Mutually Assured Capitulation

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An Exit Interview With A Former Hideous Man

Who had the relief?

It was factored into the account, beforehand, when the basic newbies were having lessons scowled at them, triple time, in the most captioned of ways. Under lessons I’d taught the fuckers, of course, it was different. When you’ve got pullulating throngs pissing their pants, well, it’s a better bet at being over any over’s under. If you do or will get my point. If not? Screw that uppity growl of bullshit you’ve got plugging your yapper. I’m snagging pick-sixes and spiking my willpower in the end zone. Jostle and pose. I’m all of it. Smacking bloated bastards like that in the side of their melon, and then it’s plastic time in Concrete City. The stupid dips’ll be so dizzy and bowled over in pain, damn weak wretches that they are, that nobody’ll even notice if medium-sized middle-aged me sneaks up and nabs the best of what’s remaining, leftover or not. There ain’t any cars in the garage these days anyways. I throw a steak in the frying pan for lunch and keep my mouth shut. That’s what’ll do around here. Pipe up, pipsqueak; I’m home early.

Were we making hands for children’s gloves?

There’s something to be said against that; but being for it, as it comes to matter to me less and more all the time, I just dodge and poke, pickle and endure, and in the catbird seat of my most lavish hours there will be seclusionary measures to take, probably, and then I could pick apart at will the malignant ways of those who’d rather spell out their troubles than own them. I’m just saying. It’s not enough already, you know? Well, I do.

Frequency modulation or amplitude?

The preferred attitude to take among those — or these — fuckers was to not make it readily available hop-along-or-hop-alone logic. To what means or ends it was all crisis-bent was a big fat no-concern of what made me tick, and then it’s a whole boots-on-the-dance-floor situation you get yourself into, so it’d make me hobble and wince…shit, even spittle-drip about being too lapidary in my taste to be properly invigorated with life’s brawny toned mettle. I know. Fret and whine about it, why don’t you? I got that more than most. But what I took out of it — static, ring-tones, between-two-stations buzzing and all — was a curable deceit that carpeted all the floors in sight: something that’d pad my steps so my stomps wouldn’t be too conspicuous in the egregious movements of my sneaks up on the unfashionable on-time arrivers. That’s sort of the preening attempts I’d make at concise arrangements between dutiful pattern-bound folks who’d rather run on sugared gas than fumes. You know, as I said, those fuckers.

If there were an attachment?

Well, then. I cough instead of laugh, sometimes, just to air out the difference between being social and being lacking in the dignity or proper concern over the welfare of one’s ego’s adjustments in the falling-down scope of just-barely-noticeable care — and not the worn-out kind, of course. Maybe the worn-in kind. I place and put, put and place, and then run off to join anything but the circus.

How could we not hope to slash funding for what seems just a rainy-day exercise in dalliance?

A brief, somewhat-positive outlook pervaded. You know, it might be more helpful to ascertain the leaks before internecine plunges into thought-bubble positivity. A lesson happens before happiness lessens; you get that, right? But I’m all for “pronto-ing” the haul. That I get. Always have been an according-to-Hoyle sort of guy. But you get that too, don’t you? You know these things so you’re allowed to take them for granted, or not, if you’d like. Though — shit, listen up, huh? Though tacit looks that are bought-off and paid for before they’re ever acknowledged don’t really need to be given then, right? Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge. It’s all a periwinkle’s gambit in the swirl of life’s ugly tide pool. I don’t shed remarks for want of new layers of wit’s armor. Shit, I’m cantankerous even in my sleep, which doesn’t come as often as it should, ever.


Never. Apprehension comes and goes. I get over it and move sideways from it all. An ignoble retreat, at best. In the endurance we found a subtle bonding going on. It was all light over day, all over, and we could summon the worst hindsighters to speak bashfully before unbowed physicians of darker matters. Letting the odd-leg calipers roam freely in the ruins to do their worst as scribes of fucked-up measurements of detachment and delirium. Those brain-dead pukers’ll have to get their shit together enough to at least fake it better, or you’d think, huh?

What if the winter wind blows it all away?

We reach out and in at once. We stay stable and run away. There’s everything else to not say, and so it don’t go — for us, them — it just won’t. The terrible weeks coincide with the weather’s best stuff. And still there’s too much and not enough to ever get. The knots are all tied. The ships are missing their sails. I’m pooped and dingy, and I’m shit-or-get-off-the-pot about all of it. So, shit, well, I’m hogtied to my worst interests; and, well shit, that’s a pout that’s blousy with too much telling. Oh, and, also, of course, not enough. This weather’s for the cats.

Would higher stakes help?


Are there chances that for you seem duress-bound?

It’s a fucking 3rd or 4th helping, if that’s what you’re going for. Me? Hell, I’m not holy enough to be even allowed at the table. And I’m the one left mumbling, “It’ll do. It’ll do. It’ll have to fucking do.” Get the electrocuting cords of conduct the harrumph on out of here; I’m through.

If we can’t make it unmake itself, are we lesser chumps?

Of course. And, of course not too. It’s weird that we don’t make more errors in the time we have. Or is it that we’ve just gotten too used to overlooking them that we’re now ill-prepared to make sense of it? Well, shit. I’m not the one asking these things. I’m just not. But get that shit out of here. I need peace in my life, even just a little sliver of it, to remind me of why I’m here at all. I’m not overly concerned with the opinions of others about the discreet way I follow through on running my life’s of-courses.

Would you agree that there is no “to be” to be?

If the workers stay less busy, and with remorse catch butterflies without their thoughts, sure. Maybe they’d join the clerisy or something, and go off claiming to be the descendants of a mass extinction’s few hardy survivors. I don’t know. It’s basically an audacious stroll down Machine Gun Lane, and who’s measuring the wait? “It will come to pass,” and all that phooey buttered bologna. Don’t go around begetting too much ephemera. We’ll all get duct-taped to the whims of punchy customers and shoot for the most desperate of predetermined decision-making. Wait. Start. Lose it. I arrive later than early without a purpose. And that’ll stick. Believe me. It’s juice day in banana town, and I’m making ice-cream soup for dinner. Plant the seed so it will never thrive. These conditions are measly and shortsighted. I hear the unproductive rubes are hard at work practicing polyphasic sleep. I toss; you turn. That really doesn’t do, does it? God. I guess something is left still to disappear. Well, bubbly water for all.

Enchantment’s density is hardly measured, right?


Do you get bored with all the excitement of rule abiding?

That’d be test-kitchen awful, wouldn’t it? I bet there are at least some who call without warning on the not-so-basic necessities of prep time and neophytic knowledge of what’s never lower-level sense. We’re all seeing visions of the Holy Ghost at some point. It all gets rubbed down and patented and loosely lipped to the braver sort. Me? I’m not totally with or without it. I make it all expand and contract in a blink. I short circuit the fucker and take the rest down with me. It keeps things a bit flat and unnatural, but, as we’re all so fond of saying, it’ll do.

When will mends turn to baleful gestures of recognition?

When I start oiling the motors of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck. Sorry. I’m not pulling it together here. I’m lopsided with vertiginous extrapolations on carrying always-worsening moods of try up steep hills of carelessness. Wonder eludes me. I am forever chasing those motherfucking butterflies all over my gut. Sure, it’s a type of gazing inward, but only a surface-clean crack at it. My dreams consist primarily of the sound wind makes.

And so we’ll all start the fleeing process, is that it?

Nope. We’re gunned down already with what’ll turn sour now in our guts instead of blending to a savory stray bit of fortune. Take me, for instance, please. Take me. I’m down for the count anyway. Made of gripes and never-ready gorging, I descend awkwardly from leveler amiability. You see, my paintbrush ain’t quite as clean as the next guy’s. My tongue is weak with the uranium of overuse. My whole jaw aches with it. And the mildness of the whole thing gets me, it really does, and it gets me in all the wrong places: sidereal and polished and made-to-order. But not to worry; I am calm. I am in tune. There ain’t a thing I’ve got going for or against me. Let’s just hide out in the husked wonder of our grade-F days, here, and — in the confetti of windblown petals — make lunch meat out of whatever comes our way. Fall. Go ahead. Nothing will keep you from it. Nobody, nobody lives the magic long. It’ll all catch up to what’s left of you eventually, and as it rears the banked fury of its shaggy murderous visage to take a swift chop, you might spend a week or two ducking into dingy dark bars for cover. Nod at strangers in strange pleated overcoats while the daylight spends its charm on landlords and other worthless scum. Raise your glass to another slashed-through box on the calendar. There’s really nothing else left to do.

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