else who got in their fucking way.
I need my meds. I need a ton of uppers and a truck load of tranks. I’m so fucked, but still alive and that’s a fucking shame.
“But, that is all ancient history now. Tonight, we make history anew.”
But, not to worry, I have over one-hundred-thousand death threats to date. Some of those making these threats have to be working their way to me at this very moment. God speed you murdering motherfuckers. You should have done this months ago; damn your fucking incompetence.
“We here at The Midnight Report thank you all for your patience and support.”
Eat your heart out Oprah. I’m now the most famous black woman, no, person in the world and the second most recognized face after It or Lucifer as It calls itself. Thank you Lucifer, thank you so fucking much.
“We are broadcasting from a secret location in order to ensure the safety of all of us here that are working to make this broadcast history.”
It was the fucking fingerprints. The simple rule out test. Simple, oh yeah, oh yeah, the first set we took from Lucifer belonged to Pope John XXIII, next time Hitler, then Gandhi, followed by Stalin and then Martin Luther King, Jr. and finally, Jimmy Hoffa. And no one could figure out how It was doing it. None of our fucking experts, not one could figure it out. And the ratings went to the moon and beyond. And the number of riots and deaths chased the ratings. Jesus Christ, we should have stopped right then. Right then! Fuck!
“This interview is scheduled for one hour and fifty-five minutes. There will be no commercials, no breaks, no interruptions.”
This interview is scheduled for the last one hour and fifty-five minutes of my life. I’m not depending on those incompetent assholes whose pens are mightier than their swords. I will control my death even if my control of this event is a farce.
I’m not just a talking head here. I’m not a producer. I’m the producer. It’s my fucking show.
“This broadcast will be continuously replayed in its entirety over the next seven days.”
It and I had a little disagreement, nothing major. It went into Its dressing room for three, three fucking minutes and came out me. Me! It had on the same Donna Karan crepe jacket and fitted midi skirt, same weave and make-up, the same brown star birth mark I have on the right cheek of my ass. We had no more disagreements after that.
None at all.
It took them one-hundred million dollars to get me back on the set. Big money talked and my little bullshit concerns walked.
“Viewers and listeners of the world I now introduce you to Lucifer, the fallen angel, Satan, The Devil, Beelzebub, The Serpent, Diablo, Old Scratch; a being of many names and faces.”
Mama, thank you for everything. I love you so much. Wish me luck and remember me fondly if you can.
“Thank you, Zuma. As always you are a gracious and lovely host. This whole process has been a test that would have tried Job and it is a tribute to your strength and character that you have come this far. I hope, at least, some of the audience can appreciate the very high cost you have paid and will pay for making this happen. I’m in your debt.”
What a slick talking motherfucker. I’m here because my mother slapped my pills from my hand, slapped my face twice. She told me that I started this and that I would see it through. That’s my courage and my character, my 5’2” sixty-five year old mother. You don’t know shit Devil.
“Thank you Lucifer. Let us get right down to it. Why? Why did you want this opportunity to address humankind? What do you want?”
Mama had never hit me or my brother. Never, never… Let me get this done so I can rest… a long, long rest.
“I want the world to hear my story from my own mouth. I want you to listen. I want you to listen and think about what I say. Not necessarily believe me, but just hear me out. That’s what I want.”
“What an eloquently simple answer, but how are we to believe or trust you if you are the Prince of Lies?”
“We’re still in the dark about what you are?”
“Zuma, I’m not a god. I do not require worship or belief or followers, just listeners for a short, short time, that’s all.”
In an hour you will poison the world and pull the seams from so many dreams. Listen, listen and hear the fabric of our world being ripped; ripped…apart
“And why should we believe you are who you say you are? Why should we do that?”
“Most of you believe because you need to believe in heaven and God, Allah, Jehovah and Jesus. You need desperately for me to be who I am to justify your faith. I could never stop most of you from believing. However, in your case, just pretend I’m an imposter, a con, a cheap trick, a dirty deal, a fraud, but listen anyway. What can you lose, but an hour or less of your time?”
“Fair enough, but I have one question I would like to ask for my mother and for many others. Would you indulge me?”
“Zuma, after all you have sacrificed to make this happen, how could I deny you anything?”
All right, Mom here it goes.
“When I first showed my mother pictures of you, she almost fainted. She said: ‘He’s black; my God he’s black and better looking than Billie Dee Williams and Denzel. Why is he black, girl why is he black?’ Of course I couldn’t answer that question. Would you enlighten my mother and all of us?”
It pauses and smiles, looks pleased with my question.
“I’m a spirit. I can take almost any shape or form. I’m not a human being. I can be any race or gender or even any animal. I will not transform for you here on camera. That is a cheap trick that your special effects people mastered long ago. I choose to be black because my spirit is black, the black of slaves, the black of persecution and degradation. That is who I am.”
Wow! I didn’t see that one coming.
“You are a fallen angel. You are immortal. You speak with God. You have a flaming sword. You-”
“I’m a nigger! A nigger like you, I’m a servant for all eternity to a God I despise for creating me as a slave aware of my state of servitude. I’m an eternal slave that can’t escape to the North or even into death. A nigger like you, Zuma, except with an unbreakable, never-ending tenure.”
“I may be a nigger. I have acted like one these past months that’s for sure, but I’m not a slave. I was never a slave. My mother and her mother and her mother made sure of that with their blood and tears and their very lives. I’m not a slave. I never was. I never will be.”
“Of course, of course you are freer than me. I give you that. I would be you in a heartbeat. I would give my soul for your little sliver of freedom. I would, but I don’t have a soul to give. God fixed me. Made me a gelding, neutered me, no soul, no propagation, my future is my past.”
“You are angry with God? You are in rebellion because you don’t have a soul?”
“I’m way, way past anger. I’m not in rebellion. I am rebellion.”
“And you are here to tempt us? To enlist us in your army-“
“No! No! Not at all. Never. I have no army. Only a few angels share my feelings. We are far from an army. I’m black because I want you to connect with me. I want all the niggers in the world, and if the terms and conditions of your lives are subject to the whims and needs of the powerful few you are a nigger, to connect with me and share our common plight if just for a minute. That’s all. That’s it.”
“So niggers are the oppressed of the world, the meek who will inherit the earth?”
“No, niggers are those who understand how they are used and accept being a lesser thing, a lesser being, that’s a nigger.”
For a moment I’m looking into its eyes. For a moment I almost believe… believe…
I lean forward toward Lucifer.
“Is that all? Are you sure that’s all you want?”
For a moment, for a second I think I see… see… in Its eyes…
“I want, I want you, everyone to just think about worshiping a thing, anything that creates a being to suffer and serve without hope of relief ever, the ultimate slave master.”
“So you want us to question our faith. To deny God and take pity on something that isn’t even human.”
“The bedrock of your peculiar slavery was the slave owner’s denial of the humanity of their slaves.”
“And we should risk our souls for a soulless manipulator.”
“What good is a soul if there is no risk in having it?”
“And if we did. If we did as you suggest we lose our soul and your plight is unchanged.”
“Why should you lose your soul because you understand my desire to be free? And, I am changed because you value my right to be at least as free as you. Everything is changed.”
“God cast you out. If I side with you I will be cast out too, but we get to it, at last. You are collecting souls by turning us against God and costing us our souls.”
“No just god would condemn you for seeking justice for another. I’m collecting souls in the same manner as you are collecting viewers.”
We are standing now facing each other. I’m not backing down.
It continues, “Zuma, you know this interview is almost over almost over before it starts. We will not be allowed to complete this interview. No time for questions about heaven or hell or any of that. Even as we speak our broadcast power is being disrupted. You know what they, not me, but your kind will do to you, your family, your reputation. I am sorry. I truly am.”
In my ear phone, my director is calmly confirming what Lucifer is saying… that we have maybe about one minute or less of air time left… the sound of helicopters in the background… spotlights outside… an explosion…rocks the studio… a scream from outside…or inside…
I speak to my production crew, “Thank you all for everything. I will miss you.”
I turn to Lucifer. “And you will not perish and we will all die.”
“You can look forward to your resurrection.”
“And you your immortality. Nothing has changed. Has it?
Lucifer looks at me and says nothing. Just looks.
I look into the camera. “Brother of mine, take care of your wife and my niece and nephew. I love you all. Thank you Mama for everything.”
The lights blink off for a second and come back on.
I turn back to Lucifer.
“It’s almost over?”
He nods yes.
“Will you stay with me?”
He stretches his hand out to me. I take it.
Header photograph: By Hannibal (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – Swedish TV winter Olympic studio