Forgetting the Mercurochrome

Forgetting the Mercurochrome

He became infected with greed. Neosporin did little good but it was less obvious than mercurochrome. He smeared it over his fingertips with his fingertips.  Greed was like that–tip-fingered–and he rubbed until the rub became a caress.  Rubs are like that.

And soon enough he was caressing his fingertips over non-fingertips, over the tops of tips and the lengths of tips and all the between tips–and he felt something that was not exactly relief because it just didn’t feel like enough–so that soon he was massaging his whole body against itself, as if he were all finger, as if he were all tip, as if he were even the oil he thought he’d try instead of the neosporin–it came in bigger tubes–no, bottles–no, whole jugs–

and he rubbed himself against her jugs and between and through them and really how could you call it an infection?  It felt good to be able to pay for her, but not too much;  he did not pay too much for anything even when he could leave against it that mark of oil and self which he had grown to think of as his own tip, extended–it was all so much better than mercurochrome, which would not have come in his shape and size but would have had to be painted upon him, and

who cared for painting the town red when he could paint it “me,’ he thought, and tasting the tips of his fingers, he realized he had not yet rubbed his insides.  So, set to work.



A little I-don’t-know-what.  Mercurochrome is a a strong, cheap and traditional antiseptic that is a bright red color (although it is now not much used in various parts of the world, such as the U.S., due to its high mercury content.) 

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6 Comments on “Forgetting the Mercurochrome”

  1. This is when it’s all tips and no lips.. somehow greed is a lot like that. You paint the miser, thief, rapist or whatever so vividly… I just wish that every being of such a demon don’t exist inside, but sometimes that is just the one that tries to grab you from behind. Great prose poetry..

  2. x Says:

    Yep we had big bottles of the red stuff around the house with all my fathers cancer surgeries.

    This is rather haunting because you have employed literary tools usually reserved for children’s stories which play odd with the suggestive subject matter leaving you rather disturbed in the end. Well played k

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    Disturbing as X says, and also rather compulsive, ie, hard to stop reading like it’s hard to look away from something truly horrible. I think you give a very clear picture of the insidious nature of evil, limned here in oil and stream of consciousness, and Mercurochrome is certainly not potent enough to even begin to cleanse it.

  4. the last ember eye Says:

    This is incredible.

  5. M Says:

    there is a frisson, a rub here – friction against convention, a point or prick of discomfort ~

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