Brad Rose was born and raised in southern California, and lives in Boston. His poetry and fiction have appeared at: Off the Coast, Third Wednesday, The Potomac, San Pedro River Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Barely South Review, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Literary Magazine and other publications. Links to Brad’s poetry and miniature fiction can be found at: http://bradrosepoetry.blogspot.com . He takes comfort from Paul Valéry’s observation, “Every view of things that is not strange is false.” “Hatchet Job” Brad’s 51-second, miniature audio story can be heard here: “Hatchet Job”
A Girl Like You
Tonight, I’m waiting for the world to come to me. In the meantime, I hear the drums of car doors slamming, airtight thuds. They’re not just noises, but symbols, a fact that tells me that the time we spend in the dark is a Muzak-filled waiting room. Yes, I know, it’s an improbable theory, but what if it’s true, like viruses before their discovery? Just because something isn’t real, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Take, for example, anesthesia. The unconscious mind was discovered to be in many cases a lot healthier than the conscious mind; wild, unruly, primitive and savage, yet performing remarkable athletic feats, which can neither be denied nor confirmed. For example, when I show up at the company party with my trophy-breasted wife, the room fills with spectacular whispering, Is she with a boy or a life-sized midget? Then, like a force occupying a defeated nation, I realize I must become the lies I tell. What are the chances? People like to find things exactly where they (last) left them. I suppose this is human nature, like a bustling jungle filled with paranoid chimps. Although it may be difficult to picture this, try to imagine an unforgivable surprise designed by committee. Of course, Paris is a great place to change planes as you’re on the way to somewhere where it really counts. It’s simply magical: extinct buildings; copyrighted earthquakes; potholes designed by Louis XIV; and from the top of the Eiffel Tower, a world-renowned view of tromp l’oeil, where you simply must put 2 and 2 together. Well, I don’t mean “you” exactly, I mean “one.” One must put 2 and 2 together, even if your watch may be a little slow. If there is one thing that physics has taught us, it’s that the Big Bang is not a double entendre. It’s not like I haven’t warned you about this, before. Later, you won’t be able to remember if we even exchanged a kiss—a real kiss. Consequently, for my next trick, I will need a volunteer. A girl like you. Just like you.
But not you.