February 27th, 2009

When he finally pulled the gripper snake from his eyes and managed to stent them open, he felt, or rather he saw, in the smear on his left index finger, that they, his eyes, had been bleeding. He did not know for how long, and he was too panicked to try and guess.

He wanted to ask somebody if it was visible, but instead to be safe, he stuck his head in a book, dipping his head further feigning deep focus any time he felt someone walk by. It was almost rose-tinted (the lens), and if only he could be sure he wasn’t crying, things would be okay. Still deeper he dodged into his book, though when he went too far a fleck would hit the page, dot an I with red or cross an f with a saccadic jig across the margin. A lady passed in front of him with a dog, who stopped for a sniff, licked his calf until the lady called the beast down and went on, dipping into the Tomahawk Café on the corner, or so the corner of his eye would have him believe.

When the kid set the snake loose on his face, he said it had had therapeutic properties, that it didn’t have teeth, just a mighty strong grip, that set loose in the eye it’d have no choice but to clear up his visionary problems. But elas, this was living slithering proof that all it was crack a few veins. Or maybe the eyes would clear up after; he would need to be fresh.

The door to the café opened again, or at least the bell rang, and he wished it would hurry up and leave a scar already, oh yes, the regular waft of dogtail-waving-breeze, while it might speed up the drying process, would be sure to submit to the triumph of the lady attached to it. He couldn’t allow it. Deeper into the book he went, deep enough to paint the Ts red with the bittersweet claret of consanguinity. And nothing else.

What could the healing intent have been of the gripper in the eye? Purity of Heart. The tail batted on, down the street, followed by the emanation of a Danish. Any other day he’d have chanced a look; to hell with timing, he should draw nigh to god, or maybe it was the snake.

He would have to be careful; how did it get lodged in there, anyhow, the snake of his, transparent with the purity of the deep true sea? He had no explanation but took comfort in the fact that while it might have been venomous, a snake is immune to its own bite. There’s comfort, too, in the knowledge that as the blood caked over, it may dry those eyes wide open. Or it may just be a figure of speech.

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