Scrotie.biz


I wrote the real "Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" from "South Park." When they didn't own it and no one published it, "South Park" writer Bill Hader felt like he murdered me. 

"The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" from "South Park" was a parody of my real novel, "Bebe's Tale" (I changed the title, not trying to bullshit you in the first sentencebut it is one character, with a silly name.) I'd emailed it to Vernon "Towelie" Chatman. The book that makes you puke, but it's REALLY good. How did I even get their attention? The most ludicrously blasphemous, disgusting thing ever written (that might do it, right?) It's also funny (almost nothing in prose is,) if you're sick, and they sure are. Cartman: "I'll show you fucking 'obscene'" (this is what he was talking about. People sensed it was real, somehow, and they still ask Google about it. You can try reading it in Cartman's voice, like they might have. Author-Cartman sounds like "The Coon"): 

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

“Butters, my favorite part of your novel was when Scrotie McBoogerballs slid his head up into the horse's [vomits]”TV host. The most disgusting thing I'd ever heard was an Italian pornstar had cracked her pelvis fucking a horse, so I made it much worse, in a few different ways. 

“Why are we here?”Butters 

Bill Hader and Vernon Chatman were writing for "South Park" that season, with Matt Stone and Trey Parker.  

"I get a lot of emails which I pass onto my assistant for polite declines, but in this case I thought I’d read the first few lines; that took me through the first few paragraphs; then I missed some deadlines because I couldn’t stop reading. Your writing is phenomenal. It is talented and brave. It has the unfettered courage of Joyce and the love of words of [Gerard Manley] Hopkins."David Eagleman, Stanford Neuroscientist, he's on PBS, Joe Rogan, Lex Fridman, and author of “Sum: 40 Tales from the Afterlives.” His literary book is a little better than Jorge Luis Borges (even that sentence ain't right, like a lot about this story. I didn't know a writer that good was alive until I spam-emailed authors my book.)  

But there's the weird contrast the episode is rooted in. "Most disgusting book in the world" (from the vag-passage,) but then it's REALLY good (from the blurb, and actually reading it,) like you'd compare it to Joyce, or even Shakespeare (especially the disgusting bits kind of rooted in Hamlet's "foul and pestilent congregation of vapours," "a tale told by an idiot," the most punk rock shit.) Only it's re-written by "South Park" sensibilities to be gross and offensively obscene. "The author wanted to be as disgusting as possible because it was funny!"Kyle. Also true. Couldn't stop laughing.   

I talked to them through Vernon's email, pleading for something, anything I could use, so I didn't sound crazy (millions of people try to publish books, a third or half palpably insane or feeble-minded.) They neither confirmed nor denied, cuz I could sue them (even cynically, for publicity—maybe this was even rational, especially in light of how it went downbut it just made me sick.) But I did want to exploit it maximally (kinda like this,) which they knew, and they were technically "guilty" ("using"/parodying something that arrived from a random writer guy.) And they looked like dicks.  

(This was wrenching enough it probably fucked Bill Hader up, emotionally. I'll get to it but I suspect it's a huge reference for murder and guilt on HBO's "Barry." "Acting is truth." Duh. So this really happened to him. The most unambiguously awesome early scene in "Bebe's Tale" is her panic attackHader famously used to get panic attacks on "Saturday Night Live." The second episode of that show is actually titled "Use It," in terms of acting—so he needed to find a real time he really fucked someone's life over, for real, to stand for "murder." “You don't have to know what [child molesting] is like. You just have to know what it's like to hurt somebody.”an actual quote from that show. When did you feel like the biggest dirtbag who ever lived? Yeah: when the Eagleman quote got me in with the Wylie Agency and I said "THIS IS MY LIFE. YOU DID A SOUTH PARK ABOUT THIS BOOK, CAN YOU GIVE ME ANYTHING?" (like the Sally/Macbeth scene that won him the Emmy.)

Even a press hack or a child might've asked him. More later, however violating. I'm not bitter at those guys, it's off-the-charts empathetic and flattering, in its way. While I just thought it was awesome this happened at the time, it was as months and years went by and my book went nowhere with the pitiful grocery clerk drudges and fifth-rate wine aunts of the ever-feeble publishing "business," he felt really, really bad.

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) 

After my website went up and they knew (I emailed Vernon after all this time, he's still worried about getting sued,) this curious scene of the character Bebe beating the living shit out of Butters' "personal brand" aired. This story doesn't make them look great, but I appreciate it!  

I think Butters sometimes stood for Bill Hader, being younger and more sensitive than them. Are they concerned about looking like dicks? What is this scene from the 2012 episode (2 years after "Scrotie," "as months and years went by," like I said,) "Going Native?" Butters screaming at Stan about being selfish about his personal image (i.e. "personal brand,") and everyone else being a selfish dick? That doesn't really make sense. It's the first scene of the episode, unrooted, narratively. 

Yeah: if there's something weird in a "South Park," it's probably something that happened in the writer's room that week. That's the rule. I think it's Butters-as-Bill Hader, being really upset about the guy who wrote "the Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs," who he feels like he's murdering. They turn it into a plot about Hawaiian Pon Farr. Which shows Bill Hader had a kind of freakish emotional investment in this, back then (also he was young and my emails fucked his head up.) If you don't get it, Stan is Trey Parker and Kyle is Matt Stone, Bill Hader was friends with Matt Stone first, that's why Butters is screaming at Kyle about "YOUR best friend," even though that makes 0 sense for the characters on "South Park."

I never caught that, then. "Shut up and do your job" always sounded slightly off to me from "Barry," but it accords with this: Hader did feel awful about it, said so, even started some shit. But nothing's what they decided to do. Even if I wasn't gonna sue them, so then it's a media story of whatever size about them being dicks? Why would you signal-boost that? 

Let this guy succeed in the literary novel meritocracy. Except what even is that? Joyce Carol Oates wrote 140 novels, they're just there, nobody cares? Whatever. There used to be a kind of literary celebrity you could create with reviews and references in publications, but I'm not sure that's even there, anymore. This is it. Which Bill Hader may well have sensed, which fucked him up. 

If we're doing "South Park" clips—and I know you people can barely read, and I'm with you, I watch Tiktok. So it's not a bad idea—this classic bit from the season after "Scrotie" also most likely a response to my passive-aggressive emails. Sucking up alternating with being pissed off. Note God smites Cartman in the end. Maybe getting a "South Park" episode about your unpublished novel was a gift from God—like those Mullahs called 9/11but then maybe God was fucking me over, back, for insulting Him. You read the vile horse bit. It's pretty good. 

Then the season 26 finale (after they knew of this website) is just saying my name as much as possible!? I went to a transcript, "Rick" is said 48 times. People kind of hated it! I emailed Vernon like "dude, don't ruin your own show to troll me," and he said they were mining crypto up their own asses, which yeah, that is how I'd describe it. Sometimes the TV really is talking to you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM-a3JzpXoE&ab_channel=TheTable 

Back to "Scrotie." "South Park" quotes the novel's prose being about “the vag-frogs,” a parody of my stylistic idiosyncrasies with using hyphens and word fragments. I looked up the episode transcript to pull quotes, I almost want to correct them. "Vag-frog" is how it's formatted. It's a vagina frog. 

"Scrotie" is the baffling episode with the book that makes you puke. It could have just been gross, but it was (inexplicably) "REALLY good." Like in a highfalutin way? It was weird too, about "vag-frogs"? I wouldn't have figured it out if the episode even made sense. But it didn't, so I kept thinking about it. Arriving at "that's about something we're not seeing," as you sometimes do, with "South Park," it clickedand I did see it. "Holy shit." 

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

The most disgusting, blasphemous paragraph ever written got their attention. It's like a much better “Aristocrats,” really, with more of a point, with the “big bang” capperworthy of a good comedy writer's room. Or Cartman writing it. Not just gross to be gross, but gross to insult the Almighty—a higher calling, and more fundamentally “obscene” than that dumb punchline even the “South Park” version calls out as stupid. “The Aristocrats” was gross like “Family Guy” and my paragraph was allegorically, demoniacally coherent, like “South Park,” or punk Shakespeare, or a nihilistic hunter-gatherer creation myth. So it was vile, but really good, even there. 

Google has “Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs full text” (and more like it) as an autocomplete, like people weirdly intuited it actually existed—somehow. A Google Answer is "Is 'the Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs' real?" and the answer almost doesn't understand the question, talking about the plot of the episode. People just sensed from watching the episode, "that is a real thing," probably because like me, they understand "South Park," unlike me, they hadn't actually emailed it to them. It is real, but only the one paragraph and random passages are "Aristocrats." They fucking tricked us, that's what they did! Tricked us into reading a book by, enticing us with promises of vulgarity!”Cartman, describing the only scenario where a normal human being would ever read an unpublished "experimental novel" on the Internet: looking for more sick shit. Which is how it starts, with "Catcher in the Rye." "What even is this enticing, disgusting novel?" 

When somebody went to find more sick nonsense poetry insulting God, they found what David Eagleman saw. Less disgusting, more just phenomenally lucid, in some weird highbrow poetic way they weren't even quite familiar with, or knew was possible. Some bits were like a virtuosic assault (like when Randy's puked out, exhausted.) 

The incongruence of the contrast set them off to the main premise of the episode. Somebody said "is it just me or is that book REALLY good?" and somebody else came back after an hour, solemnly, "I think it's like the best thing I've ever read?" (yeah that was Bill Hader.) And THAT was funny, just contrasted with the "Aristocrats" stuff. Where they'd started with "maybe Cartman writes a disgusting, evil book, for some reason?" now they changed it, and it was just kinda weird, allegoricallyall the boys write it, so evil elements of Cartman are present in the novel, and...other, inexplicable merits? And they don't even really try to quote it (like the Cartman author bit they may have started with,) instead sort of making it seem legendarily both literary and disgusting, somehow. Butters can only do a bad impression of it. 

I listened to thousands of hours of John Coltrane, so it isn't even neurologically normal. It's like one of those Oliver Sacks or David Eagleman synesthesia tales (I didn't even pitch David Eagleman with that, incidentally.) I was turning music into prose. So it kinda looked like James Joyce, but you could actually understand it, if you were game. And I'd been writing vampire novels in sixth grade, so I was pretty good, in general? I've never been able to pitch this novel, but it's "Whipping Post" aesthetically. Duane Allman was obsessed with "Kind of Blue," that's why he can play long guitar solos that are good. Same thing. I can't even read "Gravity's Rainbow" or "Ulysses." But I did know what the best bits in E.E. Cummings, Emily Dickinson, Kafka, "House of Leaves," James Joyce, Camus, Borges, Kurt Vonnegut, Stanislaw Lem should look like, and I was going for the throat.

The hack bores staffing publishing (I don't think one of them ever asked me a question? Even to determine what kind of crazy I was?) Who, if their industry wanes inexorably, might fit in more snugly into the upscale birthday card business, for the greater creativity, and money (arguably more cosmically-significant, too)they didn't go for it? Yet even "Wing" is more famous than Don DeLillo and Joyce Carol Oates. So who cares?

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

Years later when I still couldn't get it published I was like “that was about my book, right?” Vernon felt bad for me and said “we can only be an indicator,” so vague it couldn't really be used in a lawsuit, but basically “yep, but you know we can't say shit.” Note: Vernon talked to me some but they never denied it, like Barry would never kill a kid, in his maladaptive, terribly-planned Season 2 moral code. So Lily just locks on Fuches' face. "Take out your gun and shoot her." 

The "Tale" is kind of like a hybrid of "what if the whole book was disgusting like that" and a weird parody of what it actually is—a "mytho-poetical stream of consciousness" novel. 

The commentary is some bullshit about Monty Python precedence, because it's law not to use fan mail as "inspiration" of any kind, no matter how oblique. But that's not how they even write “South Park.” They sit around like in “Quest for Ratings,” looking at weird nonsense, trying to come up with jarring incongruities, ideas, improvising. My account of how it was written reflects this, more than theirs? Who's bullshitting? You would think the "South Park" guys would know how they write "South Park." I listened to it again recently like "oh, it's just obviously contrived." They'd never done that (with mail,) probably before or since, so to them, it was a new, dumb liability they'd opened up, stupidly. "For them, it's just another show, for me it was everything," to quote Sally from "Barry" in yet another fucked up line Hader seems to be "using it" (guilt from this incident, a line that means multiple things grammatically—"just another show" is two kinds of shows, a streaming service's and "South Park"'s 317.)

And I'd alarmingly busted them immediately via email, and they were actually technically 'guilty,' which you don't even hear stories about (I think everyone concludes Harlan Ellison was kind of the asshole in the James Cameron "Terminator" dispute...but what the hell even was this? A "South Park" starring the abstract idea of how my novel had been presented to them?) And they could tell themselves "well he knows what a huge compliment it is, and we just gave him some 'help,' and that's awesome" cuz I did. 

But then nothing good much happened? I never had any ill-will towards them, yet some kind of confirmation a publisher could rely on to put in a press release really could have moved a fucking needle, somewhere, back then, with those dire publishing charwomen and janitors. Just facts.

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

(Alec Berg terminated that poor guy's account just to serve Bill Hader's ego, disgusting.) "The very idea of losing is hateful to Americans."—George Patton. Let's continue to use TV and celebrity gossip to sell my unsellable poetic literary novel, which sounds like a "Simpsons" joke, or something, but that's what's happening, and it gets crazier? Sort of. 

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

It was funny the passage was so disgusting. Then it was a mindfuck the novel was so good, which they wrote in. “Scrotie guy saw the episode and HE KNOWS!” was another scary thing altogether, probably the first time they'd ever even used fanmail for anything whatsoever, before or sinceand the second they even fucked around like that, I stone busted them. I knew that inflection on "REALLY," but I really did, in an absurd position of trying to convince people, futilely, to read my book.

I had it worked out in a few days almost exactly what happened in the writer's room that week. Dissect the disgusting passage, “maybe Cartman would write an evil book...why?” Read it in Cartman's voice, somebody goes to actually read the novel, tricked into seeking out more filth, "REALLY good?" “I think it's like the best thing I've ever read?” “What? The 'Aristocrats' book? Weren't we just looking for more disgusting, funny shit?”

Oh shit! He's evil! Is he gonna sue us? Is he mad?” “He's REALLY...nice?" Another jarring contrast, all the other writing on my website was next-level "vituperative arts" cruel (I wrote for the eXile, the infamously mean-but-right Matt Taibbi paper,) and all the God-insulting made me seem vicious. I wasn't mad at them, I thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened. "He's talking about John Coltrane and Joseph Campbell and Oliver Sacks.” "A Love Supreme"? "Follow your Bliss"? The guy who wrote the most evil thing ever? Even that was funny (and even this seems to be reflected in the "Barry" scene where the Chechens first talk to Christobal, the scary drug kingpin who reads Thomas Friedman and "The Four Agreements"? "We fucked up. He's really nice." I didn't mention Thomas Friedman, I mentioned Malcolm Gladwell.)  

“That's an evil Cartman trick to get us to admit it! As soon as we admit it, he'll fuck us over.” They decided to neither confirm nor deny, and stuck to it, content they'd been extremely nice, and they hadn't 'stolen' anything from me (I mean, they didn't, it was closer to just an enormous compliment/parody.) But I just wanted people to know 

While "Scrotie"'s origins are a fun story, this next bit still feels violating, on my part. But so were the first popular publications ever in human history focusing on aristocrat sex gossip, and it feels like great marketing to me, because Bill Hader is really famous. Sorry, Bill. Maybe forgiveness does have to be earned, as this is pretty fucked up

Hader's probably the one who said "I think it's like the best thing I've ever read." Bebe's panic attack in the second chapter is awesome. Bebe walks into a bathroom and looks into a mirror and it's beautiful, invoking Ozymandias and the heat death of the universe. Hader famously used to get panic attacks on "Saturday Night Live." He's still talking about them, aesthetically re: "Barry." 

“You don't have to know what [child molesting] is like. You just have to know what it's like to hurt somebody.”Sally, “Barry.” Think of the worst thing you ever did to a person, for selfish, petty reasons. That's murder. By the repeatedly, explicitly-discussed acting logic in the show (and it's really all they talk about, in terms of acting craft,) Hader's accessing some real, horrendous guilt that really fucks him up. Despite writing it into the show—like it's what the show is about—and winning acting Emmys, far as I can tell, no one asked him. 

"Acting [and presumably writing] is truth." It may have even crossed your mind. What murder? What guilt tortures Bill Hader? What the fuck is that whole show "Barry" even about, if it's "truth"? 

When did Bill Hader really fuck someone's entire life over (I've written novels since I was 11,) while doing something illicit (using fan mail as inspiration,) for fundamentally self-interested financial purposes (don't want to get sued)? “How much did you get for Chris?” A fellow marine (writer/comedy writer) who “looked up to him” (I've watched every episode of “South Park” since 1997.)

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

I sent them manic emails for a while, after the episode aired. I was elated and they probably felt good about elating some random guy in the audience, too, so they read them. And they needed to make sure I wouldn't sue them. And I was a real writer talking about real writer stuff, like Joseph Campbell and my book, which maybe meant something to Bill Hader. If you listen to say, the real writers on "Rick and Morty," they talk about stuff like Joseph Campbell, too, he was just on an episode. Hader joined "South Park" to learn about writing, almost like an apprentice, rather than hotshot. And I was a really good writer-writer, not even TV writer, talking about writing.   

I didn't really put any of this together until recently. I'd worked in bookstores so long I didn't know, "hey you should read 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces,'" really could influence somebody meaningfully, if they were serious about learning to write. But I guess who even talks about Joseph Campbell? George Lucas used to. Dan Harmon. JK Rowling would, but she doesn't want anyone to know about the charts up on her walls when she was writing those books. 

So I sent Vernon and those guys my whole book, and probably many other ruminations, drunk most of the time, kind of crazed. Hader maybe actually read it. But just saying, this actually impacted Bill Hader, a little, emotionally, me pouring my heart out. But they were under those orders not to confirm or deny (remember the thing about Macbeth, Barry's military service, his hitman orders? It's also autobiographical, for Bill Hader, "using it"?) And the dialogue "looks around" at all those things, including Bill Hader's autobiographical guilt. Which is also like the dialogue from my novel, which I was stealing from Kafka.   

But then Andrew Wylie of the Wylie Agency actually did request this manuscript from me, based on that David Eagleman quote, one time. And they're the Salman Rushdie actual-literature super-agency, scrubs shouldn't even apply. I'd emailed everyone in publishing, sent physical materials, emailed authors. It was weird, only quasi-celebrities like Neil Strauss and James Frey responded with anything indicating sentience, interns wouldn't even say shit. With or without "South Park" story. I mean I tried both ways, a lot. But one Eagleman blurb (he's the smartest guy in the world, or something literally pretty close,) and I was in, with the most legit agency.  

"Can you give me ANYTHING, please? That industry is so irrelevant, just having a 'South Park' is like 15 National Book Awards, before it's published. I know it, even if they're too dumb to. I don't want to fucking sue you, it was on the Internet anyway. And I tell people they did a 'South Park' about this but literally 2,000,000 literal schizophrenics are also trying to publish novels, so it might even hurt me? I don't even understand how they process this shit, even if one person gets it there's layers of corporate hacks who don't watch 'South Park.' You guys actually have talent, it fucking means something. Nobody gives a shit about literary novels. And that's the published ones that win awards. The unpublished ones, the numbers get almost incomprehensible." 

"I didn't write novels since I was a little kid in the sixth grade to fucking sue 'South Park,'" really tugged at the heart-strings. Still kinda breaks me up (it's true.)  

Sob story, but they didn't help me

Same thing with the other Macbeth scene, Hader seems to be drawing on his actual guilt to write and act some of the best scenes of the show, in weird mimesis. I'm the guy he killed? Cuz yeah, just them admitting it might have made the difference, in that pissant publishing world. "Use it." They'd given me a purpose to publish this novelalso like the Chechen guy Barry kills, notebut then it didn't work out. I love "South Park." I wouldn't sue them. Like he hesitates. And dies. That's what's emotionally true, for Bill Hader.   

I'm pretty sure I only watched "Barry" cuz I liked "Silicon Valley." But the horrible guilt I inflicted on Bill Hader that manifests in his art now cathartically (?????) serves my marketing purposes. Did the ancient Greeks discuss that one? PT Barnum? Eric Cartman? It's like some kind of Golden Bough, Joseph Campbell rebirth shit. Or something? 

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

And I'm not even mad at them, covering their asses, but Hader fucking FELT that, is the point. And it felt like murdering all a guy's hopes and dreams—and the book he loved, too—when I went silent, stopped emailing them. I mean I'm extra-bitter at publishing people because I know better than they do how little novels sell. I once guessed a "famous" poet's residual check by estimating how many libraries in America bought it for no one to ever read, added $50 (it was $400,) he was like "how did you know that?" like I was Sherlock Holmes. 

I'm sure "South Park" guys were rooting for me. I was rooting for me. But then—it just never did work out? 

I'm not even running down half the weird shit about "Barry" (and it's not all even in this paragraph.) Entire show seems rooted in this specific guilt, maybe? That first Crystobal scene ("he's super nice! We fucked up!") is sort of like me being into John Coltrane and Joseph Campbell, when I'd written the evilest passage ever. Sally's whole arc in Season 1 and 3 is sort of like me (I considered getting a complimentary "South Park" to be better than winning every literary award that ever existed, still do, but it didn't matter,) Cousineau is sort of like me at times (I'm younger than Bill Hader but he was there as a writing student,) murdered fellow marine/writer Chris is sort of like me. Albert at the end of season 3 is like this actual article, in its way? 

I think fucking karate girl Lily is sort of like me emailing them—I have these rhetorical powers, but I wasn't really mortally or fiscally threatening them, just hurting their feelings in weird, scary ways. Like if say, Glenn Greenwald or Christopher Hitchens kept sending you messages about how you fucked them over in life, kinda, it'd be bizarrely terrifying. Those guys can destroy people in a couple sentences. And I can do that, too. Again, though, some of the best shit on the show! I loved that before I even realized it was a phantasm of demoniacal guilt, harrying Bill Hader's soul. 

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

The Actual Book "Bebe's Tale"

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions 

It's basically Bebe watching a guy die alternating with her life afterwards, branded by preposterous facial tattoos, like a curse. It's pretty sick, though. Like in a way you don't even understand is possible before you read it. It's 83,000 words, cuz I was thinking you might think it's a full-on scam, but it's a real novel.

I've always written on computer screens, so the book existing there feels fine to me. Epub is like a web page. I think this is the scene Bill Hader and Vernon Chatman and David Eagleman were all like "holy shit," cuz I used to re-read it almost like a marketing guy, "best thing ever written where nothing even happens, she wakes up, is on page 4, good." I used to do literary experiments just calling the character [], which became Bebe, which is still half "fuck you," like "Scrotie McBoogerballs." 

The Panic Attack Scene 

“After all we tried, I mean, God knows, God knows we tried…whatever it is, whatever we are...whatever––we really always, ever are.”

Caught up in folding fabric, Bebe's body struggles against the sheets.

Heavy-headed, she awakes fully, entangled in blanket, blinking up at the circular see-through whooshing overhead: blurred fan-blades spinning. Beside her, the clock flashes 4:04. She gropes for the alarm, incoherently hissing.

Power stopped sometime during the night. Light pours through three windows onto sealed-shut boxes. The beige wallpaper’s peeling, exposing another layer underneath slightly less beige. The new apartment smells of paint, like the landlord touched up a tiny surface-patch somewhere unseen. Back living in the city.

She crawls to the lone wooden chair supporting the closed laptop, cellphone and gray pants. Without a bed, she's been sleeping on the floor. Change’s fallen all over from her pants-pockets. The self-portraits peer in on Bebe from every wall, all the constant eyes felt some. Twelve borderless portraits of Bebe lean, all of them pretty big—evenly spaced out—three to each wall.

Flipping the phone open there’s five missed calls. Five Elaines. Flipped closed, it’s 11:02 AM. The meeting was 9:30 AM. The alarm didn't go off. Bebe stands, circling the chair and presses Elaine, getting voicemail.

“My clock stopped overnight. Call me back, or I could stop by the gallery. I apologize,” Bebe ends the call, the now useless arm and device dropping to her side. Her fingers, like losing instructions, release the phone. Striking the floor, the plastic clatters as the battery looses out the back, everything spinning over the wood then stopping. The time vanishes from the bounced-upright square screen. Miss a meeting and they don’t answer. As punishing retribution for your apparent cold dismissal.

The mirror in the bathroom beckons, ominously? She won't make it a ritual for the rest of her life, but these days she looks at herself every morning, seeming to feel a little residual sting on her cheeks that doesn't dissipate unless she studies herself at length. Today, the sting seems worse, palpable, enhanced because of missing the meeting. All psychosomatic.

In the bathroom, by mirror Bebe reexamines her farcical red facial tattoos three inches high,

BE and BE, her preposterous name, “Bebe,” a “BE” for each cheek, there dense and definite. Reflected, the tattoos show backwards. Obviously. Again it’s confirmed water can’t wash away ink embedded so, buried under skin. The marks won't fade away.

Her eyes crystally regard her reflection, straight forward like always windowly opened, letting light in and pushing something[]––out. Which is all evident. Then the image reflects back. She seems only this flat image, a two-dimensional layer refracting what light’s bounced on and off it. Again she envisions the dead boy, Anson, seeing the faucet under drip.

The tattoos mean something? Still? Now she can't remember why she got them to begin with. After Anson? She's marked for life. With BE tattoos on her cheeks. Just because Anson died?

Her legs weaken, then even firmness leaves her bones. Muscles now enfeebled, like sleep’s returning, or something behind her closes in, a rangeless other reaching. For her? To take her, too? For everything? Holding porcelain to balance, she grasps the sharp edges of the sink. Her teeth knock together. Breathing now, finding rhythms. This is the worst panic attack so far.

The face’s surface stands broken with your name. No marks remain, and all meetings will miss, forever the ever's ether diffused more out, out––then just particles strangering through the dimmest expansion, your specks drifted through the final night as remote little bits.

The small song gone from the form overall, this elementary audibility exhausts itself away. She looks right and left and now flashes––an eternal fountain––unwavering light glimpses her and the thing now gleams, there’s seeing it’s big—what forever was––flowed speaks through for her––this––some moment to see. Whimpers in her, outcoming so loud God heard it then, that there’s just-rounding this, by bit-seers, flecks-stitched––flared obscenely, and then their atrocious falseness was irrevocably strangled. 

Going away, but now not yet, still some for time, you process a mode known. Wasn’t so long before she saw extinction, near as you can, but everyone knows that nothing matters. Now you must look away from the blinding intensity of what happened to live day to day.

It’s time to check the weather before the morningshow’s over.

Bebe's Tale (gumroad.com) <----Online storefront ePub and Mobi versions

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