Does Anybody Know Roland?

Somebody knows Roland. Me, I don’t know him, although I have known people like him. I read about him on the net and shamelessly clipped the posting. If you know Roland keep it to yourself — I’ve got my own problems.

The other day I happened to run into my friend Roland in a bookstore. Roland is actually more of an acquaintance than a friend, though he does have a way of showing up at my parties, even without an invitation. This isn’t really as bad as it sounds, because Roland is a catalyst — whenever he is around, conversations are always entertaining, though often skewed a bit out of the ordinary plane. Or perhaps because they are skewed. In any case, I spotted Roland sauntering through the aisles between Mystic & Occult and Self-Help and I slipped up behind him and said, “Hey buddy, can you spare a pyramid?”

This was not as odd a question as you might think because the last time I had seen Roland he was in an absolute frenzy over the pyramid power craze. Roland is always wrapped up in some craze or other. Once it was Kirlian photography, and he insisted for months to anyone who would listen that he could diagnose ESP disorders you didn’t even know you had, and prescribe remedies, if you would just let him examine a photograph of your aura. Another time he was off to Alaska to prove that he could change the shape of the Aurora Borealis by flapping a bedsheet at them from the ground. But his infatuation with pyramid power had even that beat.

Roland would discourse for hours (if no one stopped him) about the power of the pyramid shape, and how it could enhance mystic powers of the mind, cure disease, ease stress, improve your sex life, prevent baldness, stimulate thought, remove plaque, housebreak your cat, unclog drains, and even relieve the heartbreak of psoriasis. He slept under a pyramid, exercised under a pyramid, grew plants under pyramids, preserved food under a pyramid (until his bout with botulism), and (he claims) had sex under a pyramid (though his hypothetical partners were never on hand to support his assertion that it was a religious experience).

“Oh, it’s you,” said Roland, quite unnecessarily, as I knew it was me all along. “I was wrong about the pyramids.”

“No!” I exclaimed, sympathetically. “Well, nobody’s perfect. So you got rid of all the pyramids, eh?” I was looking forward to hearing what had replaced them.

“Oh, not at all,” he said. “The pyramid is fine, in its way, but it wasn’t the complete answer. It turns out that different parts of the body need different shapes to attune them to the harmonious vibrations of life force with the greatest clarity, so that they can receive maximum stimulation. The pyramid happens to be the best shape for the brain, which makes it extremely important, but other organs need other shapes. For example, the heart should have a sphere suspended over it while you’re sleeping and a football while exercising. The liver responds best to a horseshoe, but a horseshoe is all wrong for the pituitary gland, which needs a cube. The stomach is best attuned to a cone, and the spleen should have a cylinder, unless you are having trouble with your gall bladder, in which case a cylinder only aggravates it, so compromise and use a torus for both. But never place a torus near your lungs! They need something with sharply defined edges, like a cigarette box.” He paused for breath and I interrupted, managing to keep a straight face while I asked, “What about the genitals? What do you hang there?”

“Oh, you need a double helix for that,” he said quickly. “It enhances fertility and virility, because it resembles the shape of the DNA molecules and resonates with their life force.” I wanted to ask more questions, since it is customary among those of us who know Roland to pass on any Rolandisms we can, but I knew that if I didn’t get away soon I would need to find out what shape was best for repairing viscera that had split while containing hysterical laughter.

So I resolved to let it go with just one more question regarding the effect all these shapes had on his sex life. But alas, it seems that, though Roland is in better tune with the cosmos than ever before, his sex life has not had the opportunity to blossom with its new power. Apparently the women Roland knows are quirky about going to bed with someone festooned and beribboned with more ornaments than a Christmas tree at Macy’s. Perhaps he should try flapping a bedsheet at them while reading.