All you narcoleptic monkeys can hit your snooze buttons and go back to sleep - me and Preacher got promises to keep and paths to cross where no monkeys can be led. We sojourn the highs and lows across the river valleys where the fading light has fled. We ride the soft machine through the high Sierras on crashing waves of surf music and part the oceans with our hocus focus. Never have two sinners so bruised the concept of morality as we itinerant dreadnaught bums - Preacher and me.
And Preacher says to me “Johnny, don’t you ever sleep?” I answer, “Preacher, don’t you ever wash?” We like that hard corn liquor from broken bottles and chew our cactus buttons from the cob. Those painted ladies know us by our Christian names; they call for us on the lonely nights when they need the warmth of their brother souls and the pure friendship of the lost. Those consolers of the lonely furnish us with snake oil and bathtub gin. We drink to the poor in spirit, to the meek, to the mournful, to the merciful and the pure of heart, to the blessed peacemakers who have inherited hell here on Earth. We toast every sorry sucker who was ever pinioned to his cross and every lowly leper who never felt no magic touch.
Me and preacher got no place to lay our heads, we take our rest on stony ground. The only beds we ever see come with iron walls – courtesy of the local sheriff who steals our fire water and stamps on Preacher’s rabbling tongue. He wears the wisdom of Solomon for a crown, but blows foolish flat notes from his hollow horn. We are fishers of men, we catch ‘em and let them free again to shoal in circles through their idiot oceans. No-one is redeemed without a ticket, don’t wait for no resurrection – the kingdom is within and you’ll find him there – he burned himself into the universal mind. That boy had fire coursing through his veins - he was never meek. He looked every man in the eye - that's why they killed him. If he ever felt fear, he never showed it, but if I told you he was just a man you’d split in my eye and knock me down - that’s ‘cause you don’t know what kind of stuff you’re made of.
The ancient Babylonians were confounded by a thousand tongues, but we’re fucked up by literal truths and shackled imaginations. Me and Preacher never listen to the foolishness of men; our minds and imaginations are our connections to the spirit and we must polish those connections to remain free. Our clothes are as dirty as our blaspheming mouths, but the chords that attach us to the universe are chromium shiny and reflect whatever gifts the radiance of being sends our way.
Jesus wants you for a sunbeam. Preacher and me weave into indian blankets to drape over the shoulders of the homeless and empty headed beggar billionaires bereft of thoughts or dreams. They panhandle for alms from the bonnets of black Cadillacs parked bumper to bumper on skid row. Their body servants sketch pictures for the blind and play music for the deaf while collecting dimes in golden plates. Those tax free donations build empires of dust in the districts of Columbia and buy party favours from uncrowned kings.
Me and Preacher cruise the wrong side of the tracks where he likes to listen to dead men talking from under the burden of philosopher’s stones. Those heavy words wear grooves in his psyche in patterns existential and provide the ballast he needs to stop from floating away on the breeze. I press the petals of she loves me not’s into sweet communion wine to anoint my parched throat and smoke jimson weed to muddy my still waters and lay me out in pastures green to dream big dreams about big girls.
Preacher takes his crayons to the bumper book of the Apocalypse and colours an Armageddon rainbow. “When my saviour returns” he proclaims, “the drinks will be on the house and so will the women.” Them monkeys can kill each other in the name of redemption, but Preacher and me are gonna party like it’s the end of the line. Until that day we have many rivers to cross and mountains to climb on our pilgrimage to Zion. Our forty years in the wilderness have just begun, Preacher and me voyage east of Eden where monkeys are thin on the ground; every sinner is a saint and every highway man and grave robber is your brother. When we reach our final destination we’ll keep on going, for Preacher and me this journey never ends ‘cause we have been cast out and there is no road back when you’re wearing one way shoes.