20161209

Willie Smith



GET THE PICTURE


                Break one night into the Louvre. Rip the Mona off the wall. Dump ‘er in a sack. Climb out the ceiling. Board a chopper. Whirl to the Lear parked in a field. Jet across the pond.
                Wind up back in my Jet City dump. Stomp the dust off my boots. Prop the canvas against a wall.
                Am in the middle of jacking to that enigmatic smile off, when my ass breaks into America the Beautiful. I pick up.
                It’s the Law. Got the firetrap surrounded. Come out hands up.
                “Be right with you, officer!” I click off.
                Return the cell to my ass. Get back to jacking, eyes frozen to Lenny’s Babe’s glims.
                They kick the door down. Bash through the windows. Crowd around, weapons drawn.
                “Back off!” I grit through teeth. “Or I soil the treasure!”
                Far into the jetlagged night the standoff persists. Me whacking. Mona indifferent. The cops crouched sweating over uzis.
                Till a finger jerks a trigger. Slugs find my heart. Seed spasms into the face of eternity – I ever aim high. And the missed picture to the rightful thief returns.



THE HOLE OF CHINA

                Sure, it takes time. One spoonful at a time. Work. But not hard – steady work. Helps to think while working. I’ve learned that. I’m smart. Pretty smart. Not good to brag – bad luck.
                Mom keeps china in the china cabinet. But that’s only a small part of China. When I wasn’t so smart, that used to confuse me – how could China be in that tall glass cabinet and at the same time be on the opposite side of the Earth? Then I got it straight that what Mom had in there was not the whole of China. The real China – mobs of people wearing hats like short icecream cones and speaking an incomprehensible language resembling bird calls – is still there, many miles beneath my knees, as I squat here spooning dirt out of this hole. Piling up dirt behind me to make the hole.
                A hole is something you make by removing stuff. When you are making a hole, it is only part of a hole. As if this table spoon and I were Mom, and we were stacking more and more of China inside that cabinet. Dad says a hole is the sum of its parts.
                Today marks my second day on the hole. A few minutes ago I hopped down to the bottom. Rim came up to my knee. Well, well above the ankle. At any rate, China likely still several miles further down. But if I keep digging, by the end of the summer I might be deciphering birdsong and eating icecream out of hats.
                Might even mean money. I could carry back through the hole china and sell the china for some astronomical sum. Or just trade it outright for bubblegum. Get enough gum to blow a bubble so big I could crawl inside – turn the whole world pink and sugary.
                I giggle. Just a thought. A bubble thought. Similar to the whole world doesn’t have a hole in it – although, when I get through here it might.
                Hack at something hard. Spatter my face with dirt. Fling out a rock almost too big for the bowl of the spoon.
                Is China down, or up? Well, it’s down till you reach the middle. Then it’s up. Wait a minute… I stab the spoon in the earth. Sit back on my haunches.
                Does that mean, after the middle, the work gets harder, because you hafta dig uphill? Well… at least I won’t hafta haul up dirt, the dirt’ll just fall down, come flying out the other end up here in America. Uh-oh…
                People could get hurt. Stones and rocks falling back to earth might bonk somebody on the bean. Then that person, or that person’s lovers and survivors could sue Dad for one of those astronomical sums he yells about whenever anything costs too much, as most things do.
                Well… I grab the silver handle, fall back to work… I could nail a bag around the rim. Then, when the bag is full, crawl back down up through the middle and empty the bag safely around the outside of the hole.
                I don’t need one yet. But by Saturday I’ll be up to my waist – my own middle. I’d better have a bag ready then. Otherwise my whole effort will be a waste. Dad can’t afford some astronomical sum.
                On the other hand – drop the spoon, left hand picks utensil up, resumes scooping awkwardly – I might be able just to eat the dirt. From all the work, by the time I reach the center of the Earth, I’ll be starving. Save Mom the trouble of packing a lunch, if I eat everything I dig. And why wait till the middle? – start right now.
                Shouldn’t taste bad. Smells good. Deeper I go – earth gets moister. Starts to look like brown sugar; when shove in spoon, similar crunch. Try some.
                Switch back to right hand, for better control. Science demands control. This is what the boys not as smart as me call a spearmint. Can’t waste time now to come up with the right word. Wiggle a little onto end of spoon. Hold under nose. Sniff wet mushroomy crushed stone. Into the mouth with odor.
                Gritty. Not crunchy. Not sweet. Like chewing paper; dust; birdseed. That a hint of dogshit? Gulp whole.
                Pah – yuck! Spit… mouth stays nasty.
                Better get used to the taste. Science demands getting to like nastiness. After all, I’m gonna hafta swallow up to half the hole. Gotta do it. Prevent from happening some astronomical sum. Simple: I eat all the dirt, nobody gets hurt.
                At least it’ll kill the appetite. Probably filling, too. So I won’t hafta gag down too much. Should be used to the taste by the time I reach China. So when they offer me crickets, rotten eggs, spider nests and whatever other garbage those poor crowded people are forced to gobble, I can just say no, thanks – I brought my own grub.
                That was just a bubble thought about the icecream. There’s no icecream in China. It would melt long before it got there. Although… maybe I could drop half-gallons down the hole. Box of icecream fall through in a matter of minutes. Then I could turn around and sell boxes of ice-cold America for some astronomical sum.
                Think I hafta pee. I could pee in the hole. Pee hard enough, blast out mud, make the hole deeper. I’ll hold it a little longer. When I really hafta go then I can explode out lots of mud. Pee in the hole a couple times a day, maybe shave a whole week off the job. The most important thing about work is to work faster. The faster I pee, the faster the work gets done, the sooner I can get down to China and start making money. Not to mention get famous. When you’re famous, you don’t hafta brag. Other people brag for you. Although, it’s still bragging, still…?
                I’ll keep it a secret hole. Just use the hole to make money. Get rich and tell people what to do. Dad’ll be bowled over. Next time he needs some astronomical sum, I’ll just give it to Mom and if she thinks Dad is behaving, she can let him have it maybe a little bit at a time…
                Can’t… absolutely CAN’T hold it any longer. Toss spoon in pile of dug-up dirt. Get to my feet. Unbutton shorts. Flip – not a moment too soon – it out. Fire at will!
                “Poor Will,” Dad always says. A dumb joke. Took me almost a year of growing older to figure it out. Proves I’m smart: not only to understand the joke, but to figure out it’s dumb. That’s what extinguishes the smart from the dumb. The dumb don’t know they’re dumb.
                Sometimes I wonder if Dad isn’t a little dumb; like when he comes home late from bowling with the office men, his breath smells sticky and he parks the car crooked.
                Woop – get it off the rim. Play like Will looking up from the center of the hole. Pee at Will’s nose… Wow – pee mud splashes!
                Angle hips to left. Correct a bit back the other way… There – right on the money, right on the nose! Bet I’ve already blasted out eleventy-five whole spoons!
                Hafta drink more water. Pop builds up pee, too. Dr. Pepper best. Everytime I look at a Dr. Pepper I wanna pee. This LOADS more fun than jabbing around down on my knees.
                Can hardly wait to tell Mom about all this. Shake, shake, shake. Tuck back in shorts. Button up. Explain how I thought up a use for something in the china cabinet. She never uses any of that stuff. Just like all the people in China I’ve figured out how to make money off. This heavy silver spoon perfect for the job.
                Mom’ll be amazed at how smart I am. Frankly, as Dad says, even though his name is not Frank, my smarts bowl me over, too.
                Later, after I brag about all this, and Mom sours: “Wait till your father comes home!” and I’m bent over Dad’s knee getting spanked with the silverware, I see inside my head Will’s face in the bowl of the spoon, winking and laughing, every slap a giggle.
                To this very same day I spot Will’s face, whenever I pee, in the toilet bowl. He loves it – grinning, reminding me with his squeaky voice half-drowned in pee-drizzle, how I’ll never scratch away the itch to brag. Never beat the Witch. Because the more I beat her – even if I break off her nose (just grows back) – the more she brags about the beating, and the blacker, the uglier, the nastier gets the luck.




Willie Smith videos can be found at YouTube
 
 
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