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hope, love, and abjection

by Lavishing Dirrhea | photo by Reed Merschat

adolf the cat

Mother Mary's back in glass. She's kneeling on the coffee table and he's looking down akimbo from the wall. All the coasters are hiding water stains. There's a dirty pair of socks. Over by the door, Kitten's litter box is full of shit. There's a bottle of beer that's half-full sitting on top of the Free Press News. Evidence of activity, and the absence of a mover.

Tarantula's the kind of cat that hates a normal life—against it because it is—subliminally or otherwise—a stark reminder of home life—mother life, father life—life of productivity—make-do. Right now Tarantula's high and the world doesn't think anything of it.

And you know, whenever they write—they have to think about who they're trying to move. Who they're writing for. The gospel needs a filter, you see. The gospel needs an audience... come from anywhere. The Word is anywhere and the people that need to see most are always looking for it...

On a foggy night, in the damp cool of an electric American evening—a person can lose their way somehow... run out on the path.

hope is just a virus that you can't quite cure... Mother Mary's back in glass sunshine fallin' slantwise in dusty corridors... day before Easter... Jesus in the live-well with the rest of the bait... and all those tears are just water that another man forgot... salient night wholly night... and there's a mendicant howl through an aeolian harp out on the front porch... and his life pours out slow like a mighty stagnant river... in the midst of all this catharsis the story's starting up again... Moses in the desert old and brown... brands you somehow... akimbo on the wall with the rest... blood makes its way through veins forever unwilling... amor vincit omnia he said... silence slow time and the rest... smell of wood-burn and deisel night air... road wet-backed-black-shimmer all in a green light and sprawled out like an anaconda into tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow

Bong-rip noise and jollity.

Mother Mary's got company on the coffee table.

See—Tarantula likes the acid and he eats it all the time; like Coleridge he says it's a ticket to alleviating, "The old complaint." Has a girlfriend, too. Her name's Dee Ann, and imperceptably as moonshine, she got dragged down with him.

And Jesus gonna be here... it's the day before Easter...

Alive and well in her fish tank soul, sitting behind limpid eyeball holes, Dee Ann's mind is confused. Tank leaks out onto her face and nobody sees it and nobody cares. Tarantula is painting the wall with a laser.

"Red. Red."

Green shag carpet's a jungle. Ceiling falling like stalactites overhead and you can hear the drip-drip of a running faucet, but it isn't a faucet. Elusive logic and baby rage and confusion.

The faith ain't alive here, friend. Awkward dispensations, grievous tape recordings, compact discs—a bombardment of logic. Dusty, leather-bound book on the wall. An affront to affirmation. Lurkin'. Breathin'.

Tip-top shape and all aglow television and another set of burning eyes that belong to a cat drugged in a Tupperware container.

"My baby's comin' home," she says, singing the song Ophelia knew...

I write it for you—you see.

(Sentimental and alive in the feeling core, these cats is gonna be all write, here. There isn't anybody around except the drugged cat—each other—red tracer walls. Mary back in glass—Jesus dead on the wall the day before Easter.)

And she says, "I want to dye the eggs. It's time to dye the eggs," Dee Ann reaching for her coat. "Jesus gonna be here—maybe—...tomorrow," she says, kneeling and waiting like the rest... .

In the kitchen Dee Ann sees the husked outsides—the beautiful white and waiting outsides—and starts to cry again, eye liner wrapped around her head in a big loop of fears and misleading consolations.

"I ate 'em," he says.

because (s)he was beautiful (s)he was beautiful through my eyes (s)he was the one the way I saw it I didn't know then and now (s)he's the apparition that guards my guilt I've built it up now (s)he's not what he is anymore and it hurts bad but maybe tomorrow (s)he'll come back alive again

Lucidity dances a David Hasselhoff on the television set.

"Why can't I get a job like that? Goddamn."

She's praying and wailing and waiting for her baby to come home. He's not coming home. He's high and he's watching the cat and the walls; David Hasslehoff...

She's there though, now—Dee Ann. Carrying some life still inside her—all wound up in the past. But she can't look at it for real— green light flickering on a black shimmer of two-lane... And she hears its long proverbial squall. More a force than an image—waiting—a memory alive again.

"We need more eggs."

In a world where nobody can remember their name anymore—the reason anymore Nothing can remember. Nothing is—manifest. Except the Word that is everywhere. They always see it... It's like that. Hope is a virus.

Car ride down south came back yesterday and now he's here with the toys he got. It's all sitting in a brown paper bag and going fast. She was glad to see him—but he wasn't there. Emotion wracked by grief—emptied by drugs.

"I like drugs;" Tarantula...

Powerman come earlier for the electric. They hid behind the couch like grounded eight-year-olds waiting a sentence. Spanish peasants next in line for the Inquisition... He left and they're a little calmer now. A little calmer—little more high.

"There's another egg. I know that there is another egg. Another egg here."

She's searching. In the cupboard there aren't any eggs and this is most certainly agitating. There aren't any eggs in the dishwasher, there aren't any eggs in the freezer—just Eggo waffles.

He's eaten it. Tarantula is full.

"The body and the flesh," she says.

Tarantula sees something holographic and he follows it with his mind. Tracing the world as he perceives it now and is slowly in pursuit, moving cautious so as not to scare it. Silence, slow time and the rest...

Kitten is complacent and has fallen asleep up-side down taking careful little kitty breaths so it doesn't pop and lose itself.

And now into the nighttime she's riding a banana seat red bicycle in pursuit of the egg she can color and hide in the morning. Then she can find it like she used to do when things were simpler and happy and when she rode the same bicycle but it went faster and farther and meant something more than it did. Back when its life was as distinct and certain as hers.

Just as these words are hers...

Mary's back in glass and he's akimbo on the wall.

Hers...

Cat pawing the apparition and the air.

Hers...

Dominion... the steady beat of black tires on black pavement and that wet summer smell on cool nights. Salvation riding—wet backed and dreaming in the wood burn and deisel night air—eyes wet... looking for the key that can bring it all back.

There's a little girl on the sidewalk playing in the evening cool. She's got a beach ball and scissors and is cutting worms in a cesspool and is smiling purity—control. Bike tire splashing and a terrible frown.

The rush of cool air in matted hair is also pulling back red and white streamers—back onto her arms. Tendrils of early comfort—the illusion of fast moving, the world flying past her and she soul-bent for the destination that she'll never reach. Such is the disease. Matted hair—a brush-stroke red out across the horizon, a woman groaning— fighting the pedals of a girl's bike, bent down over the handlebars.

Back home, something is slipping and Tarantula is mad and wants to fight. He wants to hit and all but nothing has left the room, so he punches the wall instead. There's a hole and his palms are bloody but he doesn't know yet and probably won't until he rises Easter morning.

"Hungry."

A frozen Eggo waffle falls into the egress of toaster and cooks, cooks; starts to burn and make its transformation. Tarantula is looking for some syrup. He can't find any so he uses butter and jelly instead and this makes him just as happy, sad, indifferent...

Dee Ann knocks on the door even though it's the house that she lives in and her parents own. She knocks and he answers. Opens the door and turns back toward the kitchen where his other waffle is.

"I looked all over and around and I couldn't find any eggs. We need the eggs or he won't come. He just won't come and things won't be perfect. It'll all be a mess and it won't be happy."

Tarantula looks at her with a vague tug at recollection, realization, pity—then he brings her in and holds her while she sobs—tears pouring out like a mighty, stagnant river... And the cat's awake and rubbing his side idly, clumsily, along her legs like a shark bumping its prey.

"That's too bad," he said. "Too, too bad that we'll miss him..."

"We need the eggs. We need the eggs. We needed them for tomorrow, but you ate them and they're..."

"... too bad."

"... they're all gone and I couldn't find anymore and he absolutely won't come..."

Mother Mary's back in glass and he's akimbo on the wall. The socks, the water stains, the coffee table.

"... this could have been the time. I want to be near him when he's there and knows that I'm looking at him..."

He's patting her back and she's in hysterics and she's stepping on Kitten's tail but he doesn't really notice anything except that he can't move too good. There's a streak of blood now down the back of Dee Ann's white shirt. She's shivering and he's holding her and the blood from his stigmata are marking her, painting her with his confusion.

"... and am loving him. Just so he knows that. But I don't see him anymore and sometimes I don't want to paint the eggs anymore... "

Eggo crumbs are falling into her hair as he's patting her back and nodding—humming and agreeing in a conciliatory tone.

"... but gramma said that you have to get the eggs. You have to paint them so he can hide them and you can find them again. You have to have them or else. My gramma used to say it to me while I was on her lap after she'd read me a book. She'd say..."

"Recovery. Resurrection. Redemption. Back in himself again," and her stiff hands are holding a ceramic crucifix... and maybe she's starting to cry...

"'You've gotta get those eggs and paint 'em good and pretty. The he'll come. And he'll love you.' That's what she said. And I believe her and I believe in him still. I'm waiting for him yet and one day..."

Tarantula lets her go and turns to retrieve some more frozen waffles from the yellow box and she's turning to go back into the bathroom and put on some more make-up so she can go and look for some eggs and the cat is in his box and he's shitting and looking up at the big, smiling, waving poster of a rabbit on the door carrying a basket of eggs painted and beautiful. Dee Ann screams at the blood on the shirt thinking it's her blood. Tarantula is peering into the egress and watching it transform And Mary's back in glass and Jesus is dead on the wall, and the socks, and the water-stains—the coasters and the half-full beer on top of the Free Press News. A boy and a girl and a cat.