A flash piece by Mitchell Grabois
Javier Bardem, who starred as evil incarnate in No Country for Old Men, doesn’t believe in God.
I believe in Al Pacino, he says, to start our interview. We act to taste life twice. He pauses. I received a letter yesterday from Dr. Sara, regretting the position we find ourselves in.
Who’s Dr. Sara, I ask.
Jean-Paul Sartre wrote Nausea after watching the Oscars. Celine wrote A Long Day’s Journey Into Night after watching the Oscars. Kurt Cobane blew his brains out.
George W. Bush invaded Iraq three days before the Oscars in 2003, his eyes set on being a Big Star, standing on the deck of a battleship, hoisted into the air by thousands of hands, whole divisions of men and women. Mission Accomplished! He saw it all unfold.
3. Dr. Sara says that being mortal is a pre-existing condition, Javier says.
Maybe he could wrap it up in three days, Bush thought, before the first star hit the Red Carpet.
Meanwhile, climate change keeps getting uglier. Celebrity murderers hide in storm cellars as tornadoes destroy entire states. Nebraska is gone. Oklahoma. Where there was Midwestern goodness, there is only debris. Cyclones are airborne landfills.
Other minds besides Bush’s also failed to apprehend the consequences of their actions, until later. The twenty-six- year-old third mate was driving the ship. It was his first time in this treacherous channel and the captain had gone to his cabin.
The second mate suggested that the captain was an intravenous drug user, but the first mate told him to shut up, he didn’t know what he was talking about and shouldn’t feel free to malign the captain, his superior. The second mate was suspicious of the word “superior.”
I wanted to be married in Vegas, in the Chapel of the Eternal Elvis, but my fiancée bullied me into the Episcopal Church, where it was damp and cool, a climate for mushrooms and imprisonment.
It was then that the boat began to list. It didn’t take long. It rolled over like the third mate’s headstrong girlfriend turning over in bed. She was a white woman, nothing like the spare Koreans he had gotten used to fucking. She had round, white buttocks. In fact, he was thinking about her at the moment the ferry began to roll, how she rolled over in bed and turned on the lamp. She was reading a novel with the name of a Beatle’s song written by a famous Japanese writer whose name he could never remember. Every time he tried to think of the man’s name, all he could come up with was Hari Kari, and he knew that wasn’t it.
Whales have stopped beaching themselves, no one knows why. Dolphins have stopped acting Uncle Tom. They wear snarls and hatch plans.
She was reading the book in Japanese. He himself never read fiction and did not know Japanese. The students in their cabins texted their parents goodbye, apologized for all the misdeeds they had done, or not done, as children. George Bush, on his victory battleship, and later, never apologized for his many crimes versus humanity. Only the innocent apologize.
The priest couldn’t decide if he wanted us to end the ceremony by kissing passionately or chastely. We practiced doing it several different ways and he critiqued us, then joined us for rehearsal dinner at a Thai restaurant. The priest ordered a cheeseburger, drank several mixed drinks, then delivered a diatribe against “Asiatics.” They’re taking over the world, he said.
The bodies of the students whimpered like the wings of trapped manta rays. There was a jellywash of entombed bodies in the muddy tide, the water dark and secretive, septic even. There was a moment when nearly three hundred students’ lives blinked out, like the lights in a barracks or dormitory.
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over a thousand of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, and in print. To see more of his work, google “Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois”. He lives in Denver.