Stories

Prively, He caughte hire by the queynte, and seyde, “Ywis, but if ich have my wille, for deerne love of thee, lemman, I spille.” [excerpt] – Michael Weaver

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Eddie Murray

All the white trees have fallen.
Where will I meet her,
This Courtroom Death?

Misses hangs by the corner by the pillar inspecting the dips.
“All is lost on this wicked knee, bow faced coxcombed lush of a sailor!” She belches out, “In the evening we’re having pheasant. Little silkies.”

I ask when her family will be arriving.

“Not late enough. Sister Lou has a nasty little plague in her lung. I’ll have to sanitize all of the counters. Will you be having another drink my love?”

All of the tiles, all of the tapestries are solid and clean and correct. The light is displaced evenly (in some false sort of sense). I’m eye-fucking her thoroughly to drive her back into the kitchen. It works.

“Well alright.”

I rise. All 7 pillars stand erect with me. The full grasp I feel I have at the moment borders on obscene. It’s a laughable error to make.

“Free the free, Chopstick. We’ve got a self-made widow on our hands.”

I throw 2 playing cards on the tall side table and walk in a repeating circle (shuffling weapons in my pockets).

“The plan is made as it’s happening. The word ‘plan’ has become obsolete. Used to know what’s happening… There’s only voodoo motion.”

It came from Don Lionel Joseph sometime after a lengthy but enjoyable telephone conversation. He said something about the rites given at the burial of an extended family member. How the words leave the mouth in a flutter. It’s read as if spoken by the dead during their final thrashes.

Stop after odd circle 23. Double check appearance by touch and walk over to the fish tank. Examine the filter with the plastic pulled apart. Remove the motor and strip the wires. Taste the wires one at a time. Now taste them together. Yeah, just like that. Yeah… They’re different colors. Pretty colors. They complete the circuit.

Lisa’s head curls around the side of the corridor looking wild.
“Did you pick up your fucking trash yet? Time.”
She likes to suck me.

With the right resistors and transistors and other components and all of that shit this motor can be a pinball machine. Every boys fantasy is to own a pinball machine. Let’s all go to Ian’s house and play the pinball machine. I can make it to level 5. My high score is 4,000,001. That’s one whore of a quarter slot. Let me ride it on out. Ding!

There’s a leak in the fish tank dripping hot fish fry on the tiles.

Am I a sinner? Did Line slip me a questionable revelation? I can shape the regulations with my hands to cover my own wishes. I know everybody. My want is infallible however suggestive it may seem. It is clearly mine. It has my signature on the back.

The people behind the scenes play games on their phones with each other in little suit jackets talking quietly. They make it look like something’s happening. Something is happening. This is a carefully measured judgement.

I’m chained to the 5th pillar temporarily while the official papers are sorted. Remember, I control the situation. The 5th pillar has a draw to it.

Lisa has arrived again, “Jesus Ian, what are you feasting on by the fish tank over there? There’s water all over the floor! We only have 20 minutes before the ever punctual Graysons appear. Put down your glass and grab the royal blue Supima from the wash rack. I will prepare the kitchen.”

You haven’t got a chance. I will beat you. I will choke you and I will beat you.

My fingers extend and retract. My sandals touch the water and slightly crumble beneath my toes. I bless the water with my saliva and mouth the words silently.

You haven’t got a fucking chance, Lisa. Don’t even try. Concede you filthy thing.

She has returned to the kitchen.

I will murder that woman one of these days. She will use that voice that I loathe so much and the wrong words will surface at the very worst time. Oh Lisa, if you only knew… I will take that twisted bitch pinched nose right from your fucking face. There will be nothing but a blood clotted hole left in the center.

Yes, I will let your body drain and I will feel no remorse. The rats will throw a little party. I place one of the fishes in an empty plastic waste basin. It makes a flopping sound against the bottom.

This is only a minor inconvenience. I will view this evening as a presentation of the evidence for and/or against myself and any other person I deem to be an accurate representation of the nonphysical bonds and feuds and going-ons present in the air shared by all or consumed when thought to be solitary. A deformity, really. These things shouldn’t be shared. I’m ashamed to be associated.

Absent is the identity
Zsa Zsa in her shiny new dress
Accepting total nihilism
Rampant with violent frivolity
Under the guidance of obscene prophets
Selling telephone grimoires
Envenom the water in which we bathe and ingest

An incantation of sorts, if you will. Nostalgia is the enemy.

Madame Walgren enters through the front door and immediately sneezes on the curtains. I quickly usher her into the kitchen and leave her with a pair of tongs to assist Lisa. I briefly observe her through the corridor and recall last Easter when Madame arrived on a mission. Her blown-up purple face spent the whole afternoon tonguing the air like a snake around the windows and reciting some old slave rhyme. I’m unsure if her sneeze should be a reason for concern. Lisa initiates a silent conversation with her and the two take turns peering over each other’s shoulder. I take my leave.

I stab the back of the couch several times with my pocket knife and smell the manufacturing fumes. I have already unplugged most of the electronics and moved them to the side. The furniture appears to be in order. I would like to change the arrangement but I fail to do so. There’s never enough time.

Uncle Ames comes through the door with his strongman circus lover Theodore on a chain, his lips fixed in a pucker as if he has somewhere better to be. He places his hat on the table and positions himself against an interior wall. Theodore curls up at his feet.

“Good to be here.”
He remains still and poised.

Fanny and Berta almost break down the still opened door in their unwarranted excitement. Berta lets loose a long wind and begins to exfoliate. Fanny puts her fingertips on everything she sees. She never runs out of questions.

No one knows who they’re related to. Berta’s married to a magus in the Temple of Set. They have a queer son who works for Delta. Fanny owns a small library in Oak Ridge. There’s nothing too interesting about her.

They stand in front of the large Tibetan style tapestry beside the fireplace and giggle like a broken palm reader. I do my best to ignore them.

Luke arrives with little Jesse under his arm. She just turned 14 last week. She’s a growing girl. Someone thought it was cute to call them mosquito bites. They both take a knee in front of the fish tank, facing away from the fish tank. Jesse brought along a small toy to play with.

Norman came alone. He just got back from an extended fishing trip out West. I know he can be trusted. He stands beside the corridor leading to the kitchen. His kind bald head reveals a face you can only nod at and respect.

Myra’s poor face is smothered in Coca-Cola blush. This has an odd effect. She’s disappeared. I don’t bother to look for her.

Kenny comes with his wife Louisa and they claim the area in front of the bathroom. Louisa has a slutty ass that winks around the corner. I watch it move as if it’s separate, but still attached to her body. I imagine it would make a fine place to spend some time. Kenny speaks like a true auctioneer under the spotlight.

… stands in the corner.
… sits on the right arm of the sofa.

I accidentally stab myself in the leg with my pocket knife trying pop the cork on a bottle of wine. The blood stains my white khakis.

“I’ll never see the end of this.”

Don Lionel’s dedicated a good portion of his time to the study of cunts. It’s more like he enjoys making casual observations and writing them down. He once came across 2 cunts that were nearly identical; evenly fluffed mons, lips naturally half tucked upon closure, petite and sensitive clitoris hiding within the majora’s crease, they were both beautiful specimens. This almost created a problem for the local beauty salon. Lines were formed around the block.

“I would not say I’m all consumed, but I have little doubt in the importance of this work.”

The words of Don Lionel Joseph.

I bet Louisa has a fine cunt. I stroke her hair as Kenny watches on like a good husband. The lions are taking a rest beside the leather ottoman. Fanny watches on with her lips poised ready to ask another question about the house but I avoid eye contact.

Louisa smells extravagant. Kenny is pleased by the way I handle her delicate features. I toss her head around as if her neck is a ball socket. Her hair strikes me in the eye and I nearly fall backwards. She’s such a silly girl. I secretly pinch her cheek without restraint and she screams a little bit in her sleeve.

Norman squeezes by to get to the bathroom. He’s on a regular schedule these days. He has one long finger that touches the lobe of my ear as he passes. I hold out the bottle of wine as an offering but he doesn’t turn around to see. He has already settled behind the door.

Little Jesse has crept up to my side and put her male sports car Barbie in my face. I hesitantly give it a lick. The doll tastes a bit like bologna. She runs back across the room and takes refuge behind the 1st column. She’s not without her secrets.

I question the decision to include some of these things.

Luke allows her to do as she pleases. He’s always been a very passive man. He’s joined the likes of Myra when it comes to making himself known. The walls are close to consuming him fully.

For over 60 years he stood in place before himself watching power fall and power remain, wardrobe playing a large part in power display. He is grounded and ultimately forgotten. He’s forever awaiting his final inversion.

Berta’s had an eye on his cock from the get go. She sees herself as a bringer of peace, a post-op Salome ready to atone for her sins. She excretes a bitter guilt and takes on a look even more pitiful than Luke. Her advances are quite disgusting.

I’ve never thought of Berta as anything more than a troll. Often I forget her until I hear her talons clicking and smell the sulfur scraping against the walls of my nose. I believe it comes from her pussy. She likes to leave a lasting impression.

It’s really a mistake to think about oneself in historical context, though it can sometimes be humorous. Taking the wrong directional turn can be humorous depending on your disposition.

That fat old trout’s taken on a tan again.
Tie (on your) mask.
Ask (for the) time.
Make (them) sit.
At some point make the correction. You’ll be run through the filter regardless.

Louisa begins to emit a sort of gurgling sound and stops breathing. No one pays any attention to this. I continue fondling her hair and swinging it above my lap.

The kitchen table has been set. Spoon and knife on the right, fork on the left, napkin on the center of the plate… sits beside… sits beside… sits beside but facing away from the fish tank. The floor is covered in a thin layer of water. This is exactly how I have seen it.

Uncle Ames speaks up:

Point A to Point B, tap-tap-tap, here to there, tap-tap-tap… I remember going to family gatherings as a kid. It was a seasonal thing. There was always Jello salad. I remember the bits of canned peaches and pear in the green section and the milk in the white bottom-top. These were delicious gatherings. I can’t recall what was on the rest of the menu…

In the front door to speak with the family, out the back door to play with the kids, running along the pavement, tap-tap-tap.

It was around that time I started hanging around little Charlie Tates, the redhead kid down the street. He had somewhat more refined tastes than the other kids in the neighborhood. He wore fancy shoes, brown Dockers. I couldn’t compete. Before I started talking to him I would spend time trying to study his actions from a distance, none of which I ever mastered. I elevated him to a near god-like figure I held a deep admiration for. In a way I feel I’m still trying to emulate him in some fashion.

One time we took his father’s antique family walking stick out for a stroll to show off in front of the neighborhood kids. We colored the streets with our unmatchable high class. I pulled off one of the grandest Chaplin impressions imaginable and Charlie blacked his eye pretending the cane was a pool stick. His father was not too happy when he found out. I took the blame so Charlie would think I was cool.

He recalls the events in present tense:

His father enters the room. Charlie and I both fall silent. I’m afraid the ceiling fan will shake loose from its hole. His father lets out a long sigh and puts his hand on Charlie’s shoulder and the two lock eyes for a brief moment. His father is a very big man. He is intimidating. I think I can smell burnt toast but I’m not sure where it’s coming from. He shuffles his feet as he calmly makes his way towards me. This is a very frightening scene. He pulls up a stool, off with the belt, forceful slap to the bottom, tap-tap-tap, I’m cowering in the corner of the living room. Charlie observes smooth and suave. He knows his dad has an anger problem and he’s used to it. I take the physical and verbal lashing. I feel ashamed for acting like such a frightened little queen.

Charlie never held it against me but I don’t think the event made me look any cooler in his eyes. His dad put his hands on me. I can’t say it was too fun.

On another occasion, we were a bit older at this time, we were drinking coffee at our regular spot on Habersham. We would go there most Sundays and we spent quite a few Friday afternoons there as well when school let out…

Theodore licks bean paste from Uncle Ames’ toes as he speaks.

On another occasion his father asked to see me in his office. I had done nothing wrong in my mind but he insisted I confess to some ill deed. He called me a little brat and said how he saw me as lower than a toy bred dog. “You little shit,” he would say “You little shit,” as he randomly stapled papers. He licked his thumb and flipped through his Rolodex. “You little shit, what are you doing in here? What naughtiness brings you here today?” I was just hanging out with Charlie. We were listening to his new Dion album. As soon as I open my mouth he slams his hands down on the table and starts making jungle sounds and drooling on himself. He watches me feel around my pockets for a confession and struggle to form words.

He wanted to see me piss myself. He even offered me candy. There was a box of Milkduds under his desk chair. Just a little pee for Mr. Tates.

On another occasion he told me that my parents didn’t love me anymore and that my tramp of a sister was in on a plot for my murder. I was very careful for some time after that. Mr. Tates told me that he loved me and I had nothing to worry about. He would protect me from death. You would imagine it would take such a noble man to father the likes of Charlie Tates. He was my protector as well.

I did contemplate suicide. It only lasted for a few months but during that time it was very real. I studied up on the various methods.

The candlesticks placed around the table are unnecessary.

I never liked going to doctors so barbiturates were out of the question. And the accuracy of the rope was a concern. Even if you follow the formula things could go wrong. No heights. I’ve never had a thing for heights. I don’t want to be fearing for my life at the moment I’m trying to end it. That would be a truly dreadful feeling. Slit wrists have the potential to decorate your body with wonderfully grotesque blood spatter. Leave your body like a piece of modern art. Very poetic. But it takes too long. You want it quick. And simple. As painless as it can possibly be.

There’s something about holding your own fate in your own hands that’s liberating. At least in thought it is. I wish I could feel something sometimes…

Madame plays with her fingers, not with her food, sewing the air above her plate. Everyone is paying attention, more or less, to her, to Uncle Ames, all picking cautiously at their food, sipping on the wine and water, tap-tap-tap. I remove my pocket watch from its chain and set it beside my plate.

Virginia Lipmond was a medical practitioner in the 1970‘s who believed that physical tremors and jerks and other involuntary actions are all the result of repressed emotional output. The body acts to break from its own skin in order to appease the mind. Don Lionel introduced me to her theories in a few sentences on the back of an Italian postcard. It all seemed pretty obvious to me at the time, somewhat archaic and a wasted research, but the name stuck. I find it making its way into my thoughts on occasion.

He said he loved me… And now I’m $50,000 in debt.

I imagine Virge to be a short woman with a pot of coffee strapped to her waist, constantly twitching as her frazzled hair bobs up and down. The office raccoon. Can’t tell if she’s safe to touch or not. It’s probably best to avoid her. Very sexy.

Uncle Ames removes his hunting cap and holds it in front of his waist. His well-manicured fingers can be seen along the edge.

I know I don’t have any children but I have a very expensive lifestyle. Any help would really be appreciated…

He keeps his head tilted down. His foot is heard tapping against the floor. All else is relatively silent.

Luke is looking incredibly fucking comfortable right now. He has quite a lean going on with his high crossed leg and interlocked fingers above his head. God knows where little Jesse has gone to. She’s probably somewhere under the table.

My memory fails me when I try to think of my own childhood. The events were too insignificant to recall.

Lisa, the foul mouth that I suck each day, likes to make sure our guests enjoy their visit. You’ll notice that all surfaces are particularly clean in the dining area. The antique oak center table is freshly polished with Amish oil. The center piece that I placed on the table has been moved to the bedroom. The bedroom door has been shut. No one will ever get a chance to see the center piece. She does these things to irritate me. I almost feel I could commit a crime.

I will not chase ghosts with you, you backward twit. I will not deliver you peace of mind. Stay back barren greed. If you could you would try, I know. But until then…

My memory fails me when I try to think of my own childhood. The events were too insignificant to recall.

Simple Fanny, thinking nobody can see her, has been shoveling food into her lap for the past several minutes in hope that our imaginary dog will come for a taste. She gave up men during the great drought of ’03. Since then she’s developed some strange habits. Her nipples have been exposed for most of the evening.

You could have been so great, Fanny. I’ve seen the photographs from your teenage years. Your cricket tight legs could have become well acquainted with mine. You could have ensured that all is well with my organs. We could have secured each other’s insides.

These pants have been steadily choking my bladder since I sat down. Lisa told me not to wear the Brioni’s, she may have been right this time. I excuse myself and go to the restroom being sure not to knock over any candlesticks on the way. It’s like an obstacle course in here.

…’s spilling baked beans on the carpet, Kenny’s turned his napkin into a dove and Berta’s succumb to openly fondling herself still failing to win Luke’s affection. The air is less than neutral. It feels sharp and sticky. I gently close the door behind me so as not to create a disturbance.

Now the symmetry and small luxury around begin their parasitic serenade. This wants to drain me of my nectar. It’s overwhelmingly simple in here. Evenly grided tiles, classic appliances, nylon shower curtain, all white of course, perfectly balanced in composition. It’s as if I’m seeing it again for the very first time. These are just the right conditions for a devilry.

A pair of 6’s (in a deck of playing cards) symbolizes the falling teardrops of Decaucasus, the passenger pigeon sent to deliver the feet of Epimetheus on the night before the slaughter on Mt. Othyrs. His feet, plump and warm from previous nights of unsober defiance, were nearly too heavy for Decaucasus’ wings and he wept for –km in self- pity and shame. He was but a thief in the eyes of the people. His kind was subsequently eaten into extinction.

Decaucasus himself was only following orders. Orders given by young and fertile sons and daughters destined to be known by name.

“How marvelous would it be for me to die in here?”

Ian spends several months sitting on the toilet with a gun in his lap (a gun left sitting on the bathroom sink by a kindly Mr. Norman) wrestling with the thought of taking his own life. Any more than 1 is too many options. It turns a simple decision into something overly challenging. It is a vexing discomfort to Ian. We would have to agree.