Thursday, May 31, 2007

Helena, The simpering whore from Montana

Helena never cared for her profession even though it was the oldest one. Oh sure, she always got hot meals and she worked in the clear fresh Montana air but the bending and lifting tired her and she never ever felt she was very good at it. Every night, after servicing battalions of priapic miners she would simper and wonder if she’d ever be good enough for the life she’d chosen. Even for a prostitute she had remarkably low self-esteem.

Her parents had lost her in a card game to an enterprising fellow that ran some cribs in the Canal Zone. Never the nostalgic type, she threw her self into her new life with enthusiasm and soon the sailors and visitors to that marine cross road were a blur to her. Of course, the first time a girl takes on the crew of a super carrier is always a fond romantic memory but she was touched to discover they remembered as well when they re-named the USS Carl Vinson, “Thanks Helena”. She recalled the time fondly and no matter how many times she was pounded into a mattress by subsequent crews or fleets, she always carried around a photo she and 4000 sailors had taken together outside the shabby hovel where she’d serviced the men and women of the mighty war ship.

The good times don’t last forever though and she was run out of that seafarer's paradise by the Colon City Council who decided that she was detrimental to the morals of the other prostitutes. She moved on to the greener if sooty pastures of Montana where a coal rush was full swing.

Miners had flocked to the Big Sky State where by dint of hard, backbreaking, labor they could earn enough to barely survive. She stood by the coal breaks outside mining camps and asked the miners if she could service them and then pay her what ever they thought it was worth. Frequently they would pay her in coal that they coughed out of their lungs or worthless bits of twine and sticks they fashioned into objects that they told her was money in their Slavic homelands.

All the miners loved her and gave her a pet name. "Little sperm bucket!" They'd yell out whenever they saw her servicing three or four of their co-workers by the mine head gate and then they’d line up to be serviced as well, while devising cruel, humiliating and degrading ways of abusing their favorite little prostitute. The miners were a penurious but inventive group and she often felt as worthless afterwards as the payment they rendered to her.

As she washed their sooty fingerprints from her supple young body she would mewl softly and count her pathetic earnings, barely enough to buy her food and lodgings for the day and never enough to pay for the course of antibiotics she usually required.

"Would no one ever rescue me from this terrible plight?" She wondered in her despair.

Other prostitutes led glamorous, drug addled lives, constantly being beaten and abused by Johns and pimps and if not dead by violence, they were often prematurely old and hobbled by disease. She had been around the world more often than a successful chain letter, she’d seen more strange penises than the Village People’s urologist, she’d swallowed more semen than the Bermuda Triangle, you do the metaphor, she was tired of waiting she wanted hers now.

LeRoi, her pimp, did the best he could by her, setting her up on the lucrative fraternity party circuit, introducing her to Carney folk that passed through town and giving her a sound beating whenever she needed it. But it was never enough. The money she gave him didn't pay for the gas his Lincoln used while he ran his stable of girls, let alone keep him in colorful feathered derbies or the garish fur coats he required. Despite his sentimental attachment to Helena, he didn't think she would ever make a go of it as hooker.

One day while she was taking a break from her day job as fluff girl for a traveling donkey show, she watched, stared really, at a young stranger riding into town. Helena liked what she saw. He was different from the other fellows in the town; he had dark curly hair and clear blue eyes, two, both of them on the same side of his head. When he dismounted and walked into the hotel his knuckles didn't drag on the ground. She could tell he wasn't drunk as there was no colorful pattern of vomit on his shirt, which had the added benefit of making him a good deal cleaner than everyone else she knew. Helena liked the cut of his jib, an expression she had picked up from the fleet and set out to meet the fascinating man.

He was the son of a well to do Boston family sent out west to make a separate fortune. He had a vision of a chain of shoe stores that specialized in selling dance pumps through out the mining country of the Northwest. It turned out they had much in common despite their different backgrounds. He collected scrimshaw; she had done most of the merchant marine in the free world. He ran shoe stores; she had feet. He'd traveled around the world locating master cobblers that could supply the kind quality foot wear he demanded; she'd given an around the world to a cobbler in trade for a pair of vinyl boots that a certain quality of client demanded she wear.

It was magic from the first time they met and soon they were in love. They held hands as they walked through the town, laughed at each other's jokes and gave each other goofy smiles. It never went any further than that perhaps because he respected her, perhaps because he didn’t quite understand what she did for a living. He proposed one night after she explained what could be done with a knotted handkerchief and a bowl of ice. She said yes, they started making plans and soon there were wedding bells in Helena's future.

The whole territory was glad for their simpering whore. Sentimental miners lined up around the block for days on end for one last go at her and just for old time’s sake, they didn't pay her. Le Roi even agreed to give her away; actually he slowed down the Lincoln and pushed her out in front of the church after she had pulled a train in a gang bang by a soccer team made up of degenerate Italian playboys. The experience might have spoiled another woman but Helena brushed off her wedding dress and headed straight to the altar. A few minutes later she left under a shower of rice while the strains of Handle's wedding march rang in her ears. She was a bride.

Their wedding night was so romantic; she only charged him fifty bucks and let him stay the night.

Elegy to the Princes of the Forest in Western Pennsylvania

I have big antlers on my head,

They go from ear to ear,

And every time I go to bed,

I know that I'm a deer.

You may have seen me in the woods,

In summer, spring or fall,

But probably you've seen me the best,

When my head's stuck on a wall.

A lot of hunters think its fun,

To chase us too and fro,

Don't they know we're just some bucks,

In it for the doe.

So if you hear a gun's report,

In a primal forest's splendor,

One of us is Pittsburgh bound,

Tied to some one's fender.

The Little Lame Bunny

The Little Lame Bunny was born during a very bad time for bunnies not that there had ever been any very good times for this relentlessly preyed upon species. The race of bunnies he belonged to were even more than normally hard luck having descended from experimental animals that escaped from a lab run by the good people at Monsanto to try out chemicals, cosmetics and germ warfare agents deemed too risky or horrible to test on other species. The hardy survivors of an open air test of a gelatin/nitric acid based hair colorant had followed a charismatic old gray hare to freedom when the product being tested melted their cages and restraints. The ones that had retained partial vision and some liver function were able to eke out a precarious existence in a nearby valley where the company dumped its toxins.

Things had gone as well as could be expected for the feral colony considering the valley was an EPA super fund site and the contaminated soil made the bunnies’ fur fall out in great handfuls. Mountain people occasionally snuck in and culled the herd finding furless albeit toxic rabbit too convenient to ignore. Recently genetically engineered dingoes had been introduced to control the coyotes that had been introduced to control the honey badgers that had been introduced to control the poachers but this had just increased the bunnies’ troubles since they all ignored their intended prey and just ate the rabbits.

The doe, his mother, had warned him to stay close to the warren while he grazed. As a lame bunny he was even easier pickings for Owls, snakes, hawks, alligators, wolves, weasels, stoats, hyenas, jackals, civet cats, raccoons, storks, leopards, bears and any other species that looked to be carnivorously inclined. It had gotten so bad that even the usually inoffensive and placid cow had, after generations of being force fed the remains of other cows, developed a taste for meat especially, you guessed it, bunny meat.

The doe loved the Little Lame Bunny best of all because he couldn’t forage very well and he was, after all, lame and lame is pretty darn cute. Perhaps she understood that his lameness wasn’t even that profound, that a simple surgical procedure would have corrected it. Then and again she might have realized that to perform such simple surgery would involve evolving an opposable digit like a thumb that could grasp a scalpel, then developing a tradition of intellectual curiosity and scientific research that would lead to a spectrum of disciplines including medicine with its supporting technologies: anesthetics and supported ventilation, antibiotics and bio/chemical research, recovery support and post operative care, all of which made the simple surgery possible, a rather tall order for a rodent everybody is eating.

Despite his lameness the Little Lame Bunny needed to eat the same amount of food as any bunny his size and were it not for his gamy leg he would have taken his chances with the other rabbits and foraged far and wide for more succulent grasses and juicy roots. His mother helped him as much as she could but insisted he stay near home and passed on to him all that she could of Bunny wisdom, which wasn’t much since the best syllogism any bunny had ever managed was: “I think I’m a bunny therefore I am eaten.” But she did her best and that may have been on her mind when she saved him from a pack of vicious predators by diving between them and sacrificing her body for his. Or perhaps she was suicidal; just being a bunny would be enough to cause that.

The Little Lame Bunny contemplated her advice as a herd of ravenous Guernsey’s pulled the limbs from her trampled although still living, screaming body. He would have called out her name but even in this anthropomorphic universe a bunny’s life was so brutally brief as to make naming one an exercise in futility. Her experience and subsequent, rather sanguinary, example reinforced his already healthy sense of self-preservation and he kept as close to the opening of the burrow and safety as rabbitly possible.

It finally dawned on the other bunnies that staying close to the burrows was at least a way of putting off the inevitable shredding in fanged jaws that ended the lives of bunnies not fortunate enough to be crushed beneath the wheels of a truck. The forage nearby, though never very good, was even more barren after the other bunnies finished and soon the grass was cropped to the roots around the entrance to the hutch. They eventually wandered off in fatalistic search of other, riskier pastures, some greener, some magenta depending on which aniline dyes were dumped there but the Little Lame Bunny was stuck with grubbing what sustenance he could find in the onerous and foul smelling PCB laden earth near the warren. After his gorge churning meal he’d curl up in his snug rabbit hole for whatever sleep he could manage over the sound of his growling stomach.

While he slept, he dreamed. He dreamed of a plush valley where the grass was naturally green, where all the leaves were edible and didn’t blister your lips when you chewed them. There were no dingoes, wolves or foxes, rabid or otherwise in his land of dreams. The old hare still watched over the rabbits and they grazed peacefully and filled up their bellies with nourishment from the earth. Best of all he walked normally in this perfect world, he could dance and frolic with the other bunnies in the sun light the way it was supposed to be.

But the old hare was long gone and the plush valley was just a dream. Or was it? As the pangs of hunger began to occupy the Little Lame Bunny’s every waking moment, he began to think. No one knew if the old gray hare had ever really existed whether he was still alive or had died, such is the nature of the historical discipline where the oral tradition has collapsed without the compensating development of literature. His mother was dead and there was no one left to ask so he decided to find out for himself.

Under the cover of a night so dark even the owls were bumping into things, he made his way to the top of the hill to the purported burrow of the old gray hare. It was a long and dangerous journey to investigate what was best described as more myth than rumor so he further enhanced his chances by telling the current generation of fledgling bunnies that predators were just bullies and it was best to stand up to them. The younger bunnies respected the little lame bunny and did what he said because he’d out lived most of his peers and assumed in the naiveté of youth that such an old soul must be wise and could only be a fountain of truth. When he subsequently ventured out, the predators that normally lurked in the gloom had so stuffed themselves on a succulent meal of young deluded bunnies that they were in their holes contentedly gnawing on the bony remains of the Little Lame Bunny’s former Acolytes.

The Little Lame Bunny followed a circuitous path to the top of the hill, past where the local children buried their pets to the very tippy toe top of the bunnies’ rather circumscribed world. He found a run down looking hovel hidden in the brush; The Little Lame Bunny held his breath and wondered if he’d found the Old Gray Hare. It looked like a hutch but he couldn’t be sure, the sign on the mailbox that read O.G. Hare, Esq. meant nothing to The Little Lame Bunny since he’d never learned to read. The Little Lame Bunny knocked on the hutch door. A surprisingly youthful old gray hare ushered the Little Lame Bunny into a rather plushly appointed warren and promptly sapped him from behind.

“How’d you find me? What the FUCK do you want?” He explained.

After the immediate effects of his concussion wore off, The Little Lame Bunny told the old gray hare his dream and wondered if such a land really existed. After the old gray hare made sure The Little Lame Bunny hadn’t told any one where he was going, wasn’t packing heat and had no family to miss him, he told him that indeed there was such place but that only special courageous bunnies went there. The Little Lame Bunny was overjoyed for a bit until the old Gray Hare began asking him other questions that the Little Lame Bunny couldn’t answer despite the electrodes taped to his testicles. After several gratuitous jolts or, as the old hare described it: “One for pleasure, one to treasure and one just to show them you mean business!” the Little Lame Bunny had his confidence.

Indeed there was such a land and it was all he had dreamt of and more and the Old Gray Hare would take him there. It was full of all the good things bunnies’ loved; it was so good that no one ever returned from there. As ominous as that would sound to anyone of normal intelligence, let us recall that we are dealing with bunnies here. The Little Lame Bunny was overjoyed and whistled happily as he followed the Old Gray Hare out on to the dismal, terrifying moor.

The path they took was even harder than the one The Little Lame Bunny took to the Old Gray Hare’s hutch and his little lame legs just about gave out. He persevered because he knew a better life had to be just around the corner, if there was any justice in the universe it had to be so, life couldn’t be so cruel. They clambered over fallen logs and scramble up rocks, the Little Lame Bunny never thought he could scale. The Old Gray Hare urged him on, that only work could set him free. He was so exhausted only the vision of a promised land kept him moving. That and the Old Gray Hare’s liberal and enthusiastic application of the lash.

The Little Lame Bunny sensed that the eyes of a thousand predators were watching them as they ascended the trail but he trusted the Old Gray Hare and followed anyway. The Old Gray Hare told him how there was always fresh clean grass to eat where they were going and things they could bring back to make the warren snug and cozy. The Little Lame Bunny would have squealed for joy if a rabbit were capable of making such a sound and the Old Gray Hare’s whip hadn’t just at that moment cut a divot out of his back. The old gray hare led him into a box canyon with sheer walls and no way out before the Little Lame Bunny thought to ask why the Old Gray Hare hadn’t stayed in such a happy place instead of repeatedly making this hazardous trip.

“They won’t let me.” The old hare said as a Coyote howled at the stars. “But as long as I cooperate they let me live and travel back and forth.”

The Little Lame Bunny saw the red eyes of the dingoes closing in on them. “Old Gray Hare, we’re surrounded but you are old and wise, how do we get them to let us pass on to our promised land?” The trusting bunny asked.

The Old Gray Hares eyes crinkled as he smiled. “I don’t know what you’ll do,” he said. “But I usually bring them something to eat.” And in a few moments the Little Lame Bunny understood what he meant.