If I have a drink Ill be your friend
If I have a smoke Ill talk to you
If I have them both and you
It might be enough to shake these blues
If I have a drink Ill be your friend
If I have a smoke Ill talk to you
If I have them both and you
It might be enough to shake these blues
One fourteenth this life hath I unknown to thee known thee and been altered neither that alone for out thine adit did issue the hue of those some and seven fourteenths preceding. For this gratitude in word thought not least in deed nor this gift that for Atlas thy others I make this world an easier weight to lift.
The Mere Tide Section 12
A Maternal intervention-Jumps-Horse Bargains
Returning from her morning toilet a hand reached out of the fog and yanked her back into the trees. The mother.
Heydee whats wants?
Come c me.
Dachni remained unmoved. Well say whats is.
The mother met the heels of her palms like a clam and gestured towards a log. Sit down.
Creaky leg. It does fer standin come a morn.
You are not behaved.
Behaved. You are not good. Sit.
Hell ye aint no kinda polygon.
Go gargle pig jizz.
The mother recoiled. She would have attempted to beat the insolence out of the child but reaching for her Dachni drew the big bowie knife from her belt and shoved the point against her navel.
Says more an yer goin get your neck chopped an fed to buzzards on both faces of a axe. Thass promise. Ye fucks off now orll get fucked off to hell.
The mother retreated.
Dachni sheathed the knife. When she turned Holnifa was downcast, silent as the willow saplings falling as many tears.
That aint ye real mother. An ta hell with what aint real.
They hastened to her home where several books were withdrawn from a library in an ottoman ere hastening to the fields. Dachni took her things with her. They sat in the grass. By and by she would take a drink.
Holnifa watched with awe.
Is ye a whiskey drink?
She held up a jar. Big Splo Momma Jones. A foul smelling distill renowned in every tributary of the Volga. Especially banned in temperate towns, general catholicon in the wastes and last resort in hospitals and film development. Holnifa cast her doubts but Dachni insisted it a beverage.
Holnifa whiffed and winced. Woof.
Dachni laughed. Etell keck ye through the way. Thank twice, it aint but right.
Holnifa took the jar and drank. Hardly did the liquid meet her tongue that her face squinched tight.
She pounded her chest to help the stuff along its way and Dachni took the bottle and downed a drinker’s drought and held the jar against their near star. Diffracted to a chalky hue through this brown lobe smoke suspending ecliptical flotsam. As young suns are viewed through the atmospheres of alien worlds, alien eyes.
They played one handed clapping games. They interpreted the referents cumulus drifting over their octant of the globe and hopscotched and thumb warred. They twirled like little frolicking dervishes.
Lesten try this. Close ye eyes. Close. Kep. Clooooose. Keeeeeep em closed. An if ye jump it feels like yer flyin forever. Watch.
She laid the nagant down and took a running start and jumped. Her eyes shut. The wind sailing through her her hair. Cool on her face. A momentary sensation of weightlessness. She landed out of eternity laughing.
Try try try try.
Holnifa closed her eyes and ran and leapt.
When she leapt this time Dachni intercepted her and took her to the ground.
She licked her nose.
Dachni laughed and rolled off.
They tramped over to the pastures where the sheep rested and they prodded them and the humps of wool shuddered like agitated clouds and baahed at them. They harassed the goats that bleated and tried to eat their cuffs. They walked among horses. They came to one that did not fit. A tan creature. Holnifa explained it was a camel and Dachni after a study concluded it did not belong in god’s right order. Or any order. She kicked its belly and it craned its long neck to face her and went blub blub blub with its fat tongue aloll out the side of its mouth like a bloated placenta and hawked a foamy spit dead center in her forehead.
Agghhhh, she cried flailing out of range while the spittle ran down the bridge of her nose. Holnifa powdered her face with a handful of dust and wiped the spit away.
Fuck those things.
Holnifa bent in mirth.
Aye aye ye. Fuckin hell spawn.
Holnifa gave her head a last wipe with her thumb. Then she pointed at her feet and kicked a phantom ball and made tumbling motions.
Dachni wiped her face a last time. Aye sure, she said.
It was match point when they arrived and in the hurlyburly the players noticed them not. All the universe outside this game’s bounds and yet all it could be its host. The boundaries of any game being arbitrary.
Dachni handed off the nagant and threaded the oblivious players to the skirmisher in possession of the ball and slugged him in the throat. He went down. She punted him off the ball and dribbled it away. They went on. Holnifa looking back at the children standing with their mouths down or huddled round their friend.
And staring up at blurred pairs of ired matrons and patriarchs. Surfing waves of nausea. The injured family standing to the side with their throat bloated scion and an arrayal of witnesses testifying loudly against this one armed sinister freak.
Dachni hawked an acrid wad of phlegm at the most vocal accuser. Calamity erupted. Blood was drawn. Dachni stood between her friend and the horde with a revolver.
Fucks on sakes cocksuckers, she hissed, yals had minds motes ye kid gander once an know it want the dove an them ever liars. They wasnt goin share an they wasnt gived up vo they wasnt no point in askin.
Scorn fell from all sides. What means to discipline this outcast wilderness or her tacit accomplice? Admonish nature. Yoke it.
Touch an ye get killed.
Musa dismissed the injured party and they muttered out together with the witnesses. When they were gone he put his hands on his knees.
Are you an American?
Papers esent gaved yet.
Do you want to stay here?
Stays whiles. Is ye meanin with yall?
Little whiles. Ye ought ta hang one of em. Take the big of em an clip em at a knee.
You cannot make the world equal.
She will learn.
Dachni looked over her shoulder at Holnifa.
They might kill her.
They will not.
They might drive her to kill them.
She is not capable.
Dachni looked up. Horses. Will ye sell?
Or one of tem ugly fucks. One for her. Fuck that whore is lie to be her mother.
Balgyn? She birthed her. I was there.
Dachni sorted in her clothes and presented a bag of currency.
Thatll buy a stringed dozen. Knows on that.
I cannot sell a horse.
We need them for the winter.
Ye can get twenty more on this kinda price. Go on to a saddlery.
There is no saddlery here.
Thass the shit of the bull. Theys places. An none too farred off. Issa downed plane made a hotel. Theres an injin vends horses.
They wont sell.
Theyll take money.
Not from us.
Youre a shit suckin liar.
Fuck you, she said pocketing her funds. Yer the dumbest fuck ever walked a plain.
Musa’s face darkened. Get out. And get your head out of your ass. One day you will have to learn.
Dachni spat at his feet. Hope never to.
all matters an unbroke tree
and all life its ephemeral leaves
but in August decline towards December death do not despair it finality
for even though leaves we be
leaves are rooted in eternity
Inside Holnifa turned round holding a new book in grim determination as if to say this shall be enjoyed and no choice in the matter. There was a sofa and she sat down and Dachni flopped against her.
Dachni grinned and cuddled up and though her friend was reserved against such affections she protested not and began to read. And Dachni with ears half to the lilting recital half its soporific source thought too here the remedy to the exhausted spirit. Here too the benison she agreed. She gazed up at the mouth that enunciated this somber fantasy and saw plugging a nostril a soggy rainbow colored booger the size of a silver half dollar. She aligned a finger with that small bore and at an opportune moment plugged her nose.
Geashsfjbf, cried Holnifa.
But fuckin Vaika ye got a boulder up there.
She hooked it out. It squatted on her fingertip gargantuan and resplendent and almost pulsing like the repository matter of a single resentful grievance and she flicked it away.
And at dinner oblivious to the auspices of the geriatric sidelong and infelicitous. Stuffing soy sauced eggs into her jaws and slurping from her goblet of kvass. And fondling everything, everything she could on the table with dripping hands. Her face smeared. Grin huge. And now an elbow in her ribs and her friend’s stern visage imploring her to an etiquette superior or at lest equal to the anthropophagi.
Hows that? she said spewing egg.
Holnifa squinched a mortified face of yuck and Dachni lunged forward to tongue black stained flecks of congealed yolk from neck and cheek. Holnifa fended her away and squirm cleaned her face and impaled a hunk of gravied mutton and thrust it towards her like a threat of furious civility and Dachni chomped half of it away and guffawed between her primitive mastications.
And after her rampageous sup when time for their postprandial nap who else beside would she fain rest? She who with resigned equanimity accepted that their hips would be a joint. They slipped under the duvet in a spasmodic cackling while the mother admonished them from evil ere drawing back the curtains whereupon shapes beyond its thick patterned mask removed their meretricious shrift, their veneers and guises moving to switch off the lamps one by one in a dimming of their shades until they were assumed in the fabric of night.
With the final submission of light a leg was thrown over and her arms wrapped round her friend who clutched the top of her blanket and stared at the ceiling. Yet in the night she would regard her pajamaed bedmate to ensure she were not also multiplicitous of form but to find her seraphic in sleep though manifesting the festers of thoughtdreams that the engendered brush of lips do dispel. She listened to the slow work of her lungs and to the weakened discharged of her heartmeat. Eavesdropping on covert colluctions indecipherable to her ears prompted her to her own discourses, but not with this bedfellow peaced gainst her breast, her dismasted limb tucked round her, and so seeking in what she should find camaraderie or what to be her interlocutor followed the polished uyks to their convergence upon the crown, its inner perimeter brooked with pluck stars pertinaciously shining without worry but between their pricks that seemed her ancient in the crown and called the whole deep blackness her familiar or the mirror of her eyes. Tear through the briar stars, hack the galaxies’ havoc and gore the wide universe and let it drown down a pin suck how had her lexicon not been meager and her articulate parts developed she would have formulated an address for the mad image flying round the synaptic panopticon of her mind.
She kept in tag behind the girl all day yammering good naturedly about the supertensile properties of the varying moon and upon the felonious personalities inhabiting in utero the outer reaches of the firmament who might affine themselves to this or that body of the celestium for all the good it did the earthly autochthonous androgynes furfurally vapored and the ill bode of grasshoppers and right life of automobiles. The stars themselves she proposed did not benefit being bitingly cold that burn at a billion degrees whatever degrees may be and she gave an extemporaneous exposition upon the insufficiency of the passion, the mildness of it as a whole and Gethsemane bled to the garden did and she supposed men ought be sacrificed from time to time for good measures and from all these topics degenerated into giggling fits of hysteria whenever the girl glanced back.
They came to sit with the girl’s mother outside her yurt and the mother paused in her laundering to regard with repressed dismay her daughter’s comate. A sturdy woman in workwoman’s habiliment. Sloped eyes close to the high malar and blunt nose and few teeth rooted in brunneous beds of gingivitis. Meracious dam you have seen seasons therefore dost thou wash. Dachni looked from this leathery matriarch to her mamzer whom she could not vision with bloody axe hewn through the lips of the generative stomach into this dark world to cast new shadow or give those shadows shallow a deeper end.
Whens yall ta head out? An wheres headed?
We are stay winter, said the mother.
Ta whole winter?
Dachni glanced off at the horses grazing in the poyles. What will ye take for that pallo?
Horse. Aye ifn a mind was to buy out what would ye take for it?
I do not think they are of sale.
Mezebees oughta start reckonin em as is.
I no understand.
Ifn they was sale who would sale it?
You see him tonight. You talk then.
Whatns her name?
Dachni gave a scooting little hipbump to the girl.
Her name Holnifa.
Well howdy Holnifa.
Selem, said Holnifa with a wave.
The mother bent to her washing. Mannish hands scraping jeans up and down the washboard in a detergent tide rearing and receding on the knuckle buffed slats.
Dachni reached across her friend to hold her stump.
Is hard life, said the mother.
Then ye die, added Dachni. Hard endin any bet. The mounties has naught on nice nobody. They was two fellers caughted an wrapped her naked rounna tree an shaved the otherns dick off an shove it in her ta rot. She come ta pure hollerin by weeks end. Her belly purpled. Them veins was like lace. But thass not half no ugly any could hassa mind to see.
The mother ceased her washing on the downstroke, forearms submerged in the suds. She studied Dachni a full minute then withdrew the pants and wrung them and draped them on a clothesline and removed her anthemion patterned dewrag from her skull and daubed the sweat from her brow.
Ішке, she said.
The mother clapped her hands. Ішке.
Dachni rose to follow.
You stay moment.
Holnifa looked at Dachni and the mother tched at her and wagged a finger.
Неге ол қалуға бар? said Holnifa.
Ол сәтте бойымен болады. Өтіңіз.
Holnifa disappeared inside the yurt.
The mother fitted back the dewrag.
Where is parents?
Dachni was watching where her friend had went. Hellfire, she said quietly. Thass a knowed answer.
Where do you go?
Aint heard? Theys rumors on the roads that the masons have laid. Its to the grad. Thassns sayes ye can sign on. Full find. Es told any uva body lists an getted citi..citi…get…citizenned. Citizin. Citizen. They get to be citizen. Then yers all part.
You are too young to army.
Dachni cackled. Shet. Done killed moren folk a forest a sticks could shook at. This here rifle detopped a dozen devils damn off a miles ways. An knives toe. Done ever took scalp on this belt. Every tooth on this scaps. Ever set of ears. Fightin esent no thing. Smallness wont be no siderin theyll be happed to have such a good thass the reckon.
The mother shook her head. Жоқ Жоқ
It is very bad.
Nuff bad ta go round but thistle be good. It will. But hey Holnifa. She’s plenty pretty.
The mother bent wearily to her work.
Well. She wunnit be uffa mind on armyin? Would she?
She no army.
Aye. She doan seem typed to it. But shes nicest ever there was save maybe off singin. Equal to it leasties.
She is friend to you?
But she is stay here and you go to army.
Affer some whiles. Maybe a lel. Reckin them otherns was makin fun of her.
What is this to mean?
Bein mean. Ye knows. Not nice.
She is very shy.
Ought somebody to cut theys faces off an stitch over they ass for a diaper.
The mother sliced the air with the blade of her hand. Жоқ Do not do that.
Its up of them what gits done.
Dont do. I talk to them.
Bestly ye does.