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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wept the Rose Trellis in Shades of Nematoda

A bit more prose.  More surreal this time. Roaches and worms having a divine picnic on the chin of a sleeping young woman.

Your parents named you Rose. It was your mother's favorite flower.


Rose, while walking home at night, you think about the horses of your youth. The brown shiny ones your dad said he'd always try to buy you or the ones that Santa had promised you when you left cookies out for him every Christmas, sometimes on Easters too. Soft gingerbread shaped like stars and bells. You'd ask mom to go out and buy them from the Piggly Wiggly sometimes. You'd ask for the most expensive brand they had. Didn't matter. Santa never brought those horses.

Rose, you walk home down Prytania late at night after you've sweat and toiled and tried to carry dirty trays of turtle soup to impatient unforgiving customers. Your arms are weak, your jaw a broken cliff of dry mud and shale.

Rose, everyone at work thinks you are weird. A strange-looking girl who can't hear very well. You came to work one day wearing these new earrings you had bought at the Everything's A Dollar store, a pair of faux silver hoops that made you look like a secretary, but you thought it might improve your appearance. Maybe people would talk to you, ask you to come out to get a Rolling Rock with them at the Half Moon Pub after everyone had gotten their tips at night.

Rose, you have never kissed a boy. But you have kissed the paper boys in a teeny bopper magazine, all before you turned eighteen. The Piggly Wiggly of your youth didn't carry the magazines, so you had to walk to the drug store every Friday afternoon after school to pick up your three favorite magazines. The check-out girl had red hair and knew your face very well. She giggled to herself when you walked out the door with your magazines. After she finished laughing at you, she would stick a piece of cinnamon Trident in her mouth.

Rose, you started your period when you were fourteen, while in P.E. class. Everyone had to wear an outfit for gym class, green shorts and white shirts with their last names stitched in green thread on the left side of the shirt. Your class was playing volleyball, and when you went back into the girls' locker room to change for the next class, there was blood on your underwear and a little on your green shorts. You were scared.

Now, thirty-one years old with a brand new bachelor's degree in Library Management, you walk home at night late, tired from your noisy restaurant job. Your feet hurt and you soak them in warm water and Epsom salt in a bucket the color of a Satsuma. You listen to the public jazz station and to your neighbors above you fighting in Cuban Spanish and listening to noisy Spanish TV. Their food smells yellow like spicy old chicken and it drifts down to your apartment and makes your bath towels smell.
Rose, there is a hole near your kitchen faucet and at night the roaches come out and look for you. They look for you and your chin at night, when you go to bed at one in the morning.

Rose, after you've cared for your weary feet and washed your black socks in the sink and hung them over your bathtub, you climb into bed and bring the sheet to the bottom of your head. You enter the world of sleep immediately and then that is when the acne on your chin begins to move.

The holes on the swampy cliff at the south end of your face begin to open and small green worms, loving and happy fuzzy creatures, come out of their warm hiding spaces, tired of sleeping for hours, ready to breathe. They come out and greet each other happily:

FRED GORE the worm: "Jill Q! How are you this evening!?"

JILL Q the worm: "Greetings, Fred! I am just fine. Thank you for inquiring. Yes, sir, Mr. Gore. I've rested well and I am hungry and waiting to see what our friends can bring to us today. And look who is also awake! But groggy, no doubt!"

TED the worm: "Jill Q and Mr. Gore! Pleasure. Pleasure, to be sure. I am awake. Slowly coming around."

FRED GORE the worm: "How was your rest, dear friend?"

TED the worm: "Oh, most disturbing to be sure. I had the most awful nightmares, about which the consequences are indescribable..."

JILL Q the worm: "Oh, do tell!!"

FRED GORE the worm: "Oh, yes. Do tell. But wait, because here comes our dear friend, Lucia. Let her in on the details of your nightmare. No doubt we can all learn from your other-worldly dream experiences as they are always educational."

LUCIA the worm: "Greetings, my neighbors. Did I overhear that Ted has a fantastic story to tell!?"

JILL Q the worm: "He had a nightmare last night and he is about to tell us all about it. But I do fear that I might want to cover my ears if it is too horrible to experience!"

TED the worm: "No fear, dear Jill Q. I will be sure to explain only that which will not offend anyone. The mind does work in strange ways. Sort of like Chinese opera."

LUCIA the worm: "Do tell, dear Ted. You have piqued my curiosity."

TED the worm: "Oh well. Alright then. Here it goes. The condensed version for the ladies' delicate ears. Last night, I was dreaming a most intense dream upon which this worm has NEVER experienced before. The dream began pleasantly, as I was resting warm within chambers that vibrated and thumped softly and moved like a lump of bread dough within a mixing machine. I realized I was a human womb. And housed within me was a large Mack truck with an umbilical cord attached to its tail pipe. It had one large brown eye and it barked at me. I woke this is all in the dream mind you. I actually DIDN'T wake up in reality. So, in my dream I woke up and the Mack truck was barking at me. 'Mother, mother!' It was saying to me, tears dripping from it's one large brown eye. 'Mother! I have something to say! Please listen to me, dear mother!' The Mack truck stopped crying and looked at me. 'It is time for me to leave you, my dear mother. I must attempt to venture into the world. It holds many curiosities for me. I hear it calling to me. COME TO ME, YOUNG MACK TRUCK. THERE IS MUCH TERRITORY FOR YOU. FOR YOUR SOUL WE GIVE AND POUR LIFE'S SWEET HONEY BUTTER INTO. OPEN YOUR MOUTH, YOUNG MACK TRUCK, AND LEAVE THE SECURITY OF THE WOMB. IT IS TIME TO COME TO YOUR FUTURE.' The Mack truck began to weep and bark again. I told him that it was okay. I understood his need to leave and become his own man. He looked at me with his wide brown eye and suddenly there was a large gush of liquid! Watermelon-colored water poured fourth between the Mack truck and I. A pair of shears pierced my side and sliced the umbilical cord and separated us. Wet brown fur that smelt like watermelon candy spilled out of the sliced umbilical cord and the Mack truck began to fall out of me, barking, weeping and his one brown eye rolling in his head. 'Good-bye, dearest mother! Good bye!' The poor Mack truck was crying and breaking my heart like a China plate while the umbilical cord thrashed about, spilling wet fruity fur...oh, dear me. Am I being too graphic for the ladies?"

LUCIA the worm: "Oh, dear no, Ted. Please continue. I think we are all quite fascinated by your dream."

TED the worm: "Excellent. Then I shall work on, my friends. The Mack truck was thus born from me, the Womb. And as soon as I felt his last tire escape my body, I felt a wrenching pain start to pour over me. I blacked out with a scream and when I opened my eyes, I found myself swimming as a dolphin. Swimming in water colored pink, filled with other dolphins that laughed and played and sang chorals that praised the human founder of a religion called Christianity. I think his name was Jesus Christ. The sun was shinning brightly and we dipped into the water and then to the surface to see, on the nearby shoreline, a group of pink human beings, much nicer-looking than the one within whom we reside. Their flesh was smooth and even and they all had bright blonde hair and wore pieces of animal fur. They waved at us and ate bunches of grapes and mangoes while listening to music from small black radios. Back in the water, one dolphin came to me and offered me bubble gum which I accepted. I took it within my mouth and as soon as I bit down, I found myself once more in a new environment. I opened my eyes to find myself as a large human male with a tattoo of a cobra and a knife blade across my fuzzy breast. I was in confinement. Presumably, a mental institution. The walls were padded and my arms had been bound around my body with a strange and uncomfortable jacket that was dirty and smelled quite sour. Everything was very quiet and a little dark. I looked around me for a while, for a few hours it felt like, waiting for something to happen. Well, something did happen after a while. A section of the wall started to glow and become bright with a pink light. A single rose bloomed forth and exposed its bright red head to me. It looked at me. I could feel it looking at me. 'Come to me,' it said. 'I have something to share with you.' I came to the rose and looked within it. 'You must know that your son, the Mack truck, has become an influential dictator of the country, Germany. He wields much power and possesses much charisma. He is stubborn like a steel bridge. The world beckoned him. The world pulled him forth from you. Now he glows. And now I bleed.' The rose began to bleed a sticky thick red substance over the floor of my cell. It was a cold cold blood that slowly filled the room as I stood and said nothing nor moved. In about two days, the blood was up to the base of my nose and I began to breathe it and it suffocated me and I began to drown, but with no struggle. I began to die as a human does from not being able to take-in the invisible power of air within itself. It was a feeling like that of falling into a cup of old coffee perhaps, or stale cabernet. And then I woke up."

FRED GORE the worm: "Wow, Ted, my friend. That by far is the most amazing dream you have yet managed to have."

JILL Q the worm: "I must agree with Fred on this one, dear Ted. Quite an amazing experience. I should like to have this one documented in some form. Perhaps we can get together tomorrow night and I can bring my tape recorder and you can repeat your experiences?"

TED the worm: "No telling, Jill Q. Dreams fade like light. I will do the best I can when you present your tape recorder to me."

LUCIA the worm: "I am highly fascinated by what your mind brings to us and the world. Thank you, Ted, for sharing that wonderfully imaginative dream with us this day."

JILL Q the worm: "So, what part did you edit out for us, dear friend?"

TED the worm: "Well, the part about the human females on the beach of course. Back when I was a dolphin."

JILL Q the worm: "Why did you edit parts out?"

FRED GORE the worm: "Why, Jill Q! You are a curious one!"

JILL Q the worm: "Well, we are all friends and neighbors here. I am simply curious of the dream expedition that Ted had last evening."

TED the worm: "Well, the human females simply exposed their breasts. That is all. They were sunning themselves, I imagine. Some fed small human children from the pendulous pieces of flesh that hung from the upper parts of their bodies."

LUCIA the worm: "Silly things, they are. Human breasts."

FRED the worm: "And all mammals have some form of them too. Odd. Odd, indeed."

LUCIA the worm: "Oh, look, my friends. Look to the wall. I think we have our friends coming to us now."

The worms stop talking and look to a small hole in the wall where a small army of roaches curiously peers out.

The roaches, seeing that you are asleep, climb to you, strange Rose. Odd girl flower in the weed garden of humanity. Climbing over the bed sheets, the roaches bring pieces of pastry, pieces of éclairs and Napoleans, salamis and German sausages, goat milk cheeses, fine Godiva chocolates, bubblegum, and a magnum of perfect Veuve Clicquot champagne. Without a word, the roaches mount your chin with their goods, these five fine sleek brown roaches that are shiny like the asses of show horses. They bring the food and present their wares to the worms, with only smiles on their tiny brown heads. They give willingly and happily and watch as the worms devour the ambrosia laid before them.

TED the worm: "Oh, I must say. This chocolate éclair is simply divine."

JILL Q the worm: "This Manchego is simply the best that I think I have ever had before. Our friends have truly outdone themselves this time. I wonder which restaurants they had managed to locate this evening?"

The worms eat for hours, sharing conversation, stories of their childhood or commenting on the taste of the foods they ingest. The roaches stand happily, content, and still on the bed sheets before your chin, Rose.

Then your alarm goes off in a dose of violent AM radio and you hit the snooze button. Realizing their picnic is over, the worms quickly dust themselves off and return into the open acne pores in your chin where they say prayers and meditations. After wishing each other pleasant resting, they begin to sleep. The roaches scatter across your breast back to the hole in the wall, taking the left over food and trash with them, looking forward to the next day when they shall be able to bring more fine food gifts to their friends and listen to their dreams and stories.

Rose, you rise to scratch your scalp and heat water on the stove for your cup of Sanka and a Lender's bagel, toasted with strawberry cream cheese. You look out your window to the pigeon that struts on the sidewalk looking for food or a fuck. Today, you need to take a bus to the Goodwill on Magazine Street. You have to buy some shoes for work today. Your old ones have holes in them.

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