by Greg Petix

The bipedal rabbit stands with his back to the wall. His ears are vibrating, erect with rage. His eyes are wells of wired desperation. Within his long white arms, a little boy struggles. The rabbit jams the barrel of his pistol deep inside the child's mouth. Across the room, a little girl submerged in a tangle of rope stares on.

The patron saint of longing, his nose twitching spastic, his thoughts a raving torrent:

fucking little cocksucker, one taste is all I wanted, one bite of your god damned prescious cereal, but it's all past that now, my want's turned big and ugly and I'm cold and dead inside so get ready to suck bullets from my pistol you stinking selfish Amplified words buzz through the open window, interrupting his reverie.

"All right rabbit, we've got you surrounded! Let the kids walk out and we'll go easy on you!"

The rabbit screams back, "Not until you give it to me, motherfuckers, one taste, one god damned taste!!!"

The megaphone voice chuckles.

"Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!"

A pistol shot rings out, as sharp and clear as the pang of a lover's heart.

The policemen storm the building with firearms and feather dusters in hand. It will take them twenty-eight seconds to reach him.

The dead boy lies bleeding on his feet, his lucky rabbit's feet. The fury bleeds out of his face, leaving him cold and still. Stepping over the body, he approaches the shivering girl. In a voice like day-old embers, he speaks.

"Sister of the corpse, with open-wide eyes full of fear and the hot steel of my gun pressed tightly against your temple, I dare you to say it. I dare you."

I wake up laughing. I haven't done that in a long time. Laugh, that is. I wake up everyday.

A song from my childhood blares out from the clock radio, grating my nerves like cheese. Backed by beeping synthesizers, three falsetto voices bleat:

"They say disco.
Down on their knees.
We say no go.
We be Bee Gees."

It's a track off of Wakka Ding Hoy, the Bee Gees last ditch attempt to win back their jukebox fiefdom. When disco died without mourning, America's favorite castradas hoped that going new wave would jump start their flaccid careers. They were wrong. When you go out of style, there's not much you can do to get back in.

I get out of bed and walk into the bathroom. The morning ritual must be performed, or else she will loom.

Fucking solo to the Degas poster on the wall, I try to keep the paint strokes from melting into her. A Nostalgia perfume commercial on the radio whispers, "Oh, how the ghost of you lingers." Ain't that the truth.

My desire dies quickly. My left hand doesn't feel guilty. The words 'spilt milk' come to mind.

Now that she's gone, the nights crawl like the viscous beads of cum creeping over the porcelain, under water. The days speed by like quicksilver, minutes of self pity and sloth bloating into hours. Nothing gets done, nothing ever changes. I have let my brain go fallow.

I turn on the sink to wash my hands and chunky brown water spills out of the tap. Fucking Ahab. To cut corners, my cheapskate landlord Ahab supplies my place with reclaimed water. I wash my hands in the toilet.

I turn off the radio and turn on the television. On the Circus Channel, Pagliacchi the clown throws cherry bombs into the audience while wily wildebeasts whistle whistfully. On the Religious Channel, Billy Sunday hollers down from his pulpit about the evils of Pop Rocks and soda. On the Cartoon Channel, Wile E. Coyoye sinks his teeth into the Roadrunner, the revelation of the act resonating like a struck power chord in my head. On the glass surface of the television, my face is reflected over the coyote's, and I think back to that night like cataclysm, my own passionate catechism.

Flashback warps me to Joe's Bar...

"Does my tongue taste funny to you?" For some reason, she finds my pick-up line endearing. She studies Latin American history at the Random Ludwig Institute. I study the liquid curves of her breasts. She tells me about Xitep Hualtipec, the Aztec explorer who discovered Europe sixty-five years before Colombus discovered America. I tell her about the time my shit was foamy. She postulates a world in which the Incas and the Aztecs fought for supremacy in a Western Hemisphere unravaged by conquistadores and clerics. I postulate a world in which her legs are permanently wrapped around my head. After exchanging sloopy kisses and haikus of lust, we leave the bar together, build-up on my tongue from waxing poetic and her saliva still warm in my ear. We come here. We come here. The night burned like fire.

Later, my groomhead pilfered and my wood de-petrified, I stare at her sleeping back, gloomily luminous in the rays of moonlight. As a sleepy freight train howls mournfully in the distance, the tattoo dragon on her shoulder stares at me with a frightening intelligence.

In the days that follow, we spend long hours fucking and drop hits of acid the way a groupie drops names. Her beauty is a rare, transient thing, a beauty that can come on as strong as a piss-drenched bag lady or slumber as quietly as a passed-out bum. After so many slow years of yearning, I have what I want: someone who gives a flying fuck about me. Through her, I am redeemed.

It all ends when I taste another man's cum on her tongue.

That night, I bike out to the desert and find myself staring down the side of a cliff. Stepping over the edge, I give myself over to gravity, my imitation of Wile E. Coyote complete.

A week later, I wake up in a hospital bed with ten broken ribs, a ruptered spleen, and a raging hard-on...

Salad days wilt in my memory. Failing to mop up the spilt milk of my life, I'm left seeking dark solace in television and misogyny. When life hands you a lemon, squeeze the juice into your eye.

On the Laundry Channel, the Shroud of Turin is pulled from a dryer, bleached white and April fresh. On the Cooking Channel, an expressionist chef pours a whole tin of paprika into the lemon meringue and calls it Love. On Channel 23, the Rabbit is dreaming that he is in a place where Trix are for rabbits, and kids go hungry. When a spoonful of the sublime cereal enters his mouth for the first time, that night comes back to me again, as sharp and clear as the pain in my heart.

But that silly rabbit's just dreaming.