Ms. Mimeo Read Aloud: The Ritual and The Book of Sleep

crazy picture of neon

“Laser Beam Arcade” Photo Credit: K. Shawn Edgar

When Ms. Mimeo read aloud, Rosser always listened. Sitting with his back to a wall, painting his toenails, he engineered a city of faith between himself and her. On bad days, days whipped with distractions, when the rain was pummeling the windows so efficiently that the carbon fiber glazing splintered and peeled, Rosser wanted to hear the hard truth. He wanted the stories of gritty cold oatmeal and pacemakers that fail. Or of young girls who loss a shoe in the airport, and then have to fly off to Paris a bit barefoot.

Just like the girls he knew in school that tiptoed barefoot through shards of glass around him as he fumbled for soothing words. Why did they seem so scared — roaming eyes, half sentences? He felt at such times he needed, deserved, the full face punch. Stories read aloud that stung like laser beams through an adrenaline filled arcade. He wanted the raw, fibrous bar-talk stories. Like the tales of a Mister Jim who fought and cursed at a Miss Daisy. She, in turn, scorched him with a look and spat with a vengeance throughout the customary brawl and into the foreseen sexual encounter.

It was a Tango Ms. Mimeo said — a death Tango, a life Tango. Her eyes became storm; her eyes became the deep blue of an Inland Sea at Midnight. She spoke of winter, but moved like spring. A spring of dower, warm nights; lightening filled nights. Nights of soul growth. Days of body recovery. It was good. And he felt like dancing. Rosser always needed to dance while he watched Ms. Mimeo’s lips work the magic of words. Dance, Rosser. Dance to the drops of metallic chemical rain on the shattering window panes. Dance for she’ll read like a storm of musicians playing a jazz jig straight out of the heart and lungs of chaos.

Rosser, still with his back to the wall, felt his insides plunging over the many edges of the room. He saw thick tracers of light from mirror images of himself making a two-three time with echoes of Ms. Mimeo’s voice, bouncing off the vaulted ceiling. He danced in his vaulted head till sweat began to compose itself on the backs of his ears, and on the stunted webs between his fingers. He spun, and his mind was soothed like a chirping baby bird in its nest by the deliverance of a tasty worm.

Rosser was lowered into dreams. Rapid eye movements jolted his eyelids and pacified his urban hustled brain. Rosser slept.

K. Shawn Edgar | Lymph Node Lizard | Tin Merchant | Lovely Pucker


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