Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Loose Id Dreaming


    Taken with Holga Camera

... this had been going on for what seemed like a goddamned eternity. Sweat poured down his face, into his eyes, mouth, over every inch of his swollen and struggling figure, the sheets draped in moist contoured simulation of a grotesquely bloated body writhing beneath. His hands clutched madly against the sides of the table, his bare shoulders pressed against it's slick surface, on his face could be read anger, fear perhaps, then a moment of respite, deep breaths, a vacant expression, and then, once more, uncontrollable agony, disgust, punctuated by stifled, halting noises, like screams just barely audible above the furious staccato exhalations that wracked his young body. The spray of sweat and saliva liberated by every pained throe, each guttural expletive, was illuminated by the unnatural, brilliant, sterile light that filled the room from so many directions, a glittering spray suspended in the air around his head until it would finally dissipate like an idle daydream...

"... fucking freight train... it's..."

His dark hair, hanging back, thin wet cords, painted a confused and watery portrait of wonder as it swung in tiny arcs upon the metal surface beneath him, his neck, straining forward away from the table, contracted violently upon itself until his quivering chin was pressed painfully into his aching, heaving chest. It seemed to him as though it would never end. Each wave of dilation brought a renewed flash of disbelief into his eyes and, perhaps, a dim understanding of just what it was that was happening. Somewhere he caught a glimpse of someone, his mother maybe, and voices erupted continually, floating carelessly in the air around him. Nothing made sense, none of this could possibly be happening, he thought. In fact, he had never before experienced anything like this. He prayed silently. He prayed he would not die. He could live in the shadow of this bizarre reality, he was very sure he could deal with whatever was happening as long as it wasn't over. All over. As long as he didn't die. As long as I don't die, he thought to himself, again and again. But at this moment his body had been gaining sway over his mind and its idle palaver. He had only a moment for reflection, he tried to grasp his situation, to understand the implications, the nature of his condition, and he was, after all, a rational being, then... CRACK!!... a bolt of clear blue lightning struck from somewhere just behind his eyes, singeing some seldom used tangle of ganglia, nervous comprehension faded immediately as animal fear rose excitedly to the surface, bringing with it the bubbling of strictured veins and popping joints, the muted screech of anguished flesh pulling itself across polished metal...

"... Jesus... it's... a fucking freight train..."

Somehow focusing on some point in the air, unseen, his resolve returned. And he was determined, once more, to weather the unbearable fury which he had so long held inside, which for so long he had tried to expel. By faith, by force, by reason. All to no avail. And it was still not time. But his father was there telling him something. And the pain was gone, at least so that he could now feel the aching fatigue that pressed against him, pushing him back against the slab. Surely my father must know what is happening to me, he thought, now too tired even to speak. But his father looked too concerned, too bewildered. What was he saying? But listening didn't help. Too tired. He leaned his head back, closed his eyes, thought about how his life was going to change. Thought about leaving town rather than try to live this down. Thought he was probably going to catch too much hell for this one. Would he ever be able to have sex again? Would he ever want to have sex again? Would anyone even care?... CRACK!!... it was finally time... or at least it sure as hell felt like it was time. Staring out across his grossly distended abdomen, he was paralyzed by one thought. One thought alone. The thought of rupture. Where the hell was it going to get out of there... where was it going to... but Jesus, it was already on the way... no sex ever again...ever... oh... god... there's mom again... what did she?... what was that??... but it didn't matter... nothing mattered... can't hear a thing, he thought... just once more... once more... just...

"...uuughhh...."

One more furious exertion at the hands of his unbidden progeny and it was over. Done. He seemed, at that moment, to have slipped away from that unsympathetic glare. His flushed expression, calm, was almost ecstatic. His breathing was regular. He was dreaming of a vast expanse of quicksand. He watched, as the surface laid in wait, dense with expectation, wiling away an endless existence, receptive, inviting. Effortlessly, he threw an enormous television into the midst of this sensual organic instability and watched gleefully as it disappeared beneath the surface. He punched a few buttons on the remote control but it seemed to be useless so he threw it in as well. He watched as the quicksand, thrilled by ingestion, bubbled appreciatively until the helpless electronic box finally slipped from sight and the flesh colored earth pulsed to heal its unnatural lesions. And then it once again appeared still. But then this peculiar oasis, beautifully strung by shimmering ribbons of heat, began to appear unsteady, somehow unsafe but no less attractive. And the glare was rudely insistent until finally he had to concentrate upon his hand if he was to see at all and then, at last, he was forced to yield, to close his eyes and then nothing seemed to...

...when he awoke to find his parents there, he experienced a tremendous wave of relief but as quickly became unsettled by their presence. He attempted to piece together this unusual reunion. Why are they here? he thought. Although he was not so rude as to voice his suspicions. His mind raced over the possible scenarios. And then there was his extraordinary physical discomfort. And this metal slab. Slowly, he was gripped by fear, all too familiar at that. Then his mother, with a smile that was a little too genuine, said, "it really isn't that unusual. It happens quite often actually, although, it is true, that it generally isn't talked about very openly, but anyway this one is quite beautiful, honestly, and if you want to keep it then it is fine with me and your father will certainly agree..." On and on she went, just like that, as though if she were to pause for only an instant, then she would most certainly collapse into tears, or worse perhaps. All the while, his head ached terribly listening to all of this, trying to make sense of any of it. His father was silent throughout but his face was drawn with such sympathy that he really couldn't bear to look at it. So, he recklessly scanned the room while his head was swimming in fear and shame - for what reason? - and fatigue and... then he focused upon a stranger a few steps directly behind his parents. A doctor, it would seem, judging from the gown and latex gloves and... but what was he holding? He couldn't see very clearly... and his mother wouldn't shut up... just what is it that... no, it can't be... no... no... NO... Jesus... oh sweet Jesus... a dog... it can't be... a DOG for Christ’s sake... and his head began to reel... and his father looked like he might collapse from the sorrow but for the incredible sense of responsibility he was actually willing to take for himself. Then the doctor stepped forward holding, it was true, a tiny puppy, some kind of shepherd mix, cute really, but then all puppies are cute, as they say... and his mother repeating over and over that this really isn't that unusual... and the doctor grinned like an absolute idiot as though he had seen all this a thousand times... and the little puppy was apparently healthy though oblivious which is natural having just been born... but then the question screamed from beneath confusion, hurtling through all the disparate elements of this young man's chaos, shattering the steady white noise and chatter of traditional postnatal hubbub... the question...

"Where did it...”

He awoke with a start. It took a moment for reality to seep into sleep laden faculties. It was a dream. It had all been a dream. Joyfully, he smiled at his complete recovery. In fact, there was nothing to even recover from. It was another morning. Ordinary in every respect. He rapturously slid his hands beneath the covers to reassure himself that everything, every thing, was, indeed, in order. He held himself for some time, not sensuously mind you, but appreciatively. And of course, he wondered what a dream such as that one might mean. Perhaps, it would be better not to tell anyone about such dreams. At least not right away. Ho, ho, but today is ordinary in every respect. Ordinary. Please underline. Four syllables, adjective denoting usual, customary, devoid of inexplicable anatomical aberrations. Ordinary.

5 comments:

becky said...

Gordon, I can only dream of getting that shot as the only time my cat's going to ever run like that is on payday. That photograph kills me. It's so great. Every time I read your blog, I want to queue up Meddle and eat a whole row of Oreo cookies...okay two...with a beer, or two.

sparx said...

This picture is superb, if a little scary. The full front facial expression with those flash induced 'redeyes' gives the dog a slightly manic, wild look. Looks like he/she's having fun though.

Ed Wenn said...

Gordon... this is a great shot. VERY Weegee-like in grain, composition and contrast. I can see this on a book jacket (crime novel natch). No Exit Press here in the UK did a serious of old noir book re-issues in the 80's & 90's using Weegee photos and this reminds me of one of them. Excellent!

Anonymous said...

Miles (mute)

Rocking shot, I'm going to read the post now :)

anopenshutter said...

fantastic expression! I am impressed with the stop motion with the holga.