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Sunday, January 21, 2007


Puzzle Heart

The first thing he did was vomit scrabble pieces all over the white linoleum floor. He wanted to clean up the mess, but the Swiss woman and her lovely daughter were already rearranging them into words of foreign languages: CHIEN and MAUS. Were they insulting him with his own vomit? he wondered. Taking her daughter by the shoulder he spat sweet nothings into her ear, too softly for her to comprehend. He did not care if she comprehended, only that she understood the spit was sweet like nectar.
The pig knelt in the corner eating grass and praying to Mecca. It stood for money and power. He shot it with a cold six-shooter, which he then tucked into his trousers to keep his privates iced. That pig had eaten all of his mescaline and danced around seeing visions of piglets dressed in lace garters, males and females. You dirty pig, he said before he shot it. Sadly, unlike Hamlet, he had murdered his enemy while in the act of prayer. Oh the fields that pig must have been exploring at that moment!
Her daughter, disgusted by the pig shooting, took a handful of letters, two or three words at best, and went to the closet to lay down a short prayer. YES HOLY FATHE, she spelled, for she also knew English, having spent three years in an American school while living with her American father.
What is right? he asked the dead pig, knowing that God is closer to the deceased than to the living. No signs came immediately, but as the Swiss woman gathered up the rest of the vomit into her sweater a single piece slipped out, tumbling at his feet: Y.
He rang his fists over his head, removed the six-shooter and shot himself in the foot over and over again. But those were only blanks, of course. Of course, he said. Who are you talking to? asked the Swiss woman. Can't you hear him, rambling on and on about little old us? Doesn't he have anything better to do?
His heart turned into a puzzle then, who pieces would never fit together again. Hahaha! the Swiss woman rang out. I was not sure who she was laughing about.

This is pretty great.
The opening sentence is perfect, the detail that follows is . . . strange, and the maddening speed definitely works to your benefit here.
i love the way the opening sentence effects the whole rest of the story... letters everywhere. it's a great concept, and great ideas are at work here. i like this a lot.
the whole scrabble vomit idea makes the best image ever.
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