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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

the purpose of green in the bikini machine shop


The bikinis passed overhead on hangers, dripping their green dye onto the floor, tapping undecipherable code as I considered the events of the previous day. I remembered Gregor Samsa and how he couldn't stop dropping things as he crawled from exit to exit inspecting the amount of light coming into the factory.

The first of the week was always the most difficult and unaccommodating as pressers relaxed in anticipation of the coming days. It took a heavy toll on us and I fear that it will last until the day we die. Minutes are stolen quietly in such places and dropped into someone else's clock before we realize what has happened. But I know because I have deciphered the code.

The first tap of the drip green is a lie but I am not fooled. Fair bright fading kiss. Kill and kill and kill I'm riding my bicycle-bicycle home.

It was simpler when it was only once upon a time, before the nimble life or a beheading to order cracked like a nut from paradise to inferno with just this laid bare in between. This.

Fucking thing. I twirl between two fingers and roll into the palm of my hand.

But what of the noise? And the grinding? And the textured electricity that hides rage behind something called—I don't want to say…

Gregor Samsa said let us be numb and give language only shells to batter. Not cannonade or abuse or hit or stamp or punch or kick or drub or assault or pummel.

Legs walk and compass remote from my expectation. There were high windows all round and the way someone stood with their head down told us nothing. And I knew that it was always like this––that silence told us nothing even though we were led to believe otherwise and think of our paltry moments as gifts holding mystery.

Once upon a time:

A boy received a hat for his birthday, wore it to school and made lights change along the way, made other kids spell hard words, made them run faster when they played.

Once upon a time:

All I ever wanted was everything and to live between the tops of trees.

tap…tap…tap…tap…

Green is the color of my genie. I'll say it (swinging) again because (unthunder) it doesn't seem (slow motion rhino) to be getting through.

But there is work to do in the bikini machine shop and the bikinis pass overhead on hangers, dripping their green dye onto the floor. I hear the whistle-not-proper connect me to ear-transparent's wunderkind though not enough to hide the tapping uncoded second pause. A movement glib with skin and blood and the stretching of their connection. Pulled from the bone and nibbled on by impending.

It's been wonderful.

But where is the girl? She is there. Sitting two rows over by the wall. Black hair down to her shoulders, covering most of her face but not enough to stop me from wanting to reach across space to touch her.

That small piece of skin is enough for now.

And then the bell rings and the bell rang and the bell will ring and the bell would have rung and the bell should have rung and the bell could have rung and the bell is ringing.

Once upon a time.

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