Keep your fist to the ground and your ear to the grindstone. I have no idea what you’re supposed to do with your nose. It can’t be comfortable or healthy. But keep all your arrows sharp and the shafts tightly curved so they come back to you when you launch them. Test them on your skin and feed them your blood so they’ll know where home is.

That’s how you endure criticism — be your own worst enemy and so self-absorbed that no one else could ever do worse damage to you than your own contortions. Keep a live hive of bees in your chest and kick yourself from time to time to keep them angry. If any honey drips out of your various wounds, let it leave an undisturbed trail behind you.

You are made of angry bees, a walking waxwork in the shape of a wasp. The buzzing fills you with secret messages from white-noise voices and booty-shake dances reminding you of distant flowers. Somewhere in there is a queen, pampered and protected, dutifully laying eggs, waiting to be surprised with a battle to the death with a newer, sexier model. The new replacement is already squirming in one of the thousands of honeycomb cells in your brain, squirming with all the other identical larvae, being fed special poisons by traitors in the internal ranks.

Your hive is a single animal, animal. That’s what it’s like to live in a brain made out of meat in a body made out of meat. A thousand buzzing, booty-shaking voices. Which of them is your “me”?

You can feel the buzzing at the back of your skull and in your teeth, can’t you? How can you stand it?

Oh, that’s right. You can’t.

This is why you need me. I’m the only one who can outvote them all with a stinging slap. I’m the one who can unscramble your metaphors and straighten your arrows. I bend your bow and string it and keep it firmly in your grip.

I know you hate it. But look at all we’ve accomplished, just today. You’ve written three pages of lyrics. You fed yourself a bowl of kibbles and got dressed and left the house. You bought a ten-dollar cigar because you’ve never had one. You bought and brought home six neon tetras and a pleco to repopulate the tank you’ve let die twice now, and they’re floating in their little baggies, acclimating. You bought six boxes of ammo for the 30-30 and a pack of 50 paper targets for the look of it. You even remembered all on your own that you needed fuel for the Zippo.

I even made you put down the newspaper you were going to buy, because no one needs to get caught up on current events the same day they buy 120 rounds for a rifle. That would have been irresponsible. Keep all seven fish alive for a week and I’ll let you get a paper.

Four pounds of fresh cherries was a much better buy, considering you’re on food stamps and a disability pension.

Do you remember where you were when you drank from the well of forgetting? Thirty miles from a river bed that’s been dry for thousands of years, pockets full of dirt rich in ancient anthrosols and spent hulls from seeds that haven’t been used to fuel humanity in the region for more than twice thirty centuries, no sign of any of the rest of your platoon, no dog tags, name and all identifying badges ripped from your BDUs, beltless and barefoot and a bit more than thirty pounds too skinny. Thirty weeks missing from duty, not quite thirty years missing from your memory.

Helpful people locked you up for a little while, gave you a name, and mercifully decided you’d been kidnapped and that you’d managed to escape. They gave you a box of stuff they said was yours, and medical discharge papers, and sent you “home” to where no one knew you and you knew no one. And they gave you to me, chock full of little buzzing bees.

And no way to tell which of them is the old you, or even the current you, or which of them is me.


April 7, 2012 · by xalieri · Posted in fiction  


One Response to “Hivehead”

  1. Saia on April 11th, 2012 1:55 am

    Fuckin hell I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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