Ur

by dschapman

“That life that you are looking for, immortality – you will never find.”

That was the first book. It was good.

In another book, Exodus, we entered modernity. Christ, the Existentialist, lifted us out of our background of demons, our feet scarred and tethered.

“I wear long johns because I like my legs to be wrapped up tight, like they’re bandaged. If I could I’d wear tights.”

The delivery knight left his white bread on the basket again and I stuck my cigarette into the end of the loaf like an ashtray. I had the time to live my life and I had nothing to do with my time. “I need to do something soon, for the life of me.”

I applied for an internship but they turned me down. I applied at the old debauchery but I played myself down and warned them I was all gimped up. “Salman Rushdie,” I said, forgetting the answer to the quiz. “Quizzes. Christ.”

I did my best, and laid in bed, and thought about what I would do in the future. I wrote 500 words a day on the great American hero story and worked on my sculpture. But my sculpture is fucked. I fucked it up too many times now and I might as well paint it black and move on. One thick coat of black and call it a gargoyle. “I will give the ghoul a human face and call it Croatian. Dahoum the Corinthian, the quail-coated queen of the land between the rivers.”

A gentle woman hushed me and I quieted down. She put her hand on my thigh and her head on my shoulder and we sat together in silence, being close and generating friction, spreading bacteria and mite colonies. No one surrenders and the chasm is swallowed out of existence. Bodies of creatures with phalanges for hands. Grotesqueries in walking monument, I feel ludicrous and fat, I feel so heavy I can’t stand up; she pulls me, but I cling to her feet, and I find myself sucking her toes, and thinking, why am I sucking her toes? I have developed a foot fetish. Strange little phalanges all over her feet. Monkey limbs and baby skin and bones made out of solid non-magnetic titanium. Bones tissue is like a sponge and flexible but titanium is inorganic and momentous and unwavering and so my entire system is compromised.

When the ferris wheel lit up from the field under the overpass we pulled our cars off the highway and went in for some funnel cake and ferris wheel rides. I am a patient, simple person and I like to ride the ferris wheel. Those other rides hurt me and cause me distress. But gentle rides are kind to me, and I could ride them all day long, high as hell and otherworldly.

I don’t do nothing wrong no more. I don’t do nothing wrong. They can’t get me if I do it right. I do everything right and I get by well enough. I won’t go to prison no more, not me. I won’t go to prison not once in the rest of my life.

It is already spring. Another long winter, shorter than the last but the longest I will ever have again. Human life is a condensation.

“The Man Who Laughs” is for clowns.

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