Monday, September 5, 2011

137/365 -- Playlist Story -- inspired by "School Boy" by Wynton Marsalis

Mr. Spindle was twelve feet tall and most of his length occurred in his glass-like, diaphanous lower limbs. He seldom spoke and seldom blinked. He tended to wear short shorts and white t-shirts, until he was recruited by the Albuquerque Asterisks intramural basketball team. At that point he wore only his uniform, to play in, to sleep in, to buy groceries in, and to creep in.

"You must change your clothes!" pleaded the team manager, a short man with a profusion of hair jutting out from the collar of his sweater.

Mr. Spindle looked down, and neither nodded or blinked. The team manager felt a shiver run down his back, throw up his hands, and decided to reprimand another player for traveling.

"Please, sir, change your clothes!" asked the grocery store cashier as she rung up his purchase: a single unbagged head of broccoli.

Mr. Spindle looked down, with his mouth slightly open, and cocked his head.

"Can you hear me, sir?" asked the cashier.

Mr. Spindle failed even to blink. Instead he laid out five quarters on the black conveyor belt. The cashier pulled her cardigan tighter about her. Mr. Spindle picked up the broccoli with loose fingers and stalked off.

"Please, man, change your clothes, would you?!" said a prostitute clad in glitter and glow-in-the-dark lipstick as Mr. Spindle watched her solicit Johns in cars from the other side of the street.

"No," said Mr. Spindle in a bellowing, low tone that made the sleeping birds in the vicinity think that an earthquake was imminent (and so they took flight).

"Euugh," said the prostitute under her breath. "This one's free--just give me a ride outta here!" she said to her prospective John in his car.

One day, the other players on the team lured Mr. Spindle out to the parking lot of their gym with an old candy bar they found in the back of an unused locker. Two of the players grabbed his arms and forced him against a wall. The others attached a hose to an outdoor faucet, turned it on, and aimed the spray at Mr. Spindle.

"Nooooo," bellowed Mr. Spindle.

"Yes!" exclaimed his teammates in unison.

"Nooooooooo," wailed Mr. Spindle.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" the teammates chanted.

"Nooo--" and then there was only the sound of the water.

"Stop!" said one of the players holding his arm, because he was just holding the arm. He held it up to show the others. It was dripping wet and dissolving at the elbow. The player shook with revulsion and dropped the remains of the arm. The other teammates turned off the hose. Mr. Spindle's uniform lay soggily on the ground, empty.

"Where is he?" asked the point guard superfluously.

The watched the pool of water drain down to the curb, over the side, and down the road towards a storm drain. It swirled in many iridescent colors.

The players collectively shivered as the final remains of Mr. Spindle evaporated, then they retired back into the gym where they drowned their morbid thoughts in Gatorade.

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