Matthew Lederman


Look. I'm sorry. It was an accident. Really. It was. Are you going to just stand there, looking at me? Waiting for me to crack? Do you want to search the place? Maybe I've got it hidden somewhere? In the back of the closet? Under the bed? In the toilet tank with a fucking snorkel? Sorry. I didn't mean that. Want something to drink? There's beer in the refrigerator. You know, the big, white box in the kitchen. Oh, the kitchen. That's the room where the servants work. Through that door and listen for the happy singing. Do you want a beer? No? I poured all the wine out when you moved out. Fumes were seeping through the corks and giving me hangovers. No, I didn't really. I gave it to the guy with the crutch by the subway. You remember him. Skinny guy. No teeth. The unkillable. Oh, sorry. I wasn't thinking. Hell, even he had to cut it with sterno before he drank it. There should be a little milk in the fridge. Smell it first. It's a little old. You brought it over when you brought the.... I'm sorry. Oh, come on, don't cry. That's really ridiculous.

What are you doing? Is this some kind of psychological ritual? How many stages do you have to go through now? Let's see, first, you didn't believe me. That's denial. Now we have sorrow. Despair. Check that. You're angry. Hey? Are you doing this in order? It doesn't sound right. Denial. Despair. Anger. All right. All right.

I really failed you this time, huh? Hell, it's not the first time. I remember when you took me up to meet your mother. I still can't believe I was living with a woman whose mother drove a Nazi station wagon. All it needed was those little swastika flags on the fenders. Hey? Is Connecticut part of the Fourth Reich? Want to know the truth? I think your mother was glad I cracked it up. And I don't think she liked the tree next to the garage either. I think she was glad you finally were going out with a human. I will admit that a lot of your android studs are better drivers than me, but that's because alcohol has no effect on the complex microcircuitry that serves as their brains. And, I'll tell you something else. She didn't mind that I pissed in the hall, either. How many fucking doors does one hall need, anyway? I was wandering up and down that damn thing for hours, opening every one of the fucking things and I never once saw a bathroom. You people do excrete. Don't you? You sure you don't want a beer? It's amazing I didn't explode. That would have been a real mess. Blood and guts and guts and brains, not much brains, all over the carpets and walls and antiques. And your mother was real nice when she found me. She took me by the arm and led me back to my room. She was checking me out, you know? And not in the way that the potential mother-in-law does, either. She was interested. Hell, she found a naked drunk pissing in her upstairs hall. Wrecked Mercedes on the front lawn. You could have bought every car I ever owned for less than it cost to fix that front end. Yeah, I think she really liked me. I wonder what you told her about me before you brought me up there? I know it wasn't the truth. Oh, mother, he's a divinity student who's taken some time off to work with the poor. He's just a romantic poet in the Columbia MBA program. He just practices plastic surgery to finance his medical research. He's like Byron, mother, but not promiscuous. Like Mother Theresa, but not female. And she finds herself at two in the fucking morning looking at my crotch in a wet hallway. He's like a Greek statue, but not marble.

Oh, stop looking at me like that. You know I didn't do it on purpose. When you brought the thing over, you said I was the only person you trusted to take care of it. Do you really think you were that wrong about me? Yeah. I admit it. I hated the fucking thing. You used to say I was faking my allergy. No. That's not it. You used to say it was psychosomatic. No. You said both. Yeah. You're not so fucking consistent, either. Do you realize that for two entire years, I sneezed about once each minute I spent in my own apartment. It was like living in fucking Love Canal. Watery eyes. Sore throat. Itching like a fucking ape. And the closer that thing was to me, the worse it got. I only touched it twice in two years. Once when it jumped up on the bed. I almost fucking died from the reaction. Oh, come on. That's enough crying. The other time I passed out drunk on the floor. Woke up with that thing on my face. Hell, I almost quit drinking. You want the personal effects? I put them in a manila envelope. Just like the fucking movies. Here. One collar. I threw out the fucking litter box. It smelled like something died. Oh, sorry. Are you going to cry again?

What the hell did you get from that thing anyway? Did you train it to perform sex on you? Animal acts, as it were? Did he, excuse me, did she take to it naturally? Or did you have to help it along? Don't be shy. They tell me that if you pour honey down there.... Oh, come on, I defy you to give me one reason to mourn the loss of that parasite. Is this anger? Are you doing all the stages over again? Hell, I still think they're out of order.

All right. I give up. I killed it. We were playing polo. Bill and Patrick and Gene brought theirs over and we thought we'd play a few chukkers. I was just tightening the saddle and it's back snapped like a bread stick. No. I'm lying. I put it in the fucking blender. You know, the one your mother gave me at our quasi-engagement party. You remember. The day before they're supposed to do the ceremonial re-attachment of the foreskin. I put the fucking thing in the fucking blender and pushed the fucking button that says 'Puree' because I always wanted to know what the fuck that was. It's just slop. Pretentious slop. I guess 'Slop' wouldn't look right on that Euro-style control panel. Want to know why I did it? Yeah? You really want to know? Because I fucked it. I got enough Vaseline to put a bus in a phone booth and grabbed the fucking.... Hey? Where you going? I held the fucking thing around the middle.... Hey? Don't go in there. The sheets haven't been changed since you moved out. I slipped it on like a condom. What are you doing? That tickles. Stop. Hey. Killing it instantly. What's with you? You got a libido implant while you were gone? Hell, that vermin should have died a long time ago.

Copyright 2005 Matthew Lederman. All rights reserved