[As August 2008 marks the close of our seventh year of weekly publication, we shall spend this month enjoying "the blast from the past" with selections from Poor Mojo's Almanac(k): Year One. Please, enjoy! —Your Giant Squid, Editor-in-Chief, PMjA]
[originally published in issue #31]
Dear Mr. Giant Squid Sir,
I have a problem. Which, of course, is why I'm writing to you. Duh . . . wow, that sounded really stupid. Sorry, I'm a little nervous. I've never really done this before.
I find myself a bit of loss. You see, as a co-founder of the "I Love The Giant Squid Fan-Club", I've come to study your work at quite length and with immense scrutiny. I study your teachings and words of wisdom all my waking hours.
I have developed a crush on you, Mr. Giant Squid Sir, and I was wondering...
Would you like to go to Prom with me?
Yet another Co-Founder of the "I Love The Giant Squid Fan Club"
Christ, listen, it's Tom.
The Squid's working on this big super-secret project—he shouted at me when I came to load his supper into the tank, really shouted. When he shouts, he's got this amp hooked up to his PA system, and when he shouts you can feel it in your chest, and it makes your eyeballs sorta shimmie and twitch. It's awful, real awful. That was hours ago, too, and he's, like, engrossed with whatever he's up to. He hasn't even bellowed for his supper yet. The dogs—he likes them to be live when we shoot 'em into the tank. He likes to see them writhe and struggle. But the pressure, it gets them quick. At pressure like that, it makes the blood harden in the water, like streamers in a parade, but frozen. Like a picture of a parade, but instead of there being, like, floats or an astronaut or a politician at the heart, there's him. He's horrible. The things we see, they're horrible. The world is full . . . there's things even worse than the worse things that you can imagine, like as though there's always another channel inside the channel you're watching.
Shit, does that make sense? I dunno. I . . .
All I'm saying is that he's busy, he doesn't know I'm doing this.
The dogs are wandering around the lab. They're big mutts—a kinda-mastiff and two kinda-rottweiler-ridgeback-dobermans—but they know their numbers are up. They're so docile, waiting to go into the hatch, waiting for the water to fill the tube, waiting to be launched into the slate kiss of the tank. It's not even like they're dogs anymore, but just . . .
Shit, I'm babbling. The thing is, I know that the Squid . . . I know that he seems, like, all that, right? He's smart and strong and . . . he controls stuff, with his mind, he monitors, like, this super-secret government stuff while writing the column, while dodging bullets, while torturing us, while playing chess, while weaving (he's weaving—he doesn't talk about it in his writing, but he is—this huge, crazy . . . I can't even describe it. It makes my head hurt to look at it—the loom is sorta curved, a little, and the thing he's making, it's like a blanket, but the top comes down and through the middle, so it . . . it's like he's making the loom out of the thing he's making on it, and . . . and it makes my gut turn to watch it. He's weaving it out of the blood of his dinner. He refuses to talk about it, to explain it.)
Sorry. I'm sorry.
And he's charming, the Squid—I know that, better than anyone. He's the kind of smart that's like a cloak, a mantle that he throws over your shoulders, and draws you near, and you're brilliant together. It's wonderful. It's like as though God is making in-jokes with you. It's like being the son of the sun. I know, I know better than anyone else. I know.
So, I totally dig how you feel. But Listen: All that charm is bullshit. He seems like a great guy, like the best guy ever, he seems wise and humane and thoughtful, but in his heart . . . in his heart, those words don't even mean anything. If you were to look into his eyes, his cavernous, dinner-platter eyes, you'd see. For all his smooth talk, his educated talk, his human talk, he's nothing like us, not inside. He's nothing like us at all.
He is a monster.
One of the dogs just licked my hand. Can you believe that? I didn't think—after staring down the eye, I didn't think that they had any bark left in 'em, but this pooch, he licked my hand, just like he was a real dog with a real dog life laid out in front of him, not at all like he was slated to b
the squid just turned on his PA. I gotta go.
[NOTE WELL: Fewer than a single paltry week remains for you to enter our latest $33-and-a-third Meritorious Boon Contest on the topic of "Bad Job, Good Times; Good Job, Bad Times." Delay not! ENTER TODAY!—Sincerely, Your Giant Squid, Editor-in-Chief, PMjA]
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