Many years ago, I remarked to my then-girlfriend Eva how awesome it would be to be the leader of a bizarre cult. Being a profoundly lazy man, I’ve always envied the life of leisure such a vocation would afford, living tick-like off the social security checks of others. My time would almost entirely be spent fornicating with my harem, cherry-picked from among my broken and attention-starved devotees.
Eva tossed my dreams aside like soiled Kleenex. “Every guy I’ve ever dated has wanted to be a cult leader,” she said.
Although Eva was, and is, a hell of a gal and a great girlfriend, the off-handed comparison to her previous paramours rankled me, not least because of her baffling inability to readily discern the many, many qualities which better suited me to cult leadership than any of those other losers. For one thing, I was way better looking than those dudes, and equally as important, I made a whole lot less money, two indispensable qualities for a deranged, would-be-messiah.
Eva’s air of smirking smuggery began rapidly to fade as I related to her my plans for the hypothetical cult. In fairness, the majority of my notions were every bit as prosaic as she’d indicated: enriching myself through plundered bank accounts, using my disciples like indentured servants, and of course, boundless oceans of frightening, quasi-ritualized sex. But the kicker was when I told her I’d name the unholy enterprise after her–the Evangelical Victory Association (EVA), which would provide us some deniability as a legitimate church. I’d come up with that final detail entirely on the fly, but as it happened, it was the thing which sold the story.
Once I’d finished, I waited for Eva to laugh. She didn’t. Instead, she stared up at me, seeming suddenly very small, her stranger’s eyes hard and bright. When she spoke, her voice was deliberate and her tone carefully measured. “You’re scaring me,” she said.
Dedicated with much affection to that most bestest of exes, Eva Chaos. ∞ T.