I Will Not Be Accepting, I Shall Not Attend
Alas, I have resurrected the feud.
First I visit the county agent and read him more than his rights. (I want to put him
at ease so that I may shine his dull head.) I order him up a juicy toothache from the shiny
melon selection squad, who have frequently mistaken him for a more deeply disturbed
and worldly citizen. I do this because I have learned a few things that I wish to pass on.
And because I have certain tasks to perform that I have awarded myself. From crag to
swamp, hooker to wife, I dish out the body juice, stiffening slowly out there in its
unacceptable syrup. It’s a stink of unremarkable proportions yet to be raised beyond other
stinks of similar dimensions. Most of the time I go unnoticed.
And thus it happened that I was there, unremarked, when it happened.
It’s true, however, that Sinus the Dog has become my constant companion. Sinus is
never lonely, but Sinus whines and wheezes. Sinus is never empty. Sinus runs. Sinus
has no sense of humor, either sophisticated or raw. Sinus fills up the part of my head
where imagination lies. Sinus draws the remaining expendable fluids from my
anticipatory head. Sinus makes me drain. Sinus flushes, Sinus devolves, and Sinus
romanticizes. Sinus wishes upon mustard stars and remains unrandom. Sinus welcomes.
It’s true what they say when they say there is no other way to say what they say.
That’s why they say it.
Just as a disturbed mauling howl may occasionally rent the visiting daylight, my
reasoning is allowed to return with a gift of alien morsels. Which sometimes finds the
agent singing. Perhaps unengulfing the chair his body has taken into itself. It’s possible
that he could already be imagining his head poking out of there like a painful cartoon.
Yes, it’s a wonderful country of unsullied improbable delights, but you can’t go
there yet. We’ve been trying to take that country out of the county and the agent’s still
holding out. Meant for greater things. Meant for inspired exiting and brilliantly executed
detention spillage. You can’t keep them home when they’ve tasted the forked fruit.
I’m not the one who forgets what I’ve done. The frozen melon balls clack against
his molars each time I score another generous defeat. It’s part of the exercise. It’s
something he likes when the pain subsides.
I do that to keep the provocative jiggles in line. I go out and out and I get happy out
there and I rest in my head and I dictate. That’s so Sinus can be barking again and I can’t
“And furthermore . . .” he’d say, if I let him talk. Because he’s always more than
right. “And in Fact . . .” he’d say, like it’s someplace you could go to where they don’t
They do. I’ve lived there. I’ve been on both sides of the argument.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.