Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Think he can still get a reference?

"Oh, you're firing me for a new black guy who you can pay less. Yeah, I understand completely. I've always wanted to lose my paycheck and health benefits so you can start a new guy at bottom salary and claim a tax credit. It's a lifelong dream. I'm just wondering, you know, since there are already so many African Americans on staff, if you're going to hire Latinos. I mean, it’s affirmative action, right? If your staff is half black and half white, you're ignoring Hispanics.

“And Asians.

“And Native Americans.

“Not to mention immigrants. I mean legal ones, of course, because you'd never hire illegal immigrants no matter how little they'd work for, or how many rights they'd give up for the privilege of serving you, right?

“Right. They can't type well.


“Yet how many immigrants, and how many colors of immigrants are you going to hire? Because come to think of it, we only speak English in here. Your little monochrome rainbow isn't exactly cutting intellectual xenophobia. Where are the French? The Russians? The Taiwanese? Or do you not consider them a country? You do want to act affirmatively, don’t you?

“Do you have a quota for the countries and backgrounds you like? A quota of Taoists? A quota of Jews? No, that's poor taste. They have a bad history with quotas. But since I'm losing my job, I guess I don't like quotas either."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Great Ghost’s True Identity

Listen to this story streaming or download the MP3 here.

You will receive four stipends, one every fiscal quarter, each for a sum of $50,000. Each will be deposited in a new and different foreign bank account. Their access information will be mailed to you on seemingly random days within the first three weeks of the corresponding fiscal quarter. There will be no return address.

In addition, you will have a substantial life insurance policy to benefit your family, and the best health insurance in the world, both of which will be paid for by a dummy corporation. Attempting to trace the corporation will be seen as termination of this contract.

In return for this, you will live in a particular tenement of Penny Quarter. It sees the highest occurrences of armed robbery, vehicle theft and murder in the city. It is not pleasant.

You may have a job if you like, but it must end every night by 5:00 PM, at which point you are to return home. You must be home every night from dusk until dawn, and the curtains must be drawn until the end of that period. No one is to have any contact with you in the evenings; you may not answer e-mail or phone calls. You may have no company.

On rare occasions you will be sent orders to make public appearances. You may be asked to make these appearances in the evenings, at which point you may disregard the above instructions. These orders will come exclusively from a cell phone hidden under the floorboards of the bedroom closet in your apartment. Do not mind it until it rings. You will hear it if it rings no matter where you are in the apartment.

You have been selected because you lost your parents to gang violence in early childhood, because of your time in the marines, and because of your physical resemblance to the Great Ghost. Even your jaw line is vaguely reminiscent of his. You are never to suggest you are him. If inquiries are made, deny them. With your personal history and your residence being within a thirty-mile radius of 85% of his anti-criminal appearances, you will become a prime suspect.

Eventually a dummy costume and some of his utilities may be hidden in your apartment. You will not necessarily be notified of the placement of these items. If you come across them, do not touch them. They are highly dangerous and the Great Ghost will collect them shortly.

His enemies will eventually track you down, intending to kill their predator. The Great Ghost is watchful and will not allow harm to come to you or your loved ones. You are first and foremost a tool to draw out the unsavory but persistent elements, so that they can be captured.

Please do not think of yourself a decoy allowing the Great Ghost to lead some luxurious existence, unmolested by his enemies. I suspect he doesn’t have an alter ego life at all, spending all his energy on vigilantism. I don’t know that for certain, though. I’ve never met him directly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: An Eye, a Finger

Pa shook his head, holding the ice pack around Billy's face.

"It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye."

Rob stamped his feet and scowled at them all, holding the rag around his hand.

"Why doesn't anybody care about me? Losing a finger sucks, too! Everybody likes Billy better."

Their mother sighed and drove faster.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Heart of the Waterfall

Hey there, waterfall. Today I want to plunge my hands into your heart. There, beneath the froth where the crystalline fall hits the blue pool and turns into billions of white bubbles. Up on the trail I just wanted to kneel at your bank, sore knees on this stone, and wash dirty hands in you. The water’s cold and fingers are clean now, but I’m not baptized. I feel dirty everywhere, and something about the sight of you stirs in me the feeling that everything I dislike about me would wash off like grit, if only I plunged my hands where you explode. I’ll wade out there in shoes, socks and pants, and climb the trail back up to the car uncomfortably wet in penance for the privilege, if you’ll let me. May I violate your heart? It will not be like you piercing mine. Yours will be restored in a second, and as soon as I leave you will look as though I was never here. The exhilaration would mean everything to me. It would mean absolution.

But swimming is illegal here, and I can’t break that law. There are people who spend time and money to keep you. They don’t have ultimate right, and none are here to see it and be offended, but it would still wrong them. I cannot harm your keepers, even if only in idea.

Still I want more than my wrists in this pool. You’re so cold you sting. My fingernails are numb and I want more. So blue, so wrongly blue are your depths that I think if I submerged, if I went deep enough, I would find you warm. The downpour would dash against my scalp and my clothes would stick to me like shreds of skin. Everything I can’t forgive myself for would wash down your streams. Every time I broke the speed limit, lied to a lover or wished worse on a man who deserved better would trickle away. My sins would be your soil, and would even you notice a few grains more in your mud?

I’d like to swim in you afterwards, feel you wash over me. But I can’t break the laws of those that keep you.

I also don’t have to tell anyone if I do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Spread it on Asphalt Toast

The giants bided the afternoon behind a couple of fast food billboards. At 4:55, Shean could barely contain herself, but Cyclo kept her honest. You couldn’t collect this stuff too quickly. Like honey or wine, it had to age. 5:00. 5:05. 5:10, and even Cyclo wavered, salivating at the smell of all the exhaust wafting off the highway. When horns started honking, they broke out and charged the interstate with their bottles. They caught hundreds of cars that day, enough traffic jam to last them all winter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: While Shaving Monologue

I’ve always said one in the hand is worth two in the bush, because you can take the one in your hand and beat the two in the bush to death with it. Then you’ve got one in the hand and two in your bag. On your way home you stop by the wet nurse’s place, chat her up about the day’s work, and give her one from her bag. Make sure it’s the nicest one of the three. Then you’ll have one in the hand, one in the bag, and one that might get you into her shrubbery. You’ve been looking for an “in” there, haven’t you? Then you head on home and elbow Cain in the side, asking him how that vegetarianism is going for him as you cook your two in the pot. Two in the pot, while your idiot brother eats the bush. Maybe you invite him over for supper, since you have two in the pot anyway, and he’s been glaring at you lately. But there you go: you’ve got one in the hand, another hand on the wet nurse’s thigh, and Cain won’t commit fratricide this week. That’s why you should be a hunter, not a gatherer, my friends.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: legit lol

A proposal to the civilized people of the world:

Proposed: that anyone who types "legit lol" should have a man dispatched to his or her (hereafter, “the offender”) house. A magnum will be placed to the forehead of the offender’s dearest loved one, be it wife, sister, mother, mother superior, or pet goldfish.

Further Proposed: The offender will then be given the option of watching that loved one blown to kingdom come, or tracking down ten people who type "lol" without actually laughing, and once the offender tracks these individuals down, break their thumbs and forefingers with a foam-covered bat (hereafter, “the defender”).

Finally Proposed: The implement used must be a defender, or otherwise the task will go too quickly. Proper pacing is essential to learning a lesson.
Counter est. March 2, 2008