Thursday, April 09, 2009

Clostridium Perfringens

As he had not had a decent meal in weeks (he often forgot that he’d forgotten, having to remember then forget what he had forgotten) he decided to put off his journey until he’d had a good feed. The Valmiera boys, named after Saint Valmieras, esteemed for their headcheese sandwiches, live outside the five-mile fence. Having set up their sandwich cart not far from where he stood, he decided on a liverwurst sandwich with onion and Gibbs’ hard mustard. He often checked the back of his legs, in between his toes and under his armpits, thinking he might be gangrenous, rotting in places he couldn’t see. His da’s da suffered through bouts of Clostridium Perfringens and Fournier Gangrene, his nether parts stitched with ulcers and soars, the doctor prescribing fly maggots and hot towels. The hat-maker Södertörns Högskola was prone to fits of indigestion, jimson weed helping to quell the ache in his stomach. ‘...all that itching...’ he said, ‘…clear down to the bone...’.

They came from Aucanquilcha and Kaffeklubben Island, from Tonbridge Kent and Ahmadabad Gujarat, colporteurs and roughnecks, madmen and halfwits, they came to see Pūthia of Athens, gastromancer. …hot towels and fly maggots, stinkweed and jimson, scalded whistle clean.

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