Y Tu Rumsfeld Tambien (Part 4)
The cattle who live next door to him in Taos clopped around me, their stern cadences waxy and servile. I detested them. I knew Rumsfeld never would leave, so I had to escape. But the Secretary of Defense stirred from his slumber in "the parlor" and I ran into the closet to hide. I fell asleep on Shelly's backpack.
I heard him shuffle into the kitchen. He is feral when he walks, the chill void in his heart like a breeze off the lake in December.
He was talking to himself. He opened cupboards.
"I can't get my pajamas off," he said. "How will I ever get my street clothes on?"
I crept off Shelly's backpack. I squeezed past the closet doors, which I've learned to open anytime I want and no one can stop me. I crawled along my belly. Rumsfeld still was talking to himself.
"If I find something to eat in Tony and Shelly's cupboards, that would then suggest that that might be the only place where food might be found. Which would not be accurate. Not necessarily accurate. It might also not be inaccurate. But I'm disinclined to mislead anyone."
Just then, I heard one of the cattle rub his snout against the large rug that you sometimes find milk-bottle-cap rings under. The cow howled -- a thin, ridiculous ululation -- and knocked Tony and Shelly's books off the shelf. Something was wrong. He was enchanted.
Rumsfeld sang to himself in the kitchen, opening and closing one cupboard after another.
"I want to reach out and touch the sky," he crooned. "I want to touch the sun, but I don't need to fly. I'm gonna climb up every mountain of the moon and find the dish that ran away with the spoon."
The cow was enchanted, Rumsfeld sang his mad-hatter songs, I crept on my stomach, the night-owl El train rumbled out the window, The Mayakovsky Tree was mute.On the bookshelf, near the maniacal cow's head, sat a vase shaped like a turtle. Tony and Shelly brought it back from their trip to Costa Rica when Brian, the downstairs neighbor, fed me every day. The enchanted cow lunged his head toward the opening of the vase and -- I'm not making this up -- he disappeared inside it.
I froze. I just saw a cow leap into a turtle-shaped vase. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves.
I couldn't hide under the spare bed because it's the first place Rumsfeld would look.
I couldn't run away -- because the bloodthirsty Secretary of Defense now stood in the hall between the kitchen and living room.
"Shimmy, I don't know what's going on." Of course, he still wore his pajamas, callous sheer blue with dirty black pinstripes. He pointed at the vase rattling on the bookshelf. He said, "I don't know what the facts are, but somebody's certainly going to sit down with these cows and find out what they know that they may not know. And make sure they know what they know that they may not know."
"You have become a system for protecting the facts," I said. "A racket. That's what Raoul Vaneigem says about you."
"Shimmy, why don't we walk over to the couch. You can sit on my lap."
"When it's challenged, the coherence of myth becomes the myth of coherence. Tony Snow is a lie invented to deprive reality of its value."