Monday, September 29, 2014

Hyman Picklefinger Contemplates Fate and Social Grace

He made sounds, none intelligible.  He walked up, simply, dutifully, and put his finger in my cup.  Looking down at it, fouling my drink, I said "shit", somewhat bewildered at the audacity.  The rim of the cup was perfectly round, broken only be his peach-colored finger.  It was a visual I would carry with me.
    It was on me to lie down on the ground, above the ground this time, splayed like a snow angel and think of things like my fate.  "I am a spider" I thought, and for a few moments I was just a spider, hovering on a thread above the dust.  If only I had something good, sumptuous to crawl upon with my six legs, my existence as said spider would be vindicated, somehow justified, certainly fulfilling.  A morsel, a fly, waiting, ensnared, looking death in the face, that majestic blade-this time, me-the tornado roaring across the plain, the out-of-control bus barrelling down, ominous, ominous, the six legs of death, that nugget of torso atop six spindles, myself, a spider become de facto agent of God, carrier of a random quality-that selective process, if there is one, that makes fate, that weaves ahead into the future, a dead-eyed agent of the random(the eyes are just sensors, however big an array or cluster), fate woven into the whim of a current, the neurochemical process, and the fly, ended, while back on the ground I am splayed still, prone, and fate has given no answers; indeed it has shown me the random dark jungle side and my own nature, listening to the dark gods of need and instinct that lurk in the mist, and I am alone flailing for control in a jungle of neurochemical impulses.
    I had found within me the lost heart of the jungle, through dark, dank passageways, the beating growing louder and louder as I came closer, my mind reeling evermore at the pure arcane quality of the thing I had found, and still I was splayed, prone, body left behind, mind floating through the ether, an ether that had been disproven long ago.  The finger in my drink was not pink when I looked again, but pale with blotches, seeming bloodspots, and I was too far within myself to look the cretin in the face sensibly, so I stared up at his finger across the rim of my tumbler.  I did so like a fool-a smart fool, the dangerous kind.  So I was instantly become no longer an existential spider, by an uncostumed clown, blinded by anachronisms that would not readily identify themselves, but pushing at my circuitry, crawling across delicate nerve endings like fat worms.  All the while, he was dirtying my drink, an act causing a disturbance within me, a psychic earthquake, a breath of dust across the uneven floorboards of a haunted house, and I too bemused inside, watching those dust particles drift ever downward, towards rest.
    I had switched places with the little man in my head and now he was at the controls of the vessel in a world that was new to him, where all light was too bright and breezes felt like gales, in this tender, virgin reality.  He would surely scream if the finger touched him, the sensation amplified by the untouched snowdrift of a mind, a virgin squeal, the whole-hearted bawling of a baby for the security and nourishment of his mothers breast.  I stepped back into a womb-like place in my own mind, a semi-conscious state, in the ether watching but detached as the man bathed his finger in my drink and my personality caved-in on itself.  'At least it's comfortable' I thought, damning the consequences and forgetting all of the daily nonsense that dictated my existence.
    Perhaps I was being a jerk about the whole thing, but the tableaux was like humpty dumpty with an erection pointing to the ground at forty-five degrees.  "Blast off!" I guess.  I told you, though, the image stuck with me, that of the finger in the drink, like a sliver of metal piercing the eye, or indeed a rude, dirty finger in the eye, an ouchie, as unnatural and unsettling as a person burning.  It was not as though he was trying to touch the bottom of the cup, and can one be gross witouth being vulgar?  Are there shades, I wonder, perhaps a fine palette of social offenses from which one may select something to get a reaction from another.  For all he knew, I was the roughhouse type that would have punched him, not once but twice, for violating my drink with his finger.  Surely he was not extinguishing a flaming finger in the cool liquid of my cup, either; that I could understand, and if he seemed to suffer, I would off to spit upon said flaming finger.  But no.  In years past, men fought with pistols or clubs over this sort of thing, and here I responded by losing my mind completely for a moment while lying on the floor.
    The whole matter was beginning to make me feel as though maybe I were in error.  Bah says part of me, but there is that little man, another part, that is not so sure.  I would see my brain floating through the ether and say to it "you are ugly, but I love you, anyway", but that other side would flee, dreading the breaking of the safety and comfort of inactivity.  I would pound the table, with flushed sweaty face, that of an angry man,  and say simply "remove it now!".  But this was all academic, for I would not finish the drink now, could not without thinking of whatever might crawl across the leathery skin of those strange hands.  I would wonder what unwholesomeness had been on the villian's hand.

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