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We all sat at a round table; old, lacquered wood, some scratches and burn marks. Jim was cooking venison and chicken tonight though the lot of us did help prep everything. He wrote of this process once upon a whenever for Gourmet Magazine. All of us pensive, persons for whom sound almost always moved at breakneck speed. I thought for all of us when I thought once again about how much I distrusted absolutes. And then I began talking about it.

“It’s not as though I distrust absolutes to see them. I don’t. They have, for me anyway, seemed more like filler than anything else. I suppose I just ain’t creative enough. Or plain lazy. What about the one I just glossed by when I said absolutes have seemed like filler…there is an implied ‘always’ there right? Lady and I saw the latest installment…chapter…No I think installment is right. The ‘How to Train…’ franchise. Brand building. Heavy milking. Theft through animation. Suck up the fash-curious. Sure it’s a fine franchise. I spilled some tears. It’s something I just do, especially during good, animated flicks. And I’ve written about it before but perhaps not in this type of context.”

I had their attention. Which could prove…I don’t know. Nothing.

“So the trailers all aimed heavy for the heartstrings. Something about miracles and god and ice. Something about a reincarnating dog…I think…Dennis Quaid is in it. And something I wish I could be happy for now but I settle happily for being wrong later…a movie starring Uglydolls. If you are not familiar with them…well, get busy. That just made me a little giddy I admit but the other two were locked in on my emotional core, that spot that still cares for life and people and things and places. I think there was some spillage. And then again during the movie. And the same messages get told using different colors and shades and yet I just have tears fall. It just happens. Sometimes I let out a hardly audible gasp because for some damn reason I have gotten emotional about something. Sometimes my eyes just get wet, other times tiny balls of water roll down my cheek. Like I’ve never felt just that, just that little ball of water rolling down over my cheek unimpeded, intact. Usually such behavior is accompanied by chest heaves or snot and a mentally intense momentary breakdown of, for all intents and purposes, one’s sexual orientation, one’s amount of eumelanin in the basale stratum of epidermis, one’s capacity to not save money, even one’s appreciation of the machine working finely, very, very finely; breaking people into cobbles, pebbles, and finally sand to be recycled as glass. It’s not Soylent Green that’s people – it is glass. Since we lack closure in this country in so very many respects having a franchise tie itself up without our audience help is excellent.”

Silence. Rat-a-tat.

Awkward. Tat-tat-tat.

“You done yet?” Rat-rat-a. Harrison. Always ready to eat. Tat-tat.


Sean Mahoney lives in Santa Ana, California with Dianne, her mother, 4 dogs, and 4 renters. He believes that Judas was a way better singer than Jesus and that dark chocolate is extraordinarily good for people. Sean helps run the Disability Literature Consortium booth at the annual AWP bookfair...lit by crips. Except 2020, and this year cuz well...Covid. His chapbook Politics or Disease, please…is forthcoming (5.22) from Finishing Line Press.

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