Without Cause

...38 caliber      Bam! This just in: a landlord was shot in a nearby town because rent was due. Visibility is limited by yellow tape. Bipolar defense mechanisms may be to blame. More coming.

Next: inbreeding tribes suffer from syphilis, acid reflux, and disproportionate sleep disorders due to excessive mouth breathing. Tongues lag behind. Rumors remain unconfirmed by facts at the scene, but more coming.

Finally, stayed tuned and wait idly aside for more coming.


The harsh, garbled verbs came in too loud and clear to be blocked by jagged sheets of aluminum. I tried my best to be free but my neck was stiff after being braced and my hands were locked in the bound position. That made it hard to see where I was going. Tragically, I dropped the important bottle I was holding.

“Would someone please turn that noise off?”

“It’s motivating me.”

“To do what?”

“Overcome obstacles.”

“The jokes need a better punch line.”

I continued to be confounded by an itch caused by invisible mites. Indirectly, I swung and missed. How else was I going to be able to perform against superior forces that cannot be seen? Dust danced around me in dialectical poignancy. Could this be a sign of a denouement pending? The murky sky pressed in close like used plastic wrap. Was that unclear sign affect or effect? I continued to stir the pot of mash in which I had injected colorful powders with an unclogged squirt gun. Other bottles were poised on a rickety shelf like sharpshooters. I built that shelf myself. The beer I was going to brew in the space beside my washing machine was going to be experimental. I was going to be surprised.

confusion 2

But there was an element missing from the mix. Was it the march of charging feet? How was I able to quantify so much volume from a pall of white noise? Without cause, I became disoriented. I could be anyone. My cracked nuclear family straddled tense, opposing sides of the San Andreas Fault. Could that be what had hit me? Resistance, earthling, is futile.

I asked the yin twin, “Where’s your brother?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“Then I trust you not to tell me.”

Fortunately, the glass bottle that I dropped had been emptied of nutritious beer foaming with whole grains. Stray, unidentifiable shards caused only minor bleeding when I gently picked them up.  At first, the minor earthquake I felt hardly registered. Only one more minor bottle fell.

“What about dinner? I’m making a kind of stew. Sort of.”

color splatcolor splat

“I’m hungry.”

“What about your brother?”

“He’s always hungry.”

“But he’s not here.”

“Didn’t you just hear him come in?”

samson art

The minor earthquake that had hardly shook me was followed by a squeak preceding a shriek.  An ensuing crescendo of evidence seemed to confirm that the yang twin had indeed arrived. The shriek turned out to be major. The yang twin served reliably as a cause of major events. But, the scant information available was neither necessary nor sufficient. But, it be that way often.


Then, just like that, a new thought hit me flush. I smelled more blood. The initial shriek was followed by a plaintive wail. Naively, I looked up. More major doings developed. And I remarked, “Where did that monkey come from?”

“I found him.”

“Where have you been hanging, the Amazon jungle?”

The monkey proved to be exceptionally adroit with his opposable thumbs. No pause for affect. Good hands and quick feet, too. He picked up a plantain and lammed out of there. Slavishly, the yang twin followed. Decibels arose in rebellion.

“I was going to fry that plantain?”

“With cinnamon and cayenne?”

“Yeah. It was the last one.”

“I’ll miss the juxtaposition of flavors.”

“Me too.”

“You know those lines that start on your forehead where your hair ends and drop straight down to your eye brows?”

“We’re close acquaintances.”

“And then cross those horizontal lines on your forehead that are aimed at your ears to form a grid?”

“Is there going to be a point to this infliction of suffering?”

“I think it’s doing something.”

“Like what?”


“That’s old news.”

It was the third day after the first portion of stew settled down, which I remember clearly, sort of, because it followed a memorable day spent inside the emergency ward of a Santa Cruz County hospital where I learned that there used to be ten pints of blood in an average cadaver, and preceded the day spent in a proceeding at the Municipal Court of Santa Cruz County, where the same government that perfected the slogan don’t ask, don’t tell, lied against me again, that I finished serving the last dregs of the stew from the bottom of the pot.

cauldron 3

The yang twin scarfed his food and was playing with his monkey in a padded closet. It had inexplicably rained earlier in the day and the mud that had been deposited on the floor was drying. The mountain range of high pressure that was causing epic drought remained intact over the Pacific Ocean, however.  My friend and colleague, sort of, the Unpaid Internet Content Provider, stuck a finger into the pot, and then a whole hand. He scraped at the dregs and licked several fingers to the bone.

The yin twin said, “Ick,” before fleeing.


“I don’t know why she doesn’t like me.”

“She’s picky that way.”

The Unpaid Internet Content Provider crammed his big head into a polyvinyl helmet that according to the counterfeit tag printed in Urdu was supposed to be extra large. He had been helping me to improve a derivative project I had designed at the end of a rigorously shallow period of sifting and winnowing to impress my Chinese overlord.

I said, “Why is your neck tilted like that?”

He said, “It is what it is.”

My Chinese overlord was clamoring for a new byte sized gizmo to produce at a marginal profit at one of the many underutilized factories he controlled on the outskirts of Guangzhou. According to verifiable rumors that had been recorded illicitly for me by well positioned robots he had been heard humming in my direction, “What have you done for me lately?”

His flat intonation gave me the heebie-jeebies and the willies.

I said, “We can fiddle with the ratio of elastic to polyvinyl at the factory.”

The Unpaid Internet Content Provider said, “Good old reliable petroleum extracts.”

Though I secondarily lived to serve up stew with multi-hued vegetables, and rarely gruel, I was not entirely unaware that the process of symbiosis could at times become heated by friction. Nor was I unacquainted with the deployment of illicit means, I had been expecting the worst of news to arrive from China at any time, at least since shrunken Dick Cheney emerged unjustly from his anesthesia. Friction as a source may protect as well as serve. I had been attempting to cover all of the bases that exposed my skin.

The Unpaid Internet Content Provider possessed not only a big head but an ideally diminished body that teetered on an amply padded base. His soft, contented ass provided the perfect platform for prolonged periods of sitting.  Not even Elon Musk could find a better demographic specimen to model accessories for lightweight travel to Mars.

I asked, “How do you feel about the feeding tube?”

“It may take some getting used to.”

“But, doable?”

“No doubt.”

“Anything else to mention?”

“This high energy buzz in my ear might be going on for too long.”

“If it doesn’t go away, call me in the morning.”

The late news arriving that night from China, Cuba, and Aruba was skewed. I was concerned with my perspective. I kept on my toes while pacing. The news about Rihanna on the other hand was fair and objective. Her tights were made of a petroleum extract. The fibers meshed in a racy new manner. The daring technology came from Xuan, known for knits.

The next morning, to fill the void I was feeling so deeply, I attempted to reason in a civilized manner with the yang twin. Later, I felt plainly stupid. Like, fucking duh. I explained that his monkey was not going to be satisfied to stay in the closet for long, that monkeys were adventurers.

“Monkeys were the first primates in outer space,” I mentioned.

astro monkey

“I might not be first but I’m going.”

“The point I’m trying to make here is about the monkey.”

“He’s going, too.”



About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
This entry was posted in animals, family, food, humor, parenting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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