boulder aside… pt.2


Happy So And So, And A Stupid New Year

S. woke up dumber in the new year than he had been in the old year when he fell asleep.  This was the first time he fell asleep before midnight on a New Year’s Eve since he was a preteen, and the intellectual disparity over those few hours of sleep was astounding, many folks would later say. 

“How could someone become so stupid overnight in six short hours?” One would ask.

They were six hours of fitful sleep    filled with the lurking of one enormous great white shark that followed him around the world.  The sequence ended in clear tropical waters.  Even though he had no son, he ran out from the safety of the white sand beach into the beseechingly clear, luminous, water (a water whose color was so entrancing it had no name, merely a color code number: #22BED9 — on that code everyone could agree).  In he went after the son he didn’t have only to find himself at the bottom of an enormous darkening aquarium filled with rock outcroppings, and many great white sharks lying inert on the sand.  All of them waiting for the monstrous shark that appeared from the left and swam between him and the shore —  now inexplicably a half mile away…

S. awoke when his fiancé said something about how late it was — “5:45 in the god-damned  morning!”  Then something about “bagels… and crowds.”  But his fiancé died five years ago, so this could not be.

S. felt unalterably stupid — imbecilic — like the Stooge that couldn’t even make it past the first cattle call of tryouts for the “Curly Joe” spot that needed filling sometime in the late 1950’s.  

“My goodness, I’m a fucking dolt!” He said to the popcorn in the ceiling.  

S. picked up his phone, went into the bathroom and composed this note on the Werdsmith app while sitting on the cold toilet: 

Happy so and so…  New Year so and so… I’ve drawn and quartered the last day of the old year.  First, I set it in stocks and forced it to reflect on its insistence on the passage of time.  I denounced it as a heretic and forced it to abjure from the heights of the glorious strappado.  I singed it a bit on the pyre.  I rolled it on the rack.  I pilloried it, used the cudgel, prodded its eyes with a red hissing poker, beat it with the bastinado, used the Spanish boot, and finally pulled and impaled its tongue until nothing remained if it.

This will be my annus mirabilis (S. had no idea what this meant anymore, but he wrote it automatically): the one by which I’ll measure the rest of my life.  The pivot point.  There is my life before today, and my life after — this should mean something to me.

“People, die everyday…”  There is gothic organ music swelling and ebbing in the ether.  There is someone muttering “bummer” in the next room.  The smell of acrid pot is wafting in on a warm eddy of air blowing under the hotel room door.  There are ochres and yellows on the walls and an overall orange mood to the room.  Next door someone is repeating: “people, die everyday, die everyday…”  There is something important here, but I can’t decipher it — not yet — but I will. 

It’s comfortably warm now and a woman is moving about, beyond my line of sight, by the bed, with pleasant food on a white tray.  I sense it but I can’t see her.  This is an inviting place, I feel comfortable here.  But  I don’t understand why it’s a “bummer” and why someone continues to repeat: “people, die everyday, die everyday…”



“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

— Kurt Vonnegut

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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