Mesoamerican Myths

by dschapman

In my hundredth of my thousand nights I laid awake and I listened to the radio while feeling sad and lonely. I had looked earlier at a map of Mesoamerican cultures and realized how close and familiar they were. I could have been a pre-historic American. I could have been a Mayan.

Robert Graves reminds me of what I would like to do, but he was a troublemaker. I don’t want to cause any trouble anymore. I would rather not, if given the chance. I am neutral, now, like inert gel. You can suspend your fluids in me and I will hold them, without a sound, as though floating through space – no gravity. I am shining like a bright light is supposed to do, anemic and pale as snow. No one likes a shadow-dweller, but I have moved underground, where the stones lay, naked and not shy.

I have been obsessing about girls I have loved. There is a girl I only saw once in a city on an island in a world far away and I think about her every day. It is one of many small regrets. They are piling up already. Soon I’ll think of nothing but regrets. I get sad and send disparaging messages to old friends who I haven’t spoken to in years. They respond politely. I reach out desperately and scratch at the walls. Where have the chemicals gone? I need some stone sealant. I need some primer for my paint. I need some bleach. I take the bleach and I bathe in it, and it cleans me, and I drink it, and it washes the disease out of my system like drinking drano. I boil and combust and return to bed, defeated, and the infestation begins again, I get dirty.

Dirty thoughts. My body does not respond. I do not have a body.

I think dirty thoughts about people close in my life. I have nothing else to think of. I imagine if I had followed through on those European girls, what sort of memories I could have had, what wonderful experiences. They all loved me, anyway, if I would have only had my way with them like a human being. Humans do things that they want to do. Humans are great.

Mesoamericans were humans. They were pretty great.

I remember a human I knew once. It hurts to remember him. I feel a pain under my shoulder.

When I feel these pains in my body I try to “walk them off,” and eventually the pain disappears. But the longer I walk, the heavier my shoulders get, until I can hardly stand to hold them up above my torso. I do not understand this ache nor appreciate it. I would like to walk as long as I could, but the feeling of burden and weight grows heavier on the top of my shoulders. They are the only part of my body that survived the violence unharmed and yet they ache as all the other parts ache.

Those were Americans. I remember them now. They were Americans, like I was. Northern Americans. Ghost people, white and pale, from the islands and marshes of a mountainous crag on the edge of a docile gray sea.

I like Americans.