Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
About This
How to Submit

Gone Lawn 1
Autumn, 2010

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Natasha Cabot


I am spinning and spinning. Round and round I go. Like a dreidel—or a top, if you are Christian. I'm dizzy and wonderfully sick, but still spinning. And I don't ever think I'm going to stop. It is never a good idea to ever stop at anything abruptly. To do so would mean certain injury, possibly even death. To stop would mean to see the world as it really is, not as I want it. Not crazy and assorted, but stagnant and sane. I like my little corner of insanity and I intend to stay here. Spin, spin, spin.
The pictures on the wall look distorted; I am surrounded by a room full of Picassos. Each unique and priceless, different with every twirl. There is a terrible beauty in them. If I were to stop, besides risking injury and/or death, the Picassos would turn ordinary, cheap. Dozens of Kinkaids barking and snarling at me. Hotel paintings ready to drag me beneath the earth so I can hang out with the worms, all of whom are disgustingly linear. Ordinary is bad, so I keep spinning. The lamps stretch with each turn as if they were made from putty and scream "Hello!" at me with every pass I make. The carpet caresses my feet, burning them ever so slightly. The balls of my feet would turn cherry red and emit smoke if I were to stop spinning. I'm full of static electricity and I can shock you! Zap, zap, zap. My spinning continues. The air is thick through my fingers and tingles up my nose. I swear I can even feel it in my throat. It nests there, next to my uvula, which dances in time to the wisps of air cascading down my gullet. My hair strokes my face. And for once, I am free.
I could have been ordinary. Like you. I could have sat on my ass day after day working at a job I hated. Tied up. Jailed. Frozen. Like. A. Statue. A. Still. Unmoving. Statue. At one time, I think I was. But those days are gone and it really has been a long time and it seems like a bizarre dream so I'm not sure if it was real or just a crazy thought in my head. Was I a polyester pantsuit wearing drone? Did I listen to porcine women discussing useless husbands and even more useless children, children they convinced themselves that they wanted so they wouldn't be considered bad mothers and would conform to the expectation the world has that all women must expel at least one human being out of her vaginal canal? In my dreams, or nightmares, yes I think so. I think. Perhaps, maybe? I heeded every beck and call I heard. I got coffee in the mornings. I typed during the day. I answered the phone's incessant squawk. I clucked my tongue in disapproval when Debbie from accounting complained about her daughter. There is always a Debbie from accounting, no matter where you are. She's there, too. You really think you are safe from Debbie from accounting? Her mouth will find you before her eyes do . The Debbie from accounting whose daughter caught a generic STD after her high school prom. The Debbie from accounting whose twin sons are on the football team and drink too much after a Friday night party and disobey her and her husband. In fact, the Debbie from accounting even mentioned they spoke back to her, disrespectfully! I again clucked my tongue loudly to illustrate my disapproval with the behaviours of such children. The cluck echoed inside the vast chamber and will be heard for years to come. If I were to open my mouth, the noise would deafen you. In my dreams, this is what I did. Day after day, year after year.
I can vaguely remember wearing white tennis shoes with white socks to work. At least I think I did. The white socks that were worn over nude stockings, if I am remembering correctly. Once at work, I'd replace the white socks and the tennis shoes with any number of shoes kept in the bottom of my desk drawer. I'd select from my black flats, my navy pumps, my ivory pumps, or my black pumps which lucky pair of footwear looked best with my outfit. Most of the time, I wore black flats. I'm tall enough already. Plus, black goes with everything—it always has and it always will. By the end of the day, my stockings would wrinkle up around my ankles. I felt so old and used.
The days would cycle and repeat themselves over and over and over again. In the mornings, the sun would greet me. Shining in a bright pink sky sometimes the sun turned shy and would hide behind a blanket of grey. Other times, it would peek out from the puffs of cotton floating in the atmosphere, taunting me.
Here I am
You cannot see me.
Haha. Fooled you again.
The sun knew of my reptilian ways—I needed the gas and hydrogen infused ball to warm up my blood, to get me moving. When the sun played these little mind games with me, I'd slow down, pacing and racing slower than a snail until I froze. Only then would the sun deign to come out, heating me up, making me move. And thusly, my morning would start.
I am a sycophantic wind up toy. Watch me move.
Underneath the city which I inhabit, are tunnels and nests, a million places to hide if you are so inclined. As the day roused itself from sleep, I would find myself standing at the edge of a platform waiting for a steel snake to carry me off to a distant land. Its mouth would open and I would step inside with the other swallowed rats. We'd all stare at one another and then silence. We are in the belly together! Throw in a disco ball and we'd really have some fun. But the other rats twitched nervously and I decided to be quiet. Scaring the other rats is never a good idea. "Shut up!" they scream in unison, afraid of contact, nibbling on their cheeses. Some ate cheddar, others brie. Most of us will never see each other again so why bother with fake conversation. I would have liked to but I've been rebuffed too many times and I've learned to stay silent. Hissssss. The snake would regurgitate us at various points throughout this distant land. Upon hitting the fresh air, our whiskers and tails would fall off, and wait for us to descend back into the tunnels ready to be eaten by the snake. Then we'd sail like mini Cousteaus through a vast network of concrete rivers with rubber footed horses racing by. These horses would run you over if you stepped in front of them. They were not very friendly; they never received any sugar cubes from me. Giant teeth arose from the concrete rivers. The sides of the teeth would gleam under the sunlight. Tiny people, as small as ants, would enter these teeth nesting inside various cavities for up to eight hours a day. These tiny people wore polyester, too. Some wore ties, others wore scarves but we all wore polyester— the miracle fabric. Anything can be made from it. But when it is made into clothing, this is when the true magic happens. This is when you know you are safely encased within a flame-retardant suit. Your suit of armour protects and insulates you from the day and from the tiny, tiny fire ants. You feel like Alexander the Great. You are unstoppable. Then it is back onto the steel snake whilst affixing our tails and whiskers safely into place, and wait to be regurgitated. The next day would happen again just like today, just like yesterday. Tomorrows tumble into one another and befriend the yesterdays. The days would fall like dominoes, all looking the same, feeling the same but they have to be different, right? It would be crazy if we lived the same day over and over again. But I woke up and I started to spin. And still the spin continues. Watch, watch me twirl.

Natasha Cabot is a Canadian writer based in Vancouver, B.C. She has been published in Wilderness House Literary Review and Ginosko Literary Journal. She cites Kurt Vonnegut, William S. Burroughs and Charles Bukowski amongst her favourite writers and inspirations. Natasha is currently working on a book of short stories that she hopes to get published soon.

Natasha Cabot has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and, thus, works in an office. Her lesson to you: get a degree in something useful if you are not planning a career in the arts so you can avoid being an office drone.