St. Nicholas of Vulnavia

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

I met mad_and_crazy whilst on Island, (he says I’m charming, wouldja lookit that? How odd.), and yesterday he wrote me something based off of leftoftheedge‘s question meme. I cheated with my question. I couldn’t particularly think of anything clever, so I took a quote a sixties sci-fi novel that I found left behind in a hotel room when I was still on the road wih my parents. Something with a woman on the front in profile against a sickly planet rising in space. The sort that comes with yellow pages and quotes on the back which tell you absolutely nothing about what’s inside beyond the fact that it’s THRILLING! and A MUST READ! in red against white.

Supposing I did move to Europe, would he leave his daughter on the moon?

Yes, unfortunately. With you out of his life, his affections spurned, he was forced to turn to his other mistresses. Missy was high on cocaine and ammonium derivatives, like always, and when he found her she was knee-deep in a peat bog on Lesquite Island with a salt shaker stuck up her nostril praying to the mighty Tree Gods for miracles and other divine favours to be bestowed on her. Ellen had turned dyke, and had run away to Cuba with a lesbian lover named Imelda. “Her strap-on gives me what you never could,” she said in parting, and he felt a metaphorical spiked heel crushing his testicles.

The private detective that he hired to find Meghan woke up in a morning in a bathtub full of ice in Mexico, missing important body parts. He never got his refund.

As for his wife…? Pfaugh. She had an ice cube where her vagina should have been. Or possibly a snow cone factory, like those ones that you see at the seedier sort of carnivals, and they were all out of the raspberry syrup.

Spurned by the females of the species, his thoughts turned once again to his one true love – I refer, of course, to amateur rocketry. He started building vertical dragsters in his garage; large tanks full of oxygen and peroxide, shelves of electronics components and platinum meshes and a big box labelled ‘DANGER UNEXPLODED GUNPOWDER’ and an assortment of Korean automobiles in the front yard. The neighbours asked, “What’s he building out there?”, ’cause the respectable people up at Point Gray didn’t have rusting automobiles in their frontyards, damnit, especially not ones with voice-synthesized warnings telling you ‘please to be frashten sreet bert’ in broken Pidgin english, and if they did they’d all be MG’s.

The family worried. The wife took the kids and went to stay with her sister until this boiled over, but she knew it never would. It would end in either tears or explosions. He’d stay up late at night, high on benzedrine and paint fumes, and something took shape in the front yard. The city council was very alarmed, and the homeowner’s delegation sent people to try and see what it was all about. “What’s he building?” they’d ask. He bought a router, then a table saw, then a drill press, and tore down the treehouse that he built for the kids to make room for his command center.

Finally it was ready. He had a plan. He’d take the whole fucking family up for a ride, they could live in space, just like that terrible movie based on that terrible TV show. There he could relax, and regain her, away from all those OTHER FUCKING MEN – HOW DARE SHE SLEEP WITH THEM, muscular Aryans with blond hair and names like Heimlich who could bench-press a house and who paid for their steroids by renting their schlongs to demolition crews at $14.95 an hour. So what if he didn’t have muscles, he had two polyester leisure suits that he bought on sale at Value Village for five dollars and allowing himself to be groped by the eighty year old lady behind the counter who hadn’t slept with a man since her husband died in a tuna boat accident twenty years ago, and if that wasn’t good enough for her then she could just learn to live with it, just like she could also learn to live with his habit of playing Duelling Banjos every evening. The kids would learn to play Duelling Banjos. They would be VERY HAPPY TOGETHER OR ELSE.

Sometimes at night, after he chlorofoam’ed everybody and launched them into space, he’ll look down at Europe through the window of his space capsule, and yes, rest assured that he will think of you. Everybody else, of course, will think MY GOD GET US OUT OF HERE, but this is perfectly normal behaviour for a rational human being so don’t think too much of it.

not with a bang

She walked home feeling ill, her stomach twisted, the sun rising cold into her eyes. She walked home because she couldn’t afford the cab, because maybe he would redeem himself in the two minutes between the car and the front door of where he worked.

So tell me why, exactly, you’re not coming this evening.
Because I canceled on her twice already, I promised her some time. She’s going to make me a nice english dinner.
Well why don’t you bring her?

He bowed his head, It’s more complicated than that. She wants some alone time.

Her foot hit a stone, sending it skittering across the ice crusted puddles that spotted the alley. Her eyes, following it, found graffiti on the wall. Scrawled excerpts of The Hollow Men. “We are the hollow men, We are the stuffed men, Leaning together, Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!” Should have been Robert Frost, she thought, I could have found irony in that. Instead her thoughts were glued to her week, her last few days, her empty morning. She’d needed him and found nothing. I love you, he said, and it hurt.

“Our dried voices when, We whisper together, Are quiet and meaningless, As wind in dry grass, Or rats’ feet over broken glass, In our dry cellar ”

She looked up at the rusty barbed wire at the top of the fences and considered climbing them. She imagined, for a moment, the metal slicing into her hands, giving her something to concentrate on. She stopped with her hands sticking to the frozen metal, one foot in the fence. How was she going to handle tonight? There was a crowd expected, and she wasn’t going to have the shield she needed. He’s standing her up. Again.

Inside of her, something had screamed. Complicated?? Have a great fucking time then. How much of a bitch do I have to be before I’m accorded the same respect? I pray she gets your name wrong when you’re inside her. I pray she gives you the name of someone you hate. She’d just carried his child for a week. It had been seven days alone, tailing an impossibly painful weekend. She’d needed him, he hadn’t called. Out loud she said, Forget it. It doesn’t matter. Because obviously, it didn’t.

“Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion”

When finally she saw him, told him, there were guests over. Let’s go, he’d said, and she’d agreed. Let’s find somewhere to be alone. He said a coffeeshop. Instead he brought her to a nightclub to play pool with his buddies. It was dead. She sat alone, watching the smooth coloured balls roll across the table, attempting to understand what possible motivation could explain their presence. She used to work for that night, visiting it now was like visiting a good friends grave. Any minute now we’ll leave, she thought, and the minutes continued, the hours passing. It was hell.

“Those who have crossed, With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom, Remember us — if at all — not as lost, Violent souls, but only, As the hollow men, The stuffed men.”