a cathartic expulsion of horrifically cute babble from a magnificently manicured mind

Memories, Fairy Tales, Poems, & Punchlines

by Adam Graydon Brown

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Or an Hour Long Walk

Thunder rolled in the distance like the sky was cracking her knuckles before rolling in the dawn.

Heather got hit by one fat old raindrop and braced for more.  There weren’t any.  All that noise just to build up one raindrop whose sole purpose was to kamikaze itself on Heather’s arm.

This didn’t make Heather feel at all important. This didn’t make her feel special.  It didn’t put her at one with the universe.  All Heather felt was the weariness of her brow, the weight in her heart, and the ache of her feet.

Sun was just rounding the horizon and she’d already been walking for an hour.  The bus doesn’t run to Heather’s part of town, and she couldn’t afford to live anyplace nicer.  She got up before the song birds  every morning so she could pack her clothes for the day, eat a piece of dry toast, brush her teeth and stumble out the door.  It’d be nice to wake up early so she didn’t have to scurry, but the half an hour of sleep was nicer.

She was bundled today.  It was the tail end of winter, things were still cracked and brown and chilled.  She had on three sweaters over a tshirt and a tank top, all of that was bundled into a powder blue northface that looked like it had gotten into a few fights and lost them all.

 

She had on a pair of jeans over a pair of sweatpants.  Her legs were spattered in mud droplets.  It was nice when there was a sidewalk, but most of the times she had to walk on the side of the road.  Cars always spray.

 

It was a crap day but at least there wasn’t slush.  It was a crap day but Heather was fine with a day like this.  She’d been praying for crap days as nice as this all winter long, and she certainly wasn’t going to spit on those prayers now that they’d come true.  She tried to keep warm by thinking to herself “It could be worse” and remembering the days it was.

 

The traffic got busier the closer she got to work.  Not more than one car a day passed down Heather’s tattered street, but in the last few blocks it was bumper to bumper.  Cars were cutting eachother off, horns were honked, bumpers scraped so the throng could get to the jobs they loathed and start watching the clocks in the lower right hand corner of their solitaire machines.

 

Heather smiles a lot when people are around.  She always laughs at a joke, even if it isn’t funny.   Her wink is well practiced and often used.   Her hips are wide and her top narrow, to the extent that she wobbles a bit when she walks.  Though she never has time to make herself up in the morning she is still a fairly attractive woman.

 

She’s at least pretty enough to attract Burt’s attention.

 

Burt is the janitor.  He’s six foot four and his head is a bit too large for his straight chestnut hair.   He has a little moustache and a large round nose.  It always takes him a little too long to mop in front of Heather’s table.

 

Heather was separating the cellophane from the plastic bits, getting them all lined up so she could do her second round of assembly when Burt came mopping by.  She tried to keep her eyes on her work but she accidentally made eye contact and saw his looney grin break.

 

“Hey there, Heather” his voice was slow and sweet, less like honey and more like jello.

 

“Hey Burt” she said.  She couldn’t help but smile, it’s who she is, even though she knew it would only keep her here longer.  It’s not that she disliked him.  He was always very pleasant.  She simply didn’t enjoy talking to him.

 

“How was your walk?”  He kept on mopping as he spoke, slow elegant swirls of water and detritus on the cement floor.

 

“It was fine, Burt.   What’s the point of complaining?” She threw him her practiced wink.

 

“Did you hear I got a new car?” His smile was even bigger now. Friendliness fizzed from it.

 

“Oh really?  That is nice.  What kind?”

 

“Well it isn’t new but it is new to me.  Dodge Charger. ’98.”

 

“Charger eh?”  Heather took a break from her smile to sigh.  She wanted nothing more than to go back to bed, failing that she just wanted to zone out on her work so that the day would melt away.  It was so hard to tell him to just fuck the fuck off because he was so damned friendly.  She almost wished this goonish janitor was more of a jerk.

 

“Yeah.  I’m pretty proud of it.  Maybe on lunch you want to see it?”

 

“Maybe… Probably not though.  I have to use the cafeteria.”

 

“Didn’t bag it?”

 

“Didn’t have time.”

 

“I could take you out to lunch.  My treat.. as long as I am treating you to Taco Bell.”  He guffawed at this treasure of a jest then said “But hey I live out near you so if you want a ride or anything.”

 

He mopped in place while she considered it.  She couldn’t decide if eight minutes in a car with his guy was better than an hour in the cold.  Her brow furrowed then she said “That’d be really nice.”

She thought about what she could do with that hour.  She could pack herself a lunch, maybe put on some makeup and feel like a woman every once in a while.  She could check out the news.  Or she could just sleep in.

 

Thinking about it brought a genuine smile to her face.

 

She looked at Burt and said “Yeah.  That would be really nice.”

 

Burt, his voice that was reminiscent of Don Knotts, said “No problem.  You can pay me in blowjobs.”

 

Her jaw dropped and a pebble fell down her throat.

His face was that of a vaudevillian comic, expectant and waiting for laughter.

 

It didn’t come.

 

Tears came to her eyes.

 

She grit her jaw to prevent them from getting any farther than that.

 

Realization hit Burt, his eyes turned into twitching sauces.  He said “I was only kidding.  Just kidding.  Jeez.  You want a ride tonight?”

 

Heather sat there letting go of dreams of an extended morning.  They wrenched out of her head, yanked by the image of herself in the passenger side of a 98 Dodge Charger while Burt grabbed her and held her down.   They were menaced away by the image of his awkward penis lurching towards her.

 

It was like that for a while.  Heather staring at her work, rapidly sorting, Burt mopping in place.

 

He said “Jeez.  I’ll stop back later.”

 

Heather clipped “Please don’t” and kept her eyes on her work.

 

 

That night she walked home.

 

It had rained throughout the day, so the roads were deep with slush.

 

It got into her boots and soaked her socks.

Even her hat was spattered in mud.

 

The walk took an hour and a half, and when she got home it was after dark.

 

Still the whole way she thought to herself “It could be worse” and smiled.

Dandelion Red Eye

Last night we were dandelion seeds.
We were so warm and cozy all day long, snug on the stem with our little friends, basking in the warmth of the sun.

Night came and we were scared but the stem taught us a song.  We sang in unison, a sweet little choir, and it helped stave off the fear.

Then the big old moon was blotted out by roiling clouds.  The stars were smothered.  The wind kicked up and drove a chill through us that left us shivering.

We would have held hands for warmth but we had no hands.  We would have hugged but we had no arms.  All we could do was tremble.

Off in the distance the sky growled and the wind grew fierce.  Though my seed was still attached to the stem my head was tugged away with the breeze.  The tugs grew harder and harder.  I closed my eyes to keep the wind from battering them.  I gritted my teeth with anxiety.

I heard you cry out, then your voice grew distant.

And like that I lost my roots.  I went tumbling away from the flower.  My seed heart raced as I barrelled and plunged through the black sky.

I had some heart though, for I could still hear your far off voice and knew I was heading towards you.

I called to you again and again but you couldn’t hear me.  Around me giant drops of rain began to fall.  The sheer speed of their passage was enough to knock me from them, like a little fluffy pinball.

I called for you once more and heard you call back in panic.  I knew I had to calm you and I knew only one thing.  I started singing the song the stem taught us.  I started softly but raised my volume until finally I was screaming above the storm.

SHALA LALA OOOMAWOOO LA LA LA
SHALA LALA OOOMAWOOO LA LA LA

And out there, over the sound of my own singing, and the rain, and the thunder I could hear you singing back to me.

Slowly my fear went away.  It was replaced by exileration.  This wasn’t a tragic twist! This was a grand adventure!  This was the reason for existance!

We went on like that for hours, blasted by the wind and pinballed by raindrops.

Until the wind began to slow, and the thunder grew sparse.

My singing grew soft as I floated to the earth.  There was something transubstantive in coming down to my new home.

I didn’t hear you at all.

I landed on a raindrop between two blades of long healthy grass.  From that vantage point I watched the clouds part and daylight break.

I was very happy to have a home as good as this.  I had always thought I’d be lucky to get a cow pie… more likely a well groomed lawn for the likes of me.

But this spot was perfect.  It had sun and rich earth.  You couldn’t ask for a better spot to raise a family.

I was just snapping out of appreciating my luck and starting to miss you when I heard your voice raised in song.  From not far away you were singing the happiest song:

YADDIDDADA YADIDADADA
YADDIDDADA YADIDADADA

so I joined you.

And that was the way it went all the way until we had flowers of our own and sent our children forth on their own grand adventures.

Brain Spiders!!!

Most people are controlled by spiders that crawled into their ears in the middle of the night.

 

These spiders scurry around to the front of their brain and build little webs there.  When they want a person to do something they just tug on the web.

 

This is why people are so afraid of spiders.  The spider in their brain is afraid that the spider on the wall will try to steal their host from them.

 

Spider parasites are responsible for every, not just most, event in human history.  World War II?  Spiders.  The Renaissance? Spiders.  That Subway moving in across the street?  Spiders.

 

I’m not telling you this because I want you to rise up with me to stop them.  That would be pointless.  It goes too deep, it is too widespread, it is all encompassing.   It’s just how it is.

 

No, I just told you because it is interesting.

color me murder

Color Me Bad was playing at the Days Inn earlier. Hundreds of people crowded into that decaying lobby and they got a good value for their ticket price. Most of them came over here to stay, because we are a better hotel, so Days Inn’s investment didn’t really pay off.

All night Jenny has been waiting on these Color Me Bad hardcore fans all night. I keep thinking they are asleep in bed then one will pop in for a towel. They are the most motley assortment you could imagine. There is a one eyed man who speaks with a lisp, there is this set of little kids: triplets or twins who keep changing their clothes, there are three old ladies as different as night, day, and a totally different day. All sorts of odd creatures posing as human beings, all united in loving Color Me Bad and wanting to annoy the shit out of Jenny.

One dude with a beer gut and a warty nose just came in asking Jenny if we had an extra spittoon. She sent him away farting into the night.

One dude asked if we had coffee. He filled up enough cups to empty the pot and then patiently waited while she made some more.

One asked for one of those “things, with the bristles, that you use to scrape off your car.” Jenny said “It’s called a snowbrush” and handed him one. He must have travelled far to see this legendary band.

I sat here all night, just hoping none of them saw me in my little corner.

Then the cops walked in.

They walked straight up to Jenny and said “Do you have any Color Me Bad fans staying here?”

“I’m not sure we have anyone staying here BUT color me bad fans” she said with a polite smile.

“We are going to need to talk to all of them” said the cop.

Jenny looked at me for help. I shrugged as if to say “Yeah, call them all”

And so Jenny did, but she didn’t inform them of the cops. She said “There is $50 down here in the lobby. Did you drop it?”

It worked. There is nothing a Color Me Bad fans likes more than Fifty Bucks…. except Color Me Bad.

One by one they straggled down, hair in curlers, dentures out, nightgowns, pajamas, boxers and tighty whities… all in a rush to claim some free money.

Every one strutted in the lobby with their hand out. We’d point to the door, around which the cops were hiding. The cops were all “shhhhh.” So those pinnacles of fandom just stood around wishing our hotel provided bathrobes.

When they were all shepherded in, some drinking coffee, The cops said “Listen up. One hour ago we found a corpse in the Day’s Inn… right in the spot where the concert was. We know that to one of you this is not a surprise. And we are going to find out which one.”

They all stood there slack jawed. “Color Me Bad is the music of love and kindness for all people.. how could there have been a murder?” was the message reading in their eyes.

It was a while before anyone spoke. “Okay, start the torture” said cop 1.

Cop 2 pulled out a pair of pliers. He said “It’s torture time.” which i found very unprofessional.

It was only three screams in that Jenny stepped forward. “I did it” she said “I killed the person at the Color Me Bad concert.”

I know she couldn’t bear to see innocent people suffer. She was just that kind of sucker.

The cop’s said “What did the body look like?” in unison.

Jenny said “It was a fat old black lady missing her right arm.”

She looked so brave, so resolute.

Cop 1 said to Cop 2 “Close enough.”

They threw Jenny to the ground and kicked her a few times, slapped cuffs on her, and dragged her away.

She never said a peep. She just looked kind of sad.

Then she was gone forever.

So now i have to watch the desk, and i’m not ever sure i’m going to get overtime for it because it’s not authorized… but i don’t want to call Tina and wake her up. So, this is a stupid Saturday night and i just want to go home and see Jess.

As for the Color Me Bad fans? They all lived happily after.

The Lone Tanzimarian

The republic of Tanzimar is a very small country.  It has a stable and amiable climate ranging from 65 to 72 degrees farenheit year round.  The tiny population is well fed but always seems agitated.  In fact they positively rock back and forth all of the time.

 

The republic of Tanzimar is a rather new country.  In fact it was only colonized two and a half hours ago.  It is neighbored on all sides by the USA and it’s biggest import is coffee.  It has no exports to speak of.

 

 

 

The republic of Tanzimar exists between two of the chairs in my lobby.

It’s entire population is one guy, who never gave his name, who found our rates too high and instead of going to the Milton or the 6 decided to lean across the counter and let loose a wild scream.  When he was done I calmly replied “I’m sorry sir, I don’t make up the prices they are based on the competition in the area.”

 

This man is wearing a ragged tshirt that read “Pool Buster” in dark blue letters, a pair of carpenter’s jeans with quite a bit of wear on them, and (I found out when he marched away from the counter) sandals.   It is currently -8 degrees out.

 

He did not march out the door.  He sat between the two chairs on the far end of the room, the leathery maroon ones, and started rocking back and forth.

 

It was fifteen minutes before he started muttering “I secede.  I secede.  I secede.”

It was fifteen more before I named his country for him.  I thought Tanzimar sounded respectable, though I didn’t give it much thought.

 

A half an hour after that I asked him “Would you like a cup of coffee?” thinking, wildly, that a stimulant might calm him down.

 

He didn’t stop rocking but he did nod a bit so I poured him one and brought it to him.

 

I gave it to him black.  He was annoying me so he didn’t deserve cream and sugar.

He drank it slowly and between sips kept muttering “I secede.”

 

Ten minutes ago I called the police.

 

I feel bad, despite the wild screaming he seems like a nice guy.  I don’t want to get him in trouble but I can’t have him sitting in the lobby and I think he might lose his toes if I send him outside.

 

The police are here.  They swerve in with four squad cars as always.

 

Two officers enter, followed by another.

 

They all stand and kind of smirk at the guy then the one who looks like an action hero approaches me.  I hate this cop, for no other reason than he looks like an action hero.

“How long’s he been here?”

“About three hours.”

“He just been … rocking like that?”

“Yup.  Screamed a little.”

“You got a name?”

“Nope.  Only things he has said since he walked in the lobby were ‘how much for a room?’ and ‘I secede’.”

“I see.  And your name?”

“Adam Brown”

“Okay.  We’ll get him out of your hair.”

 

The donut-loving looking cop approaches the king of Tanzimar.  He says “Come on.  Let’s get you out of here.”

He reaches for the guy, the guy squeals and scurries into the corner.

The cop approaches him again.  “Look, I’m trying to do this the easy way.”

He reaches out again.  His highness bites him.

The cop pulls out a small vial of what seems to be pepper spray and begins spraying it into the guy’s face.

This is not cool, partly because it is along the lines of police brutality, and partly because we are in a closed room.

 

So my eyes are watering now and I am gagging a bit.

Action cop and cop number three scurry out the door.

I grab my phone and do the same.

Meanwhile donut-loving looking cop grabs the, now squealing in pain, guy by his hair and drags him out of the lobby with us.

 

When they clear the lobby door cop number three, who looks like my cousin Greg, cuffs the guy and then  grabs his legs.

 

“You have a good night” says the Action cop as they shove the guy into the back of a squad car.

 

Three of the squad cars pull away shortly thereafter.

The fourth lingers as though the driver were playing Candy Crush Saga or doing paperwork.

Then it too drives off into the night.

 

When the lobby is once again habitable I venture in from the will breaking cold.

 

If this was a movie I’d find some scrap of glowing paper that proves the guy is an alien and the only hope to save the earth.  I’d have to ditch my post to save him from the police who were about to dissect him.  I’d help him get whatever he needed to overcome the toxins in the earth’s atmosphere that were making him crazy… and then together we would save the motherfucking day.

 

This isn’t a movie though.  So the guy is just going to get locked up in CPEP, spend some time in a mental hospital if there are any rooms open…. Probably won’t be so he’ll be tossed back into the night in 36 hours.

 

Me?  I’ll just write it all down and then forget about it because it no longer has shit to do with me.

For $25.00 plus tax

This dude with a pock marked face just came into the lobby. He was wearing a filthy women’s sweat shirt that said “Hot Stuff” in neon pink and the most tattered pair of reebok pumps i’ve ever seen.

He seemed to have trouble focusing on where he was. He just gazed around the lobby until finally seeing me.

“What?” he said
“Did you want a room?”
“Yes” he said “But i am poor man though my….” he trailed off to stare at the map of the rooms. I took this opportunity to see how my team was doing in League of Legends. He snapped out of his reverie. “I have no money” he said.

I didn’t laugh i just smiled sweetly. “I’m afraid you need money to rent here.”

He looked back and forth twice and up once. “I’ll grant you a wish.”

He actually had fairly nice teeth. Bloody gums, but nice teeth.

“I’m afraid we don’t take wishes as payment here”

“No” he said pleadingly “You pay for the room and I’ll grant you a wish. You can wish for anything at all.”

“I wish you would go away” i thought as “YOU HAVE LOST A TURRET” blared from my laptop.

“The wish will come true” he whispered and then laughed “It is magic!”

There was this look in his eye, besides the wild wooliness, that was stone cold truth. It went beyond “I believe that you believe it” sort of truth into just flat out truth.

I shifted a little. My stomach started doing flips.

All i’ve ever really wanted was a wish. Isn’t that what anyone with any sense wants? Just a wish?

I thought of all of the things i could do with that wish…. for just… i could sell myself the room for $25.00… a wish for $25.00… well plus tax.

I had just enough money for gas. And i was just below E already. but…

I believed this strange man more than i had ever believed in my chances with the lottery.

I swallowed and said “How about three wishes?”

He said “No” and then made this duck noise.

“Two?” I said.

He scratched himself in uncomfortable places and then said “Deal.”

He held out a scabby, grease stained hand with fingernails like candy corn to shake.

With a bit of reluctance that was outweighed by exuberance i shook it.

I checked him in. Of course he didn’t have identification. Doop doop doop made him a key. Then “Okay… for my wishes…”

I thought of all of the things i could have, riches unimaginable, death to all of my foes…. and i have several, psychic powers…

But my gut told me there was only one possible wish. Anything else would be a travesty, even world peace would be a cruel wish compared to “I wish that nothing bad will ever happen to Jess.”

The vagrant clucked like a chicken three times then blew a rasberry. Encouragingly his eyes glowed for a moment, that seemed to verify my $28.25 wasn’t wasted. There was magic here.

He said “Wish one completed!!!”

I thought long and hard about wish two.

While i was thinking a young couple came in and rented a room. They wanted a third floor standard king. Her ID. He paid with a wad of cash. They never came out of physical contact the entire time they were in the lobby.

The entire time i was checking them in i wanted a cigarette. I actually found it hard to concentrate on picking a wish because i wanted a cigarette so badly. The second they left the lobby I threw on my coat and lit a butt in the doorway.

I just couldn’t figure out what to wish for. I took puff after puff while the beggar loudly pissed himself and wiggled.

Then i looked at that cigarette sitting there between my fingers. I looked at it, and thought about what a slave driver it was, and knew.

“I’m ready to wish” i said as i stubbed it (still 1/3 left) out.

He did a little dance and urine leaked from his pants onto the floor. Someone else would have to clean that up.

“I wish …. ” and then i shook my head. Wishing to quit smoking was a pretty crappy wish. I thought some more and then “I wish for more wishes?”

He shook his head while looking at the flor in a way that implied he was listening to the Doors. Then he barked a few times because that was the sort of thing this guy does.

“hmm” and i went to smoke another cigarette.

I thought hard about it. I thought so hard i thought my brain was going to crack. I thought about WorldPeace, I thought about an end to famine, but i had read enough Science Fiction to know how badly utopias can be. I needed a wish that would truly help the world. I wanted so badly to vanquish my foes but 347 people was such a drop in the bucket…. but perhaps to eliminate all of the evil in the world? That would be a noble undertaking.

North Korea was a danger…. but …
Al Quaeda were horrible people but at least they thought they were fixing the world…. i’m sure they’d figure it out eventually.

After quite a bit of thought i knew there was only one group that so personified all what was worst in human nature…

“I wish everyone who ever enjoyed The Fountainhead was dead” i stopped then amended “and everyone who would enjoy it if they read it.”

His eyes glowed. He put his left foot in then took his left foot out. Then he turned himself around.

“This contradicts with your other wish” he said.

“What?”

“You wished for nothing bad to ever happen to Jess.”

And i was so confused…. and then i realized. Jess must be a secret Objectivist!!! The betrayal!! And i had wished for nothing bad to happen to her!!!!

My stomach twisted. My vision glazed. I looked over to the left longingly for no reason.

I said “Okay”

I stood there some more.

Then WIS came in. Five rooms assembly line style. Bam bam bam. “Please put everyone’s name at the top” “Initial there and there. $200 fine for smoking in teh room. Safe charge doesn’t affect you.” and then were gone keys in hand ready for a good night’s sleep so they could go professionally count tomorrow.

I turned back to the beggar who was huddled in the corner picking his nose.

I stop. I laugh. I laugh and think “Why not?”

I said “I wish for all babies to be born with long floppy ears!!”

His eyes glowed. He farted.

He said “granted.”

He took his room key and walked out the door.

I know it was a waste of a wish, but i also knew that for the rest of my life i would get to see babies with floppy ears, and it would make me laugh every time, and laugh even harder knowing i was the one who did it.

So i’m just standing here, perusing the news to see if flopped earred babies were being born yet, if the world is in an uproar, if magic is real.

I’m starting to wonder if wasting my wish on a joke was a good idea.

I need a cigarette.

Penelope and the Pipsqueak

Penelope was practically perturbed at the reverberations coming from the floor.

She held her hands to her hips and shook her tiny head.

Then from the very center of the vibrations, smack in the dab of the floor

There popped a little fellow with a finely feathered fedora.

Penelope considered being quite scared but instead she offered him breakfast.

The guy agreed and cereal, milk and orange juice were poured.

“This is the best meal I’ve ever had” perkily piped the pipsqueak.

“Thank you” gushed the gal to her gracious guest.

He told her his secrets, she told him hers.  They fell in like right away, but lunch they literally fell in love.

There was sex, lots of sex, between Penelope and the shortround.

He never took off his hat.

There were smooches and bites, quite a few licks, Penelope showed him all of her tricks.

Then as soon as he came, he was gone lickety split.

Penelop was devastated he was the one, but three came and in came her husband and her son.

Penelope smiled and held them so close, while she wondered if her lover had just been a ghost.

Years passed she doubted if it was even true, the mild mannered midget and his tiny kazoo.

She lie on her deathbed, all shaken with dread at what she might leave behind her and what lie ahead.

Her husband held her hand while her son  stoically shifted in the corner.

The nurse pulled the blanket up to make her a little warmer.

Just as she lost strength to take another breath, the gerbil sized gentleman appeared looking just the same as when he left.

His pants were still down to his wobbley knees, he took to one of them and said “Please, follow me”

She felt less and less a connection to her body…. Until she slipped.

A phantom of her hand appeared, found the little man’s, and gripped.

He smiled so sweetly.  He smiled so true.

“You know” she said “I’ve been waiting for you”

Together they floated into the sky.

Penelope Potter and her little guy. Read the rest of this page »

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