The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Suburban Fantasy

My friend Bill moved to the suburbs in exchange for a clean house and clean sex, pure and cold as a hole in an ice sculpture. Of course, that's not fair to his wife. She'll call me bitter and jealous, and probably impotent besides. Maybe that's the case, but I don't see why a figment of Bill's imagination needs to turn on me like that.

In my lighter moments, I too indulge in a suburban fantasy. In my head, I move in with my blonde lawyer wife, who owns a cute house with a cute yard. She's sharp as a diamond blade and doesn't hesitate to mention my lack of earning prowess when I laugh at what the priest says in church, even when it's ridiculous to the point of humor, even when it's a parody of Christian love. We navigate social circles, always having the best manners. We grow so terribly awfully bored with each other that I do yard work for excitement until she takes me to the hospital when I cut off a finger, again. At the hospital she says "I love you" and strokes my hair while the doctor re-attaches. We have good health insurance. That's probably the best part of the fantasy.

Then one day, she goes to the grocery store (not the one where the brown people go -- in order to maintain our superficiality, we've had to channel all our natural passion into racism). There's the hiss of gas escaping into her empty house and then soon appears a trail of fire and a great ball of flame. Bricks fly for miles. Standing in the cul-de-sac, I laugh, and it's over.

If she visits your imagination, say hello.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

A brief part of my Sunday

I have spent months tenderly blessed, obsessed with a jelly bean, and today I paid a lady to give her to me. You can find this jelly bean now in a plastic bag. I've been gluing hair to her. It, I mean. My friends say that she's an "It." I've urged them to seek sensitivity training. Yeah, she's bean-shaped, but I'm sure she tastes good, probably like an orange. An orange orange. An Orange.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Don't deny the solstice

When I put on my red silk boxers and dance around the shimmery Christmas tree, the neighbors pick up their phones and close their blinds. How's that for holiday cheer?

"Here," I'm saying, "share my joy. Laugh. Enjoy yourself."

It's like they have no sense of humor or sense of the season. Sure, they admire the silvery moon-touched snow dust that blows off the roof into the courtyard, but not the warm joyous creature beyond it.

"Me," I chant as I place my hands behind my head and gyrate my pelvis. "Me! You! Us! Me! You! Us!"

No one should be self-conscious about their body so near to the winter solstice. To the animal in us, the shortest day of the year represents death. Part of dying is enjoying what the person next to you is doing, savoring that life, his life, her life, your life. The idea of the festival is to break free from those inhibitions that would normally constrain the full expression of life.

I've shed my shorts. My arms, legs, and chest are covered in olive oil, and the floor is slippery. Through the window, I see a police car pull up in front of the building. I see the neighbors peek through the blinds.

Hookers might join me, might not judge me. I wish my neighbors were hookers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The King's decree: please only in palindrome...

¡oh god no, no, no, ooh no-no-noo-bab gag pop-dim poop-tar rat-poop mid-pop gag bab-oon-on-on hoo, on, on, on dog ho!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Party -- Pop!

At my party we'll fill the ceiling with thousands of balloons. The taller people will stoop and stir their drinks with their noses. When they laugh, they'll snort their cocktails or pop, and the floor will get sticky with drool drops (one part vodka, one part simple syrup, dash of drool). Under balloons, the shorter people's hair will stand on end, but we'll put hats on ugly scalps. We'll have a popcorn maker, buttery topping, and a bongo. No, two bongos. And we'll invite Pop with his needle-short words and his long delicate smile. I love Pop. He'll leave early. At midnight we'll pop-POP a thousand balloons, then take the rest to do helium shots and to squeak our minds like chipmunks. At sunrise we'll flop, maybe loving a litter nine months later.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Left Everyone With Discomfort

I saw it all happen before it happened. Everything was going their way. The wind shrieked at their backs, driving buckets of snow that froze on me but melted on them. Together they were bright and hot, but their heat didn't come from glossy hair or perfect bone structure or even confidence as it's usually seen, but rather some intense shared filament burning smokeless from the inside out. Even the tree branches stretched out to touch them, he a perfect match for his sweet little squeeze. If I just had someone like that, I wouldn't even bother drinking in the kind of bar room they frequent. I want the love they have.

Last night, it was a perfect wonder when they danced. At first it was just him: step-touch with a little hip motion. Then he took his sweet little thing out, and there was screaming, maybe from me, and some cop arrested him for lewd something or other. I guess you can't display affection in public.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Chicken Story

Today I went to the live poultry store to choose a fresh chicken for dinner. I think, sure, it is terrible to be the indirect cause of an animal's death, but being so close to it makes it a matter of conscience to clean my plate and to use the bones for soup. Also I feel it's important to keep my money in the local economy and away from the Perdue Chicken board of directors. I hear their poop is mostly impacted feathers, which is inhumane on several levels.

A grizzled non-speaking brown man led me back to choose my victim. There, in the third cage from the left, I saw her. Looking at me upside-down was a brownish-red hen with the most expressive bird eyes I'd ever seen. Normally I view birds as a small step up from insects -- more than happy to peck you to death if it serves the flock. But not her, no, not her. I indicated that I wanted her alive by alternating the slashing throat motion with shaking my head no.

The proprietor opened the cage, threw her into a double paper grocery bag, stapled it shut, and handed it to me in exchange for a five dollar bill. I put her in the passenger seat, fastened the safety belt, and we drove home through the downy snow flurries.

I brought a packing box up from my basement storage area and shredded some rags and newspapers into it until I felt it would make a comfortable bed. She was still, scared. I removed the staples from her bag with a nail file, then turned her sideways until she stood up, and then turned her upside-down until she stood right-side up. She knew her way out of the bag.

I stroked her head. "Oh my little chickie chickie chickie," I said. "Oh, what shall I call you chickie chickie... Fuck! Peck, not bite! Bitch!"

"Ka-LAWK! Ka-LAWK!" she screamed and leaped at my neck.

Feathers flying, she chased me into my bedroom, where, after knocking a bit of furniture around, I was able to throw a fitted sheet over her. The fitted sheet promptly ran into the master bathroom. I shut the door.

"Ka-LAWK! Ka-LAWK!" she screamed into flannel.

Now I have an homicidal pet that I've no idea how to love, feed or restrain and appears to resent love, feed and restraint. And it looks like I'll be bathing in the guest bathroom toilet from now on. When I get the courage, I'll need to drive her down south and release her into the wild, beyond the frost line, probably down I-57 around Memphis, where she can find unfrozen food and do whatever chickens do.