Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bathroom Monologues: "I like how certain sides of your brain are female." –Randall Nichols

Some weren't just female, but downright hermaphroditic. Reggie Dickens figured it was best to keep one’s mind as limber and fertile as possible, and that meant keeping every piece of the human mind operating. It provided him a prolific career in American letters, though his family only discovered this through his estate when he passed away at 63. While he'd never gotten his crack at the Great American Novel published, he had published many lesser works, under two separate names.

Christopher Pytens had a decent line of hardboiled mysteries, notable for their gruesome murderers and shrewd caricatures.

Regina Delacroix had published a good wealth of poetry in regional magazines, and had two novels about growing up in the South - rather interesting considering Regina was actually an overweight man from Oregon.

His sisters were quite surprised to find that Regina Delacroix had even done book signings, and one of the store managers they tracked down said she was, "a simple delight, if clumsy. She was such a big woman, you know."

The Dickens sisters were afraid their mother would find out her son had been a cross-dresser, until they found he didn't own any dresses. Or make-up. There were no secret panels in his apartment or skeletons in his closet (except the plastic one he put on the porch at Halloween).

And the Dickens sisters were positively mystified when one store manager mentioned that Regina Delacroix had done a book signing with Christopher Pytens.

"For two people of such different subjects, they really seemed to get along. Rather adorable to watch that slight man chat at her," she said.

They tried to track these phantoms through the publishers, but there wasn't a single lead or photograph, even on the dust jackets. Apparently they’d managed everything through Mr. Reginald Dickens.

A strange anonymous couple showed up to Reggie's funeral, though: a small man and a moose of a woman, both in black, both wearing veils. From all sights, Reggie’s death had really broken them up inside. They sobbed and whispered something before the coffin, and were out of the place before either Dickens sister could snag them. Only their mother got the chance to chat the couple up, and she reported that they were just fans who had been, "touched so deeply by Mr. Dickens' writing," that they'd just had to come up and say their goodbyes.

Their mother couldn’t say anymore about them without bursting into tears. You see, they'd had his eyes.

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