Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Needs at This Time

by K. D. Miller
Though your work shows merit, it does not suit our needs at this time.
Okay. Okay. I’m a big kid. I can handle this. God knows, I’ve handled it before. Lots of times. You should see my walls. All of them. Kitchen. Bathroom. (Not the shower, though. Tried it. Papier maché plugging the drain.) But everywhere else. Inside the closets. Right down to the baseboard. When I ran out of wall space, I started putting them in photo albums – the kind with the sticky peel-back plastic. Got whole shelves full of those. Could show them to you, if you came over some time. Would you like that? To come over? You could, you know. Not like you don’t know my address.

Okay. Okay. Consider yourself invited. Or yourselves. You do say our needs. I can just see you all. Sitting around a big table. Maybe in robes with hoods. One of you reads aloud a paragraph, or maybe just a sentence, or maybe just a single word of my work as you call it. Then the leader chants, “Does this meet our needs at this time?” And the rest chant back, “No, it does not meet our needs at this time.” Then one little guy, a castrato they keep just for the purpose, pipes, “Though it shows merit.”
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is just one of you. And you’re using the royal our. Or the divine. Sure. Because that’s who you think you are, isn’t it? God! Fucking God! And that’s why it’s always all about your needs! Because it’s not as if I have any needs of my own! Is it? Of course not!
Sorry. Sorry. It’s just that little cushiony clause: though your work shows merit. It kind of gets to me sometimes. I mean, is it supposed to make my day? Make me feel like at least I’m getting E for effort? Why don’t you just say what you mean, you asshole or assholes – Nice try, sucker, but no cigar.

Sorry. Sorry. I think where this is coming from is that I got your latest today, and I have no place to put it. Even the floors are completely covered. The ceilings. The doors. Windows. Furniture. I suppose I’m just going to have to turn into one of those people you read about sometimes in the paper. You know – the ones who collect stacks and stacks of newspapers or bills, or in my case, rejection slips, and one day the stacks collapse on them and they smother and their cat eats them.
Except I don’t have a cat.
I meant that about coming over some time.
And I’m sorry I called you an asshole.
Or assholes.

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