they say that the veins of a blue whale are wide enough to accommodate a child. Would you be agreeable to whooshing through the anatomy of a gargantuan mammal, much like the pipe basilisk rushes through pipes. screaming like a banshee. screech of bat-infested caves, electricity, static dancing on steel rods wielded by magicians, masquerading as scientists. it’s a tight fit. those pipes were meant for toothpaste gargled into snow white foam, nothing more viscous than honey for one does not want the plumber to turn up at one’s doorstep to examine waterworks clogged with what was later discovered to be the acidic spit of a rare and camera-shy creature.
grandfather you’re an old man; we didn’t think that you’d appreciate that cheap souvenir we picked up in that store just down that avenue that shall not be named. never did we suspect that it would be the very artefact that was lost to the ages, lost to the pages of a book of spells. clichés. snake charmer analogies. skin scale snake slither sinuous sibilant sorcery. children aren’t thinking when they purchase gifts thoughtlessly with barely an afterthought (of course not). grandfather held the stem of the pipe, daintily, woman-like. things that you may imagine emerging from the curved, carved bowl: smoke and dreams, vapours of lost youth, a strange, magenta mist. bubbles. not a basilisk. not something that so resembled an armoured sausage, albeit an unusually vicious one. bite me. I’m not afraid of you, scaly reptile which lacks legs. I am the grandchild of a fearless man. in human years, you must be only as young as I am. look at you. I’m not afraid. not afraid that the pipe we bought for grandfather turned out to be inhabited by a miniature, stunted basilisk.
the pipe-basilisk has a top hat. perhaps you’d like to know where it purchased that top hat. that is irrelevant, but for the record, it once belonged to a trader of seals and walruses–a hefty man who dealt in blubber-clad, tusked mammals and imperial edicts. he received a mandate from the skies late last july and took off in his plane, determined to make the most of a cloudy life. The plane was a rustbucket. a dented war veteran with a kink in its tail–somehow, it managed to get off the ground every single time. in starting up that dinky old plane, the trader of seals and walruses had his magnificent top hat clipped by a lazily revolving propeller blade. off his head it tumbled. fwump. tainted by mud, it lay despondently where it had fallen, spurned by its owner. the basilisk took it home.
and how the top hat shrunk in the wash: tumble dry cold metal barrel spinning to hypnotize whitewash and whites wash and a rebel amongst white shirts and white socks–black top hat. with your prehensile tail you fish the once-dignified accessory out from the pile of soccer matches, office life, garments for every occasion but the ones that require you to have fun. it shrank, you say, and make up your mind to wrap it up in foil and hand it to your son.
/ this first post is dedicated to le bf. without him, there would be no pipe basilisk, this blog would not exist ;) /