June 27, 2009

A story lay prone on the couch. A damp cloth was draped across its forehead. Sitting in a nearby chair was the story’s psychiatrist, notebook open and pen poised. The psychiatrist, by the way, was a box of rolled oats.

“What would you like to work on today?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t care. What does it matter? All right, gunplay. There, I’ve said it. I have no gunplay. Why can’t I have gunplay?”

“How would having gunplay make you feel?”

“Like I was … I don’t know … Like I was … interesting, and not boring, which is what I am. So boring. So boring. I wish my sentences were shorter and more to the point. I ramble too much. Why don’t I get on with it? I mean, who cares about the wainscoting and the furniture placement? I’m all stopped up with quiet anguish. I hate quiet anguish. I just wish somebody would burst in, guns blazing. Moodiness. Torpor. Oh, the torpor. I can’t take much more torpor. Nobody would have to be killed. I mean, a mirror shattered, a few holes in the wretched wainscoting, something. Is it too much to ask?”

“What do you think?”

“It wouldn’t have to be anything big, just something to break the awful tedium. Let’s face it. The most exciting thing about me is when the parlor maid dusts! I mean, that’s it! Couldn’t, say, a police chase just happen to pass by with a few random shots damaging the mirror and the wainscoting? There doesn’t even have to be any bursting in. Just shots through the window, a shattered mirror, that sort of thing. Wake me up a little, it would, I tell you. That it would.”

“Is there anything else bothering you?”

“The interior monologues. Four of my ten pages are interior monologues. And if there is anything in this world more hideously boring than my interior monologues, please be kind enough not to make mention of such an unlikely possibility of a thing existing in my presence. My God! Listen to me! Can you believe that sentence? Gad. I’m being bored to incoherence. Oh yes, another thing. There are eight! meaningful glances exchanged in me. Eight! It’s positively infuriating. Gunplay. I really need gunplay. A tiny derringer would be enough. A single bullet to shatter the mirror.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

“Oh, Doctor, you can’t imagine.”

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