LP: The Seeds by the Seeds
Unknown year GNP Crescendo GNP 2023, Reissue
Favorite Track: Pushin’ Too Hard
The operation takes less than a minute, but I have almost been caught several times. I no longer frequent the premises of DiscStax when a red-haired clerk fixed me with her suspicious eyes. In my haste to leave, I forgot to purchase the rare Essential Logic 12-inch I had found tucked behind the hundredth copy of Herb Alpert and the Tiajuana Brass Band’s Whipped Cream and Other Delights. Now I am down to five record stores in a twelve-mile radius to spread my word.
Everyone thinks the most important part of crime is to dress inconspicuous, like every other face in the crowd of black band T-shirts and skinny jeans. I stand out. My grey trousers, suspenders, and ironed white shirt are hidden by a belted trench coat just a size too big for me. Sometimes I carry a magnifying glass and use it to pretend that I am inspecting each individual groove. I cover my bald spot with a fedora dirty from all the rain. I have a nickname at Jay’s Vinyl and Weirdo’s: Inspector Jockey. I suppose I should be upset or ashamed, but the poor joke keeps their prying eyes away. The girl at DiscStax never called me Inspector Jockey and, when I am reaching the bottom of the bottle and all the weigh of my message is full upon my head like the ringing tolls of Notre-Dame, I wished that she would. That will go unfilled, however.
The most important part of crime is the execution. On a good day, I can doctor sixty-five records, roughly thirteen in each store. My technique is infallible. I choose the least crowded section first, selecting three or four beat-up albums none of them remotely interesting. Then I start the process of standing close to people, reaching over their picks, eying the titles and genres, and then I am off again on my own this time picking for real. Miles Davis is a good choice. So are the Buzzcocks. When I am feeling risky, I’ll even try it on one of the records on the Collector’s Wall at Weirdo’s. The idea is to pick an album that is going to be bought by someone in the store, but will not attract the attention of the clerks at the register or patrolling around the store. After all, I have to put almost all of the records back after combing through all of them with my magnifying glass. No one puts back a Chuck Berry mono. Or a Smiths 7-inch. Then I buy two or three LPs I actually like and head to the next store.
And all the while I am spreading the word. My hands are large and I am double-jointed. With my left hand, I hold the glass an inch from my eye, bent over the record. My right hand appears to be holding down the sleeve, but, in fact, in a cribbed writing, I am leaving behind two sentences. The message. The Holy Word. The unnameable and unfathomable horror I read in a book about witch cults in the rare books room at the university library. And the people who buy these records will read this message and they will believe too. They will become as fanatic as I, possessed with the visible humming that enhances my vision with Truth and the desire to share.
The Word needs flesh to survive. The body is just an information receptor stuck in the cell of a greater consciousness. When all the receptors are receiving the same message, the collective unconscious shall change. Society will mutate and devolve, fiery chaos will unearth its grim visage over the bowing masses once again. The great civilizations will be struck down, their technologies collapsing into a towering babel of plastic circuitry. Language will become unnecessary: there will only be the Word because it will still need flesh to live. Flesh to rule.
But there are those receptors, like the red-head lady at DiscStax, that are working against this inevitable social change. I can always spot one in a crowd. They are almost always female, although there were a group of males one time at Jay’s hogging the Krautrock crate. I only managed to infect one record that day as they glared at me with their telepathic eyes and whispered to each other with their forbidden mouths. The leader was a tall, pasty boy of sixteen or seventeen, freckled around the cheeks framed by a pair of wireframe glasses. He always seemed to stand in a slump even when he held up the Liberty copy of Tanz Der Lemminge–a holy relic long missing from my music shrine. I can still remember the bitter taste of hate and jealousy. The one record I managed to infect that day–the Village People’s Renaissance did not sell that day. Or ever.
I overheard an employee saying that saw something funny about it and threw it in the trash.
Spurred by this memory, I walk past DiscStax (what was I thinking anyways? oh the red mood I am in) and take the bus to Jay’s. I have already determined I am going to infect all the Krautrock LPs with the seeds of holiness. I grip tightly the pen in my hand the whole ride. The driver looks in the rear view mirror at me and, for a second, I think I recognize the shade of telepathy in them. But he is more concerned about a college boy making rude advances toward a girl sitting by herself in her school uniform. I sigh with relief.
Jay’s is busy. It is Record Store Day. Oh what perilous luck! But I am already inside the crowded store and to turn around now would invite questioning leers. I shove some people aside, ignoring their angry mutterings as I work my way toward the rare of the store. Everyone is fighting to get a copy of the glow-in-the-dark Ghostbusters soundtrack, which would make an excellent vessel for the Word, but I know I have no chance of acquiring a copy. Also, these Record Store Day one-times are covered in a sealed plastic sleeve that the employees are careful no body peels open before purchasing. I stick to my plan of fixing the Krautrock crate. I want that pale king to be tainted. I want to see him scribble the madness.
I pull out my magnifying glass which startles a girl into laughter. Her friends join in, but I am already finding myself bolder, writing with large looping letters the message with a penmanship worthy of a deity’s respect. Faust IV, In Den Gärten Pharaos, Ege Bamyasi, and some Cluster and Eno sleeves all met my the spell of my ink. The humming vision is vibrating in screaming glorious colors from behind the color wheel, fourth dimensional space angles and time radii. A bellowing laughter is building in my stomach and erupting from my lips in globs of pearl spittle. I don’t even notice a puddle blurring out the last word of a recently inked sentence when a rough hand grabs my shoulder and pulls it back.
Those familiar telepathic eyes! The freckled teenager, now an employee, is holding onto me with dastardly disdain like I was some petty shoplifter. I hiss. It sounds like a needle falling into a groove of vinyl.
“Dude, you are ruining those records!” His odious eyes pleadingly look past mine and toward my right hand which is still pressed down on the face of Brian Eno. I follow his gaze. My pen was leaking. I must have snapped it on the bus and never noticed in my hurry to disperse the Word. Stamped on all the sleeves I had stamped with my epistle was the perfect indenture of my palm. My life line was short just barely reaching my ring finger.
I looked back at my enemy, holding up my message. If I was going down, I was at least going to take him with me. I grinned one incisor poking out from under my curled lip as he read the two sentences that would transform his mind into the colorful nebula of enlightenment.
Instead he muttered a curse and began hauling me away to the front of the store where the owner was the phone with the police. I blanched as I looked at the sleeve still in my hand and noticed the water stain that had erased the last and most evil of words:
Here comes the tick-tock of dying bones. Wash yourself clean with the Word of Gtkhivhuallasus.