2003 A Beautiful Woman Excerpt – Ancestry/Forest Microwave
I am descended of slave owners and racists. I was born and raised in the sacred hunting grounds of Can-Tuc-Kee, washed clean with the blood of pregnant squaws and forsaken braves, all guilt made to dust with centuries. Legend has it that Can-Tuc-Kee was the ancient home of a white tribe from far eastern waters, whom the fathers of the Shawnee killed, and by killing cursed themselves. Forever after they and all other native peoples were allowed only to hunt the great bounty to be found there, but if they made camp in Can-Tuc-Kee, the white ghosts would take their game away, and act out bloody revenge. But Job knows that these weren’t ghosts of the dead filling the sacred hunting grounds, they were shadows of the future. Maybe Tecumseh knew. Job was a shadow now, casting it into the past. I am descended from rapists and murderers and conquerors. No one is descended from the conquered. They are all the ghosts. They are all the mud. Job knew. Nine times out of ten what people thought were ghosts were not shadows of the dead, but shadows of the unborn. Job would fain be a shadow.
Eating insects: Usually the accident is narrowly foreseen, or foreshadowed. A flicker of preliminary disgust. And then chinks of knowledge cascading into a sentiment of revulsion. Vomit wanting realization. But not after a while. A calm determination of swallowing sets in. Or rather one realizes the disgust lies with one’s own enjoyment of the flavor, maybe one is quite actually a lower creature, scavenging on the eaters of shit and death. Yum. Anyways, Job only had a few sleeping crawlers. It was a long hike across the roofs of the hills; they touched in a graceful northeastern curve of lowering. Down he went, but just so far down, just so far like in a lip licked in foreplay, succor. And having arrived at the other circuitous route it was to the creek birth, topping the self-pitying rock fall, most rocks having already fallen in. In the dying afternoon light the bright orange extension cord sang out to him first, stretching in looping arcs down from infinity through the thinning tops of the trees, screaming of the blue fire inside, electricity the demon of motion, coursing in waveforms of pain down the bright warning line into the ass of the pre-digital microwave, through a short connection to the microwave’s own black electrical tail.
It was sideways almost diagonally shoved in the crook crotch of a barely clothed maple. Or what Job thought of as quite a maple like tree. The door was a jar, a bottle, and an indication of animal occasioned misdemeanors in the fall degrees. Job had suspected this urge in the inhabitants; he knelt below the tree and began digging with his hands, grabbing a stick, digging with that. He dug for a moment, he thought about how animals were the first income based renters, the sun started to really show its exhaustion, it coughed. Glass began to appear under the dirt almost a foot down, green spotted filled blue pop bottle glass, brown green spotted beer bottle glass, many colored green spotted glass bottles, bottles, bottled everywhere beneath the dirt he dug up four. Reused recycled varying bottles caps pushed on tight. All with peas. Job loved peas. After removing the four pea bottles he fancied he covered up the remainder with the dirt he had scooped out. He opened and smelled them one at a time. All green goodness, only a little dirt had worked its way in. He piled them all into the slanted microwave. It was hard to decide on the time. The relativity of such a thing was now far removed from him, such a subtle skill, microwave timing. Each different in power, each different in chronological accuracy, every item to be heated composed and weighted randomly and in distorted company-specific proportions. He guessed three minutes. It hummed for him. A crow cawed. Etcetera. Hum and then some hum. He thought of trains. Ding. He checked, bottles hot, peas cold. He rearranged. Four minutes this time it would be done no deceiving. Hum. Hum. Caw. Ding. He opened the door and just before grabbing the top bottle, brown with frothing green bubbles swindling themselves round the edge of the reattached cap, he thought better of it and forced himself to wait out the blisters who-would-be at the chagrin of his drum rolling stomach, which was near vomiting in rebellion at such a hearty stench as this. He abruptly sat and wondered for why he could not gain his sustenance through just such a smell. The aroma felt nigh solid. He thought he even detected the faint wisps of beer dancing inseparably among the fair green pea scent maidens. Rakish fuckers, them.
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