When the philosophers died, their ideas died with them; when the writers died, their stories died with them. When the musicians died, their music died with them, & all that was left was the Here & Now. Because they could not see the past, they could not imagine the future, for they knew not how far they had come.
When the world became infertile, but people lived forever, the old citizens of this new era became so far removed from their youth that all the magic of childhood & all belief in a better life eternal diminished… & then vanished.
When new memories ceased to be made & existing ones began to fade, the connections between human beings became broken, then staticky— before they altogether disappeared.
When Miss Hubba Bubba (née Bubbly) finished her bubble dance, a randy man known as Slingshot— whom she had chewed out for being handsy— burst her bubble by popping it with one of his usual barbs, so Bubbly’s best friend, Skippy, came along in a jif, all creamy & extra crunchy, to unstickify Bubbly’s gummy hair, telling her, “No ifs, no ands, no buts— You are getting this peanut butter haircut!”
He was a mad libber, she, an ad libber. He helped her fill in the blanks, even as she helped him think outside the page. When they decided to tie the knot, it became so knotted, it could never be unknotted, because no one but them could make sense of what the other said; in other (random) words, they were just so knotty, that they could be nice for no one else.
Dishy Cupp graduated from Spoon College, getting her Associate in Scooping, then Fork University for her Bachelor’s in Spearing, only to take hybrid courses for a Master’s at Spork, & realize that her degree was not only useless, but no one understood what she was for.
Wyatt Early loved to pretend he was invisible; Warren Caufield’s parents only wished he was. Happy was the one’s life of make-believe— of fooling the adults who were playing their own game of pretend; sad was the life of the boy who wished that he was a doll those other children played with, or the invisible friend they only pretended to.
In pining for the 5 more children she’d wanted, but could never conceive, she lost the 1 she had.
Every year, her parents had Photoshopped an age-progressed image of her abducted brother into their family portrait, so that when she crossed his path many years hence, she knew, with startling clarity, the man he had become.
I am not an action verb; I am not in a state of doing but of being. I am a noun that is a who, not a that; I am a noun-person. I am a series of adjectives in the Royal Order that are stuck together but subject to change. I am a preposition where I’ve been under things & over things & through things. I am more than a pronoun (but if she quacks like a mama duck…). I am a conjunction, connecting the whole & the broken. I am a couple of articles: “a” when feeling humble & “the” when not. I may even be an interjection (though I’d rather never know), but I will never be a darling little adverb.
The Properly Improper Noun
l.c. was an improper noun, always seeking to capitalize on any opportunity to uppercase herself from the lower cases. She thought she could masquerade as the password to numerous accounts, but was in for a nasty realization when she learned that many passwords were case sensitive, requiring measurements she didn’t have, which she found insensitive.
The Dismembered Parts of Speech
She was a noun when she felt human, when her body felt like a temple, & when she felt like just a thingy in general; a verb when she felt like either a human being or a human doing; an adjective when her husband described her on Wheel of Fortune in the royal order (the little showoff); an adverb when someone described her doings absolutely wrongly and/or positively badly; a preposition when she was only seen in relation to something, someplace, or someone else shinier; an article when she felt objectified rather than personified; & a pronoun whenever someone called her “buddy.”
The baker’s life was a recipe for success, for she ensured her goodies had just the right ingredients & just the right amount of each. The cook’s life was a disaster, for his dishes included too much or too little of everything, including the kitchen sink. When the baker learned that the cook didn’t know how to read, she taught him words & numbers through recipes so that he finally measured up (or rose) to her standards, even as she was just the right weight, with all the right measurements to please his palate. Through blending sweet with savory, they learned what it meant to make beautiful culinary art together.
When Mr. Bookbinder met Miss Novelette, bearing the leaves of books rather than the petals of flowers, she knew it was (literally) a match made in library heaven, for flowers would last a week, but books would last a lifetime.
She was cheese fondue, chocolate fountains, & pink champagne with strawberries; he was cheese in a can, not-so-fun-sized frozen Snickers, & cheap beer with pretzels. When this chef met this line cook, they didn’t see any way to make it work, but after sharing a few shots of hard liquor, they realized they could make anything work— making love to their palates in the kitchen & to each other everywhere else.
She had gone from board games & blackboards to editorial boards & whiteboards, but it was when she became the assistant of the assistant of the Executive Director that she felt like a grown-up— learning how to differentiate Boards of Governors, Directors, & Trustees.
She had graduated from a world of labs, lectures, & finals to the world of cover letters, resumes, & interviews, finding that coming-of-age at any age still took a certain amount of pushing herself past her introverted personality to make the transition successful.
May was the Homecoming Queen, June, the Valedictorian. Like the Tigris & the Euphrates, they went their separate ways— the first to Lah-Dee-Dah’s Fashion School, the second, to Harvard Business School, until meeting up again with a mutual friend, April March— a brand storyteller of Instagram fame. They realized that day, over plates of AYCE Olive Garden pasta & a bottle of crappy wine, that with May’s fashion sense, June’s business sense, & April’s nonsense they could mark their calendars with black X’s rather than red.