Tuesday, July 19, 2016

nightmares & hallucinations

The Duchess's Kitchen, by John Tenniel.

I've been here in the kitchen for 9 yrs now. Except for the normal-looking little girl entering at right, the cast of characters is perpetual. 

The Duchess holds a baby who is writhing in pain and rage, as she makes ineffectual attempts to comfort it. She looks like Broderick Crawford in dire need of a fifth and a pack of Luckies, partly because the baby screams incessantly, and partly because she's been carrying the burden of monumental ugliness all her life.    

To her right, in front of the stove is the stoic-looking cook, holding a phallic-shaped pepper shaker and filling the air with that abrasive substance. Try sitting in such an atmosphere, with your nose burning, your eyes running, your ears assailed by howls and  enormous thumps, and I believe you too will conclude that imprisonment in such a place as the Duchess's kitchen, every day for 8 or 10 years constitutes torture.

It does get better at times. At night the fire dies down, and everyone goes to sleep -- the only relief. I'm certain that's why I've learned to sleep 13-14 hrs a day.

Did I leave anyone out? Yes -- barely noticeable under the cook's feet is the house cat -- a Cheshire Cat to be exact. Cats and dogs pictured in domestic scenes confer the status of households on them. A smiling cat is an evil image, and the Cheshire Cat designates the Duchess's kitchen as an evil place. If you want to see what it's like, stop by any time -- I'm always here.

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