Sunday, October 25, 2009

Phonebooth Resurrection


Some of us have been born again, others have dreams in which we're not ourselves. Artists write stories and create pictures that take them away from their reality, but tonight we abuse substances. Tonight, our metamorphosis is temporary and hallucinatory. Our fingers become carrot sticks, sex organs reverse functions, faceless dark figures strangle and clear voices echo independent of eardrums.

There are a few changes that should suffice the human experience. Puberty is one of the most vicious natural transformations that takes place in every person's life. It seems that a much more gradual change is becoming old. Either I haven't yet experienced this, or am still in the process. But sometimes the physical isn't enough. Sometimes a spiritual change must take place. Whatever that means, it's different from puberty, and occurs in an individual's mind.

So what did I experience tonight? It occurred after my wife went to sleep. I told her that I'd pack her lunch and get the coffee machine ready. But sprinkles were on my cereal. Count Chocula's mouth chewed on the box like a mirror. He wasn't saying anything, but still made fun of the way I ate. My long face looked even longer munching big mouthfuls.

I whispered "shhhh." And he started blinking his eyes like a butterfly and hummingbird. One eye blinked at a faster rate than the other. Until the floor became crowded with woodchucks. Every furry animal escaped my eye at every twitch. As soon as I saw one moving, it was behind a corner or under the furniture. None would look me in the eye. None would sit still.

Did I finish my cereal? Someone did. But either before or after, I chewed on an empty aluminum can of Diet Dr. Pepper. I bit into the side of it, dripping fizzy, sticky residue down my chin and neck. Eventually this mixed with blood. As my gums and cheeks found the sharpest snags of the broken can, I became excruciatingly thirsty.

I don't remember putting shoes on, and I might not have. If I went outside, I don't know which door I used. But there were windows of fat punk rockers with pink hair and dirty mustaches, having sex with the lights on. They were so disgusting, and I wouldn't leave their window. It had to be neighbors, college kids who are just interested in a good time.

My good time became full of dogs. I was in a fenced-in yard, getting my arm tugged around by an angry, growling, hairy bag of teeth. I knew that I could beat it, but it had a ferocious grip on my forearm. When I took it by the neck, I used my fingernails. If I was in pain, I didn't care. Other dogs were barking, but they were in their own fences on other streets.

But when I escaped the jaws, I tripped over the fence onto a cold sidewalk. For whatever reason, I could not get off of the sidewalk. It was like we became magnets, and gravity was a dark demon on my back, squeezing its claws around my neck. Now that I was stuck, I wondered how (and why) I was fighting with a neighbor's dog. I hoped that I didn't hurt it, and so called out, "I'm sorry! I didn't mean it doggie! You're a good doggie!"

I yelled that over and over until my throat dried. I remembered my thirst. Grass was a few inches away, just off the edge of the sidewalk. With my fingers stretching, I pulled my lips closer to the dew. I strained for what seemed like hours, stretching for this grass. When my mouth touched it, I sucked the blades. I sucked the grass until it was more dry than the back of my throat, and then I puked. This new liquid acted as replenishment. A re-soaked lawn, tinged with my own insecurity and foolishness. How many times I was able to drink the wetness off of the dying October grass seemed a number not worth counting, but it went on and on.

And here I sit. Writing about human transformation on a piece of modern technology. My mind is here, altering itself like a reversi game between Wayne Coyne and David Cronenberg. The beat poets are jealous of us, but we refuse to thank them for any goat's blood they may have spilled. We drink what we abuse, and restore that which was never really there.

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