This time it came in through his nostrils like a burglar through an unlatched window in the dead of night, this hot chocolate demon. On horses of sugar through long tinseled licorice grass it strode and became a ‘they’ of smell, the unified thought of chocolate milk steam divided into multitudinous smooth ribbons of sensations like feathered flesh sugar cream muscles, thrusting and pulling and contracting again in a universal divine leap forward. This was abruptly nullified by the white-trashed accent of a ten year old boy saying, ‘Yer droolin’, are you alive? I’ve got hot chock-lett.’
“Mwah, wayoo,” said Job, reaching with more desperation and energy than he thought he had left in him for the little silver thermos in the boy’s hand. The boy immediately pulled back.
“No way yer not drinkin’ outta my cup, I’ve got you a plastic one,” he said pulling out from his pocket a dented blue Dixie-cup. He poured in a healthy amount of the steaming sugary liquid from the thermos and handed it to Job, who drank it hungrily reveling in its ungodly sweetness and ignoring completely the scorching burn trail it made in his mouth and down his throat. The child continued; “How come you don’t have an arm? Why you moan like that?”
“Yob, ma mame eh Yob, aionh ave uh ungue,” said Job, finishing his drink, his eyes going wide as his stomach and chest exploded in glorious and almost painful heat.
“Can you talk right?” asked the boy. Job shook his head. “I told my mom about you but she didn’t believe me cause I told her you didn’t have an arm or a weedle and that you were covered in blood and muddy and stuff. I saw you eating a rock the other day, can you really eat rocks?” Job shook his head again, and for the first time, began to really look and wonder at and about the boy. What the fuck is this shit, what the fuck is this, thought Job.
“Oh,” said the boy.
“Wha yoh am?” asked Job.
“What?” replied the boy.
“Whah yuoh ymam?” asked Job.
“What? I don’t understand what yer…”
“Yuoh yame,” said Job, pointing at the boy with his lonely and dirty fingers.
“My game?” asked the boy.
“Noh, ymame,” said Job, and pointing at himself said, “Ah ahm Yob,” and pointing at the boy he said, “Yoo ah…?”
“Oh, my name’s Allen, yer name’s Yobe?”
“Ayen, no eah ma yame,” said Job, and he wrote his name in the mud next to him with his finger.
“Huh? You want a job?” remarked the boy.
“No, no, Yobe, O, O,” responded Job, underlining his written name as he said it.
“Oh, Job, like the whale guy, er whatever.”
“Yeh, uh whayuh” murmured Job from long habit. Always that fucking whale.
“Are you hungry? I have some peanuts,” said Allen.
“Yeh, pwee,” said Job. Allen brought out a little Tupperware bowel of peanuts and handed it to Job. Job stared at it dumbly. He shook it a little. He sat it on the ground and tried to open it with three and a half weary fingers. Where did my other finger go, thought Job, I thought I only bit off one.
“Oh, I’m sorry, ya can’t open it, can ya?” said Allen bending down and prying it open with ease. He poured some into Job’s open and grimy hand, and Job excitedly poured these into his mouth, only about half reaching his hollow successfully. Obviously his aim had deteriorated a bit. And then Job bit down on them, and most of the rest of them flew out as he screamed in pain.
In Job’s world of gushy cracking noises, none had been so domino like, so simultaneous, so deep reaching in a semi-circle of pain as this time when he broke four of his rotting teeth with a mouthful of rock-hard peanuts, rock hard and salty peanuts.
Allen had jumped back at first in fear, but seemed to quickly realize what had happened. He began stammering I’m sorries and I didn’t knows.
Job howled, “Wah-uh, wah-uh, pwee wah-uh,” and Allen quickly nodded in comprehension and ran off into the woods. Job had his disgustingly dirty finger in his mouth gently pushing and pulling at the cracked stumps, trying to pull off the little loose pieces still clinging to what seemed to be raw nerves. He was also drooling salty saliva and blood all over the already filthy blankets, but I figure you knew that already. After a moment, Allen came running back the other way, grabbed the discarded chocolate-laced Dixie-cup, and then ran off in the direction of the river. A moment after that, Job just finishing painfully plucking the last little scrap o’ tooth from the back of his mouth, Allen returned with some gross and muddy river water, which Job heartily drank, yum.
“Ank yu,” muttered Job, and made exhausted motions of sleep. Allen understood, muttered one last ‘I’m sorry’, and tottered off towards home. Job relaxed into a fitful sleep with yet another brand-new pain. Same-old, same-old, dreamed Job as he drifted.
Buy the Book!