By Andrea Witzke Slot
All Rights Reserved.
Night and day it traipses across your lawn, a wind-up toy begging you to play—such charm! See the neighbors, in the middle of a sunny afternoon, put down their barbeque tongs to clap while it merrily spills its sea of tongues, its chorus of dissemblers, its tiny doll-sized voices into the streets, the playgrounds, the backyards, where it creeps onward through doors and windows, seeps deep into walls and floors. Hear the chirpy chatter! The fizzy laughter! Such witty views! A Fox News Live! Faces, shining—so pretty! Sleek-furred hides, shining—so soft! And just this morning, Saturday’s newspaper held the glossy mag called The Journal of Illusive Thought. You opened the polished spread and read. Dr. Barthes warns: The virus is tenacious! You use language? You are never free! You close The Journal of Illusive Thought because you are hungry and there’s a barbeque in the street today. But Dr. B’s words haunt you. You be careful now. Be careful whom you invite to play, whose hamburger you eat, whom you clink your drink to, where you lay your head at the end of a long day. It’s not hiding in the streets or in the shed or under your bed. It stands grim as an invisible giant in front of you—pet him!— and then snap back your hand—for the anthill’s been shaken, and out they spill, their tiny mouths binging as the virus spreads. And yet Dr. B had a promise in that article you read. There is a tonic, strange and transitory and hard to find. Go! Fall in love! Only then will your speech be released, your lives freed. But heed the warning on that bottle: Healthy hours are ephemeral. Take advantage if you find wide-awake solace. And please consume with greatest care.