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Why Garlic and Onions Are Good for You

Posted by Rick · September 30th, 2003 · 1 Comment

I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. Let me see…full-time job as Director of IT for a large company…law student…in addition to regular classes, reading law review articles and cases to get a handle on the personhood of corporations…mid-terms sneaking up—I feel it—so I’m cranking up the case-reading/briefing…recently began studying neurolinguistic programming…not to be confused with the PHP and MySQL programming I was already trying to learn…and maintaining this blog. Yep, probably too much for one guy to eat!

The Corporations paper is going to be deeply involved if what I’ve written already is any indication. (Maybe I should give up footnoting???) The ideas I’m working up there have to do with playing off a concept from Property known as “Adverse Possession” and trying to argue that this is the mechanism by which Corporations have commandeered the Bill of Rights to perverse uses. I probably don’t really need the Adverse Possession stuff—technically speaking, it doesn’t even fit—but I’m having fun with playing with the analogy. And, hey, I do want to be a creative lawyer!

Besides, I do believe that Corporations stole the mantle of personhood, that they don’t deserve it, and that it’s harmful to real persons (ultimately diluting our power such that our existence is almost nullified, at least politically). Anyway…

To make up for the lack of time for writing that may accrue until the Corporations and NLP stuff are out of the way, I thought I’d entertain with some fiction I’ve periodically worked on (oh, yeah, forgot to include that in the list above).

So here’s a piece I was calling “Why Garlic and Onions are Good for You.” I’ve no idea where it’s going. These are the first couple pages—you can tell me if I should continue. It may be more rueful than entertaining. (You’ve been warned.)

“Look,” she cried, “enough is enough! Can’t you understand? I don’t love you. We’ve had a good relationship—don’t go and spoil it. I don’t love you.” She threw the newspaper down as if to drive the point deep beneath the pile of yesterday’s headlines, yesterday’s cares.
   He sat across from her mute; he didn’t know what to say.
    “I don’t mean it that way. I’m sorry,” she said. “I do really love you. But not the way you want…I just can’t.” As though to make recompense, sooth the pain she saw in his face and yet avoid looking at him, she began collecting the paper again.
    “So what do we do?” he finally asked.
    “Nothing,” she said. “Nothing but just be friends.
   Again he was mute, staring at the arm of his chair.
   After an uncomfortable few minutes of silence she said, “Ray, I’m sorry….”
    “Yeah,” he said, pushing himself to his feet and heading for the door. “Fine.” The screen slammed behind him and shook a moment at the insult of having been allowed to do so.
    Damn, he thought as he climbed into his truck. That’s the way it always works out in the end. You think you see someone—someone who’s all you want—you start to draw close…. He turned the key and the truck roared to life around him. And then it’s just like Ransom had said: It was only a nothing or so, and thus they parted.
    He punched the pedal to the floor and the truck screamed down the street. He was glad there wasn’t any traffic to fight through; he wanted to soak in the emptiness of the road. Somehow it always made him feel better to drive down an empty road like this just after a heavy rain. The road glistened, reflecting unfocused color from the neon signs and the strangely sweet smell you could only get from rain on a well-traveled tar and asphalt road. And it was lonely. And it was him.
    He passed a patrol unit, lights quietly flashing at the side of the road, and smiled when he saw the familiar sight of the patrolman standing before an unsteady middle-aged man in a moderately-disheveled suit, arms outstretched as though patiently awaiting the crucifixion to follow.
    The smile faded as his thoughts returned to his day with Tania.
    Tan-eeee-ya! He heard her name screaming through his mind, leaving behind nothing but the heavy residue of remorse and the anesthetizing echo of the truck tires on the wet road: Always the same, Always the same, Always the same….
    The truck slipped quietly into the hedge-lined driveway. The engine died a quiet death—the kind he liked—and he got out and somnambulated to the front door of his beige and white martello. After a moments fumbling for the right key, he forced it in and continued on his way to the comforting unconsciousness of his bed, leaving the door ajar behind him.

The sun danced across Tania’s blond hair like the dryads of an ancient Märchen. Reaching her eyes, it begged her awake and pushed her from the bed. She stumbled across the room to the shower.
    “Aaaah….” The cool water coursing down her back invigorated her; she began to smile as she slathered herself with soap. Tiny rivulets carved their way over her breasts and down her stomach, darting here and there as they raced along her thighs toward the drain. It seemed to her as if they worked to rend and strip her of the perfumed garment she had made of the soap with a tiny multitude of fingers tickling her, teasing her.
    “So what are you going to do?” she asked herself in the mirror. “Oh, Tania. He’s such a neat guy and pretty good-looking, too…”
    “But I don’t love him,” she interrupted herself. “I don’t know how to love him.” With an unconcealed, but slightly insincere, self-condemnation, she said, “I don’t really, honestly, know how to love anyone.” She shoved the yellow toothbrush with its intertwining bands of white, blue and red toothpaste into her mouth and tried to brush the taste of her last words from her mouth, but the brush could not reach as easily into the recesses of her mind as it did into the recesses of her mouth. She spit white foam into the sink, wondering what happened to the blue and the red.
    “Well, you know how easy it is to send Ray into a deep depression,” she said to herself. “You’ll have to check on him later.”

Well, you like? Or perhaps you prefer this:

Thallox knew there were some who thought being a Hypnocerb would be the best possible job in fifty galaxies, but they weren’t Hypnocerbs. He would gladly trade his four-room suite on Gnarxos 10 (“Lunar luxury at a cost you can afford!”) and his extra cortex for the blissfully ignorant life of a Sialosplat. At least Sialosplats could drop into their senspods at night and forget—if they had any memories to start with. Thallox couldn’t remember when he had slept more than two keltors.

Oddly enough, both of these are journal entries I made some years ago. There’s nothing more to them than what’s here. 😉 I have dozens of these partially-written snatches (isn’t that redundant?) of stories scattered throughout old journals, not to mention a half-dozen outlines for novels-I-never-wrote-but-always-thought-I-might-one-day (if I could ever learn to write!). Somewhere, I also have a couple of completed stories. (Only one has been posted thus far. You can read “Guido Cagnacci, or, How I Became Intergalactic Minister of Arts & Culture” elsewhere—that is, here—on my website.) I’ve also done a Eudora Welty parody that involves a group of Medical Transcriptionists (I used to be one) which I hope to find and post.

Categories: Personal Life


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