I’m Thinking There’s a Monkey in There Somewhere

(You thought I was going to say pie, didn’t you!)

When sleep came at last, there wasn’t much to say about it. And so no one did.

Some dreamed of colors, turquoise, gold, and pink, splashing across the lightlids.

Others dreamed of squirrels walking on hindlegs and menacing the postal carriers.

At least three had dreams of falling down stairs, while two others had dreams of falling up them.

On Wednesday, at least one child had a dream about a Hmmm, and someone’s grandmother dreamt of an Umm.

Many dreamed of a loud silence.

Some tortured few dreamed of speaking in front of N people. It didn’t matter what N was. The dream was still terrifying. The most terrifying one of all was the one where N equaled 0.

The majority dreamed of many things, but remembered nothing of it upon waking.

At least one person woke laughing. Three woke sobbing. Some number larger than seventeen awoke to find drool on their pillow. This had nothing to do with dreams.

Inside of a dream, less than eleven woke up, but didn’t realize they were still dreaming.

Three died in a dream, but were fine upon waking. One of these had never had such a refreshing night’s sleep.

I can’t remember how many dreamed of being born.

Some countless number dreamed of sex, in some fashion.

There was one who had a dream and recalled it perfectly for three minutes, until the cat jumped on the bed, and all was forgotten.

There were at least eight who vigorously practiced writing down their dreams. Seven of these never read them later. The last one was confused.

A fraction simply never dreamed at all. They did not suffer for it.

One dreamed of Borges’ Library of Babel and never woke again.

Just like that, everyone woke up.


Granted, There Never Was a Time When That Wasn’t True

(You know I’m talking about ice cream!)

A few commas here, a couple semi-colons there, a dash of quotation marks, and hey–why not?–some parentheses, and Voila! instant story.

What? You want some words in there? No need! Take a look at this beauty:

“”(–);.. ‘ . . .,, ,,, “” “” . , ” () “” !

I rest my case.

It’s a Little Hot Around Here

(Relatively speaking, it’s not hot at all. I’m looking at you, MERCURY.)

Gravabrabbit Luigi Munglebroop, he of the shiny eyelashes and lustrous toenails, was at a loss for words. This was unusual, because he was a professional talker. Just talking, talking, talking all the livelong day. Some people thought it odd you could get paid for such a thing, but these were the times he lived in. Some people also thought it odd that you could make money off of pickling foods, but there you go.

Yes, this was quite the time to be a Talk-Talker. People seemed to eat it up. They’d even listen to him Talk-Talking at double-time speed, just so they could catch up on all of his past Talk-Talks. Any little thought just came into his head, he said it, and then it was recorded and beamed out to his goozabillions of listeners.

At least people could do other things while listening to his Talk-Talks. Gravabrabbit Luigi Munglebroop (“Grav” or “Gloom” to his fans) couldn’t understand the appeal of watching the Watch-Watches created by the Watch-Watchers. No Talk-Talk listener of his had stepped in front of a hyperloop trolley or a rabid neo-genegineered sabre tooth thingy.

“Grav” had woken up that morning with a groan and flurried right into it, as he put on his socks, brushed his teeth, and gave his feet a bath. Just Talk-Talking away. Even when he’d stubbed his toe on the ugly ironwork chimera–or was it a gorgon? He never could remember–he’d just kept Talk-Talking away, comforted, even in the midst of his pain, that, being classified as an adult Talk-Talky, he’d not be reprimanded for the expletives he’d let fly. He pitied Gorgomon Jeev “Childmans” Goot his child-oriented Talk-Talky, forced, as he was, to babble nonsensically about the latest Gobberfrop fad or Tumblederry cereal of the week.

All that was fine. “Gloom” had Talk-Talked away most of the morning with happy inconsequentialities. (Things had gotten a little dicey from 09:11:42 to 09:27:12 when his ex had called to complain about the turkeys in the dumbwaiter. But that was neither here nor there. His fans lived for that kind of thing. Even so, he’d almost lost his cool. Turkeys! Dumbwaiters! Plaid spats! It never ended.) That is, until that happened.

Yes, Gravabrabbit Luigi Munglebroop was at a loss for words. And he didn’t even know why.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Flags!

(No, I’m talking about the OTHER one.)

Violet: It all started with a sandwich, I’m sure of it!

Indigo: We all have to eat lunch, it’s true.

Blue: Sometimes I skip lunch, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.

Green: Sometimes I eat two lunches and then look for a pot of gold. It could happen!

Yellow: When I’m happy, I eat more. Isn’t that strange?

Orange: Today, I felt happy and sad, both. 

Red: Why, sometimes I’ve felt six different emotions before breakfast.

Drinking in the Mozzarella

(Hey! Why not make a shake out of it? It’s savory and delicious!)

“I ain’t gonna lie: that’s the best sock I’ve ever seen.” That’s what Yuri “Twist-a-Fist” Jamison said, anyhow.

“This one?” I said, holding out my right foot, Hokey Pokey-style.

“Twist-a-Fist” snorted. “Nah, that one blows.”

“This?” Holding out my left foot. “But… but they’re the same sock.” I stared down at my pink  with orange-polka-dotted socks. “They are pretty great.”

“They nothing! That one rocks”–pointing at the left sock–“and that one, argh! Makes me wanna claw my eyeballs out.” Yuri scowled.

“I don’t understand,” I said. “They look the same to me.”

“Yancey,” Yuri shook his head, “you’ve got a lot to learn. A lot to learn.”

I stared at my socks.

Yuri kept shaking his head.

“Socks,” I said.

“Shiiiiiit,” Yuri said. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about, man.”

All Around the Quagmire

(No, the OTHER quagmire.)

Irina Yglesias Rigby Consuela Beauregarde (Iggy to her friends) eyed the ancient, marble courtyard closely. Nope, it was still there. She turned to the constable.

“Looks like it’s still here. I can’t fathom why you’re here?” said Iggy.

“Aye,” said the constable, that constable being Constable Grigori “Jackhammer” Pickens, renowned the county over for his mulberry and boysenberry hams, I mean, jams. But also hams. Maybe?

“Wait? You can’t fathom why you’re here either.” Iggy pulled an earlobe.

The constable pulled his beard, his own earlobe being lost in a cloud of hair. “Aye.”

They stood for a time, staring at the ancient blocks of stone. A bird sang.

Iggy sighed.

The constable hummed.

There was nothing to see there.

“Ayup. There’s nothing to see here,” the constable said.

Neither of them could remember where they needed to be.

Typing Under the Wire

(No, not a literal wire.)

Quick, quick! Type something funny or clever or at least not unsettlingly tedious before the kids start yelling again!

Nope, I got nothing.

And really it’s not so much a wire–I’m imagining a lit dynamite wire–as a sword just dangling over the head. How strong is that rope anyway? Who does the sword-rope maintenance? Who dusts the sword when it gets dusty? Is there a special sword dusting ladder? What do you dust a sword with, anyway? Or is it more of a special cloth rubbing thing?

OK, now I’m rethinking this sword thing.

It’s not so much a dangling sword as a fox/henhouse setup. Because, assuming it’s a decent rope, that swords gonna be up there for quite a while. Whereas once you set that fox in the henhouse, some certain inevitabilities are gonna play out. I mean, maybe the blood and feathers are worth the price of a few stolen moments? Maybe not? Also, you’d probably be wrong if you guess who was the fox and who was the henhouse…

Whoops! Time’s up!

The Unbearable Sadness of Cake

(Where to start? Where to start?)

1. I have no cake.

2. If I did have cake, I would now have no cake.

3. If I did have cake, and still had cake, I would soon have no cake.

4. If I was gazing long-lastingly at cake, but couldn’t decide to get it.

5. If I was gazing long-lastingly at cake, but decided not to get it.

6. If I was gazing long-lastingly at cake, but decided to get it.

7. If I was gazing long-lastingly at cake, but decided to get it, only to find I had left my wallet at home.

8. If I was gazing long-lastingly at cake, but someone else was eating the last piece.

9. If I was gazing long-lastingly at cake, but it was only a picture.

10. I decide to bake a cake, but have no ingredients.

11. I decide to bake a cake, but am missing eggs.

12. I decide to bake a cake, but mix up baking powder and baking soda in my mind.

13. I decide to bake a cake, but accidentally burn it.

14. I eat some cake, but the frosting is terrible (with those sweet/bitter frosting flowers).

15. I eat some cake, and it’s the best cake I’ve ever eaten, and I know that I will never have cake that good ever again in my entire life.

16. I eat some cake, and it’s the best cake I’ve ever eaten, and I know that I will search my whole life long for cake to equal or better it.

17. I watch someone eating cake, and it’s the best cake they’ve ever eaten, and they tell me so.

18. I eat some cake: it is neither excellent nor terrible: a middling cake.

19. A monkey eats the cake.

20. A monkey throws the cake.

21. A small child eats all of the cake when no one is looking.

22. The small child’s parents look on approvingly as it eats all of the cake.

23. There are a lot of children eating cake.

24. Just recently, a lot of children ate cake, and now they are insufferable.

24b. But I am suffering them.

25. There is only One True Cake.

26. There is no One True Cake.

27. The cake is only a mirage in a desert of desserts.

28. The cake is made from spam/tuna/meat paste/anchovies/cardboard.

29. The cake is a prop.

30. The cake is a CGI cake.

31. The cake got rained out.

32. The cake is really a sandwich.

33. Only Members of the Club get to eat this cake.

33b. I am not a Member of the Club.

34. The cake is all Greek to me, whatever that means.

35. I was too sad to eat cake.

36. I was so happy I forgot to eat cake, and then felt sad.

37. The cake was actually a hat.

38. The cake was actually a hat, as described in the novel Madame Bovary.

It was one of those head-gears of composite order, in which we can find traces of the bearskin, shako, billycock hat, sealskin cap, and cotton night-cap; one of those poor things, in fine, whose dumb ugliness has depths of expression, like an imbecile’s face. Oval, stiffened with whalebone, it began with three round knobs; then came in succession lozenges of velvet and rabbit-skin separated by a red band; after that a sort of bag that ended in a cardboard polygon covered with complicated braiding, from which hung, at the end of a long thin cord, small twisted gold threads in the manner of a tassel. The cap was new; its peak shone.

38a. I don’t know why Madame Bovary‘s hat reminded me of cake.

38b. It’s actually Charles Bovary’s hat; Madame Bovary doesn’t figure in, hatwise.

39. The cake tastes good, but there’s something indescribable missing from it.

40. The cake tastes good, but I know exactly what’s missing from it.

41. I’m still thinking about that not-a-cake hat.

42. The cake is actually a giant chair.

43. The cake is a hamburger and fries. I mean to say, it’s a cake made to look like a hamburger and fries.

44. I only have 33 items in my list of cake sadnesses.

Groaning, as a Fish Would

(Which is, to say, silently.)

I thought there was something in my face, but it was only a spot of light, reflected off the mirror in the sky. Some satellites stir the sky green. Others comb the clouds for yellow. This one, the fiendish sky clown, has its sights set on me.

I can only wonder, as a bracing ennui sets in, and then I stop. Wondering that is. What’s the point? We’re all of us gazing tearfully at the sky, wondering when the moon will pickle or the birds come climbing down again.

I have no need for a bird ladder. And yet.

And yet.