All this felt like a bad reputation, this walking back to the stream. It felt like an irreversible fault, a bad dream, a bum deal, a real lemon of suck. It felt like he had no friends as the brook came into sight at the bottom of the ever mundanely sloping slope. He felt completely broke and unclean as he turned left forty feet up from the diminutive valley’s bottom in search of something vaguely resembling uncharted territory. God forbid he must traverse again his well-trodden paths even one more time without puking his guts out and caving in to the cold right there. Something new had to come along, or he was going to die of sheer boredom. But he did it, and the going was relatively easy and the creek faded out of his field of vision down the growing woodsy slope to his right. Everywhere he scanned he saw trees, off into an infinite yet strangely tilted distance. Every direction looked the same, except for the slant. It was like some horizontally skewed badlands, a desert of mirrored endless trees spanning across never ending acres of an orange and brown carpet of their dying garment. He kept on walking, and this necessarily became aimless, as he could no longer but aim for a point that he believed to be the center of the angle of the axis. Where X meets Y, he himself directed in what became to him a deliciously entertaining stupor. Stupor amazed being the best real effect of all good and neighborly drugs and prime time programming. Here he had achieved it as nature intended, in an endless surreal landscape.
This went on until dusk, at which point he sat where he stood, and wondered about those stories he had heard of people walking aimlessly in circles. Something like a song with synthesized violin overtones danced on the edge of his conscience. Lonely, he started to moan, now and then augmenting the pure note with weak attempts to put his remnant of a tongue into hitherto unheard of places inside of his dry, dry, mouth. As he moaned even that became boring, so he stopped swallowing his saliva, which is actually more difficult than it would seem, and which took a great deal of meditative willpower, and he let it drip down his chin and into the crook of his elbow on his right arm. This was only fun for as long as it took him to steady his twitching throat and figure out how to let go of the trained reaction, and so then, not wishing to disturb the small and pleasantly cute puddle forming in the valley of his right arm, he began picking up dirt and leaves with his left hand and throwing it about in a sloppy and confused way. He syncopated this with his moaning and peculiar tongue less clucking, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the slow drip of the saliva to get in line. In a moment of cheesy stereotype fulfillment, to complete the picture he had forming in his mind he began banging his head back against the tree upon which he leaned as he sat. This really fucked up the saliva flow, causing it to fly willy-nilly all around and splash in his eyes, some went up his nose, and then quickly the majority of it was out of his mouth and he was just banging. His mouth began to dry out, his right arm began to cramp, and his left arm started to become fatigued and was having trouble now finding a purchase of sufficient leaves to throw as a good thick handful. So he let those things drop, and concentrated on the whacking of his head against the tree. The leaves shook in shy answers with each hit, it was a small and sensitive tree, and it understood none of what was befalling it. Bored of this right quickly, Job changed the key and rhythm of his moans and let the spit puddle run out of the crook of his right elbow in order to reach and to throw chaotically the abundant supply of leaves, twigs, and dirt still to be found on that side of him. It was a whole new world when the blood started to flow from the back of his head and down his back. The tree would notice a peculiar saltiness in its roots in the weeks to come, and Job would have one heck of a scab over one heck of a bump on his noggin. It took him a good fifteen minutes of this before he had cleaned out the right side of its leaf and stick and mud resources. At this point he started banging on the dirt uselessly with his arms and hands and began kicking up with his feet and legs all the leaves and sticks and mud that they could reach. Before he could quite finish his leaf and mud angel, digging an inch or so down in the floor of the forest in a wide swath about him, he gave himself something a bit too much of a smack on the tree with his head and knocked himself out. So ended that lovely episode.
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