When a snake is born with two heads, the heads try eating each other. This makes perfect sense. And it doesn’t for the obvious reasons. She wonders long and hard about her snakes. She muses over the tangled loiterers in her gut. Those reptilian personas, wanderers all, who tear at her. Maybe given the chance they’ll swallow each other and pass without issue. The battles in her mind she grows weary of. Good and well as she appears on the outside, she is not.
She wants to go back. Return to the way it was, to the way it had been before things got mucked up. There is no vacuum to suck up thoughts thick as peanut butter. She wishes Einstein manifested on the other side of her lunch plate. He might solve her dilemma, ease her burdens. The frolicky photo, poster-sized on her wall–Al’s brilliance with flicking tongue and shock-white upending hair allows her to entertain the possibility of solutions. All but love. Einstein labored there too, not so much peanut butter as grape jelly–he craved sweet outside of his mad naked brain. What was Einstein like in bed?
Melancholy sticks in her throat. Why does it always have to reach a point that forces change? Hedges a path against one’s spinning wheels. She wants the dreaming. And yes, the other carefully cultivated fantasy sequences. He is a specter now like all the others she once loved but couldn’t get back. Return them to her gut, let them gnaw a hole for her thirsting heart to collapse out of.
Was Sir Francis Bacon behind Shakespeare? Maybe. Maybe Shakespeare had more than one head, many opposing forces sword thrusting in his belly. There is no easy way around staring in a mirror with many eyes and seeing one face. She knows all too well the things sliding around her heart. If she had never known him, her snakes might have remained settled for a time. Mice take a long time to digest. But the two-headed snake is roaming. It cannot survive this way.
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” –Oscar Wilde
snake/mouse art created last year for an illustrated project-thank you
when I was nineteen, a snake spoke to me
hissing he worked into my impressionable ear
slithering onto my lazy tanned skin below the neckline
parallel to my protruding collarbone
where I sometimes rested my hand
to make sure I was still alive back then
pumping, pumping, pumping
his serpentine curves with jovial tongue
flicked like young men’s hands
he admitted to the perfect place
to coil in-between the sunless spot
protect the blood pumper
I imagined him threaded through my flesh
red-eyed, purple-oxide shimmering scales
he’d wait for prey there, my silent confidant
hidden away where only the most intimate of loves
would know him by name
then easily forget, when they left my body
those round muscles would know
know and never tell
all the times I was broken
he is with me now, my silent slitherer
in my mind’s flesh
secrets still dark and deep like a swallowed mouse
or crushed rabbit
I think of him often
though it sometimes seems
everyone is tattooed but me
He passed her in Times Square. He knew he passed her because he passed her several more times. He couldn’t stop staring at her breasts. Staring was free unless he stepped too close. Too close meant he’d be lobbied into a hug and squeezed into leaking money which he didn’t want to do. This had happened twice before. Since then, he’d grown more clever about his distance. Close enough to absorb her saucer areolae, yet far enough away to avoid detection.
Unlike the other women with painted stars and stripes, this woman’s generous breasts were bejeweled with oblong reptilian scales. The scales were stroked in iridescent blues, turquoises and golds one merging into the next. The result was a fluid rainbow of liquid nature. Besides the soft roundness, maybe it was the exotic scales attracting him though no specific exotic reptile came to mind.
He had a thing for snakes. When he was a kid, he’d taken a summer snake course. His favorite snake to hold was the albino constrictor. At fifteen feet and weighing over three-hundred pounds it was the biggest snake in the classroom. The snake’s irises were brilliant pink with intense red rings around the outer edges almost like his, except his eyes didn’t have fiery rings. Not that anyone ever saw his eyes.
He wore dark glasses that only came off in blackest black. His pink eyes gave him superhero night vision. That’s what his mom used to say until she got sick and died and he couldn’t save her. That’s when he knew he wasn’t a superhero. His mom had had shimmering eyes of the lightest blue like a glass sky at 10 am. His mom would most certainly be disappointed if she knew he was using his superpower to stare at women’s breasts. The dark glasses made staring easy. Very few people could stare at breasts undetected. Sometimes he fancied he still had a special power, never super though, not any more.
Whenever he thought about his mom he missed her terribly, then he’d stop staring at breasts and cry. He was glad his faithful bicycle was always nearby. There was no other way to get around the city but on a pedal-pushing wheeler. Many times while riding his bike–the color of 6 pm winter indigo, its black knobby wheels would smooth out and become snakes. The giant yellow, splotchy snake would split itself in two–a viable severed worm–and wrap around each spoke tire.
He was happy to have albino anaconda wheels. Against the city’s uneven asphalt, his snake tires slithered at reptilian speed. He always arrived at his room in record time on the days he had spoked snakes. On the terrible days when he had rubber tires, pedaling taxed him. The distance from Times Square to his little speckled room was longer than all Manhattan’s bridges tied together with string. That’s what a snakeless journey felt like. On these days he’d be so exhausted, that when the woman who called herself Lynda Carter crawled into his bed, she’d start out all bumpy and curvy but then she’d turn into a snake with a long, red flicking tongue. She had breasts like Wonder Woman’s too, except her hair wasn’t dark and powerful and shiny. It was dirty yellow and brittle like the haystacks in his backyard growing up. He didn’t like touching Lynda Carter’s dead hair because it made him cry and think of his old dog he called Dog.
Whenever he cried and thought of his old dog, Dog, he missed him terribly almost as much as he missed his mother. Some days when he was really tired because he didn’t have snake tires and Lynda Carter was flicking her tongue at him, he’d think about Dog. On these days he didn’t like albino snakes or superheroes. It was Dog he wanted to pet, not Lynda Carter even when she said he had to hug her because she tied him up with her, “lasso of truth.” Dog had always made him feel safe. Whether he was tired or not, he could always find sleep when Dog was beside him. Dog would never have allowed Lynda Carter to slither into the bed. Dog had shielded him with soft golden fur. The warmth of Dog’s light was the only thing that ever reached beneath those dark glasses to comfort his dry, red-ringless pink eyes.
Again, I appreciate if you actually read this. It is a long piece like a snake. I’m trying the flash fiction form out and will post a piece here and there. The idea of writing a story capsule that one could swallow in one sitting is very appealing to me. Obviously, this particular piece found its inspiration in the recent headlines about the goings on in Times Square.The young man in this story followed the writer’s path who took a snake class when she was eleven and got to cuddle many slithering sidewinders. Her favorite–the albino python.
Here’s a little something sure to lighten your heart. I love 1940’s-50’s music and I adore the Mills Brothers. My dad would often play his Mills Brothers records when I was a kid. Their clear harmonious voices made him smile, they made me smile too. I hope you enjoy Glow Worm as much as I do. Below the boys’ video, you’ll find another friendly glow worm (well, okay – he’s really a snake – sshhh – please don’t tell him) 🙂
May your dreams be bathed in warm moon glow and happy glowworms 🙂
SSS done with Prisma a few months back – previously posted
Not more than a few miles from my home, a wonderful nature museum thrives. Throughout the year, this interactive institution hosts an assortment of wildlife guests. Museum employees give entertaining classes on how to ‘better communicate,’ with our outdoor neighbors. This week is Snake 101. I asked the big son if he’d be interested joining in the fun, but he doesn’t care for snakes the way his mother does.
I retold the big son a favorite fourth grade story of mine. I boasted how I’d been the only girl in a class of sixteen to participate in a summer-fun snake class. The big son squirmed a little as I regaled my joy in cuddling snakes. Much to my surprise, my slippery story did not shame him into the response I was looking for.
I wonder about snakes and the unfair rap they’ve received. Perhaps if Adam and Eve had been tempted by a meerkat or a parrot, oh, anything else… I’ve never owned a snake though I’ve had a few iguanas as longterm companions. For those frightened by snakes, I’ve sketched a cute snake – sort of. They can really be adorable 😉
Thank you. May your dreams be carried off by doe-eyed reptiles with heart-warming scales…
Love, Snake created with Prisma pencils July 11, 2014