mattidredhilda edit#1, from the top, re-unedited
the tale of the bicycle and the odd particulars of its disappearance
Paraffin freeze in drops by my rod. This is not a dream. I open the window. Rain glistens and the ghosts of dead columbians rise from the shop below into the bantam holes of my face. They say that love is nutritious on the street.
In my bedroom lie remnants of the previous. The slow, burning ash. The sweet smell of early morning cuh-cuh-c, cuh-cuh-c. Until the next day.
Oh my gentle dauphine. Sing me a song of France or Sweden. Was she angry mama? Was she? Was she angry?
After the flood I find the door. A slow process that commits its own sins. The little vermin that gnaw the fabric of my birth. The evil geometry of the stairs. Who could transfer the plight they cause to another's understanding? This is meaningful.
Sasha waits for me in the alley by the side of the building. She's wearing a see through lilac shirt that I see through to the shirt beneath. She has breasts and a friendless way about her. We're born into struggle.
"Where's your bicycle?" she asks me.
"My bicycle is around the corner", I say, "leaning against the ivy."
(The shirt that Sasha wears beneath her shirt is white.)
Sasha puts her arm around my waist, and my legs turn the pedals. We move over blocks of pavement, some blank, some impending, and I remember useful fragments from the previous week that I'll fill them with on this journey: the interruption of my conversation with Mattidredhilda Edit#1 by the Man, the bus driver leaving while I ran across the road, Mama dying.
I used to be a good little boy. Mama said so.
it doesn't matter
if I don't
Sasha ain't no mama. Her knees brush the outside of my legs. She says that she wants to go to her boudoir on so-and-so street. Mattidredhilda Edit#1 works on that street. But I can't think about her now, not with this pa-kodge I'm carrying, crossing the town ZMD where everything plays backwards.
gninael I leaning
Sasha puts her hands on my shoulders and dismounts. I'll save that feeling for later because I can't use it now.
I can't use it here.
We take stairs to the second floor. I let her go first. She has a room with a mattress pushed against the wall beneath the window.
"We'll watch from here", she says. "do you think we were followed?"
I might have left a trail. I scattered some memories out there. I didn't gather them up and tidy them away like a good little boy. I know my name is out there and the place of my birth. I dropped a regret. I worry, but my eyes converge on Sasha's Y.
"Are we going to be here long?" I ask her.
She doesn't like the question, and who could blame her because she's just looked at herself in the long mirror leaning against the wall.
"Maybe a day or two", she answers.
She bends over to look through the window. I'm going to touch something without thinking about it.
Sasha lights a cigarette. This is beautiful, and it suddenly occurs to me why she wants me here with her. Sasha doesn't know how to be alone. She has her toys in the room: the umbrella, the mirror, the backgammon board, the old book. But that's not enough for her.
My bicycle is alone. What about my bicycle? She hasn't given that much thought. But now I have the vanguard (synonym of 'upper hand'), because I know how to be alone. But I don't swagger because I don't want to give the vanguard away.
"You don't know about the shadows do you?" I ask her
"When the brain has nothing to eat", I explain, "it feeds on itself. In a room with a square thing or a lamp it feeds. And if you move slowly, you'll never be alone. But don't sleep. And whatever you do, don't turn off the light. That's even worse, because then you're alone, and you know you're alone."
the umbrella & smell-good what tickles
The nature of the exile is intoxication. A floating above and below this diaspora of existence. A person's existence that can't be objectified, or subjectified. A person's existence that is abjectified; ground into the dust of bone, into the dust of nothingness. And so, I ask the obvious question:
"Are we in some kind of exile?"
Sasha looks at me as if I don't know how to add. The room is stifling enough, but I f-f-smell her. She's wearing some scent, some smell-good that tickles the upper palatial lobes of my proboscis. Down into the larynx past the esophagus,
to the stomach,
to the pelvic region,
to the very primitive core of
How long can it go on like this? She's playing with the umbrella, spinning it on its point.
"Sasha", I say firmly, "are we in exile?"
"We're hiding you dumbass", she says.
"You're safe with me", I say.
The tragic hero who thinks.
There's nothing--zero--intriguing about the way she spins the umbrella. It's an old, black umbrella. The kind mama said shouldn't be opened indoors, and I listen to mama. Sasha spins it and catches it with her leg before it topples over. I pick up the book.
"Do you want to read this book?" I ask her, "It's about a boy who lives on top of a crane."
She shakes her head.
The spinning. The spinning.
"Looks like you have something on your leg", I say, "maybe you should look at it in the mirror."
She shakes her head.
I toss the book onto the mattress, and think (think hard) about how much fun that was.
"Do you want the umbrella?" she asks.
"No", I say.
That was smart of her to ask. Now, I'll never get it.
the idea of stairs and not stairs
A Chinese rain falls. Foggy on the mountaintop, muddy on the feet. A knock comes from the door. Sasha and I look at each other, and the rain sounds good. The sound of the rain frames our pause. But the pause is not what I had hoped for. Sasha gestures me to give something the once-over to the door. But I want to stay in this pause for a while longer. I want to wait for something morean epiphany, a revelation, an unspoken understanding. Wait Sasha. Don't speak. Not yet.
"My bicycle is getting wet", I say, "I should probably move it."
Sasha riding a wet bicycle.
"Or maybe you want to borrow it to ride somewhere", I say.
She looks at me with that look.
One plus one equals two. Two plus two equals two.
Rain makes things wet Sasha. My bicycle is getting wet. It's not my fault. I open the door and run past the two women who are no longer standing in my way. Down the stairs that fill me with conflicting feelings. Not these particular stairs. They were kind to me. It's just that they symbolize stairs and I'm speaking about stairs in general.
Somebody said general.
The idea of stairs, not these stairs. I'm thinking about stairs, but I can't think about stairs now, because I'm overcome by a feeling of
Help me Sasha. I think it's tenderness. My bicycle is getting wet. My bicycle is wet, just on the other side of this door, where these stairs are. Quickly. Quicker. I push open the door. I run out into the rain.
My bicycle is gone.
there is in the
I realize that it wasn't always like this. One had relevance. One moved with certainty. Start. But now, what are you doing? Listen. It's not as quiet as it seems. One drop. Count it. One. Like a dollhouse rain-cloud. Portuguese. This is happening without you. One had relevance in relation torelative to Stop.
Your bicycle is out there in the world. Your bicycle is responsible for those droplets of sweat between Sasha's legs.
The plastic dog on the counter.
Sasha slowly. I smell her in slow motion. She is wet while you think about bicycles. The floor beneath the rug contracts. Moisture builds between the wall and the pipes.
(A bird is unheard.)
She is wet. Count it. One drop. In relation torelative to
Her eyes and your eyes. It was in the conjunction. What was it? But she couldn't wait, and neither could you. One understands, however, because there is in a pause, much pain.
the bicycle disappears
There is no way to explain the loss of my bicycle. It would be like trying to explain an equal sign. But I'm going to look for clues.
"Sasha", I say, "I've never asked you for anything."
"That's good", she says.
The bus driver leaving.
I'm angry now. Things shouldn't leave like that.
"I'm tired of hiding Sasha", I say, "I'm tired."
"What's the matter with you?" she asks me.
I can't even bring myself to saying it--to say a thing, mama would say, was to courageous reality. No. Was to recover reality. No. Was to encourage reality. Yes.
"My", I say.
It can't be.
"My bicycle", I say, "it's gone."
Mama, help me