Thursday, November 13, 2008

Squeak, Squeal, Churn!

Squeak, squeal, churn, that is the sound of my flesh turning over a new leaf, the old dead skin cells giving way to the new microscopically noticeably more shiny ones. It is the sound of the gears in my head turning, the sound of the aluminum tea kettle expanding over the heat of the electric burner in the kitchen, and the din of my children playing and quarreling in the bedroom. It is the noise, noise, glorious noise that makes my wee little fingers dance, tap tap tap like Fred Astaire, smiling from hang nail to hangnail. It is the reason I rise in the morning like the creation of Dr. Frankenstein wondering what the hell has happened to cause me to become animated when I feel so painfully immobile, like a wooden board, or a young teenage girl lifted by the finger tips of 6 or 7 other young girls chanting,
"Light as a feather, stiff as a board".
That noise is the dark magick that makes it happen. It is the hum of the computer, the thump of my heart beat, the whine of the electric saw down the alley. In this warren of little apartments filled with Filipinos, Mexicans, and a smattering of meth addicted crackers, it is the murmur of muffled voices raised in laughter or raised in anger, or the drone of a television set mooing on and on about nothing, or the incessant repetition of a poorly constructed pop song. The television host will play the sound byte for you:
"Squeak, squeal, …"
And you will answer with an excited voice chattering in Taglog:
And the audience will roar with applause. Hooray for you, you’ve done it, you’re the singing bee Queen!
The roaches will scurry across the bathroom floor with a soft "Churn, churn, churn,"
Pigeons on the rooftop will seal their courtship and cooing with the heated "Squeal" of birdie lovemaking.
A four year olds voice will cry from a nearby balcony, "Squeak!"
Everyone is up and tapping like my little fingers, dancing away to the music we make, hating it, loving it, fighting it, and at last surrendering to it like good Latin women with big brown eyes to the white knuckled fists of their jealous lovers, breath reeking of cheap booze, undershirt clinging to the sweaty belly. The cycle of life whose first face is that of attraction, then one of submission and at last the wild face of repulsion, wrinkled like the flesh of a hag, each crease an uprising of flesh parting from the other little folds, or like old paint curling up and fracturing into little flakes and strips for malnourished children to peel from the porch and taste with hopeful tongues renewing the entire process by repeating that first phase of attraction. Squeak squeal churn it goes with everything falling apart before it once again finds a place to belong, a new center of gravity to fall to, loosing potential with every fall.
That essential energy that first rippled through it remains at the core but as it is churned by the wheel of time it is converted, churn, churn churn, and can never go back to the spring time of its youth. It travels down the snakey coil until it is a fine powder, a filtered fairy dust used to powder Titiania’s fair cheeks. But the noise! The noise finds a way to make a churn back into a squeak. It will defy the laws of flesh and bone, board and steel, concrete and ash. It will reach out with electrifying tendrils to raise the dead. Get up! Dance again, again! Lucky, lucky, piñatas we are, born to be filled with sweetness and then beaten to bits again and again as the song repeats:
"Squeak" (the rope swings and saws on the drain pipe from which it is hung) "Squeal" (the children cry out in delight as the sweetness you once held within begins to rain down upon them after their insisting blows) "Churn" your paper carcass rustles across the concrete rolled under searching little hands and kicked by excited feet. Then the invisible hand of Dr. Frankenstein lifts the record needle and starts the whole song again. You know the one:
"Squeak, squeal,…?"
(Sing it)

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