Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Kiss on the Forehead

In Chorley Lancashire a man awakens in a fright, the back of his head stock and barreled to the bedpost. Pulling himself free, which requires considerable haleness, he stares at the ceiling, a full round yellow sun shining through the broken rafters and joists. ‘my goodness’ he intones, ‘what a beautiful day’. He awoke with a startle, his feet caught between the footboard and the bedsprings, a pepperminty taste on his lips. Every night before bed his grandmamma kissed him on the forehead, her enormous bosoms swinging like nosebags above his chest.

His grandpapa came down with the whooping the day after Easter. His grandmamma applied a peppermint salve to his throat and chest, his grandpapa repeating 'Apskritis Tunja Boyacá' over and over again. His granddad was prone to acts of peculiarity that sane any well-appointed people wouldn’t dare do. His grandmamma’s indifference to his granddad’s abnormalities served to reinforced his behaviour, his grandpapa letting loose with a yap in the middle of Mass, the nosey parker Thomas frowning dismissively in his granddad’s direction, the rector’s assistant clamping his hands over his ears, the entire congregation fit to be tied, their faces desecrated with anger.

Thoughts he couldn’t remember thinking, experiences he couldn’t prove he’d experienced, came into his head more often than not. Only a sane well-appointed person, a real person, knew for certain that his thoughts were his and his experiences experienced by him and him alone. But today he couldn’t verify that the thoughts he had and the experiences he’d experienced were his and his alone. They could be someone else’s, a double or a twin claiming to be him, someone who knew his every indelicacy down to the minutest detail.

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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