Saturday, December 6, 2008

Perhaps To Die By a Splotchy Virus Passed to Me On the Bus


Arkum hums with a high electric whine, a noise that is like tinnitus to the nth. The man with the monocle who was so strangely dressed coughed on me as the bus lurched to a stop. I hope it wasn't the virus. Now I hunch my shoulders against the freezing wind that hugs the frozen ground. I have two cloptomiters to go before I'm home and it's dark but for the purple neon gloom, looking like a distant nuclear disaster but is merely low light bouncing off the distant metropolis along with the nearly unbearable high whine. And then the wind blows it back upon itself and for a few moments of relief I almost hear silence. I can barely see the ground beneath my feet.

What was I thinking when I dressed for the day? My feet are freezing. Thank the dog for the electric eye. I can see the faintly pink glow of my signature footprint along this well trod strip of stone. But it seems eerily empty for now. Odd. This time of night is usually humming with voices coming out of the dark. All I hear is the high city hum and the wind. Several layers of skirts fly up from a gust of wind and I almost topple backward. These tall rubber boots on their platforms are wonderful in a crowd, extend the stride, and strengthen the buttocks, lifting its heft of weight into the air like a pillow. But skirts?

I hear the dog once and know I will turn left half way up the lane to my bunker. His voice always rings out once when I reach this spot and even without the eye I turn left, arm raised, palm flattened upward to make contact with the wire of the compound. I trail my gloved fingers along the fence until I feel the gate. Here I must remove my glove and place my naked palm against the freezing surface of the palm ID pad. And it slides open almost silently. I enter and hear it slide shut behind me. It locks with a hollow sound that makes me shudder with pleasure. Now small photocell lights flank the path like little pale full moons.

I have a single bunker. I am gifted in certain arts. I can talk to the mad and read their minds. I can smell danger. And I am old. No small accomplishment in these times. So the dog, as he calls himself, and I live together in a cube of concrete with a pyramid roof alone, in silence, but for the sound of my own voice softly talking to myself and his rare great bark or low growl.

He doesn't rise when I come in. But I hear him panting softly in his dark corner. The room is only warmed with his body heat. All the fuel was burned long ago. But food will be brought for both of us. He could so warm me better if we slept together but he will not. So I wear all my clothes trying to keep from shivering. I would never ask to sleep in his bed but have invited him into mine. Often. No luck.

And now before my fingers stiffen in the cold I must answer the questions sent to me by the mad. Only the mad understand the mad, but not all the mad have my gift to hear their inner voices. We are all somewhat gifted. Some of us have visions, hear voices, but I can only listen to the inner voice, the one that never says aloud what it most fears.

Freida of the Bees, Dusty the leftwinged nutjob and Hale McKay the man with a hammer always in his hand, these have the gifts and they will pass them on...

21 comments:

Liberality said...

I haven't read this post because I was tagged by ISplotchy too and I want to try to be original with my take, although you will very likely do a much better job at this than I will I must concede. So I've popped over to tell you I have accepted your award, the heart mandala, and have passed it on.

Utah Savage said...

I'm so happy to hear that. You my dear do have that open heart. And the passion that goes with it.

Gail said...

Hi Utah-

I have read this post a few times now - searching through my own many reactions. I felt the cold and the oneness of it all - the mystery and also envisioned the beauty of colors. I felt the love only known between person and a dog. I feel that I may have missed something, still.
If I were on that bus with you I would have given you my mitten and scarf. That much I do know.

Love,
Gail
peace.....

Kate said...

Beautifully written my dear. Strong stark images throughout. You never let me down with your writing.

Freida Bee said...

Ooooh, I will be happy to add to this one. I was already infected, but each strain is different and my immunity needs teh building.

Liberality said...

I have really gotten sick and my head is about to explode so it will take me awhile to get around to this one. So for now I'll just do some mindless web surfing and be amused by all you blog gals and guys as I await my medication tablets to take me away from this sinus hell I've fallen into.

linda said...

i am haunted by your footsteps left behind...beautifully written, as always.

Dusty said...

Hello dearie..you can find my simpleton contribution here:

http://abriefsecond.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-response-to-utahs-memethe-splotchy.html

Splotchy said...

Nicely done. And thank you for being infected!

Utah Savage said...

Splotchy, thanks for visiting. Now I really am sick.

simstone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Utah Savage said...

Simstone, be careful. This splotchy virus is going around. I say just looking at it makes you an infectee, and now you have to go write your part of the story.

Liberality said...

you really are a great writer Utah. You must get published!

simstone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beach Bum said...

And you said mine was good? This had me shivering and feeling claustrophobic because of the bunker. I must admit out of all the people I read there your descriptions of a scene are the best.

Utah Savage said...

Oh Beach, you're the sweetest man on earth.

Utah Savage said...

Hey Lib, now that I see you as a couple I think I'm getting compliments by both of you. Twice as nice.

susan said...

Beach Bum got it right. Your scene settings are wonderfully evocative and you describe the pain and fascination of life on earth in ways that are unique and always touching.

Utah Savage said...

Susan, I'm so comforted by your words. If you say it's good, I know it's good. And worry no more. Is that too much power for you?

Randal Graves said...

Shit on a shingle and a sugar sandwich too, I fucking loved this.

Utah Savage said...

Randal bless your little white trash soul.