Broken Bathos

Sometimes it's better if I close my eyes. Sometimes thoughts are too heavy in my head, the day warping twisted so I think maybe I should laugh, if only I could keep focused long enough to know why it's funny. Maybe it isn't funny, and maybe I'm wrong and they're going to keep staring at me while I suck in rough hiccups. Maybe they'll get mad when I start crying and they don't know why I'm doing that, either.

Maybe they'll yell at me, too.

I think I said something, once. They thought it was demented and beautiful and maybe scary but I wonder if I'm making that up.

I think my mind cracked. I heard once you're supposed to "walk it off" but then the fissure just gets wider and things keep falling in.

I decided to write a story for them, about stiff boned ships sailing on the dead currents at the ocean bottom. Down there, I told them, the water's so thick it buoys the fleets past giant monsters with flat, blind eyes and clouds of phlegm-life so powerfully delicate they would shatter without the pressure muscling them together.

I thought it was a nice kind of story, but I was wrong.

They call me a liar sometimes.

I don't see them anymore. I think I decided something about it, something with Latin and x's and men in sad suits but it doesn't matter. That was a long time ago.


Today I got the newspaper from the spidery man in his dusty shack. He's a nice sort of man when he isn't mad and drooly, but today he was shaking his papers, punching his fists at the walls so I thought his whole place would tip over. He pushed a paper at my face, hiss-spitting something I couldn't understand and cupping his hand for the coins.

I was going to give him money but a hand gripped my elbow and wouldn't let me.

"Leave the lady alone."

It was a pressed man, all knotted and concerned, eyes narrowed and neck working like a fist with one knuckle stuck out. He tugged me around, away. The spider man ducked back into his box, wove himself a new story to sell.

The man told me his name, told me wasn't it a coincidence he found me here, and wasn't it rather dangerous for me to be about like this, me being who I am. I know who I am; I don't need him to tell me, it makes me feel stupid, so I shake him off my elbow.

I stomp away and he doesn’t stop me.


I know some things, actually. You probably don’t think there’s much going on up in my head, but you’d be wrong. I’ve heard before that silence is golden. I don’t think so, but most of the time people just don’t want to hear you – don’t want to be challenged. I wonder if God likes back talkers.

The End

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