The Last Supper
The last supper was long overdue. First supper had been served hours
before. Peter wasn't the only one ready to close his eyes.
Finally, the bread was passed, but there was such talk around it and
then the wine that Peter feared this particular last supper might go
And it did.
Here is how it happened: All were eager to devour the cooked lamb.
Yet, his sunken eyes held them off, saying, "Freeze! Yeah, just as you
are with your leaning in and facing out, your placating and posturing,
and your pointing of tongues. Hold it there, oh my brothers, and such
a supping as this one shall last and last."
It was a lot for cooked lamb's eyes to say; yet, the painter wouldn't
lift his brush until they said just that.
He washed his hands. Though many colors had been used, only red
swirled down the basin.
Excerpt from The Hermaphrodite (An Hallucinated Memoir): Chapter Ten
A marsh named Johnson's Bayou became Nat's home. Presently, his left
side lay submerged in the plush carpet of his new living room, while
his right took in the sounds and odors of the swamp that it was.
He fell to sleep.
In a dream, he played the licorice stick, as blood seeped into his
house. Nat seemed to expect it, like charming a snake from a basket.
It washed over his feet and, eventually, his head. It splashed little
waves against the ceiling.
Now, the slide of a trombone struck Nat in the head. He couldn't see
the instrument or who was playing it, but he recognized the sliding
sound, which wrapped itself around the notes from his clarinet,
creating a tangled vine that fed on the blood. More vines twisted to
life until the room was a flooded jungle. The brass slide struck Nat
again, and he woke up.
He set out for the wildlife refuge to the north. There, he picked up a
log about two yards long and half a foot thick and carried it back
home to Johnson's Bayou.
The following day he did the same. Now he had two logs. When he had
six, he said, "I need some rope." So Dennis, who'd been choked to
death on the shoulder of Route 82, was resurrected, and
Beaumont, Texas visited.
After binding the logs together, Nat loaded what little food and water
he had left onto the raft and set himself afloat, intending to ride
the Gulf of Mexico southward.
Twenty-seven days at sea. Nat's skin belonged on an apple from a
The ocean had been sending salty missionaries into Nat's wounds. The
conferences ran long, for Nat could not excuse himself, saying, I have
some soil to till, or, I need to go invent the earplug. He was going
nowhere and the missionaries knew it, so day after day Nat was made to
endure their diplomacy. Finally, he could stand it no longer. His
wounds burned in messianic silence as the missionaries' saline
suggestions bonded to them. Take action!
Face-down, he chewed the rope that bound the raft but only until he'd
cut through the one spot.
The ocean should dismantle a man's raft, he thought, not the man
himself. The missionaries couldn't argue that.