The Secret Life Of Plants

A man sits in an easy chair and talks on the telephone while watching television, on which there is an elderly woman wearing a miniskirt, tube top and go-go boots sandwiched between two gyrating, greasy, and over-developed young men, both wearing nothing but tiny thongs with the words “Italian Stallion” printed on the front: “Mom, you’re on TV.” A windowless, doorless, box-shaped concrete building sits in the middle of a barren desert landscape: “Thanks to the countless psychology books he had read during his senior year of college, Randy understood that his sudden disappearance from the lives of his friends of family was nothing more than the replaying of the trauma of his mother’s kidnapping when he was a child, although nothing in those books could explain why he had suddenly become lost to himself.” Hernan Cortes stands in front of the The Templo Mayor, the great temple of the Aztec Empire, surrounded by a large group of young Aztec women: “Despite his success, Cortes had a sneaking suspicion that in the end, he would die alone, mourned by no one.” An anorexic young man wearing a pair of large headphones sits on a park bench and stares into space while he listens to music at an unholy volume and blood streams out from under the earpieces of his headphones and down the side of his face: “Artie had lived his entire life under the false assumption that being deaf would solve most, if not all, of his perceived behavioral control issues.” Little Enos, wearing his favorite tangerine-hued Nudie Suit, stands in front of Big Enos’ gravesite and urinates on the headstone: “It wasn’t the fact that Big Enos had secretly fathered ten other children without Little Enos’ knowledge that upset Little Enos the most, or that all these children were all boys who looked almost identical to Little Enos, but the fact that in the story of Big Enos’ life he had been relegated to a minor supporting role, when he clearly deserved the status of co-star.”  A little boy hands a bouquet of flowers to a little girl: “There are some actions, no doubt gracious in intent, which are too intense to be reciprocated.” A ballerina dances in front of a raucous crowd and dodges beer bottles: “Shira wasn’t quite sure how she felt about the mainstreaming of what used to be something of an acquired taste, but she was positive that the experience of touring the Panhandle had burnt off the vestiges of her gentle and sensitive soul.” A man wearing a suit and tie sits at a desk and snaps a pencil in two: “After three sleepless weeks and dozens of rejected drafts, Alejandro, who had been told to put his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago on hold while he helped craft a very important speech, wondered if maybe it wouldn’t be more expedient to just have El Presidente, who was a notoriously bad public speaker, assassinated.” A fern puts its stem around another fern: “Don’t take it so personally, Marty. They’re not screaming at us, per se. They’re just mad in general, and we happen to be the only ones in the vicinity. Just let it go in one membrane and out the other.”

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