"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hunted by the American Dream

Hope woke up in New York City, and despite the shattered-glass-gleaming of the Hudson and the miraculous, grey-pitched avenues leading to and from the homesteads of fate, she couldn't call it home.

Try as she might, the clock kept ticking, leaking seconds as it was throttled under the pressure of the necktie. Hope cried every midnight, trying desperately to learn to bear the first dark cuts the simmering blackness took at her sanity.

One afternoon, as Hope sat down to lunch, the clock still beating its loud, hissing rhythm, the gods spoke to her.

"How are you feeling today?" they asked, their efforts to feign interest evident in their drought-dry tones.

Hope barely looked up from her sandwich and replied, "Tired, and sick of this place."

"But Hope," the gods whimpered, "can't you look past the blistering monotony and see the possibilities?"

Hope took a bite of her food and chewed slowly, digesting this thought while her saliva slithered about, making quick work of her bacon, lettuce and tomato. She stepped back, out of herself for a moment, to try and find what the gods had meant.

She left herself behind - mid chew - and strode down those aged avenues, through the tunnels that latticed in the underground and up the high rise elevators to see what blinding magnificence lurked at the top.

She returned to her table, finished chewing and swallowed with an unglamorous gloick.

"I fail to see the promise you've instilled here," Hope bluntly told the gods. "Perhaps it was all used up by the immigrants in the early 1900’s."

The gods were stunned. "But didn't you learn any lesson at all?" they asked anxiously.

Hope wondered for a moment. "Well," she said, "I suppose I did." She paused to compose her thoughts. "I learned that you can shake the tree until the mistakes fall out, but then, it's always easier to grab up each morsel than to keep caring for the tree."

This is not the response the gods were hoping for, and they became most upset by Hope's refusal to buy into their optimism. One of them reached out a hand, pointing at Hope, and laid his finger to rest right on her heart.

"I'm sorry, Hope," he said. "You heard the horns trail in, but then you let them explode in sizzling grayscale and trail out. This makes you unacceptable for our purposes."

He pushed, and with a slight twitch of his shoulder some invisible projectile ripped through her, sending blood flying like crystals, shredding the peace of the still apartment air.

Hope's body hit the floor with an unfortunate thwack, and suddenly she was outside herself once more. She stared down at her body, still as a monument, and as she watched the blood trickle across the hardwood, she heard the clock slow and, finally, stop ticking.

"That was uncalled for," she said. Then her face curled into a smile. "But I much prefer flying to this shitty apartment."

With that, she turned and rocketed away, leaving the gods speechless in her wake, and before they could react and reel her in, she was gone.

Oh, the Quick Links I have for you today...

Anthony Kirchner has been busy lately, tacking all sorts of new things up on his blog, Not Microwaveable.

Glen Binger has two poems published in Camel Saloon.

It might have happened on a Monday, but it's still awesome: Peter Richter posted a very poetic new piece.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Rilo Kiley, Silver Lining

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