Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Punchline

Laughter in the distance, a dozen, a hundred voices, a thousand strangers come to see the worthless object. Now at your door, the keys you gave them turning, they march in to a fanfare of cackling taunts. Reassuring arms shield you from escape as you're dragged out of your clothes, out of your den, out of your life, a toothless animal without even a cage to protect you as each onlooker reaches in to take a swipe at your weak flesh, leaving welts which will barely have time to rise.
The funeral marches out onto the pavement. At the ditch by the side of the road, representatives of your seven billion judges squat over the side shitting and pissing. Presiding over the ceremony are your holy chanters. Your father on one side enumerates each coin you wasted dreaming of being an astronaut while your mother on the other cites each time you wet the bed. Facing each other at the heads of the congregation, your grade-school teacher recites every spelling error you ever made to the roaring approval of the crowd while your lover gives detailed accounts of each of your failings in bed. Your friends stand grinning around the ditch, lining the top of the growing tide of filth with your fruitless dreams. They've laid hands on every attempted poem, every denied promotion, no-digit bank statement, every tasteless decoration and unbalanced equation, your favorite toys, pets, vacation and retirement plans, and pause only to vomit over the choicest transgressions of your proper status as they let them sink into your hopes' fate.
A good hard yank, species-strong, dislocates your limbs. The living waste no more time on your worthless carcass, so while they amble away you have time to overhear your sentence reverberating through the filth-clogged ditch as you drown.
"Can you believe that thing actually trusted us?"

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