Youíre up to something. I wanted you to know I knew. So you
wouldnít count on any element of surprise.
Youíre just about to Ďspring somethingí on me. I can smell you
hatching it. Donít think youíre suave and unpredictable, because
on the lengthy list of things youíre not, those two qualities
have some very low numbers. If the list is organized with
qualities you have the least of being at the top. When the list
is organized alphabetically, ĎSuaveí is a little more than
three-quarters in, ĎUnpredictableí almost at the end. But I
donít list things alphabetically. Thatís your scene.
I know whom Iím dealing with when Iím dealing with you. Iíve
watched your type in action. Youíre a mole is what you are,
lying oh so low beneath the soil of your never having done
anything bad to me before, munching the juicy worms of your
seeming lack of hostility. But I see through all that. You
should have worn a lead apron over your intentions if you wanted
to fool me. Because my ability to suss out creeps like you is
Kryptonian. Itís a strange visitor from another planet. It
flourishes under a yellow sun, my friend.
Thereís a shovel in my garage with your name on the flat of the
blade. Literally. I wrote it there several years ago after we
both attended that party and I said "Itís kind of hot in here,
donít you think?" and you said, "Some might say so." I imagine
youíd been drinking, letting the mask drop that way. Or perhaps
you thought youíd risk a spot of bravado. Well thatís where I
got your number, chumo, and itís still in my wallet, right next
to the thirty-five cents for emergency phone calls and the high
school condom that reminds me of lifeís bitter and numerous
I know itís you when the phone rings in the middle of the night
and thereís no one there when I pick up. Iíd get caller ID and
prove it if that wasnít an admission that it might be someone
else. I donít need a fingerprint kit to know youíre the guy that
bent the flag on my mailbox out of whack. I know a flag bender
outerer when I see one.
Donít get me wrong, I admire your patience, I salute you as a
worthy adversary, but that doesnít mean I wonít dance on your
grave. I will. I will dance the Tarantella. I commute more than
an hour each way to the dance class I attend for Tarantella
lessons, but it will be worth it. Though the gas money adds up,
you deserve a well-executed Tarantella. It will be a Gold
Standard performance of the Tarantella and Iíll reward myself by
coming back six months later to kick over your head stone. Note
to self: Comparison shop for steel toed boots.
Your cover is blown, canít you understand that? What were you
thinking with that mustache anyway? Did you imagine it the
perfect mustache of innocence? Because, and Iím only being
honest here, Iím only being a friend to you, it makes you look
like one of the Village People. Iíve seen the newspaper you
leave behind at the Cafť, dusted lightly with croissant crumbs.
Did you think to attempt the Jumble in pen and abandon it like a
fox depositing its scat as a gesture of contempt for the Hounds?
Well itís time you woke up and smelled me not being a pack of
hounds, because I am no oneís collective anything, least of all
hounds! How dare you, sir? How do you dare!? Iíll thank you to
dare just a little bit less!
How many notches are there cut into the blade of your artful
waiting? How many brave lads have fallen, beguiled an instant
too long before your well-mowed lawn, your cubicle etiquette,
Your nostalgic appreciation for ĎBostoní and ĎKansasí and other
bands of your youth named after places? Well I went through your
drawers when you took a sick day last October, and I took
account of the deliberate absence of half-empty prescription
bottles. There was no dust on your IN box, not one molecule.
Doesnít that seem a little over the top to you?
And of course you canít come in on Sunday when the projectís
overdue, sure I understand, I know youíll stay late to make it
up. I understand about family commitments. Church is important.
Where was it you said you went? First Church of Treachery? The
one on the corner of Skulking and Ignominy? I think I went to a
pancake breakfast there about a year ago, sure, sure, thatís the
one with little daycare just behind the sanctuary and then if
you go down to the basement and give the secret knock they let
you into this room thatís lit only by banks of computer
terminals and a great huge map of our neighborhood with a red
dot showing MY EXACT LOCATION AT ALL TIMES!? Thatís the place
right? Nice fucking bingo night they got going there, buddy!
So sure, Iíll play your little game of cat and mouse. You ask me
how the kids are, Iíll say "Oh, just fine, you know, Clarice got
the flu, but kids will be kids, right? They bounce back fast. I
saw you bought a Subaru, I hear theyíre all right, what kind of
mileage you get with that?" A game of racquetball? Sure, why
not, sounds nice. A little Racquetball court, enclosed, say,
maybe we can take that first early game, you know, before anyone
gets there? That way the night before I can be in a changing
room locker the day before so when you come in after work to
hide in your changing room locker I can spring out behind you
with my shovel.
And if you donít show? And I loose the game because my game
suffers from having spent twenty-four ours in a changing room
locker? Well, touchť to you, my friend. You win the battle.
Iíve lost battles before. Sometimes you have to loose a few. My
Keep your eye on the war.
Max Burbank is planning on offering Tarantella dance lessons in
the near future. Should any of you be interested, don't hesitate
Then again, he's had his eye on you this whole time. He already
knows whether you're interested or not. He just wants to hear it
from your own lips.