They call it primordial stew, in other words brown pudding, in other words a dream, a subconscious spewing. It never really happened except in sleep.
The pudding grew a thick skin, expanded and ballooned: an atmosphere. Is there anybody out there? A teacup piglet grew up out of the salt.
Mother found me under the porch with a tongue coated in brambles and blood, said: those berries are exquisite. She was always mistaking injury for beauty.
It was summertime and she bundled me in a store-bought afghan. It was summertime and she made a thick stew of mud for the piglets. It was summertime and the piglets were screaming. It was summertime in the country; in the back of my throat I tasted ice.
Whoa, okay, that’s way too dramatic. True, but so poetic it rings false. Let’s try that again:
Upon awakening, my rollerboard is crammed with items I do not and have never owned: sequined thong underpants, a rack of sparkling spices, a shotgun, and an expandable hangglider. All of the things I am certain I will die without: Aqua Net, pencil sharpener, first aid kit, rotary telephone, all of the things that constitute my past, are absent from my rollerboard.
“Kathy! Come brand this freak!”
TYRA whispers something in Kathy’s ear and Kathy giggles in an evil way, then sews brown thread into the chestskin above my heart that reads: puddin’ in tiny lowercase letters, and scurries off.
TYRA says it suits me: lumpen, brown-spined, amorphous. Says I shall eat puddings for the rest of my days at the Pinch Punch. Says I shall wrestle and shower and drown in the deep, mundane puddings of myself.
“You never climbed the icecaps, therefore you are puddin’ for all eternity,” says TYRA. “You are puddin’. puddin’ you shall always be.”
Yeah, whoa, that was weird, how TYRA just read my mind. That's pretty fucked up, how she knew about the icecaps. I don’t use obscene language, but it was seriously fucked up. And I hate it how she's totally right. I was born into a family of teacup piglet breeders--can she see those, too? I held my dream to conquer the icecaps under my tongue for thirty-seven years; I grew browner and more lumpen by the minute; irreversibly so. I bred teacup piglets which were never tiny enough to be blue-ribboned; I took up knitting shawls for the earth.
Now the teacup piglets in the bar follow me around like puppies, and I want to kick them across the room.
puddin’ seeps into my skin all at once; the brown painting of my life all at once, into the blood; this is how one suffocates.
Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here
Ch. 8 here
Ch. 9 here