Essay

Plugs and Sockets [Flash Fiction]

A story like any story and unlike every story, only like itself as are human-beings like every other human-being and yet unique in the whole of human history, itself the story of humanity, whether it is told or untold because stories are—they do exist; and they do exist independent of the telling. They remain there to be told one day or maybe they have already been told and have been forgotten. In the matter of story, existence does not precede essence; the essence of a story is true and withstanding independent of anyone telling or having told it. It is there to be told the way statues were present in the marble blocks Micheangelo acquired; trapped in stone waiting to be freed, chipping away the extraneous pieces, he did, when he sculpted.

“I am sitting at my kitchen table in a dream I imagined I dreamed of Frank O’Hara reciting his Lunch Poems over coffee with buttered flax-seed bread for breakfast,” he narrates in the first person.

He continues his first-person narration with “The tulips there on the table are the tulips that have recovered from our trip to the Cape. They were out of water for the duration of our ride by train; I had covered the bottoms of the stems with soaked tissue paper that I re-soaked on the train. I had wrapped the tissue paper in a plastic bag.”

“Today we will walk uptown from Rock Center to Grand Army Plaza Manhattan to the Apple store under the cube and seek some help because her IPod ear-plugs do not seem to work. We will have no idea what is wrong with them until we see someone,” the writer writes him saying in narration.

“Someone will tell us that we just did not inject the male portion of the plug-in adapter deep enough, being too gentle in our insertion into the female port; but it will have seemed to us that we had inserted it deeply enough, it feeling firmly placed as it did to both of us; but we should have known better because during intercourse there are always angles and positions that allow deeper penetration irrespective of how one position or another may allow for the feeling of firm insertion,” the author has him say.

“There are positions and angles of approach whereby the penis can feel the entrance of the cervix. We were just afraid of pushing the plug in too deeply and perhaps breaking the IPod. No such worries for vaginas, I imagine,” he narrates, “seeing as babies come out of there; deeper is sometimes better,” he says wryly, thinking he is saying something ironic in his first-person narration of a trip he and his girlfriend had taken to the Apple store to get some help with her Ipod earphones that did not seem to work. “Explore the possibilities,” he says, exposing an idea he thinks once more is ironic, adding expository passages to his narration of facts.

Yes, he says “360 degrees of approach, on how many intersecting spheres; there is a whole hemisphere of approach to the vagina; not so for the male plug end of the cord attached to the ear-plugs inserted into the female socket. Only one way.” He finishes his narration of his story with an essayistic passage turing on the irony he has seized between male and female ends of plugs and sockets and penises and vaginas. He imagines that he has conveyed something humorous and ironic in the mundane.

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