Story from Jim Meirose

Sod; What Are You Thinking?                                           




What are you thinking?

Thinking? Now. What am I thinking, now? I am not sure. Why?

You’re sitting there quiet. You must be thinking.


Because, even if we’re not hearing what we’re thinking, we are always thinking.

That’s ridiculous.


Sod began answering with, Okay, it’s—but paused there to shift himself upright in his chair—since he had learned by experience that his habit of slumping down slowly by increments would end with a hot sudden stab of back pain, he’d made a fortress—a mental fortress—of stone, concrete, steel, and many more similar strongs, in self-defense, so long back ago, to pull up periodically—he straightened like that, ‘n, after making ten mental notes (viz old papyrus style) wh’ he hatcheted straight at the doctor, in the form of an answer.

I am not stupid enough, doctor, to have not over the course of my considerable years, formed a way and a passion to periodically sump away through side flushouts an’ mediatations created by my worksquad, which may cause me—umm, hummm, mmmmmm—discomfort, shall I say? Yes, I shall. I shall say that, I’ll say.

The doctor wrote feverishly along as Sod spoke.

Say I’m not stupid enough, doctor, to have not developed a handy hidden lever-style handle to push and flush out my bads s’pous’nal gullet—bad thoughts, the bads of my thoughts, which do pressure out expansively inside me, from time to time mainly, because, I know what your next question will be like 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, oh, and so, Sod; what usually happens to cause you to need to pull the lever and, that’s—eck aha ha ha-s-swat, there you go assuming I am the one pulls the lever, buh, no. I am not the one who pulls the lever, doctor, not the one I doctor pull, doc the do’ lever ‘oc, the do-lever doctor-doc, I am not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Off.


Oh? said the doctor, eyebrows raised—then, who?

I assign a man. From my staff deep within. Within what, you ask? Well, within me of course. Where the hells else’s, eh eh e’, Eva, where the hell else, come dance with me 1, 2, Eva 3, 4, come dance with me 4,3,2,1; I assign a man from the troop riding ‘sides me, to pull whichever of the many levers i’sides me, why would I do it myself? Why then, doctor-oonio? Why would I do so myself that would render me guilty of what may might m’ mm happen. Y’know?


Okay, but—Sod. What if the lever caused something good to happen? Would you take the credit for it, in that case?

Fing-pointer, up!

Many wrongs there, Seelie; embedded in that question. Many, many wrongs. First off, I did not pull it. Can claim no credit, therefore—oooooh. Second—what is credit? Credit to be taken? No, nah yah yah, silly! Credit is just another f’rm of guilty. Praise is just a milder form of—condemnation. Take France, Willies? Look out there; there’s France. The door’s open a crack. And a crack’s enough. Sess’pecially that there crack. Hello! Wide enough for a dog—but bear in mind, not a full pack. Oh no. Oh no. Much too expensive, that. Uh oh o.

Hey Doc. Where the hell were we?

We were about—here—yes here. I asked you what you were thinking.

And—that question is funny? Why are you laughing inside, Doctor?

I am not laughing inside.

Yes, you are, we all always are, and that what you said, that right there—that there you just said—s’ why we are all out of synch with ourselves. So ‘flicted conflicted feeling uneasy seeking out this doc, that pill, this needle, that powder, buck, not to mention all the hot mating gone, out o’ the world in this very bus we’re sitting in here, and now, ah, but no matter. What bus’s not useless without a driver. ‘tonomous or autonomous fleshly big small big-lickety splittereenianne’s spit; you got to let yourself go. We’re all laughing inside. Let it go got to let it go and, then. See it burst out ‘neath the forms all erect, meant to keep it back but, it is not to be held; is about to burst in every single and every married one too heenianiannes even—even in that far lick of an outcountry, the forms will blow their concreational slabberies, ‘nd, the damned incompetent workmen responsible for the failure will bite their lips bloody; just as Dumas’ musketeers would do all the time, when the going got rough, there they were bite bit bitten bitte—look the damned thing up, okay, because, I can tell by your faces—ah—that you do not believe me! Ooosh—so, I let it come just, like you all ought to do and, it slid out over what they wrongly considered their proper ways to be, and—like you doc, you’re afraid to let go; your proper way to be. Say no, I’m not, yes you are, not are no’ ‘re n’ e’ ehhhhh—let it damned go, you’d be better off ‘s me doc. Than you. I mean look at you. Just look at you. So sad, doc, so sad—that thing up the wall back ‘hind you there—that diplicotonious of what have you’s called—says you’re fully trained boy, so, let me see boy, how well you’re trained, let me see boy, let me see; woof, woof boy?

Woof woof?

Uh—eh. Where’s the doctor?

Doctor. Are you still there, doctor?

Now where the hell’d ‘e go this time?

Here boy here boy here boy here—

‘s whistledy-splick.

Jim Meirose’s short fiction has appeared in leading journals. His novels include “Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer”(Optional Books), “Understanding Franklin Thompson”(JEF), “Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection”(Mannequin Haus), “No and Maybe – Maybe and No”(Pski’s Porch), and “Audio Bookies” (LJMcD Communications) coming in 2024. Gen’l info: @jwmeirose