Crazy in the coconutA Story by Beau-dee-loot
“Good evening, we haven’t seen you in a while, Kristin, where have you been, hiding?”
“I’ve been around, yeah; doing stuff, you know.”
“Doing ‘stuff’? What stuff? What stuff have you been doing, Kristen? I’m ears.”
“I’ve started college, uni - law, I’m studying law. I want to be a lawyer. It’s time. And working, working part-time, mainly weekends, 10-5am, at Dunbar’s in town: do you know it? Been really tired: no rest ...”
“It’s really good to see you here again. You’ve been missed. Hmm, Dunbar’s ... no.”
“I know, I meant to get down, but, you know, and everything.”
“Understood, but it’s good to see you. We were getting a little worried.”
“Worried? No need to worry, I’m fine.”
“A little worried.”
“No need for concern, just been busy, not got round to it, meant to drop by.”
“It’s just, you know, with the way things are, your issues, a little worried, chin-stroking concern.”
“Issues? No, I’m getting along fine, good, work, study.”
“How’s your - how shall I put it - personal life?”
“My ‘personal’ life.”
“Personal life, how is it?”
“It’s fine, nothing too heavy, just ...”
“Nothing too heavy.”
“Nothing too heavy, just ...”
“I’m sure. It heartens me, but what of the other things?”
“You know, the troubles.”
“The troubles, I don’t understand - other things?”
“Those well known disasters.”
“No disasters, just ...”
“Come, come, Kristen, you’re a filthy man, Kristen. This we know. I hate to remind you. Time teaches us - history: words, pictures, experiences.”
“What? I’m not, what are you talking about?”
“Where do you hide, Kristen, dark creature, eyes and fangs?”
“I don’t follow. I’m pretty much working and studying, that’s all. What do you mean ‘hide’? I’m not hiding, I’m out there, working and studying, like I say - law, Dunbar’s, you don’t know Dunbar’s?”
“The ladies, Kristen! The lovely ladies; the filthy s***s your nose chases. Sniff, sniff, sniff. Dunbar’s is off my radar.”
“Oh right, I’ve just started seeing someone, a girl, Claudia, if that’s what you mean?”
“Claudia the s**t?”
“Angel-faced Claudia? Pure Lady Snowflake?”
“She’s not a s**t. Her name is Claudia. She’s German, Munich. We met at work. She works in Dunbar’s, too.”
“Kristen and Claudia - lovely. I see it now. I hear bells. Can’t you hear them? Death chimes.”
“She is lovely. You shouldn’t mock. It’s going well. She’s into art house cinema and abstract expressionism.”
“Animals at it; humping feral European beasts, at it, back and forth.”
“Beastly thing, back and forth, the carnal rock.”
“Kristen the Beast, brother demon, another child falls prey to your sword.”
“But we’ve just met, a drink, had a meal last Wednesday, Tate. Nothing has happened. Nothing like that.”
“Your mind, Kristen; it’s in your mind, happened in there, many times over, the carnal rock, back and forth, many times spilt, your swollen trousers; out it pokes, the foul beam.”
“It’s not like that.”
“It’s always like that, Kristen. Long line of victims burnt; burns victims. Women maimed, disfigured.”
“It’s not like that.”
“This trail of claw-gnawing wenches, puddles of tears. You will not change, Kristen, you mount and destroy.”
“Those ... it wasn’t entirely my fault. Things happen. Things change.”
“Listen as I hiss, Kristen - Women pure, now tainted, trail behind led intestinal in your rotten claw.”
“You’re wrong. This is wrong. Why are you saying this? I loved those women.”
“You hate them, Kristen - your mother, witch at cauldron cooking ‘you stew’. All in here, all head tricks; the mind fools you into thinking you love them, keeps them reeled in, facilitates the destruction.”
“That’s f****n’ crazy.”
“It won’t make you happy, Kristen, black capers and escapades.”
“What do you mean ‘won’t make me happy’? I’m not doing anything. I am happy. It’s all cool.”
“Ha-ha-ha. Settle, Kristen.”
“I’m not mad.”
“No one said you were, Kristen; they are your words.”
“I’m feeling better.”
“Better from what - the madness? It’s an illusion, Kristen. You’re in the denial of a fresh permutation; it reigns. I see it. It destroys. This is our evidence. See it. You’re pawing at the meat. ”
“How do you mean?”
“What condition? I haven’t got a condition.”
“I’m using the word ‘condition’ lightly, you’re possessed, your need to destroy - your blood lust, your misogyny, professed through empty love, fosters entrapment, frustration, urges romantic death at the hands of your throttle. Two of those women are dead, Kristen. Take your head out of the sand; stop digging. You did it, read the news papers, obituaries. Blood on your fingers. Three are intransigent misanthropes, broken spirits, never again to trust. You ruin lives, ruined for men to come, others, people can’t get close, all hands over eyes and jitters. The knock-on effects are endless, ceaseless, Kristen, endless, they are. They don’t end. In death people suffer, those close, lives ruined - families; the butterfly effect, ripple, ripple, it poisons, poisons does the winged beast, all pretty colours and venom, off to the next one.”
“I need to self-preserve; need to look out for, look after myself. I need to be allowed to move on from all this.”
“A troubled mind: self, self, selfish winged beast, others die; the shameless flies.”
“I don’t fly.”
“You flea, you fly, you leave tortured souls to die.”
“I’ve grieved alongside. I’ve suffered plenty. I deserve my freedom.”
“Fly butterfly, to victim next, some hapless damsel, kneeling.”
“What else can I do? I need to get on with my life. I can’t forever be shackled to this past.”
“Repent, amend, apologise for your past, Kristen, your part in the downfall. That’s what you do, what a decent man does.”
“How? How can I do that?”
“Repent the evils, many and varied.”
“How, I don’t get it, how?”
“What proof? How?”
“Find your way, search, find your way, roll those marbles few.”
“But how will I know I have repented.”
“The ‘curse’, what curse?”
“The curse of the unrepentant depraved. Of which you’re one.”
“Never heard of it.”
“What do you fear most, Kristen?”
“Dying. Living through dying”
“This curse ....”
“Let’s play a game.”
“A game; a wonderful game. Bring into your mind a time of recent great sickness or woe. Have you ever been poisoned, Kristen? I was poisoned once, never again, absolutely foul, violent business.”
“What? What’s that got to do with anything?”
“I think it’s apt.”
“Like these women you poison: inebriate and cuff; intoxicate and snuff; these girls, these fragile glass-like vessels you fill.”
“India? I can see it now.”
“Yes, I was poisoned in India. I’m sure, certain of it, by the hotel manager, The Lela, after I complained of the food. I’m convinced. He spiked my drink. His name I forget, his face, never.”
“This is apposite, Kristen. You see the parallels? Your mind must link them, threads: the apparently fresh and appealing, thirst-quenching drink, mmm, delicious, gulp, gulp, gulp. You see the comparison? It’s laced with inner hatred, the drink; the drink and you both. You see?”
“It was a coconut lassie.”
“It was a drink, but it was spiked.”
“Can’t go near the stuff now.”
“Can’t go near what, Kristin?”
“To see one, even at a distance, makes me nauseous, head to foot, Pavlovian nausea. Huge pubic nuts.”
“Okay, let’s call it a day, Kristen. It was good to see you. Visit soon. Remember: repent. Think about it, ruminate.”
“I see. Goodbye. Thanks. I think.”
“Goodbye, Kristen. Visit soon.”
With that Kristen left, certain he had been in the presence of great and florid madness. He was tense. He was pensive.
Slipping through the heavy oak door ajar, Kristen moved onto the busy night-fallen street, city central, confronting a phalanx of drunks, parties of which bellowed and sang bawdily, taxis for hire, alleyway piss artists, skirts around hips, the crunk of heels and the cackles of minds’ lost; the whole tawdry Saturday affair, chavs dangling from gaudy pink limousines waving flags and tits in ludicrous fashions screeching incomprehensibly, people wobbling all over the pavement, ruddy-faced merry-makers sweating alcohol into their finery, squabbling lovers, street corner skirmishes, car horns and hunched over vomiting. The sounds haunted the unnerved Kristen as he hesitated his way through the unhinged throngs, himself lucid, perceptually heightened, the street noise, amplified, deafened him, midnight flashes causing him to squint and recoil. He reflected as he manoeuvred paranoid the moments just past, uncertain they had taken place, whether the entire experience was in his head, and the sense that he didn’t currently know his own mind, which further amplified his anxiety and exasperated his chest. It seemed more akin to a bad foreboding dream that he wasn’t quite free from. Were his memories real, to be trusted? Could he rely on his brain to relay the truth, or was it lost to reconstructed versions, inventions, ostensibly lies? It tormented him back to his flat; the sky’s low purple-grey making fists at him as he walked stooped in the shadows. Rain began to fall heavy, drowning out the sounds of the streets to create an all the more ominous paranoia devoid of extraneous perception.
At home Kristen moved to the bathroom and studied himself in the mirror above the sink, studied the man, the face, and recollected the evils this man in this face and body had brought to the lives of men, women, children, some of whom unknown, and pondered the myriad little horrors outside of his field of vision that he had unaware contributed to, and what horrors consequent lay ahead for the man, the face, the body that stared back. He retired to bed, restless, where he wriggled and turned all night with images of the aggrieved he had rent, slain, lain in his wake, counting tears and victims both - family, friends and lovers, many let downs, many tired, anguish-ridden faces stared back at his inner eye, hostile and hurting.
His meditations were broken up with dreams in which he was pursued by coconuts on a remote island somewhere unfathomable. He was alone on the island, somewhat lost, where these beastly nuts pursued him, chased him down to the beachfront from the forest, slowly encroaching like zombies, sort of wobbling toward him, forming a semi-circle of menace around him where the sand meets the sea. Kristen felt the water lap his ankles, it felt like bites, and his feet began to sink, a swallowing, as the crazed coconuts further encroached, forcing him deeper into water and sand both. Slowly they backed him into the sea, the tide coming up more fiercely by the moment. They cracked coconut smiles accompanied by white noise, until he was submerged, the salty water filling his mouth; he lost breath and woke up thirsting.
It was 3am, lights on, dappled with freckles of sweat, he wiped his face with the back of his hand, feeling stubble, all wiry, and reflecting, considered it fast overgrown, since he’d only shaved the previous morning. The texture was different and felt alien; the hair more dense and twisty. He pinched himself on the n****e to reassure himself he was awake. He was.
Walking into the kitchen, lights on, he opened cupboards randomly, his mind 50 percent on food - he hadn’t eaten since the previous day’s afternoon - and 50 percent elsewhere. Eating six crackers with cheese and onions, he felt again at the strange arrangement of hairs around his chin, and suddenly, entering a fresh level of consciousness, recollected the previous evening’s conversation and raced into the bathroom before the mirror above the sink, his heart beating strongly in his chest and his mouth drying.
Standing before the mirror with his eyes shut, his chest thumped that he could hear nothing else. He counted ‘1, 2, 3’, then ‘3, 2, 1’, then ‘1, 2, 3,’ again, then ‘A, B, C’, then ‘3 ... 2 ... 1’ and opened his eyes. Phew normal ... or was it? He looked a little closer, noting stray bristles, which he recognised instantly as coconut pubes. He reflexively vomited in the sink. As he saw one, he spotted another, and so on, like stars in the night sky. He was covered in them, and he was certain they were proliferating, at an alarming rate. He opened and closed his eyes, over and over again, should this be an optical trick of illusion. He rubbed the eyes with cartoon style intensity and exaggerated sweeps of the knuckles; still the coconut hairs, proud and growing, longer and longer, twisting tendrils. He pinched himself, still the awful hairs, scraggly, the dreaded hairs. He vomited fresh into the sick-filling sink, thick reeds of vomit in his coconut beard, stringing betwixt the twiggy tendrils of the carapace. He fainted with the scent of savoury sick in the air.
It had been a bad dream, the worst. He came round. An awful dream. He felt at his face and leapt to his feet. It was not a dream. He looked again into the mirror above the sink in the bathroom at an increasingly oval coconut hairy face and fainted.
He woke. He woke with a start, his heart pounding, a night of nightmares. It was the worst nightmare he’d experienced - he’d had many - no doubt about it, the most terrible thing. It felt so vivid, so real. He lifted himself to his feet, still breathing heavily. He mopped his sweated brow, and again fainted.
When he came round again there was no sense of dreams, just stark reality, the feral scream as he again stared into the bathroom mirror above the sink, the tears, the foetal rocking, and relentless feeling at his head and face. He could feel his head changing shape, elongating, becoming more oval, it was like being in a vise, and he imagined just as painful. He gripped his head through this shape shifting torture. He looked in the mirror almost continually, still in shock.
Pretty soon tactics started to kick in, cold clarity, and he began to strategise. He recalled what he had been told the previous day and how he needed to repent for his many deep and petty sins all. He began to run through his misdemeanours and tick them off with feelings of regret and remorse. After each victim and scenario had been considered, internally confronted with expressions of rue Kristen returned to the mirror to examine the effect. There was no change. Things continued to progress horribly.
Within half an hour his head now almost an exact replica of a coconut, Kristen stood before the sink and mirror screaming ‘I’m so sorry’ at the top of his lungs, appending various name to the remorseful stentorian bellows with no apparent effect to his huge, nut-like head.
He gripped at his head, squeezing it, trying to fight the final stages of the metamorphosis, all the time chanting endless names of ex-girlfriends, family members, colleagues, associates who he had wrong done over time to no avail.
He picked up his phone from the bathroom floor:
“Kristen, hi, how are you?”
“Kristen, what’s up? Why are you crying? What’s up, Kristen?”
“Oh my God!”
“What’s up? Are you okay?”
“I’m at home, Claudia, don’t worry, I’m at home, oh my god, I’m sorry.”
“Sorry? What do you mean? Kristen, you’re scaring me.”
“I’m so scared.”
“Why, what’s up?”
“My head’s turned into a coconut.”
“You don’t understand. You know my head?”
“It’s turned into a coconut.”
“What? What are you talking about, a coconut?”
“It’s a big, hairy coconut. My head.”
“Kristen, stop f*****g about, this isn’t funny now.”
“I’m serious, Claudia, believe me, it’s a coconut. I’m fucked. My head is a f*****g coconut. What am I going to do?”
“F*****g stop it, Kristen, this isn’t funny, you’re freaking me out.”
“Claudia, seriously, for f**k’s sake, it’s a coconut, get help. I need help. It’s f*****g crazy!”
“Okay, I’m coming round.”
The phone went dead. He couldn’t be seen like this. He continued to scream apologies into the mirror hopelessly but could no longer ascertain whether the remorse he felt, the pain that he experienced, was in any way related to his wrong doing or if it was all about the coconut head, and he fast came to the conclusion that it was all about his own head of troubles and he didn’t care a jot about the hurt he’d caused, that he was a terrible man, and over the next five minutes he became more secure in this belief and understood that he deserved his plight. He stopped emptily chanting names and resigned himself to his destiny, the curse. He felt sensations inside his head now, his mind was being emptied. He started to forget, forget what he was thinking - the removal men arrived, were put to work - became disorientated, gone the furniture of his mind, his thoughts, disappeared, replaced with white noise, and fear spread like ice across the conscious plain, freezing over beneath misty skies. He peered into the mirror, eyeless yet seeing, mouthless at the coconut exterior, the object nut, lifeless, reflected back, tasting the coconut sickness. This was the end. He began to smash his nut forcibly against the bathroom mirror, launching his weight at it - harder and harder he cracked it on the glass with unremitting fervour, the reflection cracking, the nut cracking as perceptions faded, he saw the white milky innards trickle from his cracked shell, yet still some dark force inside kept him throwing his enervated nut at the wall as Claudia entered the bathroom, cradling her head in her hands whilst Kristen’s brains bled down his skull, neck and shoulders, fountains showering her pretty pinkness with claret spatters, his dead eyes glared at hers as he fell to his demise.
© 2012 Beau-dee-loot
Manchester, North West, United Kingdom
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