Timothy Gager

2011/12/14 Comments Off on Timothy Gager

On the theme of Childhood

Aspirations

The cashier looked at Elmo kind of funny when he ordered the Triple Stacker, through his missing teeth, calling the sandwich “The Triple Meater”.

“I’m not stupid,” he said to her. “Make sure I get the collector’s cup.”Elmo wondered if anyone besides him ever saved the plastic cups from fast food restaurants. He wiped his mouth on his flannel sleeve after gumming a bite off his BK Stacker; wrestling a hunk of sandwich from the bun into his mouth.

Usually it was just the crappy kids meal, with worthless plastic doohickey toys found inside, that offered bonuses. If only these places did something that catered to adult tastes, say like a “Jaws” themed adult meal featuring Quint and Brody…”you’re going to need a bigger sandwich”.

Hilary Swank wasn’t on his cup either. Elmo had a thing for women like her. He was obsessed with the movie “Boys Don’t Cry”, but later, didn’t understand how she grew from that boy to tittering into a fine looking actress. Being chopper less, he adored her big teeth. The last woman he paid for had a big grill and a big truck, taking all the money he had. “Well, there’s always next month’s check,” he thought, coughing an onion ring away from his lungs, before swallowing it down.

As a kid, if he’d had ideas to save those themed glasses; like the ones he remembered owning–Bugs Bunny, Star Wars, Camp Snoopy, Grimace, shit he had so many, he’d be able to sell them now and be all set with cash for days.

“The meals here are not as cheap as they used to be,” he reflected, as he bit down hard, but the wait was shorter the food hotter, when his number came up fast.

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Action Figures

The boy never pulled heads or arms off his writers but his sister pulled out all of Barbie’s hair because she was prettier than her. She said she never liked how fake the hair felt and how she looked like death.

He left his Salinger doll in his sock drawer, because the box told him to “place in a cool dark place”. The pull-string Bukowski doll , complete with factory manufactured pockmarks would burp or say such things as, “I made a beer fart”. All the male writer’s pants were brown or black and ridiculous and resembled chaps. They hung like two dead balloons needing to be blown. Shakespeare was the only other doll that spoke but he  refused to speak to Bukowski. When the boy pulled his string—he didn’t understand the emitted words.

The New York dolls Saul Bellow, Isaac Rosenfeld, Thomas Wolfe and Norman Mailer would have nothing to do with the rest of the collection so they all sat alone. His favorite Kurt Vonnegut had twisty hair made of miniature pipe cleaners, tempting but too perfect for even his balding sister to destroy.

On a sunny day, while his sister was receiving treatment, the boy had the urge to wrench off every head of every doll. He imagined their pain.

Author Biography

Timothy Gager is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry. He lives on www.timothygager.com

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