Charles Mahaffee

This Man and Legs

This man. This man three was this man I saw him.

Bemused at home, for outlandishness was a huge spider sitting in forward between kitchen and living room. Could not come from outside, too big too big too big found itself stuck, this man coming home find it stuck. Easily six long feet tall staring at man contented, black opal eyes, eight of them, twice times five and a half with three subtracted.

“How makes dinner here with Legs, Legs I will call him, not moving anytime soon so Legs it shall be”. Placing cold hand (middle of March, ides even, yet still quite cold) on Leg’s eye(s) happy to not see blink. Small whirlwind from breath, lateral animals still not having evolved mouth off of ground. “should really vacuum here. Legs breath in and get sick”. This man sat down and regarded as being regarded, breath pulled into Legs and this man. Between the two (three) there air had no presence, only whole.

This Man’s stomach growled, tomato soup thinks it. Holds his breath till head seep red all round, show Legs maybe through crimson head that this man, this man there (three) wanted out of tomato, Legs not noticing tapping three clawed foot (if it could be called foot) on floor, more dust kicked up. This Man lights smoke and colors the three air, too (two) much for this man not seeing three, Legs, This Man, and Air, now colored, had presence and thank the holy father for that. Of course, Father make four, out of the question I’m sure. So there. No God then for Legs and This man.

The couch sat upon was comfortable. It had existence from his mother, not that she made it, no, she had made This Man but not couch. But over years, his mother had seeped into it, spill herself into every change cranny, she had bent over and saturated every thread.

He looked into Legs’ hair, his mother threads but Legs left long ago. Not cursed by birth. Legs chose. Not excreted screaming through some deformed nether-mouth, wishing hymen (already souped out) could stop the approach of the multiplicity. No mother in Legs’s hair.

Excusing himself with a courteous bow, after three long hour effort the mother smashed about and thrown through the stiff doors to the multiplicity outside. Swept, more dust. Came back, sat on floor, smoked again, the forgotten Air shining as it reflected light. Legs happy now. Legs, Air, and This Man. Mother Four made. Smashed, began to rain and made soup in a puddle outside. No God, No Mother.

“See! There (three) Eggs for us! Eggs, Legs! Eggs, Legs! Eggs, Legs!” Legs tapped three clawed foot (if it could be called foot). This Man, long finished with smoke, approached Legs till passed another This Man, old ugly this man, hated this man, stank of this man. Evil bastard demanded once (thrice) more a four, more a four, more a four. Evil Even Evil Even, utmost gall having only two of the di-mensions. DI. Embarrassed to see him with Legs, it had to go. Three hours later only This Man and Legs in room.

This Man lit a smoke, and the air shined with presence. Outside soup with glass.

Legs tapped three clawed foot (if it could be called foot). This Man sat, reflected, and took off his shoes. Legs had three claws for feet (if they could be called feet), and any schoolboy saw that made twenty four claws. His own pale white feet with their ten claws; his skinny white hands with their ten claws. Ten and Ten Twenty. This Man, understanding Legs bent way down (though together for six hours Legs still not evolved his lateral body). Four quick snaps ( I know I know, horrible to have to do four but what could do), This Man looked happily at his three clawed hands and feet (if they could be called hands and feet). Lights smoke and Air shines outward, Legs, This Man, and Air. Twenty four claws for Legs, Twelve for this Man, Thirty-six! And soup on floor, crimson as tomato.

Bare room.
Three walls.
This Man.
Eight legs.
Twenty four claws.
Four legs.
Twelve claws.
Fifty Four.

Nine by six, three by eighteen, happily happily happily. This Man laughs till head throbbed red. Eyes my friend. Eight plus two can’t have my friend. Must do it now, before Father, Mother, Two Di, come back. White floods back to This Man’s face. No, no God, No MOTHER, NO DIMENSIONS! Lights smoke, air sings happily. RED RED RED coal.

Legs, This Man, and Air. Nine eyes between them. Thirty six claws. No god, no mother, no dimension. Just the soup on the floor, dried, caked, and naked. God, even in three, could never have been so sweet.

Charles Mahaffee born 1980) was raised in rural Georgia, USA. At the age of 24, he moved to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute. He still lives and works in Chicago, producing experimental videos, performances, sound, and music. In December 2008 he will have a solo show at Julius Caesar Gallery in Chicago. He is also working on a book length theory of grammar.

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