Rainbow (a.k.a. The Beautiful Actual)
"You are embarrassing yourself
on a national level, Sister yells into the phone. What
about dead mom.
Dead mom is not a mellow subject,
Sis. My Dearest Lover is lying on the couch rubbing ripe slices
of pineapple across his chest. Hes watching a television program
Oh? he whispers, so
rubbery. CT is the lead singer for Wolf Rainbow. They are a
total hit but CT doesnt measure success in terms of money; true
success lies in Worm Vibrations, or wormbrations.
CT stands for Copper Tone. He is into
the rays of the sun.
Sister clears her throat. Talking to
Sis makes me feel a little cosmically disturbed. I try to remind myself
that she raised me and it became quite a habit for her, a passion
even, and I think its important for people to follow their passions,
unless, like Sisters, it will hinder someones enlightenment,
My enlightenment is purple water and
Sister is a levee, but CT allows me to rise up and overwhelm her walls.
Sister has never before experienced the unrestricted love shown by
one enlightened to the Worm as CT isit is sad to watch, she
just does not know what to do with the love; its like giving
a can of food to forest-people who cant understand its value
nor the delicious pleasure that awaits them inside.
A good example of this occurred when
I took CT home for Thanksgiving and Sis extended her hand to him.
Mother of my love-cub, I greet you, he said, and softly
licked her face. After this display of vulnerability Siss vibes
were so tight and secluded. The corners of her mouth tucked in really
hard, like hotel bed sheets.
CT and I prefer to sleep outdoors but
sometimes we have to stay in really nice hotels. Its all the
Management. If it were up to CT wed just find the closest field
to each venue and sleep there, but Management makes some good points:
privacy etc. CTs nightly rituals, which are not exclusionary
of nudity and spiritual vision accelerators for communication with
the Worm Eternal, could be interpreted badly by people like the authorities.
Guff, the bassist, uses humor to cover
up his negativity when he agrees with the Management about hotels.
He says things like How am I going to round up some babes for
a bonefest and then bring them to a corn field. The hottest babes
will not go for this. I want the giant milkbags; that means giant
rooms with giant bars and giant bedsthat is how you get the
giant milkbags. I cant believe you sleep buff where its
all wild and shit. A snake could totally bite your johnson.
But this is a ridiculous notion. Snakes
are messengers, I keep insisting to Guff, who always says duh,
like he either gets it or is making fun of me.
Sister loudly gasps inward. She talks
really fasther voice slides from her mouth involuntarily with
this natural smoothness that makes what she says seem urgent and true,
even when it bogarts my cool. What if angels get one day to
peek down to earth from heaven and Tuesday was the one day mother
had for all eternity to get to check up on us and our lives, and when
she opened the clouds she saw your
spectacle. Sister begins
I know from experience that her tears
arent clear; theyre a strange gray color like weird steam.
I always figured they were mixing with her makeup until I realized
she didnt wear any (not to be commercialized but she could totally
use it. Something pastel or bare minerals). Her face is kind of gray
too; she fears nature like its a rapist or murderer, even though
its so the oppositenature is whats getting raped
and murdered. Sister likes to pull back the curtains of her windows
to stare out of them and look up at the sky suspiciously. Shell
never go outside. But she got wrinkles before her time from watching
constant news television when she was too young to do so, then subconsciously
reproducing Dan Rathers facial expressions.
Listen, Sis, I understand what
youre saying. I peek behind my shoulder and watch CTnaked,
gentle CT, yellow pineapple juices dripping down his body like cartoon
sweat pretend to plug the blowhole of the dolphin on television
with a piece of the succulent fruit. His giggles are like heartbeat
rhythmssteady and seconds apart.
You just have to realize that
were on different planes of existence. Im not saying Im
better than you, just that my path is way more open with lots of colors.
Siss weeping intensifies. What
the hell are you saying, she asks. Youre speaking
the drug-talk. I want my Lena and I want her in English.
If the spasm that afflicts my back at
the mention of the name Lena could make a sound, a single
note, it would be unharmonious beyond this dimension. No one would
even be able to hear what a wonky note it would be, because the human
ear is not advanced enough. Its one of those things; the sound
is made but does anyone hear it, was it made. I speak but Sis does
not hear me. Do I speak.
CT lets out a guttural moan to begin his AM bowel gyrations. His torso
bounces up and down while his hips move like hes using an invisible
His is a hula-hoop made of love. Its
built of understanding, spiritual experience, and opium ether, paired
with a variety of other things the human eye cannot see and the human
ear cannot hear.
Most of our senses are completely inadequate
and not to be trusted; our true feelings come from our wormholes,
often described as the heart in our stomach between our legs.
Think about it, CT likes
to say, The organ that the wormless refer to as heart
is like, entirely muscle. Like a body-builder or a worker bee. If
bees have muscles.
Sis does not affect my wormhole but
my her disapproval makes my pulse quite irregular.
Sis, I say firmly, Lena
Sis wails. I feel like I am some sort
of hostage negotiator, except Sis is both hostage and captor. Weve
been over this, Sis. My name is now Sorcerella Van Crystal. I have
stationary and stuff. I have hemp towels from CT with SVC embroidered
on them. You used them to wipe the perspiration off yourself the last
and only time you visited our tree house. Please dont back peddle.
Youve chosen to remain in my journey, thus my life.
When Sis is really upset, she begins
salivating. It greases her harsh words; they shoot out of the phone
at me, sleds of anger luging down her giant Hate Mountain. The thing
with mountains is, the higher their altitude, the lower their boiling
Dont give me this Sorcerella
crap, Lena. Jesus, the court fines I paid when you lived with me during
high school. That guy that set your car on fire in our driveway. After
everything weve been through, some ooga-booga rock weirdo can
come along and brainwash you just like that?
Sis is not receptive to my meditative
breathing exercises so I decide to suggest something a little more
hands-on for her anxiety. Sis, if I send you some brownies,
will you eat them?
CT passes by me with the walking stick
and gives me the thumbs-up, meaning hes embarking on a defecation-stroll.
I wave goodbye. Perhaps sensing my tension, he giggles his dingy slightly.
Sweet earth for my loveworm,
he shouts, I shall return. Several flies are enjoying
the streaks of pineapple juice that ran down his chest and pooled
in his groin and thighs. As he walks past me there is a loud unified
buzzing; it is so cosmic, all those many flies and just one buzz.
It strikes me that its like my feelings for Sisall those
different harsh emotions could come out in one primal scream. I emit
this into the receiver once I feel CT has ventured far enough on his
defecation stroll that he will not hear me and fear danger has struck
my physical person and rush back. CT and I do not like to use toiletsonly
when we have to, like in super-posh hotels and backstage on television
programs and concert tours. Sometimes the super posh hotels have double
toilets and then he and I sit on them together and stare at each other
and try to predetermine when the other will flush, thereby flushing
at the same time without ever looking away from one anothers
eyes or communicating a will to do so. We have gotten very, drastically
close to simultaneously flushing on more than one occasion. Im
pretty sure complete synchronicity is neigh the next time we are at
1/ 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Alissa Nutting has been published in journals
such as Fence, Tin House, and Swink. She is currently
finishing her first novel.