It’s big : they’re trying to fix the power cut. Huge Bronto Skylift 50-3T3 (hauteur 4,2 m ; max 4500 lb ; ville de Montréal no. 7019 ; LC7 8961 je-me-souviens-de-la-belle-province ; danger gardez distance 100m) revolves. Police cut traffic while children play in the snow with camouflage sledges. Overhearing radio operations, it seems that they have found a slit cobra skin in Sainte-Catherine, so they are detouring the cars round the snowpiled backstreets and crossing their fingers so that the January air will freeze the snake’s venom before it attacks scandalized old joual women. Soon they have extended metre-high red tape to precinct the street; large police trucks with howling Doberman specimens arrive and tactical squadrons emerge seriously from old metal doors. Older policemen arrive with watery coffee in paper cups and beer-bellies, and study the precinct. There’s no electricity but the food won’t rot because it’s mighty cold, and it can always be put outside. And me, I stay inside listening to my breathing and glaring at the policemen in the eye from the window.
Caligula stares better. He possesses a symptomatic appeal that surrenders the wild fathom out of an odd inch, suggests whispering fevers in the temples of tired pirates of the sea of Sainte-Catherine; he has hidden somewhere, while police repeat their rehearsal gone absurd of chasing him up and down a street that spans most of the island (yet he would have had better hiding on Sherbrooke). Fructose dreams, patiences cataclysmically ecstatically climaxing amidst growing arrays of short siren outbursts, brief warnings of lawful presence. Caligula knows they are close, he smells their gunpowder accurately all along the sidewalk alongside the scent of the recently changed skin, the fresh one emerging from under the dead one that was lying in the middle of the street among the snow millimeprically aligned by the grating metal of snow removers that would wake you in the pitch black night with an itch in your hypothalamus. And now Caligula apprehends the surprise, the itch and the frightful night and seizes the time while reminiscing an earlier experience, when he hid in the north next to the town’s largest prison.
“That same night I heard strange noises right outside my window. I looked and I saw a police car. Two women – policemen entered the scene and left in the car. 30 cm behind another police car arrived with its lights out. I then opened the window and popped my head out to see : there were another three police cars parked in the same street, alongside each other. I hid but left the window slightly open to be able to listen.”
Caligula takes a shower and continues to wait while the police cars leave at a rate of one per 45 minutes. Abstracted by his thoughts, he discovers how perplexing the skin of the snake was, how its induced patterns could exude sluggish qualities, and help hide it where it belonged. The cobra skin would have never been found in the jungle, its colours would have merged into the essence of the jungle and it would have decomposed instantly. In the middle of a main, snow-covered street in East Montréal, however, it was only noticed but it was also the cause of possible overreaction. A clear example of modern-day snake disorientation.
To take the ordeal, sustain the mediocre for you to conceive machines ballistic to meet nine sheep and cluster the progression sensationally! Lobotomized monkeys have an aloof capacity to cough; a brittle four would bring a behavioural furnace, so claim a fire, enact reggae action and check the feet seeking, with a tilt, opportunity twenty overhead : the scheduled promise of Zimbabwe. Here, a grain smoker helps ferret dealers to boost air and forsake the fuel, but the morning injection made him reminisce his childhood corner disorder. For gorillas are talking about the message of a millennium god-figure in a bullet end, and scientists are discovering vitamin art with this gorgeous Hungarian beadle, sick, maybe uncut. Fly, shopping dolphin, bubble my moronic cigarettes from this foggy town and go. Misuse of the dark public resulted in expensive tissue overdose, so live your panic now, thank the awful screaming force on the tremendous curb on the lovely knight’s complicated damp expenditure on medicine for breasts trickling strong. A shower of longing, as the rudimentary regime foreshadowed the appeal of the incontinent wolf. Decorated prize, exuberant trauma of linking pipes (if overactive) to the electrified wedding in Texas, where a church freak and some enclosure nuns were marrying identical twin oysters and airing it on the Internet.
“Save the cream!” screamed the freak; “only the bees are to blame in these frantic belvedere jeep fights for a tray of pheromones. Survive a burial, then secure an ether take and order the fairies to exude coins for the numerous towel toll. Left fingers will be bulls; right fingers, rabbits and cows, and the enemy will be forgiving boredom in order to fill the hearts of silent wooden motorists. To overcome a cop (and here, at this turning-point in the freak’s sermon, there was a karmic revelation for Caligula, who recognised the password in the speech and knew that those were the secret orders from Wotan and her incestuous sister, Sugus, goddess of breaking waters, and that these orders were geared to his self-defence in the view of matters…) you must tattoo (continued the freak) a bizarre cocoon (could care) in the obscurity of the electricity cut, dedicating the act to a ginger fling. Please create a tremolo on my cleft, she will say to you, accepting the European average; a fly will err ahead of you for a while before the anti-motion smoke-pattern search-graph becomes dark and bacterial, almost tanning you up. Then you should go to that awesome bottom room with jewellery needles and fake artichokes, where you have only been once to look for wine for an erratic unfriendly reunion. So return to your homes, for today will begin the siege of Montréal. It will last 936 days, after which she will begin to be called Montréal-la-Courageuse and Montréal-the-Mighty and Heigh! Ho! Hurrah!”. Thus spake the post-modern priest of the unconscious, and when his word were over, night-time struck duly over the south of Québec, approximately at half past three in the afternoon, and a snowstorm hit the air incontestably and the forlorn citizens were bloody cold in their niches, because Hydro-Québec centrals around the country had become twenty-first century replicas of Chernobyl. Sirens had been going around the city for six hours now, as police cars were permanently stationed near Caligula’s home, on Sainte-Catherine East. Blue and red lights and yellow lights from the candles. Was this not the substance of the past, and how little candles were left now, and how many hours awake and alone in the dark, awake and hunted, and tormented with painful ideas while the siege is happening as it had been predicted; but they must be looking for him as well, and he had also been given careful instructions concerning procedures to exorcise the police.
Caligula hallucinated under the sativatic fever (sativatic is also spelt satirical) and in a shimmer of language told his visions in a different voice to his, as his shadow – fluttering by effect of the candles – spelt out the dream. He was levitating sensorially, hallucinating sensorially, feeling reversible. These are wooden tableaux of dim illuminations of places that have only ever known darkness. The trance commenced with a deep hum…
“My parents and I had a long walk in the bitter cold and snow until we reached a place under a bridge where I was supposed to compose directly into full score while upstairs there was a real orchestra that played what my head imagined. At some point I was enraged and went upstairs because I was missing the double-basses. I went into a white room where two white maids did the cleaning, and I asked one of them about the double-basses; she looked defiantly in my eye, and I asked her if she knew who William Walton was. She said nothing for an instant, then both of them rebuffed and shouted things back at me. I rebuffed as I went past my mother who was crying at the top of the stairs, and my father (who was wearing a 1920’s Chicago police uniform, badge and gun, hardy guy) told me I should just try to think harder…”.
Then a different hum, a different, more flexible voice,
“I went back to school and stole food, as much as I could and as quickly as I could. Then, when I left the building, the music teacher was outside. He treated me like his girlfriend, with lots of kissing and petting. Then I went outside to the big football fields, and I saw B-52’s being search-lit from the ground, and I ran for shelter”.
And under still another impersonation, Caligula spoke again, this time more poetically,
“In the water, around an iceberg or icecap, three people are trying to climb to the top, and it is about 250 metres and they are trying to get out of the water so that they can survive. One becomes unconscious in the numbing cold and sinks because his stuff weighs too much. Oh! scenes under the iceberg : the light filtrates but you can’t see in focus, you can’t keep your eyes open, and you can’t move, and you can’t go up because there are 250 metres of ice on top of you and the dark giant of water below. Oh, scary, white-blue, cold cold scene…”
The first candle burnt away before Caligula’s eyes and he turned to the windows to look. Police had been outside now for seven-and-a-half hours and the same man had been outside taking the snow from the centre of the road to its sides with a single shovel, all by himself, for those seven-and-a-half hours. The flame became elongated and blue, and the death rattle took it in before it was over.
Caligula fixed the second candle, which was really the lower half of the first one, but it held a weird position at about 30 degrees’ inclination from the vertical (y), as it hovered tower-of-Pisa-like, menacingly over the table, which also harboured coins, tangerine peels and two intact tangerines, a psychiatric hospital card with only zeros and x’s engraved on it, music, a knife with wax on it, two dictionaries, a clock and a cigarette machine. The ashtray and the marker pen were on the carpet, among the lower-level mess, the things that mattered less. Yet not only was Caligula running out of ink and patience, time and candle-wax were on the short side too. From the window could be seen other subsequent windows which gave to houses where candles were also being burnt and people were, to the realm of the imaginable, becoming entangled in their own thoughts and perhaps someone else’s thoughts as well.
Important obedient graceful genetic grievances that fold into place as Oedipus rams his head back into maternal womb; clear liquid, dark sky over Montréal. Stray sirens lost upon the mysterious city. Unfold the opening enveloped to grind the food past your oesophagus, to obtain new breeds of asparagus, to descend with an avalanche in a nailed sarcophagus. All your unboiled matter that seems to flutter into shapes altering second after second ad infinitum, in aeternam; the small litany of gentle tableaux masterfully illuminated from above. Table-wax to wax the table, butter on the needle found in the cellar and let’s start the game, ladies and gentlemen, opening pusher of the night crosses main street spot 19:13, head over shoulders, walking waco and pocketing a knife and merchandise. Riveting on the shadows of the puddles, a stray eye behind the dodgy garbage cans, a quick finger (a fast hand) and a deafening thud in the brain of an unlucky tomcat.
The crusade proved unnecessary to the expression of Caligula’s ideas of isolation and exploding perfumes in the eyes and the noses of the unseen, the retinas sprayed with acid tears from glandular smells, the grated phantom-tetrachords dancing obtrusively into his inner ears, the touch gifted with a greater power of assimilation (due to the reduced light conditions) of pleasurable sensations; and the pusher will become rich and the people that are following him will find a job in their belated sterility. Palates of people who reach up with their tongues in pensive parentheses to estimate the height of their cavity, from Alaska to Java, Madrid to Madagascar, Reykjavik to Texas. And the amateur architects could construct feeble buildings without fear of prosecution for fatal accidents – collapsing cement, dislodged joints, denial of consent.
Yes, but Caligula heard the wind whistling eerie tunes after midnight and, exhausted of imagining these parallel worlds, he fell asleep singing back to the wind, in what Caligula thought was the wind’s language.