Surrealscape # 1

A gaggle of girls. Run, squeal, ring around the rosy in the garden full of statues. Little Cindy is among them. Little Cindy of the normal body parts, such a disappointment to her mother, who did not know how to look inside Cindy’s brain for the bizarrity. And little Cindy thinks, “oh, to be able to swallow the world! Then each ephemeron/trifling, each speck, each wiggum teedoo, would shrink to the size of a cell – no, smaller than a cell – a mitochondrion in a cell, no, smaller – a peptide in a peptide chain in a cell – and I could process life times one million!” In her head, a vision of wide-mouthed lions, gaping-mouthed lions, drip-dangling drool, poised to devour all with their frightful maws.

From garden to sea, the girls run. A gaggle of girls, playing hopscotch in the sea. Little Cindy is among them. But little Cindy drowns, because she never learned to swim. One of the many things her mother never taught her. She inhales a cat skull-sized bit of water, panics, sways in the waves, and goes under. The girls continue their game of hopscotch at sea/The girls continue their hopscotch-sea game. Cindy was a broken condom’s fault anyway. Her mother will be relieved, won’t even stage a charade of sorrow. Her mother has the wings of a giant bird of prey. Wingspan is grandiosely proportioned to the rest of her body – somewhat smaller than a dragon’s, much wider than a bat’s. Wings are full and feathery, not scaly and cold. When she walks, they flap peckishly behind her, nearly undoing their messy fold. She is majestic. But a whore. Driven by freaks, sphinxes like herself. Cindy’s father was an old sea captain, twice her mother’s age. He had three nipples and a dangerous addiction to rum. Years on the open ocean, then he drowned in his own vomit. The irony of it! Of his dying, of his daughter’s. Maybe some day, bored of death, he will search the seas and dredge up her remains. They will have long ago turned into oysters and their pearls.

Right now, her breath is mingling with the variegated undergrowth; the multicolored sea plants gobble her fast escaping bubbles and cry, yes! yes! that’s it! more! Alas, she has only a few to give. But the plants are soon pacified. As she falls into them, they wrap their spiny, pockmarked, insect-infested tendrils around her limbs and pull. Appendages come away, soft as buttery cake. The sea vines wave their new treasures about, flaunting and fanning, frightening the fish with buttery fingers and toes. The fish go skittering, and they are angry, angry at the new inaccessibility of their daily sea plant lunch. The weeds have found a way to defend, and there goes snack time for the fishies.

If Cindy had lived, she would have grown into an artist. She would have captured these tendrils with inks and paper. Hours in a dark room, drafting desk lamp only thing shedding light, studying photos of their underwater glory.  Her masterpiece: a real beaauuoootiful work of art. The sea plants rendered with such precision that their splendor is crystallized into mechanical eternity. Each speck immortalized in detail so abundant it zooms her mind to the microscopic, peptidal level.

Long before Cindy, nuptials. Nuptials between a bird-woman and a decomposing Wooden Post. Before all the wantonness and debauchery: a naïve young griffin-lady in love. Bird-woman’s six-breasted pelican-faced midget is the flower girl. Wooden Post’s vulva-shaped sea-glass prairie fish is the ring bearer. Best man and bridesmaids stand in pink-footed attention at the top of the stairs. All feet are bare (they’re only following tradition). They stand in tight-lipped anticipation. All lips are sown shut with purple string (they can do nothing but follow convention). The wedding planner has spent some time decorating. Artistically cropped paintings of thundering horse hooves, skeletons wearing black bows, and tall red mountains hang in gilded frames on tents of air. Yes, the ceremony is outside, above the wide ocean – under and through tents made of air. Before the vows, tradition stipulates that the new bride must wrestle three snakes and a host of drooling, gamey-mouthed sea organisms. For example: giant clams and sea pigs and starfish. She has prepared, is ready with her fighting moves. Her mother enrolled her in the customary sea-animal kung-fu course as soon as she learned of her engagement. It was the first and last nice thing her mother would ever do for her.

Creatures begin flying up from the sea to meet bird-lady. The mollusks are the first to attack. They clamp to her dress but she keeps her wits… her nerves are steel. She karate-chops and they fall, barking out giant reproaches in their descent. Others repeat the assault, but all are repelled with equal grace. Hordes of angry animals tumble, clacking to the paved stones that float above the ocean. It looks like a multi-dimensional orgy of sound. Inspired by such ruckus, the band sets in, and bird-woman dusts herself off in preparation for the long walk up the staircase to her future. She is madly in love with decomposing Wooden Post, to be sure… but she is having last minute doubts. It is the quintessential “cold feet.” In reality, her feet are getting toastier by the second, since baby clams nibble away at her toes. She couldn’t bear to harm them. As bird-girl walks up the steps, slowly, regally (because she must embody the “aesthetic of majesty” necessitated by weddings like these), the relentless clam nibblers go clack! clack! and she says to herself, “Mistake? Mistake? Wooden Post is a gentleman, but does he supply the spark? The spontaneity? The sexual prowess? His bark is soft, his embrace reassuring…but is that enough for a life…?”

Some of the guests are beginning to get headaches from the clam clacking. The groom’s mother has to excuse herself to go in search of aspirin, even at this critical juncture of the ceremony. A few guests dribble gossipy whispers when she’s left: “His mother never really approved of the match” and “She’s only here because Wooden Post is her favourite son.” It’s more than they can say for the bride’s mother. Her empty chair leaves a dramatic hole in the seating arrangement.

But bird-woman’s thoughts are galloping forward, not dragging their feet through the mud of the past. She reaches the top step and decomposing Wooden Post takes her hand. No room left for doubt. They kiss; love melts sumptuously around them. Indeed and of course, neither of them are as yet aware that the beautiful winged woman will leave her stiff-backed husband within the year, traveling the world in search of freaks, other griffins like herself, in whose oddities and deformities she can feel simultaneously aroused and at home. At the moment, both are poised for the Flight of the Newlyweds. New husband mounts new wife’s back, and they glide off the floating white pavilion among hooting and cheers, into the afternoon sun.

~ by kingzoko on June 28, 2010.

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