i will not be contained. i am unleashed. i am unchained. nothing holds me but myself. and i only hold myself for security's sake. there is no safety when i run loose. there is no security amidst a life set free. only a piece of mind which is smaller than it looks and a lot more bitter than you can imagine. and i might ask what it is that you are doing here, reading this. but i would only be accusing myself of writing this. neither are very enjoyable past-times, so i will choose to occupy my time with charades and backgammon: "the first word sounds like intoxification. the second word sounds like bouncing baby boy." and when i think i have awoken, i find my dreams begin. and when i feel that i've finally escaped my nightmares, they come over for dinner and bring the dessert. the cheescake still sits in my refigerator. my ice box has taken a fondness towards it. i think the they are engaged. they are to be married in may. the mayonaise is throwing the shower. the jalepeno peppers are holding the bachelor party. and my phone is sleeping. napping on the job again. the answering machine was supposed to wake it up by now, but it is too busy making long-distance phone calls charged to my account. and when i asked for inspiration, all i got was plenty of perspiration. so now, instead of an entourage of adoring fans i have a sparse collection of flies following my every stagnant stench-filled step. worse yet, the shower refuses to see me. says its schedule is booked until the end of the year. so i tried to get an appointment with the bathtub, but his secretary snubbed me, never let me get my foot in the bathroom door. so i am standing in the hall, wondering how to feel when your entire bathroom has abandoned you. and i can hear now my sink plotting the assasination. the toilet does nothing but flush with excitement. the radio worked the other day. must have been a mirage. wouldn't work this morning. and still didn't work this afternoon. the refigerator said something about a strike. the FM had called for a walk-out. the executive council of AM had narrowly voted against their own strike. but millions are to be inconvienced while the hundreds and thousands of FM stations picketed for shorter hours and higher frequency modulations. the president tried to call in the national guard. but someone forgot to guard the guard, and they are now all gone. someone said they saw them on the way to the border. something about a party in tijuana. i guess the free trade agreement will hear about this. probably be pretty angry about it too. i bet it will call up the bill of rights and complain. and so they will have to call an emergency meeting of the legal paper caucus to discuss rampant legislature and rowdy soldiers who can barely read. but i don't read the newspapers anymore. not since my copy of the LA Times laughed at me for mispronouncing Budaphest. but how could i know. i was never a Buddhist. but since the paperboy has been threatened by the Wall Street Journal, he won't deliver my paper anymore. and so i turn to the television, and it turns away. i yell at it. it's still giving me the silent treatment. i think it is still mad that i wouldn't let it watch the Love Boat reunion special the other day. i can't help that my television holds grudges. i remember specifically asking the salesman for a television that didn't have an attitude. his solution was to sell me one that didn't have a remote control. he told me that the ones with remotes always developed attitude problems because they felt they weren't being loved anymore, something about not being touched. something about infidelity with the remote itself. all of the remotes come from this pgymy tribe which has been at war with cathode ray tubes forever. longer than the Hatfields and the McCoys. so i went down to the supermarket the other day to buy my microwave some dinner, and i noticed the front page of the Enquirer. mentioned something about the world's smallest skycraper. it fit right in the palm of your hand. cute looking too. but the tenants weren't too pleased. apparently they were sueing the owner because the elevators didn't seem to work. i felt sorry for them until i saw old man George visiting his pets in the pet food aisle. he hasn't been the same since they sold his favorite Purina Puppy Chow. he had taken care of it for years. fed it pure love. and then what happens, some foreign businessman with a million dollars in his backpocket comes in and buys it with food stamps. when i first heard about it, i went to the Hallmark section and picked out a card. he read it, thanked me, and put it back on the shelf. he told me about a good book he had just finished reading. he offered me his copy, told me to return it to asile 8 when i was through. when i had filled up my shopping cart, i moved up to the checkout line, but they were all checked out. so i waited and waited until there were three of them in a line, and another one came out. this one helped me. i gave the out of work chef my money, asked her how long ago she had lost the fancy chef's hat, and then the change machine coughed out my money. asked if i wanted to go double or nothing. i asked if it played blackjack. told me that it was too rusty. told me the ATM on the corner was much better. paid off better too. used to be a Vegas automated teller. that's where he learned to be so good. i grabbed my plastic paper bags and placed them both in the recycling bin as i left. went looking for my car in the parking lot. it was playing hide and seek again, i was tired of playing tag. ever since my childhood days of playing on the freeway, i had grown weary of car games. when i finally got home and put the bed to sleep, i went into the kitchen to make my toaster a snack. it enjoyed milk and cookies, even though the milk always made it short-circuit in the middle of the night. the sun was just setting on the horizon. the long day was ending, so i switched on the t.v. to catch the late show, but it was late, so i caught the early show. it was exactly the same, just earlier. but there were too many commercials. i've had a hard enough time dealing with my baldness, but to have my toupee frightened to death by adds for hair clubs for men was enough to drive me crazy. i had already driven there once. the toll roads were highway robbery. and they carried big guns too. acted like they were straight out of a hollywood western. and once i got there, i found out that they charged an arm and a leg to go crazy these days. my how times have changed. when i was a kid, we used to be able to go crazy for free. hell, sometimes they even paid us. it was all run down and disgusting then. now it has all of these fancy hotels and fine restaurants. they got their own o-zone layer. and when i think how things have changed since i was just a child, it makes me long for those good old days. kids these days have it so easy. they fax themselves to school. in my days we had to walk twenty miles to school in the snow everyday, even when i lived in Hawaii. how do youngsters these days ever plan to have anything to torment their children and grandchildren with if they never do the impossible and the ridiculuous. in my days, doing the ridiculuous made people look up to you. if you wore one of those hats with the propellers, you were the king of the block. if you had a name like Beaver, they never stopped talking about you. all kids want these days is more and more sex and violence. don't they realize that once you kill everybody you can't fuck them anymore. and now they got all of these sexual diseases. and they have all this talk about condoms. in my days, when you finished having sex, you cut off the penis and threw it away. didn't have to worry about getting no std's. they never did think about what to do for women, they spent to much time worrying about the farm animals getting pregnant. but what do you expect from a generation that spent so much time walking to and from school past those barnyards. i mean we'd get frightened when our parents would start to ask us "what came first the chicken or ..." hell, how were we to know whether the chicken came or not. we did, that was all that really mattered. anyway, i rudely awoke my alarm clock this morning. it reached over and hit me, and so i took a short snooze. when i did get up finally i went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and discovered they were tired of waiting and had brushed themselves. flossed too. and so i went into the kitchen to get some breakfast. but it broke to slow that i was late for work. and then work was late for me. and so i figure this relationship work and i have is just not panning out the way i wanted it to. we just never can seem to be there for each other. and i think work is seeing someone else. i think they sneak away together during coffee breaks together. i swear i saw someone else on her payroll. but i am not sweating over spilt milk, but i will be going hungry because the kitchen floor is angry at me for being so clumsy. i guess it just got its legs waxed, and now i've ruined it all. so it won't let me into the kitchen anymore. which is alright with the major appliances. it seems i've put too many buns in the oven anyway. so now i'm being sought in a paternity suit. and i told the judge that i didn't have any suits besides my leisure suit, and it spends all of its time by the pool working on its tan. and i got a ticket today for going slow in a fast zone. apparently they don't appreciate cautious driving. they keep telling me i am holding up the other golfers. but who cares. who said the fairways are fair? and why should i care. the last time someone sent me a care package i found a bomb inside. to top that off, it refused to explode. said i wasn't worth dying for. now how does that make me feel? and so i complained to the better business bureau. they suggested i try monkey business. but when i applied for my small business loan, they told me i didn't have enough experience with bananas. i told them "hell, i've gone bananas enough time, shouldn't i have something to show for it?" and when the milkman came today, he complained that his breasts were too sore. but thats always his excuse. sure, the neighbors get their milk, but i don't. they always tell me that i should be satisified with just getting my kicks. but i tell them that my butt is too sore. and i still have one of their shoes. but it really smells. so the custom officials were by the other day and hired it. it's sniffing for drugs in Miami right now. i wonder how my neighbors would feel about that one. and when i complained to my landlord about all of the noise coming from upstairs, he told me i haven't been to church enough lately and reminded me i lived on the top floor.

matte elsbernd
14 July 1993