Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Sleep in Your Mother

He slept in his mother. She held him safe and stiff until the Devil came. God was always there in a square of incognito, but you couldn't see Him all the time. Only when the Devil came. He shone through the gap and illuminated all. His fingers got into the boy's eyes, and he shrugged off his mother for the day ahead. He never abused her. He stayed in her arms no longer than he was asleep, and always reset her sheets. Respect was important in the room.

He had twenty-one guards. Three were horizontal, and eighteen stood vertical. They were cold, standing near enough that no one could slip between them. Not even when the boy was first born and thrown into the room was he small enough to escape. The guards only stepped aside when his meals were brought. Afterward, they always they swung back to cold attention.

There was firma and incognita. He spent most of his time on firma, allowing his mother to slumber while he stared at the guards. Firma was supportive. It never shifted or sent him away. It was always cool beneath his bare feet. In the winter it grew bitingly cold, but not of its own volition. It had no more choice in its temperature than incognita did of its ungraspable height. Some days he looked at incognita, high above and housing the square that was God. Some years he wondered when he would grow tall enough to touch them. No year yet had he gotten tall enough.

As much as he enjoyed the sight of God, the ability to regard the guards and fathom incongnita, he loathed the light. If he sat in it too long his skin ached and burned. It was sent of the Devil. The Devil illuminated all and woke up the others. In the halls beyond his guards, mad men screamed nonsense. They threatened, fought and murdered each other - always in the presence of the Devil. Never in his absence. Never when God was alone, when it was dark and when mother welcomed him into her lap.

He showed the Devil his strength. He showed him that he could clean his mother and keep her straight, and showed him that he did not need her. He spent hours laying on firma with his bare skin. He would sit up over and over, or climb the guards and suspend himself. Every day he exercised his body, not until it was sore, not until the veins in his limbs stayed out, not until he was so tired that eyes quaked - but until the Devil ran away. Then it was dark. Then he lay there in his mother's grip and whispered to her how brave he was. He promised into her down that if the Devil came back, he would do it all again, and show that beast he was strong. The Devil always came back.


  1. One of the things I like about you is your ability to do such a variety of things well. I'm not sure if I'm reading a tragic tale of a doomed child or the origin story for a superhero but either way I like it.
    The way you used the idea of god, the devil, guards etc really worked for me.

  2. Surreal indeed it is. However, since I think that much of life could be considered that way I found it fascinating. Thank you.

  3. John, I'm feeling haunted. This was powerful!



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