Sunday, August 21, 2011
124/365 -- Playlist Story -- inspired by "Green Grass of Tunnel" by Múm
The feeding tube itched against Brian's parched lips, but he couldn't adjust it. The late afternoon sun shone directly at his eyes but at least he was still able to close his eyelids. The warmth made him sleepy. Cartoons on the TV chattered on, unaware of his presence. His mother shifted in her chair and cleared her throat. She was reading a novel to herself, thinking that Brian had fallen asleep.
There was a noise at the window. Brian opened his eyes. In the light stream through, he could see fingerprints and dust on the inside of the window and dried dusty raindrops on the outside. A dot darted about the window, almost next to the opening and fresh air. It was buzzing. A fly, thought Brian, for he could not speak. It bounced against the glass, audible knocking. So much noise for such a small thing.
Brian closed his eyes, but the buzzing held his attention. He looked again. The fly was a little closer to the opening, but still couldn't find it. Down, thought Brian. Go down damnit! How there are so many of you, I do not know. How does a creature so stupid survive for millions of years?
The fly rested on the window. Brian squinted and thought he saw it rubbing it's legs together like it was hatching a diabolical plan. It walked a few millimeters, then took flight into the room. It circled the ceiling once, above Brian's bed then immediately landed directly on the tip of his nose. He could feel it's little feet touching the minute clear hairs on his nose. His eyes hurt looking at it, but he couldn't look away. It turned to face him, it's two unblinking compound eyes staring, almost taunting. It stuck out it's tongue. I knew it. You're rubbing it in, aren't you? You can move all around and I'm stuck here. You're saying you're better than me, aren't you?
The fly did not reply.
Brian closed his eyes tight. They burned and became wet. He thought of the fly, and felt it still there, resting and hatching plans. Brian felt a sensation of rapid vibration, all around his body and then he saw the room, fractured into hundreds of little rooms. He tried to blink to clear his vision, but he couldn't. He worried that he'd lost control over his eyelids--his eyes were his last method of expression left to his brain. He fluttered and stretched, his body oddly divided in new senses.
And then he realized he inhabited the fly. He saw his own face in the center of his vision.
He felt the urge to rub his hands together, and so he did. He wanted to smile but couldn't. He could feel his pectoral muscles wanting to contract, and he let them, and he rose into the room.
That's...interesting. That's right, their body plans are flipped from us. I remember reading that somewhere.
He landed again on his own nose. He walked around in what felt like a crab walk, and looked at his mother. She scratched her chin and turned a page, completely unaware of the utter miracle unfolding before her.
Let's take this for a test drive.
He rose and turned, then wobbled forward and hit the glass of the window.
Ow. Though that's a lot less painful that it should be.
He settled on the glass and saw the room sideways. He walked slowly down. Each foot felt like it was attached by velcro to the glass. He passed onto the wooden part of the window and walked towards the opening. A light breeze curled up over the wood and buffeted his wings. He leapt into the stream of air, then pushed against it, and passed beneath the window. He stuck out his tongue and smelled flowers and grass and something enticingly rotten to the left.
I want to see things. Let me see things, won't you?
He couldn't tell if the little body understood. It veered to the left. He tried to correct it, to go straightforward, towards the sun, but the little body kept pulling to the left. Pulling and pulling...
He could feel the tube moving in his throat. He wanted to gag. The fractured outdoors snapped away and were replaced by the orange flesh of his eyelids. He opened his eyes. The nurse pulled the end of the feeding tube out of his stomach.
"You had a blockage," said the nurse. He placed the tube on a metal tray, then roughly wiped Brian's mouth.
"Sorry to wake you, hon," said his mother.
Brian blinked twice. No. She smiled and brushed the hair off his forehead. He knew she thought he meant 'no problem'. It didn't matter. She'd never believe he'd just been in a fly.
I wonder if I can inhabit that nurse.
He closed his eyes tightly...