My face is dripping off, millisecond by millisecond. The youth once commanded by this form slips away into the deep canyons and riverbeds of flesh that feed my eyes as streams do the turbulent seas. Their color has grown cloudy; the whites tend towards yellow laced with red veins like crimson spiders webs. The hair that once glistened like polished gold in the sunlight has turned the color of tarnished brass under the mists.
All of this, the culmination of minutes and hours and days and months spilling into years of confused dreaming. I am something magickal, something mechanical and strange. How seldom we look at the human organism and wonder about it. We are it, so we unfold, blind to the intricacies of our own existences.
I am a replica of two others who were each replicas of two others. I am a thing which yearns to replace those two sad lost creators. I grew out of a dark and tangled wilderness, screaming to know why I had been made, and my makers couldn’t tell me.
Why should anyone live or die? Why does this world go round and round that shiny yellow star that makes everything so warm and keeps the wheat growing and the bread pouring into the mouths that gape open like endless caverns that meet somewhere in the earth’s center, tunnels through which alien life forms run rampant in the darkness.
There are some answers to some questions. There are also some questions sprouting from answers like the many little green shoots rising from a chia pet, or like flowers from the finger tips of blue meanies.
I make my dreams up after I wake. The fact that I have always remembered so many dreams means that I am so imaginative that every murmur which disturbs the placid pools of my being inspires in me a story composed of vivid characters and startling landscapes linked in a chain of events put into sequence within the blinking of an eye.
Do you know that when I arrived here today I didn’t know what to do?
I didn’t know what I could do. It’s been a while since I could do all that I can do.
I had some disturbing phone calls and some unnerving emails waiting for me. My mother tells me of two dogs coupling in her backyard and how, unable to part afterwards, they yelp with anguish and she, not knowing what else to do, goes out and pets them until they calm down and are able to disjoin. A strange man has sent a message suggesting that I do it doggie style with him while smoking a cigarette. The lines in my face deepen.
I strain to remember what I need to do.
I received a box with three beets the size of human hearts, their bright purple and red stems looked as if they would bleed if I broke them, so I tried to be careful.
This head hurts, the eyes are puffy and itchy. The lips are painful and dry. The inside of the mouth feels as if the delicate flesh within it will all peel out. I don’t know why. I think that it wasn’t always like this. Once my body was a delight. I could do anything with it. I couldn’t imagine being old, even though I tried. Now that I am older I know that I never imagined it as it is. I could walk any distance without experiencing fatigue and saw the words written on signs long before I passed under them. It will get worse and worse. Every thing will sag under the weight of gravity, my head will hang low like a vulture’s, hovering out in front of my stooped shoulders. The veins will be apparent under my skin, as translucent as tracing paper, and, beneath its scaly surface, you will see the blue and purple of the bruises that I will acquire from the gentlest touch, like a piece of overripe fruit.
And why? Why was I born, why will I die and why must I ask?
I feel thirsty. As if the water that is life has ceased to run by this way and I am wading in the dust of the riverbed, wondering. One wrong step and the waltz disintegrates into disorder.
I received a box of paper board with three beets the size of human hearts, their bright purple and red stems looked as if they would bleed if I broke them so I tried to be careful.
My daughters mentioned their father at the dinner table.
“I remember when Daddy gave us those jelly beans for Christmas.”
They discussed the flavors of the jelly beans from that box. The youngest made up a story about how her father directed her to the trash can to spit out a bad one.
“That never happened,” the eldest told her.
I could almost touch him. I could almost feel his presence. All of the terrible things that I wanted to get away from, they seemed imagined. I could only recall how he loved us.
We three sat at the table. They talked. I cried a pair of little tears that couldn’t be spilled, so these faded eyes swallowed them back up with a careful blink that helped to wash the lens of the eye. I excused myself from the table.
Here I sit, my flesh dripping off, millisecond by millisecond, replaced by something new, by a replica, and it will not know why then any more than I know why now, no more than my daughters will know why, no more than their father knew why, no more than the two dogs in my mother’s back yard know why.
I received a box of paper board with three beets, the size of human hearts.