Monday, June 29, 2015

AN HONEST QUESTION


AN HONEST QUESTION

By Joe Amero

 
Do you know that dream that everybody always has?  You know the one where you suddenly find yourself in an unfamiliar grocery store and you are completely naked except for all the colored ribbons in support of various different causes safety pinned to your bare chest.  It’s late into the night but the store is surprisingly busy and buzzing with activity while the loud speaker plays muzak versions of game show theme songs from the 70’s.  Even though nobody seems to care, or even notice you are nude, you still panic and run up and down the aisles looking for cover to hide your shame.  In panicked desperation you build a little make shift display fort from different brands of colourful children’s cereal boxes where you can hide.  You try to calm yourself but you keep wheezing and it sounds like a tiny yappy dog trapped in your chest cavity.  You sit in there for what seems like hours, nervous and sweating, until other shoppers start to notice you and make kissing noises as they smile on their way past.  They start bringing you little snacks and rubbing your head like at a petting zoo.  Every time you try to ask a shopper to get you some clothes they just laugh and think it’s cute when you speak and feed you another handful selected from the bulk section.  You start to get full from all the offerings and you’re frustrated because nobody will listen to you and you’re sweating and you start to cry.

You know the one.  You keep trying to wake up at first to escape the humiliation but then you think it’s real when the cramps and gas start.  You’re trapped in your little breakfast cereal cell and now your stomach starts expanding with gas from the force-fed treats and you start to run a fever from all the viruses you’ve contracted from the shoppers’ hands.  You can feel yourself getting weaker by the minute as your body tries to fight the infection but, at the same time, keeps expanding with gas.  You start to leak and fart out the gas but it sounds like a rock drum kit and everybody cheers each time a new sound squeaks or dumps out in perfect 4/4 rhythm like bass, snares and hi-hat cymbals.  People start to gather around in a crowd like at a concert and you slowly begin to split at the sides.  With rushes of hot air, a steady stream of guitar chords begin to seep from the openings in your rib cage, lead guitar on the left and bass on the right.  The shoppers all start grooving and nodding their heads at each other in silent agreement that you are pretty good.  Then to everyone’s but your own amusement, an unbelievably small Cuban band leader rises out of your belly button on a circular hydraulic stage and starts blowing a tenner saxophone like a miniature sexy explosion highlighted by little helium balloons shaped like music notes drifting from his horn. 

Everybody remembers this old classic, right?  You just roll back and forth on the cold tile floor while the virus grows and multiplies inside you until finally escaping contained in fat painful beads of sweat, each holding an identical back-up singer with a tambourine made of dried plasma like hard red plastic and shiny white blood cell cymbals, popping from your pours and dancing in place to the infectious beat.  You’re so embarrassed because your entire immediate family shows up with backstage passes and joins you inside the fort.  Your mom flashes you her tits and your dead step father forces you to take hold of a black Sharpie marker and sign your autograph on one of them.  Then your little sister immediately begins to tattoo your name on your mother’s breast with a machine made of Lego bricks and a mixture of crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate milk for ink.  Then just when you absolutely cannot take it for another second, the song reaches its’ peak and you finally burst into a million Lucky Charms marshmallows and the crowd scurries to devour them like as many Mexican children after the successful contact with a birthday piñata.  Except nobody is happy about the marshmallows because they’ve become immediately addicted and desperately search them out like crack heads looking for imaginary crumbs, purposely scratching each other’s hands with long yellowish fingernails made of corn chips as they crawl around on all fours.  Then it fades to black and there are two straight hours of credits written in a language you don’t understand.

You know; that dream.  What is that supposed to mean again?