Poems and stuff by Maté Jarai…
Poems and stuff by Maté Jarai…

…the rabbit

wendle's rabbit

I sit there leaning back on the chair, spliff in hand, toking joyously. I watch the rabbit hop about in its box in front of me. Every now and then it looks at me, nods his head to the side, asking me, “How do I get out of here?”  You don’t rabbit, you don’t, ever.

I put out the spliff that has become a butt and reach for my beer instead. As I sip the rabbit washes itself, then continues to sniff about its shit and food, two very different things that look surprisingly the same. It scales the walls of the box with its front paws looking up towards the huge empty space above the brim. But no. You can’t get out rabbit; those walls are just too high.

There’s something about watching the rabbit, watching it chew, scuttle and scratch. Of course I always think about Alice in Wonderland. How I would follow this rabbit anywhere, through a rabbit hole, a flaming wreck, a pile of shit, even a termites nest. If the rabbit led me, I would suck it up and go on through. But this rabbit isn’t going anywhere. It’s staying here forever, as am I.

And just as this most depressing conformation is rotting in my head something incredible happens. The rabbit takes two quick bounces and hops out of the box and onto my living room floor. This is something it has never done, I thought could never do. This box is just too high. But here it is, free, out in the open, a new world at its feet.

I abruptly sit up in my chair and this sudden move frightens the rabbit to death. It goes completely still and starts convulsing, something else I have never ever seen it do. I think maybe hiccups, but also consider some kind of fit, or even worse. Stunned to stillness myself I can’t move as I watch its entire body pulsate furiously until, eventually, it stops.  I neck the rest of my beer in relief as the rabbit begins exploring its new surroundings. It heads straight for the wires and I have to step across its path. Of course it goes for them again, nimbly avoiding my foot, so I have to scoop it up and drop it back in the box. The rabbit is afraid, remains still. I use this time to build a barrier around the T.V. and all the wire chewing possibilities. Feeling the room is safely rabbit proof I sit back and watch. After a few minutes my furry friend escapes again.

It stops for only a few seconds, before hopping out of the room and straight into the hallway. Now this is not something I hadn’t anticipated. The rabbit is surprisingly fast and I have to run to stop it entering one of the other rooms. I get to him just in time and pick up with both hands, and carrying it back into the living room.

Like clockwork the rabbit runs straight out of the room again and down the hall. Again I have to hurry to catch up with its furry little paws and this time I slip. I don’t fall on the rabbit but as I hit the ground I knock it with my hand. I’m unhurt and able to look up quickly. The rabbit looks physically fine – no blood, no obvious deformities. I lie back relieved. Of course the rabbit is stunned completely and begins convulsing again. I quickly pick it up and carry it back to the box.

The rabbit pulsates and it really is disturbing. I decide to stroke its forehead, then cheeks, calm it down. After a few minutes his convulsions stop. Once more I am extremely relieved. I sit back on my chair and grab the rolling tray; it’s most definitely time to bun another zute. I skin up a nice long Gandalf and smoke it slowly, thinking about the rabbit, its near death experience, what it must be making of all this. The grand escape, the world beyond. Then I’m hit with another thought, what if this was all something huge? The rabbits escape, the following chase down the hall. What if the rabbit knew something I didn’t it?

It all becomes very surreal, creepy. What if the rabbit was trying to show me something? Maybe there really is a magical doorway to Narnia or Wonderland or Iceland, or somewhere even better than all of those places! And what if the rabbit knew where this doorway was, my exit, what if it was trying to reveal my own escape?

Why oh why did I have to stop its scamper. If only my mind was a few steps ahead and I had had all these thought earlier. Not enough pot. I should have known that leap was special, the rabbit and I, we were having a moment, it had never done it before. Why was I so concerned with the fucking wires? Should have smoked much more pot, then everything would have happened sooner, and I may well now have been on the way to better things.

I turn my thoughts to hope, watch the rabbit, wait for it to do it again, escape, show me the way. Of course it has other things on its mind this instant. A drink first. Then food, piss, shit. All those things come first. It even washes itself again. Pulling its ears towards its face with paws, it licks them clean, cleans off any wax or filth or whatever rabbits get. Then it’s nap time. I watch the rabbit curl up like a duck and puff out it into a ball. It nestles, closes its eyes and I sit there frustrated, alone, and ready to leave. Unfortunately my guide is not.

I roll another spliff. I smoke it. I drink another beer. Roll another spliff. Drink another beer, smoke the spliff. Drink. Roll. Smoke. Roll. Drink. Drink. Remember I have a spliff rolled. Smoke. The rabbit sleeps. Nestled in powdery, puffy dreams. I drink. I Roll. I sleep.

I wake up to a thud. The rabbit, it’s free. I sit up quickly again and knock the ash tray on the floor. I’m surprised to see a joint ready rolled, but also pleased. I pick it up and dust the ash off of it. I put it to my lips and load up on fuel, fuel I need for the coming journey. Come on then rabbit, show me the way.

I’m ecstatic as once more the rabbit heads for the same doorway, straight down the hall. I slowly step after it, not wanting to distract the rabbit from the mission, but also because walking is a chore, my legs barely functions, my head spins insatiably. The rabbit stops at the first door and looks up at it in wonder, the hugeness of it probably a most unsettling sight for such a little thing. I give it a hand and push the door open. It’s the spare room, filled with heaps of shit. Old this and old that. It would make sense for a magical portal to be located here. The room shrinks then grows, shrinks and grows. I waver, try to focus. The rabbit hops forward and into the room. I turn on the light, hello daytime. I hope the rabbit isn’t confused.

It continues to hop slowly towards the bed. Suddenly it speeds up and disappears behind the heaps of old bedding. I push through the stuff and find it cowering in the corner. Something small is beside it. ‘Not sure how I’ll fit through there,’ is my first thought. Then I realise it’s a ring, a gold ring. The one ring? Middle Earth? That will do just fine. One ring to rule them all, one ring to something, something. Invisibility could be a lot of fun.

I lean down and pick up the ring. It’s gold and it gleams. My heart is pounding, a smile curls across my lips. I give the rabbit a congratulatory pat on the forehead. Well done rabbit.

I rise to my feet and look closely at the ring. I’m disappointed to find no elvish writing. But then I remember a key fact. Only fire reveals those beautiful words. There’s still hope.

I take a lighter from my pocket and realise this won’t work because I’ll burn my finger. I leave the room and take the rabbit with me – it needs to be a part of this. After all, this is our special night, the night we found real magic together!

I use a pair of scissors to hold the ring out in front of me as I hold a candle’s flame up to it. The ring begins to heat up and I wait for the letters to appear. Something starts to happen. My stomach is in knots. The ring begins to melt; the smell of burning plastic fills the room. I drop it to the floor. I remember Christmas last year, plastic ring, it was in a cracker. I look at the rabbit. It chews, one ear up, one down. I roll another spliff. I smoke it. I remain exactly where I am. There will be no grand escape tonight.

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