Who’s got my rusty horseshoe?

by dschapman

My ma and pa went to a glass-blowing class together and learned how to blow glass. They blew little glass bulbs and turned them into salt-and-pepper shakers. My pa carved heads with little faces on them out of balsa wood to use as stoppers. I would have used corks, myself (I have expensive paper made out of cork and it sparkles gold in the light, it is delightful). But if there is one thing in the world not subject to my tireless judgment, it is the content of my ma and pa’s salt-and-pepper shakers.

Instead of going glass-blowing I decided to stay in the countryside and build a bookshelf for my only friend. We must do what we can for our friends while we have them, I told myself. It was not a very good bookshelf. It was not a very good book shelf because I did not have very good wood, and because I did not have very good tools. It is a miracle I managed to finish the job. A man is only as good as his tools. And he sure has worthless tools. But who is to say what a man needs? Well, he does need better tools…

The good news is that I seem to be regaining my strength. The local baker has made her half-fried apple pies again and I have half-fried apple pie for breakfast. Another year already, it wasn’t that bad, but it sure as hell wasn’t that great… So maybe I need to get radical. My strategy of stoic patience hasn’t seemed to work out. I’ve been patient for a while now. I’ve also been hiding. But I can not hide forever, which is why I am trying to rise from that short blight of winter. My, how winter bit me this time around! It practically snuffed me out of existence. Is it even the solstice yet? I don’t even know what a solstice is. I don’t even want to know.

I mean sure, I went to a few football games now and then. I got drunk on the beach or twice, you know, I did those outdoor things, those people things. And I didn’t even mind them, sometimes they were really a ball. But nothing comes close when you weigh it all up next to that goddamned inchoate monstrosity, the complex of the metaphysical self and the metaphysical other-than. But the only way out of it now is forward! Over the ice! It’s a fresh-faced type of madness, but its bones are old and weary. As neither a demon nor an angel, but a beast; longingly, devoted, the way that creatures of earth grow and age and dehydrate, and the empty desolate endurance challenges of man, the Iditarod across the ice, forever through those frozen corridors, forever over open cold, snow white purple endless clouds (we got naked at night and laid closely together to keep warm when we camped on the ice) – Moses, risen from the sea, escorted us once through the open savannah, unto the vertical shores of the promised land – Elysian fields, tell that bitch she’s tripping if she doesn’t understand me – don’t you like her? Don’t you like her, or what? I need her, I know that, I don’t know why I can not tell her. Banging my head on a wall like Hephaestion inside his tomb, held back by the infinite heaviness of dirt – black soil – resin and fire – black flames – they spread my ashes over the sea, and in my pieces in the sea I became particles, my particles turned into atoms, my atoms distributed as though through a regenerative void… They will kill me, if they get the chance!

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