We drove out to a party for one of Nate’s friends, a small group of people who had always been nice to me but for some reason I never liked. To get to the house we had to first drive up and down these four-lane end-of-the-world type highways through a series of identical farmtowns, undead Wisconsin in the early winter when everything is the color of dishwater, taking a series of nonsensical lefts, rights, u-turns, until we finally reached a dirt road that ended abruptly at the top of a hill sloping down toward the house in question. We got out, stretched a bit, grateful, and Nate bolted for the house, determined to follow through with plans. The house was a place of squalor, backwater, black horseflies making manic patterns in the air, unsure of what to land on, what was safe. A couple people got high on couches, a couple people were half-dead watching television. There was a child sitting on the shag carpeting, both the child and the shag shades of brown I hadn’t seen occur naturally (the child Caucasian, blond as a Nazi), waiting out some kind of new gum treatment their insurance had recently paid for: the sawing off of the top half of the teeth and filling the jaw with some kind of fancy bleach to kill everything bad inside, hollow her out, make her clean and pure and white again. I had read something about the bleaching treatment, but even if it weren’t for that, they were filling the child’s bone hollows with a chemical that promised to kill everything organic and natural with the hope that nothing would fester. I wanted to protest but Nate and the others looked at me sternly, shouted me down, continued with the party, and I sat on the carpet watching television with the child on the carpet, whose body was slowly being eaten away from the inside out.
Dreams and other bullshit 5