06 February 2012

A Pledge

Cretins, all of you!”

Turned off your internal dialogue editor again, you ear-wax taster?”

Elesandro and Mugga would have this discussion at least quarterly, and it always ended with one of them falling fast asleep. Mugga was prone to fits of narcolepsy, and Elesandro to fits of necrophilia. You might be able to decide for yourself which one fell asleep, I would suppose, and you might figure out which one made his way out to the city morgue for unspeakable actions. However, I want to get this straight – Elesandro would do nothing more untoward to a corpse than place his long, slender tongue within its ear canal. He maintained that the ear wax of the dead was the most heavenly lipid that one might ever enjoy, and so he made it his regular pattern to seek out this ghoulish treat.

You most likely think that I am making this up.

Anyhow, Elesandro would make his way silently to the city morgue and wait patiently for the lights to dim at the close of the business day. He would then watch as the last morgue employee carried his now-empty Laverne and Shirley lunch box home with him. Into the morgue would Elesandro creep, letting himself in with a key he had fashioned from a piece of aluminum siding.

The wax tasting would begin.

It was a dreadful display, to be sure – the narrow, pink, glistening tongue sliding in and out of the ear canals of the poor cast-off husks of so many unfortunate souls, and the accompanying groans of pleasure emanating from Elesandro's mouth and nose. Elesandro was careful to clean up after he was through, and to replace excessively large portions of ear wax he had removed with bits of mortuary spackle or some such substance. Never did the mortuary administrators suspect any foul play, and it was not until a fateful evening in early June-month that Elesandro's ghoulish tastes caught up with him.

Just as he was retracting his serpentine tongue from the ear canal of a forty-something-year-old bus driver who had tumbled headlong down an embankment, he felt two eyes upon him. He turned his head to see a young child, dressed in the uniform of a Prussian infantryman of the Great War, complete with pickelhaube. The bayonet on her rifle still had abdominal fluids dripping from its tip.

The two of them stared at each other for a long while, and neither of them spoke. Finally it was the young girl who broke the silence.

I think we both know why the other is here,” she said.

Yup,” agreed Elesandro, wiping his chin.

I think this could be a pretty unpleasant revelation for either of us.”


Mister, might you be favorably disposed toward an agreement of sorts?”

Elesandro nodded his head.

Well, then,” said the little girl, “I think we both had best keep this to ourselves, and not return. We should pledge to give up our horrific pastimes. Don't you agree?”

Elesandro nodded again in agreement, and the two of them turned separate ways to leave, knowing that such an agreement was probably best.

They had each taken but a couple of steps when they turned toward each other again. The little girl smiled.

Elesandro smiled back.

Or perhaps,” she said, “we could realize that two sets of eyes make a better look out than one.”

The two smiled at each other and returned to what they were doing, the unspoken agreement bringing a new warmth to the chill of the morgue.

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