"As a certain crocodile said: hello. Don't you remember me, my dear? Of what we did together yesterday? The Entrudo, do you remember? I'm That One which was with the Maruxo, the god of marginals.
He's only the god of what is not civic neither cultivated, of the instinct from within and what is left out there. Always looks familiar because you saw him before, but never can tell where, and that's the way he likes it. The voice always excites, despite sounding brute and rough. This is because a part of you remembers the wild things he sang, of the frenetic dances you both shared, of the sweat and other fluids you spent on Maruxo's presence.
You were lucky, not even I know where go the people that he vanished into his cloak. Perhaps they are those anonymous which always fill the crowd without being paid attention. If that's the case, those nobodies must go mad after a while, alone and free of all. Perhaps he does that for me, to nurture me with those sacrificial snacks of sanity ruptured until becoming dark gaps of vague whispers, masked by dirt and baffling expressions which value me beneath bridges, in cries and curses at the street corners, in those grey gaps between the dark reality and the clear imagination.
Me? I'm just your imagination, of course. If you disagree go tell what I said to the others. Tell about what I did at your larder yesterday. They'll look at you with suspicions and uncertainties, put you on the other side of the frontier they put themselves, and you'll be with me more and more. Or not. Stay quiet, tend to this doubt of what or who I am, this light apprehension nibbling your nape from the inside. You don't have to decide, I marked you already.
We'll see each other at the next leftover day. I promise that this time you won't forget. And if you unbehave well, I'll even bless you instead of the harassing. After all, everything has a good side and a bad side. Even craziness, even I. One of those kisses from That One for you.
If it helps, I'm almost certain that the Maruxo isn't a spirit brewed from my head, just like you. It's hard to be sure when it comes to me, you know?"
"What is it? Want to meet the Maruxo? The Thousand-masks, Rattling Horn, Longer-Tonguer, Kukafera, the Damnatio Memoriae, the Panjoyner of the Menads? Alright. A ritual is necessary. A normal life is a journey, a road limited by routines and familiarities. But there at the bush is the Maruxo, the hermit watching you, handling the mirror to blind your eyes and take you off course. Haven't you ever asked about those noises which wake you up in the middle of the night. A baby cry, two desesperate howls, three footsteps at the roof? Mothers throughout the empire talk about the time of not going outside. They can't tell why, but the maternal instinct is good at sensing threats, and the Maruxo can be one of the worse influences upon someone's life. It's not for nothing that people feel safer in groups at night. Being gregarious is anathema to the Maruxo. What is it that gazes at us during the early hours, and answers to that craving of screaming, running and fornicating? The Maruxo!
The ritual is like this: First, do something unusual, foreign to the routine of your fellows. For some, it's enough to be the local-black-sheep, the adventurer, the drunk, the sleepless. It can be harder in greater and more diverse agglomerations, but even at the capital there are auspicious places and moments, marked not by the stars and phases of the moon, but by the number of extinguished torches and something readable in the shape of the crowd ignoring you for one instant.
After crossing this barrier, go walk in circles. At the city, at the forest, it doesnt matter. What matters is reaching by chance those places that the maps never mark. If you do it well, there'll be less and less people, but you'll start to find the clues. They may be suddenly understandable grafitti, mutts leaning into suggestive directions. backwards trails, gargoyles blinking at you, street prophets whose verbal incoerences are deciphered through your circunstances. They will explain how to finish the journey.
That way you shall know the cult of the Maruxo. The Asides, as numerous as they are ignored. The healer with herbs on her hair, serving at the gap between two warehouses. The vagabond stalking at the corner, masking grudge and angst with words gently hollowed, a gaze of predatory anxiety. The drunk praying to his empty bottles, the meek giving orders for their own shadows, the unwanted orphan, at the corner with his broken toy. The Maruxo goes along with the loners, and blesses them with the reflux of spirits, the pain before the relief, the eroding of good manners, the damp gunpowder, the beyond-the-limit. Remember the prayer painted where no one goes:
If you forgot or lost
The Maruxo remembered and discovered
Torn clothes, quiet voices
The never loved, the rebellious sons
Where one worships Maruxo? Nowhere. Everything big enough will have
parts ignored by most. At a village, there'll be a grove which people
avoid. At a castle, a well covered and forgotten behind the wall. At a
city, neighborhoods bypassed by most. The dark of the night, filthy
sewers, abandoned forts, where one worships the Maruxo there's no one.
At least, no one worth remembering."
"There's only this weird drawing."
"What do you want to know? Entrudo? That doesn't exist, and we like it that way. The northern civilization, so glorious and rational, so victorious and renowed, so proud of its qualities. Not even the calendar escaped. 13 months, 13 gods, 364 days dedicated to the great northern pantheon. There was one left, what to do with it? Leave like that, it's a leftover, an extra day, an exception with no importance, who wants to worry about the exception, isn't that right?
It was the crack that me and the Maruxo needed. This gap into such a organized and rational calendar was the perfect breach where we made up for our lack of months. And how to compensate an entire month dedicated to one god, in one day. And a couple of gods? Entrudo, with the Entrudo.
For a day, we sacrifice the civilization and sanity of the whole empire. We invoke fountains of drinks, talents to dance, phallugots to satisfy those without pair. After, inebriated with adoration and other things, we make everybody forget what happened.
The next day, one sees the true extension of the powerful ignorance invoked by Maruxo. No one finds odd that a relative is missing, some causeless disasters, another body floating at the river. No one, except for those marked by me. The newest beggar at the main street, whose fogged memories are further blurred by me, by the power of alcohol, by the pain following the remembrance, by the effort with which the passerby ignore his words."
"That One? That One who? Are you crazy?"