We all want to crawl into a tiny cave beneath the world and pick about our heart-strings to create our own little symphonies with the grasshoppers, but sometimes the caves are full, and sometimes you can’t find them, they’re just filled with thousands of deluded little Alices in their blue and white pinafores with bruised faces wailing for lost rabbits, while time just keeps tick-tick-tick ticking! It won’t stop! It won’t stop! You’ll slap her face and scream at her to talk, but she’ll only whimper, and tell you not to drink it, but you’ll do, they always do, thinking it’ll make them bigger, or small enough to slip between the cracks, eat me, drink me, it’s a trick, but you’ll do it anyway, and you’ll walk through the door, and oh, there she is, make a decision, the queen yells at you, make a decision, give me your strings and I’ll knot them into paint brush heads to paint your skies red, not white, I want it to be red, red, red, red, red, the cards are laid about before you, pick one, yes, the tarot cards twinkle at you, pick a card, any card, or off with your head! I’m fucking scared. I don’t want this, it’s a nightmare, claw my eyes out and make them your centerpieces, lots of different irises, blue, green, brown, like a colourful bouquet, ain’t that nice? I want to wake up, let the cards billow and fall and wake me up, please, but this is the real world baby, ha, ha, this is the real world and the caterpillar’s hookah can’t take you away forever, and I see it so clearly, my own head, decapitated, on the floor, steeped in a pool of scarlet gore, it’s so frightening I think I’ll puke, stop, stop!
It’s just the same old mad tea party, again and again and again, it never stops, merry-go-round of life, everyone drinking from the same teacup, swallows the same dregs that curdle their stomach, the whole world is this tea party and we have to smile and play along and sip our teas, sip your tea! Sip it until the acridness shrivels your insides into yellowed pus and brown organ decay, until you’re rotten on the inside, you see? And the Mad Hatter, he’s smiling, he loves it, he loves seeing you this way, you’re a guest, and he loves you for that, because once you’re dead he’ll cook you and burn you down to make the tea leaves, burnt flesh strips so that other people’ll drink your bad blood and that’ll keep his tea party going on forever. Or you could take a page out of the dormouse’s book, he’s smart, you know, it’s better to be sleepy and curl up at the bottom of the teacup, it’s better. At least you’ll drown in the nasty stuff rather than sip it, it’s quicker, at least, when people move to the next tea cup, an ouroboros of fun, you’ll stay in the teacup, you won’t move, isn’t that nice? It’s nicer, that’s what I say.
Psst, it’s a secret, the roses are actually white, you know that right? They’re white, but she’s painted them red, and they give it different names, god, love, spirituality, government, safety, but it’s all just a sham, blood to cover the purity, but the blood tastes good in our mouths once the tea burns and blisters our tongues. They paint themselves in hearts, in blood, in red, and they say here you go! Play crotchet, with your heart-spectre, play with us, you have to play, or off with your head! And it comes again, so scary, damn fucking scary, the sight of your own decapitated head in a pool of blood, so scary you just want to crawl into the teacup now, now, now, and sleep for a thousand years. You hate it. But Alice wins? Alice doesn’t win. Alice wakes up, can you wake up? If you wake up, that’s not winning. The only way to win is to fight red with red, you’ve got to pluck out your own heart and analyse the ventricles, pump the blood and use it as a pistol to shoot the cupids because they’ll come for you, their little angelic wings but devilish smiles, promising love, what a joke! You’ve got to twist the ligaments and lay out the flesh and read your own fortunes in the blood-slick chambers and it’s going to take a while, and maybe the tea party will have moved on by then but take another puff of the hookah and just keep going, and maybe the cards will tumble and fall on you, but don’t wake up, don’t wake up, until you’ve taken your heart apart and laid out the map of veins, and if she comes for you, bundle it all up back into your chest, shhh, it’s your little secret, and now that you know the knowledge will pump through your veins and you’ll pick up the croquet stick and you’ll ace it, you’ll whap the Queen of Heart’s neck and cut off her head! Her head will not lie in a pool of blood, it’ll just go wide-eyed, the ruby lips will part with astonishment, and then she’ll fade away, like the sunset, but don’t smile, she’ll come back to life again tomorrow at dawn but you’ve got the map in your heart now and its spidering outwards its routes through your veins, naming the streets of your capilleries, and you’ve always got a cat on your side, sure, sometimes only his smile, but sometimes that’s all you need. And if you do it for long enough?
The roses will turn into marigolds, into daffodils, whichever you prefer, it’s your florist shop. You can leave the tea party, rip up your invitation, that’s it, that’s it. You can let them drink their tea and chitter their nonsense.
And you’ll reach your wonderland.