Only real men love Jane Austen

jane austen

I pick up the pencil and I drop it again: can wait until tomorrow. Why can’t I write directly with my finger? Because I don’t want to. I like gadgets. I like how unfocused I get when time just drips down the drain: drip drip drizzle drip. I write anway: non-fiction, an article against crossword puzzles. A manifesto for morons like myself. How these puzzles spoil the mind and turn your brain to mush. I’m not sure about my own opinions, like ever. I get hungry. I make a salad and I forget to bring cutlery from the kitchen. The cat sits at the brink of my desk like a hawk crouched over a mouse patch and stares at me. I hold her feminine gaze. I got nothing to lose.

 

“Cat”, I say, “bring me a fork.” The cat meows, puts her paw in my salad and turns on the light with the other paw. Things are quickly getting surreal around me. The chicken in my salad tastes like confusion. I’m afraid my infection which I can clearly feel fills my belly already will turn into a prize-winning pie, like a tumor that begins to talk or suddenly opens the door for you to let in the bogey man. I push the cat away. I repeat:

“Gemma Hagglesworth took the the mother superior’s words to heart. She really should try to forget about Mr. Ebenezer Callum, his hands, his hound and his horse. His calloused hands, his happy hound and his high horse. She touched her temple with that tenderness that she hoped she would get from a man one day.”

The dark swoops down on me from a great height like a suddenly arriving secret sauce to a dish already dainty. I taste good. The cat never comes back.


[Note: The title came from Cherise Wolas via a facebook response to me talking about a mancard lost and regained. The immediate background for the title is the recent replacement of a cesspit for our cottage by a sewage tank, a two-day operation involving a lot of spit and spirit especially for a city man like myself. The text itself came out of a prompt by Meg Pokrass as seen on facebook involving the following words: pencil, tomorrow, finger, unfocused, gaze, fork, crossword puzzle, brink easy, turn, light, infection, bones, pie, fork, confusion, pup, mind, push, repeat, nice, tap, dark, chicken.]

© 2010 Marcus Speh. All rights reserved.

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