Monday, July 15, 2013

And Pus Pours Out Like Whipping Cream!

I have been told that I was born into this world screaming, and I have not stopped since that day. Over years, doctors have relished in the search to name it, though I have settled on a much more accurate label- just me. My name. I am all that I am, all that I’ve done, all that I will do. Whether as the beast or as the wanderer, everything others would label with a diagnosis is nothing more or less fantastical than the average brain within my skull. I have human DNA, just like you, though perhaps my double helix resembles more closely that of an overstretched rubber band, sometimes snapping backward into its original position, and other times shot in some random direction leaving a sting upon the heart of whomever has the misfortune of standing in its path.

I remember the first time I saw death, my tiny bare feet scuttling in the dirt along an overgrown path far more deep in a wood any wee child should be. I’d read a book once from which I’d learned The Hearse Song, and as I skipped, I sung in little-girl tones about worms playing pinochle, eating my eyes and the jelly between my toes. And then, upon my path, I saw it. Lying on its side, bloated and deformed, its tongue lying in the dirt, eyes wide. Itty Bitty Me was enchanted. And, as would be the natural reflex of any tiny screaming soul, I searched in the brush for the perfect stick. I poked and poked. Lifted its tongue with the stick and watched it flop back into the dirt. I poked at its eyes, but could not bring myself to actually poke them out. It would have required a callous curiosity that I had not developed quite yet. Though even at that age, I had visions of exploding bloated dead bodies, and kept myself from poking too hard for fear of being covered in baby calf guts.

But guts would find me yet. I remember the first time I “helped” my uncle dress a deer. I was fascinated. As my little sisters ran around the backyard making vomit noises, I stayed close. Right at his side as he scooped out its entrails. I watched them land in the bucket below with that wet slapping sound. I remember that sound even now. I counted its ribs. Saw its heart. The lungs. He pointed each organ out to me and told me its name. He then did what any respectable uncle I would eventually come to name my child after would do- He grabbed a handful of guts and tossed them at me. I thought it was hilarious. Laughed so damn hard I probably inhaled a little blood. My sisters continued to feign gastrointestinal upset with their tiny girl barf noises. I just laughed. And laughed. And pretended to run away while he flung guts at me. Yes. Oh yes. Many years later, I would name my youngest child after my Uncle Andy. The man taught me how to tie my shoes for christ’s sake.

As I think and think on it, remembering past flashes of life, both wonderful and terrifying, I believe perhaps I've been desensitized to the extremes of human experience.  Those extremes began for me at such a young age, and as I grew older, my affect toward them flattened into something that would seem to be a nonreaction to other humans.  Simple pleasures do little for me.  I need explosions of passion to even begin to stir my heart.  And cultivating a reaction to bland sorrow is a task not unlike sweeping the kitchen floor.  It requires catastrophic disaster to move me to true empathy. 

I never laugh when a hearse goes by.  Though I will admit, I've uttered "Oh, hurry the fuck up" more than once.  


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Drift The Sky

My forearm carries the scars of erasure, a bygone child who couldn't be.  
My wrists are not for sale. 
I carry no shame for what I have done, though I hid behind sleeves for years.  
Faded now, only I see the marks.  They are there.  And remind me of scattered desperation. 
I saw the sky today.  
In the vein of the game I play with words, I laid on my back and tried to drift the sky.  
Knowing it is only blue here.  On this Earth.  The clouds are only white here.  On this rock.  In this corner of life.  
I tried to drift the sky.  
Turn the blue into a foreign wonder, the clouds into sui generis anomalies.
It was a changeable sky.  The blue fading to white as it met the sun. The clouds morphing into pareidolia in a mind preprogrammed for such capriciousness. 
Is everything we are.  
What we see.  
What we create.  
What we become.  
What we were.  
Purpose becomes a fruitless quest for treasure found only in the very synapses that give us the desire for it.
Ideas spring forth from minds that only gained the right to them in the yesterday by the clock of creation.  
Blood.  That beautiful thing that separates the mindful from the mindless.  
There is no shame in that wet reminder of the taste of ones own mind.