Tuesday, August 9, 2005


Little Lenny didn't make it home to his wife and kids today. No, wait, perhaps that's misleading. I don't just mean to say that he never made it home today, no, I mean that there is no going home. That Lenny made his last trip home from work yesterday. That Lenny's wife and kids will never see him again. That Lenny is dead, hit by a black Volkswagen Jetta whose driver is now safely at home with her husband and kids. That Lenny is nothing more than a limpid ball of black hair on the road. Yeah, every squirrel in the world believes that there's a diamond encrusted dumpster out there waiting just for him. It's filled with the finest of garbage, (and by finest I mean stinkiest), it's got a little ladder running up the side made just for little squirrel feet - the lid is always open. It was in pursuit of just such a dumpster that Lenny met his untimely end.

The driver of the murderous black Volkswagen Jetta is safely at home busying herself with supper, whistling a terribly off-pitch tune. (Something by Abba, I believe.) Her husband is in the other room folding laundry, trying his best to fold it neatly, and in such a way so as to minimise the annoyance his wife will feel later on when she goes to put on a shirt and finds it full of wrinkles. The two kids, little Jake and Susanne, sit giggling in front of the television watching their futures unfold. None of them are aware of the earlier violence perpetrated against little Lenny. The black Volkswagen Jetta lurks in the darkened garage, its grill smiling sickeningly.

Lenny's wife sits up in the crook of their tree, scanning the streets and walkways below her. It's not like lenny to be so late, she thinks, quickly turning her head this way and that. Her emotions run the gamut from annoyance at lenny's tardiness, to anger at his outright inconsideration. He could at least call. Anger turns to paranoia as thoughts of an affair cross her mind. Probably at that little hussy's place over on 49th. And paranoia turns to fear as the awful truth dawns on her - Lenny isn't coming home at all. A red Mazda 6 creeps past her tree through the twilight street. Her heart jumps as her eyes fill with hate. Will they ever just leave us alone? Her thoughts turn to her sleeping babies. She tries to envision their future without their father.

They'll grow up with the same dreams as all those before them. They'll long to move south and live out their long lives under the summery Californian sun, lounging on the beach, eating the discarded remains of falafels by the sand. They'll be attracted by the big city lights of the east, lured by the idea of all those people living on top of people, enticed by the promise of a neverending supply of hotdog butts. They will, all of them, grow up chasing that empty dream of the diamond encrusted dumpster waiting just for him or her. The one with the fine garbage, that little ladder - the one with the lid that's always open.

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