Saturday, January 25, 2014

Story #37

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the thirty-seventh in a series of fifty-two weekly very short stories I am publishing on this site, and thank you for reading.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Sharpe

Story #37

“Have you ever met her before?” Eldon said to Margie as they stood in line for the guru. “I guess you could say that,” Margie replied. “What do you mean?” “Well it would be like saying I’d met a cloud, or a star.” “Can you describe the meeting?” Margie paused and felt the cool, dry air of the convention center rushing into her nostrils. She had been dating Eldon for a month. He was a neurosurgeon, a man of science. She liked him a lot and was afraid he would be skeptical about this important part of her life. “It’s hard to describe,” she said. “Maybe after we both meet her today we can discuss our experiences. Do you think you can have an open mind and heart about this?” “I’m here, aren’t I?” Eldon said in annoyance. They had waited for two hours and there were still fifty people ahead of them in line. Eldon’s lower back hurt and he had to pee. “Men’s room,” he said, and wandered off. Margie felt a thick, tight band around her head. Under the bright fluorescent lights, Eldon moved past folding tables on which mountebank remedies were being sold by skinny bearded men in white gauzy shirts and women with bright daubs of yellow paint on their foreheads, an enviable calm in their eyes. In the men’s room he urinated, washed his hands, and leaned heavily on the sink to rest his lower back. There were two small, brown, sandaled feet under the door of one of the toilet stalls. A high, clear feminine voice sang from behind the door: “Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar, and be better off than you are, or would you rather be a pig?” Eldon found himself floating in the darkness of space in his khaki pants and white polo shirt. When the paramedics arrived, there was nothing they could do but wait. Margie came into the men’s room and saw him curled in a ball on the floor, grunting in pain. He looked up at her and said, “These back spasms last about an hour, then I have to take it easy for a few days. Do you think you could love a man with back spasms?” Tears were streaming down Margie’s face. “Yes,” she said, “and how did your meeting with the guru go?” “Oh,” he said, “it was kind of like brain surgery.”


  1. Read while on a line of sundance waiting movie lovers...waiting for a different kind of transcendent experience. I chortle at the confluence if spasm song tile bathroom and pig...I can hear the thud..I laugh they on libe look at me..I think I get thus great story about faith imperfection humility and what if...I want to talk about the meaning of the guru in the mens room at ekdons exact moment of disbelief frustration lumbar lower angst..and the best I can do is comment to matthew sharpes ether readers.

    1. The guru in the men's room. What an image. But why brain surgery? Mountebank indeed; now there's a word you don't hear on the subway that often. What is with the uselessness of the paramedics? At least our man had the grace to go with a white top.

    2. From the paramedics' handbook: "If patient experiences brain-surgerylike confluence of spasm song tile bathroom and pig, stabilize your own arms legs head neck and thoughts."