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Apr 162013
 

by Eldon Reishus

 

copyright Orla Connolly

Shaken out of it, my body wrapped in plastic, for the last three days I’ve been smoke-boarded by a being I’ve come to call The Female Voice. On the floor between our folding chairs, beneath the harsh lamp’s blinding halo, lay butts by the imbecile dozenfold.

 

»Did you know this… Did you not know that..?«

 

The closer I fatigue towards issuing a retraction, the further I lynch in the opposite direction. Like how the Romans once trussed their catapults; the marines: their grenades; or our own noble scientists: the Trojan atom. My every confession would be a breakdown as cerebral as matting flies to apples, flies to eggs, flies to Wienerschnitzel mit pommes frites…

 

»Of course I knew this… Of course I did not know that…«

 

The Female Voice turns the arc of the lamp towards the auditorium rafters; lights her twillyeth-fillieth cigarette. My best explanation for all the spitballs on the ceiling is Dr. Mueller (hairy as a coconut from head to foot) and his eighth grade art class. But that’s naturally not what landed me here, not what she’s after. Her lips as red as Eve’s apple easy for the asking, she exhales into my face: »You write: In the dead of night when I lay most disagreeably awake, that’s when the writing demon comes, that’s when I arise and become my own ghostwriter. Is your writing demon a man or a woman?«

 

I love smoke. I love smoke so much, that I would never have quit the womb without a doctor’s athletic intervention. »A woman in a man’s body trying not to get out.«

 

»Trying not to get out, or not trying to get out.«

 

(Every addiction is terrible!) »Not trying to get out.«

 

»Why did you say it the other way around?«

 

Six helmeted female soldiers stand at attention at the door, their spears pointed like rockets at rest at the EXIT’s red glare.

 

»I’m sure there’s an excellent explanation. Plus a more excellent explanation that dismisses the first one. And so on by rations, like a pair of figures playing leap frog forever deeper into the excellent night.«

 

»Tell me about Donna.«

 

»She hated picking cane but loved killing snakes. She wanted two kids but was born with three ovaries.«

 

»Tell me about Donna’s breasts.«

 

»As I never said, I was stunned by the divine allure of their heavenly magnitude, vouchsafed to me straight out of the black and blue. That was my description as picked up by the first banana court reporter. What I said was straight out of the blue. Court reporters sometimes create their own Freudian splits.«

 

»And those of your son?«

 

»Gerhard had a mastectomy at the age of nine after his breasts were caught standing in the lane too long, dripping on the side of the skins. CNN jumped all over the story, eventually attributing Gerhard’s endowment to a diet of Whoppers and the time-honored genes of Donna’s family – genes that sprout breasts like rubber plants shoot leaves in humid, Caribbean greenhouses.«

 

»And Donna’s hips?«

 

»Okay, so twenty-and-a-half thousand dollars for three-and-a-half thousand dollars doesn’t sound like a heads-up trade, but think of it in terms of magic beans and the long-run. Her release from the hospital was a release for everyone.«

 

»And those of your son?«

 

»Wore a patented frown in order to expedite claims, plus enable a seat towards the back of the school bus.«

 

»Such thin material you plan on milking?«

 

»I started out on mother’s milk. Like so many others who came before me, it inexorably led to the harder stuff. Come see, come saw.«

 

»Meaning?«

 

»What sting bode death for the jellyfish that hath no age? Looky. Loki.«

 

»Meaning?«

 

»It’s not the mixed messages that eventually undo us – it’s the tote of loose ends we’re issued at outset.«

 

The Female Voice takes an extra deep drag. Like Neptune loosing the scaldic north winds, she exhales inside my plastic rigging: »Aphiemi, aphiemi, aphiemi!«

 

The old Greek safe word!

 

But I’ve said it before and I shall say it to no end: »Everything’s a set up. The idea of original sin is mortally flawed.«