A journal of narrative writing.

"They work," said my mother, knitting blue socks for my dead daddy in the blue sitting room, "evil."




Gulperatus, come and play

Gulperatus, furry clay

Sticks and liars

Rocks and fires

Gulperatus, go away




"Their faces look like fox-faces," said my daddy in green socks. "Only you look closer and they don't have no faces at all, just your thought that if they'd of had faces, they'd of had fox-faces, brown-red snouts and yellow teeth and the sorta meaningless grey eyes, all set funny-like on the bodies of eight-year-olds."

The police took out ads for months after his death, asking for any information, practically bribing folks for any information at all. I guess after a respectful while they sorta gave up, or else the paper told them that it looked like the face of the fox grinned on this one. That there weren't no hope. You got a better chance listing your every sin than catching them, the paper probably said to those detectives.




"Child, you are not to speak of those silly pixies your ancestors contrived to populate idle dreams and suchforth. We study history and the principle mathematics, child. Sit in the corner until you are sorry."

So I sat in that corner with my itchy grey socks pulled over my calves, in my itchy red uniform top, too hot for wool in March, I thought. I imagined I was on a beach, not a rocky beach but a real tender, a perfectly tender floor of cool sand-goop dipping under the shiny, infinite, writhing thing. The salt-breeze feels cool and cleansing, like a faithful beforehand to the cool and cleansing water, which makes you feel so clean but you must wash afterward anyway, you must remove it afterward, you must wash. So I sat on my beach, not a thought in my head, itching my woollen back like crazy.




The first time I saw her I didn't see her at all. She whispered Aramaic through the wooden roses in the confessional partition.




I suppose you'd say I'm pale, clear-complexioned, sad. I wear black on weekends and holidays, but Children Wear Red at school. You only get to pick your socks, from a stack of equally mute solids. You can tell a liar right off by the way his socks sorta bunch at his ankles, snarling at you.




She has a fox-face all right, but less ridiculous than what daddy described. It's more like the face of a mean child trying real hard to fox it, and half getting there. You can see the longish teeth and the pimply furry skin along with the dog-nose and the human cheeks and those lonely grey eyes.

She showed up to my class one day and tried to sit in my chair, which of course I was in. I guess she sorta gave up real quick trying to melt into me like some ghost, because before I knew she was there she was walking away through the forest behind the garden-shed, where the knotty brown trees just dwarf you, where the solid apparitions walk.

I knew she had tried to sit down, see, cause my lap got cold.




She followed me home from the store Sunday. I didn't look behind at her, didn't even bounce my vision backward off the shop windows, she would have loved that. I stopped and she stopped, and then we continued. I moonwalked, yes I moonwalked to trick her and she bumped into me all right. Only, at the last moment she changed into that woman who lives across from me, the dentist, the puffy-faced, green-eyed human dentist.




I had a dream last night. Or, they say you dream every night, I guess I mean I remembered my dream from last night especially. But see, what can it mean to say you dreamed when you can't even remember that you did but you're just sorta trusting in some physiological likelihood. Might as well be someone else dreaming in such an instance, someone who knows for sure that you dreamed, who knows what you dreamt, too, even if she can't figure it out—you know, like how people don't have no faces but you sorta know that if they'd of had faces, they'd of been so-and-so. But if she can't figure out who they are, and you don't remember, well, do these people exist at all is what I say.

I knew what I dreamt when I woke up, sure, and it scared me so much I thought I couldn't never forget it. At present of course only an asphyxiated blue arm of my dream sticks out of the sand, and I have to think of roses for some reason to recapture the dream-track thinking, and each time I do it I feel surer the next time won't work. It was something to do with mirrors, my dream, except they weren't mirrors exactly, they sorta made me feel in two places at once, like when you speak for so long you begin to think of your voice as someone else's, like maybe you begin to hear your voice like other people hear it. Your voice in such an instance you know can sound so silly, can endorse the highest blasphemies, or spout the readiest pseudo-profundities, you know, the type of gunk that only sounds deep in dreams, that's maybe not even language, as you realize when you try to write it down or tell someone. Something to do with a lack of stripes.




He asked me what did I think it felt like. I said they say a sneeze but more and how come he was taking my shirt off. Instead of asking how to do it (I'm just at bra age, see) he ripped the straps. I sorta didn't like that but such concerns escape expression when your tongue is an overhand knot. The girls say he's a dream boat. He's cute, sure, but he's a little too hairy when it comes down to it; and he took off my shirt, my favorite brown shirt. He said no one uses this shed no more and its only window faces the forest. The sunlight makes poles of dust poke the ground. Sure, there's really dust everywhere, but what does that mean if you can't see it. It smells like dirt and charcoal, in here among the rocks and pitchforks and rusty red one-wheelers and hay-bales and empty beers. He said stop giggling like that and take your pants off.

He feels like sandpaper cause I'm not ready but I guess this is grown-up stuff. I imagine wooden roses and I just can't stop giggling, I'm terribly afraid to stop giggling. It feels like getting massaged too hard, so you go numb and at first that makes it feel better like you're half somebody else watching yourself get massaged too hard and sorta half-feeling it too but then you just wish you were all the way someone else, emerging from the forest in an itchy red uniform, snout fogging the only window of my love-shed.

To see my unhappy rebellious self in the dusty shed, to realize with some dizziness that it's not me but some creature and how can he find that attractive or doesn't he care, I'd rip my fur out for that, sure.




A shop window.


1     Apart

2     Superimposition

3     Superimposition

4     Head/body

5     Head/body

6     Hair/fur

7     Teeth

8     Stripes




She was in my seat when I got to class today. I do wish she would disown that silly mounted head of hers. I got the strange idea that I could sit on her and settle into her like she was some ghost, you know, make her kick around and give the wrong answers and suchforth, but her lap shocked me, her warm lap electrocuted me.



"Well, child?"

I returned from my real tender, my perfectly tender beach and found myself in the classroom—

"Two-pi squared," she said, before I could speak.

"Excuse me," she said, before I could hiccough.

I am gradually coming to understand that Teacher doesn't know I exist.




I found the thing, the impostor, the shell, hanging from my ceiling, dangling from my cool ceiling, hanging. She is thinner in real life, impossibly thin, sorta sacklike. Dead, definitely dead. I felt like I could put her on, you know, like a costume for a Hallow's-Eve ball.

I felt feverish in that shrinking bedroom, but I guess this is grown-up stuff. The surface of my bed is mirror.






1     In the night, while still asleep, I must have tried it on.

2     In the night, I tried it on.




I can't tell the sticky heat of my human breath against the rubber suit from the sticky heat of my fox-tongue against my fox-teeth. I can't feel my rubber feet and I can't feel my feet.

"Child," said my mother in the blue bedroom, "be a dear and step out of that mirror. Your teeth, sweetie! I do wish you would disown those teeth. Tell me, what do you do all day? I called Teacher and she seems to have forgotten all about you."

I sit here, Mum, pregnant in hot socks, sucking the final duplicity from her lies, from the lies she told, the final duplicity from the sweet lies she told.