Pop a mind-altering substance. Maybe a cup of warm cider. Or a soft wool blanket. Or the semaphore of a cat who sits just out of reach. Is an edible available? Sure, that works. Or simply rub your entire torso against a wooden fence until your neighbor buys a shotgun and brandishes it at you. Next, take out your pen and stab yourself with it, like a Super Solider™ preparing to go into battle except the battle is the act of laying extremely still in a purple meadow surrounded by swaying trees. Birch and Elm and Oak and Willows and every conceivable genus of Eucalyptus. Trees. Those woven sinews snaking between now and next, up and down. Sit and smell your invention. No don’t write, you dummy, that’s how the ink spills out and ruins the meadow. Don’t sully your imagination by pressing it against these soft, sweet trees. You little Longhorn Beetle. You fruit of rot. You inadvertent mycelium. Holster that pen, soldier.
Parents will probably start to creep in at this point. As they do. As they will. They’ll stain the walls with bits of china and they’ll bring with them the artifacts of childhood. A watercolor of a nameless boat. Charles Aznavour records stacked to the ceiling. A Bescherelle of nonexistent conjugations. A few pets will appear. A floppy-eared dog. A cat named Magic who ran off into the ravine. Maybe a small bird will perch on your shoulder as you practice your scales. Or a rat will emerge from your sleeve with a sage piece of advice. Something about the soil in a cemetery. You should listen to it, because it’s just you in animal skin, which is the best skin, the best you. There’s a bloodletting coming, obviously. But it’s not prophetic. Just a happy splatter. A happy little splatter with your family watching proudly.
"No don’t write, you dummy, that’s how the ink spills out and ruins the meadow. Don’t sully your imagination by pressing it against these soft, sweet trees."
Without a warning, your nipples will cringe. This is it, you’ll think, not knowing what it or think really means. Moths will flood through the slightly open window. You’ll feel the ceiling crack by the extra molecules that fill the room. A cool breeze, probably nipple-related. And then. The box. Open it. That little box bobbing in the middle of your lake? Open it. That little box with engraved flourishes and ancestral skin tags preserved like the moon-shaped crescents of a baby’s finger clipping? Open it. Let the little garter snake slither its way out. It doesn’t really matter if you write anything. Should have led with that, probably. But it doesn’t matter. You’re floral, now. You’re buzzing. You’re all nerve endings and imagery. Sit under this waterfeel and succumb to the backpack full of stones sitting in the silt at the bottom of your lake. Drown with a smile on your face. It’s the least, and most, you can do.
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