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The Asylum  > Columns > Platypus > Perfect (#)

Perfect (#) By Feral Automaton - 04/02/01 - 00:00:00
His breathing became labored, exhausted by the led memory of his long effort.


For the first year he was an oblivious infant swaddled by a lonely but loving mother over-eager to nurture him. He fed from her breast and grew strong and firm from her natural milk.

In his third year he was aware of his father, aware of a man who would pass his eyes as a silhouette, a ship sliding past a ship in a dense fog of memories and dreams. For four years after his realization the son would wonder about his father, about where his father would leave to every early morning and return from every late night. He wondered who his father was, but it would not be until he learned what his father was that the son would loose his memories and his dreams completely.


His breathing was short and he could never draw enough breath to satisfy his strained lungs.


Seven more years would pass. Seven years and a blur of schoolhouses and games and childhood would slip past him unnoticed. Heíd try to live out his youth but it never quite registered it never quite registered and he slipped more and slipped completely into his fatherís experience into his fatherís shoes into his fatherís job into his fatherÖ

Fatherís hands worked a twenty-eight year routine pulling abstract bulk, welding coarse metals, tightening obstinate black bolts, and cursing with the same old friends who all performed the same difficult industrial dance as he and his ancestors. Twenty-eight years of industrial labor, which his hands could show every scar and painful minute of.


On his retinas were etched the fire and glow of an acetylene torch and when he closed them he could still see a bright teardrop of blue light.


When father was four he would hear his father curse. Hear his father beating his mother and tear off in the car to work. For another seven years fatherís father would wake up and scream at him and his mother for his pain. Scream and drink against his nothinglifeÖ Against the industry, against the bills, against the food that he had to work for about the effort and the strain of his life and his aging wife and weak child and always, without saying it, at fatherís fatherís father for raising him in the shadow of this monotonous industry.

Two years slid by and the screaming kept up until fatherís father slipped and fell from a four-story scaffolding and broke his back. For a year the industry would pay the medical bills but wouldnít buy his liquor and fatherís fatherís body went into shock and he would shake and scream and want and it was better sooner than later that he would...

That he did...

And he did die.

Father didnít weep or grieve this nothingloss; rather he became the next familial incarnation of this perfect division to total a redundant, routine, and static sum of experiential waste.

At twenty-eight father had worked for 4 + 7 + 2 + 1 years and been married the sum of this figure to a wife who had borne their fourteen year old son who, like his fatherís fatherís father before him, was just preparing to enter the industry. A son whoís mother would feed him her milk and love for a year + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28.


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