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Animal visits the Co-op

November 12, 2009

Last night, I was reading in my bedroom when thump goes a sound outside like a falling sack of lentils. I look down to see a clump gather up on four legs. It curses, so of course it’s not a dog.
“Animal bhai, why are up so late?”
“Can’t you tell, you cunt, I’m stealing your persimmons.”

“You like the filthy things? Don’t you know they’re not ripe ’til December?”
“Eyes, how could I know this since I do not live in Amrika?”
“Well, since you don’t know, here,” I say, “we knock on a person’s door before we take his fruit.”
“How could I know the doors own all the fruit trees in Amrika? So strange you’re.” He’s scooping up the yellow fruits that fell down with him. I’m laughing because he’s clutched so many, they’re falling out his kakadus.
“Come inside, Animal, and drink some tea.”
“This I can do quite well.”

So we drink tea, although Animal’s not used to my half and half and agave (“Why don’t you call it one?” he asks, “or do all Amrikans read books and fail mathematics?”).

“Kyõ Khã? What are your thoughts this night?” he asks me, mug in hand, and I am entertaining several, he wonders why I work so hard if I have fruit to last all winter.
“Animal, have you heard of wilderness?”
“No,” says he, “have you heard the one about the man who wore hijab?”
“It’s not a joke. It’s a place, like the forest. Except in America we make it, like a park.”
“Oh yes, I have read of these parks on the internest–Amrikans have cars and parks like Khaufpuris have beggars and bicycles.”
“No these are big pieces of land, sometimes in the middle of nowhere.”
“Why would one visit a nowhere, yaar?”
“I’m not sure. Some of them are very beautiful. Others have trees. Many have animals.”
“Why go to a wildermess when you’ve Animal here on your couch?”
“Ok, you’re here, so I’m going to show you a story”

We open my computer on and I click this link and not two minutes pass before Animal falls on the floor, laughing. I’m bothered so don’t even wait for him to stop and ask the prick what’s so funny?

Three Parapalegics Summit Highest Point in Texas

Donny Rodgers (behind monument), Joe Moss, and Dave Kiley on Guadalupe Peak after a five-day climb in wheelchairs, July 12-16, 1982. (NPS Photo)

“What were these men thinking, Paul bhai? Even I, an animal with four legs, would not spend five days climbing a mountain. They have none.”
“Americans like to climb things, especially men. We think it gives us vision and inspiration. At least a million people work every day to help other people climb mountains–big business.”
“Well I have clumb to see things too, including your dadi’s muff! But with a chair? Haha! They lugalug up a mountain with their teeth and fataak! fly away in the helicopster.”
“Animal, I thought you would like the story.”
“Eyes, this is a silly thing. Does a lame dog want to hear about a crippled goat? After that night, many Khaufpuris had broken bodies from the Kampani’s poison. But your men who crawl in the wildermess, who broke them?”
“One lost his legs in war, another from a car, just accidents
Animal’s quiet. Thinking, he wiggles his toes. “I had not thought the Kampani makes accidents in Amrika too. These men, I think we have some things similar but other things different.”
“Such as?”
“First, they didn’t do it alone.”
“You’re right. I hadn’t–”
“But second most, latkan–rich they’re, poor we’re. How can I wreck a car if I never own one?”
“Yeah, but in an urban environment, you could be walking–”
“You said these men were nowhere. And the internest said they were not walking.”
“Animal! do you ever listen? They had broken bodies.. . .”

A digital poet, I’m
and singing to show it, I’m.
Three men in the wildermess
No legs, but clumb nonetheless
Chairs with rickety wheels, they’ve
crawled up the rockety hills, they’ve
Then up like three leafs in the air
gone to the President, they’re
Is politiks one of their goal-os
Or are they just climbing for blo-blos?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. jnoyce permalink
    November 18, 2009 2:01 am

    Paul I LOVE your channeling of Animal!!! The moment when you tell him that the paraplegic climbers lost their legs because of ACCIDENTS made stopped me short. This is how I think of an accident: it’s an unforeseen and isolated incident. But the “Bhopal Disaster”, of course, has been interpreted by some (especially its perpetrators) as a horrible accident. But we have since seen that there are many systems in place that both made the “accident” happen, and work to evade responsibility for it or cover it up. So when does something stop being an accident and become someone’s (or a corporation’s) RESPONSIBILITY? The concept “accident” just does not work here, and your lil’ dialogue made me realize it.

  2. jenirinner permalink
    November 20, 2009 5:50 pm

    I’m amazed at how well this writing style works for you! Beautiful piece. The subjects at the end of sentences give a kind of yoda-like wisdom to Animal, too. I think your point about ownership is a fascinating one – but can you destroy what was never yours? Or in some ways does that give you more license to destroy it? Also, loved your explanation of hiking – coming from Colorado I knew quite a few “14-er baggers” who would brag about their conquests and survival on the state’s toughest mountains. I love to hike, but there’s something troubling to me about that impulse for domination as the motivation.

  3. November 23, 2009 7:13 am

    Paul, this adaptation and rift off of Animal’s voice in the novel melds the many strands of our seminar; and also gives wonderful expression to Sinha’s strange picaro!

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