Brief Scene with Opossum and Factory


It was angry. You could tell by its flabby lips that peeled just back enough to expose the rot. I was walking past the technology buildings on the campus of an engineering university: Animal Science, Plant Science I and II, Roentology, General Food Sciences, and Dairy Engineering. This is not a joke. It watched me, coming out of the drain that drained down to who knows where. There was a poster of an ape on the wall behind us that had been half-torn down and hung in rags. The trains were moving in the distance; you could hear their sweet low and screech. I was silent. My eyes—I'm sure—glittered. Maybe they looked like gems. The moon was up and it was warm and walking was what I would do those nights, though you should know I was not responsible for your stalking; those were those other kids. There was a huge power plant behind me that I had just walked by, that had covered me with a mist that smelled like syrup. You could go up on top of it and walk around. You could dance or take off all your clothes. Though you could be caught if you stood up there too long, naked. And who would want to cover your whole body—nasty bits and all—with the freaky syrup mist? That surely could not be good. The emissions in the night were twice what they were in the day. Did you know that that's what power plants do? That's what processing plants and factories do? That is what keeps the trains crossing the continent, keeps what must be millions of trucks on the road, in motion. There are planes and AM/FM radio waves overhead. Microwaves firing through us like we were glass and hoping we would shatter. The quadrillions of particles shoving all about us in the night—the pressure delivered by miles of atmosphere that keep the body's fluids in and saves us from that mess. Entropy. We are surrounded by meniscus. The lip or flap on fluid. Created by the differential between surface and internal tension. We are in friction every moment. We have found resistance. We are held in something's mouth, under an awful thumb. There are ways to say I love you, but this may not be one of them.