Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mammoth Baby: Attack!

Mammoth baby, silhouetted, lurches through the townscape, all the more dangerous for inconsistent muscle control. She startles: her arms shoot out and above, batting airplanes from the sky. The planes tailspin and nosedive; her fingers flutter, arms lower. Her gurgle poses a question, but one the townspeople have yet to decipher. Their answers are suggestions that go ignored. Mammoth baby peers around using her right eye while she gums a Fiat 500 meditatively, only to abandon it in favor of one juicy, dimpled hand. The smarter members of the populace seize the opportunity to flee to neighboring burbs. The escape attempt is shorter for some than for others, as low-riding cars stall out in pools of drool at freeway on-ramps. 

Those who remain witness classic infant magic at a grand scale: within moments, Mammoth Baby morphs between Gerber logo, Truman Capote, Chairman Mao, a kewpie doll, and Orson Welles. Baby scream-squeals, shaking the plate glass of storefronts, and vigorously shakes her head back and forth, sneering with full, drool-glossed lips. Her displeasure mounts like gathering storm clouds, until she is distracted by an inflated, beflagged elephant bobbing inexplicably by a thoroughfare. She woozily grasps the elephant's neck and wrenches it from its rope moorings, as the car dealership owner calculates another loss for the month.

She emits another squeal, this one heralding more pleasure; and with that she shrinks back to normal baby size. Ten pounds and counting, with "extremely impressive" neck muscles. People exclaim over her tiny-ness, but they do not realize she defies physics: she is denser, more substantial, than a being of her size ought to be. She has force. She sighs in her sleep, and then snores with the softest, tiniest wheeze; each exhalation sounds like a small, melancholy question mark.

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