Dialogue With Desire

Dialogue with Desire: A Memoir in 98 Parts – Part 7

By R. D. Herschel

The mouth was first to move, it’s lips at first pursed tight as an anus, puckered as if sucking on a juice, sobbing, flame-coated lemon. It seemed to prolapse at once, emerging from the glorious bushy beard of crimson and dirt, mostly dirt, the lips shining with chapped effervescence. Chunky drool pooled in this bushy beard, a reminder of the previous night of debauchery next to the nearby campfire. The mouth, accustomed to the rhythmic breathing of the previous night, was frightened of this new prolapsation, reminded of that time with the fishing hook and lubricant. A cough, a slurp, a yawn awoke the babe nearby, clutched in the arms of the dusty man whose mouth this grotesque vision was.

The babe cried, as it was wont to do, and sharted a symphonic cavalcade of shit. “Fuck me” spoke the mouth of the dusty man as his arms and legs began to tense up and move towards the diaper satchel on Turnips, the gerontic camel. “Every goddamn time. I really should be feeding him more than this trash,” motioning towards the sacks of ancient Lay’s Potato Chips that he carried with him.

The dusty man unhappily began to fashion a new diaper from some old camel-skin, firm and supple with the pain of the years. He thought to himself about his purpose: Why was he traveling with this infant that he took from a dead woman who shot herself? Why was he feeding it with Lay’s Potato Chips and clothing it in his camel-skin? What direction was this plot inexorably moving towards? Why would a respectable publication publish this mess? Why do I exist in the mind of a twenty-year-old man-child? Why must ever moment of life be a torture, devoid of purpose beyond the sick, twisted mind of my lord and creator, R. D. Herschel?

Luckily, this self-reflection was tragically cut short before descending deeper in the abyss of self-referentiality and despair.

A gunshot rings out, echoing beyond the horizon into the deep flesh of the man, the babe, and the camel. They felt the tingles of the fusilier excite their groins with both terror and arousal, a sublime feeling, one might say. The dusty man froze, his back to the gunshot.

“Give me your wallet” spoke a voice, voluminous and totalizing, bathing the triad in its sonorous waves. “Or the babe gets it.”

“Get’s what?” questioned the dusty man.

“This” responded the voice.

“What’s this?”


“No seriously, what’s this?” said the dusty man as he turned around, pistol in hand, sword in other, babe in other, firing off three shots which pierce the aggressors eyes and right nostril.

The scab-crusted demon-spawn fell in a pool of gristled, bristly, buttery flesh, the light leaving its sockets, a calling card falling out of its hand. If one were to read it, it would say “In case of death, return body to Lars Von Trier or else,” but nobody read it, for it was incinerated by the buttery blood of the demon.

“Jesus Christ” said Turnip, the gerontic camel.

“You said it, bro” congratulated the dusty man, lovingly.

The man carefully walked over to the corpse, now on fire and melting like butter. He scooped up some of the butter and lathered himself in, caking his supple body in the slimy viscous fluid that was once the demon. “I always loved these fuckers” he said longingly, hoping that soon another would cross his path so he could Indiana Jones the shit out of it.

After a few painfully silent minutes of lathering himself with butter-blood, he gazed out onto the blasted scrublands of the earth, finally knowing where he needed to go. Somewhere, out beyond the horizon there lay an answer to his problems, an answer to his existential dilemmas, to that gnawing sense of utter despair at the meaninglessness of his literary being. He needn’t look hard, as it was right there. He gazed down onto the dirt and saw, deep beneath the muck and the rabble, tiny letters embroidering reality like they were atoms or something. Then, he knew.

To be continued…

One thought on “Dialogue with Desire: A Memoir in 98 Parts – Part 7

  1. Reading between the lines, we are harkened back to the primordial time when man was first standing upright. The use of synechdoche, the mouth standing for the whole man, at once apart and integral to his creation, connects the “dusty man” to his corporeal self; this man, until this moment a cypher without a thoroughly imagined interiority, is finally given full range as a mouth, “puckering like an anus.” The anal imagery of the first paragraph reinforces the radical queer-ness of the text, reconfiguring the deeply masculine world into something less heteronormative. It has been said by other critics that the masculine triad at the center of this text (the youthful babe, the adult man, and the old camel) provide an archetypal journey of mankind.The unconscious demands of the adult awaken the youth into the world, much like the dusty man’s “coughs,” “slurps,” and “yawns” awake the babe.

    Reading further throughout this chapter, we encounter the butter-demon, a figure of excess and violence who threatens all of mankind-as-triad, a vehicle of the dominant hetero-normative capitalism of the text’s milieu. What can we glean from the ease with which the ostensible protagonist slaughters the butter-demon, appropriating its identity into his corporeal flesh? The dusty man “lathers himself with butter-blood,” a grotesque trophy of his narrative destruction of the dominant ideologies of his surroundings, a radically revolutionary act of destruction and appropriation.

    And finally, in this passage we get the first glimpses at Herschel’s meta-textual narrative, one which becomes ever more prominent throughout the remainder of his text. The dusty man alone becomes aware of the truth of his reality, of the underpinnings of his setting. What does it say that neither the babe nor the camel comprehend this truth of the world? We can see that the babe’s youthful naivete could account for this, but what of the camel? Why is Turnip, gifted with all the wisdom of his advanced age, incapable of seeing beyond the here-and-now of his milieu? Perhaps he is so indoctrinated into the dominant discourses of his life that he is trapped, unable to look beyond the ordinary into the deeply extraordinary realm of the narrative consciousness.

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