Human Resources – Pliny Kirk
December 6, 2021
Testes flared, a slough of roots toward the great center spring, the final, sturdy bough of man, a trap of nerves and tendrils in mocking contortions against the order of sprigs, against the limbic upstarts, who merely arrived at the body in drifting impressions. The testes shrieked havoc along the routes, into the thighs, in cuneiform hooks, tunneling a primeval path of language independent cerebral tendencies, rationalizations. Hamlin, body unfurled in the pain like a doddering yardbird zipped together in waiter black, winced clownish set as he was along a wallpaper grotto, nostalgic in southwest pastel, depicting a tuft of heat in time, when the collective comedown began in earnest. He felt a fool, bereft thought, sweat lined back trailing an eternal mark of distorted atoms in the warp of the wallpaper’s crystalized edifices, but there was nothing to be done. The regular patrons espied his paroxysms and feinted ignorance, skillfully, in the fashion of the nouveau riche. Hamlin was known for a retardation, a proclivity for poorly conceived aperçus, gestures sparkling with misplaced verve. The average shift proffered melancholies so deep as to elicit inappropriate quotations from the boy, snippets of misremembered rhyme from Virgil, or Donne. The darkest nights brought on meditations on Shakespeare authorship, obvious protuberances of certifiable madness tumescent under the wafting scents of fried subaqueous fat. Because it was almost impossible to pin Hamlin for aspersions when the old boy coordinated the deluge of plates in talent’s mien and the hubbub of smoking, reeking animal carcasses, fattened calves and ripened pigs, gave the night shape independent its participants. Hamlin, with his shaking tics, of body and verb, seemed retarded but it was an easy thing to miss in the whirligig swirl of mastication, digestion and exhumation. It was an easy malady to ignore.
The regular party, a haberdashery of types myriad in their assonances, their microcosmic affinities, took up the place where the lunging zephyr licked against the open terrace, a flat deco belvedere circumjacent the great road’s flummox, which visited a tegmen of car noise onto the café a few minutes after lunch like a locust din, palatial in its horrid scope. The view was worth the hassle, as beyond the road lay one hillock exempted from the city’s tarmac rapacity. Its grass twinkled chromatic under the noontide, beleaguered and thirsty. Everything cooed in the hillock’s style, orchestrated by its cardinal vertex in panorama frieze and it seemed a door’s jamb, responsible for every swing, no matter the force applied. The newly built condominiums, their commensal shopping multiplexes, conveyed nothing without the grand monument of segmented soil. They conveyed nothing without nature’s ironic consent, the placid vortex of winds redirected by the heath, percolated to the pitch of a sweet sough. It’s a matter of vibration, the question of the soul. Vibrations and diversions, little gravity wells for the draining of shapes, make up the whole, a technic of pleasure found only in the concluded gasps of all assembled bodies. Muir clutched his wife’s shoulder, embraced her weight, which piled against his dainty wrist, and considered plenitude. There was fullness to the hillock, a nobility in its singular slightness. Nobility was the wrong word, though it sufficed, for Muir’s categories were unexamined, and the word labored rightly, rightly tightening the environ. The thing hummed with placid vexation, disinterested yet searing, a feat paradoxical enough to hint at the soul.
This is what it all meant, huh, he thought. This is what all the liturgies meant, all the transient mandalas, the doctrines. All ephemera pointed to the empyrean moment of enthusiasm when innumerable folds submit. The unyielding grace accepted its vessels, the temperature, the tapas, the tempus. He was old, old enough to have a visiting collegiate daughter, but the feeling was new and the premature thrum of traffic became new, a simulacrum of history rather than a noisy nuisance. He considered grabbing his wife’s cunt under the table, quickly, momentarily, for he loved her too much to expose the patient woman to the uncharacteristic and settled for a tussle through her locks.
It was that easy, ignoring Hamlin. His own mother allowed a discrete titter upon hearing his complaints, thinking them the natural consequences of dissolution. He’d say, I’m afraid of losing my legs to this. He’d stand bowlegged, cock keen set awkward, strangely advent and upright, bemoaning the pain, charting the tangle of groin lines like a natal chart. The cock keen veered hither and thither in the usual manner, drawn to the usual summer encouragements, the decolletage and bouncing sandals, the scent of bodily nowness. No matter the roots, the tree endured. Though it went dendritic in the way of unsettled things, torn to mulch and spread about in a thousand settlings, as Hamlin stretched his impediment to an absurdity unsupported by the facts. So much the worse for the facts. So much the worse for his boner, which worked just fine. Evil shells, doubts, agglutinated, forming congeries of mortal doubt. He stopped once, under the pretext of incompetence, cradling super-heated ceramic, bubbling with olive oil, between his bare hands. With rolling shoulders, an attempt at momentum in the fear frieze, he analyzed the fluidity of his body, imagined up all the aches, ascribed their origins, and impromptu diagnostic elicited a panoply of reactions from the galleys, men and women in the glaze of a Mediterranean sun, wafting their intimated judgment through the dense heat haze. He was frozen in the idea, a louse subsumed by the brilliant stream of blood, the liquid horizon without limit or consequence, presenting the nigrescence of idea sans friction, ovoid with puissant yolk. His legs felt novel in their cringing fear, trapped beyond relief, a cavalcade locked in the spheres of consideration, feet plastered to the boards, a pauvre player. The pall preempted all thought, directed all electricity to palpitations, producing a bubbling skein, as though the organs were broiling. Everything seemed a dragging roil in the ineluctable density. People made it their business to not stare, in overture to everydayness. Then, with fateful silence, the mortification ended in a slip and the minutia of electrified meat resumed its complicity with the humming stars. His stubby legs winded through the table pediments, an aptitude elected to the few. The night concluded catechistically, in clockwork drawl, and the incident’s lingering picture disappeared without mention, though the maître D pointedly avoided Hamlin until the shift was done and the candles were covered, avoided his spritely gaze.
The take and give frequency of a closing hour fashioned an illimitable domain of unthreatened fragility, a cruet for the necrotic reek of the day’s trash, compact with charred bones and spit, to finally enjoin the world in a revery of mulch. At the cusp of freedom, everything fit into take and give, yes and no. Some tasks were completed, some weren’t. Some feelings were reciprocated, some weren’t. Just outside, sublunar, the throngs exemplified their supple humanity through acts. For every wilting star, coveted by the lightshow miasma, there is a plenum, a pocket of nocturnal activities arbitrarily coinciding a private constellation, a heap of quarks and tachyons, transmigrating into acts minute, into the platonic vagaries of another stilted night. The night’s a play of minutemen, the striation of divergent comedies made irreconcilable to the big story by the playful labor of chiaroscuro lumps. For every heart, one thousand fallowed sentiments and sentences. Hamlin slaked himself on this gammon, a feast of many bodies, in the silent avidity of a justified and his ambling across the gamut transpired without incident. The city’s millions expressed their eccentricities in the few present on the avenue, rousted for drink and amusement. The consolidation of heat into night creates the city in the sweat-lined ligaments, flaccid meat pikes skewered with helical patterns of meat and bone and the animating stuff, twined caduceus. It felt decent and heavy under the fragrant windows lined with one hundred years of coalescence, the bitter stones of cosmopolis, made of phlegm and blood and dung from postilions, and though there are certainly ablutionary storms, designed by nature for the purpose of forgetting all manner of grime, scent, being subaltern to pneuma, survives. The hylic plane will never erase the supersensory, out of ignorance. It’s ignorant to the fact that scent, a material reality, is a saboteur from the other side. Scent is a strutting handmaiden, the slut of many sides polygonal in beauty.
Hamlin enjoyed the condensation of ages through the avenue’s fog. Spring pulsed avaricious that year, attaching its incalculable wetness to every surface, emulous of the sun’s adulterous primacy. In rivaling the sun, it carried the sun in a spread of sticky joy, a jubilee for all things treacly. He felt down the inner thighs, ignoring passerby, in fear of paralysis. He felt for his veins and shook his lymph nodes, confirming the base reality of owning flesh. It was too much. The ownership swallowed the remained of his composure. This ownership deal is a bad rap, given to failures immeasurable.
The flareprint had first rooted through the autonomic, disrupting its moving stasis with panicked chest and mind flutters, when the first strike pinioned Hamlin to the homestead. He was fiddling, as to be expected, with a component made of plastic chassis and dusty screws, because the day had only begun and the first spate of work commenced with the iterative departure of the morning crew, who tended to malinger on the line for reasons inscrutable, impetuses obscured in the great dust cakes collected on all the parts and tools, black tufts from Mexico continuing their migrations on the palms, in the lungs, of the factory. The reasoning can only be understood through the work itself. Hamlin understood so he’d palaver with them, threading hands through the commensurate work in a dawdle, with a drawl, and the noontide glimmer, that transitional light, tended to pass in a vacuum of sacred nothingness, a crawl of extrasolar energy in the blank minds of factota. Hamlin always indulged the others, mouth set still in vacuous observance. He understood the ritual, but he never fully understood the observers. They worked, observant, recumbent under the pressing niceties of the space, where a peculiar jocularity effused the day’s morbid transgressions, a medley of supply chain interruptions and mismanagement. He understood but he could do no more than that and imagined a distance, a monomaniacal image of apartness exemplified in his coyness by an angle of speech, dark. And everyone chose to believe he was simple, because he truly was, simple in that student way, the overfamiliar distance that encloses everything in the precious garden of similitude. For Hamlin, every word represented another word. So, there was always a great silence around him. Everyone saw a simple. And the matter was not too difficult to explain so the first person leaving diverted for Hamlin, who waited under the thin light waifish and green circumambient the tools and the great hum, to do the neighborly service.
Hamlin rousted, erstwhile set to a false task, acquiescent to the sudden momentum. He felt a madman reduced to sensitive expectancy. The course of the drill and the path of the hammer no longer impressed his dainty sensibilities. He perceived only intention. With intention, everything rests at the point of similitude. There’s only either intention or unintention, a thick dyad made spectrally apparent in the wash of things and his coworker’s trudging matched the factory’s torpid intensity.
The man was torn down to the shins with tatterdemalion and contributed to the morbid air. He looked to never spend on looks, as it’d be whittled down no matter. He spoke plain, told about the strike. It was difficult, apprizing the youngish simple. The man was old but puckish in the way of broken men and the incessant flow of work made him youngish below his years. The two were even in a strange way, a parallel illimitable by age’s parallax. They were peers and this made all fraternizing difficult. Strike’s on and we’re out. Only for now, supposing. Only until v’ginia gets back to it.
Virginia never got back to it. These were years of the shakedown, the great credit crunch. The Aeon of thuggery. The tauroctony winked with glee. And Hamlin transitioned from a life of standing to one of sitting. A paranoia came upon him, the end of his legs. He felt their weight for the first time in a life too full of pothering to imagine the fulness of a body. The offseason helped him imagine the electricity in his thighs and he imagined it waning, starved of input. He found a job as a waiter but that wasn’t enough to convince him of life’s limbic persistence.
The young girls beneficed the patio with a vigor erupting from the frisson of hands and air and a Crete of conjunctions followed under a procession of headlights that smeared a runny yolk of moonbeam exposure into the chasms between their legs, the things crossed at bairn angles conspiratorial in embarkment against the shapes of others. Their flesh burrowed into the ambience, amber in a blanket of piquant meal drifts, the day’s special of overcreamed risotto. A waft unified the impressions in the downy gathering of sea brine twixt the city’s ley lines, the irrepressible distinction of Cambrian muck in exhaust of industry. The girls, three in total, looked good in the dune pile of time burdens, separate in the way of youth, utterly connected but affecting the unique. Legs denuded in ossature color jockeyed submensal for space unimpeded and they undulated against one another in simulation of the roiling offing, the briny constancy of subaqueous energy, and the umbral girl appeared most mere under sun’s moist oppression, rosaried with coronets of liquid musk. Her heels slid between shod and unshod in pace erratic, affixed to an economy exclusive to the cantina’s consistent rumble, in the way of pavior gurgled up chthonic magnetism through the oily membrane drum of discharge. Nothing stone sticks beyond the nascence of grime, a force coeval the ocean, coeval creation, that refuses everything but the ovoid consistency of grease. Hamlin didn’t see the girls, aside the compulsory recognition, and focused on the pavior, its liquid agedness. He came upon the three, almost unaware of their presence. They didn’t want dessert so he brought the check. He noticed the ground’s sipe of concave fosse where the patio sidled the street. It facilitated a faunal sheet electric with cosmic edge forgoing consistency for the creeping lard of divine incontinence, the busted rachis polyps of worlds telluric, in pursuit of the inviolable hush of life beyond the bounds of life, unapologetically possessive. He felt the deep thrum and looked around for an extension of the notice and the street’s film framed a shimmering noon collapse on the surface of radiator runoff. Summer’s insects appeared piscean in the oil shoal, wriggling with evolutionary intensity, climbing onto the soppy remains of aconite stems from somewhere upriver, somewhere deep in the city. It was a season of leaks and castoff dyed in the cast of quiet declination faulded by the cuckclucks of a people bored with their own degradation. Yes, everyone was frightfully bored with the atrocities paid them, owed them, and the only record left was a gibbous sheen of oil on the road. It was the sign of no repair. The one at table’s head paired her hands, an apophatic Lama peaceable in her stilted leisure but for Hamlin, whom she entreated with apostolic openness, a breach in deportment appended to cozening in rank transparency. Her back arced with parduous agility when Hamlin picked up the bill, a body recognizing the table’s coalescing fear. Their tip was negligible. It was a matter of inexperience rather than malice. She felt a magpie in the lazaretto of corpsepenny glitters festooned through a thin thread, a sinew primed to snap at the prick. She was in the underworld of inexperience, faced with an alien joss. The payment consummated without incident. The golden tow filaments in the indented curb of life febrile occupied his thoughts with faunal interpellation, a wicker interned with growth perpetual, pacifying anxieties with the covetous yarnstuff, weeds and chitinous bug shells. He knew the flares were coming and attempted a pointed focus on the world encircled, where all vistas transpire bedight with the encroaching movement and girls emanated the same disinterested light as the plates of dregs held, ambling toward the dishwasher’s pit, through the mandala of indistinct shapes. The kitchen’s votive smoke trawled along the mandala’s convex cinemascope, battering the greased walls with further grease condensed to miniature condensation, an artificial clime of wafting pork fat popping in soundless intensity. Hamlin noted everything in order to abolish everything else. His eyes, glamsy with dawning need, percolated in the meatmist for a chance at diversion. The dishwasher was on break. He placed the plates in the sink. Everything wobbled. The pivot unfurled. He gripped the sink, legs wobbling in a kedge off the pivot.
On the plate, half-eaten trunnions of fish flakes trundled to the edge in blind deray, adorned in the sluice strands of adolescent spit, excess slimetrails cataractal with human maw rheum. His fingers sifted through the grease with limpid fury, grabbing the oceanic discharge. Hamlin scarfed the shattered vittles with dexterity bestial. The giblets cavorted down his gullet, scraping the glottal skin with the wages of bodies, gland underpinnings of girlish representations. The consistency of skin deliberates falsities through a pockmarked vellum. Everything is the grisly clatter of a dim dream. The flares receded. He felt good.