Arnold believed in the sanctity of innocence. He wanted the world to abandon its reckless, hedonistic ways and see things from a lens of impeccability. The violence, moral corruption and sexual impurity present in the world disgusted him. So, he decided to use his skills as an amateur filmmaker to restore the elegance that humanity had lost. He called his project, ‘The second Eden,’ and hired an English-speaking German male model called Elias. He aimed to recreate a nirvana in which man and nature co-existed peacefully as Adam and every living creature did before the fall. Elias was his Adam, and since he didn’t have the resources to gather animals of different species, he only used one: A goat named Billy.
He took Elias and Billy to a beautiful hill-station and found a secluded, picturesque spot to begin shooting. He said, “Elias, I need you to take off your shirt. I’m going to paint flowers on your chest and back. As you already know, you are playing Adam, and I think that painting Cherry Blossoms, Dahlias and Gazanias capture innocence. The deeper meaning here is that the Cherry Blossoms like snowflakes represent man’s childlikeness, the layered Dahlias his curiosity, and the blazing Gazanias his brilliance. I then need you to stand next to Billy with a meek expression on your face.”
Elias took off his shirt and Arnold painted and then filmed. But there was something wrong. He couldn’t quite pinpoint it. He then realized that he needed more from Elias. “Elias can you take off your pants too? After all, Adam didn’t know shame before the fall. I think I’ll need to paint a few leaves on your thighs and legs to symbolize the first man’s effervescence. I think you should lose the meek expression too. Perhaps a look of power would help.”
Elias was appalled. “Look man. I didn’t sign up for nude modeling. I can’t do what you’re suggesting. Modelling is a part-time hobby for me, and I don’t want a film about me walking around naked with stuff painted on me,” he said.
“Elias, please. You have to understand my vision. I’m trying to recreate the garden of Eden. The first man walked naked there. And this isn’t nude modelling; it’s an artistic project. Think of it as a music video by an art-rock band like Radiohead. We’re recapturing charm here. We’re righting what’s wrong with our depraved society. I’ve also made a neo-classical piece using a music software that will play in the background. So, this isn’t anything like crass nude modelling. Rest assured my friend.”
Elias reluctantly agreed. Arnold shot more. He asked Elias to make all sorts of gestures and facial expressions, but there was still something missing. He needed Elias to be uninhibited and free. After all, the most valuable thing Adam lost was his freedom.
“Elias could you perhaps let your guard down a little? I feel you are too tense. You could pet Billy. Look at him as an object of interest. Act like you’re part of a secluded tribe in the Amazon that has stumbled upon a white explorer. Relax and have fun.”
Elias slowly became less tense. He stroked Billy on the chin. He walked around and hugged the trees. But there was still something missing. Arnold knew he needed to right things. He then finally had an epiphany.
“Elias could you grab Billy by the horns and you know…”
“What do you mean?” Asked Elias.
“I don’t know. Wait! Now, hold on a second pal. I knew there was something wrong with you the moment I laid eyes on you bastard! You want me to fuck the goat, don’t you? You sick shit! Scheiße! Scheiße! Scheiße! Oh, you’re no artist. You’re a fucking pornographer! Scheiße! Scheiße! I quit! I fucking resign, you hear me!”
“Wait Elias! You don’t understand! There was also something raw and primitive about the first man. If you do this, we’ll finally capture his true essence! We’re this close to re-creating the quintessential first man.”
“Bastard! Smooth talk a little more and I’ll kill you, you hear me! You’re a deluded sick freak. Scheiße! I can’t believe you talked me into even agreeing to work with you!”
“Okay. How about I pay you a lot of money? I can get it from my inheritance. You’d no longer need to work as a waiter for the rest of your life. Please, think about it!”
“This is some sick shit, man! How much are we talking?”
Arnold gave Elias the initial amount they’d agreed upon and asked him to come to his house the next day to collect the rest. Arnold, however, didn’t have any inheritance and so, he packed his belongings and disappeared to his aunt’s house the same night. Art required sacrifices, and Arnold was willing to make a few to have his project realized.
He worked tirelessly trying to edit his film to fit his vision. He finally managed to succeed. But then some existential gloom descended on him. He began to wonder if the world would understand his art. He started believing that humanity was already too far gone. He wept bitterly before another epiphany struck him.
Arnold realized that humanity was cognitively evolving. He realized that there was more beauty in the modern world than in the primitive one. He rejoiced and rethought his entire project.
‘Goat Dudes: Sick painted freak fucks a goat,’ was released on the dark web two months later by a director who used a pseudonym. He made a ton of money through cryptocurrency. The movie even made it to a few mainstream porn sites.
As for Elias, he never found Arnold. He was about to forgive himself for making such a mistake when his manager (who was a porn addict) stumbled upon the video. The manger showed it to his coworkers and Elias fell into alcoholism and cocaine addiction. Today, he works in a sleazy freakshow as a thong-wearing clown.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)