Stopgap

Chernicia and her loyal band of
roving youth choir administrators
saw no choice
other than to take up stopgap freelance work.

Due to a general malaise
and rapidly-growing apprehension
toward patronizing or participating in
the performing arts (the anti-exceptionalist
herd mentality showed absolutely no signs of
dissipation as professionals of all stripes
traversed the barren corporate landscape
(a hell to be wished upon no soul)), all hope
seemed lost on the fearful.

Interest in the once-alluring
middle and high school competitive circuit
had been waning steadily for a generation or so,
to the point where even the most stalwart
paper-shuffling masochists out there
had to admit they were licked.

In this devastating climate, Chernicia figured
that some places out there
must
still need to enlist the services
of highly-competent youth choir administrators.

They took an oath in front of the children,
for Christ’s sake!
They vowed, on bended knee,
to make themselves
available for freelance filing (and HR concerns)
at the drop of a hat, whenever duty may come calling.

So just like that, they picked up and left–
no matter what their guts happened to be
telling them (the group’s average duodenum
could paint you the idyllic picture
where they’d carved out a sort of haven
in this life of more uncertainty than trust).

Many tearful (and gut-wrenching) goodbyes
after they developed the steely resolve
to give up their past selves
(for the children, dammit),
the brave and intrepid band set out
on their first assignment: Gurnee, Illinois.

They never did look back.
And to this very day,
rental cars and hotel rooms
still serve as their only refuge
from the vast desert of abandoned office complexes.

Liberties

I left a gorilla in Hamelin’s office tonight with the intention of checking the results on the security camera tomorrow morning (after a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood and well-crafted latté at my favorite local roaster). I don’t have anything against Hamelin, other than the fact that he micromanages me and I feel trapped in a corner wearing a straitjacket half the time. Okay, maybe I do have something against him. But back to the gorilla at hand here. I won’t bore you with the logistics of just how I managed to transplant a 350-pounder into a 27th-story corner office without sustaining so much as a scratch (though I know you’re impressed). I’d rather get down to the nitty gritty of my thought process. As far as I see it, our hirsute cousin will react to Hamelin’s plants that I’ve strategically strewn about as though a silverback counterpart had already been there. Could it possibly think–after coming to–that another gorilla had already taken liberties with the decor? And if so, would our friend (let’s just call it Chip) leave well-enough alone? Or would he want to contribute his own personal flair to what he thinks is a radical statement of primate interior decoration? Would a gorilla even contemplate matters on such an elevated level anyway? It’s doubtful, improbable and impractical to think such a phenomenon could exist, a magical realism that extends past the bounds of human domain and into the advanced psyche of a less-cerebral species. Anyway, you’d better not tell anyone I did this. There’s no way I’m going to be liable for any damages after the way old man Hamelin treated me. I figure I’m due a few grand for my troubles, even if it doesn’t present itself in the way of a manila envelope filled with hold card cash.

Hold card cash? Jesus, I need to get more sleep.