Wednesday, January 23, 2013
One time I was one of them. One of their kind. That was long ago, back when I used to practice shooting rag dolls out of the trees with Crispy.
We ran barefoot through the neighborhoods, me and the three sisters, following the strange music, our soles burning till they callused. Crispy was the youngest. Maybe that was why I liked to play with her so, because I was slipping away, watching childhood descend into the abyss beyond my reach. Shooting rag dolls with Crispy, I held on as long as I could.
But around then, that’s when I started biting boys. First Curtis, technically, though only very lightly. Because of this I’ve never known whether he changed, and maybe he didn’t because I never saw him again. He lived in the desert, but he came to play at our green lake.
The oldest of the three sisters, Angel, she liked him too, but could only express it through utter disdain which made it easy for me. I held his hand and we talked about eternity and something I would later learn that others called the eternal return, but at that time I’d never heard anyone else talk about it.
Curtis and I thought we were the only humans to ever think of it, and since we had both thought of it, it proved we were soul mates and that we had returned many times to this lifetime, repeating it every time we finished it, like re-watching a favorite movie over and over.
Considering this, the bite must have worked, but I never saw him again.
Then I started high school and met Xavier. He was beautiful and I bit him over and over, never explaining anything- even though I was starting to understand it myself.
But with him I never talked too much about eternity. To him I preached a life of pleasure which was quite contrary to the blanket of misery he was wrapped in. So all the more I bit him and preached but he never showed a strong sign of enjoyment.
By my second year I knew what I was, that I was not like others. I was ready to embrace this, my true nature, whatever it was.
So I left high school and met Rex. Now Rex was a gunsmith and he cleaned my old six guns for me so I resumed my old habit of shooting rag dolls out of trees. But the three sisters were not so much a part of my life bv then and anyway Crispy had grown up, so I sent Xavier up into the tree to hold the dolls and made him flinch with the rabid barking of my guns.
Rex and I left the lake and Xavier behind and went into the snowy mountains.
Of course I bit Rex. With him I talked about the old Gods and we looked up the ancient rites and brought a tree stump into our living room for an altar and stole toilet paper and spoons from the local diners.
We got ourselves a little gray familiar but Rex was jealous of my relationship with the cat and he and I fought heatedly and frequently. But the familiar little feline followed us to the diners leaving adorable paw prints in the snow around the shadowy edges of buildings and pounced on us all night so that we never slept.
Then the apocalypse came and we went back to the sunny lake to eat my parents' rations.
I met Xavier at the S.S. Burger Basket one night and he was very bitter that I had left him. He spent the whole time talking about how awful Rex was so I made him stand on the table and shot burgers and gyros off of his head until he was shaking.
Rex and I fought more than ever. He was constantly afraid I was going to leave him behind, outgrow him. He also wanted to bite other women. For some reason or other we got married.
Then I met some of my own kind out by the old Mission and told Rex I wanted a divorce. He said no and I shot him with a Russian SKS he had fitted with a special grip. Then for good measure I chopped his head off with the bayonet and buried it at a crossroads.
I moved in to the old Mission with my new found brethren imagining I would spend the rest of eternity with them. It was a very exciting time.
We ran an occult bookstore across the street from the Mission and lured people into “workshops” where we could dim the lights and bite them. We had very strict policies. Anyone we bit either came to live with us at the Mission or we killed them after they had attended a certain number of workshops.
Due to these policies, I never mentioned Xavier, or Curtis.
The leader of our group was called Calliope. He dressed like a clown, led most of the workshops, and insisted that we should misunderstand his message. He had a childhood friend called Kaptin that lived up North and occasionally came for our black Sabbaths.
One night Kaptin stole in through a mission window, put a black hood over my head and abducted me. He carried me off to his dilapidated castle overlooking the bay. I was incredibly flattered.
He chained me up and bit me each day. His wife, Delicious, was furious, as was Calliope.
Delicious joined Calliope at the Mission and together they launched an offensive and laid siege to the castle.
On the fifth day Kaptin and I came out of the castle together, guns blazing. I shot out Calliope’s eyes. His group carried him home and took his blindness to be a sign of greater wisdom. Delicious fled to the caves to hire a lawyer.
Kaptin and I formed a band and bit people here and there. Some joined us at the castle. We were very discreet.
The three sisters invited me to visit for the holidays. On one of these occasions I saw Xavier and took aim. I felt responsible for his abominable existence. But I couldn’t pull the trigger so I sent him a fruit basket and a card with a hand written apology.
The following year he responded by carrier pigeon., informing me that he would accept my apology if I attended a Christmas Party with him. At the party he carved the roast duck and showed me a wedding ring encrusted with emeralds and diamonds.
He had purchased it for a mail order bride in June. But after she arrived, Svetlana stole his car with him in it and drove to the City of Lights. She hooked up with a muscular skinhead by the slot machines. Xavier served as the flower girl at their wedding.
It was a very pathetic story, but he told it without crying so I was impressed and showed him how to use my guns. I got up on the table and danced while he shot at my feet.
Afterwards he told me that if we had ever married we would have worn flowers in our hair. Then he swallowed the ring and shot himself in the heart, ruining a nice leather sofa.
The hostess was terribly dismayed and asked me to leave the party. I cried, mostly because I would miss the white elephant gift exchange.
Tearfully I lugged Xavier’s cadaver to the crossroads and removed his head. The later I saved so I could use his skull as a drinking cup.
Thus ended my lineage, unless it’s true that Curtis is out there somewhere, biting his way through the world. I’ll never know.
Shortly after this episode I began to feel disassociated from reality. I had frequent fantasies about being an ordinary woman who did ordinary things with other ordinary people. I imagined that I would forget about eternity, bury my guns, and become a dental hygienist who sold Amway on the side and raced in triathlons on the weekends.
It wasn’t hard to imagine. After all, one time I was one of them, wasn‘t I? One of their kind, back before the biting and the shooting got out of hand.
I imagined that I would see a therapist that resembled Crispy and would work out my Daddy issues on a burgundy sofa instead of by tormenting defenseless young men with instruments of violence. I would be a member of a homeowner's association, I would join a gym, I would buy wrapping paper from neighborhood children.
But I never really was one of their kind. I was a latent whatever I am. A dark caterpillar waiting to turn into a black butterfly.
It took me some time to come to this realization. It was Delicious’ tortured screams that lured me back to reality.
One day I awoke again and found myself in the crumbling tower that overlooked the bay. Hearing the screams I shook off the torpor I had been bound in and crept into the bowels of the castle where Kaptin was playfully removing Delicious’ fingernails one by one.
“You’re back!” Kaptin greeted me joyfully. “Now you can help me to bite Delicious.”
It was only then that I noticed that the person chained to the dungeon wall was in fact not Delicious. Certainly they shared certain physical traits and even their names were similar, but this was someone new.
I tossed my hair and smiled merrily,
“Certainly. I never did mind the little things.”