Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nothing good is kept for later

Something is eating the alder 
The first time I saw a pile of entrails was on a farm in Amish Indiana. I was there for Thanksgiving, my first year of college in the States, my parents in Thailand. I went home with a Mennonite friend from high school, one of my roommates whose parents had been missionaries in the southern islands of the Philippines. Her parents had followed her to the States, and she took me and the three others back for the break, next door to the Amish.

We walked over, and they'd just finished slaughtering a cow. The Amish boys stood awkwardly on one side of the pile, and we missionaries hovered on the other. The older men talked of cows and harvest and slaughter, and I stared at the pile. How could a cow's liver be that big? How could there be that many loops of kinked intestine?

In my memory, the cow's head rested on top of the pile, all bug-eyed and monstrous. My friend James Yeo, whose family was also still on the field, kicked the pile with his skate shoe, absently, as a way of avoiding conversation. The head came tumbling down, landing at my feet. But that can't have happened, can it?

I dreamed recently of a heap of entrails, housed behind glass, before a black-eyed witch trying to take home away. One can turn all pragmatist, and insist on the randomness of dreams.  But I can't.

What does it mean?

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