This changes a man. Whether it’s for the better, or
for the worse, remains to be seen. But there’s a change. I can feel it.
The darkness. That’s the worst part. Rats. Snakes.
Some other things that I haven’t quite identified. Maybe some of them are
imaginary – my tortured mind, playing tricks. It’s gotten to the point that
when something crawls across my wet bare feet I don’t even bother to light up
my phone to see what it is. Nothing good, I’m sure. And I have to preserve my
battery – if for nothing than the clock. The hour will come, eventually, when I
can get out of this hole and feel the sunlight on my face. Eventually. But, until then, I can only do what they
intend for me to do: sit here, alone, and reflect upon my transgression. My
sin. And for all the reflection; all the introspection… I still can’t figure
out what I did to deserve this. So I must continue to think about it. It’s for
my own good.
All around, etched into the damp walls, are faint
remnants of the agony of those poor souls who were here before me. Silent,
desperate pleadings for mercy that were never heard by the outside world.
Fingernails, ripped from those foolish enough to think they could scratch their
way to the surface; tally marks, counting the days, hours, minutes; names and
initials. The horror. The horror! Last time I looked, I saw the initials of my
own cousin, “M.A.P.” And, to think that I never gave a second thought about his
misery when he was last here – there have been many times for him – brings me a
feeling of overwhelming guilt and shame.
Seems we never think about things like this until they happen to us. It’s
just too painful.
So, at least they let me bring my ball and glove. I
sit with my back against the wall and bounce the ball off the opposite one; and
even in near-total darkness, I manage to catch it most of the time, just using
the force. And I count the seconds. And
I plan vengeance upon those responsible for sending me here. Is that wrong?
Then, instead of the dull thump, the ball makes a
sharp snapping sound, like hitting a snare drum, and it doesn’t come back. “Wilson!”
I shout, “Where did you go?” But there is no answer. This, in itself, isn’t so
unusual, because Wilson is a baseball, and they don’t talk – but he had always
come back before.
I light up my phone and scoot across to the other side
of the dungeon. There, I find a tattered poster of Stormy Daniels with a
baseball-sized hole through the paper at the most interesting location. I rip
the paper off the wall to find a hidden tunnel to the unknown – barely large
enough for a man of my size, but I had to try! Without giving it a second
thought, I lunge into Stormy’s shaft and begin to crawl, picking up Wilson
along the way. Ahead, I see a faint glow, and that empowers me to crawl faster
It seems like an eternity until I lift off the grate
to emerge, and the warm sunlight envelopes me like the arms of a loving mother.
In the distance, I hear the shouting of an un-masked crowd chanting “Four more
years! Four more years” and see brightly colored flags waving in the gentle
Autumn breeze under the orange-tinted sky.
Just to my right … well, way to my right … is a
heavily-adorned Indian motorcycle with its own stars & bars flags and some
little bears, wearing red MAGA hats, tied to the rear fender. The key is in the
ignition! I jump astride the bike and
crank it up – and at that moment it all comes back to me.
My crime; that horrible thing that had put me in the
hole: posting “Girls shouldn’t be allowed to talk mean to the President!” Exactly
that, and nothing else, on a popular social media site which shall remain
It was a satirical remark regarding a televised CBS
interview with the grotesque, titian leader of this gaggle of clowns, in which
he couldn’t handle the pressure so he just up and walked out, and left the lady
sitting there in her chair, bewildered. And for my tongue-in-cheek witticism it
had to be one of these dimwitted romancers of goats who finked me out; turned
state’s evidence to get me thrown into the bastille. But which one? There are
I place the motorcycle into gear and spin out toward
the slobbering mob, and they scatter like a houseful of witless turkeys when
lightning strikes. Grown men, full of pride, with AR-15s strapped to their
backs, slinging women and children aside to remove themselves from harm’s way
by any means necessary. And there is pandemonium, and the spreading of the ‘rona
via their screams.
Black suits surround the Mango Messiah on the stage
and whisk him away to Eggbeater and it flees into the wild blue yonder … which
is, as already stated, orange. So, OK, the wild orange yonder. Then, they turn their focus to me, and the
chase is on.
For miles over the rolling fields, through amber waves
of grain, they maintain pursuit, dodging the fuzzy little bears and swastika
material flying in my wake. There are the sounds of the engines, and sirens and
gunfire, but all I hear is Mick Jagger singing “Sympathy for the Devil.”
I fly over a rise and realize that I am boxed in by
five-strand barbwire fences. There is nowhere to go! I circle back toward the advancing
gestapo briefly; then turn again, full-speed toward the fence. I jump that one,
but there is an even bigger fence on the other side. The Nazis close in from
all directions. In a hail of bullets, I crash into the gigantic fence and
become entangled in the wire. And they have me again.
The officer in charge appears at the front as I’m removed
from the fetters. The nametag on his uniform said, simply, “Zuck.” And he
“What we have here … is failure to communicate.”
And I’m thinking “That’s exactly what we have.”
They put me back into the dungeon with nothing but my ball and
glove. Stormy’s hole has been filled with pumpkins and sweet potatoes, so there
is no way out, aside from getting that orange stench all over myself - and I
refuse to do that.
So I toss the ball and count: “One November…Two November…”