It’s been observed by some unkind professionals that I may suffer from a hoarding disorder of the mind, collecting as I do fragmentary, teetering stacks of mildewed ideas where one might place a useful mental chifforobe or sideboard if one knew what those were. As an act of good faith, but with no guarantee I won’t want some of them back later, I give you these sentences and pictures I have decided I will not need again before I die. Think of yourself as my literary ‘Savers’ or ‘Goodwill’ or ‘unwitting grandchild whose address I have’.
1.) The old man spoke rarely, as if someone had salted and smoked his tongue against a future long haul, stashing its wisdom deep in a rucksack for potential emergencies far out in the Yukon or halfway across the Gobi Desert.
2.) “That is not the instrument I would have chosen, Dr. McGillicutty,” Helen shrieked. “If you did not know it then, then know it now!”
3.) Harrison’s trousers were of the sort one wants to avoid; pinched and taut in delicate places, yet let out like slowly deflating balloons at odd, asymmetric points.
4.) Damn you, Damn you, Damn you and your leering Boston Terrier, Dame Johnson.
5.) Lately he’d been thinking about letting it all go, sawing through his tether and just drifting away, one assumes to the sounds of jumbled hectoring.
6.) The Internet opened marvelously before him, like a vast undulating sea of crap and Pop Tarts.
7.) “Make me an offer Alice, I’m at the end of my rope and my knees are swollen up something awful with the lumbago.”
8.) It doesn’t pay to trust you teeth, especially the lower ones.
9.) It was the Mambo Italiano what did it.
“Tears of a clown in the Chapel of Bones”
10.) Easterbrook-Smythe’s hashish was of dubious pedigree, smoking like an unfortunate collection of carpet shavings, cat hair and mothballed furs, but it packed a pleasant enough wallop.
11.) Harrison’s pants looked like he shared them with a particularly unhappy rat.
12.) Oh, I’ll show you what’s in my pocket all right.
13.) Delightful, delightful, delightful, in pieces now but still delightful.
14.) The Swede continued to pull at the hookah, his withered old lips stretching out prehensile as an elephant’s snoot, making a horrid clacking sound that brought to mind agitated clams.
15.) “I won’t, Nancy, not even for you, not even if you wore the Flamenco costume and begged, not even if you existed.”
16.) It occurred to him he should have had a dog, an old hound that would tilt it’s head just so and look at him, to whom he could assign various human emotions clearly beyond it’s canine scope, but now, of course, it was too late.
17.) “Samson’s a bastard,” I howled petulantly, applying iodine, “and that’s the best of him!”
18.) Harrison, his way of always being just around the corner at a bad moment, the prissy lingering of his cologne, his God damn trousers…
19.) “Mary”, I said, “Mary, Mary, do you ever wish it had all gone differently, that after that dinner at Luigi’s all those years ago we’d gone our separate ways and maybe looked back fondly on what might have been or maybe not”, but try getting answers from a severed head.
20.) He was sure she’d made the sauce wrong on purpose, but there was no damn way of proving it.
21.) I’d had it with her, had it, had it, had it so damn bad it was up to here and then some.
22.) It tasted like shrimp toast, but it wasn’t.
23.) “Harrison!” He bellowed into the swirling miasma, “Where are your pants?”
24.) The baby.
25.) Carried ever upward in a whicker basket tethered to the great gasbag of a wit stitched of a thousand regrets and little else, he giggled.
26.) To hell with you and your lederhosen full of agitated clams, Harrison.
27.) Gifted or cursed by God with a set of testicles that harked back to an ice age of lumbering behemoth mammals, Harrison was forced to keep a tailor on retainer.
28.) “I love you Irene, you and your helper monkey.”
29.) I’d meant to say something pithy, stinging, memorable, apt, Jeffersonian, but what I did was belch just slightly and cry.
30.) “Hey, Rappaport, had any second thoughts now that you’re impaled on the business end of my rapier?”
31.) “The trousers!”
32.) “Pinch me,” I screamed, “my great aquatic menace” and she did.
33.) Alice never wanted anything and that was what she got.
34.) The Vole was the problem, the rare Mexican Fairy Vole and how flammable it turned out to be.
35.) At rest he featured a slack, open jaw, a mysterious cavern opening in the great flesh rockslide of his face concealing who knew what aboriginal relics, blind fish and rabid bats.
36.) “I don’t like that toaster, Mother, and you know it!”
37.) Papa may well love Mambo, but I’d kill it if I could, kill it and dance on its dance grave.
38.) “Oh, you’re sexy all right, sexy like a monkey with a knife!”
39.) Wilson said ‘sport’ and ‘maths’ and ‘crisps’ and he had bad teeth, but he wasn’t British, so I shot him.
40.) I only loved you for your helper monkey.
41.) She spoke a rare dialect unknown to anyone, even herself.
“The Yodelling Contest”
42.) If you name a Hedgehog Percival, you’ve only yourself to blame when it grows up arch, snarky and wearing assless leather chaps.
43.) I loved them, I loved them all, of course I did, but in my way, which turned out to leave them with fewer fingers than they’d come with.
44.) I comb it that way on purpose, you son of a bitch.
45.) When I told you I was an ex astronaut NASCAR driver with a hook hand, I was lying.
46.) At the end, it was over.
47.) It struck him that his whole entire life consisted of being passed things, or passing them.
48.) Time heals all wounds, even the self-inflicted, and so I tend to hack the edges ragged just in case I should forget too soon whose fault they were.
49.) Plumper, plumper, plumper until it popped, and then alas, too late, no turning back, get a paper towel.
50.) Harrison said nothing, nothing being left to say, the pants having said it all.