Dead Rooster

A young priest smoking a cigarette crouches down next to a half-awake wino: “While giving comfort and assurance to the destitute can be extremely fulfilling on a spiritual level, one must remember to never touch them on the forearm, as this can trigger an unpleasant reaction in them that can lead to a spiral of aggression ending in the premature disillusionment of the do-gooder.” James Woods, wearing a button down shirt and linen pants, sits on a chaise lounge next to the edge of a swimming pool, while the young girl sitting in the chaise lounge next to him sucks on a lollipop and reads Dr. Seuss’ Go, Dog. Go!: “If a collapsed lung is the price you have to pay for this kind of pleasure then bill me twice.” A full orchestra rehearses inside a rotted-out, vermin infested, condemned theatre: “There were those in the woodwind section who could have sworn they had rehearsed in this theatre once before, but the conductor insisted that was another theatre, years ago, before they even joined the orchestra.” The Mayor of a small Hungarian town wades through ankle-deep mud underneath an ominous rain cloud from which a lightning bolt emanates in his direction: “Speed kills.” Michael Caine sits in an enormous chair inside an exclusive London men’s club and reads a newspaper: “It doesn’t matter who I hire to write my biography or how hands off I am during the process, they always end up sounding exactly like me.” A young woman who is laughing yet has tears running down her face stands and looks out of window on the fog-enshrouded cityscape of her hometown: “These expressions of emotion, however, were transient and her prevailing manner was that of a puzzled child doing her best to meet the demands of adults.” Bazooka Joe looks up at his teacher, who is handing him back one of his assignments: “Her prediction was that the next two years were going to be unlucky ones for him.” A tall white guy wearing glasses shakes hands with another tall white guy wearing glasses: “He was sure he couldn’t bear another round of sustained fellatio, but once it began he found that he didn’t want it to stop, ever.” A combat veteran missing both his legs sits on the floor of a running shower: “It was while washing his hair with baby shampoo that Del thought about the thousands of birds he had seen flying west only minutes before, deduced that their movement meant there was going to be an earthquake sometime in the next hour or so, and decided to tell no one, not even his mother, whose house straddled the nearest fault line.” A bloated and blotchy middle age man wearing a cardigan sits at one end of a long and crowded conference table: “Even though he had been with the company for over a decade and was sitting in on a meeting devoted to his area of expertise, Gentry had no idea who anyone was or what they were talking about. Yet he politely nodded whenever anyone directed their attention his way and laughed at all the jokes involving terms and jargon he was unfamiliar with. They were halfway through the meeting when Gentry started weighing the pros and cons regarding a career change, although he knew in his heart that at his advanced age such a thing was almost impossible.” Natalie Wood, frozen in midair, between the side of the yacht she was just standing on and the cold black sea below: “There’s not a man alive who deserves my love.”

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