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A man with a geographic tongue is in the corner.  This is where they keep him.  I don’t think he is allowed outside his corner.  People can approach him, people are free to approach him, but no one ever does.  I did.  I approached the man with the geographic tongue.  This was before I knew he was the man with the geographic tongue, although I doubt that foreknowledge would’ve prevented me from approaching him.  Nor was it the reason I did approach him.  I did not intuit a geographic tongue.  I didn’t sense any abnormalities or malformations from across the room.  Truth is I don’t know why I approached him.  Perhaps it was because no one was approaching him, though everyone was free to do so.  No one was told not to approach the man with the geographic tongue.  At least I wasn’t told this.  Sometimes I assume what happens to me happens to everyone or what I think occurs to everyone.  Sometimes I make that mistake.  The world goes away whenever I sleep or turn my back, which is why I make that mistake, I think.  It is the same mistake God makes.  God always thinks he’s God, that’s his problem.  Perhaps I felt sorry for him, the man with the geographic tongue.  It is not like me to feel sorry for anyone but perhaps this was an exception.  At any rate, I did approach him, the man with the geographic tongue.  It was the first thing he said after I’d approached him.  He said he’d a geographic tongue and then explained what that meant, what the condition entailed.  Apparently the condition manifests itself with inflammation and lesions, although I could be misremembering this.  Otherwise it has to do with milky discharge or bleeding.  By the time I made it back to my corner I’d forgotten exactly what a geographic tongue was.  I had my own problems and didn’t ask questions.  Also I didn’t want to pry.  I didn’t want the man with a geographic tongue to feel like a freak.  Too many of us are made to feel like freaks.  Otherwise it didn’t occur to me to ask questions.  I’m not sure which is accurate, but I don’t think it matters.  Had I thought to ask questions I would’ve asked why they call it a geographic tongue.  What do inflammation and milky discharge have to do with geography?  Do you catch it by sticking your tongue in the dirt?  Why isn’t it called topographic tongue?  Those are the questions I would’ve asked had I thought to ask questions or felt like prying.  The other thing he said was that he’d fuck a snake if he could keep it still.  I don’t know why he said that, either.  I hadn’t asked about snakes and I don’t think it has anything to do with geographic tongues.  What I mean to say is I don’t think there is a causal relationship between possessing a geographic tongue and fucking snakes or that there is any relationship whatsoever.  Although, I could be wrong about this, too.  Perhaps snakes have geographic tongues themselves.  Snakes do have distinctive tongues, they are usually long, nimble and bifurcated.  I imagine snakes are prone to lesions and inflammation like everyone else.  Perhaps the condition is sexually transmitted.  Perhaps the man with the geographic tongue caught it from some snake he fucked.  Perhaps he came across a slow-witted snake and fucked it good and long and caught the geographic tongue from it.  From the opposite corner he didn’t look like a snakefucker, but who could tell with the geographic tongue people.  I listened to his intentions vis a vis the snakes.  There was no mannered way to respond so I excused myself and retreated to my corner.  The rest of the evening I watched the man with the geographic tongue and the people who didn’t approach the man with the geographic tongue.  I thought about the snakes and in particular the old decrepit snake the man with the geographical tongue caught his disease from.  I considered how that snake must’ve felt; violated, soiled, taken advantage of, beautiful, jubilant, sexy, vindicated, human.  Every one in the room was thinking the exact same thoughts.  I think even the man with the geographic tongue was of like mind.  Not one of us came to any conclusions.  Being only one of God’s creatures we try hard not to judge the others. 




geographic tongue

robert lopez