Feeding Alligators…

 

I’m the Writer… and you are the Read­er.

I write, You read.

That is the deal we struck, right? That sim­ple prin­ci­ple is the foun­da­tion that our shady ther­a­py-ses­sion/deep, mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ship is based upon? Yes, I believe that it is; and I apol­o­gize for not hold­ing up my end of the bar­gain late­ly.

Sure, I’ve got a mil­lion rea­sons why I dropped the ball: I’ve been busy, I’ve been dis­tract­ed, I’ve been (insert lame excuse here). I had a good mind to tell you that I was dis­patched to a lit­tle-known, war-torn cor­ner of the earth to lead an elite army of nin­jas in a cru­sade against an evil alien insur­gence, but I fig­ured you’d prob­a­bly see right through that. No, the cul­prit is pure, unfet­tered scat­ter­brained­ness, but I promise to do bet­ter from now on. If I’m being hon­est, it’s not entire­ly by choice. My hands are being forced.

(In an attempt to explain that last state­ment, I’m going to share some­thing with you, Face­less. It’s admit­ted­ly a lit­tle strange, but please bear with me.)

I have an alli­ga­tor.

Not a phys­i­cal one… that would just be sil­ly. Where on earth would I keep it? I sup­pose he could live in the pool, which would be one hell of a sur­prise for the spring ducks, any poten­tial skin­ny-dip­pers and my cat (hm… I’ll have to give that some thought). But my alli­ga­tor is very real all the same; alive and well, liv­ing deep in the watery recess­es of my mind.

Or at least, that’s where he used to live. As of late, he’s tak­en up res­i­dence much clos­er to the sur­face and made his pres­ence far more pro­nounced. He stalks me some days; I can tell he’s there, his low steady growl form­ing the white noise between my thoughts. And as crazy as this may sound (as if this entire thing doesn’t already sound insane), I swear to you that I can feel the heat of his breath on my neck and the inten­si­ty of his stare, bur­row­ing deep into my soul like a racoon dig­ging for grubs in your lawn. He has become the Lead­ing Man in my dreams, mor­ph­ing from oth­er­wise benign objects–tables, side­walks, cof­fee cups, flamingos–into his unavoid­able, iri­des­cent self. (Yes, he’s a colour­ful beast­ie… and don’t tell me you don’t dream about flamin­gos, because you know you do). He snarls and growls, his teeth bared and jaws stretched wide, ready to devour me whole.

I wrote him off at first, dis­miss­ing him as anoth­er sign of my need for a good psy­chi­a­trist, or chalk­ing him up to too much cheese before bed. But he’s per­sis­tent; he comes back to vis­it night after night, hunt­ing me down and ter­ror­iz­ing my mind.

Yup. Right off the deep end,” I can hear you say­ing. “I knew this was com­ing. I’m just glad we hung in there long enough to see him go off… pass the pop­corn.”

A few weeks ago, per­haps as a way to avoid sleep and to dodge yet anoth­er run-in with my friend, I dove into the short sto­ry I wrote (and you Read, as per our arrange­ment – thank you so much for that, once again). And when I final­ly fin­ished my sto­ry and post­ed it for the world to see, and got com­fort­able enough to sleep undis­turbed by lizards and such, he was wait­ing for me. But instead of mor­ph­ing into His Scaly Self from a pot­ted plant, or chas­ing me through a sew­er or snap­ping at me from the inside of my cof­fee cup, he was qui­et and con­trolled – a far cry from his usu­al hun­gry and insa­tiable self. His eyes were just as wild and intense, but his mouth was closed and his body was still… not a growl or snarl to be seen. He was observ­ing me as if he was watch­ing a movie, wait­ing to see what came next. He left for a while after that, retreat­ing into the swampy bay­ou in my mind that he came from.

That is, until a few days ago. The dream mark­ing his reap­pear­ance start­ed inno­cent­ly enough: I was sit­ting in a chair in my liv­ing room read­ing a book and my fam­i­ly was sit­ting around watch­ing TV. I looked up from the pages for a moment and returned to my book, only to real­ize that it had start­ed to shift in my hands; the pages slow­ly twist­ed and turned, the sur­face of them becom­ing colour­ful and slick, the colours swirling and twist­ing like oil float­ing on water. The cov­er grew cold and scaly in my hands, the sharp ridges start­ed to dig into my skin. I tried to drop the book on the floor, but it hooked into my flesh – and when I looked up to show my fam­i­ly what was hap­pen­ing, the room was emp­ty. I looked down at my hands and he was there; his eyes were locked onto mine, his teeth bared and mouth open…growling and dis­con­tent, demand­ing to be fed once again.

I won­der if he needs some­one to call the hos­pi­tal for him…? He may be too far gone to make the call him­self, the crazy bas­tard.”

Yes, it all seems whacko. And you may be con­tent to just brand me the Emper­or of Bro­ken Toys and be done with it, and I wouldn’t blame you. But I know I’m not (cer­ti­fi­ably) crazy, because I know who my lit­tle friend is. He’s the part of me that is almost obses­sive­ly focused on what lies ahead; he is the root of my impa­tience and the heart of my insa­tia­bil­i­ty. He’s the man­i­fes­ta­tion of my aggres­sion, toe­ing the line between con­trol and reck­less­ness, unapolo­get­i­cal­ly intol­er­ant of any­thing but sat­is­fac­tion. Ulti­mate­ly, he’s the rea­son I put pen to paper in the first place and is the archi­tect of every­thing that makes me, well, me. And he’s pissed because he has been mal­nour­ished — per­haps for much longer than I real­ized.

So to keep the peace, he needs to be fed…and he will be. And part of that feed­ing involves our lit­tle agree­ment: I will Write, and You will (hope­ful­ly) Read.

Who needs a $300/hr. ther­a­pist, when I have you? Stay tuned, Face­less.

 

5 Comments

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  1. Great post. You are a love­ly writer!

  2. WOW! That was very descrip­tive, and that part was fun, but all kid­ding aside, you real­ly are wrestling alligators.…right?

  3. Real­ly Cap­tain Hook !

  4. DeBoyz have linked to your arti­cle. See it here http://www.deboyz.com

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  1. run away

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