STARTING THEM YOUNG
734 words by Stanley Lieber
Tomorrow is a holiday, but today is not. My parents are both at work, and I'm stuck here at the babysitter's house, sitting out the two or three or four hours that I'll be trapped in this room, lying on my pallet, dreaming without sleep about every possible other thing I could be doing with my time. I don't know why she locks me in here.
Granny is not really my grandmother. But that does not keep her from closing me up into the spare bedroom after lunch, leaving me there until shortly before my parents arrive to take me home. What am I meant to be doing, during all of this time? Granny has not been forthcoming on the subject.
Today's focus is a new assortment of military adventure toys. Specifically, the pre-visualization of a flying machine whose swept wings must be made to contract upon the release of a certain switch -- I presume to be located somewhere along the aircraft's aft fuselage. I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out precisely how the wing mechanism will work. Something to do with strings or wires of some sort, all obfuscated from the child/operator. The picture is as yet fuzzy...
Also up for review is a full-size, realistic combat uniform, infused with what I will for marketing purposes refer to as "the scent of battle." These two ideas should tide me over until the big door unlocks, clicks open at around four o'clock. If I concentrate upon this pair of images intently enough, conceive of them in great enough detail, covering every possible feature, I am convinced -- no, I am certain -- that they will have materialized in my bedroom closet by the time I get home. It is not clear why I choose to believe in this notion, but I confess that I do. I suppose such activity amuses me. Consider my age.
First then, the aircraft.
"Dad is insatiable screwing his daughter," a voice states, aloud, sounding quite desperate to be heard. It is only mildly distracting as I am quite used to this sort of thing by now. I shrug vaguely without losing my train of thought. Laughable, really, these attempts at derailing my creative process.
"Japanese teen showing her hairy pussy," the voice continues. I have no trouble ignoring the outburst, and so carry on with my daydreaming as if no auditory phenomena were taking place. All is calm.
"Homeless guy wearing a brand new 8-ball jacket."
That, I'm sorry to admit, tears it. I have finally had enough. I straighten myself and reply:
"Little cutie screams as she gets drilled on her new boss' desk. Okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? May I proceed now?"
I have prepared myself for a dramatic pause, but the voices promptly dissolve into a perfect silence. Indeed, one could almost be lulled into sleep in this quiet. Would that all of my projects could be undertaken in such sublime stillness. I'm quite certain that the balance of my output would yield a sharp increase in quality.
"Now," I think to myself, "Let's get back to work."
Before long, the voices are at it again.
"Innocent Gays getting modernistic IT anally."
This time, I don't even dignify the disruption with a response. Why do they bother? I'm simply not interested.
And yet, I have to admit that the voices have once again succeeded in distracting my attention. Remarkable, these recent advances in advert technology.
Granny knocks gently as she enters, clutching a packet of my medications. She casts a knowing look as she unscrews the bottles, sorting the myriad variety of colored pellets into the concave depressions of her tray. Her eyes caress me with warm approval as I accept the arrangement of doses and commence popping pills.
"You were diddling yourself in here again, weren't you, Plinth."
"No," I say. "You're hearing things, old woman."
I think she is smiling at me but it's difficult to tell because she is so old that her face appears quite wrinkled even when she is asleep, or watching her programs on telescreen. Is that a smile, or is it merely the untreated cracking of leather?
I assume she was joking, that she didn't actually see me with my hands in my pants.
There. Now I am certain she is smiling. This is preposterous. As if I needed more variables to consider.
I am tired. Much too tired to continue.
Where are my parents?
That's all for today, Diary.
To be continued...