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Date: April 22, 1999

A story with every other sentence sneakily containing a dictionary-lifted definition, with the sentences in between containing the word defined (sneakily)


Nothing more can be hoped for. That is evident. Clear to the vision or understanding. Ewing's sarcoma keeps him in bed all the time these days. A tumor that invades the shaft of a long bone is rarely merciful. Providing relief: a steady stream of cocktails. Either an iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients, or a solution of agents taken or used together, especially for medical treatment. He reclines. To lean backwards eases his discomfort. Mental or physical uneasiness plague him, one after the other, and sometimes both at once, the one as well as the other. Ewing grips the edge of his bed.

As happens often since the diagnosis, a dream overtakes him without warning. A visionary creation of the imagination; the decision reached by a diagnosis serving as an alarm, signal, summons, or admonition. We don't know what the dream consists of.


The Kibosh

"This tub is missing something that serves as a stop", observed Lulu. But this would not put the kibosh on her evening soak; nothing interferes with Lulu's ablutions. She disrobed and smoothed the bathmat with care as if performing the ceremonial blessing pronounced over wine or bread on a holy day. She lit a candle, said a brief kiddush over the decanter of Eeyore bubblebath, then remembered the lack of a proper stopper.

Never indecisive, she grabbed the first thing she found. Lulu chewed her stick of grape Namby Pamby, stuffed a wad of it in the plug, then set to the work of Lulu lounging. The steam formed a large sumptuous tent; her ruminations, a pavilion. When the act felt complete in detail, number, and duration, she turned the nobs with her toes. The tub was full. The gum plug was mulish, unreasonably, perversely unyielding. Stubborn Lulu was at a loss, until, at once, it hit her.

"Free-swimming aquatic animals essentially independent of wave and current action don't leave the water, the grape stuff isn't leaving, nor shall I, " she proclaimed. "I shall be a nekton and remain here in the tub." Having no worries or troubles so long as she steeped in the bubbly marinade, the aquatic life would suit her. Carefree Lulu gazed at the Eeyore dispenser and thought it an apt summation of life outside the water. "Here, in my bath colony, sorrows will be reduced by eliminating superfluous matters." Then she shuddered as she eyed the mounting evidence, "That which makes me happy, also makes me a prune."

Pronunciation For Dreams

In the dream we're both wearing those funny
bathing costumes worn by men in the 1920s.

As in two different pronunciations
of the word hurry. Two sounds as in grasshopper.

The prim ones with the horizontally striped bellies.

Lily, pool red, car, rarity pull, wood, book, curable.
As in vision, azure. Humdrum, abut.

Like what is worn by the strongman in the circus.

Immediately proceeding and sometimes open.
Murmur, dim, nymph. As in shy, mission, machine, special.

Both of us shy in different striped bodies, sectioned
with color. Navy. White. Shivering out of water.

As in thin, ether. We, away. In some words having final.
No, own, ache. Indicates that many regard
as unacceptable the variation immediately following.

Like soldiers of rank or jailbirds. A pair of =.
Two in dream garb, the tide, an unarticulated horizon. Vivid, give.