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Some time in the hole

Some time in the hole

I dug a hole in my backyard and got in. I said I liked the smell of the dirt. The dirt didn’t respond. A worm stuck its head out of the dirt and said hello. The worm and I talked for a while. Then the worm went back into the dirt.

I fell asleep in the hole. I woke up. The daylight was gone. I was surrounded by warm pelts. They expanded and contracted. Creatures were burrowed and breathing against me. Because it was dark, I couldn’t tell what kind of creatures. I closed my eyes and imagined we were one animal.

It began to rain. I felt the water on my face, the only uncovered part of my body. The creatures began to stir but not wake as the drops coated them. Soon it smelt musky. I relaxed and fell back asleep.

When I woke, the creatures were gone. I was submerged up to my chin in water. I was shivering. I tried to get out of the hole, but my muscles were stiff. I had to flex them repeatedly in order to get some movement going. I manged to get out of the hole. It was still dark.

I went into my house. My dog Rexy got up from her doggy bed and sniffed me. She said I smelt like raccoons. I said I was glad to know. She asked where I’d been. I said I dug a hole and spent some time in it with some unknown animals.

I was still shivering. Rexy said I ought to take a warm bath. I got the water going and got in to the tub. I shook while in the bath and water spilled out onto the bathroom floor.

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Why I’m still in bed

Why I’m still in bed

I haven’t gotten out of bed. I tried. But my mattress sucked me in and I couldn’t move up and out. I asked the bed, “Hey, what’s the big deal?” My bed mumbled something. I said, “What did you just say?” My bed said, “I’m scared, can you stay with me?” I asked what it was scared of. The bed said, “Someone else laying on top of me.” I said no one would be doing that. The bed said, “Can you guarantee that?” I said no and stayed.

I looked out the window at the backyard. A moose walked by. The moose stopped when it saw I was looking. The moose actually looked behind itself to see if I was looking at something behind it. The moose looked back at me. I motioned the moose to come towards the window. The moose came up to the window. Its breathing fogged up the glass. I yelled, “Have you got a cigarette?” The moose said, “What?” I asked a second time. The moose said, “I can’t hear you through the window. Would you open it?” The mattress repeated its request that I don’t leave. I shouted to the moose, “Never mind.” The moose said it couldn’t hear me. I didn’t say anything more. The moose left upset. I heard the sound of the moose knocking down part of the backyard fence.

I looked up at the ceiling. A bat looked back, clinging to the overhead light. The bat said, “Would you keep it down, I’m trying to sleep.” I said, “How can you see me, I thought bats are blind?” The bat said, “I can’t see you. I’m speaking in your general direction.” I said, “Listen, this isn’t your bedroom. I need for you to go and find a cave.” The bat said, “There are no caves around here.” I said, “That’s not my problem.” The bat said, “All I’m asking is you stop your jabbering.”

I lay in silence. I waited for the mattress to fall asleep so I could get up and leave. When the mattress sleeps, its breathing gets deep and occasionally it lets out a snore. That wasn’t happening. So I quietly began to sing the mattress a lullaby. “Oh, sleepy time is upon you, so sleepy, so oh so sleepy, lulling off to slumber-land, away you go.” I listened and heard a snort, followed by a glottal vibration. I slowly slipped out of bed.

When my foot touched the floor, it met a viscous substance. I pulled my foot back up and smelled the sticky substance. It was molasses. I felt like a fool for getting flooring made of sugar cane stalks. The mattress woke back up and said, “Were you trying to leave?” I said, “No.” The bat said, “Yes, he was.” I said to the bat, “I thought you couldn’t see?” The bat said, “I have sonar. It’s as reliable as sight.” The mattress said to me, “Why did you lie?” I said, “I didn’t want to make you upset.” The mattress said, “Well, you did.” I said I was sorry.

I heard the front door open, followed by steps in the living room. The moose came into the bedroom. The moose looked down in disgust said, “What the hell is this on the floor?” The moose lifted and licked a hoof. It said, “Mmmmmm, delicious!” and began slurping the floor.

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Big Sky

Big Sky

I looked up at the sky. The sky said, “Have you got nothing better to do than stare at me?”

I said, “I’m in awe of your forevering.”

The sky began to rain on me. I still kept looking.

The sky said, “What’s it gonna take for you to get going?”

I said, “I guess when I get hungry.”

The sky started listing off foods like BBQ chicken, biscuits and gravy, and figs. I got hungry, but I remained eye entranced by the sky.

The hunger made me salivate and a drop of saliva fell from my mouth and hit an ant.

The ant said, “What the hell’s going on up there?”

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what’s in the box

what’s in the box

There was a knock at the door. I opened it. No one was there but a sealed container about the size of a lunch box. I picked it up. There was no address. I shook it. Something moved around in there but I couldn’t tell what it was.

I brought the container inside and sat down on the couch with it on my lap. A little bit of me wanted to open it and see what was inside. But a greater part liked not knowing. I tend toward mystery. It gives me the juice. Once I find something out, I lose interest and want to go to sleep.

My dog Rexy came into the room. She said, “What’s in the box?”

I said, “I don’t know.”

She said, “Can I take it out to the backyard and paw and bite it for a while?” and I said, “Yes.”

My dog Rexy took the box in her mouth and went out back through the doggy door.

I stayed on the couch. I felt the impression the box had left on the top of my thighs.

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My temp job in 1868

My temp job in 1868

I worked for Salmon P. Chase when he ran for President of the United States in 1868. I was an assistant in his office. I filed papers and did errands, but I didn’t actually believe in his cause. I needed a job and answered his campaign’s ad in the Harking Times, a local Columbus, Ohio newspaper. They hired me because of my work history with the writer Edgar Allen Poe as his comma counter. Poe at the time was noted for his great use of commas and didn’t want to disappoint his readers. I spent hours everyday, counting and adding commas to Poe’s manuscripts if they ran below his 15,000 comma quota.

Salmon P. Chase would come into the election headquarters every morning, yelling stinging chastisements at me and the other employees. With red face and bug-eyes, he wailed that we were inefficient hacks. But even though he regularly claimed we were failing him, he never fired any of us. It didn’t bother us because it was well known that Chase was a follower of the famous ascetic D. Micker Binning, who claimed that the vibrations from continuous shouts of disappointment would create in any listener the necessary gumption to complete difficult tasks.

The yelling went on day after day. One day in mid-yell, Chase lost his voice in an apparent attack of laryngitis. He collapsed in frustration. I picked him up and sat him in a chair. I made him a cup of tea and sat by his side, holding his hand. Back then you could hold a man’s hand and no one thought the lesser of you.

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Photonish

Photonish

I took this picture of myself with a photon camera. It eliminates the usual light from bulbs and sunlight and just registers the illumination from photons trapped in a person’s pores. I didn’t realize I was that attractive.