mollody blue: The grimm tell-tell hurt
A project by David Colosi, 2006
Photo credits: David Colosi
I spend winters in my lodge, some lonely, some not, like this one. I turned on my computer for something to come next. My only window is the blue glow of the monitor, twinkling on me like the night sky. Letters together form sets, micro-suns designing themselves into outlined forms; words fit into consecutive order sculpting blocks of glowing bits of dust. Everything together on my drive melds into one universe, of which numerous ones exist, just like the iced, brittle extensions of infinity. Every word I type seems to be observed by one overseeing eye in the sky. Monitoring runs in both directions through Ethernet wires or crossing frequencies gesturing “Hello” wondering, “How is it going?” with little concern for genuine response. Some screens offer censorship blocks but here I pull the stops. Frozen to the bone, the nerves in my fingers no longer feel. I’m stiffening with the loosening of my mores. I pilfer more for my selfish desires. Icy showers chill the spike of my virility. My gloves with the tips bitten off guide my fingers. From my lips I’m dripping, but the direction of the conversion is cloudy. Is the moisture moving from mist to liquid or from liquid to mist? If I built windows into my room, I would be looking out on her considering these thoughts.
One winter morn specter-like she blew in, pouch suspended from one limb, light from the other. The glow of her bulb shone through the field of twinkling lights. Too new to the sky to belong to those household ordered sequences we delight in, the big dipper found something inside its cup. My empty tongue sputtered the only thing my voice could shoot forth, “Much obliged. Don’t mind if I don’t.” My words were directed to no one specific. Little Blue Riding Hood, love of my life, permit my voyeurism to consume your solitude. Oxygen surrounded me like wolf fur devouring every move of my sleepy condition.
I look upon her with tenderness from the window I don’t possess. She stepped onto my property thickened by ice flowers in winter. Like one serendipitous toss of the dice into the ubiquity of the universe, seeds sown on the ice field, she emerged from the shuffle of my deck. One single footprint left in the snow with three more toes, comprising eight together. No other prints surrounded it like she hopped here from the sky. Her stride must be long like the river, turning me blue with the reminiscence of pubescent joy.
She’s no princess this knight who exposes secrets only the clouds know of. Under her crept countless mysteries – childlike in the eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks…but critter-like deep inside. One of us seemed creepy. Could it be her? Or did I look upon her like some foreign being from the outer cosmic sphere, seize upon her kindness for my own perversion, prey upon her defenselessness? I creep her out of her skin compelling the hidden extremity from her hind to disclose itself. She is one of us, no doubt: furry, giving birth to her young, milking, yet her species is distinct. I would christen her my Leshonky. Upon witnessing this new knowledge, I lusted stories from her.
Liquid, humidity in its solid form, builds pressure surrounding me on different sides. Solids form in the bend where my belly meets my groin. I know I shouldn’t be silent with my emotions. I shouldn’t repress my feelings. I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t. I should outburst, let fly, spit forth my blues. I should loosen my belligerence in order to rest my spirit. So this I will do.
She moves closer. The object suspended from her fingers shoots lines of cool light through the section of the color spectrum which moves from blue to indigo. I linger…I linger to see the contents of her pouch. My blue orbs, my steel post, my extremity divines her story. Where did she come from? Who is her mother’s mother? Why is she out in the cold by herself? If on one winter’s night the visitor…or it went something like this.
She stumbled upon me musing on her; she is my muse. How I will use her will do neither of us good. The difference between the options of my use comes in the choice of “b” or “m” following the missing letter. Either/or, my use of her is something I will no longer deny. The pressure drops, pressure drops, pressure’s got the drop on me. It’s cold outside of her love; this is why I must not rest. T-zero comes closer. My biorhythm seizes my desire.
I holler out of the blue to her.
She whispered something to me. I couldn’t comprehend her speech but by looking in her eyes I could tell her words delivered content. She required me to do the work, to decipher them with no more clues from her. Whether trying to or not, her mouth emitted no sound. Crying coos through the crisp wind emitted in wisps from her mouth. Her brume lifts the humidity higher. The frosty gust stifled her voice then knocked the wind out of her.
She squints into the cold fog, “Who’s there? Großmutter?”
I don’t hold down the chill of my lips. They swell too much. In perfect coyness she questions me: “…you sure this is the route?” I tell her to come closer to the embers. She cries, “It’s full of icicles!” Gleefully pulling one to her lip, she defies her order to not welcome sweets from foreigners. I tell her I’m the new kind of wolf. “Come here, let me shoot your picture.” She shivers when I tug her to my shoulders with my fingers.
Below, the fishing hole is frozen over. The cold seems like it slowed the revolution of our big blue globe. The fine edged steel of the shoe-glides cut the hole once more opening the door to the beckoning pool. Like the white Ursus who rips the lion from the rift in the ice floe, I produce the void to put the little one into. Gliding on thin ice, her skin turns flush – from blushing, too much drink, or dryness from the windy chill? If the liquid spins counterclockwise, the witch becomes buoy-like. Or is it the opposite? Flushing the bowl reminds me how to plunge. The flush represents too the coincidence of like suits. But odds don’t define my venture. I dip into the tightening mist. The dew pushes her to the edge. The stiffened solidifying spring performs in reverse domino effect. She submerges once more. She drifts beyond her point of entry. She slips hollering in bubbles through the sheet of ice. The soft reflected light on her blue eyes reminds me of the twinkling lights of the night sky. I pine for her now every time I look up. I peer over the edge of the footprint wondering if ice could strike this spot twice. I long to see once more the foot which molded this print in order to solve the mystery of our connection.
My fingers revisit their chill, cold like ice dipped into liquid of zero degrees Celsius. I myself don’t know whether I extended my limbs to rescue her or to hold her down. Together the plunger flushes her beyond the pipeline, forcing the ice continent to be the end of her route. My tell-tell hurt is blocked dry ice. Nothing left to tell.
I’m tittering on, my teeth clittering then splintering into bits. These I spit out the frozen hole of my mouth. My tongue sits like one lone frozen shrimp holding on for the boil. “My, your teeth seem big.” Her quivering lips construct these words for her. Or so it seems. Slow drips from her eyes freeze on her cheeks forming perfect jewels. She pulls up one ring of steel then cries more until her cheeks dissolve. Below, her skeleton is constructed of icicles, see-through bones under cloth of brittle, splintering, dry, bluing skin. My knee bones pressed into the ice pop from their joints exploding on the floe. When I blink my eyelids split then drop off. My eyes, too, burst, splintering inside my skull. There is nothing left to see. Snow drops like huge sheets of vellum, covering me completely. I too lose consciousness.
When my sleep ends I’m covered in chips of ice. Little Blue Riding Hood, my Leshonky, mimes sounds to me from under her hood. The liquid fudge slowly guides her gestures. The cold prevents her bones from melting. Her feet crisply fuse to form one huge jewel. “The print!” I shout. The volume of my voice disrupts sheets of sleet burying her with my discovery. I listen to her bones splitting. I too lie now disconnected. My body is broken into bits. My consciousness connects to my pieces with brittle silver floss. My chips could be poured into snifters for drunks to ingest my protein.
I bend my elbow out to her with my mind since my fingers now only form crumpled flowers of knuckles. She’s still yelling under her bejeweled shell. I sense her gestures following the lines of the splintered cuts. She seems to be voicing something like, “Sie sind nicht wirklich meine Großmutter, stimmt, oder?” I know now the jig is up. Before I expire, I, like her, gesture, hoping my pieces still obey my consciousness. She now must decipher the content behind the signs I try to convey to her, “I never intended to hurt you. Did I?”
The snow continues dropping while the night wind rips through the drifts.
When I wrote this story, I had many strategies in mind, but one decision was very specific. I wanted there to be no red in it. What I had previously left to be discovered by the reader, which I assumed to be glaringly obvious, was the absence of the letter A. The letter A, to me, is vividly red. Other people like me who have color-grapheme synesthesia, will disagree. That's the nature of the condition of seeing letters in color, they are particular to each person. One thing we have in common, though, is that our color associations never change, and we have likely had them "as long as we can remember." Looking at this story is like looking at a painting without the color red. Likewise, when I look at George Perec's novel A VOID (LA DISPARITION), the absence of the letter E is very jarring - there is no orange. (When I say 'red' and 'orange' I'm using the most general color I can name, without getting into levels of hue). One story I always enjoy both hearing and telling is of Vladimir Nabakov. When he was a child, he was playing with a set of wooden blocks with colored letters. He said to his mother, "The colors on these blocks are all wrong," to which his mother said, "Yes, I know," because color-grapheme synethesia is often hereditary. (See Nabakov, Speak, Memory: Portrait of My Mother, 1949). If some of you are like me, this paragraph will be strikingly different, and possibly refreshing, compared to the story above, since it uses the full chromatic spectrum.