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Sailing.

Sailing.


Cursor said I was a liar. I am a plague. My mind is punctuation. I have drifted away from system vitality on a sea that wasn't there.
Said Captain, "Welcome to my ship. You are a lad on the ladder to latter life. On this ship, you will be best friends with the corners of death. I suggest you drape those corners on your shoulders when you walk the deck. Be stately; allow the wind to spread death behind you like a cape. Allow the empty wind to make you beautiful for everyone who isn't here.
"Because between the waves ridging this invisible ocean, the vacuum has imagined a vacancy so deep to render your memories into dead breezes. On this ship, we will be still. However, we are moving assuredly, and each pace you make on my deck will dissolve another bridge between the islands of your spirituality."
I said that the sun was going down.
Said Captain, "To navigate my ship, I need not that close star nor the far away night shiners. They are gone, anyway. You are my chart. You are my path to darkness."
Silence was then cradled in silence. A thieving wind billowed my cape, and the ship rolled on an absent salt-water abyss.

Dream Part Three - New Members of the Baboon Congress: Leaving the Writer

We rounded the last curve; the walkway ended at the open roof of the house, and moonlight shone on a circular tub of stained tin.
“That’s the tar beetle pit,” the writer said to me. “Go watch it, but don’t put your hand in it until I say so.”
He had a lot of demands, but I acquiesced to all of them because of guilt at having forgotten his novel.
My brothers and the writer stayed behind, looking up at me as I approached the tub. Inside, hundreds of thousands of centimeter-long black beetles cascaded over one another, each oozed from their mouths and anuses a purplish thick paste, which reeked of licorice and onions. They crawled over each other to reach the lip of the tub, but constantly fell back, creating the illusion of a rising escalator. At the center was a pool of the licorice sludge.
“Put your hand in the middle,” said the writer.
I pushed my hand in up to my wrist. It was tepid, and after a few seconds my skin prickled as if circulation was poor.
My brother A screamed, and Z was shouting.
The writer had shoved A off the path into the empty space. I watched in horror as he fell down, smashing through the stucco floor, through another floor into a dark space crowded with baboons.
Z struggled with the writer at the brink, but was overwhelmed by his strength, and he toppled backward, plummeting down and down into the area where A had been carried away.
I yanked my hand out of the sludge and clutched it to my chest. My heart beat pounded, and for a moment waves of pain radiated from it like fire in my arteries.
I pointed at the writer, licorice spit and shit dripping from my fingers. “You are a . . .”
“I am a writer,” he said. His chin jutted out, and his face grew heavy with fat. He looked at me as if bored. He sat down at the edge of the walkway, swinging his legs in the emptiness.
I peered down for a few seconds, choked with worry, before I finally leaped. The fall was fast, and I landed softly on my feet in a cellar that smelled of urine and meat. The space was huge and empty. A gigantic caged gate was ahead of me, and through it I could see a well-lit area with rising rows of chairs and tables, like a university classroom. The chairs were occupied by bipedal baboons that occasionally stood and chatted with one another in what sounded like Spanish. In all the brown and gray fur, I caught a glimpse of rich red. It was my brother Z! He was leaning forward on a table, concentrating on a source of light that washed over all of them.
I didn’t see A, and it made me sick.
An enormous, two-headed gibbon crawled down from a crevice above when I stepped to the gate. It stood on the main lock of the gate, four eyes searching me, the heads turning inward to search each other.
“Por que você se aqui?” they asked.
“I don’t speak Spanish.”
“Not Spanish! Portuguese. Why did you fall in here?”
“The writer pushed my brothers down here. I want to see if they’re okay.”
“Raise your tar beetle shit hand to us.”
I did, and the gibbon heads sniffed it, then licked the back of my hand clean. Each head bent towards the opposite shoulder and vomited.
“Eu não posso acreditar como eu amo a vomitar isso!” they said, and unlocked the gate with a lever hidden in the above crevice. The gibbons gestured for me to enter before creeping up into the darkness. The gate rolled open on a track, filling the air with a horrible grinding noise. Hundreds of baboon eyes focused on me, as well as those of my brother. The huge light into which he’d been staring went black.
Z called my name and waved for me to join him.
A tall baboon in the front row grabbed my hand and led me up to my brother, who sat in a chair between two ancient baboons. One moved two seats over to accommodate me and my missing brother. I embraced Z, asking, “Where’s A?”
“He went to the bathroom.”
I exhaled in relief and we both sat down.
The descending rows of tables and chairs faced a low platform at the fore of the auditorium. The baboon to my left pointed to a red button on the table in front of me. Every seat had a button.
“Push the button for a piece of his oblivion,” he said.
“What?”
Below, a great line of light spouted up from the center of the platform, and unfolded into an enormous hologram of the writer’s head. Except for his face, his skull was transparent, revealing his brain. His brain was the center of the powerful light; the folds radiated with it. His head slowly rotated. The writer looked different from when I last saw him. His face was lean, his expression crisp and aware.
Baboons from all across the room pushed their buttons, sounding like dozens of people simultaneously pushing the plastic bubble in the game TROUBLE. As the buttons were pressed, sections of light within the writer’s brain went dark. By degrees, the writer’s countenance changed, his chin receded, his cheeks slackened and swelled, his eyes lost their electric intensity and concentration, pupils seeming to fade and retract within, to gaze noncommittally at an inward erosion.
My brother pushed his button three times fast.
The writer’s spinning head flickered, froze for a moment facing all of us in this baboon congress, his decreasing intelligence and curiosity apparent in a mouth hanging open to release an unrestrained river of drool.
“Fuck the writer,” I said, and pushed the button, leaving a smear of tar beetle shit and spit.

Dream Over

The Powerful Baby, the Roach, and the Twinkie

This is a modified version of a story I told my niece. I don't know what I was thinking telling her the baby took steroids, and her parents quickly corrected that. Of course, it's just ridiculous, I don't support ANYONE illegally using steroids, especially BABIES.



The Powerful Baby, the Roach, and the Twinkie






One day a chubby and darling baby girl sat in her high chair, preparing to eat a delicious Twinkie. She smacked her lips and rubbed her hands together. But when she reached for the cake, a sly and spry cockroach scampered over the tray and snatched the Twinkie, laughing as it ran off.
The baby was furious . . . and hungry. She got a membership to the gym and began lifting weights and taking lots of steroids(whoops) to bulk up. Soon she was incredibly strong and began to canvass the neighborhood to find the roach. She knew roaches liked to scurry below.
She came to the first house. With a baby roar, she lifted the house from the ground, but there was no cockroach at the bottom, only a woman washing clothes. Enraged, the baby hurled the house into the sky, and it smashed against the moon!
She came to the second house, and pulled that one up, too. No cockroach, only Peppa the Pig in the bathroom. Peppa yelled, “Hey! Shut the door!” The baby wailed, and threw the house into the sky, where it crashed into the sun!
She came to the third house and with both hands ripped it up from the foundation. And there he was! The scoundrel roach! The roach was scared. He held on to the Twinkie and shook like he was cold. The baby held the house up high, and the roach thought she was going to smash him. But the baby put the house down to the side and sat next to the roach. She took the Twinkie, broke it in half, gave one half to the roach. They laughed, and each enjoyed the shared Twinkie.

THE END

Dream Part Two - New Members of the Baboon Congress: Following the Writer

I scrambled to jump through, but the column monster pushed past me with the poor kid plastered by force to its front. It slammed into the wall to the left of the window, squashing the fan in a spray of orange fat that streaked the wall and window.
The impact had created a door the size and shape of the column, and the thing entered and scuttled to the right. A light clicked on, illuminating a human shape sitting behind the fat washed glass.
Knuckles tapped the window. “Come on in,” said the writer. “It’s me. Bring my book.”
I stepped warily through the door. The writer sat at a desk and smiled as if he’d never smiled in his life. His appearance was different than that on stage, and it again matched the photo on the back cover. He took the paperback and signed his name on the title page. I didn’t recognize the name.
“So tell me,” he said. “What do you think are the finer points of the novel? Your favorite character and scene?”
He handed it back to me. I hesitated; my mind seemed whitewashed. The cover was foreign to me. I remembered the delight I felt at the prospect of seeing this writer of a story I loved, yet I had no memory of the story itself. I flipped through the pages, which were filled with black and white illustrations of people picking their noses, examining what they had found. I was blank.
“Uhh,” I said. “When Suzy had a cold in the desert . . .”
“Oh shut up,” the writer said. “You didn’t even read it, you stupid shit!”
“But I’m nervous.”
He ripped the paperback from my hands and threw it under the desk, then stomped out the door. “Come with me! I’m doing research for my new horror novel and I need help. Since I ate my wife, I have no one to assist me.”
I stepped through the door into a piebald lot under a moonlit sky. The lot ended at the crumpled porch steps of a huge old house that leaned over us.
“You walk too slow!” said the writer.
My two red-headed brothers stood to either side of the front, holding torches. I was so happy to see them. They shouted my name.
“Who are they?” asked the writer.
“My brothers A and Z.”
“We can help,” said A. “What are you looking for?”
The writer crinkled his nose as if he were smelling undead cheese. “There should be a tar beetle pit at the top of the house. I need to watch somebody watching you watching the pit.”
Z shook his torch. “That sounds awesome! Let’s go!”
The double doors had been shorn from their hinges and lay stacked on the porch. The entrance curved immediately right into a rising path that spiraled up around the outer wall. The writer took Z’s torch and the exchange lit upon a dead baboon whose face had been nailed to a beam in the wall. As we ascended, we passed hanging baboon corpses at regular intervals. Each time, the writer stopped and kissed it on the jaw.
No railing prevented us from falling into the open space on the left; the bottom floor was already far below, a scattering of stucco tiles scored by holes. Every so often I saw fervent movement through the holes, knotted scramblings.

Dream Part One - New Members of the Baboon Congress: Seeing the Writer

With his novel in hand, I pushed through the crowd to see the writer speak at the university. The standing audience was crammed together, and each barely resisted my progress to the front; as I pushed by, they wobbled back and forth like inflatable punching bags weighted at the bottom.
The writer stood at the podium, smiling as he finished his talk. I was confused and looked at the photo on the back of my copy. The man on stage was not the one in the picture. He was taller and reedier, and looked like he fussed about his face and hair. I recognized the woman beside him as his wife; she took a picture of him using a camera with an enormous flashbulb. The author photo on the back of my copy changed to the man before us. The image smiled at me and nodded.
The writer’s wife stepped to the microphone. “For a meet and greet, and possible signing, please follow us below.” A hole opened in the stage revealing a stairwell; the writer and his wife descended.
I joined a flood of audience members onto the platform and down the long staircase. When I reached the bottom, however, all those who had jostled around me vanished. I was alone at the foot of the stairs in a featureless basement, lit only by weak fluorescents on a low ceiling. Alone, except for two bespectacled fans by the far wall. They were nearly identical, swaying as if drunk in unwashed clothes, hair greasy and dripping liquid fat that solidified in falling through the cold air to splat in lumps on the concrete floor. To their left, the wall opened into a dark alcove, its depths illuminated by shaky candlelight. In that uncertain light, I could see the writer’s head and neck. He grinned at the fan closest to the opening, and the fan smiled and approached the darkness. In the shadows below the writer’s head, slender hands moved close to the floor, reaching out and pulling in. His wife’s hands. Gathering what I couldn’t see.
As the fan pushed his copy of the book into the alcove, a large, chitinous limb emerged from the black. Broad and purple and crenellated, it sharpened at its end into what resembled a stinger.
The boy huffed and tried to retreat, but the exoskeleton fanned away from the stinger, revealing a soft, wet muscle which coiled around the boy in less than a moment. The fan peered out at me from between ropes of phlegm; he seemed nonplussed, his tongue lolling out. The chitin folded over him and the muscle like a closing umbrella.
The other fan ran past me, making a sound like a pig in a vice. I turned to run as well, but not before I saw what clicked out of that recess. The stinger limb was attached to a smooth purple column; the column was supported by five scrabbling legs. It lunged for me, but I leapt forward, passing the remaining boy. The stairs were gone; all that remained was a small window in the wall. I scrambled to jump through.

Dream Part One Over

Dream: Staring at Mrs. Mrs.

Dream February 19, 2015

Staring at Mrs. Mrs.


I was sleeping deeply when a loud sound from my apartment woke me. It was late morning. I rose from bed and went through my bedroom door wearing only a T-shirt and boxers, but I walked not into my living room, but into the kitchen of a mountain cabin I had rented some years ago. Three women in business suits were laughing as they entered the cabin. Stepping around the kitchen island, too aware of the mismatched patches of hair covering my legs, I asked one of the women, “What are you doing in my cabin that used to be my apartment?”
She removed her sunglasses and bit the lens while staring at my crotch. “We have another family who wants to live here.”
“But where will I go?”
“You can keep the place if you come up with 33,000 more funnels.”
“I don’t have that many funnels!” I was starting to worry, and I didn’t know what she was talking about.
The last woman to enter shut the door. She pointed to the bay window in the living area with a finger which was seven feet long. Her nail tapped the glass. “I love the way that hill keeps going,” she said.
“Okay, alright,” said the sunglass woman. “If you can look at Mrs. Mrs. for more than a minute without dying, you can stay.”
“I’ll try, but can I put some pants on first?”
All light was extinguished, and I stood alone in a darkness so complete, I felt my own light dying too. A door opened before me, revealing a brightly lit dentist’s office. Every piece of equipment and furniture was broken, junk littered the floor. Everything but the dentist’s chair. An elderly woman tiptoed around the chair, walked carefully through the garbage toward the door, toward me. Her face was kind, but even in that radiant light, a darkness sheltered in the wrinkles around her eyes.
She joined me in the black room and the door shut. Her face glowed with a pale light.
“I am Mrs. Mrs.,” she said. “Look at me.”
I stared at her eyes, her cheekbones, which were hidden by sagging skin, like high-backed chairs covered by sheets in an abandoned room. The light in her face trembled, then flashed like the circling lens of a lighthouse. The brightness captured an image at my periphery, which left an after-image which floated across my eyes - an eyeless, toothless pig gnawing at a skeleton a cot by my feet. Her face flashed again and the pig was snuffling at my knee. Its breath was hot and wet. It licked me, and its saliva burned.
I shuddered, focusing on Mrs. Mrs..
The flash came again, revealing the woman who had touched the window. She stood by the window, and her long, horrible forefingers pointed at the pig, and at my mouth. I felt the pig clutch at my leg and begin to climb, huffing and spitting.
“I can’t look anymore!” I shouted, and closed my eyes, thinking that this would extinguish the dream as the dream had extinguished the cabin light. But no. The weight of the pig pushed me onto my back, cracking my head against something hard as slate, and the pig collapsed on my chest and wormed forward to cover my mouth in a gnawing, burning kiss.

Dream Over

Dreams: Part Two: Doggatorface

Dream Part Two - Doggatorface

Several meters into the olive dark of the pipe, the sound of the horse’s clopping hooves stopped, leaving splashing water and low, growling.

Horses don’t growl.

Its shadow had shrunk to the size of a small pony in the circle of light at the opposite end of the pipe. Once it reached the bow of light at the other end, I saw the horse had transformed into a large dog. When she stopped at the rim of the pipe, I could see her profile; her fur was gray and she had the heavy, bunched shoulders of a boxer, yet her snout was wolfish. As I hurried to catch up, she looked over her shoulder at me and her face morphed into a cartoonish jumble of asymmetry and squiggling lines. Her mouth rotated with triangle teeth. She huffed at me, then faced forward again, and the normal features returned.

I reached her side at the lip of the pipe and we both peered out from the opening. The water here was a translucent jade, bisected right below the concrete by a strip of raised land that ran all the way to the shore, which curved up into a soft hill at the top of which was an illustration of a small house. The lines of the house were drawn in redbrick crayon, with four-square windows, a crude doorway and purple smoke rising from the chimney. The arc of an orange sun floated just above the right side of the house. The afternoon sun shone bright through the drawings.

The door opened and a real woman stepped out and waved at us. “Come and visit at last. We will have talk.” She went back inside the house, leaving the door open.

The dog and I jumped down onto the land bridge. Immediately gargantuan shapes rose out of the water on both sides, pushing up mounds of water that washed over my feet. The dog hissed as the shapes coalesced into the biggest alligators I had ever seen, some 20 to 30 feet long. They brushed their flanks against the shore of the bridge, then each rested its horrible jaws on either side of the strip. Clearly they could easily scramble up and munch on us, but they remained still, following our passage with their yellowed, oligocenic eyes.

We ran the remaining distance to the base of the hill, climbing our way to the open door and entered.

The space inside the two dimensional drawing was three-dimensional and welcoming. A living room furnished just short of hoarding, each luxurious chair or lamp or table pressed up against each other. A man wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt sat in an easy chair placed before a diamond coffee table. His mouth silently opened and closed.

The woman greeted us just inside the door. She wore a strapless dress that had been made out of eggplant.

“I am so glad you are here!” she said to the dog, bending down and burying her nose in the dog’s neck fur. She pulled a cookie out of an eggplant pocket and gave it to my grateful companion.

“Come over here to sit and listen,” she said, indicating a long couch diametric to the seated man. The dog and I walked around the jumbled artifacts. The woman and I sat on the sofa, and the dog bounded up and lay down, her chin on my knee. Her eyes were placid and focused on the man.

His mouth continued to move as words began to emerge.

“ . . . flies. So many flies. Flies in sauce; flies are the boss. Why do the roots of illness gnarl in the happiness of lovers? Why is the mote in your eye the only boat to the safe shore? SO MANY FUCKING ANGRIES IN THE CHURCH BUTTER! You will never believe that the sun I drew pre-dated the big bang, and that within my semen swims missiles of xenobiology to smush the mush brains of me and all the other elses! SO MANY FUCKING ANGRIES IN THE CHURCH BUTTER! I am the straight man in your tragicomedy, dearest, dearest, dearest . . .”

The dog leapt from the couch into the lap of the now-talking man. Her face shifted into the terrifying visage I had seen before, and she ground her teeth into his forehead down to his chin, growling and digging out chunks of flesh and bones and organs and glands, swallowing and digging for more. The man flailed at her with his hands and knees, but he was now silent.

The woman got up, saying, “Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.” She walked around a wall into another room and returned carrying a plastic grocery bag. Shaking it out, she went to the easy chair and spread it open on the floor in front of the dog and man.

The dog slurped up one last strand of artery, swallowing, then bent over the open bag and vomited her belly’s contents into it. She coughed a few times, then sat down and looked up at the man.

He stood up from the chair and put his hands in the pockets of his jeans. His face was hallowed out like the skin of an avocado. A splinter of bone fell free from a patch of blood on the back of the shell, landing with a clink in the scoop of his chin.

The woman tied the handles of the bag into a square knot and handed it to me. It was heavy and sloshing.

“Feed this to the gators on your way back. They will be grateful,” she said.

I glanced at the dog, motioning her to follow me outside. She ignored me.

The woman said, “She lives here now with us. Go on now. Try to divide the remains of his face evenly.”

I walked out the door down the hill, swinging the bag like a wet and heavy pendulum.


Dream Over