Displaced angels in every doorway, unmatched citizens daring darkness to strike. This has nothing to do with dreams of flying. This comes from sleeping with my ear to the torn upholstery. My significant bother, Lady Ga-Ga-Gail, is an unemployed manicurist and we share her backseat. By default we've joined the Occupy Cars Movement.
»Use' ta be the fa-fa-fambly was fust,« Lady Ga-Ga-Gail stutters. »It ain't so n-n-now.«
People losing their foothold on the American high board. First comes the pink slip, and then that awful fiscal belly flop that leaves behind so much red, so much blue... Homeless citizens living in the shadows of peopleless vacation homes. The long sought, revolutionary formula for keeping lawns manicured and pool grates sparkling? I don't believe so!
But what do I know? Our battery's half-juiced, the TV on, and superhero Obama sits on the steps of the White House, black polo shirt, white cargo shorts, making his pitch to the assembled press corps: »We’re talking about two tsunamis here. Some of you were with me last week when we visited Newark Liberty International Airport. Now it’s one thing for birds to adapt to global warming, but it's quite another for them to threaten our air corridors. Birds, no longer migratory, readying strikes from alongside our runways. We have to help them find a viable survival route home. Now what I propose we do is embrace this challenge and see that all southbound international business sections are occupied by birds.«
From Hillary Miesdorf, front row center, still in a wheelchair following her stroke: »Mr. President, are you saying we should put birds in airplanes and fly them south?«
»Yes, Hillary, those were quite nearly my exact words.« [Appreciative laughter from the corps who love the improvement in Hillary’s voice.] »Now what I'm asking you to do is join me, join me and my wife, Michelle, and our daughters, Malia and Sasha, in registering what's going on here. We formerly thought of birds as following tight schedules involving great routes of migration. That's no longer the case and it didn't transform overnight. Global warming is at work here, climate change, as most experts, many of whom are professors at our finest universities, largely agree. This is our chance to remedy this creeping malfeasance. Look. We'll be doing something highly reasonable for our birds at the same time we’ll be achieving something extremely desirable for our very important air infrastructure. Plus we'll be creating vital job opportunities for those now living in cars.«
From Hillary Miesdorf, scribbling furiously to catch up: »Mr. President? Did you say jobs for people now living in cars?«
»As bird chaperones. Lets say one bird, three chaperones. I can see it so clearly before me. Time for take off. We'll be there waving, me and my wife and my daughters... Hillary here directing a marching band playing In a Gadda Da Vida. [Appreciative laughter.] Birds in business, chaperones in coach. All flying south with no return ticket. It's win-win-win-lose. Think of it. Good for the birds. Good for our airports. And good for our Bureau of Labor statistics.«
Hillary Miesdorf stops writing. »Mr. President? Did I hear you correctly? Did you say lose?«
»Listen. Hillary. Look. You want your morning headline? President says: Win-Win-Win-Lose. That’s just the way things are, the rules of the game. Always has been, always will be, bottom line, end of story. My family knows this, my wife, Michelle, and our two daughters, Malia and Sasha. They know this.«
* * *
The birds in business making more net racket than a Hitchcock climax. In back, my top right my infected molar pounds. Plus the bird chaperone in front of me pissed his seat. I felt the warm wettness on my bare foot and wished I hadn't kicked off my shoes and socks first thing.
»The fa-fa-fa-fambly hadda get acrost,« Lady Ga-Ga-Ga-Gail says, her stutter – since that mad moment the Feds swept in with blankets and dislodged us like bol weevils from her broad Mercury's backseat – even more pronounced.
»Now there, there, there,« I say. »Don't go biting your pretty nails over that.« I whisper in her ear what happened to my foot.
»You're f-f-f-f*%king k-k-k-kidding!«
I shake my head that I am not.
»Tell the f-f-f-f*%king steward.«
I whisper that the damage is already done. That telling the steward would be like using a penny in the fuse box on the circuit overloaded with the iron and the vacuum cleaner and the toaster and the dishwasher and all the outdoors Christmas ornaments.
»Well we're not f-f-f-f*%king switching seats halfways. When we f-f-f-f*%king land in f-f-f-f*%king Venezuela, the window seat's still f-f-f-f*%king mine.«
I look around. So many faces grimed like we've been assigned a bridge to blow in some gung-ho midnight commando maneuver. Out the window, on the rosy tar-mac, a squad of eleven-year-olds use the velocity of their heads to shatter tall sets of commemorative shuttle tiles. Captain Obama and his family wave from the tribunal behind the plexiglass girding the runway apron. A marching band powered by thumping majorettes adds white noise – or at least that's all I'm getting, what with all the bird racket, the revving jet turbines tickling my feet, plus Lady Ga-Ga-Ga-Gail's overhead 73F air gasper reminding me of how much I'd love to hear the slight whistle of a dental hygienist's nose as she applies the preparatory for my coming Novocaine.
Eldon (Craig) Reishus entertains a growing, less intimate circle under the Alps outside Munich Landkreis (Bad Tölz – Wolfratshausen). This year he has work published or forthcoming in Word Riot, Black Heart Magazine, Embodied Effigies, Whitewash Dreams Magazine, B O D Y (2 pieces), Subtopian, Misfits’ Miscellany (3 pieces), Knee-Jerk Magazine, The Write Room, and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. He is an all-around print and web media pro, and the German-English translator of numerous films and book. He originates from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Visit him at: www.reishus.de