December Seventeenth, 2011
The sound happens again. I feel warm and stretch forward as it moves beneath me. To my open mouth, it smells like fire. The other one snorts. I begin to cry.
‘Hey sack of shit, are you hungry?’ asks the one who always lays down first.
‘Stop doing that,’ it hits me in the side with a thud. Then a curtain of cold, spicy, sharp, sweet. Scraping. ‘Chow down fatty. Don’t try for second breakfast. You won’t fool me again.’
‘Maybe Mufftard isn’t as stupid as she looks,’ cries the bigger one from the echoing rain. I am picked up and made to look at brightness with green eyes that are large black. ‘Yeah I’m pretty sure that she is. I wonder what Muffinsky is thinking?’
‘Oh, she doesn’t think. She just seeks out your fragrant man balls for nap time. That is her only goal in life.’
‘Well, she likes your lady balls, too.’
‘Thanks for finally admitting that I have a pair. This pleases me and I am going to write it down.’
‘You are something else, though I am not sure what that other thing is.’
I am put back down on the cool floor and then picked up again; we are moving, and I feel the air all over on me. We press against the cold glass and I smell danger. ‘Look at all those suckers going to work. From their hurried hunching, it must be chilly today.’
I am lifted up, but this time it is different. I am pushed inside a fear box of sickness, despite the ground. ‘I put your jeans in there so she will be less scared.’ The smaller one uses a soft voice. There is rustling, click, thunk. I start to cry.
‘I am going to be embarrassed when they call out her name.’
‘Hey Endora, be quiet, we are almost there. I hate this place too.’
‘She senses it, you know. The death.’
‘Just step back and let me take a sample.’
‘Shhh sweet cakes, it is almost over. You will soon be back home in your scoop.’
‘Can you clip her nails; we just can’t bring ourselves to do it, in case we hurt her. Also is it possible to do something about that outrageous hind end for us? There are clumps.’
I begin to cry and moan. I am wrapped in a towel and something sharp and pinching happens. I go limp.
‘10,000 kisses. You love it. She loves it.’
‘She does not love it.’
She pushes her face into my side, marking her scent. Inhaling. ‘She smells like clover and allergens.’
December Twelfth, 2011
Anybody who celebrates artistry implicitly celebrates process, difference, becoming, and otherness.
‘I try to be for myself and in myself, not for another. I don’t exist for him and that’s what pisses him off.’ I lean back and part my lips slightly, so my full breath can taste the spicy bold wine mixing with citrus prime rib. ‘If that 20-something virgin weakling has an issue with the pleasure I take in my own body and its capacities, he can go fuck himself. It’s time for him to grow a pair.’ We laugh, looking at ourselves in the mirror, watching the others watch us do hammer curls in unison. ‘Fuck yeah.’
I strut onto the stage, wearing that tight red dress and black poker boots. ‘All vermin are fascinating, but none moreso than rats. Everyone has a rat story. Let me tell you mine. It takes place in Boston. We are in Little Italy, sitting outside with short sleeves even though it is January. It is sunny and warm and we are giddily filled with gnocchi which tastes fresh like the dinner we had in Trastavere. That is when we see him. I gasp sharply. Look at Il Magnifico, I say. We watch as a giant fleshy-tailed rat ambles across the courtyard and out into a street lined with green and black garbage bags. Only later do we realize that he must have been sick and dying, to have let himself be seen in broad daylight. We still talk about him sometimes.’
Okay I have got to calm down. Just get a fucking grip. I visualize all the drawers and closets in the condo, longing to rearrange them. Is everything in the right place? I should flip the lemons. You know that you are a fucking spaz when you are in between with too many things to do, and none of them can ever be finished. I have 1,000 years of work, that is why I cook and clean, doing practical, terminable tasks. My vagina; it controls me. It would be awesome if we could dance with Formula 409 in celestial North Korea. I try to be an engaging revs intructor but end up being a bitch. I cannot wait for mummified medical treatments, looking for tape worms, running the hills, we will be on the trains and I will finish my book first and make sure to put the turkey into brine for a full day and read about how to cook it so it stays moist and then I will have to prepare my tins. Butter, sugar, soft, dishwasher. Today I peed on the plastic stick and it showed a single blue line. One less challenge for me. It would be fun to announce, look how productive I am, I can do anything, fuck all of you. I like the idea of defying my bodily boundaries in another way, but not saggy tits, not stretch lines. I have the breasts of an 18-year-old girl I regularly announce. Count your lucky stars. How did you get so lucky. Argh, what is that? Is it eating a mouse? That’s nasty. They are so nasty.
I look down at the lump resting on my lap. She and I are in many ways alike, learning through smell and repetition. She sleeps a lot more though. For me writing and thinking are the same thing. I realize that normalizing disciplines require deviance, and that I might simply be providing it. Maybe I can replace pain with pleasure and make new pleasures, just like I am supposed to. I could try to do that at the gym. And outside of it. My blog gives me pleasure and is not goal oriented, with little capital reward other than my swelled head. It is risky and I do not know what will happen. All I know is that I won’t be comfortable. I won’t put you at ease. I am not your emotional labourer. How dare you.
I transcribe: ‘We have to start with the bodies and knowledge that we have and use the techniques we already know how to employ in order to work toward expanding our capacities without increasing our docility.’ I am no stranger to happy accidents and a loss of control. That happens when I do wide grin chin ups. Single-leg ham curls create a vibrating G-spot column. I feel only sensation and dizziness; I embrace the darkness of my torso. I specialize in pelvic rumination.
I thought about how, when you dont want to do a thing, your body will try to trick you into doing it, sort of unawares. I could feel the muscles in the back of my neck, and then I could hear my watch ticking away in my pocket and after a while I had all the other sounds shut away, leaving only the watch in my pocket.
March Twenty-first, 2011
The Korean doctor enters the room wearing a white lab coat. He is nervous. He says ‘I think Coco is doing a little better. She let us pet her today and she is very hungry. She threw up but then ate some more and did not throw it up.’
A young assistant carries the thin creature wrapped in a towel, placing her on a hard metal table. She cannot stand up on her own and collapses. She is attached to a saline drip through her back leg.
A sallow faced woman slowly shuffles toward the sick cat. Her voice is raspy. ‘Hey Cocobean, we are here for you. We are here and you can recognize our voices and smell us and know that we are here with you now.’
The man standing behind her approaches. His face is swollen, gauze fills his nasal passages, and pain killers flow through his blood. He tries to keep his face blank and breathes through his mouth. “Hey there little girl,’ he gently strokes the tiny gray mewling.
They realize that they will not be taking her home. The Air Canada approved carrier that rests in the corner will remain empty.
‘Okay we are ready.’
So I will put the injection into the saline and within less than a minute her heart will stop beating and you will see her go still. It will be quick and she will not feel any pain. He takes the needle and inserts it into the bag. Almost immediately, the creature falls down limply. It is still. It is over.
The woman suddenly bursts into tears but the man has to choke his back in case he ruptures his stitches. He does not have the luxury of an emotional display. She runs out of the room, out of the office, out onto the sidewalk, into the fresh air. Her body is wracked with sobbing. She is upset but also relieved that she can feel such pain.