Caltrops Fantasy

by dschapman

Camilla, I passed you, you did not see me – I wanted to walk up to you, to hold your hand and say, “Hello, Camilla,” et cetera – but I didn’t. I turned around and you were gone. Visions of Colombia flashed in my head… What was I thinking? I rolled around the music hall on a piano bench until I was alone, and then I practiced Baudelaire. I’d prefer not to mention him by name. Who’s this? I found pictures in a box in the library. I took them home with my of course. I couldn’t get a library card so I just took everything home. “Beats in that belly,” I said, “your heart beats in that belly, where sleeps the double sex -” and his eyes sparkled – I laughed. It’s just something some kid wrote. Some little nobody gay kid from nowhere, in France.

I put the sweaters away in the drawer for the moths to eat and took out the candles. There is a storm coming tonight and we might lose power. There is nothing in the world I hate more than losing power. It is as though it taps directly into me. Pushed towards the limits of consumption, already – back away, fall away, writhe in your chair – just get down! and then I laughed and I said, “Let’s get out of here,” and I kissed your neck as we left down the stairs.

“It’s no one,” I yelled, “It’s not by anyone, it’s just nothing,” lying out of choice, not necessity. I was a little liar then. I was creative enough to tell lies. Wind-in-his-hair, he’s a joke – and the good people laughed at the joke. But otherwise something was cut in him. He looked just alike. He was too gaunt and shallow. His hair was too long. God damn the good-necked rascals – I’m not one of them. But I look at myself from outside of myself and I realize that I’m not fooling anyone. I am not what I think I am, I am just what I look like, what I surround myself with. I stuff myself with milk and bread to fatten up. My face clears up and I stay well-shaven. I cut my hair every other week. But I still look like that monster!

It’s coming down rain now. It’s so loud that it frightens me. Of course its still beautiful, but – I am helpless. And then it is gone, just like that – and there’s silence, a shift in pressure, the warm air rushes into the silence, filles the spaces in between, and suddenly I miss it.

I was having fun. “It’s no one!” I yelled, strangling the man with my hands; “It’s no one! Now why do you ask?” A flea jumps out of my shirt and onto his face and I pull away, terrified, embarrassed.