Be My Guest / Spreading The Love / Week 3 / Day 1
Sound shared by: jw wilcox
Baths - Obsidian - Worsening
[ tiny desk ]
[ probity ]
Original words by Danielle Lewis Wilcox -
My opposite is a man in brown overalls the color of the field he works in.
When he walks it is slow, as if the earth is trying to reclaim him. This tires him and he requires long, deep breaths to keep any pace.
His face is crude and anthropoidal, but it has been drawn enough times in history books that children do not run away at the sight of him. Instead it inspires enough curiosity to lure them to him before being snatched away.
When he turns corners his limbs knock into light switches and doorknobs, closing a room before darkening it.
At the earliest sign of spring, say the appearance of a crocus or a warm rain, he does not feel the assault of life burgeoning, but instead feels a slight burning in his midsection that swells and guides him into summer. But the skin on his body is pale, and he must cover himself with heavy fabric during the day. If not, his bleached skin turns coral and bubbles with bouquets of flowering blisters. Only words can comfort him then.
My opposite eats only for nourishment. Each bite is a peace offering to the dark pearls that grow inside him.
He does not laugh, my opposite. He does not know how to, and so he does not joke. Instead he sings beneath tree limbs while dead slags of bark fall around him. The songs he sings the universe has not heard in centuries. Although his voice is acidic and thin, he sings on, pleased by the simplicity of his own words cutting through air before returning to him. Such modesties are what he thinks he is made of.
At night, my opposite undresses. He stands in front of an oval mirror, the clothes in his hands still warm from his body. After he folds them, he lays down to sleep, and he remembers the day as a token given to him. It is a gift, he is sure.
My opposite believes in an afterlife of reincarnation through good deeds and promises kept. Knowing his moral validity is like taking the first step in a calm pool of water. He does not waiver at temptation or become proud when he creates something beautiful. He does not consider this goodness, in itself, to be beautiful. He considers it only natural.
My opposite has many children. He counts each on a finger until he runs out, and then he begins again. Before he is gone, he will tell them not to look for him above, not to try and find him in a cloud or a timely gust. Nor will he say he can be found beneath them, sleeping hot with worms and pressed beside lava. He will tell them not to seek him, but my opposite knows his children don’t have the ears to listen.