Let the bed bugs bite
To save time you bundle the lemon pieces into a little pouch you keep tied around your stomach, under your vest. It is where you used to carry your money. It’s suede. Do you also like suede? Suede is not fireproof but it touches lives. Fantastic Gerald stared vacantly at the horizon, holding money in his hands like a flag. Fantastic Gerald’s tears only rolled in straight lines, perfectly vertical down his cheeks and off his face. His tears never went far and they were always home before dinner. Rarely did his tears cry out horizontally, but it did happen.
Take the lemon pieces to Fantastic Gerald and the hair that grows around his mouth. Fantastic Gerald is a guy who is always on the inside of your house. Due to this, you once suspected he was your brother but the suspicion was quashed upon discovering him inside another house. Sometimes there is rain. Other times there are insects coming down the chimney like a horrible Santa. Take the lemon pieces to Fantastic Gerald before Christmas strikes at midnight. You quietly sip weakened lemon juice in front of your screensaver of a life. Careful. Don’t bump the mouse.
You find yourself wandering your house for hours. You put on one long clean sock and walk to the fruit bowl. You put the other long clean sock in the empty fruit bowl and instantly the fruit bowl stops being a fruit bowl. It is, instead, clean without doubt, a one long clean sock bowl. Watch out.
Chapped lips and your back is out. Sweat drying, you complete an emergency sudoku you’d stashed behind your photo ID. The puzzle doesn’t procure different feelings. You wanted to have different feelings like a big novelty cheque for one million ways not to perish.
You stare at the numbers for a while, failing to imagine them as wordless symbols or ants. Instead your eyelids grow thicker by the minute. Eventually most of your face is an eyelid, wet and pruned. You seek medical advice. The doctor says it’s normal. The doctor says it’s means to an end.
Let the bed bugs bite. They enjoy you more than you enjoy yourself. Through allowing them to enjoy you, you can enjoy years.
Drag raw mattresses in from the street. Stack raw mattresses around the house. Build bed bug hotels. You are the boss of this diorama afterall. Sometimes the raw mattresses are wet when you bring them in. They can be dried using body heat. The combined heat of your bod and the electricity emitted by the bugs’ tiny vibrating jowls dries the mattress. No mood is immortal.
The night’s stink begins as a hard concentrated clump. Time kneads it voluminous and you are finally a part of the furniture. Let the bed bugs bite. Last year someone burnt your house down by accident when lightning struck it. Lightning never strikes the same place twice so you’re safe from anybody burning down your house with lightning again.
You had nothing to lose in the fire save for the fires you kept in jam jars. Good news is you haven’t suffered a night terror since letting the bugs in. The critters mung on your terror and leave a sweet two-tone goo on the surface of your hex. Sure, your skin itches and weeps, but what doesn’t?
You grow tired of pulling faces at your neighbour’s ugly dog after work. Instead you crouch in the driveway to tie a shoelace and don’t get up until morning. The neighbour’s dog jumps the fence and licks you awake. Your mouth fills with light and you can’t believe it. It’s morning again. A new financial year rolls over the horizon, obliterating everything in its path.
Origin & Description
A number of species of animals have been observed to orchestrate conspiracy theories, particularly fluting tamarins, the top-hatted bat, the immortal hydra, and the croaking gouramis. The reasons for the animals performing a conspiracy theory vary, and are not fully understood, but it believed to be a mode in which to relate elegance and self-mythology.
You slot on some jeans and stuff your pockets with ribbons.
Sundials go out of style when you’re not looking. You let your hair down where it combines with the soil, growing deep into the earth’s mantle in search of milk.
Instead, a large fingernail-like dome grows over your head. Fantastic Gerald trims your nail every Wednesday, careful not to cut it back to the quick. She has a special tool for the job. Fantastic Gerald describes the nail growing over your head as looking like a dealer’s visor.
Sergestoidean sprigs reach out of your pores while you sleep. Your face flares to the pulse of the sprigs’ elbows punching stiff, folding in.
Suddenly, flavoured milk.
In modern interpretations of the dance, notable conspiracy theories have entered the curious argot of various subculture groups after being spread by news outlets, email, and social media.
Eight pairs of appendages issue from your cephalothorax on the day of the work Christmas party. You use your first three pairs of limbs, the maxillipeds, Latin for ‘jaw feet’, as mouthparts; eating an entire bag of cake mix for breakfast.
Please. The applause must stop when time stops.
You grab the ribbons from your pockets and watch them unscrunch, yawn open in my hands. You place them gently in the river’s current and they swim away as purple eels. This is a shame because you needed those ribbons in order to get out of debt.
Like any theorist worth their salt, you stub your favourite toe on the corner of a post office and obtain a blood infection. Theorists incorporate whatever exists around them, you say over Christmas dinner. Without warning, a closed system becomes unfalsifiable, a matter of faith rather than proof; a weak bug rubs its shin against your tear duct.
Analogous celebrations and perspectives
You remember receiving your first shoehorn from your grandparent when you were several years old. The air smelled like staples and it was Easter. You wear that shoehorn on a chain around your neck everyday. For you, it symbolises so much more than shoehorning. It represents truth and for as long as you wear it on your person, you are deceptively unshakeable.
Within a couple of months the community is referring to the manmade rockpool as a ‘sealife enticer’ as it is attracting a new marine population to the area. The rockpool also serves to guard the local sea ecosystem from a nearby sewerage pump. The local shoehorn maker keeps throwing their offcuts into the bay. It is only a matter of time before the community tears itself apart. As soon as word gets out that a reef is forming from the ulcerated mass of twisted shoehorns in the bay it’s all over.
Citrus is … devastating. Lemon is … death to the corners of your mouth. You take what you can from … the people around you. You … roll lemons across the floor of the community hall … it loosens the peel … you coat your talismans with citrus like an alarm. Citrus is … devastating.
You’ve been awake for 200 hours. Fifteen years ago you raised sardines from eggs in your bath. Nowadays, you’re the first to have sardines in all your home’s ponds and water bodies. Amulets with gills that taste good on pizza? How tired are you? Five more minutes?
Dan Hogan is a non-binary bogan and writer from San Remo. They tweet @packetofchips and youse can find more of their work at www.2dan2hogan.com.