Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Ira

You muttered earlier, asking who Ira was. Perk up your ears, and surely you can hear him bellowing. Let us follow it down the street, and there in the alley beside the homeless shelter. There is Ira. Don’t think he’s always there – he’s worked much finer venues. Burned down churches and art galleries. The last time he was visible to mortal eyes, he was watching people drown from the deck of a yacht.

You’re surprised he’s scrawny? Looks mighty thin when unclothed, we’ll all agree. Shirtless, as usual. Always takes his shirt off, never knows why. You’d think him huge, but he has not the attention span to build himself up. Ira goes from thing to thing, hating whatever he can in the moment. The poor planner, this one. Every vice gets opportunities, yet he sees so little of them coming. He finds them and acts out. An improvisational economist. He lucks into his windfalls, and you can tell by how he wrings every last cent out of his accounts. Not by intelligence, but by sheer tenacity he forces Christians to blame Jews for an execution thousands of years after their man’s demise.

Religion is an easy account, like race and nationality. He needs those, and needs them as dumbed down as possible. If he has to think it through, there’s a good chance he’ll go bankrupt. No, he needs these accounts, the ones that sustain themselves, that turn even geniuses into bickering idiots. Then Ira gathers them up and makes indignation burn as bright and as quickly as possible, caring not when the sun of hate collapses into a cold, black hole.

He can’t handle the more complex accounts, and another vice is happy to pick those from his pockets. They placate him by leaving angry disenfranchised in their wake, and he is so busy jumping on those that he is none the wiser. There are always enough unhappy for him to find clients.

Now you say that shirtless thing can’t be responsible for all the violent evils. Too many are thought out. There are calculative monsters among us, it’s true. Yet those are not his designs. It’s people who shape Ira into lasting grudges and long-term dissent. Even now you can see how blunt is his nature, how ignorant of anything but the man whose hair is in his hands. What good will dashing his head against the floor do? The dead man can yield him no more profit. Ira cares not.

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