Foinbrek the Moose
for Patricia McKillip--she'll know why--and for the real Foinbreks out there
Dreamed 1993/12/4 by Chris Wayan
I'm watching a cult video made by a lesbian couple in New York City. It opens with one of the filmmakers going out to a bar to meet her girlfriend. But it's not a women's bar. A mixed crowd. Very, very mixed. And she doesn't meet her lover, she picks up someone. Well, gets picked up--reluctantly. But he's blunt, pushy, amiable, and just won't hear no. Yes, he. A man? No, not a man either.
I think "Only in New York!" But I keep watching. Addictively horrible.
See, they go to her flat, talk, have some drinks, flop down on her bed, nearly breaking it--do you know how much the average moose weighs? You'd need a truck scale to find out. Fortunately, she climbs on top, or this tape would be filed under horror.
They fuck, or try to. For twenty minutes the video just shows a close-up of a giant moose penis, like some Martian dildo, part way into her, as she tries and tries to get it to fit. She urges him "Come on! Are you a man or a moose?"
Twenty minutes of this! It's so bad I start reading the back of the video box. The reviews say "BOMB! It even fails as porn--it isn't sexy, it isn't funny, it can't have been fun--just work, work, WORK." Wow, I've never seen a box calling its own tape garbage. But I have to agree it's profoundly unsexy. That moose wang is so grotesque it makes me wonder how she can even want to get it in.
Then I realize how specist this is. I'm being unfair to moose esthetics. After all, moose guys are built to please moose girls, not us. We may look just as weird to them. But tastes differ. He wanted her, she wanted him. Their orientation is their own business. "Though I wish," I find myself thinking, "they'd KEPT it their own business."
But I can't look away. Moose have something magnetic, and it's not just this one. Bullwinkle had it too. A blunt blundering quality I... envy? Blundering their way into anything they like. Right inside what was planned as a strictly lesbian sex video. Right inside the lesbian, in fact!
Except he's still not inside. He just won't fit. Do moose ever fit? Don't we all have a moose or two in the family, those big amiable lunks who just push their way into things without sensing it's not fitting?
And so I go to the unemployment office, to visit my lover--my twin sister. Yeah yeah, lesbian incest, so what--I don't complain about your party quirks. We're happy. Well... except for the money problem.
See, my twin's a poet and short-story writer, starving in the new economy. She's been standing in the unemployment line for hours. Well, days. Well, months. She's moved up to third from the end.
She sits in line and reads the great poets and polishes her unprofitable craft. She's the sensitive sort. When she reaches the head, they'll make her a bar bouncer or a tollbooth operator.
My double tells me "I've had time to think hard about how I came to this. I see two big problems in my life, things I need to confront." One doesn't come into this story, it had to do with dreamwork and spirituality. I don't think the Unemployment Office can help her much with that.
But her other big problem is here. Really big, and really here. Looming above the rest of us, as he stands behind her, in the unemployment line. A big, brown, hairy lunk, reared up on his hind hooves, a good eight feet tall, filling out unemployment forms with a clumsy moose-sized pencil. I can't help glancing uneasily at his monstrous penis, creepy even now while it's flaccid.
I think, numbly, "He sure gets around, this moose."
"Hi, glad ta meetcha," says the moose, in a strong Brooklyn accent. "The name's Foinbrek. She's told me all aboutcha." Foinbrek? What kind of name is Foinbrek? Well, a moose name. Oh--maybe it's just Brooklynese for "Fernbrake"? That would make more sense--a patch of bracken ferns is probably a feast for a moose. Or a bed, I dunno. But I ask, and the moose spells it out "F-o-i-n-b-r-e-k!" Firmly nonsensical. Well, at least I can look him up now. Know thine enemy.
Or rival. I may have to coexist with him. I sure can't fight him, he's a giant even for a moose. Probably outweighs all the caseworkers in this unemployment office plus their doughnuts.
Did Jung ever have these problems with HIS archetypes? Did a moose ever steal his girlfriend? "I wish," I think savagely, "I could be haunted by a better archetype."
And I wake, still smelling that indescribable papery mustiness of unemployment forms mixed with moose.
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