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Suicide Machines


by Smiley McGrouchpants


“Oh, you can get undressed in front of me . . . yeah . . . yeah . . . I got raped by my father, and my marriage is a failure . . . mm-hm . . . you want to borrow some of his books?  He's my son, after all . . . that's right . . . we lean on the possessive a little too much in this family . . . ”

“I've known people who've tried to kill themself . . . I found out in therapy that my dad molested me before I could talk . . . I'm sorry, but seeing you makes me feel ‘preyed upon,' and I have homicidal and suicidal feelings . . . Don't be jealous of that guy I went to Bennington with, sure all he writes are '90s high-brow stares, but he works really hard, and, besides, he's been inside me, and I'm loyal for life . . . ”

“Joshua had a good time . . . yeah, I lost my virginity in a ménage a trios when I was 14 . . . he liked watching me do it with his wife . . . Grandaddy didn't like it when I changed my name to ‘Leaf,' but Jacquie and me wanted a ‘family' name . . . sure, she didn't work or go to classes the last years we were in college but I was one of 11 people to make Phi Beta Kappa at the intrinsically-difficult-to-go-to Univ. of Chicago so she and I (blows out breath) can afford to have a baby at 22, I mean . . . why make sense? (rolls eyes) That's so ‘conservative.' (giggles)”

“You had to do something back then, so I joined the Coast Guard . . . I was like ‘Ma, I don't want to be a dentist, I want to be a lawyer!' . . . I was like, ‘Ma, I'm not going to live in the house after law school, I'm going to live with my cousin across town' . . . Guissepe could've been such a good ball player! Man, you should've seen him . . . welp, he got his girlfriend pregnant, and it was 1975, so . . . I had to marry your mother — my sister's friend — seven months before you were born, in 1972 . . . so much for his full-ride to Univ. of Arizona scholarship! He drinks 36 beers a day . . . hello? Oh. (blinks) I thought you hung up on me. (laughs to himself — then, as though he was continuing the laughter-spurner:) Hey, did I ever tell you about the time Ronny bought a boat made out of — ”

“I think oral sex is when you talk about sex.  I get picked on all the time . . . I think Jain's pronounced ‘JAIN' . . . I think Latin's pronounced ‘LAD-DIN' . . . I'm a ‘BABY' soul, no longer doing the necessary thing and making human smoke and taking carrion comfort from the heat . . . Fall asleep drunk, wake up still drunk, I guess!  I'm ‘NEUROSIS' incarnate . . . I can't even sit still, or work, or rest . . . I think I'm not going away!  Thanks . . . for not calling me a pest!  I'd hate to be dodged . . . I've got nothing to live for, just an emptiness inside fed by Brill-Cream get and Honda Accord and CB coat trappings . . . ah!  I'll put my feet up and pronounce the note in everyone's name wrong.  It's.  Not.  My.  Fault.”

“Yeah, they do that all the time, wait 'til the woman's in the shower to bust the house . . . Your uncle told you it happened to your second cousin?  It wasn't an accident.  And I didn't get it from Hunter S. Thompson, either . . . Well, you probably noticed it said MCLEAN, VA in the ‘pic book' of incoming students.  MCLEAN HIGH SCHOOL is where the CIA wives teach!  Don't say you weren't warned . . . it says so, right out in the open: ‘MCLEAN, VA' like ‘DULLES CORRIDOR' might as well say ‘FORT BRAGG, MARYLAND' or fucking ‘NORAD, COLORADO' . . . what's a matter, can't you read?  All's fair if you don't, um . . . you know . . . catch it . . . and, um . . . thanks for saving my dad a third of the year tuition!  Sorry you had to give up your single room.  I know I said I knew it wasn't a double, not a suite, but still, you could've checked, and that's your fault, not mine, you'd have to tackle me to get me to own up to it, and don't lay a guilt trip on me, because I got on the phone and laid one on you, lying where there was no point, no reason to doubt me or think I would, 'cause technically, you still didn't have to have other things to think about and fail to see this comi — ”

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