carousel of mud

I am sliding down a muddy hill on a mattress inside a wooden house that is lit by thousands of candles. Everytime I reach the bottom of the slide the floor swallows me and the ride begins again. I am never tired, I will ride this muddy slide forever, and I am at peace.

– – –

It’s night, I am with Katie on a shifty, oddly constructed carousel. It rotates and spirals up and down a very modern, unconventional house. It is as tall as a tree and has many portals of entrance and exit that resemble round steel ship doors. Steam shoots out of some of them with an eerie screech. The woman in front of us is annoyed that I keep holding on to her bullet-shaped car. She stands up and starts dismantaling it with her bare hands. We are hundreds of feet off the ground; a few times she comes close to falling or being knocked off. Eventually she reconstructs it and sits back down. I hop off our seat to go in search of a special pocket knife. I only have a few minutes to find it, during the commercial break — I’ve paid good money to watch this show on this carousel and I don’t want to miss a minute of it. I roam an endless, beachless boardwalk, lit by floating yellow lights, looking for the shop where I saw the knife — there are shops in every direction I turn. I never find it, and call Katie — she tells me the show is starting. I race back and get there just a few minutes after the show has started. But everyone is missing. They must have entered the house. I start shouting into one of the portals and my echo streams out of all the ports in different tones. The home shrinks and becomes a musical instrument. I know all the people are still inside, but the sound it makes is so beautiful and I am hypnotized by it. I continue my shouting into the shrunken house and the sound emanating from it starts shifting the trees on the forest’s edge not to far away. A path forms as a dark hole in the woods. My cell phone rings, it’s my buddy Ken, he wants me to meet him at a bar in the forest. I go in search of him through the dark woods and find my way into a hostel with wooden beds. The halls are narrow and to get to the front desk I have to crawl over countless sleeping people. I am with a woman. I don’t know her well, but we have been flirting for a long time now. I don’t know if we will be sharing a bed or not. She hands the desk clerk $18 and vanishes down the hall. The face of the woman at the front desk is obscured by her long curly blond hair, but I can see she has many scraps and scabs and is wearing deep red lipstick. I know her. She knows me, but pretends she doesn’t. When the beds start mysteriously shifting beneath us she nervously tells me we have met before . . . a long time ago . . . in a land with a sun. ♨

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