Writing: The Case of the Alcoholic Rodents Pt. II

by Beauchamp Art

He sniffed, and couldn’t remember the last time his nose hadn’t been running, like some manic animal of the plains, perpetually in full pelt towards a horizon never graced by dusk, but lingered in the air of an afternoon, stretched endlessly over an round an incomplete day. He was not sick, not especially so, but a total clarity of health always evaded his grasp, squeezing through skeletal fingers, entangled by throbbing blue blood vessels, and sheathed in pale silk skin. So wheezing, he would find himself abruptly awoken by tickling cough, twinging bladder, locked hips, and head split on the spike of a midmorning execution at the hands of his own hyperactive hypochondriac hallucinations.

He never had anything appropriate to hand to do away with the relentless tirade of his tempestuous nostrils, so snivelled ceaselessly, causing no small amount of distress to himself, always on the verge of some plague or another so far as he was concerned. To the intermittent annoyance to those around him who spent enough time to notice this, and his other neurotic habits, which he felt drew undue attention to themselves where they might otherwise dissipate into the miasma of mild mannerisms.

He contemplated his dehydration, unquenched by oceans and rivers, yet always his mouth was the Dead Sea, a salt flat tongue beset either side by porcelain statues, crushing together in the tireless clamp of a jaw, fastened shut by the same unspecified concern that twisted the rest of his face into the shape of mild agony, as one ever sat with legs crossed too tightly on a cramp train, pressed on hip and shoulder by commuters cooking in their collective carriage, testicles crushed slightly by overlapping thighs, and no means of extricating themselves from their displaced and dimensionally lacking den.

Such a wince he wore as his workaday mask and in weekend malaise, so wrapping his skull in a tightly bound canvas of minor contempt, painted crudely by the ruddy colours of a head inverted on its axis and left to hang in it lolling state until ruddy complexion never escaped the boundaries of his bonnet.

He could have been in fixed state of alluring contemplation at some fascinating fine point of philosophy, but for the most part his wandering mind trudged the a ad circular paths as always, a ring drawn inside his cranium, a ditch which did not allow its occupant to look beyond without severe strain or means of some clumsy stumbling up its banks, only to topple backwards at the first attempt to step beyond, so unprepared was he for what could lay beyond.

So better he stick to his trench, wading through the bogged ground before him, with all that was beyond the brim if his much squandered sojourn too steep a summit for him to attempt more regularly, with any real consideration of success. So his eyes swivelled, and such as confusing world as there was outside of the confides of his head bore little interest to this self-blinding mole of a man, ever scrambling for the roots and grubs that would find there misfortune in his devouring, insular path.

He asked himself foolish questions, which were often routed in a deliberate misunderstanding of something familiar, like ‘do cyborgs dream of electric sleep?’ Thinking himself all the wittier, yet never any closer to a revelation, bookedly bouncing off his brain. But so much was this pseudo physiological ontological orgy that any real realisation at to the further understanding of the world around him disappeared up a sphincter of misconstrued sociology; so taut that both ignorance and intelligence became mutually impregnable, no new idea penetrating in or perforating from his pursed lips.

As a worm with arse at either end, his ability to spew defecation from mouth made his posterior propositions superfluous. Speaking without saying anything was an art, usually practiced by poor quality poets, professional politicians, and polite prostitutors of profound prosody, such as him. Whole wreaths of scripture could flow from his gullet like so much piss, whilst all the while, he thought, in the depths of his bowl, was something so frankly indigestible that attempting to break it down would become his life’s pursuit.

Occasionally, he could find himself reeling off a half-decent phrase, at least within the secure encampment of his head, like the rounds of a well-oiled gun. But more often than not, the was a jam and backfiring, words ricocheting in all directions, and he found himself blinded by the stuttering muzzle flash of a semi-formed sentence gone rouge, scorching the fringes of reasonable conversation, tangenting in a lethal direction with very little time to take cover.

Nevertheless, he knew that he must endeavour to understand this wretched sense that he was being gutted by an amateur butcher, whilst all the other meat around him was so neatly carved, delicately swinging in the cool draught of the part opened freezer if his fellow men. If he was to be strung up, at least the process should amount to something, or he is just so much maggot feed. Better a side of beef, nourishing in his attempts at altruistic self-sacrifice, so easily slipping into self-congratulatory celebrations.

Well done to he who lays down for another, but surely better he that raises his brother so that they may both stand? God, he grew bored of this avenue of introspection, but made little effort to escape. It was, for the most part, safe and more comfortable than the alternative, the total loss of self in the other, letting himself be cannibalised to quench the needs of others.

A mid-ground would be ideal, maybe offer a limb, or at the very least, a shoulder to someone else in need, so he would not be totally subsumed by his solipsism. But if he was unfit for that duty, surely better to be a feast for feral rodents, get outside his head by the violent application of force, in the form of blunt speed focused on his temples, or to pray at the altar of the public house and dissolve in sweet solvents; emulsified by the rapid current of currency.

Naturalising his integration of foreign chemicals into the viscous glycerine addled stream, pumping in panic stricken palpitations, all kicked started by caffeine and alcohol, leading into an uproar of endorphins, a deluge of dopamine, and the strangulation of a serotonin shift, shot straight out of the dark, making a maelstrom of the whole affair.

Better to try and forget than be ignorant in the first instant, he pondered, though blissful imbeciles would surely countermand this suggestion, if their capacity for such extended beyond the facile, the enviable idiots. He understood them not, nor new their woes, nor was he certain whether he was exempt from thus latter category. Both were essentially identical in their inclination towards navel gazing, much as a beggar and a bourgeois were equally responsible for reaping as much profit from the least labour, but they no doubt saw themselves differently, so would quite probably wished to be seen so. Again, some synthesis of extremes would be sought most dearly, but ever was this the free-wheel ride along the cliff’s edge, precarious as it was ridiculous.


Certain incessant ideas would rip out his throat and swallow him whole, sending him to the Underworld, with Cerberus stinking up the place; as three dogs heads make thrice the mess. One such frustration lay when contemplating how hard it could be to live up to his own sense of self-expectation or some level of self-worth that seems reasonable, particularly when it comes to social matters, because it was hard for him, especially when the only people who find it easy don’t put the energy or have the capacity to think about the way in which they may perceive themselves, especially in relation to others.
As he saw it, people were their interactions, to a certain extent, but individuals are greater than the sum of just those parts that reflect on others, and a man’s character forges how he acts. Although there is feedback, it is the conscious effort which is made to facilitate interactions in the manner which is seen fit is testimonial to the unique qualities of a person’s character, wonderful and fallible, but endeavouring to do right by oneself and others, in an ever shifting balance.

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