PERFUME AREA

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FUME, “POOL”

Puddles in the conservatory. Your keyboard is solar-powered, water-resistant, and safe for use in the splash zone. Invisible tones hang in the air as you enter the first name of your first kiss, the middle name of your second pet, and the last name of your third grade teacher. You wipe your hands on the towel enveloping approximately 60% water and 45 SPF. The towel follows the downward motion of your hands and falls to the ground into a particularly deep puddle. Printed on this towel is an impression of a penguin covered in oil. As the image absorbs more of the pool, it transforms. The outcome of metamorphose: a common ant milking an aphid for its honeydew. You foam at the mouth.

Puddles in the asylum. Bugs as usual. You are sorry you didn't fix them yet, you were asleep in Cambodia. The mosquitoes were drinking cucumber gas all night long. Their tears of happiness are now pearls dropping to the floor, every hundredth bursts into water from the fountain of youth, every thousandth into silver mercury. The window collects dripping milky white latex, the rubber trees bleeding again in the typhoon outside. Do milk, mercury, and water mix well? Your computer says they do. You hope to have the bugs fixed soon. When your boss wakes everything will be back to normal.

Puddles in the hallway. Nurses in jungle green uniforms slowly administer anesthesia to those still awake. This hospital specializes in tropical diseases, and everyone (including your boss!) will be better soon. Mosquito nets come in many different colors, but you notice green, blue, and red are the most popular here. It’s noon now, but it is dark outside. It is raining in the rainforest. These patients are patient. You hallucinate penguins. You have never been so at peace in a place of passage.

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