Saturday, November 21, 2009

They call me the breeze flasher

I may not be workin' for MCA, but I'm workin' for something. That something pays nothing, bien sûr. Lousy, cheapskate internets.

The pen laid perpendicular to the blade throwing burnished gold in sharply angular directions with each shift of my slumped-over form. Pater, père, vader -- I quickly feigned heavy breathing, the cat dashing for cover -- Vater, πατέρας, padre, pai, отец, grapheme stacked upon grapheme in an ever ascending pile threatening to tumble and crush my spirit I don't know how many times, mirrored by an ever descending staircase to nowhere but one more restless, dreamless night in this uncomfortable hovel.

Defiant, I barely managed to stand up, a cut, crooked finger wiping my brow before admonishing the adversary in a deservedly prejudicial inquisition.

"You fucking pest, each and every one of you. What really galls is that you goddamn knew it, took pride in it, placidly staring back hour after hour, month after month, silently relishing this dejection on my face, the fucking salt in my eyes, this sweat, but it dropped on you and it burned, you can't fucking lie to me, don't even try. Remember: you're nothing but long-dessicated tattoos on stretched and scrubbed flesh and your primeval meanings were etched deep inside your rounds and crosses by us, not you, never you. We made you."

I stopped to catch my breath.

"I hope you swallowed that hubris and fucking choked."

Again. I felt I was going to heave.

"No, I know you did, because the very second you were this close to death by asphyxiation -- believe me, I heard your labored breathing, how it jangled and coughed and nearly expired like an old engine struggling up a mountain road, my arms raised in praise to an indifferent cosmos who casually waved me off but I didn't care -- you vomited up your so-called cleverness from an abysmal reservoir that's had me dog-paddling in its boundless ocean, barely afloat with your poisonous incantations seeping through every pore."

My rage bored through the enemy, all but taking bloodied respiration with it. The cut, crooked finger dropped with the rest to the edge of the weathered oak desk as I summoned one last bolt of energy.

"I was tired, am tired. so very tired. But no more. Oh, I'm exhausted, but I've won. Go on, think of me as the schlemiel, but who carved out your secrets, who emancipated after all of these centuries your little ruse that tried so hard at an unsolvable complexity? Some sexless monk buried in a stone cave, walls and skin and bad haircut blackened by acrid torch smoke, Cheetos-stained computer hackers slaving over superheated microprocessors and empty cases of Red Bull, an over-educated half-wit lost in acres of dog-eared pages and margin notations so illegible a burgeoning insanity looped back on itself to lodge gunmetal grey on the tongue? That's right, motherfuckers, me, me and my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring."


sunshine said...

Now, you know I'm not the swiftest.
Who was this person talking to? Or rather, who was talking to him?
Was he talking to himself? The books toppling over?
I'm missing something. I mean.. it's great! Obviously.
There is just something that isn't clicking for me and I can't seem to find it.
Enlighten me.. PLEASE!!!


Holte Ender said...

Walter Horatio Pater, threw down the draft of his latest essay on ancient Sparta and treated himself to a walk in the park, and there he met a time-traveling Walrus called Iamthe, who spoke perfect English.

Iamthe asked Walter if he would like to go on a time-travel trip and Walter said he had heard Hungary was nice 100 years ago, and would like to visit Budapest.

The Walrus was a little deaf and thought Walter said he was hungry, and took him to a Jewish restaurant in the foothills of the Himalayas, which teetered on the edge of a precipice, called Schlemiel.

Walter did not want to upset Iamthe, so he pretended everything was fine. He asked the Walrus to explain time-travel and Iamthe went on and on and on and on . . Walter was bemused, till finally Iamthe concluded: ". . . therefore the nominal dipole magnetic field direction is approximately perpendicular to the spin axis."

Walter said thank you could he go home now, because "Ancient Sparta was waiting."

Randal Graves said...

sunshine, now what could cause more evil in the world than a text? ;-)

holte, that was bloody lovely, googoogajoob. I think you should start officially flashing your fiction.

sunshine said...

Well that was a long fucking text message!
I hope he or she is not paying by the word! ;P

Randal Graves said...

No, an old-fashioned text, as in book, tome. A phone text? Gah, I fucking hate that shit, I'll never own a cell phone, you crazy adolescent, get off my lawn! ;-)

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

Where do you buy your typewriter ribbons?



Tom Harper said...

The members of the Flashers' Anti-Defamation League would like to thank you for that picture at the top of your post.

There's a stubborn unfair stereotype that all flashers are old men in raincoats. This is clearly not always the case.

Randal Graves said...

tengrain, same place I get my telegraph pads and lumps of coal, duh.

tom, exactly. Who hasn't seen an attractive woman out on the town ready to give cheap thrills to lucky passers-by?

Christopher said...


Isn't fetishism fascinating? Being the left-of-a-Sandinista liberal from California that I am, I don't judge.

Just as long as it doesn't involve children or animals, I'm cool with it.

Asphyxiophilia is no more peculiar than being a Kennedy fucker, like Andy Williams.

sunshine said...

Oh. Haha! Okay.
I have a cell phone and my teenagers get so frustrated with me. Takes me forever to text message. :)

Cormac Brown said...

Er, an existential "Network?"

I'm mad as Randal, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

Mary Ellen said...

Excellent...although I think I would have used a sports theme. For some reason, when I saw the word "schlemiel", I thought of the Brown's (the Bears aren't much better)....plenty of schlemiel's on those teams. And hey...I have it on good authority that Cutler uses a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring to call up his plays. Can't you tell?

Freida Bee, MD said...

I always knew Little Orphan Annie decoder rings could unravel the secrets of the universe. It's too bad you aren't living to see what the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring said next, you kinky bastard.

Beach Bum said...

Some sexless monk buried in a stone cave...Cheetos-stained computer hackers slaving over superheated microprocessors and empty cases of Red Bull

Now I no what to compare the IT department at work to, those guys are sad and scary at the same time.

Great Story!

susan said...

"I hope you swallowed that hubris and fucking choked."

There you go reminding me of a favorite Ramones song again.

S.W. Anderson said...

You think you've got it bad, huh. Well, in my senior year of high school, my English teacher raised a pull-down map to reveal the lone essay question on our last quarterly test before final exams — a big deal, IOW. He leered ghoulishly as girls gasped and guys said that era's equivalent of "WTF?" under their breath.

The question: "Describe the universe in 500 words or less. Give three examples. Be specific."

Now, that was tough, Randal. Really, really tough.

Distributorcap said...

those boots were make for walking

Übermilf said...

I wish my rage bored through my enemies.

MRMacrum said...

Unlike Ubermilf, I have no enemies. Just friends I don't get along with.

You and Orphan Annie's ring can delude yourselves all you want, but you have done nothing. They are laughing at you. But rage on brother, rage on. Everyone loves a David and Goliath story. I know I was right there vicariously involved in the struggle.

Randal Graves said...

christopher, Andy Williams? Did you really have to go there?

sunshine, I hate those fucking things. Gets in the way of tunes. Kids, not cell phones, though I hate those, too.

cormac, good thing I've got my flasher trenchcoat at the ready.

nunly, that yokel overthrew a gimme six a couple of times. That said, your defense is pretty crappy, too. Not Browns-crappy, but getting there. Good luck!

FB, are you saying the sheets of parchment murdered me? Now how will I pay my cable bill?

BB, do they have monk haircuts?

susan, you do realize that punk rock isn't good for you. Try some adult contemporary.

SWA, tough? Bah, that's easy.

"Fucked up." Done.

dcap, and that's just what they'd do if they weren't tired from watching MNF.

übermilf, practice, grasshopper.

mrmacrum, are you saying that we'll never win? Now I know what it feels like to be a Cleveland Brown.

Alan Griffiths said...


Your stories are wearing out my mouse finger with all the clicking on and off the thesaurus button!

Good effort though…

David Barber said...

Randal, I had to get my dictionary out for a couple of the words Cormac set. ;-)
Great story, I'm learning so many new words...
Regards, David...the uneducated Brit.

David Barber said...

Randal, I had to get my dictionary out for a couple of the words Cormac set. ;-)
Great story, I'm learning so many new words...
Regards, David...the uneducated Brit.

Randal Graves said...

alan and david, thanks and I only use the big words to make me seem smarter than I am. I'm as dumb as Cleveland Brown coach.

Lewis said...

Wow. That ... was ... intense.


PipeTobacco said...


The rage and the metaphysical nature of your writings are both appealing and a bit esoteric! Bravo on both counts. I enjoyed your effort this week greatly.


Dr. Zaius said...

Well, I'm sure that everything below the neck works fine.