Saturday, January 22, 2011


Bad Day
By Tony Rauch

It’s been a bad day. Nothing has gone right at all. It even takes forever to get back home. I stand on my front stoop and exhale. Finally. Finally I’m home. It’s finally over.

I open the door, step inside and sigh. Instantly I notice the old sewing machine in the corner of the living room looming before me, casting lacy, ominous, skeletal, wrought iron shadows over everything. It is huge - three times what it has always been - three times what it was when I left in the morning. It imposes itself contemptuously, towering like a great spider, a specter, a warning - heaving large, web-like shadows, draping long dark jagged lines across the house.

“What . . . What happened?” I stutter, exasperated.

“Oh, that,” my husband Larry walks out of the kitchen. “Yeah, that’s been going on all day,” he shrugs.

(It’s been gloomy and sprinkling all day - not a big deal since we need the rain and I’ve been so hectically busy at work anyway - but now it’s really coming down, just pouring waterfalls, sheets of water slamming down. You can’t see three inches out the window. It’s as if we’re living under some strange, ominous, glowing green water).

Larry sets a plate on the table and looks up at the window, out to where I’m looking. I haven’t moved an inch since I stepped inside, for I’m frozen still by the looming sewing machine. “Yep,” Larry rubs his palms together and turns. “Looks like it might rain.” He walks back to the kitchen, only to return with another plate a second later.

“Oh, the sewing machine. You noticed?“ my daughter, Camille, calls from her room down the hall. “Yeah, that’s nothing - you should see my hair brush.”

“Or the toilet,” Larry sets a plate on the table next to the others, then turns, raises his arms, and waves his hands from side to side as he steps back into the kitchen, shaking his head. “Oh, golly, check out the toilet. . . Check out the toilet.”

I look down the hall, to the bathroom, only to find a giant shoe blocking the way.

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Tony Rauch has three books of funky/jazzy/arty short stories out, "I'm right here," from Spout Press, and "Laredo," and “Eyeballs growing all over me . . again” from Eraserhead Press (some dark and gothic, some kinda sci-fi, some absurdist, some experimental, some fairytale, some fantasy-ish, some dream-like and surreal, some whimsical, some social satire).


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