Saturday, October 07, 2006

Review: The Last King of Scotland

The red comforter on the bed glittered asymmetrically beneath me. I smelled Ashland Avenue on Tony's shoes as they stuttered across the floor. I know he and Shelly visited Clyde last night -- the shadow of his gray whiskers and inconsequential fur lingered on Tony's fingertips. He picked up his phone and called Shelly. Was she bringing home goldfish, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, newts, or water bugs? Of course not. Tony told her he bought tickets for the 7:45 showing of The Last King of Scotland. Why should I care? He touched my forehead with a light brush of his Clyde-ravaged fingertips. Then he was gone. A feeble sunset came through the terrifying new Venetian blinds they just bought for the bedroom. I fled to the closet, into the demilitarized zone of the upturned HP Laser Jet paper box lid beneath the hem of Shelly's dresses. Why was I chased? I smelled sulfur. Paul Wolfowitz chased some birds. A string of dental floss chased me and I fell.

Why did an abhorrent mouse wander into Clyde's apartment and not mine? A fruit fly from a rotting banana in the garbage chased me out of my regular meal-times and scratched my legs.

I fell asleep and Rumsfeld's Zuni warrior doll delivered a note from Mark Foley: "how [sic] my favorite young vixen doing? lol." Was that the pithy click of the red laser-dot pointer? Or Dennis Hastert's porcine jiggle? The scrape of a squirrel on the window sill? I heard the hushy swing of Shelly's backpack as she reached for her keys. Hours passed; the apartment was dark now. Had I been asleep that long? Hurry, Shelly, the careless Zuni doll was gone -- back to his squatter's loft -- and spats of sulfur were popping under the bed. Hurry. I had been sleeping for hours. I dreamed that I was angry at Clyde, the cat downstairs, because a stupid, baleful mouse wandered into Clyde's apartment and not mine. I threw Tony and Shelly's keys into a storm drain on Clark Street.

"My first encounter with the word dada was not Tristan Tzara," Tony said as they walked into the apartment. Where's the rabbit, lizard, bumblebee, or moth? Nowhere in the void of your gesticulating hands. "It was as a child, when I learned Idi Amin's full name was Idi Amin Dada. Then I discovered he also proclaimed himself 'Lord of All Beasts of the Earth and Fish in the Sea': I realized just how expansive the world outside my family really was." In my dream, The Mayakovsky Tree said to me: "We know you go there. It’s important for you. Keep going. Here’s the key." The tendrils of the upturned HP laser-print paper box were distressing and ample beneath my chin. I listened closely, but I couldn't hear anything coming from the bathtub.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel good, Shimmy!

2:53 PM  

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