THE CHILD IS POTENTIALLY DEADLY (A Parable)
There was a boy whose name was Adolf and he loved to douse bodies with gasoline. There was a girl whose name was Otis and she lived inside a horse. “Addie,” the boy’s friends used to call him when they sniffed scotchguard in garages all across the suburbs. Otis was always called Otis but the horse was called Convulsions.
One day Otis and Adolf decided to become Artists in the Big City.
Otis and Adolf came from different kinds of families and their families responded in different ways to these new plans. Adolf’s father looking silly in his hat and medals from the war. He looked particularly silly in the footage from the war, dousing small bodies with gasoline. Despite all of this silliness he loved art and was overjoyed when his son told him the big news.
“But what kind of art are you going to make?” the father asked the son.
“The kind of art that inflicts me with bodily damage,” answered Adolf.
Otis’s family was more responsible and more concerned about their daughter’s wellbeing.
“Who is going to feed the horse,” asked her mother.
“I’m going to let it starve for art,” said Otis.
“How will you clean it,” asked her father.
“I will use the riot hose of the big city,” said Otis.
“How will you keep its blood from being poisoned,” asked her little brother while sucking on his worn-out thumb.
“I will let the city pollute every capillary of its body,” answered Otis.
And with that she left the suburbs with Adolf and moved into the big city, which was swarming, yes, swarming with people and toys and guns and insects and cars.
Everybody shimmered with sweat.
“How do we get started,” asked Adolf. “I can’t wait to become an Artist.”
“We have to figure out what to do for our art,” said Otis. “It can’t involve my horse because she has already been dying for days.”
“That’s too bad because I love the sound horses make when they are hit by bullets. Should we kill girls?” asked Adolf anxiously.
“Killing girls is so typical,” answered Otis. “It’s like a wallpaper out there of dead girls. How about giving birth to a child instead,” she suggested and sucked on a straw that led into a bottle of orange soda.
It was ironic that the child they conceived of in the sweaty dark, fiddling with each other’s genitals and slobbering on each other’s shoulders and lips, looked a bit like a dead girls and a bit like a horse.
“What do we do now?” asked Adolf.
“We have to exhibit her,” said Otis, who had already begun working on a silver cage.