Sunday, January 22, 2006

Pages from my diary of flamboyant untruths, part four:

(Let's say you want to read this blog post. I will of course be
flattered, but I must also suggest that you read part one first.
That will put all of this into context, you see. And, if you're
willing to do that, won't you also find it in your heart to read
part two? Granted, it's not my best writing, but it IS really in
your best interest. Without it, I'm sad to say, part three won't
make much sense at all. And part three is pretty good. Not
as good as part four here, but still a whole lot better than part

Behind my apartment there is a small toolshed. It belongs
to me, but I hardly ever use it. Why would I? I’m not the
“handy” type, you see, I don’t own table saws or belt sand-
ers or screwdrivers or any of that business. My interests
tend more towards the arts, culture, and fashion. The
thought of making things out of wood or getting oil under-
neath my fingernails distresses me. Which is why, I suppose,
it’s kind of odd that I even have a toolshed. It would probably
be best if I could give it to someone who does like those sorts
of things but, unfortunately, it’s attached to my building so I
can’t just sell it on Ebay.

I don’t really think of it as a toolshed, though. I think of it
more as a spot to keep my old boxes, stacks of my less favor-
ed pornography, and a Titian masterwork I stole from the
Louvre some years ago but haven’t hung up in my apartment
because it clashes with my futon. It’s no place to keep any-
thing I might care about. It’s dark, smelly, and filled with
sharp-toothed mice.

For these reasons, I thought it would a perfect home for
my ten-gallon jar of goat eyeballs. By this time, I was re-
signed to the thought that I’d never get rid of it. I figured
I might as well just keep it in an unobtrusive place and for-
get about it, just as I’ve forgotten about so many sticky
back issues of “Country Booty” magazine over the years.

So I wrapped it up in chains, stuffed it into a cast-iron locker,
wrapped that up in chains, put the whole thing inside a heavy
burlap bag and then nailed it to the floor. With this accomp-
lished, I went back into my apartment and put on my nicest
striped-shirt. You see, I didn’t want to waste any time ex-
ploiting my new mojo hand. At the moment, it was positively
bursting with John the Conquer root, but I knew that–given
the unstable half-life of that particular ingredient–this wouldn’t
last forever. I had to strike when the iron was hot, so to speak.
I bolted out the door and made my way straight to my local
post office. There was a certain mail sorter working there
with hair like melted down black licorice and eyes that stop-
ped my filthy little heart. Her name was Saffron.

Flush with mojo-hand induced confidence, I strode into the
sorting room (technically, since I am not a postal worker my-
self, this was a federal offense, but love, even fleeting and
goofy love, must take precedence over the laws of man) and
walked right up to that blue-uniformed beauty. I already had
my “line” picked out and rehearsed. “So you sort letters?” I
began, “That’s cool. I send letters sometimes. But mostly I
use my computer nowadays.”

Saffron blinked at me for a moment, her lips pursed as if she
didn’t know what to think, but then she said, “Please. Take
me back to your place and conduct for me the secret sym-
phony of my body.”

I offered her my arm and said, “Certainly.” We then repaired
to my apartment, heedless of the fact that it was not her
officially scheduled break time. On the way, I spoke to her
about the lives of the saints and of the dulcet symmetry of a
chrysanthemum in July. “Our hearts are like the bloody
living rooms to our souls,” I told her and she swooned. I
had to scoop her up and carry her over my shoulder the rest
of the way.

You can imagine my surprise when, upon gently laying her
unconscious form upon my Scooby-Doo sheets, I espied the
ten-gallon jar of goat eyeballs sitting atop my bedside table.
“Egads!” I cried, and I was just about to pick it up and lug it
someplace less obvious when the lovely Saffron stirred.

“Oh, I had simply the most spirit-nurturing dream just now!”
she cooed. She opened her eyes and beamed at me for a mo-
ment before her gaze settled upon the jar. “What’s that?” she
asked, and I’m reluctant to confess to you that her tone was no
longer encouraging.

I was at a loss. “Oh, that? Don’t worry about that. It’s nothing.
Let’s talk about the celestial rhythms of our entwined auras...”

“Is it a bunch of EYES?” she asked, and I couldn’t fail to notice
that she appeared uncomfortable with the whole concept.

I shook my head so hard my neck still stings to this day. “No!
Oh, no! It’s not eyes at all! It’s marbles! They’re my child-
hood marbles! They have sentimental value to me! I like
marbles! Is that so wrong, to like marbles?”

It was too late, however. She had gotten up and was peer-
ing into the glass, disgust etched all over her glorious face.
“It’s not marbles!” she nearly shrieked, “It’s EYES!”

“Well, they’re kind of eyes...” I relented. She had already
stood up, though, she pushed me aside to make a dash for my
door. I didn’t try to stop her. I didn’t plead for her to come
back. I was too stunned to be a very effective communicator.

“Oh my God! EYES! He’s got a jar of EYES by his bed!” she
wailed, her voice growing fainter and fainter as she raced down
the street and out of my life for good.

There was nothing I could do. I sat down on my mattress and
cradled my head in my hands for a long time. When I was done,
I peered up through my red and puffy eyes at the ten-gallon jar
and whispered, “I hate you.”

The goat bits just wobbled in their formaldehyde stew, apprais-
ing me with neither interest or disinterest. Although, to be per-
fectly fair, their lack of eyelids made the emotions they were
going through difficult to gauge. Nevertheless, I became more
familiar with those cold, inscrutable gazes than I ever imagined
I would. They haunted me day and night.

They were watching me as Magdalena, the exotic and free-
spirited Spaniard I met at a nearby K-Mart, called me the
sickest freak she had ever met. They were watching me as
Tiffany, an exotic dancer whose car had stalled in front of my
building one day, shouted out a single, uncouth word and then
proceeded to kick me in the testicles. They were watching
me as Phoebe, a poet and part-time organic farmer, dialed
911 on her cell phone and forced me into a very awkward con-
versation with a pair of burly, well-armed civil servants.

Women, I’ve found, tend to respond negatively to goat eyeballs.

But don’t think I didn’t try to find ways around the problem.
I did my best. I told Sasha, a Russian emigre who does mime
routines around town, that my bedroom was being painted
and that we’d have to “get busy” in the kitchen instead. She
seemed fine with this until she saw the ten-gallon jar of goat
eyeballs sitting in the sink. Then she stabbed me in the kid-
ney and took off running, just like the rest of them. Nor did
moving the “action” to my bathroom accomplish anything,
since the goat eyeballs were there waiting for me in the bath-
tub. That time I regret more than the rest. If you’re reading
this, Nadine with the cute pageboy haircut and the scent of
lilacs amid your copious bosom, please know that I’m very,
very, very sorry. Please come back. If you can forgive me,
I can forgive you for dousing my face with bleach and giving
me that “swirly”. Let’s call it even.

I suppose I’ve grown as a person. These troubles forced me
to ask myself the question I suppose most people ask them-
selves now and then: what good is a mojo hand jam-packed
with John the Conquer root if you can’t get away from the
ten-gallon jar of goat eyeballs that follows you everywhere?

I spent many a night laying awake pondering the issue. When
a whole six-year interval had passed and I had come to no firm
conclusion, I decided that it was time to seek professional help.