french prince of bel air

Instructions: Put the headphones on. No, they’re not plugged into anything but this old dark corner of a barn. Let a spider crawl through the wire and into your ear. The music is the sound of her eggs hatching in your auditory canal, and you’ll need to listen carefully to it, so you can mimic it perfectly on the piano at the bookcase in the mansion that will open to reveal a secret passageway to a subterranean second mansion. That’s your home now. Sure, it’s got enough rooms for you to host a party and keep your work friends and school friends from ever meeting each other and inevitably exchanging stories about your substandard table manners, but every bathroom has the toilet paper unrolling from the back and a lock on there that prevents you from ever fixing it and every toaster in its many kitchens has a fucked up light/dark setting on the toaster that keeps you from making decent toast, even when you’re certain that you marked the perfect spot on the dial with a Sharpie. Use your wits to master the art of making toast in a frying pan, because you’ll need your strength for your day’s work of transcribing in longhand your interview with a septuagenarian parrot that has outlived multiple owners. Spend the next month holed up with the Remington Standard typewriter in your chamber and emerge with your masterpiece, then mail the manuscript to all five sets of brothers you know named Kevin and Kyle. Endure their withering criticism over your failure to adequately explain the parrot’s controversial failure to testify at the murder trial of Colombian drug kingpin Juancito “Pan Dulce” Montoya, who acquired the blue Hyacinth macaw in 1987 in a card game and owned him until 1990, when he was shot at his Miami villa by DEA agents after a lengthy standoff. Run, the wind chafing your hot tear-stained cheeks, around the perimeter of the property, clutching your unfavorable reviews and seeking a spot to bury them where no one can see them. Settle on an area behind the hedge surrounding the western servant’s quarters and burrow with your hands under its sun-dappled leaves, until the black earth under your fingernails makes them ache. Collapse from exhaustion and listen to the sound of your breathing slowly diminish from frantic gasps to a sound too quiet for human ears, until you’re lying perfectly still. Feel the cool moist soil against your face and think to yourself what a perfect spot this would be to just silently decompose. Got it? Congratulations, you’ve just completed step one.


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January 2012
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