Sympathy for Delicious

In Sympathy For Delicious, we have a story which parallels the Satanic Verses in a modern, American, Christian context.
“Delicious”, a.k.a. “Delicious D” is a youngish paraplegic man of no steady employment and no fixed address living on the streets and sleeping in his car while affecting a scruffy rocker-grunge look that isn’t entirely genuine grunge.
He eats at a small soup kitchen a priest runs out of a food cart on Skid Row. Though he tells the priest he wants to get into an SRO (good luck on that, the few that still exist are probably not wheelchair-accessible), the priest, who offers social services on a similarly small scale, tries to sell him on an assisted living facility and provides paperwork for it, but Delicious’ youth and pride cause him to reject that option and continue sleeping in his car while seeking out the occasional DJ-ing gig. He has some talent and fame at that, but the band he is seen auditioning for initially blows him off, for reasons of ableism.
Eventually his talent speaks for itself, and they grudgingly come around and accept him. However, another situation has come up which affects both his standing with the band and his situation on Skid Row.
He suddenly and inexplicably develops the ability to heal people of physical ailments in the miraculous fashion of Jesus in the Scriptures by laying on his hands and engaging in what appears to be a transfer of energy from him to them. It doesn’t work in all cases, and it doesn’t work on himself. (If the transfer of quasi-electric energy theory is correct, that explains why he cannot heal himself; which is one of the first things he tries soon after the healing power is made manifest through him; his energy would simply be feeding into a closed loop.) Yet crowds of people flock to him, and the priest encourages this in spite of Delicious’ intermittant abilities, because he hopes for a large donation from a man with a daughter who has Cerebral Palsy he hopes Delicious will heal. Though the priest pays for Delicious to stay in a hotel room, he is cagey about how much, exactly, he is collecting in donations from Delicious as a healing sensation. Delicious is suspicious about how much the priest is profiting (with the money ostensibly going towards building a proper shelter and social services agency) from his newly-developed paranormal abilities.
He feels used, and given a choice by our modern, secular society, he throws in his lot with the rock band, who also end up exploiting his healing powers for their profit; he agreed to participate in “Healapalooza” using his powers publicly at concerts much the same way he had drawn crowds on Skid Row, he merely hopes to see more of the money from the latter venture.
However, it ends in disaster when his healing power fails to work on a girl who is suffering the effects of an overdose, and he and his bandmates end up in court being charged with negligent homicide. The priest, this time inexplicably dressed in a business suit, testifies as a character witness.


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