2003 ‘A Beautiful Woman’ excerpt: Sewers & Descent
As he splashed along the visually diminishing line of water and rock, walking unheeding now through abandoned webs what little there were of them, occasionally he would reach up and grab a leaf, dying, just damp enough with a dunk and plaster it onto his chest. Quickly drying, it would fall off after fifty to sixty steps. So pace picked up to counter, and he tried to cover himself in wet dead leaves, caving in to a mud based adhesive in the end, and finally the mixture gave him what might pass for a gaudy sweater. If only I had one of those cute kitten sweaters, with the plastic jeweled eyes and the farcical caption insinuating immortal youth, he sung to himself. He must head for the microwave now, and so he did, breaking off left as the slow slope of the stream became a rocky incline, a waterfall like an eighty-year-old porn star, all the noise and wetness gone.
The hill was steep, and he fell flat on his face a couple times. His leaf shirt degraded more into something like a mud shirt, but even it seemed to hold the heat from the sun in better stead than his bare skin. Maybe something was fermenting on him, that creates heat, he deduced. He pontificated. He wondered. He mused. Etcetera. At last he had to grab onto saplings dropping their first fall’s leaves to pull himself up the incline of forest detritus, a.k.a. mud, and found to his right a little trickle which no doubt fed into the brook below, possibly the piss and shit and potato clippings of civilization, knowing it’s source. It’s source a pipe, sewer outlet, the rectal end of the intestines of a conglomeration of people, metal, ringed, rusted yet still hard and corporal, noncommittal, dribbling serenely it’s communication of refuse in the general direction of a stream, which of course would incorporate all the waste of the sins of society back into blank nature. Or whatever. So he found it there, and sat on top of it, just where it jutted like a sleeping bored caterpillar from the earth. The hill had another half to go, fucking bastard. Job was breathless. He coughed and spat a chunk of phlegm blood back down the path of mud he had pulled himself up through. Quite suddenly, he had an erection. He unzipped, and it saluted the dropping sun through the dropping leaves. Hail honey-skied fall. Oh if the leaves were breasts, if the trunks were throbbing cocks, the soil of the earth a never-ending field of leaking labia. He jerked around and stood directly in front of the sewer pipe, holding onto it with his right hand, and with the other he fucked the most beautiful whore of western civilization, and came into her sewer ass. Three feet up the pipe he shot, birthing many hundreds of memories, sodomizing society, if only the housewives knew. Untouchable, western civilization quickly rinsed her one of an innumerable number of anuses out with the filth of clean toilets. His semen ran intermixed with the sewage out and down the hill. Like he would really give that to them. His seed would swim the stream to the lake at the end, and maybe one-day swirl about his rotting skull. He needed to eat.
Up the hill he went, pulling on roots his ladder, slipping on leaves his blood, and eventually it mellowed out, and he was atop the hill.
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.