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Columns > John Zinkand - Improvise

Published: 2002/03/20
by John Zinkand

Erratic Fiction

Tobias the rhetoric whore liked to pimp out words. He’d sell them to his own mother if he could. You want some litany or perpetuation, he would ask a young snail or bicuspid. The currency of choice was always barter. Trade a jar of jam for some literary eloquence or maybe a box of logs. At the end of the day, Tobias would slouch down in his high-backed chair and count the goodness. A jar of jam, a box of logs, one tarnished soul, a long toeless sock, and a live crab. Not bad for a days work. But at the end of the end of his day, Tobias would sleep. Words drifted into three dimensional spirals and funnels as his consciousness drained. Snores and grumbles, tosses and turns now frame the eloquent words of tomorrow.

  • * *

As I slept peacefully last night something happened. I slept very soundly because the day had been very long – very grating. Something one really needs a rest after, with which I am sure you, gentle reader, are familiar. I know I was asleep, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened. Some multi-faced clown snuck into my bedroom….probably through the French doors in the back of the house. Or perhaps he shape-shifted his ass through a key hole. Anyway, he must have stealthily climbed the carpeted stairs to my bedroom. Impy, our cat, was very sleepy this morning, so I can only assume that he was drugged…heavily. Then, with nothing but the smell of pure joy filling his nostrils, the multi-faced clown pushed open the door to my bedroom. He tip-toed himself over to me, which is hard to do with those big ass long shoes on. Kudos to the clown on toe strength (maybe he doubles as a sadistic ballerina?). Then he withdrew a sharp scalpel from one of his huge and multi-colored pockets. He didn’t grab a balloon animal or a horn, no, it was a razor sharp scalpel. Then he made an incision after spraying some of that local anesthesia on my lower back. He cut my lower back wide open. Then he pulled back the skin on the sides of the incision and he inserted a pesky manimal. A tiny manimal, but a manimal none the less. Then he stitched it back up with invisible stitches so his handy work would not to be detected. Now I have a pesky friggin’ manimal inside my lower back and I think he’s chewing on a couple muscles in there.

  • * *

"Here’s the laundry you wanted, Mrs. Peckerfeather," said Randall as he put the basket on the floor beside the couch where I was laying in luxurious comfort. "Not there, you idiot, here," I said, pointing at a small, yellow, plastic placement. Some kids is just stupid I thought. I picked up the hand held mirror that was on the floor beside the couch and peered into it. The sagging, wrinkly flesh seemed to want to roll right off the bones. I popped another olive in my mouth and moved my face closer to the mirror. I grinned revealing my yellow teeth. An odor oozed out of my mouth and it was so strong that even I could smell it. Maybe you should lay off those olives, I thought. "Bring me some tootsie rolls, Randall!!" I screamed. He brought over a wicker basket stuffed with tootsie rolls. I grabbed one and said, "Lean down here Randall…..and close your eyes and open your mouth." As he was obeying my command, I popped a chocolaty roll into my mouth and started chewing. The taste of olives mixed with the gooey sweetness of the candy filled my plump orifice. I pulled the mangled stuff out of my mouth and popped it into Randall’s. "Mmmmmm…thanks a lot Mrs. Peckerfeather, you’re the greatest!" Randall exclaimed. I smiled. "And there are plenty more where that came from. Now massage my legs and feet!"

  • * *

Oh man. From here it is hard to get there. Everything that is understandable and makes perfect sense can be misconstrued. Questioning whether or not red is really red becomes a necessary operation on a daily basis. I guess it comes down to the input of others. That and the intensity of the pursuit. If one is truly locked into their mission, then the nays and yays of onlookers are meaningless. There is only the end of the task. If their is no clearly set path, then this pinpointing and determination can be more difficult. It shouldn’t be, but it usually is. That’s where the weight of this misguided society plays heavily. It is ingrained on our malleable gray matter to pursue, conquer, or overtake with a fierce passion comparable to the fight for life. The aim must be a concentrated beam even if there is no western target. Accept that different is better and that, no matter how powerful, the majority is not always right….usually not, in fact. If that can be seared into the unconscious flesh strong enough that it replaces the old branding letters, freedom can be achieved. Then the task of flowing smoothly in a balanced fashion becomes the simple job it always should be. Cut off the fatty edges, realize that significance (or lack there of) is yours to decide, then happily carry on.

  • * *

On and off. Blink, blank…..blink, blank. Troy built a tractor. John killed a deer. Mr. Fjord owns a car. Lumpy brand gravy tastes best. Luc Longley looks longingly at the ball. There are 56 uses for Heinz 57, most of which don’t involve food. Paul Charmin squeezed his bathroom tissue. Mary Wanna smoked pot. In a far away galaxy there is a merciless planet named Mercy. "Dandy" Don Meredith never uses the word "dandy," nor does he drink iced-tea.

  • * *

It’s really neither here nor there. Or over there. Or right on top of that thing. It just isn’t, man. Or woman. Anyone. Let is be known amongst ALL people, man or woman, that it is really neither here nor there. Certainly not over there, either. That is all that I have to say for this evening. Thank you….....and goodnight.

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