It doesn’t feel like a labyrinth. It doesn’t feel like I could find my way out just by trusting the path. Let’s call it a maze, then.
I feel like a Minotaur, a mythical half-human beast that nobody believes in.
“Oh, come on, you are not either a Minotaur. There’s no such thing.”
What’s a Minotaur anyway? Is that the one that’s half bull? Which half: the top or the bottom? Does it even matter?
Tell me again that there’s no such thing. I will tear your face off. I’ll take your house apart with my bare hands, assuming I can find it. That’s a pretty major assumption at this point: that I could find your house. Or that I even have hands.
The only thing I’m sure I have right now is a voice in my head that keeps saying “Jesus Fucking Christ” every time something happens. “Jesus Fucking Christ, there’s someone breathing over there. Make her stop.”
Apparently, I also have ears to hear this voice. Whose ears are they? What shape are they? How big? Are they furry?
Someone over there has feet. Jesus Fucking Christ. Make her stop. Who said she could have feet? Let’s chew them off at the ankles.
Who are all these people, and what are they doing in my fucking labyrinth or maze or paper bag or whatever this thing is that it feels like I will never find my way out of?
I am seven dwarves, strapped together to make a ridiculous monster: Grumpy, Stompy, Bitey, Screamy, Jumpy, Flinchy, and Smash. We live in a little plastic house under someone’s bed, in a forest of shoes and killer dust bunnies. We are the monster under the bed, the monster at the center of the labyrinth, the monster at the end of the book. Somebody made us in her image. Why did she do it? Why didn’t someone make her stop?
Why doesn’t someone make me stop? I’d like to see them try.
Grumpy, Stompy, Bitey, Screamy, Jumpy, Flinchy, and Smash can’t figure out how to unstrap themselves, so they all sleep in one gigantic bed. It takes up a whole room. In the morning, they eat leftovers for breakfast. What were they, before they were leftovers? They were leftovers-to-be, kid. Shut up and eat your breakfast.
After breakfast, they go to work. Sometimes they work in the trash mines, and sometimes they go to the factory where things are made from trash they mined the day before. The rusty tools, the moldy cardboard boxes, the moth-eaten rugs.
What do they make? That’s a secret. They don’t know. They couldn’t tell you even if they wanted to. Their mother would like to know. They can only shrug and go back to work. Or to lunch, which is (you guessed it) more leftovers. And then home again to wash off the dirt and fall into bed and dream.
They dream about being lost, or being in a high place and not knowing how they got there or how to get down, or looking for someone they can’t find because they don’t remember who it is. “Jesus Fucking Christ,” says Grumpy. It is exhausting even when they’re asleep.
Stompy is always kicking Bitey in the spleen. Smash throws the blankets off, and Flinchy stretches out of the bed to retrieve them. Screamy bites the pillow, which turns out to be Jumpy’s leg. Oops. And then they all wake up in the plastic house in the maze in the forest of shoes, and they eat leftovers for breakfast again.
What were they before they were leftovers? When does repetition become change? Are we there yet? Is there even a there to get to?
Jesus Fucking Christ.