Spaced… the Final Frontier: These are the Voyages of the Starship Enter-her-slowly-never-mind-the-prize
Episode 1: Do you know who Mr. Bojangles is?
By Hans Billimoria.
Have you ever hurt? Really hurt. Hurt so hard… it fucking hurt. From swollen scrotum to curling toes. Your tight pinched sphincter throbbing all the way up your spine. Fireworks in your hippocampus that strangely solidify into gooey burning embers that slither down to into the depths of your twisting sternum…
Yes, of course you have hurt like that. We must all hurt like that. It’s in our contract. Not even in the small print… it’s there, paragraph three, middle of page one, bold and underscored – life will fucking hurt.We read it. We signed it. We believe it.
We’re also very good at it. Feeling hurt comes as naturally as sucking on a teat. But where we really excel, surpass expectations, is when we choose to become its instrument.
Oi, you fucking ruptured mucus membrane, are you listening? Can you hear me through all that snotty slobbering?
O the remorse and regret when we realize that not all of us get to do as we please. We feel so fucking sorry for ourselves. It’s so fucking unfair. Why can’t I kill her and still dance free. Others do it. This game is fixed!
Boo fucking Hoo. And Hoo enjoys it.
Hoo especially enjoys watching you realize that pretenders and panderers always get fucked. They forget to read the small print. The finest of finest print that states how fucked you really will be regardless of your efforts at grandiose delusionary illusions. Not everyone is a fucking magician. Most end up here, with me, to survive on congealed despair.
The best we can do here is to never ever forget to not remember.
Did you push her too hard? Did the edge of the bed get in the way? Was that upturned leg of the stool frolicking where it shouldn’t have? Naughty stool leg. Bad stool leg. You didn’t mean to push her that hard. You didn’t want to tear her a new vagina just next to her right kidney. It’s just not convenient. Even your wildest most brutal threesome fantasy didn’t go that far.
The funny thing about wooden baton threesome fantasies is that in prison, they almost always come true. Especially if the prisoner looks like you, boy. Pretty-witty-boy. Nice full lips, with an arse that looks like it climbed a thousand steps every day.
Shush. I’d pass you a lace handkerchief with a tiny Union Jack moth embroidered in the corner, but I don’t have one. It couldn’t soak up your blubbering anyway.
Come here darling. Forget the facts, the happenings, the what-came-to-pass… leave all this behind son. It’s fine. It’ll still be here when you get back. Growing colder and harder and lumpier as it awaits your eternal return. That the thing about prison. It eternally returns everything. Over and over again.
The best way to challenge a life sentence is to ignore the period, at the end, and replace it with a question mark.
A question son, curves up, curves down, almost completes a circle… but there is a gap, and we can use this gap, this space, to escape. Island hop. Float away. Be free.
Here’s a question son, do you know who Mr. Bojangles is?
Mr. Bojangles used to sit in a cell just like this in New Orleans.
He was the first man to call me son.
My mother was a whore. My daddy, a drunken sperm that managed to scrounge together two dollars for two minutes of shoving it into her. Then ripe with child, she fucked some more, holding tight to her ever growing fist full of dollar bills, laced through her broken fingers, a symbol of her illicit prosperity. When the time came I dropped out of her womb right there on the jute camp cot, the donkey bed, her travelling boudoir.
Her customer with the pregnant prostitute fetish got more than he ever imagined he would, could, should. She wanted to finish. He didn’t. Placentas and umbilical cords can be quite knotty-grotty. The erect penis retreats to flaccid state and then retracts completely like a snail into its pelvic shell when presented with birth-blood gushing out of the vag it was just enjoying. She extracted two dollar bills from her fist bank and laid them over my crusty eyes. She wasn’t paying Charon to ferry me across the Styx. She was abandoning me to my fate. Repaying me with the two dollars that conceived me.
I’m done giving you a home. My body is mine again.
She had fulfilled her pledge to not tear me from her womb with a curved coat hanger. She wanted no part in murder. She picked up her donkey bed and fucked off, with her fetishist in tow, quickly hardening at the thought of fucking a just-birthed mother.
Mr. Bojangles… now there was a man if ever I knew one and one is all I’ve ever known. We talked of life. We laughed. We cried. Joy and Suffering, son, are our constant companions. Bosom Buggers. They never abandon us. They are the angel and demon on our shoulders that constantly whisper and mumble instruction.
Mr. Bojangles taught me how to see them in reflections and shadows. The only time they shut up is when we dance. Mr. Bojangles danced. He loved nothing more than to dance. Dance. Dance.
Snuggle up son. The first night is always the hardest. Then, it just gets harder still for at least another forty days and forty nights, but when the great flood ebbs, you will dance again. Just like Mr. Bojangles intended.
Don’t get me wrong, son, he wasn’t always right, he wasn’t always perfect, he was reckless… yes, of course he was reckless… but so meticulous in his recklessness. So precise. He harmed no one. No man. No woman. No between. No puppy fucking dog. Leave it son. Don’t draw that picture in your head.
Mr. Bojangles didn’t even harm Mr. Bojangles. This was New Orleans son. America. Even in that crotch city the cell was warmer than the cold dark night outside. There was a blanket, a pillow, hot food. And we got to dance. This was all part of the great cycle of Mr. Bojangle’s life. He needed prison to stay alive. He had to withdraw before he started again. Every single time. He didn’t want to die. He just wanted to keep dying, over and over and over again, for as long as he could.
My first day there he sat across from me on his bunk. Legs folded like a god damned man from the Ganges with his palms pressed together. He looked past me and was faraway. Thin. Fit-thin. Old-fit-thin. He looked thirty four and sixty five. I could just about take him in a fight. I do this every time son. Size up every man I share a cell with. I hate getting buggered. I’m sure you understand. And there are some mean sex starved crazy sons of bitches out there in this mad forgotten world who would even bugger me. Their souls emptied out a long time ago son, their skins just barely holds together, keeping the demons from tearing loose.
That first day, lying in a puddle of sweat, I touched my broken nose. It still bled. Mouth-breathing, I wondered at the guard’s savaged fist. He had screamed when I caught it between my mandibles and refused to let go. My spine was their xylophone. Their hammers weren’t covered in felt. I was convinced my kidneys were bleeding. I hobbled over to the stained pan and pissed pink – I smiled at how well I now knew my brokenness and just made it back over the expanse of the cell to sit again when he spoke.
There is a needle under your bunk he said still looking faraway. I have watched it for seven days beckoning the dust. It lies there dead, plastic and rust, cold. Put your head between your legs son. Put your head between your legs and look at life that was once dead and now is about to live again. I put my head between my legs. I saw a used syringe with a rusting needle. The blood rushed to my brain and drip-dripped from my nose, and I started to think upside down about what he had said when wrinkled nimble fingers came spidering in and cracked fingernails tapped at the plastic tube. Tap, tap, and another tap.
It’s not broken! He cried. I wondered at the mastery of such a delicate touch. Then gently he rolled it towards his nose now snuffling between my bare calloused feet. We bumped heads. Empty sounds. He didn’t flinch. His eyes were set upon their task. Examine the needle. Examine the chamber of painful pleasure.
I rubbed at the surfacing bump on my forehead and kept my eyes closed to help magic away the pain. It hurt. I opened my eyes and Mr. Bojangles was still on his knees, crouched in reverence before his promise of the dragon. My tired red eyes fell on his thinning scraggly grey pate. 6 6 6 was tattooed on to his scalp at the base of his skull. A drop of blood from my nose fell deafeningly and splashed across the bottom six.
My mouth dried. Fear tastes like sand. Part of me wished that I had never been born. Again. Another part of me felt like Gregory Peck. And the rest of me remained par for the chaos.
He looked up and smiled at me with broken teeth. Three months they’ve had me inside son. Three months. Do you know what that does to an old dragon worshipper like me? It kills me son. It kills me so dead that this dead is all I’m going to get. I can’t even get deader. Sometimes getting deader and deader and deader is the most divine experience you could ever have son. You feel closer to god. So close you can feel his breath upon your cheek and the cool caressing wind of angel wings, the touch of their gentle hands upon your body. It makes me hard just thinking about it son.
This is a shit death son. These three months of dying have been robbed of all its pleasure.
I couldn’t breathe. My teeth were clenched tighter than a Falstaffian arse on its interminable way to the loo to evacuate the debauchery of the night before. I closed my eyes again trying to will away the vision of this beast before me, and when they forced themselves open in fear of the devil feeding on my liver, Mr. Bojangles was once again seated like a god man in meditation, except this time his eyes were not lost faraway. They were fixed downward on the dirty plastic and rusty pin reverently placed upon his crossed palms.
I started to mouth-breathe again and never took my eyes off him.
Bildquelle: (c) DA