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Sponge’s Story

Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2008 in Stories, unfinished

“I am a crazed Wolf.”

“My armpits stank.”

A man sat on a toilet. His name was Sponge McWilliams, but that is beside the point. The point is — he had nothing to read. The man simply sat and stared at the floor, while he strained his bowels and grunted. Soon the man became so starved for reading matter that he began reading the labels on the items within reach. The deoderant spray, several medications, a very old bottle of talcum powder …on each and every one of these, the man read all the ingredients. As he did so he tried to imagine how the ingredients had become the things that were in the bottles. Were there little factories, peopled by industrious Japanese workmen, who dipped their fingers into each of the ingredients, until finally — at the end, the product emerged? Or was it done by a more modern method? The man on the toilet thought this, but as he did, he realized that what he was really doing was avoiding something.

A thought that flashed across the beam of his mind. Suddenly he saw it. He saw his innards –miles and miles of long brown bowels and other organs, and he realized as he sat, that these were his ingredients. He was made up of such ingredients, lots of long oily membranes and red and orange things were inside him. The man’s ingredients were very delicate and could — if punctured by a knife, cause the end of his life. Think of it! If one of the man’s own ingredients decided to malfunction, or was ruptured or injured, the man sitting on the toilet would be no more. He would cease to be a man searching for reading matter, and would be — like Great King Elvis–a ridiculous thing sprawled with his fat white buttox hanging out, on the bathroom floor.

Then again, perhaps it was good he did not have reading matter. As in the case of Great Elvis, the reading matter he had, entitled The Aquarian Gospel Of Jesus had caused the poor dead King to suffer humiliation in all of the tabloids for months. Better the King had been reading a copy of Hustler or Velvet than the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus, some folks would say.

Ah, but what did it matter, Elvis was dead … and the man, Sponge McWilliams, sat on the toilet, grunting and groaning for a bowel movement with images of his shiny entrails dancing in his head.

This was how it all started.

One week earlier, Sponge had sat in the doctor’s office at a local hospital. He had had a severe pain in the neck, which had now traveled to the extremities of his outer arm. So he had called the doctor. Just as he had expected, the nurse on the phone gave him a hard time. “You can’t simply come in here,” she chirped snottily. “You have to have an appointment!”

“But I’m in pain!” Sponge protested. “I need to see a doctor now!”

After a bit more fencing around, the snotty nurse made an appointment to see another doctor, someone named Levitt. Of course, both Sponge and the nurse knew that she could have given him the appointment immediately, without all the fuss and muss. But the nurse, like many others of her ilk — bank tellers, postal clerks and whatnot, had to have her moment of exercising power, of feeling their oats. And why not, after all? All day long, you went about being pushed and shoved and bullied and humiliated by other people, and so when it came your turn, why not do a little bullying yourself? It seemed quite reasonable.

In the doctor’s office, Sponge refused the reading material that lay about, choosing instead to watch the TV, which was mounted up in corner of the room. It was a game show of some sort, which featured a group of people clapping and jumping up and down like chimpanzees every time they won a round. Sponge did not recognize the game show host, though he looked like someone who Sponge remembered had been on TV before. Then, Sponge recognized the man! Sure, it was Bernie Thaxton, who –when Sponge had been a mere teenager — had hosted a later afternoon show called Dance Party USA.

The show, a ripoff of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, featured the usual group of hormonally imbalanced teenagers dancing to the latest hits. It was a stupid show, but Sponge watched it daily. Soon, as he did with all things, Sponge had thrust himself into the show so that he began to know, rather intimately, each of the participants.

There was Lillian, a willowy brunette with fat sexy teeth and nipples that poked through the thin T-shirt. Lillian knew how to work the camera! She poked and mewed, pouting and thrusting her pelvis and breasts right at the camera, who ate up every move! Oh, she was something, this one.

Then there was Velvet, a huge breasted girl who could have been white or Negro. Velvet was not a good dancer, but her breasts were so huge and succulent that she could get by on them for a few more years before they began to droop.

For some reason, Sponge knew that Velvet came from a poor family. Her father was a drunkard and her mother, who worked in some kind of a spool factory were never home, so Velvet, who normally slept on a couch in the living room, would go in and sleep on their bed. This was simply a fact which Sponge knew. He often knew such things. He didn’t know how he’d come to know them …. he just did.

Then there was the blonde, little Holly. She was pretty now, but Sponge could see that in a few years, she’d start to fade. Soon, perhaps even in her twenties, she’d be another one of the faceless women prowling the malls of the city. Her only beauty now was in her youth, and that youth was going fast! Holly, who danced a slightly awkward dance, somehow seemed to know this. She looked sad, Sponge thought.

And of course, there was lovely Michelle…sponge’s favorite. Michelle was simply the best dancer Sponge had ever seen. She was a pro, this gal! She had all the moves down. Every guy on the show wanted to dance with Michelle, and she knew it too. Oh, she was something!

Sponge remembered all this, all with the recognition of old Bernie Thaxton, who’d over the past ten years grown fatter, especially in the face. Boy, it was something what ten years could do to a person, Sponge thought and he wondered what all the Dance Party USA regulars of old looked like now.

But Sponge’s thoughts were interrupted by a nurse who called out his name. He followed her into the waiting room, where she took his temperature and blood pressure. Then she left him alone. Sponge quickly looked about for something to steal, knowing of course, that there would be nothing good in the office. The people who ran the hospital, he was sure, knew that patients were in the habit of stealing items out of the offices, so they removed anything good, leaving only boring things like thermometers, or plastic Q-tips. Sponge stuffed a couple of the thermometers (not the rectal kind) into his shirt pocket, just for good measure. He never felt quite satisfied, unless he could take something home with him.

Shortly, a small man with hairy arms entered the office. “Good afternoon,” the man said. “I’m Dr. Levitt.” Without looking at Sponge, Levitt began to make notes in Sponge’s chart. Then he had Sponge do a series of movements with his arms, while he poked and prodded at Sponge’s neck. “Let’s send you down to X-ray, Levitt had said, “then you come back and see me.” He had never yet looked Sponge in the face.

Sponge took the elevator down the basement where the X-ray lab was supposed to be. He couldn’t find it and wandered the halls of the hospital. Actually, this was kind of enjoyable to Sponge.

One thing of note about Sponge McWilliams was that he felt most comfortable when he was “lost.” It gave him a sense of escape, of adventure, out of the ordinariness of his everyday life, a life in which everything seemed to be but a repetition of something that had happened before. Sponge had, for a long time, felt dislocated in this life. He walked through it, but often felt no connection with anything around him. So when a new thing arose, like getting lost in a hospital basement, Sponge soaked the opportunity for everything he could get out of it. Opportunities to get lost were all too rare in this humdrum life.

Finally, Sponge found the X-Ray lab. Normally buzzing like a beehive — the place was oddly empty. In fact, Sponge realized, much to his dismay, the entire hospital seemed empty. Walking through the empty basement halls, Sponge had fantasized that he was in a bombed out building after the war. His footsteps echoed in the empty yellow hospital halls. Just think how many things he could steal, stop and look at and research, if there were no people around to bother him!

Sponge sat down on a couch. A few moments later, a fat Mexican lady with a gigantic mole on her foreheard appeared behind the counter. The Mex lady gave Sponge the feeling that she had been crying, or something. Maybe she had a husband at home who was dying of cancer. Who knew?

“OK, go down the hall, take off your shirt and get into one of the dressing gowns,” the Mex lady said, kind of nasty-like. Geez, just because her stupid husband was dying of cancer, she didn’t have to be so nasty!

Sponge went down the hall and undressed, then fumbled with the dressing gown which you had to put on like a backwards smock. In the next dressing room someone was fumbling with a dressing gown too, and Sponge had the urge to peek, but he did not, fearing that it might be an old woman. Nothing worse than seeing a naked old woman, thought Sponge, who had once spent an entire summer on a nudist colony in the South of France.

On the nudist colony (The Isle Of Levant) the human body in all its various shapes and sizes had been exposed to Sponge for an entire three months. After the initial sexiness had worn off–Sponge decided that naked humans were about the saddest things he’d ever seen in his whole life. They just looked so damn silly. Somehow without clothes on, all the airs that people normally put on were exposed as sham. Heck, no wonder Adam and Eve had put on fig leaves! They knew that they were nothing but weak, silly looking bipeds.

Think of the the way the world would be if everybody were naked, Sponge thought. Imagine trying to go through a day when everybody merely looked….ridiculous.

Then suddenly, Sponge thought two things:

He thought, “My armpits stank.”

And a moment later, “I am a crazed wolf.”

That is what he thought. I swear to you.

(to be continued)

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