2003 A Beautiful Woman Excerpt – If Thy Tongue Offend Thee
And Job opens his eyes to the sun and it all fades back into a misty dim, something on the tip of his tongue and receding quietly as if it was a tired and satiated vampire at the commencement of yet another beautiful dawn which would go unseen. To his surprise, it seemed warmer out today than it had the day previously. Maybe he had been counting his days wrong, was it November? Was it time? How old was he? Everything was drier today as well. There was a comfortable rustling and huffing as he pulled himself out from underneath the tree, and out of the grasp of the dirt and leaf bungalow he had spent the night in. Standing and stretching, he thought of his tongue. He licked his teeth. He walked down to the brook, which appeared unusually clean and fresh this morning, and took deep droughts of it, and splashed its chill atoms into his face. His tooth had stopped hurting. He realized he had knocked out the one that had been chipped anyway, and so felt less insecure about it. He concluded that his other one would probably be sufficient for the job, and began to lick his teeth and the insides of his jowls affectionately, tenderly, copiously. He arched it up and curled it around and touched its under side, that little tender strip lovers so often like to explore in their more delicious and intimate moments. That red sweet strip which firmly yet lovingly anchored the second strongest muscle of his body. He curled his tongue and he whistled. He sang a mid thirteenth century song of Norman controlled Brittany, curling he began a series of musical exclamations, first ‘La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la’, and then, ‘Na-na-na-na-na’, and finally, nigh to a scream, ‘Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah’. He then let out in a prolonged and forceful ‘thppppt!’ until all of the air had been pushed out of his lung cavities, centered his remaining incisor along the center of his jaw, and bit down in a giant and amazingly audible crunch, which immediately reminded him of over cooked meat. The next thing he was reminded of were those little gums with the juicy centers that burst into sweetness when you bit into them. Except his tongue had burst into warm hot gushing saltiness, and it flooded both out of his mouth and down his throat, and into his air passage. Job now began coughing and spitting up copious amounts of deep red blood, and clinging at his throat as he attempted to dislodge the meaty hunk of his tongue. He thought about crying ‘Help’ with a really strong ‘L’ and this set him about guffawing uproariously on top of it all, so that in a laughing spewing choking heap he fell to his knees, head forward, tears streaming out of his eyes like they were trying to jump on that big blood train coming out a few inches below. Tears streaming out of his mouth. In a final guffaw-cough, the tongue came forward and out, and he was able to bite free the last little string of flesh, that little red ribbon clinging from underneath, and then he successfully spit out his one and only tongue. He kneeled there staring at it Blood continued to flow, but now in a controlled and steady direction of forward and out and onto the ground in a growing reflective puddle slowly beating a path to the water a few feet away. He began to cup the blood in his hands as it came out; eyes steadily caught on the pink and purple chunk sitting blithely before him, and smear it over his head. He smeared his blood over his head. He smeared his blood over his face. He smeared his blood along his arms, around the cloth, on his neck, deeply rubbing it into the jugular, and then onto his jeans and boots.
Actually, he probably ended up swallowing most of it. Regardless, eventually the flow abated, and he felt both distinctly sick to his stomach, and uncompromisingly woozy in the head. A foot from his tongue, for the umpteenth time, and he acknowledged this annoyingly as it happened, he fell to the ground and lost his thoughts and slept. Or passed out, whichever suits the true idea of this poetic moment.
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