Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Month in the Country

During my daily stroll on a desert island I was accosted by either a woman sporting a beard; a man wielding a beard; or a hedgehog on stilts. In truth, the incident happened so swiftly I cannot be sure. I recalled how David slayed Goliath with a simple slingshot. I took off my right sandal and threw it in the air, which to my amazement distracted my assailant. Suddenly the man's shape and features softened. I removed one of my blue cotton toe socks, filled it with five 'twenty dollar' bills, and beat him about the head. Unfortunately, the effort proved fruitless.

Despairing of hitting my assailant's head continuously with my sock (I felt the advent of a dazzling migraine), I enquired if he had change of a twenty. He announced, with the aid of a late 19th-century speaking trumpet, that he had a few nickels and quarters he could lend me. I thanked him and we exchanged currency. I filled my sock with stark bright coins. However, just as I was about to strike my assailant I was hit on the head by a flying sandal and lost consciousness.

When I came round he had disappeared along with my blue cotton toe socks. However, he left a note that read, in its entirety, the abridged works of Shakespeare, and which also solemnly declared: 'I'm heading back to Toytown where donkey's ears remain a symbol of individuality and freedom.'

A neurologist recently confirmed I have 'alien limb syndrome' - the sensation that my 'right leg' is acting of its own accord. That would account for my 'right leg' saying, 'Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow,' each night as I retire to bed. It even has the audacity to wake me during my blessed sleep to deliver a Shakespearean soliloquy; usually one of Macbeth’s troubled musings which I now find tiresome. Moreover, it has the gall to express in mocking tone, 'How poor are they that have not patience.'

This coming from a 'right leg' that walks away during conversations! Writes clandestine letters! Bleeds for no apparent reason! Runs errands for neighbours without my permission or knowledge! Quite frankly, it is tantamount to blatant attention-seeking! Even writing about my plight I find it hard to breathe. 

To make matters worst my right leg is good-looking, intelligent, looks at least twenty years younger than the rest of my body, and is extraordinarily striking in a black leather jacket and heavy boots.
Reflections: One night I attended a performance of Ivan Turgenev's play A Month in the Country with my girlfriend Alisa. We had to leave three days after the start of the production as we both experienced dizzy spells and hallucinations due to lack of food and drink.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Reaching the End Without Trying

This morning I was lying in bed (awake, though snoring) when someone hammered on my front door. It was a neighbour, Ivar Kalmar, who I find difficult to listen, or talk to, without losing hair from my body. I could tell he was in distress. His bleached-blonde hair was standing upright, and the tattoos on his heavy muscled arms were walking on all fours like a shaven-headed chimp with nappy rash.

I also knew his house had four toilets. He explained that in deciding which toilet to use he had become gravely confused and bewildered. I could see by the stain on his elegant blue pajamas he had suffered a 'little' accident. I invited Ivar into my home; to sit in the cat’s litter tray. My cat felt threatened, of course, and is not the most generous creature on earth. In fact, it is a peerless disaster as far as alcohol and gambling are concerned.

I poured fresh water in the cat’s feeding dish. The cat and I watched Ivar lick the dish bone dry. It seemed to have a calming effect on him. To disarm the silence I tried to engage Ivar in conversation. I commented on the marvelous array of automobiles outside his home, his family’s fine clothes, the numerous extensions made to his property, his profession as a high-ranking, marketing consultant.

Suddenly, Ivar pounced, grabbed my neck with his hands, and started to rant: 'I haven’t slept for five days. I’m exhausted from working in a god-forsaken company I hate. A job I hate. And worrying about unpaid bills for things neither my family, nor myself, required in the first place.'

'But you look so happy?! ... Your wife?! ... Your children?! ...'

'DON’T MENTION MY WIFE. First it was dual master bedrooms, then separate houses in the same city, then separate states, then separate countries, then separate continents. She took everything, including my cherished toupee made out of parrot feathers.'

'Really! I ... I never knew. I mean about your situation.' I fumbled behind me for an onion slicer, a large pot with a lid, or a large lid with a pot. The guy was nuts. Panic and anxiety bounced around in my brain: not much room, I know, but it’s the only one I can access. I grabbed a banana skin, and regretted eating the banana earlier. 'You should live like me. No television, smartphone, cyberspace, magazines, shopping. Marketing and advertising is brash, the bane of people’s lives!' I paused for a second. What was I saying?! The guy was in advertising, for heaven’s sake! I didn't tell him my cat had only last week bought expensive cat clothes, food, and sex toys on eBay, with my credit card. I was cleaned out.

'Perhaps you should go and live in the mountains, the jungle, or the state of Ohio! Away from civilization!'

He clamored to his feet. 'I believe you’re right. The mountains, the jungle, Ohio. I need to start packing.' He moved towards the door. I slightly relaxed my grip on the banana skin. With his eyes moving in different directions he turned to me and said, 'Sitting in your cat's litter tray has helped me reassess my perspective on life. How can I ever repay you?'

As I pushed him out and engaged the twenty locks and bolts on my front door, I whimpered, 'Send me the fangs of the first venomous snake that bites you.' I believe Ivar exclaimed, 'You’ll get them, buddy! I swear, if it kills me, you’ll get them!' I had a feeling he was right. That's when I decided to move house.
Reflections: People today don’t seem to trust each other the way they used to. Out of fear, I guess. Somehow picking up hitchhikers kinda makes sense to me again. First, I need 'fresh wheels' - fast.