Paradisiac's Corner - The Black Charlie Manson
by Arvo Zylo

I volunteer at a soup kitchen of sorts, and one morning, I was finished serving and I was about to sit down to eat. I was invited to join another fella who'd been sitting there with a file folder of resumes, and a back pack where I could see a few hard cover books sticking out. He kept a good posture and was on very friendly terms with everyone who came in his direction.

Conversation started lightly, but only for a short time, as I breezed through my bacon and eggs and he casually expressed his disdain for pork to another passerby. Someone brought up Christianity, and this man immediately dove into a tirade about how he hates Christianity, and how he is a Satanic Skinhead.

He had beady, demonic, and menacing eyes, but one could tell he had an old soul. He had a heavy gaze, I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of his intentions. The conversation swerved into some casual remarks about the occult, as that is the value I see in Christianity, purely as an entity that has been charged and could be called upon as such, especially saints. He said he was a proponent of the "three magi", and he and I began talking for almost 5 hours about this, alchemy, the kaballah, etc. He could draw elaborate symbols that he'd personalized around the concept of the tree of life, for instance, and he'd talk at length about his knowledge of occult history, especially as it relates to Christianity.

Like one would expect, he was hard to pin. Every time I thought I could see where he was going, he'd go somewhere else. Every time I started to think he was crazy, he'd say something sensible, every time he maintained something sensible, we started talking about something that would get him locked up. He said his family won't see him because they're afraid he will eat their children. I know he did at least 8 years in a penitentiary in Iowa, but I only went so far as to ask him "If people had the balls to ask what you're in for". He said no. He said he had a coven in prison, they allowed a special room for it. If someone messed with him, he'd send a flock of ravens or a herd of cats to attack them in their dreams. He later said that they had electric steel doors, and when it stormed, people would get electrocuted if their feet touched the concrete floor.

I parted amicably with him, he gave me his phone number, I never called. Not too long ago, I saw him on the way to the unemployment office. We sat again for almost 5 hours, talking intently, while offputtingly happy go luck people who trustingly sat next to us wasted little time to find another place to sit. This time, he said that he was in charge of cleaning duty in prison, and if someone messed with him, he'd mix some chemicals together and throw them in their faces. I'm sharing the bare minimum of information just to get to the meat and potatoes.

He told me all kinds of horrible stories about prison, and we still talked about the occult. As he and I were walking up to the door, he said "today is a 15, a very special number". I knew enough to remember what 6 meant in numerology and said I had it in my path somewhere, but my attitude is 7. As I picked my number to get in line, it was 69, which again adds to 15, then 6 in numerology. He spoke of being able to see through walls in the trances that he gets to, that heaven and hell are both within reach, and they're both beautiful. He said that he's never had much time for goodness, he always enjoyed fucking people over much more.

He seemed to know astrology by heart, and would do my horoscope from memory, drawing these elaborate cryptograms as they related to his personalized 10 point star.

As we were leaving from the office, on the bus, kind of drained from the experience, we passed up a shoe store. He started talking about how they have good quality shoes at economical prices. He asked me about my shoes, I said they were slip resistant, I needed them for work, and I told him what I'd paid for them, which was cheap as far as I'm concerned.

His stop came up, and he began to approach the exit. My logic about shoes appalled him. He leaned over to me and said "Arvo, you're messed up... ... you're a fucked up dude." and shook my hand before departing.