2003 A Beautiful Woman Excerpt – Tongue Scab Dream
And then Job really fell asleep again. He was directing a movie. Or what appeared to be a movie and no one could understand him because he had replaced his missing tongue with a flat wooden stick. The stick tasted horrible and dry and he felt it splintering into his cheeks as he yelled at them to move the Hawaiian background. For some reason the piece of wood in his mouth gave him a strange and laughable Slovakian accent. On his left foot was a diminutive green crocodile who had swallowed his leg almost up to his knee but didn’t have the strength to bite down. It had a bright red tail which wagged and big gray eyes that blinked and stared up at him as if it was hoping that maybe Job would kindly help out maybe by just so nicely cutting through the tough leg for him. Every time Job stepped it would gurgle and wag its tail.
People were rushing all about him and they all had brown hair and seemed very confident in everything they did, which mostly was running around Job and ignoring what he rumbled at them in his thick wooden accent, except that they were always looking slightly askance and down. They were all carrying various things, bright blue poles, sharp silver squares, all having very important and necessary functions in the script. Some of them carried other little crocodiles, mouths open and waiting, little tails wagging furiously.
Frustrated by the way he was talking and by the fact that it seemed to keep any of his orders concerning this very important project from being heard or acted upon, Job reached his dream right hand into his dream mouth and grabbed his dream tongue to pull it out. It was very thick and he could barely get his fingers around it, it seemed to grow at such defiance as if proud of its inanimate accomplishment of augmenting the organic. Finally taking hold Job pulled and felt the splinters dig into his fingers and palms and he pulled and screeching pain pulled back as the tendons and vines of the wood held furiously onto the soft flesh that they had claimed for the wooden king. But Job pulled harder and it was coming it was coming and then of course he woke up with his hand in his mouth just as he experienced the most painful thing in his life in other words he pulled from his tongue the most disgusting soggy mucous made bloody scab he had ever seen in his life.
‘Aw Fuh’ he screamed as he looked at the purple bloody mass and threw it from him as a fresh and much more painful flow of blood opened and gushed from his mouth. Trying to curl the tongue stub into a little ball in the back of his mouth to apply pressure and stop the bleeding, he quickly dug himself out of his bed all grogginess spritzed clean by that sharp duster of pain and he ran over to the water’s edge and let the blood spill out and color the water red. He wouldn’t make the mistake of swallowing it this time. He kneeled there at the water’s edge letting blood drip from his mouth while the last glorious dawn of November on the last warm day he would see in the rest of his life broke free of the shadow of the earth and shone down on him, the river, the forest, and the sanitation plant.
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