Spitballing

I may be a temperamental weirdo, but at least I don’t refuse to bathe for fear of shortening my lifespan. I don’t profess to have an alter ego, and I most certainly don’t carry a blank-loaded revolver with me to scare off adoring fans. Then again, I don’t need to worry about fanatical admirers breaking down my door to get an autograph (or even just a good look at me), so perhaps I’m taking my relative anonymity for granted here. In my heart of hearts, I suppose I’d like to achieve at least a modicum of notability for my extended creative efforts, but if that daydream actually came to fruition, I’d need to come up with a nutty character quirk to demonstrate to the masses that I’m a one-of-a-kind talent. I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here, but maybe I could carry a straw and small scraps of easily-moistenable paper with me, to ward off rabid devourers of my work. I could develop the habit of high-pitched yelping, you know, to emulate the sound of a wounded woodland mammal. Or I could carry around a “pet” with me that I talk to all the time, like a bottle cap or wooden bowl. All of those ideas are crap, I know, but if I hit on a good one, I’m pretty much guaranteed to go down in history as one of those “oddball eccentrics” that the normies can have fun chuckling about at their potluck dinners.

Privy

The entrance to the dragon’s putty stash
still remains more elusive
than the eye can even behold,
beyond the fine sheen of the monkey cages
and dull luster of the eccentric
bayonet-wielding sailor whose ship washed
ashore fifty years ago.

We never heard from him again.
Most folks say he died forty-seven years ago–
a rumor started by a since-defamed
public soothsayer–but those once closest
to him claim he’s still there to this day,
perpetually working his way inland,
bayonet in hand,
determined to gaze upon the epic treasure trove.

Nobody knows where the fabled dragon came from
or where it developed its affinity
for putty and putty-related trinkets, but
there’s also no real confirmation
of its actual existence. As a matter of fact,
I think I overheard once that the sailor
made up the entire dragon story in order to justify
the protracted remainder of his marooned life.

I don’t know how the person I was eavesdropping on
could possibly be privy to that knowledge, but…

——

First draft posted on 12/25/11,
originally entitled #80