Monday, September 3, 2012

Whether The Elk Knows

On Monday, two little children are switched at birth. The pretty Swedish one goes on to be a film star, a dancer, lover to directors and collector of rocks. The smooth ones, gray and striated. She carries them in her pocket, bits of the outside when she is lying on the couch, unable to get up.

The other one is mud, this girl, holding this or that boy in her arms for a moment, stamping through wooded trails, thinking of all the pine needles and fallen black leaves that go beneath her feet. Of things beyond her vision that chase her through the woods.

They both think of places, worlds where they can zip off their skin and be real. There are four-leaf clovers more real than them! A headless horse who runs alone on beaches and up mountains! They're drinking coffee and debating with themselves the necessary nature of sexual energy; all the while, they can watch stars lifting hairs from their arms, and the moon tweedle-dum in a perfectly blue sky.

Both girls remember building rockets. It was easy, then. The soon-to-be film star drew it over an electrical outlet, in red crayon, shooting up a white wall. For which she was punished. Or wished she was punished. Mud girl stuck a stick in the dirt, wrapped limp weeds around it.

An elk hunt is occurring in one part of the world, and in the other, an art fair. Both are the same, and involve knives and early morning, when the world is black and still and resting in deep, heavy breaths. They look out windows, watching men leave, and drink coffee. They build their rockets again. This time with finesse, with dancing moves that are too complicated to reproduce here. With fingers caked with mud. The outside world, the forest, is inside them, and it's the perfect place to jump off.

Dawn wraps them in a shawl, sorts them out, replaces them with little human children who are still crawling. Now they have found their mechanical inner selves, the alien gears of who they are. One holds it all to her, spins in luxurious convolutions through the sky.

The other girl falls back to earth, called by a dying elk who is the voice of a husband.

She falls back to earth, falls, falls, falls.

Stars explode and on Tuesday, two little children are switched at birth.


  1. Helt perfekt!

    "… worlds where they can zip off their skin and be real." Those words go into my morning coffee to make it the best one I ever had =)

    Tack =)

    (and now I will hit "publish" and Blogger will say "Please, prove you´re not a robot" but what if I don´t want to do that?)

  2. You should absolutely not do that. Wait. But you did. So I am talking to a robot. Isn't that what we've suspected all along?

    1. I told the kids at work today that they were drinking blood (it was milk, I said it because of vampire related issues, long story). One of them pointed out that it couldn´t be blood because blood is red. I snorted and said robot blood is white. They looked horrified, you´d think they´d be used to me by now =) I LOVE having that effect on people =) (Yes, I know it´s wrong!)

    2. I love that you have vampire related issues.

      Told this story to B. He was slightly horrified. I said, "But if we had kids, don't you think this is the sort of thing I'd be saying to them on a daily basis?" He was more horrified.

      I've had bad dreams every night for a week. I don't feel especially tense or worried. I think the dreams come because every day, conversations are typical and polite. If we talked the nightmares into the day, they'd leave the nights alone.

    3. Poor B! He seems like such a nice person, maybe you shouldn´t expose him to truths about people like us =) And bleh, I always fail majorly when compared to nice people, I hate seeing myself through their eyes. Maybe B could come work with the kids instead and we could lock me up some place where I can do no harm =)

      I think you´re absolutely right about the nightmares; they should be dragged out into the light. Also, you deserve more interesting conversations. The next time someone behaves too typical, try leaning over and licking them on the hand -- then see how typical they manage to be =)

  3. Fun story. I would love to go back to an age when buidling a rocket seemed easy.

    I liked how the story meandered and I didn't know where it would go next.

    1. If we could recapture any tiny bit of our childhood, it would be wonderful.

      Thank you for reading.

  4. Where do you get this stuff?! I'm delighted, of course.

    1. You know how it is. Sometimes, something will inspire us. :)

      Now if only it would happen every time I sat down to write.