Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Early Sessions, Part II

In our continuing efforts to bring you the complete prose of uber-matador and jailhouse heartthrob Michael Frissore, today we present two short pieces originally published by a dead and buried journal called Tryptych Quarterly in 2007.

Sin Was Crouching at My Door

I was watching Francesco and Guiseppe count my huge piles of money, when there was a knock at the door. Guiseppe got up to see who it was, looking through the peephole.

"Hey, Boss," he hollered. "It's sin."

"Guiseppe, my boy," I calmly replied. "What this organization does for the money you're counting isn't for you to moralize about. Just answer the door."

"No, Boss," he said. "It's sin crouching at your door."

"Sin?" I said. "Which one?"

"What do you mean, which one?"

"I mean gluttony, lust, wrath. Didn't you see the movie. David Fincher directed it. It's very good." I was growing impatient.

"Look," Guiseppe said. "Who am I, Bishop Fulton Sheen? Sin is crouching at your door. Only this and nothing more. You want I should take him out or call Master Li Mu Bai?"

I had to think. Sin had been crouching at our door off and on since my right-hand man Salvatore had murdered Jade Fox for stealing the Green Destiny from my personal collection, and for killing Panfilo, the former carnival barker and high school guidance counselor who just happened to make the best eggplant parmesan in the city. Once Salvatore got the Green Destiny back, he was murdered by Joel Cairo, the rat who stole the Maltese Falcon from the family months before and sent us a killer whale telling us of Salvatore's demise.

"Hey, Boss," Guiseppe shouted. "Sin is still crouching at your door.
Quoth Guiseppe, nevermore."

"Hey, Boss," Francesco said.

"What?" I said impatiently. "What is it?"

"I want you to hit me as hard as you can."

"Shut up, Francesco," I said. "Guiseppe, let him in."

"Seriously, Boss?"

"Yeah, come on," I said. "Let's get this over with."

Guiseppe opened the door to two men pointing guns at our faces.

"Gentlemen," one of them said. "I'm Detective Mills. This is Detective Somerset. You're under arrest for five counts of stealing from a motion picture. And one count of stealing from a classic poem."

The carted us away, and we were later sentenced to be burned at the stake.



Cup of Warm Love

"May I have a cup of warm love, please?" Mortimer asked Cecil, the man behind the counter, who looked quite displeased about this request.

"Pal," Cecil said, "Why don't you get out of my coffee shop with that kind of talk, huh?"

"Sir," Mortimer replied, "I just want a warm cup of love."

"Look," Cecil said sternly, "I don't take kindly to guys coming in here propositioning me while wearing only Misterjaw boxers. Where'd you get those, by the way? They're quite fetching."

"My mom made them. Listen, I want a cup of warm love and I want it now!
Now! Now! Now!."

Mortimer, a 32-year-old man, was now officially throwing a tantrum, nearly naked, in the middle of a busy coffee shop. Cecil flew over the counter like one of the Duke boys over the hood of the General Lee to calm him down.

"Hey, hey, buddy," Cecil pleaded. "It's just we're all fresh out of love right now. You know how busy it gets on the weekends. You see that woman over there?"

"Yes," a teary-eyed Mortimer replied.

"She got the last warm cup of love."

"She did?"

"Yeah, so maybe if you go across the street to Starbuck's, they'll have some love for you."

Mortimer stood up and dried his eyes, but, instead of walking out as Cecil had hoped he would, he walked towards the woman. Mortimer stared at this woman, as if recognizing her. She seemed familiar to him. He was sure she was an actress or a model.

"Excuse me," he said to her. "Did you purchase the last cup of warm love?"

"Yes," she replied, "and I'm gonna pour it all over your crotch if you don't go away."

This threat excited Mortimer and he sat down next to her.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"None of your frigging business," she replied.

"Wow, how do you fit that on a name tag?"

"I don't work at a place where I have to wear a name tag. I have an education."

"You look familiar," he said. "Are you an actress?"

"I don't know," she said. "Do I seem to be acting like I want you here?"

"Aren't you Katharine Hepburn?"

"Yes," she said with an impatient smile, "and the guy behind the counter is Spencer Tracy; so I'm spoken for."

"I knew it."

"I'm not Katharine Hepburn, you idiot. Put you glasses and some clothes on and go away."

"You're not?" Mortimer said. "Well, then you're Claudette Colbert."

"What are you, ninety?" she said. "I'm just a girl sitting in front of an ass telling him to piss off, all right?"

Mortimer started to cry again before noticing a large group of children entering the store, followed by a man in a bunny suit.

"What's that?" he said.

"Whatever it is," she replied, "go bother it and leave me alone."

"Why are all those kids crowding around my hallucination?"

"Dude, tomorrow's Easter. That's the Easter Bunny."

Mortimer ran towards the children and began pushing them out of the way, shouting "Get away from my hallucination!" until angry parents wrestled him to the ground and the police arrived.

Mortimer spent six months at The Azalea House, a special kind of prison, with his giant rabbit hallucination and a cellmate he thought was Margaret Dumont. While in prison, he studied law and politics, and, when he got out, ran for mayor of Gardonia, a small, fictional town in the Northeast. He won by a landslide, but was arrested for parading in victory, naked, through the center of town. Thus ended the story of Mortimer, King of the Cheez-its.


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