No Wrong Answers

When I apply for a job, there is a sweet, round woman that leads me into a room with banks of computers.

They use the Sphynx Riddling program to test the content of the job applicant’s soul. The wires are connected to my mouth, eyes, and ears.

The Sphinx eliminates the multiple choice test and instead extracts the answers directly from the mind.

The nice woman says, “Don’t be nervous, there are no wrong answers,” and kisses the top of my head before bringing in another applicant.

A cat appears on the screen.

Question:

Do your friends ask you to help them plan parties?

I am a caramel sauce diver in the children’s summer birthday cake

I reek of vanilla whipped frosting

There are five children running through the translucent sunlit grass

They are all born on the same day

They are all born perfect

Do you believe that people are generally honest?

On raining nights I see them

Cracks in the asphalt ground under

Velvet black shadows in the narrow alley

Electricity sputtering in and out

Of interrogation streetlamps creating

Tendrils reaching for the consumption

of this questionable illumination

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This bitch is primordial-elemental

Not one or many

But immeasurable

Metaphysical force that changes structure based on need

According to pleasure

Dictated by will

When will becomes the apex of force

A god

Unquantified

How would you confront a coworker who was behaving inappropriately?

I seek the supremacist preacher

From his dawn pulpit

To avenge his victims

Evil comfort flows from his oral cavity

Into the plastic crowns of Walmart masses

His beloved audience

I will destroy their paragon

In an act so lewd and carnal

Murder becomes comedy

Laughter is born of fear

On the computer screen the cat smiles at me and tells me I am finished. The wires disconnect and retract into the plastic housing. The nice woman returns and pats my arm.

“You failed the test,” she says.

“You told me there were no wrong answers,” I say.

“We needed you to be honest,” she answers without irony. “You can try again in a few months.”

I take her by the hair and pull her soft round face to mine, my breath hot and wet on her ear.

I have a disability you must accommodate. I was born in a womb of impotent rage. I have a failure of reality.”

I wrap my leg around hers and buckle her knee. We fall to the floor together. I bite her ear before continuing,

The doctor’s will attest. I have the worst case of poetics they have ever seen. Every deficit in my ego, in the social order, in the proclamation of truth, creates shards of glass in my frontal lobe. They disturb impulse and order. Still, I must eat and live and pay. I must also take out these dirty shards from the wormy folds of my brain tissue and cut you, cut myself, open the corporate master until we all bleed words.

I lick the tear from her cheeks. The salt helps me feel empathy

 

“Take me on as your servant,” I hiss. “Teach me to lie and we will refresh ourselves with cold, liquid fear. Together we can find the currency that will allow us to enter the underworld.”

There is no answer, only the hum and click of machines.

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