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The following is an excerpt from the Forward to PRUNE:

 

Few people outside Tibet or the Ozark Mountains have had occasion to meet Prune face to face. There are even those who doubt his existence. So let me just say that this is not a work of fiction. The events herein are true accounts visited upon me and sworn to by Prune himself. Nor does Prune appear here in any symbolic capacity, but as a living, breathing human person—actually, a number of living, breathing human persons—and a few things that are not.  But be assured, each of his incarnations has been witnessed with, and without, relish.   

Prune has been psychiatrically evaluated, clinically tested, and surgically altered. He has been gone over with a fine toothed comb. It seems that he is subject to sudden dislocations of time, space, and identity, all without explanation or prior warning. He can’t conjure them up or push them away. Having no control whatsoever, he moves through the universe with an awkward grace, and never knows as who, what, or where he will turn up next. In his own words, we live in a universe that has no size, no shape, and no rules. The only constant variable would seem to be consciousness. Or so Prune says.

But there is a lot he doesn’t say.

Listen: While Prune confesses to having no morals, no standards, a faulty memory, and no direction that is as yet clear, he does claim to have come to planet Earth on a mission. Unfortunately, he’s been here for so long that he and can no longer remember where he came from or what that mission is exactly—something of a guide or guardian, perhaps, a simple harbinger of change. Prune is usually a witness, sometimes a messenger, and it works like this: Whoever or Whatever you think God is, suddenly has a message for you, and grabs a dwarf, a dog, an ill-fated lover, even a stranger on the street, anyone going your way, and says, “Here! Take this! Here’s the address. See that it gets delivered.” God doesn’t care about appearances. God just cares that someone be going your general direction and be willing.

That’s where Prune comes in. His job doesn’t require that he understand or have an opinion, only that he be willing to take on whatever form is necessary to get the message delivered.

To that end, Prune claims to have been a postman, a plumber, a prophet, a prostitute and a prosthesis; among other things, he has been wealthy, healthy, successful, respected, and caught cheating on his wife with his self and two sisters named Faye. Prune once claimed that there is not a form in the universe he has not had. He was not boasting. In fact, he looked more puzzled than pleased when he said it.

Having survived alcohol, cocaine, health foods, evangelism and gurus as support systems, Prune confesses to being a religious crossdresser. Each night he prays to God to free him from God.

 Sleeping by day, dreaming by night, alive and living in everything he thinks or does, Prune is sometimes a saint, sometimes a sinner, always a fool, a liar, a cheat, his own monad. Whatever in Mother/Father/God’s own name that he is, Prune is my Virgil: only he knows the way.


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