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Experiment 11

In Revolutio

page 460

In Revolutio

Every other hour, depending on where theyve been put, they pop, click down one slot, or move into some other position (time for beck-scratching) - like standing on their heads, holding every nut with a branch. I was doing that for a whole day...it is the so-called impossible position...and could scarcely hold my arms out after that. There is "leaves wilted elbows folded" and "lie down pretending youre dead" (and "hold your breath for two weeks to go brown and more convincing" - thats the worst part) and "all of you move your local pies around one or two spaces to the right."

The weather gets me too. It has permutations. Where it was joined up wrong it doesnt coincide with the plant-popping. Then there is trouble. It snows on visiting day and later there are too many narcissi. The Gardens are always making mistakes like that. Now I am resigned to it. I suffer quietly, like the others, not moving unless blown or pushed.

Now and again they let the birds loose. Because they fly in circles I concluded they were only painted on to the roof. Then one flew down and stung me. I have heard they play toy railways in the roof and whistle for the timetables, to produce acoustic decomposition in the vegetable existence of things like me.

The design of the mechanical gardens continues to puzzle me. If there is an axis around which the gardens spin, why do people never get caught in it and crushed to death? I am afraid of the centre, and cablecar gears covered with dry blood. Just to the left of me there is a small inconspicuous looking spot which is one of the sub-axes. I know this because it revolves in a small circle every few hours. What if the circle got bigger and included where I am?

Here and there I can see familiar hands sticking out of the page 470ground, thinly disguised as stumps. Many people I used to know have become stumps I think, or been captured in the poison ivy.

This is muddled, I know, but I'm at my most lucid now ever since I arrived here. At first it shocked me to see the way all the gardens hop, whenever the broken tooth on the gear passed the escapement. Visitors get jolted and dont kno why. Now the shock is a dull ache in my ex-guts. The vegetation leaps about and is not at all dignified. On examining it you see why: it has eaten your friends while visiting, plants pop up and down all the time, and pop down with gurgling noises, especially gurgling noises. They think the gardens are an immense joke, till theyre caught up too.

I wonder how it felt to be inside a plant in the mechanical gardens; once it had my arm; now it has regurgitated (finding it displeasing, presumably) - and I cant remember which one; and making jokes to bring down the victims resistance.

Like: Why have I regurgitated your arm? Hurry up.

I dont kno of course (you big flabby fin).

Because it was not in the best of taste. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha etc.

Meanwhile, here we go spinning round the rim, the more it speeds up the giddier we get, and the less it steers itself.

My witchdoctor caught me up in a madmood one day and said lets both us go to the mechanical gardens and pretend youre plants and hold your arms out and flap them and dont talk to anyone.

So like a fool I did. I put my greenest gloves on and planted and watered me and stood in the meadow all by myself, giving off oxygen.

You had better adapt to your environment, they say. No use regretting the past. Unscrupulous women you used to kno come and see you, armed with sharp eyed scissors, flitting around to relieve plants of their burdens. They say Oh what a pretty flaaah, Anny, do let's cut a bit. Only pruning it sir.

However it consoles me to kno the spectators are only vegetables page 480too. I call them cabbage mostly.

In the main showroom there are always a lot of moneylenders, sharks, and nearby landladies in search of bad debts. They blow bubble pipes that whistle (taking them for peace pipes). I had better tell you that a loud noise will kill a small plant,even when it has a map of the gardens wrapped around its head for a cobweb.

spider web

...I lost my place in a wind. I cant go on much longer. If I ever manage to escape from here Ill write you a long organizedtreatise saying at the beginning (so itll be noticed) Who would have put a poor illiterate indian in a place like this? (If they did.)

My plant gives me hay fever. Help! Im bewildered in here and giddy with flowers. After going round for a considerable long time in these gardens, my leaf is mulct, and Im wondering is it an exit or a no-exit. I am all cellulose that makes me bitter. Painfully executing my 56 revolutions a day while loose gearwheels bite at my roots. Why did they ever invent such a place? Why not tear down the walls and let us out?

When it hurts most the gardens turn over for the winter. I lie face down and hope for the best, then there are a few sickening moments sticking half out of the ground sideways. What if I fell off? Would it be worth it to escape? Maybe people do fall off. But Im too scared of getting caught in the gears underneath; and my roots have got so painfully deep in the soil. There are all page 490sorts of little stones, insects, and dead hands in the way. If I shake my legs (maybe it is only leg now) my toenail hammers on rock or on gear teeth. It is nail bite nail.

Before I came I was skeptical. I thought this was an impossible, ridiculous situation to be in. I laughed at the plants with Help signs round their necks. Now the visitors laugh at mine. If only I had the courage to drag myself out of the ground and run away. But what would happen then, if they caught me? I never heard of any plants pulling themselves out and running away. If any do, perhaps they dont live to tell of it. I have an idea, anyway, that the ground would pull me back in again. I think its on their side. I never speak to it.

I have been lost in here a good seven years now and I am getting hungry, tired, lonely, and cold. Other plants around me are not communicative - maybe they are real plants - I wasnt planted, I was thrust - and I find not the slightest sustenance in the revolutions which, for me, are purely mechanical and uncomfortable. So believe me I have good reason to get out of here, I dont kno why I ever went in, and if theres nothing of interest to the venus flytraps (my hateful neighbors) will you somehow get to me just a map of the map which once I saw but didnt understand

(since it was harder to see the start than the finish)