Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dead Meat

I said, “This car is officially on fire!”  because the car was on fire.

There was nothing official about it, really. There is no process for certification of conflagration. But still, I said, “This car is officially on fire!”  because the car was on fire and also because Rufus and Ethel Bunny were too preoccupied to see it.

Rufus and Ethel Bunny wanted to frak. They were looking to hula the hoop. Probably they thought I did not notice.

I noticed.

We – I mean all of us, I mean me, Ethel Bunny, Rufus, Dummy, Star and the Glob – were supposed to be delivering the ugly sculpture that Jerry Lee had sculpted. But Dummy got called in to work and Star caught bronchitis and then the Glob wasn’t answering his phone. So then it was just me and Rufus and Ethel Bunny, and also the ugly sculpture and the car.

And I was in the back seat of the car and the sculpture was in the back seat, too, and the car was on fire, only Rufus and Ethel Bunny did not notice because they were thinking about frakking each other.

Finally I got their attention. It was nearly too late. The front seat was filled with black smoke from the ac vents. White smoke coming from under the hood made it hard to see where we were going.

We were going to deliver the sculpture that Jerry Lee had sculpted. Only we did not even make it out of downtown Houston and the car was on fire.

When Rufus pulled over and stopped the car, I said, “Help me with the sculpture.”   We had to get the sculpture out of the burning car. It weighed about the two hundred pounds. The sculpture, I mean, not the car.

The sculpture, it had a name, and the name was “A Great Moment in History.”  Which great moment was not clear. It might have been an astronaut walking upon the moon or else it might have been Washington crossing the Delaware.  I regarded the sculpture’s quality to be subpar. In this, Rufus agreed with me. Ethel Bunny said, “This sculpture, it does not speak to me.”

Jerry Lee, who sculpted the sculpture, said he would get paid two hundred thousand dollars for it. “A fool and his money are soon parted,”  Star had said when Jerry Lee told him about the two hundred thousand dollars. 

Star knows nothing about art. I know nothing about art, either. Still, I regarded the sculpture as subpar.

It was the blue time of night just after dusk. We saw flames reflecting off the pavement underneath the car. There was nothing we could do.

I said, “Rufus, let’s carry the sculpture into this empty building.”  I thought I could get us into the empty building. I could get us into the empty building, but the getting took longer than I thought.

We got in. Someone must have called the fire department. There were sirens and I said, “Rufus and Ethel Bunny, you can go back to those rooms back there,”  because Rufus and Ethel Bunny wanted to frak. They wanted to hula the hoop.

I said, “I am going up to the roof and I am going to watch the fire trucks.”

It was dark but I found some stairs. Inside the staircase, the light from my phone lit up spray-painted messages. One of the messages said this: “YOLO.”  Another one of the messages looked like a chicken. The chicken was only half done. Going up to the roof, I wondered whether the kid who painted that chicken was ever going to come back and do the other half.  

At the top of the stairs, I opened the door to the roof, but the smell up there made me want to close it again. The roof smelled of death. More than death, though, putrefaction. Death when the meat of the thing that was once alive sloughs off the bones and turns into purple liquid death. Death like the smell of the mushroom factory in Madisonville.  

“This is more interesting than fire!”  I said to myself. I covered my nose with my Mastodon t-shirt. I went looking for the death.

The death was on another part of the building. I had to climb up part of the building that stuck up farther than the rest and then come back down the other side near the birds.

In my life, I have noticed that birds do not come out at night. But here it was, night, and these birds were out and there were a lot of them. They were big birds and there were a lot of them and they were crowded around something on the roof that smelled of death.

They were eating.

I saw how one bird would come running out from the crowd with a piece of food hanging in his mouth and then another bird, who up until this point had been standing at the back watching, would chase the first bird down and try and steal his food. To steal his dead meat.

Then the first bird and the second bird, they would fight for a few moments, but it did not look to be a serious fight.

None of the birds seemed to care about me or to care about the flashing emergency lights from the street below or to care about the echo from the firemen’s radio.

I wanted to know what that dead meat used to be. I wanted to see a tail or I wanted to see a horn or a hoof or hell, I don’t know, maybe I wanted to see a tentacle. I wanted to see something that would assure me that I had not known that meat before it was dead.

“People are made out of food,” I remembered reading in a book somewhere.

“I know,”  I thought to myself on the roof. “I will come back here in the day. Maybe in three days. Maybe in four. I will come back here when it is light and when the birds have finished eating all of the meat.”

I thought to myself, “Then I will see what pieces of the thing are left, and then I will know what kind of meat it used to be.”

I went back downstairs. By that time, Rufus and Ethel Bunny had hula-ed the hoop and were standing by the front window watching the fire trucks drive away.

“Whose car was that?  I asked them, but no one knew whose car it was.

I called Dana to come and pick up me and Rufus and Ethel Bunny and the sculpture. Dana thought the sculpture was “the ugliest fucking thing”  she had ever seen in her whole life.

A week later, I went back to the building. I went up to the roof. Where the meat had been, there was nothing left but a stain on the ground.

The spray-painting of the chicken on the staircase was still only half-done.  

42 comments:

  1. the smirking little know-it-allJuly 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Thats an interesting picture of you Katy, all blurry and colourful, but it doesn`t do you justice.

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    1. Oh, it's a horrible picture of me, but it's a fantastic picture of a person looking... sort of dehumanized. It seemed to fit somehow.

      Delete
  2. Katy, with regards to the picture of the scarecrow, have you seen the 1981 cult TV movie "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" ?, its a real little classic.

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    1. I have never seen it.

      I had to swap the scarecrow picture out. The more I looked at it, the more it seemed to be a political editorial about the effect of twitter and facebook on 3rd world dictatorships.

      Can't have political editorials in MY blog, can we?

      Delete
  3. steve prefontaineJuly 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    That hand on the window looks like a traditional image from a horror movie (something like "Children of the Corn" maybe).

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    1. I've had it sitting in my "To be Used" folder for months. Every time I write about anything going on inside a building (including my house), I consider using it.

      Delete
  4. Sculptures are perhaps the most subjective of all forms of art. They don't translate well across cultures either. Too bad it wasn't insured. You could have let it go with the car and collected the $200 K in insurance.

    Clearly the thing on the roof was an invertebrate. Interesting though you didn't find an exoskeleton.

    Dana is a sweetheart for picking you up. Again

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    1. My money is currently on "chupacabra"!

      Granted, it doesn't take much for my mind to play the cryptozoology card, but...

      CHUPACABRA!

      Delete
    2. My son and I are watching Haunted Highway (Jack Osborne got a paying gig). He is diving in some lake, at night, looking for a monster. So yeah, I am with you

      CHUPACABRA!!!

      PS I have to look at the pictures. Silly me I just come here for the articles.

      Delete
    3. People still watch television. I'm always amazed by that.

      I only watch cartoons.

      With the sound off.

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    4. I was walking up the stairs at my office today and wondered what I would find if I went up to the roof (it is only 6 stories). I was hoping maybe the facility staff had a secret roof top beer garden up there, although I would be much more likely to find a dead body.

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    5. Or maybe both. A beer garden where they dump the bodies.

      Gotta dump the bodies somewhere. Houston, at least, is nowhere near a desert where you could bury them. The Gulf is no good for dumping bodies. The parks are already full. I suppose you could fill a plastic container with acid, but...

      Rooftops are as good as anything.

      Delete
  5. I think the Second Coming of Cthulhu was rudely interrupted by the Grest Old One Vulteroo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Someday, blogger is going to add an Edit button for comments.

      Of course, Cthulu might not be so understanding.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Before or after it burned up?

      Green before, black after.

      Delete
  7. I've not seen someone so curious about carrion (Curious about Carrion is an emo band that'll be playing at Fitgerald's...no, not seriously).
    Of course birds come out at night. What are owls if not nocturnal?
    I would have loved to see a picture of the sculpture. Perhaps "a great moment in history" refers to the personal moment when the sculptor gets a crap-ton of money for half-assed work.

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    1. If I tilted my head to the right, the sculpture sort of looked like the splitting of the atom. Or the discovery of penicillin.

      Or maybe a bunch of birds eating something mysterious on a rooftop...

      Delete
  8. If people are made out of food, and the people I see at Wal-Mart are made of a whole LOT of food... I'd rather starve. Imagine how your steak would taste if the cow ate McDonald's 7 days a week, smoked like a train, and loved "chewing tobacky." That's almost enough to turn me vegetarian.

    ...Almost.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You might not want to try the Soylent Green, then. I'm not going to start any rumors about it (Texas has a Food Disparagement Law, after all), but I honestly don't know how that stuff ever got FDA approval.

      Delete
  9. Oddly, this reminds me of some of the work of Philip K. Dick.

    Not sure if that's an appropriate comment to make to a lesbian. The guy's name being 'Dick', and all. But he didn't ask for it. So I suppose it's all right.

    Read anything by him? He's good. Really.

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    1. Hi, Will. I have read Dick's "Confessions of a Crap Artist" and "VALIS." I like him.

      I like his paranoia.

      I have decided I'm not paranoid enough to be a really good writer. The more I read about writers, the more I see how paranoid most of them were. Certainly, Dick falls into that category.

      Paranoia probably makes you see connections between things that others don't catch or which aren't actually there...

      The next great writer could be a Birther...

      Delete
  10. This post was awesome. Poetic, dreamy, Trancy and artsy. Pure work of art ;-)
    What do you gotto do to eject literary piece like this- Kinda dreamy,artsy more like "A clockwork orange" kind of thing? Do you have to sniff something? How do you word these feelings during trance?

    When it comes to scultupers or arts I am a cave woman, cant appreciate or enjoy much and I did have a friend who did these for a living, that woman could make me feel like a idiot within 2 seconds. Yeah, I didnt understand her work and I could not do Emperor's new clothes so I usually dont express verbally and just do confusing repeat nods and smiles and mimic a seizure-tremor in my face.

    People are made out of food. One more evidence to the case "The people vs Tyler Lincoln Smith-Charge : Florida cannibalism sorry homophageism"

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I need to be careful about how many blogs I post involving people being edible. That's two this summer...

      On the other hand, I am thrilled that I had back-to-back comments that called this post dreamy and Philip K. Dick-like. I'm never good with understanding artsy stuff when it comes to anything but music. However, sometimes I accidentally stumble into cool territory in writing...

      Delete
  11. Katy, i`m amazed that people still watch television as well, i only watch hard-core heterosexual pornography now (also with the sound turned off), most of the time the moans of pleasure and ecstacy (from either sex) dont actually help me with my attempted masturbatory fantasys, i prefer wanking in total silence.

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  12. Two "HAMSTER" com-girl-ts have not been published Katy, why ?.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. How do you know two haven't been published?

      I am arbitrary and mysterious in my comment approval. No one can know my ways, including me...

      Delete
  13. No. I want to know what it was. This is why I always carry a lighter with me even though I quit smoking. The smell of death is everywhere, but it's been difficult for me to find the source. It's me!

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    1. Do you have a strange attraction to scythes? Do you find yourself lurking at the edge of crowds in long robes with an hourglass in your hand?

      Do you notice that you only meet most people once?

      You might be death. Not just "death" but The Death.

      Delete
  14. steve prefontaineJuly 17, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Katy, just with regards to your "arbitrary and mysterious com-girl-t approval method", you said that no-one can know your ways, not even yourself, does that imply that you are a Tony Perkins impersonator ?.

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    1. I was thinking more along the lines of God, not Tony Perkins.

      Maybe just a god.

      Delete
  15. keep in mind, birds are worrisome, they quarrel over the possibility of sunrise, usually around dusk.

    This is why they clean the dead, another meal may never come. The bones, they carry off for nesting and gifting. Ceremony too! in mock of animals. Ever see one attempt to gallup?

    I think you had your chance to identify the corpse, but if you scour the roof, you may find a recognizable chunk in excrement, birds haven't the skill nor respect to chew.

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    1. When I was a kid, I dug up what I'm pretty sure was a chicken bone in the back yard.

      For years, I was convinced I'd found a dinosaur.

      I have not learned anything new about bones since that time.

      Delete
  16. Katy, you certainly write the most intriguing, downright compelling and interesting posts! You’re oozing with talent, woman! I loved this, as well as the images you used.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! I liked this one, even though I'm not sure why.

      Sometimes I write a weekly post and it's just sort of going through the motions. But sometimes I surprise myself.

      All I've got are words. You have your great drawings, and I wish I had something like that to pull it all together.

      Delete
  17. although birds are confident their relatively small brains remain incapable of systematic, chickenfarm-like slaughter, they are concerned about eventual human demand for aviary variety.

    Ironically, birds mock the futile limb and docile nature of their brethren by flying free well above food processing plants.

    It's complicated, considering birds descend from dinosaurs and people don't know nor care.

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    1. I care.

      Those bastards are just biding their time. I've seen Hitchcock!

      Of course, the trees are just biding their time, too. I've seen M. Night Shyamalan!

      Delete
  18. I'm just biding my time too, and picking out obscure Lou Reed references embedded in one of my favorite blogger's posts. Sounds like it was indeed a great adventure.

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    1. Thanks and nice catch. I'm going to have to go much more obscure now!

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    2. Once you move past that one album they'll blow right past me, but New York ranks among my top 10 favorite records of all time.

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    3. "New York" was the first Lou Reed I ever heard outside of the song "Walk on the Wild Side." I don't know how a kid as young as I was when I first heard it got anything out of it at all!

      I always LOVED the two albums that came after this one: "Songs for Drella" with John Cale and (especially!) "Magic and Loss."

      "Magic and Loss" is one of the most moving and profound albums I've ever heard.

      Delete

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