(read part 1 here)

In those days the river of blood flowed quite slowly. Which means that it really was not fast, except when it was fast, which wasn’t often, but it normally wasn’t and when it was normal, like now for instance, it flowed quite slowly, which means not quickly.

Not quickly means, for those who aren’t following as quickly as they probably should be (which means fast, or rather, not slow), quite slowly.

My family didn’t own, but rented, inasmuch as they occupied it but didn’t physically possess the deed to either the lot, the building on it, or the possessions inside it (all sorts of ratty furniture, the restroom fixtures (a toilet which was consistently, like my hair and eyeball, rather brown), creaky stairways and other dandy accoutrement, as well as a small dog (his/her (we were never quite sure) name was Sandy) which always despite all circumstances to the contrary managed to reek of garlic); the piece of property that lay next to the aforementioned river of blood.

As it was the only plot of land in this area of the country (rural and rather overgrown with all sorts of nasty herbage like 30 foot long venus fly traps and poison oak which habitually managed to sneak into windows, beneath covers and between my then-five year old legs as I slept) I found my youth a dreary and exhausting existence with little to nothing to do on a daily basis except for staring wearily into the river of blood as it flowed past not quickly at all and stolid in its well-established redness.

The river was red, like blood. And from time to time the venus fly trap would sneak to the brink of the river to lap up the water’s pale redness into it’s carnivorous plant bowels only to realize that the river (as aforementioned) was really not bloody at all, it was just mostly red (except my grampa couldn’t see it), and it would huff and puff angrily and unexcitedly and quite enthusiastically (as only venus fly traps do) and stomp (by stomp, I mean stomp in plant terms, which, in human terms is much slower, more like quietly and slowly paced) back to its place beneath my windows where it would continue to wreak havoc nightly. You might wonder why, after days and days of walking towards the river, the venus fly trap (Pat, I called it, it reproduces asexually so I could never really assign a gender) wouldn’t just learn from his mistakes and not trudge the distance…

Something you probably don’t know about venus fly traps is that they have quite short term memories. And this poor fatal flaw resulted in most of its weeping misery as it could only remember what was written on it’s inner leaves. I had written (in Venus Fly Trapeze) that the river wasn’t actually bloody but the leave had apparently withered long ago and since Pat had been sneaking into my room nightly to nibble on my private parts while I slept I didn’t feel bad as it sobbed down there by the river of blood. Which was actually not a river of blood at all, it was just red.

[engraving of a boy waking up to a plant nibbling on its private parts. but you don’t SEE anything, just a boy half-sitting up in bed with a confused/horrified look on his face. a vine is coming in through the window and disappearing under the blanket. subtle suggestion of movement in the crotchal area.]

caption: Pat had been sneaking into my room nightly to nibble on my private parts while I slept