I was eaten of by worms as I slept. I wouldn’t have noticed except that I was cruelly awakened. I would have slept the contented sleep of death into that long dark oblivious of the worms and their slime glands beneath my eyeballs and fingernails. I was awakened.
I was awakened the first time, awakened the first time by a bearded jack-in-the-box faced man wielding dual leaf blowers, one in each hand, blowing dirt and leaves from the city park pathways. His maroon shirt was stained dark with sweat and grime; the sleeves cut away to reveal meaty, flabby, tattooed, ham-hock arms. He swung the noisemaker windmachines back and forth in languid arcs.
I rolled further into the dark underbrush, pulling leaves and worms over my head and went back to sleep. Some other time later after the strolling bandsaw man I was reawakened by the high school marching band, traipsing back and down across the field, rehearsing their movements and motions.
Satanic hands like houses moved over my brain, wicked fingers digging, rooting, in my eye socket, in my soul and orbit, smearing me with droning ooze. Screaming, shrieking demon horns and cinematic winds in the air and me in the mud with the bugs under the leaves in the shade of a copse of trees at the far end of the park. I rolled over, ready to vomit, but nothing came up.
What was I dreaming just before this? Something about a very little man, drunk Henry Kissinger on the uptown bus downtown. It’s that time again, when the violent gorillas are getting drunk. Now I was vomiting, watery yellow vomit like dog bile splashed over the ground litter and my ragged shoes.
I wiped my face, felt the worms beneath my skin, beneath my eyelids. They squirmed like the newly dead and burrowed deeper. “Eat, worms,” I said to them, quoting the forgotten desert mystic, “eat what the Lord has given to you.”
I am worm and not a man, living by routine, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. Deposed by myself. I slept with roaches, reproached and scorned. Alone in the secret shadows, forgotten. Not a mortal but a maggot. The dry desert burning in my throat would not be quenched. I pray for death, but the worm does not die.