September 13, 2012

(Let’s pretend that there was a time warp and somehow, today is simultaneously Thursday and Wednesday. I knew I had to post yesterday. I did. But I got distracted. I was playing with file extensions but that was a fail. It happens. Anyway, the novel is half-way done. I decided early on that there would be a three act play in the middle of the novel. Today’s excerpt is a little bit of that. It’s odd. I start writing the second act today. So that’s that. Have a lovely day and enjoy the little bursts of pseudo-fall weather we keep having here in the Mid-Atlantic.)




     (((THE SPIRIT PLAY. act 1: scene 2))) (the spirits stand in the hallway at the top of the stairs. each spirit chews a piece of coal taken from the oven. they chew slowly, stone bursting into shards in their mouths. their hands slide over the railings, picking up spare wood pieces that they lift to their mouths and chew with the coal.) RED MOUTH: i met a man in this hallway. ALL THE SPIRITS: so did we. RED MOUTH: i didn’t know what to do with him. should i have bitten him down the middle? or stoked his kidneys until little organ beads dripped out of his eye sockets? i wanted to stud the floor with him. but who wants a man made of nails? not me. definitely not me. GREEN STOMACH: was it a real man? there is another man here who is not a man. RED MOUTH: do you mean, boy? GREEN STOMACH: i know boy. i want to hurt boy. i want to tear boy out of his bed and heave him into the closet. no, not boy. another man. one with two pairs of genitals swinging from his hips. BLACK SHADOW: i thought he was a woman. GREEN STOMACH: no. it is a man. but a fake man. a stuffed man. what can we do with his skin? can we toss it out? can we let it in? we want to move that skin around. we want to stir it. SPINAL HAND: i think i fed the man you speak of. he is a man with two mouths and more eyes than the GHOST WITH YELLOW EYES. i know this man. i think we should use him as our new god. we can tie him to the rafters and watch his guts plop out of his stomach. it would be fun. but are we supposed to worry about fun? should we think more about being fateful deities? RED MOUTH: i want an asylum. SPINAL HAND: where? GREEN STOMACH: in the mouth. in the hand! in the chest crest. in the back concave. hurry. let’s find the convex hallway and see what light we can lift from our names. SPINAL HAND: an asylum would be nice. RED MOUTH: we can store our greatest enemies in syringe rooms. they would wake up and hit their heads against a glass shell. or they would bite the tip and rip their tongues. it’s healthier for all involved. do you think it’s possible? do you think we can make an asylum and invite all the dead men to sit with us? BLACK SHADOW: i will be therapist. RED MOUTH: what do you know about therapy? you probably think all flesh is better served cold. and that the shadow is the light and the way. that isn’t healthy. an asylum should scream health. and we must scream health if the asylum has no voices left. NEEDLE NECK GHOST: an asylum is a terrible idea. what if we all go mad? what if we rip our inmates into pieces and throw them into the kitchen sink to drip and rot? we don’t know how to be doctors. we aren’t doctors. we are ghosts. we are ghosts with large heads and more faces than we need to have. no. we are not going to enter an asylum with our names on it. we are not going to help anyone who comes to the front door trembling with mental disease. we are not those kinds of ghosts. SPINAL HAND: speak for yourself. i believe in benevolence. RED MOUTH: you believe in clicking bones. you believe in a face just large enough for you to stick your fingers through. don’t you dare preach to us about benevolence. we don’t care. NEEDLE NECK GHOST: we will prick your benevolence through the center and watch it leak onto the floor. who wants to guess what color the benevolence is? i think it is pink. milky, disgusting, floral pink. the kind of pink that makes you think of violence just by blinking one too many times. we should never be the ones left in charge of any mental institution. GREEN STOMACH: i think the putrid fluid is green. a sea foam green that is washed over with white and lime. but i think an asylum would be nice. we can learn responsibility. NEEDLE NECK GHOST: we are ghosts. we have no responsibility but to stay in the hallways until we are ready to move into the after world. GREEN STOMACH: i want to leave the after place behind. the creature staggering around the attic never went to the after place. why do we have to? why do we have to go into the after place when we don’t know if we will like the way the air grows? NEEDLE NECK GHOST: that is a simple thing. we must go because it is where mushrooms grow. BLACK SHADOW: when were spirits supposed to care about mushrooms? we aren’t forest dwelling creatures. we don’t look at mushrooms for sustenance. SPINAL HAND: i hate mushrooms. that is reason enough to stay away. NEEDLE NECK GHOST: but what if we become good friends with the mushrooms? GREEN STOMACH: do you mean, what if we smack our hands against the mushrooms and taint the flesh with our auras? NEEDLE NECK GHOST: exactly! RED MOUTH: and then our aura is transferred to the fungus in question so that we can control them? it is another means to eat the family! NEEDLE NECK GHOST: yes. we can travel to the after place and seize these mushrooms. and then we can send them into the hallway and down the stairs, so they can break the family into pieces. GREEN STOMACH: i like mushrooms now. RED MOUTH: as do i. mushrooms are the answer. NEEDLE NECK GHOST: but how do we get to the after place? GHOST WITH YELLOW EYES: let us proceed to the stumbling attic.

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