Thursday, November 13, 2008

Johnathan Mulch

There is a stuffed bullhorn in the foyer. Please recycle it with the tuna cans you made such a mess of this morning. And make sure to eat some paper. Your lips look dry as can be.

Each morning his mother would mutter this same admonition as he left the apartment. He never knew exactly how to respond to her. Sometimes he would nod, other times he might give a slight bow, but usually he would just shake his head and walk silently out of the apartment.

He had never met his father. Someone once told him – an uncle of his – that his father had been a tramp. He hadn’t known what a tramp was, and so he had asked his grandmother. Her response: “Your father.” In the end, he had had to look up the meaning on his own.

Johnathan Mulch was a small man. He ate whatever was given to him, but he preferred celery to any other sort of food. On his birthday he would swear loudly that he’d never age again, but each year a new birthday seemed to come. J. Mulch found this endlessly distressing, as he did so many things. For instance, Mulch worried endlessly about being a character in a story. And thus, for his sake, this brief story will presently conclude.

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