Stories

Chicory Knife Slave – Bibles Appropouture

If I don’t continue along the progressive path then how can you expect me to stay alive? I’ve got to be forever vigilant and always on the case because the mystery never stops unfolding. There are clues everywhere, scattered through invisible cities: the apple in my eye in the navel of the love of my life. Musette. And don’t even get me started on Penelope, roller skating in the park, scooched so close to me on her couch, mathematical instructions glazing over my lust. The book wall opening copies of our drivers licenses for tax purposes. The bank handing me three checks to pay rent with. A system crash at our complex. Person to person interaction, a necessity.

Just kiss me, I tell her, her girlfriend in the store.

I am the famous writer. The one they call bibles. Appropouture.

She won’t do it but later pulls back her comforter, revealing black panties.

Don’t say panties, says Musette. It’s perverted.

People take everything so seriously, I tell Manuel, and that’s hardly postmodern of them.

Penelope is drunk. I am standing in the doorway, brought it in by the moonlight. Looking bad in all colors.

Cool your jets, says my rational mind. I can’t be a kid forever. I’ve got to grow up. I’ve got to become a dad. Countless others have done the duty. I have a dad. He gives me Jazz tickets. My wife has a dad. He comes to the game with us. He’s got a gun and many knives with him. They won’t let him through the gates. I have to give him my car keys. He drops his weapons off in the car. All I can think is that should the apocalypse begin while we’re in here, and let’s say he takes deadly damage, we’re ready to roll without having to do any raiding.

We’re parked in the lower bowl which is reserved for users of our online digital service. Cheerleaders are on the screen, they’re on the floor, they are behind the accordion folds. There is a sign above the urinal that has a cowboy on it. He is directing me to a number for movie tickets. I’m sneering at him between grunts. I’ve got my Christian blazer on and I’m thrusting on a Serento rug.

This is how grandaughters are made, I say.

But he has known all along. I’m the dupe. He’s in on it. Musette and him, they’re family. I’m the outsider. I am trapped. He’s got a gun, and they all can deal with my bad attitude for as long as it takes. Just so long as I deliver the goods.

You’ve got to start telling him that you love him, she says. I tell your parents that I love them every time I see them.

But she doesn’t know how long I went without telling my own parents that I love them.

My dad didn’t even cut the cord that my mom tried hanging me with, I say, hoping for a way to find my old girl naked.

Thinking about my dad. He probably wasn’t half the man that I am because he didn’t have a way of diving into the internet to witness his high school crushes fucking their stepmoms for beans.

Someone’s got their hand in the disposal. The flap on my blazer is flapping. I’m wondering how long I can last with this crisper truth slipping through the cracks. It gets high marks. But still, I’m hesitant. There are a lot of writers who share my hesitation. I’m not alone in this.

Let yourself believe that you are working on an experimental novel, says my accountant.

It’s possible, I say. My DNA says that I’m part French. And Ireland’s got James Joyce, just to name a few.

You are one of the most engrossing figures in American history, says my therapist.

She doesn’t believe me when I tell her that I’m already a ghost. A shadow. I’ve given my entire life over to my wife. She says that I’ve got to help her with taxes. She writes instructions for me on manilla folders and slaps the ball into my court, telling me that I am a true American hero.

I’m nervous. The work computers are compromised. Our Twitter has been hacked. We’re spewing out a billion random reposts. A ton of garbage tweets. Our Amazon has also been hit. There’s a copyright infringement, which is weird because we never use the account.

Estelle is standing next to me on the bridge. We’re sharing secrets between the stacks. She’s drinking pero, a chicory drink that a lot of Mormons substitute for coffee. It’s supposed to help with her overactive ‘you know.’

But I’m not going to stop drinking after six, she says, telling me that she loves coffee almost as much as she loves alcohol. Don’t even get me started on weed, she says.

A rustling behind the wall lets us know that the accountant is never far away. She can hear us listening to her, and she is becoming spiteful. It’s rubbing us the wrong way.

I’m getting sick of her, says Jake. She has me straightening the gallery, but I refuse. Ben’s always bringing in new books. It’s Sisyphean, and I’m not a slave.

I can understand that, I say, always struggling to provide meals for myself and my family, of which I am a part of as well as its leader, because Musette isn’t going to be able to work forever and especially not much longer, which makes me the unofficial breadwinner. So when I pick out a loaf to go with our spaghetti, I don’t know what gets into her, telling me that she’d rather have Pillsbury swirls.

Look, I say, I may have married the girl, but does that mean I’ve got to bend down and squeeze my nuts for her?

I’ll tell you one thing: she’s cooking; and it’s not because I’m misogynistic I just can’t cook meat.

The accountant drunkenly stands up.

Tell me when your wife’s going to deliver, she demands, being full of compliments, telling me that I’ve got a good name picked out, and that Ben likes me.

Your job’s not in danger, she says, but you’re going to have to train someone else on your responsibilities.

Shadows moving in on the living room. They are stacking up. The bridge is moving into labor. There’s no space for me here, I say. The whole city is in danger. There’s an emergency meeting tonight to discuss the future of our neighborhood. I’m worried that I’m going to have to leave, even though this is my home. The tech junkies are coming. My apartment is no safe haven. It’s too full of Gary. I can’t avoid him. He’s becoming more intrusive. He’s begun opening his door for no reason other than to interact with me. No matter which door I go through, he’s there. I’ve got no choice but to fight. It’s a quick combination of “hello Gary” and “see ya later”.

People get obsessed with me. It’s a fact of life, and something that I’ve got to accept. Blame the magnetism that comes with being an all time star. I’ve got fans clinging to every minute of my day. There’s the creep with the van who won’t let off telling me to watch the Manson special, the guy who is paying $10,000 to have his positive thinking book published, and the man who won’t stop trying to connect with me on Facebook.

I like all of these guys, but the last one is my favorite. He’s smart. He travels a lot. He may be gay, but that doesn’t matter. He says that he’d like to invite Musette and me to dinner. He writes his name on a piece of paper and puts it in my pocket.

I’d like to have you and your wife over, it says, but I’m having trouble comprehending, because a girl has just walked by with her tit fully exposed.

I have been waiting for this moment my entire life. It might be an accident. Her shirt is very low cut. The slit has swung over and let her left breast free. When she comes to the counter, the breast is tucked back in, and the slit is straight up and down. I start entering her books. When I look back up, she’s got it out again. It has to be on purpose. Today is LDS conference. She might be trying to sway impressionable minds or erect some priesthood power.

A young man drops his book and chases after her. I can understand that. Such a pretty face… It’s something that I don’t want to forget. Masturbation is my way of stapling the memory to my mind. No matter what it takes, you’ve got to cum the guzzle glazed into eternity.

Musette is asleep on the couch. I put her to sleep every night by brushing her hair. When her head turns my direction, away from the television, I know that my night is starting. I can turn off the television, turn on my music, get the computer, and fully immerse myself in my universe. Here the xxx-files grow organically. The fertility of the dishes spinning upon my finger tips. The ghosts of the past living on in me as memories. I call upon them in the faces of similars, drawing strength within the reflections of myself that they are pulling from me.