On Punching a Gift Horse in the Mouth – Chapter 2

The door to his two story apartment closes remaining ajar in his mind as staring from the floor with his back against the radiator, Jack felt the grooves of the ornate iron and rubbed his head methodically.  He was pushing through each curve the idea that what had just gone on had not, that she still loved him despite the divorce papers in his hands- hadn’t he the right to be truly insane, to be absolutely silly on his birthday- or on any day for that matter.  He wondered if his current appearance held some responsibility in the unmaking of his most treasured relationship.


“You’ll keep your balls sir, but I’m afraid you might not get it up again…”


The doctor’s roguish words hanging between his legs, there was nothing like a decision between two evils.  He laughs to himself as the thought occurs to him a similar situation- that of her or her sister.  “Have you ever had to make up your mind?”  He began singing as he watched the two imaginary sisters cross the open threshold of the closed door.  They stood over him in their business attire, she in navy blue cast off the look of madame president, her sister in pale shades of tan that lead one to wonder if this senior systems analyst might, like a librarian let down her bun, take off the glasses and make a leggy basic instinct shift.  It was the kind of thing that removed him of his sense of should’s, they wound themselves into the heart of his right shoulder, and as his minds remained preoccupied his shoulder seemed to tug away at every moment asking, telling and demanding that “we should do this, I should do that, we need to get that done,etc, etc, etc”

Eventually as the intended hallucination subsided, his shoulder worked up enough courage to pull off the silly hat, a bowler with a plastic daisy sprouting from the top of it.  He began to ask if it was silly enough for the occasion, but he decided not to encourage this line of questioning.  He opted instead for the door, now closed in his mind as well, he never liked things closed, he was thoroughly bothered by restaurants with closed signs, “why not open for my business!” he would yell in the night at the darkened doors.  Nor did he care for closed convenience stores, he thought them all too inconvenient if they weren’t open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year- life he proposed wasn’t convenient and he believed it was the least they could do to try and keep up.

Anyhow he turned the brass door knob and stepped outside eager to pit one cancer against another in hopes of them leaving him entirely alone.


The door clicks into place, but Jack cannot be bothered.

Outside his hand rolled cigarette burned rather sweetly, a rustic blend that carried him over the hills of Virginia.  In the first place he was still on the porch half-naked pondering it’s origin, in the second he was in a field stripping the tobacco straight off the plant, and sitting indian style would curl it into a tube and light it on fire.  He wasn’t sure this was possible.  He always enjoyed a sit while killing himself, and as his heart beat noticeably on in his chest he sat back into an aluminum reclining chair spray painted red in a fit of anger over the morning news about his new book deal or lack thereof.  He thought to himself “I’m an artist, I don’t have to give a fuck” on and on he thought whilst spraying the chair unmasked.  Now as his cancer burned it’s way down to his fingers he flicked it with caution and alarm and surveyed the community.  Nowhere was there anything going on, as though the duel had cleared everyone out of this here town, as tumbleweeds roll on by, everyone scared hiding behind old windows and saloon doors that they might be next if the wrong side wins.  Who was the wrong side?  Or perhaps the smoke had awakened him to the reality that he was alone in a community (it seemed) and nothing had done much previously to wake his mind until now.

Alone.  The word rang out in his head with the clamorous clang of Quasimodo’s bells.  Desperate he decided was not the mood of choice, and so he planted himself in daring and tying his bathrobe closed he walked down off of his porch and onto the street.  Surveying the area he came across not more than 10 Minivans, 4 SUV’s, 2 BMW’s, and a solitary firebird parked on the street outside the house three doors down on the left from the house opposite his.  He found most yards held mostly children’s toys, plastic child size cars of makes and models adults would drive, a child sized Harley Davidson, child sized hummers.  A basketball hoop in the driveway of some houses, some of them also child sized.  The house with the firebird had one posted above the garage door.  He stood in front of it staring- wondered why not a soul was out.  Were he and his soon to be divorcee that loud?  Could you still see his pecker?  Looking up he noticed storm clouds looming over head “awwwww, fuck!  Isn’t it raining enough already?!” he yelled into the sky.

Jack realized then what an awful role model he must be for the children of his community, not to mention tremendously awkward, loud and through his bathrobe a little creepy.  He started walking back home noticing the yard full of kittens…  “They’re not moving?!”  He muttered audibly in surprise, briefly he thought he must be frozen in time, my this explains everything, but quickly dismissed this when it started to rain and the cats of the yard had their fur wetted.  He stared at them as they stared back- (the cats, they must have been stuffed…  Won’t they die in the rain- they can’t die, they’re already dead, can you leave stuffed animals outside?  Weirdo.)


CLAP!  with a bolt of lightning shockwaving itself into the heart of his thoughts, startling him to the downpour about him and ran him to his very own porch.  In one particular window of his neighbor’s home, no cats stood upon it’s sill.  All other’s however had cat eyes pointing at him, curious but accusing, he wasn’t sure what he had done.  Shaking the looks off he reached for the door turning the knob he found it didn’t quite turn as far as he wanted it to, and kicked it barefooted without impunity to the tune of the realization that he had in fact locked himself out.  Running round to the back of the house, his empty yard offered no hope of getting back in, the backdoor equally locked, so too with the basement door.  Even the remote operated garage door refused to open.


Shivers run down spines at this point in time when the feeling of being alone meets a cold, wet, unrelenting reality on the crossroads of life and death, how melodramatic, nonetheless it gathered a sense of panic in him to what unsheltered in thunderstorm might do for his balls, and shuddered to think that they might come off from a cold.  He wasn’t really in the mood to man up.  It was anything he could do to muster up the courage to not let himself lie in the middle of the road and let the coming storm take him.  Worriedly he headed to the cat house to ask for shelter and a telephone.


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