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Fiction: Fog

[ 0 ] July 1, 2010 |

As long as he fights, she will be there; as long as she is there, the fight will continue.

Fog sits outside the window, placid and still. She won’t be going out today. The staring woman doesn’t like being under the fog. The grasses wake and unfurl. They don’t like lying beneath this fog either. They want sun, wind and rain. She pays them no mind. Outside the house, a sailboat across the road awaits, sails billowing, white canvas stretched taut and ready to sail.

Yesterday the sails billowed in the sun for the first time. The swaying mesmerized her. Today she listens to them while her body shuffles back and forth to their crazy love song.

The trees chatter, whispering in the clear sky above fog’s shadow. The sun sprays rays of gold on a green leaf’s back and burns holes in the blanket of fog’s edges. The wet pine needles refract beams of orange, cracking fog’s effort to sneak up and mask their colour as it courts dark’s open hand. Dreams escape into memory as disenchanted spirits lose friends in the foggy air. Fog’s breath will evaporate. These wet clouds will gain weight; then drops of life will fall into water to breathe spring and rejoicing birds into the air.

This fog waits for her lover. It wants to usurp his morality, sink fierce roots into his body and fill the marrow of his bones. It wants to creep through his skin, branch out into his veins to merge with his blood, his rivers of blood. Even the singing trees that hover above fog’s shadow are suspect. They reveal only splinters of gold and pale yellow needles. The sun pricks at fog’s edges. On the back of this gold, fog’s shades of grey hint at the dark centres of the trees. Its toxic vapour moves her man to fall from grace, relegates him to the edges of fog’s shadowland. Watching is always a waste of time.

Heart sounds murmur about his youth’s prime rebellion as his desire to destroy incarcerates his spirit. He harbours a need to empower by disempowering, a paradox in which reality is forefront, sharp and full of dogma, empty of variables. Life prevails upon life to sacrifice its weak and dying parts; by wind, rain or storm, predators stalk prey. Mice to the formidable man engage in a preamble of partitioning positions. The mice scurry every which way, seeking to escape. He must demolish life, gather power and target masses of people not imminent or dominant. It is strange, this invisible war.

On days like this the pine needles mask the living in darkness. Wet days and dark nights spook and demoralize; disenchanted spirits and friends share night’s breath with one sigh of relief. She hopes it will rain streams of water, transforming dead dreams into sweet breath. But it won’t.

Fog’s wait is rewarded. His immorality is a sign inspiring him to ride on fog’s grey shoulders and exploit his world below. Heart sounds betray whatever leftover love-murmurs once took flight in his body. His incarcerated spirit bulges, disembowels truth and gorges on insane fantasies. The impoverished variables of his circumstance cripple his joy. She is one of them.

Something must die. Something must come apart, some animal, some useless being; some mouse must be sacrificed, something must be prayed upon. Where is the mouse threatening to pull my mind from its moorings? I have been biting bullets made of money, losing heart and mind, trusting in luxury. All I have left is this piece of oppression, this desperate woman, desperate to bear children, to breathe air, to walk on top of the soil and not six feet under.

Children see the worms nibbling at souls, gnawing on flesh, bearing flesh. They see parents waiting for the next meal. Instead of speaking, acting or executing plans to live beyond survival’s call, they don this foggy mask and wait for escape. They reconjure distractions provided to them in infinite quantities by schools, colleges and universities, educational facilities that teach potential ministers—even prime ones—and offer monetary success in exchange for happiness like a trade: survival for joy. A spirit exchanged for a house with a yard, management of household budgets for a lifespan of one man/woman, a bag to punch out his frustrations at choosing not to be whole, throwing away his internal fire. It never works.

Invariably, he knows that value lies outside him. Life outside is partial to survival, not in potential goals, interactions or closeness of relationships, but partial to the minimum standard required to stay alive. His fire objects to everything sacred, from babies to adults. He beats her because he knows every second is not worth it.

The fog incites a hunger. His hunger craves deep beauty, forever blossoming, and nothing quenches it but releasing the contraction of his fist. As long as he fights, she will be there; as long as she is there, the fight will continue. He will let go of the white house with its crazy white picket fence and escape into a fantasy embraced by Cinderella’s syndrome. His belief is that one day he will be happy without his spirit to keep his body warm.

One day he is forty and his world crumbles. Nature can no longer force him to look back at the years of fantasy and unreality that sank past his fists and drenched her body in blood. Each year this act is staged in different venues, played by millions of performers in parts written in other people’s words, directed by invisible patriarchs who dream of coming home to master a picture perfected by an eye for superficiality, a death of emotion sitting on his fists that wait to be crushed against her body.

She loves him. She pours more emotion into his heart. For a brief moment it sparks up his spirit. But even as she loves him again and again, he strives to rid himself of the desire to be loved, which he fears will make him free. Day after day she gives her love and it meets his raw, hardened knuckles. With spirit, love cannot die, emotions cannot stay inside. Life pushes out, provides territory in between the clenching and unclenching of desperate fists.

He cannot listen to nature awakening in him, so he drags his parts through the fog. Craziness blocks his view of the world in which branches and stems criss-cross in front of his eyes as his vision fades to black. This toxic fog tears at his lungs, rips apart his rib cage, exposes his pounding heart that prays for relief. This prayer curves its way around his arms, reaches for the sky, screams in agony. The pain sears his bones, separates him from his breath. A second away from life, a step away from truth, a mask lies behind his eyes. This mask has no eyeholes.

He drags me to him. His blood warms. There they are, him pushing her down, her screaming. He slides but doesn’t go down easy. She scrapes at the muck on his clothes as she heads for the floor. The muck soils her clothes, fills her empty pockets and insults her skin; it grinds at her throat. She spits bubbles of dirty water onto his shirted stomach. They sink down into the floor of the earth.

Negotiating fate, he stretches his will across vast tracts of her emotional territory, hacking at her feelings, rendering them stumpage. These stumps scream, tantalize and excite more destruction all over the world. Others scour the earth for crippled trees, oil or minerals sacred to corporate management in sectors of an America meant only for killing. My man, he just wants to walk on top of the soil, not six feet under.

Children see the clear cut. They watch trees fall, holes appear in earth. They pay attention to life’s potential for future and they see none. Masks distract, create escapes.

His children watch him throw away his internal fire. Just off to the side, in some alley dump, it burns a mystical and unrealized value. It lies there and smoulders as it parcels out his insides, killing goals, crippling potential and profaning the sacred. He beats me because he knows, every second, the exchange is not worth it. He feels each second drift away.

Death threatens men who do not listen to nature awakening in them. Death drags all their parts through it. Craziness brands their names in words on their bodies. Craziness blocks their view of the world. Branches and stems criss-cross in front of their eyes, tearing at their lungs, ripping apart their rib cages, exposing their pounding hearts. A root bursts forth, curves its arms toward the sky. Screaming in agony, it tries to relieve the pain searing its bones. The scream separates the man from his breath; a step away from breath, his blood roils and he can no longer see anything but this craziness. He cannot live without truth and so he imagines the craziness to be true.

She yells. He yanks her head into his chest, wrenches her neck, twists his hand into the muscles of her arm. Even the big woman seems willing to submit to this fog.

Across the street, the man yells as he jerks the boat and joins it to his Dodge Ram, calling his particular woman to hurry up and get in. She does.

She yells again.

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