i want to have meaningless legs.
"I'd rather drink my chocolate milk and read a comic book than hear about unpleasant stuff." - d. f. wallace
all writing © sarah e. pace, 2013
I don’t remember the taste, how it sparked blue, or the lingering smell of it. I remember hitting the bed and rolling toward the wall where I felt a distinct turquoise warmth. Thin fractals interspersed with neons I’ve never seen. Imagine the world as a pinball machine. Then a fade to the 80s, a Hispanic Mickey Mouse smoking a blunt in the center of my vision. Las Vegas a peripheral blur. The colors become layered Christmas trees. The Christmas trees become zebracakes. Brian has a third leg by the end of it all and the dogs are downstairs on skates circling the ice rink basement. I fall asleep and dream that night of a blue and white tiled tunnel between Prague and Moscow built by Apple. A tornado tears the roof off of a girls group home. We’re on “tour”. I speak of this while gazing through a fishtank. Then I’m walking toward home with your hand on my back. Funnels follow us. The rain wakes us up a little later than usual and I love you as I always have.
a book about the way my brother’s shoulders fell at the sight of her dead.
some thickets are hollow.
people weakly wooing.
The foremost problem of being in love: when I sit down to write you, I drown in it.
a dream about destroying a pound cake while putting it into the freezer; reconstructing it with ice back to its perfect shape and nobody knowing the difference. surrounded by women at a table in a small, narrow kitchen figuring out how i fit the scene. looking out a window toward a game involving soaring through the air to catch a gun. a child lands with the rifle pointed right at me, brian screams, and i’m awake.
My mother is driving a flesh-colored car down a dirt road. We pull over at a restaurant surrounded by construction, orange and brown the only visible colors. Seated around a table are members of my family whom I’ve never met. A slow, dizzying song plays softly in the background as they stand up to greet my brother while I hover invisibly in the background. I walk back outside to a river and fall into a hole, hit bottom and wake up. This is the first dream I’ve had in black and white, aside from the hues of neon orange and dirt. I lay in bed thinking about how everything that’s happened to me has happened to someone else. This revelation somehow shakes me. I no longer want sleep.
ascending stairs in a parking garage. highlights in yellow. i sit next to my father amongst strangers watching a baseball game on a large television. people around me are telling me to eat and i refuse. a green van my mother once owned pulls alongside my father and he gets in. the door slams, and i’m awake.
the Rumalea guttata, or known in the phonetic english as the lubber grasshopper, is agreeable if not vengeful, or perhaps what i am saying is that i am not a shrike and cannot catch and kill it.
lubbers are my enemy, the only 8.0 centimeter-long insect capable of producing an irritation of equal volume to Magicicada septendicem, or known in the phonetic english as the cicada, which similarly emits a variation of the pulse that lulls and trembles me into a sleep so deep it borders on back-aligned paralysis.
in dreams i have had, i imagine a great crest arising from the back bay and engulfing Mercedes drive in a quell of ruminary disposition quite like the way cracking open a lobster with your fingernail under the backyard picnic table-awning combo feels. you know, agnosco veteris vestigia flammae as Virgil puts it, while watching your grandmother’s small dog stumble around the garden and through the hole in the door under the back porch where it sleeps away from the sun. i imagine that dog hated cicadas.
early mornings we awoke about a rooster past the fence in the creek between us and our neighbors, put there by my grandfather’s best friend as a conciliatory bon mot, though in the hot summers of the gulf it was a thing to shoot at 12 beers deep and sweating buckets. my father is a good man and loved the rooster, even went so far as to get a good price on a hen to keep its restless feathers stuck to its sides in a small attempt to rectify our bad sleep dreams, keep the house cool and empty for the first two hours after sunrise.
when he was young, he told me, he took the boat out by himself to some small island in the river, gathering his thoughts like the Great George E. Ohr (finger-and-thumbing his way through the thick brown clay of the world), he Beauvoired across a hill into a field of lubbers, came out screaming, a black and red-yellow mass of grasshopper running wild toward the sun.
this i know about the lubber: it sticks to you in the way the sap of a tree spends days sticking to you; a great clawing, these lubbers do not let go. and so, like that, we’ve begun.
a return vs. a going away