Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Ballad of the Singing Loo # 3

Thus continues The Ballad of the Singing Loo:

Chapter 3

As luck would have it, I have one of the world's largest beards (I've check Guinness' World Records). At 9 it was fuller than most men's. I shaved it once: age 7, the day my dad died. By 10, they assumed I was a dwarf and I had my run of the bars.

Paradoxically, I have some of the neatest eyebrows you'll ever see on a man. Plucked daily, searching out the grays, the unruliness. It stings, and I rub my left index and middle finger on my thumb rapidly, which somehow relieves the pain.

I've been injured twice. Once while rollerskating. Didn't know how to stop but loved going fast, 10 year-old beard flapping in the breeze. Slammed into a wall and my wrists killed. Three hours later my neck tensed up. I forced it left and a taught string grew tighter and tighter and focused into a globule on the back of my head. It gave way suddenly like a deep pimple, gloppy, feeling oozy and warm inside.

Second time was on a bike, hauling through a parking lot. A cable strung waist-high split the lot in two, but gray day, gray lot, gray cable ... and too late. The right-hand shifter caught me on the hollow spot by the balls. For several years, whenever I lifted something heavy I felt all warm and woozy there and thought about my grandfather's hernia, like a grapefruit that he'd stuff back inside wincing. Eventually I just stoped lifting heavy things.

The third time was when I saw that severed hand in the toilet. You'd think it'd look like a joke, floating in the toilet.


I fuckin' flipped out, nailed my head on the stall door and nearly broke my thumb slamming out the bathroom door. But that wasn't what hurt. The flashbacks started that night.

Next day, nearly everyone laid off with the merger, I was left alone with a couple of Feds in town for the RNC, deep in the sub-stacks, shelving books, retrieving the books. "My God," I thought, "will no one help the widow's son?" and every 15 minutes like Old Faithful that toilet screamed.

Previously on The Laws of Silence:

* The Ballad of the Singing Loo #2
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo

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