Gotterdammerung

March 16, 2010
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The room, he reasoned, after it was all over, the room was a womb. The room was a womb and was drenched in decadent monochromatic bloodsprays of ink. The jets of ink formed garish Expressionist stains across the walls and the walls themselves seemed to sag, as though some great terrible weight had begun to leak through the ceiling…or as though the room were not a womb but a container beginning to be opened by so many hands….At any rate the charcoal Skeleton within the walls had begun to wither. The only objects within was a scattered amount of furniture: chintz armchairs with gaudy tassels hanging like pendulums, wooden chairs with legs missing, couches that sighed with dust, bordello chandeliers, &c. And the boy at first didn’t question it but realized after it was all over that the room seemed to be filtered through a B/W lens, and so the spectrum was reduced to a grayscale, and everything inside seemed to throb dully. Everything, of course, except the thrashing paternal mass that stood across the room.
He’s had, the kid has had this dream that resided mainly in the subconscious, where he’s still dimly aware of his blanket, the fan hushing above him, and anything will pull him back to reality. Usually these transitions involve him falling from great heights and then, at the moment he lands, he lurches forward, awake. But in this one case he’s submerged in baptismal water that does not seem to have a surface, and he falls like paper, curved and sleek like a trance. He faces upwards and a slow ribbon of bubbles blossom out of his mouth and the waves undulate above him heavy like a shroud. It is absolutely silent. It’s also of course incredibly peaceful, and he’s already begun to open the gates to Nod. And so but by the end, before his body hits the sand and ricochets, forming a mushroom cloud, he has gone elsewhere.
But he was the only living thing between the waves and the dunes, remember. There were only three elements to this dream. As he stares at the writhing effigy across the chiaroscuro room, he notices it is his father. And he notices all the animals absent from his previous dream have attached themselves to every inch of flesh his father may offer. Every lamprey or fish with shards of jagged teeth have dug into this man and are gnawing apart the skin littered with hair the kid remembers stroking coarsely when he was younger. His hair has become a tangle of seaweed which still seemed to crumple and shimmy heavily as though it was still underwater. His arms and legs are traced with abrupt and erupting angles because of the of the scaly flagellic tails wriggling with pleasure. The only parts the boy could claim still belonged to his father and not to the parasites were the eyes: the eyes had the sudden ferocity of enflamed coals, and these nebulous orbs pulsated with every step the man took towards the son. At first the son believed this gluttonous orgy in front of him hid the carcass of his father, but then he heard behind the eyes a faint hiss, a word: “Gotterdammerung.” He was alive.
The kid has no idea what this Gotterdammerung means, yet knows that it is an indication there is a human behind the beasts. And but he’s still terrified of the person walking towards him, has to attempt to constrict his bladder after his nerves have frayed. He’s caught between reaching out his arms to meet the howling darkness loping towards him or to continue backing away as long as possible, really. It’s a choice filled with paralysis, but the father still approaches, and with every step “Gotterdammerung.” Every reiteration of the word reveals a new connotation, as though he’s rearranging the furniture of the word to divulge another meaning, another chance of communication. First he is seemingly furious, the word blurred with a blunt hiss, and then next forgiving and drunk, as he’s saying something that sounds like Got Her Damned Earring. The boy has no idea what to believe but knows the word represents all of it, every varied mood, every monologue the dad has ever given, even the schizophrenic one below:
“You are my only son, and yet you have no concern for the degradation I’m going through? I’ve lived three years like this, the first was a fish with one eye gouged out that began to gnaw on my finger. The truth is, you ungrateful prodigal illegitimate, what terrifies me the most is whether or not the fish found its way to my body or grew within my flesh, eating outwards instead of in. I don’t know. I love you but I don’t know, insensitive nothing, what is to be done of the days I’ve spent locked behind these crystallized bars. It’s the sun I miss the most, because the sun is everything, and everything is God. Sadly, He too is beginning to tear away the sinews and tendons, except this time I know He’s gorging Himself from the inside out. It’s everything on the inside I just can’t touch. If only, if only, you could—”
And with this he lurches forward, a lamprey sloughing off him at each step like the remains of a scaly cape, and the boy is terrified, with thin rivulets of snot trickling down his nose. The boy begins to crab walk towards the opposite wall, every bone within him whispering and shaking around in a sort of stifling silence. The man took another step. Gotterdammerung. The boy slid his hand across the ink-stained walls and found it dirtied his hands and he wiped his hand across his shirt and there the stain stayed. Gotterdammerung. Finally the kid heard a crack and then moments later felt his head clang with pain and reached backwards and saw an ebony pool of blood in his palm and saw a door that had been there all this time in the middle of the room.
Suddenly in a fit of dream epiphany the boy realized two things: that if he touched the doorknob to open the door to escape, an electrical current or whatever would be released, transmitting itself through both the child and the father, killing both pretty much instantly. If, on the other hand, he chooses to stay inside the room, it’s the leeches that will find his nubile flesh, and the stuff that destroyed his father will pack its bags and move to feast on him and tear apart the younger skeleton within the bloodsprayed walls. So now we present the Kid’s Conundrum: will he murder his father and kill himself while providing both with an instant and theoretically pain-free death? Or will he become a martyr for no one, because all will die as sustenance? And yet he has no real choice, because the man is above him, and the shadow is writhing and drowning the child, and the kid knows now what to do. With the final Gotterdammerung his arm shoots behind him, groping for anything metallic, and he knows he has done right—suddenly every pore within him and his father radiates some kind of abysmal light, screaming, submissive. Stuff like that.





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