Saturday, January 12, 2008

Food For Fish


By Adam Szymkowicz



(Lights rise on BOBBIE’s mostly-empty apartment.)

(BOBBIE sits at the desk, in front of an old manual typewriter. A half-drunk beer sits on the desk beside the typewriter. He places a fresh sheet of paper in the typewriter and begins to type.)


This is the story of the boy. This is the story of the man the boy could have become. This is the story of the three sisters, Barbara, Alice and Sylvia. This is not the story of the gravedigger, who is the father of the three sisters or of his wife, the poet, who died young. This is my story.

When you have visions that beat at your brains while other people are talking. When you hear non-stop streams of screams. When synapses pop or won’t stop crackling, and when blood pumps, and the pounding don’t stop pounding. Then you look for an exit to start the ending or search sideways in vain to extract a distraction, but even then, what will curls of hair give to you, hips and breasts, lips sip out of you, in a moment, distract what abstraction pounds-pounds ‘til you steal . . . a kiss.

I dress in haste, pull the hood on my head and I take to the street, boot in front of boot to find her. Who will she be tonight?

Last night she was brunette, blue-lipped and serious, mouth curled around a tiny white smokestack, long leopard-fur coat collecting snowflakes on its tips. When she stopped in the streetlamp, I was there. I was a boy and she was not afraid. She took a drag and I took her lips and all her smoke and sadness drained into me. She gasped in the kiss and the snow fell on her lashes. When she opened her eyes, I was gone.

That night I took my silver pen knife from the drawer of my desk—the only furniture I own. I opened the blade, splayed my left hand on the desk and stabbed myself with the right.

(BOBBIE stops typing.)


No! No! NO! That’s not right. No one would do that. It’s so fucking stupid. It’s so fucking . . .

(BOBBIE stops himself, takes out a knife, and stabs himself in the hand. He yells out in pain.)



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