Snap! Is the sound your bones make if hit with enough force at just the right angle. Snap! A sound like a rifle shot and you wonder for a split second if someone nearby is hunting. Snap! Before you crumple to the ground and realize that your leg is broken and you are alone in the middle of nowhere. Snap! Don’t be scared, it doesn’t really hurt, not right away.
First you feel like the wind has been knocked out of you and your leg feels hot and full of pins and needles, as though it has simultaneously fallen asleep and spontaneously combusted.Then it begins to expand like a useless, perversely inflating log inside your skinny jeans. Not to worry, your adrenal system is in high gear, your body is wired for survival, it won’t let you feel the pain… not yet. It has to give you enough time to drag your sorry butt to safety before it allows the shaky waves of frozen nausea to wash you away.
Snap! It has to make you laugh in the face of your karmic debt as you drag yourself across an enormous field of dried thistles… laugh at the blood dripping from your palms as you pluck the mean thorns from between your fingers and wonder who will help you pluck the them out of your ass. Snap! Don’t be scared. You are wired for survival.
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Seven years old, desperately hot and seriously pissy. I have some sort of freakish summer cold on the first day the pool is open. The worst! I’d much rather be sick in the winter, at least then people don’t stare when you shiver uncontrollably. I stand in line to get my picture taken for my I.D. card, trying desperately not to sneeze, tears squeeze from my swollen eyes. I’ll keep my thumb pressed firmly over this picture when showing my card for the rest of the summer. Waves of bright light and parching heat relentlessly wash over my aching head making it threaten to split open.The over ripe melon in Dad’s garden with the maggots spilling out. Stumbling through the blinding shallows of the kiddie pool, I can barely see my goal through the sea of shrieking toddlers. Their shrieking cries pierce the base of my skull, I imagine blood trickling down the back of my neck instead of sweat. I have staggered all this way to answer my most burning question, to find out whether I have what it takes, to see if I will measure up. The enormous shining aqua blue Slippy Slide rises, a behemoth in the distance. Will I be 48 inches tall?
Salty press of warm insistent tongue.
Jagged teeth on nipples.
Strong hands on throat.
Over eager fingers leaving tiny bruises.
Grasping, tangling, pull my hair.
Salt and sweat and scorching slippery heat.
Homage by Elizabeth Irvine
Kele! Hey! You there! What are you doing hacking into my breadfruit tree with that enormous knife? That tree has nourished the family of Roberto for generations, unsullied by vandals and vagrants alike. What remorseless rogue rends the bark of an unassuming and helpless tree? What crenulated bundle of rumpus dares to trespass and strike without provocation? Young sir, you are tastelessly overdressed for a morning of lawless machete wielding! What deranged dilettante wears an evening gown and Jimmy Choos to caulk a canoe? I warn you, Sir, your dangerous penchant for iridescent accessories and waspish waistline will not disguise that five o’clock shadow in the crystalline light of day! You are nothing but a swarthy, bewhiskered, lumber jacking Paris Hilton sans chihuahua. Is that a BOX of wine? Sir, you go too far! Slashing at my family’s very sustenance with your sword, your crimes against fashion (although I do rather like that scarf failing to obscure your adams apple… Hermes?) and now this… this BOX of warm, half swilled Zinfandel at your humongous stilettoed heel? You are a desperate degenerate and I curse you! A pox upon your sparkly, push up, Dita Von Teese Wonder Bra! What? For me? Really? It is Hermes, isn’t it? Why yes, it does highlight the yellow feral glint in my eyes quite nicely, doesn’t it? Kimi is it? Lovely name. Charmed to make your acquaintance, I am Roberto the fruit bat.