I have faded into entertaining anecdotes
well-worn in my absence. Here is one
of the favorites.
I was a wilful
little child, prone to vectors
radiating outward from the nest;
no end of anxiety and bother, no end
of worry and work. One of the apples
in my solitary Eden
was a bottle of Coca-Cola, curvacious, with
ridges raised--sinuous, frosted at the points
of hard contact, bottle to forbidden bottle.
I spied and stalked this unguarded bottle and
I stole this bottle
I took this bottle to a secret place, out of bounds, and
I placed this bottle to my lips and
I sipped and sipped and sipped until the bottle was drained and dry and then
I hid the empty bottle in my secret place,
I lay myself down
in the hollow in the heathered ground, full, to sleep and facing an empty sky.
I denied my sin not once, not twice but
all the way to the clinic
in the sweating and the shaking and the accusations and tears I
continued to deny and even
as the hard, white plastic tube was shoved
all the way
down all the way down into my throat, I
continued to deny that I had sinned. There is
an amusing punchline to the story, as it is told, as
humiliation in a child is a matter of amusement, an amusing
punchline about how I
was reduced to repeating stop it there's
nothing more to take out stop it stop it stop it repeating repeating and how
I was stripped to my little white shorts and
I didn't even have the strength to crawl away to hide and how
had to lay there and drool and heave and drool and heave and listen
to the hiss listen to the hiss listen to the hiss of the aspiration.
I knew the bottle was full of turpentine.
Why ruin the joke?
Copyright John D Porter © 1998
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