emma b. says

Thursday, October 28, 2004

On Having a Melt Down

A propros of an article projecting the the Iraqi fatalities near one hundred thousand I emailed my friend that I felt as if I were fencing a windmill with a papier-mache sword, and in my mind it's an apt metaphor for the rest of the junk as I become increasingly unhinged. Batting at my demons with my farce of a weapon, slicing through the air with my concoction of flour and aging newsprint, how desperately valiant I am. Windmill fencer, shadow boxer, God save me from an actual limbed opponent.

When one is planning to have a Melt Down, when one can feel it seeping through one's pores, one had best get oneself home poste haste, and resolve to undertake any petty chores before the eruption, Heaven forbid having to visit your friendly neighborhood tobaconnist with tears streaking your cheeks, desperate for one single drag off of a camel light. Thus, one must plan judiciously for a Melt Down, one must have stores and candles on hand, one must not dispense with the cucumber rounds to salvage our puffy eyes as we cry ourselves to sleep. One must prepare to don the requisite hair shirt, one must have sharpened the burrs on the whip for self-flagellation, one must steel oneself for the smiting, one must offer to the waning full moon so bright and munificent hanging in the sky with all of the benign silver rimmed clouds, one offers her heart, freshly plucked and beating still to the ravenous moon, and one must listen to the moon as she gobbles and squelches the heart between her icey, luminous teeth and the clouds crow and jeer. And one must hasten, chastened to the bath to sit in the warmth with crowing of the clouds ringing in one's ears and one's knees drawn against the chest that had once housed one's heart.

Where once there was flesh and bone, now there are I-beams and steel and plaster dust, and more dust.

And Don Quixote can tell you that fencing windmills is a fool's game, and yet for an unreasonable sort, such as myself, one might while aways days, nights, months, even before, point, contre-point, before, all of sudden time has passed and one has grown slightly gray and paunchy and the wings of the windmills have lain dormant for two centuries and the donkey is dead in the pasture, and the pungency of your imagination is naught but a fallow field, and all you knew are lost to spouses and graveyards. And still the battle rages, you with your swilling gut and the swaying windmill, it's foundations sinking in the mire and shingles riddled by termites. My poor don, what shall become of you when your nemesis finally succumbs to the elements, shall you declare a catagoric victory and retire to the South of France, shall you slink off in despair and let history forget you, or shall you continue your great battle with a the ghost of the great windmill, thrust, parry with your papier-mache sword, until your flesh has melted and your bones are as petrified as your old donkey, and they shall venerate you and build monuments and you shall become the metaphor for all of the Great Fools, this fool included.

And now you will kindly excuse us, our Melt Down beckons and what chewed morsels the moon spat out of our heart, we must endeavor to try and put the remains back into our chest.


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